11 Cheap AR-15 Rifles for $500 – March 2023

Radical Firearms SOCOM 556. View details of this awesome $500 AR-15 here and buy yours today!

The Best Cheap AR-15: Affordable, $500 ARs That Work

You don’t need to spend the Earth on an AR-15. The differences between the best cheap AR-15 under $500 and something far more exotic are smaller than you think.

Start with a cheap AR-15. Then progressively talk yourself into more expensive weapons like the best AR-15 rifles for $1000.

That’s the American way.

And when you have truly mastered sleeping on the couch and just don’t care anymore, you can progress to the best deals on $2000 ARs. After the divorce, you can just say screw it and order a custom AR-15 as nobody is the boss of you anymore. And an AAC Blackout pistol…

Start With the Best Budget AR-15 For Sale, Then Start to Dream

Let’s get you on that glorious road to success right now, with the semi-auto rifle for $500 that does the job you want. Basic American defense.

We had to stretch the budget in these troubled times too for the best AR-15 rifles. It’s just life right now that some are more expensive and the deal changes daily. We’re doing our best…

And Where to Bulk Buy 5.56 Bullets

If there’s one thing we have learned in the great ammunition shortage, it’s that it runs out fast. You can try these places and whenever you can, bulk purchase, right now. You might not get another chance…

11 Cheap AR-15 Rifles For Sale in 2023

The PSA Freedom AR-15. It's a great starter AR-15 and a solid defensive rifle. This is a high spec, low price gun.



1. Palmetto State Armory PA-15 Freedom Rifle

  • Price: $499.99
  • Cal: 5.56mm
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 33 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

For years, if you wanted a $500 AR-15 then your choice was a Palmetto State Armory Freedom Rifle or a DPMS. Now there are options, but after a full cycle, the Palmetto State Armory M4 Freedom Ordnance is still the king of the cheap hill.

It’s a cheap AR-15, complete with full shooting sports spec. On paper at least.

Good Basics, Minus The Polish

The optic ready PSA fit and black nitride M4 Carbine finish is deliberately rough. That’s the in-built compromise with cost-cutting. Now you do hear murmurings about quality control on the forums for PSA’s 5.56 NATO Classic AR-15 rifle platform, especially the hard coat anodized finish.

That said, you can even buy firearms with blemishes for less money off the site. Look out for BLEM Palmetto State Armory and you’ll snag yourself a bargain.

You also hear about a company that ships out replacement parts and accessories before you’ve had a chance to return them.

PSA Parts Kits

A lot of the parts are pure quality too and you can upgrade to a heavy barrel or other mods for your matte black special. They can include top rated Magpul furniture that you might well use again when you finally upgrade.

Look out for cheap BLEM PSA parts, too, that might come with a small mark and a big discount.

The gas block is decent. These are generally carbine-length gas system length, too, so they’re shorter Modern Sporting Rifles.

And PSA will sell you everything from heavy duty buffer tubes for 300BLK through to a new free floating barrel and a range of muzzle devices. As well as the cheap rifle build kits that made them famous and plain old upper parts.

For the money, the trusty PSA might be the best AR-15 rifles you can buy.

Forged Receivers, As Are They All

Features include a forged 7075 T6 Aluminum receivers. It also has a Nitride-finished stainless steel barrel. There’s a Carpenter 158 bolt coated in Phosphate, the Bolt Carrier Groups are 8620 stainless, and the spec list just keeps going right to the A2 flash hider.

There’s an enhanced polished trigger as well that is a cheap alternative to more exotic upgrades and even the pistol grip is kinda nice. This is arguably the best semi-auto rifle you can get right now, for cheap AR-15 money anyway.

PSA Customers are Repeat Customers

Owners love theirs and if you order yours now, you probably will too. It’s a hunting rifle, a range plinking tool and a solid base to build out.

This cheap matt black finish AR-15 won’t be the last you own, but it could be a perfect starter with simple iron sights. And in years to come, you’ll back with fondness on these little cheap little semi-automatic rifles that just wouldn’t quit and remember the weird patina.

PSA can sell you their DIY kits, an upper parts kit that you put together yourself. It’s even cheaper, and you could have a bag of parts that will make work, if you do it right, for just $300.

The company is famous for service, too, so they will help if it goes wrong with their parts kits or cheap AR-15 sales.

Check out the kits and upper parts for a cheap AR-15 build here.

