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5+ Best AR15 Rifles for 2023

5+ Best AR15 Rifles for 2023
August 1, 2023 267 view(s)

5+ Best AR15 Rifles for 2023

As the AR15 rifle is highly customizable, there are plenty of the on the market. And we believe there is at least one of them for you to meet all your needs.

Of course, there are lots of brands offering their AR15s, various specs, and of course different price ranges.

If you decided to buy a complete rifle instead of building it (as we covered lots of topics regarding building AR rifles).

Click here to skip directly to reviews.

How to Choose AR15 Rifle

With so many different options, it may get hard to choose the right AR15 if you’re a first-time buyer.

Let’s see which factors to consider when choosing the right AR15 for your needs.

Remember, there are lots of factors to consider so you may use pen and paper to make your ideal list of specifications and then look for a rifle that meets them the most.

Intended Use

However you turn it, everything starts with the intended use as not all models are suitable for all situations. That’s why there are lots of different builds and parts available.

You’ll need a different setup and caliber in certain situations. For example, for long-range shooting, you’ll probably go with rifle caliber instead of 9mm caliber.

Intended use may include competition/target shooting, home defense, hunting, and tactical/defense.

Competition / Target Shooting

For this kind of use, you’ll need something more specialized with improved accuracy and precision features. Also, you’ll need a longer barrel (like 18 to 20 inches in length) for better bullet velocity and accuracy to shoot distant targets.

Another, thing to consider is the trigger: choose match grade triggers with less pull weight. Free-floating handguard is better for this occasion while you should consider high-power optics added to your rifle.

Home Defense

If you’re looking for AR15 to use for home defense, then you’ll need something more maneuverable as you’ll have to move in tight spaces (your home is quite tight compared to open terrain). Go for shorter barrels, but if you’re not a fan of too short barrels, choose a rifle with a 16-inch barrel maximum.

Of course, you can go with shorter barrels if you wish, but the recommendation is to keep it at 16 inches maximum.

Collapsible stock is also recommended to adjust the rifle’s length easily. For any attachments, go with a handguard that has either Picatinny rails or M-Lok slots as they support lots of attachments so you’ll be able to add red dots and flashlights to your rifle.


For hunting, choosing the right caliber plays a more important role than anything else. Of course, you won’t either go with a short barrel, so this is the second thing to take care of.

Let’s break it down: if you’re going for small game hunting, going with .223 or 5.56 NATO caliber is completely fine. For larger games, it’s better to go with .300 Blackout or 6.5 Grendel calibers. As for the barrel, choose those between 16 to 18 inches in length for more versatility and better performance.

Go for lightweight handguards that support various attachments like bipods, sling mounts, and hunting accessories. Hunting scopes and good magnification are also very desirable.

Tactical / Defense

This refers mostly to law enforcement and the military. If this is the case, it’s recommended to go with builds made to withstand harsh conditions. So in short, choose those made with durability and reliability as the main factors.

The mid-length gas system is the best option as it will reduce recoil while the handguard should be rugged and reinforced with the ability to accept various accessories and attachments. Also, you can consider extra features like ambidextrous controls like mag release and safety selectors to improve versatility.

Consider having iron sight alongside red dots and optics as they can act like backup sight in case of electronics failure.


The overall craftsmanship, durability, and materials are also important. For example, a high-quality AR15 rifle will serve you in the long run and can withstand rigorous use.


As for the materials, you should look for forged or billet aluminum-made receivers. Best barrels are either chrome-lined or made of stainless steel. Also, steel is the best material for bolt carrier groups. Take this into consideration too.

Fit and Finish

Check the rifle for smooth finishing, snug tolerances, and consistent assembly. Gaps or loose parts may indicate poor quality and could affect accuracy and reliability.


Well-known brands are known for putting their rifles on rigorous tests and quality control before selling their firearms.

Check the brand reputation and models that have passed various tests.

User Reviews

Of course, if you’re not 100% sure about the model you have chosen, you can read online reviews or join discussion forums and ask more experienced shooters what they think about the certain model, brand, build, etc.

Brand Reputation

Going with a well-known brand on the market is a must. Of course, there are lots of brands out there that produce AR15s and we will list a few of them later.


