How to Choose the Right Accessories for Your Rifle 

 April 1, 2020

By  Daniel Gray

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Last updated on July 24, 2022

When purchasing accessories for your rifle the aim is to never weigh your gun down with unnecessary bells and whistles. Always remember that whatever accessory you decide to add to your rifle must serve a purpose other than looking good.

There are a number of accessories for rifles to pick from. So how do you go about choosing the right ones for your rifle? If you, like many other rifle owners, have been wondering this then you’re in luck.

This question, and more, will be answered in today’s article.

Rifle Accessories: What are Your Options?

Before we dive right in and tell you how to choose the right accessories for your rifle it’s important that you know what your accessory options are. There are countless options available on the market and the rifle accessory industry as a whole is constantly innovating new products that are better than the last.

To make sure you don’t waste your money on a fad you need to know what the most common rifle accessories are:

You’ll be able to see from the above that each of the accessories mentioned serves a specific purpose. Which brings us to our next point…

How to Choose the Right Accessories

The key to choosing the right accessories for your rifle is simple: it must satisfy a need. And although you may feel like a pro with all the latest gizmos and gadgets attached to your rifle, you’ll feel silly about spending money if they don’t up your rifle game.

After all, what is the point in adding accessories to your rifle if they don’t help better your experience or enhance your skills?

When shopping for the right rifle accessories, keep the following tips in mind.

Assess Your Mission

What do you use your rifle for? Is it to hunt deer at night with the boys or is it to earn some bucks in competitive target shooting competitions? Perhaps you even like to keep your rifle by the door as a precaution for scaring off uninvited trespassers on your property.

Once your mission is confirmed, buying the right accessories is much easier. We’ll use hunting as our example because this is one of the most common rifle applications. For hunting, you’ll need a thermal scope with a fixed zero. Depending on which animal you’re hunting, a bipod or tripod may also come in handy. Ammunition holders, rangefinders and flashlights are also extremely useful accessories to have in your arsenal.

Set Your Budget

Rifle accessories can be found all over the market—cheap, mid-range and very expensive. While there are several cheap products available that work fairly well, wouldn’t you rather pay a higher price for peace of mind?

Check out options in all different price ranges to get an idea of what the accessory you’ve set your sights on typically costs to purchase. From there you’ll be able to set a budget and stick to it. Never sacrifice quality and craftsmanship for a “bargain”. Sign up for newsletters from your favorite brands that will alert you when your desired rifle accessory is on sale. Speaking of brands…

Brand Matters

As the market becomes flooded with cheap rifle accessories made by manufacturers that seemingly popped up from nowhere, it’s more important than ever to pay careful attention to the brand name. Unlike fly-by-night businesses that are hopping on the bandwagon to score some bucks, established brands have a reputation to uphold.

Weigh Up its Weight

There’s no way around it: a rifle is a functional product. Functionality must always be a priority regardless of which industry or application it is being used in. A vital consideration is the weight of the rifle accessory. Most of the time, rifles are used by people who are traveling on foot and so the last situation you want to find yourself in is having to lug around even more dead weight.

On top of the additional strain that a heavy rifle accessory will put on whoever is carrying the weapon, there’s something else to be aware of. It’s important to remember that weight also potentially impacts scoping and could possibly put you off your mark. Who would want that?

Keep it Simple

Assess your needs and find a rifle accessory that will meet it. That’s all. All rifle accessories should serve a specific purpose and be easy to use & understand. If you opt for an accessory that is complicated, the risk of it malfunctioning is higher because you won’t necessarily be able to detect malfunctions.

Also, avoid accessories that are marketed as “all-in-one” type of accessories. Instead of forking out loads of cash on a rifle accessory that boasts four sub-par functions opt for an accessory that serves its core function with aplomb. For example, a thermal scope should be just that: a thermal scope. A rangefinder should be a rangefinder.

Do Your Research

Finally, do your research on a particular rifle accessory before purchasing it. Research the brand to make sure it’s a reputable one, read buyers' guides and pay close attention to reviews written by people who have actually purchased it.

In today’s highly competitive day and age, you can’t just take a manufacturer at their word. Every manufacturer likes to think that their product is the best of the best and their marketing & advertising efforts will reflect this. If a specific rifle accessory sounds like the right fit for your rifle, there’s only one thing to do: research, research, research.


Final Thoughts

Kitting out your rifle doesn’t have to be difficult. If you keep our guidelines in mind, purchasing the right accessories for your rifle will be a walk in the park as opposed to a shot in the dark.

Do you have any of your own tips for purchasing rifle accessories? Share them with us in the comments section so that our readers can take heed of your advice too. After all, knowledge is power.

About the author 

Daniel Gray

As a digital marketing manager, Daniel is responsible planning and managing marketing campaigns at Smart Scouter. He has a masters degree from Indiana University and over 20 years of experience in the thermal imaging industry. In his spare time he likes hiking and traveling around South America.

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