19 Best AR-15 Rifles Under $2000 – 2024

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

Last Updated July 6th 2024

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Winners at a Glance

The Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 is the best AR015 under $2000, but there are plenty of options in this hotly contested category.

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7

  • Overall Winner
POF Renegade Plus

POF Renegade Plus

  • Best Battle Rifle
Faxon Firearms

Faxon Firearms

  • Best Lightweight Rifle
Sig Sauer M400 Tread. A great rifle

Sig Sauer M400 Tread

  • Best Mid Range Rifle
PSA Freedom

Palmetto State Armory Freedom

  • Best Cheap Rifle

The Best AR-15s Under $2000

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 piston, lightweight materials and the finishing touches.

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

Daniel Defense DDM4V7. A Bargain of an AR-15 and the best sub-$2000 AR-15 in 2024.

1. Daniel Defense DDM4 V7

  • Price: $1,799.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56
  • Action: Direct Impingement
  • Weight: 6.2lb

Best Overall

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The Daniel Defense V7 is basically the gold standard for AR-15s, and has been for a long time.

Both Daniel Defense V7 receivers leave Mil-spec well behind. The popular platform CNC machined 7075-T6 Aluminum with a hard coat anodized finish. The Bolt Carrier Group is an M16 profile, and it comes with a properly staked gas key and full length Picatinny rails.

That is CNC-machined from hardened stainless steel, then given a heavy Phosphate coating. There is also a new lightweight handguard, and it all contributes to a final mass of just 6.2lb.

You can often find the heavily upgraded Daniel Defense Pro on Euro Optic for a bargain price. And it’s worth checking this link for a range of barrel lengths and specs for everything from home defense to long range shooting.

POF Renegade Plus Rifle For Sale, Buy Guns Online and Save Money at your favorite gunbroker.

2. POF Renegade Plus

  • Price: $1,866.99
  • Caliber:.223 Remington/ 5.56
  • Barrel: 16.5 inch
  • Total: 34 inch
  • Weight: 6.3lb

Best Battle Rifle

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The Patriot Ordnance Factory Renegade Plus isn’t the lightest semi-automatic rifle, and it isn’t the cheapest, but it is one of the best all-rounders on the market.

A nitride finish means the longer 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, the muzzle brake is sexy and if you miss at 100 yards with this rifle, that’s probably on you. With this, 5.56mm should go further than it has in your hands. Possibly.

This is a premium tactical rifle and the firm has refined each and every detail. For the best home defense, general plinking and small game hunting: it’s easy and effective.

One standout detail is that pistol grip that is more vertical than a classic layout, and it combines well with that matche grade flat trigger. You get the Ultimate Bolt Carrier Group, a straight gas tube and Dictator adjustable gas block.

With that tack driver of a 1:8 twist rate barrel, this is a formidable tool and easily one of the best AR-15 rifles on sale.

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

3. Faxon Firearms ION Ultralight

  • Price: $1,575.75
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
  • Barrel: 14.5 inch (NFA Compliant: pinned and welded muzzle devices.)
  • Weight: 4.95lb
PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

Faxon has made a name for itself in the crowded custom Glock space of late, which means the parts have to be good. Now it has branched out in to custom AR15s.

Inevitably there’s a proprietary fluted barrel in there, a chrome-lined barre with an integral muzzle devicel. The Faxon Firearms Ultralight is essentially built around it, with a free-float naked Streamline carbon-fiber free floating handguard.

It also has a lightweight bolt carrier group & buffer tube, a low profile gas block that’s also adjustable and a Faxon lifetime guarantee.

Factor new CF 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.

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

4. Battle Arms Development Authority Elite

  • Price: $1,599.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Overall: 33.6 inch
  • Weight: 5.5lb

Best Newcomer

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

Battle Arms Development got famous with lightweight specials like the Ounces is Pounds. This, though, is a high end gun for the masses.

The BAD Authority Elite offers a billet lower receiver, which isn’t bad in this price range. Other neat features 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, top tier buffer tube and titanium firing pin and barrel nut are among the others.

