Ever since the Brady handgun violence prevention act was initially signed into law by President Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago, its effects have been widely debated by both gun control groups and firearms supporters across the United States. But what has actually changed since the Brady handgun control act was first introduced? Has the bill been successful in reducing the number of firearm-related deaths reported every year in America? Well, it’s influenced some aspects of how firearms are being sold, but it may not have been as effective as you might think. First of all, in order to understand how the Brady act affects gun owners and federally licensed firearm retailers alike, you need to understand what it is and what it does exactly. The Brady handgun violence prevention act, as it is officially called, requires licensed firearm retailers to run federal background checks on firearm buyers in the U.S. and to impose a five-day waiting period on these buyers before completing the sale. Its purpose is to: enforce a form of gun control on firearm retailers ensure responsible firearm sales practices lower firearm-related crime rates. The act was named after James Brady, a White House press secretary during the Ronald Reagan administration. Brady became a gun control advocate after being shot during a failed assassination attempt aimed at President Ronald Reagan in 1981. John Hinckley, the shooter, had purchased the gun he used in the assassination attempt from a pawn shop and was later found to have a history of mental illness. Reasons why it might not be working The Brady Act and its effectiveness in preventing unlicensed gun sales and lowering gun violence rates have been called into question several times and they have been the subject of public debate ever since the bill was first signed into law more than two decades ago. Its purpose is to ensure gun purchasers do not have a history of mental illness or criminal activity in order to prevent potential crimes. But pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) have explained that background checks don’t necessarily help with preventing gun violence. The reasons that the NRA has given for the bill’s failure to prevent handgun violence are based on the many discrepancies that exist in how the bill is being enforced in different states. First of all, regardless of how you feel about gun control, you can’t help but notice that the Brady Act doesn’t affect every state in the same way and that the restrictions and regulations that apply to licensed firearm retailers and to firearm owners vary widely across the U.S and that there are differences in gun laws by state. The NRA has shown that the Act’s five-day waiting period has not applied to several states where crime rates are high because 18 states and D.C. were automatically exempt from the Act when it was first passed in 1993 and that these states accounted for 63% of violent crimes taking place at the time. The NRA has also cited examples of states such as California, which had high murder rates despite longer waiting periods for gun purchases. Looking at the situation from a different perspective, you could argue that the mandatory background checks prevent many guns from being sold to potentially dangerous individuals and that this automatically leads to fewer crimes. While nobody can say for sure if these checks prevent crimes or not, it seems that the number of firearm purchases that are denied because of Brady Act enforced background checks is quite low. Since the NICS system was first set up in 1998 and up to 2014, statistics show that only 0.5 percent of attempted firearm purchases were blocked because of a failure to pass the NICS check. How the act affects firearms retailers The Brady Campaign is still arguing that a small percentage of federally licensed firearms retailers are responsible for a large part of the gun-related crimes that do take place because they choose to conduct their business in an amoral way and encourage “straw” purchases which lead to legally bought firearms being later used for illegal activities. According to a video released by the Brady Campaign only 1 percent of firearm retailers are responsible for selling 60 percent of the guns that are used to commit crimes across the United States. They claim that these firearm dealers are the “bad apples” responsible for causing high crime rates when it comes to gun-related violence and increased efforts must be made to hold them accountable for their actions. While nobody can deny that there are some gun dealers out there that are willing to conduct “straw” transactions, people can often forget the fact that most federally licensed firearm retailers comply with government enforced gun laws and have regulatory systems in place for any firearm purchase that they approve. In theory it sounds great to force “bad apples” to take accountability for the illegal activities that they take part in or help facilitate. However, one can’t fail to wonder whether the method the Brady Campaign is using to identify these “bad apple” firearm dealers is the right one. Judging if a licensed firearms retailer is properly regulating gun purchases or not by only focusing on how many crimes are linked to the firearms sold by that retailer is a logical error in itself, because there are several other factors that impact that number. A firearms retailer might not be doing anything wrong and still have a high number of gun purchases linked to criminal activity later on because of several other reasons. The first obvious problem is that not every retailer sells the same number of guns. If a firearms dealer sells a higher number of guns every year, the likelihood that more of the guns he has sold will end up being used in criminal activity rises, while a dealer who sells fewer guns will automatically have a lower number of gun purchases linked to gun-related crimes. Factor in the cases of guns that are bought by law-abiding citizens and are later stolen and used to commit crimes, as well as the crime rates that vary from one area to another, and you’ll see how much that number can change. So while nobody can claim that the Brady bill has the potential of preventing some gun crimes from being committed, it’s clear that it doesn’t work the same way all across the country and that, in many cases where extensive background checks are being performed by legitimate firearms retailers, high gun-related crime rates are still recorded, despite the firearm dealers operating in accordance with federal gun laws. It’s easy to go into panic mode when it comes to guns and it’s even easier to get distracted by things like Bernie Sanders’ voting record on gun control bills, but the truth is that even when gun control laws are passed and enforced, they might still not work and can end up restricting people’s freedom without actually making a significant contribution to the improvement of their safety.
