Top AR-15 Accessories
“The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a ‘high capacity’ semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for us to use to protect ourselves and our families.” —Massad Ayoob
My love affair came later in life—relatively speaking. I guess that’s what happens when you’re introduced into the gun world right after AWB (Assault Weapons Ban.)
In the mid-2000s, when I started shooting seriously (not just a kid plinking with my brother’s .22,) one of my regular gun buddies purchased a Bushmaster AR…and then another… He was quite a bit younger than the rest of us—still loyal to our 1911s, our grandfather’s revolvers and shotguns and cheap (at the time) MIL-SURP rifles like the SKS and Mosin—and eager to get his hands on the newest thing. We thought the Bushmaster was fun, yet not quite convincing enough (at first) to convert us over to the “black” side.
I entered my career in the firearms industry in 2005 and while here, I’ve watched the regard for the AR go from virtually nothing to the most popular rifle in the United States. The AR has been available commercially for civilian sales since 1989 but unfortunately, the U.S. Army demanded changes to Eugene Stoner’s design during the Vietnam War which made the M16 (military version of the AR-15) incredibly unreliable, not helping the AR’s reputation. It wasn’t until the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 did the AR-15 become truly “America’s Rifle.”
With the very serious threat that another ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ was on the horizon, the AR became the hottest firearm on the market OVERNIGHT …and it stayed that way for YEARS.
If you tell us we can’t have something, naturally, we’re going to try and get it. It’s called psychological reactance. Humans don’t like being told we can’t have something because we want to have the freedom to do what we want and feel like we have control over our lives.
“Adam was but human… He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden.” -Mark Twain
Though the 1994 ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ increased demand, the number of AR-platform rifles manufactured didn’t even compare to the number of ARs manufactured in 2013. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, gun manufacturing increased by 120% from 1989 to 1993. Manufacture of banned firearms surged in 1994 to 204,000. Comparingly, in 2013, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that 300,00 to 500,000 AR-15s were being produced a year!
It is not fair, however, to say the AR-15 is only desirable because we were afraid it was going to be taken away. The AR-15 is actually one of the greatest firearms ever designed…in my opinion anyway. Very few other firearms have as much versatility as the AR. Endearingly called ‘Legos for grownups,’ a huge part of the appeal of the AR is the seemingly endless ways you can customize it. Now chambered in all sorts of calibers, traditionally the AR shoots 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington—a caliber that with the right bullet, is perfect for hunting, professional use, competition, fun, sport and self-defense.
The other big thing is how easy it is to use. Rifles are inherently more accurate than pistols. A larger caliber pistol, one that would have the same results ballistically as the .223, isn’t as easy to shoot for many as a rifle. A shorter barrel means more perceived felt recoil and a shorter line of sight makes aiming more difficult. Because the .223 is a relatively softer shooting round, people of all ages and strengths find the AR-15 enjoyable to shoot. Recoil is minimal, operation is straightforward, and it is easy to maintain and clean. Though I do have a subcompact carry gun, in all other situations, my AR-15 is my go-to.
I appreciate all the ways I can adapt my rifle for whatever purpose necessary—even change calibers with a conversion kit! Optics, furniture in different colors, bipods, grips…there are all sorts of ways to make your AR more efficient, easier to handle and more accurate. Firefield makes a variety of affordable AR accessories from red dots and lasers to bipods and rifle bags.
The following are Firefield’s top 7 selling AR-15 accessories:
For quick target acquisition at reach-out-and-touch-someone distances, the Impact reflex sight is the optic to mount to your AR to engage in CQB distances in low-light.
- 4 illuminated red reticle patterns—5 MOA dot, 3 MOA dot with 50 MOA circle, 3 MOA dot with 50 MOA crosshair, 3 MOA dot with 30 MOA circle/crosshair
- 5 brightness adjustments
- Unlimited eye relief
- 120 MOA windage and elevation adjustment range
- IP455 water-resistance rated
- Shockproof and recoil tested up to .308 Winchester
- 3.6″ L x 2.04″ H x 2″ W
- Weighs: 5.6 ounces
With a 2.5-10x variable magnification and an integrated red 5mW 532nm Class IIIA laser, the Barrage riflescope features a bullet drop compensation red or green illuminated reticle optimized for 55-grain .223 ammo with quick elevation adjustments out to 500 yards.
- Illuminated red/green mil-dot reticle
- 2.5-10x variable magnification, 40mm objective lens
- 5mW 532nm Class IIIA red laser
- Aircraft-grade 6061-T6 black anodized aluminum tube and 2-piece mount
- 34.86′ to 11.53′ field of view at 100 yards
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- 5 brightness settings
- Weighs: 18.8 ounces
For stability in the field and on uneven terrain, you need something to keep your rifle rock steady for a solid shot. The compact bipod is designed for prone shooting and is adjustable from 6 to 9 inches tall.
- Adjustable length from 6 to 9 inches
- Attaches via firearm’s swivel stud
- Rubber feet
- Padded stock mount
- Pivot mount with tension adjustment
- Includes sling attachment and Picatinny mount adapter
- 7.2″ x 3.2″ x 1.7″
- Weighs: 14.4 ounces
Quick target acquisition and shooting with both eyes open make the Agility perfect for CQB, self-defense, competition and multiple target engagements. In red or green illumination, the Agility red dot sight has 4 different reticles to choose from.
- 4 red/green illuminated reticles—5 MOA dot, 5 MOA dot with 45 MOA circle, 1 MOA dot with 40 MOA crosshair, 1 MOA dot with 40 MOA subtension with 30 MOA circle)
- 5 brightness settings
- 40′ field of view at 100 yards
- Parallax free at 20 yards
- 120 MOA windage and elevation adjustment
- Nitrogen-filled, shockproof and fogproof
- Multi-coated AR blue lens coating
- Weighs: 8.4 ounces
Made so you can still see your iron sights, the Charger AR green laser is super low-profile and incredibly lightweight at 2.4 ounces. Daytime visibility range is 50 yards and an impressive 600 yards at night.
- Green, Class IIIA, 532nm laser
- 1.5″ dot at 50 yards
- 50 yards visibility during the day, 600 yards visibility at night
- 468 MOA elevation adjustment/410 MOA windage adjustment
- IP55 water-resistant rated
- Shockproof, rated up to 800Gs recoil
- 3.5 hours CR2 battery life
- Weighs: 2.4 ounces
Made of 80′ of 550-lb. paracord, this tactical sling has a quick-detach clip, adjusts from 33 to 34 inches and is 1.5 inches wide.
- King Cobra-style braid
- One sling attachment clip and quick-detach buckle included
- 1.2″ nylon webbing
- 80′ total of 550-lb. paracord
- 28″ to 31″ long
- Weighs: 10.5 ounces
These Verge handguard with skeletonized design not only make your AR look sleek, but they also cut down on weight. Available in M-LOK or KeyMod, and will also fit Picatinny rails, they are made of hard-anodized aluminum and include a seven-slot rail piece
- 12″ long
- Hard-anodized aluminum
- Skeletonized design
- Includes 7-slot M-LOK rail piece and Hex key
- Weighs: 7.6 ounces
Though we have no true number of how many AR-15s are currently owned, the NSSF estimates that there are 15 million out there in the wild. About one in five guns purchased are AR-15s and there are around 300 manufacturers of ARs in the country—from large to very small. Though sales have slowed down of the AR-15 since 2013, now more owners than ever are buying optics, parts upgrades and AR accessories for their rifles. There’s no reason not to deck it out!
What type of accessories do you have on your AR? Which ones are you still needing or wanting to upgrade? Tell us in the comment section.