Buying an AR-15 on the cheap

My first AR-15s were a mix of used and new parts, “rifle kits”, anything I could find that was cheap.

I didn’t understand what the difference was between the stuff I could piece together for $500-550 and the stuff that I could buy for $800. Knowing what I know now, the $800 stuff back then wasn’t all that great, and the “good” stuff was $1200 on up. Of course, I spent at least $1200 between two rifles that ended up being junk, because I thought that was better than having one good rifle.

However, times have changed. It’s now possible to simply buy a really good rifle for under $800. I’m not saying that the kit gun manufacturers have gotten any better; I’m saying that existing rifle manufacturers have stepped in to fill a gap between the really cheap, hit-or-miss stuff and the high quality rifles that may be financially out of reach for many potential AR-15 owners.

One such company is Spike’s Tactical and their LE line of uppers and rifles. A coupon code is available that will knock $50 off the price of their uppers and complete rifles. For $750 plus shipping and transfer fees, you’ll end up with a quality rifle, one you’ll never make an excuse for. It’s complete with a quality, US made carry handle (which normally sells for around $100) and a 30rd Magpul PMag.

I used to be a firm believer that building a rifle would save money, but I do not believe that you could possibly build a rifle with all of the same features for $750. Sure, you might be able to shave $100 or $150 off the price, if you were willing to sacrifice quality or durability and reduce the capabilities of the weapon (such as not including a rear sight, which many kit gun manufacturers like to do in order to make their products look financially attractive). In the long run, though, such a small price difference won’t matter – while the lack of quality will.

Your options aren’t limited to Spike’s Tactical, though – the increased competition over the past few years has caused many companies to look for ways to increase quality and decrease cost. That said, I really wish Spike’s Tactical had introduced their LE line when I was first getting into ARs. They would have saved me a massive amount of money. I firmly believe that there has never been a better time to be entering the AR-15 world, whether you’re a hobbyist, a hunter, or someone looking for a rifle to be used for “serious social purposes”.

Spike's Tactical M4 LE with Magpul MOE handguards, AAC Blackout 18T flash hider, and Lancer L5 20rd magazine (not standard accessories)



Filed under Firearms

2 responses to “Buying an AR-15 on the cheap

  1. MikeS.

    The same can be said about PCs. I used to build my own from parts. I could build a much more powerful machine for much less $$ than buying from a company like Dell or HP.

    About 6 or 8 years ago that changed. Decent desktops can now be had for about 300. Heck a TB of storage is about 70 bucks now.

    I just bought my 1st Ar-15, got it today, from Spike’s. A 16″ LE middy.

  2. Noah

    Cool, I just found this blog and I was saying to myself what would be a good AR-15, and then I saw your post on Spike’s Tactical, thanks for the tip!

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