The Best AR-15 Models (2020) – Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking for the best AR-15 on the market but due to the sheer number of options available, you don’t know where to start, you’ll find this review fruitful. In this review, we’ve done most of the research for you in finding the best AR-15 on the market and have listed some of the best ones we could find on the market. If you are searching for other AR-15 components, click here.

From this review, you will understand what the best AR-15s should come with so you won’t end up with regret after not having the most bang per buck in your AR-15. Before proceeding to the review, there are some factors to consider when looking for the best AR-15s on the market.

Rifles Name Editor’s Comment Rating Get The Best Deal
Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle

Most Recommended Option

1. 16′ barrel
2. 1:7 twist rate
3. 1 of the most precise rifles

10/10 Check Current Price
LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15 1. Black anodized finish
2. Easy access to gas piston system
3. LWRCI(great reliability and maintenance)
9.5/10 Check Current Price
Wilson Combat AR-15 Ranger 1. Ultra lightweight
2. Slim
3. Ideal for tacktical, home defence, and hunting, precision-handling
9.0/10 Check Current Price
Wilson Combat SBR Tactical 1. Threaded Muzzle (5/8 x 24) with Q-COMP Flash Hider
2. Armor-Tuff® Finish
3. Wilson/Rogers Super-Stoc®
9.0/10 Check Current Price
Springfield Armory Saint .300 AAC Blackout AR-15 Pistol 1. SB Tactical SBX-K Tactical brace
2. SA Proprietary aluminium M-lok handguard
3. 9-inch melonite-treated CMV barrel made of 9310 steel
8.5/10 Check Current Price
Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle 1. Made in the USA
2. Able to engage about 500 yards
3. Reasonable price
8.5/10 Check Current Price
Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 1. 2′ M-,Lok panel included
2. Armornight finish on barrel
3. Forged integral trigger guard
8.0/10 Check Current Price
Colt M4 Carbine 1. Matte black finish
2. 1:7 twist rate
3. Manufactured exclusively by Walther under the license from Colt
8.0/10 Check Current Price
Ruger AR-556 MPR 1. 1:8 twist rate
2. Full length picatinny rail
3. Full length free float handguard
8.0/10 Check Current Price
PSA 16″ M4 Carbine 1. 1:7 twist rate
2. 4150V Chrome molybdenum vanadium steel
3. 15′ free-float M-LOK handguard
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
PSA 8.5″ Pistol-length 300 AAC Blackout PSA 8.5″ 1. Budget priced AR Pistol
2. KAK Industries shockwave pistol buffer tube
3. 8.5′ chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Ruger AR-556 Pistol 1. 7075-T6 aluminum forged receiver
2. SBA3 Pistol stabilizing brace
3. Ruger flash suppressor provided
7.0/10 Currently unavailable
SIG SAUER RIFLE M400 .300AAC 16″ BLK PATROL 1. Built for military law enforcement and competitive shooting
2. Outstanding functionality
3. Built to last
7.0/10 Currently unavailable

Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best AR-15 Rifle

Manufacturer

It’s always important to find out who is building the AR-15 for you, and what their standards and reputations are. The AR-15 platform has been around for decades, and you would want the manufacturer for the AR-15 that you’re buying to have great quality control and customer service so you won’t be disappointed on the range with your brand new AR-15.

Mil-spec, or not?

You might have heard about shooters on the range telling you that a 4140 steel barrel is just as good as the 4150 on the range. You might have even witnessed yourself as to how tough some non-military specification AR-15s can be. The truth is, most of them are just lucky.

You should always set ‘mil-spec’ features as a benchmark for a rifle to leave its factory. When choosing to buy the best AR-15s, you’d expect them to meet this minimum standard if you’re buying them for the long run, therefore having a mil-spec AR-15 should be essential.

Barrels

Chrome-lined barrels – These barrels are known for being durable, tough, and it comes with a slippery surface to reduce rust. These barrels are going to last you for many years to come before you’ll have to look for replacements.

Stainless steel barrels – These barrels are known to give you the best accuracy, at the cost of some durability. As the barrel erodes over a few years, you will start noticing a difference in terms of accuracy on the range.

Nitrided barrels – These barrels are often cheaper than chrome-lined and stainless steel barrels. Nitrided barrels feature a bath process to incorporate an extremely hard layer to the surface of the barrel. By doing so, it enhances the lubricity of the barrel. These barrels strike a great balance between accuracy, durability, and price.

A;so, we have a list of barrels that you can choose from if you are thinking to upgrade!

Top 13 Best AR-15 Models You Can Get Today

1. Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Direct Impingement
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Capacity: 30+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 5.56 mm NATO
  • Front Sight: None
  • Length: 32.25″-35.8″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 30-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Flash Suppressor
  • Rear Sight: None
  • Stock Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.28 lbs
  • Made in the USA

Features

Recently, Daniel Defense has been building a great reputation for themselves by being one of the most frequently recommended AR-15 manufacturers in America. Since their humble beginnings, Daniel Defense has built an excellent reputation for delivering nothing but high-quality rifles, parts, and accessories.

With that, the Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle is no exception from most of Daniel Defense’s amazing lineup. This AR-15 by Daniel Defense comes with a KeyMod handguard and a 15’ free-floating handguard over a 16’ chrome moly vanadium steel, cold hammer-forged barrel.

