25 of the Best AR-15s Under $2000 – Jan 2023

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

Update: Prices are getting back to normal and stock shortages seem to be easing.

If you can’t see what you want, and that still happens from time to time, then these are live links to what the dealers can actually sell you right now.

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 piston, lightweight materials and the best finishing touches.

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

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

1. POF Renegade Plus

  • Price: $1,784.44
  • Caliber:.223 Remington/ 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16.5 inch
  • Total: 34 inch
  • Weight: 6.3lb

The Patriot Ordnance Factory Renegade Plus isn’t the lightest, and it isn’t the cheapest, but it’s pretty much the best overall AR-15 we can find right now.

Barrel is Match, Natch

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, the muzzle brake is sexy 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 the firm 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 BCG 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. Just like that pistol grip.

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.

LWRC IC Standard rifle. Get one today and buy guns at the right price.

2. LWRC M6 IC DI Standard

  • Price: $1,612.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 32-35.25inch
  • Weight: 6.6lb

Can’t decide between a Direct Impingement and piston driven AR-15? With the LWRC IC DI Standard, you can have both. Kind of.

Simply switch uppers and thanks to LWRC’s patented design you can opt for the right rifle for the right time. Keep it light and simple with direct impingement, or go for the increased reliability

The LWRC is an orgy of design details. From the fluted barrel that weighs 20% less and improves cooling for heavy rates of fire, to the monoforge upper.

That integrated upper receiver and 12 inch rail strengthens the spine of the gun and increases the accuracy. That pays off with the long range accuracy, follow up shots, recoil, just everything.

It is a design evolution that has trickled down from the truly eye poppingly expensive custom guns that added hundreds of yards to the effective range.

As this is a military rifle, essentially, those parts had to be simplified and mass produced. So here we are, looking at one of the best rifles on the market. And that’s why it’s one of our top picks.

LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine rifle on sale now. Get yours here.

Upgrade to the LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine?

For just the wrong side of $2000, like $100 more, you can upgrade to the enhanced version of this rifle. And it is a peach.

The fluted steel barrel is there, saving weight, and you get the short stroke gas piston system. An Enhanced Fire Control Group trigger system, too, with Teflon coated components. A two position gas selector key is adjustable and you can tune it to your suppressor or ammo. Am ambi safety selector is there too.

Daniel Defense DDM4V7. A Bargain of an AR-15 and the best sub-$2000 AR-15 in 2022.

3. Daniel Defense DDM4 V7

  • Price: $1,907.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56 NATO
  • Action: Gas-Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Length: 32.25-36 inch
  • Weight: 6.2lb

Pretty much everybody has named the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 as their best AR-15 and we did too for a while. This company does everything right and it’s basically a coin toss between this and two other rifles, as well as the reviews you have read over the years.

If you’re looking for validation then yes, you’re right. 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 group 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…

It’s optics ready, so you can fit your own irons, red dot sight or something more advanced. The free floating handguard is an elegant part and it would cost serious money, as would the 2″ longer barrel.

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 defense or out in the field and even the charging handle fits like a glove. And if you want more Daniel Defense rifles, check here:

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 Pro - A longer barrel, competition trigger and more add up to a seriously good rifle. Get yours.

DDM4 V7 Pro: A High-Value Upgrade

  • Price: $1,883.75
  • Barrel: 18 inch

The Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 Pro is a solid upgrade for not that much money. Indeed sometimes we find gun deals and it is less money.

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

Honestly the upgrade makes sense. You get an 18-inch barrel and a much more accurate patrol weapon. Longer barrels equal longer range, that math isn’t hard.

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 rifle scopes or optics up there on the Picatinny rail for rapid target acquisition, 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, this is a medium-range sniper and arguably the best ar15 here.

Other Daniel Defense Weapons to Consider

Want a Daniel Defense with a shorter barrel for home defense or the range? Consider the military inspired Daniel Defense M4A1 or the MK18 SBR. You can even go for the Daniel Defense MK12 SPR and get a mil spec sniper, if that’s your thing.

Check out a whole line of Daniel Defense here.

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

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: $1,657.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Overall: 33.6 inch
  • Weight: 5.5lb

Battle Arms Development got famous with lightweight specials like the Ounces is Pounds. This is a hybrid, part way between the high end custom guns and the basic BAD Workhorse that sells for about $1000 and features on our other list.

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 you would love it.

You can also get the cheaper Workhorse and save up to $1000. Check that out here.

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

5. ZEV Technologies Core Elite

  • Price: $1,880.99
  • 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 for this optics ready rifle.

