Top 5 AR-15 Must-Have Accessories

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When you buy your first AR-15, the door soon opens to a myriad of accessories to behold. Nothing is more exciting than to scour the internet, shopping for AR components that will make this new weapon sing. With so many accessories to choose from, how do you know what is a priority and what products will be most useful? This list of the top five must-buy AR accessories will help point you in the right direction.


Extra magazines are always handy to have on hand. It saves time in reloading, which is essential when at the range or in the heat of competition. Mags are simple components consisting of a housing, a spring, a follower and a floor plate. Generally, they are made from steel, aluminum or polymers, and the most common capacity is 20 to 30 rounds. Magpul Gen 3 PMAGs hold 30 rounds and dominate the market as one of the highest rated magazines among professionals. They have a reputation for “boring reliability,” which ensures your rounds feed smoothly every time. This popular accessory can be found at

A good rule of thumb for magazines is to have two mags designated and explicitly labeled for practice because, as any AR enthusiast knows, these practice accessories get tossed in bags, dropped on the ground, and often take a beating. Other magazines are kept pristine and used only for hunting, self-defense or duty, ensuring you have a “clean” mag when you need it the most. Also, for safety reasons, if you load different caliber brass, always clearly mark which mag holds what caliber. Nothing is more dangerous than accidentally loading the wrong magazine at the wrong time.


Although AR stock triggers are good, for those who use their weapon every day, they aren’t good enough. Aftermarket triggers have better feel, smoother pull and with the Geissele G2S Trigger, only a two-and-a-half pound first stage and a two-pound second stage pull. If you want to gain accuracy, a quality-made trigger will help. Most shooters notice an improvement in a shot grouping with the right trigger installed.


Here’s where an AR accessory can make a difference in the accuracy and enjoyment of your firearm. With so many sights to choose from, narrowing it down to one is the only difficulty when adding optics to your AR. One sight that is a must-have in your gear bag is an extra iron sight. When everything else has failed, an iron sight is the only optic left standing, and when in a stressful self-defense scenario, all you really need. The Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight is tough as nails and reliable with tool-less front and rear post elevation adjustment. A great feature when out in the field.

When it comes to having the right gear/thermal optics for all sorts of activities after dark, the better your ability will be to see through the veil of darkness, the more effective you’ll be and the safer you’re likely to stay. Offering the big advantage of being able to quickly scan wide areas at night, the best thermal monocular can aid with search and rescue missions, covert surveillance, and hunting activities. As you can see, there’re numerous arguments for getting a thermal monocular. If you’re unsure which specs to look for, you may want to check out these descriptive thermal monoculars review.

Rail Covers

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Unless you want your AR to hold every accessory known to man all at the same time, a rail cover or two will come in handy. These accessories help prevent the rail from being damaged, protect your hand from sharp or hot rails and increase overall comfort when holding your weapon. They are inexpensive components that are worth their weight in gold when actively shooting your rifle. Again, Magpul comes out on top with the most highly-rated rail cover, and you can’t go wrong by having a few of these on hand.


On a stock AR-15, the standard A2 grip can be a bit too thin and lacks the heft needed to wrap your hand around it with comfort and security. The right aftermarket grip can make shooting for hours comfortable and subsequently increase accuracy. A favorite among the pro’s, the Magpul AR-15 MOE Grip is an affordable, lightweight, and storage capable grip that tops the list. Bravo Company makes a full-line of ergonomically superior AR grips as well, that have a reduced grip angle, which puts your hand and shoulder in a neutral position, ensuring less range fatigue.

Outfitting your AR-15 is one of the most enjoyable parts of owning such a high-powered weapon. The minute you have one in your hands your mind will start to make a mental list of all the accessories you want to customize this weapon right. Even one of these top five accessories will get you on your way to a fully personalized weapon of your dreams. So, gentlemen, let the modifications begin.

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