“If you are new to the AR platform, be sure to figure out the main purpose of your rifle. If you want to kit out your rifle with the sole intent of looking sexy in the mirror, then load it up. If you don’t want to waste money, and get the best shooting experience out of your rifle, then consider the following:
Start with optics. Do you plan to run anything other than irons? If so, mount the best quality optic you can afford. If you use an optic (magnified or non-magnified), plan on mounting a backup sighting system…..such as offset irons. Next, will this be a work or home defense gun? If yes, you better throw a light on the rail. There’s a million different options out there but be sure to pick one that meets your needs without taking up unnecessary real estate on your gun. Also, will you be mounting a sling? If you’re going to use the rifle, at all, you definitely want a way to hang it off your torso.
I would consider anything beyond these accessories as extra. Spend some time behind your rifle and work on the basics. From there, you can figure out what else you might want (vertical grips, different stock……..). If it’s loaded down heavy to start, you’ll probably end up stripping stuff off the more you train with it. Spending money on ammo is much more valuable than unused accessories.”
– Jason Gady