What accessories do I need to add to my stock/basic AR for hog and deer hunting and for home defense?

I recommend the following AR accessories for hog and deer hunting and home defense:

  1. Scope and scope mount.  For scopes see Choosing a Deer and Hog Rifle Scope.  For mounts I recommend the Burris Optics P.E.P.R. Riflescope Mount, Featuring Picatinny Ring Tops.  $75 at https://www.amazon.com/Burris-410343-Riflescope-Featuring-Picatinny/dp/B004P81FMU.  Note that they make them for 1”, 30mm, and 34mm scopes, so be sure to order one that fits your scope.
  2. Flashlight, either for nighttime hog or predator hunting or for home defense (as it’s very hard to hold and shoot a rifle with one hand and hold a flashlight in your other hand – attaching your flashlight to your rifle solves that problem; you also don’t have to spend time looking for your flashlight when seconds count).  If you can’t see the hogs or predators you won’t be able to shoot them.  Note that you can’t hunt deer at night, so if you’re only going to hunt deer and hunt hogs during the day a hunting flashlight isn’t a necessity.  For nighttime hunting I like the Odepro KL52Plus Zoomable Hunting Flashlight for $113 (comes with a red light (for predators), a green light (for hogs), infrared light (for blood tracking), and white light, which can be used as a tactical light).  It includes an on/off pressure switch.  They are weather, water and shock resistant; they cover free repair for any purchases within 24 months if problems develop with normal use.  It does not include a Picatinny rail mount – you’ll need to buy a Magpul M-LOK Cantilever Rail/Light Mount for $33, see #3 below).  The Elusive Wildlife Technologies Kill Light XLR 250), which as the name implies will shine out to 250 yards, costs $7 more.  It includes a low profile Picatinny rail mount, ready to be installed on Magpul 7 slot rail section – see #5 below; available in three color options: green (for hogs – 260 lumens), red (for predators – 270 lumens) or white (for tactical – 360 lumens), but it only comes with one of the three; withstands the abuses almost any hunting environment can throw at it, but does not indicate whether it is water-resistant; has a money back 45 day guarantee on the entire package including shipping and a lifetime warranty on the light body and LED).  I bought a Kill Light with a green lens several years ago, before Odepro came on the market.  If I were buying today to mount on an AR, I’d buy the Odepro and the Magpul M-LOK Cantilever Rail/Light Mount and save $7, compared to the price for the Kill light, and get a more versatile and powerful light that includes an on/off pressure switch.  For home defense – an Ozark Armament 600 Lumen Light for $50 at https://www.amazon.com/Ozark-Armament-Remote-Pressure-Switch/dp/B06XH9JX3N/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1529773216&sr=1-2&keywords=ozark+600&linkCode=sl1&tag=pewpewtac-20&linkId=22f1c282f3dc179e3bcc0ccea237d094 (the bundle includes a Picatinny single rail mount, ready to be installed on Magpul 7 slot rail section – see #5 below; water resistant; lifetime warranty against any and all defects).  It comes with an on/off pressure switch.
  3. Magpul M-LOK Cantilever Rail/Light Mount, Aluminum.  $33 at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MRB09NI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.  It will mount directly to your M-LOK rail, either one of the sides or the bottom, as far forward as possible.  This is not needed if you buy the Orion H40-W LED Tactical Flashlight, Ozark Armament 600 Lumen Light, or current Exclusive Wildlife Kill Light 250 XLR Flashlights (see #2 above).  They are only needed for the Odepro KL52Plus Zoomable Hunting Flashlight and older Exclusive Wildlife Kill Light 250 XLR Flashlights without a low profile Picatinny rail mount.
  4. Magpul angled foregrip. $35 at https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/magpul-afg2-angled-foregrip.  If you do a lot of shooting by just gripping your M-LOK rail you had better wear some thick gloves.  This foregrip also gives you better control of your rifle.  It should be mounted to your M-LOK bottom rail on a Magpul 7 slot rail section – see #5 below.
  5. Magpul 7 slot rail section for the foregrip (see #4 above).  You won’t be able to mount the foregrip on a M-LOK rail without a rail section.  You can get one at https://www.amazon.com/Magpul-M-LOK-Polymer-Rail-Slots/dp/B00PDKO7LU/ref=pd_bxgy_1/135-1955353-2153913?pd_rd_w=MwdyG&pf_rd_p=c64372fa-c41c-422e-990d-9e034f73989b&pf_rd_r=NRY3WTJWPSMBXHSDYTVG&pd_rd_r=20f1222b-d540-4dfe-b90d-db4cb8a6d99f&pd_rd_wg=559Nc&pd_rd_i=B00NTZ5738&th=1 for $13.
  6. EZshoot 2 Point Sling and Quick Release Sling Mount. $12 at https://www.ebay.com/itm/255104091413?hash=item3b65638515:g:lVQAAOSw2ftgutUb.  Slings make it easy to carry your rifle from your vehicle to your stand while you’re also carrying other stuff.  Also, if you’re just going to be stalking through the woods, a sling will put your rifle’s weight on your shoulders instead of your arms.
  7. Magpul ASAP – Ambidextrous Sling Attachment Point.  $27 at https://www.opticsplanet.com/magpul-asap-sling-plate.html.  This may not be needed if you have studs on your forearm and stock to attach a sling.
  8. Back Up Iron Sights (BUIS).  They’re mainly for home defense where a scope may make hitting a moving intruder difficult.  I got an open box one here for $26 – https://daggerdefense.com/products/open-box-dagger-defense-tactical-flip-buis-picatinny-rail-mounted-backup-iron-sights.  There wasn’t a scratch of ding on them.  However, if your scope isn’t mounted high you might have to use an angled BUIS like these (also $26) – https://daggerdefense.com/products/open-box-dagger-defense-flip-buis-45-degree-picatinny-rail-mounted-backup-iron-sightsThey mount directly to your Picatinny top rail – no Magpul rail section is needed.

What is the best AR in your opinion?

Daniel Defense and Bushmaster have great reputations.  It all depends on how much you want to spend.  Does a hunter in Texas need a match-grade barrel?

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He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.