But the main point is this is a full size AR-15 that weighs in at 5.5lb, which Eugene Stoner would have loved.

Sig Sauer M400 Tread. A great rifle

5. Sig Sauer M400 Tread

  • Price: $799.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO/223 Rem
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 32“
  • Weight: 7lb
  • Capacity: 30+1

Best Mid Range Rifle

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

This isn’t much more money than the bargain basement $500 AR-15s we covered recently, and this is a different league entirely.

Just look at the pistol grip and stock, and the slimline shape of this mid-range AR-15. It’s an optics ready work of art, even within these tight parameters.

A 1: 7 twist rate to the cold hammer forged barrel means it can stabilize heavier rounds and give you more options when it comes to your competitive shooting and home firearms set-ups.

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

6. Colt LE6920 – Colt M4 Carbine

  • Price: $1,003.99
  • Caliber: 5.56
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 32-35.5 inch
  • Weight: 6.6lb

The Original AR-15, Kind Of…

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

Colt has officially pulled out of the civilian AR market, but that hasn’t affected the amount of guns for sale. Like at all. There must be thousands of them out there.

That means authentic Colt LE6920 Law Enforcement and its successor, the CR920, are still very easy to find and you can get a bargain.

This hard coat anodized Colt LE6920 is a distant relative of the full auto weapons from the old days. Obviously, it’s not fully automatic.

You have to admit the modern mid-tier rifle is more reliable than anything the boys had back then. Quality control is in a different league these days too.


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

7. Wilson Combat Protector Carbine

  • Price: $1,646.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm
  • Barrel: 16.25
  • Total Length: 34-37.5
  • Weight: 6lb

A Great Choice

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The company makes bespoke weapons 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? These are still excellent Modern Sporting Rifles.

A Mil Spec bolt carrier group is made from Carpenter 158 Bolt steel, you get the signature Armor Tuff coating on the CNC machined receivers. It is a premium brand and semi automatric rifle, with a middle of the road price tag.

Christensen Arms G2 rifle, get yours now.

8. Christensen Arms CA-15 G2

  • Price: $1,559.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Gas Piston Operated
  • Weight: 6.3lb

Designer Label AR-15

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The Christensen Arms CA-15 Recon doesn’t have the reputation of some of its rivals, but it’s just as good.

The grip and free floating handgard is carbon-fiber. It’s fair to say this isn’t standard mil-spec.

It has redistributed that weight to beef up the receivers and balance this Modern Sporting Rifle. So it’s better than you are.

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.  

Bravo Company Manufacturing Recce AR-15 Get the best guns on the web at the right price.

9. Bravo Company Manufacturing BCM Recce

  • Price: $1,675.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Barrel: 18 inch
  • Length: 34-37 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

A Military Grade Favorite

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

BCM 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.

This was a special request to Bravo Company BCM from the United States Marine Corps and Navy SEALs. They wanted a little more long-range, pinpoint accuracy and something not too heavy and without pronounced muzzle rise.

And all those things just happen to come in at an attractive price point.

If you’re looking for a lightweight AR-15, then these Bravo Company optic ready complete rifles pair well with iron sights, that are good enough for better men and women than you and me.

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

10. Geissele Super Duty Rifle

  • Price: $2,174.75
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56
  • Action: Gas-Piston Operated
  • Barrel length: 16.
  • Length: 32.25-36

First Complete AR-15 From Trigger Legend

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The high quality Geissele Automatics Super Duty rifle has fast established itself as a popular platform and more than just an elite trigger.

The trigger specialist has produced complete rifles that are easily a match for the big names on the market today in terms of build quality for your hunting rifle.

Now this is one of the leading trigger manufacturers in the business and competitive shooters love the Geissele trigger upgrade.

So it has to be good. It’s a little on the heavier side, so it’s not the automatic choice when you leave the house. But it’s a great gun with stunning attention to detail and a nice modular design.

