Best AR-15 Accessories – 2020 Complete Review

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As most in the shooting world know, the ArmaLite 15 was developed as a classic assault rifle for a US military competition in 1959. Designated as M16/M4, it became an iconic American weapon that has spread its fame through the world's battlefields and war zones.

Built on the same underlying platform as the original AR-15, the new semi-automatic rifle is supported by an entire industry that sprouted up. This industry offers a seemingly endless array of accessories and modifications.

For many owners, adding modifications to an AR-15 is the perfect way to personalize their rifle. Every shooter prefers a rifle that is designed slightly differently. Some research claims that if you build your AR-15 to best suit your particular shooting preferences, you will become up to 45% more accurate at the range or in the field.

The AR-15 is an extremely customizable rifle with a wide variety of of interchangeable and aftermarket parts, making this platform function like a blank canvas for unlimited customizations.  Best of all, the AR-15 modular system makes upgrading most components a breeze, without the need for a gunsmith.

Usually, the first steps for common AR-15 upgrades include attachment points for optics, lights, and slings in the form of an Integrated Rail System (IRS). Like other AR platform items, the options are overwhelming to new rifle owners, many of whom need some guidance. In this article, we hope to provide you with that guidance and then some, outlining what we consider to be the very best options out there for modifying and upgrading your AR-15.

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Accessories

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Drop-in design
  • Available in different colors
  • Made from high-quality polymer
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  • Holds up to 250 pounds
  • Made from high-quality nylon
  • Includes two-point release clips
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  • Built for most AR-15 rifles
  • Vents designed for gas redirection
  • Made from high-quality stainless steel
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  • Threaded at ½-28
  • Made from high-quality steel
  • Added finish for extra durability
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  • Weighs nearly 12 ounces
  • Works with 5.56 NATO AR-15 rifles
  • Made from super durable Grade 5 Titanium
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  • Drop-in design
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Made from 7075 T6-Aluminum
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  • 800-lumen brightness
  • Housing made from high-quality aluminum
  • Powered by 3-volt CR123 Lithium Batteries
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  • Hard-material storage case
  • Includes a 25-watt wood burner
  • Includes additional tips for better grip quality
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  • Quick detach aluminum clamp
  • Made from heat-resistant materials
  • Designed to catch discarded AR-15 brass
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  • Comes in a batch of five
  • Measured at 0.86 inches
  • Made from high-quality plastic
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  • Made from high-quality aluminum
  • Measured to fit .223 and .22 caliber rifles
  • Hardcoat anodized finish included for added durability
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  • Low-profile design
  • Measured at 9.5 inches
  • Made from high-quality, heat resistant materials
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What is an Accessory?

Let us begin by explaining a difference between AR-15, furniture and accessories, and how different configurations affect performance. In order to function comfortably, the primary furniture of every AR-15 includes three essential ingredients: the buttstock, the pistol grip, and the handguard. The standard AR-15 furniture are the actual parts of the gun, while the accessories are all the items added on. We won’t claim that’s a universal definition, but we’re going to use that here.

AR-15 furniture customization will be the subject of another article. In this guide we will discuss accessorizing your beloved Black Rifle. Although the aftermarket is flooded with hundreds of new AR accessories -- some good and some pointless -- we have to avoid making an AR-15 a complex and overburdened platform.

Let's mention a few accessories that might mean going a bit too far. Surfing the net, you can come across bizarre attachments like axes and tomahawks that attach directly to your Picatinny rail system. Or how about a pointed tire deflator installed directly to your barrel over your flash suppressor? Those are a bit beyond what we’d consider “normal” - they might fit somebody’s needs for some reason, but we’ll skip them here.

Actually, just a few useful accessories need to go on a rifle; for sure, you have to start with accessories such as scopes, slings, and foregrips.

