No need to get crazy, here are five affordable AR-15 rifles that get the job done.
What are the affordable AR-15 options worth the money:
Keep it simple, no wiser words have ever been spoken. And they apply not merely to life, but firearms as well. The fancier the gun, many shooters discover to their dismay, the more can go amok. Swimming against this tide, Patrick Sweeney gives us his top 5 affordable AR-15 choices. These aren't simply bargain-basement buys from fly-by-night operations. Far from it. These rifles and carbines are certain to give more bang for the buck than a great swath of present black rifle-dom.
Del-Ton Sport Lite
The DT Sport Lite is your basic no-frills AR carbine of the type known as the “M4gery”. You get a 1/9 twist barrel, carbine handguards and telescoping stock, for a price that’s hard to beat. MSRP $649 www.del-ton.com
S&W M&P Sport II
If you want a handguard for accessories, then the S&W M&P Sport II has MLok Magpul handguards and lots of others extras. With a 1/9 twist barrel that’s Melonite treated for non-corrosion, the Sport II has a gas block with a Picatinny rail for a front sight of your choice, and tele-stock, all built to S&W standards. MSRP $739 www.smith-wesson.com
CMMG Mk4 T
If you want to take a step up, then CMMG in their Mk4 T, offers you a free-float handguard with rail slots, your choice of stainless or nitrided 4140 steel, and a full-length flat top for sight, scope and other extras mounting space. MSRP $1,049 www.cmmginc.com
Core 15 Scout
The Core 15 Scout is a basic M4gery that you can upgrade if you wish. The basic rifle is fully mil-spec, but if you want to add extras, you can get a better stock (still a tele-stock) and a carrier that’s nickel boron coated for easier cleaning. MSRP $724 www.core15.com
If 10 years ago you had said, “Ruger will make an AR-15,” people would’ve pitied you. Now, they make some of the best. They offer their AR-556, complete with iron sights and mil-spec or better, for not a lot of coin. And, it’s hard to beat the Ruger warranty. MSRP $799 www.ruger.com
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the 2018 Shooter's Guide issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.