27 Best AR-15s Under $2000 – Nov 2020


Christensen Arms CA-15 Recon. The best AR-15 for sale under $2000.

Update: Coronavirus means cheaper AR-15s are already sold out, and shelves are bare across the land.

If you can’t see the gun you want, then these are live links to what the dealers can actually sell you right now.

It’s an emergency system, but we are updating posts every day. We’re prioritizing guns you can actually buy. So if old favorites are down the list, that’s why.

If we stop, it means we’re zombies now too, and we can’t give you any more top picks. Pray for us, and good luck in the post Apocalyptic wasteland…


Now, Back to the Original $2000 AR-15s Post…


If you’re on the lookout for the best AR-15 rifles for $2,000 or less, it’s a pretty sweet time to be alive. In other ways not so much, but we’re trying to stay positive.


These days you can find complete AR-15s for $2000 with a short-stroke gas piston, light weight materials and you can pretty much bet it’s beyond Military specification at this price.


So what is the best AR-15 under $2000? Here are our picks.


Geissele Super Duty Rifle. One of the few AR-15s left on sale in September 2020. Get a gun now.

1. Geissele Super Duty Rifle


  • Price: $1,875
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56 NATO
  • Action: Gas-Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 16 inch.
  • Length: 32.25-36 inch


The Geissele Automatics Super Duty may not have won this any other time and it might give up the lead this week. But right now, this is one of only a handful of premium AR-15 rifles on the shelves.


The best gun is the one in your hand, after all.


Now Geissele is one of the best trigger manufacturers in the business. So you know the rifle is going to be good. Inevitably you get the proprietary trigger, and other selling points include an extended bolt catch, Surefire muzzle device, cold hammer forged barrel, Super 42 buffer spring and more.


It’s a personal defense AR-15 you can actually buy, too, and that counts for quite a lot as it turns out.


Colt M4 Carbine. You can still find a Colt AR-15, if you know where to look. We do, so buy guns here today.

2. Colt LE6920 – Colt M4 Carbine


  • Price: $1,999.95
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 32-35.5 inch
  • Weight: 6.6lb


Colt’s decision to pull out of the civilian AR market has made them more desirable, not less. In the 2020 guns shortage, though, a lot of dealers are cashing in on Colts and they’re becoming, weirdly, a dominant market force.


That means authentic Colt LE6920 rifles are cropping up individually, and cost basically what your local gun store wants to charge.


Where to Find a Colt M4 Online


Guns.com has a nice selection of outlet dealers and you can find a few rifles, quite often, here:


Can You Still Buy a Colt M4 Law Enforcement Carbine?


The discount Colt LE6940 models are out there box fresh and they seem like the first choice 5.56mm NATO Colts you can find on the open market right now. It’s the semi auto Colt you know and love with the adjustable buttstock, and it really won’t spring too many surprises.


This is exactly what you’d expect from an M4-style rifle. It has a collapsible stock, it’s light and you do at least get flip-up iron sights in with the deal. We like free. Switch them out for a red dot, though, and your shooting technique may magically improve.


Colts are getting harder to find, that’s a fact of life. But there are so many pattern parts for the classic M4 Carbine that you can build your own complete AR-15s pretty easily.


Military Spec Colts Still For Sale

It’s a rifle that LEO and the military rely on in full auto machine gun spec, but the consumer-grade version without select fire is still pretty great. It’s the last of a dying breed, so if you see one then grab it.


Colt M4 Clone Wars Are Inevitable

When the biggest name in the sector takes its ball and goes home, inevitably others will rush in to fill that home defense space. So we are going to get busy with the Colt M4 clones in the coming months.


It was hardly an underserved market in the first place. But now rest assured you’re going to see a glut of Colt M4 AR style weapons in every caliber.


Aero Precision has some solid options and one of those is down below, while Brownells retro do a great job of reproducing the iconic Vietnam era weapons that we all seem to love. Minus the select fire and helping of PTSD.


Mossberg MMR Tactical, a great rifle for hunting, plinking and defending your home.

3. Mossberg MMR Pro

  • Price: $1,099.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Direct
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 7lb

The Mossberg MMR just slithers into this price range, too, along with the Ruger, and it’s good enough for both. In this category you can have the log range Pro version with the 18″ longer barrel, or this Mossberg MMR Tactical.


We’ve simply got some Designated Marksman Rifles here, so decided to go with the shorter all-rounder. It’s a great mid-range rifle that punches above its weight thanks to Mossberg’s market share and the magic of mass manufacturing.


Free Floating Barrel is Properly Accurate


You get a free float barrel with a 1:8 twist and a fearsome reputation for accuracy and repeatability. As part of the MMR upgrade package you also get the JM Drop-In Match Trigger, which is kind of cool.


The Magpul grip and stock are solid and the accessories and peripherals will do for now.


You have to install your own front sight and rear sight, so they can be as amazing as you like. This feels like it deserves the best rifle scopes, optics or red dot. Get the best red dot up there and you’re good for multi purpose stuff.


If you want a varmint rifle then the Mossberg MMR Hunter is the one you want and you can take this basic rifle and trick it out.


Thanks to modular design and a massive spares department, your Mossberg MMR can turn into almost any rifle you need.


Armalite M15 Piston for sale. Get the next gen AR-15 from the original AR-15 manufacturer at the USA Gun Shop

4. Armalite M15 Piston 5.56


  • Price: $1,299
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Action: Gas Piston
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Overall: 33.6 inch
  • Weight: 7.3lb


Who made the first one and what does AR-15 actually mean? The answer to both questions is basically the same.


The Armalite Rifle started it all with the classic Eugene Stoner design in the 1950s. Despite changing the American firearms landscape forever, ArmaLite didn’t do so well financially and sold the design to Colt, which turned it into a winner. In 1963, Colt sold ArmaLite’s good work to the military and the rest is history.


This particular example, the piston driven flagship, is down from almost $2000 right now at Euro Optic. That’s a huge saving. You get a Magpul STR stock, forged aluminum receivers and a QPQ coated CMV stainless steel barrel.