How to Choose a New Accessory for Your AR-15

Choosing a new accessory can be challenging. But if you know of which part of the rifle you need to upgrade, then you’ll know exactly which one to go with. For example, if you need to boost your rifle’s accuracy, the obvious choice is either a scope or an optic. But it can’t just be any item chosen at random. Here are some things you need to pay attention to while looking for an accessory:

Price

If you’re on a budget, the first place a shopper is going to look at is the price tag. But the price itself should not be the only reason why you chose the product itself. So, you need to look at other things like the overall quality and performance. What it really comes down to is investing in the best quality and performance that you can afford. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit extra if it comes down to that, as superior reliability, durability, or performance will be well worth it in the long run.

Materials

The best accessories are often made from the best quality materials. The reason being is that these materials will ensure that these accessories will perform at top quality, but will also remain durable for years or even decades with proper care. As a rule, the better the quality, the better the chance it will last a long time.

Installation

The accessory you choose should be something that will allow for quick and easy installation. This means not needing to go to a gunsmith to have the part professionally installed, which would be a waste of time and money for you. Another perk to being able to add on an accessory in a short amount of time is that you will have more time to test it out at the range. 

Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Accessories

These are our recommendations for the best AR-15 accessories:

  1. Magpul MIAD Gen 1.1 Grip Kit
  2. Armstac MX2 2 Point Battle Gun Shoulder Strap
  3. Odin Words Atlas 5

Review of the Best AR-15 Accessories

The following is a list of the twelve best AR-15 accessories on the market. Before reading through our list, consider what you need to upgrade. This way, you’ll know which accessories to look for. You can choose one or multiple accessories, depending on your personal needs, preferences, and budget.

Foregrip

One of the best AR-15 upgrades is to exchange the stock foregrip of your rifle with custom foregrips that can offer enhanced and more accurate shooting.

Besides traditional foregrips, another trend is moving towards a vertical grip, which provide you with better handling and control of your weapon. Also, if you live in a state where a vertical handgrip is illegal, you have alternative grips in the form of Magpul AFG, the Angled Foregrip, or Handstop grips.

These grip types work to absorb recoil, resulting in less muzzle climb; they can also protect your hand against barrel heat that occurs during extended use. In addition to this, customers have the option of choosing the magazine well grips, known as the Magwell Grip.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Exceptionally durable construction
  • Provides an excellent grip
  • Allows for solid control over your rifle
  • Easy to detach rubber core provides space for a half-ounce bottle of lubrication

Cons

  • Some fitting may be required
  • May not fit on some lower receivers at all
  • A few users have reported seeing “daylight” between the grip and some lower receivers

What Recent Buyers Report  

Most new buyers of this foregrip were pretty happy with their purchase. They installed this in about a few minutes and immediately noticed the improvement. Even better, they were able to retain control of their rifles in outdoor range settings in bad weather. One user said that the grip is almost fly-paper like, even in the wettest of conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

If there is one word that comes to mind when it comes to this grip, it’s simplicity. The design is beautifully simple. It’s easy to install and easy to use. In fact, it just might be the one pistol grip that you’ll need for ergonomically comfortable gripping. So you can say goodbye to the hand fatigue that can occur from extended shooting periods.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be excellent for those who want a simple pistol grip added on to their AR-15 rifles. If you want firmer control over your rifle no matter what the weather is like outdoors, this is what you’ll need to add on. Not to mention, you can install it at the snap of a finger, meaning that the improvements are instant.

Bottom Line

The Magpul AR-15 MIAD Gen 1.1 Grip is what you’ll want to be added to your rifle if you want something that will allow for the best possible grip, and in turn, the best control over your rifle. Don’t be shocked if you still have a hold of your rifle when the weather turns bad.

Sling

Simply put, the sling is made to allow a person to carry their rifle slung over their shoulder; that said, it also offers slight increases in accuracy when the shooter properly holds it. While in recent years there has been an explosion in all sorts of slings, our advice is to stay away from single point or triple point slings, since simple two-point strap will work best for most users.

You should also think of the appropriate mounts and purchase compatible sling mounting hardware, such as quick-detach plates and swivel sling attachments.