With high-quality ammo this is sub-MOA, 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 Work at Mid-Range RRP

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 Parts

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.

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 CR6920 – Colt M4 Carbine

  • Price: $1,005.99
  • 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 2022 shortage a lot of dealers are cashing in on Colts they have in the storeroom.

That means authentic Colt LE6920 and its successor, the CR920, are cropping up individually, and cost basically what your local gun store wants to charge for that fixed front sight profile. We are starting to see less of the Colt LE6920, so snap them up if you really want one.

Where to Find a Colt M4 Online

Guns.com has a nice selection of outlet dealers and you can find the Colt LE6920 here:

Can You Still Buy a Colt M4 Law Enforcement Carbine?

The discount Colt 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 iconic fixed front sight. It really won’t spring too many surprises.

This is exactly what you’d expect from a genuine mil spec 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.

Colts are getting harder to find, that’s a fact of life. It’s also true that the new guns aren’t the same as the old ones. But there are so many pattern parts for the classic M4 Carbine that you can build your own complete AR-15 pretty easily. You can also fit a Vietnam era carry handle.

Military Spec Colts Still For Sale

It’s a rifle that LEO and the military rely on in full auto 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.

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.You should still be able to find a bolt carrier group or just about any other pattern part too.

So don’t worry, there’s no danger of losing the iconic Vietnam era weapons that we all seem to love. Minus the select fire and helping of PTSD.

Fostech Stryker. A lightweight and brilliant AR-15 you might want to add to your shopping list.

7. Fostech Stryker

  • Price: $1,428.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/ 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Overall: 32.25 inch
  • Weight: 5.6lb
  • Capacity: 30+1

If you’re looking for a lightweight rifle that is all-metal construction, this might be the standout offering right now.

Fostech Mfg has made some spectacular shotguns, rifles seem to be the next step. So what is so amazing? The 5.6lb final weight, at this price, really those are two great selling points.

A low profile Faxon Firearms barrel, Fostech Sabre Comfort Grip, Echo trigger and Nickel Boron coated BCG are among the others.


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

8. Griffin Armament MK1 Recce

  • Price: $1,784.99
  • 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 BCG, 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.

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

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. So get the best AR 15 manufacturers ammo 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.

9. Wilson Combat Protector Carbine

  • Price: $2,099.99
  • 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 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? 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 will compare favorably with anything this side of a complete custom firearm.

This is a discount, 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, Primary Arms and Rainier Arms for custom pistol parts generally.

Christensen Arms G2 rifle on sale now.

10. Christensen Arms CA-15 G2

  • Price: $1,516.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Gas Piston Operated
  • Barrel: 16 inch barrel
  • 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 cost and performance.

The grip and free floating handgard is carbon-fiber. 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. It’s one of our top picks.

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.

11. Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1

  • Price: $1,331.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 18 inch
  • Length: 32.25-36 inch
  • Weight: 7.8lb

The Rock River Arms LAR-15 X-1 is 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.

Now this 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 as longer barrels are good for longer range and high pressure.

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

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 selling 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. With red dot sights up top this might be all you need for home defense and more.

Black Rain Ordnance Spec 15 SOCOM rifle. Get yours today, for just $1,200

12. Black Rain Ordnance Spec 15 SOCOM

  • Price: $1,287.99
  • 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 SOCOM is a competition 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. But also that handguard is a stressed member for more range and rigidity.

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 and we like the battle worn finish versions too.

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.

13. Sons of Liberty Gun Works M4

  • Price: $1,956.99
  • 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 and flip up sights. But it punches well above its weight as a duty carbine rifle.

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

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

15. Mossberg MMR Pro

  • Price: $1,164.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Direct
  • Barrel length: 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.

It might be the best AR 15 for sale for the money and it’s at least a mid-tier AR-15.

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 for Long Range Shooting

You get a 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 sights, so they can be as amazing as you like. This feels like it deserves the best rifle scopes, optics, not flip up sights.

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.

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

16. Geissele Super Duty Rifle

  • Price: $2,023.75
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56 NATO
  • Action: Gas-Piston Operated
  • Barrel length: 16 inch.
  • Length: 32.25-36 inch

The Geissele Automatics Super Duty rifle has fast established itself as one of the best premium AR-15s on the market.

Availability played its part and this is one of the few that was consistently available during the Covid madness. But the trigger specialist has produced complete rifles that are easily a match for the big names.

Now Geissele is one of the best trigger manufacturers in the business. So you know it has 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.

All the parts are top quality, right down to the charging handle and free floating handguards.

