Last Updated on June 17, 2022

An AR15 rifle is considered by many to be their “go-to” rifle. Whether you are hiking and going hunting, keeping a gun with you for protection, or going to the range for practice or competition, there are a few spare AR-15 parts you should always have on hand for your AR-15. After all, there is an old prepper adage, that “one is none.” Redundancy should always be built into any preparedness plan to account for unexpected failures or events. From having the optics you desire to the upper receiver you need, there will always be something more you need to have on hand to keep you from having to back out of your operation. It is impractical in certain situations to always carry another primary weapon system in case of failure, but for limited cost and weight, you can pack parts that will help to keep your rifle functioning.

What types of spare AR-15 parts do you need to keep on hand? Are they heavy? Is it expensive to keep spare parts? We will tackle these questions and more in this article.


Bolts are an integral part that you must have on hand to be able to operate your rifle. The bolt is the part of the weapon that grabs onto the rim of the cartridge, pushing it into the chamber, and locking the gun making it ready to fire. The upper receiver is what secures the barrel of the rifle and holds the bolt carrier, where the bolt is stored.

Bolts are light by themselves and are not difficult to travel with. They can cost about $100 to $130, but it is important to keep one on hand in case of emergency. While modern bolts are extremely durable, after tens of thousands of rounds, it is possible that they can crack where the cam pin is inserted. This is a common weak spot and some bolts have remedied this problem like the young manufacturing bolt. This cam pin slot on this bolt was not machined all the way through like on standard bolts making it significantly stronger. If you always have one with you, you do not have to worry about being stranded without a working rifle.

All these items have to do with the Bolt Firing Group of your rifle. This is because that group of parts is what makes your weapon a weapon! Without these items functioning correctly, you will be in trouble. The price range may be an issue, but you may just opt-in to always carry an extra complete Bolt Carrier Group with you since it is lightweight enough to not add significant weight to your bag.  A space-saving and cost-effective solution is to keep a bag with spare parts for your AR-15 just in case of any type of malfunction. You never know what could happen!


Finally, one must always have extra magazines on hand. These are what hold your ammunition and keep you prepared for rapid-fire. If you need to reload quickly, extra magazines are a requirement, and they should be loaded. An AR-15 magazine costs only about $10 to $12 each, or you can buy them in bulk and save yourself a few dollars. Unloaded, the magazines will not add much weight to your bag. If you load them with extra ammunition, you may add some weight, but it would be worth it in the end if you need to quickly change cartridges and begin firing again. Magazines are classified as expendable components and after long-term use, they can become unreliable, so it is important to always have extras on hand.