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The AR platform might not have been very popular in Vietnam, but it is easily the most popular rifle series in America today thanks to dozens of manufacturers churning out high-quality models with cutting-edge innovations and features.

The AR is now reaching its zenith of design evolution, and 2016 is already off to a good start with several new models hitting the market. Here are some of the best.

Battle Rifle Company BR4 Trident

Because the BR4 Trident is built for maritime security and shipboard use, Battle Rifle Company has coated each of its metallic surfaces to ensure reliability in extreme conditions and reduce rust and electrolysis. The upper and lower receivers, 416S stainless barrel, buffer tube, handguard and front sight base are all coated in Cerakote. The fire control group, pins and springs are all stainless steel, and the bolt carrier group is NP3 coated by Robar Industries, ensuring corrosion-free operation. The Trident is available with 11.5- and 16-inch barrels, though custom options are available. (battleriflecompany.com; 281-777-0316)

Christensen Arms CA-15 VTAC 3G

If shooting in 3-Gun matches is your passion, the CA-15 VTAC 3G from Christensen Arms might just be the ticket for you. This competition-ready AR includes all of the features of the company’s popular CA-15 VTAC plus the addition of a low-mass bolt carrier, an adjustable gas block and a proprietary muzzle brake that allows you to stay on target and make fast follow-up shots. (christensenarms.com; 888-517-8855)

CMMG Mk47 AKS8 SBR & Pistol

Introduced last year, the Mk47 from CMMG is an AR-platform rifle designed to accept standard AK magazines, offering the reliability and power of the 7.62x39mm with the user-customization capabilities of the AR platform. Modifying the company’s existing .308 bolt allowed it to create a bolt that is considerably stronger than the thin walls of a 5.56mm bolt modified for the 7.62x39mm. While CMMG has begun offering a few new models, the AKS8 is available as an SBR and pistol with an 8-inch barrel and a welded Krink muzzle device. The SBR variant includes a Magpul CTR, and both come with CMMG’s RKM KeyMod handguard, Magpul 30-round PMAGs, Magpul MOE pistol grips and billet receivers. (cmmginc.com; 660-248-2293)

Colt Expanse M4

The new Expanse M4 puts a Colt-quality AR-15 within easy reach of the modern sportsman looking to enhance his or her AR collection, or the first-time buyer looking for a starting point upon which to build their dream modern sporting rifle. Either way, the Expanse M4 in 5.56mm NATO is a great way to add another Colt to the stable. It features a flattop upper, an A2-style front sight, a collapsible stock and traditional M4 handguards—all for only $699. (colt.com; 800-962-2658)

Daniel Defense DDM4 ISR

The DDM4 ISR is an integrally suppressed rifle optimized for the versatile 300 Blackout cartridge. The rifle is built around a 9-inch, cold-hammer-forged barrel with a pistol-length gas system calibrated for its integral suppressor. This high-performance rifle delivers both subsonic and supersonic projectiles with greatly reduced muzzle blast and flash, helping to conceal a shooter’s location and keep the user on target with faster follow-up shots and less degradation of vision, particularly in low-light situations. The DDM4 ISR’s integral suppressor extends the barrel to the NFA-required 16-inch length, so this platform is not classified as an SBR and only requires one tax stamp for the suppressor. (danieldefense.com; 866-554-4867)

Del-Ton Sierra 3G

This lightweight, well-balanced rifle from Del-Ton is a great turnkey solution for 3-Gun shooters. It comes with a 15-inch Samson Evo KeyMod handguard, a mid-length gas system, a newly developed compensator, a .223 Wylde chamber, a two-stage trigger, an Ergo Deluxe grip and a Magpul CTR stock. The Sierra 3G weighs only 6.8 pounds. (del-ton.com; 910-645-2172)

DoubleStar STAR10-B

This distinctive, heavy-hitting AR chambered in 7.62mm NATO features a seven-position ACE Hammer stock with a fully adjustable cheek rest, QD sling mounts, a BCM Gunfighter charging handle, a nickel-boron-coated bolt carrier group, 7075-T6 billet aluminum receivers, a 3.5-pound CMC trigger, a integrated triggerguard, a Hogue grip, a 15-inch Samson Evolution handguard and an 18-inch, fluted, free-floating, stainless barrel equipped with a Bullseye muzzle brake. (star15.com)

LMT Compressor

At an overall length of 24.5 inches, the Compressor was designed for LE agencies in need of a rifle with a smaller profile for carry. Utilizing the LM8 upper in a 10.5-inch barrel length, the Compressor gets its name from its Compressor Stock. LMT removed 2.75 inches out of its extension tube and stock, then modified its buffer system and spring, allowing for a shorter overall system with a longer barrel for better velocity and accuracy. The Compressor stock, buffer tube, spring, buffer and drop-in weight system can be purchased as a kit and added to any mil-spec upper, as there was no modification to the bolt carrier or upper receiver itself. Complete rifles are available in 5.56mm and 300 BLK. (lmtdefense.com; 309-787-7151)

LMT MARS-L

Utilizing LMT’s monolithic upper, the Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System-Light (MARS-L) was designed with an ambidextrous safety, magazine release, bolt release and charging handle. The “Light” in the name signifies that the system is designed to run smaller rifle calibers. The MARS-L lower also comes from the factory with a flared magazine well, and is a drop-in replacement for any mil-spec upper on the market. The rifle system should begin shipping at the end of the first quarter. (lmtdefense.com; 309-787-7151)

