Best Ar 15 Barrel for The Money – Ultimate Buying Guide

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AR 15 Barrel has never failed to attract shooters. It is considered as one of the most preferred barrels as it is suited for numerous purposes, from hunting, target shooting to home defense.

Due to its multiple purposes, it is popularly produced recently. AR 15 Barrel comes in a wide range of designs, prices, functions and styles which may include driver newbie shooters crazy when picking up the desired barrel.

In case you only have a limited budget for a barrel and want to purchase the best AR 15 Barrel for the money, please take a look at our article. In this article, we’ll give you a deep understanding of the AR 15 barrel and recommend you a couple of high-quality products.

Things To Considerations

AR-15 Barrel Materials

Materials play an important role in deciding a barrel’s quality and performance. Normally, barrel materials are divided into 3 categories: stainless steel, cold hammer-forged and chrome-lined. Each material has its pros and cons. Let’s take a deeper look at each of them.

Stainless Steel Barrels

Thanks to its inherent properties, stainless steel is massively used in bunches of applications. When it comes to barrel production, stainless steel makes the process easier as it doesn’t need the addition of a chrome lining.

Every garden has its weeds, and stainless steel isn’t an exception. It delivers limited protection from corrosion. That is the reason why it easily shows signs of wear from heavy overuse throughout its lifetime. Even though stainless steel barrels are famous for their precision, they aren’t appropriate to shooters requiring rapid firepower.

Cold hammer-forged Barrels

Cold hammer forging is a relatively new method to make premium-quality barrels as it is effective, affordable and doesn’t require complicated machinery. Cold-hammer-forged barrels surely have a superb finish, outstanding grain structure, and ultimate strength.

Chrome-lined Barrels

Chrome-lining has been known as the standard for military rifles as it enhances barrel lifetime. What is more, chrome lining can suffer pressure from heat and plays a role like an additional layer of corrosion protection. Hence, it helps boost wear resistance level.

It is engineered with a hard surface layer which makes it effortless to clean. However, it can cause a small decrease in accuracy because of the chrome’s unevenness.


Based on the shape and weight of the barrel, it is categorized into 4 types:

  • Lightweight: It is referred to as pencil barrels. Due to the lightweight, it is extremely easy to carry. However, it can’t be as durable as heavier types.
  • Medium: It is referred to as a government profile. It is a great combination of durability and weight.
  • Heavyweight: It is the most durable barrel type as they can stand the pressure of heat while firing.
  • Hanson: It is a combination between a shoulder design and a lightweight profile. It is lightweight and durable.

Common Types of AR-15 Cartridges

  • 9mm: It is an effect for AR 15 barrels. It delivers an accurate and reliable close range round.
  • 5.56/.233: The 5.56x45mm used to be the most popular rounds for all AR 15 Barrels. This cartridge delivers quick target reacquisition, versatile performance and low recoil for Law Enforcement, Military, and civilian operators.
  • 300 Blackout: This carbine cartridge was originally produced in the US. It is built in the.30 caliber arena and built off the .223 case.
  • .223 Wylde: This Bill Wylde’s invention is built on the .223 chamber. It supports operators to safely fire 5.56x45mm NATO ammo and .233 Remington.
  • 6.5 Grendel: This intermediate cartridge has lower recoil in comparison to other higher power cartridge. It boasts sought-after accuracy and consistency in the range of 200 to 800 yards.

Tips for Picking up The Appropriate Barrel

Based on the purpose of using the barrel, we divided into 3 categories for you to easily pick up

For Hunter

You are a professional hunter and searching for a long-standing barrel to help you conquer all terrains, stainless steel, and chrome-lined barrels are best suited for you.

While hunting, you need a corrosion-resisted barrel as you probably hunt in a humid and wet area all the time. Ideally, the barrel should be well treated with a nitride or chrome lining treatment. Moreover, to hold your AR, you are better off equipping the AR15 bipod.

For Competitive Shooting

In case your priority requirement is accuracy, stainless steel barrels are born for you. Furthermore, enhanced accuracy is highly important in this segment. You shouldn’t buy chrome lining barrels as its accuracy will gradually drop over time.

For Casual Shooter

For those who are casual shooters and just wanna have fun shooting time, the frequency of your shooting is a key consideration.

If you shoot a lot in a year and requires a long-lasting barrel, a chrome-lined one is ideal for you.

It is much easier to pick up if you rarely shoot. In this case, all barrels are suitable. However, we recommend you to purchase stainless steel barrel as its accuracy increases day by day.

Read more: Best Barrel Vise - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Top 3 Best AR-15 Barrel for The Money Reviews


Currently, Modern Armory is an emerging brand name in the shooting sports equipment market. Even though it had just established a couple of years ago, it quickly wins customers’ heart due to its durable and quality firearms related products.

Modern Armory’s products are a combination of budget-friendly price and high quality. And this Modern Armory 16” Lightweight Stainless Steel Barrel is a clear example.

First of all, this Modern Armory 16” Stainless Steel is highly suitable for those who fancy a lightweight barrel. It only weighs 1.25 pounds and possesses a 1:7 twist rate. It is made of stainless steel which helps boost the accuracy.

The accuracy level of this MA barrel is unquestioned. This company guarantees 1 MOA accuracy at 100 yards in case it is accurately used. Apart from light weight and accuracy features, it is also engineered the feed ramp for a smoothly chambered round.

