14 Best AR-15s Under $1000 – June 2023

AR-15s under $1000. Get the best rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO here.

A $1000 AR-15 isn’t pushing the boat out too far, but it’s not cheaping out either. This is effectively the mid-range sedan, the Toyota Camry class, beneath the piston-operated Ferraris and Porsches.

We all know the premium manufacturers. Knights Armament, Daniel Defense and more are waiting to take your money if you have more of it to spend. But the standard class is probably more important to the firearms world as a whole.

There’s lots of competition and this is a warzone. That’s good for you, the consumer.

Under $1000 is Fierce Battle Ground

So what are the champion $1000 rifles in 2023? Some of our picks might shock you, we’ve gone seriously off-brand here with some plain odd items.

But we have found real value, some old favorites and some left field tactical rifle options.

So what is the best AR-15 under $1000?

Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport 5.56 for sale. Get the best guns at the right prices, even now with the Covid problems.

1. Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II

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

This tactical rifle was a star in our $500 rifles category under normal circumstances. But times aren’t normal and now the entry-level Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II is much more expensive.

This is a basic, simple AR-15 for home defense and recreational shooting. It isn’t the best for target shooting, but it’s good enough.

If you want an all-rounder, and you want it now, get this one before it gets even more expensive.

Sig M400 Tread. Is this the best AR-15 for the money? it's close.

2. Sig Sauer M400 Tread

  • Price: $849.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO/223 Rem
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 32
  • Weight: 7lb
  • Capacity: 30+1

Did you know you could get a Sig AR-15 for less than $1000? Well you can and it’s brilliant.

The top rated Sig M400 is built to the company’s legendary standards and is a razor-sharp AR-15 for sale.

It isn’t the lightest in this company, but there is a feeling of quality from the muzzle brake through to the cerakote finish receivers and the typical mid length gas system.

Rock River Arms LAR-15. A solid rifle for $1000.

3. Rock River Arms LAR-15

  • Price: $933.99
  • Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 36 inch
  • Total Weight: 7.5lb
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • Twist Rate: 1:9

Rock River has loudly kicked ass of late with a series of pro rifles and consumer grade options for home defense.

The FBI, DEA and more have adopted Rock River Arms products in recent years and they’re sitting in gun safes around America. 

This is the best seller and one of the finest rifles here.

Springfield Armory Saint

4. Springfield Saint Victor

  • Price: $984.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Rifle Length: 32 inch
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • Weight: 6lb
  • Twist Rate: 1:8

If you’re looking for a budget tactical rifle that won’t let you down, then the consumer grade Springfield Armory Saint Edge or Victor might just be the rifle you’re looking for.

The Springfield Armory Saint Edge/Victor is a five star gun for the money and a lot of the reviews online agree with me.

There’s no military tie in for the Springfield Saint. No LEO celebrity endorsement…

It is just a really good AR-15 for about $1000.

Stag Arms Stag-15 Tactical at the best price now. Get your discount rifle sales at America's favorite gun dealer.

5. Stag Arms Stag-15 Tactical

  • Price: $1,099.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 7lb

This is another company that takes a starring role thanks to decent availability, but Stag Arms has also built a hugely competent M4 carbine for a steal of a price. Then gone to work for the Tactical rifle.

You get a transferrable life time warranty, as well as an optics ready gun that most armies in the 1970s would literally have killed for.

Now this Stag Arms ST-15 is a solid consumer grade tactical AR-15 at the right price.

Colt M4 Carbine. The classic Colt M4 AR-15 and you can still buy one.

6. Colt M4 Carbine LE6920/CR6920

  • Price: $976.99
  • Barrel Length: 16.1 inch
  • Total Length: 32.5-35.5 inch
  • Weight: 6.9lb
  • Capacity: 30+1

Colt’s decision to pull out of the market only makes the classic Colt LE6920, or close relatives, even more desirable.

It also means they’re a bit harder to find these days. But in these weird times they’re popping back up for sale. It might be the best option here and it really might be our last chance to buy a stock Colt M4 off the shelf.

Various brokers are clearing the shelves and you’re going to have to dig through the listings. Or use our link that finds the best deal available right now on Guns.com. That can vary greatly, just so you know.

Get a stock black one and you’ll love it. There are many like her, but this is yours…

Ruger AR-556 - the kind of cheap AR-15 Joe Exotic loves.

7. Ruger AR-556

  • Price: $749.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total: 34.4 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb

Like the S&W, the best selling Ruger AR-556 used to be a cheap AR-15. Compare it to the competition, though, and this is a still a good value AR-15. That’s about as good as it gets in 2023…

This is a great rifle, possibly America’s best selling rifle in the sector. It’s for good reason, and if you really need one then it’s worth every cent. This multi-purpose rifle covers most your home firearms needs. It’s also easy to upgrade with ready made parts kits.

You can go for the Ruger AR-556 MPR with the cold hammer forged 18 inch barrel if you want a DMR type rifle.

ATI Omni Hybrid Max on Sale now. The plastic AR-15

8. ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx

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

This plastic AR-15 threatens to turn the industry on its head. That’s because the stock ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx is a cheap and super lightweight rifle that is so far proving reliable.

Honestly a multi-purpose rifle that weighs this much normally features on our lists for custom complete AR-15 rifles or specialist lightweight AR15 rifles. And they normally come with another zero on the end of the price tag.

Anderson Manufacturing AM15. A great option for your next AR15 rifle. Buy yours today.

9. Anderson Manufacturing AM15 M4

  • Price: $549.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 6.3lb

The Anderson Manufacturing AM15 M4 is one of many basic AR-15s on this list.

