Off the top of your head, how many different uses can you think of for the AR 15? From self-defense to hunting to recreation to ranching and more, there are an abundance of uses out there for the AR—and rightly so, because it’s one of the most versatile and customizable firearms available today. This, in turn, makes it one of the most economical firearm options, because you won’t need to purchase a different firearm for each different use. We certainly aren’t going to stop you, of course, but you won’t need to. With the AR 15, there is such a wealth of different parts and accessories available out there that you can create separate uppers for picking off predators on your ranch, spending time on the range, and keeping your family safe from home invasion. Even better, once you’ve got each upper arranged just the way you want it, you can easily swap between them as often as you choose. Of course, that begs the question: how do you find the right parts? Well, as with so many things, the right parts aren’t going to be based on the expense or material, but on the purpose underlying your use.
If you’re a fan of tinkering or building things, the AR 15 is a great firearm for that. You can swap out the stock barrel and gas system, trade to a different carrier group, even ditch that handguard for a free-floating rail system. And that’s not accounting for any of the accessories you may want to add on once you’ve got your upper just the way you want it. Of course, the parts and accessories you choose will vary depending on a lot of things. First, of course, is the level of comfort. No matter how useful a part or accessory is, if it makes your AR too uncomfortable to fire safely, it’s not the right part for you. Second, as we mentioned earlier, is your primary intended purpose. We recognize that you may keep your AR around for a couple of different reasons, but when you’re looking to change out parts, it’s a good idea to know what will be most beneficial in terms of the main purpose. The caveat here, of course, is if you’re planning on building separate uppers for a few different purposes. In the end, strive for what will give you the best level of control and keep in mind how much or little mobility you anticipate needing.
The other big perk to the AR 15 is the easy portability and quick control. Since this firearm was initially developed for use by the U.S. Military, two of the primary goals were to keep it lightweight so it could be easily carried all day, if necessary. The other half of that is, in combat situations, the owner would need to be able to go from carrying at a safe resting position and get it up to a sturdy firing stance as quickly as possible. While most of us don’t have quite such a pressing need to go from relaxed to firing in an instant, the ability to get to a firing stance quickly can still be an important factor in some situations, like hunting. When talking about whether a hand stop or a forend grip will be more beneficial, your usage will play a big role.
The perk of a hand stop is its size. Most hand stops are designed to be small, lightweight points of reference on the forend of your AR. While a good hand stop can help you get a better grip with your forward hand, it’s more for use as a distinctive point for your hand to immediately get to quickly so you can go from resting to firing more quickly. This type of control accessory is more useful when keeping weight down and getting to your firing stance fast are the primary needs.
The forend grip can take a couple of different shapes, but the general idea is that it’s a sturdy accessory that connects to the rail system and extends down perpendicularly. For those who need a bit more help pulling their AR back and getting a strong grip, this provides a bit of easier leverage.
No matter what level of control you need, Rail Scales can help. Shop our selection of the best forend grips, hand stops, and rail scales online today!