Practical AR Enhancements That Work

As most people today know the AR-15 carbine is quite possibly the most customizable platform on the planet, DTG decided to revisit which upgrades might offer the best “bang for the buck,” at least, from our perspective. Some upgrades have a huge “CDI (Chicks Dig It) factor” specifically designed for the square range and/or gun show, and others are designed with practical use in mind. Naturally, reliability upgrades should win over what might be a CDI enhancement if your AR is the primary tool you’d use for self-defense of hearth and home during a WROL or SHTF situation. And that’s what we’ll focus on here.

When it comes to practical enhancements, keep in mind that the market is flooded with parts as well as rifles. Some are top notch quality, some are mediocre and the others . . . well, they’ve been manufactured not using the best quality control. So, remember, not all parts and carbines are created equally. Caveat Emptor! Best strategy when looking for an AR? Whether building your own AR or buying a complete one; use reputable manufacturers, such as Daniel Defense, Bravo Company or Spikes Tactical, for example. (We have extensive experience with the quality turned out by BCM and ST. *Please see the note from ST at the bottom – and note that we have no interest, or than as consumers, from any company or product listed in this post).


I can personally vouch for his choice of trigger. I’ve been running a Geissele SSA on my carbine for a few years now and I absolutely love it. Not only is it a clean break but it’s extremely predictable – 2 pounds to take up the slack, then you hit a wall, then another 2 pounds to break. Every fucking time.

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9 Responses to Practical AR Enhancements That Work

  1. California southpaw says:

    Here’s a well hashed practical enhancement, no disrespect intended. Practice, practice, practice.
    Clean it and practice more. Spend your coffee and donut money on ammo. YOUR rifle can be amazing when you know it well.
    Since I’ve retired my goal is to hit the range weekly instead of whenever. I’m learning my irons and it’s good. Really good.

  2. Roger says:

    Guissele triggers are the preeminent choice of match competitors and others using the AR platform for more serious work.
    They’re not cheap but they are worth every penny.

  3. Tsquared says:

    I will pass on the Geissele SSA. I used one for a few years in my Bushmaster and it wore out and became a sloppy single stage. I shot about 6k rounds with the Geissele before it went south and I got fed up with it. When I pulled the trigger out there was a lot of wear on the lug at the bottom of the hammer. There was also a lot of wear on the on the hammer where the release pawl on the first stage hits. The hammer seemed to be of a softer metal – everything else looked fine.

    I am running a SabreTrigger drop in single stage now on all of the AR’s. It is less than half the price and I like it better.

  4. Good advice, if you’re into buying and installing upgrades. Or, you can purchase a factory gun that comes with some or all of the features described. Many of the 3-gun competition models as well as DMR models come fully equipped.

  5. H says:

    I can only describe my own experiences with Geissele triggers. I have two of their NM 2-stage units, one of which has well over 10,000 rounds thru it and the other not quite 4,000 and both are as solid as when first installed. And most of the guys I shoot with regularly also run Geissele and wouldn’t run anything else.

    I would advise anyone whose experience runs counter to that to get hold of Geissele to discuss the situation. Something is abnormal.

  6. brad says:

    Hiperfire’s Competition triggers (there’s a coupe of them), are outstanding. They’re not cheap, but they’re not ridicules either.

    I’ve tried (and still use) several after-market triggers, Timmy, Geissele, Golden, etc., and they are all excellent. However, Hiperfire’s (Competition) triggers are a new concept/design that truly stands alone.

    Try one and I guarantee you’ll agree 100%.

  7. Sanders says:

    I guess I’m one of the only screwballs who is happy with the mil-spec trigger setup? Polishing the contact surfaces is about all I do to them. I don’t shoot competitions or long range precision stuff with my AR’s, either. I’m sure that makes a difference in preference.

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