Want an AR-15 and on a budget?

The AR-15 is an extremely desirable and frequent choice of survivalists and preppers. It has very low recoil, easy to operate with minimal training, excellent accuracy, and very reliable. The AR is typically light and maneuverable – compared to many hunting type rifles. Ammunition and magazines are widely available as well as numerous accessories to allow personal customization.

Years ago when looking to purchase an AR there were only a few manufacturers and costs were prohibitive (at least for me). Today is a different sorry. People can purchase and build an AR one piece at a time, or there are models available from numerous manufacturers at very affordable prices.

With many gun shops offering lay-a-way the option to add an AR to the preparedness armory has never been better. What follows are a few examples of budget-AR’s:


Bushmaster Carbon-15 5.56 Carbine           Approx. $699.99 

carbonThe Bushmaster C15 Carbines are a unique hybridization of traditional AR-15 type features with space-age Carbon 15 composite molded receivers for light weight and rugged durability. The Carbon 15’s lightweight 16″ M4 profile barrel is made of chrome-lined chromemoly steel and includes an Izzy flash suppressor pinned and welded in place to achieve 16″ overall barrel length. The barrel and other critical steel parts are manganese-phosphate-finished for corrosion and rust protection. The Carbon 15’s safety levers have color-coded markings on both sides of the receiver for quick visual check of firing condition. Package includes a 30-round .223 Remington magazine and a red dot sight. One year Bushmaster warranty.


Palmetto State Armory (PSA) 16″ M4 Premium Carbine           Approx. $699.99 


This M4 Carbine starts with a Premium chrome-lined Mil-spec steel barrels in the versatile M4 profile, mated to a forged aluminum upper, and finished off with a standard carbine hand guard, Pinned f-marked front sight post and A2 Flash hider.  The forged lower is built with our 6 position Mil-spec size buffer tube and stock, Standard PSA lower parts kit with A2 pistol grip and aluminum trigger guard.  The rifle is topped off with a Magpul rear back up sight.  It comes with one 30 Round D&H Magazine (where allowed by law) so all you have to provide is the ammo to start having fun.


Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport 81036 5.56 Carbine             Approx. $649.99


Budget Smith & Wesson. Detachable magazine. Adjustable A2 Post front sight with adjustable dual aperture rear sight. Sixteen inch Melonite coated barrel with flash suppressor/compensator. Single stage trigger. Hard coat black anodized receiver finish. Chrome lined gas key and bolt carrier. High-temp polymer handguard. Six-position telescopic stock. Overall length of gun 32 inches collapsed and 35 inches extended. No chrome lining in the barrel, no forward assist, no dust cover. 



DPMS Sportical AR-15 5.56 Carbine             Approx. $600.00

dpmsThis carbine might just be the most simplistic, straight forward AR on the market. Lightweight barrel, adjustable stock, and a slick sided low profile upper make this rifle the perfect choice for the recreational shooter on a budget. Barrel is Chrome lined.


Del-Ton Sport DT Sport 5.56 Carbine             Approx. $649.00

dtsportThe DT Sport has a 16″ light weight barrel with 1×9 twist, 6 position M4 stock, CAR handguards with single heat shields, and A2 flash hider.

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No doubt these are not the only offerings for those on a budget. With the future political landscape unpredictable and gun control efforts likely – the time is now to get what you want and breathe a sigh of relief.

Got an AR you like? Let’s hear about it.



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  1. The Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport is a great entry level AR. I had one, and it never jammed on me. That made the lack of a forward assist moot. A dust cover would of been nice, but for $650 this is a solid rifle.

    I eventually traded it in for a Stag 3GL. I’m a lefty and wanted a high quality left handed AR. But for the money, the M&P Sport is a good buy.

  2. I spent 799.00 on a DPMS Oracle, a little better rifle includes forward assist and a dust cover. I also own the Bushmaster composite AR, not a bad rifle at all, but it is by far the lightest rifle I own. I want a LaRue PredatOBR 7.62 just got to talk the wife in to it.

  3. Or.. You could buy a Palmetto State Armory (PSA) “DIY build it yourself for around $500 Kit” if you watch the sales on there site.

    • Years later PSA has a sale going where you can buy a blem kit for $260 and a lower for $46. Add a rear sight and magazine $50 and you have a $356 AR15. It takes about 1/2 hour to assemble and looks pretty good.

  4. I get the dust cover and would never knock that as a value added piece – it helps to keep the action clean. What is this need for a forward assist? If you have a good weapon, you won’t need one. The reason we have them on the M-16/M-4 platforms in the Mil is because it was a MILSPEC requirement. In 20 years as an Infantry Marine, I can only remember using once, and that was on a range. I am also a left handed shooter, and for this platform, if you but a gun that is set up for a lefty – you got robbed. This is platform is set up for both shooters – as you will se in the MIL, though rare, we do have lefties and we do not cater to them. The triangle shaped block at the end of the ejection port is on every M-4 platform that I have seen – and that is actualy for the left handed shooters – so we don’t get ejected brass in our face (this is also why I don’t own an AK – it friggin’ hurts!).
    If you want to put your money into your weapon, skip the FA – if it isn’t on the weapon, it “should” be testiment to the quality of the weapon. Get an ejection port cover – then put the rest of your money into the barrel and action.. Just about everything else you can slap on later if the parts arn’t quality, and most of it, you can do yourself (even trigger mech, if you were good at putting G.I. Joe gear together as a kid).

  5. There is more than just the ejection port that is different on the left handed. The magazine release, the safety selector, and the charge handle are geared for a left handed person.

    Do I feel robbed? Not in the least. I got exactly what I wanted at what I consider a fair price for a quality AR.

  6. How important is a chrome lined barrel? I note the S&W 15 doesn’t have that. I understand the dust cover, not a big concern for me. Judging from the comments here, not overly hooked on the fwd assist, but the chrome lined barrel…?

    Also anyone know if it has the same lifetime warranty as their handguns?

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