Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s In 1962 Remington introduced the Model 700 to the shooting public. It quickly became a hit with its Monte Carlo cheekpiece, sharp checkering, deep bluing, and incredible out-of-the-box accuracy. The Model 700 has since been produced in just about every imaginable configuration and 700 actions are often the basis for many custom rifle builds. (top) Model 700 in .308 Win wearing a custom stock with cheek riser and spacer for a longer length of pull, (bottom) O riginal high-gloss walnut stock with cut checkering and ebony forend piece. Check out Best Remington 700 Models for an in-depth look a the models available. In 2012 when the Model 700 celebrated its 50th Anniversary , over 5 million rifles had been produced at that time. Now, seven years later, sales are still brisk and the 700 just keep growing in popularity. Even though the Model 700 is such an accurate and versatile platform…there’s still ways to make it better . Let’s take a look some of the best options for stocks to help you create the perfect Model 700 for you…from competition to tactical or hunting. Best Remington 700 Stocks Hunting Stocks The Model 700 started off as a hunting rifle and has a huge following among hunters for everything from prairie dogs to Cape Buffalo. However, that beautiful BDL stock is hard for some folks to drag through the willows of coastal Alaska, or bounce around in the back of a dusty safari truck in Africa. For those looking to preserve their beautiful high-gloss factory stock, there are lots of options to consider. 1. Hogue Sporter Stocks Hogue offers a great drop-in option in their OverMolded line. These stocks are durable and help maintain that famous Model 700 accuracy with a choice of pillar bedding or a full bedding block . Hogue Remington 700 Stock 130 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 130 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing You also will find options for standard barrels, heavy barrels, short or long actions and new option cut for use with removable magazines. The OverMolded™ rubber texture provides a great grip and keeps the gun quiet when stalking that trophy of a lifetime. 2. Magpul Hunter Stock – Adjustable Magpul offers a bunch of options for the hunter who wants to have some tactical accessory options available. This stock is a true drop-in with an aluminum bedding block. The stock is adjustable for length of pull and comb height. BEST BANG-FOR-THE-BUCK Magpul Rem 700 Hunter Stock 245 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 245 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing In addition, the stock will accept M-LOK accessories if desired. For those wanting to use a removable magazine, a Bolt Action Magazine Well kit is available for all action lengths. 3. McMillan Remington Hunter McMillan is synonymous with quality and innovation. The Hunter stock has a Monte Carlo cheek piece and a small palm swell. It weighs only two pounds and is available in over 20 different color schemes. McMillan Remington Hunter You can order the stock with no inletting, semi-inlet or full inlet options. This is only one of half a dozen McMillan stocks you could choose for your hunting rifle. 4. HS Precision Sporter Stock HS Precision is known for its excellent rifles, but part of the reason they shoot so well is that they are mated to hand-laminated stocks with machined aluminum bedding blocks. These stocks will ensure your rifle maintains zero regardless of the weather you encounter. H-S Precision Rem 700 Stock 390 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 390 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Available in short and long action models as well as those with blind or hinged floorplates. Tactical Stocks 5. Modular Driven Technologies – Tac 21 SA Stock Chassis This aluminum chassis locks your 700 action in v-shaped bedding block and aligns your bore and buttstock in a straight line to help control recoil, much like the AR platform. The chassis is built to be compatible with AR furniture and hardware so you will have a familiar platform to work. MDT Tac 21 Chassis 680 at MDT Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 680 at MDT Compare prices (2 found) MDT (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing You will need to add a buttstock, pistol grip and forearm of your choice to complete your rifle. We have some experience with MDT chassis and can highly recommend them. Our Howa 1500 in the MDT ESS shot 1/5th MOA! What’s your take on the MDT? Readers' Ratings 4.94/5 (197) Your Rating? 6. Bell and Carlson Adjustable Stock This is a full-featured stock that could be used in the tactical and competition worlds. It has an adjustable length of pull, cheek piece and the butt plate can be adjusted for left or right cant. Best Competition Stock Bell & Carlson R700 Stock 490 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 490 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing The action is mated to an aluminum pillar bedding system and there is a full-length dovetailed rail in the forearm for accessories like bipods and tripod plates. Competition Stocks With the growing interest in PRS (Precision Rifle Series) matches and long-range shooting in general, there are a lot of new stocks being introduced to help shooters overcome the barricades and field shooting challenges that each match presents. A person could certainly do well with any of the stocks we’ve already looked at, but the specialty stocks in the competition world are what drive our improved choices in the hunting world. Let’s take a look at a few options. 7. Manners PRS1 In a survey of the top 100 PRS shooters in 2014, 2015, and 2016 Manners stocks come out on top as far as the stock used by the top shooters. The PRS1 was specifically designed for PRS format competition with an adjustable cheek piece and a hook on the buttstock to allow precise control of the rifle. The forearm is wide and flat to help with shooting off barricades. Manners PRS-1 The Manners stocks are hand laid carbon and fiberglass so you know you are getting a very precise stock for your competition rifle. The price is a bit steep, but if you’re going to shoot for a Top 100 placing in the PRS Series the $1249 is probably a good investment. 