AR15 for $500?


December 18, 2006, 10:46 AM
Is that a possible budget for a first rifle? Used I guess?

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December 18, 2006, 10:54 AM
Its possible, but I would suggest that a used AR for that price would likely be very used. Would also probably be an A2 upper, not a flat top.

New or lightly used for that price is awfully unlikely. If you bumped the budget up to $700 (might mean saving longer) you'd be able to get a hold of something you really wanted instead of just an entry level beater.

I could be wrong though. If I am, I wanna know about it; I'm looking to get my hands on an AR as well, but my plans are to build it myself from parts.

December 18, 2006, 11:02 AM
i am sure that you could get into a olympic arms plinker for that price.

December 18, 2006, 11:03 AM
All ARs ar not created equal.

The cheaper new models ($5-600's range) are usually Olympic or DPMS,
have been known to be out of spec, don't typically have chrome lined bolt/barrels, and are frequently cast, not forged receivers. Some are better than others, but none start off as a "great" piece of machinery.

The olympic plinker series and the DPMS panther-lite come to mind as starting in the lower end. Your milage may vary, clearly, but your 'wants' justify or negate your 'needs' with regards to this type of equipment.

I would personally not want a cast receiver, or one that is out of spec, even slightly, with the rest of the AR15 world. so that is one component that I'd definitely avoid.
Add $40 - 60 to the price.

The Chrome lined barrel and chamber aids in reliability and longer life of the product.
also much easier to clean. Add about $100 to the price.

Now you're at almost $800, and you pretty much have the pick of the litter.
RRA, Bushy, Stag, Doublestar all have good products at fair prices.

the naked prophet
December 18, 2006, 11:20 AM
Bought a Bushmaster M4-gery from a co-worker who wanted cash for an engagement ring. He put maybe 5 rounds through it (there were 5 rounds missing from the only box of ammo he had, and it was clean inside with no wear anywhere). For $500. :D

December 18, 2006, 12:09 PM
Just finished one a couple of weeks ago. Here's a breakdown:

Lower - RRA - $215 otd

Upper ( - $160

bolt/carrier/handle - $75 (I bought 4 of them on a deal from Doublestar).

This is a flat-top and I robbed the carry handle from my DSA rifle so the handle is not included in the price.

That gives me a grand total of $450.

This is a sweet shooter and I've put 300 rounds through it with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

Dang it, can't get pic to go from work.

Ala Dan
December 18, 2006, 12:19 PM
I lucked up an got a Colt post ban Match Target II Competition with 16"
barrel, detachable carry handle, six position stock, .223 caliber for only
$700. A gentleman came into the store with 2x, and left with only one;
as I bought the other one. I added a Calvary Arms Z mount, affixed too
the top of the carry handle and put a Bushnell HOLO-sight on top of the
rail; just above the handguard. That allows me to use either the flip-up
sights, or the HOLO-sight.

December 18, 2006, 04:08 PM
With a used upper you can certainly get close. You can get an RRA complete lower in Houston for $229, most new uppers with bolt will run $385-500 for a middle of the road build. But I do see used uppers around the $250-300 mark.

Bazooka Joe71
December 18, 2006, 04:14 PM
In a gun friendly state, you can get close, obviously you have to go the used route...But if you aren't in a gun friendly state, fahgetaboutit.

December 18, 2006, 04:17 PM
Its possible , Christmas time maybe somebody needs cash fast. I have seen some good deals go down at the gun show , happens when they first get in the door and do not want or know to walk around first !!!!

December 18, 2006, 04:56 PM
Go to the equipment exchange on, and you could most definately pull an AR together for around $500. My latest AR was purchase piece by piece over the last 5 months, and came to around $560.

$200 - Complete Bushmaster Lower
$300 - Complete A3 upper (picked up a carry handle in a trade last year)
$50 - Bolt Carrier
$10 - Charging handle

I have like 6 new bolts and spare parts that I purchased for hot spares, so It is hard to say what they cost each.

If I see a good deal I will usually pick it up until I decide what to do with it. I can't tell you the amount of magazines, ammo, and other various parts I have for guns I do not yet own.

December 18, 2006, 10:36 PM
Here's the $450 AR. Get out to gun shows and scour around the fine sale ads here and Glocktalk. You'll find some good stuff cheap.

December 18, 2006, 10:49 PM
$515 without optic. Stag stripped lower and Model 1 lightweight CAR kit. I'm really very happy with it despite having several AR's costing twice as much.

December 18, 2006, 11:27 PM
The Equipment Exchange (EE) is the single easiest way to do this, though you have to jump fast to grab the good deals in the "Used Parts" area where all the uppers go.

For lowers, it'll be hard to beat a new Stag or RRA lower, and then a parts kit. You don't see used lowers out there too much, IIRC.

For uppers: I just picked up a Colt SP1 upper for $250. I could've got a bolt and the rest cheaper, but broke down and bought RRA new for $130 total, since I was impatient.

Some guys on ARF have built them for $450 or so, but that takes some jumping and maybe a little elbow grease (installing the barrel yourself, which takes some basic tools).

The ARF EE is your surest bet, might want to read up to make sure you avoid any bad-quality parts, and know all the parts you need to buy. Definitely don't forget the bolt, bolt-carrier-group, and charging handle, which many uppers don't include when sold used.


December 18, 2006, 11:48 PM
My opinion. If you only have $500 for an AR, buy a Kel-Tec SU-16. It will be nearly, or just as accurate, it'll stay clean longer and it is actually within your budget. There is an old saying that is true more often than not. "You get what you pay for."

December 18, 2006, 11:52 PM
Buy used, quality parts from the EE on, you can do it for sub $500 if you're patient and fast with the mouse-clicking and probably end up with a better gun than a Model1 kit or a Oly Arms gun.

December 19, 2006, 12:17 AM
The Model 1 is hardly bad. All my AR's have shot better than 1 MOA with Varget and Sierra Match Kings.

The only overpriced gun out there is the Colt. For their prices you can buy semi custom.

December 19, 2006, 06:56 AM
The Model 1 is hardly bad.

It's not that it's bad, it's that it's the very cheapest out there...and have been known to let some questionable parts into their guns and kits. Canted front sight bases, weak bolts and soft FCG's are notorious problems with M1S and M&A (same outfit, essentially).

I'm just saying by going used, you can get a better barrel material, a gun or parts that were assembled or contracted for parts with a higher level of QC. There's no disputing that upper tier companies have better quality control than Model 1.

DelTon is a company I consider to be first rate for a cheaper line AR, and their customer service is much better than Model 1, both of which I've dealt with numerous times.

December 19, 2006, 09:15 AM
What about a Siaga in .223? I have seen prices in in 200-300 range. Not an AR but a good semi auto.

December 19, 2006, 10:50 AM
I picked up a used Olympic carbine with a folding stock for that price a little while back.
If you are lucky you might find something. Probably better off to save a little more though.

December 19, 2006, 02:04 PM
The new Oly Plinker Plus is a forged receiver....but go the route of making it yourself. It is relatively easy, cheaper, and you have a first hand working knowlege of your rifle.

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