With a 16’ barrel, you know you’ll be maximizing your bullet’s range, penetration power, and accuracy. In addition, the fact that it’s a chrome-moly barrel would only mean that it’s going to be as tough as nails to last you for many years to come without having to look for a replacement.

Furthermore, the gas system that comes with the Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle is a pinned mid-length system, which makes it ideal for almost every range.

In relation to the Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle’s BCG, it is full-auto rated. As such, you won’t have to worry about your BCG breaking down during an extended shooting session out on the range even with high rates of fire. You can expect nothing but the utmost reliability from this AR-15 whether being on the range, out in the woods and home defense situations.

The Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle comes with Daniel Defense’s own lower receiver, their well known glass-filled polymer pistol grip, and buttstock. With features like that, this AR-15 would enhance your overall shooting experience as reviewed by many shooters.

One of the most notable features of the Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle is that it comes with an ambidextrous safety selector. This is definitely something you would want on all your rifles, whether AR-15 or not. Having such a feature like this in the box would save you the hassle to make this upgrade.

You will like this product if:

You are sick of the regular black look. Lucky for you, the Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle doesn’t just perform well, it looks sleek as heck too. Besides the usual black, this AR-15 is also available in their ‘Tornado’ and ‘Mil-spec + Cerakote’ finishes that will allow you to stand out on the range.

You want great reliability. Looking at the specs and reviews for the Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle, you know the rifle is going to be as reliable as an AR-15 could get. You won’t have any jamming issues on the range thanks to its full-auto rated BCG, and durability issues thanks to its chrome moly vanadium steel barrel.

You might not like this product if:

You want the best trigger. The Daniel Defense DDM4V11 AR-15 Rifle is undoubtedly an excellent all-around rifle and it’s as close to perfect an AR-15 could be. However, its only shortcoming is not having the best trigger on the market.

You are on a tight budget. Although Daniel Defense has been widely recognized for producing some of the best firearms and firearm components on the market, it doesn’t come with the most affordable price tag for every shooter.

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2. Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Direct Impingement
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Capacity: 30+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 5.56 mm NATO
  • Finish: Black
  • Front Sight: None
  • Length: 32.5″-35.5″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 30-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Flash Suppressor
  • Rear Sight: None
  • Stock Material: Synthetic
  • Weight: 6.3 lbs

Features

If you didn’t know, Braco Company (BCM) is one of the front runners in producing some of the best AR-15s that come with an affordable price tag. All of BCM’s firearms and firearm parts are of excellent quality, reliable, lightweight, and affordable.

Thanks to their tremendous effort in making the best AR-15s at an affordable price, we have the Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle. This AR-15 comes with a 1:7 twist rate and a full 16’ barrel to maximize the 5.56mm NATO round’s potential in terms of accuracy, range, and penetration power.

Not to mention, the barrel on the Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle is a Mil-spec 11595E and it even features a manganese phosphate finish for added durability. As such, you won’t have to start hiding your AR-15 when the weather starts turning unfavorable.

The Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle comes with a lightweight 15’ KeyMod free-float handguard that effectively brought the overall weight of this AR-15 down to a mere 6.1 lbs. With that, you won’t have to worry about your rifle to carry any excess weight as you hunt/shoot.

This AR-15 features a mid-length gas system that is preferred by most shooters for an AR-15 with a 16’ barrel. In relation to the BCG, it’s full-auto rated so you won’t have to worry about your AR-15 breaking down during extended shooting sessions on the range at high rates of fire even though the rifle is only semi-automatic.

The lower receiver comes with one of the best pistol grips and AR-15 stocks. The trigger on the Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle is BCM’s Mil-spec PNT single-stage trigger, which is one of the most preferred triggers on the market.

You will like this product if:

You want something lightweight. Thanks to the 15’ KeyMod free-float handguard on the Bravo Company Manufacturing RECCE 16 Carbine AR 15 Rifle, it effectively reduces a substantial amount of weight from this AR-15.

You want great value. As mentioned above, BCM has been widely recognized to produce some of the most affordable firearms and firearm components on the market. Therefore, you’ll be getting the most bang per buck you could get.

You might not like this product if:

You want a shorter barrel. If you are looking for an AR-15 with a shorter barrel, this might not be your best buy. However, doing so would compromise on accuracy and shooting range for better maneuverability, which is not every shooters’ desire.

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3. Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Gas Operated
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Capacity: 30+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 5.56 mm NATO
  • Finish: Black
  • Front Sight: Flip Up
  • Length: 36″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 30-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Flash Hider
  • Rear Sight: Flip Up
  • Stock Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.7 lbs
  • Made in the USA

Features

If you didn’t know, Smith & Wesson has been manufacturing rifles and pistols for the military and police agencies all over the world for a really long time. When it comes to their AR-15 rifles, all of them are specifically designed to meet these harsh requirements at the least cost.

As such, they have managed to come out with the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 that struck the sweet spot between quality and affordability. This AR-15 features the standard civilian 16’ barrel and a 1:9 twist rate that makes it better suited for lighter ammunition like the 5.56mm NATO.

The barrel is coated with Smith & Wesson’s Armornite finish in and out. As such, it provides you with a barrel that performs miles ahead in terms of durability even compared with the chrome-moly barrels on the market.

