Most common and useful upgrade for AR-15?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by junho806, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. junho806

    junho806 New Member

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    Yeah so i was just wondering what where the most common and handy upgrades for a 16" M4 style AR 15 with flat top and collapsible stock.

    thanks
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    What kind of upgrades are you looking to do? At 16", you don't really have a long range, match style platform. But, you could do a few things to make it a bit better for close quarter action.

    Free floated front hand guard, if you just have the plastic clamshell that so many come with.

    Fold down battle sights like the kind from Yankee Hill Machine or Troy. I would go with the YHM as they are way cheaper. That allows you to use your optics, but if something happens, pull the glass/heads up and switch to analog old school in about 20 seconds.

    A trigger job is always a good idea, if you have the stock style trigger. You can get a drop in replacement, or you can tune the one you have already got in about 30 minutes. I sent several people on here an on line write up on how to do it, I haven't heard any reports back from anyone. *shaking fist*

    Give me an idea of what direction you would like to go with the gun and I will see if I can't give you some ideas...

    JD
     

  3. ranger_sxt

    ranger_sxt New Member

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    A class on how to use it and 2,000 rounds of ammo...
     
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    +1000 Ranger.

    An enhanced extractor spring from Specialized Armament Warehouse (sawlesales.com). $4.

    Enhanced magazine springs from Specialized Armament. $4

    "H" buffer for carbine (collapsible) butt stock.

    Good red dot sight, C-more, Acog etc.

    Non slip (recoil) pad for butt stock. A bit more length and better control.

    Boonie Packer Redi Mag.

    Titanium FP.
     
  5. junho806

    junho806 New Member

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    i was thinking about free float vented tube
    don't like the look of 4 picatinny railed tube

    what rear and front sight do you recommend?
    i was also planning on putting a surefire on it somewhere

    as for the trigger is a 2 stage trigger upgrade worth it?
    as for the springs can you just buy better ones and work from there?

    i was gonna get a 512 eotech for a red dot sight
    thats all i've really thought about
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    junho -

    I recently got This free floated fore end from Yankee Hill. There are close up pictures of it in the projects section under my current build called Gungnir. This gives you a top rail for all sorts of sights, regardless of your choosing, and then it gives the ( 3 ) additional 4" rails right at the front in case you want to add a light or something. I am really happy with it. It's very well made and very durable.

    As for flip up sights:

    From This page I like the:

    Forearm Mounted Front Flip Sight

    A1 Style Flip Rear Sight

    Both are really good sights, very durable and work extremely well in case of battery failure or other need.

    I just bought a RRA 2 Stage Trigger for this project and it is very nice. Very little creep up to a very positive break and then almost no over travel. I think it will shoot very well.

    That being said, JARD makes a drop in trigger that I have on my 17" gun, pictures in my gallery, and it works fine as well.

    Your trigger is going to be somewhat personal, so you might want to try a couple before you buy. I work part-time in a shop, so I get to play with everything. :D

    You can fine tune a GI Trigger for a nice clean break. You can also replace the springs and get a good trigger, not great, but definitely better than stock.

    I have a couple of EoTechs and I love them. They are very durable and they aren't too terribly hard on batteries. That said, they aren't cheap either. :eek:

    Let me know what you think of those products. There are certainly others out there, but those are some of the ones that I like currently...

    JD
     
  7. junho806

    junho806 New Member

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    *drools*
    i really like that free float forearm
    :D
    but mines gonna be a 16" so shouldn't i get the carbine?
    with that said what flip up front sight would fit?
    looks like the ones yankee hill would get in the way of the tube...
     
  8. junho806

    junho806 New Member

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    thanks for the tips
    are all these absolutely necesarry though?
     
  9. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    • Good iron sights
    • Holosight (or similar)
    • Good followers/springs/floorplates for your mags
    • Replacement parts that wear or may break
    Don't clutter your AR with stuff you don't need.
     
  10. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    They make a carbine model as well, it's like $20 cheaper as well. It's the same configuration, but it's shorter for your barrel. I should have clarified that. :eek: The fore end I showed you is top shelf though. I really like it. It feels like a great piece of kit...

    YHM makes several models of foldering sights. The ones I showed you were my choices, but they also make one that goes right on top of your existing gas block.

    Take a look at their sight page and see what you like...

    JD
     
  11. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  12. JWIII

    JWIII New Member

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    Cheek peice... Either adjustable or a stock with them built in... A good cheek peice is a wise investment IMO.
     