It’s a personal defense AR-15 that has made a major impression. Get yours and see what the fuss is about…

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

17. Patriot Ordnance Factory 415 Edge

  • Price: $1,787.99
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 5.56mm NATO
  • 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, this is so far beyond…

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 hand guard. 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 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium steel to Rockwell 70 levels of hardness. The average lifespan of a POF 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.

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

18. Springfield Armory Saint

  • Price: $884.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 32.5-35.75 inch
  • Weight: 6.9lb

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.

Now the Springfield Armory Saint Victor is a direct impingement full of custom parts from the likes of BCM and an SA multiport flash hider, for around $1000.

You have a designer rifle for $1,000 or close enough, and that’s basically a no-lose situation with the Springfield Saint.

Value at the Core

The Springfield Armory Saint Victor 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 Vanadium 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 for money that should not be possible. Even the triple port muzzle brake is sexy. Seriously we like that flash hider.

Sights Thrown in Too

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 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 grip join forces with a light weight M-LOK hand guard and BCM gas tube to produce a flyweight rifle with an almighty spec list. The Springfield Armory Saint Victor is a badass.

It is just an absurd amount of rifle for the money. Get a Springfield Saint today, or one of the big brother AR-10 rifles for big game.

Armalite M15 Piston. Get the next gen AR-15 from the original AR-15 manufacturer at the best gun store.

17. Armalite M15 Piston 5.56 Tactical Rifle

  • Price: $1,419.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel length: 16 inch barrels
  • Overall: 33.6 inch
  • Weight: 7.3lb

Who made the first one and what does the best 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 for top tier hardware. You get a Magpul STR stock, forged aluminum receivers, QPQ coated CMV stainless steel barrel material and free floating handguard.

Get a proper optic on there to replace the iron sights atop this aircraft-grade aluminum, and you have a real potent weapon that’s mil spec and beyond. Law enforcement still trusts Armalite, just not as much.

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

18. FN FN15 Tactical II

  • Price: $1,399.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Action: Direct Impingement Gas System
  • Barrel: 16 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.

Another Stressed Handguard For Accuracy

The FN America FN-15 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 Timney trigger joins forces with a Magpul MOE grip and buttstock.

This is a match-grade barrel, hammer forged with a 1:7 twist. So it’s good…

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,. 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 2022 and could be the best AR-15 rifle here.

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

19. 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 more or less $2000.

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 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.

A Noveske is one of those bucket list items 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…

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

20. Stag Arms Stag 15 Tactical

  • Price: $797.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

Stag Arms produces some of the most cost effective top tier 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 Super 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.

Stag Arms has produced a classic here, and it could well climb the list as the user reviews hit the net. We like the way the company has used top tier custom parts in affordable price packages.

Check the full Stag Arms Stag 15 line up here and prepare to be surprised.

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

21. Smith & Wesson M&P15 Performance Center

  • Price: $1,189.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/ 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 18 inches
  • Total: 38.5 inch
  • Weight: 7.38lb

We actually love the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport, and all variations thereof, and it was much higher on the list. New semi automatic rifle offerings, together with reduced availability, means it slowly fell down the order.

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 put their heart and soul into a production line weapon to make it that bit better. The longer barrel, free floating handguard 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.

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.

Cheaper Options From S&W

The Smith & Wesson M&P Sport is a staple on our cheap AR-15 lists. Go beyond the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport and you’ll find the new Tactical and VTAC.

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

Smith and Wesson also has some bigger caliber options if you’re going big game hunting, like the M&P10 that is one of our favorite 308 rifles.

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

22. 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.

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 from the best AR15 here to the rest.

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 with a 500-yard reach.

All thanks to a stiffer upper 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 full auto 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 Get the best guns on the web at the right price.

23. Bravo Company BCM Recce

  • Price: $1,426.99
  • 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 BCM works with LEOs and government agencies. The smash hits, it sells to the general public, and the BCM Recce is an instant legend.

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 the BCM Recce has a carbine length gas system built for simplicity. 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 BCM rifle is good enough for better men and women than you and me. It’s at that cut-off, though, where we start to expect a more advanced gas system. WIth good reason…

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

24. 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 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 has 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.

For this money 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 System 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. So think about every gram you add.

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

25. Taran Tactical Innovation John Wick TR-1 Ultralight

  • Price: $1,999
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel: 14.5 inch + Welded muzzle device.
  • Rifle length: 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 assault rifle 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 with top tier, high spec parts.

The ATF Wants to Speak to John Wick

If the ATF 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.


But here, TTI has welded the muzzle device to the 14.5 inch BCM 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 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.

