What is one of the top reasons why we love the AR-15 so much? Easy answer! Because of its modularity and versatility. It’s Legos for adults! For as many reasons you can think of for setting up an AR, there are as many—if not more—accessories you can hang on your rifle for that specific task. For hog hunting there are night vision scopes with specific hog-hunting reticles. For self-defense, there are red dot weapon sights used in combat. For zombie hunting? There’s even a chainsaw for that!
There are plenty of AR owners I know who have multiple set ups. There are also many I know who use one rifle for all tasks—hunting, plinking, training and home protection. That’s a lot to ask one of rifle and it can get expensive equipping that rifle. Four different optics can end up costing far more than the rifle itself! That’s why there is this list. Consisting of 15 different affordable AR accessories, it is geared toward those who use one AR-15 for all its intended purposes who don’t want to break the bank, as well as for those looking for affordable upgrades and add-ons to an otherwise no-frills factory-spec AR.
In order according to price—low to high—here are some of the best affordable accessories for your AR-15:
KleenBore Accu-Wedge Receiver Buffer, $4.20
The Accu-Wedge receiver buffer eliminates the play between your AR’s lower and upper receivers getting rid of any rattles and slop. You get a tighter fit in your rifle and in some instances, better accuracy. For a simple-install $4.20 product, this little thing has helped many AR owners achieve a better-feeling rifle.
Leapers UTG Extended Tac Latch, $5.69
This heavy-duty steel, charging handle latch gives you more area to quickly operate your rifle during extreme or stressful conditions. The extended charging handle Tac Latch fits all standard AR charging handles and you can install it yourself.
Blackhawk! Universal Tactical Two-Point Nylon Sling, $7.37
The Blackhawk! universal tactical sling is a simple, two-point tactical sling. It is fully adjustable, constructed of 1.25-inch wide nylon webbing. Adjust it to fit any shooting position, and like many tactical slings, it is never too tight. Easy to adjust and install, this basic black sling includes heavy-duty plastic buckles that are quiet in the field. Well-made and durable, you can use this Blackhawk! sling on not only your AR, but also it fits AK-47s and tactical shotguns, as well.
DAC Winchester AR-15 Compact Cleaning Kit 17 Pieces, $11.71
We are all guilty of it at some point—returning home after a long hot day at the range and failing to clean your firearms. A dirty gun equals malfunctions and decreased accuracy. To keep your AR in tip-top shape you need to clean it. This budget, basic cleaning kit has a .223/5.56 rod, mop, slotted tip, chamber brush, pick, scrapper and driver bits in a transportable case. This 17-piece cleaning kit has everything you need to clean and prevent fouling in your AR-15. Just add lube, patches and solvent and your AR is good to go.
For more on cleaning the AR-15, read these articles:
Magpul PMag Gen 2, $12.30
It really is no joke when you hear or read about PMags being the best. Magpul has a corner on the AR-15 polymer magazine market and once you use them, there’s no wondering. Reliable, durable and most of all—the best value for your money—the Gen 2 PMags have a stainless steel spring and an anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower. The springs do not wear out or lose tension, even when stored fully loaded. Magpul Pmags work every time. The Gen 2 Magpul PMag holds 30 rounds of .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO and are available in black, foliage green, flat dark earth (FDE) and olive drab (OD green). Magpul makes its PMags in the U.S.A.
Magpul Vertical Grip, $15.15
The sturdy Magpul MOE MVG vertical foregrip allows you to shoot from various stances. It is lightweight and comfortable to grasp. It mounts directly to Magpul’s MOE handguard without the need for a rail. Mounting hardware is included. Like all Magpul accessories and furniture, the MOE MVG comes in FDE, black, Foliage green, OD green, and gray. Note: The MOE MVG will not fit M-LOK handguards.
ERGO AR-15 SureGrip, $19.99
Those who prefer finger grooves will appreciate ERGO Grip’s original AR-15 pistol grip. This extremely ergonomic, thin pistol grip is rubberized and textured for an incredibly comfortable feel. It provides a very positive grip and handles great when wearing gloves. The ERGO SureGrip will fit AR-15s chambered in .223 Remington, 5.56, .300 Blackout and the AR-10 in .308 Winchester. Installation is easy and a “Gapper” is included. The Gapper fills the tiny space between the pistol grip and the trigger guard, while providing cushioning for your knuckle as you shoot, as well as keep debris out of your rifle. The ERGO grip is 100 percent made in the U.S.A.
