There’s a lot of this kind of kit being sold…probably one factory that makes it and a bunch of people brand it as a something else.
But it’s my go-to range kit if I don’t think I’ll actually need to clean.
It’s small, slim, and is supposed to have an empty bottle to put some cleaner or oil.
I’ve modified it through the years to have extra bronze brushes, a dental pick, Allen key, and Q-tips/patches. And yes I’ve lost the bottle but I tend to keep my cleaner and oil separately.
It’s not my cleaning kit for home since the rods seem to be steel and could damage the barrel if used a lot. But it’s great for getting things unstuck! Can’t go wrong as a backup cleaning kit for around $10.
Everyone and their mom have a favorite gun cleaner and oil. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see if you try to find out more:
Hoppe’s No. 9…enough said.
They issued me _____ and I’ve been using it for _____ years.
I can eat my gun oil…can you?
I bought 1 gallon of (insert motor oil) and it will last me a lifetime.
I’ll admit…I started with Hoppe’s No. 9 and it’s an awesome cleaner. Problem is that I like to clean indoors and though I really LOVE the smell…I’d get dizzy and also it started eating away at my nails (now I wear gloves no matter what).
I went with medium and they fit a lot more snugly one me…especially at the cuff. The Mechanix ones were just too loose and flared for my tastes. However…with the smaller cuff you’re going to have a lot harder time taking these off.
Synthetic suede palm
Elastic wrist closure
You can see it fits a lot better and the cut of the thumb and index finger is much more conducive for shooting. There’s also extra material on three fingers that enables touch-screen access.
At first I thought it would disrupt precision shooting but it’s at the tip of the finger enough that I had no problems.
Thicker material than the Mechanix and what I think is a good Goldilocks zone of dexterity and protection. Also some terrycloth material on the back of the thumb for sniffles or cleaning optics. Awesome for $20.
The FDT stands for full dexterity tactical and they live up to their name. The Delta Glove version is the thinnest version.
If you want full dexterity at the expense of some protection…these are the best on the market.
I’m a large for SKD gloves and I fit very snugly even though I sized up.
No complaints in the finger or palm swell area.
But note that the words “PIG” are rubberized textures that work well but will eventually fall off. However the tips of the gloves are still touch-screen enabled.
Some more stats:
Single layer palm
Touch-screen enabled index/thumb
They look great too and you can see how thin they are even in the back. If you need knuckle protection look elsewhere. The design is cool but I have a feeling it’s going to start peeling when I wear it more.
A little more at $30 but currently my favorite when dexterity is the primary focus.
My current favorite shooting glove…the Alpha version of the PIG FDTs.
The thicker OG version…I think this glove checks all the boxes. Still super dexterous while having some additional protection…all the while fitting like…a glove.
I went with large on this like the Delta version.
I’ve used these gloves the most and they shoot pistols, ARs, reload magazines, and move couches perfectly. A little slower to dry since it’s thicker and has some synthetic suede.
Touch-screen enabled index/thumb
Isolated trigger finger material
Dual-joint trigger finger
You can see a lot of it is giving dexterity for the trigger finger and it shows in those knuckle breaks. It’s almost the same as the Delta but with more warmth and protection. Plus I like having the ability to tighten the wrist strap.
Lastly, it has a nice soft material behind the thumb…again great for your nose or cleaning lenses.
The most expensive on the list but if you shoot a lot or value protection/dexterity…I highly recommend the Alpha gloves.
Side-note: I had a defect with my Alphas where the ring finger on one hand was twisted so a seam was on my finger pad. Not a deal breaker but annoying. I emailed SKD and they took care of the problem in less than an hour and two emails.
There’s a lot of tactical shooting gloves out there…and I couldn’t buy & test them all. But here are some of my honorable mentions that I’ve used or know are popular.
Outdoor Research Ironsight ($45): I’ve worn through these gloves for hiking and they have a bit more protection than the SKD gloves. Also has grip attachments that eventually wear off. Haven’t had the chance to shoot with them but they were great for hiking.
So you’re ready to build your own AR-15 upper but aren’t sure of the upper receiver?
We’ve got you covered with our personal go-to mil-spec receiver and also a couple of unique options that will turn heads.
If you haven’t read my AR-15 Guide that goes over all the components of an AR, I’d suggest starting there first. Otherwise, I’ll suppose that you’re well-versed in everything AR and ready to just see what’s the best upper receiver.
*Updated 2018*: More lightweight uppers.
Here’s a sneak peek of our best uppers list if you can’t wait:
I’ve built almost a dozen AR-15 uppers for myself and friends and have almost exclusively gone with Aero Precision. They got their start manufacturing for the aerospace industry (name checks out) and moved into AR-15 parts. Now they are really gunning with complete AR-15’s and even barrels too.
Upper Receiver Forge Marks
You might have heard about forge marks, which are above the forward assist. This just designates which metal forging company created the upper blank. The end company (such as Aero) is the one that actually machines the upper.
So the forge mark by itself means nothing since the quality really comes from the final company (and there are differences). As far as I know, Aero uses several forges but mostly the “broken A” which comes from Anchor Harvey Aluminum.
The gold standard ($80) in my mind that lets you choose your own forward assist and port door. Comes with M4 feedramps, laser engraved T-marks for the rails, and also available in several colors for a little bit more.
I’ve had no problems with any of my builds and if you do any searches you’ll see that it’s almost exclusively positive comments. Remember to finish out your stripped upper with an upper parts kit ($17)
No need to scrape anything when installing…or go nuts on the port door.
3. Blemished Aero Uppers
And if you’re balling on a budget, you can get a “blemished” version (~25% off) of the stripped or assembled upper (depending on their stock). “Blemished” just means there’s some cosmetic abnormalities that will not affect actual function.
The last two builds I’ve done have been with Aero blem uppers and I had to really look to find the cosmetic problem. And of course they’ve all worked fine.
Here’s the latest one…looks like there’s a scuff & a dimple. I put more scuffs on mine during a match! If you want to save a couple bucks I’d go this route.
Bad thing is that they are usually snatched up as soon as they become available.
Probably as light as you can go…and geared towards turning heads at rifle competitions (not home-defense). If you’re in a dusty environment I’d keep it covered…but otherwise initial reports say that the large cuts don’t affect function even with tons of rounds downrange.
I have one on the way for my new competition gun so I’ll report back soon.
Now that you’ve seen our suggestions for the best AR-15 upper receiver (both stripped and assembled), you’re one step closer to your build. Check out the rest of our AR- 15 Guides to continue your parts selection and overall education. And if you’re ready to build…here’s our AR-15 Upper Assembly Visual Guide.