Thursday, April 26, 2012

Accessories, Accessories...

My wallet has been getting into a lot of trouble with my Ruger SR-556 lately.  I've been busy gathering some parts to make this gun a little more functional.  The gun came from the factory without sling mount provisions.  Ruger probably assumed (correctly) that the user was just going to figure out his or her own way of getting a sling onto the rifle, which I will explain in a minute.  I also added some OEM low profile rail covers to make the gun more comfortable to hold in my hands.  Without getting bitten by the sharp edges of the picatinny rail, handling this gun will be more enjoyable in the long run.

Starting from the front, and working our way back, I'll go over some of the "enhancements" that I feel will make this rifle really shine.  First up is a multi-sling mount from Damage Industries.  I searched high and low for a sling mount that would offset an HK hook mount for the bottom rail instead of the side.  The reason is because the Thorntail light mount interferes with the rail section that it rides against, making it impossible to mount anything there.  Finally, after searching the internet, I found this little guy on sale for $24.95 plus shipping.  This mount is cool.  It allows you to use the HK hook (which you can see the hole for on the side), an offset quick disconnect (QD) swivel, a bottom mounted QD swivel, or you can simply run a sling through the loop provided (you can see the loop better in the first picture).  When I mounted it, I thought "this thing is going to be a bit large" because I wanted something low profile.  However, my attitude changed when I shouldered the rifle.  I realized that the sling mount, when not being used in the 2 point sling role, actually acts as a hand stop.  It will keep my fingers from touching the hot gas regulator housing on the barrel.  During high speed shooting, run-n-gun, or a defensive gun fight, this could come in handy.

For the rear/single point sling mount, I chose to go with a Magpul ASAP plate.  ASAP stands for Ambidextrous Sling Attachment Point.  Its claim to fame is that you can transition from strong side to reaction side shoulder in a big hurry.  I tried it and it really does work.  I was concerned that the little chain link thingy would jingle jangle a lot, but when the sling is attached, it is almost completely silent.  Honestly, if I was in a fire fight, my sling would be attached.  if it wasn't, I would probably be trying to ditch my weapon anyway, so it wouldn't matter.  The only thing it has going against it is that when I go to hook my sling to the little loop, I have to sort of chase it to get it on.  It's not a big deal, however because I'd experience the same issue with a QD swivel back there.  The price on this doodad wasn't bad either.  For less than thirty bucks, I have an all metal sling mount end plate that will last for years, and will help me retain my weapon.  That's good because the thought of me pitching this gun into the dirt because of no sling attachment makes my stomach queasy.

This next mod is about 90% asthetic and 10% function for me.  The trigger guard that comes on any AR15 rifle is flat.  I personally like the look of the Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard.  This one is aluminum.  To me, it is one of those little details that sets this gun apart from your run-of-the-mill AR15. The functionality comes in two parts.  The first is that the trigger guard is bigger, which facilitates shooting with gloves on.  The second is that the back of the trigger guard fills the gap between the grip and the rear of the guard to help avoid pinching your fingers (if you decide to shoot without gloves on).  I never had a problem with it, but others have said it bothers them.  Whatever.  I still like how it looks more than anything.

So, how much further can I take this rifle?  Well, there are a million things I could do to it.  For now, I'm saving my pennies for a new flash suppressor.  I don't care for the look of the factory Ruger suppressor.  I want something a little more aggressive, perhaps medieval looking.

One thing I'll say about this gun is that it is ba-lack!  I'm on the fence about replacing some of the furniture with tan or foliage to sort of break it up a bit.  Who knows?  For now, I'll run it as a black gun and not worry about anything else.  Until next time, ta ta!


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