Ar-15 Manufacturers Should Be Avoided: Which Should You Buy?

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AR-15 is probably not a strange weapon because it was marketed to civilians. If you want to buy the first AR-15 in the coming weeks and do not know if there are any brands that should be avoided, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information about AR-15 as well as the list of the worst AR-15 manufacturers that you should avoid.

First, for those who do not know about the AR-15, it is the most popular rifle in America. The forerunner of AR-15 was first developed in the 1950s by ArmaLite - a gun manufacturing company at the request of the US military. They wanted to use it to replace the M-1 Garand and other combat rifles.

However, in 1959, ArmaLite sold the copyright to Colt. This company then modified and supplied this weapon to the US military as a fully automatic M-16. Later, Colt also created a semi-automatic civilian version - the AR-15.

The “AR” in its name actually stands for “ArmaLite Rifle” instead of “Assault Rifle” as many people often misunderstand.

The main difference between the AR-15 and the M-16 is that the M-16 is a fully automatic gun so it will continuously fire when the trigger is held down. Meanwhile, with a semi-automatic rifle like AR-15, the user must pull and release the trigger after each shot.

In 1979, Colt's patent on AR-15 expired, and many other gun manufacturing companies began creating variants of this model. Each such variant has a unique name, but people often use the term "AR-15" to refer to all AR-15-style rifles.


The “AR” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle” and AR-15 refers to all AR-15-style rifles - Via

Tip: Buy the Best Ar 15 Brands we recommend below, and you won't have to worry about the worst brands other.

Check out our list of the 7 Best Ar-15 Manufacturers Today:



Smith & Wesson M&P MOE
Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical

Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical

Palmetto State Armory AR-15

The Worst Ar-15 Manufacturers Should Be Avoided

Disclaimer: This is only the personal opinion of the writer and does not lower the reputation of any brand. So, to have the most accurate evaluation, it is best to experience it yourself.

As you know, there are a lot of AR-15 manufacturers out there but not all of them offer products that are worth the money. For some reasons, here are some manufacturers that you absolutely should avoid. You can find them here:

So, why should not you buy?
These are some Cons of the worst AR-15 manufacturers to avoid:

  • Reasonable price but all parts and designs are quite mediocre. They only have basic features, even some common accessories, including gun sights, are missing.
  • They do not come with iron sights or front sling attachment points
  • They lacks a chrome lined barrel that means during cleaning; you will have to pay a bit more attention to the barrel than the barrel would have been chromed
  • And of course, a rifle, which only offers basic features, can never satisfy advanced shooters.
  • The Glacier handle comes with a bit of cheap feel, with the handle also feeling pretty rough upon pullback
  • Accuracy and shooting range is not really good. The reason is probably due to some combination of terrible trigger, a non-free floating rail, and a poor quality barrel.
  • ...etc...

And So in case you want to buy an AR-15 rifle, which manufacturers should you choose?

#1. Daniel Defense
#2. Bravo Company
#3. Colt M4 Carbine
#4. Smith & Wesson M&P MOE
#5. Aero Precision AC-15M
#6. Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical
#7. Palmetto State Armory AR-15

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices on Brownells.

Manufacturers That Offer The Best Ar-15 Rifle


Depending on your purpose and budget, you can choose the right rifle Via 

Anyway, before we start going deeper into the best manufacturers, you need to know what a good semi-automatic AR-15 rifle is.

There are hundreds of AR-15 manufacturers on the market, from giants like Freedom Group to retail stores. The price of a rifle of this type usually ranges from $ 500 to thousands of dollars.

Those who want to save some money can buy separate pieces and build a rifle of their own. Many people even think that the best AR-15 is the one you create yourself from the exact parts you want.

This concept is not wrong, however, if you do not know how to create an AR-15 by yourself, there are many well-known and trusted AR-15 brands out there that use top-notch pieces, high-quality machining, and pay attention to every little detail.

So, you absolutely can buy a good AR-15 from a specific manufacturer. So, what makes a good AR-15?

The first is definitely reliability and accuracy. It needs to work smoothly and can perform tasks without any trouble. An important factor that will determine whether an AR-15 rifle is good or not is the quality of the parts that companies use to build. Get for you best scope for ar15 also help you have best result when shooting!

All manufacturers need to make sure their products have been completed and checked for functionality before being marketed.

Many people believe that the best AR will follow Colt's Technical Data Package although it is now a bit outdated due to modern and innovative technologies. Anyway, a best-rated AR-15 rifle will have:

  • A high-pressure tested and shot-peened bolt
  • A suitable staked gas key
  • 4150 steel, stainless steel, and cold-hammer forged barrels
  • A chrome-lined chamber and bore
  • MIL-SPEC-diameter receiver extension with a staked castle nut
  • Chambered in 5.56mm NATO
  • M4 feed ramp
  • Type III hard coat anodizing.

Based on the above characteristics and many other factors, here is a list of the most reliable AR-15 manufacturers.

Top 7 Best Ar-15 Rifles:



Smith & Wesson M&P MOE
Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical

Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical

Palmetto State Armory AR-15


Colt is known to be the first manufacturer of M4 and M16 rifles and a reliable supplier to military forces for decades. M4 Carbine is the latest rifle produced by Colt that you can use today.

To make it legal for civilians, the barrel is 16 inches. This twist is similar to the 1-in-7 twist that Colt used on military models.

The gun barrel is capped with a compensator and chrome-lined, making it very good for fast shooting, although civilian designs do not have the burst-fire option.

All other parts, from the bolt, the bolt carrier to the trigger are built to the same technical standards such as rifles for the military.

As long as it gets enough lube and does not have to shoot too many bullets with steel shells, this rifle works quite well. It is good enough for both long-range and tactical shooting.

