The AR 15 is an incredibly popular rifle platform. It is ideal for tinkerers because there are so many parts and accessories available, but even a stock model will shoot accurately and be comfortable to use. The best AR 15 models are built from quality components and optimized for specific purposes, which gives them excellent performance and ensures they are both reliable and comfortable to shoot. The market is gigantic, so we looked through the options to find ten great rifles based on their value, ruggedness, and their precision.
10. Ruger AR-556
|Caliber||.223 Remington/5.56 NATO|
The AR-556 from Ruger is a good starter gun that strikes a balance between cost and features. It comes with a fold rear sight that deploys quickly for easy windage and elevation adjustments, but leaves room for optics while folded. It also has a large trigger guard for shooting with gloves, so this is a good choice for use in hostile environments. Moreover, it’s easy to modify with accessories, so a new shooters can start with this platform and improve it as they get more experience. These features make it a great starter gun for novices.
9. Mossberg MMR Tactical
|Caliber||5.56 NATO/223 REM|
The MMR Tactical from Mossberg is designed to serve as a home defense gun that can double as a hunting or sporting tool. The gun’s trigger pull is extremely light, and the trigger is adjustable to suit the shooter. The stock is also adjustable, and it accepts a FLEX recoil pad that comes in several different thicknesses. This rifle is highly reliable and accurate within normal defensive ranges. Consider using it if you need a defensive tool, but still want to be able to relax at the shooting range, also, get one of the best AR 15 slings for better comfort when practicing.
8. DPMS Oracle
The Oracle is a light and affordable rifle that was designed with comfort in mind. It has a comfortable stock with good ergonomics, along with a proprietary handguard that helps to prevent accidental burns. The barrel is light, and it is good enough to allow most shooters to fire as accurately as they can. This model doesn’t come with the extra features found on many costlier guns, but it can accept upgrades easily. This is a superb rifle for its price, but experts may want to make a bigger investment.
7. Colt AR15A4
|Caliber||.223 Remington/5.56 NATO|
The AR15A4 rifle from Colt is a classic rifle that calls back to the oldest form of the AR family. That makes for a simpler rifle than most of the alternatives, so it is a good fit for people that like sleek aesthetics or excess features. The gun’s simplicity also helps to make it highly reliable, even when subjected to abuse. The barrel is longer than average, which makes it a little more challenging to transport and store but also encourages accuracy. Consider this if you want quality and simplicity, but look elsewhere for extra features.
6. PSA Freedom Rifle
|Manufacturer||Palmetto State Armory|
The Freedom Rifle is one of the best budget guns on the market. The price is much lower than that of most AR-style rifles with similarly high-quality standards, so this gun is both cost-effective and cheap. Most of the components are good without being exceptional, but it does come with a decent flash hider on the barrel and a good dust cover. New shooters should strongly consider starting here, but this rifle is good enough for the experts as well.
5. Stag 15 Valkyrie
The Valkyrie is the best AR 15 for shooters that want to shoot at long ranges. It uses the .224 Valkyrie cartridge, which maintains a high muzzle velocity and remains resistant to the wind over long distances. The downside to that caliber is that it can be a little hard to find the ammo. The rifle itself benefits from an excellent trigger and a comfortable Hogue grip, but the rest of the components are average for the gun’s price point. Use it if you want to make long-range shots, but get a more common caliber if that isn’t necessary.
4. Stag 15L Minimalist
The 15L Minimalist is the best AR 15 for left-handed shooters of all skill levels. The design is mirrored from the usual pattern, so everything is arranged for convenient access from a left-handed shooting position. The rifle is also extremely light and fairly compact, which makes it a great choice for hunting trips in the wilderness. It is reasonably durable, but not extraordinarily so, and its low price makes it easy to afford accessories. All left-handed users should consider this rifle, but others should choose a more conventional design.
3. SIGM400 Elite
The Elite from Sig Sauer is the best AR 15 for shooters who need to balance precision and price. It uses the combination of a free floating handguard, an enhanced trigger, and a good barrel to ensure accurate shooting. The adjustable stock helps to provide a good fit, which also boosts accuracy. While this is not the cheapest rifle available, it is generally more accurate that rifles at a comparable price point, so it is an excellent value. Intermediate and advanced shooters should consider taking advantage of its precision, while novices may want an even cheaper model.
2. Windham SRC-308
The SRC-308 from Windham Weaponry is a fairly expensive weapon, but it is the best AR 15 for shooters who value comfort. It uses a comfortable grip with a rubbery texture in place of the normal hard plastic, and the gun’s excellent balance makes it easy to hold and maneuver. Its trigger pull and recoil are both a little bit heavy, but not so much so as to be a problem for experienced shooters. Users must provide their own sights, which makes the price even higher, but shooters with a large budget should consider this model. You can check out this article and get a good iron sight.
1. S&W M&P15 Optic Ready Rifle
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
The M&P Optic Ready Rifle is a sporting model that is meant to receive plenty of accessories. It lacks factory sights, but it is easy to attach a new set of optics to suit a specific shooting event. The 6-position stock can collapse for easy transportation and expand to accommodate most shooters. This is also a fairly light gun, which helps with long shooting sessions, but it still absorbs recoil well. This is the best AR 15 for anyone that wants to install optics, but a poor fit for people who won’t add any accessories.
Making The Right Choice
It takes a lot of time and effort to find the best AR 15 due to the sheer number of options on the market, but it is always worth doing. Investing in the right rifle will guarantee that it is optimized for its intended uses, tough enough to last for years, and comfortable to use. If you run into a good rifle that we missed, point it out in the comments so others can take a look.