Most AR15 enthusiasts don’t build their own from the beginning. It typically starts with purchasing a complete AR15 from an online gun store, performing a few modifications to that original purchase, and finally buying upper receivers, lower receivers, and putting it all together. It’s the first-time purchase where many entry-level enthusiasts have the most trouble. There are so many brands of AR15s on the market today. Which one will be the best for you? To take a lot of the guesswork and hours of internet research off your plate, here are five of the best brands that make quality and dependable AR15s at affordable prices. Some of these brands may be surprising, and you may not have heard of them, but check them out. You’ll begin to understand after perusing what the rifles they build look like, how inexpensive they are comparably, and how much attention to precision and performance these brands offer.
Daniel Defense – DDM4 V7
For over twenty years, Daniel Defense has been one of the industry leaders of AR15 manufacture. The DDM4 V7 demonstrates the company’s commitment to producing a superior AR15 at a reasonable price, making it one of the obvious choices. Priced at just under $1,800.00, the DDM4 is a complete AR15 from its 10.3-inch barrel and full- length Picatinny top rail to the black matte finish pistol grip and collapsible buttstock and trigger guard. The only thing you’ll need is a magazine and plenty of 5.56 NATO ammunition to fill it, and you’re ready to go.
Rock River Arms LAR-15 Tactical As the middle of the road AR15s goes, this AR15 from Rock River Arms weighs in with a price tag of under $1,100.00, but the Rock River Arms LAR15 has that ready for action look. The Rock River Arms LAR-15 Tactical comes with a collapsible and fully adjustable skeletonized buttstock, and iron sights. Rock River Arms has been producing quality semi-automatic rifles for the better part of twenty- six years, and the LAR-15 has a few features you’d expect to see on higher-priced rifles. If you want a gun that shoots well and shouts tactical proficiency, the LAR-15 is the perfect rifle for beginners. Complete with a Hogue grip as part of the lower receiver, an RRA two-stage trigger system, and a star safety switch, the LAR-15 is right in the sweet spot for first-time AR15 buyers. These are two builders you may have never heard of, but the following two manufacturers are household names in the firearm industry. Each brand name tells the story of these manufacturers’ dedication to build firearms that routinely surpass expectations.
Sig Sauer M400
At less than $1000.00, the Sig Sauer M400 is a classic example of getting more than what you pay for; with so many features, the rifle sits in a unique class of fantastic. Touted as being crafted from some of the best components in the industry, the M400 from Sig Sauer has that sleek, polished titanium finish. Sig Sauer’s M400 is a perfect answer to a novice AR15 buyer who wants superior performance in a direct impingement firing system.
For any newcomers to the world of AR15, Sig Sauer takes the extra step with M400 by adding the patented ROMEO5 red dot optical system. This single addition alone puts the M400 in a preferred class of its own for the novice rifle owner. The M400 is one of the commercial brands of semi-automatic rifles made by a company that won the US military’s modular handgun contract. With that in mind, when you think of quality and performance, and stringent standards, think of Sig Sauer.
Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II
When the name Smith & Wesson comes up during a conversation, there is typically a handgun involved. However, the M&P Sport II often competes with Ruger daily for the bragging rights of the most successful budget AR15 on the market today. Competitively priced at well under $1000.00, the M&P15 sport meets the tactical needs of military and law enforcement and the recreational needs of any weekend warrior. With the M&P15 Sport II, you get the best MLOK has to offer with both Picatinny rail for accessories and a full-length MLOK handguard. The M&P Sport II also comes out of the box with a sixteen-inch barrel and a twist rate of 1:9 for long downrange and very accurate shots. All you need is to mount a scope and you are good to go. Built with Smith & Wesson expertise amassed by over one hundred years in the making, you can count on this carbine overachieving your expectations every time you fire it.
Springfield Armory Saint Victor 5.56
This AR15 may be last on the top five list, but it holds its own in the battle for premier AR15 rifles. The first noticeable thing to understand is the caliber choice. Springfield Armory introduced this AR15 a couple of years ago with keen attention to including more than its fair share of features. One of the Victory Saint series claims to fame is the Accutite flat-top forged receiver, anodized finish to withstand corrosion and wear, and a total weight of fewer than seven pounds. When you wrap this AR15 package around a bolt carrier group made of 9310 steel and top it off with a preinstalled muzzle brake to aid in reducing muzzle flip and recoil, the Springfield Armory Saint Victor 5.56 is an excellent AR15 for any beginning enthusiast. These are only five of the many brands of AR15 manufacturers on the market today, but each of them offers a lot of fantastic features you may not notice if you’re only looking at the price tag. Get comfortable with your research and look at these top five brands before you make your choice. From the looks of things, one of them might make it your shopping shortlist.