Best AR15 for under $500

More bang for the buck.
In this AR era, you can find them all over the internet and local gun stores. For those looking to get a quality AR but a limited in their spending, can you find an AR under $500?
You definitely can, here are some of those AR-15 under $500.

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

  • ATI-Omni Hybrid – $429

    Its a metal/polymer upper and lower, don’t let this steer you away. The AR comes with a fixed position stock and a 30 round mag. One set back is that it doesn’t come with iron sights.
    This AR functions really well.
  • Windham Weaponary R16 M4 – $465

    This AR features an M4A4-type flat top upper receiver and Picatinny rail gas block to allow for the use of a variety of optics and removable sights. However, it doesn’t come with iron sights.
    The chrome-lined steel 16-inch barrel has an M4 profile and a removable A4 flash hider. Has a six position stock.
    This AR is one of the better quality.
  • DPMS Oracle

    May be one of the most accurate out on the market for under $500.
    Features a 16″ lightweight barrel, a flat top upper receiver, Glacier Guard handguards and a collapsible, six-position Pardus buttstock.
    Its a perfect AR for the first time owner or just an accurate and affordable plinker.
  • Delton DT16 – $482

    Has a six position stock and is the only one on this list that comes with iron sights. Doesn’t come with the rear sights but the A post at the front.
  • Anderson AM15 – $485

    Optic ready Firearm is chambered in .223/5.56 comes with a 16” Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel M4 contour barrel 1-8 twist , Forged Receivers, A2 Hand Guard, 6 position butt stock, A2 pistol grip, A2 Flash Hider
    What makes this thing stands out is that is comes with a match grade trigger. This adds much more value than the others on the list.
  • Aero Precision OEM X15 – $489

    This rifle blows the budget, and you have to put your own furniture on it. The whole point of the Aero Precision kit is that it gets the central core of the AR-15 right.

The AR used to be around a thousand, but nowadays, you can get some quality ones for half the price. Let us know which AR that you started with that was affordable.


Adds Hollow Points to its Capability
Many shooters are aware that the B&T GHM9 was initially not feeding hollow points – as designed, it met the EU need of using strictly FMJ. Its a good thing, B&T listened to the American market and made the changes the issue has been resolve.
The ability to feed hollow-points was particularly important to most people: Their primary purpose for GHM9 was to be used as a home defense platform. To deliver the proper ballistics and kinetic energy on target hollow points is paramount.

While it does not possess a far throw, the surefire XH35 does an amazing job illuminating close range.

Update Process

Last month from B&T we found out the process necessary to get the feed issue resolved. B&T staff were excellent in keeping things up to date on the each of the steps along the way. The first batch of GHM9s were accepted the first week in April.

Shown here is a GHM9 with a Gearhead Works Tailhook, OEM B&T Folding stock assembly, and Tech Smith Mfg. adapter to mount the brace.

B&T charges a $50 gunsmithing fee paid via check or credit card using an emailed form. While the customer is responsible for shipping out the upper, B&T overnights the upper back to the customer via FedEx at their expense.


According to the author, after receiving his uppers he went out and two magazines with old 9mm hollow-points with no malfunctions or failures to feed.

Shown here are some Federal Hydra Shoks.

Designated Purpose

Because B&T’s designs were made for European LE/Mil who use FMJ, failure to feed hollow points was not a fault in design. There was simply a different end user requirement in mind. However, B&T quickly resolved the issue. For a low price and quality build of the GHM9 I highly suggest those looking for a 9mm platform to check out the GHM9 as a top contender. Current production GHM9s will come standard with the update and will feed hollow points reliably. Previous batches are being accepted for the update using the aforementioned process.
There is no comparison of the quality of a B&T firearm and their competitors in similar market segments.
 They continue to raise the bar in the pistol caliber carbine market.

GHM9 update

Upgrades to the feed ramps were the change that now allows GHM9 to reliably feed hollow-points.

The GHM9 folds to a very compact size and provides a high quality option in the pistol caliber carbine market.

Sources: Richard L TFB

AK-47 Accuracy and Reliability

A while back, doing a tour in Afghanistan, you can see everyone carrying an AK-47 in country. I’m sure we’ve all heard about how reliable and not accurate they are, but just how true is this? There’s been a plethora of AK’s that hadn’t been cleaned in 10 years and it’s still shoots just fine. I wanted to see just how accurate these rifles truly were and exactly what they can withstand.
nosler history
The AK-47 is not the most accurate weapon when compared to other assault rifles, such as the M4(AR-15). The accuracy of the AK usually when taken out of the box is steady at 4 inch group. Though over time, changes in its accuracy begin to spread out to 5.8 inch group at 100 yards. This is more than likely due to poor maintenance. When compared to the accuracy of the M4, which can easily hold a 3 inch group at 100 yards.

