A new AR is essentially a blank slate. If you want it for tactical use, a light, laser, and red dot sight may be in your future. If your AR is destined for varmints or deer, elk, or antelope, a sling, bipod, and scope will be standard fare. Maybe your new AR will reach out to targets on the 1,000 line with a premium scope and benchrest accessories. Whatever your next AR is destined to be, the right accessories define the Modern Sporting Rifle.
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When something goes wrong and the rifle won’t fire, the first question should always be, “What changed?” Before answering that, we have to determine—or at least I determine—whether we’re talking about a “fresh” rifle going through its shakedown period, or a (previously) trusted gun that’s suddenly decided to stop running. If it’s the first scenario, there’s a longer list of possibilities that include original parts, conditions, and installation quality. This article will focus on the previously-functioning rifle that’s taken a vacation from operation.