The AR-15 is a popular and versatile rifle that has earned its place as a favorite among firearm enthusiasts and sports shooters. Over 20 million AR-15s are in the hands of happy gun owners across America, making it one of the most popular guns out there.
Whether you are a seasoned shooter or a novice, there’s always room for improvement and customization. Upgrading your AR-15 parts can enhance its performance, ergonomics, and overall shooting experience.
What are the fifteen best AR-15 upgrades you can invest in to take your rifle to the next level? What firearm parts do you need to own to make the best of your experience? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
1. High-Quality Optics
The heart of shooting accuracy lies in the optics. Of the firearm parts available to you, optical parts can have the biggest impact on your shooting experience.
While iron sights serve their purpose, upgrading to a high-quality optic can elevate your shooting game to the next level. But which should you get? There are various options available, each catering to specific shooting needs.
For close-range engagements and fast target acquisition, consider investing in a reliable red dot sight or a holographic sight.
If precision shooting is your goal, a magnified scope with adjustable magnification and reticle illumination can be your perfect ally.
Look into the Daniel Defense rear site set if you’re looking for the best product to improve your shooting accuracy.
2. Upgraded Trigger
Is precision important to you as a gun owner? It should be. If you want the best control over your rife, you might want to consider an upgraded AR-15 trigger.
The stock AR-15 trigger is known for its decent function, but it can be a limiting factor in achieving exceptional accuracy and control. Replacing it with an upgraded trigger can dramatically improve your shooting performance.
Drop-in triggers with a lighter pull weight, reduced creep, and a crisp break enable smoother and more precise trigger control.
This results in tighter shot groups and increased shooting confidence. Triggers are one of the best AR-15 parts—you’ll want to spend time looking into them.
3. Handguards for Your AR-15
Unlock your AR-15’s full potential by installing a free-float handguard.
Unlike traditional handguards that come into contact with the barrel, a free-float handguard allows the barrel to remain completely isolated. This minimizes interference and harmonic disturbances during firing.
Not only does this enhance accuracy, but it also provides a more comfortable and customizable platform. On this platform, you can mount accessories like foregrips, bipods, lights, and lasers.
Taking care of your handguards can be essential for your overall gun maintenance.
4. Ambidextrous Controls
What other AR-15 parts do you need?
We don’t want left-handed shooters to feel left out, as there are a lot of them out there. If you’re a leftie—or might lend your rifle to someone else while hunting—it can be helpful to ensure your AR-15 works for everyone.
Installing ambidextrous controls ensures seamless operation for shooters of all dominant hands. These controls could include items such as an ambidextrous charging handle and an ambidextrous safety selector.
These firearm parts might be a good investment even if you are not left-handed.
These not only accommodate left-handed users but also enhances firearm manipulation and versatility for right-handed shooters. This all makes the AR-15 more user-friendly and adaptable. It’s one of the best upgrades out there.
5. Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group (BCG)
Looking for a more reliable performance from your AR-15? You may want to look into BCG upgrades.
The BCG is the heart of any semi-automatic rifle. It handles most of the recoil produced by the rifle and is responsible for ejecting ammunition from the weapon.
Upgrading it can significantly impact reliability and performance. Look for BCGs with enhanced coatings like nickel boron or titanium nitride can be a smart investment for the average gun owner. These offer smoother cycling, easier cleaning, and improved wear resistance. That’s a key element of firearm maintenance.
A high-quality BCG ensures your AR-15 runs reliably under various conditions, making it a crucial upgrade for serious shooters.
6. Adjustable Gas Block
Another one of the best upgrades for your firearm? Fine-tuning your AR-15’s gas system with an adjustable gas block is a game-changer.
By regulating the amount of gas redirected to the BCG, you can tailor the rifle’s recoil and muzzle rise to suit your shooting preferences.
This upgrade results in smoother shooting, faster follow-up shots, and reduces wear on internal components. Ultimately, fine-tuning the system in this way will help in prolonging the life of your firearm.
7. Muzzle Devices
Controlling muzzle rise and recoil is vital for fast target acquisition. It can also significantly help with your shooting accuracy.
A well-chosen muzzle device, such as a compensator, muzzle brake, or flash hider, can effectively mitigate these forces. It can ensure a more comfortable shooting experience.
Consider your shooting goals and select the muzzle device that aligns best with your needs. Whether it’s for competition shooting, home defense, or tactical applications, there should be a product for you.
The Daniel Defense brand crafts many great muzzle devices that can help to serve this exact purpose. These are some of the best AR-15 parts out there.
8. Upgrade Your Stock and Grip
Enhance the ergonomics and comfort of your AR-15 with an upgraded stock and grip. The grip is maybe the most important part of the AR lowers accessories you can invest in.
Collapsible stocks with adjustable lengths of pull and cheek rest allow you to tailor your rifle’s fit to your body. The right fit means an optimized shooting posture and control.
Additionally, grips with different textures and angles offer improved grip and comfort. This reduces hand fatigue during extended shooting sessions.
9. Improved Buffer System
The buffer system is an essential component that ensures the smooth cycling of your AR-15. Taking care of it is an essential part of firearm maintenance and gun maintenance in general.
An enhanced buffer and buffer spring can improve the rifle’s recoil management, reducing felt recoil and muzzle movement.
Choosing the right buffer weight for your specific AR-15 build and ammunition can lead to improved shooting comfort and better control during rapid-fire engagements.
While there are many AR-15 parts worth investing in, an improved buffer system is one where you’ll notice the improvement right away.
10. Improved Sling Support System
What is one of the best upgrades you might not think of? The sling. A good sling can be key to AR-15 maintenance.
