Tactical fuzzy dice to hang on your AR15?


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Owen Sparks
September 9, 2008, 02:25 PM
It is trendy now days to accessories your AR15 with as much "tactical" stuff as you can find a way to attach. Lights, lasers, slings, mag clamps, silencers, loudners, custom grips, and that all important Desert Camo paint job for those who live in Michigan.

How much of that stuff is really necessary?

Do you really want your rifle to look like a pimps Cadallac?

Just curious, OS

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Emfuser
September 9, 2008, 02:31 PM
Whatever other people want to do with their AR is their business, IMO. Do some people go overboard, buying accessories to make their weapon "tacticool" when they will likely never even become proficient with them, let alone use them? Absolutely.

For what it's worth. I built my AR to be basic. Regular hand guards, no extra rails, iron sights, standard 6-position stock. I'm not adding anything else until I'm reasonably proficient with that setup and reach a point where buying a reflex sight or other accessory will yield me something other than cool points on barfcom.

Owen Sparks
September 9, 2008, 02:38 PM
It seems like the "swiss army knife" approach turns a light handy carbine into something cumbersom and poorly balanced but it would make a good boat anchor though.

El Tejon
September 9, 2008, 02:41 PM
The threshold question is always this: does adding this __________ to my carbine solve a problem?

If the answer is yes, do it. If not, don't do it.

Just because it is in the catalogue does not mean you should put it on your weapon.

HorseSoldier
September 9, 2008, 02:43 PM
How much of that stuff is really necessary?


Most of the tacticool stuff out there has practical value if you're really using your carbine for intensive combat marksmanship training, or whatever other application that particular widget or gadget brings to the table (though some of it is simply mall ninja silliness and junk).

The same bit o' kit bought simply because "everyone knows the Navy SEALs use X,Y, or Z" and then put on a rifle that's never going to be used for anything but slow aimed fire at a range that only allows people to shoot from benchrests or something is, obviously, less reasonable a use of resources.

auschip
September 9, 2008, 02:55 PM
Just because something isn't necessary, doesn't mean it isn't useful. I don't need a light, but I find it useful. I don't need a vertical foregrip, but I find them useful.

Of course, I recently finished my Dreamsicle AR, and it doesn't have any rails or lights, but it does have an Aimpoint (which I will be switching out shortly). Something tells me it would still go against the spirit of this thread. :neener:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3260/2651651138_c28aa96d81.jpg

Owen Sparks
September 9, 2008, 03:01 PM
If for some reason my shotgun is out of reach and I had to use my rifle for home defence, I would want the ability to attatch a light. I suppose a small piece of rail attatched to the bottom of the standard handguard would be all I need.

ny32182
September 9, 2008, 03:29 PM
Sounds like tactical fuzzy dice! :eek:

Bartkowski
September 9, 2008, 03:32 PM
To answer the question, no of it is necessary. You don't even need an AR, but if you want to put stuff on your rifle go ahead.

RockyMtnTactical
September 9, 2008, 03:35 PM
I don't think it is as big of a trend as many believe.

For me, a quality sling and a quality optic are the two best upgrades one can have.

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u87/RMTactical/zIMG_4477.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u87/RMTactical/CustomM4build.jpg

That said, there ain't nothing wrong with an AR15 that is tricked out with a bunch of other upgrades and accessories. I just like to only have what is needed and keep the weight of the rifle down.

waterhouse
September 9, 2008, 04:04 PM
Some things are useful, and some things are useful some of the time. These things can be added to the gun, increasing weight, or taken off if not necessary at a particular time. My carbine rarely wears a light to the range, but almost always wears one at the house.

I like the way Mr. Roberts said it, so I'll just link his thread, complete with pictures:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=284477&highlight=ops

highorder
September 9, 2008, 04:19 PM
A good sling is a must for anyone that isn't setting their rifle down on the bench between strings of fire.

