Matrix Arms presenting an upgrade for am AR-15

If you’ve ever held or fired a stock factory AR-15 from any number of manufacturers, regardless of the overall quality of their rifle, odds are that there were parts or components of the rifle that you didn’t like the feel. Whether it was the handguard, the optics, or maybe even the trigger, something about it didn’t suit your grip or your style. As with any tool or machine, you want a rifle that’s going to fit you and suit your needs and style, and that’s where the AR-15 shines through the rest of the catalog. Thanks to its highly customizable platform, the AR-15 is unlike any other rifle in the sense that you can design, build, and rebuild as your needs and preferences change.

Upgrading the AR-15 rifle

There are virtually endless applications for the AR-style rifle and lasting ways that you can personalize your rifle. Simply by upgrading certain components of your rifle, you can improve your accuracy by more than 50%, build the AR-15 that is best suited to your particular shooting style and preference, and modify it in a manner that will fit your intended use, whether it’s for sport shooting, hunting, or home protection, each type of component can be modified to more accurately assist you in your task.


The trigger is one of the most integral components in your rifle and is responsible for making sure your AR will always go bang. It’s definitely recommended that if your AR-15 is intended for critical use, such as home and self-defense, that you stick with the tried and true stock Mil-Spec (military specification) trigger and just let it smooth out with use. If your application is more so for performance, whether you’re involved in a competitive shooting or just want to outperform your peers at the range, you can always upgrade to better triggers that are crisper and have a lower trigger pull weight—and in these cases, you have to keep in mind that you’ll be toeing the line between performance and reliability.

Muzzle Brakes

Brakes, compensators, and hybrids are an incredibly easy upgrade you can add to your AR-15 to help reduce recoil and minimize the vertical movement of your firearm.


While there are a wide variety of handguards available on the market, we’ll focus on two of the main types of handguards— the drop-in and free-floating handguard. Drop-in handguards are when you have a delta ring on the receiver and a fixed front sight base, and the key drawback is that you are limited by the length from the receiver to the front sight base (FSB). Drop-in handguards also typically come in two pieces so they can fit without having to remove the barrel, delta ring, or the FSB—hence the term, drop-in, which is essentially how you install the handguard, by simply dropping it into place. With drop-in handguards, you also have to ensure you get the proper length that fits your AR-15’s gas system.

On the other hand, free-floating handguards, like our patented Matrix Arms Charlie and Lavi Handguards will only connect directly to the receiver and don’t come in contact with the barrel. This inherently increases accuracy since nothing is interfering with the barrel, such as the stock, grip, or other attachments. You can also have more freedom in selecting the length of your handguard, meaning you can sport a much longer one to accommodate an extended grip, and you’ll have the option to attach extra accessories as well. Just be sure to measure your barrel and muzzle device, so you order the right length handguard.
The latest trend for handguards is that manufacturers are moving towards including only Picatinny rails on the top instead of quad-rails (on all sides), just like we’ve done with our 5.56 15″ CHARLIE LIGHT HANDGUARD, which is being done in an effort to reduce weight. Then you still have the option to add on rails later when needed to accommodate additional accessories.


You can consider upgrading your barrel if your current profile or length isn’t cutting it for your purpose or if you’ve simply worn out your barrel with standard use. For tasks or activities that require greater accuracy, you might consider a heavier contour, which will make the barrel stiffer and more resistant against accuracy drop-offs due to heat or barrel whips.

If you’re looking for a greater overall range, you might consider a longer 18″ or 20″ barrel for that extra increase in velocity. Stainless steel barrels tend to be more accurate but at the expense of a shorter lifespan, which will end up costing you more in the long run as you replace them more frequently with use. If you’re looking for something lightweight and your range is limited to the median range, then you could go for a lightweight profile and drop to the standard Mil-Spec like our 16″ 5.56 NATO BARREL.

If you’re looking for a softer shooting experience for your AR-15, you could look into a longer gas length, such as changing to a mid-length from a carbine. The extra length gives added space and time for gas pressure to lower before cycling back.


What you need is to find an optic that not only complements your AR’s specific design but also satisfies your requirements regarding zoom ratio, magnification range, dimensions, and cost. Some of today’s most popular AR-15 optics are the variable-­power riflescope, the dot-­style (reflex) sight, and some more categorically unique options. The most popular options for AR-15 rifles, whether you’re hunting, sport shooting, or just pinging targets at the range, would be the variable-power riflescopes. Some examples are 3-9×40 PRIMUS RIFLESCOPE, 3-9×44 ORIANA RIFLESCOPE (30MM), and the 5-20×50 MAGNUS RIFLESCOPE.


The result of upgrading your AR-15 will be a more accurate and more optimal shooting experience for you, and the best part about the AR is that you don’t even have to take your rifle to a local gunsmith to install most AR-15 upgrades. At Matrix Arms, we proudly carry a full lineup of the latest innovations and AR-15 mods, so you’ll have no problem finding the customizations you need to take your AR-15 to that next level.


Find your ideal AR-15 parts and components, or choose from a variety of features by contacting Matrix Arms for full inventory options.

Featured Image: Anatoly Vartanov/Shutterstock