Get a proper optic on there to replace the iron sights atop this aircraft-grade aluminum, and you have a real potent weapon.



Where to Find Bulk Ammunition – 5.56 NATO

5.56 NATO ammo is some of the first to run dry in a crisis, as we have learned in the great Covid-19 scare of 2020. So get yours now, while you can.


Also, remember that expensive Wylde chamber you paid for and never use? Don’t forget the .223 Rem in times of crisis. Bulk deals could keep your custom firearm from becoming an expensive club.


Wilson Combat Protector Carbine. Is this the best AR-15 under $2000 on sale in Covid-19 America? We think so.

5. Wilson Combat Protector Carbine


  • Price: $1,995.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Gas Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 16.25 inch
  • Total Length: 34-37.5 inch
  • Weight: 6lb

Wilson Combat makes bespoke guns with price tags that will make you blush. That makes the Protector Carbine kind of a performance bargain.


Yes this is the base-level model from arguably the most famous custom gunsmith on American soil. But so what? It’s still kind of awesome.


There’s the trademark starburst grip, a stainless steel match barrel, in-house M2 trigger and basically everything you would expect from the brand.


Wilson Combat simply can’t stamp a badge on trash. The company has worked too hard for its reputation. So rest assured the build quality on this gun will compare favorably with anything this side of a complete custom firearm.


This is a discount price, too. They crop up sometimes on the outlet store section of Guns.com. You can also get a selection of 1911 pistols parts and increasingly, Glock mods. Check Brownells and Rainier Arms for custom pistol parts generally.


Christensen Arms G2 rifle on sale now.

6. Christensen Arms CA-15 G2


  • Price: $1,649.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Gas Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 34-37.5 inch
  • Weight: 6.3lb



The Christensen Arms CA-15 Recon was our dark horse contender before. Now, with stocks decimated, this wildcard might just be the best rifle you can buy right now.




Cheaper Version of Recon


Christensen Arms offers an optional Carbon Fiber barrel on its $3,000 G2 Recon, but has left that off the entry level model. It’s a much more intelligent compromise of price and performance.


The grip is carbon-fiber, too. It’s fair to say this isn’t standard mil-spec. While it’s fancy, though, it is still basically the same weight as the class leaders.


And they didn’t build their semi-auto rifles from Vibranium and aerospace grade materials. So what gives?


The truth is, though, that Christensen Arms have redistributed that weight to beef up the receivers and balance this Modern Sporting Rifle. So it’s better than you are.


Fresh Look at Design


There is a weird, almost fetishistic attention to detail that shines through in the build quality. The Titanium flash suppressor is kind of inevitable. But hand stoning the trigger kit to give the cleanest possible break is some next-level shiz.


The Bolt Carrier Group is nitride coated and you get an ambidextrous mag release and oversized bolt release.


Lightweight Furniture on Lightweight Frame


A BCM Gunfighter stock does basically nothing wrong. If you wanted to go even further then you could go for some kind of basic tail-hook and strip a few more ounces from this magnificent weapon.


But we wouldn’t. It’s balanced like this by expert marksmen in the R&D phase. Right down to that standout ported muzzle brake.


That’s what you’re paying for, if we’re honest. This optic ready rifle comes guaranteed sub-MOA, but then all of these should deliver that kind of performance. This one should just do it that little bit better.


A Range of Exotic Colors


It’s a full Cerakote finish and you can get every color from Burnt Bronze through to Tungsten. You know you’re shopping for the elite when the color schemes sound like optional extras when you’re buying a Porsche.  Don’t ask for stock black, they might get pissy.


Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1 rifle that you can buy online today.

7. Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1


  • Price: $1,399.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 18 inch
  • Length: 32.25-36 inch
  • Weight: 7.8lb

The Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1 is a great rifle and the consumer version of the high-end rifles that the DEA and FBI take to work.


Now the Rock River Arms isn’t light. It’s almost an 8lb AR-15, and that’s a bold strategy Cotton. It’ also has the 18″ fluted barrel that goes some way to making up for it.


So you’ll have to lug round a heavier rifle, but you get more accuracy. In fact this is officially a 3/4 MOA rifle, whereas the cheap AR-15s are generally 4 MOA guns.


And if you’re only range plinking and even entering competitions without much running, the flat-top Rock River can be a great all-rounder.


Rock River is a ‘Cool Brand’


There’s a certain cache that goes with the brand, too. Rock River Arms is somehow the sexy option and the company has done a great job of seling the edgy anti-establishment image.


It has done this while literally supplying guns to the establishment. So, you know, props for that. It may also be the best budget rifle here in terms of bang for the buck.


Black Rain Ordnance Scout rifle. Get yours today, for just $2000. One of the best AR-15 rifles of 2020.

4. Black Rain Ordnance Spec 15


  • Price: $1,599.00
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • Barrel length: 16 inch
  • Total: 33-37 inch
  • Weight: 6lb


Black Rain Ordnance is on a mission of late and has produced a series of top class weapons that are flat out assaulting our top 10s. We’re happy to have them.


The BRO Spec 15 is a multi-purpose rifle that’s designed to stand the test of time. It looks lighter than it is thanks to the minimalist Sopmod buttstock and GI grip and Nickel Boron trigger.


It’s Cerakote finished and Black Rain offer battle worn finishes, pretty much every color or other designer looks. It’s also a really good rifle under the skin, too, if you can handle the 7.8lb kerbweight.


There’s a lot of bang for the buck here anyway.


Sons of Liberty Gun Works M4. A custom rifle for an off the peg price. See what the fuss is about and order yours today.

5. Sons of Liberty Gun Works M4


  • Price: $1,399.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • Barrel length: 16 inch
  • Total: 33-37 inch
  • Weight: 6lb

Sons of Liberty is a small company with an outsized reputation, thanks to a series of stunning rifles that blew away the critics etc.


This is a basic rifle from the US gun manufacturer with a simple direct impingement gas system. But it punches well above its weight as a duty carbine rifle.