Anderson Manufacturing AR-15. Low budget rifle with a big reputation. Buy your gun online today.

2. Anderson Manufacturing AM15 M4 Carbine Length Gas System

  • Price: $469.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO/223 Rem
  • Barrel length: 16 inches
  • Total: 33″ Collapsed
  • Weight: 6.49lb

This is a legit carbine AR-15 that reviewers have consistently been surprised by, that used to be much less than $500.

The RRP has crept up. But it’s still a solid matte black starter for the money, with a following of devoted customers. It’s the basic recipe, bang on budget, and that’s good enough right now.

It’s a solid home defense rifle.

No Discount, Just Regular Pricing

The AM15 is the real deal if you’re looking for a cheap rifle. You don’t even need a smart discount for this one. It’s a legit ongoing deal.

The Kentucky firm has knocked it out the park with a simple package that is so suspiciously cheap, pretty much every review starts like: “We expected this to suck, and we’re quite happy it doesn’t…”

Here’s one…

Simple Engineering, Done Well

This AR-15 is a direct impingement. That’s a solid 16-inch barrel up front, and the accuracy is meant to be on-point. 

Other highlights include forged 7075 T6 receiver sets and coated M16 Bolt Carrier Groups. There’s a 1 in 8 twist rate on the cold hammer forged stainless steel barrel, an A2 hand guard and a quality buffer tube. And we’ve all get better muzzle devices if that matters.

Radical AR-15. One of the great cheap rifles here.

3. Radical Firearms FCR

  • Price: $459.99
  • Round: .223 Rem/ 5.56 x 45 NATO Rifle
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 6.1lb

This is one of the the best AR-15 under $500 right now, when it is under $500. The price point is bouncing from $430 to $630. When it’s the former, this is the winner, and you should buy it immediately. At $630, there are better options like the carbine length PSA.

It has M4 receivers, a SOCOM CMV steel 16 incher up front, slimline M-LOK handguard and M-Lok rail for weapon lights and other shenanigans. I mean this Radical Firearms SOCOM is not military grade really, but it is good. And it’s an AR 15 for sale cheap in today’s market.

Reputation Gained With Larger Rounds

The Texas company makes most of the top rated Radical Firearms AR-15 in-house, and has built a formidable reputation. It even turns up in some forms of competitive shooting.

You can source an upper from Radical Firearms and strap it to your old lower for an entirely new kind of buzz. They have a complete upper assembly for you in a variety of intense bullets. They include the 450 Bushmaster, and increasingly popular 300 Blackout.

Value for money lies at the heart of what it does and Radical Fiirearms has built a devoted following. Now it churns out flat top upper receivers, muzzle devices, gas blocks, gas tubes and matched receivers in 300BLK and 5.56, as well as more exotic rounds like .50 Beowulf.

Big Spec For The Money

This is seriously specced up for a cheap AR 15. Right down to the lightweight and easy adjustable stock and hand guard and M-Lok rail that you can turn into a quad rail system. That’s a big deal here.

The flash hider is an A2 unit, which means anything will go on there when you are ready. Early reports suggest you’ll want to switch out the charging handle and a few small touches. But they aren’t deal-breakers, and it’s the biggest complaint you tend to hear.

Almost a Great Firearm

This Radical Firearms SOCOM 556 is decent, and it’s a few tweaks away from greatness.

The handguard and low profile gas block are premium features in this sector. They’re eye-catching and are helping Radical Firearms gain a foothold with these popular rifles.

ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx P3. A plastic AR-15 at a bargain price. Get your polymer AR-15 and see what the fuss is about.

4. American Tactical Imports Omni Hybrid Maxx RIA

  • Price: $449.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/ .223 Rem
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 5.65lb

The ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx P4 is one of the new arrivals on the low price AR-15 scene. And in a time of wildly fluctuating prices, this is one of a special few that has stayed around the $500 mark.

So that’s how a plastic AR-15 is on the podium. Yeah, about that…

The optic ready ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx is stock black, with polymer receivers. Oh Lord I can just see the comments, but the critics love this fresh take from American Tactical Imports. And we kind of do too…

American Tactical reckon they have torture tested this fiber-reinforced polymer rifle to death, and it’s every bit as strong and reliable as aluminum. Pretty much everything on this firearm that can be a composite material, is a composite material.

