Cost Versus Quality: Choosing the Best AR Accessories – Part 2

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” When it comes to kitting out your AR 15, finding what looks like an amazing deal on a part or accessory could easily be an excellent find. Of course, if you’re replacing that component a month or two down the line, that amazing deal becomes a lot less awesome. When it comes to choosing the best AR accessories and parts, the basic considerations of cost and fit are often the only elements AR owners consider. But, there are a wealth of options out there, so wading through the array of options can be burdensome and overwhelming. In order to find a better balance between cost and quality as you hunt through the custom AR parts and accessories out there, there are a few questions to take into consideration. Be sure to check back for part one of this blog series for the first few questions to consider, including cost and function.

 

A Brief Recap

Cost

First, a clarification: when we talk about cost, we’re talking about more than just the price tag on a part. After all, the price of a component or accessory only counts for so much if you have to replace it after firing a few hundred rounds or a few months has passed. When considering cost, you’ll also want to look at how well-made it is and how long it is likely to last. Paying a bit more for a part that is made to last could actually save you money in the long run.

 

Function

When looking at parts to purchase, the first quality to consider is function. By this, we mean moving beyond just what it does and factoring in what you want that part to do for you. This will vary a lot based on your primary intended usage. For example, someone who uses their AR for competition shooting will likely want a different grip option than someone who keeps theirs for home defense or hunting. In order to help narrow down your options, take the time to figure out what you’re expecting that part to do for you.

 

Further Questions to Consider

Materials

Another key component to consider is what that part or accessory is made from. With so many AR 15 parts manufacturers out there, constantly working to improve upon what’s available, there are myriad options out there for pretty much every piece of an AR. When looking at a given part, you’ll want to check into what it is made from, as well as how it is made, as both aspects can have a big impact on how durable a component will be. Whether a part like a carrier group is machined versus forged versus cast can affect things like how smoothly it fits and how long it will last through heavy use. If you’ve been experiencing issues with jamming or misfires, replacing the part at fault with a better crafted piece can help stop those issues. Also, keep in mind that a part being mil-spec doesn’t necessarily make it the best. Innovations with newer materials and techniques can provide options that are lighter and more durable. See back to the previous quality and figure out what you need that part to do.

Weight

When a part only weighs a few ounces, the weight probably doesn’t seem like it matters much. But when you add all of those ounces and pounds together, your firearm can get pretty weighty pretty quickly. If you’re sticking primarily to range time, weight might not be as big of a factor to you, but if you’re hunting, or if you and your spouse share your AR for home defense, the weight might become more important. Secondarily, you’ll want to keep in mind the distribution of weight and how that may affect balance, especially in regard to any accessories you attach to the forend, like a grip.

 

Once you’ve weighed all the factors and figured out what will work best for your purposes, it will be easier to search out the best AR accessories and parts, and to find the right balance between cost and quality. Whether you’re looking for an upper parts kit or other AR 15 accessories, Bootleg, Inc. can help. Learn more about our specially designed products and shop online!

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