In addition, the barrel features a light profile that essentially reduces the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15’s overall weight. As such, you won’t have to worry about carrying any excess weight especially when you hunt out in the woods.

The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 is great for fast-moving, tactical situations that you will encounter during home defense and/or shooting competitions. Featuring a removable flip-up rear sight that could be left in place while adopting other optics.

The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 comes with a threaded barrel that would allow you to easily mount any suppressors/muzzle brakes. As such, you won’t have to employ the professional services of a gunsmith just to mount a suppressor/muzzle brake.

Featuring the Magpul MOE handguard, you will enjoy a great shooting experience with the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 especially if you are a tactical professional who needs to carry this AR-15 for extended sessions of shooting.

You will like this product if:

You want something lightweight. The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15’s light profile barrel effectively reduces the rifle’s overall weight to prevent you from panting as you hunt/shoot for the day. In addition, the rifle also comes with minimal furniture that contributed to its lightweight.

You want a comfortable shooting experience. Besides being lightweight, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 comes with Magpul MOE Handguard that would allow you to easily and comfortably carry your AR-15 throughout the day.

You might not like this product if:

You like shooting at high rates. Although the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 features a light profile barrel which makes it really nice to shoot with, it might heat up faster as you shoot at higher rates of fire over long periods.

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4. LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Piston
  • Barrel Length: 14″
  • Capacity: 30+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 5.56 mm NATO
  • Finish: Black Anodized
  • Length: 32″-35.25″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 30-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Flash Suppressor
  • Stock Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs

Features

If you are a fan of great gas piston systems, LWRC produces some of the best gas piston systems on the market. As such all of their rifles would run cleaner and would provide you with enhanced reliability than any direct impingement rifle.

With that, the LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15 is no exception to their excellent lineup of rifles. One of the best features of this AR-15 rifle is its 14’ barrel that comes with a 1:7 twist rate to fully utilize the 5.56mm NATO’s range, accuracy, and penetration power.

The LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15’s barrel is fluted, with that, you know that this AR-15 is going to offer you faster cooling during high rates of fire. In addition, this rifle comes with a NiCorr surface conversion that would provide you with the durability that would last you for at least 20,000 rounds according to LWRC.

Another notable feature of this AR-15 is its gas piston system. LWRC has specifically designed its gas piston system to vent gasses more efficiently near the front sight, away from you as you shoot. As such, it would effectively prevent the gas from being blown back into the BCG for a cleaner operation that would give you superior reliability.

Furthermore, LWRC also incorporated a nickel-boron coating for the LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15’s BCG to offer you a smoother and more reliable operation. As such, you won’t ever have to experience any jammings when the weather starts turning unfavorable.

The forend of this AR-15 is completely customizable. Its rail sections could be easily added anywhere you’d need them to be. To give you an enhanced shooting experience, LWRC incorporated a rubberized pistol grip and an adjustable stock that would give you a customized fit which would in turn improve your overall shooting accuracy.

You will like this product if:

You are a left-handed shooter. Left-handers will have a tough time finding the right fit for most AR-15s. However, since the LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15 features a completely ambidextrous lower receiver, you can easily manipulate all its controls without taking your weak hand off the rifle.

You want great reliability. The LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15 sits right at the top when it comes to delivering the utmost reliability. LWRC’s gas system has proven itself to be the most reliable and durable for the AR-15. Once you had your hands on this AR-15, you’ll find a tough time in getting used to other AR-15s.

You might not like this product if:

You are shopping on a tight budget. With some of the best features you could find on an AR-15, the LWRC Enhanced Individual Carbine (IC) AR 15 doesn’t exactly come with the most affordable price. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a long term investment, you can’t go wrong with this AR-15.

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5. Colt M4 Carbine

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Semi-Auto
  • Barrel Length: 16.1″
  • Capacity: 30+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Front Sight: Adjustable
  • Length: 34.5″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 30-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Flash Suppressor
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Stock Material: Synthetic
  • Weight: 6.3 lbs

Features

Introducing the Colt M4 Carbine that’s manufactured by the prominent manufacturer – Colt, which is the original creator of the classic M4 and M16. Colt is one of the major firearms manufacturers that have secured contracts with the American military for many decades. The Colt M4 Carbine is probably the closest you could get to the US Military’s standard-issue M4.

In Colt’s effort to make this rifle appropriate for civilian use, the Colt M4 Carbine features a 16’ barrel. Nonetheless, the rifle still comes with a twist rate of 1:7 that’s also used on its military counterparts.

Coming with a chrome-lined barrel that’s capped with a compensator, you won’t have any issues with shooting high rates of fire throughout the day. As such, you won’t have to hesitate to shoot more with this bad boy.

Furthermore, all of the Colt M4 Carbine’s internals – BCG, trigger, bolt come with military specifications. Colt specifically designed the Colt M4 Carbine to come with the same standards that they supply to the US Military to ensure shooters could also enjoy an excellent shooting experience.

In terms of reliability, the Colt M4 Carbine’s system is pretty reliable provided it gets plenty of lube and doesn’t shoot too many steel-cased ammo. Nonetheless, this AR-15 still comes with a mil-spec trigger for excellent long-range and tactical shooting applications.

Coming with rail and fixed front sights, the Colt M4 Carbine would be ready for the range anytime without any optic/sight upgrades. However, if you decide to go with red dot sights/holographic sights, the rifle’s rail and fixed front sights would work perfectly with your upgrades.