It is also actually on sale, while many of the others are simply out of stock. That wins points here too. Get a red dot on her and she’s a match for most things here.


All the controls are ambidextrous, including the magazine release, which is good news for left-handed shooters.


Battle Arms Development Authority Elite rifle on sale now. Get your lightweight AR-15 with all the skills of a heavier rifle.

10. Battle Arms Development Authority Elite


  • Price: $2,099
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Overall: 33.6 inch
  • Weight: 5.5lb

Battle Arms Development got famous with lightweight rifles like the Ounces is Pounds. This is a hybrid, part way between the high end custom guns and the basic BAD Workhorse rifle that sells for around $1,400.


The BAD Authority Elite offers a billet lower receiver, which isn’t bad in this price range. Other neat touches include the barrel being individually head spaced to the bolt. It’s detail stuff, like the flat top, but it matters.


A Nickel Teflon trigger coating is just one of the others. But the main point is this is a full size AR-15 that weighs in at 5.5lb. That’s a great battle rifle in the making to be honest.


It is great, across the board. Owners love them, reviews are outstanding and it’s one of the best rifles you can buy right now in the 2020 Covid crisis.



The Patriot Ordnance Factory 415 Edge. One of the best AR-15s for sale in 2020. Get your piston driven POF now.

11. Patriot Ordnance Factory 415 Edge


  • Price: $1,549.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Gas Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 34-37.5 inch
  • Weight: 7lb

The Patriot Ordnance Factory 415 Edge is essentially the unbreakable battle rifle, according to the manufacturer. Forget mil-spec…


More than 10 years of development has gone in to these complete rifles. You can have a POF Renegade + for slightly less money, but this is the flagship.


There’s a modular free float rail platform, and you can attach almost anything to that handguard. The rail isn’t full length, but you can’t have everything and there’s enough real estate for optics, scopes & accessories.


POF’s E2 Dual Extraction technology helps push out the spent casing with the magic of air pressure. That reduces the wear and tear on the extractor mechanism.


Durable, Nitride Coated Barrel


A button-rifled 5R barrel gets the Nitride heat treatment to finish the CMV stainless steel to Rockwell 70 levels of hardness. The average lifespan of a POF match-grade barrel is tens of thousands of rounds. Some go well into six figures.


Then there are the Nickel coated Bolt Carrier Groups. To infinity and beyond, and all that…


An oversized heat sink barrel nut helps to provide 17 times more heat dissipation than average. The aircraft-grade aluminum draws the heat, which helps keep you firing now and long into the future.


When a company puts this much attention into heat sinks, theoretically you get an awesome end product. Practically, too, in this case.


Get the best budget red dot sight up there and you got an absolute weapon. POF rifles have been hard to find throughout the 2020 Covid-19 crisis, but keep an eye on Rainier Arms’ stock list.



Daniel Defense DDM4V7 Pro Rifle on sale - a Bargain of an AR-15 and the best sub-$2000 AR-15 on sale in 2019.

12. Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 Pro


  • Price: $2,099.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56 NATO
  • Action: Gas-Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 18 inch
  • Length: 32.25-36 inch
  • Weight: 6.2lb


Pretty much everybody has named the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 as the winner at any price, in some form or another. Who are we to disagree with that verdict? And we found at least one for sale. Buy now, thank us later.


If you’re looking for validation then yes, you’re right about the Daniel Defense. Buy your gun online now and it will be your favorite by this time next week. Unless you have some very serious hardware in your best gun safes.


Mil-Spec and Beyond


Both Daniel Defense receivers leave Mil-spec well behind. They’re CNC machined 7075-T6 Aluminum with a hard coat anodized finish. The bolt carrier is an M16 profile, it’s chromed and it comes with a properly staked gas key.


There’s a low-profile gas block that is CNC-machined from hardened steel, then given a heavy Phosphate coating. There is also a new handguard, and it all contributes to a final weight of just 6.2lb.


That’s right in the sweet spot. To get lighter, you normally have to start chopping the barrel material, losing range and tailoring the twist to close up work. Check our lightweight AR-15s post, which includes a chopped down version, for conclusive proof.


Premium Finish Everywhere


The chrome lined barrel is produced from Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium steel. The Magwell is flared all the little touches are just right. Almost like an established tuner made this gun…


It’s optics ready, so you can fit your own irons or something more advanced. The free floating handguard is an elegant part and it would cost serious money.


Even the proprietary flash suppressor is stainless and gets a salt nitride bath on the production line. And the grip and stock come with that consistent design and stippling that lets you know this is a complete rifle, not a DIY build that didn’t work out.


It’s perfect for home defense or out in the field and even the charging handle fits like a glove. The NRA members gave it the Rifle of 2018 Award, and it’s hard to argue that it’s still the flagbearer…


Want a Daniel Defense with a shorter barrel for home defense or the range? Check out the best AR pistols here.




Daniel Defense DDM4 V11 Pro - A longer barrel, competition trigger and more add up to a seriously good rifle and one of the best AR-15s for sale.

DDM4 V7 Pro: A High-Value Upgrade


The Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 Pro is a solid upgrade for not that much money.


You get a Geissele trigger kit and a few other subtle upgrades from the parts & accessories department.


Honestly the upgrade makes sense. As well as that beyond standard Mil spec trigger set that you may well end up doing yourself at greater expense. You get an 18-inch barrel and a much more accurate long range patrol weapon.


This is a little less wieldy. But that is a personal choice and personally I would go for the more expensive package and get the value added extras. With great rifle scopes, optics or AR-15 red dot up there for rapid target acquisition and it’s a sniper.


Get the Fully Loaded Version


This is like buying a fully loaded car for just a few bucks more and it looks like a good investment. With decent rifle scopes or red dot sight, this is a medium-range sniper.


Of course, you might want a short barrel version of the Daniel Defense DDM4V7 and we’ve got you covered in our lightweights post.


Then there’s the AR pistol… It’s awesome for home defense. And this is why we’re broke…


ZEV TEch Core Elite rifle for sale. Get yours online at the best price now.