Safely traveling with firearms by road or air “ Sisk rifles, sniper rifle in 308 Win ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by huntingmark No matter why or to where you want to transport your firearms, you’re going to face a dizzying array of local, state, and federal laws that you must abide by. There are even special services to which, for a fee, you can submit your travel plans and lawyers will give you a multi-page report on how to carry them out lawfully. There are three big reasons why you’ll want to transport firearms: For protection in transit For protection at your destination Simply to get the firearms from point A to point B Knowledge is power, and the more of the relevant laws you know, the safer you will be. Unfortunately, this is a daunting task, especially if you are traveling between states. To make it even harder, basic terms like ‘open,’ ‘concealed,’ and ‘loaded’ can have unique meanings in different jurisdictions. For example, there are places where ‘loaded’ can include firearms with a loaded magazine within reach of them. Concealed carry in your vehicle “ Vietnam 1973 – A soldier of the South Vi ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by manhhai If you intend to travel with a loaded gun, you will probably have to adhere to concealed carry laws. If you have a concealed carry license from your state, there is next to no chance that it will be considered valid if you travel to another state. You will have to re-apply in the destination state and fulfill all of their conditions, including undergoing their local safety training program. Always keep a copy of your CCW permit with you when carrying. In some jurisdictions where firearms must be locked up while in a vehicle, locking your firearm in a lockable glove box is sufficient. There are dozens of products out there to help you store concealed firearms in your car, both locked up and near at hand. You’ll want a solution that gives you easy access to your gun while allowing you to continue smoothly steering your vehicle and maintaining situational awareness. Some gun safes integrate into your central console or another handy area of the cabin. Alternatively, some holsters attach to your steering column, under the seat, or various other handy locations. Wearing a gun on your person while driving is rarely comfortable, so such products are a great investment. Just drive out to somewhere safe where accidents can’t happen and practice getting quick off the draw. If you keep your loaded weapon somewhere less dedicated like the glove box, use a holster that protects the trigger. Keep in mind that there are places where federal law prevents you from taking a CCW, such as post offices. Know the laws on transporting firearms by road “ Highway 5 North ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by JefferyTurner As mentioned, the laws on transporting firearms by road are incredibly complicated. Let’s say you are spending an extended period living and traveling in your RV. A man’s motorhome is his castle, right? Not necessarily. If in doubt, assume that laws for storing firearms at home do not apply to storage in your RV. Laws for transporting firearms in a vehicle will apply. The NRA offers an interactive map to help you keep track of local laws when you’re traveling through states other than your own with firearms. When traveling between states, the safest method in legal terms is to store your firearms and ammunition in separate locked, purpose-built containers that are kept out of the passenger cabin, e.g., in the trunk. Even then, there are certain states in which you could run into trouble. Examples are Massachusetts and Maryland. It’s probably best to clench your sphincter and drive straight through these states without even stopping for gas. You may also want to print out a copy of the federal law that guarantees your right to transport firearms for legal purposes. That is our dear sweet US Code 926A . Throw a copy in your carry case or the glove box. Local police officers aren’t required to learn every federal law, but they tend to stick to their guns, so to speak, when they think they’re on the right track. The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) is another great one to keep handy. US Code 926A allows you to transport firearms for legal purposes under the condition that you are legally allowed to possess the firearms both in your departure point and destination. Remember, federal law does not obviate your responsibility to be aware of and adhere to local and state laws. The law states that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation, the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, that in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.” In terms of state laws, the main thing to keep in mind is reciprocity. In gun law terms, reciprocity means that one state respects the permits issued by another state. Check the NRA map above for details. The laws change all the time, sadly usually for the worse, so make sure you get the most up-to-date information. Firearms in public transit “ Stagecoach bus ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by grassrootsgroundswell Carrying a gun on the bus or other mass transit system is perfectly legal in many jurisdictions. The precise laws vary widely across the country, so once again, it’s best to keep yourself abreast of the latest legal info before hopping aboard. Madison, Wisconsin tried to ban concealed carry from urban mass transit, only to have the ban shot down by the Supreme Court. Generally, if you have a CCW permit in a state, you can carry on a bus, but privately owned locations like businesses have the right to not admit anyone carrying. Carry your permit with you and for heaven’s sake, don’t carry when high or drunk. Act as the responsible ambassador of the shooting community that you are. Sadly, Uber and Lyft do not allow drivers or passengers to carry firearms. Flying with guns “ TSA PreCheck secruity screeing signs in ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by easysentri Taking a domestic flight with a firearm is not as daunting as you might think. As long as you’re abiding by US Code 926A as outlined above and you have the right to possess firearms in your departure point and destination, there are only a few more things to keep in mind. You must always declare each of your firearms when you check them in. Failure to do so is a federal and state crime. Do not try to carry mags or any other firearms components in your carry-on. Even mags traveling without a firearm must be checked in a locked case. You can keep some ammo in a separate locked & checked case from that of your firearm. Flying with your firearms as checked baggage is, unsurprisingly, obligatory. They must be unloaded and kept in an appropriate, locked container. A hard case with foam lining is best. Case manufacturers will make it clear which of their models are cleared for flights. You will have to keep the key to your gun case with you at all times unless the TSA requests it from you. You can take optics like a scope in your carry on. Keep a record of everything in your gun case. There is a good chance that the TSA will break the locks and rummage around in it. If possible, remove the bolt and flag the chamber to save them the time of figuring out if it is in firing condition. Some cases will have locks that are designed for the TSA to be able to open them. Otherwise, pack some extra padlocks that fit your case in case they cut them off. Don’t forget to carry copies of all relevant documentation for your firearms at all times. Quick tip for navigating airports in general. Dress as much like a police detective as possible. Skip the camo pants and the t-shirt you got at a gun show. Nice shoes, a collared shirt and if possible, a blazer always makes things run smoother, especially if you’re transporting firearms. Arrive at the airport extra-early and remain as calm and civil as humanly possible until you’re on the road away from your destination airport. Remember, you are representing the entire firearms and hunting community. Choosing the right case for transporting firearms “ Plano gun case ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by gfairchild Whether you’re transporting your firearms by road or by jet, getting the right case can be key to keeping them safe from damage or theft. As mentioned above, locking hard cases with foam lining are usually best. These come with various options. Some are watertight or structurally reinforced to keep them secure. Some have wheels and an extendable handle to help you navigate the airport. If you usually only drive across Arizona with your guns, such features may not be necessary, but you never know when an unexpected situation may arise, so it’s best to be prepared. Case features to consider: Lockable Waterproof Reinforced Lightweight Crush-proof Wheels and handle Foam lining Those shotgun racks guys used to keep in their back of their truck cabins may be okay on a private ranch but are mostly a thing of the past. Rolling down the highway with one is not a good idea legally or in terms of safety. Final thoughts As with so many things, transporting firearms takes planning and common sense. The Gordian knot of local, state, and federal laws covering firearms transportation can be daunting, but it’s all part of being a responsible gun owner. Knowledge is power, and having copies of all the relevant documentation, permits, and laws can keep you out of jail. A good gun case, holster, or automotive gun safe is a great insurance policy for the safety of your gun and yourself. Shop around and don’t skimp. Have fun, stay safe, plan ahead, and keep it classy. Remember, we’re all counting on you as an ambassador of the shooting community.
