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Aug 09, 2023 | 01:06 am 822 0

How to mount a night vision scope on an AR-15.


How to mount a night vision scope on an AR-15.

Many weapons give the military and civilians complete freedom of choice. However, in most cases, the option stops at AR-15. This rifle from the USA has great potential and is valued for its maximum versatility. It is perfect for night use as well. However, in this situation, its user should replace the standard day sight with a similar optic for the dark. This process initially seems rather complicated. However, everyone can cope with the task after studying a brief guide.

What is AR-15?

The AR-15 rifle is ideal for using NV scopes. She is an absolute legend; she has a relatively long history and performs well in various tasks. It is actively used by military personnel of multiple units and benefits civilians. With its help, the latter protect their property, protect the territory, hunt, and learn to shoot. Such popularity of this weapon makes it interesting to study. Many potential buyers of the AR-15 are interested in its history, key features, advantages, and disadvantages. We will consider these aspects in our brief description of the rifle.

History of creation

The beginning of the history of the AR-15 was in the mid-50s of the last century. At this time, a group of American engineers patented several important inventions, which became the basis for creating a rifle a few years later. Its first version for standard cartridges was presented by Y. Stoner in 1957 at one of the events held in Georgia (USA). During testing, a new, at that time rifle gave a minimum of failures. The results amazed many, so the AR-15 was the most realistic replacement for the obsolete M15. 

Further tests revealed several of its significant shortcomings. The main one was the inefficiency of the rifle when the water hit it. In addition, the lack of a flame arrester was called a minus.

In 1959, the developers of the AR-15 sold a license for producing weapons to a well-known American company, the founder of which was the legendary S. Colt. Moreover, the rights to use the patent were sold after two years. Immediately after that, many countries became interested in the new rifle, and orders for its production began to come from different continents. Even more tremendous popularity came the AR-15 due to the publication of the results of a particular study. According to him, this rifle was almost twice as effective as the M14.

In 1960, the AR-15 first fell into the hands of military personnel. It was planned to replace the M2 carbines, which needed to be updated and more convenient. For two years, there were fierce disputes on this issue, but in 1962, representatives of the American Army standardized the rifle and assigned it the M16 marking. A few months later, AR-15 began to be actively used in Vietnam. Numerous positive reviews turned it into the primary weapon of the US Army for many years. In 1963, a contract was signed to produce more than 100,000 AR-15s. Most of them were for the Marine Corps. At that time, the rifle's design had already been significantly changed compared to the original. Both individual elements and entire mechanisms were added to it (for example, a bolt-forward assist device).

In 1977, the patents for the AR-15 expired, so all weapon designers could use the rifle's design to create their modifications. This led to many AR-15 models, each with its characteristics. Some of them were regarded as assault-type weapons and banned for use by civilians. In the 80s, most modifications of the AR-15 began to be actively used in security activities. Also, these rifles have become police assistants in some countries.

Over the following decades, the AR-15 was improved many times. Different types of these rifles were adapted to perform specific tasks, gradually expanding their scope. Nowadays, this weapon remains one of the most popular in the world. In terms of the number of units produced, it ranks 4th in history. This is further proof of the quality and effectiveness of the AR-15.

Key features

Many experts call the AR-15 a unique rifle. It has several features that are not found in most analogs. This makes this weapon universal and widely used in our time.

The main features of the AR-15:

  1. Good magazine capacity. Most AR-15 models have 30-round magazines. This number is impossible to surprise the military, but civilians who use these weapons for personal purposes will be pleased. They can shoot for a long time without reloading, which is the most important thing when using the AR-15 to protect yourself and your property. In some models, it is possible to equip with special nozzles for attaching additional magazines. This will turn reloading, if needed, into a task for a few seconds.
  2. Compatibility with various additions. The AR-15 can be easily customized to suit your needs. To do this, most rifle models can be equipped with different types of sights (day, night), a flashlight, unique handles, adjustable stocks, and many other accessories.
  3. Low power. All versions of the AR-15 are not powerful weapons. When using standard ammunition, the penetration power of a cartridge flying out of the barrel will be 1.5-2 times lower than most analogs. This feature is not welcome in the army, so it uses improved models with an increased power rating. At the same time, low power will only be a plus for civilians. Thanks to her, a hunter, guard, or person protecting his home will rarely hit unintended targets (for example, people in neighboring houses).
  4. Low probability of failure. The AR-15 is considered a reasonably reliable rifle. It will work flawlessly for many years if properly cared for and not used in extreme conditions.