ARMSTAC Two Point Rifle Sling MX-2 2-Point Battle Gun Shoulder Strap with Steel Clip + Lfetime Warranty

Pros

  • Easy to attach
  • Very durable material
  • Resistant to all weather
  • Can handle heavier rifles like nothing else
  • Easy to adjust to fit many shooter frames and sizes

Cons

  • A pad should be included for better comfort
  • One user reported of one of the clips having a disconnected spring
  • May not fit some AR-15 rifles due to the size of the gun's swivels

What Recent Buyers Report

New users were pretty happy with this strap. They were even able to adjust it in order to give them the most comfortable fit possible. As expected, it provided solid hands-free use for many hunters that would use their free hand for other accessories like binoculars, or for when they need to drag a much bigger kill back to the truck for cleaning.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This sling is made from high-quality nylon that was made for standing up to the elements. So, it would make sense considering that it was designed specifically for the AR-15 hunter. Overall, this sling can handle even heavy AR-15s or rifles. Regardless of what you’ve got attached, you can still expect to have decent comfort while carrying it around.

Who Will Use This Most 

We think that this particular sling will be perfect for hunters or anyone willing to use their AR-15s outdoors. It will certainly benefit the shooter who needs to keep their hands free while carrying their rifle over their shoulder. You’ll never know when you need those hands when the use of a rifle may not even be needed.

Bottom Line

The Two-Point Rifle Sling by ArmStac might be exactly what you’ll need if you're looking for a solid sling that will be great for any hunter on the move. Don’t be surprised if this sling can handle all kinds of bad weather. Nature itself can’t damage it and neither will long term use. So yes, it’s incredibly durable.

Compensator

Unlike muzzle brakes, compensators are explicitly created to direct the gases from the muzzle upward to reduce muzzle climb or "flip." Also unlike muzzle brakes, compensators tend to be loud and do not have a flash suppression feature.

Best Compensator:
Odin Words Atlas 5

Pros

  • No gas blowback towards your face
  • Significant, clearly noticeable recoil reduction
  • Easy to install; only takes a few minutes
  • Durable enough to take a serious beating
  • Easy to adjust for wind, ammo change, and other relevant situations

Cons

  • None available

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of new users were pretty satisfied with this accessory. Not only were they able to install this in about ten minutes or less, what really impressed them was the sudden change in recoil. Most of them reported a considerable reduction of recoil (of up to 60% at best). 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

These compensators are designed to reduce flash, recoil, and allow for the best possible control over your shooting. This compensator in particular also has vents on the side that allow for gas rerouting, which will send gas to the sides rather than right back in your face. On top of that, this will also prevent any night blindness from happening if you ever happen to use this in a low-light or nighttime setting.

Who Will Use This Most 

This accessory would be great for all kinds of applications. So if you’re a hunter or target shooter that needs a serious upgrade that will result in reduced recoil and better accuracy, this compensator would be a superb candidate to make that happen.

Bottom Line

The Odin Works Inc. AR-15 Atlas 5 Compensator is exactly what you’ll want on hand if you're hoping for something that is built for years or even decades of hardcore use. Once installed, you'll notice that recoil and muzzle jump will be reduced quite a bit and will stay that way for a very long time.

Flash Hider

Some gun enthusiasts provide their AR-15 with a flash suppressor or flash hider to resemble their military-issued cousins more closely. Since their function is limited to eliminating muzzle flash, this device is most helpful to the military, as it keeps a soldier's position concealed when on nighttime combat operations.

All three muzzle device types could perform a combination of these functions. As such, a wide variety of aftermarket hybrids actually share some of the qualities of brake, compensator, and flash hider in one package.

