You can call it America’s Rifle, a modern sporting rifle or just a hobby that you pour money into. The fact is, shooting the AR-15 is just about the most fun you can have at the range. Plus the gun makes for an excellent patrol rifle and home defense gun.
A lot of shooters enjoy building their own rifles from a stripped receiver. Others like accessorizing a factory gun. Regardless on what you like, here are my favorite three accessories for my primary AR.
J. Dewey AR-15/M-16 Field Kit
All guns should be kept clean and lubed, but the AR rifle can be a touch more finicky than other rifles. Even though you shouldn’t run into any problems on a day at the range, I like to keep a cleaning kit with me just in case. This is especially true if I am running Wolf or other dirty ammo through my gun.
The best kit on the market for my money is the J. Dewey AR-15/M-16 Field Kit. The kit comes in a pouch about the size of a pocket holster and it holds all of the essentials for keeping your rifle running.
Included in the kit:
FP-10 Lubricant Elite (a CLP)
chamber brush and phosphate coated rod
nylon bore brush and 30” coated pull cable
stuck case remover
Everything breaks down into the small nylon pouch, which zips closed. The pouch has a belt loop so you can attach it to your range bag or on your person.
This kit is completely made in the United States, yet remains affordable with an MSRP of $39.95. Check out this kit and all of their tools at www.DeweyRods.com.
Streamlight TLR-1s HP
If you use your AR as a home defense weapon or you carry it on duty in law enforcement, a white light is an absolute must have accessory. There are a number of lights and mounts available for your gun, but my new favorite is the recently introduced Streamlight TLR-1s HP.
Bright is a bit of an understatement when describing the TLR-1s HP. The light puts out a total of 200 lumens and a peak beam intensity of 46,000 candella. The peak beam intensity is a measure of the center beam’s brightness, while the lumens is the total light output (including the cone of less bright light around the beam).
Streamlight says the beam is useable to 400+ meters. Though I have not measured the exact distance, I can say that the light will reach out across a golf course and light up things I never could with other weapon lights.
The TLR-1s HP mounts to any Picatinny-type rail in mere seconds. You simply push in on the spring-loaded adjustment screw and lever the light onto the rail. Then, using a coin, tighten the screw down in just a turn or two. The light is then firmly attached.
The light has an ambidextrous switch in the tailcap that allows for momentary and constant on/off. Also, if you tap the momentary twice, you get a strobe mode. A remote mount is available if you want to move the switch to another part of the gun.
The light uses two CR123A batteries and offers a 1.75 hour runtime. As with most tactical flashlights being made now, the Streamlight uses an LED that is shock resistant and has a 50,000-hour lifetime.
The TLR-1s HP is a fantastic weapon light, and I have one mounted to my own Rock River AR. MSRP is $204.00. You can find them at www.Streamlight.com.
Magpul CTR Stock
There’s nothing wrong with the standard M4-type collapsible stock found on the majority of AR rifles today. You can quickly adjust the stock to your preferred length of pull and you should be fine.
That said I still greatly prefer the Magpul CTR stock.
The CTR offers several advantages to the standard stock. The one I like best is the location of the adjustment latch. The CTR has an A-frame profile, and on the inside of the triangle is where you will find the adjustment latch. It is easy to use, yet it is tucked in a position that makes it extremely unlikely for it to be depressed and the stock move on you.
Another nice feature is the forward lock lever that completely tightens down the stock after adjustment and removes all wiggle and movement. It also makes it much harder for the adjustment latch to be activated accidentally.
The CTR includes a rubber buttpad, which helps anchor the gun to your shoulder when mounted. Also, the stock has built in sling mounts that accept any push-button style sling swivels.
As I said, there is nothing wrong with the standard adjustable stocks, but I really like the CTR I added to my rifle. MSRP is $79.95. A less expensive version from the company’s MOE line deletes the forward friction lock and sling mounts. It retails for only $59.95.