The reason for the AK’s lack of accuracy is due to its “functioning” and projectiles ballistic coefficient. The AK-47 is made up of only a few “moving” parts. There are fewer parts, these parts are made up of large chunks of metal. Take the bolt for example once fired. The hunk of metal that unlocks and flies back once fired is pretty heavy when compared to the M4.
As it rides the railing and slams to the back, the weapons harmonics are disturbed significantly, take a look at a few videos of the AK-47 fired in slow motion and see the amount of barrel whip.

There may be a decrease in accuracy due to the fact that the rifles hand guard is made up of wood. Wood has a notorious tendency to bend, tighten, and loosen under temperature changes. For example, in the summer time, the doors within your home may become harder to open and close because wood expands and shrinks when hot. This shrinking and expansion of the wood hand guard, though minuet, changes the harmonics of the barrel.

Solutions for Improve Accuracy
There are some solutions depending on your source capital and willing to spend to get customize barrels, handguards, buttstock and sights. A simple fix that you can try is to increase the distance between the rear and front sight. This will make it easier to aim the AK-47. With that said there are many excellent sight systems available such as the X Shot Systems which makes it easy to see the front sight in dim lighting.


The AK-47 can withstand environments in the desert, mud, cold, extreme heat (109+ degrees Fahrenheit), rain, snow, etc. Malfunctions do occur, usually is failure to feed. Why is that?

Due to the weapons design and function. The fact that there are fewer parts needed to operate the weapon, there are fewer parts to get obscured by any foreign objects such as dirt, mud, etc. The debris simply falls out of the rifle, so it doesn’t affect the critical mechanisms needed to fire the weapon. This is a “peasant” weapon, its suppose to be, there is a reason why our enemies continue to use this weapon system. If you get a chance to compare the trigger housing on an AK and M4 do so and see the differences. Once disassemble, note the open spaces in the trigger mechanism and the designs of the bolt, just picture how debris would and can maneuver in each platform.

In summary the AK-47 when customized, can be highly accurate for an assault rifle. Remember you can’t make this into a sniper rifle, there are other rifles better built for long range shooting. In terms of close quarter shooting providing suppressive fire, reliability and longevity, the AK-47 can do the job.

Swiss Arms SG 553 RP 4K – not just another AK

The Swiss Arms SG 553 RP 4K Rifle features the ability to take AK-47 magazines and 7.62x39mm cartridges currently deployed with certain tac units overseas. The adjustable gas system allows the user to run at a level that works best for them.
This one displayed by Larry Vicker of Vickers Tactical is a pistol modified with an SBR.
According to Larry, it took Swiss Arms quite a while in getting the kinks out so that it can take a wide variety of AK magazine. Sounds simple but time consuming process.

Here’s the following AK mag types that it will take:

  • Bulgarian Circle 10
  • Bulgarian Black Circle 10
  • Soviet Slab Side
  • Magpul Pmag
  • Soviet Paratroop Aluminmum mag
  • Red Bake Light
  • Warsaw Pact Steel Mag

Considered one of the best non AK platform shooting the 7.62.
Has excellent trigger control obviously a top notch AK.
MSRP at $2650, do you want one?

Colt 9mm Submachine Gun Piggybacking on the M-16 Platform

[su_heading size=”30″]A half-century is a long time for a standard-issue weapon such as the M16 to remain ‘standard.’ Here is a quick look at three M16 variants that saw service.[/su_heading]

The M16 has served as the United States’ primary service rifle for nearly half a century, and in that span of time, many variations of the rifle have been created. Some were prototypes that never went beyond the testing stages, others represented improvements to the original design, and some simply defy easy description.

While a complete history of all the unusual M16 versions could fill a book (and probably have), here is a look at three significant oddball M16 variants that reached production.

The Colt Company has a long history with submachine guns dating back to the legendary Tommy Gun used by both gangsters and lawmen during the Prohibition era. But by the time of World War II, Colt was largely out of the submachine gun business.
This changed in the early when the company developed a submachine gun to compete with the popular Heckler & Koch MP5 in the lucrative law enforcement market.
Instead of designing a completely new firearm, Colt piggybacked on the success of the M16 by incorporating as much of the look and feel of the stalwart service rifle into the new design as possible. The resulting Colt 9mm Submachine Gun retained the characteristic M16 lower and upper receivers and operating controls.
The biggest changes were the elimination of the gas system in favor of a simpler direct blowback design and the caliber switch to 9x19mm. Like the MP5, the Colt SMG fired from a closed bolt, which contributed to its excellent reputation for accuracy.