The American Tactical Imports Omni Hybrid Maxx upper receivers and matched lowers can be bought separately from American Tactical, too, and there’s an AAC Blackout version at a similarly affordable price.

Lightweight and Easy, Not Just Cheap

That gives a final weight of 5.7lb for the entry-level semi-auto rifle, which is pretty stunning if we’re honest. it’s the USP that could tempt someone looking for a lightweight AR-15 into taking a gamble on a plastic cheap AR-15.

The money, though, is the real headline here. These are ready to go for $400, in good times, and somewhere near $500 in weird times.

This ATI Omni Hybrid polymer AR-15 rifle has clever tech. The trigger is also a self-lubricating composite and this isn’t just cheap price range shopping for those that don’t want to break the bank. It’s a really good long rifle.

There is a Glock-esque commitment to removing dead weight and maintenance. And a non-Glock-esque commitment to passing on the savings. We like all of that.

Serious Finishing Touches on an Excellent Rifle

Features include a proper Wylde chamber that opens up the possibility of using a .223 Rem.

A fully patented inter-lock hammer and trigger pin retainer provide another layer of safety. There is an enhanced trigger guard and a slick charging handle in the parts kits.

Then there are the user reviews online, which absolutely love the ATI Omni. A 4.5 star rating is pretty hard to get, even for the best AR-15 rifles.

Owners tend to be more critical than magazine reviews, because they can be. But this is cheap, and yet it meets and beats pretty much everyone’s expectations. That’s a recipe for success right there.

Polymer AR-15 is The Next Step

It seems inevitable that material science will get to the point when we can produce firearms from an ultra-solid form of ABS plastic. That’s basically what Glock does, after all. It allows for a range of colors, from Olive Drab Green through to more eccentric finishes, and we like that concept too.

We might even be able to 3D print our own with plans you find online. In fact an Australian teenager just did a pretty solid one here. He got arrested, and individual States are trying to stop you following suit.,

Ready for Plastic Receivers?

Are we there already? ATI says we are… If you like engineering, it has to be worth taking a chance on the plastic fantastic that could change the game. ATI makes an AAC 300 Blackout version, too, so it should be able to handle 5.56.

Right now, this is such a cheap AR-15 that you can take a punt on it.

If it doesn’t prove durable or you just prefer the solidity of a metal receiver, then you know what to do. If you’re not the most demanding target shooter, though, and you just want a lightweight rifle to sling over your shoulder just in case, then there’s a lot to like here.

Del-Ton Echo 316. Buy a $500 AR-15 right now and get the best rifle that much money can buy.

5. Del-Ton Echo 316

  • RRP: $506.99
  • Round: .223 Remington/5.56x45mm
  • Barrel length: 16
  • Total: 32.6-36.4 inch
  • Weight: 6.4lb

According to the company’s own website, this shouldn’t be anywhere near this list. The Del-Ton 316 Echo RRP is more than $750. But in the real world this is a discount AR-15 for less than $500 in good times, and slightly more in bad times.

Where to Find Good Gun Deals?

The Del-Ton Echo is a solid effort with a mid-length gas system and no major surprises. But the parts and accessories are good on this cheap AR-15.

A Wylde Chamber is always a good start. It’s not a thing you may even use, but it’s one of the most eye-catching features and a general sign of quality these days.

Another Colt M4 Tribute Act

Inevitably this is a Colt M4 tribute act, right down to the front sight and flash suppressor.

The synthetic black stock is a six-position collapsible stock system. There’s a classic fixed front sight that will take you back to the old days, until you replace it with red dots. The rear sight set will go too.

The M4 profile Chrome Moly Vanadium cold hammer forged barrel joins forces with a Carpenter 158 Stainless Steel bolt and a chrome-lined Bolt Carrier Group.

You get a threaded muzzle, a properly staked and sealed gas key for the gas block, a cold hammer forged barrel and a number of other premium touches you see on the best AR-15s.

Other Models are Available

The Sport Mod is also available online and it’s a slight step up from the base model. The Sport Mod won’t be the last model either from this affordable brand. We look forward to the rest, because this is a good start with a cheap AR-15.

Diamondback Firearms DB15 SSB for sale. A great low budget firearm to get you started with AR-15 ownership.