While you’re looking for a great scope, it’s important to remember that brand can often tell you as much about any particular scope as the specifications. Different manufacturers are known for different things or levels of quality. Check out our guide down below for an in-depth overview of some of the best scope manufacturers out there. Does Brand Really Matter When It Comes to Scopes? A brand can matter more than you think. Because manufacturers live and die by their reputation, brands tend to self-segregate and focus on certain types of scopes or products with particular features to help them stand out in a saturated market. Brand names can tell you what quality of scope you’re getting or how well a particular company treats its customers. Plus, if you find a good brand, you can then have a first stop when shopping for other scopes or attachments for your firearms since you’ll know they can be trusted. Knowing about your scope’s brand carries more advantages than you might think. Qualities of Top of the Line Scopes There are a few key things that any good scope should have to offer, regardless of what brand they come from. Great Eye Relief Good scopes will provide decent eye relief, otherwise known as the space between your eye and the scope before accuracy suffers. You don’t want too little eye relief or your weapon’s recoil may kick hard enough to bruise your brow! High Lens Quality Excellent scopes will have multi-coated optics, meaning that they've been made and coated with materials that both improve their sight picture and/or reduce scratch damage from dirt and debris. Good lenses will reduce glare and pull more light down the scope’s length to your eye, enhancing color even in low-light conditions. Source They Are Extremely Durability Any good scope will also be either waterproof or weatherproof, preferably the latter. You’ll be shooting outside more often than not, so you need a scope that can withstand the elements. Spending a bit more on a scope that will last for years is often a smarter idea than buying a cheaper model that you’ll have to replace sooner than later. Magnification Range is Well-rounded Finally, good scopes have variable magnification ranges that can cover a broad variety of distances. You don’t want to pick a scope that can only zoom between a few close or long-range settings . Best Scope Manufacturers Now, let’s take a look at the best scope manufacturers you can find on the market. Note that this list is in no particular order. Vortex Optics Founded in 1986, Vortex has a reputation in the scope mar ket as offering incredible value at reasonable prices. They’re centered at their headquarters in Wisconsin and draw heavily from the hunting culture that permeates the American Midwest. They produce scope products of all sorts, from riflescopes to rangefinders to monoculars and even more. They offer a great balance between price and quality and are excellent choices for hunters who like to buy scopes that won’t fail in a pinch but won’t also require them to totally empty their wallets. Weaver Weaver is a subsidiary of the same higher company that owns Bushnell and Simmons: Vista Outdoor Inc. Because of this, Weaver offers similar-quality products to both Bushnell and Simmons. You’ll find acceptable scopes, binoculars, and rangefinders at Weaver stores. Most importantly, Weaver is known for their rings and bases and are well-loved by many hunter populations across America. Zeiss A German company that was founded 150 years ago, Zeiss is well-known for having an excellent portfolio that becomes more prohibitive the higher you go. That is to say, Zeiss scopes start out affordable but their top of the line products are definitely quite pricey. However, these upper scopes are well worth their cost; their lenses are known for their utmost quality and the scope chassis are understood to be durable and long-lasting. Our recommendation is to consider Zeiss if you have money to spend. There are other companies that balance budget and quality better when considering their lower tiers of offerings. Leupold & Stevens This is a more premium company than many other scope manufacturers. While you’ll be able to find cheaper scopes almost anywhere you look, it’s doubtful that you’ll find anyone that quite matches the caliber of craftsmanship that Leupold and Stevens bring to the table. They produce some of the finest scopes and optics in the market and act as the upper tier of products for their sibling company, Redfield. Many of the scopes used by the U.S. armed forces are Leupold and Stevens scopes, giving you some insight as to their quality. In general, if you're looking for a high-quality scope and have the cash to spend, you could do far worse than spending it on a Leupold and Stevens product. Nikon While well-known primarily for their cameras, Nikon is actually quite a good manufacturer of rifle scopes as well. Much of the craftsmanship that goes into making quality camera lenses can be of use for scopes, too, and this company shows that well with their line of riflescopes, spotting scopes, rangefinders, and binoculars. Out of all scope-makers, Nikon was the first company to be able to transmit 95% of available light down the length of their scope. This ingenuity has continued with their modern products, and you can expect crisp, colorful sight pictures and glare-free lenses whenever you buy a Nikon product. Redfield Redfield was first organized over a century ago, so they bring decades of experience to the field when they construct scopes for use with today’s weaponry. They offer a variety of exceptional products, such as spotting scopes, binoculars , rangefinders, and rifle scopes. Leupold actually incorporated them in 2008. Although quality is still high, their prices are now commonly below Leupold products to maintain market dominance for their parent company. If Leupold scopes are too expensive, you might consider looking to Redfield for something similar in value for less impact on your wallet. BSA This British company makes all kinds of scopes for many weapon types, including archery scopes! They were founded over one hundred years ago by a certain collection of gunsmiths who wanted to control what happened to their products once they were created. Because of this history, the scopes that come from this company are affordable and high-quality, carrying a seal of excellence that’s been maintained for the century of the company’s operation. Burris Don Burris founded Burris in 1971. Don was a design engineer with Redfield before he quit to start his own company. In general, Burris optics revolve around uses for hunting and sports competitions, although they also provide tactical scopes and durable mountain systems for a variety of occupations. Many of their scopes are cutting edge, utilizing technology such as laser rangefinders and other advanced attachments to keep their place at the forefront of modern scope construction. Bushnell For over 65 years, Bushnell has been one of the most popular and well-known brands in the rifle optics field. They make scopes for all kinds of weaponry and occasions, including night vision attachments, spotting scopes for long-range shooting and sniping, and other products. Rangefinders and trail cameras are included in the company’s diverse portfolio. Generally, their scopes