The gun was adopted by many law enforcement agencies that liked its accuracy, reliability, and similarity to the M16. These agencies included the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the U.S. Marshals Service, and the United States Marine Corps.
The original Model 635 had a 10.5-inch barrel with a 1-in-10-inch twist, a fixed carry handle with M16A1-style sights, and a M16A2-style flashhider.
The gun fired standard 9mm ammunition at a cyclic rate of 900 rounds per minute. The magazines were based on the Uzi design, and modified Uzi mags could also be used. Both fixed and collapsible stock versions were available.

The current models are the Model 991, which fires in semiauto or full auto, and the Model 992, which fires in semiauto or a three-round burst. These newer versions feature a flat top upper and quad rail for easy mounting of optics and other accessories.
The 10.5-inch barrel has a 1-in-10-inch twist. The rate of fire is listed as between 700 to 950 rounds per minute. These models weigh 6.7 pounds and are 26 inches long with the stock retracted, and 29.25 inches with the stock extended.

Although the Colt M231 was one of the most produced, it was the least successful of all M16 variants. The M231 was designed to allow soldiers in the Bradley Fighting Vehicle to fire at the enemy through gun ports without leaving the protection of the vehicle.
A standard M16A1 could not be used because the Bradley’s six firing ports featured a screw-type mounting designed to maintain a seal against a chemical weapon attack.
The 231 was literally screwed into the fittings from inside the vehicle. The M231 shares about two-thirds of its parts with the parent M16A1 design.
As with the 9mm machine gun, the most significant change was the elimination of the M16’s gas impingement system in favor of a direct-blowback, striker-fired design.
This simpler mechanism is typically associated with smaller caliber submachine guns. Instead the M231 is chambered for the 55-grain version of the standard 5.56mm NATO cartridge.
The weapon weighs about 7.33 pounds, and has an overall length of 28¼ inches.
The barrel is 15.6 inches long with the same 1-in-12-inch rifling twist as the M16A1. In addition to being shorter than a M16A1 barrel, the M231 barrel also has a significantly thicker profile.
The shortened hand guards end at the distinctive metal locking collar. In use, the M231 has a generally poor reputation. The weapon fires full-auto only, with a cyclic rate of about 1,200 rounds per minute. The M231 does not have any sights.
The soldiers were to aim using periscopes mounted in the Bradley and spot their fire by firing only tracer rounds from standard 30-round M16 magazines.
The difficulty in aiming, combined with the extremely high rate of fire, meant that the magazines would be emptied before the shooter could get rounds on the target. Later modifications to the Bradley covered up the side firing ports with additional armor and now only the two firing ports on the rear hatch remain.
The original design included a simple wire stock so the M231 could be dismounted from the vehicle and used on foot. This stock was dropped from production models and Army procedures discouraged the use of the M231 outside of the vehicle.
Ironically, it is in this role that the M231 has probably seen the most use.
Photographs from Iraq show U.S. soldiers using the M231 as a backup weapon in vehicle turrets. They have also been carried by officers and armored crewman who normally are only armed with a handgun.
Since modern 5.56mm NATO ammunition is optimized for 1-in-7-inch twist barrels, and not for the older twist of the M231, the weapon is effective at only very short ranges. When you consider the lack of appropriate ammo, the absence of sights, and the difficulty controlling a weapon with such a high rate of fire, you understand how desperate a soldier has to be to use a M231.

The Colt Advanced Combat Rifle was part of the Army’s search for a weapon to improve the average soldier’s ability to hit his enemy in combat. The specifications for the rifle called for a 100 percent hit probability increase over the thencurrent-issue M16A2 rifle.
The program started in the mid-’80s with six manufacturers submitting prototypes, and by 1989 only four remained. These included the Heckler & Koch G11, which fired revolutionary caseless ammunition, a pair of flechette weapons submitted by Steyr and AAI Corporation, and the Colt ACR.
The Colt entry was based on the then-standard M16A2 rifle with considerable upgrades. The full-length stock was replaced with the adjustable stock from the Colt carbine, the fixed carry handle was replaced with a rail that could accommodate an optic or iron sight, and a long rib was installed as part of the hand guards to serve as a simple sight for shotgunstyle point shooting. In addition, an oil-filled buffer and muzzle brake were installed to reduce felt recoil.
A special duplex cartridge was designed with two bullets loaded in each cartridge case to increase hit probability through better projectile dispersal. The Colt rifle could also still fire standard 5.56 NATO ammunition and used standard magazines.
The program ended in 1990 after extensive testing revealed that none of the candidates offered a significant enough advantage over the existing M16A2 to warrant replacing the standard service rifle. Although the Colt ACR was not adopted, several of its features are used in M16-series rifles and carbines today.
The flat top with a rail was later used in the M4 Carbine and M16A4, and the ELCAN sight used by the ACR is very similar to the current red dot sights that are now standard on both carbines and rifles in the U.S. military.