Reputable brands maintain consistent quality throughout all their product lines. When you choose a rifle from these brands, you’ll be sure it will meet your needs.

Customer Support

Popular brands usually have better customer support, give warranties and various post-purchase services.

In case you have any questions or issues with your recent purchase, a well-known brand will provide you with timely and satisfactory solutions.


Reputable brands constantly invest in the research and development of their products and continuously work to improve their current products.

With this approach, you can be sure that your brand will continue to deliver better solutions each time they release new products in their product lines.


Brands that are out there on the market for a long time have proven their staying power. It’s a positive sign when a company has stood the test of time and continues to innovate.


In the context of AR15 rifles, there are several popular calibers and each one of them offers unique pros and cons. We will explore it in short, if you want more detail check out AR15 Ammo 101: Everything You Need to Know.

.223 Remington / 5.56x45mm NATO

  • Most used caliber.
  • Widely available.
  • Good for various applications.
  • Light and low recoil.
  • Versatile.
  • Affordable.

.300 Blackout

  • Better ballistics.
  • Goes well with suppressors.
  • Good for short to medium-range.
  • Best for hunting and home defense.

6.5 Grendel

  • Best for long-range shooting.
  • Better energy retention.
  • More expensive.
  • Less common.
  • Improved accuracy and performance.

6.8 SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge)

  • Better stopping power.
  • Better terminal ballistics.
  • Good for hunting and defensive applications (medium-sized game).
  • Good balance between long-range and the punch.

Barrel Length and Twist Rate

The barrel length and its twist rate greatly affect the rifle's accuracy and performance.

Now, we will cover the barrel length and twist rate in short, however, if you wish to learn more about AR15 barrels, check out our recent article: Choosing the Best AR-15 Barrel for Your Next Build.

Short Barrel

  • Under 16 inches.
  • Compact and maneuverable.
  • Best for close quarters.
  • Easier rifle handling.
  • Less bullet velocity.
  • Less effective range.

Mid-Length Barrel

  • 16-18 inches.
  • Balanced.
  • Better accuracy than short barrels.
  • Good for general-purpose use.

Rifle-Length Barrel

  • Over 18 inches.
  • Highest velocity.
  • Highest ballistic performance.
  • Great for long-range shooting.
  • Less recoil.
  • Less maneuverable.

Now let’s cover twist rates in short. Also, twist rate refers to the spin rate of a barrel or in short, the length for which a bullet projectile makes one full spin.

Fast Twist Rate

  • 1:7 or 1:8.
  • Good for heavier and longer bullets.
  • Ideal for 60 to 77-grain bullets.

Moderate Twist Rate

  • 1:9 or 1:10.
  • Can handle a broad range of bullets.
  • Good for general-purpose use.

Slow Twist Rate

  • 1:12 or slower.
  • Good for lighter bullets.
  • Provide great accuracy.

Furniture and Accessories

Talking about AR15, furniture refers to stock, handguards, and grip, while accessories are additional parts you can add to your rifle to enhance its functionality. These parts include optics, lights, lasers, bipods, and many other things.


These parts will affect how the rifle feels and handles during shooting.

Stock: They come in different styles:

  • Fixed - Simple and stable, can’t be adjusted.
  • Collapsible - Allows length of pull adjustment.
  • Adjustable - Provide features like check risers, length of pull adjustment, etc.

Handguard: Surrounds the barrel and protects your hand from the heat. They can be in different types:

  • Drop-in - Easy to install and remove from AR15.
  • Free-floating - They don’t touch the barrel.
  • Railed - They come with Picatinny or M-Lok rails that allow various attachments and accessories.

Grip: Part of the AR15 you hold when shooting. They also come in various shapes and sizes.


This includes various add-ons that can help you improve your rifle and shooting experience. Here are a few examples of accessories you can add to your AR15:

  • Optics: These include red dot sights, holographic sights, scopes, and magnifiers.
  • Lights and lasers: These help in target identification and engagement. Especially useful in low-light situations.
  • Bipods and foregrips: They provide more stability for precision shooting. Mostly used in target shooting and hunting.
  • Slings: They help you carry your weapon for extended periods.
  • Suppressors and muzzle devices: They affect the muzzle rise, sound, and recoil, depending on what you have chosen.

