11 Best AR15 Upgrades

We've built many AR15s and here are some of the best AR-15 upgrades like handguards, triggers, BCGs, gas blocks, and more.

We also have detailed guides for each part, so get ready to dive deep! Once you spend time with a basic AR, you'll see areas for enhancement. The AR-15's design makes it easy to upgrade most parts.

We'll begin with upgrades for the upper receiver, then move to the lower receiver and its parts. We'll also share our top picks for each upgrade.

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Raptor Charging Handle

radian rapter lt charging handle

Many users recommended Radian Raptor as the go-to charging handle for quality, comfort, and value. They were spot on! Even though it's super light, this charging handle is very strong. For a tactical shooter like me, I can easily grip on to either side of the latch and pull without searing the it on the upper receiver.

This is the top charging handle and safety out there! Nothing compares to it.

Large Trigger Guard

Troy enhanced trigger guard

The Troy enhanced trigger guard is pretty wide for a trigger finger.

For those who wear gloves during shooting, having a larger trigger guard is crucial. This design ensures there's enough space to accommodate the bulk of the gloves, making it easier to operate the trigger.

This becomes particularly important during the winter season when gloves are thicker and bulkier. A larger trigger guard ensures smooth operation and prevents any hindrance while shooting.

Battery Assist Device

magpul bad lever

The battery assist device is an essential accessory for a tactically efficient AR15 rifle. For those in the market, we highly recommend the Magpul BAD Lever. This innovative tool offers several advantages to enhance your shooting experience.

One of the primary benefits is faster reloads. The device extends the bolt release paddle to the rifle's right side. This design allows the shooter's trigger finger to operate the bolt while still in the fire control or ready position. The result is a more streamlined and efficient reloading process.

In addition to speeding up reloads, the Magpul BAD Lever enhances the manual of arms. It significantly improves the speed and efficiency of weapon manipulation, especially when it comes to clearing malfunctions. This can be crucial in high-pressure situations where every second counts.

Another notable feature is the ability for single-handed operation. Shooters can lock the bolt to the rear using just their index finger. This means there's no need to release the grip on the pistol grip, ensuring a firm hold on the weapon at all times. In essence, this tool allows you to reload when you want to, not just when you have to. And if the need arises, it ensures you can do it as quickly as possible.

Flared Magwell

HRF magwell ar15

Want faster reload times? Check out the HRF Concepts Rifle Combat Magwell designed for Milspec lowers. Its size is 250% larger than regular magwells, making magazine insertion simpler in challenging conditions like dim lighting or bad weather. This enhanced magwell by HRF Concepts is compatible with all major magazine brands.

An englarged or a flared magwell for the AR15 allows the user to quickly insert the magazine without bumping into the lower receiver. A large opening allows the magazine to funnel into the lower receiver even if the shooter fumbles.

QD Sling Attachment

magpul qd sling mount

Installing QD sling like the Magpul mounts along the modular handguard allows the user to attach the sling wherever it's comfortable to maneuver.

Muzzle Brake

surefire lr308 muzzle brake

Upgrade your weapon with the SureFire Muzzle Brake/Suppressor Adapter. This device by SureFire significantly cuts down recoil and muzzle flip, making your follow up shots more accurate and faster.

The SureFire Adapter uses a special design to lessen side blasts and the shockwave that goes backward, ensuring you can see clearly as you shoot. Plus, it's a perfect fit for SureFire SOCOM series Fast-Attach Suppressors. It's made from heat-treated stainless steel, this muzzle brake is built to last. It helps control the gas from your rifle, enhancing your aim and making follow-up shots smoother.

This muzzle brake is compatible with the SureFire warden. It can extend a 14.5" barrel to over 16". It's excellent at reducing recoil. If you stand next to it, you'll feel a slight push, but move a bit away, and you'll feel nothing.

When you're behind someone shooting, there's no impact. This brake is also great when lying down, causing less dust to rise compared to other brakes. The SureFire warden directs all side blasts forward. Without the warden, the gases go sideways, but with it, the recoil pushes straight back. I have two of these brakes and two wardens, and they're totally worth it.

The SFMB-556-1/2-28 is fantastic at reducing muzzle flip. with this device, the muzzle didn't move at all!

BCM Foregrip

bcm mod 3 vertical grip

The BCM GUNFIGHTER Vertical Grip Mod 3-Picatinny is a standout foregrip accessory for AR15 users. This grip offers a unique ergonomic advantage with its slight slope, making it optimal for the C-clamp grip method.

Unlike many AR vertical foregrips that lean towards the broom handle style, the BCM grip acts more like a Magpul AFG but with added leverage. This leverage allows users to pull the rifle into their shoulder more effectively, a crucial feature for front-heavy firearms. 

Its design is both clever and tactical, with a low-profile steel interface that attaches directly to the picatinny, eliminating the need for a chunky clamping system. Aesthetically, the BCM grip is textured for better manipulation and is extremely lightweight. 

Optic Riser

holosun aems scalarworks leap mount

Using a optic riser eases neck strain when looking through the optic. By lifting the red dot sight, shooters can maintain a relaxed posture, especially during long shooting times.

This is great for those who feel neck discomfort with a red dot or those who find the usual optic height uncomfortable.

A riser adds flexibility to your red dot sight. It lets you adjust the sight alignment and eye distance to match your shooting preference. This can lead to better accuracy, quicker target spotting, and a more fun shooting experience.

Long Gun Light

streamlight protac hl x light

A good weapon light like the Streamlight ProTac HL X provides the AR15 the means to illuminate targets in the dark for better situational awareness. You can't shoot what you can't see. 

Lights with 60-80K candela, like the Cloud Defensive REIN and Surefire Turbo, are popular. For close-up situations, a light that shines from the user's left to right is best. It helps in the dark to find and identify things. A powerful candela light means the light can cut through fog and other lights, lighting up distant areas clearly.

For indoor home defensive use, a balanced throw and light beam spill lets the light shine farther, helping identify and manage threats from a safe distance. It's perfect for using outside at night.

Pressure Switches

unity tactical hot botton

The UNITY HOT BUTTON is a sleek design with a 45-degree angle, making it the top low-profile Surefire M600DF pressure switch for MLOK and M1913.

Forget about zip ties, Velcro, or duct tape! It's an excellent button accessory for AR15

This angled switch blends seamlessly with modern rifle handguards. You can position it on any side of the handguard and adjust the cord as needed.

Its angled design prevents thumb discomfort, which can happen with flat switches when holding the handguard.

The ridged bezel safeguards the switch from unintentional presses and provides a tactile reference point in low light.

It comes in both Black and FDE for:

  • MLOK
  • M1913.

Choose the right switch with the correct cord length for your setup, ensuring it's snag-free.

These switches are more advanced than any we've seen in the last decade. They fit well on MLOK or Pic handguards and are dependable to activate a Surefire light

45/90 Fire Selector

radian talon safety selector

The Radian Talon safety selector uses pins instead of screws to attach the selector levers to the barrel. This method is simple and strong, ensuring the levers stay in place. If you need to take apart the safety selector, a paperclip will do the trick.

At first, this selector might feel tight, but it gets easier with time. I added a small amount of grease to the safety selector detent to make it work smoothly.

The 45/90 safety selector allows the user to choose between a 45-degree throw and the standard 90-degree throw by just flipping the switch.

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