YMMV.

ranger335v
September 9, 2008, 04:20 PM
"tactical fuzzy dice"

They may serve well if you need to cruise around the 'hood unnoticed. Just to help you blend, you know?

rob_s
September 9, 2008, 04:34 PM
I can't help but wonder why you care?

Owen
September 9, 2008, 04:38 PM
I have a 3 point sling (a rifle without a sling is like shoes without laces), an EOTech (Fast is good, and yes, I've checked), BUIS (EOtechs can break) and a forward pistol grip (the mag well can get hot) with a light (to see in the dark).

So what's extra?

More importantly, why do you care what other people do to their guns?

rob_s
September 9, 2008, 04:44 PM
Yay, useless crap!

http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q111/rob_s/gun%20stuff/BIB-port.jpg

Claude Clay
September 9, 2008, 04:44 PM
"smile-wait for the flash" should be the last thing a bg sees.
thats decoration enough. ( i still think it was photo-shopped)

rob_s
September 9, 2008, 04:45 PM
I was thinking, maybe.... chrome rims?

http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q111/rob_s/gun%20stuff/Colt-6933-Magpul-Larue-2.jpg

strat81
September 9, 2008, 04:47 PM
Stuff I have bought for my AR:
1) Flip up front and rear sights
2) Aimpoint optic and mount
3) Sling
4) Magpul CTR

1 is necessary to use the rifle, especially if the Aimpoint dies.

2 is very, VERY nice to have since it allows me to acquire my target more quickly and place follow-up shots mroe quickly.

3 can help with accuracy, weapon retention, and carrying, i.e., it is quite practical and weighs almost nothing.

4 I chose over a standard M4 stock because of the better lockup (it's not wobbly). I'm short and A1 and A2 stocks are too long for me to use comfortably.

A laser? Eh... I think a quality red dot optic like an Aimpoint works just as well and provides the same effect. Light? If I kept my AR next to the bed, I'd definitely have one (wife says no rifles in the bedroom). I probably should get one in case I ever need to bug out (unlikely, but the stuff is cheap enough). Rails can improve accuracy (if free floated) and provide excellent mounting points for lights, slings, and VFGs. The VFG is a nice, ergonomic addition.

IMO, if the rifle will ever be used in low-light situations tritium sights or an Aimpoint are almost necessary, as is a light. I have trouble seeing my front sight when it hits dusk, forget about in low- or no-light situations. Sight alignment is important.

As for desert camo, I consider them no different than a yellow paint job on a car or red on a truck. All black rifles all the time can get boring. My wife's AR wears pink furniture.

For the weight issue, if you have the $$$, you can build an AR with all kinds of lightweight stuff and still have optics and such. Pencil barrels, Aimpoint Micros, carbon fiber float tubes, and Cavalry Arms lowers help make this possible.




ETA: rob_s, how is that light mounted in the second pic? That is a great looking rifle. How does she shoot?

SimpleIsGood229
September 9, 2008, 05:12 PM
I'm obviously not Rob, but I'll bet he bolted a short piece of rail to the handguards. The Surefire X300 he has on it is a pistol light, so it attaches right to the rail.

AmishFury
September 9, 2008, 05:26 PM
the tacticool thing does draw in the mall ninjas and the video game crowd (just look at how the more popular custom M4 replacements for counterstrike: source have a bunch of extra crap on the model)

but i've personally seen more practical AR-15 setups at the range than tacticool setups

when i get around to building my AR-15 i'm going the exact opposite of tacticool... i'll be going for a vietnam style configuration

Brother in Arms
September 9, 2008, 06:29 PM
My AR is pretty untacticool. Currently the only thing that is attached to it is an M1 sling and if im feeling saucy perhaps the bayonet.

the rifle currently has an M16A1 upper, all Rock River internals, Essential arms lower, A1 pistol grip,M4 collapsable stock, M16A2 round hand guard, M16 3 prong flash hider.

pretty un-tacticool I know....I am going to buy P-mags for it though and sell off my G.I. Aluminum mags. the P-mags are much sturdier.

