Its a firearm, not a Swiss Army knife.

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For me, an AR in 5.56/.223 is a rather pointless caliber and platform which is why I suppose I've never owned one.

I have several ARs put together by me and for me. Each one serves a different purpose and has a different use. I have one that is more or less a 10 pound bench gun. It has a 24 inch stainless heavy barrel chambered in .223 Wylde, side charging upper and a Thordsen custom stock. My 10 year old shoots one with a 16 inch stainless barrel, 12" rail with reflex sight and a cmmg 22 lr conversion kit. He loves it and doesn't want to shoot the old Remington 597 any more.

My favorite go to AR in my collection is a very simple 16 inch barrel psa freedom upper with iron sights (blem) upper on a cheap Anderson lower with an A2 stock. I probably have $300 into it and it works great.

It's nice to be able to customize something to your needs for about as much money as you want to spend and actually do it yourself. And if you really want to be on a budget it's nice you can pull two pins swap uppers and magazines and have something for a fraction of the price that is totally different. I think a 9mm upper is my next one.
The AR is versatile, and there is a ton of stuff out there for them. "AR stuff" has become its own industry. Stuff quality runs from state of the art to total garbage. Some of that stuff is excellent, and some of it is just ridiculous. The first trick is for the user to first, find which stuff (if any) he or she needs for the purpose for which the AR is being used, and the second trick- to train with the selected stuff to proficiency.
Both of these tricks are easier told than saddled and rode.
Mission drives the gear train. Sometimes light and handy works. But if you want nightfighting under NODS capability then your "light and handy" isnt going to cut it. My work gun is a jack of all trades build with a LPVO, a light that has a beam with good range, a fore grip to help hold for rapid fire, and a good sling. My home defense rifle sports a red dot, foregrip, nice bright light, and a good sling. It's lighter weight thanks to the lighter optic and pencil barrel than my work gun but my work gun is built differently. I believe a good sling is a VERY good idea for a home defense rifle. Not only does it let you go hands free but it is very useful for weapon retention.

Here is my work gun at the range last week. The LPVO lets me do CQB pretty well, is great for gathering information at moderate ranges, and still lets me reach out to 600 yards.

48823708256_2b93ee8064_o.jpg 20190921_122602 by Chase Ditwiler, on Flickr
I thought the bottle opener and wire cutter on the Galil were the epitome of Swiss Army Knife type accessories.

And who doesn't need a laser designator? A F-16 Fighting Falcon is the ultimate AR add on.
For me, an AR in 5.56/.223 is a rather pointless caliber

Hence all the other ones, specifically designed for the "platform".

and platform

As opposed to magazine fed fully automatic rifles? Or non semi autos? Or semi autos that are not detachable box mag fed? Or the heaven of belt fed rifles?

which is why I suppose I've never owned one.

Which does not necessarily invalidate your opinion of various accessories and their USE on, and impact of use with the aforementioned "platform".
Did you use them a bunch and now hate them?

I just don't understand why you would even read the thread, that's all.


I thought the bottle opener...

Where do they find all these unbroken bottles to drink from?:D
At least it isn't a French Army Knife. That consists of a 2" blade that can't be sharpened, a 5-foot-long lightweight tent pole, and a 2'x2' white flag to attach to the end of it. The only reason for the blade is so it can be called a knife. :D

Both of my ARs are pretty spartan. One is pretty basic, 16" barrel, carbine length gas system, a Bushnell red dot, and a flip-up rear sight. It has a sling but it isn't attached because I put the sling somewhere "safe" when it was delivered and apparently it's safe even from me. :) The other is a dedicated hunting rifle with a 20" RRA Predator Pursuit upper. It has a Bushnell 3-9x40 scope and a sling. That's about it. I think that having the option to go absolutely nuts with accessories is great. But it's an option, not a mandatory. I probably will do more at some point on one of the other lowers I've yet to build.

If the supposed premise of the thread is indeed focused on home defense and plinking then what is the difference if it weighs a lot? Most people’s homes are less than 3000 sq feet and most people plink at a bench or off the back of a pickup. Are we worried about humping the rifle around the house?

I fully understand that using the AR for different applications will result in a need to configure differently. Thread was intended to discuss additions people make to ARs that are not used in less common roles. I may be wrong, but think the most common use for an AR is plinking, short range shooting, and home defense. The number of people using an AR as a long range hunting weapon, or backwoods survival rifle would be lower, I would think.

For home defense, I do not even want a heavy profile barrel, as I think you sacrifice maneuverability at the expense of weight. A lightweight barrel will heat up faster and have less accuracy potential (maybe), but for home defense, is that going to matter? Probably not.
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I've always understood lightweight/shorter meant more maneuverable in indoor environments. That's the same reason there are so many references to sawed-off shotguns in Old West fiction and non-fiction. And I've heard of some people plinking with a Garand, but that's been a while.
You'll find, FWIW, that, at least in the US military, those who have a choice rarely choose "mil-std" furniture (which would include a full 0, 90, 180, 270 pic rail, BTW). Keymod or M-Lok handguards are lower profile, lighter, stronger and allow for a free float barrel. To each his own. :thumbup:
For what combat units do with the rifle, I'd equip it quite differently and far more comprehensively too. My more or less only AR with gizmos other than optics/suppressor is a vintage XM177E2, with an Inforce flashlight (1.5oz or so) mounted on the OEM lower handguard. But then again, I'm not lugging it around or take it to the range that often; it's a bedside HD buzzsaw whose only purpose is to lay down a couple of MAG5's/C-Mag's worth of suppressive fire in case of dire emergency. It really doesn't need a floating barrel for what it's used, but if I decided to do it, I'd probably mount the OEM handguards on a shortened DCM floater tube.

Horses for courses, probably. Not that I'd ever tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do. That's their business, to each one his own. I might question the motives every now and then, just to learn about their line of thought. The most annoying AR I've ever had was an A2 I threw just about every possible accessory on, to the point where it became too heavy and unwieldy for anything but range work, where you really don't need a bipod, tactical light, door-breaching flash hider, vertical foregrip or dual/triple/quadruple (!!!) sighting systems... :)
If the supposed premise of the thread is indeed focused on home defense and plinking then *** is the difference if it weighs a lot? Most people’s homes are less than 3000 sq feet and most people plink at a bench or off the back of a pickup. Are we worried about humping the rifle around the house?

I think its easier to maneuver inside buildings if the gun is lighter. Probably not everyone feels it would make a difference.
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