You will like this product if:

You want the classic M4 feel. If you are looking to own an AR-15 that’s the closest to the M4 you often see in the movies, the Colt M4 Carbine would be the closest thing you could find on the market. Besides mere looks, this AR-15 also has mil-specs to give you a reliable and durable shooting experience.

You shoot at high rates of fire. The Colt M4 Carbine comes with a chrome-lined barrel that’s capped with a compensator. As such, it would be perfect for high rates of fire even for extended shooting sessions throughout the day. You won’t need ‘breaktimes’ for this AR-15.

You might not like this product if:

You don’t maintain your guns well. Although the Colt M4 Carbine comes with a pretty reliable system, you have to ensure that it gets plenty of lube. Furthermore, you won’t want to shoot too may steel-cased ammunition with this AR-15.

You want extensive customization. You might have a tough time in customizing your Colt M4 Carbine extensively. For that, you might have to consider switching the rifle’s existing handguard to achieve that. In addition, the iron sights on the Colt M4 Carbine might not work well with higher magnification scopes.

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6. Ruger AR-556 MPR

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Direct Impingement
  • Barrel Length: 18″
  • Capacity: 30+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 5.56 mm NATO
  • Finish: Black
  • Front Sight: None
  • Length: 35″-38.25″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 30-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Flash Hider
  • Rear Sight: None
  • Stock Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs
  • Made in the USA

Features

Although it took them a few years, Ruger finally came up with the second version of its AR-556 – The Ruger AR-556 MPR (Multi-Purpose Rifle). From the name, it’s pretty clear that Ruger specifically designed this rifle to be a do-it-all AR-15 platform. Their original AR-556 was capable of its own right, but the difference between these 2 variants definitely add up to substantially different packages.

The MPR’s 18-inch barrel features a 1:8 twist rate. This twist rate is widely known to be the best twist rate possible for an AR-15 barrel as it would easily handle bullets from 35 grains up to 77 grains, basically, every bullet weight that fits into a .223 or a 5.56mm NATO magazine.

In addition, the Ruger AR-556 MPR came with 5-groove rifling, which was specifically incorporated to offer you excellent accuracy. The barrel also came with a cold-hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel along with a nitride finish for corrosion resistance purposes.

Now, you won’t have to worry about hiding your Ruger AR-556 MPR as you shoot/hunt outdoors when the weather starts turning unfavorable.

Instead of an A2-style flash hider, the barrel on the Ruger AR-556 MPR was tipped with a radially ported muzzle brake out of Ruger’s own design. There are ports located on the bottom of this brake and as such, you will be kicking up dust if you are shooting anywhere close to prone. It merely extends 11/8 inches past the muzzle so it essentially isn’t much longer than the ubiquitous A2 birdcage flash hider.

The bolt was machined from 9310 alloy steel, shot-peened, and pressure tested to give you the best durability and reliability Ruger has to offer. Unlike the original AR-556, which has a carbine-length gas system, the Ruger AR-556 MPR’s longer barrel allows it to adopt a rifle-length gas system.

The Ruger AR-556 MPR’s barrel free-floats inside its 15-inch aluminum handguard along with an M-Lok accessory attachment slot on the sides and bottom. Besides that, it also features some additional angled slots near the muzzle that would work really well if you are mounting lights and/or lasers.

You will like this product if:

You enjoy a great trigger pull. The Ruger AR-556 MPR features the Ruger Elite 452 trigger, where the company first started to offer this a few years back in their SR-556 Takedown rifles. The Ruger AR-556 MPR’s Elite 452 is a 2-stage trigger that was advertised by Ruger to provide a crisp 4.5 lbs trigger pull with a full-power hammer spring.

You want a great shooting experience. The Ruger AR-556 MPR turns out to be everyone’s favorite at the range. It’s big, it’s loud, and it has absolutely no recoil. The 30-port brake on the Ruger AR-556 MPR makes it as soft-shooting as any competition rifle you would’ve come across.

You might not like this product if:

You don’t wear ear protection. When shooting the MPR, you have to make sure you have adequate noise protection for your ears if the gun is not mounted with a suppressor. The Ruger AR-556 MPR could get really loud and we can assure that you won’t enjoy that.

You want built-in iron sights. Perhaps the only shortcoming of the Ruger AR-556 MPR that is worth highlighting is that it lacks the original AR-556’s iron sights. You will have to purchase the sights or any other optics to your preference separately.

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7. Wilson Combat SBR Tactical

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Specifications

  • Action Type: Blow Back
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Capacity: 15+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 9 mm Luger
  • Finish: Black
  • Front Sight: None
  • Length: 32.75″
  • Magazine Included: 2 x 15-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Threaded
  • Rear Sight: None
  • Stock Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs
  • Made in the USA

Features

If you didn’t know, Wilson Combat has been the leading innovator in manufacturing high-performance, custom 1911 handguns, tactical long guns, and accessories since 1977. If you’ve used a Wilson Combat product, you know their level of reliability and craftsmanship is unmatched. Along with their legendary customer service, you can’t ask for more.

If you are looking for the best CQB handling, the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical is the way to go. It’s 16’ barrel would allow you to easily maneuver around inside a house and to add, they are lighter your standard 16’ AR-15. As such, you’ll find a brand new experience for CQB situations with the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical.