Story by Rob Reed

VEPR AK47 – a Beast

Even after 5000 thousands round, it still Runs
For anyone into the AK, then you’ve heard of the Vepr AK47, if not read on. .

  • The VEPR AK47 platform, is an AKM called the FM-AK47.
  • Like other AKMs, it’s chambered in 7.62×39.
  • This is built with RPK machine gun-inspired components and styling. With the 1.5mm thick stamped receiver and FIME Group’s chrome-lined RPK-style barrel, was design to take the heat.
  • The black, industrial-looking polymer handguards are stainless-steel lined to keep things cool during long term firing.
  • The polymer stock, saves weight on what might otherwise be a heavy gun. It weighs in at 7.8 pounds with magazine.
    The front sight post, safety, charging handle, and overall operation all resembling the old AK styling.
  • The trigger is a double-stage trigger, with an approximate five-pound pull. The initial take-up is about a quarter-inch. Reset is clear after a short half- inch journey, but not crisp.

One thing about AK Operator Union Youtuber,
These AK enthusiasts went on to run 5000 rounds on the Vepr AK. They also, go the extra mile to dispelled AK47 accuracy myth. For example from the 500 yards at one and a half inch MOA.
Other stress test was applied such as mud, sand and water. This AK lives up to its reputation as being durable.
Do you own a VEPR AK47?, let us know below.

Top 10 AR-15’s for the Money

Want a straight AR-15 rifle without the gun store jargon?

Well, my friends, I have the list for you.

Here’s the lineup of top 10 AR-15 rifles that I think are the best priced for what you get. Not all of them are sub $1,000 and I quote factory MSRP. (If you’re prior military and can get access to the PX, they have some great deals, just lettin you know)

Have a look at the top 10 best-priced AR-15 rifles.

Anderson Arms AM14-M4

A Gunbroker listing had the rifle at $975. Can probably get it for about a $1,000 – $1,100 for a new one. No MSRP pricing

Smith & Wesson M&P Sport

Smith & Wesson comes to the table with a budget rifle aimed at the average range-goer. They know that most people don’t care about dust covers, lug nuts, M203 barrel cuts, and less than a 1/9 twist. They give you what you want in a rifle. Factory MSRP is $739.

Armalite M-15 A4

No list of best-priced AR-15s would be without the original Armalite. Factory MSRP is $1,073 and for what you get, this rifle is practically a steal.

Smith & Wesson M&P MOE

Smith & Wesson M&P line comes to market with exceptional quality at a high value. Get their AR-15 decked out with Magpul Dynamics gear at the factory MSRP $1,259.

Colt LE6920

One of the longest running contractors to the U.S. military, Colt puts out some amazing rifles. The LE6920 is a competitively priced tactical rifle that is still in active service with many law enforcement units. Factory MSRP is $1,155.

Daniel Defense M4 V1 LW

Daniel Defense is a premium manufacturer of whole rifles and their components at reasonable prices. They employ revolutionary techniques, almost sci-fi type metals and they sell to elite forces everywhere. The DDM4 Light Weight comes to you at factory MSRP $1,799.

Smith & Wesson M&P Optics Ready

Smith & Wesson knows that most AR-15 owners are going to scrap the stock sights and put their own configuration on there. Save yourself some money with their optics-ready line coming at the factory MSRP of $1,069.

Rock River Arms LAR-15 Entry Tactical

Rock River Arms lets you fully customize the rifle straight from the factory. With their easy to use interface on the website you can have a firing platform created to your exact specifications. The base model comes in at factory MSRP of $1,200.

Sig Sauer M400

Sig Sauer does German engineering in the states with their top-of-the-line facility in Exeter, New Hampshire. Their baseline model comes with a lot of bells and whistles for the factory MSRP of $1,200.

