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5 Most Common AR-15 Upgrades & Modifications

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So you bought your first, or a new, AR-15.

If you’re like us, you’re probably already thinking about changing or upgrading some of the parts on your rifle.

Here are the 5 most common AR-15 upgrades and modifications in our experience that you should consider.

1. Triggers

Most stock AR-15 triggers just don’t do it for us.

They have heavy pulls, and long trigger resets, making shooting a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

When we get a new rifle, we almost always upgrade the trigger for better performance.

There are a ton of aftermarket trigger options to choose from, and as long as you buy from a reputable brand, you can’t go wrong.

An upgraded trigger will allow you to shoot faster and more accurately

2. Muzzle Brakes

A muzzle brake is a device that threads onto the muzzle end of your firearm. While construction varies, a muzzle brake generally has ports that help “brake” the gases inline linear force and divert it horizontally (left and right) in order to reduce felt recoil.

Muzzle brakes make shooting a lot easier, but there is a trade-off you should be aware of–if you aren’t already.

Using one will substantially increase the noise made with each shot, potentially making life miserable for you and anyone around you–especially in confined spaces.

In addition, because muzzle brakes have ports that divert the flow of gas, they can cause a large, visible ‘fireball’, for the lack of a better word, with each shot. So if you’re trying to stay unnoticed, using a muzzle brake isn’t the best option. You’d want to use a flash hider.

3. Ambidextrous Selector / Safety

AR-15s are great, but they hardly come with an ambidextrous selector, which is a big inconvenience for left-handed shooters.

In addition, not having one makes operating your rifle more difficult if you decide to switch shoulders and use your left hand to manipulate the firearm.

It’s a low-cost upgrade that provides convenience.

If you’re in the market for one, this is the ambidextrous selector we recommend.

4. Ambidextrous Magazine Release

Just like our selectors, we like to use ambidextrous magazine releases for the same reasons.

If you’re a left-handed shooter, it’s kind of a no-brainer to get one.

For right-handed shooters, they come in handy if you decide to switch shoulders and begin manipulating your rifle with your left hand.

5. The PDQ Ambidextrous Bolt Release

When you run out of ammo and our bolt locks back, it’s vital to get your rifle back in the ‘fight’ as soon as possible.

Our PDQ allows you to do just that.

It’s an ambidextrous bolt release that aligns with the theme of being able to use both hands to manipulate your firearm.

It also is simply faster than using a traditional bolt release. Check out the PDQ here.

So Many Options

There are many things you can upgrade on an AR-15, but these are five of our go-to modifications because they allow us to shoot easier, faster, and with better accuracy, and they allow us to manipulate the rifle with both hands.

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Samuel Vester
Samuel, or "Sammy", is the Founder of Guntology and is the co-owner of several other businesses in the firearms industry. He is an avid shooter and enjoys sharing cool, new, and hard-to-find products with others through Guntology.

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