Anderson Manufacturing has built its reputation on a cost effective semi-auto rifle and this one should do you proud. It’s a good choice, right down to the Magpul MOE stock, even though it really is one of the crowd.

Radical Firearms RF-15 PA Exclusive for sale. A slightly more expensive version of the smash hit $500 AR-15. But is it as good?

10. Radical Firearms RF-15

  • Price: $516.99
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Weight: 6.7

Radical Firearms has become a mainstay in the cheap AR-15 category and is arguably the best budget gun you can buy right now. This is a slightly more expensive version with better peripherals. So is this hunk of American Defense worth the bump?

Well Radical Firearms has brought the window dressing and this gets a proper FCR free float rail and handguard.

Radical Firearms has generated a lot of noise with these entry level 5.56s. We hope this one makes as big an impact here as the Radical Firearms SOCOM version did in the lower bracket.

Savage Arms MSR-15 Recon 2. Get yours today at a low price.

11. Savage Arms MSR 15 Recon 2

  • RRP: $873.99
  • Barrel: 16.1 inch
  • Total Length: 32.5-35.5 inch
  • Weight: 6.5lb
  • Capacity: 30+1

The best selling Savage Axis is one of the most loved low-budget rifles in the world because the barrel is so damned good.

Now Savage Arms has brought that expertise to the world of American defense with the Savage MSR 15 Recon. There is a multi-caliber Wylde chamber, you get precision 5R rifling and a Melonite finish. But not much more…

The fixed front sight and fold down rear sights are pretty basic, but that can be useful in target shooting sports. The free-floating rail and front end set-up is a set of the best red dot sights away from ready.

An Axiom Carbine stock joins forces with a Blackhawk Knoxx AR grip. It’s all fairly solid, and light enough to shoulder with ease.

PSA Rifle with MLOK handguard. The best budget guns.

12. Palmetto State Armory PA-15

  • Price: $599.99
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inch
  • Total Length: 33 inch
  • Weight: 6.8lb

Palmetto State Armory might be known for the cheaper than dirt rifle kits that give you the basic tools for a DIY AR-15 project.

But they also will sell you a complete rifle, 5.56 NATO ready, that normally comes with a ludicrous spec sheet for the money and are best sellers.

Here you get a carbine-length gas system, Chrome Moly barrel. And you get that classic polymer handguard that gives it a vaguely military look. You can upgrade that to a free floating handguard, natch in the PSA spares department.

Aero Precision M4 Carbine for sale. It's as close as you'll find to a replacement for the Colt M4, now Colt has pulled out the AR-15 game.

13. Aero Precision M4 Carbine

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

If you’re looking for a solid direct impingement Colt M4 replica, rather than an original, for some reason, then this Aero Precision M4A1 is a pretty good start.

Or it was, as new ones are decidedly thin on the ground these days. So you can buy a used Aero Precision, or you can build one.

Seriously buy an Aero Precision upper receiver, lower receiver, bolt carrier group, charging handle, chrome lined stainless steel barrel, low profile gas block etc and build your own Aero Precision semi automatic rifle from scratch.

Two Wildcard Entries You May Not Have Considered…

Ruger Mini-14 Tactical. It's a left-field AR-15 alternative if you want a different way to shoot your 5.56 NATO.

14. Ruger Mini-14

  • Price: $1,170.00
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16.12 inch
  • Total length:
  • Weight: 7.2lb
  • Capacity: 20+1

Yeah, I mean we know. But the Ruger Mini-14 Tactical is awfully close to an AR and does indeed get listed with them on many an online store.

The folding ATI stock, Picatinny rail up top, box magazine and grip are all very AR-style rifles. The design may differ, but in spirit they are pretty close.

Where to Buy Ammo

We did a whole piece on the best AR-15 ammo here. But we have a few quick and dirty recommendations for you now. If you want to bulk buy ammo, then Palmetto state Armory, Sportsman’s Guide and Lucky Gunner are the ones we’d recommend.

With that in mind, stock up on ammo, Handgun ammo, rifle ammo, pump action shotgun ammo, a barrel, 30 rounds mags, more shotgun ammo, 9mm Luger for pistol caliber carbines, handgun parts, shotgun parts. Just about everything.

You Could Spend a Little More, Couldn’t You?

Of course, you know the game by now. Start out with a simple best-selling Smith & Wesson m&p 15 Sport II in your online basket and know you have the best for the price point…

Suddenly you have a high price, high spec Daniel Defense in your hands, some Mil-spec Bravo Company parts, the best red dots and a big bill. Maybe a Seekins Precision, Rise Armament or Black Rain Ordnance? It happens, you don’t need to explain it to us…

What is Mil Spec?

Don’t get too excited about a mil spec single stage trigger etc, it really doesn’t mean much in the modern world. Actual mil-spec triggers are pretty gritty, basic garbage. Most commercial rifles are better, it’s that simple.

What to Find Accessories Online?

2 Stage triggers, Hiperfire triggers, Patriot Ordnance Factory everything, Aero Precision and now ZEV Tech are absolutely top drawer items in stock. We can also do you a Vietnam style fixed front sight, or maybe a high quality scope or red dot sight.

Caliber conversion kits are also popular right now, with everything from 300 Blackout uppers through to 50Cal AR-15 uppers. Try them at your peril…

Night Vision is Increasingly Popular Rifles Accessory

Night vision is coming down in price and you can achieve some form of night vision with a simple illuminated red dot or the new breed of digital rifle scopes.

Have a look here:

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Also check your local gun laws before ordering. A lot has changed since the National Firearms Act. Now skip to content.


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