New AR Upper Receivers, rifle uppers, AR uppers

The beauty of the AR platform is its modularity, which comes down to its two-part receiver construction. Why, I have one lower receiver right now that sports different upper receivers at different times depending on the situation.

The Benefit of Upper Receivers

My setup includes one with a 20-inch, stainless steel barrel chambered in 6.8 SPC; another in 300 Blackout because it is my new deer-hunting caliber; and when I’m not in the woods, the lower wears a mil-spec 5.56mm NATO upper with backup sights and a red dot for home defense.

Multiple calibers, same lower receiver. Want to get in on the act? Let’s look at some of the best new uppers available.

Scroll through our list of upper receivers below. For more, be sure to check out the manufacturers’ websites.

This article is the 2019 edition of Black Guns Magazine. Grab your copy at

Aero Precision M4E1 .224 Valkyrie

Aero Precision is now offering .224 Valkyrie uppers in Threaded and Enhanced configurations. Both feature 18-inch, stainless steel barrels, low-profile gas blocks and rifle-length gas tubes. The Threaded variant comes with the company’s Atlas S-One handguard while the Enhanced features a Gen 2 Enhanced handguard. These uppers are the perfect choice for long-range target shooters who are looking for lightweight builds that won’t break the bank. The bolt carrier group and charging handle are offered separately. (

Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel 11" SBR Complete Upper

This upper receiver group from Alexander Arms is perfect for those who want to build a short-barreled rifle (SBR) in this iconic caliber. The upper features a lightweight, 11-inch, button-rifled, stainless steel barrel with a 1-in-7.5-inch twist rate; an MK10 series handguard made of G10 composite; a low-profile gas block; and an A2 flash suppressor. Alexander Arms also offers a bunch of customization options and includes one 10-round magazine. (

Anderson Manufacturing 16" 5.56mm Complete Upper

Need help deciding what upper to use on your next build? Try this one from Anderson Manufacturing. It features a 15-inch Expo Arms KeyMod handguard that offers an uninterrupted Picatinny rail on top and KeyMod slots in the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. This is a direct-impingement upper with a phosphated, M16-style bolt carrier group as well as an A2-style flash suppressor. (

BCM Standard 12.5" Carbine Upper

Is an SBR or pistol build on your bucket list? The Standard 12.5" Carbine Upper in 5.56mm NATO from Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) is a great option. It features a 41V50 chrome-moly-vanadium steel barrel, and the front sight is set out farther than usual for a shorter barrel without creating cycling issues. It also features a 9-inch BCM KMR-A handguard. The bolt carrier group and charging handle are optional. (

Bear Creek Arsenal Complete Upper Assembly

Bear Creek Arsenal (BCA) offers a number of completely upper assemblies for AR-style pistols and rifles, and this particular model sports a 16-inch, heavy-profile barrel made of 416R stainless steel with a black nitride finish. The barrel also has BCA’s signature “Bear Claw” fluting as well as a 1-in-8-inch twist rate. The upper is chambered in .223 Wylde and comes with M4 feed ramps, a 12-inch KeyMod handguard, a bolt carrier group and a charging handle. (

CBC Industries AR-10 Complete Upper Assembly

CBC Industries is another company that offers dozens of uppers. This .308/7.62mm upper is patterned after the DPMS design and loaded for bear. Features include a 16-inch, 4150 chrome-moly, nitride-coated barrel and a 15-inch Hera Arms KeyMod handguard with a Picatinny rail in the 12 o’clock position and KeyMod slots in the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions for tactical accessories. This model includes a bolt carrier group and charging handle, but note that it won’t fit DPMS Gen II lowers. (

CMMG Mk3 DTR Upper

If you’re looking to get into the 6.5 Creedmoor game, CMMG’s Mk3 DTR upper is a high-end option. This upper assembly features a premium 24-inch, 416 stainless steel, heavy taper-profile barrel equipped with CMMG’s SV muzzle brake. Another nice feature is the RML15 M-LOK handguard. (

