9 Best AR-15 Mods Reviews by GunsNFreedom

OUR TOP CHOICE: Franklin Armory BFSIII AR-C1

The Franklin Armory BFSIII AR-C1, also known as the Binary Firing System, is one of the best AR-15 lower mods and this editor’s choice. Simple to install, the BFS enables you to fire 2 shots with each pull of the trigger — one when you squeeze the trigger and another on reset as you release it — significantly increasing your rate of fire.

The AR-15 is one of the most modular and versatile weapons platforms ever developed. When you buy or build an AR-15, you can simply swap that part or assembly out for another if there’s anything that you don’t like about it. The online and print catalogs contain thousands of options to suit every need, want, and specialization. 

Not a fan of the mil-spec trigger? You can choose one that breaks like a glass rod or more efficiently facilitates rapid fire. Would you prefer a side-mounted charging handle? No problem.

In this review, we’ll list some of the best AR-15 mods to see which ones appeal to you most.

9 Best AR-15 Mods Reviews by GunsNFreedom

Editor’s Choice: Franklin Armory BFSIII AR-C1

The BFS delivers the fast follow-up shots you need in 3-Gun matches, tactical training scenarios, or real-world gunfights, adjustable using a 3-position selector. Buy the Binary Firing System and see how fast you can empty a magazine. 

Top 9 Best AR-15 Mods Reviews

This mod is the latest attempt to increase the effective firing rate of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The novel Franklin Armory BFSIII AR-C1 Binary Firing System delivers faster follow-up shots and more firepower to the tactical or competitive target shooter.  

In a standard semi-automatic-only AR-15 trigger mechanism, squeezing the trigger once fires one shot. To fire a second shot, you must relieve pressure from the trigger, allowing it to reset, and squeeze the trigger again. 

In the Binary Firing System, you have three selector settings to choose from: Safe, Semi, and Binary. When the selector lever is rotated to the “Binary” position, the rifle fires 1 round on trigger squeeze and 1 round on trigger reset. This immediately doubles your rate of fire

Fired one round and don’t want to fire another on reset? While keeping the trigger depressed, simply rotate the selector lever from “Binary” to “Semi” or “Safe” to cancel the second shot. 

The BFSIII is a drop-in modification that is mil-spec compatible.

Who Should Get This? 

Consider getting this mod if you want to double the firing rate of your semi-automatic AR-15, increasing your firepower and allowing for faster follow-up shots.

Whether you’ve bought an AR-15 rifle, and are seeking to modify it, or are building one from the ground up, the Bravo Company MFG Gunfighter AR-15 Enhanced Lower Parts Kit is an immediate improvement that’s worth your money. 

BCM’s lower parts kit comes equipped with its PNT (Polished Nickel Teflon) Trigger Assembly, providing you with a light, crisp, and creep-free trigger break. The electroless nickel plating, embedded with Teflon, combined with machine-ground engagement surfaces, which are then polished by hand, ensure the smoothest possible function. 

The reduced-angle, and hand-filling, Grip Mod 3 is an ergonomic pistol grip that contains a gasketed storage compartment to keep accessories, such as spare ammunition or batteries, dry and available at a moment’s notice. 

Ergonomically contoured and large enough to accommodate tactical and winter gloves, the Enhanced Trigger Guard, made from impact-resistant polymer, is also compatible with duck-billed pistol grips.

The BCM AR-15 Enhanced Lower Parts Kit includes the bolt and magazine catches, selector lever, and all associated detents, pins, and springs to complete your lower receiver.

Who Should Get This? 

You should consider getting this kit if you’re either an AR-15 builder who simply won’t settle for second best or if your current rifle simply deserves the best.

The standard T-shaped AR-15 charging handle isn’t for everyone. If you’d prefer to turn your rifle into a side charger and want a non-reciprocating charging handle that is readily accessible via the support hand, the Devil Dog Concepts Hard Charger may be the mod you’re looking for. Attaching to your MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail, the HC comes with everything you need to replace the traditional AR-15 handle. 

Unlike the mil-spec handle, the Hard Charger allows you to use the environment to manually cycle your weapon — for example, by pressing the handle against a door frame, your belt, the mouth of your holster, or a car window. This can be useful during emergency self-defense or tactical scenarios, especially if your support hand becomes injured or otherwise unavailable.

You’ll also be pleased to know that the Hard Charger does not require any special tools to install or remove, and field stripping is the same as always. 

Who Should Get This? 

You should get this mod if you’ve ever found that you have difficulties with the standard AR-15 charging handle or would simply prefer a different take on AR-15 charging. 

Barrel shrouds protect the barrel. It’s as simple as that. But what if we combined it with the functionality of a muzzle brake? Guntec USA answered that question with its AR-15 Slip Over Barrel Shroud w/Multi Port Muzzle Brake

With a series of circumferential exhaust ports, which Guntec USA calls “Gatling Gun” style, the Multi Port Muzzle Brake vents expanding gases in several directions. This reduces the rearward recoil force and muzzle climb, ensuring that you remain on target during sustained rapid fire. According to Guntec USA, the Multi Port Muzzle Brake reduces recoil by up to 70%.

Made from T6 aluminum, the Multi Port Muzzle Brake is available in several decoratively anodized colors, in addition to black, such as red, blue, and purple, making it perfect for people who want to personalize their AR-15 rifle fully. As a barrel shroud, it can also double as a mock suppressor due to its sleek cylindrical exterior, length, and added weight. 

Who Should Get This? 

You should get this mod if you would like the combined functionality of a barrel shroud and muzzle brake but can’t decide which one is the priority. 