are made for all ranges and types of shooting, from tactical events to long-distance hunting. Their AR scopes are rated highly among many gun enthusiasts. Hawke Another company based in Britain, this company finally spread to the U.S. market in 2007, a short twelve years ago. They made a variety of scope-related products, such as laser rangefinders, in addition to riflescopes and crossbow scopes. If you like to play with rarer weapons, this is a good company to check out. Their prices are very affordable for most folks and their quality is still decent, although their selection and overall quality are not as premium as pricier companies. Barska This company tends to label itself as a “sports optics” organization. They m ake all kinds of scopes and lenses , not just attachments for rifles or other guns. Their affordable products include scopes, telescopes, and binoculars. They represent a good middle ground between affordability and quality, and their scope types are variable and wide-ranging. You are sure to find something for your rifle no matter its make or ideal zoom factor. Meopta Meopta is a scope company that prioritizes affordability above many other factors. They’re relatively new to the scene and provide scopes, binoculars, and rangefinders of decent quality, but their main draw is definitely their spending ranges. Almost anyone will be able to afford a Meopta scope, so if your primary goal is to get something workable for a pinch, you can definitely look here. If you have more money to spend, we recommend some of the more premium manufacturers. Simmons Since 1983, Simmons has made their mark on the scope market by providing affordable products to the hunter population at large. They tend to reside at the lower end of the scale in terms of quality, the benefit being that virtually anyone can affor d a Simmons scope if they need something in a hurry or for a hunting trip that’s a last-minute enterprise. They make the standard spread of products, including scopes, trail cameras, and spotting scopes. Check this company out if you can’t afford pricier models or don’t care that much about long-lasting quality. Swarovski Optics Swarovski hails from Austria, and much of the high quality that you can find in other Austrian products you can see here, as well. Their optics makers organized in 1949 and have continued to make exceptional scopes ever since that year. Their products are expensive but well worth their weight in cash. You can expect Swarovski scopes to both last for a long time and assist you beyond that of a cheaper, mediocre model. If you have the money to spend, we recommend Swarovski as one of the better choices. Our Favorite Scope Manufacturers and Why Out of the above list, we have a few favorite manufacturers that tend to provide exceptional quality for their target audience. Let us take you through our favorite scope manufacturers and explain what makes them special. 1. Leupold and Stevens For premium scopes, you can’t do better than Leupold and Stevens. They make scopes in use by the U.S. military and put tremendous effort into each product. In particular, their long-range riflescopes are known for their excellent optical light transmission and overall durability for long hunting trips. 2. Simmons On the other end of the spectrum, Simmons scopes are some of the best budget picks out there. Their scopes are relatively cheap but don't suffer from quality downgrades as much as other "budget" manufacturers. We recommend Simmons if you need a decent scope quickly or if you don't go hunting very often. They sell a wide variety of hunter gear, too, so beginner hunters without a big budget will love shopping with them. 3. Bushnell Finally, choose Bushnell for a balance between cost and quality. They’re well-loved by gun enthusiasts and make scopes for virtually every kind of occasion, not just hunting. You can find a scope for your rifle no matter what your focus is and you won’t break your wallet. If you’re in the market for an AR scope, Bushnell’s are regarded as second to none. Conclusion Now that you know what each of these manufacturers can do for you, you should already have a few narrowed down to your favorites. Knowing about scope brands makes shopping for the perfect complement to your rifle that much easier. Check out our other guides for more scope suggestions and rifle attachment talk!
I admit it – like most gun culture involved individuals in America, I also got way too caught up in building an “ultimate” AR-15. While I didn’t go as wild as some, I definitely spent way more money buying and trying different setups until I settled on my current “Goldilocks”configuration. I use and shoot the hell out of that AR – it’s my SHTF “gotta go!” rifle – but I’ve figured out with actual use that the rifle just has a lot going on for occasional range use, training, and scouting/small game hunting. It’s heavy for an AR, to boot. The basic rifle uses a Windham Weaponry 16” heavy barrel SRC upper, modified with a Troy low-profile gas block, 13” Troy Alpha rail and aluminum Sig Sauer flip-up BUIS. The lower has a Magpul MOE grip and a Magpul ACS stock, both stuffed to the gills with extra springs and pins, small sample tube of CLP, a spare firing pin, and a full complement of CR123 batteries for the 1000-lumen Fenix PD35 TAC light . With the rubber-armored Aimpoint Comp ML3 red dot optic and steel LaRue M68 QD mount, the rifle weighs over nine pounds with a full 30 round magazine and BDS sling. It’s set to go for a SHTF event and is a very capable, reliable, great-shooting rifle. You could ask almost anyone and probably get the reply that it has everything one might need on an out-the-door grab-and-go SHTF AR platform. But does this AR have things I don’t absolutely need (besides weight)? Since building that SHTF rifle, my mind has been drifting occasionally to a “KISS” (Keep It Simple, Stupid!), rifle that is lighter, has no frills, and just works for a variety of uses and missions. I recently assisted my father with assembling a rifle that he dubbed his “ULWC” (Ultra LightWeight Carbine) that utilized a lot of really high-end lightweight parts and a dash of simplicity to create a nice, functional AR that tips the scales at under 7 pounds with a micro red dot optic and 20-round P-Mag. I wanted to straddle the line between the weight of my father’s ULWC, the utility and mission of Doc Montana’s “Katrina Rifle” , and what I had built already. Nothing battery-powered, (though retaining the capability of mounting a light) just tried and true simplicity. Quick Navigation Opportunity Provided By Colt Dissa-whaaaaat? Putting the Puzzle Together And the Survey Says…. A Couple Additions Defining the Mission for my KISS Rifle The Sum of its Parts Opportunity Provided By Colt I’ve had a Colt Match Target Sporter HBAR for years, and I never really shoot the rifle anymore due to its competition-designed setup: it is a standard AR-15A2 configuration, with a 20” very heavy barrel, non-removable rear “carrying handle” adjustable sight, and fixed rear stock with added weights. The rifle shoots great, but its 1:7 rifling rate of twist means that it doesn’t group my preferred 55-grain bullet handloads very well – the 1:7 twist spins the fast-moving little pills too quickly, and the rifle grouped badly with 55-grainers as a consequence. I didn’t want to stockpile another bullet in the 69-75 grain range and develop another handload for a rifle that didn’t have the capability to mount an optic optimally, so the rifle sat in the safe and gathered dust for a long time. However, one day I was talking with my brother about possible upcoming AR builds, and he said, “why don’t you just throw a collapsible stock on your Colt?” A light bulb went off. I have built up a cadre of friends and local shops who were very capable of excellent AR builds and had all the tools I hadn’t accrued yet….so indeed, why not modify the Colt? It possesses all the basic upper and lower receiver ingredients for a great KISS rifle – it just needed a