After a discussion among the writers about our favorite “add ons” to our carbines or rifles, I decided to compile the comments from some of the writers into an article. The parts or tools listed in these comments are not necessarily “must have”. The idea being everyone knows you must have mags, ammo, some optics etc. The idea is, things we really, really like and would put on every gun we had , or thought they are good enough to use on every gun if money allowed. The list was to be 3-5 things that we each consider maybe not absolute must haves, but close to it.
My three must have add-ons for AR15/M4.
Every time I purchase an AR15/M4 type rifle, there are several key add-ons I personally must have.
1.) I have to change out the standard A2 grip with a Tango Down Battle Grip. Having been through numerous Patrol rifle schools and Instructor Schools, I always hated how my middle finger would get tore up. This was from the gap between the trigger guard and grip. The Tango Down covers this gap and is more comfortable in my hand than the A2.
2.) I just simply must have a BCM Mod4 Charging Handle. After using several charging handle latches over the past decade, nothing out there works as well as the BCM Charging Handles. For ease of one handed manipulation and a positive charge, it is a must have item.
3.) One thing that is very important to me is a quality sling. Once again, I have used just about every sling out there at one time or another. I always purchase a Gear Sector GS-2P sling when I get a new rifle. I have found for a relatively inexpensive sling, it does a lot and it is top quality.
When thinking about my top three must have add-ons, I think about the best bang for the buck, (i.e. cost and actual rifle performance/manipulation benefits).These three top quality items not only enhance the handling of your rifle but cost just about 100 dollars. This helps me save more money for ammunition and Optics, which really hit your pocket book hard.
My list of favorite add-ons .
1. I am a huge fan of the Surefire SR07 Remote dual switch for weapons lights. I am not a fan of the pressure tape switch but I do like the short term bust you can get form them. Most important I like positive click on and click off. The SR07 give you both. It also allows you to mount it where ever you need/want to mount it. A huge plus is that its made to snap onto a rail. It is so handy I don’t want to live life without it.
2. The next us is the Knights Armament Ambi safety. You can have two safety lever the same length, one scalloped to clear the firing hand or the ability to use it as a single side. It goes on easy and swapping out the right side lever is so easy even my dog can do it. Being KAC its top quality.
3. The BCM Gunfighter charging handles. I like the small one best and the medium sized one is next in line. They are tough enough to justify buying them and they do make things considerably easier. While not a must have, they are an upgrade that anyone serious about putting together “the perfect fighting carbine” needs to take a long serious look at. And now that they are made to be a gas buster, there is not reason to use any other brand or version of the extended type charging handles.
And Because its my article and I can cheat.
4. The Norgon ambi mag release. Being able to work the safety and drop mags free using just one hand, no matter which it is, is important if you really believe in the concept.
5. The Knights Armament 600 meter back up iron sight. This did not make the top three because, to me, if fits the same true “must have” qualities as mags, good ammo and optics.
Like I said, none of them will keep your gun from working, but they are such an improvement for comfort, efficiency or versatility that I feel that are important enough to go on every carbine I take serious as a fighting gun. I am not too worried about price, even though you pay a lot for such small items. To me, the price is well worth it if it gives you an advantage.
More to come by the other members as they narrow down and complete their choices. So check back as I update this article
1. Geissele SSA trigger. While a trigger won’t make a rifle more accurate, it can help a person shoot a firearm more accurately. Currently the SSA is my favorite aftermarket trigger.
2. KAC 2-600m rear sight. I like shooting with irons, and I like having good backup iron sights on my rifles. The KAC 2-600m rear sight is my absolute favorite folding rear sight.
3. Surefire Scout light. The reasons for having a light should be nearly self explanatory.
Notable mentions: Norgon ambi-mag catch and KAC ambi safety. I like trying to keep things ambidextrous. I find I use the ambi-mag-catch a great deal more then the ambi-safety, but having the ambi-safety for me is preferable over having to comprimise my left handed firing grip by placing my left thumb over a standard safety. BCM new gas-busting gunfighter charging handle.
Dr. Carlos Lopes
1. The stream light TLR-1S. I can move if from my HK, to my FN to my AR. It’s cheap and you get a lot of value for the money. I do not care for the mounting screw, but I can live with it. It’s a great alternative to the higher priced Surefire x300.
2. The Knights Armament RAS. It is so useful and tough that I can’t imagine having a rifle or carbine without it. It is easy to take on and off and its tough enough to have been used by the armed forces for a decade or more. Using it does not require modification of the rifle and I really like that.
3. The Magpul CTR. It locks up, has a great cheek weld, is tough and durable. There is nothing about it to dislike.