Windham Armory R16M4FTT

Windham Armory is the collection of the former Bushmaster employees for the company’s buy out and downturn. These guys still know how to make rifles and put out some very well priced to performance rifles. Their R16M4FTT comes in a factory MSRP of $1,069.

If you’re looking for other rifles (bolt action) as well, have a look at our rifle gallery here.

Sources: Slick Guns, Daniel Defense, Windhamm Arms, Ryan Ross

9 Unbelievable AR-15 Fails

AR-15 rifles are not immune to the dreaded kaboom.

Like any firearm, it can fail if improperly loaded with bad ammunition, or maybe other factors.

Does someone smell a squib bullet with another bullet fired into the back of it?

Well, it appears all the parts are there, how come it doesn’t fire?

I think, the bottom of an AR-15 rifle is not supposed to look like that.

That rifle muzzle now has shark teeth…

There sure is a lot going wrong in this picture…

Well, that did not end well. Do we think faulty reloads might possibly be at fault?

Another painful reminder any weapon can fail in the wrong circumstances…

What is really scary about this picture is that all the hot gasses, and who knows what else, must have vented into the shooter’s face.

Well, we found all the parts! Bubba will just epoxy it together, right?

Any weapon can fail if given the wrong ammunition, faulty reloads or a plugged barrel. Always be aware of what can happen at anytime if you fail to follow common sense and gun safety rules.

Sources: Photobucket, Armory Blog, Pinterest, Northeastern Arms, Eric Nestor

Inexpensive AR-15 Meltdown

Another jaw-dropping meltdown video, this time of an entry-level AR-15 upper receiver.

The guys over at IraqVeteran8888 have, hands down, one of the most entertaining YouTube channels on the Internet. With great reviews, the always laughable “We’ll Shoot Your Stuff” series, and educational videos, IraqVeteran8888 has some truly fantastic content.

However, the videos that never fail to please are the “Meltdown” series. The recipe? Take one gun everyone loves. Add a fully-automatic capability. Stir in a ridiculous amount of loaded magazines and drums. Shoot the bejeezus out of the gun that everyone loves until it fails, hopefully while catching fire in the process.

In our feature video, Iraqveteran8888 does the working man a favor and installs an entry-level, inexpensive AR-15 M4 pattern upper receiver from Palmetto State Armory on a full-auto lower. All in the name of meltdown science… see the sacrifices these guys make to better our world?

For the guys out there who are wondering how a PSA AR-15 M4-pattern el cheapo upper receiver stands up to a torrent of full-auto love: sit back, grab your popcorn, and thoroughly enjoy this delirious deluge of delightful AR-15 destruction.

I’ll admit, I didn’t think the inexpensive upper would stand up as well as it did. Frankly, I’m looking forward to the future reviews of Palmetto and other inexpensive manufacturers they propose at the end of the video.

Sources: Iraqvet8888 Youtube, Drew Perez

Here’s why the Ruger Mini-14 is better than the AR-15

Here are the 8 traits that makes the Ruger Mini-14 better than the AR-15.

  1. Lower Profile – doesn’t look aggressive as an AR15
  2. Stock Trigger – 5.5 to 6 pounds trigger
  3. Shorter enhances maneuverability
  4. Longer Sight Radius
  5. Piston operated resulting in cleaner versus gas system of an AR15
  6. Accuracy – revised gas system
  7. Cold Hammer Forged Barrel – gives you greater durability and barrel life
  8. All Stainless – huge advantage in high humidity or salt air along the coasts environment

James Reeves of TFB TV discusses 8 traits of the humble Ruger Mini-14 that actually best the infamous AR15. James also gives viewers a brief history of the Mini-14, including a discussion of improvements that have been made to boost the historic Mini-14’s poor accuracy.

James in the end demonstrates the firing, unloading and reloading to show the main differences between the AR’s and Mini-14.

Production of the Mini-14 started in 1973 by Strum and Ruger. The rifle caliber is 223 Remington and is basically a scaled down version of the M-14.

Mini-14 has more of a personal feel than the AR-15. Maybe it is the wooden stock of the Mini that gives it more of a hunting rifle look and feel than the AR?

One of the negative thing about the mini-14 is the magazine has to catch on the front and then be pulled into position, similar to an AK47. Magazine changes with the AR are much easier.

Another cool feature with the Mini-14 is that the factory stock can be replaced with a folding stock. This makes it a wonderful compact rifle.

Sources: TFB TV, Wiki, AllOutdoor, Firearm Blog, Kevin Felts