If you are looking for excellent short-range performance from an AR-15, the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical would be an excellent option that’s worth considering. As you might have already known, Wilson Combat has been known for producing competition grade firearms, and their SBR Tactical sits right on the line with this reputation.

Coming with a barrel that features a 1:7 twist rate and a muzzle brake for great rapid-fire recoil management, you’ll have pleasant shooting experience with the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical.

In addition, the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical comes with a threaded barrel for mounting suppressors/muzzle brakes. As such, you won’t have to worry about hiring the professional services of a gunsmith just to mount a suppressor/muzzle brake.

With the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical’s internals coated with NP3, you can expect nothing but supreme reliability from this AR-15. Furthermore, this rifle features the Wilson Combat TTU (Tactical Trigger Unit) that was specifically designed for greater control in rapid-fire and tactical shooting applications.

In terms of ergonomics, you can expect great results from the Wilson Combat design team. The Wilson Combat SBR Tactical’s forend and adjustable stock come with several attachment points for 1,2 or 3 point slings for you to carry the rifle comfortable with or without body armor.

You will like this product if:

You are a competitive shooter. With Wilson Combat’s reputation for their match-grade rifles, the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical is no exception to their incredible track record. You will find the best bang per buck on the SBR especially if you are a competitive shooter thanks to all its amazing features.

You want outstanding short-range tactical performance. The Wilson Combat SBR Tactical would be an exceptional option if you’re looking for the best CQB AR-15 on the market. Along with the Wilson Combat TTU trigger, you will have more control in rapid-fire and tactical shooting applications.

You might not like this product if:

You want the cheapest AR-15. Although Wilson Combat has a great track record in producing some of the best AR-15 that provide exceptional value like the Wilson Combat SBR Tactical, they aren’t exactly the cheapest AR-15s on the market either. If you are on a really tight budget, this might not be your best buy.

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8. PSA 16″ M4 Carbine

Specifications

  • Barrel Length: 16”
  • Barrel Material: 4150V Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Nitride
  • Barrel Profile: M4
  • Chamber: 5.56 NATO
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 7”
  • Extension: M4
  • Gas System: Carbine-Length
  • Gas Block Type: Low Profile .750” Diameter
  • Upper Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Style: M4 Flat top with feed ramps
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
  • Forward Assist: Yes
  • Dust Cover: Yes
  • Handguard Style: PSA 15″ Lightweight M-Lok Free Float Rail
  • Bolt Steel: Carpenter 158, Mag Phosphate coated
  • Bolt Carrier Steel: 8620, Chrome Lined
  • Staked Gas Key: Yes
  • Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
  • Fire Control Group: PSA AR-15 Mil-Spec Fire Control Group
  • Buffer Tube: 7075 T6 Aluminum Mil-Spec Tube
  • Adjustment: 6-position collapsible
  • Stock: PSA Classic Carbine Stock
  • Magazine: (1) 30-Round Magazine (where available by law)
  • Weight: 7 Lbs
  • Length: 32″

Features

If you are on a tight budget, the go-to recommendation for the best budget firearms manufacturer would be Palmetto State Armory (PSA). At PSA, you can easily find complete AR-15 rifles with just a mere $500 budget. PSA makes nearly all of its parts from scratch in-house and comes out with fantastic products at an extremely affordable rate like the PSA 16″ M4 Carbine.

The PSA 16″ M4 Carbine comes with a 16’ barrel with a 1:7 twist rate to maximize the 5.56mm NATO round’s performance. In addition, the barrel is constructed from 4150V chrome molybdenum vanadium steel, as such, it easily satisfies the Mil-Spec requirements that you’d want on every AR-15 rifle.

The PSA 16″ M4 Carbine features a 15’ free-float M-Lok handguard along with a carbine-length gas system. Besides that, the rifle also comes with PSA’s BCG which is full-auto rated. As such, you won’t have to worry about your rifle breaking down during rapid rates of fire throughout the day.

The lower receiver of the comprises of PSA’s mil-spec parts along with a 6-position adjustable stock for you to find a customized fit with the PSA 16″ M4 Carbine. With that, not only will your AR-15 be as tough as nails, it’ll fit you perfectly for you to achieve a better shooting experience.

All in all, the PSA 16″ M4 Carbine is an excellent AR-15 especially for those of you that are on a tight budget or you’re just starting out in shooting by buying your first AR-15. You won’t go wrong by opting for the PSA 16″ M4 Carbine as reviewed by a countless amount of shooters from all walks of life.

You will like this product if:

You are on a tight budget. If you’re looking to find one of the most affordable AR-15s on the market that wouldn’t disappoint you on the rage, you’re looking at the right place. With mil-spec components on this rifle available at this price, it’s a bargain you can’t beat.

You want great durability. Coming with a 4150V chrome molybdenum vanadium steel barrel and a full-auto rated BCG, you won’t be looking for a replacement anytime soon with the PSA 16″ M4 Carbine.

You might not like this product if:

You want the lightest rifle around. The PSA 16″ M4 Carbine might not be the lightest rifle around with the best controls available, it’s more than enough for most shooters’ needs especially if you are just starting out.