When modifying your rifle, a handguard with a rail/attachment system is an obvious choice. It allows you to take real advantage of the AR-15 platform’s modularity.

Regardless of whether you need a carbine- or rifle-length handguard, ODIN Works has the solutionthe O2 Lite Free Float M-LOK Forend. Made from rugged 6005-T651 aluminum alloy and skeletonized to reduce weight further, the forend weighs only 3.95–7 oz., depending on the variant. Shipping with 1 accessory rail and accommodating rails at the 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions, the forend is also M-LOK-compatible for added customizability. 

Sufficiently spacious to permit the attachment of a sound suppressor, barrel shroud, or linear compensator, the ODIN Works forend works best with a low-profile gas block. To keep the barrel’s disturbance to a minimum during firing, an essential characteristic for maintaining accuracy, the handguard is also free-floating

The ODIN Works forend is available in either black or flat dark earth

Who Should Get This? 

You should get this mod if you’re a competitive shooter who counts every ounce and needs both the customizability of an M-LOK handguard and the accuracy of a free-floating barrel

If you live in California, you already know that owning firearms, especially so-called assault weapons, is an exercise in navigating bureaucracy. Thanks to Juggernaut Tactical, if you want to own an AR-15-pattern rifle in California but don’t want to register it, render it “featureless,” or install a bullet button, you don’t have to. Juggernaut’s solution is a novel take on the “fixed magazine” alternative. 

As part of the Magazine Locking Kit, a quick-release button replaces the standard rear takedown pin. When a typically detachable USGI/STANAG 5.56mm magazine is inserted, it is locked in place by the special bolt catch, and the magazine release is deactivated. After you’ve emptied the magazine, hitting the quick-release button located above the selector lever separates the upper receiver from the lower. This both disables the weapon and allows the magazine to be released and removed. 

Once the empty magazine is replaced with a loaded one, simply close the 2 receivers to re-engage the new takedown pin. Your rifle is now ready to be fired again. 

Who Should Get This? 

You should get this mod if you’re a California resident and don’t want to register your AR-15, render it featureless, or install a bullet button. 

Modifications that allow you to see in the dark or more efficiently acquire your target are always worthwhile. Crimson Trace has combined the 2 — a 300-lumen LED weapon light and a 5mW green laser (532-nm wavelength) — into the wireless LiNQ Green Laser Sight and Tactical Light

While the laser/light module can be activated manually, it’s the remote functionality that sells this for me. Using the dedicated LiNQ battery-powered pistol grip, which replaces the standard one, you can activate the laser/light module wirelessly, cycling through 4 modes. These are laser and light, laser only, light only, and laser and strobing light. The latter mode can be useful for dazzling/disorienting an assailant.

This relatively lightweight (4 oz.) and compact package is contained in a water-resistant aluminum housing. The laser/light module is powered by one CR123A battery. The pistol grip requires its own CR2 battery. If the pistol grip’s battery runs down, the module also has tactile buttons for manual operation.

The LiNQ comes with hex/Allen keys for easy installation.

Who Should Get This? 

You should consider getting this mod if you want a laser/light combination but prefer the wireless functionality provided by the Crimson Trace LiNQ.

Angled iron sights on an AR-15 rifle offer several advantages to the tactical or competitive shooter. Some scenarios may render your primary optic magnified, and you need to switch between close- and long-range targets quickly. In other scenarios, your primary optic may be damaged. In both cases, you can simply cant the rifle to one side by rotating your wrists, re-acquire your target, and continue shooting. 

That’s where the Surefire Rapid Transition Sights DD-RTS-SET, offset at 45° from the centerline, comes in handy. The Rapid Transition Sights are made from 7075 aluminum, mil-spec hard-coat anodized for added durability, and have a combined weight of only 4.5 oz. 

The sights are adjustable for both windage and elevation in 1.5-MOA (minute-of-angle) increments, and the rear sight has 2 differently sized apertures to choose from.

The Rapid Transition Sights attach securely to MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails and are also available in a tritium variant for low-light shooting. 

Who Should Get This? 

Consider getting this mod if you need a set of offset back-up iron sights to switch to from your magnified or damaged primary optical sight.

If the noise produced by the buffer spring assembly as it reciprocates inside the buffer tube during firing bothers you, or you simply want a quiet rifle action, the JP Enterprises Gen 2 Silent Captured Buffer Spring System is the mod for you. 

JP’s buffer spring assembly minimizes friction, eliminating the “twang” or metallic whine that so many shooters find grating. This is accomplished, in part, because the spring never contacts the inside diameter of the buffer tube, relying on an aluminum guide rod instead.

A self-contained unit, the buffer spring is polished to a precise finish to keep the movement slick, ensuring smooth operation. Heavier masses and more buffering weight reduces the likelihood of bolt bounce. However, if you need to custom-tune the buffer spring, it can be removed from the assembly. 

Compatible with carbine- and rifle-length operating systems, the AR-15 version works, according to JP Enterprises, in every gas-operated AR-15 variant, irrespective of caliber.

Who Should Get This? 

You should consider getting this mod if you’re fed up with the rough-sounding buffer spring “twang” of your AR-15 and want a quiet and smooth-cycling rifle.

Best AR-15 Mods Overall

The best AR-15 mod overall is the easily installed Franklin Armory BFSIII AR-C1 Trigger Binary Firing System. By firing one round as the trigger is squeezed and another as it resets, this modification allows you to fire 2 shots per trigger pull — significantly increasing your follow-up-shot speed. 

This can be especially useful to the competitive shooter. Whether you choose the “Semi” or “Binary” setting on the 3-position selector, the BFS trigger breaks at a light, crisp 4.5 lbs

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