Best Flash Hider:
Smith Enterprises Vortex

Pros

  • Great for hunters
  • Only takes a few minutes to install
  • Perfect for low-light and nighttime use
  • Excellent construction and machining
  • Significantly reduces flash

Cons

  • None available

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were quite pleased with this accessory. In fact, the majority of those that bought it were hunters that normally hunt predators (coyotes) or varmints in low-light or nighttime settings. They concluded that upon installation of this accessory, they managed to reduce the occurrence of flashes considerably. Thus, it prevented all kinds of night blindness incidents.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This flash hider has quite an interesting design. It’s unique enough to hide all the flashes that occur on an AR-15. Indeed, a flash will give away your position if you’re hiding in the shadows, and you need to be quite stealthy when you’re dealing with predators or varmints, even in the dead of night. This accessory won’t give you sneaky superpowers, but it can give you a far better chance of seeing well at night even after firing off a few rounds at your target.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be perfect if you’re looking for a flash hider that will keep you hidden in the shadows, making it excellent if you’re simply using it for hunting purposes. That seems like the only application where it would be considered appropriate for an accessory like this. 

Bottom Line

The Smith Enterprise AR-15 Vortex Arc Helix Flash Hider has a unique design, but it does an exceptional job hiding an AR-15 rifle’s flashes, which can be detrimental to any user. If you want the perfect upgrade for all your hunting needs, this might be a good one to start with.

Suppressor

However, the most intriguing component that you can attach to the muzzle of your AR-15 is a piece of equipment known as a silencer. Or, to be more politically correct, a sound suppressor.

While suppressors will not tame the “crack” of a bullet breaking the sound barrier, they will reduce the loud sound made by rapidly expanding gas when a gun is fired. Depending on the caliber of the weapon, this handy accessory will protect your hearing by reducing the sharp report of rifles. Besides taming the noise signature, silencers will significantly reduce muzzle blast and firing recoil.  Before taking advantage of a suppressors' benefits, though, it is essential to make sure you are well-versed in the laws of your particular state.

Best Suppressor:
Sig Sauer SRD556 QD

Pros

  • Quite easy to install
  • Solid, durable construction
  • Reduces noise considerably
  • Compatible with most 5.56 NATO muzzles
  • Some users have reported tighter shooting groups

Cons

  • Some users have reported it being not serviceable
  • May not be compatible with .223 caliber AR-15 rifles
  • A few users were not satisfied with the overall finish, as it appears to contrast with the rest of the rifle

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers report that with the installation of this accessory, they managed to shoot without the use of ear protection. So, the noise reduction was quite considerable. They also mentioned that they got a bit of a hidden benefit when they noticed their shooting groups getting slightly tighter than before installing the silencer. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This silencer is made from Grade 5 titanium, probably one of the toughest materials out there for AR-15 accessories. So, it can take on plenty of beatings. As is the case with most high-quality materials, these can stand to last years or even decades. If you want an accessory that will keep the noise consistently reduced through the years, this is exactly what you’ll need to have attached to your muzzle.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be perfect if you’re looking to make a little less noise at the range or out in the field. Yes, some AR-15s do get loud. So, you’ll need to install this so you can be silent, but dangerous at the same time, especially when you’ve got your eye on a big game target that would look great on your wall.

Bottom Line

The Sig Sauer QD Suppressor might be the perfect accessory for your AR-15 rifle if you want something that will reduce all kinds of noise. Plus, it’s built to last and therefore extends your efforts of being as quiet as possible through a long period of time. 

Ambidextrous Safety Selectors

By upgrading your AR-15 with an ambidextrous safety selector, you will increase safety in handling and transport while gaining enhanced ergonomics and speed. This feature is particularly appreciated by competition shooters as well as southpaws and right-handed shooters alike.

