What to Bring—Rifle 223 (Carbine)
The most common question we are asked is “what to bring?” This page provides some guidelines that will ensure you have the best experience at one of our events. The specific products and vendors below are just suggestions or examples of a type of product that may work well for you. There are many other similar gear options.
- Our volunteers are neither gunsmiths nor armorers; please ensure your firearm is safe and functional!
- Eye and ear protection is required at all events. We highly suggest electronic ear protection as it makes it easier to hear instruction and line commands.
- Use only the correct ammunition for your gun. Most guns have the proper ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Do not shoot without the proper ammunition. Revere’s Riders strongly suggests the use of factory ammunition. Handloads are generally not necessary at our service-rifle and pistol inspired events—originally these events were intended to be fired with bulk issue “ball” ammunition!
- Dress appropriately for a day outside at a firing range (closed-toe shoes, high neck shirts, long sleeves if weather allows, etc). Our events occur rain or shine. Dress for the weather!
- Avoid loose-fitting clothing, especially around the neck line. You don’t want hot brass going down your shirt!
- A hat with brim will keep the sun out of your eyes and deflect any hot brass headed towards your face.
- Bring a pad and paper for taking notes.
- Bring a pen or marker for taking notes and marking your targets.
- You may want to bring gloves. They protect your hands in inclement weather and also keep your hands from getting torn up working through drills.
- A towel or mat is useful for using in the prone position as well as covering your firearm in inclement or hot weather during breaks.
- A folding chair is nice to have during lunch and history presentations.
- For full day events, pack a lunch (note that a few events will provide lunch; the event listing will specify if lunch will be provided).
- Bring snacks and water. Proper hydration is essential—in the summer plan on one quart per hour as a rule of thumb and supplement your water with sports drinks, salty snacks, etc.
We have a selection of recommended general safety equipment on the What to Bring–All Events page.
Rifle 223 (Carbine)
Most important is to bring a safe and functional rifle. If you haven’t cleaned your rifle, setting aside time before the event to clean it would be a good idea. If you have doubts about the safety of your rifle, now would be a good time to have it looked over by a qualified gunsmith or armorer.
- AR-15: The default assumption is that students will bring an AR-15 style carbine. If you bring a different type of carbine or rifle please coordinate with the event director. If ammunition cost prohibits you from attending, most learning can be accomplished on a rimfire trainer but there may be some activities not well suited to rimfire. A shorter, lighter barrel configuration is most suitable (such as a 16″ A2 or pencil profile barrel) but a wide variety of rifle configurations are viable.
- Sights/Optics: Ideal sights are GI-style iron aperture sights, a red dot optic (such as an AimPoint), a low-powered fixed optic of no more than 4X power (such as an ACOG), or a variable power optic of 1–4x or 1–6x power.
- Sling: The carbine should have a two point sling. A USGI web sling is ok, but you may prefer a sling with adjustable length such as the VTAC 2-Point adjustable sling.
- Magazines & Gear: Students should bring at least four magazines (six are preferred). Students should be able to carry at least one magazine in a quick, accessible manner: pants with an appropriate pocket on the support side, a magazine pouch, or a belt magazine carrier are fine. Additional magazines should be able to be carried in pockets or pouches. If you use duty gear (chest rig, load bearing belt, etc) for work or competition bring your normal gear. Instructors may have some loaner gear for carrying magazines.
- Be Ready to Move: The firing line will move back and forth as you shoot at different ranges from 7 to 100 yards. We will revisit the gear line periodically between drills to grab fresh ammunition and hydrate but you may want to have a few comfort items in your pockets (snacks, chap stick, etc) in addition to your magazines and ammunition as described above.
- Mat or Knee/Elbow Pads: We may be spending some time in the prone position and you may want to bring a shooting mat or knee/elbow pads for comfort.
Recommended Rifle 223 Equipment
Below is a list of equipment that our instructors have found to be functional, durable and useful:
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Designed with input from a distinguished group of current and former professionals, the Patrol Rifle Optic incorporates many never before seen features to maximize this sight’s performance within the challenging conditions faced by modern law enforcement.
Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Sling
The Patent Pending Vickers Combat Applications Sling™ has revolutionized the way we carry automatic rifles. Developed with industry friend, firearms expert, and former 1st SFOD- Delta operational member Larry Vickers, the Vickers Combat Applications Sling™ incorporates key features from real world experience that makes the sling effective and durable – the choice sling requested by name. The Vickers Combat Applications SlingSling™ has been our most popular product of all with service in every branch of service here at home as well as several foreign militaries.
GrovTec Low Profile Heavy Duty Push Button Quick Detach Sling Swivel
This GrovTech Quick Detach Sling Swivel features a 1.25″ Loop for compatibility with a wide variety of sling types and is quickly and easily installed or removed from a QD Sling Socket via its low profile (recessed) push button. The QDS swivel is constructed of Stainless Steel for strength and durability.
