AR-15 Rifles – The Ultimate Buying Guide

Shooting sports and related activities such as hunting provide a wide array of benefits. Apart from enhancing your motor skills, they help improve your stamina and balance. They also benefit your balance and hand-eye coordination, as well as your mental alertness. However, these activities are, among other things, only as beneficial as the rifle you choose. 

Well, the AR-15 rifle is one of the most beneficial firearms to use in target shooting. Like several other firearms, the AR-15 is a semi automatic military-style weapon that helps increase precision and convenience. This is mostly because of its design and functionality, where you don’t need to chamber a new bullet to take many shots. This is among the reasons the AR-15 is quite a popular weapon in American shooting ranges. 

But then again, several models of this rifle are available. The different models differ slightly in terms of features, operation, and even cost. Upon deciding you need an AR-15 rifle, here are some tips you could use when buying one. 

1. Look At Your Budget 

Just like any other merchandise, the cost is an important factor to consider before buying. Firearms can specifically be quite costly depending on where and how they are acquired. If your budget is a bit on the lower end, consider doing some research on the low cost AR-15 rifles available on the market. The best part is that some affordable models can be upgraded and personalized using similarly affordable accessories. 

2. Build Type and Model 

When you decide to get the AR-15, you also need to understand the different builds you can find on the market. On this note, some options you need to be aware of include:

  • A complete rifle (fully assembled)
  • Partially assembled
  • From scratch (you will have to complete the build from scratch)

If you have no experience working with the AR-15, you need to speak to a reputable dealer or manufacturer. This helps make sure you get a complete rifle that is of good quality. That way, you will be sure to get a more reliable firearm. If you can’t get the complete one, you can opt for a complete upper and lower receiver assembly. This one is much easier to piece together and can still be reliable for quite a long time.

3. Classification 

When getting your AR-15, you need to decide whether to get a commercial one or a Mil-Spec. This is essential in determining the buffer tubes and riffle stocks you will be using. The rifle and buffer tubes need to match – Mil-Spec with Mil-Spec and commercial with commercial. There isn’t much of a difference between the two but people tend to like the Mil-Spec more. This is because it was the original model before manufacturers decided to produce the tubes a little bit larger in diameter and cut the threads. There is, however, no substantial evidence proving that either is stronger or more durable than the other.

4. Operation 

With the AR-15, there are two modes of operation: direct impingement or gas piston. The gas piston is more expensive and is regarded to be cleaner on the internal parts. In the gas piston rifle, when the gas forces reach the gas block, they stop and hit a solid piston. The piston cycles back, forcing the bolt carrier group back, and operates the semi-automatic action. The direct impingement is a little simpler with less to go wrong. Here, the gas is directed up into the gas tube and forced into the gas key. The force then pushes the bolt carrier group back and operates the semi-automatic action. You need to look at the two and decide which one works for you best.

5. Receivers

Most of these AR rifles are made of aluminum treated with heat. Most are either forged or billet. The cast receivers exist but they are a rare feature. The forged receivers are made by hammering two shaped halves together then having them cleaned up later by machines. The method is cheaper and quicker, and the rifle still lasts long. Billet receivers are made by taking a CNC machine and milling out the lower of a block of aluminum. The method is more expensive but allows the production of more unique designs and patterns. There are polymer receivers as well which have come a long way in recent years. They are extremely lightweight but anyone who has used them will tell you that if the weight isn’t an issue for you, then keep away from the polymer receivers. They have several issues.

Rifle buying is often a daunting task for so many people. Before heading to the market, it is essential to have concrete information about the firearm you intend to purchase. This makes it easier for you to choose the right option. The above points will come in handy if the AR-15 is the firearm of your choice.