6. Diamondback Firearms Diamondback DB15

  • RRP: $599.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Barrel Length: 16
  • Total: 32.5” collapsed.
  • Weight: 6.8lb

Diamondback is another company making a name for itself in the affordable sector with aggressive designs and keen pricing. And the Diamondback Firearms DB15 is turning into a best-seller.

This Diamondback DB15 has an 8620 Bolt Carrier Group, aluminum receivers and a 16” free floating barrel produced from Chrome Moly Vanadium steel and then Melonite coated.

Is the Diamondback DB15 as good as the rest? Pretty much, yes, and the free float handguard is a luxury touch in this company.

Solid, Basic, Cheap AR15 With Everything You Need

The Diamondback DB15 works for personal defense, basic hunting and improving your shooting technique at the range. Get some accessories, upgrades, Magpul furniture and more on there and you’ll love it.

These semi-automatic rifles are serious high quality and we’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you spent the extra if you do get the Diamondback DB15.

Eagle Arms Armalite AR-15 ORC. Armalite introduces an entry-level AR-15 for $500, or close.

7. Armalite M15

  • RRP: $639.99
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO/ .223 Rem
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 32.5-35.5 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

The Armalite was the first AR-15 in the 1950s and AR-15 stands for Armalite Rifle. ArmaLite sold the design to Colt, which went on to make a killing with the iconic Colt M4, but there was a brief time when Armalite made unequivocally the best AR-15 rifles.

Now Colt is pulling out of the AR market, citing intense competition and falling sales. But more than 50 years of profits off the back of ArmaLite’s hard work is not a bad return on a relatively small investment.

Now, as then, Armalite simply doesn’t seem to have the marketing firepower to mix it with the likes of Colt, but the American icon is still here. The Armalite M15 is budget-friendly and this cheap AR-15 is always somewhere near that $600 mark.

Simple, Clean, Cheap. If Only Everything Worked Like This.

This is a complete AR-15, nothing less and not much more. It’s a direct impingement that is an ideal novice firearm. At 6.5lb it’s a lightweight, too, although that has more to do with cost-cutting rather than exotic materials. Black Nitride coating is about as high end as this gets.

The A2 rail is ready for scopes, a chainsaw attachment, whatever you like. You’ve seen this muzzle device before, but it’s a complete AR-15, with a collapsible stock and a stock black finish.

Armalite has a Great $600-$1500 AR-15

The Armalite M15 5.56 Defensive Sporting is at Euro Optic. You will find all kinds of variants and some more expensive, piston-driven alternatives that might come with enough of a discount to tempt you into a cheap AR-15 upgrade.

Do you want a basic Colt M4 clone with polymer handguard, Picatinny rail,16 inch stainless barrel and no nasty surprises at long range? Then you might want to rely on an Armalite 5.56 NATO semi automatic rifle.

It makes one of our favorite 50 BMG bolt actions, too. If you’re interested…

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport is a cheap AR-15, and it's also one of the best discount rifles in USA gun stores.

8. Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II

  • Price: $699.99
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 35 inch
  • Weight: 6.45lb
  • Capacity: 10+1

The Smith and Wesson is one of the benchmarks. As with Ruger, the RRP has crept up to the point that we almost don’t recognize the plucky S&W M&P Sport anymore. But it is what it is.

The top rated M&P15 Sport semi-automatic rifle has fallen down the order as a result, but we can’t bring ourselves to drop it entirely…

A Basic 5.56 NATO Classic AR-15 Rifle or Expensive Version?

The stock Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport is the entry-level, for sure and you might want to switch out that retro sight set and fit full length Picatinny rails. But it’s still good enough for most of us.

The PC weapons are favored by serious long range target shooting specialists and competition shooters. But the basic S&W M&P 15 Sport 5.56 NATO semi-auto rifle has all you need to get started.

There are State compliant versions of this hard coat anodized staple too.

Solid Furniture for a Cheap S&W M&P 15 Sport

You get a decent flash suppressor, a Magpul folding sights, aluminum upper and lower receiver. The partial picatinny rail saves weight.

Add your own cheap AR-15 parts & upgrades too at just about every major online broker. They include 300 Blackout uppers and conversion kits. You can even turn yours into a big bore hunter.

Quality is a Big Deal

There’s a perceived quality that goes with this badge in these price points. Plus all the customer service benefits that go with a household name semi-auto rifle. We totally get it.

Also, we think this is about as safe a bet as you’ll find during these troubled, weird times. Even if you have to pay a little more this is one of the best AR-15 rifles out there.