different barrel and stock configuration. I rooted through the couch cushions for extra change and set to work once I had the funds. Do You Have Concealed Carry Weapon Insurance? Self-defense can land you into major legal battles, or even jail . USCCA provides top-class CCW insurance plus training for you and your family at $22/mo with $2,000,000 in coverage. Join USCCA The configuration I knew I’d go to was one I’d had in mind for years: Dissipator, baby. Dissa-whaaaaat? I remember being quite young – probably before my teens – and perusing through the many stacks and stacks of gun magazines my father had accrued: my earliest firearms education. I remember seeing an a picture of an AR-15 that still sticks with me – it looked like a mean-looking chopped-off standard AR-15A2; and really, that’s what it was. Later in life, I found that the then-Maine-based company, Bushmaster Firearms, had put a name to the design that Colt had pioneered years ago: The “Dissipator.” A classic Dissipator is a standard AR-15A1/A2 with the barrel – usually 20” on a standard A1/A2 – lopped off to a handier 16” length. The flash suppressor sat just beyond the fixed tower front sight and full-length rifle handguards, giving a stubby, businesslike appearance. But even in my now long-gone younger ages, I knew that the rifle had a longer sighting radius for better accuracy, while boasting the handier CAR-15 shorter overall length. Original Dissipators had issues with reliability; they had a full-length rifle gas system on a carbine-length barrel. Gas impulses and resulting short dwell time were funky and the guns had a habit of not cycling properly unless the gas ports were opened up significantly. Modern Dissipators usually utilize M4-pattern barrels and carbine-length low-profile gas systems under full-length rifle handguards, with the fixed tower front sight not being utilized as a gas block, as per the usual. Today, things have come full circle. After the A3/M4 AR variant reared its head, sprouting its myriad spawn and video game experts, shooters started to realize that the extra handguard length meant more rail room for more goodies and sling mounts. It also lead to a longer sight radius for any attached sights, and with the modern arm-extended “C” clamp method of holding the rifle, more space to muckle onto the forward end of the rifle and not get your phalanges cooked medium rare. You’ll see many modern builds are actually de facto Dissipators – short barrels with full-length handguards/rails growing around them, and sights that are placed almost to the muzzle. Hey, if it works, people will figure it out eventually, right? But I’d figured out long ago that it looked purposeful and damned cool. And I was gonna get one, dammit. Or, y’know, in this case I’d build one. Putting the Puzzle Together Okay, so I had a Colt rifle and the entire interwebs to help me figure the best way to modify it. Really all I needed was a barrel, appropriately-lengthed gas tube, and a collapsible buttstock. I’d had the receiver extension, end plate, buffer spring, and carbine buffer kicking around already, waiting for a build. I sourced a black milspec Magpul CTR stock from the local Cabela’s, and converted the lower from a fixed A2 stock to a 6-position telescoping rear stock one evening after dinner. Mission one complete. Related: Theory and Practical Application of the Walking Around Rifle Now for the upper receiver modifications, which were going to require more digging to make sure I did things right. I searched the catacombs of online sources for a couple days, looking for the proper barrel for my build. I definitely did not desire another heavy barrel; nor did I want a flyweight barrel and its walking groups. Finally, I found that my local boys at Windham Weaponry do indeed offer Dissipator setups – I could have bought an entire completed Dissipator upper receiver, but settled on just the barrel and gas tube to replace the 20” heavy barrel that was on the Colt. In the Dissipator models, Windham Weaponry offers a heavy barrel setup, as well as a stepped, lighter M4-pattern barrel. I opted for the latter, and was 100% confident I’d have a great barrel; I’ve personally toured the Windham Weaponry facility, and their quality control is second to none. Every person who works there is fiercely proud of their product and what they represent. As stated before, my other AR build has a W-W upper, and with a good field rest, that rifle will keep 4-5” groups at 200 yards with no issues if I do my part behind the Aimpoint. Windham Weaponry offers the ability to purchase directly through their website and I could have installed all the hardware, but I wanted to support another local business. I called on an old schoolmate, Jeff Furlong at Furlong Custom Creations in Raymond, Maine, to order the parts and assemble them to my upper. I’d had a custom kydex holster made by Jeff years ago, but had never had any rifle work performed. He has a stellar reputation for his builds here in the area, so I called on him to help with the build. Jeff helped me sort out what I wanted and needed, and he got to ordering the barrel and necessary accoutrements from Windham Weaponry. While he was at it, I asked him to source a set of black rifle-length MOE MLOK handguards from Magpul, and a new charging handle. He had a BCM Mod 4 charging handle in stock, so we threw that on the pile of parts. I dropped the upper off at "Furlong Custom Creations" , and less than a week later, I got the message that the parts had arrived and the new parts were assembled on the upper. And the Survey Says…. Huzzah! I buzzed up to Furlong Custom Creations to collect my upper. Jeff remarked that it looked “badass” with the Magpul handguards, and I was inclined to agree. Though aesthetics aren’t exactly the only thing we aim for with our ARs, you know we all smirk inwardly with unabashed satisfaction when another gun guy tells us our rifle looks “badass”, or some variation thereof. I probably would have skipped back to my truck if it wasn’t for the icy driveway. Once home, I reunited the old receiver mates and assembled the newly transformed upper onto the Match Sporter lower. The end result was, in my eyes and hands, delightful. The weight sits just a bit further forward than a standard M4, and the handling qualities are excellent. The initial handling time I got with the rifle, comparing it to its fully decked-out brother, made me like the Dissipator more and more – maybe there really was something to this simple, lightweight thing. The first range trip was short – I barely got it on paper at 50 yards before the Maine 4th Keyboard Commando Brigade showed up at the pit with their AKs and .45 Glocks and started performing breathtaking 7.62 drum dumps and even occasionally hitting their Bin Laden targets. I packed up and headed home before the cops showed up. I finally got a few minutes to do some accuracy work while on my lunch last week, and the results were very good. With Federal 55-grain FMJBT ammunition, I was able to keep 5-shot groups to 1” or so at 50 yards offhand. Benched groups at 100 yards with the same Federal load hovered in the 2”-3” range – adequate for the purposes I need. I’ll try a few different factory loads and also try a handload – but for all intents and purposes, I’m happy with groups this size from an open-sighted rifle. My old Winchester Model 54 in .30-06 shoots 2-3” groups at 100 yards with open sights, but will cloverleaf three rounds at the same range when scoped – so I know that the larger groups at long range are due to my aging Mark 1 eyeball’s capability, and I’m fine with that. I accept it, anyway. Though I’ve only run about 300 rounds through the rifle thus far, I have been very happy with the package and the performance. Reliability has been flawless – though one really can’t gauge long-term results from just a few rounds downrange. A Couple Additions I didn’t want – or really, need – to add a bunch of crap to this rifle; I wanted to maintain the KISS principle to the best of