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

11. Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1

  • Price: $1,264.99
  • Caliber: 5.56
  • Barrel: 18
  • Length: 32.25-36
  • Weight: 7.8lb

A Top Bench Shooter and Precision AR-15 Sniper

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The excellent Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1 is the consumer version of the high-end tools that the DEA and FBI take to work. That’s pretty good and you can see it is a high quality weapon that should be reliable and faithful.

Now this Rock River 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.

Longer barrels normally make a pretty solid precision rifle for competition shooting. Especially with choosing the best red dot sights up top to go with your barrel extension on your Rock River.

You can choose from a lot of different specs, from a 3 gun competition lightweight through to a battle rifle or bench shooter. See the full line here.

PSA Freedom AR-15 for sale. A classic M4 Colt clone

12. Palmetto State Armory Freedom

  • Price: $499.99
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 33 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

Best Cheap AR-15

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

If you just want a cheap AR-15, for home defense, a bit of range shooting and just to have one, then the Palmetto State Armory PSA-15 Freedom really is a complete rifle for less than $500.

The optic ready Palmetto State Armory fit and black nitride M4 Carbine finish is deliberately rough. That’s the in-built compromise with cost-cutting.

That said, you can even buy Palmetto State Armory firearms with blemishes for less money off the PSA site.

Look out for a wide range of gun deals marked BLEM Palmetto State Armory and you’ll snag yourself a bargain carbine length gas system and a solid rifle for the money.

Get some flip up iron sights or Magpul MBUs at the back and you’ve got a fun toy for backyard plinking with that fixed front sight. Of course you can go harder on the spec and pay more up front as Palmetto State Armory basically makes every spec under the sun.

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

13. Springfield Armory Saint Victor

  • Price: $899.99
  • Caliber: 5.56
  • Weight: 6.9lb

Quality Mainstream AR-15

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

The Springfield 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.

Now the Springfield Saint Victor is full of high quality custom parts, including BCM furniture and an SA multiport muzzle flash hider, for around $1000.

You can upgrade to a nicer muzzle brake, fit flip up sights or something much more sexy. But this is a great foundation and gun owners love their Springfield Armory Saint.

Stag Arms Tactical AR15 to buy now. Get one of the best new guns on the market in 2022.

14. Stag Arms Stag 15 Tactical

  • Price: $919.99
  • Barrel length: 16
  • Twist rate: 1:9
  • Weight: 6.3lb

Small Company, Big Value

PriceEngineering QualityAccuracyReliabilityPrestige

Stag Arms produces some of the most cost effective products you can find on the market these days and it has gone for gold with this competition special.

A fast reset and precise trigger, a Geissele Dynamic 3 Gun Trigger to be exact, are just two of the selling points.

This Stag Arms Stag 15 also gets a slimline handguard, Magpul SL-S stock, enhanced trigger guard and a 16 inch heavy barrel with a 1:8 twist and a Nitride finish.

As well as a nice mid-length gas system and M-Lok Rail space. Even the flash hider is an elegant way to contain muzzle blast with the Stag Arms.

Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport 5.56 for sale.

16. Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport

  • Price: $734.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/ 5.56
  • Twist Rate: 1:9
  • Weight: 7.38lb

We actually love the Smith and Wesson M&P semi automatic rifle.

There are Performance Center versions that are much more money, but the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport is the best entry level rifle with a mid-length gas system that could be all the AR-15 you need.

The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport has been a staple on our cheap AR-15 lists for a long time. It has crept up in price lately, but the Smith & Wesson M&P-15 Sport is worth a place here too.

Technically this is the Military & Police line, but Law Enforcement and military tend to carry one of the more expensive rifles.

Check the whole line up here:

Ruger AR-556 - the kind of cheap AR-15 Joe Exotic loves.
Ruger AR-556 for sale, a great budget AR-15

17. Ruger AR-556

  • Price: $726.99
  • Barrel Length: 16 inch barrel
  • Twist Rate: 1:8
  • Weight: 6.5lb

America’s Most Popular Rife

The AR-556 black Nitride M4 Carbine used to cost $500-$530, consistently. It was our cheap AR champion for 2 straight years. It’s America’s rifle, the chosen one, for a reason.