Del-Ton 20" Pre-Ban A2 Barrel Assembly

Let’s change gears and go a bit old school. The 20" Pre-Ban A2 Barrel Assembly from Del-Ton is a classically styled upper that uses the direct-impingement operating system as well as a 20-inch, chrome-moly-vanadium barrel with a 1-in-9-inch twist rate perfect for heavier rounds—think 70-grain 5.56mm NATO bullets. The A2 upper features a fixed, non-detachable carry handle with iron sights that adjust for windage and elevation just like Uncle Sam envisioned. The upper also includes a bolt carrier group, charging handle and polymer handguard. (

Foxtrot Mike Products 8.5" Complete Upper

Foxtrot Mike (FM) Products offers a variety of complete American-made 9mm upper assemblies. Available with 8.5-, 10.5- or 16-inch barrels, these 6061-T6 aluminum uppers feature M-LOK handguards with several lightening cuts as well as ambidextrous, proprietary, non-reciprocating forward charging handles that fold down when not in use. (

Lewis Machine & Tool CQBPU

The 5.56mm CQBPU from Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT) is outfitted with a 16-inch, chrome-lined, 1-in-7-inch-twist barrel, a tactical charging handle and a gas piston operating system. This Monolithic Rail Platform (MPR) upper offers 16.25 inches of uninterrupted Picatinny rail on top while the sides and bottom of the forend are also railed. The gas block offers standard and suppressed settings, and the piston rod and spring are easy to remove. (

Matrix Arms 9mm 8.5" Complete Rear-Charging Upper

Compatible with Glock-style magazines, the 9mm 8.5" Complete Rear-Charging Upper from Matrix Arms is machined from a billet of 7075-T6 aluminum. This upper is lightweight because it doesn’t have a forward assist or dust cover. Both M-LOK and KeyMod handguards are available to surround the 8.5-inch barrel, with Picatinny top rails for optics and mounting slots for accessories. (

PSA 20" Rifle-Length .224 Valkyrie Complete Upper

Want to get into the latest AR caliber—the .224 Valkyrie—without spending a ton of coin? The 20" Rifle-Length .224 Valkyrie Complete Upper from Palmetto State Armory (PSA) will help. This upper features a 416R stainless steel barrel with a 1-in-7-inch twist rate for optimal accuracy over long distances. You can also expect reliable cycling due to the rifle-length gas system and adjustable gas block. More features include an A2-style flash suppressor, a 15-inch M-LOK handguard, a charging handle and a bolt carrier group. (

Radical Firearms 8.5" 300 Blackout Upper

Radical Firearms’ 8.5" 300 Blackout Upper is an optics-ready upper receiver for your next 300 Blackout pistol build. This assembly comes with a forward assist, a dust cover, a heavy 8.5-inch barrel and an A2-style flash suppressor. The Forward Guard Shield (FGS) handguard allows the barrel to float freely and keeps your support hand cool during extended firing sessions. (

Seekins Precision NX8

The NX8 complete upper in 300 Blackout comes with a match-grade barrel and Seekins’ NOXs handguard with a seamless top rail that provides monolithic-receiver performance as well as plenty of real estate for sights and optics. The Melonite-coated NOXs Billet gas system, with Seekins’ adjustable gas block, can be finely tuned for performance and reliability. The 7075-T6 aluminum receiver is hardcoat anodized. (

Stag 10 6.5 Creedmoor Upper

This 6.5 Creedmoor upper receiver from Stag Arms is set up for long-range target shooting and hunting. It comes with a 24-inch, 416R stainless steel barrel with a 1-in-8-inch twist rate. The 16.5-inch Paper City Firearms (PCF) M-LOK handguard is a nice addition, and at the business end you’ll find a Lantac .308/7.62mm Dragon compensator. Several upgrade options are available as well. (

Tactical Solutions AR-22 Barrel & Bolt

If you’ve got an old AR-15 upper receiver laying around, why not turn it into a rimfire shooter? Tactical Solutions’ AR-22 Barrel & Bolt kit is designed to convert a factory AR-15 upper to fire .22 LR rounds. This kit includes a 6061-T6 aluminum barrel with chrome-moly steel liner and a 1-in-16-inch twist rate as well as a stainless steel bolt and either a 10- or 25-round magazine. (

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