AR15.Com Archives
 First AR-15, best/must have upgrades on a budget?
PatrickBatem4n  [Member]
9/3/2011 2:37:29 AM
So I just purchased my first AR- M&P 15R. I got it for pretty cheap and this is my first entry into AR land and I don't want to spend an absurd amount of money upgrading this thing but would like to add a little performance and comfort. What would be your first choices if you could spend around $150? The only thing I'm sure I would like to change is the stock hand guard, anything else I should look at and what are some upgrades that offer a good value in terms of what they offer vs price?
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silentblades  [Member]
9/3/2011 2:38:16 AM
Do you have optics already for it? The first thing I had on my DPMS was a red dot..I went with a Vortex strikefire...was a pretty decent optic...I have since upgraded but meh...
isa268  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 2:48:36 AM
ammo.
silentblades  [Member]
9/3/2011 2:49:01 AM
Well there is that lol
balloo93  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 2:56:02 AM
Originally Posted By PatrickBatem4n:
So I just purchased my first AR- M&P 15R. I got it for pretty cheap and this is my first entry into AR land and I don't want to spend an absurd amount of money upgrading this thing but would like to add a little performance and comfort. What would be your first choices if you could spend around $150? The only thing I'm sure I would like to change is the stock hand guard, anything else I should look at and what are some upgrades that offer a good value in terms of what they offer vs price?


Ammo and a sling. Do not rush into any cheap items. Buy what you need and that's a good quality sling and lots of ammo to shoot.
gqllc  [Member]
9/3/2011 7:43:23 AM
What are you using the gun for? Plinking? Range fun? Accuracy? If accuracy then a better trigger! Drop in Giessle SSA-E is an excellent upgrade but it is closer to 190-199. Otherwise ammo would be a great idea!
Covertness  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 7:49:16 AM
Agreed. $150 on ammo and range time / training. Learn proficiency then you'll know what you need and what you want. Don't buy cheap crap for your weapon friend.
gotigers  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 7:53:46 AM
Originally Posted By balloo93:
Originally Posted By PatrickBatem4n:
So I just purchased my first AR- M&P 15R. I got it for pretty cheap and this is my first entry into AR land and I don't want to spend an absurd amount of money upgrading this thing but would like to add a little performance and comfort. What would be your first choices if you could spend around $150? The only thing I'm sure I would like to change is the stock hand guard, anything else I should look at and what are some upgrades that offer a good value in terms of what they offer vs price?


Ammo and a sling. Do not rush into any cheap items. Buy what you need and that's a good quality sling and lots of ammo to shoot.


This
Pacodutaco  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 8:26:54 AM
Ammo, targets and the time to practice with your rifle.
cjscore  [Member]
9/3/2011 8:35:04 AM
Another vote for Ammo. Shoot the hell out of it.
ruger556boy  [Member]
9/3/2011 10:22:22 AM
Ammo, sling and Magpul BAD lever. Get some range time in to get a feel then get mods that you think are apporpiate.
cheapsandwich  [Member]
9/3/2011 11:16:15 AM
I have a M&P, their hand guard is a little weird. A magpul forearm is a good cheap upgrade,if it makes it more comfortable for you. Better it feels, Better you should shoot.
Before you put an optic on there, learn to use your irons ( I'd bet it's safe to say that a lot of the go fast clones that put a high dollar red dot on there dont know how to use irons)
And after your proficient with irons , then add a optic. Vortex makes a good optic priced well with a great warranty.
epsgunner  [Member]
9/3/2011 11:30:12 AM
I'm running a Primary Arms M3 red dot on a Cant type mount.. well WORTH it..



I had 2 other red dots and pondered several more before buying the Primary Arms.. (even the Aimpoint Pro for $400..)

I shoot PAPER at 25-200 yards and am VERY HAPPY..

then get AMMO and just shoot it till you become VERY proficent..

I had done the Cheap UTG Quad rail 1st on my old DPMS Upper.. and when I switched to the PSA upper I decided to upgrade that to a Troy MRF 10" though I have no use for it as of now, except for the front MBUS sight..

Shooting with Irons and a Red Dot would be beneficial to most shooters.. I shoot every 2 weeks..
jon_7687  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 11:33:13 AM
I'll vote for ammo and a good sling.

I've had an M&P15 for about 4 years now and its been flawless. I switched my stock out to a magpul MOE and added a single point sling attachment. It came with Troy drop in battlerail thats great if you want to add a light at some point.
skcusloa  [Member]
9/3/2011 11:56:59 AM
Ammo, sling, and steel targets.
devinsdad  [Member]
9/3/2011 1:32:42 PM
Leave all the silly accessories (BAD lever, handguards, slings, lights, optics) till later on. You mentioned comfort, what don't you like? You can swap out the grip on the cheap. Hows the stock to you? I think the standard collapsable stock on AR's suck, but the snap-on side saddle supports (or whatever they're called) work and feel pretty good. This is your first AR, go to the range and learn how to shoot it and work iron sights. There is pleanty of time to add things later. Ask to try others rifles at the range and see what you like and don't like. You'll find most folks love to brag and let others look and try out their rifle. One last thing, don't try to get as much as you can for $150. You'll end up with a bucket of garbage. Take your time, save for what's needed and go from there.
Lancelot  [Moderator]
9/3/2011 1:36:05 PM
Magazines
Ammo
Sling
Light
Training
Repeat all often
LA_357SIG  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 1:37:35 PM
Magpul MOE handguard and grip. (or just dremmel off the A2 finger groove)

Just curious, but why did you get a 5.45x39 as a first AR-15? Because you got it cheap?
Jonnysixguns  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 1:41:22 PM
Depends on what you want to use the rifle for...

Fun and plinking: Use a belt sander or carving knife to remove that annoying ridge from your standard A2 grip. Or buy an A1 grip for $6 (or less!) at a gun show. I love the regular handguard and haven't owned/used the alternatives to recommend them. A good two stage trigger (RRA and Armalite) will help you shoot better if you don't just yank the trigger. I am not a fan of glass so I can't comment.

Utility: Sling and a light. www.gggaz.com has solutions for regular people who want lights on their AR's. We can't all justify a 400$ flashlight (that's 1000 practice rounds). Two point slings are hip (I have a three point sling that works fine enough) and we have a forum dedicated to them with lots of first hand experience. If it's a defense weapon, learn to sling up fast and in the dark. A sling you don't truly know can be a burden and liability.
Russ68  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 1:53:10 PM
Originally Posted By isa268:
ammo.


This is the best answer.
RyanH  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 1:55:53 PM
Ammo, a good sling, and a light. In that order.
C_1  [Member]
9/3/2011 2:46:48 PM
Ammo, mags, and a sling.
therealcarbine15  [Member]
9/3/2011 2:59:52 PM
since everyone has covered ammo (duh). I'll say a good trigger. I like the 2 stage RRA triggers. For the money they can't be beat for tightening up your groups and improving the feel of your AR in action.
boarklr  [Team Member]
9/3/2011 3:17:17 PM
Originally Posted By balloo93:
Originally Posted By PatrickBatem4n:
So I just purchased my first AR- M&P 15R. I got it for pretty cheap and this is my first entry into AR land and I don't want to spend an absurd amount of money upgrading this thing but would like to add a little performance and comfort. What would be your first choices if you could spend around $150? The only thing I'm sure I would like to change is the stock hand guard, anything else I should look at and what are some upgrades that offer a good value in terms of what they offer vs price?


Ammo and a sling. Do not rush into any cheap items. Buy what you need and that's a good quality sling and lots of ammo to shoot.


+1 and mags
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