One of the things I love about the AR-15 is its modularity. The fact that one gun can have so many different configurations is just awesome. Many AR-15 owners, including myself, will have multiple different uppers configured for a specific purpose or style that can be swapped out on the fly. I personally only keep a few lowers built at any given time but have many upper configurations available ranging from a few really light weight to a few beefier with a quad rail, plus 5.56 and 300 Blackout. The upper in the picture below is one I built as a lightweight setup while still giving me the longer extension of a 15″ rail. I’ve not had this one for super long but it shoots super smooth and I don’t see myself changing anything on it anytime soon. If you’re interested, check out the details of this build below. You can click on the images below to enlarge them.
1. GoGun USA SuperComp NoTalon XL: Sometimes function and beauty just don’t go together. That is the case with the SuperComp NoTalon XL. I can’t say it’s the coolest looking muzzle brake in the world but it definitely performs like a superstar. I’ve been using a couple of their older versions for the past few years and I’ve been very satisfied with their performance in recoil reduction and muzzle control. The new XL version is a bit longer because they’ve added an extra set of ports towards the end of the muzzle which seems to have really fine tuned it. There’s not too much you can say about a brake but I do think its the reason this upper is such a smooth shooter. I purchase most of my stuff but this particular brake was given to me by Dr. Chet at GoGun USA. You can purchase one for yourself at their online store.
2. Elzetta Design ZFL-M60 light: The Elzetta ZFL-M60 is a light I’ve been drooling over for quite some time now and now that I have one I can’t put it down. It’s by far the nicest flashlight I’ve ever owned. There are so many configurations to pick from but mine has the High/Strobe tail cap. You can purchase the other tail caps if you want to be able to switch it around. I started wanting one of these back when I first saw a video that Ares Armor did where they were trying to kill one and couldn’t (watch the video here). They finally had to shoot it with a shotgun to make it stop running. Meanwhile the SureFire had already bitten the dust. If you need a flashlight that will not fail you, this is the one. RainierArms.com has them in-stock and at a slightly discounted price right now. While you’re there you can pick up one of these awesome “Just Shoot It” pvc patches too.
3. Haley Strategic Partners Thorntail SBR Light Mount: There are a ton of good quality light mounts available on the market today but not many offer the versatility and affordability as the HSP Thorntail which is manufactured in Colorado by Impact Weapon Components. The upper in the picture above is a 16″ barrel with a 15″ rail so I decided to set this one up with the SBR version of the Thorntail which has a shorter arm. This keeps the mount forward on the rail without extending the light too far forward right into the blast of the muzzle. There are so many different configurations available for the Thorntail that you’d be hard pressed to find a flashlight that you couldn’t use with it. The HSP Thorntail is available for purchase at ImpactWeaponsComponents.com. Don’t forget to use the code “AR15NEWS” at checkout to save yourself 5% off your order.
4. Magpul Rail Vertical Grip (RVG): I wish I had some crazy great story about this grip…but I don’t. Vertical grips are pretty boring. I can tell you that it’s lightweight which is why I chose it for this build. Its not my favorite Vertical Grip of all time (that would be my Gear Sector Vert Grip) but it works just as good and you can’t argue with the cost. Again, I will tell you to buy it where I purchased mine, which is from ImpactWeaponsComponents.com. Don’t forget to use the code “AR15NEWS” at checkout to save yourself 5% off your order.
5. Impact Weapons Components 45 Offset QD Sling Mount: The one and only issue I had with the rail I used for this build was that it didn’t come with any QD attachment points. I typically use a single-point sling but there are always those situations where you need a 2-point sling so I like to keep my options open. To solve this issue I installed one of the new 45 degree offset QD Sling Mounts from Impact Weapons Components. (I think you can see they are one of my favorites) It’s very low profile and can be installed anywhere on a 1913 picatiny rail. I mounted mine almost half way up the top section of the rail. This keeps it out of the way of my hand but close enough that its easy to use. As with all products on IWC’s website, if you use the code “AR15NEWS” at checkout you’ll save 5%.
6. 556 Tactical Evolution Modular Rail: Last but not least is what really makes this a lightweight build. The 556 Tactical Evolution modular rail is a more aggressive looking version of the very popular Samson Evolution rail. By ditching the standard quadrail and going with the Evolution I was able to have a much lighter 15″ rail than what I have on any of my other guns. The modularity of it though made it so I didn’t miss out on anything. I have rail sections that I can bolt on any place I need them and keep a smooth surface where I don’t. It mounts up solid and installs on a standard AR-15 barrel nut in just a few minutes. If you are looking for an awesome looking rail that is gives you high quality, strength and modularity and not break the bank this is a great option. Check them out at 556Tactical.com.
**Other notable items in this picture are a Shellback Tactical Banshee Plate Carrier (absolutely awesome PC by the way) and Line of Fire Tactical Gloves. There are some TROY Industries BUIS but you can’t see them.