There’s Never Been a Better Time to Upgrade Your AR


In case you haven’t been paying attention the past couple months, the prices for modern sporting rifles, especially ARs, has plummeted. Gun companies that were preparing for the seemingly inevitable Hillary presidency are now releasing thousands of stockpiled rifles to the market, and prices have dropped to reflect the supply. But the rifles aren’t the only thing dropping in price; parts and accessories are cheaper than ever now, too. Here’s a quick guide to upgrade your stock AR into a shooting machine you’ll be proud to own.

POF Trigger

The POF 3.5 Pound Drop-In Trigger will dramatically improve how your AR shoots.

Rifles that usually cost upward of $700 are now available for less than $500, so if you haven’t taken advantage of those great deals, get on it! Tax season is here, so if you can work it into your budget to add to your gun collection, now is the time. If you’ve already got a safe full of ARs or recently invested in a stock black rifle, then let’s talk upgrades.

Upgrade your Trigger

Let’s start with the trigger. Most off-the-shelf ARs come with triggers that leave a lot to be desired. Luckily, with drop-in trigger systems, you can make that trigger more crisp without going to a gunsmith. I’m partial to the Patriot Ordnance 3.5 Pound Trigger System. The single-stage POF Trigger is a cinch to install at home and offers a 3.5 pound pull weight. All the working parts are nitride coated for durability and corrosion resistance. Even better, Defender Outdoors is offering a $40 discount with the promo code POF_SHOT_Special. If that’s not what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other great trigger groups starting at $30.

Enhance Your Grip

Bushmaster Grip

This Bushmaster grip has interchangeable back straps and a gasket sealed chamber.

If your AR has an old school A2 grip, then that’s gotta go. Small and inexpensive, the A2 grip is utilitarian but doesn’t offer much purchase, comfort, or storage. For more comfort and purchase, a textured rubber grip with finger grooves can’t be beaten. The rubber allows your hand to squeeze in without sharp pressure points, and makes it harder slip around in your hand. Check out the Hogue Overmolded AR grip ($21.56) or the Command Arms AR Grip with exchangeable panels for a perfect grip ($25.19). If you’d like to be able to store some batteries or field repair kit for emergencies, there are plenty of grips that offer storage inside the grip. The Bravo Company Gunfighter Grip ($17.95) has a great texture and extra storage, as does the Mission First Tactical G27 Grip ($19.99). This Bushmaster AR grip ($29.99) offers storage and customizable grip size, and for those who like to live dangerously, this Hogue Survivor Grip comes with Samson Field Survivor tool kit stored in the grip. You can find more grips here.

Mako Adjustable Stock

This Mako Recoil Reducing Stock is an amazing addition to your precision AR set-up.

Get a Better Stock

Upgrading the stock is usually where most people start, but stock choice is different for everyone. One of our biggest sellers is the MFT Battlelink Minimalist Stock ($49.99). These Minimalist stocks definitely look cool, but they also trim a lot of weight and have fewer catch points. If you’re a fan of the A2 profile stock, check out the DPMS Blaster Pack ($77). The Blaster Pack features a large trapdoor in the stock to keep parts kits, lube, flares, or just about anything you might need out in the field. For softer recoil and better aim, the Mako Recoil-Reducing Adjustable Stock ($111) gives you plenty of recoil reduction, and allows you to adjust the cheek weld for precise and comfortable shooting. If you’re looking for somthing a little…wild, check out the Slidefire Stock. Slidefire stocks provide you with the option to “bump fire” your AR, which can make for a lot of fun when you’re out plinking. If you think you might want something else, you can check out over 200 different stock options here.

Get a Rail that Works for You

NCStar Rail

The NCStar Kemod Rail allows for an optic on top with slim side that can be customized to your liking

Finally, if you’re wanting to upgrade your AR, consider changing your forward rail system. For the longest time, Picatinny rail systems dominated the market. Because of their construction, you have a trade off between attachable points and the girth of your forend. Then came the M-LOK and Keymod systems. These new slot systems allow your forward rail to be much thinner and lighter, but still allow you to add in rail components where they are most comfortable and useful. Buying a new foreend can be tough, as there are hundreds of options to consider. You can narrow your choices down pretty quickly by deciding what you want or how you shoot. First, decide if you prefer polymer or aluminum. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Polymer usually has better impact protection, very light weight, and typically less expensive. For polymer handguards, check out Magpul’s MOE M-Lock Handguard ($33) or B5 Systems’ Midlength Keymod Handguard ($31). Aluminum offers a more substantial feel, often seems more durable, but is a little pricier. You also need to decide how long you want your forend. From pistol length to long rifle length options, one of the biggest decisions in buying a new rail is how much foreend you want. If you want minimal rail space or have a short barrel, you can check out the 6.5″ to 7″ rails like the NCStar Keymod Rail ($59.99), the UTG Super Slim 7″ Handguard ($63), or the VLTOR Freedom 7″ Handguard ($135). For more length, you can consider a 9″ CMMG Handguard ($126.49), the 12.6″ Yankee Hill Keymod Handguard ($134.80), or a lengthy 15″ UTG Super Slim Handguard ($137.70).

Are you looking to upgrade your AR? We can help! If you’ve got questions or need help finding a product, leave us a comment and we’ll respond!

13 Comments On This Article

  1. I see the ar in the picture does not seem to have a buffer tube. I have 3 ar pistols I would love to delete the buffer tubes. is that possible?

    • Its a Sig MPX, different design than Stoner’s. That’s a SB Tactical arm brace. They make arm braces for all types of AR, AK, HK, etc pistols. Great addition to a pistol!

    • The gun pictured at the top of the article is actually a Sig MPX. I needed a picture of a tacticool-ed out gun, but most of the ARs in the shop are base models. I was wondering how many people would notice!

      Also, there are some AR pistols that lack buffer tubes. They use a piston system or other proprietary technology. You can check out the OA-93 from Olympic Arms (now defunct), the Rock River LAR-PDS pistols, or the Extar EXP.

    • We actually discussed whether or not to use that picture because of that reason. Most of the actual ARs in the shop are base models, the only one with upgraded parts is the Sig. I dropped the picture in anyway, wondering if anyone would look at it long enough to notice. Good eye!

  2. The one pictured in the article is probably a 22lr by the looks of the bolt and upper configuration . It is blowback operated and needs no buffer tube to hold a recoil spring/buffer system.

  3. Great article and great tips. I have built a new 300 BO and had an opportunity to shop around, buying online can be tricky, no matter how much you look around the day after you order you will find the same or similar item on sale somewhere else. It can drive a person crazy!