8. MDT ACC Chassis System The ACC (Adjustable Core Competition) Chassis is made especially for PRS type shooting and is designed to allow the shooter to add weight as needed to fine-tune their rifle system. Best Competition Chassis MDT ACC Chassis 999 at MDT Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 999 at MDT Prices accurate at time of writing Weight can be added to the buttstock as well as the interior and exterior forearm. The chassis starts at 5.9 pounds but can be taken all the way up to 12.3 pounds before the barreled action, optics, mounts, and other accessories are added. The stock is M-LOK compatible and has a full-length ARCA rail to accommodate bipods, barricade stops and quick release plates for mounting to tripods. MDT ACC with Howa 1500 Barreled Action A complete review of the MDT ACC combined with a Howa 1500 Action is coming soon, but the early reports from our editor are VERY positive! Final Thoughts The stocks listed above are just scratching the surface of what’s available for the Remington Model 700. Hopefully, this article has given you a glimpse of what is possible for this most excellent rifle platform. All of the stocks are excellent and even the hunting style stocks could be used as entry-level platforms if you want to dip your toes into the competition world. The USMC still employs a large number of Remington 700 series rifles. The 700 is capable of extreme accuracy just as it comes from the factory, but the addition of a composite stock with a pillar bedding system or v-block type system will serve to make your favorite rifle even more consistent and accurate. Tell what you like and use for Model 700’s. We’d love to see your rifle setups and some pictures of the groups you are shooting! Need an optic? Take a look at our 9 Best Long Range Scopes ! Tested "Long Range Scopes"
Advertisment The AR-15 is America’s rifle. There’s nothing else that comes close. Yet it isn’t the terminal ballistics of the 5.56 delivered from a AR-15 that has led to the rifle’s lasting popularity. Instead, it is the gun’s adaptability. And that comes from modularity. If you want a short-barreled rifle for home defense, the AR-15 would be on your short list. If you’re looking for something that can handle longer ranges and is easily carried, the AR is a great choice. Even if you are looking for a long-range tack-driver for knocking off coyotes, there’s an AR-15 caliber for that, too. The gun’s modularity allows for end-users to mix-and-match pieces and components without the aid of a gunsmith. This basic philosophy allowed for units to extend the life of their service rifles, and for some soldiers to make minor customizations to their guns. For the rest of us, the AR-15 can be a blank canvas. For many AR owners, the purpose is key to finding the right rifle. Cost may also play a part. We’re going to be digging deep into the history of the rifle and the current options available for customization. If you want to build an AR, this is a great place to start: the AR-15 caliber. Daily Deals Everyday – Up to 60% Off AR Lowers & Uppers Palmetto State Armory – Bulk Ammo, AR15 Parts, Magazines & More Any history of caliber selection has to begin with the misconception that bigger is better. Back in the days of muzzleloaders, smoothbores shot lead shot or fat balls—some of which were XXX in diameter. These lumbering beasts moved slowly but wreaked havoc with their weight. It is the old—“an object in motion tends to stay in motion” principle. And it worked. These often crushed bones. Soldiers often died from infection, if not from blood loss. In these early days of muzzleloaders, most true rifles were smaller. This may be due to their intended purpose. Rifles, especially in the early days of this country, were meant for hunting. Many of the animals being hunted were small. Think squirrel guns. A small projectile is efficient, easy to carry, and plenty lethal. A solid powder load behind a lighter projectile, when delivered accurately, was just as deadly. This is at the heart of the armed conflicts that defined the early days of the United States. The British, especially, wore kind enough to wear red. They brought muskets to what was—in many instances—a guerilla war. Why are we starting the discussion of the AR-15 caliber spectrum with a long look back? It’s relevant. Stay with me. Everyone involved with the early days of the caliber debate had solid proof that small projectiles moving through rifled barrels worked incredibly well. Even so, the military didn’t really begin to act on this information until the end of the Civil War, and then they were mostly fixated on the rifling and rate of fire. This is understandable. The technology we use to study ballistics was wholly unavailable. For the next 100 years, infantry rifles would be big, heavy, and fire some big bullets. American sportsmen, too, loved the high-powered .30 caliber guns that dominated the first half of the twentieth century. Europeans, though, were seeing the advantage of lighter rounds fired from lighter guns. At the end of World War II, the Russians were poaching German designs and heading off in one direction. The Americans became fixated with what some might say was little more than a mag-fed Garand. The M14 remains a force to be reckoned with. The .308 makes that gun a fantastic option for longer shots, where precision is more important than speed. Yet even as the Garand was phased out and the M14 entered service, the Army was looking for something 100% different. The early designs of Eugene Stoner were not chambered in .223 or 5.56 . The Armalite AR-10 (built in 1955) was, like the M14, a .308. Even as the M14 was coming in, the Army was rethinking the whole concept of the battle rifle. Soldiers needed a lighter gun, but they also needed a round that wasn’t as heavy as the .308. This is, famously, how we’ve arrived at the AR-15 we know and love today. Stoner and his team were asked to scale down the AR-10. The result was adopted as the M16. Enter the 5.56 Any AR-15 caliber considerations for contemporary ARs begin with the decades-old standard: 5.56. The round is light. Bullets are typically in the neighborhood of XX grains, and leave the barrel at 3,000 FPS +/-. Also, standard ar-15 mag holds the 30 rounds, which is reasonably light. You can carry a couple of hundred rounds of 5.56 without any difficulty. This is a distinct advantage for a soldier. What about the .223? The .223 is a round meant for