Seekins Precision NX15. A brilliant custom AR-15 for sane money. Buy yours online today.

26. Seekins Precision NX15

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

The Seekins Precision NX15 is another one of those left field new arrivals that punches above its weight with competition parts on a mid-tier, basic AR layout.

It’s ready made for shooting sports. The receivers and receiver parts are skeletonized as much as possible, and the weight is shifted to get the balance. You do get a full-length Picatinny rail.

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

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. There you’ll find a matte black Ruger, Sig Sauer and more normal fare…

We have to leave the elite world behind and go to the simpler mid-length gas system of the 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. They will all provide a solid Multi Purpose Rifle.

So check back when the time comes and you might find we’ve got the best AR-15 manufacturers for you and new Modern sporting Rifles.

Now check out cheaper options for the best AR15 for home defense gun

These are top quality. The best AR-15 rifles money can buy.

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? The Best AR15 For The Mid-Tier Money

This range used to be the preserve of Colt, but now the military supplier has pulled out there is a power struggle going on in the mid tier line-up.

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

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 reviews tell of a changing of the guard, although the Sig Sauer M400 Tread is back with a bang in this sector too. We like the Sig Sauer M400 Tread a lot now, after a fairly meh introduction.

The best tactical rifle changes by the week, because thje best duty rifle is often the best for your home firearms. Though we love the POF Constable and the Ruger AR-556 MPR for range shooting. Some of them have adjustable gas blocks, as well as a cold hammer forged barrel. And some don’t.

Some have full-length Picatinny rails. Check carefully if a rifle-length gas system is a dealbreaker.

Check our post here for a more in-depth look at this cut-throat price range and the likes of Sig in this mid tier battle royal.

What is the best AR-15 for $500?

Again the budget AR-15 rifle battle 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 Ruger AR-556 nibbling at this price point, depending on the day. These budget AR-15 rifles are 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, but there’s a whole world of Modern Sporting Rifle options that just weren’t there a few years ago.

Palmetto State is still there, but it isn’t the force it once was.

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

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

Safe Bets According to the Hunting 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 and you can also buy solid parts from Palmetto State and complete kits. As has Windham Weaponry, which is still a great rifle.

Palmetto State Armory PSA also sells other brands and has one of the top online gun stores out there with the legendary Palmetto State Armory prices. best budget red dot options, everything.

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 Palmetto State.

Parts & Other Things? Sure

You might just need a front sight base, or a spare front sight base. Or something totally different, like not a front sight base at all. You mght want a new mid length gas block, a free float M Lok Handguard, trigger guard or a dust cover. How’s about a Wilson Combat grip? Or a two-stage trigger? Gun cleaning stuff? We can help. Also, Palmetto State, too.

CZ Scorpion Evo 3

Top Tier 9mm PCCs and the Best Concealed Carry Pistols

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

You can protect your house with 9mm AR-style pistols with a 3 inch barrel 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-Machine Guns minus select fire.

Some of the new breed of 9mm AR pistols 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 safes across the land as personal defense tools.

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

Sights and the Best AR-15 Rifle Parts & Accessories

Are you shopping for the best red dot sights, a cheap quad rail system, the best budget front sight, handguard or a stainless barrel with a tighter twist rate? Mil-spec, top tier shiz? Build or buy?

How’s about a gas tube, high quality mid-length gas system, 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 advanced tech for AR-15s for big game or home defense. 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. Not just matte black Palmetto State assault rifle clones.

What is Mil Spec with an AR-15?

Honestly don’t get hung up on Mil-Spec triggers etc. Military standards are pretty much the lowest acceptable bar these days for the competitive firearms industry and most go well beyond. A true mil spec trigger will be gritty and kinda unpleasant. You can do better almost anywhere on this page.

Shop Here For Bargains

  • Brownells – Shooting accessories. The best red dot sights, upper receivers, quad rail handguards, free floating handguards, front sight, gun safes, a carbine length block, everything gun owners need.
  • Sportsman’s Guide – The Best red dot sights, gun cases, muzzle devices, barrels, chrome moly vanadium barrel, low profile gas block, titanium barrel nut, Aero Precision parts, mid-length gas system and more.
  • Palmetto State Armory PSA – Great deals on spares, upper receiver, mid-length gas system, gas blocks, Aero Precision barrels, a stainless muzzle brake and more. It also has great scopes, optics etc.
  • Primary Arms – Primary Arms sell boutique guns off the shelf. As well as lots of other cool stuff. Primary Arms will sell you a top tier muzzle device or complete rifles.

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