my abilities. Light weight and no-frills are the core concepts in this build. In my mind’s eye, I only needed two accessories: a good sling, and the ability to mount (and dismount) a light. For the sling, I ordered a Magpul MLOK-compatible QD sling mount, and attached the circular mount at the 10 o’clock position, as far forward as I could place it. The Magpul CTR stock already had a quick-detach sling swivel mount built in, so I sourced a pair of Midwest Industries Heavy Duty QD sling swivels from Amazon. The space in between the swivels was filled with an adjustable Wolf Grey Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Application sling to keep the whole rig in place on my body. For those of you who haven’t tried a Blue "Force Gear Vickers" sling, they are phenomenal and highly recommended. For illumination, I obtained a 3-slot MLOK picatinny rail attachment point, which I mounted at the 2 o’clock position, also as far forward as was allowable. The small, simple rail is just the right size to mount a Streamlight TLR-1, which can be activated by my support hand fingers without adjusting my grip. Simple, easy, tough…and with enough illumination power for what I expect to use the rifle for. Possible future upgrades that are not necessary for this rifle to complete is mission, but are desireable to help improve user-friendliness: a three-dot tritium sight set to replace to stock A2 adjustable sights, as budget allows – but with the Streamlight mounted, the need for the illuminated sights is negated mostly. If I don’t go with tritium sights, a finer post front sight will find its way on the rifle. An Odin Works extended magazine release is definitely on the list; they are a vast improvement over the stock magazine release, and I install them on all of my AR platform rifles. A Magpul MOE Enhanced Trigger Guard will also be installed in the future to allow for improved access to the trigger with gloved hands. They are more smoothly contoured as well, and don’t have a tendency to shave skin on my fingers as badly as the stock sharp-edged metal one. I saw a screaming deal for a BCM extended trigger guard, so that was ordered and installed on the rifle instead of the Magpul part. Defining the Mission for my KISS Rifle While some may say the need for this rifle may be vague or non-existent, it fills a very vacant hole in my lineup. I’m very fond of running guns that are sans optics unless I need them; I like the lighter weight and better handling qualities…a good aperture sight setup is all I need for 90% of my rifle use. I’m comfortable and pretty quick on target using the built-in, non-removable sights. For a few bucks, I can always drop some cake on a new flat top upper and have the Dissipator parts swapped on, once my eyes finally give out (I’m fighting it as long as I can, dammit) and I require an optic to keep my rounds heading in the right direction with anything resembling a modicum of precision. But, what will I do with this rifle? I’m glad you asked. Like the aforementioned Katrina Rifle engineered by Doc Montana ( check out his article here for a similar rifle concept that is different in execution), I built a rifle around an idea that requires a simple, light, rugged, and above all, reliable rifle that is capable of security detail/protection, hunting, and scouting. Light weight is essential so that the rifle can be on my person perpetually if the situation demands it. In a true disaster or SHTF event, having a lightweight rifle as a force multiplier may be the difference between life and death – and if the rifle is so heavy or obtrusive that you leave it at home standing in the corner, it is of no benefit. This KISS rifle is also a second primary rifle, so that I may outfit my teenaged-but-larger-than-me son with an effective rifle in case of severe emergency and extra security is required. I also wanted a platform for my KISS rifle that was easily serviceable, with parts readily available, either aftermarket or from salvaging “found” guns if needed – the Colt fit the bill flawlessly in that department. However, since the Colt is an older “pre-ban” (is that still a bragging point anymore?) rifle, it has larger .169” trigger/hammer pins, not the Milspec standard .154” pins. This necessitates a couple spares taped to the inside of the Magpul MOE grip….just in case. A complement of easily-lost detents, springs, and pins also reside in the grip cavity along with a shortened 1/16” hardened steel pin punch and a small sample tube of CLP. I like being able to effect small repairs and lubrication in the field if necessary, but big parts replacement, if required, and deep cleaning can be carried out at the home/BOL armorer’s bench. Read Also: The AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group The rifle will likely stay at the homestead, but remain ready to fulfill its duties with a ready complement of four loaded (and regularly rotated) and ready-to-rumble Magpul P-mags for immediate danger work, or a couple five-round magazines with a small-game/varmint handload in case I don’t feel like taking my "Walking Around Rifle" for a jaunt in the woods. This KISS Dissipator (KISSipator?) fulfills all the basic requirements I was looking for when I started building the gun in my head. I got the Dissipator I’d been dreaming of for 20 years, and was able to tailor the long lusted-after rifle and its few accessories to fill a hole in the SHTF arsenal, all while not overloading the rifle with gadgets and battery-powered weights. Mission accomplished. The Sum of its Parts The Dissipator configuration is a great choice if you’d like the longer handguards for mounting and grasping real estate, but without the added cost and/or hassle of free-floating rails. Really, if I didn’t want to retain the capability of mounting a light to the gun, I could have left the standard A2-style handguards on the rifle, mounted the sling to the standard swivels, and had a great rifle for even less money. As it stands, the cost for the barrel and gas tube assembled to the Colt upper, BCM charging handle, Magpul MOE rifle-length handguards, Magpul CTR rear stock, Blue Force sling and mounts, and the MLOK attachments is $407.00 – much less than the cost of a new, high-quality rifle (with no accessories!), even in this heyday of the AR rifle and aftermarket parts glut. Check Out: Windham Weaponry And keeping it simple? That’s a personal choice. I like having a rifle that is 100% effective at its intended job without any additional tactical detritus that weighs the rifle down and requires a larger stockpile of batteries. I was pleasantly surprised at the utility of this rifle, even without all the gadgetry installed. The fixed rear sight A2 platform is the ultimate in platform simplicity and ruggedness, and may even be the direction you want to go in if you’re looking for these same qualities in a SHTF rifle. What are your thoughts on this setup? A waste of a good Colt, or the right direction to go in? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts if you have a minute to share. Save Save Save Save Other interesting articles: Survival Gear Review: Henry US Survival AR-7 Rifle Magpul BEV AR-15 BEV Block Tool Review The SW22 Victory: A Project Squirrel Pistol (Part 2) Back to Basics
