AR Essentials? (with Colonel Smoothbore)
By angelamontana

Posted: October 2, 2016

a1If you are thinking of buying or building an AR style rifle, or if you have one that is a little on the basic side, it’s time to add a little jazz to your gun. One of the most appealing assets of ARs is their modularity and the ease with which the guns can be customized to suit their owner’s wishes. Here are a few suggestions to make your gun more fun and more shootable.

a3First, I suggest you mount a good red dot sight. There are many dozens of options available and prices range from around $ 50 to over a $1000. Be sure to buy a quality optic; the really inexpensive ones may not hold up to a lot of shooting and the really expensive ones may leave you with no resources for ammunition. Nice gun, no bullets, not much fun. A unit like the Burris® Fast Fire III would be a good choice. It is from an established company with a great track record and can be found for around $250.

a4Next, a good mounted light is a must. Again there are dozens of options; I suggest the Streamlight TLR-3. Less than 75 bucks and lots of quality. Another choice would be a combo laser/ light set up. The new Crimson Trace® LINQ™ system or the MVF-515™ would be excellent choices.a8

You’ll need a sling; simple choice here, the Blackhawk® Rapid Adjust sling, about $20.

a2Like most other AR accessories, custom handguard choices number in the hundreds. From my perspective, one only needs to look at Magpul’s options. The MLOK system handguards can be had in various lengths and are the very best way to mount accessories. I really like Magpul for a couple of reasons. First, their products are high quality and very affordable and secondly, the company stood up to the tyranny of the Colorado gun grabbers. They really did put their money where their mouth was.

a5Finally, a very desirable and useful option for your AR is a suppressor/ silencer. These aren’t cheap, and it is somewhat of a hassle getting the needed Federal stamp, but they make shooting much more comfortable and may even save your hearing and that of those around you. If you plan to use your AR as a home defense firearm, a silencer is really a must have option. Firing an AR without a suppressor indoors can and most probably would cause permanent hearing loss. “Can” that noise and enjoy the wondrous sounds that surround us.


ARs are fun, safe, adaptable, and easily customized by their owners to fit their needs and wants. Most every change can be done by anyone who can handle a screwdriver; make your gun more fun, DIY.

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore

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