A quality sling might not seem like a significant upgrade, but it plays a crucial role in your shooting stability and overall firearm manipulation.
A two-point sling provides a balanced and stable carry, while a single-point sling offers quick transitions between shooting positions.
Opt for a convertible sling that can switch between configurations to match your shooting style and needs. You can check out some slings that Troy Industries has available if you want to get a sense of what a quality version looks like.
11. Upgrading the Upper Reciever
Ensuring your rifle is always operating as well as it can is a key part of AR-15 maintenance.
Upgrading AR upper receiver parts can have a significant impact on your AR-15’s performance, reliability, and versatility.
If you’re planning on upgrading, opt for a forged or billet upper receiver made from durable materials like aluminum. Forged receivers are more common and generally more affordable, while billet receivers offer additional customization options and aesthetics.
A sturdy upper receiver ensures proper alignment with the barrel and other components, contributing to consistent accuracy and reliable functioning.
A Daniel Defense upper should provide the kind of quality you’re looking for.
When replacing the barrel or upgrading the muzzle device, ensure compatibility between the barrel extension and the chosen muzzle device.
A high-quality barrel extension guarantees proper alignment and reduces the likelihood of any gas leakage. Additionally, a properly matched muzzle device enhances recoil control and improves follow-up shots.
The 300 blackout upper is one of the best AR-15 parts available on the market today. It is well worth considering if you’re thinking about upgrading sometime in the near future.
12. Adding a Bipod
Adding a bipod to your AR-15 setup is an excellent upgrade, especially if you frequently engage in precision shooting, target shooting, or long-range shooting. You may want to look into the Magpul bipod.
Magpul is known for producing high-quality firearm accessories, and their bipods are no exception.
A bipod is designed to provide a stable shooting platform, enhancing your accuracy and precision during various shooting scenarios. It features a robust construction with legs made from durable reinforced polymer and stainless steel internals, ensuring reliability in demanding conditions.
Bipods are equipped with easy-to-use spring-loaded legs. These can be quickly deployed with just the push of a button. This feature allows you to adapt to changing shooting positions swiftly. A bipod is ideal for dynamic shooting situations where speed and agility are crucial.
Bipods allow for adjustable leg lengths and angles, enabling you to tailor the bipod to different shooting positions and terrains.
You can extend the legs to accommodate uneven surfaces, slopes, or obstacles. This ensures your AR-15 remains level and stable for precise shooting.
13. Match Grade Barrel
What other firearm parts might be worth your dollar? While there are many AR-15 upgrades worth considering, you’ll want to think about your barrel.
Investing in a high-quality match-grade barrel can have a profound impact on your AR-15’s accuracy. It can improve your overall performance and ensure you keep up with your AR-15 maintenance.
Match-grade barrels are precisely crafted to tighter tolerances. This results in improved consistency and better bullet stabilization.
Whether you prefer stainless steel, chrome-moly, or carbon fiber, a match-grade barrel will deliver exceptional accuracy and reliability.
14. Let There Be Light
Adding a light to your AR-15 upgrades list is both essential and practical. A light attachment enhances your firearm’s versatility and usability, especially in tactical situations.
A light accessory provides much-needed illumination in low-light environments. If you’re someone who does a lot of nighttime shooting, you’re going to need this upgrade—there’s no way to get around it.
No matter what activity you’re engaged in, having a light on your AR-15 allows you to identify threats, targets, and potential hazards with clarity and confidence.
Having a light at your disposal improves your overall situational awareness. It illuminates your surroundings and keeps you aware of potential threats or obstacles in the dark. This added awareness is crucial for personal safety and effective maneuvering.
A light also serves as a useful tool for weapon control. By illuminating the area where your rifle is pointing, you can maintain better control over your firearm during high-stress situations.
This added control contributes to better shooting accuracy and follow-up shots.
15. Upgrade Your Magazines
There are upgrades available that can enhance your AR-15’s reliability, feeding performance, and overall shooting experience. However, before choosing a magazine upgrade, it’s crucial to be aware of the legal limitations on magazine capacity in your area.
Various regions have restrictions on magazine size for civilian use. You’ll need to make sure to adhere to the applicable laws and regulations.
Magazine reliability is paramount to the proper functioning of your AR-15. Always invest in magazines from reputable manufacturers known for their quality and reliability. Look into proven track records. Pay for quality over a cheap deal and you’ll be rewarded.
If you’re upgrading your magazine, look into those with anti-tilt followers. Magazines with anti-tilt followers are designed to prevent the tilting of rounds inside the magazine. This tilting can lead to feeding issues.
Upgrading to magazines with anti-tilt followers can enhance feeding reliability. This means a reduced chance of malfunctions during shooting sessions.
Finding magazines with high-quality springs can also be beneficial to you as a gun owner. Over time, magazine springs can weaken and affect feeding reliability.
Upgrading to high-quality magazine springs ensures consistent performance and feeding. Avoiding feeding-related malfunctions can be a helpful piece of gun maintenance that you can take on with this kind of upgrade.
The Best AR-15 Parts for You
If you’re the proud owner of an AR-15, you’re likely going to want to get the best possible experience out of your rile. The best way to do this is by investing in quality products and continuing to customize and improve your rifle.
The above items are the best AR-15 upgrades for the average gun owner. Investing in any of these upgrades will provide an improved experience no matter what use you have intended for your AR-15.
Have more questions about upgrading your current setup? Ideal firearm maintenance? Curious to learn more about these AR-15 parts?
Give us a call anytime for reliable advice on your AR-15.