So you’ve taken the plunge and bought your first black rifle. With the thousands of parts and accessories available (see modernoutdooradventures.com), it can be challenging to decide how best to spend your hard-earned money and effort to make your AR-15 an effective tool and not a worthless pile of crap parts.
Since all of us at MOA aren’t too keen on reinventing the wheel, we are happy to present to you what we consider to be the finest guide available for building up your basic AR-15 written by MAD-DUO MERRILL at Breach Bang Clear (warning BBC can be a little NSFW, but as a site written by ex-military/LEO dudes… whattya expect).
For the full text please see HERE
For those of you already straining the limits of your attention with this MOA article (we have the ADD as well…), we will condense it for you below; put simply it is (from most important to least important):
1: Base Rifle
Items 1-4 above will get you to a functional baseline. When all of these are met, you SHOULD have a perfectly functional rifle that if built of quality parts (or by a reputable manufacturer) will do everything you need a black rifle to do. These 4 items are what we will focus on in this post.
Items 5-9 allow you to further customize or specialize that baseline rifle, allowing it to become more user-friendly… OR to fulfill a more specific role. These 5 we will dig into in a later post.
1: Base Rifle:
This should be the first item on your list for good reason. With a base rifle from a reputable manufacturer, or a home build of quality parts from someone who knows what they are doing… You should have an excellent platform from which to start customizing your AR-15.
If a set of quality sights aren’t self-explanatory then we need to have a talk. Without a sighting system of some kind (we will get to optics later) you are going to have a hard time getting your bullets to travel anywhere with any amount of accuracy. Even when you decide to add an optic, and trust us… everyone eventually adds an optic, your irons will serve as a backup for your optic in case of failure.
At Modern Outdoor Adventures we carry a variety of backup irons at multiple price points, from multiple manufacturers:
Based on our training and experience we are huge advocates of the weapon mounted light (WML). Here on good old planet Earth, we get to experience darkness for roughly 12 hours a day, which means that you have a roughly 50/50 chance of needing to use your AR-15 without the benefit of the sun for illumination.
When choosing a WML it is important to remember that #allthelumens is generally the rule. You also want to be sure that your WML is able to stand up to the higher abuse/recoil of being mounted to a long gun (versus those designed to be handgun lights). A few that we know are good to go are:
Remember, some lumens are better than no lumens, so buy as much light as you can afford! If you ever hear something go bump in the night and need your AR for defense… You will be glad you did.
Realistically, you are going to end up carrying your rifle. For that, we recommend a high quality sling, preferably in the 2 point variety (sling attaches to the rifle with 2 points of contact: single point slings are garbage, you’ll thank us later). Larry Vickers and BlueForceGear make what we at MOA consider to be the best fighting sling there is, however the Magpul MS1 is gaining in popularity. Remember, not only does your sling help you carry/manipulate your rifle, it also allows you to stow so that you have both hands for administrative tasks.
With these 4 items covered: Rifle/Sights/Lights/Sling you have now reached the functional baseline of your weapon. You should have a rifle that will reliably eat ammunition and dispense it accurately towards your target 24/7 365.
Now it is time to focus on building proficiency and practicing towards second nature manipulation. For this you will need magazines, ammo, and training! These 3 are consumable items (meaning they get used up, or worn out) and should always be on your list to have on hand.
We hope this helps those of you that are new to the shooting sports, AR-15 style rifles, or those of you that are planning your next build. Part 2 of this series will focus on Gucci-ing up your rifle a bit more, so check back soon for that.
Remember we are always here to assist you at Modern Outdoor Adventures so drop us a call (888-410-6390) or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions. Also, remember to sign up for our email newsletter to receive special offers and discounts!
Have fun and stay safe,
The Modern Outdoor Adventures Crew.