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What To Know Before Buying an AR 15

What To Know Before Buying an AR 15

January 06, 2017

Imagine coming home at the end of a long work day to see your garage door off its tracks, the inner door wide open, and the contents of every cupboard and drawer through your home either scattered across the floor or missing entirely. For those who have experienced home burglary, peace of mind, even in your own home, can be hard to come by. Trying to regain that comfort in your own home is important and, surprisingly, is one of the top reasons many people choose to purchase an AR 15 or other firearm.

Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or you’re looking to make your first firearm purchase for home protection, it’s important to do your homework before you head out to purchase. Here are some tips from the RailScales team to help make your first firearm purchase a smooth one:

Start With Research

When we say research, we don’t mean Google or YouTube. Online research can be handy after you know what you want, but you’ll find a lot of contradictory information and it can be hard to wade through. Instead, start off by visiting your local gun retailer. The staff are generally experts and can offer advice based on your reason for purchasing a firearm. Some of the top reasons for purchasing a gun are target shooting, hunting, and home defense, and you’ll get different suggestions for each of those reasons.

Research doesn’t only mean the firearm itself, either. Another big consideration - and one your local gun retailer can help with - is all the accoutrements that go along with the gun. Foremost is the consideration of gun safety. You will need somewhere safe to store your firearm. You’ll also want to look into ammunition and have a good idea of different caliber options and what they mean for gun model choices. These are questions your local gun retailer or firearm safety teachers can help with.

Get Training

The National Rifle Association offers a nationwide registry of certified instructors. A firearm safety course will teach you not only how to care for a firearm and safely shoot it, but they will also provide you with guidance on how to choose the best model for your needs. If you’re really unsure, ask your local instructor which course will most benefit you, whether that’s pistol, rifle, or shotgun.

Treat It Like A Car Purchase

You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first to get a feel for how it handles. What happens if you can barely see over the wheel or your head bashes into the roof? You don’t buy the car, of course! The same idea goes for a firearm. Before you buy, check with your local shooting range. Many ranges offer gun “rentals” so you can try a variety of different models before you make a decision.

Know The Modifications

If you choose a gun model, such as the AR 15, that offers a great deal of customizability, you’ll also want to look into custom AR parts. When it comes to AR 15s, the serial number - and the only part of the firearm that you must purchase from a licensed firearms dealer, which includes a background check - is the lower receiver. This is the part of the firearm that has the trigger, disconnect, hammer, and fire selector, which are what designate this part a firearm. All other components are not marked with serial numbers and you can buy many rail mount accessories through local sporting goods stores or through online sellers.

Accessorize your AR 15 the right way, with RailScales lightweight, heat protecting rail handguards (our eponymous Rail Scales) and handstops. All our scales and handstops are M-LOK and KeyMod rail compatible. Shop online today!