LWRCI IC-DI

Introduced as a step up from the basic direct-impingement (DI) AR on the market, this is LWRCI’s first DI rifle. With many of the same high-performance attributes found in LWRCI’s popular piston-operated Individual Carbine (IC) guns, the LWRCI IC-DI rifle includes a Monoforge upper with a modular forend, a cold-hammer-forged, spiral-fluted barrel, fully ambidextrous controls, LWRCI’s new Angled Foregrip, a collapsible stock and LWRCI’s enhanced DI bolt carrier group. (lwrci.com; 410-901-1348)

Mega Arms SF-MATEN

Mega Arms’ new “Small Frame” .308/7.62mm is a lightened, AR-15-sized system with billet 7075-T651 aluminum receivers. The AR-15-sized handguard is made from 6061-T6 aluminum, and the rifle comes with an H3 heavy buffer system, a Battle Arms Development safety selector, fully ambidextrous controls, a nitrided, 1-in-10-inch barrels that are 16 or 18 inches long, an adjustable gas block with a weight of approximately 7.2 pounds. (megaarms.com; 877-857-5372)

POF-USA P300

Patriot Ordnance Factory, or POF-USA, has added a new heavy hitter to its lineup with the P300. Based on the company’s Gen 4 series rifles and chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, the P300 answers the call of big-game hunters and long-range shooters with slick ambidextrous features, an EFP (Enhanced Finger Placement) 4-pound trigger, an adjustable gas piston system and other proprietary enhancements POF-USA is known for, including the company’s roller cam pin and E² extraction system. The P300 will be available in 18-inch and 24-inch barrel lengths. (pof-usa.com; 623-561-9572)

POF-USA Revolution

Featuring a 10.5-inch barrel and weighing in at 6.25 pounds, POF-USA President Frank DeSomma says that the Revolution is the smallest and lightest .308/7.62mm AR in the world. Scheduled for release in the fall of this year, the Revolution will be available with 10.5-, 14.5-, 16- and 18-inch barrels and features all the same enhancements as any POF-USA Gen 4 rifle. (pof-usa.com; 623-561-9572)

Rock River Arms IRS 2

Introduced last year, the Rock River Arms IRS (Integrated Rifle Sight) system has gotten an upgrade for 2016. The upper receiver, with its fold-down sight system, now comes with a forward-mounted side charging system. The ambidextrous IRS 2 system has removed the need for a traditional charging handle and added another layer of user-friendly operation, allowing the shooter to remain behind the rifle without giving up his or her cheekweld while operating the bolt, and the charging handles fold forward when not being used. (rockriverarms.com; 866-980-7625)

Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II

The ready-to-shoot M&P 15 Sport II rifle comes with a forward assist and dust cover as well as a forged integral triggerguard, a chromed firing pin, an Armornite finish on barrel, a Magpul MBUS folding rear sight and M4 feed ramps. Available with a fixed stock, Smith & Wesson also offers state-compliant versions for restricted states. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)

Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Sport

This updated model of S&W’s lightweight M&P15-22 comes with a 25-round magazine, a slim 10-inch M&P handguard with M-LOK slots and two 2-inch rail panels included, Magpul MBUS folding sights and a six-position-collapsible stock. The M&P15-22 Sport is available in black, Kryptek Highlander, pink and stylish Muddy Girl camo as well as state-compliant models, and a Performance Center edition with an enhanced two-stage trigger, a match-grade barrel, a Vltor stock and a Hogue grip. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)

Stag Arms’ Cerakote Options

Cerakote is one of the toughest and longest-lasting firearm finishes available on the market today, and now Stag Arms is offering this finish on its Models 1, 2, 2T, 3, 3T, 3T-M, 5, 9 and 9T rifles. The handguard, delta ring, upper receiver, lower receiver, buffer tube, grip and buttstock are all Cerakoted. Color options include burnt bronze, foliage green, gunmetal grey and desert sand. This is a $75 upgrade when ordering. (stagarms.com; 860-229-9994)

Troy Pump Action Rifles

Legal in all 50 states, the Troy Pump Action Rifle (PAR) now comes with an upgraded TRX2 Alpha-style handguard with a full top rail, and the available calibers for the Optics Ready series have now expanded from the initial offering of .223 Remington to include the popular hunting calibers of .338 Federal, 7mm-08 Remington and .243 Winchester. Also new for 2016 is an exclusive Mossy Oak Edition PAR in .338 Federal with an 18-inch, stainless steel barrel. (worldoftroy.com; 866-788-6412)

Windham Weaponry RCMS-4

New from Windham Weaponry this year is the RCMS-4, a complete multi-caliber system that allows the owner the option of using one basic platform to run 7.62x39mm, 5.56mm, 300 BLK and 9mm ammo just by switching out the barrel assembly, bolt, magazine and magazine well. The kit includes everything the shooters needs to covert the rifle to their chosen configuration. For those who cannot decide on which caliber to choose, this new offering will certainly solve that dilemma. (windhamweaponry.com; 855-808-1888)

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