13. ZEV Technologies Core Elite


  • Price: $1,686.25
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 33-37 inch
  • Weight: 6.67lb


This is our dark horse, the off the peg match gun that you could take into 3-Gun Competition, or just about any other arena, tomorrow.


The user reviews are nothing short of gushing praise.


With high-quality ammo this is a sub-MOA rifle, whereas most don’t even claim less than 4 MOA. This is serious stuff.


The ZEV Tech Core Elite is easily a match for the bigger names here and if we had more courage it might just be the winner.



3-Gun Mods Everywhere on the ZEV


Both the upper receiver and lower receiver are machined from billet aluminum. The trigger guard is integrated, the flared magwell assists fast reloads and an ATC AR Gold trigger set is custom-tuned for this set-up.


The ZEV Wedge Lock handguard is a stressed member that improves rigidity, accuracy and consistency. The full-length top rail and M-LOK system means you can attach what you like as well.


ZEV makes drop-in barrels, triggers and complete tuner Glocks. The influence is clear here with the fluted match-grade barrel that comes with a bronze PVD coating.


The H3 Carbine buffer reduces recoil and you get a Radian Weapons Talon ambidextrous safety selector and other goodies.


Custom Rifle at Mid-Range Price


With a healthy blend of its own parts and upgrades, ZEV Tech has created a custom rifle, off the peg, that you really should consider.


Get ZEV Tech Here

ZEV Tech will sell you an upper receiver and lower receiver matched set, but the bulk of the business should come with AR parts and supplies.

Just like the Glock business, custom handguards, a lightweight Bolt Carrier Group and new trigger set will form the backbone of the company’s drop-in aftermarket parts.


ZEV also makes custom guns now, too, starting with the all-metal, striker-fired ZEV Tech OZ9 and this Core Elite line of rifles and AR pistols.


Check out a complete range of pistols, rifles, parts and more here.


Faxon Firearms lightweight AR-15 with a 14.5 inch barrel and pinned muzzle brake. Buy your guns online now.

14. Faxon Firearms FX5500 Ultralight


  • Price: $1,353.75
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
  • Barrel: 14.5 inch (NFA Compliant: pinned and welded muzzle devices.)
  • Weight: 4.95lb


Faxon Firearms has made a name for itself in the crowded custom Glock parts & accessories space of late, which means the parts have to be good. Now it has branched out, much like ZEV Tech and Grey Ghost Precision with a short barreled, lightweight AR15.


You can find Faxon Firearms Glock accessories and the best aftermarket fluted barrels. You can even opt for a different twist rate.


Right now we are more interested in this super lightweight, though, which looks like an absolute winner. It’s a rifle with real sex appeal and really it’s a Short Barreled Rifle without the NFA problems.


Lightweight Barrels


Inevitably there’s a proprietary fluted barrel in there, chrom-lined, natch. The Faxon Firearms Ultralight is essentially built around it, with a free-float naked Streamline carbon-fiber handguard. That can either look wicked bad for years, or just bad, depending on the scratch and heat resistance.


We’re led to believe it’s the former, but inevitably you’ll have to refresh or, more likely, replace the high-tech furniture more often than good old fashioned metal.


Factor that into the running costs, and then marvel at the 4.95lb overall weight that is the result of this maniacal weight-saving mission. Suddenly the trade-off becomes tempting.


Short-Barrel Saves Weight


There’s a slight caveat, in that this has a 14.5” barrel with a pinned and welded muzzle device to keep the NFA at bay. Of course, you can always get a second barrel with a thread to switch out according to your shooting technique and gun range.


At this price point you might want machined receivers and I would be inclined to agree. But these forged aluminum receivers are matched, lightweight, and proving durable in customer reviews on the online gunbroker sites.


The parts and accessories are spartan, and yet that costs money. Lightweight connoisseurs will recognize the Superlative Arms Adjustable Bleed-Off Gas and Radian Raptor LT Ambi Charging Handle, safety and MFT Minimalist stock.


The mags, meanwhile, come from Lancer and there are attachment points for a sling.


This is not hastily thrown together garbage, I think it’s reasonable to conclude.



Faxon Sentry, a great AR-15 under $1000. Check the full Faxon Firearms line up from the new AR-15 manufacturer here.

Shots Fired by Faxon


Faxon Firearms is working its way towards the same impact it had on the Glock world.


They produce custom guns, in limited runs to keep the costs down. Essentially that’s what this is, a custom for one theoretical enthusiast, which just happens to be our kind of guy.


When we say limited numbers, we mean it. Faxon Firearms has officially sold out of the FX5500 Ultralight rifle, but Faxon will have something similar for you.


The FN FN15 DMR II for sale, one of the best AR-15s under $2000 now on offer at the USA Gun Shop.

15. FN FN15 DMR II


  • Price: $1,679.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Direct Impingement Gas System
  • Barrel: 18 inch
  • Total Length: 35.7-39 inch
  • Weight: 7.03lb


This optic ready semi auto rifle is a bit of a wild card, but it looks the business. The military might be grumbling about the FN SCAR, but the general public loves it.


Still, that’s a little outside the budget. It’s hovering around $2,900 on Euro Optics. But it is beautifully ugly, if you get that, and one of the most instantly recognizable semi auto firearms for sale in 2020.


Another Stressed Handguard For Accuracy


The FN FN15 DMR II Tactical Carbine is just beautiful, though. It’s the evolution that features the stiffer FN Rail System that reduces deflection and gives it better torsional rigidity.


This system ensures the weapon won’t shift its zero, theoretically anyway, and you’ve already read about a similar concept with others on this list. It’s a long-range shooting breakthrough.


The Surefire ProComp 556 muzzle device sits up front, the match-grade Timney trigger joins forces with a Magpul MOE grip and buttstock.


This is a match-grade barrel, cold-hammer forged with a 1:7 twist and all the parts to take advantage for just a couple hundred bucks more than the 16 inch barrel patrol weapon. The longer sight base pays off.