Brother in Arms

Roadwild17
September 9, 2008, 06:37 PM
From What I understand, lately threes been a reinsurance of the retro stlye ARs.

My AR is used for HD and is my bed side gun, thus is has a VFG and will soon have a light. It has a sling just because the range I shoot at has cement benches and I dont want to put it down. Im sure Im going to love it once I get around to taking some carbine classes.

ColinthePilot
September 9, 2008, 06:38 PM
Mine is going to be a continuing project, or more likely, a family of projects. For my first, I'm looking at what I need and can afford. I'm not a ground troop or a cop, so I don't need a lot of combat gear. It won't likely be an HD weapon, so lights and optics are probably unnecessary for now. What I do need is plenty of hi-cap mags for the range, some good irons, and I'll buy the rest as I find a need.

And I've had the tactical fuzzy dice, but they were in my car. They were black with tactical night dots on them.

.38 Special
September 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
Clint Smith wrote something about finding, at his school, an inverse relationship between the skill of the student and the number of useless widgets attached to his gun.

For whatever that's worth. :neener:

HorseSoldier
September 9, 2008, 07:02 PM
Allow me to preface by noting that I probably fall somewhere in the middle of the tactical stuff continuum on my personal AR -- optic, sling, and forward pistol grip (and light, if doing a night shoot) puts me ahead of some, behind others.

That said, I've been to several civilian shooting courses along the way, and I simply haven't seen the same relationship Clint Smith is talking about. I've seen guys with uber-tacticooled guns who are beginners and guys with the same kit who'll outshoot most anyone out there. Likewise, I've seen guys with barebones rifles who can and can't shoot.

The one difference tends to be that the guys who use various add ons and can shoot tend to have settled on their particular set up after some amount of trial and error. The guys who can't shoot have often purchased a gun and a whole bunch of accessories in one go, which may or may not be necessary or work very well for them, specifically.

Tarvis
September 9, 2008, 07:27 PM
How much of that stuff is really necessary?
Old man ruger said the same thing, only he was referring to hi cap magazines.

It's a free market. I'm sure there are plenty of things you do that someone else would criticize.

21H40
September 9, 2008, 07:54 PM
After my first live night fire range, I decided that anything that helps me see both my sights and the BG in the dark is good to have... It was really humbling to realize how few hits any of us got once the lights went out.

As for all the other stuff, I imagine it depends on what you want to do with it. If you're shooting out to 600 meters, the tactical flashlight might be useless weight. For room clearing, the 50mm scope is too much :rolleyes:

SO... the real answer is, do you want a pimp-tastic AR? If so, then the fuzzy dice are ABSOLUTELY necessary. Don't forget the rims with spinners and chrome :D

dispatch55126
September 9, 2008, 08:31 PM
It's all about tools and toys. Why do you need a $5k Craftsman toolbox when the Wal-Mart special works just as good? The answer is so you can open your garage door and grin at your neighbor across the street.

If it serves a function, then fine. If it's there only because you saw it in a catalog, then you need to do something more productive with your money.

BTW-Mine is a plain jane 16" A2 and it works great.

rob_s
September 9, 2008, 09:45 PM
There is a reason that even the US Army has gone to the Aimpoint and the US Marines to the ACOG and Aimpoint.

But that is lost on most who never leave the bench or the firing line and get out there and actually run the guns.

I'd ask an inverse question:
Why do so many people own ARs that do nothing but look at them, collect them, or plink with them at the static range? I mean, if I was really interested in plinking I'd buy something that shot less expensive ammo. If I was interested in shooting truly accurately, I'd buy a bolt action with a lower line of sight over the boreline. If I was interested in hunting I'd buy a rifle with a decent caliber.