Best Ambidextrous Safety Selector:
AXTS Weapons Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector

Pros

  • Surprisingly durable
  • Easy to install
  • Fitting for most applications
  • Easy to switch on and off
  • Perfect for left-handed users

Cons

  • None available

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, most new buyers (specifically left-handed shooters) were stoked about this safety selector. Never again did any lefty shooters have to guess which direction the safety selector had to go in. One user said that use was easy and he managed to move it in each direction without any grittiness or stickiness.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This safety selector was designed to be used by all shooters, regardless of which hand was considered dominant. Whether you’re a righty or a lefty, it doesn’t matter how you use it. What matters is that it’s a safety selector that provides you with the best security for your AR-15. So, if you need to turn on the safety to prevent accidental discharge, you can switch it in either direction easily. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This safety selector is definitely intended for general purpose use. But the applications that will likely excel from this are hunting and target shooting. If you’re at the range, it’s extra important to practice gun safety measures to a T. Using a safety selector will certainly be a must if you plan on doing that.

Bottom Line

The Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector will be a must if you’re hoping to make your AR-15 as safe as possible from accidental discharge. Yes, accidents can happen with even the most powerful of rifles. But you can easily reduce the risk of such occurrences by adding something like this fine product.

Lights

If your AR-15 is intended for night hunting or home defense, a recoil-proof tactical flashlight is a must. The easiest way to attach a flashlight is to use a single rail on the bottom half of the handguard for a platform. A weapon-mounted flashlight confirms a rule of thumb that you never fire your AR-15 into the dark without first identifying the target.

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Easy to use ambidextrous switch
  • Super bright, even at far away distances
  • Impervious to all kinds of shock and damage

Cons

  • None available

What Recent Buyers Report  

Many new buyers expressed delight with this mountable flashlight. Most of them were night hunters or were out and about in low-light situations and were looking to navigate through obstacles in such conditions. One user said that it was so bright, it was as if he was walking through the woods in broad daylight.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This flashlight is impressive in so many ways. For one, it’s housed in a durable aluminum body that can resist a great deal of shock and weather. In short, it’s kind of indestructible. At 800 lumens, it’s pretty bright. So you can use this not just for navigational purposes, but you can use it to your advantage if you ever get lost in the woods and need some kind of rescue tool. It’s bright enough for someone to see it off in the distance. Who would have thought an AR-15 accessory would double as something that could potentially save your life?

Who Will Use This Most 

It’s obvious who would use this most. If you’re a hunter, you’ll use this flashlight almost every time you’re outdoors in the dark or with little sunlight to work with. This flashlight is bright, tough, and can be your best friend out in the field for a long, long time. You’d be crazy to pass up the opportunity to give this accessory a closer look.

Bottom Line

The Streamlight TLR-1 HL WeaponLight should be an accessory that you’ll need to consider adding on if you’re hunting for coyotes or varmints at night. Not to mention, it’s a flashlight that’s not only great for navigation but also in times of need. 

Minor Upgrading

Customization of your AR-15 would be not complete without adding your personal touch with some less-familiar accessories.

Stippling

While standard A2-style grips come on most offerings and feature rubberized coating, finger grooves and palm swells, one of the more efficient customizations that play a part in the comfort of your grip is stippling.

Arguably, stippling significantly enhances the grip and aesthetics, adding texture to a polymer material. Many of today’s AR manufacturers offer stippling on many firearm components, ranging from pistol grips to magazines.

Regardless of whether stippling is art or useful function, more and more AR-15 owners are stippling the gripping surface of their polymer-framed AR components with a DIY method. There is an important note that stippling will cause a permanent modification to the surface of a material. This can decrease its structural integrity.

Pros

  • Great for most pistol grips
  • Waffle pattern is easy to use
  • Tips are easy to attach and detach
  • Wood burner warms up quite quickly
  • Easily aids in making your grips much better in terms of gripping ability

Cons

  • None available

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were looking for a kit that allowed them to change the texture of their pistol grips. This stippling kit allowed just that. They were quite impressed with the patterns and each one had a favorite design that made their grips a lot better in overall design. One user said that he uses the waffle pattern for his pistol grips due to its ability to allow him a better overall grip in bad weather.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The purpose of a stippling kit is to allow you as much (or as little) grip as you need for your pistol grip. You may have too little or too much to work with. In either case, a stippler kit will allow you to make those adjustments to ensure that you will be able to control the amount of gripping ability you’ll want out of each pistol grip you own. The good news is that if you have extras, you can use this so you can be able to switch out your pistol grips if and when needed.

