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What would you do to improve an AR for defensive use

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kentucky, Aug 23, 2010.

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  1. Kentucky

    Kentucky Member

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    In another thread taliv wrote

    So assuming you have a defensive/fighting rifle that is completely milspec, say a BCM, what would you do to improve it for defensive/fighting purposes? What parts would you replace and what accessories would you add?
     
  2. Mags

    Mags Member

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    I would replace the stock with an EMod, trigger guard with an aluminum miad, throw a BAD lever on, replace the grip with a MOE or MIAD. I would also add a lightweight FF rail with an AFG. Choose either an Aimpoint or Acog if you need magnification and you're set, providing you already have the MATech BUIS and mil-spec everything else. Also some carbine courses require weapon lights for that I would get a Surefire scout light.
     
  3. kludge

    kludge Member

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    SBR it and add a suppressor.
     
  4. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I would take it to a formal carbine class or two and run it and run it and run it. Then I would look at how it worked and decide what needed to be changed based upon real experience and not an internet forum. :)
     
  5. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Member

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    Ha ha! Saved me from making basically the same comment. Thanks.
     
  6. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    I'd practice with it in a systematic way before I did anything else.
     
  7. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Light and Aimpoint.

    Assuming it works (you'll find out at your rifle class) everything else is just fluff.

    BSW
     
  8. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    Agree with rbernie but having attended several classes already, you can see how my kac is configured... Sling, optic and light. The brake is sweet but not at all necessary. If I had unlimited funds I'd try some of the sexy night vision gear but I don't know if it would still be on the gun at the end of class :)
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    That said the fail zero coating might be interesting too. I don't like the bad lever. A kac or magpul trigger guard is nice too.
     
  10. ThePunisher'sArmory

    ThePunisher'sArmory Member

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    "I would take it to a formal carbine class or two and run it and run it and run it. Then I would look at how it worked and decide what needed to be changed based upon real experience and not an internet forum."

    Then what good is The High Road?
     
  11. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Buy lots of ammo. Shoot it a lot and make yourself very familiar with the controls... with the aim of building muscle memory.

    IMHO, a 16" AR with iron sights is a fine home defense, zombie defense, civil unrest rifle just the way it is.

    Can you enhance it by spending more $ ? Sure.

    But your biggest bang for the buck is to shoot is a lot and become very familiar with it.

    A carbine class would be sweet, but that $ could go a long way towards juniors braces, and I personally would want to be very proficient with the basic operations b4 I went to a class.
     
  12. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Assuming you're starting with a rifle that already has the reliability bits done right, I'd say:

    • good JHP ammo that feeds 100% reliably
    • light
    • couple of PMAG's
    • optic
    • sling (Blue Force's Vicker's-style Victory series 2-point is a good value)
    • improved flash suppressor (Vortex or Blackout), if not already fitted

    ...in that order.

    The rest is just gravy, IMO. I would love a stock with onboard battery storage someday, but for an HD rifle I can go grab more batteries out of the cabinet when it's time for scheduled replacement.
     
  13. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    I like BenEzra's recommendations, but I'd put the sling before the optic - but that's just me nitpicking. I haven't added an optic yet. I'm sold on the advantages, but I just haven't shelled out the cash for a new Aimpoint yet.

    My LMT M4gery is setup pretty light. I added a folding rear sight, and a sling. I bolted a Midwest Industries Picatinny rail to the front sight A frame, and a stuck a Surefire X series light on that. It came with a Falcon Ergo grip, and SOPMOD stock, both of which are really user preference items as to the type of grip & the stock. That's it until I add an Aimpoint M4s (battery life) or Micro T1 (less weight). After the Aimpoint I don't see myself doing much else but continuing to shoot it.
     
  14. Hagen442

    Hagen442 Member

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    AR

    Mfgs need to make a 30-06 & 30 Carbine Version to satisfy us Old Heads.
    The AR Platform is easier to add attachments than our Garands and Carbines.
     
  15. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

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    I would start with a high quality off the rack AR like a LWRC, Noveske, or Colt and make sure it runs right.
     
  16. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    +1

    I would make it a 30cal of some variation, and I'm only 31.
     
  17. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    What rbernie said.

    A sling and a light makes sense for a lot of defensive uses. All other accessories, including optics, may or may not make sense depending on your situation, plans, and training.
     
  18. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I think the training is much, much more important than the gear; but a good red dot and a light add a lot of capability to an AR for home defense.
     
  19. JonB

    JonB Member

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    I would add a flamethrower attachment. Nice!
     
  20. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    The best mechanical modification you can make for the AR15 is the installation of a float tube. I'm a big fan of the ones made by Vtac with a cheap piece of plastic rail at 6 o'clock for shooting off of flat surfaces.

    A sling is nice to have, and a scope like the ACOG will allow your rifle to be much more effective at longer distances (at the expense of short range).

    Aimpoints are clearly faster and better if you intend to shoot from 0-200ish yards.

    Magpul MOE grips and BAD levers are nice things to have but absolutely unessential to an effective rifle.

    Ditto for backup irons, unless you actually practice with them regularly.

    It's pretty cool to be able to bolt all sorts of addons to your rifle, but ultimately all of that stuff is useless if you can't hit a target at reasonable rifle ranges. A gun that's capable of hitting a popper at 400 yards is useless if you can't make that hit.

    Know your gun, but more importantly, know yourself.

    Sent from my G1 using Tapatalk.
     
  21. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    How bout .300 Whisper on an AR-15 frame? Or 6.8 (.277) SPC?
    Been around for a while in .308 / 7.62 NATO. They call it the AR-10.
     
  22. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    High quality red dot, free float tube, vertical foregrip and a light. I like an offset light mount so that I can manipulate the light with my weak thumb, rather than relying on a tapeswitch. For a sling I like the V-TAC for its quick adaptability and adjustability with just a tug.

    I have to disagree about the grip swap. I don't have overly large hands but the stock AR grip puts way too much of my finger over the trigger. The MIAD is a much better fit and gives me a little more spacing for proper trigger control.

    Actually, to be honest, for a strict home defense role I'd much rather have a pistol cartridge carbine than any rifle cartridge. Especially a .30cal rifle. Yes, everything is loud but a .223 or bigger going off indoors will be enough to not only disorient the shooter but also permanently damage your hearing.
     
  23. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    I think you have a quality carbine like an BCM (or other top tier brands - DD, Colt, LMT, Noveske, etc.), I really don't think you need to do anything. A basic carbine with iron sights is fine.

    If possible, I do prefer to have a quality red dot optic and a white light. I also have a BCM gunfighter and ordered a magpul BAD for my go-to carbine, but accessories like these really aren't absolutely necessary, it's more personal preference at that point.

    My personal HD M4gery is a Daniel Defense M4 with Aimpoint CompML3 and streamlight TLR1.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  24. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Turn it into an AK. :evil:

    But seriously, a 16" AR that's optimized for reliability and perhaps with a laser and flashlight is really the best you can do. In the vast majority of defensive situations, you're close enough that a gun's inherent accuracy doesn't come into play much. The most important thing is that it shoots. If you can count on it to go bang when you need it to, it's a good defensive gun.
     
  25. migkillertwo

    migkillertwo Member

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    A defensive weapon needs a good red dot, a flashlight, and some kind of handguard with picatinny rails.

    Also I'd consider steering away from HBAR rifles. Lightweight is always better.

    I personally have a spikes upper, DSA lower with a primary arms M3 red dot and a YHM Free-floating quad-rail.
     
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