The rail and fixed front sight are good for both holographic sights and red dot sights but do not match the higher magnification range.

Overall, Colt M4 Carbine is a good rifle if it is properly maintained. Users can also change some parts to upgrade or customize it to suit their using purpose.

Smith & Wesson M&P MOE

Smith & Wesson is a legendary weapon manufacturer in America for good reason. Their M&P line is so well known in the market for its outstanding quality. If you buy their AR-15 which is equipped with Magpul Dynamics gear, you will not have to invest in other AR-15 parts. The magazine release is very smooth, and its barrel is also considered perfect.

Aero Precision is also a famous manufacturer who offers users a complete AR-15 rifle with unique features. Their AC-15M is a good-looking rifle with a 16-inch barrel that is favored by many users because of its affordable price and ergonomics.

The Aero Precision AC-15M is especially perfect for newbies because it is very simple to use. Most types of whistles and bells can be found in some of the more expensive options.

#6: Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical

Rock River Arms Lar-15 Entry Tactical

Compared to other options, it is quite expensive (about over $ 1,000) but what you get is totally worth it.

Rock River Arms was established in 1993 and has been steadily gaining a solid reputation as an AR-15 producer ever since.

With A2 hider flash and Hogue grip, LAR-15 is easy to use. It has an RRA two-stage trigger as well as a star safety selector.

Although, as mentioned above, it is quite expensive, with many outstanding features, it's really worth it. LAR-15 is definitely a great choice if you can afford it.

#7: Palmetto State Armory AR-15

If you are looking for a budget rifle, PSA AR-15 is surely the perfect choice. Palmetto State Armory makes everything in-house to cut down on costs but their products are still guaranteed quality. With 16-inch Cold Hammer Forged barrel, F-marked FSB, M4 handguard, and A2 flash hider, PSA AR-15 is really worth your money.

Here are some of the best AR-15 manufacturers that we want to introduce to you. So, which is your favorite brand? Feel free to share with us if you have any suggestion.

Wrap It Up

Just going through some online shopping websites, you can find hundreds of AR-15 rifles for sale there. They are made up of a variety of different companies. Some brands offer great products while others do not.

Some ARs can look quite similar, but not all of them work well. There are several certain brands that you will not be willing to pay $ 500 for, while there are other brands that you may be happy to pay $ 1,000 or even more for.

The AR-15 was dubbed the most popular rifle in the US, so having so many manufacturers is also easy to understand.

However, as mentioned above, not all of them are good. So, depending on your budget and purpose, you can choose a suitable rifle from your favorite manufacturer.

To sum up, we have just given you the most basic information about AR-15 and some of the worst manufacturers that you should stay away from.

So, for you, which are the best and the worst AR-15 manufacturers? Feel free to share with us if you have any suggestion. Hope you find our article helpful and thank you for reading!

Check out recent post on my scopes and sights resource by click here!

15 thoughts on “Ar-15 Manufacturers Should Be Avoided: Which Should You Buy?”

  1. It goes H&K
    Hera Arms
    Haenel defense
    Overland Arms

    Adams arms
    American tactical
    Stag arms
    Rock river
    Springfield Armory
    Olympic arms
    Windham weaponry
    Anderson Arms

    Daniel defense and Noveski are just overpriced MMPs

    You’re so far off on what is good and what is bad but I guess money talks and makes your fingers do the typing

    • Hi, I noticed your list, it is my first time buying an AR15 but I live in MD and is required to have an HBAR and not be in the banned list. I wanted to get one from BCM but they are expensive and sold out. What would you recommend that I look into it to get my first AR?
      Any info is appreciated thank you

      • HM Defense out of Ohio is making some very well built AR15s and AR10s that have mid-range prices ($1000-$1400 for AR15s and $1700-$2000 for AR10s). I have the M5 AR15. Features a monobloc barrell, meaning the gas block is machined with the barrel. It also features the HMB bolt; the cam pin hole doesn’t go completely through the bolt, which eliminates a traditional weak point on the bolt.

        HM Defense previously was an aerodynamics manufacturer that transitioned its machinery over to arms manufacturing. I think they converted maybe 12-15 years ago.

        If there is not a dealer in your area that sells HM Defense, you can order directly from HM Defense. I have an AR10 on order. Due to demand for arms in the country right now there is about a 3-4 week back order, but they will ship directly to the FFL of your choice.

    • Only 2 tiers and Colt, Springfield, and Aero are lumped in with DPMS and Anderson lmao. You’re dumb and probably use words like ‘tolerances’ a lot.

  2. Truthfully, reading this list it makes me wonder why Anderson Manufacturing is all that terrible considering we are talking about a MILSPEC rifle. Their components, their lowers, their uppers, bolt carriers, have a pretty good quality for what they are at a price point. I have seen people build Anderson AR’s that shot just fine, and have never to my knowledge failed. Just because someone says something about a particular product or vendor does not always make it so.

    While I am an Aero Precision guy, and love their products, I don’t disparage Anderson for the simple fact that a cheap gun can kill you just as easily as an expensive one.

  3. People tend to forget that there is only about five actual AR-15/10 lower receiver manufacturers that actually make the lowers and then everybody else gets them from them as 80% or what ever then they finish them and put thuer names on the for example aero precision and Anderson manufacturing get their lowers from the same manufacturer and are both the same lower just with their name on the just like you would if you bought an 80% or whatever the only difference in an AR-15/10 is the quality and precision you put into the build. That’s the ONLY DIFFERENCE, research It and see if I am lieing, I’m not I did the research. And the study, everything else is just gimmick to get you to buy their product.and that’s the Truth no offence intended but it is what it is.

    • While that may very well be true, the finishing work’s quality can vary greatly and that can make a lot of difference in overall performance/value for the $


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