If you’ve recently purchased or completed an AR style rifle build, you might be thinking about upgrading parts already. Whether your rifle is an AR-15, AR-10, or AR-9 we’re here to go over the most common upgrades that gun owners will get for their setup. 

Iron Sights and Optics

Normally, rifles don’t come with any optics or even iron sights. Even if they do, the quality might leave you wanting for more. So typically the course of action is to pick a primary optic like a red dot sight, holographic sight, or any number scopes. Then, we recommend having backup iron sights in case your primary’s battery ever dies or breaks. 

Red Dot Sight Brands

These are the go-to brands for red dot sights on rifles: 

ar15 red dot sight holosun
  • Holosun – Any 503 series will do you justice as this brand has won competitive championships back to back in the past few years. Their features rival competitors that price two to three times more than what Holosun charges. 
  • Trijicon – The MRO series provides the largest aperture in miniature reflex sights which is comfortable to use and great for fast target acquisition. 
  • Aimpoint  The T1 or T2 is essentially the blueprint for all other optics companies that have followed in their footsteps. Can’t go wrong there, but it does cost a pretty penny. 

Holographic Sights

holographic reticle eotech

These are the go-to brands for holographic reticle optics on rifles:

  • EOTech – Any EOTech would be solid but their EXPS and XPS series are what’s all the rage right now for their continued brand lineage but with improvements in smaller and more lightweight specifications.   
  • Holosun – Surprise! Holosun’s 503 series have multiple reticle styles that are interchangeable with just the push of a button and one of them is a holographic. This is extremely valuable not only financially but practically for those who have astigmatisms which make it difficult or near impossible to use red dot sights. 

Scopes

lpvo eotech vudu

For enthusiasts looking to do longer range shooting we recommend taking a look at low power variable scopes or LPVO’s which are immensely popular today. While there are other scope options out there, as long as you pick an optic with adjustable magnification from a good brand it should be a pretty safe choice. These are the brands and their flagship optics we recommend for you to take a look at:

  • Primary Arms – On a budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality? Look no further than the 1-6x ACSS Gen3. 
  • Vortex – All their scopes and even a couple red dot sights have the word “Viper” in their name so don’t get confused as there are several models ranging from more budget to top of the line pricing. 
  • EOTech – Vudu is a newer series on the scene but their 1-8×24 mm is being offered at a very competitive price that simply can’t be ignored. 
  • Trijicon – If you can afford that John Wick lifestyle, check out the Accupoint TR25 1-6x.

Buttstocks

If you don’t like the buttstock your rifle came with that’s okay! There are a lot of companies out there making all sorts of buttstocks to suit your needs and preferences such as fixed stocks, adjustable stocks, stabilizing braces or foldable stocks. When buying and aftermarket buttstock it’s also a good idea to make sure it’s compatible with the sling you plan on using attachment wise. Some slings physically weave through a designated part in the buttstock and others can clip into them using QD (quick-detach) connectors. 

Pistol Grip and Ergonomics      

The typical mil-spec A2 grip is thin and uncomfortable to grip so if that’s what you have for your rifle we highly recommend you take a look at Magpul furniture. They’re a one stop shop for any possible accessory you need to make your AR-15, AR-10, or AR-9 more ergonomic and easier to manipulate. 

Accessories to consider:

Charging Handle

radian raptor charging handle

Look no further than the Radian Raptor. It’s ambidextrous and comes in multiple color arrays. Radian even carries a model that is optimized for silencer use for hot gas dispersion, helping in redirecting it away from the shooter’s face.  

Muzzle Device 

Whether you’re building an 80% rifle from a kit or have recently bought a new gun, they typically only come with A2 bird cages which are actually quite sufficient flash hiders. But most enthusiasts will look for ways in reducing muzzle rise or perceived felt recoil and upgrading to a muzzle brake or compensator is a very popular way of doing so.

We covered flash hiders extensively and whether certain muzzle devices are worth it or not in a previous blog if you’d like to learn more about that. 

Taclight 

modlite ar15

Are you afraid of the dark? Well you should be… unless you have a trusty tactical light for your firearm. The best brands in the business right now are the following:

  • Surefire – The premier light in law enforcement and government contracts. They’re pricey, bright and you really won’t regret ever having one. 
  • Streamlight – A great second option for those who still want quality lights but at half the cost of Surefires. 
  • Modlite – The newest kid on the block and actually the most expensive one too! We’re excited to see this brand continually grow and potentially even take over their corner of the market. 

Got all these fancy parts but no rifle to put it on? Not to fear, 5D is here. First choose if you’re going to be building an 80% AR-15, AR-10, AR-9 or a pistol frame. Then, you can determine the internal parts you’ll need or tooling to complete that build. Come back here anytime you need advice on accessories again or hit up our awesome customer support staff who are here to guide you in flexing your Second Amendment right.