Who Will Use This Most 

Typical users of this product will vary. But the overall intent is the same: they want better control over their rifles so they can shoot much more accurate, precise shots at any given distance. So if you want a better grip or if you have too much to a point where you need to scale it back a bit, it would be best to get a kit like this so you can make any adjustments needed.

Bottom Line

The Oregon Trail Defense Stippling Kit might be the perfect accessory that you’ll need if you’re a sucker for controlling the type of grips you need for your AR-15 rifle. Now you have all the tools you need to customize your own grips to enhance the overall use of the rifle itself. 

Brass Catcher

Since the brass catcher catches the ejected brass, it is ideal for range shooters and perfect for reloaders as it keeps empty cases off the ground. Brass catchers easily mount to any rifle with a flat top, or they can be placed anywhere on a Picatinny rail that will prevent it from interfering with the rifle’s cycling and keep hot brass from hitting anyone near you.

Pros

  • Easy to attach and detach
  • Fits over Picatinny rails like a glove
  • Covers a good amount of the ejection port
  • Perfect for those who intend to reload their rounds
  • Bag stays cool regardless of how many brass casings you have

Cons

  • Some have had a hard time positioning the catcher
  • May not work with scopes with even satisfactory eye relief
  • May not be ideal for fitting if you have a one-piece scope mount

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were the kind of AR-15 shooters that normally reload their discarded rounds for repeated use. So they needed an accessory like this to conveniently catch all the brass they ejected for future use. This saved them a lot of time from scrounging around looking for their discarded brass. One user said that even with all the hot brass it contained, the bag managed to stay cool.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This brass catcher is made from a high-quality mesh material that is proven to handle all kinds of heat. So it won’t melt or cause any brass casings to stick. Not to mention, the material is pretty sturdy, making it hard to cut or tear apart. On top of that, it’s also designed to cover the ejection port and makes it easy for brass to land in the catcher as opposed to on the ground. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This brass catcher is perfect if you plan on reusing your brass casings. Reloading your ammo might not be something that anyone can do. But if you have it all down to a science and all you need is empty brass casings, this catcher might be exactly what you need to ensure that all your discarded brass are present and accounted for after you use your AR-15 rifle.

Bottom Line

The Caldwell Shooting Supplies Brass Catcher might be what you need on hand if you don’t want to spend time looking on the ground for your discarded brass rounds. Once you have all you need, you’ll have more than enough to reload a few of your extra magazines for the next go around. 

Muzzle Cover

The slip-on muzzle cap or muzzle condom is used to protect the crown of the barrel from damage and to keep dirt, mud, or water out of your barrel. Typically, rubber and plastic muzzle covers can be shot through in case of an emergency.

Best Muzzle Cover:
Muzzle Cover

Muzzle Cover / Muzzle Cap (Black) 5-Pack

Pros

  • Decent durability
  • Fits most AR-15 muzzles perfectly
  • Great for civilian and military AR-15 users
  • Prevents debris from gaining access to the muzzle
  • Can fit in muzzles with other accessories already fitted in (i.e. flash hiders, compensators, etc.)

Cons

  • Some are not happy with the overall material
  • Some complaints about the fitting being extremely tight
  • May be hit or miss when trying to fit it with other muzzles equipped with compensators or flash hiders

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were satisfied with this muzzle cover. They reported that it can fit perfectly on almost any muzzle that has no other accessory attached to it. One user said that it does a good job of protecting the muzzle from collecting any kind of dust or debris while it was in storage. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This accessory is a definite must if you want to save a lot of time and frustration that might come with cleaning the AR-15 rifle itself. Plus, with the addition of this to your rifle, it will do its best to keep the muzzle part of your rifle squeaky clean. All you’ll need to clean up when the time comes is all the gunk and residue that will slowly build up.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be great for those that want to make cleaning their AR-15 rifle a bit more effortless. If you desire to have a clean muzzle and barrel when the times comes to take it apart and give it a good routine cleaning, this will certainly be the accessory you’ll need to include in your rifle. 

