Flat Dark Earth, or FDE, is a common finish for AR platform rifle components. Apart from adding to the aesthetics of your firearm, FDE AR-15 parts can also have other advantages, like improved camouflage; the subdued tone of FDE blends better with the landscape, especially in desert environments.
FDE AR-15 Parts: A Sleek, Modern Look
An AR-15 is a very efficient and effective weapon, and though it is very functional, it can also be quite aesthetically unique. In the civilian market, aesthetics are a major factor in shooters’ buying decisions.
When it comes to the aesthetics of any firearm, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people would find an old double-barreled shotgun with rosewood furniture and artistic engravings beautiful. In contrast, some may find the simple and functional design of a boxy Glock aesthetically pleasing.
The aftermarket support for AR pattern rifles is immense, and these days, you can have any pattern, color, or design used as a finish on your firearm. However, black and Flat Dark Earth (FDE) are probably the most common finishes used for AR platform rifles.
FDE is an earth-toned color, similar to the sand in a desert. It is the closest to khaki, which is, in fact, a Persian word that means the color of dirt. Many militaries use this color for their uniforms as well. FDE AR-15 parts come in several shades, and firearm manufacturers use different names. It is also referred to as Desert Tan, Coyote Brown, or Coyote Tan.
Flat Dark Earth
FDE AR-15 parts offer a classic aesthetic palette; they pair well with stock black components, and varying shades of FDE make it easy for builders to customize their color profile to their specific tastes. Using FDE can even offer tactical advantages in some settings, like desert or beachfront environments.
Wing Tactical: Where Builders Find the Best
Whether you want to upgrade to FDE AR-15 parts or customize your Sig P365, Wing Tactical has everything you need for a successful custom build. Our curated collection features only the highest-quality aftermarket products in today’s small arms market, and we’re passionate about connecting builders with the best possible products for their projects.
Need help sourcing a particular product? Not sure where to start your first custom AR build? Chat with our dedicated customer service team — we’re builders and shooters like you, and we look forward to supporting your upcoming customization project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why opt for FDE AR-15 accessories?
Apart from adding to the aesthetics of your firearm, a Flat Dark Earth finish can also have other advantages. From a tactical aspect, an FDE AR-15 will be more difficult to spot than a black one or one in any other color in desert environments, where the subdued tone of FDE blends better with the landscape. This is why the US military used FDE uniforms in Iraq, and many SOCOM and Special Forces units also use FDE weapons when operating in the desert or similar environments. Moreover, scratches and knicks are less prominent on a weapon with an FDE finish.
What kinds of accessories can you get in FDE?
These days, many firearm manufacturers make a wide range of firearm accessories in Flat Dark Earth and a wide range of other colors. You can get optics, foregrips, stocks, pistol braces, handguards, pistol grips, and almost any other firearm accessory in Flat Dark Earth.
Does the color of a gun matter?
Some shooters report that color and finish don’t impact their shooting performance. Others, however, strongly believe that specific finishes can impair their vision or make it more challenging to maintain focus on their targets. Ultimately, you’ll have to find out for yourself whether or not color and finish impact your overall shooting experience — if gun color is important to you, that’s all that matters.
What is ODG?
ODG stands for olive grab green – another standard color often used by militaries around the world in firearms finishes, uniforms, vehicles, and equipment. If you live in a more wooded or green environment, and you’re looking for enhanced camouflage, ODG might be a better fit for your firearms than FDE.
Does FDE offer good camouflage?
FDE offers superior camouflage in specific environments, like sandy landscapes. But, they don’t necessarily blend well into snowy or bright green settings.