You want better maneuverability. With a 16’ barrel, you’ll be able to fully maximize the 5.56mm NATO round’s potential. However, that would come at the cost of maneuverability. Nonetheless, if you’re only taking it out on the range (most likely), compromising a little maneuverability for better accuracy wouldn’t disappoint you.

9. ​Springfield Armory Saint .300 AAC Blackout AR-15 Pistol

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Specifications

  • Barrel Length: 7.5″
  • Caliber: 300 Blackout
  • Length: 26.5″
  • Weight: 5.8
  • Upper and Lower Receiver: Type III Hard-Coated Anodized 7075 T6 aluminum
  • Capacity: 30+1 round
  • Finish: Black
  • Magazine: Removable

Features

Right out of the box, the Springfield Armory Saint .300 AAC Blackout AR-15 Pistol will shoot perfectly even with a mounted suppressor. In terms of recoil, it’s so low that it doesn’t even feel like a .300 Blackout pistol. The trigger is smooth and crisp, most people love this because it fires clean and accurate.

The Springfield Armory Saint .300 AAC Blackout AR-15 Pistol is a complete package of the best components you can find for an AR-15. Featuring free-float handguard with locking tabs, a forward hand stop, and an adjustable stabilizing brace the functionality aspects of this AR-15 is off the charts.

This .300 Blackout pistol features a 9-inch barrel constructed of Chrome Moly Vanadium (CMV) with Melonite treatment. Besides that, this pistol sports a 1:7’ twist rate and a pistol length gas port with a pinned, low profile adjustable gas block to give you great versatility. All you need to do is to adjust the gas block and it will modify the weapon in accordance with the ammunition you are using.

This pistol is pretty viable for tactical purposes as it can be equipped with a suppressor. The overall design of this AR-15 makes it ideal for CQB and an amazing single-handed shooting AR pistol.

As you would expect from pistols of this price range, both the upper and lower receivers are machined from forged aircraft-grade 7075 T6 aluminum. While the upper receiver comes with forwarding assist, the lower receiver features the company’s premier Accu-Tite tension system which increases the tension between the upper and lower receivers to override any misfitting and to minimize movement.

For extra durability, the BCG’s bolt is precision machined from 9310 steel which is approximately 7% stronger than the usual ‘mil-spec’ Carpenter 158 steel. Coming with a shot-penned bolt that’s magnetic particle inspected and finished in super-hard Melonite, it’ll last you for a long time.

Instead of selecting a rifle buttstock, the manufacturer included a carbine H heavy tungsten buffer and the rugged SG Tactical SBX-K forearm brace which makes the Springfield Armory Saint .300 AAC Blackout AR-15 Pistol the ideal choice for home defense and CQB.

You will like this product if:

You are looking for home defense and/or CQB gun. The Springfield Armory Saint .300 AAC Blackout AR-15 Pistol offers a lot of customizability options while at the same time, offers great shooting comfort and precision. You know the AR-15 was designed for CQB uses when it has such great sound diverting capabilities which makes it one of the best tactical AR-15s.

You want a gun that’s built to last. In terms of durability, the BCG’s bolt was precision machined from 9310 steel that’s stronger than the usual mil-spec Carpenter 158 steel in most AR-15s. Being shot-penned and magnetic particle inspected, you won’t be looking for a replacement anytime soon.

You might not like this product if:

You want to take it straight to the shooting range. This pistol is as accurate as an AR-15 can be, with all its great aspects, its biggest shortfall is that it doesn’t come with sights. So you won’t be enjoying your time at the shooting range without additional sights/scopes.

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10. ​PSA 8.5″ Pistol-length 300 AAC Blackout PSA 8.5″

Specifications

  • Barrel Length: 8.5″
  • Gas System: Pistol-length
  • Muzzle Thread: 5/8-24″
  • Chamber: 300AAC Blackout
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 7″
  • Barrel Extension: M4
  • Diameter at Gas Block: .750″
  • Gas Block Type: Low-profile
  • Muzzle Device: A2 Style Flash Hider
  • Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6
  • Handguard Type: 7″ Lightweight M-Lok Rail
  • Bolt Steel: Carpenter 158
  • Bolt Carrier Profile: Full-Auto
  • Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
  • Fire Control Group: Single-Stage, Mil-spec style
  • Grip: Magpul Grip, Black
  • Buffer Tube: KAK Industries Shockwave Pistol Buffer Tube
  • Adjustment: Fixed
  • Pistol Brace: KAK Industries Shockwave Blade, Black

Features

The ​PSA 8.5″ Pistol-length 300 AAC Blackout is an incredibly lightweight, accurate AR-15 that offers exceptional value for money. Its chrome-moly barrel comes with a nitride finish which allows it to be cleaned and resist grime pretty well.

This AR-15 also comes with a lightweight M-Lok handguard which allows you to add on extra accessories for tactical purposes. If you plan to suppress your AR-15, the good news is that the barrel is also threaded so you can mount a suppressor on.

PSA is offering many different configurations of AR-15 based pistols from the caliber, gas system, barrel length, and handguards. The PSA 8’ variant is running a pistol length gas system matched by a .750 diameter low profile gas block. Top it off with an A2-style flash hider and a 7’ PSA handguard (MLOK compatible) with a short Picatinny rail on top to mount sights or optics, the PSA 8.5’ is the perhaps one of the most tactical guns on this list.