DMR Means Designated Marksman Rifle. You Know This…


This is more of a marksman. That 18 inch barrel is set up for shooting sports and serious 5.56 NATO hunters. Get a proper reflex sight on this and you should be able to decapitate a pin at 150 yards. Get a decent iron front sight and rear and it’s still a tack driver.


This comes with a chrome-lined, match-grade barrel and a recoil reduction system that makes it easy to shoot. The business end comes with a 3-prong flash hider and the furniture is Magpul’s finest.


It’s a Magpul MOE pistol grip and more MOE at the rear. In this company it feels like another edgy choice, alongside the CA-15, in an otherwise fairly predictable list.


Niche Firearms Are Awesome.


We want to challenge you and show you just what’s out there, rather than just hitting the same old guns. You might think we’re batshit nuts for some of the rankings, and even we change them from time to time when the noise gets too much.


But the truth is we like unusual firearms and we love the Christensen Arms CA-15 Recon and the FN most on this list because of their left-field status. Even if they’re not the best gun overall.


Smart Piston and Recoil Reduction Tech


FN has gone to town on the gas-piston system and the recoil reduction system should save your shoulder. So should the weight. A pound doesn’t sound much, until your rifle has been on your shoulder all day.



It’s a sniper rifle, which is lightweight and flexible. It’s one of our favorites for 2020 and could be the best AR-15 here.


Noveske Gen III N4 Light Recce for sale at a bargain price

16. Noveske Gen 4 N4 Light Recce


  • Price: $2,199.97
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16.1 inch
  • Total Length:
  • Weight: 7.2lb


You are seriously looking at a Noveske for less than $2000. Or you were until the sale ended and the price bumped.


It was third at that point on pure value for money. We expect the price to drop again soon, too. So we don’t want to throw the Noveske out just yet.


The Noveske Gen 3 N4 Light Recce has been with us for a while, but it used to be much closer to $3000 and we never expected it to feature on this list.


For that reason alone, we’re happy to give it star billing. Even though the Gen 4 is out now, including the almighty Ghetto Blaster PDW AR pistol that is basically the Q Honeybadger in disguise.


But the Noveske Gen 3 is still a great gun.


Company founder John Noveske, one of the industry’s great innovators, is no longer with us. The company is still finding its feet again, but if it can retain the same quality at this price then it will scale the giddy heights once again.


Machine Gun Steel For Barrels


Noveske goes above and beyond at every stage of the manufacturing process. That’s part of the joy. The OCD madness includes using machine gun-grade M429 steel for the barrels. It then applies a chrome lining that it claims is one of the thickest in the industry.


That lower receiver is machined aluminum, not forged. There’s an extended feed ramp, Raptor supplied the charging handle and then it gets a Cerakote finish.


Big Spec For this Money


An ALG Defense ACT Trigger and Magpul STR stock, pistol grip and other furniture join a top spec buffer. It’s all awesome and again you buy a complete rifle. Strip off that iron front sight, and the rear, and get a red dot sight, and you only need to change things when they break.


A Noveske is one of those bucket list guns and this is an affordable way to get there. It pretty much depends on how bad you want to own a Noveske, just once in your life…


Lewis Machine & Tool CQB MARS Rifle. A breakthrough in AR-15 design and a 500 yard rifle.

17. Lewis Machine & Tool LMT CQB MARS


  • Price: $1,889.10
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 36.5
  • Weight: 6.5lb


This is the New Zealand NZ16 military rifle, which has now won legions of fans around the world.


It used to be double the price, too, and we still liked it. Now there’s a massive price dip and we love it.


A Monoforge Upper Receiver, an integrated one-piece handguard and receiver, is the main USP here. Noticing a pattern? This is a big trend that started with a heavyweight RRP, but the tech is starting to trickle down


500 Yards? Seriously? Again?


This is the technical breakthrough that apparently turns a 250-300 yard standard, which has been the round’s limit for decades, into a long-range precision rifle with a 500-yard reach.


All thanks to a stiffer upper receiver and M-LOK System. Science is crazy huh…


A lobster tail double spring extractor works with venting holes to basically balance the system and recoil without adjustment. You can also switch out the barrel and zero it in seconds, in the field. That’s a cool touch for all of us.


This is the civilian version of the fully automatic machine gun that the New Zealand military will take into action.


Get yours now, and see just why this Iowa company is supplying troops halfway across the world.


Bravo Company Manufacturing Recce AR-15 For Sale

18. Bravo Company BCM Recce

  • Price: $1,299.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 18 inch
  • Length: 34-37 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb


Bravo Company Manufacturing was born in Wisconsin in 2005, when a combat veteran Marine returned with a wealth of knowledge about the right firearm for each specific job.


Now Bravo Company Manufacturing works with LEOs and government agencies. The smash hits, it sells to the general public.


This was a special request from the Navy SEALs. They wanted a little more long-range, pinpoint accuracy and something not too heavy. Funnily enough, that’s what a lot of us want too.


This is built for a specific job, though, and that means it’s a gas system built for simplicity. It’s right up to the top of the price range for one of those. But everything from the free floating handguard to the pins are quality.


If you’re looking for a lightweight AR-15, then this optic ready Bravo Company Manufacturing rifle is good enough for better men and women than you and me. It’s at that price cut-off, though, where we start to expect a more advanced gas system.


Aero Precision M4A1 Carbine rifle. A modern reproduction of the classic Colt M4A1 Carbine rifle that is standard military issue in the US.

19. Aero Precision M4 Carbine

  • Price: $1,049.99
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 32 inch
  • Weight: 6.6lb


If you want a Colt M4 Carbine, but can’t find one, this is the rifle you want. The Aero Precision M4A1 Carbine is a cut price faithful reproduction of the classic military issue Colt M4.


Aero Precision is famous for its barrels and naked rifles. All it had to do was add the Knights Armament RAS period furniture to create a tribute that kinda looks like the fully automatic assault rifle icon.