The Ruger AR-556, get a discount rifle and guns at the lowest prices. View details here.

9. Ruger AR-556

  • Price: $749.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch barrel
  • Rifle Length: 34.4 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

Back in the good old days the Ruger AR-556 black NItride M4 Carbine cost $500-$530, consistently. It was our undisputed champion in this category for two straight years.

Then the supply chain fell apart, Rugers were going for $1000+ and it hasn’t recovered yet. But it’s getting there. So that’s why the Ruger is languishing all the way down here. And that’s why we can’t bring ourselves to cut it entirely. Just one more month, we’ll give it one last chance to get cheaper.

Because the reality is that the Ruger is the perfect solution for 95% of you into defensive duties and basic sport shooting.

It’s one of America’s most popular rifles for a reason even though i is not such a cheap AR-15 anymore.

5 Star Reviews

It gets 4.9 out of 5 stars on Sportsman’s Guide, the company that has consistently lowered the bar on Ruger pricing. View the reviews for yourself. This is a perfect combination of aggressive pricing and solid engineering.

There’s also a lot you can do to the Ruger and it’s a great start to a DIY build. Free float handguard guard set-up, do a few other mods and you’ve got a complete rifle here.

Ruger AR 15 is a Bargain, Normally

It’s the engineering touches and a reputation for reliability that mark it apart and we do like those flip up sights at the rear. If you’re a newcomer to the AR-15 world and this is for defense, spend the extra and get the Ruger.

DPMS DR-15.  Buy your rifle now at a discount.

10. DPMS DR-15 A3

  • RRP: $596.00
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch barrel
  • Rifle Length: 36.5”
  • Weight: 6.4lb

The DPMS Oracle A3 flat top was our favorite AR-15 under $500 for a long time.

Now we have the DPMS DR-15 M4 semi-auto rifle. it’s more expensive right now and we don’t know if it will ever come close to the success of the DPMS Oracle.

A Good, Optics-Ready Option

Up until very recently, if you had $500 and wanted a cheap AR-15, it was DPMS or PSA black Nitride M4 Carbine. How times have changed…

There are rivals on the scene now and this is more expensive now, so it’s yesterday’s champion these days.

The mid-length gas system is straightforward, there are no tricks. It’s just solid engineering.

The flat A3 upper means you can mount any scope you want. We would recommend red dot sights, and keeping it set-up as a close quarters weapon.

Proper Components

Both the upper and lower receivers are forged aluminum. The chrome moly steel gets a 1 in 9 twist rate and all the basics are there.

You will need to throw away the OEM mag, which is hardly a big deal, and you might want to switch out the furniture if you have got better things lying around. Eventually, you’ll update with new charging handles etc. But strangely, we quite like the stippling on the grip.

Bushmaster XM-15. A cheap Colt M4 clone from the Vietnam war, with all the modern conveniences

11. Bushmaster XM-15 M43 A3

  • RRP: $1000.00
  • Cal: 5.56mm
  • Barrel: 16 inch barrel
  • Rifle Length: 35 inch
  • Weight: 7lb
  • Capacity: 20+1

It’s way too expensive right now, which is why it’s down here. But we’ll see…

The Bushmaster XM-15 M43 comes in a number of different specs, but we love the Vietnam war tribute model here. Again the price has spiraled beyond reason for a cheap AR-15, but it might drop again soon, so it’s staying for now.

Aside from the fixed sight and the carry handle and integral rear sight, it’s business as usual. But damn that retro chic furniture looks cool.

Window dressing aside, this is the entry-level low budget rifle with a collapsible 6-position stock. They are optic ready complete AR-15 rifles, ready to go and free from any real fancy shiz.

Does it Have to be an Heirloom

I wouldn’t like to speculate about the longevity on this AR for sale although the coat looks good. But even if this is a short-term investment, rather than a decades long love affair, it could prove useful.

It’s a Chrome Moly business end with Melonite coating. The upper and lower receiver both get a Hard Coat stock Anodized black finish. So there are no obvious signs of cutting corners. Lightweight furniture helps, but the stock still has six positions.

This is a solid home defense AR15 rifle that also looks like a cult classic with a carry handle. The Colt M4 is a legend and this nod in its direction should serve you well.

Wild Cards

What if you want something different? Want a single-shot rifle? Henry can take care of you with break action hunting rifles.