Bottom Line

The muzzle cover is the accessory that will make cleaning a lot easier for you, especially when it’s designed to protect the muzzle itself during storage or when you’re carrying it around from one place to the next. Either way, nothing will get inside of it and ruin the inner workings of the rifle. 

Barrel Shroud

The most straightforward type of shroud is a jacket that covers the barrel and comes in a variety of lengths and thread patterns. The primary purpose of a barrel shroud is to protect the shooter from heat-related injuries and keep the barrel from marring.

Some AR-15 barrel shrouds have a sound-suppressor look, giving your AR-15 short-barreled rifle a cool and aggressive style.

Best Barrel Shroud:
Kini-Tech Barrel Shroud

Pros

  • Takes seconds to install
  • Can fit easily on most rifles
  • Super durable construction all around
  • Makes your rifle look more aesthetically sharp
  • Easily interchangeable; can switch easily to different rifles

Cons

  • None available

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were pretty impressed with the overall design of this barrel shroud. They were quick to comment that this looked like a reverse silencer. Overall, it made their rifles look pretty sharp in terms of aesthetics. One user said he literally got non-stop questions about it at the range. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This barrel shroud is made from high-quality aluminum, meaning that it is made from much nicer materials than normal barrel shrouds that seem to be flimsy in quality. Even better, it’s measured at the perfect size to ensure that it will fit your barrel without any additional fitting needed. This is the kind of barrel shroud that your .223 or .22 caliber might like if you want it to look really good.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be excellent for owners of AR-15 rifles that don’t look aesthetically pleasing. If anything, this would be used for the purpose of making it pop out even more when compared to other rifles. While it might not be a much-needed accessory for most, it will definitely be one to own if you want to give it a boost in the looks department. 

Bottom Line

The Kineti-Tech Barrel Shroud will certainly stand out as one of the most durable accessories in this category, as well as the best looking. If you want something that will make your rifle’s barrel stand out quite nicely, this might be something that’s right up your alley.

Rail Cover

You probably won’t use all the rails seen in some presentation and showpieces, so there is a necessity to install rail covers to increase your comfort. Rail covers are not only aesthetic and affordable, but also easy to apply and durable once installed. Practical covers protect your rails from abrasions and insulate heat for improved comfort.

Best Rail Cover:
Magpul M-Lok Rail Cover

Pros

  • Really durable
  • Takes a couple of minutes to install
  • Can be easy to customize in terms of color
  • Doesn’t get in the way of any scopes and optics
  • Insanely heat resistant; will most likely stay cool after extended use

Cons

  • Fitting may be required if necessary
  • Could be stubborn to remove at times.
  • May tend to snag at some accessories at times

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users used this rubber cover to great success. They were satisfied with how heat resistant it gets after an extended period of time at the range. For the most part, it was easy to install on most of the unused M-Lok and Picatinny rail slots. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is a long piece of high-quality rubber that is resistant to heat and can be used to cover the unused slots in your M-Lok or Picatinny rail. So, it will prevent the rail from collecting dust or any debris. At the same time, it’s designed to work with all the accessories that you use to customize the rest of the rail’s available slots. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be the icing on the cake for those who use their Picatinny or M-Lok rails for the purpose of customization. If you want something that will work with most accessories rather than against them, this rail cover will certainly stand out as one of the best accessories you’ve invested in.

Bottom Line

The Magpul AR-15 M-Lok Rail Cover might be exactly what you’ll need as a simple add-on to your rifle. It would be better to protect your rail from any dust or debris rather than make it hard to clean when the time comes to take it apart for usual maintenance. 

Scopes

While some high-end scopes cost more than an entire rifle, the average enthusiast is usually looking to add optics at a reasonable price. Any AR -15 can be converted into a great home-defense, competition, or hunting rifle with a well-chosen riflescope.

