Safer At Home: Easy AR 15 Upgrades To Try Today
With the coronavirus pandemic still forcing us to stay at home, many of us are finding ourselves restless. Spending almost all hours of the day between the same four walls can become very tedious, and this requires finding more creative ways to fill our time. Why not work treat yourself to some new AR 15 upgrades in the meantime that will make an immediate impact when you get back to your firearm?
After all, one of the main reasons why the AR-15 is America’s most popular rifle is because it’s so easy to change out existing parts on the rifle for newer parts. With so many upgradeable parts, though, it’s easy to not know where to start. Here are our recommendations for some easy modifications you can work on today.
One of the most obvious modifications you can make to your firearm is to focus on lights! Weapon lights help with low-light target identification, allowing a shooter to illuminate the target. A weapon mounted light takes this even further, allowing the shooter to aim the weapon at the same time.
By allowing for a normal two-handed grip on the pistol, the light enables greater speed and accuracy, and keeps officers and everyday users more safe. Clearly, installing lights is important, and we highly recommend that you take advantage of the extra time today to decide which kind you need. To make it easier on you, we’ll tell you about a few of our favorite lights and mounts.
Lights And Mounts
One of Surefire’s most impressive products is the Surefire Scout. This weapon light features virtually indestructible ultra-high-output LED, which generates 1,200 lumens of blinding light with SF123A batteries, and 1,500 lumens with an included rechargeable lithium ion battery charger kit.
The lens shape produces a versatile beam with enough reach and surround light for close-to longer-range operations. With an aluminum body and tempered window & O-ring seals, the resulting light is rugged, durable, and combat ready. This is one of the best weapon lights on the market.
The M300 Mini Scout is a powerful, lightweight weapon-mounted light, powered by a single 123A lithium battery. It features a virtually indestructible LED, and generates 500 lumens of light focused by a TIR lens into a high-intensity beam with plenty of reach for close- to mid-range operations.
The rugged M300 easily and securely attaches to MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails through its integral thumbscrew clamp. Machined from lightweight aerospace aluminum with a Mil-Spec hard anodized finish and O-ring sealed to keep out the elements, the ultra-compact Surefire M300 will withstand the rigors of combat without weighing down your weapon.
The Surefire Everyday Carry Light 2 is an upgraded version of the popular EB2 Backup. It’s all about bold, in-your-face performance, with its high-output LED delivering 1,200 lumens of blinding white light on high, and a useful 5 lumens on low.
A Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens shapes the virtually indestructible LED’s light into a versatile beam with plenty of throw but optimized for situational awareness, essential in an everyday carry light. The Dual Output features high-strength aerospace aluminum body, and with its Mil-Spec hard anodized has extreme durability. This light is in it for the long haul!
Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite weapon lights, let’s look into some optic mounts to go along with them!
For shooters who want the lightest, strongest, and most compact quick-detach magnifier mount possible, the Scalarworks flip-to-Side Magnifier mount is one of the best. Engineered to be the lightest Magnifier QD mount on the market, it delivers amazing results without compromising an ounce of strength. It has superior weapon balance as well as faster magnifier engagement. The Scalarworks Ring iso be stiffer, lighter, and easier to use than split rings.
Finally, the Leap has no protruding levers, bolts, or knobs to rap your knuckles, or get caught on clothing, gear, and surroundings, making it comfortable and convenient to use.
The Scalarworks Quick Detach is a state of the art Aimpoint PRO mount. It is designed for shooters who want the lightest, strongest, and most compact quick detach optic mount possible. The leap mounts hold and return to zero under any condition, guaranteed.
This design is specifically engineered to be the lightest Aimpoint PRO mount without compromising a single ounce of strength.
It is also the strongest Aimpoint PRO Quick-Detach mount we have ever tested. The Leap has no protruding levers or knobs to rap your knuckles, or to get caught on clothing, gear, or surroundings. We cannot speak highly enough about this mount.
The Arisaka Defense Tailcap Adapter allows Streamlight Protac Rail Mount HL-X lights to use Surefire Scout tailcaps and remote switches. In particular, the Protac Rail Mount lights operated by users with the Surefire SR-D-IT and TNVC/Unity TAPS dual switches. Pair these with laser/illuminators like the ATPIAL and DBAL series for a consistent, effective lighting solution.
However, Streamlight did not design a front battery spring into the light, so under recoil the battery can come off the front contact and cause the light to flicker or blink.
To help prevent this behavior, the adapter includes two different o-rings (one for CR123 cells, one for 18650 cells). Place these on the back end of the battery before screwing on the adapter. The o-ring ensures the battery cannot move rearward while firing.
Finally, let’s discuss a few charging handles you should look out for! A charging handle is an essential upper receiver part that serves a couple key tasks. Firstly, it cocks the hammer and moves the bolt into the ready position. This allows you to move the bolt to the rear during cocking. You may be familiar with a few brands already, The Geissele Charging Handle, and Radian Raptor Charging Handle are very popular, and for good reason!
The other important function of the charging handle is to eject unfired cartridges from the chamber and clear malfunctions. Despite its underwhelming appearance, a properly functioning charging handle is vital to the success of your rifle! Let’s get into our favorites.
Made in the USA, The Radian Raptor Charging Handle is revolutionary in design & function. This handle features a design for rapid palm “blading” or finger thumb charges. This feature allows for fluid and fast charging from either hand.
The Radian Raptor Charging Handle is MILSPEC anodized and made from only the finest aircraft grade aluminum. The Radian Raptor Charging Handle is definitely one of the best charging handles available on the market.
Geissele Automatics’ Super Charging Handle is 3D machined from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum. With an ambidextrous design, this Geissele Charging Handle allows for seamless operation from either side of the weapon.
The handling surface of the lever checkered by a textured surface adds a secure grip to make operation with gloves easier. Finally, the heightened rear lip of the SCH helps mitigate gas blowback to the shooter when firing with shorter barrelled or suppressed weapon systems. We highly recommend checking it out!
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed our daily routines, though it has also provided us with some valuable free time that we should use to our advantage! There will always be modifications to be made and AR 15 tactical accessories to add to your rifle, but when life is in full swing, it is easy to let that drop down on the priority list.
However, now is the perfect time to focus on those AR 15 upgrades you have been putting off. Consider finding the perfect lights, optic mounts, and charging handle for your firearm, and you won’t be disappointed. Stay home and stay safe!