Tactics for The American Reformation Part 3: Basic AR-15 Duty Set Up

Let’s take a look at setting up a Duty AR-15. What is “Duty”? Anything from patrolling property, home defense, as well as battling brigands and other evildoers. Now – a good Duty rifle does not have to cost an arm, legs, and unmentionables. Especially with the current firearm market duty AR’s can be purchased with hundreds rather than thousands of dollars. Factory OEM AR’s from Ruger and Smith & Wesson can be found for under $500 and make good platforms which to have a Duty gun.

So – what are the main components of a Duty gun?

  • AR-15
  • Sling
  • Optic
  • Flashlight

With every aspect of all of the components listed above a great amount of personal preference is involved. What works for me may not work for you. What works for Operator A might be terrible for Operator B, etc. Consider a car lot. Every vehicle there will get you where you are going but there is a reason why so many models are manufactured. A general coverage of each component will be reviewed.

NOTE: Putting together a Duty gun is NOT complicated. This is also not a MISSION SPECIFIC firearm to serve a very certain tole with required abilities.


Most any AR-15 of at least carbine(16″) length will fill the role. Popular models from Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Bushmaster, Windham, and others are available and each having models to fit any budget. M4 carbine variants work well and also 20″ full-sized rifles. There is no need for an AR that will shoot sub-MOA groups, or have a special lower with engraving. Reliabilitiy is of upmost concern and importance. The choice is up to the one with the money which to buy.

Here are a couple examples:

AR-15, M4, duty gun, prepper, American Reformation, civil war, SHTF, preparedness, tactical

AR-15, M4, duty gun, prepper, American Reformation, civil war, SHTF, preparedness, tactical

I’ll note that models in 5.56mm are recommended for a few reasons including ammunition compatibility, ammo cost/weight, and magazine compatibility.


I run a single-point sling which I like very much. They are simple to use and fast. The main issue with the single point is transitioning from pistol to long gun. When the AR is dropped to switch to a pistol the gun seems to like heading directly to my – gerbils. Not the most comfortable feeling.

For an overview of sling options –

A few mentioned slings:

Haley Strategic D3 Sling

Magpul MS4 Sling

BFG Vickers Sling

Frank Proctor WOTG Sling

Viking Tactics Sling

Ferro Concepts Slingster

QD Mounts



Iron sights are a basic component as part of any Duty gun. A simple set of Magpul MBUS II folding sights will suffice.  Want something better and made of metal? Buy ’em.

Most Duty AR’s today will run a red dot optic such as the Bushnell TRS-25, Vortex StrikeFire, etc. Money generally equals quality. EOTech’s and Aimpoints offer increased reliabilities and are worth the extra funds needed for purchase. Red dots provide much faster target acquisition than iron sights and also help those of us with aging eyes. Although there are many red dot optics available it’s important on a Duty gun to have something reliable with a very good track record. Although I am currently testing a Sightmark CSR I would never recommend a company such as Sightmark due to their very questionable reputation.

weapons light, AR-15, EOTech, sights, Magpul, SHTF, prepper, preparedness

Magnified optics can prove very beneficial when targeting longer distances. They also can serve to assist in gathering information. For a Duty rifle, the optic should be something in the 1×4 – 1×6 range. The reason for not going to a higher starting magnification is the need to be able to use the optic in CQC. Turning the optic down to 1X will allow near red dot performance.

AR-15, Patriot rifle, Vortex, Vortex optics,

Recommended Optics:

Magpul MBUS Gen II Flip Up Sights

Bushnell TRS-25

Vortex StrikeFire II

Vortex Sparc II

HOLOSUN Micro Red Dot

EOTech 552

Aimpoint Pro

Trijicon MRO Red Dot

Vortex Crossfire II 1-4X Scope

Primary Arms 1-8X Scope



Illumination is an important component of a Duty rifle. The weapons platform may be used to illuminate a threat at night or possibly an intruder inside a building.  While there is a lot of controversy as to just how bright weapon mounted flashlights should be in the end that is up to the shooter – and your wallet. Understand that an 800 lumen light reflecting off white drywall can interrupt the ability for the holder of the gun to see – not just the “bad guy”. Companies such as SureFire and Streamlight have great reputations for making reliable weapon lights.

weapons light, duty gun, Polytach, AR-15, light,

Exactly how the light is mounted and run is up to the shooter.

M-Loc, light mount, weapons light, SureFire, Streamlight, AR-15


Recommended Flashlights:

Streamlight Polytac

Streamlight TLR-1

SureFire Mini Scout

Streamlight ProTac



The Duty Rifle is an integral component to preparing for the American Reformation.  It is reliable, versatile, and accurate. Only with training can it be put to use to take advantage of its full capabilities.


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