Just like a musical instrument, your rifle needs to be properly tuned and maintained to perform at its maximum. When you take the time to tune your instrument, you can customize the piece to suit your needs. The AR-15 rifle offers unique tuning options that gun owners can take advantage of, each with their benefits. Think of it as a blank canvas — ready for you to paint on your customized requirements.
With a few simple adjustments (such as to your gas systems and your buffer material), you have the potential to tailor your rifle to meet your exact needs — providing you with the most rewarding experience. Let’s take a look at the top three ways to customize your AR-15 rifle.
A rifle that’s properly tuned will ultimately have a much smoother performance and function as a reliable unit made up of moving parts all working in concert. An AR-15’s gas system is an important part of that equation. With any gas-powered gun, gas is created when the trigger is pulled and the gunpowder is lit. The gas systems of the rifle include the gas block and the length of its gas tube. When you’re customizing your rifle, it’s important to use the longest gas system available.
To ensure maximum performance, an adjustable gas block should be at the top of your list. This piece of the puzzle will control the amount of gas that courses through your gun — which in turn affects the recoil and thus the reliability. While an adjustable gas block will likely be more expensive than a standard piece, it’s an investment in the overall functionality of your rifle.
The Benefits of Buffers
You may not think the buffer of your rifle needs much attention, but as we’ve mentioned before, it’s an important part of the customization process. A buffer will ultimately help your rifle perform at its most efficient and effective rate. Most buffers are heavier than they need to be, but with the adjustable gas block we mentioned earlier, you can select a lighter buffer that will help minimize your recoil.
An AR recoil buffer from a manufacturer like Agescan International allows the owner to move faster across multiple targets. Steel buffers, a more traditional staple, will be too condensed to function effectively — when a buffer is too heavy, the next round is loaded more slowly and increases recoil considerably. For modern-day AR-15 owners, moving towards a more durable and cleaner experience has become a priority.
Adding a tungsten buffer is an important next-step to maximize the efficiency of your rifle. Tungsten is one of the most cost-effective additions owners can make to their equipment. Its non-toxic properties are manufactured with reliability and internal wear in mind. By switching from steel to tungsten buffers, rifle handlers will immediately notice a difference in how their equipment performs — reduced recoil, eliminated rattling around the buffer, and a lowered bolt bounce.
Optics and Sights
Investing in optimal sight and optics equipment will translate to a more accurate AR-15 experience. Optics allow you to see your target as clearly as possible — though just like with most components of your rifle, there is a variety of sights available. Choosing the right one for your rifle will ultimately depend on your shooting objectives and price point — how far you want to be and the speed you want to engage with your target will play equally important roles in your decision.
Red dot sights are one of the most popular choices, especially for beginners. The red dot is placed on the target and the shooter has an accurate picture to pull the trigger. This type of optic equipment doesn’t leave any room for misdirection — it allows the shooter’s learning curve to compress, resulting in a more enjoyable experience.
For something more advanced, a holographic sight is a common choice. Unlike the red dot sights, a holographic has more complex images to choose from including crosshairs or various dot compositions. Instead of a single red dot, a holographic sight sends out a laser from the rifle’s diode, reflected off mirrors, and a hologram-image is sent back to the shooter. If you’re using a magnifier, you won’t have to worry about the sight’s dots becoming magnified — leaving you with a clearer picture of your target.
This particular piece of equipment comes with a higher price tag compared to red dot sights, but for the more advanced shooter, it could be the upgrade needed to take their AR-15 to the next level.