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AR15 + other guns and unneeded assortment of attachments

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SilentStalker, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Well-Known Member

    Some of you may know from some of my post that I have recently been looking for my first AR15 or first weapon of this type actually. In any case the more I look at these guns the more of the stupid attachments I see on them. I mean damn, they look cool as hell and mean as hell, but if I was in the military I don't know that I would want to be lugging around all of that crap on my gun. I feel like it would just slow me down. I mean if I did need it I would be glad I had it but for the most part a lot it seems useless.

    Here are some examples, let's say you got a mid-length AR15, used mostly for fairly short range targets, I would say CQC but ideally if you are in a real close quarters combat situation a good knife or shotgun might prove more useful than a AR15. In any case, the range on this AR15 is mostly for fairly close targets. So, my question is, "Since this is a weapon used primarily for semi-close to close targets, then why do I keep seeing these huge optics on them that look like they would be required on a long range rifle to hit something 1500 yards away?" I don't know it just seems kind of dumb to me. In most scenarios a weapon of this type would more likely be used on targets anywhere from 150-400ft., maybe a little more and at that range you should be able to see your target pretty damn well with your eyes, I would hope, so why the huge optics?

    Another scenario is the flashlight. It is a nifty little thing to have in the dark especially in CQC but at the same time that flashlight also gives away your position to someone else. In other words if the enemy is in the dark and you are walking around with a flashlight on then you are a nice easy target to spot. Now don't get me wrong they serve there purpose in some situations by allowing you to see people clearly so you don't shoot a team member but again at the same time it gives you away. However, I must say all of this crap looks cool as hell if that is all you want a gun for. It may just be me but a lot of this crap seems like too much garbage for me. So, what are you guys/gals thoughts on what is good to have and what is not?
  2. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Let's back up for a second.

    How you outfit your weapon is a personal choice. If you don't want to hang stuff on it don't.

    Don't for a second ever assume you know more than somebody who does hang stuff on their gun. You may be right, but you are probably wrong.

    Big optics? Depends on what you are doing with it. I can hit 500 yard targets with an AR. I can do it with a 16" or 14.5" gun as well. There are people on this board who go to 800 and 1000 with 20" guns. Many of them actually do it with irons in high power competition. So if somebody wants to put a 3-9x scope on their gun, and shoot itty bitty groups why does that hurt you?

    Weapon mounted light? If you don't get it, I probably can't explain it to you. You need to identify your target before you can put a hole in it. There is this misconception that you run around the whole time with your light on. That is not how you run a weapon mounted light. Just because you see it on TV doesn't mean that it works that way in real life. Do a search in strategy and tactics about weapon mounted lights. Most professionals use them for good reason. They might even know what they are doing. :)

    Shotgun better for CQB? Look, I'm the biggest shotgun fanatic you will ever meet. The shotgun mods can vouch for that. I eat, sleep, live, and breath shooting a shotgun fast. But better for CQB? Nope. Sorry. Every tac team in the country is going to an M4 style (or equiv) weapon for a reason. Do a search on that also.

    A knife? Okay... Now on what planet were you trained about CQB? :D John Shirley is the last person I would ever want to engage in a knife fight, but I'm pretty sure John would take a carbine over a kukri.

    Let's address some of the other additions that online posters like to complain about:

    1. Backup iron sights. Optics break, so have a backup. Doesn't weigh hardly anything. Flip downs don't obscure anything. Where is the issue?

    2. Vertical foregrips. Help some of us shoot better. If my split times are .01 faster with a vertical foregrip, good for me. Many of us shoot better with a vertical foregrip. If you shoot fast or with full auto you will learn to appreciate a vertical foregrip.

    3. Lasers. Great intimidation tool. Helps if you are shooting from a bad position and can't get a cheek weld or access your optics. Invisible IR lasers are amazing tools when you are using a night vision device.

    4. Night vision devices. You can see in the dark. :) Try them sometime. They are awesome.

    5. Aimpoint/EOTech/TriPowers. Non-magnifying optics. That is great for you that your grandpa taught you to shoot like a real rifleman and you can hit a rockchuck at 800 yards with your 30-30 and its iron sights, but the vast vast vast majority of shooters shoot better/faster with a dot sight.

    6. Suppresors. Awesome. Simply awesome. I've seen people gripe online about them, but I doubt they ever actually have tried one.

