We The People Holsters: https://www.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=cl&merchant_id=bef68e52-89e6-4c16-b813-efa93f9230c4&website_id=49c76896-4dd1-4ddb-94cf-c0c58b95c055&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwethepeopleholsters.com
Aero Precision: https://www.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=cl&merchant_id=bcb477af-5b50-448e-9f25-6195cb7195ff&website_id=49c76896-4dd1-4ddb-94cf-c0c58b95c055&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aeroprecisionusa.com%2F
*These I make commission off of if you use them and buy something, see the breakdown below.
Olight - 10%
LA Police Gear - 7%
Propper - 7%
We The People Holsters - 10%
Axil - 15%
Aero Precision - 7%
ASP - 10%
Delta Team Tactical Discount Code: focustripp5
Bear Creek Arsenal Discount Code: focus_tripp
Olight Discount Code: Focus
Northtac Optics: Focus10
*I don't make any money off of these codes
Belts & Setup
Shepherd Defensive Battle/EDC Belt
I have been using their belts for a while now and will have reviews up on the YouTube channel soon. They have a lot of different options and colors so pick what you like. I don't receive free product from these guys, they just make good stuff in the USA and they seem like good people.
Condor Cobra LCS Molle Battle Belt
I was recently Given one of these in FDE by a Subscribe Star member and wow, this is an extremely high value battle belt for about $60-$70 depending on where you find it. A real Alpine Cobra buckle and laser cut Molle all the way around it. Detachable inner non slip backing (I always leave it on). 2 Inch belt I should mention and it is extremely comfy to wear for long periods of time. I am currently running it with a UBL/QLS and a Safariland 6378, Esstac Kiwi 1 Rifle 2 Pistol mag combo, small med kit, and dump pouch. Not an EDC belt but if you need a dedicated battle belt this is about the best budget option on the market. The link is an affiliate link, but don't buy it from LAPG unless it is the best price you can find. Save your money and buy where it is cheapest.
The first two AR-15 uppers I ever bought were from Bear Creek Arsenal. One at the time of writing this has about 9,000 rounds through it and the other is a little over 6,000 rounds. In total I have only had 3 malfunctions between them. I have shot and tested a half dozen of their complete uppers and they have sent out 3 for me to review. All together over 20,000 rounds down the tube and I have had two parts breakages with BCA products. One extractor sheered off on my 7.62x39 upper and I had a gas key screw sheer off, all together very impressive in my opinion. As I mentioned they have sent me stuff and work with me, they were the first gun company to send me something. I have a coupon code from them listed on the right but I make no money from that, that is just for you guys.
Delta Team Tactical
I have used a half-dozen different upper receivers and build kits from DTT and mostly had really good luck. Please note that I am pretty good at putting together AR15 kits. The main things to look for here are the Barrel, I prefer the "Mercury Precision" 16.5" government profile mid length gas system barrels as they are properly gassed and the perfect weight for me. The other thing to look for is the handguard of your choice, I prefer simple M-lock handguards with some sort of anti rotation system in place. Shipping times are about 3 weeks so be prepared before buying. I have a coupon code on the right but I do not make any money off of it.
Finish Your Build Kit
Throw in a Finish your Build Kit in the correct caliber and with a BCG and you are on your way to a complete build for under $500 not including the optic
I have test a lot of really good LPVOs for under $500 and I am going to list the ones that I recommend here in order from best to least best (my opinion)
Holtsers - Skull head arms
Link - Skullhead Arms | eBay Stores
I've have used this holster for a long time on my main belt setup. The model I use is the Glock 17 Non-Light Bearing model. Good fit, good retention, fits Safariland QLS and UBL stuff which is how I run everything. Don't work with them, just like it. Made in the USA
Holsters - Blackhawk L2d T-series
I have been using this holster for a while now, thousands of draws and getting used to the release mechanism was very easy and intuitive for someone who has not become accustomed to the Safariland system. I have used it in competition and training courses without issue or fail. Only problem is that it doesn't quite work with the Safariland QLS or UBL but I modified it to do so with a Dremel (you can buy adapters on eBay for like $15). I do work with LAPG and if you use my link at the top you will be giving me 7% of whatever you buy.
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x SFP
I have owned two of these scopes and they have both been very tanky workhorses of optics. These scopes are probably far more versatile than you and your rifle setup are. I prefer SFP for close up shooting though some people might think that is a drawback at mid ranges where you might not want to be on max magnification. The only personal drawback of these scopes for me is they are slightly larger and heavier than other LPVOs
Vortex Strike Eagle Gen 2 1-8x
This is a close second to the Arrowhead. Great durability and warranty. The AR-BDC3 reticle also does a better job of range estimation and has real windage holds if you need it. The vortex is also smaller and lighter than the SF Arrowhead. It comes down to what you want in an optic but you cant go wrong with this or the Arrowhead.
Vortex Strike Eagle Gen 2 1-6x
Not much to say here versus the 1-8x. The 1-6x is cheaper, less magnification, but more FOV (best in class). So pick your poison.
Primary Arms 1-6x & 1-8x
I don't have quite as much experience with these optics as the other three on this list but I do think that they are good enough to recommend. the best parts about these optics are the ACSS reticle which comes in a lot of different flavors. Make sure you get a reticle that works for your caliber and your situation. The illumination is a little worse than the other optics on this list but again, it's not bad and definitely not the best.
Other stuff that I use exclusively is the Safariland QLS and a UBL in either a 2" drop or Mid Ride, you can find that stuff anywhere (throw in a thigh strap as well).
The rest of the stuff I run on my belt are pretty cheap so I don't really recommend them. But, just for reference I use 2 pistol pouches, 1 rifle mag pouch, dump pouch, and a tourniquet. I keep stuff really simple.
As I test out better stuff I will recommend more but for right now this is what I would start with.
Sig Sauer MSR + Sig Juliet 3 Magnifier (Best Combo) $250-$300
The Sig MSR can be Found on its own for around $100 on the low end and by itself it is an excellent budget red dot, maybe the best budget red dot on the market. Great Glass, 20k batter life, and super lightweight.
The Sig Juliet Micro 3 is not yet released on its own yet and is only available right now with the MSR. However the Micro 3 is also excellent I have videos of both of these up on the channel and they are absolutely the best intro options in their fields.
Even if you only want the MSR it is still an excellent option as I have mentioned. Non-Affiliate link