Burris AR-332: I’ve used the Burris AR-332 on a few rifles and like the simplicity of this red dot. The AR-332 was designed as a compact, fast-acquisition sight with a 10-position power selector that allows quick reticle changes, from red to green or black, as needed. The sight’s Ballistic CQ reticle has holdover points out to 600 yards and works best with 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition.
Sig Sauer Tango6: Sig Sauer’s new optics line offers a variety of variable-power scopes and red dots. I’ve been using a 1-6x24mm Tango6 riflescope for a few months now and like it for its crystal-clear lenses and compact design. The Tango6 scopes feature Sig’s HDX optical system, illuminated reticles, and zero-stop turrets. Sig also provides a custom turret calibrated for your ammunition.
TruGlo Tru-Brite 30: An economic scope will do the job more often than not, and the Tru-Brite 30 compact rifle series includes 1-4x24mm and 1-6x24mm models that feature illuminated reticles and two pre-calibrated BDC turrets for .223 Remington and .308 Winchester ammo. I’ve used the 1-4x24mm model with great success and good accuracy over the past few months.
Trijicon MRO: The MRO (Miniature Rifle Optic) from Trijicon features a large objective lens and a shortened optical length to eliminate the “tube” effect common with so many red-dot sights. The MRO features a 2-MOA dot reticle, ambidextrous brightness controls, advanced lens coatings and a fully sealed, waterproof, hardcoat anodized 7075-T6 aluminum housing.
Geissele Hi-Speed National Match Service Rifle: This is a two-stage trigger with an ultra-fast lock time, a smooth press and a super-crisp break. It is also fully adjustable; shooters can set both stages. The first stage can be adjusted from 3.2 to 5 pounds while the second stage can go from 0.5 to 1.5 pounds. In addition, the trigger’s overtravel can also be set.
Hiperfire Hipertouch 24E: The Hipertouch 24E is a single-stage trigger that offers shorter pre-travel, a faster reset and increased hammer energy. Dual coil springs reduce friction on the sear and increase the hammer’s striking power by 35 percent. The kit includes color-coded interchangeable springs to adjust the pull weight from 2.5 to 4.5 pounds.
Tac-Com 3MR: The drop-in 3MR is a bit of a hybrid trigger. The 3MR offers three fire control modes. Along with safe and semi-automatic settings, the third mode has a positive reset that reduces the split times between shots. This means you can shoot almost as fast as on full-auto. In both semi-auto and third positions, the trigger has a non-adjustable, 4.5-pound pull weight.
Timney AR-15 Skeletonized: Timney’s drop-in AR-15 trigger units come in self-contained modules that offer a smooth, crisp, creep-free, single-stage trigger pull. The distinctive-looking, lightweight AR-15 Skeletonized model comes with a 3-, 4- or 4.5-pound pull weight, and you simply drop it in—no fitting or adjusting is needed.
BCM KMR-A Handguards: The KeyMod Rail-Alpha (KMR-A) handguards from Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) are made of 100-percent aluminum so they are lightweight and rugged. BCM’s proprietary mount minimizes handguard movement under extensive fire. KMR-A handguards are available in various lengths, and they’re hardcoat anodized to resist corrosion. KeyMod slots are cut into seven of the sides while the top is left as a sturdy, full-length Picatinny rail.
Midwest Industries G3 M-Series: Midwest Industries’ G3 M-Series handguards are one-piece designs constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum that offer seven sides with M-LOK-compatible slots. Available in 7-, 9-, 10-, 12- and 15-inch lengths, these handguards are easy to install and come with barrel nuts and barrel nut wrenches. The top of each handguard offers a full-length Picatinny rail for mounting sights and optics.
Troy SDMR Handguards: Troy’s free-floating, one-piece SDMR handguards are super lightweight, rugged, slim and quick to install. Made from aluminum with stainless steel components for extra rigidity, Troy’s SDMR handguards are hardcoat anodized and available in black or Flat Dark Earth. The sides and bottom have KeyMod slots for mounting accessories without adding too much bulk.
YHM Diamond Series Handguards: This handguard series from Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) is an evolution of the traditional quad-rail with diamond-shaped vents cut in a distinct pattern to provide optimal airflow to keep the barrel and gas tube from overheating. Each handguard is made from hardcoat anodized 6061-T6 aluminum for hard use and features four full-length Picatinny rails to provide plenty of space for mounting accessories.
Criterion AR-15 Hybrid Contour: Available in 16-, 18- or 20-inch lengths with a 1-in-8-inch twist rate and a .223 Wylde chamber, this barrel from Criterion Barrels offers a good setup for 55- to 62-grain bullets. The hybrid contour is a compromise in stiffness for weight reduction. The bore is chrome lined and the rifling is consistent so bullets fly true. The muzzle is also threaded for accessories like sound suppressors.