    7. Dot sights mounted on an angle on a handguard, with a magnifying optic on top. I've seen plenty of posters make fun of these. Tell you what, go challenge a hardcore 3gun competitor with a JP rifle to shoot against you. When he shoots better and faster than you from conversational distance, to 800 yards, you explain to him how his setup is silly.

    8. Bipods. Ever try to hit a six inch tall animal at 300 yards? Bipods can be your friend.

    9. Rail systems. Allow you to hang all of this nifty stuff on your gun.

    Do you stick every one of these on your gun? No. You tailor your gun for what you are going to do with it. My varmit rifle is going to look different than my 3gun rifle.

    Just because you don't understand how something works, doesn't mean that those of us who do use these things are dumb. Amazingly enough, some of use even know how to shoot pretty good.
  3. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Well-Known Member

    I don't mean to be rude, but you seem a little confused. I never called anyone that has any of this stuff dumb, if you thought that from reading my post then I am sorry, but I never said anyone was dumb. The point of my post was to get feedback on what people thought was useful and what was garbage. I am looking for valid opinions and answers here, which you gave, but somehow got this misconception that I was calling people dumb for using this equipment. I made no such accusation nor did I claim that I was a better shooter than anyone but after reading your post you give that impression. Again, a comment that I never made. Finally, if you reread my post I made an example of why a flashlight would be useful that matches yours to a degree. However, I did not know the lights were touch on touch off handy so you see I learned something. I hada misconception of the way they were used. Thank you for teaching me something. Now if you think that I was somehow insulting you or anyone else for using this equipment then I apologize as that was not my intent and I really do not see how you got that but anyways I apologize. Again, this was just to get real feedback so I could learn something and I have from your post. Thank you.
  4. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    No offense taken, none meant.

    I've just gotten that kind of thing many times online. Where somebody doesn't understand how to use a tool, so they assume those of us who use them are somehow inferior to them. You didn't do that, so I apologize.

    How I would go about accesorizing, is this. Figure out what you intend to use the gun for, and then go from there. If your shooting range is limited to a few hundred yards, go with iron sights or a non-magnifying optic. If you intend to use it as a defensive weapon, get a light, and more important, get instruction from a qualified trainer. Foregrip, rails, things like that? Play with your base gun first, and decide what you want after you have a chance to experiment.
  5. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    If you are using your knife to cut underbrush, then a filet knife probably looks pretty silly to you. Like a lot of things in life, what type of job you want to do helps determine what kind of tools you want to have.

    I would venture a guess that a lot of those attachments look stupid to you because you don't have any formal training and don't understand how they are used in specific scenarios.

    The best recommendation I can make is to get some formal training. I can type stuff all day long (and I would have to in order to even begin to answer some of your questions); but training can show you real quick why certain tools are used. Correia has already given a very good summary of some of the ins and outs.

    To just touch VERY briefly on two questions you raised. On optics, you can't engage what you can't see. I can make hits out to 300yds with irons just fine. On the other hand seeing and identifying targets at 300yds is a bit more challenging. At that range, an E-silhouette is just a vague blur of color to me. I couldn't tell you if a target had a weapon or a TV camera without a magnifying optic. If I am in a situation where plugging newsmen is frowned upon; but being able to shoot badguys with guns first is important, a magnifying optic can be very handy.

    As for flashlights, they don't have to be on all the time - and once again, there are many areas, even in military service, where shooting targets you haven't identified is frowned upon. They can also be particularly useful in situations where you cannot avoid being backlit. If there is a lighter background behind me that I cannot avoid moving in front of, I am better off momentarily activating a flashlight - it both allows me to see and momentarily causes the eyes of my opponent to blink and the pupils to constrict.
  6. azredhawk44

    azredhawk44 Well-Known Member

    Good ol' Grandpa!!! LMAO.
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    When I finally do my pending AR-15 builds I want one of them to have mineral water on tap and a lime dispenser. That's why I'll need a lot of rails.

    Shooting rockchucks at 800 yards with a red dot makes me thirsty.
  8. ARperson

    ARperson Well-Known Member

    I hate all that "claptrap" on the guns for myself. But I realize that each person has his own choices. And the beauty of the AR system allows for such modification.

    Actually, I get a kick out of the mockeries some people do to poke fun at all the stuff that can be slapped on an AR. They make for great laughs.

    The irony is that if you look at some military pictures of actual soldiers in actual combat, very few have "bare" ARs. So there must be a useful purpose in many of the attachments. *shrug*
  9. lightweight

    lightweight Well-Known Member

  10. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Here is a simple carbine, set up for house duty. VFG set up so the shooter can easily temporarily light the Surefire, or click it set "on". Both can come off in just a few seconds. The Aimpoint is left on 24/7 (it'll still last over a year this way) with the lens caps down, so it's ready to go. The red dot appears on the target focus plane, so there is less visual complexity than iron sights.

