Top 10 AR-15 Upgrades to Trick Out Your Rifle

Hot girl AR 15 babe
I was talking with Eric L. the other day at

Eric has been shooting since he was 9 years old and is a certified AR-15 Armorer and a great source for inside info.

The question for him was “if you bought a stock AR-15 off the shelf

  • what would be the top 10 upgrade parts you would want to trick it out?”

Eric has access to every part known to man in the armory and here is a list to go by.

Rifle Ammo in Stock

First off realize that upgrading, adding accessories and tricking out your AR-15 is personal preference.

Go to the range and shoot and try out many combinations to help make your best choice.

Also please note I am not a weapons expert –

just a guy that likes to go out and shoot and get better at the game.


AR 15 barrelGet a good barrel.

There are many barrel options and the first will be what length will you need?

Do you want 16 inch or 18 inches?

You can’t go wrong with a Noveske and DPMS as they both make top notch barrels.


One of the first things you might want to think about is a better trigger, or getting yours worked on by a gunsmith.

A cleaner breaking trigger helps your accuracy.

CMC, ALG Defense and the Super Tricon trigger by Geisselle automatics, and 2 stage RRA triggers. Most of these are drop-in, and require very little fine work.

Question: What is a good trigger guard that I can use to upgrade my stock one?

Answer: Try out the Magpul Alum Enhanced Trigger Guard as this one is a good upgrade from the trigger guard that comes stock on most AR-15’s.

Video – Build or Buy an AR-15?

Video AR 15 Beginners Guide (What parts do you need to build a rifle?)

Question: What is the difference between an M4 and AR-15?

Answer: The AR-15 is the generic name for the 5.56 mm rifle invented by Eugene Stoner which was adopted as the M16A1 and all of it’s derivatives. The AR-15 name was trademarked by Colt and was used for its semi-auto versions. The M4 carbine is an AR-15/m16 rifle with a 14.5″ (in its military garb) with a cutout for mounting a grenade launcher. Basically a shortened version of the rifle. The AR-10 is similar to the AR-15 but in 7.62 NATO (.308) caliber.


A red dot sight is very important in sub 100 meter shots. The Aimpoint t-1/h-1 or M4/M4S are considered some of the very best sights made.

Also – sights by EOTECH, Vortex StrikeFire and Primary Arms M3 red dot are top notch. KAC sights are very good. Burris also makes a great red dot sight that is cheaper with good value.


SOG armory graphite vertical gripsThere are a lot of options with AR-15 grips.

Check out SOG armory graphite vertical grips are sweet.

Grips can make a big difference on your weapon, especially when you are doing tactical shooting.

Magpul has both vertical and MOE.

You can’t go wrong with Magpul.

Hogue also makes good products.

Question: Where can I find reviews for a ar 15 surefire flashlight and magpul trigger?

Answer: Check out reviews for the Magpul Alum Enhanced Trigger Guard.


AR 15 rails
You will want to have a great rail system to attach your scope and grips to. The Daniel Defense rail system is a good bet.

We also like the HSG quad rail. Solid, mounts well, and great support from the seller. A tad heavy with non removable rails, but the advantages of a true free float far outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re worried about the weight, you can always go polymer, although it is less reliable.

Question: For a stock AR15 what is the best first upgrade?

Answer: Adding a better barrel, of if you’re not that technically proficient, upgrading the sights/optics.


There are a lot of options to go with for a flashlight. The SureFire Scout M300, M600 or Elzetta ZFL-M60 are perfect options.

We also like the Streamlight PolyTac LED Flashlight. We bought this weapons light for a shotgun, took off mount and used on AR. Light is perfect for indoors or night time, very bright. We bought another mount for this light for shotgun.

The mount is perfect for my AR15, puts thumb cap of light just in the right place without having to juggle the rifle to reach it. I used this set up on two different guns but they both worked perfectly; we are very pleased with products.

Question: Do you have any Eotech tips and tricks?

Answer: Yes; check out this video for more tips on the Eotech.


Tricking out your stock is the fun part and there are many options.

One of the go-to companies is Tapco and B5 Systems as they have many options at good value.

Magpul also makes some amazing stocks.

Question: What is a “good value” scope sight for an AR?

Answer: A good dollar for dollar value is a Burris red dot if you are just plinking at the local range. You don’t need an ACOG if you are just target practicing.


A flash hider is easy on the wallet and easy to install yourself.

Check out the Noveske flash suppressor for an AR in .22 and your can’t go wrong.

There are many dozens of different suppressors so take your time picking one out.

We also like the Global Sportsman suppressor. I bought this mostly because I didn’t want another A2 bird cage. It looks better and I am very pleased. I ordered the brake at about midnight and it shipped by 9 am the next day.

I received it 2 days earlier than the estimated delivery date. I highly recommend Ultimate Arms Gear as a seller as well as the brake!

Question: I bought a slightly used stock DPMS AR 15 and the furniture was a little dinged up. What do you think about upgrading to MAGPUL furniture?

Answer: Good idea—I wish I could do that to my Bushmaster too.


Image result for magazines AR-15

The one thing you will always want to have several extra 30 round mags to add to your collection before the liberals take them away. Magpul and Tapco are the go to resource.

The new magazines with a clear plastic window from Magpul are nice. You can see how many rounds you have left.

Question: What are the best AR-15 barrels.

Answer: You can get a Noveske in a upper receiver kit that will be a really nice set up. If that is not in your price range then another good barrel is the White Oak AR-15 barrel.


Some say that this may be one of the top 3 must needs. Magpul, Blueforce Gear all make good slings. You can add a sling adapter from Noveske, Doublestar, DPMS and Midwest industries.

Tricon sling info and review

Question: Where can I find out more about defending our gun rights?

Answer: Check out the NRA here.

Extra AR-15 Upgrades

.223 Ammo – don’t buy cheap ammo. Buy in bulk and spend a lot of time at the range.
Magpul B.A.D lever Designed to considerably improve the speed and efficiency of the AR15/M16 bolt catch.

Tips for New Shooters Eotech

Check out the EOTech 512.A65 Tactical HOLOgraphic Weapon Sight @


Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter.

His where-abouts include getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.


DPMS barrel Review

Top AR-15’s for 2013

Top 10 Enhanced Trigger Guard Reviews

Seal Fit Stack

SGPT Upcoming Events

Personal Online Coaching

Work 1-on-1
with SEAL Grinder's Brad McLeod
To Achieve Your Goals

pic of brad

Personal fitness training from Brad McLeod, Navy Seal and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. Delivered online, directly to you.

"I recommend Brad to anyone that seriously wants to go to BUDs or anything else in life... try these workouts. Hooyah!" - Chris H.

learn more button