So what's with all these posers and their retro gimp guns?

kcshooter
September 9, 2008, 09:46 PM
My AR's all have add-ons.

A light.

Smitty in CT
September 9, 2008, 10:15 PM
Just the bare minimums.......

http://www.strangemilitary.com/images/content/101660.jpg

:what:

tiger rag
September 9, 2008, 10:39 PM
Don't bet your life on batteries!

Double Naught Spy
September 9, 2008, 11:23 PM
Do you really want your rifle to look like a pimps Cadallac?

I don't care what my gun looks like so long as it has the features I want to make it function in the ways that I want. Of course, if I had 8 arms, I would not need to mount gear on my AR15, but I don't want to look like an octopus.

Clint Smith wrote something about finding, at his school, an inverse relationship between the skill of the student and the number of useless widgets attached to his gun.

For whatever that's worth.

Given the guns and gear sold under the name of Thunder Ranch, I would say that is worth absolutely nothing.

PPGMD
September 9, 2008, 11:23 PM
Don't bet your life on batteries!

And that is why we have iron sights on our guns, not just optics. But optics like Aimpoints are very very reliable with battery life that is measured in years.

HGUNHNTR
September 9, 2008, 11:27 PM
For some the AR is a palette for the imagination :)

So be it, I love it when we all support the shooting sports!

Owen Sparks
September 9, 2008, 11:53 PM
That picture of the Swiss army rifle is what prompted this thread. Still, they left off the rear view mirror, the satalite dish and the buld horn. But seriously, if you were limited to only one or two accessories to add to a stock rifle, what is really essential? A light and a sling perhaps? Optics? That seems to be the prevailing opinion so far.

Chuck Spears
September 10, 2008, 12:14 AM
but i've personally seen more practical AR-15 setups at the range than tacticool setups

Same here. I wouldn't say that it is a vast trend. That mistake comes from the assumption that gun forum posters are a proper cross section of gun owners. It's a portion, but not necessarily a full representation. So even though I see all kinds of gadgets in the pics online, I don't really see them used extensively in real life. Slings and an optical piece. That's about it.

Ragnar Danneskjold
September 10, 2008, 12:25 AM
If it serves a function, then fine. If it's there only because you saw it in a catalog, then you need to do something more productive with your money.


No, they need to do whatever they want with their money because it's their money.

sarduy
September 10, 2008, 01:03 AM
this is the way i see it, if you want your AR to have all kind of things that you can mount do it, but remember that many of those things make your gun heavy and hard to handle.

now... what kind of rifle you want? long range or home-defence?

you may add few things to a long range ar like, bipots, 4x24x50 scope, sling, free-float barrel, A2 stock and many other features... but for a CAR or a Home-Defence rifle a bipot or a big scope is useless, you may want to add to that CAR a flashlight, reddot,(i like the A2 sight, i dont really like batteries, but a reddot is usefull at nights) and a sling. anything alse is just added weight (some people like them heavy) but i like it as practical (not tacticool) as possible because it's my home-deffence.

rob_s
September 10, 2008, 07:45 AM
But seriously, if you were limited to only one or two accessories to add to a stock rifle, what is really essential? A light and a sling perhaps? Optics? That seems to be the prevailing opinion so far.
If that's a serious question...

For someone buying a stock M4-pattern rifle, my suggestions go like this, in this order:
1) Ditch the A2 grip. If you absolutely must keep the A2, at least install a gapper.
2) Get a decent sling. No, the little strap that came with the gun is not a sling. Get something like a Vickers, Viking, or Boonie Packer 2-point or a Wilderness or Boonie Packer 1-point.
3) Get a Red Dot Sight (RDS). Preferably an Aimpoint. No single addition will do more to improve your ability to make hits all the way out to 200 yards+ than an RDS.
4) Get a light. If you intend to use this rifle for duty/defense, you can't hit what you can't see.

Depending on application, 3 and 4 could be reversed. If a cop was on a seriously limited budget for a patrol rifle, I'd tell him to get the light before the optic.