Learn more about muzzle devices here: The Best Muzzle Devices for Your AR15 Rifle.

Safety Features

These are important to prevent accidental discharges, ensure safe handling, and minimize the risk of injuries.

Look for reliable safety features, including ambidextrous control, accessible safeties, and well-designed fire control groups.


Last but not least, is the budget. Depending on the amount of money you’re willing to spend on a rifle, you may look for different manufacturers. 

Of course, unless you’re not in a good situation to look for high-end rifles, you shouldn’t try to save lots of money by buying a low-quality and unreliable rifle. You need something that will work and serve you in the long run.

However, we’re going to give you a list of well-known brands on the market for each price group including low-priced options, mid-priced options, and high-priced options.

Low-Price AR15 Brands

Palmetto State Armory (PSA): PSA is a brand well-known for offering affordable AR15 rifles without compromising on quality. They provide a wide range of options, including complete rifles and build kits, making them a popular choice among budget-conscious buyers.

Aero Precision: Aero Precision offers reasonably priced AR15 rifles known for their solid build quality and reliability. Their components are often used by other reputable brands too.

Ruger: Ruger is a well-established firearms brand and their AR-556 offers affordable, yet quality, AR15 rifles with a reputation for reliability.

Smith & Wesson: Smith & Wesson’s M&P Sport II series provide budget-friendly AR15 rifles that are well-regarded for their accuracy and performance.

Mid-Priced AR15 Brands

Colt: Colt is a legendary name in the firearms industry and is known for producing reliable AR15 rifles. Their mid-priced models strike a balance between quality and cost.

Daniel Defense: Daniel Defense is renowned for its attention to detail and high-quality manufacturing.

BCM (Bravo Company Manufacturing): BCM offers mid-priced AR15 rifles that cater to law enforcement and military users. Their rifles are known for their durability and excellent build quality.

Sig Sauer: Sig Sauer is another very popular name among firearms brands. They offer a variety of mid-priced AR15 options.

High-Priced AR15 Brands

Seekins Precision: Seekins Precision offers premium AR15 rifles known for their high-end components and precision engineering, making them sought after by serious shooters.

Noveske Rifleworks: Noveske is recognized for producing high-end AR15 rifles that are prized for their accuracy, build quality, and attention to detail.

Knight’s Armament Company (KAC): KAC produces high-priced AR15 rifles with unique features and innovations, appealing to shooters who seek top-tier performance.

Rainier Arms: We offer a variety of high-end custom options made of high-quality parts. We also have AR15 rifles in different calibers and builds to suit your needs.

The Best AR15 Rifles on the Market

  1. Seekins Precision NX15 .223 Wylde Rifle - 16"
  2. Bravo Company MFG (BCM) RECCE-16 MCMR Carbine Rifle - 16"
  3. Daniel Defense MK12 5.56 NATO SPR Rifle - 18" Black
  4. Rainier Arms RUC PRO 5.56 Nato DI Rifle - 16"
  5. Colt AR15A4 5.56mm NATO Patrol Rifle - 20"
  6. F-1 Firearms FDR-15 5.56 Rifle - 16"
  7. Primary Weapons Systems .223 Wylde MK114 MOD 2-M Rifle - 14.5" (Pinned)
  8. Sig Sauer TREAD M400 AR-15 5.56 NATO Rifle - 16"

Seekins Precision NX15 .223 Wylde Rifle - 16"

Seekins Precision NX15 .223 Wylde Rifle - 16"

If you’re looking for a lightweight rifle that feels strong, durable, and reliable despite its weight, you should consider the Seekins Precision NX15 rifle.

It’s made of 7065-T6 Billet aluminum, and its design is made so it removes unnecessary details and cuts weight from places where that is possible.

Another great thing about NX15 is the overall feel when you take this one in your hands. It feels strong and reliable as we said above.

The NX15 we are talking about comes in a .223 Wylde chamber, meaning you can shoot both 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington ammo without any concern. This will also give you multiple options if there are ammo shortages as you can shoot two different calibers with one rifle.

The barrel is 16 inches in length which is a mid-tier length. It’s great for general use, perfect if you’re looking for something balanced between handling and size.