With Colt vacating this space entirely, Aero Precision has seized the day…


Nostalgia, and a Solid Rifle

Are there better rifles here? Yes, of course. Is it the best tactical rifle here? Not by a long shot. But if you want an old-school M4 Carbine to wade through your local swamp, well that’s just fine by us.


Ditch the fixed front sight, fit a new handguard and you’ve got a much more modern rifle. Keep them and this is a passable impression of an old school war veteran, with mid-length gas systems and modern day performance.


Aero Precision also make some serious steel and even carbon-fiber match grade everything. They can also sell you a complete firearm. Check them out here:



Griffin Armament Mk1 Recce .223 Wylde. A great AR-15 with a carbine length

20. Griffin Armament MK1 Recce


  • Price: $1,699
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/ 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Overall: 32.25 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb
  • Capacity: 30+1


Look closely at the Griffin Armament Mk1 Recce and you will see a very serious rifle that can go against anything here.


The company is well known in the firearms industry for precision engineering work on suppressors and high-end firearms. This is a foray into the mainstream and we have to say we’re loving it so far.


Serious Parts


You get a lot of proprietary kit, including the 416R barrel, a Mil-Spec trigger, well, competition trigger. There’s a Griffin Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group, which is Magnetic Particle Inspected, as well as beefed up to all Hell.


There are ambidextrous selectors, a suppressor-optimized buffer tube in the Maritime Receiver Extension and Extreme Condition Stock.


The M-LOK Rail up front also comes with an intriguing extra RailShield. It’s a simple addition that gives you added purchase on your rifle. Yeah, we like it. Even the pistol grip comes with chunky stippling that is subtly different.


Obviously a rifle like this deserves a sniper of a scope, not back So get optics here.



POF Renegade Plus Rifle For Sale, Buy Guns Online and Save Money at your favorite gunbroker, the USA's best online gun store.

21. POF Renegade Plus


  • Price: $1,766.99
  • Caliber:.223 Remington/ 5.56 NATO
  • Action: Direct Impingement
  • Barrel: 16.5 inch
  • Total: 34 inch
  • Weight: 6.3lb


The Patriot Ordnance Factory Constable is a star in the AR-15 under $1000 category here at the USA Gun Shop recently and the POF Renegade Plus is another great.



Barrel is Match Grade Plus


A nitride finish means the barrel should stand the test of time and it is precision machined for the last word in accuracy. The chrome alloy barrel gets a 1:8 twist and if you miss at 100 yards with this rifle, it’s probably on you. With this, 5.56mm NATO should go further than it has in your hands. Possibly.


This is a premium tactical rifle and Patriot Ordnance Factory has refined each and every detail. Home defense, general plinking and small game hunting: it’s all good.

One standout detail is that pistol grip that is more vertical than a classic layout, and it combines well with that flat trigger.


Machined Billet Receivers, Not Forged


The totally ambidextrous Gen 4 lower receiver is machined from billet and the gas-piston system and Bolt Carrier Group are the stuff of legend.


Its 9-position Dictator gas block helps you fine-tune your rifle for the silencer set-up. The gas systems are up there in terms of adjustability, but might just have too many options for the casual shooter.


There’s the legendary E2 dual extraction system that uses the pressure to help eject the spent cartridge. POF claims it’s a no-fail design.


M-LOK Rail System Up Front


The 14” Renegade forend comes with an M-LOK system and a full-length Picatinny rail runs right down its spine. The parts that do need pins get KNS Anti-Walk Pins.


The Geissele trigger upgrade that comes as part of the Renegade Plus upgrade package is set at 3.5lb, and it gets a roller cam pin for arguably the smoother single-stage trigger set-up. It’s a touch on the light side, but the flat face trigger is predictable and you will get used to it.


With that tack driver of a 1:8 twist rate barrel, this is a formidable tool.



Get POF Parts & Accessories

If you want to customise, upgrade or just repair, POF has a great line of Parts & accessories that will make a tangible difference to the average rifle.

Some shops suck with AR15 rifles, some are awesome. So if you’re looking for Patriot Ordnance Factory rifle parts & accessories, here are a couple of great options.


Ruger SR-556 Varmint Rifle for sale. An AR-15 with a long barrel that is a Designated Marksman Rifle without the price tag.

23. Ruger SR-556 Varmint Rifle

  • Price: $1049.99
  • Barrel: 20 inch
  • Action: Gas Piston, Mid-length System
  • Total Length: 32.75-36 inch
  • Weight: 7.1lb
  • Capacity: 5+1

Update: The SR-556 is officially out of production for a while. But we want it back. So write a letter or something… Until then, they crop up occasionally for sale.


Are we having fun yet or what? A Ruger finding its way into this exhalted company? Hell yes. The Ruger Varmint Rifle is so good it has featured on two of these lists. We’re not even sorry…


We bent the rules to get the SR-556 into the complete AR-15s under $1000 list, because it’s awesome and the price was close enough. Now it’s coming in here as well, because this still way overdelivers for the money.


In the original piece we said that the Ruger Varmint rifle could so easily have come with a Designated Marksman Rifle badge and double the price tag in other manufacturer’s hands.


I invite you to look down the list and see the proof for yourself. FN, we’re looking at you…


More Reach, For Less Money


The point is this. If you want a little longer reach, but you’re not actually a professional sniper, the Ruger is pretty much all you need.


It’s a two-stage patented piston, which should come in a much higher price range. If you don’t like the simple 6 position adjustable stock, well Ruger has a few parts for you to choose from. You can make your Ruger SR-556 into a DMR or full-bore sniper.


The Ruger SR-556 doesn’t quite have the long-range accuracy of some here, and it doesn’t have a pixie dust-coated mil-spec bolt carrier. But then it’s a cheap start on a piston-driven rifle. You can make it better, there are web communities devoted to it, and you’ll have fun.


You also have $1000 to spend on upgrades. That’s a lot…


27 Best AR-15s Under $2000 – Nov 2020


24. Sig Sauer MCX Noctis Patrol


  • Price: $1,899
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 26.5 inch
  • Weight: 7.9lb


One AR to rule them all? This might just be it.


