Magpul has made quite a name for itself in the AR15 realm, and it continues to come out with innovative and unique products that enhance the AR15 design.
I don't consider myself a "fanboy" or someone that must have everything they make simply because they make it. However, they have proven that they are making some items that are obvious improvements over the old standards. I am particularly fond of their PMAG's.
The MOE or "Magpul Original Equipment" line is their version of slightly upgraded standard parts. This includes their handguards, pistol grip, buttstock, rail sections, VFG, and trigger guard. You can get these all pretty much in a variety of colors (aside from the rail sections).
The handguards look much different than standard AR15 handguards. Although I am not personally fond of the look, these handguards give the user a few options with mounting their rail sections or their VFG.
The thing I dislike about them is, the AR15 was given rounded handguards that featured two pieces that were identical. This was an improvement over the original triangular handguards that required two completely different parts. If one part broke or needed to be replaced, you had to find the matching side piece. The upside is these handguards are much more durable than the original triangular handguards.
Above, this carbine is shown with the MOE handguards and a rail section.
Prices start out around the $30 range for the carbine handguards and go up from there with the mid lengths costing a little more, and the rifle length handguards costing a few more than that.
MOE Pistol Grip
There's really nothing special about the pistol grip, other than it can be used for storage (batteries, etc...). I don't find it any more comfortable than the standard A2 pistol grip, but they go for about $20. If I am going to spend money to upgrade my pistol grip I would prefer a rubberized texture of some sort. However, you can get these in a matching color to go with all the rest of your Magpul gear.
I actually really like this upgrade. I get a better cheek weld with this buttstock over the standard carbine stock, and I find that although they lack the friction lock of the CTR, they are still usually considerably more sturdy than the standard carbine stock.
Here you see the CTR vs the MOE stock. The CTR not only has a friction lock but a spot for a quick detach sling mount.
These come in a "commercial" and "milspec" version depending on the tube you have on your carbine. Prices are around $55 or so.
MOE Rail Sections
These rail sections are a pretty great idea and offer the ability to mount a rail almost anywhere. They come in 5, 7, 9, and 11 slot sections, as well as an "illumination kit".
As you can see, it makes mounting a flashlight on your AR15 handguards super easy without needing a railed handguard. I drilled the holes in this handguard to install this section and now have a light installed.
Prices start out around $6 for the 5 slot rail section and go up from there.
MOE Vertical Foregrip
Just like their Rail Vertical Grip (RVG), the MOE Vertical Grip (MVG), feels the same has the same ergonomic design. However, the MVG is made to work specifically with the MOE handguards. I personally really like both of these grips. If you like a VFG and have the MOE handguards, this is a very good one.
MOE Trigger Guard
In one of my previous articles I spoke about the MOE trigger guard and how it helped to alleviate the problem left by the "gap" in between the grip and the trigger guard. Not only does it help in this regard, it also creates a larger space for your trigger finger in cases where you may be wearing gloves, such as in winter.
The MOE version is made of polymer, whereas the "Enhanced" version is made of Aluminum.
The MOE Trigger Guard goes for about $9.
When it's all said and done, these tend to be fairly affordable upgrades to the standard AR15. The MOE buttstock, rail sections, MVG, and trigger guards are all worth the money in my opinion. I don't believe any of them are "required" upgrades, unless you lack a railed handguard, then you can use the rail sections for mounting your light.