Magpul MBUS Front Flip Sight GenII
The MBUS (Magpul® Back-Up Sight) is a low-cost, color injection molded, folding back-up sight. The MBUS Front Sight is adjustable for elevation and fits most 1913 Picatinny-railed hand guards, but is specifically tailored to the AR15/M16 platform.
Magpul MBUS Rear Flip Sight GenII
The MBUS (Magpul® Back-Up Sight) is a low-cost, color injection molded, folding back-up sight. The dual aperture MBUS Rear Sight is adjustable for windage and fits most 1913 Picatinny rail equipped weapons, but is specifically tailored to the AR15/M16 platform.
MagPul MS1 Padded Sling
The MS1 Padded Sling is an optimized, dedicated two-point sling that serves equally well in a one-point role when using optional adapters. Built around our MS1 slider, this system provides rapid adjustments to either lengthen or shorten the sling with no slipping once set, and no tails, loops, or other potential snag hazards. In a two-point role, the MS1 allows easy shoulder transitions, rapid adjustability for hands free rifle carry and shooting support from various positions. The MS1 system also has a series of adapters that are sold separately and based on the MS3® and MS4™ slings. By adding the appropriate adapter (available with Paraclip™ or QD Sling Swivel) for the sling, you can easily add one-point functionality to your MS1.
Rapid Rod Cleaning Rod
Rapid-Rod will keep your barrel clear and safe. Obstructions such as mud, snow, dirt, ice, shotgun wadding, shell casings, or a bullet can and do get lodged in chambers and barrels. This dangerous and frustrating situation renders your weapon useless until cleared.
Spiral Bound Index Cards
Spiral bound index cards are a great low-cost solution for a range notebook. Multiple sizes are available so you can choose the size that best fits your needs. These are usually available at any store that stocks office and/or school supplies as well as Amazon.
NOTE: the link associated with the “Buy from Amazon” button below is an “affiliate” link; clicking through and buying this product will earn Revere’s Riders a small commission on the sale. This income helps to support our firearms training programs going forward.
Trijicon ACOG TA44 1.5x16mm
Wrapped in a smaller package, at 4.9 ounces, this ACOG is perfect for fast-moving tactical teams operating in close quarters or for speed-oriented competition venues. This very compact model provides weapons like the M16/M4 with excellent fire control capability. Targets are easier and quicker to acquire through the 1.5×16 models because of the larger field of view (7.4 degrees) and eye-friendly design.
USGI Rifle Sling, OD Green
This sling is a correct representation of the military sling for the M1 Garand rifle. It is fully adjustable, 1-1/4″ cotton webbing. Made in U.S.A. Sling is approximately 48″ long from the Sling hook to the end of the ball tip. 52″ of canvas fully extended before the hardware is sewn on.
Viking Tactics VTAC Original 2-Point Sling
The Original 2 Point Sling features a revolutionary design that has made it a favorite of the Special Forces community. Created for a collapsible stock (AR-15 type rifles), the Viking Tactics Original 2 Point Sling is quick, versatile, dynamic, and most importantly, simple.
Viking Tactics, Inc. understand the importance of flexibility and this product truly delivers in this aspect. The Original 2 Point Sling is instantly adjustable, allowing you to adjust shooting positions with ease. You can easily move from strong side shoulder to weak side shoulder or secure your carbine during handgun transition.
Voodoo Tactical Padded Weapons Rifle Case
Whether you are carrying your rifles to the range or need to pack them in the field, this Voodoo Tactical brand padded weapons case is a terrific way to carry one or two long guns and a great deal of related gear. With a padded separator, your guns will remain safe. This gun case features three carrying methods: A standard handle in center of the bag, a shoulder strap, and back-pack style shoulder harness. This backpack style carry is great for long distances. And if you use the PAL webbing to attach MOLLE or ALICE pouches, you can haul even more gear.
Vortex Crossfire Red Dot
For close-in work and general shooting, it’s tough to beat a quality Red Dot Sight. The super-light, ultracompact, insanely-fast-on-target, incredibly durable, Crossfire Red Dot is exactly that. Not only does this sight absolutely rock, it does so at a price that’s hotter than a $ 2 pistol.
Vortex Sparc AR Red Dot
Simple—Fast—Effective—Point and Shoot. When you boil it down, those are the advantages of a red dot sight. And that’s what the SPARC AR delivers – all in a durable, lightweight, compact, and ultra-clean package. Digital rear-facing controls for power and dot brightness offer quick access and are viewable from the shooting position. 2 MOA dot diameter promotes precise point of aim. Automatically returns to last dot intensity used when powered up.
Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
Designed specifically for the AR platform, the 3x Spitfire™ combines an impressive array of high-performance features into a rugged, ultra-compact package. When fast target acquisition in close- to medium-range shooting applications is a priority, the Spitfire excels.
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Riflescope
Speed and versatility—that’s what 1x variable optics offer AR shooters who need to engage targets from point-blank out to extended ranges. And that’s exactly what you’re going to get with Vortex’s new Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24. Take into consideration what it costs to get into this optic, and you may find you can’t afford not to buy it.