There are so many rifle options out there and indeed, both old and new buyers can tend to get confused every now and then. In actuality, it really isn't all that difficult. Below are some tips on what you need to look out for in order to select the right rifle and get your money's worth. You could even save money while you are at it.


When shopping for an AR-15, do not cheap out and go for the cheapest offer you get. In general, when going out in search of a good AR-17, you should be looking to spend something around $900 - $1200.

If you are looking for an entry-level rifle then brands such as Colt and Smith and Wesson will suit you just right. Speaking from experience, guns from these brands, offer the best quality of all the cheaper AR-15s out there. You could also select from brands like DPNS, Bushmaster or Rock rifles, but the problems associated with these are more than that associated with Smith and Wessons or Colts.

One more thing you must do is avoid the so-called 'sport' versions you might find of these rifles. The internal parts are usually made from much material. Add those few extra bucks and get a solid rifle.

Also, when going for an AR-15, it is best to buy a new one. The barrel of the AR-15 can depreciate. As one gets to 10,000 – 20,000 round shot with the rifle, the accuracy begins to dwindle. Since you will be unable to tell just how many rounds shot the used rifle you want to but might have, it is best to just buy a new one.





Whatever rifle you get, ensure that it is chambered for 5.56mm as opposed to .233 Remington. These two cartridges may be similar in terms of dimensions but they are different. The pressure and velocity to which the 5.56mm is loaded is a bit higher and even based on dimension, there is also a slight difference. In essence, a .233 Remington can be fired safely in a rifle suited for 5.56mm rounds, but when the reverse is done, the results might be unsavory. It is more advisable to get the chamber that is more versatile.


Personally, I prefer the barrels as short and light as possible. When it comes to long range bench rest as well as match shooting, then the long and heavy barrels are preferable, but when it comes to self-defense, they lose their practicality.

A 14.5" to a 16" lightweight barrel or an M-4 profile barrel which has a flash suppressor as opposed to a muzzle brake, is recommended. Stay away from the muzzle brake types. While the brakes reduce muzzle rise during the recoil, they do almost nothing to reduce the muzzle blast and noise.

If a situation ever arises where you are without ear protection and are required to shoot out of a vehicle or indoors, then you will praise the heavens that you went for the flash suppressor.

You also have to consider what the twist rate (this determines the best type of bullet for your rifle) is. A fast twist rate of say, 1:7 is good if you intend to shoot heavier and also longer bullets. If the reverse is the case then, the twist rate would need to be much slower. The recent 1:8 or 1:9 twist rates generally work well with a wide range of projectiles.


Also, ensure that your barrel is lined (Chrome or Melonite lining).


Personally, I would go for a flat top rifle because it would allow me to mount an optic. Mounting an optic on a carry handle with any level of reliability is rather difficult. There are rifles with carry handles that are removable and those may allow you use an optic. Those rifles are known as A-3 models.

For those who are completely sure they will be making use of an optic then ensure your rifle has a front sight that is foldable to avoid it obstructing your view through the scope.


Open sights are good, but your shooting will be much faster if you use a red dot optic. Issues of batteries dying are not even an issue anymore as the red dot optics these days have a much stronger battery life. The common big names you will hear are EOTech and Aimpoint. The Aimpoint has fewer reliability problems while the EOTech has a pretty nice receptacle which I prefer to that of the Aimpoint. In my opinion, though, the Aimpoint would serve you much better all things considered.


Most people will be satisfied with the trigger that comes with the rifle, however, for those who would like to decrease the pull weight of the trigger, there are a few things you can check out. Competition triggers which come with screw adjustments are to be avoided because anything can happen and those screws could back out at an important moment. Try out the Geissle, it is a personal recommendation.


After you buy a rifle, you may want to equip it with various accessories, but that is not entirely necessary. All you need to focus on doing is getting the essential accessories such as the sling (Avoid single or triple points). Two point slings function best especially for those new to the experience.

Just got a new rifle, or have an old one you need to upgrade? Check out these ar 15 upgrade parts.

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