However, rifles come “bald” with no sights. You’ll have to get them separately. But, this doesn’t have to concern as you have many options to choose from starting with iron sights up until scopes and red dots. Whatever you like the most.

The price is a little bit high, starting with $1,690 for a complete rifle, but still, you won’t regret spending that amount of money on this one.

Key specs:

  • .223 Wylde chamber
  • MLOK handguard
  • Skeletonized 7075-T6 Billet aluminum upper and lower
  • 16” stainless steel barrel
  • 1:8 twist rate
  • Seekins NEST Flash Hider 1/2x28

Price: $1,690
Get yours here!

Bravo Company MFG (BCM) RECCE-16 MCMR Carbine Rifle - 16"

Bravo Company MFG (BCM) RECCE-16 MCMR Carbine Rifle - 16"

The BCM Recce-16 AR15 looks like just another rifle on the market, while in reality, it’s setting new standards for the AR15 platform. There are a few key areas worth mentioning on this one.

The Recce-16 comes with a chrome-lined barrel, cold-hammer forged. It’s 16 inches long with a 1:7 twist rate, a kind of mil-spec choice for 5.56 NATO caliber.

This rifle also features a 15-inch MLOK handguard with a KMR KeyMod interface system, allowing for easy customization with accessories and optics. The lightweight handrail and well-placed QD mounts add to its ergonomic design.

Weighing approximately 6.1 pounds and measuring 32.5 inches in overall length (35.5 inches with extended stock), the Recce-16 is relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver.

With a price tag of around $1,500, the BCM Recce-16 offers excellent value for its quality, although there are more affordable options available for those on a tighter budget.

Key specs:

  • 5.56 NATO caliber
  • 16” 11595E steel barrel
  • 1:7 twist rate
  • Free float handguard
  • Aluminum Forgings 7075-T6 receivers

Price: $1,560
Get yours here!

Daniel Defense MK12 5.56 NATO SPR Rifle - 18" Black

Daniel Defense MK12 5.56 NATO SPR Rifle - 18" Black

Daniel Defense offers an authentic MK12 rifle with some additional features. The rifle follows a familiar military configuration, with an 18-inch stainless steel, cold-hammer-forged barrel featuring a nitride surface treatment for extended life and corrosion resistance.

It comes with a quad-rail free-float tube for various accessories and rubber rail covers. The upper and lower receivers are standard with some company-specific touches.

The MK12 is equipped with a Vltor/BCM Mod 4 charging handle and a Geissele Automatics' Super Semi-Auto (SSA) two-stage, match trigger. The rifle's fire controls, buffer, bolt carrier, and steel bolt all contribute to its reliable and smooth-shooting performance.

The main downside is the lack of sights as you have to buy them separately.

Other things worth mentioning are 1 ⁄ 2 × 28 TPI muzzle thread that allows mounting of various muzzle devices including suppressors which are more and more popular recently.

As for the ergonomics, the rifle weighs 7.41 lbs, slightly heavier than the BCM rifle from above, but keep in mind that this setup has a longer barrel of 2 inches.

Upper and lower receivers are made of 7075-T6 Aluminum making them strong, and durable, but at the same time way lighter than would be the case if they were made of stainless steel.

Key specs:

  • 5.56 NATO caliber
  • Picatinny mounting system
  • 1 ⁄ 2 × 28 TPI muzzle thread
  • 18” barrel
  • 7075-T6 Aluminum, Type III Hard Coat Anodized receivers (upper and lower)

Price: $2,385
Get yours here!

Rainier Arms RUC PRO 5.56 Nato DI Rifle - 16"

Rainier Arms RUC PRO 5.56 Nato DI Rifle - 16"

If you don’t mind spending a little bit more money on your rifle, you should definitely check our (Rainier Arms) RUC Pro 5.56 rifle.

The RUC PRO comes with a 15” pro series handguard with M-LOK rails which allows you to attach plenty of different accessories. M-LOK is at the 2, 3, 6, 9, and 10 o’clock positions while there are 5 and 7 o’clock ventilation holes which helps in heat dissipation.

The barrel comes chambered in 5.56 NATO caliber, the most popular choice among many AR15 owners. The barrel is from our in-house manufacturing, it’s 16 inches in length with a 1:7 twist rate which is by many an ideal twist rate for 5.56 NATO rounds. The barrel has a nitride finish, giving it a shiny look, requires less lubrication, and is easier to maintain. So if you’re one of the guys who just don’t want to spend too much time or clean firearms too often, you’ll probably find this one model very useful. 