The carry handle that comes with the gun can be chopped down to a rear BUIS. The M4 stock is more than serviceable and should, IMHO, be the last thing you change.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 10, 2008, 08:28 AM
You know, I have a light and handy AR with fixed stock, 16" midlength barrel and A2 sights. It rarely gets shot. In fact, the major thing I use it for is for shooters who lack the upper body strength to support a heavier rifle.

Instead I routinely choose the much heavier (11+lbs) rifle with optics, Grippod, rails, suppressor, M93 stock, flashlight, etc, because it just does many more things better than the light and handy AR. If I am doing a three-day class, I will usually ditch the suppressor (20oz on the end of the muzzle and retains a lot of heat during heavier firing schedules); but other than that I have no problems using the rifle.

Doubtless not everyone would make the same choices I have made; but I would rather have the additional flexibility and features than have less weight. I can manage the extra weight well enough so that isn't a big deal for me. Now if I could have the same thing at half the weight for the same price, I would surely take it; but until then I get enough use out of the features to make it worthwhile for me to carry the extra weight.

rob_s
September 10, 2008, 09:05 AM
Bart, interesting you mention that, as I had a similar rifle and just sold it. It was a Colt 6520 with M4 handguards, an A1 grip and gapper, and a front side-sling swivel. Very light, and never got shot.

Instead I'm putting together a rifle around a Bravo Company upper that will have the basic mods I listed above, and I'll use that for new shooters. If the weight is ever an issue, the light and RDS can be easily removed to lighten the load.

Aka Zero
September 10, 2008, 09:40 AM
MY AR build goes something like this...

HUGE 24" barrel.... all "tacticalness" just went gone.

I want it for accuracy, so swivel stud for bipod, flat top for optics, railed gas block for a front site if I want to shoot irons sometime. A2 stock, maybe extra weight in it to balance the barrel. And maybe a nice ergonomic grip.

I like the look of rails, but besides a bipod, and optics. I see no reason to have every rail filled.

I like the fact you can now get rails on things for your belt, because you can attach anything to them.....

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 10, 2008, 09:49 AM
Yay, useless crap!

That's funn, rob. :)

goldie
September 10, 2008, 04:16 PM
i think this whole tactical thing is out of control,& its going to bite us in the ass when the do gooders start seeing all this stuff.it may start fueling more bans on things.i'm waiting for someone to bolt a 4 position ar telescoping stock on the back bumper of a car,its already on everything else!

auschip
September 10, 2008, 04:38 PM
i think this whole tactical thing is out of control,& its going to bite us in the ass when the do gooders start seeing all this stuff.it may start fueling more bans on things.i'm waiting for someone to bolt a 4 position ar telescoping stock on the back bumper of a car,its already on everything else!

:barf:

Tarvis
September 10, 2008, 04:50 PM
i think this whole tactical thing is out of control,& its going to bite us in the ass when the do gooders start seeing all this stuff.
You should be more worried about the civil liberties being taken away in the peoples republic of **********, rather than what's happening in the free market.

plexreticle
September 10, 2008, 05:13 PM
The less crap to tangle up and weigh you down the better IMHO

Including slings.

elChupacabra!
September 10, 2008, 05:15 PM
Yeah. My ar is pretty heavy - 20" SS HB barrel, Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 on Larue QD Mount, Midwest 12" FF rail, A2 stock... just added a Quick Cuff Sling, attached in front to a Falcon swivel about halfway down the rail on bottom so I don't flex the barrel when I sling up... I dunno I also have a bipod and a flashlight for it, both on QD mounts... I like QD mounts - they give you the flexibility to put on what you need at the moment without all the weight on there all the time...

Like BR said, it's not necessarily "lightweight" the way it is, but it sure does shoot, and I think I probably enjoy shooting it more than I would a light carbine... although I'd like to have a lightweight carbine at some point...