Because the Ruger was the perfect starter rifle for 95% of you looking for a cheap AR-15 for defensive duties and basic sport shooting.

Barrel life is good, build quality is decent, the charging handles aren’t made of cheese. It’s an honest semi automatic rifle with a good mid-length gas system.

It’s one of America’s most popular rifles for a reason even though it is not that cheap anymore. This is still a great rifle to start out with, though, and we highly recommend this outstanding rifle.

We like the Ruger AR-556 MPR sniper rifle, too, if you want to try longer range shooting without a huge investment.

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.

18. Sons of Liberty Gun Works M4

  • Price: $1,523.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56
  • Barrel length: 16
  • Total: 33-37
  • Weight: 6lb

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

All the controls are ambidextrous, including the magazine release, which is good news for left-handed shooters. We like these free floating handguard, and the high quality forged upper receiver and lower, muzzle devices and more.

Aero Precision AR-15 rifle. A great rifle, if you can find one...

19. Aero Precision M4E1

  • Price: $1,049.99
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel length: 16 inch barrel.
  • Rifle length: 32 inch
  • Weight: 6.7b

If the Aero Precision M4E1 wasn’t permanently sold out, it would be higher up the list. Because the build quality on this mid-range rifle was sublime.

But the truth is we haven’t seen an Aero Precision rifle you can buy in a while and they are hard to find. Even on the company website…

You can still buy the hard coat anodized upper receiver, both upper and lower receivers, muzzle devices etc, and build most of an AR-15 with Aero Precision parts though.

That could be a fun project and you’ll end up with ambidextrous controls and a barrel twist of a 1:7 twist on your Aero Precision rifle. Get an 18 or 20 inch barrel if you want.

Of course the company will sell you a matched upper receiver set, a charging handle, M LOK Handguard, the whole shooting match. And you can add a Magpul MOE stock and find the best deals for accessories as you go in your favorite online gun store.

The Aero Precision M4E1 is a solid choice, but yes it’s rare off the peg and is basically inspiration at this point.

Where to Find Bulk Ammunition – 5.56 NATO Rounds

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. So get the best AR 15 manufacturers ammo now, while you can.

Bulk deals could keep your nice custom firearm from becoming an expensive club. And if you shoot thousands of rounds of top notch ammo, you need these links.

CZ Scorpion Evo 3

Top Tier 9mm PCCs and the Best Concealed Carry Pistols

Awesome firearms don’t always need 5.56 firepower. Overpenetration is one good reason to go for a smaller caliber, and less recoil is another.

You can protect your house with 9mm AR-style pistols with a 3 inch barrel. Easily. Or even the best Glock.

The Pistol Caliber Carbine is arguably the best choice for close quarters combat. The snubnose versions are rapid fire Sub-Machine Guns minus select fire and most have truly ambidextrous controls for left handed shooters.

Some of the new breed of rapid firing 9mm AR pistols are amazing and law enforcement and military units alike love their full auto 9mm pistol caliber carbines

They love them with the best pistol braces, weapon lights. muzzle devices, and all the bells & whistles, anyway For that, you need a tax stamp for your new SBR these days.

But they’re finding homes across the land as personal defense tools and the gun reviews love them. Make sure to check the latest gun control laws on pistol stabilizing braces and weigh up the pros and cons of registration.

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

Sights & Accessories

Are you shopping for the best sights, rear sights? Magpul MBUs?

How’s about a cheap quad rail system, an Aero Precision free floating barrel or the best budget front sight, free float handguard or a stainless barrel with a tighter twist for your building project? Mil-spec, top tier shiz? Build or buy?

Maybe you want some Knights Armament parts, because you can’t find the rifle. Or a Lewis, Machine & Tool or BCM muzzle device.

We can help.

Here we have advanced tech for higher quality AR-15s on the market for big game or home defense rifle. We also have cheap ammo online, the best 9mm pistols and more that are worth the price of admission.

