When the crap hits the fan what accessories would you want on your AR-15?
For OPSEC and to keep our name off extra paperwork lets ignore silencers and short barreled rifles.
Silencers may play an important role in surviving a Post-SHTF world, but paperwork is also an OPSEC issue. Anyone having access to the right paperwork will know exactly who has a silencer and who has a short barreled rifle. Then there are the local, state and federal laws and restrictions.
For the sake of discussion and to keep things simple, lets just exclude anything that requires paperwork.
Iron Sights – The art of shooting with open sights is a dying pastime. In todays world with so many relfex and red dot optics on the market who needs to use old fashioned iron sights?
Todays optics are rock solid, military grade, and should last for years. With a few spare batteries you should be able to use a brand like Aimpoint for years after SHTF. But, like everything else made by man, things break, go wrong, stop working,,, whatever the case may be. Nothing made by man last forever, and this is especially true with electronics.
A good ole iron sight does not require batteries, and unless you drop the sight on a rock or hit it with a hammer, chances are that sight will last as long as your rifle.
Sling – Ah yes, the good ole sling. Nothing fancy needed here. Just something so you can sling the rifle across your shoulder when checking on the livestock, filling water buckets, feeding the animals, collecting eggs, or whatever else needs to be done around the farm.
If you opt for a 3 point, or 1 point sling you might be over thinking this subject. During a long term SHTF situation, chances are there are not going to be wave after wave of zombies coming after you. Because of this we want a single that keeps the weapon close at hand, but out of the way. This means 1 point slings will probably cause the weapon to get in the way.
Any sling that causes the rifle to be carried in the front of the body will probably be getting in the way of everyday duties. The farm / bug out location is not a combat zone. It is going to be difficult to be on your ready with rifle in front of your body while picking peas, squash, okra or corn.
Some things I look for in my sling – quick detachable from the rifle, quick adjustment, comfortable, 2 point, and cost.
The slings I currently have on my rifles are Magpul MS3, Ultimate Arms 2 point sling, and a Troy Industries Two Point Battle Sling. Of the three, the Troy Industries Two Point Battle Sling is probably my least favorite. I like the Magpul MS3, but I like the simplicity of the Ultimate Arms 2 point sling.
My wife has a Ultimate Arms sling on her pink M4, and I have a Ultimate Arms 2 point sling on my AK-47. And I will probably buy another Ultimate Arms sling for my next AR-15 build. One of the features I really like about the Ultimate Arms sling is how simple it is. There is no quick adjustment, and it just snaps on and off the rifle.
Scope – Not a tactical red dot optic that requires batteries, but something like a basic 3×9-40 scope for hunting.
A lot of survivalist plan on using the AR-15 for hunting after SHTF. And there is nothing wrong with that. Having a scope will allow for better shots, and will allow the hunter to better gauge the age, size and health of the animal before harvesting.
The 223 Remington / 5.56mm is not only effective at close ranges, it is very accurate at ranges in excess of 200 yards. So what not use that accuracy along with a scope and good hunting rounds to harvest something like a hog. The AR-15 coupled with a scope is effective, accurate and reliable.
Combine a scope with either a 300 Blackout or 6.8 upper, and you have an effective weapon for deer and hog sized game. But to take game in a humane manner it helps to have a scope.
Good quality magazines – Not the gun show magazines that you get 3 mags for $15, or 4 mags for $12. Not the magazines have been through hell and back, run over by a hummer, dropped on the floor one too many times, and sure not ones with bent feed lips. If you are stockpiling AR-15 magazines for SHTF lets pick some good quality and brand new magazines. There is no need in better your life, or the life of your family on used low quality junk.
We are a year after the Sandy Hook shooting, panic buying has passed, obama and his gun hating libtards have given up on gun control, so now is the time to buy. P-mags are at their lowest price in years, aluminum magazines are plentiful and prices are coming down.
What magazine brand names are we looking for?
NHMTG 30 round – Going price around $11.
D&H 30 round – Going price around $10.
Magpul Pmag 30 round gen 2 – Going prices are $10 for non-windowed and $12 for windowed.
Troy Battlemag 30 round – Going price is around $9 – $10, 3 pack for around $27 – $30. If you can not find Troy battlemags for those prices just keep looking. There are a lot of places out there still trying to price gouge.
Lancer Systems L5 AWM 30 round – Going price is around $14.
As of December 12, 2013 those are the going prices. The market is not going to get much better than that.
Spare parts, cleaner and lubricant – Lets be honest, the AR-15 has a bunch of small parts and springs that are easily bent and/or lost.
While changing out a pistol grip the safety detent spring slipped out, I did not see it, and when the grip was tightened down the spring was bent.
While changing out a receiver extension I forgot to press down on the buffer retaining pin. When the receiver extension was removed the retaining pin and spring went flying across the room. The pin bounced off a wall and landed where I could find it. Good thing I was in a room with walls and carpet and not out in the woods.
The AR platform runs best when well lubricated and clean. It can run wet and dirty, but not dirty and dry.
Lubrication is one of the key factors in making sure the AR-15 rifle preforms at optimal levels.
No AR-15 arsenal is complete without a full set of spare parts, cleaner and lubricant.
Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts in the comments section below this article.