As the budget belt at many departments begins to tighten, agencies and individual officers begin looking for affordable AR-15 rifles for patrol work.

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.

Here’s a look at eight of the top AR-15s that come in at less than $1,000.

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