In addition, their handguard style features a modified aluminum KAK industries Shockwave pistol buffer tube and Shockwave Technologies polymer blade pistol brace stabilizer to reduce recoil.

The lower receiver is a Magpul and constructed of 7075-T6 aluminum that’s marked ‘multi’ for caliber. This essentially means that this ar-15 will function with more than just 1 caliber, great versatility.

The bolt carrier group (BCG) has military specifications (mil-spec), which means that it’s constructed of shot-penned Carpenter 158 steel and phosphate treated for durability. Just like other AR-15 variants from PSA, this pistol is one of the most affordable ones in the market considering its specs.

If you are a tactical person or a beginner, you’d love this pistol as the accessory compatible rail and handguard would allow you to mount lights, lasers, and optics to improve the pistol’s overall functionality for different purposes. This pistol is especially great while moving around small corners and shooting with only a 2-3 inch drop.

You will like this product if:

You are shopping on a tight budget. Available on PSA for only $499.99, it’s one of the most affordable AR-15s in this article and frankly, probably on the market. If you are new to guns or if you don’t have a lot to spend, you will love the ​PSA 8.5″ Pistol-length 300 AAC Blackout.

You want great accuracy. The ​PSA 8.5″ Pistol-length 300 AAC Blackout comes with a 1:7 twist rate and a nitride coated barrel which makes it ideal for AR pistols to achieve maximum accuracy.

You might not like this product if:

You want sights. Every gun has its shortcomings, and for the ​PSA 8.5″ Pistol-length 300 AAC Blackout, it doesn’t ship with sights on. Hence, you might have to spend a little more to mount optics/sights on.

You suffer from a sore shoulder. If you often suffer from sore shoulders, this .300 Blackout pistol wouldn’t be ideal for you as its recoil is slightly more than a standard 16’ barrel AR-15. Although still acceptable for most people, it might not be the best option for you if you suffer from sore shoulders and plan to shoot it for an extended period of time.

11. Ruger AR-556 Pistol

Specifications

  • Feature: SB Tactical® SBA3® Pistol Stabilizing Brace®
  • Handguard: Free-Float with M-LOK® Attachment Slots
  • Sights: None
  • Barrel Length: 10.50″
  • Thread Pattern: 1/2″-28
  • Type: Pistol
  • Twist: 1:8″ RH
  • Capacity: 30
  • Finish: Type III Hard-Coat Anodized
  • Height: 7.20″
  • Weight: 6.2 lb.
  • Overall Length: 25.30″ – 27.90″
  • Grooves: 5
  • Available in CA: No
  • Available in MA: No

Features

Ruger has been one of the nation’s leading manufacturers for the most rugged and reliable firearms in the commercial sporting market. Their firearms and firearm components are all made in America, most of which are award-winning products that come with a set of features to meet every shooter’s requirements.

The Ruger AR-556 Pistol is constructed from the aerospace-grade 7075-T5 aluminum forging along with a flattop upper receiver that includes a forward assist, dust cover, and a brass deflector. With such a construction, you know your AR-15 is going to be tough as nails.

Furthermore, the Ruger AR-556 Pistol comes with a cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel with an ultra-precise rifling to give you the best accuracy on the field. The Ruger AR-556 Pistol also comes with M4 feed ramps to give you excellent reliability by preventing any jams from occurring.

With a matte black oxide finish on the Ruger AR-556 Pistol’s exterior of the bolt carrier, you can expect your AR-15 to have the best corrosion resistance an AR-15 could have. Now, you won’t have to start looking for shelter as you shoot/hunt outdoors when the weather starts becoming unfavorable.

The Ruger AR-556 Pistol’s handguard is free-floating for improved accuracy. The 9’ handguard features enhanced ergonomics and support along with the Magpul M-Lok accessory attachment slots along the sides and bottom of the handguard. With that, you won’t have any compatibility issues when looking for additional accessories.

Unlike some AR-15s, the Ruger AR-556 Pistol ships together with a 30-round Magpul PMAG and a Ruger flash suppressor so you won’t have to purchase them separately. The ½-28 threaded barrel on this pistol would also allow you to easily mount any muzzle accessories without a gunsmith.

You will like this product if:

You want a reliable product. The Ruger AR-556 Pistol is manufactured by the nation’s leading firearms and award-winning manufacturer – Ruger. Most shooters would be sold by the brand name itself. Should you face any problems with your AR-15, their customer service would be more than happy to sort that out for you.

You might not like this product if:

You want the cheapest AR-15. The Ruger AR-556 Pistol comes at an extremely reasonable price tag, with such features, it’s indeed a good bargain. However, it’s not the cheapest AR-15 on the market and if you are looking for that, this might not be your best buy.

12. Wilson Combat AR-15 Ranger

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Specifications

  • Lightweight Billet Upper (Flat Top) and Billet Lower Receiver
  • Wilson Combat Ranger Match Grade Barrel
  • SLR Rifleworks Adjustable Gas Block
  • Threaded Muzzle with Q-Comp
  • Wilson Combat 10” M-LOK Rail with Three Falcon/Ergo Rail Covers
  • Rogers/Wilson Super-Stock
  • Wilson Combat TTU (Tactical Trigger Unit) M2, 4#
  • Premium Mil-Spec Bolt and Bolt Carrier, MP Inspected, NP3
  • Wilson Combat/BCM Starburst Gunfighter Grip, Black
  • Armor-tuff ® Finish applied over Mil-Spec Hard Anodized Upper/Lower Receivers

Features

The best AR-15s need to have a great balance between being lightweight and accurate. The Wilson Combat – AR 15 Ranger definitely sets a high standard for high-performing firearms. Even if you are not a hunter, you will come to appreciate this .300 Blackout Rifle after shooting it.