    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]
  11. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Daniel Defense rail system, Zak?
  12. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    It a LaRue 9.0. That rifle started as a Rock River 16" midlength, SS 1:8". It was too heavy, so I had a local guy turn down the barrel profile to around 0.75" under the handguards. Then I added the rail system and dura-coated the barrel black.

    Even if the Aimpoint dies or gets turned off accidentally, looking through it provides a large "ghost ring" which in conjunction with the front sight, are good enough for up to 50 yard hits. Zeroing the BUIS and leaving the BUIS on all the time means you can rezero a 1x dot by co-witnessing them without shooting at all.

    Got it pretty dirty during the TR carbine class last year and it ran fine.
    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]
  13. armymp119

    armymp119 Active Member

    the only thing I have on my M16A2 is the M203. I am not saying that when I buy a AR15 i will not hang all types of stuff on it but as for my battle rifle its not going to have anything like that. I have to carry enuff crap as it is. Now there are guys in my unit that have flashlights and two different color lasers on it. If it works for them and makes them feel safer go for it! That is just one MPs thinking
  14. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Well-Known Member

    I'm with you on that. I like to keep it simple. I see the AR-15 as a "system"..basically, the rifle is really a 0-200 yard platform, designed to be lightweight. Sure, you can engage targets much further out, but the bread and butter is 0-200. If the weapon was intended to weigh 11lbs, Stoner would have never implemented the gas-impingement design. He would have just built the weapon with a piston system. The beauty of the AR's gas system is that it's nothing more than a lightweight tube. The "action" all takes place inside the bolt and carrier. Built-in. Very clever system, but dirty. Same thing with the catridge. It isn't a .308, that's because weight is a consideration. You can carry more .223 than .308. Magazines are also made to be lightweight. He could have easily designed thick steel mags like the AK for it..but instead used thin aluminum ones. It's all part of the "system"...

    If I am going to lug around anything over 7lbs, I'm not going to sit there with an AR-15 (which I love), I will ditch it for M1A platform like the SOCOM 16. Like it or not, bigger is better. While in some cases 5.56 produces more damge than .308, overall, over the whole - .308 is a better terminal performance round. Sorry, don't want to start that debate in this thread. Just remarking on the whole weight thing. If you're going to carry a lot, might as well make it something more powerful.

    I have a 16" AR-15. It is a pencil barrel lightweight AR (Colt 6520 that I made into an A3). I don't like adding weight. I only added what I actually use or might need. It has an Aimpoint on a Larue mount (just like Zak's), a Troy back up iron sight (just like Zak's), and a pistol grip in the front. I attached mine to the handguards because I don't need freefloating acccurizing on a "go-fast" 200 yard gun. I just need better gripping handling, and to avoid heat. I'm not bashing on guns like his, they are very nice, but personally, I have ZERO use for a weaponlight, in fact, I hate them and see them as doing more harm than good. I don't spend money or add modifications to the M4 stock or other areas like rail systems (although quality rails like his are in most cases lighter than factory handguards). I feel mine are good as-is. I keep it simple. I'll gladly add a rail system IF the benefit is totally clear and well justified. Everyone's needs are different. My AR is not an ounce over 7lbs. It's in the low 6lb range.

    I doubt that. That's not close quarters combat anymore, that's hand-to-hand combat. I'll be able to use my AR on somoene up to the very moment they are about to make physical contact with me.

    Because the AR *can* do it. If it can do it, people want to do it. It's an accurate rifle. Stock AR's are capable of consistantly producing 2moa with regular military ball with boring regularity. That is really accurate for a military rifle (non modified)...now, add a better barrel, or free float, get a nice trigger, use handloads...and now this military-pattern rifle is shooting 1/2moa. Amazing.

    Good question. I have a 20" AR that I've set-up as a "designated marksman" rig. While the AR is really only good to 275yards max with 77gr loads...You can still use it on targets further. On this particular rifle, I had zero illusions of keeping it ultra-lightweight, but it isn't a beast either. It isn't an ounce over 9lbs. It's role is different. It isn't a rifle I plan on carrying around all day or for long periods of time. It isn't a "go-fast" gun that I need to swing around quickly, or shoot in 8 different positions. My statemens above question turning what's suppose to be 16" "go-fast" guns into 11lb monsters. That I just don't understand.