Best AR-15 Scopes

Currently we think the Vortex Strike Eagle is the perfect balance of performance, power and price.

The Vortex Strike Eagle is here, with a number of the other best AR-15 scopes. There are Bushnell scopes & optics, too, as well as the Vortex Strike Eagle.

Of course there are pros and cons with each, but we think the Vortex Strike Eagle is the best compromise.

The best red dot sights for a pistol in 2023 are right here.

AR-15 Red Dots

Red dots are all you need for close up defensive work with a semi automatic rifle, or you can use them with a magnifier as the best AR-15 scopes replacement.

There are pros and cons to scopes vs red dot sight set-ups, obviously, especially when it comes to long range precision and close range target acquisition. Now the best red dot is a pretty great thing. Night vision, too, especially with proper thermal scopes.

They are a great addition to your arsenal. Invest in the best red dot sights, weighing up all the pros and cons, and you’ll keep them forever, so go the best option, not the cheap one.

What is Mil Spec with an AR-15?

Honestly don’t get hung up on a Mil-Spec trigger etc. Military standards are pretty much the lowest acceptable bar these days for the industry and most go well beyond.

A true mil spec trigger will be gritty and kinda unpleasant when you pull the trigger and will be fitted to a budget rifle. A muzzle device can be pretty bang average, too, and they can range from an A2 bird cage muzzle device through to a three-pronged flash hider.


  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

    View all posts

30 thoughts on “19 Best AR-15 Rifles Under $2000 – 2024”

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    1. You are right, most people are when they mention one tbh. I had a Grey Ghost on my screen a few weeks back, it needs to go in. Just time and organization holds me back sometimes. It’ll go in.

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  17. Would have been a customer

    “21 Best AR-15s Under $2000 – Sep 2020” as a title is so incredibly misleading that I am baffled you would even put it out there. The first three placeholders in your list are $2K or more. I have the screenshots to prove it. If you had any integrity, you would at least release information that could not be disproven by YOUR OWN TITLE.

    Stop lying.

    1. Dude, the market is chaos right now. if we stuck with the rifles for $500 and not a penny more, we basically would have to delete the post. The same thing has happened all the way up the chain to these $2000 rifles. A lot of them just aren’t there, so we found new ones and were flexible with the pricing.

      Deals are dead, prices have increased 50% and what was true a couple of months ago isn’t true now. If we delete half the info, you’ll never find us in Google in the first place. We would also have to do about 3000 man hours a day to keep the site 100% perfect at all times. So we make do and do the best we can to give you guns you can buy right now, even if they don’t quite hit the price point. Our real customers have told us that’s what’s really important.

      But go off on your rant about liars while we’re just bending with the wind over here.

      By the way. CAPS LOCK IS THE SIGN OF AN IDIOT. And screenshotting a post I put up to prove what’s in the post I wrote? I mean go to the FBI with your concerns I guess.

      Thank you, come again…

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  20. Hi Nick,

    Great article on the top AR-15’s!

    Just wondering if you have any experience with PWS (Primary Weapons Systems) MK116 Mod-2M AR-15’s?

    It’s a small company made up of engineer’s who are also gun enthusiasts.


    1. They were actually one of our favorites on the $1000 AR-15s list and a winner in our custom rifle sector for a while. So we really like them yes, it’s just general availability turned into a bit of a disaster during the Covid times and general shortages. That’s totally understandable, but it meant we couldn’t champion them quite as hard as we had before. But yeah, they’re legit!

  21. Thanks for the reply. My Grey Ghost MKII heavy is an absolute tack driver and cycles any and all decent made factory ammo with zero malfunctions. This rifle makes a wicked and reliable fighter with the ability to go precision when needed.

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  23. Regarding your 25 AR-15’s under 2k, the DDM4V7 is actually direct impingement and not “gas piston” as it was stated on the article. Just wanted to point that out.

    1. Thanks I’ll correct it, it’s amazing how the odd weird phrase slips in when we’re cutting and chopping the post around to keep it fresh! I’ll fix that!

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