The manufacturer – Wilson Combat, is already well-known for producing one of the best quality guns in America, and the Ranger line of AR-15s chambered with the .300 Blackout is no exception. The Ranger only weighs a mere 6.3 lbs while empty and features match-grade accuracy even when the rifle heats up from rapid shooting.

With a 16’ barrel length and a total length of 37’, it only makes the weight of this rifle more impressive. The ranger is optimized for subsonic rounds which enhances its shooting capabilities to take down the target, especially if you are hunting. It comes with a standard SLR adjustable gas block which will allow you to fine-tune the exact pressure you need for the bullets.

Coming with both a standard black or a coyote finish, this gun looks amazing whether if you are a hunter that’s looking for an AR-15 to come with great concealment attributes or for other purposes. With its slim profile and lightweight features, the Wilson Combat Ranger is perhaps the ideal weapon anyone could carry to the field for years to come.

You will like this product if:

You hunt. If you are a hunter, you know what it’s like to have your hunting rifle to feel like a burden. With the Wilson Combat Ranger AR 15 weighing at only 6.3 lbs (empty), the gun will definitely not slow you down.

You are looking for an all-rounder. This AR-15 is known to be ideal for tactical, hunting, and home defense purposes perhaps due to its lightweight and match-grade accuracy even when it’s hot from rapid shooting. Besides that, it also comes with highly appealing finishes that both hunters and casual shooters would love.

You might not like this product if:

You want a bigger magazine. Unfortunately, the Wilson Combat Ranger AR 15 only ships with one 20-round magazine. Although for hunting or home defense purposes, most would consider sufficient, some would still appreciate a larger magazine to come with the gun.

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13. SIG SAUER RIFLE M400 .300AAC 16″ BLK PATROL

Specifications

  • Barrel Length: 16”
  • Mags Included: (1) 30rd Polymer Mag
  • Mag Type: AR-15
  • Sights: Folding
  • Stock Type: Telescopic
  • Barrel Material: Carbon Steel
  • Trigger Type: Mil-Spec
  • Collapsed/Folded Length: 32.5”
  • Twist Rate: 1:6
  • Overall Length: 35.75”
  • Overall Width: 2.6”
  • Weight: 6.5lbs

Features

SIG Sauer is perhaps one of the most recognized and reliable brands for producing firearms. Therefore, it should be no surprise that they even have an AR-15 that’s good enough to be one of the best in the market. That said, let’s have a look at why is there such a hype for this rifle.

The SIG M400 is designed for law enforcement, military operations, sporting field, and even for the competitive shooting scene. The SIG M400 is known as a true AR platform tactical rifle thanks to its unparalleled accuracy. This is a tactical option and without question, it is one of the more superior rifles thanks to its improved accuracy.

This rifle features a corrosion-resistant, nitride treated barrel that is measured at 16’ long. Besides that, the barrel and the lower are constructed from excellent quality aircraft-grade aluminum that’s designed to make this rifle extremely durable. Also, the other parts like the forend, grip, and collapsible buttstock are constructed from a high-quality polymer.

Also, this rifle comes with a collapsible stock, which makes it user-friendly as it’s adjustable to fit you nicely as you shoot. If you are looking for an AR-15 that you precisely adjust to your preferences, you would want to consider this rifle.

You will notice a railed gas block that’s designed to give this rifle a reliable performance that every shooter wants. If you want a reliable product for sporting and/or home defense, this SIG AR-15 is perhaps one of the best choices you can add to your arsenal.

You will like this product if:

You want a rifle that’s built to last. The SIG Sauer .300 Blackout Rifle is undoubtedly one of the best AR-15s on the market, it proves itself worthy of that honor. Not only is it built to last inside and out, but its reliable performance will also allow you to fire your shots smoothly without any issues.

You want a ‘personalized’ feeling. Thanks to the introduction of collapsible stocks, this AR-15 would be suitable for users of almost any size. This isn’t your everyday 1 size fit kind of rifle.

You might not like this product if:

You don’t want a semi-auto rifle. Unless you are looking for a bolt-action rifle, there’s absolutely no reason not to adore the SIG M400. Not only does it have everything you need and want, but it also comes at a reasonable price of around $1000 too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What parts of an AR-15 requires FFL?

On the AR-15, the serialized portion of the rifle is the lower receiver and only this component would require an FFL transfer i.e. background checks and etc. to make a purchase. Besides that, everything else could be purchased without an FFL.

What does the 15 mean in the AR-15?

AR-15 stands for Armalite model 15. AR = Armalite, and not an assault rifle, and the 15 is nothing but a model number.

Has the AR-15 ever been used in a war?

The ArmaLite AR-15 is essentially a select-fire, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle that was manufactured in America between 1958 to 1964. Its military version, the M16 was adopted by the United States Armed Forces and used in various wars.

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