Any AR can be converted into a great hunting AR-15 with a few well-chosen rifle accessories. But, if you own an AR-15 you already know that there is a seemingly-endless amount of options available. It can be overwhelming to figure out what you actually need. If your goal is to configure a hunting AR-15, hopefully this rundown of the accessories I’ve chosen for my own hunting AR-15 rifle and why they work for me will help you narrow down the accessories you need.
Rifle – DPMS
I bought this rifle before I decided to use it for hunting. Originally, I only planned to use it for plinking and self defense. I hunt in Northeast Wisconsin where rifles were only recently allowed for deer hunting. (Wisconsin first allowed rifles statewide this year.) Essentially, I started out with a basic AR-15 and turned it into a great hunting rifle rather.
Rail – Midwest Industries
I installed a Midwest Industries tactical handguard on my DPMS to maximize the picatinny rail space. I did this to maximize my options for sights/scopes and other accessories.
Sights – EOTech Holographic Sight
I chose an EOtech holographic sight for a few different reasons. I wanted a sight that I could use interchangeably for hunting, plinking, or self defense. A telescopic sight wouldn’t be well suited to self defense use, considering self defense use would likely be within close quarters. I hunt on the edge of a wood and overlooking a farm field, so most of my shooting lanes inside the woods are no more than 100 yards deep. I’m not looking to take a shot at a deer more than 150 yards in the field with a .223 round, so the long range limitations of an EOtech doesn’t negatively impact me. Another aspect about EOtech sights that works for my hunting needs is that they are mil-spec quality. I figure, if they hold up to the standards of durability, reliability, and accuracy that the military requires, then it should hold up in nasty Wisconsin weather and general hunting use for me.
Foregrip/Bi-Pod – Grip Pod
The Grip Pod is one of my favorite accessories. A Grip Pod is a combo foregrip and bipod. I have wooden platforms attached to the ledges of my deer stand where I rest the bipod while taking a shot. I use the foregrip while plinking, namely to improve my stability while taking free-standing shots. The foregrip also comes in handy while driving deer while walking, should I have the opportunity to take a shot.
I have a hollow pistol grip with a compartment to store extra batteries or rounds of ammo. It has a rubber finish on it for a more responsive grip than smooth stock plastic grip that came on my DPMS.
Magazine – 10 Round
A low capacity 10 round magazine works well for me when hunting because it has a lower profile (that is, is protrudes less) than a standard capacity magazine. I’ve found that 10 rounds is generally sufficient for my deer hunting.
Butt Stock – Adjustable
Many hunting AR-15 rifles have fixed stocks, but I prefer an adjustable stock for hunting. Fixed stocks are more popular for hunters because they are said to improve accuracy based on the fact that they don’t move. Although the theory makes sense to me, in my own experience, I’ve noted that fixed stocks don’t make a huge amount of difference in my accuracy. I just use the adjustable stock that came installed on my rifle. Wisconsin weather is unpredictable. From one week to the next, the temperature may change 20°. Using an adjustable stock allows me to keep a consistent length of pull, regardless of how many layers of clothing I’m wearing.
There are plenty more options out there to customize your hunting AR-15, but these particular rifle accessories have made all the difference in converting my standard AR into an ideal hunting tool. What gear would you want for your hunting AR-15 build?