In terms of cons, as far as we concern, the base price doesn’t include the gas tube and gas block which may make buyers confusing. However, the price of this MA barrel is relatively reasonable. Just buy it, and you’ll never regret it.

Product information:

  • Length: 16”
  • Weight: 1 lb 8 oz
  • Twist rate: 1:7


  • It is affordable
  • It is super lightweight compared to other products in the same range
  • It offers a great lifetime guarantee
  • It delivers superb accuracy


  • The total price doesn’t include the gas tube and gas block

Anderson Manufacturing .223 Wylde 16” Lightweight Barrel


Anderson Manufacturing is a well-known brand name specializing in producing AR15. Apart from AR15, it also provides a broad selection of shooting related products such as AM10, AM15, 9mm Firearms, .308, RF85 parts, lower parts, upper parts, kits, gear and merchandise.

In 2016, it was rated as the third largest rifle manufacturer. Accompanying with the massive but good-quality rifle production, Anderson Manufacturing also concentrates on its services and policy. Hence, when purchasing any product at there, customers can totally put their minds at rest.

Anderson Manufacturing .223 Wylde 16 lightweight barrel is a highlighting product of this brand. It weighs 1.5 pounds and has a 1:8 twist rate. Similarly to military M4 barrels, it possesses a parkerized finish. To be honest, this Anderson Manufacturing is the most reasonable-priced on our list today.

When making this barrel, light weight is Anderson Manufacturing’s top priority. It is considered one of most lightweight barrels so far.

Even though it is affordable, it doesn’t mean that its quality is as cheap as its price. Anderson Manufacturing is widely known for their quality.

In relation to its cons, it isn’t durable because there is no nitride or chrome lining treatment added.

Product information:

  • M4 Feed Ramps
  • Twist rate: 1:8
  • Barrel length: 16”
  • Caliber: .223 Wylde
  • Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium
  • Weight: 29 oz
  • Dimensions: 17x1x1 in


  • It is super lightweight
  • Its price fits everyone’s pocket
  • Its performance is pretty good


  • It isn’t durable

WMD Guns 5.56 NiB-X Nickel Boron Barrel


For shooters, WMD guns may be no longer a strange name. WMD gives a big wow to its customers due to its endless innovation, premium quality reputation and outstanding expertise.

What makes it different from other gun suppliers is that it offers customized coating and extremely specialized services for each valuable customer.

In the WMD Guns product range, WMD Guns 5.56 NiB-X Nickel Boron Barrel has never failed to impress gunners.

Firstly, it immediately impresses people with its unbelievable finish at the first sight. By applying WMD’s exclusive advanced coating method, this manufacturer generates 4150 chrome moly vanadium steel barrels which offer unequaled surface durability and wear resistance.

Unlike traditional chrome coatings used in chambers, its bore treatment is mildly self-lubricating. Its nickel boron exterior finish offers resistance to wear and enhanced heat dissipation.

With incomparable smooth operation and high durability, WMD Guns 5.56 NiB-X Nickel Boron Barrel makes sure it is your best choice.

Product information:

  • Length: 16”
  • Profile: Government
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Twist rate: 1:8
  • Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel
  • Weight: 1lb 11.8oz
  • Finish: Barrel exterior and extension: NiB-X Nickel Boron, Bore: Nitroment


  • It is made from high-quality barrel blanks
  • High accuracy
  • Its finish is carefully made from NiB-X nickel boron which offers a brilliant heat dissipation and surface wear resistance.


  • A bit heavy


Is it illegal for those who are above 18 when buying a AR 15?

No, you can buy AR 15 rifle when you start at the age of 18. There is a funny but true joke that Americans can buy AR 15 barrels before they can buy beer. So, don’t worry if you’ve already passed 18.

How much should I spend on a good Barrel?

The price for a barrel normally ranges from approximately $80 to $500. The amount of money you spend for a barrel vastly depends on how frequent you shoot. For example, you a shooting addict, then you’ll need a high-quality barrel.

And it is obvious that you’ll get what you pay for. You should invest in a chrome lining barrel which costs from $180-300. In contrast, if you rarely shoot, an $80 barrel is enough.

Should I pick up Velocity or Portability when it comes to Barrel Length?

Actually, it vastly depends on your purpose. In case all you need is just a compact home defense gun, then you should pick up a short barrel. Simply because a barrel with limited length, it will increase rifle portability and lighten the weight.

If you need to shoot at a distances above 300 yards, a longer barrel may fit you. When you increase the rifle length, the you’ll gain velocity.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, in this post, we provided sufficient information about the AR 15 barrel and introduced the top 3 best AR 15 barrels for the money. Hopefully, after reading our article, you can somehow grasp some helpful information to give a precise decision.

If you ask us which one is the best AR 15 barrel for the money, it would definitely be the WMD Guns 5.56 NiB-X Nickel Boron Barrel. It is budget-friendly, high-quality and possesses cutting-edge technology.

If there is anything unclear, don’t hesitate to comment down below as we’ll reply as fast as possible. Finally, yet importantly, click like and share if you found our article informative and useful. It will be such a huge motivation and encouragement for us to keep up our good work.

Once again, thank you so much for spending your precious time to take a glance at our post. Keep shooting with the AR15 Barrel.

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