The Sig MCX Patrol 5.56 NATO rifle isn’t the lightest. Not by a long shot, but it will just keep going like the Energizer bunny and that added heft feels like reliability.


This was a rifle built for the Special Operations team, in full auto rifle spec of course. It’s all about a modular rifle that’s tough as old boots and it should be a better shot than you are.



It’s a mile-past Mil-spec and the only penalty you’ll pay is that it’s a little heavy on the shoulder. Government agencies love them, but then they do carry them in the boot of a car. They’re rarely hunting all day with one on their shoulder.


The Sig Sauer MCX Patrol has a gas-piston system with two simple settings for going sub-sonic, with a suppressor. You don’t really tune this rifle, but it’s got two solid set-ups that cuts complexity. That’s good for reliability and repeatability when it matters.


The Sig 5.56 Patrol rifle for sale comes with Sig’s patented internal recoil system. Together with the weight, and the 1:7 twist rate button rifling, that means it’s a consistent rifle to shoot and it won’t beat you up. That’s important too.


You can adjust the Matchlite Duo trigger from 4-5.6lb and you get an M-LOK alloy forend and a full-length Picatinny rail.


The signature Sig forend grip looks like a longer version of the Sig Rattler, which sits on top of our list of our favorite AR pistols.


Smith & Wesson Performance Center AR-15 on sale now. This is a sniper AR-15 with a longer barrel and competition trigger.

25. Smith and Wesson Performance Center M&P15

  • Price: $1,499.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/ 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 18 inches
  • Total: 38.5 inch
  • Weight: 7.38lb


We actually love the S&W Performance Center M&P15, and it was much higher on the list. Availability and the launch of the M&P15TS means this has dropped off for now.


But expect to see this 5.56 NATO legend, a 3-Gun Competition winner out the box, to return with a vengeance before long.


The engineers at S&W putting their heart and soul into a production line rifle to make it that bit better. The longer barrel and full-length Picatinny rails are just the start. This is just a great rifle thanks to the input of great engineers and even the Quality Control is worth the additional dollars.


We guess they’re doing the same things now with the M&P15TS, and a new PC rifle will be along shortly.


Performance Center Handguns Are Awesome


S&W hunting revolvers are right up their at the top of their game and the Performance Center has gone to work on the striker-fired line and a tuner SW1911 that is one of our favorite 45 ACP 1911 pistols too.


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Here, the skunkworks engineers have turned the humble Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport into a sniper rifle with a world record for speed shooting in the hands of Jerry Miculek.



TTI AR-15 from John Wick 2, an AR-15 on sale

26. Taran Tactical Innovation John Wick TR-1 Ultralight


  • Price: $1,999
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel: 14.5 inch + Welded muzzle device.
  • Total: 32 inch
  • Weight: 6.4lb

Update: This has sadly been discontinued, but we still think it was awesome you can own all of John Wick’s guns. So we’re leaving the link so one day people will believe us.


John Wick asks the Sommelier for ‘something robust, precise’, and the TTI John Wick TR-1 Ultralight is the answer. The world’s favorite super assassin uses this weapon to devastating effect in the Catacombs after despatching another underworld crime boss in inimitable style.


John Wick is so badass, his targets commit suicide. Think about that for a moment Chuck Norris…


Wick Uses a Benelli and 2 Glocks


Getting away is another matter and Wick has to use all of his guile, together with a Benelli M4 shotgun, his trusty TTI Glock 34 and this.

I mean we said we’d stop shoehorning this into posts, but here we are again…



Taran Tactical Innovations had their way with all the star weapons in the film as Taran Butler has been Reeves’ firearms coach since the start.


TTI basically designed it around the world’s greatest hitman and then made it street legal.


The NFA Wants to Speak to John Wick


If the NFA knows about his firearms, Wick is in trouble. And they go to the movies too. But he literally kills more than 400 people in all three films. He has bigger legal issues than an SBR with no papers, or even a full auto machine gun.


Details…


But for this rifle, TTI has welded the muzzle device to the 14.5 inch Bravo Company Manufacturing hardware to make the shorter barrel NFA compliant. The handguard is a Bravo Company Manufacturing KMR and the stock is another BCM unit with an integrated cheekrest.


Taran Butler is a sport shooter at heart and most of his modifications on Wick’s hardware, at least in the first two films, gave them a real competitive edge. A VLTOR MUR-1 upper receiver and Hiperfire trigger tells you what you need to know. TTI went to town and the street version really does come with the John Wick seal of approval.


Springfield Armory Saint Edge rifle for sale, a bargain AR-15

27. Springfield Armory Saint Victor


  • Price: $1099.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Action: Direct Impingement
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 32.5-35.75 inch
  • Weight: 6.3lb


The Springfield Armory Saint Victor is another relatively cheap rifle with a serious punch. There are better here, but you won’t be disappointed with this and the best budget red dot sight to be honest.


This is a direct impingement full of custom parts from the likes of BCM and an SA multiport flash hider, for just the wrong side of $1000.


It’s just a spectacular deal and it’s worth taking a punt on this. You have a designer rifle for $1,000 or close enough, and that’s basically a no-lose situation.



Value at the Core


This is an absolute bargain of a semi-automatic rifle.


The receivers are 7075 T6 grade Aluminum that are hard coat anodized for longevity. There’s a chrome-lined barrel with a 1:8 twist rate. It’s Chrome Moly steel too.


There are touches like a heavy Tungsten buffer tube, a Carpenter 158 Steel M16 Bolt Carrier Groups that has been shot-peened and gone through a Magnetic Particle Inspection. It gives exotic coatings and processes at a price point that should not be possible. Even the triple port muzzle brake is sexy.


You even get flip-up iron sights in with the deal, rather than a fixed front sight. Springfield has fitted its own single stage trigger. It’s a short reset, match-grade trigger kit. The internals have been micro-polished and Boron coated as well, so they should stand the test of time.


