The goal/intent of the upgrades were to transform my Bushmaster AR-15 from an iron sight, every day use shooter to a more specialized long range shooter. I also wanted the weapon to maintain some short range capability with the Ghost Ring on the ACOG as well as with the quick release of the ACOG. I could easily slap an Aimpoint Micro on there in about 15 seconds to give it the close in capability. If you are not sure what I mean by Ghost Ring or Ghost Sights, I give it a brief mention in the Easy AR-15 Upgrades video below:
I started the upgrade process on my Bushmaster with Omega Rails, Magpul ACS stock and Tango Down grip already installed. I decided that I wanted to go green with my AR-15, OD green that is. I headed on over to DSG Arms to their Going Green sale. I'm not sure how long the sale will be going on, so I'd take advantage of it now. I have no affiliation with DSG Arms, I just know they have great customer service, excellent prices and fast shipping.
I picked up the following from DSG Arms:
I grabbed the following from LaRue Tactical (another highly recommended, but unaffiliated company):
I also decided to slap on an ACOG TA-01 4x32 optic to make this Bushmaster into a longer range shooter (as compared to iron sights).
The first part that I upgraded was the stock. Installation of the Magpul UBR was a lot easier than I expected (about 5 minutes). Just replace the buffer tube, slide on the stock mount, tighten a flat head screw (with Loctite) attach the stock to the mount (by hand) and DONE. Here is what it looked like after installation:
After installing the UBR stock, I quickly installed the grip and CR-123 battery holder (inside):
Harris bipod installation (with LaRue mount) was done without tools, just a few twist screws hand tightened. Easy:
Then I slapped on the ACOG TA-01 (with Ghost Ring sight):
After installation was complete I had a fully functional 600+ yard accurate shooter with ACOG glass, bipod and stock that afforded the shooter a constant cheek weld. The cheek weld is a very important aspect of longer range shooting. The weapon maintained it's shorter range capability with the iron sights (Ghost Ring) on top of the ACOG optic.
All in all, this weapon is ready for virtually any environment but is optimized for shooting in the 30-600+ yard ranges. Anything inside the 50 yard perimeter will likely require use of the iron sights. If the mission changes, I'll just need to unscrew the ACOG and quickly attach the Aimpoint Micro. This can be accomplished efficiently be remembering or marking (with a silver tip sharpie) the location on your rail where you mount your optics. Once marked and sighted in, the weapons will maintain good accuracy even when detached and reattached.
You don't need a gunsmith to perform these basic upgrades! Go ahead, give 'em a try yourself. You'll be happy you did.