If a single shot rifle isn’t your thing, there’s probably a side by side or a bullpup rifle could be pretty sweet. I mean it’s not technically an AR-15, but it’s close enough.

The high-quality Kel-Tec RDB is too expensive, though, that features in our AR-15 under $1000 feature and that and the Kel-Tec KSG restored our faith in the brand. Just sometimes Kel-Tec does pull magic out the hat…

Bullpup Rifles Can Be Fun

And right now we cannot find a single bullpup for $500 that we would actually recommend and is made from stainless steel. It’s going to be like a construction paper upper receiver for that and certainly won’t be a complete rifle. We do like the Ruger American rifle, though, if you’re thinking outside the box in your free time.

You think we have missed one of your favorites off the list? Get in touch and let your favorite gun store know.

What About a Used AR-15 For Sale Cheap?

A used AR-15 for sale cheap with old flip up sights can be a bargain, or a disaster. We don’t really recommend that kind of gun here and prefer to stick with new entry level weapons.

Because if you’re new enough to need free, basic buyers guides, you’re probably too new to spot difficult problems with upper receivers and the like.

So make sure you take someone that really knows what to look for if you want a used AR-15 for sale or buy ammo online.

Where to Buy a Cheap Used AR15

Alternatively if you’re buying used online, Guns.com has an increasingly advanced used section with quality dealers. They offer everything from a budget used AR-15 for sale right through to assault rifles for sale.

They sell Modern Sporting Rifles with descriptions and there does seem to be a rough honor code there.

Inevitably, though, due diligence and quality control are going to be tougher.

Check it here:

Massive selection, a used AR-15 for sale from the big names. Get a cheap AR-15.

Ready to spend a little more?

You might well be tempted to go up a class when you see just how much you get for your money these days, especially if you’re into shooting sports. If you’re willing to part with $700 or even $1000, then you can access some pretty serious piston-driven firepower.

Suddenly the Adams Arms, Bear Creek Arsenal, Sig Sauer M400 Tread, Savage Arms, a Windham Weaponry 5.56, Kel-Tec and more are within your grasp. Depending on your local laws and good reason, of course, but the Springfield Armory Saint Victor is a nice complete rifle, as is the Sig Sauer M400.

A mil-spec Ruger SR-556, anodized black Adams Arms, Savage Arms, Springfield Armory Saint Victor, Strike Industries and more are right there. Then there is the Rock River Arms Entry Tactical and more to consider in the United States these days.

We’ve mentioned it so often that we should show you one you can buy. So yeah, go here for a Springfield Armory Saint.

More Money, More Rifle

Bear Creek Arsenal is starting to make a name for itself in the budget sector too. And the Springfield Armory Saint Victor has come in for a redesign. The Rock River Arms Entry Tactical is a great shooting experience with a red dot sight, too, with excellent accuracy

With the higher price point you get a free float handguard, AR-15 adjustable block, new twist rate options and advanced collapsible 6 position stock. The optic ready Stag Arms Stag 15 M4 is yours for just the wrong side of $700 and these are really complete rifles in every sense and not just a cheap AR-15.

So you really don’t have to spend much more money to get a great rifle ready for shooting sports, rather than a cheap one. You can also look at a range of AAC Blackout rifles & pistols at that affordable price.

Naked Kits Are More Expensive

You’ll struggle to find a Springfield or BCM AR-15 long rifle anywhere near this best budget AR-15 money, these days. The deals we remember just aren’t there anymore and you need to look elsewhere. You need to spend more.

The Springfield Saint Victor is in our $1000 AR-15 class now and others are joining it. That’s the price of progress I guess. And crippling inflation…

Rifle Kits Would be Cool

5.56 NATO Semi automatic rifle kits from the likes of Aero Precision have also disappeared. After starting out around the $500 mark and making the list repeatedly, that build kit has faded from memory.

Aero Precision has now decided to focus on gun parts for the classic Eugene Stoner design. The barrels are top quality, so we get it, but we miss the Aero Precision build kits. The Colt OEM2 is a build kit option, but not for $500…

You might have your heart set on a Faxon Firearms Ultralight with a titanium muzzle device, Sig M400 Tread, Savage Arms, Black Rain Ordnance, Stag Arms Stag-15 or Windham Weaponry. Or a BLEM PSA Parts kit for less money if you don’t care that much for quality control.