Next, the upper and lower receiver are forged, made of one piece of metal which improves the strength and durability of both parts. When in hands, everything feels and looks strong and in place, while at the same time, the rifle is capable of withstanding rigorous use.

The Ruck Pro comes with an Advanced snipper trigger made by Centurion Arms which features a smooth two-stage pull with a clean break. It feels great under the finger and when pressed, so you’ll be able to easily deliver follow-up shots if the situation requires you to do so.

Additional features include ambidextrous parts like a charging handle and a 50-degree safety selector, while the barrel comes with a flash hider. You’ll, however, need to get a red dot or any sight separately.

All in all, if you’re ready to spend more money (as we mentioned above) then Ruc Pro will be a great addition to your rifle collection.

Key specs:

  • 5.56 NATO caliber
  • Rainier Arms RUC Barrel - 16" 1:7 Twist
  • Rainier Arms Pro Series M-LOK Handguard - 15"
  • Vltor Ambi Charging Handle
  • Rainier Arms Forged Upper and Lower Receivers

Price: $1,700
Get yours here!

Colt AR15A4 5.56mm NATO Patrol Rifle - 20"

Colt AR15A4 5.56mm NATO Patrol Rifle - 20"

If you’re looking for something classic, then Colt AR15A4 may be for you. At first glance, it looks exactly like the military M16 with the main difference between these two being a lack of automatic fire on the AR15. The main benefit, in this case, is an iron sight that comes with this rifle, you don’t have to buy it separately unless you want to change it to a different type of sight.

Also, the carry handle is detachable, you can replace it with another type of sights including other iron sights, red dots, or high-powered optics.

Compared to previous models, the Colt model comes with a longer barrel with a total length of 20 inches making it an excellent choice for long-range shooting and hunting for example. You can use it for home defense, however in tight spaces, 20 inches long barrel may cause problems with handling and moving through tight space.

AR15A4 comes with an ambidextrous selector switch and M4 feed ramps. The trigger isn’t an aftermarket model, however, it performs very well. It’s still reliable and dependable which is good.

Because of the barrel length, the rifle is easier to control especially when it comes to muzzle rise control and fast follow-up shots. Of course, a 20-inch barrel is great for long-range shooting games as longer barrels can provide more muzzle velocity and improve bullet accuracy. The AR15M4 comes chambered in 5.56 NATO caliber, while it’s made of 4150 chrome moly vanadium.

The stock is fixed. In fact, it’s a word about fixed A2 stock. Depending on your specific needs, fixed stock may be a great option for you. Why? Because of its rigidity. Also, this may improve your accuracy as you’ll always deal with the same-sized weapon when you shoot.

And finally, muzzle devices. The rifle comes with an A2 flash hider which works great with an M16 rifle and also works great with long-barrel rifles like Colt AR15A4.

Key specs:

  • 5.56 NATO caliber
  • 20-inch Chrome Moly Vanadium barrel
  • Fixed A2 stock
  • A2 Flash Hider

Price: $1,099
Get yours here!

F-1 Firearms FDR-15 5.56 Rifle - 16"

F-1 Firearms FDR-15 5.56 Rifle - 16"

After a few high-priced models, it would be okay to mention one model that’s less pricey. Don’t get us wrong, this model we want to write about is not bad quality, on the contrary. However, if you don’t want to spend too much money, you should consider FDR-15 made by F-1 Firearms.

The main feature of this rifle is BCG (Bolt Carrier Group), which is made of high-quality materials like 8620 AQ steel for the carrier and 158 carpenter steel for the bolt.

Now, something about the main part of the rifle (not only FDR-15 but for each rifle out there) - the barrel. The FDR-15 comes with a mid-length 16-inch barrel made of 416R stainless steel meaning it’s very strong and durable. It’s chambered in 5.56 NATO caliber with a 1:8 twist rate.

Around the barrel is a 15-ich free float handguard with M-LOK rails. Handguard is quite light while its design provides great ventilation for heat dissipation generated in the barrel itself. Also, with the M-LOK mount, you can easily add plenty of accessories and attachments as most of them work either with M-Lok or Picatinny rail.