civilian sales and is regulated by SAAMI. The .223 (the term and the round) is often used interchangeably with 5.56. There is a difference, though. The topic is often debated. But you can start here. The .223 wasn’t quite up to the standards the military had set for their new rifle. It was close, though, so the 5.56 round was essentially a .223 with a bit more power. On the outside, they’re all but identical. So can you fire a 5.56 from a rifle chambered in .223? Yes. The fear is that the .223 may not be capable of handling the increased pressure from the hotter round. Some treat this as a good reason to advise caution. The added stress can cause problems, but won’t likely cause critical failure. I personally like the .223. There are hundreds of varieties of ammunition available. Some of it is decently cheap. But when you want high-quality ammo for accuracy, or for hunting, you will have choices. .223 Wylde This is a less common chambering, but one that is intended to bridge the gap between the .223 and the 5.56. Both are welcome. The way the chamber is reamed is meant to ensure that the excess pressure isn’t a problem. It also is designed to increase the accuracy of both types of ammunition. 5.56mm NATO If you really want to run surplus, or 5.56 ammo, you should pick up a 5.56 barrel. These are not known for their incredible accuracy, but they are durable. Again, purpose dictates your parts. A well made 5.56 NATO barrel will last a long time. 7.62 x 39 The Russians began to question the 7.62 x 39 and switched to a lighter round: the 5.45 x XX. The rest of the world, though, wasn’t impressed. They stuck with the 7.62×39. Some of the big companies here in the states have tried to use the round in an AR platform. Rock River did an admiral job. CMMG. There are numerous boutique makers who have experimented with the platform. There are issues with the way the rounds stack in the mags, though, that have—in many cases—caused issues. Stack 30 rounds of 5.56 flat on a flat table, then 30 rounds of 7.62×39 and you’ll see the curve is different. The magwell of an AR-15 lower should be modified to accommodate that curve. Still, nothing beats the 7.62×39 for affordability. And the round has a proven track record. While it isn’t smoking fast, it is a hefty .30 caliber bullet. This is great rapid-fire round for hog hunting and is excellent for training. Check out these manufacturers for AR-15 caliber options: "Palmetto State Armory" , Rock River Arms , CMMG . 300 Blackout 300 Blackout was developed to work on the AR platform. Again, it is a big bullet. Most of them, though, is dialed back to ensure that they stay subsonic. This is, for many, the only choice for a silencer. The downside to 300 is the price. While the component parts have come down in price, the rounds themselves are still reasonably expensive. Since the 300 Blackout upper will work on a standard AR lower, many train with an identical 5.56 upper, and then fine-tune their skills with 300. For 300 parts and rifles, check out Wilson Combat , or Palmetto State Armory . .308 While we’re on the common .30 cal rounds, we can throw in the .308 one more time. Most of the AR-10s in this group are larger than their AR-15 counterparts, but they function the same. The .308 is a favorite of those who want an endless supply of ammo. The platform actually deserves its own breakdown away from the AR-15 category. For classic AR-10s, look to Armalite . .30-06 .308 not big enough for you? Do you want to create an even bigger hole in that hog? The .30-06 is a much less common option, as ARs go, but they’re out there. Some see this as more of a novelty chambering, though the platform has devoted fans in areas where moose and bear pose real dangers. If you are hankering for one of these, talk to Noreen . 6.5 Grendel Some AR-15s are modified to fire atypical calibers. Others cartridges have been built to make the most of the platform. The 6.5 Grendel is one. These fire heavy bullets (in the 123 grain range) at mid-range speeds (2,500 +/-). The best part, though, is the design of the bullet itself keeps the round hypersonic longer—out past 1,000 yards. That makes this a dynamic and flat shooting round with exceptional terminal ballistic performance at longer ranges. Big game hunters are flocking to the 6.5 Grendel. .22 Nosler Those who like hunting smaller animals at longer ranges tend to value speed over mass. They like the tiny bullets that shoot flat trajectories. And the .22 Nosler is a favorite AR-15 caliber. It fires a .224 bullet with 3,500 fps at the muzzle. .458 SOCOM For more than a century, a debate has raged about “knock-down power.” The basic idea is that a larger projectile (like the .45 ACP) is more effective against adversaries that are drugged up than something smaller, like a .38. Even though the round goes more slowly, it packs a punch. This argument could have died off as ballisticians became aware of hydrostatic shock, which is produced by very fast-moving projectiles. But it hasn’t. And when some American soldiers argued that the 5.56 wasn’t stopping some adversaries, work began on something bigger. The .458 SOCOM was one of the results. To be clear, this is a monster bullet. Some weigh in at 500 grains. It has very limited range but hits hard. The lack of availability and cost has kept it from gaining popularity outside of the hardcore tactical community. If you’re looking for a .458 AR-15 caliber look to Wilson Combat . .50 Beowulf If the .458 isn’t big enough, you might consider adding another .42 to the bullet. This is as big as it gets for domestic firearms production intended for civilian usage. And the same principles apply. These are heavy bullets that travel slowly. Alexander Arms carries this AR-15 caliber. .50 BMG The Beowulf isn’t the end, though. Who doesn’t want a .50 BMG? They’re incredibly loud, require a capable range, and kick like nothing else on the market. Most of the AR-15 style builds for .50 BMG are bolt-action uppers that fit onto an AR lower. While this is a slight deviation from what we’ve been thematically covering, it still fits in what I’d call the “multi” category (i.e. one lower with lots of upper options). Interlude Have you gotten the feeling that there may be an AR-15 (or some close branch of the Stoner family tree) chambered in just about every caliber imaginable? Me too. I’ve seen many of them. I’ve fired