Advantages and disadvantages

The AR-15 is a popular rifle for more than just its good looks. She has many positive qualities that make her stand out from other weapons. The AR-15 also has disadvantages. They must always be remembered during operation.

Key benefits:

  1. Modularity. The AR-15 is known for being a modular design. Its presence makes experimenting with components and accessories possible, forming unique combinations.
  2. Versatility. This advantage of the AR-15 allows the rifle to be used for almost any purpose. Thanks to the modularity above, it is easily adapted to specific tasks, thereby maximizing the efficiency of its use.
  3. Availability. There are a vast number of modifications to the AR-15. There are versions for affluent buyers and people with limited financial capabilities. Such a variety makes rifles as accessible as possible, and everyone can purchase them.
  4. High shooting accuracy. This advantage is one of the keys to any weapon. The AR-15 is considered an accurate rifle, with only 5-6 failures for every 1000 shots. The potential for achieving such results lies in the very design of the weapon and its configuration, so the shooting accuracy is typical for any modifications of the AR-15.
  5. Little return. Due to the correct linear layout, the AR-15 is characterized by minimal recoil. This increases the shooter's comfort and makes it possible to use the rifle for training beginners. Also, the minimum recoil allows for accurate high-speed shooting.
  6. Lightweight. A significant positive quality of the AR-15 is its lightness. On average, different versions of this rifle weigh 5.5-6 kg, significantly lower than similar weapons. The minimum weight makes the AR-15 the most comfortable to use. It is easy to carry it in your hands for a long time and perform various maneuvers.

Main disadvantages:

  1. The ingress of powder gases into the bolt group of the rifle. This deficiency is the most significant and cannot be corrected. The fact is that the AR-15 has an unusual gas drive assembly. Because of this, powder gases penetrate the bolt group, gradually accumulating there and turning into soot. The result of this impact is an increase in delays during firing.
  2. The need for careful care. The AR-15 is a somewhat capricious rifle. In the presence of contamination, its work's efficiency deteriorates sharply. Therefore, cleaning this weapon should be a daily procedure for its owner. Even the use of super-quality cartridges does not improve the situation.

Necessary tools and fixtures

You can only mount the sight on the AR-15 if you have all the required tools and accessories. All of them will be used to perform specific actions strictly following the primary procedure. The number and name of the instruments need to be fixed. If you need to perform additional manipulations with optics, you can include as many new items as you like in the list. However, in all cases, the four most important tools are always mandatory in the list.

Appliances used:

  1. Keys of different types. Installing optics on any rifle will only take place with various keys. To perform this operation with the AR-15, its owner will need an ordinary hex wrench and a special torque wrench. They can be ordered in almost all tool stores and purchased relatively cheaply. Both keys are required to secure the fasteners that will help the scope stay on the platform located on the AR-15 barrel. In some cases, such keys are attached to the purchased NV sight. However, this feature is observed mainly in the most expensive models.
  2. Screwdriver with a unique nozzle. You will need a screwdriver to fix some structural details to the base. A standard tool in this situation will be useless, so you need a product with a unique nozzle at the end. It is selected depending on the fasteners included in the mount kit. The cost of this screwdriver is not too high, so everyone can buy it.
  3. Bubble level. This tool is at home with many gun owners. It is intended to control the parallelism of the arrangement of various parts relative to each other. This level is widely used when doing various household chores but will also be helpful when working with the AR-15. With it, it will be possible to control the position of the device relative to the barrel of the weapon. This construction tool is cheap and is on sale almost everywhere.
  4. Stand. It is essential to fasten the AR-15 to make work more comfortable and secure. A unique weapon stand is used for these purposes, which will be helpful when carrying out any work with weapons. Only some have this device, and not everyone can buy it due to the high cost. Therefore, a standard vise can be used as an alternative. If they are selected, placing soft nozzles (purchased or homemade) on the metal elements is recommended. They will protect the weapon from scratches and defects that a vise leaves under solid compression.