I do agree that people who do have more than basics on their rifle and can shoot them ok probably got there from trial and error - the current config of my thunderstick has come a long way from when I first bought it and couldn't shoot it, and as I've gotten better, I've changed what stays on all the time (and what I even keep around to put on it if I like, i.e. moving from the single point sling to the Quick Cuff sling, etc.).

The way it is today, I'm very confident in it, and enjoy shooting it... some people may think I have it to be 'tacticool" but the reality is that it's set up exactly the way it is so I can shoot it to my (and its') maximum potential. I don't think that the looks of the rifle have any bearing on its usability, and those who immediately try to make that connection are, in my opinion, probably just unhappy that they haven't been able to keep up.

As Bob Dylan wrote, "The times, they are a changin"

ETA that doesn't mean that a rifle has to be tacticool to be a shooter... just that there is no relationship between looks and shootability, inverse, direct or otherwise

RockyMtnTactical
September 10, 2008, 07:20 PM
The less crap to tangle up and weigh you down the better IMHO

Including slings.

If by less you mean, "complicated" slings, I agree. However, a sling is an absolute must have on any battle carbine/rifle.

Chris Rhines
September 10, 2008, 08:45 PM
But seriously, if you were limited to only one or two accessories to add to a stock rifle, what is really essential? A light and a sling perhaps? Optics? That seems to be the prevailing opinion so far. Well, that all depends on what you want to do with the rifle. A fighting carbine will have different build specs than a DMR, than a multigun competition rifle, than a dedicated long-range prarie dog snuffer.

The difference between the wannabe and the competent shooter is that the competent shooter sets up her guns and purchases accessories with a particular purpose in mind. Let me repeat that for those in the cheap seats: WITH A PARTICULAR PURPOSE IN MIND.

Well, that, and total training hours logged and total rounds downrange...

- Chris

WoofersInc
September 10, 2008, 08:45 PM
So far mine have been kept pretty basic. My 20 inch Bushmaster has a Leupold scope and is used for longer range stuff. My DPMS M4 only has a ACOG on it. No lights or lasers.
I am scheduled coming up in November for the 4 day Rifle class at FrontSight. I am going to use the DPMS. We'll see how it works out for me.

12131
September 10, 2008, 10:57 PM
Why concerned yourself? None of your business, really. Do whatever you want to do with your firearms, and let others do whatever they want to with theirs.

kcmarine
September 10, 2008, 11:01 PM
Why concerned yourself? None of your business, really. Do whatever you want to do with your firearms, and let others do whatever they want to with theirs.

Aye, 'tis true, but this be the internet, laddy...

strat81
September 11, 2008, 09:44 AM
Don't bet your life on batteries!
Don't bet your life on a front sight you can't see when it's dark.

Don't bet the life of the target that you can't see on your (in)ability to identify them when it's dark.


Responsible owners check their gear regularly to make sure it works. Replace batteries regularly and check their function frequently.

Why do people assume that if someone needs to use an AR for HD/SD, it'll be at 2pm on a sunny afternoon?

jburnett
September 11, 2008, 11:05 AM
I've always been of the opinion that an electronic sight of some form is mandatory on a carbine... Nowadays it's VERY easy to go overboard and take a 6lb rifle up to the 12 lb range by hanging all manners of crap on it. However, I have found uses for some of the crap and it adorns my M4gery... I do like a rail foreend so mine sports a set of Yankee Hill drop-ins (not the full-float tube). From the forearm hangs in order:
12 o'clock: EOTech Holosight (516)
3 o'clock: NOTHING (rail guard)
6 o'clock: Tangodown stubby grip
9 o'clock: Surefire G2 (small) in a Command Arms mount (very compact).

That's it... I do have a Troy BUIS on the upper and have some slight desire for a 3x magnifier for the EOTech...I do have a singlepoint sling on it as well.
-J.Burnett

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