Allen 37” Tactical Rifle Case, $21.74
To get your rifle to and from the range or to the hunting lease, the Allen 37-inch tactical rifle case is sturdy and durable. One inch padding inside protects your rifle and will even fit a scoped rifle with vertical grip. On the outside of the case are four pockets with a Velcro close and one zippered pocket. The zippered pocket will fit one box of 20 rounds of .223 Remington/5.56, while the Velcro pockets will fit 30-round AR-15 magazines. A sewn-in adjustable strap allows you to carry the case over your shoulder or you can carry your rifle with the wraparound web handles with snap close.
Butler Creek Maglula AR-15 LULA Magazine Loader and Unloader, $26.95
The Butler Creek LULA AR-15 mag loader is your best friend at the range. Don’t wear out your thumb and fingers before you get behind the trigger by loading your AR magazines with the Butler Creek LULA loader. It fits over the top of all metal and polymer AR mags and loads them fast and effortlessly. The lever at the top engages the magazine’s spring and pushes the rounds down into the magazine. It will also unload magazines if need be. This is a must-have accessory to throw in your range bag.
Magpul MOE Carbine Stock, $37.95
These made-in-the-U.S.A. reinforced hard polymer stocks from Magpul are lightweight and solidly built. The streamlined, A-frame design keeps weight down as well as protect the adjustment lever. Two models are available—MIL-SPEC and commercial. The length of pull on the MIL-SPEC adjusts from 10.70 to 13.95 inches and the commercial model from 10.95 to 14.75 inches. When installed, there is no shake or rattle in any position. It is easy to adjust and solidly locks into place. A removable 0.30-inch rubber buttpad helps absorb recoil and provides slight cushioning against your shoulder. There are no sharp edges to snag on clothing, equipment or your sling. Weighing only 0.50 pounds, this quality stock is just right if you need an adjustable stock for your AR.
Patriot Ordnance Factory AR-15 .223 Muzzle Brake and Jam Nut Kit, $52.99—Ships Free!
Designed in-house by POF, this triple-port muzzle break helps tame recoil and significantly reduces muzzle flip. It is nitride heat-treated and includes a nitride heat-treated collar and five strike prongs. Fits on .223 Remington/5.56 rifles with ½-28 threaded barrels.
Leapers UTG Free Float Pro 7” Rail, $69.97
Designed and made in the U.S.A., the Leapers UTG free floating quad rail will fit both gas and piston system AR-15s. This 7-inch rail is built solidly from aircraft aluminum and then is hard anodized. It includes rail covers.
Command Arms Accessories Flip Up Sight Set, $90—Ships Free!
You won’t find more features for the price than on the Command Arms Accessories (CAA) flip up front and rear sight set. Use as your primary or as back up (BUIS) sights, the CAA sights flip up using an ambidextrous spring-loaded button and lock-up tight in both the up and down position. They are windage and elevation adjustable via an easy-to-turn and locate side-mounted knob. The front sight has a winged standard post and the rear sight has three apertures—a large round one for close quarters, a small aperture or peep sight for long-range and on top of the small aperture is a standard notch. The apertures flip and lock into place. Made of aluminum and polymer, the CAA sight set fits Picatinny rails, are low profile and lightweight.
Bushnell TRS-25 Hi-Rise Red Dot, $93.99
You could spend a thousand dollars or less than $100 and get this quality electronic sight great for hunting or recreational use. The Bushnell TRS-25 new Hi-Rise red dot sight is only $93.99 and holds zero even after thousands of rounds through your AR-15, AK-47 and even your tactical shotgun. This durable, lightweight micro sight has 11 brightness settings and multi-coated, high-contrast lens coatings. The Bushnell TRS-25 has a 25mm objective, a 3 MOA dot, a 22mm exit pupil, and an unlimited field of view, as well as unlimited eye relief. With 70-inch adjustment range at 100 yards, this affordable Bushnell red dot sight is anything but cheap. It is waterproof, shockproof and fogproof. Only 1.1 inches of mounting space is required and the high-rise mount clears your AR and puts you quickly right on target when aiming with both eyes open. It is 2.4 inches long and weighs only 6.3 ounces.
Every time we put a “best of” list on the Shooter’s Log, we always get plenty of complaints. It seems like we always forget your personal favorite. There is no scientific evidence to back-up our choices—the lists are simply the results of polls answered by Cheaper Than Dirt! writers, editors and employees—all avid shooters and dedicated gun owners.
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Our opinions are like yours… everyone has one. What are the best cheap AR-15 accessories you have found? Share them with other readers in the comment section.