more than a few. Some seem to be proofs-of-concept. I may be exposing some bias here, but I don’t think the AR-15 is the end-all-be-all that many others do. If I want a reliable gun that shoots the 7.62×39, I’m going for an AK. And if I want a rifle that can deliver a .50 BMG round, I’ll likely look to a dedicated bolt action. Others, though, have been bitten by the bug and they want an AR. There are two platforms that seem to reward their efforts. AR-15 Calibers for Hunting Some gun enthusiasts prefer optics that are made in the USA, even if they are more expensive. One company that is consistently cranking out great ARs is Rock River . They make guns in .204 Ruger, and .405 Bushmaster, and 6.5 and 6.8, and .243 and 7.62×39. When I’m considering an AR-15 for hunting, I look to one question. Will I need multiple shots? If the answer is yes, as it is when hunting hogs, an AR-15 is ideal. The older I get, though, the more I’m beginning to see AR builds that match bolt-actions for reliability and accuracy. I’m beginning to see fewer reasons to choose one over the other. The key for most hunting ARs, though, is the dedicated build. Heavy barrels tend to provide better accuracy. Look for free-floated barrels, too. And always test your ammo options to find a round that works well with your gun and your game. The Pistol Caliber Carbines The modularity of the AR platform appeals to some who are looking for 9mm rifles . They want a bit more surface area for accessories and the solidity of a stock and foregrip. The 9mm performs very well out of a slightly longer barrel, too. As an added benefit, ammo is usually cheaper (at least for training purposes). Every common pistol caliber now has a dedicated AR that will fire it. While Colt spearheaded the designs, others have come behind. Sig, LWRC , and even the newer names like CMMG are rocking the pistol caliber carbines. The Rimfires One big benefit of the .223 chambering is that a .22LR will slide easily down the barrel. Some companies offer a conversion kit that will change out the bolt and magazine to run .22 LR. This is a good option for training purposes, especially for teaching brand new shooters how an AR-15 works. Other companies, such as CMMG , make dedicated .22 LR uppers. These are far more reliable. The Shotguns Most AR pattern shotguns are coming in from places like Turkey, and they’re almost always built on proprietary patterns that look like someone’s idea of an AR-15, but they’re not. While they may have very similar controls, these guns aren’t modular, and that’s at the heart of the AR-15. Decision Time & Parting Shots If you’re going to build-your-own AR-15 or do-it-yourself, you have to decide where to start. Some of these platforms, like the 300 Blackout and the 5.56 can all run through one lower. That can be beneficial. Consider these two takes on the same dilemma. Some Americans are hesitant to let Uncle Sam know how many guns they have. The registered part of an AR-15 is the lower. The rest of the parts—including multiple uppers in varying calibers—can be ordered through the mail. This allows you to have one gun that can fire many different rounds. Some of us are married. Most AR-15 owners tend to be men, and some of those men have managed to get married and stay married. If your wife will only allow you to have one gun, it should be an AR-15. The rest of the pieces and parts all look similar to the uninitiated (so long as you don’t try to sneak home a .50 BMG upper). And if your wife asks how many guns you have, you won’t lie when you answer correctly: one. Pistol calibers work in a standard lower, as long as you have a conversion kit of some sort for to account for the magazine and feeding issues. You’ll need a good upper, too. Some of the larger AR-15 calibers, though, will require a much larger mag well. While it is easy to slide in a block that restricts the size of a 5.56 mag well for a 9mm magazine, it is impossible to get some of the longer rounds into a 5.56 lower. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a benefit in altering the AR design. The biggest reason why so many are intent on making the AR fire everything from the .22 LR to the .50 BMG is the manual of arms. Once you know your way around the AR-15 , you can pick up any AR and get results. I own several AR-15s. They’re all minor variations on the theme, and all are chambered for 5.56. When I pick up my .308, I have to remember how to run a bolt-action rifle. My defensive 12 gauge is a pump and has a completely different manual of arms. See where I’m going here? I don’t consider this a problem. I work with guns. I train regularly. I’ve never grabbed a Remington 870 and tried to eject the magazine (at least not until Remington produced a mag-fed 870, and now I’m all confused). What if there was a 100% reliable, infallible 12 gauge AR-15? Why don’t I hunt with an AR-10? I easily could. The meat of this argument is about familiarity. When the Army switched from the 1911 to the M9, some soldiers complained vociferously about the change. While some had legitimate concerns, many just didn’t like change. Is there an equivalent in handguns? I’d argue that there is. Revolver development in the 1900s, much of it anyhow, was defined by homogeneity. The .38, especially, began to look and feel very similar, no matter who made it. While these guns weren’t modular, like the AR-15, they had a very familiar manual of arms. We’re seeing something similar now, as polymer pistols take center stage. You might be able to tell the difference between a GLOCK and a Springfield Armory XD if those are the only two guns on the table. But what if I blindfolded you and put 20 different polymer-framed 9mm compact firearms on the table? I’m not trying to convince you this is bad. You would have very little trouble picking up a Taurus or a Diamondback or a Ruger or a GLOCK and effectively putting rounds on target. The AR-15 is a tool. As a responsible gun owner, I urge you to learn how to use the tool. If this is your first AR-15, I’d highly recommend you begin with the classic design and go with a 5.56. And then get it out on the range. Put as many rounds downrange as you can afford to shoot. And train. Take classes from those who can really run these guns. If my experience is any guide, you won’t build just one. Which AR-15 caliber do you prefer?
