The AR-15 platform is extremely popular for many reasons. One of these reasons is that it makes an excellent survival rifle. It is a great choice for a survival rifle due to the fact that it is relatively small and light, easy to pack and carry, and is deadly enough for hunting and protection. Wondering how to make your AR-15 an even better survival rifle?
There are a few upgrades and accessories that you should consider for your weapon. In a survival situation, all of these could be important, and could in turn, save your life.
1. Optics.. But Don’t Forget the Basics
In the eyes of many, an optic or sight is the most important upgrade you can make to an AR-15. Check out the guide on adding optics to an AR-15 here, but in this article, we will give you the down and dirty for a survival rifle.
A quality sight is a great thing. It can make you a more accurate shot, and can also increase the effective range of your weapon. Both of these are excellent features for a survival rifle. However, we do have a few recommendations.
The vast majority of modern optics use some form of battery-powered red dot. While many of these guarantee the battery will last for tens of thousands of hours, you have to think about the fact that you may not have consistent access to batteries in a survival situation. Many of these are great sights, but it is just something to keep in mind. For this reason, we would recommend checking out the Trijicon ACOG line of sights. They do not require a battery, and are military-grade durable.
The importance of co-witnessing sights is not to be understated, but we really can’t underestimate how important it is to have backup iron sights for a survival rifle.
Regardless of if you choose fixed or folding sights, in the event that your optic fails you, it is going to be very important to have your backup sights. If you have a full length rail system, a standard pair Magpul folding sights are tested, tried and true.
2. Durable Sling
It may seem obvious, but a durable sling is going to be extremely important for you in a survival situation. Whether you are out hunting for food or just travelling and protecting your family, a sling can make all the difference. A quality sling will obviously make it easier to carry your weapon, but it can also make it faster to draw and improve your accuracy a little too. For a survival sling, check out anything that has metal buckles and nylon webbing.
3. Quality Mags
Another seemingly obvious upgrade. In a survival situation, durable magazines that will reliable feed rounds into the chamber for potentially years to come is going to very important. Since magazines can go bad over time, we recommend having as many as possible. Once again, MagPul reigns supreme – Magpul PMAGs are a strongly suggested magazine for a survival rifle..
Before getting into this one, we are going to assume that your rifle has some type of handguard rail system. Whether that be the classic military picatinny rail system, or the lighter and improved M-Lok or Keymod systems, a handguard that allows you to attach accessories is very important to have.
As far as upgrades that should be attached to your handguard system, one of the first things to think about is a foregrip of some type, like a simple angled foregrip.
Similar to a sight, this foregrip can help increase your accuracy and range. In a survival situation, this attachment could be crucial.
Another handguard attachment that we would recommend is a durable flashlight. This could serve many purposes. In a self defense or home defense situation, this could temporarily blind a threat, and give you some extra time to protect your family. In low light situations, another flashlight never hurts. If you’re hunting, this could help you track your prey. Whatever the situation may be, a flashlight is certainly not going to hurt. While this wouldn’t be the first upgrade to our survival rifle, it is an important one.
Author bio: William McAllister is a writer who enjoys the simple things in life; waking up in a tent deep in the woods, a black cup of coffee and a flip phone.