F1 Firearms goes the extra mile by including a Hiperfire trigger with their basic blaster, elevating the rifle's performance with a high-quality trigger option. The F-1 FDR-15 also features a Flat Faced Stainless Steel muzzle brake, which effectively reduces recoil and blast noise without compromising ear protection.

Key specs:

  • 5.56 NATO caliber
  • 16-inch, 1:8 twist rate barrel
  • 15-inch M-LOK free float handguard
  • A2 flash hider
  • Cerakote black finish

Price: $798.99
Get yours here!

Primary Weapons Systems .223 Wylde MK114 MOD 2-M Rifle - 14.5"

Primary Weapons Systems .223 Wylde MK114 MOD 2-M Rifle - 14.5"

Let’s not forget about Primary Weapon Systems, a brand known for high-quality rifles that just exceed in reliability and durability.

In this case, we would like to recommend the MK114 MOD 2-M rifle that comes with a mid-length 14.5-inch barrel and pinned muzzle brake at the front. The barrel is chambered in .223 Wylde which allows you to fire both .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO calibers interchangeably with this rifle without worries. The twist rate of a barrel is 1:8.

One main benefit we would like to note is the long-stroke piston system used by PWS in their rifles. If you’re reading our blog regularly, then you already know the difference between direct impingement and gas piston systems, so we won’t go back to this topic again. We would only like to mention that gas piston systems are more expensive than direct impingement but more reliable. With a long-stroke piston system, the rifle has a smoother recoil impulse.

Also, the long-stroke piston system prevents the carbon from fouling the in the bolt carrier group.

The rifle comes with a PicLok handguard. Now if you never had experience with this rail system, let’s explain in short what’s that. PicLok handguard takes the best of both worlds (M-LOK and Picatinny rail) making it a great option that supports even more accessories and attachments.

MK114 MOD 2-M weighs 6 pounds and 7 ounces, this rifle is well-balanced and it’s easy to handle. As most rifles that come with a piston gas system usually weigh more, this PWS rifle comes with a free float handguard reducing the total weight of the rifle.

Additional features include the ambidextrous mag release and bolt release. And as a bonus t comes with the BCM Gunfighter Stock, BCM Pistol Grip, Radian Raptor Charging Handle, and Radian Talon Ambi-Safety.

However, all these features come with a price which is in this case almost $2.000 but, if you’re willing to spend this amount of money, you surely won’t regret that decision.

Key specs:

  • .223 Wylde chamber
  • 14.5-inch pinned barrel
  • Long-stroke piston gas system
  • PicLok rail system
  • Free float handguard

Price: $1,949.95
Get yours here!

Sig Sauer TREAD M400 AR-15 5.56 NATO Rifle - 16"

Sig Sauer TREAD M400 AR-15 5.56 NATO Rifle - 16"

Let’s mention one more rifle that comes at a lower price. Yes, we know and agree that Sig Sauer is known for their handguns, however, in their offering you can also find AR15 rifles.

Despite all those facts, Sig Sauer is known for high-quality products, so you can give it a shot and try the Tread M400 rifle made exactly by this company.

Let’s start with the basics: the rifle is chambered in 5.56 NATO caliber, which is the most common case among AR15 rifles. The barrel is 16 inches in length with a 1:8 twist rate. Around the barrel is the M-LOK handguard, however, only the front side of the handguard has those slots while the back half doesn’t have any slots.

One great feature we like the most about this rifle is its fully ambidextrous design. This includes safety, mag catch, and QD points which you can find on both sides of the rifle.

All in all, the rifle doesn’t offer too many features compared to some rifles from the above, however, this is an entry-level rifle, so it’s a great option if you’re just about to get into the AR15 world.

Key specs:

  • 5.56 NATO caliber
  • M-LOK handguard
  • Ambidextrous charging handle
  • 16-inch barrel
  • 1:8 twist rate

Price: $849.99
Get yours here!

Final Words

You probably now, realized why the AR15 rifle is so popular on the market and why there are so many different options and brands to choose from.

Well, with so many options there is surely at least one model that will suit your needs the most, doesn’t matter what purpose you’re going to use it.

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