It seems only a few years ago when I got my first AR15. It’s actually been over a decade since I purchased that Bushmaster AR15 from a relative down in Texas. I waited with bated breath as the assault weapon ban just fell out of existence. Suddenly, we could outfit our post ban guns with muzzle devices, telescoping stocks, and all the other cool stuff we should have rightfully had in the first place. At that time there were a few upgrades you could get: Free float rails were tubes or a tubes with quad rails on them. There were a few manufacturers selling components to the military and some of these items eventually trickled down to the civilian consumer… and then the war on terror began heating up and interest in the black rifle among civilian shooters caused a technology and engineering boom for the AR15 that has been unparalleled in small arms manufacturing… ever. The AR15 Evolves and New Players Enter The high demand for the AR15 and accessories on the civilian side is mirrored on the government side. Manufacturers from all over the world compete to get their product bolted on to our military’s M16s and M4s. The choices available to the government and consumer for AR15’s and associated equipment is unprecedented in the firearm industry. There is no single firearm in the history of the world that has had as much aftermarket support and possible configurations as the AR15. O ur civilian demand has only benefited our nations military as we spend countless dollars with companies who turn that money into research and development of new tech for our war-fighters. The question now is… will it last? What will things look like five years from now? The panic is over. The market is flat. The endless sales of AR15’s for around $599 (watch those quality indicators folks, a good gun still costs more than that!) and that Wal-Mart also sells AR15 parts and accessories tells me that we are near market saturation. Where did all these manufacturers and equipment makers come from? As the war on terror winds down, many machine shops and aerospace companies around the US are looking for ways to keep their machines turning out a product. If the military isn’t buying new high-end machined widgets for jetfighter X or program Y, then what does a ISO 9001 certified company produce? Whats hot right now? The AR15. Think about that for a second. Companies such as Abrams Airborne Manufacturing (VLTOR), Aero-Precision, Mega Machine shop, and Lancer Systems are just a few of the big players who are using aerospace engineers to develop parts for your favorite rifle. Friggen aerospace engineers (!) are working their engineering and machine magic to equip the lowly civilian shooter with the best small arms accessories and design advancements in the history of the world. Many other smaller machine shops around the nation have also jumped into the game, and there are plenty of innovators outside of the aerospace industry. Vltor’s Parent Company: All this engineering might can be bolted on to your rifle right now. Many aerospace companies are producing AR15’s and accessories on the side and we reap the benefits. You have 15 different choices of magazine, hundreds of rails, an endless sea of receiver styles, open source accessory attachments, and high-end equipment that is simply unheard of. All of this is awesome but… not all is rosy. We are going to kill a few companies with the bounty. In a Tough Spot This manufacturing pressure places other companies in a bad place. Gun companies such as BCM, Colt, Bushmaster, Windham, Rock River Arms, Armalight, etc. are placed in a hyper competitive environment. These companies are, largely, gun companies. It’s what they do. They can’t just say “put a hold on the AR15 division, we just got a contract from Boeing… ” like the engineering / machining companies can. As such, they have to compete in a very diverse market and the capital from R&D has to come from government contracts and civilian sales. As civilian sales slow, I am worried that we may lose a few good companies in the coming years if things stay calm politically. Some companies will move on to other designs and sell other styles of firearms, but those without the flexibility to do anything but produce a generic AR15 may be in big trouble . I predict a falling away of many of the small boutique brands and parts assembly brands. I won’t name names here, but the ARFCOM industry forum is littered with companies both big and small. If they don’t make something unique, or don’t have the right branding (and lets face it, buying a “cool” brand moves rifles) then good luck. The market is quite hard right now. Companies such as Larue (and many, many others) have re-engineered the weapon to lower parts count while maintaining modularity. How much further can we push Eugene Stoner’s design? Where Will Things Go? The market will correct itself, and the supply will stabilize. Whatever big players are left will be in a cost, brand, and engineering war for your money . For the most part, I think we have all the engineering in place that the AR15 can possibly receive. We have monolithic, polylithic, and the new BAR style receivers hitting the market. We have add-a-rail modularity in place. We have incremental design improvements from things like LMT and KAC’s redesigned bolt groups, to mundane things such as anti rotation trigger pins. Other than materials and weight, I don’t see any new designs that will represent a breakthroughs in AR15 evolution. I believe the AR15 design will get a wee bit lighter, but from this point out most design improvements will be incremental . The Shot Show will get a little less exciting for the AR every year hereafter. The accessories market will make great strides as integrated light, laser, IR systems trickle down to the consumer. More electronics integrated into optics will permit on the fly ranging and calculation in durable consumer level items. I also suspect we will see technology adapted more seamlessly into the rifle. If companies get bored, they may start to integrate powered rails into the system to test the market. One battery powering all lights and lasers through a single source is something companies are working on now. One item that would greatly benefit the AR15 community would be if Knights Armament went open source with their patented E3 bolt. In my opinion, the E3 bolt is a long overdue design improvement on one of the AR15’s weakest components… the bolt. If we adopted this bolt industry wide, the AR15 would only become an even more reliable platform. Likelihood of this happening. About zero. We can dream can’t we? So where will things go? Accessories, night vision, and other electronics are going to be a big deal in the next few years… that’s my prediction. The gun can’t be pushed much further and still be called an AR15. Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print