How’s about a beyond stock Smith & Wesson M&P Sport semi-auto rifle with Magpul furniture and a nicer pistol grip, optics ready Windham Weaponry, or something else. You might want a flat dark earth finish on your Magpul MOE or anodized black receivers. We can help you buy a gun online right now.

This Game Gets Out of Hand

Before you know it, you can have an entry-level Battle Arms, Colt, Black Rain Ordnance, Daniel Defense DDM4 rifle with an M-Lok rail in your hands. Or a Lewis, Machine & Tool for range shooting.

Tell yourself you got a deal on and it’s fine…

Or even a Kel-Tec RDB bullpup or $1000 Spikes Tactical rifle. You would have a perfectly good reason for doing so in our eyes and they are all best sellers.

That bullpup Kel-Tec IS good you know, as is the Springfield and the stock Smith and Wesson. As for the Black Rain Ordnance? Yeah, you know…

Set the price low to high on the search. Then ignore the cheap ones. Keep going all the way through Troy Industries, Faxon Firearms, Daniel Defense DDM4, Alex Pro Firearms, Battle Arms Development, POF and more.

You’ll be on to serious shooting sports, multiple barrel lengths, muzzle devices and military grade shiz before long. That rifle penned by Eugene Stoner is just a distant memory at this price point, together with Nickel Boron coatings.

Get The Good Credit Card Out?

Now you are going to spend some serious money on a long range Knights Armament SR-15, mil-spec Rise Armament or Battle Arms Developments battle ready rifle, Wilson Combat Super Sniper with a shorter barrel. Or the others you’ll find on our custom list of complete rifles.

But you knew that right? Rise Armament, Knights Armament make military hardware and a full length Wilson Combat costs bucks…

Even elite charging handles or a nice muzzle brake could swallow a chunk of the budget for the best gun here.

Stars of the New Scene

Incidentally, Battle Arms Developments, BCM, Primary Weapons Systems, Liberty Gun Works, Spike’s Tactical and Strike Industries are some of our favorite newcomers to this high-quality sector and best sellers for a reason.

Especially BAD and Bravo Company Manufacturing. This is quality American defense, Mil spec trigger and beyond in FDE or Olive Drab Green. Just read the rifle reviews.

Christensen Arms is doing some crazy stuff with lightweight materials, too. Check out the lightweight AR-15 post here to see more of the Christensen Arms kind of gun. They also do some wild precision rifles for long range shooting.

Are you ready to spend a little more on a multi-purpose popular rifle that goes beyond basic defense? Check out these features on the top 5.56 NATO rifles & pistols, ranging from an entry level Radical Firearms through to a custom Liberty Gun Works and more:

Can We Interest You in Rifles AND pistols? While You’re Here?

If you’re after a concealed carry, then you’ll struggle here. You might want to try these posts instead if you are searching for a 9mm pistol and handgun ammo.

Cheap Glass For an AR-15

Chances are if you’re spending $500 on your AR-15, then you don’t have big money to spend on high price, high spec AR-15 rifle scopes, optics, iron sights, range gear or red dot sights, lights, lasers, holographic sights, laser sights etc either.

That’s life, but you really should upgrade the front sight base and rear from basic irons.

So the budget scopes include the likes of the entry-level Vortex Crossfire, which is a solid choice for long range shooting. And there are good deals around to put something better on your front sight base.

For budget red dot sights for a cheap AR or bolt action rifle, a lot of owners have turned to the Holosun Micro Sight, Bushnell First Strike, Vortex Sparc or the Sig Romeo line. It’s affordable hunting gear and works defensively, but the quality control isn’t in the same league as the $1000 scopes, natch..

For cheap deals, check these easy links:

Get Your Random Stuff Here. Stores For Parts

Before you get into these, check this post on the best firearms stores in the USA.

  • PSA – Again, a great selection of parts from the likes of Patriot Ordnance Factory. Organize price low to high, handgun parts too.
  • Primary Arms – Awesome top brands upgrades section, buffer tubes, everything.
  • Sportsman’s Guide – Everything you need
Want Competition Upgrades? Start here

If you’re looking at serious upgrades for competition, or you just want the top dust cover, charging handle and that shiz for your trusty matte black BLEM PSA stripped lower receiver best sellers, there are some names to look out for. If you want to go pro, or you just want to get better, we got stuff.