In addition to the above, the owner of the weapon, who independently installs the NV sight, is recommended to prepare a napkin and an alcohol-containing solution in advance. The latter must be without any dyes and flavors. Ordinary medical alcohol, sold in most pharmacies, can become a replacement for it.

Step-by-step instruction

Even a beginner can install the NV sight on the AR-15 independently. To do this, it is enough to study the recommended sequence of actions and stay within it even a step. All manipulations carried out must be accurate and carefully thought out. This will avoid damage to both products and give a chance to perform a quality installation.

The correct course of action:

  1. Any work with a weapon should begin with its check. The case with the mounting NV sight is no exception. It is essential to unload the rifle and detach the magazine entirely to check. Next, checking the chamber and understanding that it is empty is recommended. All of the above actions are desirable to perform several times. This approach will eliminate any unpleasant surprises that can injure a person.
  2. It is necessary to collect together the tools and additional parts that will be used during the work. These actions can be performed in advance so that when mounting the sight, you stay focused on various trifles and save precious time.
  3. The completion of the preparation for mounting the NV optics will be the installation of the AR-15 on the stand. The latter is placed horizontally, choosing a flat and slightly rough surface as a base. This will eliminate accidental movements of the base, which will complicate the work and may cause various mounting inaccuracies. A rifle is placed on a correctly positioned platform. It is firmly fixed with special clamps, after which it is checked for immobility. Next, they pick up the level and use it to control the horizontal level of the platform, AR-15, and the base on which the entire structure is placed. The absence of inclinations to either side will complete the preparation stage.
  4. Mount must begin by processing all the elements of the AR-15 that will come into contact with the NV sight. This procedure uses an ordinary napkin moistened with an alcohol solution. It will remove various contaminants from the surface, which can reduce the quality of the installation. Similar actions are performed with the details of the sight where the fasteners will be located.
  5. After removing contaminants, fix the fastener used on the upper receiver. All actions taken at this stage should be slow and accurate. The fixation option can be any. However, experts do not recommend using the installation on the rail. Otherwise, the barrel will be subjected to a considerable load, making it uncomfortable to shoot from a rifle.
  6. The keys tighten the fasteners. It should not be too strong, as the pins will be subject to increased stress. The consequence of this will be the gradual destruction of these parts and a decrease in the quality of the optics installation.
  7. Having completed all the previous work, re-check the parallelism of the rifle relative to the platform. Re-mount the stand if even slight shifts relative to the horizontal plane are detected.
  8. Only now is it recommended to pick up an NV scope and apply it to the point where it will be attached to the rifle? In parallel, you need to ensure that the surface of the device is a support for the rings.
  9. The edges of the rings are fixed, always leaving a small gap on both sides. It is necessary for easier placement of the NV scope.
  10. Having completed this work, the eye relief is corrected. In this case, please consider the various recommendations of professional shooters and compare them with their preferences. The result of such actions should be the choice of the optimal distance from the lens of NV optics to the pupil. After adjusting, all existing protective elements are put on the sight. They are often unique covers that protect fragile lenses from mechanical damage.
  11. Using keys and a special screwdriver, tighten all fasteners. In this case, it is essential to achieve reliable fixation and exclude any shifts in the optics during aiming and firing.
  12. Having installed the NV sight, control its location relative to the weapon's barrel. If the level used shows no deviation from the horizontal, then the work can be considered 95% complete. If even small shifts are observed, an adjustment must be made. This can be done by strengthening or loosening the tension of the fasteners.
  13. At this stage, the reticle of the NV sight is checked. During optics installation, it often goes astray, so the weapon's owner must adjust its position. Without any inaccuracies, you can proceed to the final stage of the process.
  14. At the very end, once again, check the optics' location relative to the weapon's barrel. In addition, visually inspect the entire structure for any defects. If there are no problems, then the installation of the NV scope was successful.

AR-15 is one of the best rifles in the world. It is widely used by military personnel of various units and civilians. Such popularity of this weapon is explained by its versatility and ability to work effectively in multiple conditions. This rifle will be most useful at night. To use it at this time of day, installing a quality NV sight is necessary. This process takes relatively little time and requires the weapon's owner only to follow the correct sequence of actions. If you avoid mistakes, the AR-15 with a night sight will become an indispensable assistant in various tasks.


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