Due to difficulties in mounting an optic reliably atop a carry handle, many shooters prefer a rifle with a flat top or the A-3 model with its removable carry handle.

Appropriate optics can be determined according to the distances you plan to use your rifle. In short, for close ranges, choose red-dot sights. For close to medium ranges, choose variable low-power optics. For mid- to long-ranges, go with a full-size, traditional scope.

However, a growing trend among knowledgeable shooters is to replace red-dot sights with a low magnification scope and/or to mount these micro-sized reflex sights at an offset, 45-degree angle for quick transitions to short-range targets.

Second Level Of Accessorizing

After customizing essential parts of your AR-15, the next tier of modifying refers to some of the easier AR-15 upgrades; we’ll take the risk of saying “less critical” accessories. However, they will also allow you to shoot more accurately and better gain control of your weapon. All in all, they can help give you an optimal shooting experience.

Muzzle Devices

One big family of "secondary" accessories consists of muzzle devices divided into three categories: muzzle brakes, compensators, and flash hiders. Muzzle devices redirect gases exiting the barrel to help bring recoil down to a manageable level, reduce flash, and suppress sound, or ideally a combination of each.

Muzzle Brake

By redirecting the expelled gases through vents on the side and forward on the muzzle, brakes reduce the effects of recoil, and the shooter is better able to acquire targets after firing the weapon. The downside of a muzzle brake is a cloud of dust when shooting prone and an often loud report, which is unacceptable for most indoor shooting ranges.

Pros And Cons of Adding a Few Accessories

Pros

Adding a few accessories does have its perks. It’s important to know what they are so you know what to expect should you add a specific accessory or two:

A Boost In Accuracy

If you’re adding on a scope or an optic, then your major intent is giving your rifle a boost in accuracy for precise shooting. It all comes down to how far you want your shots to be effectively accurate. Keep in mind a scope will obviously be the choice you go with if you intend to go long while a red dot will mostly deal with close-range and sometimes mid-range shooting.

Better Reliability

Aside from accuracy, overall reliability is a must for every AR-15 rifle. So you need to find an accessory or two that will ensure for the best reliability possible so your rifle can work in the times when you need it most. These accessories include trigger assemblies, magazines, scopes, and any other accessory that is vital to the overall functioning of your rifle.

Will Work With AR-15 Rifles Or Pistols

Whether you own a standard AR-15 rifle or an AR-15 pistol, there are some accessories that will be compatible with one or the other. Keep this in mind if you own either firearm. They will install and function just the same. However, there are some accessories that are not suitable for example the AR-15 pistol. A butt-stock is appropriate for a rifle, but an AR-15 pistol would not need it anyway since it would require a buffer tube and brace.

Cons

While there are pros, new accessories can certainly come with cons. Indeed, while it’s always good to have a few accessories, they may have their own shortcomings:

Some May Not Fit A Certain Rail System

One thing you need to know about your rifle is the rail system it has. Because you’ll need to find accessories that will fit it perfectly. There will be scopes that will fit Picatinny rails, but not Weaver rails (and vice versa). So, your rail system may limit the number of accessories you can choose from.

Some May Be Expensive

If you’re on a budget, you need to realize that some accessories may be a little bit more expensive than others. But that shouldn’t force you into finding a cheaper version or foregoing a much-needed upgrade. On the plus side, we recommend that you find an accessory that is the best quality and performance, while also fitting your budget perfectly. If needed, find a starter accessory and consider upgrading again in the future. 

Conclusion

Mass-produced firearms like the AR-15 are probably acceptable in their stock configuration. But that doesn't mean that they're optimized for every shooter. By upgrading and accessorizing your Black Rifle, you should gain better performance and some real functional advantages.

Our advice would be to monitor the use of specific accessories in 3-gun or other competitive shooting competitions first. Also, you can follow how accessories are used for military purposes to see how these accessories are used. Observe, then start accessorizing your gun to make your shooting sessions more enjoyable and effective!

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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