ArmaLite M-15 Law Enforcement Carbine: With the respected Armalite name, the M-15 Law Enforcement Carbine has instant credibility with administrators and street cops alike. This rifle has a chrome-lined barrel and two-stage trigger. A six-position-collapsible buttstock allows the gun to fit different-sized officers and rapidly adjust when an officer dons external body armor. Its MSRP is $989.
Bushmaster Carbon-15 M4 Quad Rail: Bushmaster rifles have served the law enforcement community for decades, and the Carbon-15 M4 Quad Rail is an affordable choice for departments needing new long guns. The Mission First Tactical polymer handguard allows for the addition of a variety of accessories, such as a white light or vertical foregrip. These rifles use a composite lower receiver and an aluminum upper receiver. The MSRP is $866.
Del-Ton Echo 316 MOE: With the Echo 316 MOE, Del-Ton delivers a lot of value by combining a quality semi-automatic AR-15 with Magpul MOE furniture. Magpul provides the handguard, pistol grip, adjustable stock and 30-round magazine for this rifle. The receivers are forged and hardcoat anodized. A Picatinny rail tops the upper to allow for sights and optics. The MSRP is $858.
Diamondback DB15SB: A relative newcomer to the duty rifle market, Diamondback manufactures solid AR-15 carbines at a very affordable price. Both the upper and lower receivers are forged from 7075-T6 aluminum, with the upper being an A3-style flattop unit. The 16-inch, chrome-moly barrel is topped with an A2-style flash suppressor to reduce the rifle’s flash signature reduction when fired at night. The MSRP is $756.
DPMS AP4 Carbine: As one of the best selling rifle in the DPMS catalog, the AP4 Carbine has been tested and proven in the hands of law enforcement officers across the nation. The rifle comes ready for duty with an adjustable stock, a chrome-lined barrel and a Glacier Guard handguard. The carry handle is removable should a shooter elect to add an optic. The MSRP is $959.
Ruger AR-556: Few companies enjoy the same reputation for ruggedness that Ruger has. This quality construction carried over to the AR-556, the surprisingly affordable AR-15 rifle. The American-made rifle uses a standard direct gas impingement operating system. The threaded barrel is cold-hammer forged and has a medium contour. The Ruger AR-556 is ready out of the box with a forward assist, brass deflector, ejection port cover and folding rear sight. The MSRP is $749.
Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport: Many officers already carry a Smith & Wesson M&P handgun in their duty rig, so adding an M&P15 rifle to the patrol car can make a lot of sense. These direct-impingement guns have A2-style front sights and Magpul MBUS folding rear sights. A Picatinny rail allows shooters to add glass as well. Magpul also provides the 30-round magazine that ships with the rifle. The MSRP is $739.
Windham Weaponry Carbon-Fiber SRC: The lightest rifle in this roundup, Windham Weaponry uses carbon-fiber composite molded receivers to keep the SRC’s total weight under 6 pounds. In addition to the weight reduction, the composite receivers offer improved heat dissipation and do not have a finish that will wear off. The barrel is chrome-lined, and the gas block is low profile. A lifetime warrant ensures the company will stand behind the rifle. The MSRP is $846.
As the budget belt at many departments begins to tighten, agencies and individual officers begin looking for affordable AR-15 rifles for patrol work.
- RELATED STORY: Affordable & Effective: 16 AR-15 Rifles For Under $1,000
The threats to police officers and the citizens they serve have not gone away merely because the line item for equipment has. And in the civilian world, cash may be tight for many families, but your personal and home defense is still paramount.
Fortunately, there are several manufacturers producing high-quality rifles that won’t break the bank. All of the guns on this list are from recognized names in the industry, and many are ready to go to work straight from the box.
- RELATED STORY: 24 of the Best 7.62mm, .458 SOCOM and 300 BLK Rifles
Here’s a look at eight of the top AR-15s that come in at less than $1,000.
- ArmaLite M-15 Law Enforcement Carbine: armalite.com; 800-336-0184
- Bushmaster Carbon-15 M4 Quad Rail: bushmaster.com; 800-998-7928
- Del-Ton Echo 316 MOE: del-ton.com; 910-645-2172
- Diamondback DB15SB: diamondbackfirearms.com; 877-997-6774
- DPMS AP4 Carbine: dpmsinc.com; 800-578-3767
- Ruger AR-556: ruger.com
- Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport: smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852
- Windham Weaponry Carbon-Fiber SRC: windhamweaponry.com; 855-808-1888
Two stories from LEOs in the field, including a domestic call that resulted in...
by Tactical-Life / Jul 9, 2015