October 2013

Outfitting Your Rifle: We Try Triggers, Stocks, and Magazines

There is no way we can cover all the many accessories for the popular AR-15. But we can review a select few from Magpul, Timney, and Geissele that improve your rifle in crucial areas.

In the September 2013 issue we tested three of the AR-15 rifle types, and found some limitations among them. For example, we replaced the horrid trigger in the Bushmaster Carbon-15 with one of the excellent Geissele (pronounced GUYS-lee) SSA-E triggers. That trigger was such a revelation we immediately wanted to replace the triggers in the other two with the aftermarket ones on hand, but waited until now to try them.

We had on hand a Timney 668-S trigger that was supposed to give a 3-pound break. We had another Geissele trigger, the Hi-Speed National Match, to try. Besides triggers, we had two different types of butt stocks by Magpul. These were the easily-changed MOE, a mil-spec item that gives you several benefits; and the UBR stock, which requires some gunsmithing to install because you have to replace the original stock extension with Magpul’s.

We also had other items from Magpul that we were glad to see. These were an add-on set of “iron” sights that were designed to clamp onto Picatinny rails. We had a front and rear, the so-called MBUS set, but none of our rifles had a forward rail, so we could not try the front sight. Two of the rifles had forward sights, and we were thus able to test the aperture rear sight on them.

We had a final item, which some shooters seem to like a whole lot. That’s the costly Slide Fire mechanism, which permits rapid-fire shooting of any of the AR-type rifles. With all these parts in front of us, we got busy with the original three AR-15s, which were the Rock River Arms LAR-15, the ArmaLite M15, and the Bushmaster Carbon-15. Rather than try all the parts on all the rifles, we put them where they seemed most appropriate, or as in the case of one of the stocks, the only place they’d fit. Here’s what we found.

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