A Bravo Company Sopmod buttstock and pistol grip join forces with a light weight M-LOK handguard and mid-length gas systems and gas tube to produce a flyweight rifle with an almighty spec list.


It is just an absurd amount of rifle for the money and the only problem is getting one. If you can, snap it up. Or one of the big brother AR-10 rifles for big game.



Seekins Precision NX15 for sale now. Get an AR-15 in the great firearms and ammo shortage of 2020, now.

28. Seekins Precision NX15


  • Price: $1,550.00
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • Barrel length: 16 inch
  • Total: 33-37 inch
  • Weight: 7lb


We’re not going to lie, the Seekins Precision NX15 is only here because you can actually buy one at the time of writing. That’s a big deal right now. It’s a huge plus.


It might stick around, though, because it’s a rifle ready made for shooting sports. The receivers and receiver parts are skeletonized as much as possible, and the weight is shifted round the rifle to get the best balance.


There are lighter rifles here, much lighter, but balance is a different thing. The Seekins Precision is balanced, fun to shoot and properly accurate in the right hands.


It’s also for sale at the height of the Covid-19 insanity. So it’s absolutely one of the best rifles on sale right now.


Tactical Edge Warfighter Grunt.

29. Tactical Edge Arms Warfighter Grunt


  • Price: $1,549.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • Barrel : 16 inch
  • Total: 33-37 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

There we were, just scouring the web for rifles we can actually sell you at the height of this 2020 madness. And there it was, with such a fantastic name we just had to bring it to you here.


The Tactical Edge Warfighter Grunt is apparently the result of thousands of hours of R&D with special forces operators. Armed with that knowledge, the custom AR-15 manufacturer reckons it has cracked the code and produced the perfect patrol rifle.


All the parts are present and correct and the Tactical Edge follows fairly true to the AR-15 tradition.


Do you want a cheap AR-15?


If you want to spend less, and possibly get more bang for the buck, then we have covered $1000 and $500 AR-15s before.


We have to leave the elite world behind and go to the simpler mid-length gas system of the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport, the POF Constable, and even the super cheap DPMS Oracle gets its moment in the sun. Stag Arms and Adams Arms get a look in too.


So check back when the time comes and you might find we’ve got the best AR-15 manufacturers for you. Maybe we can even talk you into an upgrade on that Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport.


Now check out cheaper options

These are top quality. You might be getting into a rifle-length gas system, but these are details.

So if you want to look at something a bit more affordable from the likes of Adams Arms, Radical Firearms, Windham Weaponry, Stag Arms etc,we don’t judge. A carbine-length system is a luxury.

What is the $1000 Champion?

This price range used to be the preserve of Colt, but now the military supplier has pulled out there is a power struggle going on.

New names are rising up to challenge the Ruger AR-556 and other established masters.

Primary Arms, Strike Industries, Patriot Ordnance Factory, WIndham Weaponry and the resurgent Armalite are all making their own play for the sub-$1000 AR-15 market. The rifle reviews tell of a changing of the guard.

The best tactical rifle changes by the week, although we love the POF Constable and the Ruger AR-556 MPR for range shooting. Some of them have a carbine-length gas system and adjustable gas blocks. Some don’t.

Some have full-length Picatinny rails, some don’t. Check carefully if rifle-length is a dealbreaker.

Check our post here for a more in-depth look at this cut-throat price range:

What is the best AR-15 for $500?

Again this used to be a straight fight between the quirky, carbine-length yet budget friendly PSA and DPMS semi-automatic rifles. Not anymore…

Now you get the likes of the entry-level Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport and Ruger AR-556 nibbling at this price bracket. They’re so close to the $500 cut-off that we find a way to include them in our top cheap AR-15s.

Radical Firearms is also a potent entry on the list and Del Ton is making waves with the Del Ton Echo line. We’re starting to prefer the Radical Firearms RF15 though.

For our in depth take on sub-$500 AR-15s, check this post.


Safe Bets According to the Rifle Reviews

Alternatively the classics like the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport or Ruger AR-556 are always an option for the classic Eugene Stoner design.


Palmetto State Armory has also come on in leaps and bounds. As has Windham Weaponry.


Palmetto State Armory PSA also sells other brands and has one of the best online gun stores out there with the legendary Palmetto State Armory prices.


So you can order from them without finishing up with an entry level Palmetto State Armory Freedom Rifle. They have some seriously good accessories too, and more PSA prices. Free-floating handguards, a red dot sight, they can hook you up.


9mm Rifles and the Best Concealed Carry Pistols

Defensive firearms don’t always need 5.56 NATO firepower and advanced gas systems. Overpenetration is one good reason to go for a smaller caliber.

You can protect your house with 9mm AR-style rifles and the best concealed carry handguns.

Pistol Caliber Carbines are back in fashion and you can buy a complete rifle for not much money. The snubnose versions are Sub-Machin Guns minus select fire.

Some of the new breed of 9mm AR pistols with a red dot sight could actually be the best carry handguns you can buy these days. Extreme, maybe, but also fantastic and they’re finding homes in the best gun safes across the land as personal defense tools.

Check these posts for the best gun to buy today. Buy ammo online too.

Sights and AR-15 Parts & Accessories

Are you shopping for a cheap quad rail system, the best budget front sight, free float handguard or a stainless hammer-forged barrel with a tighter twist rate?

How’s about a gas tube, high quality mid-length gas, upper receiver, a complete rifle or close quarters combat 300BLK pistol? AR-style rifles and pistols with a bigger punch? Night vision? Better feed ramps?

We can help.

Here we have the best sights and more advanced tech for AR-15s or big game. We also have cheap ammo online, the best 9mm pistols and more. Again, Palmetto State Armory PSA is a great source of cheap accessories, but we have options too.


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5 Comments

  1. Eric M Lautz February 23, 2019
  2. Travis Adams May 5, 2020
    • Nick May 7, 2020
  3. Would have been a customer November 7, 2020
    • Nick November 7, 2020

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