Finding the best AR-15 magazine coupler might be a challenge. That’s because you’ll be tasked with the responsibility of finding one through all the other low-quality and cheap models that are currently flooding the market. To serve as a starting point, we’ve decided to compile a list of five of the best AR-15 magazine couplers that are currently hot on the market. This will give you the opportunity to choose one that is high in quality and superior in performance. It will definitely give you more of an advantage over those who have ineffective magazine couplers. Before we get to our list, we’ll talk about what they are and the purpose that they serve. We’ll also give you a brief guide on what distinguishes a great magazine coupler from one that is considered crappy. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for AR15 Magazine Couplers OUR TOP PICK: Magpul - AR-15/M16 PMag Mag-Link Magazine Coupler Fab Defense Pentagon Magazine Coupler for Five fx-pmck BEST BUDGET OPTION: Lancer Systems - AR-15/M16 L5 Magazine Coupler Command Arms Accessories AR15/M16 Mag Coupler for .223 Magazine Comparison of the Best AR-15 Magazine Couplers IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Magpul - AR-15/M16 PMag Mag- "Link Magazine Coupler" Made from reinforced polymer. Includes two steel bolts for superior security. Can hold up to two 30-round PMAG magazines. View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews "Fab Defense Pentagon" Magazine Coupler for Five fx-pmck Holds up to five AR-15 magazines. Best AR-15 magazine coupler for the money. Made from high-quality polymer for superior strength. "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Best Budget Option Lancer Systems - AR-15/M16 L5 Magazine Coupler Made from high-quality polymer. Has aluminum spacers to prevent overcrowding. Holds two AR-15 or M16 magazines that hold up to 30 rounds. View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews "Command Arms Accessories" AR15/M16 Mag Coupler for .223 Magazine Fits .223 caliber magazines. Made from high-quality polymer. Spring-loaded feature for easy slide-in for magazines. View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews What is a Magazine Coupler and What Are They Used For? A magazine coupler is used to fit two AR-15 magazines together. This is designed to help you reload your AR-15 rifle with a lot more speed and efficiency. Plus, it will allow you to keep some extra ammo handy at all times regardless of what your application might be. Magpul - AR-15 / M16 PMag Link Magazine Coupler Whether you’re hunting, target practicing or using your AR-15 for competitive shooting purposes, a good magazine coupler is a convenience when you want to save yourself time rather than waste it by manually loading one magazine. What Makes a Great Magazine Coupler? The most important question asked is: what distinguishes a great magazine coupler from one that is considered low-quality and ineffective? This list below will answer that question in a few parts. This is something to refer to when you’re a first-time user of these magazine couplers. You’ll never have to worry about having to buy something that is disappointing and cheap. With that said, here’s what distinguishes a good coupler from a bad one: Material Of course, the material is one of the most important aspects of any accessory. That’s because high-quality materials like polymer are designed to be tough and withstand all kinds of damage. The higher the material quality, the better it will last. Especially for years or even decades to come. Source Installation These magazine couplers are easy to install. This means you won’t have to rely on the services of a professional gunsmith to get the job done for you. Also, you won’t have to worry about the skill level that you have when it comes to gunsmithing skills. Luckily, all of these magazine couplers are all drop-in or easy to install. Functionality A great magazine coupler will allow you to be able to release magazines as quick and simple as possible. They will fasten and stay in place until you need them. While they are fastened, they will remain in place when you’re running or firing multiple rounds. So long as the screws or fasteners are tightened properly, you won’t have to worry about losing your extra magazines. Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Magazine Couplers These are our recommendations for the best AR-15 magazine couplers: Magpul - AR-15 / M16 PMag Link Magazine Coupler Lancer Systems - AR-15/M16 L5 Magazine Coupler Fab Defense Pentagon Magazine Coupler for Five fx-pmck Review of the Best AR-15 Magazine Couplers Below is a list of five of the best AR-15 magazine couplers that are currently on the market. As you take a look at each of them, it is important to carefully note any features or abilities that they may have. While they share the same purpose, they are different in some aspects like the material or design. Also, the pros and cons of each might come in handy so you’ll know what to expect once you settle for a magazine coupler that you like. Now, let’s kick off our list with what we chose as our “best overall” magazine coupler: Best Overall: Magpul - AR-15/M16 PMag Mag-Link Magazine Coupler CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Perfectly Aligned, Doesn’t Get Crooked Stays in Place Even During Multiple Amounts of Gunfire Stronger than Any Other Magazine Coupler on the Market Cons None First, we’ll be taking a look at the Magpul AR-15/M16 PMag Magazine Coupler. If you have a couple of 30-round mags handy and need them at your disposal at any time, then this magazine coupler might be worth the investment. This is made from reinforced polymer and can fit almost any 30-round PMAG magazines. Once you attach the magazines in place they will stay secure and won’t wiggle at all. Even when you’re firing off your AR-15 they will stay in place and won’t come loose. If you’re looking for a coupler you can count on no matter what condition you’re in or what application you best use your AR-15 rifle for, then the Magpul might be something that you’re looking for. Bottom Line The Magpul magazine coupler is more than deserving of the title of “best overall”. This will provide you with an unmatched ability to reload quickly and efficiently. It fastens your magazines in place and will stay put even when you’re firing off multiple rounds per second. This is as close as you’ll get to becoming the best of the best. If that’s what you’re aiming for, then the Magpul magazine coupler might be something you’ll enjoy. Runner-up: Lancer Systems - AR-15/M16 L5 Magazine Coupler CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Super Durable Construction is Quite Solid Reloading is Quick and Speedy Cons May Not Work With PMAGs Screws May be Harder to Secure Over Time May Add Some Unnecessary Weight to Your Rifle Next, we’ll be taking a look at the Lancer Systems AR-15/M16 L5 Magazine Coupler. If you’re looking for something that is lightweight but insanely strong, then this magazine coupler might be the kind you’re looking for. This is made from reinforced polymer with a clamping system made from steel. The clamping system is designed to hold the magazines in place so they are perfectly aligned and don’t move around while you’re moving quickly from target to target and firing off multiple rounds. Especially when you’re in a setting like in an intense shooting competition. When you’re ready to reload, the magazine will be popped out and ready to go with one push of a thumb. Simple enough, right? If you’re looking for something that will give you fast reloading and a sturdy secure hold for your magazines when you don’t need them, this magazine coupler by Lancer Systems will probably be something that you’ll consider a little further. Bottom Line The Lancer Systems magazine coupler in our view is deserving of being a part of this list. That’s because the overall design is what makes this great. It keeps the overcrowding of magazines at bay and will allow for quick access just by the push of a thumb. It’s the way a magazine coupler should be. Other than that, the construction is solid and does a good job holding magazines in place. Plus, the coupler is not easy to break (despite some complaining that it does). Best for the Money: Fab Defense Pentagon Magazine Coupler for Five fx-pmck CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Snaps in Place Quite Easily Lightweight, No Unnecessary Weight Added Legal in Most States with Strict Gun Laws According to One Reviewer Cons Does Not Come with an Allen Wrench. You May Need One in Case You Need to Tighten it Some More Now we’ll be taking a look at the Fab Defense Pentagon Magazine Coupler. This will be the one you’ll want to consider buying if you’re one of the