The Data Driven AR15 project marches on. Based on the data, I plan to update my rig to M-Lok and keep the M4E1. Oh, and what is that in the above photo? Does anyone have a spare dual reading thermocouple laying around with extra long temperature probe? Click Here to Visit "The Data Driven" AR15 Rev. 2 Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print
Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s We love the Glock 43. But, like any firearm, you also need a holster to carry it in. Fortunately, the Glock 43 is very popular, so there’s a wide variety of holsters available for it. Unfortunately, all those options can make choosing a good holster tricky and overwhelming. Glock G43X So thank the deity of your choice that you have me , because I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to pick out a quality holster for your Glock 43 that also works with your lifestyle and budget. You’re welcome. I’ll start by talking about what qualities your holster needs, then I’ll move on to the different holster types that are available, and finally, I’ll wrap up with some recommendations for holsters of each type. Now if you’ve already got a solid understanding of holsters and are just here for the recommendations, you can skip down to them, but I’d recommend reading through anyway. A quick refresher never hurt anyone. Alien Gear Shapeshift Glock 43 Holster Choosing a Good Holster Obviously, a holster’s job is to hold your firearm when you aren’t using it, but that doesn’t mean just any holster will do. Your holster is also responsible for protecting your gun when you’re not using it, preventing accidental discharge, and making sure you can quickly pull your gun when needed, whether that’s in competition or a defensive situation. To make sure that a holster can adequately do all that, there are a few factors that you should check before you get it. We’re going to look at those now. Comfort Comfort may seem secondary to some of the things we’ll talk about next, but don’t underestimate how much it matters. If a holster isn’t comfortable, you probably won’t actually wear it, so you’ll still need to buy a holster that you’ll actually use for your Glock 43 and you’ll have a useless holster just sitting around your home. Try on any potential holster before you buy it. We’re not saying there aren’t solutions to uncomfortable holsters but… this isn’t one of them. Make sure it doesn’t rub as you go through normal motions. Even minor rubbing over an extended period can end up causing irritation or even bruises or blisters, so just avoid it. This is especially important with holsters made of hard materials like Kydex. You could probably get away with a bit of rubbing from a softer material like leather, especially if you’ll have a layer, like an undershirt, between your skin and the holster. Also, check that the holster both is secure and feels secure. A holster is kind of like a strapless dress–it doesn’t matter if you know that it won’t actually slip; if it feels like it will, you’ll still be tempted to tug on it all night. Of course, pulling up a dress doesn’t (usually) give away where a firearm is concealed, so this is even more important with holsters. Sorry, guys, I don’t have a comparable metaphor for you. Protection Your holster should be made out of a durable, protective material that can defend your Glock against impacts and scratches. Popular options are leather, nylon, and a variety of polymers such as Kydex. Kydex is a popular holster material since it can be molded to any gun and accessory combination. Just be aware that hard materials can scuff your gun as your holster and draw it. If that’s a concern for you, go with a soft holster or make sure that your hard holster has a soft lining. Retention Retention just means that your gun won’t fall out of your holster, even if you turn it totally upside down. Holsters use either active or passive retention systems, or sometimes both at once. An active retention system requires the user to engage and disengage the retention system. This could be a thumb break or strap that keeps the gun in the holster and needs to be released for you to draw the weapon. An active retention system, utilizing a thumb break. Passive retention holsters are made of hard material that is molded to the shape of the gun and use friction to keep it securely in place. These holsters usually have screws that can be tightened and loosened to change the amount of friction and therefore the level of retention. A holster that uses adjustable passive retention to keep your Glock in place. However, while your gun should definitely stay firmly in your holster when not in use, you should also be able to quickly draw it when you need it. Concealment Concealability depends on the holster type, shape, and material, as well as your build and the clothing you wear. I’ll mention how easy the different types of holsters generally are to conceal when I talk about them below, but you’ll really have to try out a bunch of options to see what works for you. Gun Printing with Different Holsters, LuckyGunner Now if you don’t plan on ever concealing your weapon, this isn’t necessarily a factor that you need to consider, but if you do, then you’ll have a concealable holster already. Then again, maybe you want the excuse to buy another holster. I’m not here to judge. Trigger Coverage Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Your holster should securely cover your Glock 43’s trigger to prevent accidental discharge. Trigger coverage? Who needs trigger coverage? There are lots of holsters out there that don’t offer adequate trigger coverage, but I genuinely don’t understand why anyone would risk themselves and those around them by using them. Just don’t do it. Positive Grip Positive grip just means that you should be able to draw your gun, one-handed, ready to shoot with a combat grip in place. IWB holsters can make a positive grip a