    Anyhow, it is meant to allow me to engage multiple targets out to 400-500 yards max quickly and with relative accuracy. I use a 4x fixed range-finding optic. I'm not going to shoot tiny varmints, nor go for teeny tiny groups on paper. My target is human-sized. 4x does the job fine. .308 would be better suited, but the lower recoil allows quicker recovery of sight picture and thus, faster follow up shots. If I were less concerned with fast followup shots, recoil and mag capacity..and wanted more range all in an auto-loader- I'd go M1A all the way.

    That's why I don't like weaponlights. The military doesn't go running around on patrol with lights giving them away. Weapon lights blind the target so their response is hindered, while it illuminates them so you can mow them down better. Weaponlights are championed by the law enforcement world because of how they are used. They are used offensively, with the element of surprise on raids and no-knock entry. This is an ambush or invasion. Lights don't help when you are on defense and it the aggressor who has the element of suprise and the greater situational awareness. Last thing you want to do is show him which hallway you're coming from.
  15. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

    You obviously have no idea how to properly handle a low light situation.
  16. rocky

    rocky Well-Known Member

    All that gear has a purpose. Just maybe not all at once. I put nothing on my AR that does not actually on for a purpose. Some folks want to look cool and throw all kinds of stuff on em. So what?
    It's like most other things, ya really need spinner wheels on your Neon? Or over sized mud tires on your truck?
  17. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Well-Known Member

    Yeah, thanks for the personal attack towards my opinion.

    I'll use 1,000,000 candle power Surefires as soon as the military changes its doctrine and finds that illuminating your position is a good idea. Handle low light situation? Night vision is the answer. End of story. I think too many people buy into the "tacticool" stuff that doesn't fit their mission. People want to use what law enforcement uses, unfortunately, what LE is doing is quite different.

    Weapon lights are fantastic - when you kick down a door and shine that in some unsuspecting crack-dealers face at 12am. Of course, you have the benefit of ballistic armor and another 6 guys bursting in with their weaponlights, all of which are mounted on select fire weapons. Let's not forget about tear gas or flashbangs which may or may not be used prior to entry.

    Do you recommend that the crack-dealer use a weapon light on his carbine to improve his "low-light" sitaution against the home invasion by the authorities? Seems kind of silly when you're playing D.

    I don't know of a *DEFENSIVE* scenario where a weapon light would be useful. I don't plan on going hunting for the perp in my house during a home invasion. I plan on staying in 1 room, and aiming at the door incase the scumbag tries to make an entry. I'd preferably stay low and out of sight as much as possible. Light or not, he's going to eat lead. If this is a SHTF scenario and you are out and about, a light is a liability, not a useful tool.
  18. DougW

    DougW Well-Known Member

    One of the great things about the AR system is that you can adapt it in any way to have what ever you want on it. I love the vesritility.
  19. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

    Not meant as an attack. Take it how you want, but your poor info may get someone else sued, or killed, or you may kill a loved one. You may get lucky and have a clean shoot without a light. What happens when you shoot your kid, because you didn't ID your target? What happens when you shoot the senile old lady who used to live in your house because you didn't ID your target? What happens when you shoot your neighbors kid, because you shot your coat hanging on the door, because you didn't ID your target? What happens when the million other what if's happen? I thought it was pretty obvious that you didn't go walking around the house in the middle of the night with your light on. I thought it was pretty obvious that you don't hunker down next to the bed, with your light on. Like with every tactic, their is the right way and the wrong way to do things.
  20. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Well-Known Member

    I'll put a little bit of agreement with the first post, some people put alot of stuff on thier AR-15's. For the most part, the members of this board who have posted pictures of thiers, have been pretty bare, compared to some other forums that are out there. I have a surefire that is for my M-4 clone, but it's sitting on the top shelf for duty with the .45 if needed at night.

    for the most part, a good rule is, "if you don't know how to use it, don't put it on your rifle, and if you don't need it, don't put it on your rifle".

    Those that are up there in the military or keep up with what we do... or maybe lets just drop the words "grunt and super GI Joes". Are working with lights, and IR lasers. Ah, I came in the Corps in 99, and lights and lasers weren't new then? They just don't show you the 'cool guys' on the nightly news.

    For the average civilian that lives in a house, I would recomend a 18" shotgun for CQB. For my circle of friends, who've lived by the M16/AR15, there's no better weapon than an M4.

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