Three Ways New AR Owners Can Make Their Guns More Accurate

Three Ways New AR Owners Can Make Their Guns More Accurate
This ATI AR15 MILSPORT RIA P3P is a great starter AR-type rifle for only $599.95, and it comes with upgraded stock and 10-inch MLOK forend. For more info contact American Tactical here.

With record gun sales continuing in May after a banner March and April, recent figures indicate that about 40 percent of the gun purchases made during the COVID-19 pandemic have been made by first-time gun owners.

A little math shows that with about 9.8 million guns sold during those three months, there are now nearly 3.9 million new gun owners among our ranks. And with the AR-15 being the most popular rifle type in the United States, it’s likely that there are at least 1 million new AR owners.

For those new to this versatile platform, here are three easy upgrades that can quickly make your AR even more accurate than it already is.

Drop-In Trigger

Poor, heavy, MILSPEC-style standard triggers with lots of take-up and overtravel plague many budget ARs often chosen by first-time buyers. Replacing a poor trigger with a great one can make an AR-15 seem like it’s not even the same gun. Sure, it’s going to cost you a few bucks, but what price can you put on accuracy?



While upgrade trigger kits are available and can take your trigger from bad to excellent, the easiest solution is a drop-in trigger assembly. These are sold by a number of different companies, and most can be installed by anyone with a few tools, a little bit of common sense and the ability to follow instructions.


I’m particularly fond of the triggers sold by Rise Armament out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Rise’s budget trigger, the Rave 140, is as good or better than most companies’ top-of-the-line offerings and retails for $139.

Free-Float Handguard

On many budget ARs bought by first-time buyers, the handguard has multiple points where pressure is exerted on the barrel. While that might not sound important to those new to shooting, it can interfere with ideal barrel harmonics and negatively impact accuracy.

The answer is a free-float handguard, which reduces these pressure points, allowing the barrel/ammo combo to reach its maximum accuracy potential. Many free-float handguards are longer than the ones coming on the gun originally, yielding a better grip on the front end and more places to mount lights, lasers and other accessories.

Installing a free-float handguard is a little more complicated than replacing a trigger, so new gun owners are probably going to want to let a gunsmith handle this. But the increased accuracy will be well worth the cost.


Red-Dot Sight

Most budget ARs come with either iron sights or no sights at all, just a top rail. Of course, those without sights are going to need some kind of optic. Addition of even a moderate quality red-dot sight to the rifle will likely make as much difference in accuracy as anything mentioned earlier.

Red-dot sights are unmagnified, so aren’t made for shooting accurately at very long distances. But for fun at the range and those planning to use their AR as a home-defense weapon, the red-dot is an incredible addition that can be added at a fairly low cost.
A properly zeroed red-dot sight will provide the shooter with a consistent point of aim (a red dot) that is easy to put on target, easy to master and can be used with both eyes open. And while you can spend several hundred dollars on one, many companies offer good-quality red-dots for under $200.

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Promo Firearms News Issue #21 Nov 2019

Promo Firearms News Issue #21 Nov 2019

David Fortier reviews the Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol, the SMG version of the PPS-43 used by the Russians and partisan groups of WWII. Patrick Sweeney gives a look at the Japanese Nambu Type 94 pistol.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to tactical folders, and many of their models are offered in several different styles. Accessories

Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

The Savage B17 FV puts .17 HMR performance into an accurate rimfire platform making it perfect for varmints, targets and fun! Rifles

Savage Arms .17 HMR B17 FV Review

David M. Fortier - June 04, 2020

The Savage B17 FV puts .17 HMR performance into an accurate rimfire platform making it perfect...

The Savage Rascal Red, White, & Blue is dressed in an American flag camo pattern that creates a colorful homage to Old Glory, making this the perfect fit for patriotic young shooters. Rifles

Savage Arms Red, White and Blue Rascal Rifle

Firearms News Staff - July 04, 2020

The Savage Rascal Red, White, & Blue is dressed in an American flag camo pattern that creates...

A Review of Cimarron's 1876 Centennial “Tom Horn” Lever-Action Rifle in .45-60. Plus, an Interview with Actor and Friend of Steve McQueen, Mel Novak! Rifles

Cimarron Tom Horn Winchester 1876 Review

Will Dabbs, MD - May 04, 2020

A Review of Cimarron's 1876 Centennial “Tom Horn” Lever-Action Rifle in .45-60. Plus, an...

The Marlin 1895 Dark Series suppressor-ready and modern levergun in .45-70! Rifles

Marlin 1895 Dark Series Lever-Action Rifle Review

Patrick Sweeney - July 03, 2020

The Marlin 1895 Dark Series suppressor-ready and modern levergun in .45-70!

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now