challenge, but it shouldn’t be impossible. It may take some practicing to be able to do this reliably in all positions and in close quarters, but it should at least be possible with your holster. Holster Types Alright now that you know what to look for in a holster, let’s talk about some of the categories that you can choose from. Outside the Waistband This is exactly what it says on the tin. Outside the waistband, or OWB, holsters attach to your belt and rest outside of your waistband. Duh. Pants? Check. Belt? Check? OWB holster? Outside. Good to go! This style is particularly common in tv shows and movies because it’s easily filmed, but in real life, it’s not so popular. While OWB holsters are one of the more comfortable holster types and keep your firearm in any easy to access position, they print (make a visible bulge in your clothing) easily, so they’re difficult to conceal. With a subcompact pistol like the Glock 43, this isn’t as significant as it is with bigger guns, but it definitely still happens. Inside the Waistband You can probably guess what these holsters are like. Spoiler: it’s this. These holsters attach to your waistband and fit inside your pants or skirt or whatever other visible apparel you choose to cover your bottom half. Personally, we’re big fans of tactical utilikilts to cover our bottom halves. IWB holsters are probably the most popular choice for concealed carry because they don’t print as much as other holsters. On the other hand, it takes more practice to get a positive grip each time you go to draw your pistol and they can be uncomfortable, especially if worn without an undershirt. Shoulder If you’ve ever watched a spy flick or police procedural then you’ve seen a shoulder holster. They look badass and are actually popular among plainclothes law enforcement officers, but they’re a bit of a mixed bag for most of us civilians. They conceal well when worn over a shirt and under a jacket, but obviously only as long as you keep your jacket on. Bond, James Bond, is rockin’ this sexy little blue number as his shoulder holster. You can also wear them under a loose shirt and it conceals well enough, but since the holster itself sits against your ribs, it can be difficult to get to your weapon quickly, especially with a tucked in shirt. Muzzling is also an issue while wearing most shoulder holsters, which position the gun so that it’s pointing directly behind you, and it’s difficult to draw from a shoulder holster without accidentally muzzling bystanders. Ankle Ankle holsters aren’t a popular first choice for a primary weapon, but many people who carry a backup gun carry theirs in an ankle holster. Glock 43’s compact size lends itself well to ankle carry. Ankle holsters tend to be uncomfortable, especially if you have hairy legs, and guns in ankle holsters can be difficult to access. Women-Specific Holsters While women can absolutely carry any of the holster types above, there are also holster types that are particularly designed for women, like thigh holsters, purses with holsters built in, and holsters designed to be switched between bags. Sometimes, we girls just want our holster to match our outfit. There are also holsters in each of the categories above that are designed particularly for women. Sometimes this can be an advantage since holsters are typically designed with men’s bodies in mind and therefore may not be as comfortable and functional on women. Best Glock 43 Holster Recommendations Now, the part you’re really here for: our top recommendations on holsters for your Glock 43! You’ve been patient enough, so let’s get down to it. OWB Holster Recommendations Azula OWB Leather Pancake Holster If you want an OWB holster with a classic look, you can’t beat this beautiful leather one from Azula, available in both black and brown. Azula OWB "Leather Pancake Holster" 45 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 45 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing It’s a pancake holster, meaning that it’s made from two attached pieces of leather with a space molded to fit the gun in between. The soft leather will protect your gun from dings and scratches, while taking on a patina of its own. Alien Gear Cloak Mod Holster This Alien Gear holster offers incredible versatility. "Alien Gear Cloak" Mod 50 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 50 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The holster comes configured as a paddle holster, but the paddle can be detached and swapped out for the belt slide that also comes with the holster. The holster’s retention level and cant are both adjustable, allowing you to position your Glock 43 just the way you want it. IWB Holster Recommendations Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster The Cloak Tuck 3.5 holster is another excellent, highly adjustable holster option from Alien Gear, with adjustable cant, retention level, and ride height. Best Value (IWB) Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 51 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 51 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing A neoprene panel on the back of the Kydex holster makes it more comfortable to wear while simultaneously keeping your gun safe from bumps and scratches. What’s your take on the Cloak Tuck 3.5? Readers' Ratings 5.00/5 (133) Your Rating? Hidden Hybrid Holsters It’s Hidden, It’s Hybrid! This became our catchphrase around the office while we were testing the HH holsters because it’s true. They are also comfy, but we couldn’t think of a fun way to add that to the catchphrase. Amish leather backing with a Kydex shell for your weapon, these holsters deliver on everything you need. Hidden Hybrid Glock 43 IWB Holster 70 at "Hidden Hybrid Holsters" Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 70 at Hidden Hybrid Holsters Prices accurate at time of writing Great retention, comfy, long-lasting. We’ve been very happy with every kind we’ve tried and we’ve tried… a LOT. Hidden Hybrid Holsters Assortment For the Glock G43 this is one of the perfect holsters. If you want to go even further with your hybrid load out — you can also grab some magazine holders! Hidden Hybrid Holsters Mag Carriers 35 at Hidden Hybrid Holsters Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 35 at Hidden Hybrid Holsters Prices accurate at time of writing Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster You’ll see this holster recommended across the Pew Pew Tactical website because we pretty much all agree that it’s one of the best, if not the best, no-frills holster out there. The holster keeps your Glock 43 well protected and securely in place with durable Kydex construction, but it’s also very comfortable, has a low profile, and is super lightweight. Concealment Express Attachment Options Gets It Done (IWB) Concealment Express Holsters 35 at Concealment Express Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 35 at Concealment Express Compare prices (2 found) Concealment Express (See Price) Amazon (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing What’s your take on the Concealment Express? Shoulder Holster Recommendations Galco Gunleather Classic Lite Shoulder Holster If you want to feel like a character from an action movie, this is the holster to go with. Galco Classic "Lite Shoulder Holster" 84 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 84 at Amazon Compare prices (2 found) Amazon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The quality leather just oozes classic appeal. It’s available in configurations for both right- and left-handed shooters, and the holster stays well-balanced thanks to a mag holster and gear loop on the side across from the gun. Under Control Tactical Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster This holster is lightweight, comfortable, and adjustable enough to fit just about any shooter and gun. Under Control "Tactical Concealed Carry" Shoulder Holster 27 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 27 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing It’s made of nylon, so it’s waterproof and plenty durable enough for just about anything you could reasonably throw at it. It also has two extra pouches, perfect for a magazine or EDC flashlight. The shoulders are padded to make them more comfortable but they aren’t bulky, the straps are adjustable, and included velcro belt clips and a clip behind the shoulders helps keep weight balanced and the holster in place. Ankle Holster Recommendations Femme Fatale Ankle SoxXx Despite the name, these ankle holsters are actually elastic sleeves that fit around your ankle rather than socks–and they come in styles for both men and women. "Femme Fatale Ankle" SoxXx 40 at Femme Fatale Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 40 at Femme Fatale Prices accurate at time of writing They have a 5” gun pocket, perfectly sized for a Glock 43, and can be purchased with or without a retention strap. The material is soft and breathable and a plastic shield lines the inside of the gun pocket to prevent your pistol from rubbing against your leg. Ankle SoxXx come in black, white, and tan to help them blend with whatever clothing you wear them with. Uncle Mike’s Nylon Ankle Holster I prefer the comfort of Femme Fatale Ankle SoxXx, especially for a subcompact like the Glock 43, but if you’d like something that feels more secure, Uncle Mike’s "Nylon Ankle Holster" is another excellent option. Uncle Mike’s Nylon Ankle Holster 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The padded, wrap around, velcro adjustable style and elastic calf garter allow the holster to fit comfortably and securely on pretty much any leg. The one criticism: the retention strap secures with velcro, which can alert an attacker to your location. Women Specific Holsters Can Can Concealment Classic Garter Holster Garter holsters get a bad rap for slipping, but you don’t have to worry about that with this one. Can Can Concealment Garter Holster 59 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 59 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The Can Can "Concealment Classic Garter" Holster is made from military grade compression elastic, with hypoallergenic non-slip Tacti-Grip further making sure it stays firmly in place. And if you still want more assurance, you can use the built-in garter belt attachment loops to attach the holster to the Can "Can Concealment Garter" Belt. You can fit two firearms and a spare mag in this garter, so your backups are just as accessible as your primary weapon. Rare earth metal magnets keep everything in place. And the holster comes in four different sizes, each with three rows of hook and eye closures, and Can Can Concealment sells extensions for the holster, so you’re sure to be able to get a fit that works for you. CrossBreed Purse Defender Last on my list is the CrossBreed Purse Defender. CrossBreed Purse Defender 50 at CrossBreed Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 50 at CrossBreed Prices accurate at time of writing Now, I don’t like off body carry, because keeping up with a purse is inconvenient enough without the added responsibility of keeping constant control of a firearm, but if I did purse carry, this is the only holster that I would use. For starters, most CCW purses are less than attractive and they’re often pricey, especially if you want different bag options and have to buy several. The CrossBreed Purse Defender in action. This holster takes care of that issue, because you can place it in just about any bag you want and easily transfer it between them, making any purse a concealed carry purse. Including that favorite one that you already have. Conclusion I usually like to end these kinds of articles with recommendations about which thing is best for what purpose, but with so many different holsters and each person’s unique life, I can’t really do that here. So instead, I’m going to give you some advice that applies no matter which holster you go with: Don’t rush buying your holster. Try out several so that you know what you like and what you don’t and are able to choose a holster that really fits your wants and needs. Then, before relying on your holster of choice for EDC, make sure that you spend plenty of time drilling with it. Learn all the little tricks to it and establish muscle memory so that you know that you can quickly and easily get to your weapon when you really need to. Practice makes perfect–so be sure to drill yourself with your new holster. Do you have any advice that you’d like to add? Do you have any questions about selecting a holster for your Glock 43? Share your thoughts in the comments. Thinking about concealed carry? Don’t miss our reviews on the best concealed carry holsters !