  13. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

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    I have two of the YHM free float tubes that JD mentioned. One carbine length on a 16" bbl and a rifle length on a 16" heavy barrel (for bi pod as this one of my woodchuck rifles). They are very well made I can assure you. I believe the newer design has a locking pin of some sort to avoid rotation of the forend. Mine are older models and heavy duty loc tite on the indexing ring has served just fine. I also hate the look and feel of rails all over the place. With this tube, you can get rail sections in lenghts from 2.5" to the full length (or more) of the tube so you only have what you need.
     
  14. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The upgrade springs resolve some design deficiencies that the Mil-Spec has not kept up with. Mag springs are an (IMHO) essential item as the Mil mag only costs $2.00. How good a spring are you going to get in a $2.00 magazine. The extractor spring will prevent extraction issues that may arise.

    A red dot/holo sight makes the weapon MUCH quicker to shoot.

    The non slip butt pad adds a little length to the (for me) too short carbine stock.

    The Redi Mag allows you to have 2 magazines with the weapon at all times. You do not have to think about grabbing extra ammo/mags and mess with mag straps/clasps.

    Shoot 1-2K before you spend a lot of money on accessories. Mall Ninjas will offer up all sorts of gadgets to "upgrade" your AR. Until you are fairly proficient, you will not know if those "upgrades" are worth it.

    My AR's are perfectly reliable with the above additions and minimal cost.
     
  15. balloo93

    balloo93 New Member

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    My personal take on essential upgrades are these:

    Good stock. Magpul CTR is a nice addition and can be put right on the stock you have just make sure you know wether it's Mil spec or a commercial. I also run a RRA 9mm buffer in both of my rifles.

    Good grip. The grip adds to the feel and trigger finger postion. You want the stock firm against your shoulder, a good grip makes it that much easier to do this. My favorite is the Magpul MIAD. I also have a G27 on my stag that is very comfortable.

    Good BUIS. Don't skimp on this. I like a folding rear sight sinse I run a red dot on my rifles. However, I like being able to flip up the rear and use the irons as well.

    Good optic. I admittedly went cheap on this. I first used a Bushnell red dot that was okay, but I replaced it with a SPOT unit. I really like the SPOT, so much so that I boght another one for the other rifle. Avoid the Aimpoint knock offs. If you were going to spend the cash, this would be the best place to do it. If possible, see if anyone local to you would let you shoot with thier Eotech and/or a Aimpoint. Personally I do not like the Eotech.

    Good amount of Mags and Mag parts. All of my USGI 30rd mags have been rebuilt with better springs, followers, and in my case range plates or Mag-pulls.

    Good ammo. Sight in with good ammo. I plink with the Monarch and wolf. I sight in and keep my "defence mags" filled with Hornady or Black hills.

    Hand gaurds are great, both my middy and carbine have them. They do add weight though. I only use a verticle grip on both and even then I remove them at the range from time to time. To me those were not necessary items. Hind sight I should have waited and went full float.
     
  16. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    Not taking anything away from what you posted...but isn't this:

    http://www.mountsplus.com/miva/merchant.mvc?page=MSP/PROD/24_RIFLE_SCOPES/SPO-MK3-NR6

    An "Aimpoint knock-off"? Admittedly...it's probably one of the better ones, like the Hakko's (from Japan) were...but still a "copy" of the Aimpoint. That being said, it does work well, and a good alternative to the price of an Aimpoint.

    Slo
     
  17. RMTactical

    RMTactical New Member

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    A good sling and a good optic. :)
     
  18. balloo93

    balloo93 New Member

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    Read a torture test of the SPOT and liked how it held up. I didn't pay full price for either of the two I bought and so far I am very pleased with the performance offered. Only downside is they are 3MOA, but that really hasn't been a negative thus far.

    I may eventually go with an Aimpoint. Not in a huge hurry though. The jeep requires feeding as well and it's her turn for some financial attention and TLC :)
     
  19. junho806

    junho806 New Member

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    so i finished my AR and now i'm thinking about upgrades
    the first thing i'm gonna upgrade is probably the trigger
    is a two-stage trigger worth it?
    and does anyone know or have detailed instructions on how to clean an AR-15?
    thanks!
    :D
     
  20. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    You just put it together - you should know what parts move and what parts don't. :D

    I really like the RRA 2-Stage Triggers. They break clean and they are a direct drop in. Cost about $100 delivered and can be put in the weapon in minutes.

    That said, you have a nice SHTF weapon there Junho, I don't think you need a $100 trigger that is more suited for competition weapons unless you just plain "want" one.

    If you want to improve on the factory trigger, and not break the bank, you can order up this spring kit from Brownells for under $10 if you are a member. Easy to replace and cuts the overall travel and pull down. We use them a lot on budget builds to get a nice trigger for a field / home rifle.

    JD