Krieger AR-15 HBAR DCM: Krueger is known for its barrels, and these stainless steel, match-grade barrels feature hand-lapped, single-point cut rifling with a 1-in-7.7-inch twist rate that is ideal for 69- to 80-grain bullets. These barrels have heavy “HBAR” contours and are 20 inches in length, making them a good choice for service rifle competitions.
Proof Research AR Carbon Fiber: Proof Research’s innovative carbon-fiber-wrapped barrels are up to 30-percent lighter and 300-percent stiffer than typical steel AR barrels. Along with reducing weight, the carbon-fiber exterior also improves heat dissipation, resulting in cooler and longer-lasting barrels. These barrels are available in 5.56mm NATO, .223 Wylde, 300 Blackout, .308 Winchester, .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor.
Wilson Combat Recon Tactical Match Grade: This is the barrel that Wilson Combat puts into many of its custom-grade AR-platform rifles. This particular barrel has a 1-in-8-inch twist rate with six-groove rifling. Made from 416R stainless steel, this barrel is set up for a mid-length gas system and comes with a threaded muzzle. The barrel’s medium- contour profile offers plenty of stiffness and works well for a variety of uses.
The AR is one of the easiest rifles to customize, and there are literally tons of aftermarket parts to choose from. Even though an AR is inherently an accurate weapon, there a few tweaks you can make to transform the rifle from a really good weapon to a really fantastic weapon. So, I took a look at four different categories for AR Accessories that can boost accuracy: optics, triggers, handguards and barrels.
These four areas are fairly easy to upgrade because, like many of us, I’m a big fan of instant gratification. I’ve also ordered these categories from the easiest to the most difficult—not that swapping an AR barrel takes a degree in mechanical engineering, but it’ll still take some time. Of course, new stocks, grips and compensators can make your rifle easier to shoot, and you’ll also see a difference in your shooting accuracy with those upgrades, but I like to tackle accuracy head on. Scroll through the gallery above to learn more about some quick upgrades for your favorite AR-platform rifles.
Installing an optic requires minimal effort and can be accomplished with tools you probably already have on hand. There is no black magic to installing a scope or red dot. Just make sure that the mount is tightly attached to your AR and the rings around the scope are secure. There’s no need to gorilla the screws—just use blue Loctite #242, which will help your scope maintain its zero in spite of recoil.
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When it comes to scope mounts specifically designed for the AR platform, I have three recommendations: the Leupold Integral Mounting System (IMS), the Nikon M-223 scope mount and the Vortex Optics Precision QR Extended Cantilever mount. All three of these are one-piece designs that set the scope at the right height for an AR. These mounts are also perfect for the smaller scopes used in 3-Gun matches.
Variable-power scopes are perfect for ARs—crank the magnification down for defense work or up for coyote hunting. Reflex sights are another good choice, and many have reticles ballistically calibrated for common 5.56mm loadings. The gallery above has a few optics options worth looking into.
Installing an aftermarket trigger with a crisp break will do wonders to your accuracy. Most mil-spec-style AR triggers are OK, but drop a better trigger into that fire control group pocket and you will instantly see tighter groups because you will be better able to control the trigger and the resulting shot. Many aftermarket triggers are drop-in cassette-style units that you literally install by dropping them in and replacing two pins. That’s it.
Mil-spec triggers need a little more finesse to install them. I use a punch as a slave pin for the hammer pin to overcome the spring tension. There are a number of triggers available from Geissele, Timney and others. I’ve installed more triggers than I can remember. Scroll through the gallery above to see a few worth considering for your AR.
Free-floating handguards do not contact the barrel, so they cannot adversely affect your rifle’s accuracy. This upgrade is more labor intensive, and you may need to swap out your current gas block with a lower-profile design. Today’s handguards incorporate M-LOK and KeyMod slots for hanging accessories off of your rifle. Many manufacturers offer free-floating handguards, and the gallery above has a few I recommend.
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If you are going through the expense of installing a handguard and changing out the gas block, you might as well bite the bullet and opt for a better barrel. If you shoot a specific load, matching your barrel rifling to your bullet weight will greatly increase your accuracy. It’s also important to consider your barrel’s profile—longer, more rigid designs might be more accurate, but a lighter profile means less weight and faster handling. In the above gallery are a few barrels I’ve had the pleasure of sending rounds through.
For more information on the products featured in the gallery, visit the following sites.
American Defense MFG is offering its UIC MOD 2 carbine and receiver/rail set in...
by Tactical-Life / Dec 2, 2016