Well Primary Arms, Brownells and more have stuff.

Geissele Automatics has high price, high quality two-stage trigger choices, and Hiperfire has emerged as another top contender. The Geissele Automatics high performance two-stage trigger is generally considered the one you want, but you do you and get a single stage if you like.

Bravo Company Manufacturing make some of the high quality top stuff. From a complete upper receiver parts, lower parts and pistol grips through to a safety selector, chrome lined barrel material and flash hider.

Roll Out the Free Floating Barrel

Wilson Combat also has some great upgrades for the AR 15 and 1911s, including the legendary starburst pistol grip. Wilson Combat is even moving into custom Glocks these days, bringing engineering excellence and high quality with it.

So you can start with WC stripped lower receiver sets and build a beast if you want to break the bank. Typical Build kits include a mid-length gas system and direct impingement action. But you do you and get a pink safety selector and furniture if that’s what you want…

Tailor Your Semi Automatic Rifle For Sports Shooting

Especially when you’re competitive shooting, you need the Modern Sporting Rifle that feels comfortable to you and you alone.

Then get the right magazines, muzzle devices, Geissele Automatics match trigger, Titanium barrel nut and other cleaning supplies, ammo, parts, accessories, chrome-lined Bolt Carrier Group for a butter smooth action, all the other shiz.

Stag Arms has quality stuff too. Primarily it’s for their own line, but these are AR15 parts you can use anywhere, and also AR-10 parts.

What About Your Ammo and Other Odds and Ends?

We got everything, from matte black mil-spec gas blocks, gas tubes, lever action rifles, gun cases, an air gun to 308 Win Mag hunting specials and 7mm Rem Mag We seriously do love lever action rifles, bolt action rifles, shotguns and the 308 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag sniper rifle.

Also, we’re partial to pump action shotguns, shotgun ammo shop, almost as much as the hunting rifles.

It’s just a lot of bang for the buck in both gun cases. So get high quality 308 Win Mag bolt action rifles, now, and cleaning supplies.

We’ll love you whatever you decide, even if it shoots 9mm ammo. Pistol Caliber Carbines blasting 9mm Luger are pretty cool honestly.

As for rifle ammo deals, and handgun ammo deals, yes we can hook you up. If you want bulk ammo deals, yes that too, and range gear, and lights, lasers, optics, fixed front sight, gun safes etc. How’s about a 308 Win Mag Battle Rifle?

Our recommendations for rifle ammo are Lucky Gunner, Brownells and Sportsman’s Guide. Shotgun ammo too for your pump action shotguns ammo shop around and see.

Can you Still Buy Full Autos?

Technically you can still buy a full auto machine gun, but good luck getting an assault rifle for $500 at your local store. A full auto requires a Class 3 firearms license, which is harder and harder to obtain.

It’s also an expensive process and so the cost of all that AR-15 ammo you’re spitting out will pale into insignificance next to the price of admission. You have to explain why you need fully automatic weapons, and there aren’t many good reasons.

So really think if you want a full auto machine gun. Because most of you don’t when you really think about it. Fully automatic rifles really are a niche thing for a reason and a semi automatic rifle is fine for most of us.

A Mil Spec Trigger from CMMG.
What is a Mil Spec Trigger

A Mil-Spec trigger really isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just a trigger assembly designed to meet certain U.S. military specs.

So it should be rugged, reliability, and consistent tactical gear. But don’t think it will immediately outperform others when it comes to the trigger pull thanks to that military endorsement.

A mil spec trigger should basically perform, but most consumer grade triggers will match them. A full competition spec trigger is a much more advanced piece of kit, but they can cost a lot more.

Check out these other great posts when you’re done here:

And the Ts&Cs

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Enter your email address in the top bar and contact us for more interesting things. And get out more. Also check the returns and free shipping policy of the dealer involved, as we don’t have a unified return policy here. and each vendor has their own return policy, shipping policy and free shipping criteria. We’ll send offers through if you want. Just sign up in the top bar and we’ll mention free shipping if we know about it

PSA is very good for free shipping offers. Guns.com often has free shipping and you can sometimes score free shipping from Brownells. .

Just so you know there’s an affiliate program at work here, obviously. We make our money with the affiliate program, so we hope you don’t mind. All prices accurate at time of writing. That’s about all of our terms of service, although terms of service is a pretty grand way of putting this. Now skip to content.


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