Below is a list a five great AR-15 rifles. The five vary in appearance, due to accessories, finish, etc., and they also vary in price, due to the variation of accessories and differences in materials and levels of craftsmanship involved in building and tuning the rifles.
All are AR-15s, and all five can be relied upon to deliver the shooting experience that owners of AR-15 rifles have come to love through the years.
Bushmaster XM15-E2S — This is a classic AR-15 with no accessories. It is a great AR for those purists who want the old, fixed buttstock — nothing adjustable here — and a fixed rear sight as well. The rear sight aperture is adjustable, but the sight itself is built into the carry handle, thus fixed. The gun has a 20-inch barrel, is accurate, and is certainly durable.
The XM15-E2S weighs 8.6 pounds.
The XM15-E2S is no longer in the Bushmaster catalog, but a used one can be acquired for around $750.
Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport — The Sport is somewhat of a throwback AR, in that the style is very basic. Apart from the Magpul rear sight and telescopic buttstock — which lets you choose between 6 different positions for rifle length — the Sport is pure old-school AR without any bells and whistles. It does come with a 30-round magazine, but beyond that, the Sport’s key characteristics are dependability, accuracy, and durability.
As for durability, while it is smart to clean and maintain your firearms regularly, the Sport, which I had shot for an extended period of time, appeared not to care less. The gun operated flawlessly, regardless of whether it had or had not been cleaned at proper intervals.
The Sport weighs 6.45 pounds.
Because the Sport is bare bones, it is one of the more affordable ARs on the market. Suggested retail for a new Sport is $739.
Colt LE6920 — The Colt LE6920 is a civilian version of the Colt M4, a gun countless military personnel have relied on for safety during times of war and tumult. The LE6920 comes with a Magpul rear sight and various other Magpul Original Equipment (MOE) parts — including MOE SL handguards, MOE SL carbine stock, MOE SL pistol grip, and MOE vertical grip. The buttstock is position adjustable, like the stock on the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport.
The LE6920 weights 6.9 pounds.
Many AR-15 fans view the Colt as the only AR they will own because of the company’s rich history with the military. That is certainly another selling point for the rifle. The gun is extremely accurate and a pleasure to shoot.
Suggested retail on a LE6920 is $999.
SIG516 Patrol — Sig Sauer’s 516 Patrol comes with a SIG adjustable buttstock and a SIG grip and handguard. It has flip-up adjustable iron sights, front and rear, and comes with a 30-round magazine. The 516 Patrol handguard is aluminum and presents four M1913 Picatinny rails where various accessories can be added — lights, lasers, a vertical tactical grip, etc.
The SIG516 weighs 7.3 pounds.
The 516 Patrol is accurate and smooth in its operation. It is more refined than some of the other ARs on this list, and the price reflects that. The price on a new 516 Patrol is approximately $1250 to $1299.
Daniel Defense DDM4 V1 — The V1 takes AR-15 refinement to the next level. Whereas the Bushmaster XM15-E2S is at one end of the spectrum — capturing the essence of the AR-15 for the shooters who are purists — the V1 is at the other end of that spectrum, demonstrating everything an AR-15 can be in the hands of a person well-acquainted with it and trained in tactical usage.
The V1 is also just a heck of a lot of fun to shoot.
Daniel Defense makes their own accessories/furniture for their rifle, so the V1’s buttstock is made by Daniel Defense, as is its pistol grip, rail panels, handguard, sights, flash suppressor, etc. The V1 is a precision weapon and you know it as soon as you pull the trigger.
The V1 weighs 6.7 pounds.
Suggested retail on the V1 chambered in 5.56 is $1799.00.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.