handfuls of AR-15 rifle owners that are looking for a coupler at an affordable price. The design looks quite unique. That’s because it is a five-sided design that can hold up to not two, not three, but five different AR-15 magazines. Either this design will fascinate you or intimidate you. If you’re looking for something that will allow for more than two magazines, then this coupler might be exactly what you’re looking for. This is designed from high-quality polymer that is durable from the inside out. This is a good sign if you’re looking for something that’s affordable but is also high in quality. So this cancels out the assumption that it’s just an average budget magazine coupler. The rotation is quick and will allow for speedy loading no matter what application you use it for. If you’re looking for a magazine coupler that gets the job done and doesn’t break the bank, get the Fab Defense Pentagon Magazine Coupler. Bottom Line The Fab Defense exceeds all expectations. Especially for something that is considered affordable for most AR-15 users. Aside from that, the unique design is what impresses us the most. Especially when it’s able to handle five AR-15 magazines. This definitely ups your reloading game quite a bit. If you’re looking for something that will get you through something like an extended range session, this magazine coupler from Fab Defense might just do the trick. 4. Command Arms Accessories AR15/M16 Mag Coupler for .223 Magazine CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to Install Very Sturdy Construction Easy to Load Magazines In. Easy to Release Them and Add to Rifles Cons May Not be as Versatile Like Other Magazine Couplers For our next product, we’ll be taking a look at the Command Arms Accessories AR-15/M16 Mag Coupler. This is exclusively for .223 caliber AR-15 rounds. If that’s all you’re firing these days, then you’ll need a magazine coupler that will allow you to keep some extra magazines handy in case you need them. What better coupler than this one? This is made from high-quality polymer and allows for spring loading insertion of magazines. The springs make it easy for magazines to slide on and stay in place. The design itself is robust and won’t easily break. Despite this, it won’t add on any additional weight to your rifle. These are designed at the exact specified height so they won’t get in the way of the rifle’s ejection port. If you’re looking for something that is reliable and functions the way a magazine coupler should, then the Command Arms coupler is without a doubt the only one you can count on. Especially for .223 caliber rounds. Bottom Line The Command Arms mag coupler is the only one that will exclusively work with .223 magazines. If you’re unsure of whether or not the other couplers might work with your magazines or not, then this might be your fail-safe option. Regardless of which caliber your rifle is chambered in, there will always be a magazine coupler that will accommodate it. The design is solid, dang near unbreakable, and is probably one of the most reliable couplers on the market. If these check off a few boxes on your wish list, you’ll know that its the right one for you. 5. Fab Defense - AR-15/M16 Magazine Coupler CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Fits Non-PMAGs Perfectly Solid Fit and Functions Properly Easy to Adjust for Most Shooters Cons May Not be Adequate for 20-Round Magazines Finally, we’ll be taking a look at the Fab Defense AR-15/ "M16 Magazine Coupler" . This will end up being your best friend either out in the field, at the range, or in a high-stress situation like a home defense application. No matter what, you’ll have something that you’ll rely on. Especially when it comes to finding a magazine that will give you quick and speedy loading. This is a universal style magazine coupler. Meaning this can fit magazines that will contain either .223 rounds, .300 AAC Blackout rounds, 5.56 NATO rounds, etc. Name the caliber, it will handle the magazine. This has a smooth surface and is designed to not snag on any clothing while you’re quickly moving about and reloading your rifle. The coupler is made from polymer and is designed to handle all kinds of damage and extreme temperatures. No matter the climate, it will still do its job. This will take seconds to install with the right kind of tools. Once complete, you’ll be armed with the advantage of having speedy reloads each time you need them the most. If you’re looking for a coupler that will secure your magazines in place without any issues, then the Fab Defense may be a good coupler to look at. This is designed to give you a super secure hold for both of your magazines and will be ready to go when you need them the most. Bottom Line The Fab Defense magazine coupler might be a direct rival of the Magpul in this category. We won’t be surprised if we see a battle for the top spot in the not so distant future. This holds all kinds of magazines without getting loose during a session at the range. Once you’ve fastened the magazines together, they stay put until you need them. If you hate the idea of losing magazines at the range, then the Fab Defense magazine coupler will prevent that from ever happening again. It’s built to last and will be great to use for years to come. Pros and Cons of Magazine Couplers Yes, you will get to experience the advantages of having a magazine coupler. However, there will be some downsides. This is what you might expect from a magazine coupler should you choose to get one for yourself: PROS Below are the main pros: Faster Loading/Reloading As mentioned before, these couplers are designed to keep your extra magazines handy until you need them. Since they’re closer to you, the unloading and reloading will be almost instant. This will definitely serve you well in the long run in pretty much any application. Especially if you’re in a target shooting or home defense situation. Great In Case Of An Emergency What if one of your magazines jam on you? Yes, it does happen to the best of us. It’s even more of a relief when you have two extra magazines handy just in case one fails. Not only are couplers great for faster reloading, but they’re also your “break glass in case of emergency” kind of accessories for your AR-15 rifle. Hands-Free Magazine Compartments Sometimes, holding an extra magazine in your hand will prove to be difficult. Especially when you’re trying to use your AR-15 with both hands. Your pockets won’t do you any good since the magazines themselves may snag inside them or on any parts of your clothing. You can consider this one of the many hands-free godsends that you can add onto your rifle at a moments notice. CONS Below are the main cons: May Add On Extra Weight Sometimes, if you’re carrying multiple rounds this will happen. Especially if you’re carrying more than two magazines at a time. The rifle may become slightly heavier than normal, and it might make it a little more uncomfortable to carry around. If you’re a first-time user, it is important to carry no more than two additional magazines at a time. May Not Always Be Universal Some magazine couplers will handle any caliber magazines. Some will not. This is where you’ll need to know what your AR-15 rifle is chambered in. If you fire 5.56 NATO rounds, then find a coupler that is compatible with those magazines. If you’re firing .300 Blackouts, find one that might be close enough to handle those kinds of mags. Universal mag couplers are out there, but they’re usually hard to find. Conclusion If you’re looking for the best AR-15 magazine coupler, you’ll know exactly what to look for. If not, think about what you might look for in an accessory that has the ability to hold extra magazines and allows you to reload your rifle in the shortest amount of time possible. Once you’ve got a good idea, look through the list above again to see if they fit your criteria. There is nothing more convenient or reliable like a magazine coupler that will have all your extra shots handy when you need them the most.