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AT3 Tactical AR Academy

AR-15 Bolt Carrier Groups – Features, Coatings, & Recommendations

The bolt carrier group, or “BCG”, is the workhorse of the AR-15. It is complex and full of moving parts – enduring extreme temperatures and pressures while reliably cycling round after round. The goal of this article is to tell you what features and characteristics you should look for in a BCG, including a breakdown of the many coating types...

Mil Spec vs. Commercial Buffer Tubes & Stocks – What’s the Difference?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked, and for good reason. If you are interested in upgrading your AR-15 stock, or planning to build an AR, it is critical to understand the subtle differences between these two very similar standards. Buffers, Tubes, Stocks, and Springs: Definitions The AR-15 buffer tube (also known as the receiver extension),...

M16 vs. M4 vs. AR15 - A1, A2, A3, or A4? Understanding the Different Types of AR15 Rifles

The AR15 platform has undergone many changes over the years, and it can be pretty confusing to the average gun-owner. The goal of this article is to help you keep it all straight. AR15 vs. M4 vs. M16 - What's the Difference? To understand the different types of AR15's, you first need to start with a little history. The AR-15...

Choosing the Right AR-15 Upper: Flat-Top vs. Carry-Handle, Forged, Cast, or Billet

The AR15 upper receiver (often simply referred to as an "upper") holds and protects many of the most important components on your AR15. There are many types of uppers on the market, and it's vital to understand the differences between uppers when building or buying an AR15. Different Types of Uppers Your receiver will be either "flat top" or "carry...

AR15 Barrels: Profiles, Fluting, and Dimpling (Part 4)

By Wayne Anderson This article is part 4 of a of a 5-part series about AR-15 barrels. AR-15 Barrel Profiles: Explained We're going to get into AR-15 barrel profiles. But first, some notes from your physics class: 1) Heat is the enemy of accuracy. Shooting a rifle generates a great deal of heat, and the barrel absorbs a lot of it....

AR-15 Barrels: Caliber, Chamber, & the Best Steel Type for Your AR Barrel (Part 3)

By Wayne Anderson This article is part 3 of a of a 5-part series about AR-15 barrels. Caliber and Chamber - The .223 Family The AR is one of the most versatile rifles ever created. A huge part of that versatility comes from the modular design, and the fact that, in just a few seconds, you can remove the upper receiver group,...

AR-15 Barrels - Surface Treatments & Muzzle Types (Part 5)

By Wayne Anderson This article is part 5 of a of a 5-part series about AR-15 barrels. Surface Treatments AR-15 Barrels come in a wide variety of surface treatments - below is a rundown of the major types of treatments, with the pros and cons of each. Bare Steel Barrels Simply put, bare steel is really only appropriate for stainless barrels. CMV...

AR-15 Barrels - Barrel Length, Gas Systems, and Rifling (Part 2)

By Wayne Anderson This article is part 2 of a of a 5-part series about AR-15 barrels. AR-15 Barrel Length - What Length Should You Choose for an AR-15 Barrel? Is a Longer Barrel More Accurate? To a lot of people, it's simple: A longer barrel shoots more accurately than a short one. "It just shoots straighter," they'd say, and they'd be...