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AR-15 Brands in the $2000 and Under Range

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AR-15s are some of the most popular firearms owned by Americans, and not without good reason. Their adaptability to various roles makes them versatile enough to cater to the unique preferences of each enthusiast. However, the challenge for new owners and enthusiasts alike often lies in the price range and the overwhelming variety of options. 

Just like similar rifle platforms, the AR-15 can vary quite drastically in price. Plus, with so many different brands and models available, it can often feel like a nightmare to try to choose one out of a sea of great options. 

Our goal today is to simplify the process of finding your next AR-15. We’re going to look at some of the best AR-15s under $2,000. If this is out of your budget, our other guide on the top AR-15s under $700 highlights some more budget-friendly options.  

Top AR-15 Brands Around $2,000 

As we mentioned, AR-15s span a wide price spectrum and there are many manufacturers building different types of ARs with unique designs and features. It’s notoriously difficult to find the one rifle that will get you the results and longevity you’re looking for. Below is a list of some of the best-selling AR manufacturers we offer to get you pointed in the right direction:  

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Colt is one of the original producers of the AR-15, and they’ve been making them for a long time. As such, they’re often regarded by some enthusiasts as one of the premier AR-15 producers. Currently, they produce a few rifle models, with their popular models being the M5 Carbine and the LE6920 M4 Carbine. 

The Colt LE6920 M4 Carbine is a modern take on the classic platform. It’s built with mil-spec components and comes with a full-length M-LOK handguard that’s made by Centurion Arms, while some upgraded models come with a Geissele handguard. The M5 is similar functionally, but it’s a direct upgrade from the M4. Instead of a mil-spec lower, it features an upgraded lower receiver with fully ambidextrous controls, an updated M-LOK handguard from Colt, flip-up iron sights, and an upgraded Magpul stock.  

Both rifle models are available in either 14.5- and 16-inch variants, with SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) models available as well. The M4 Carbine usually sells for anywhere from around $1100 to $1500+, depending on the model, while the M5 Carbine starts around $1,950. If you want a high-quality mil-spec/traditional AR to build off of, the M4 fits the bill. If you want an upgraded Colt AR-15 with modern comforts and components, the M5 is the way to go. Regardless, both rifles are a solid choice.  

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Daniel Defense 

There aren’t many manufacturers who have garnered a reputation quite like Daniel Defense. Their rifles are strenuously tested to make certain they’ll hold up in tough conditions. Just like the other brands featured in this guide, they have a wide array of products in their lineup, with their most popular rifle being the DDM4 and its subsequent variants. 

DDM4 rifles are available in many configurations, with the key differences being the barrel length and handguard. Some of the most popular models are the M4A1, DD4 RIS III, and the DDM4 V7. The M4A1 and DDM4 V7 come with mil-spec components, Daniel Defense’s upgraded furniture, and the RIS II and MFR handguards respectively. The DD4 RIS III is built similarly, but it features fully ambidextrous controls and DD’s RIS III handguard, hence the name. Each model is available in either a 14.5-inch or 16-inch configuration, and the DDM4 V7 is also available with an 18-inch barrel.  

All three options are worthwhile picks for your next AR build. They each have cold hammer forged, chrome lined barrels and are built to be as durable as possible. Pricewise, a Daniel Defense AR-15 is usually priced anywhere from $1,600 to $2,300. Just like the other models in this list, their higher-end models usually drop under or closer to $2,000 when on sale.  

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Bravo Company Manufacturing 

Bravo Company Manufacturing boasts an incredible lineup of AR-15s. Though they’re known best for their lightweight and durable aftermarket components, BCM rifles are an incredible choice. They’ve garnered a reputation for making some of the most reliable rifles on the market, and they do this all without breaking the bank.  

By far one of the most popular variants they offer is their RECCE rifle series. Each of the RECCE rifles comes with one of BCM’s free floated handguards, BCM furniture, and their compensator. These rifles use mostly mil-spec components aside from what was mentioned previously. The barrel is made from 41V50 CrMoV steel and has a chrome lined bore.  

BCM’s RECCE line has a few variants, with there being options for a 14.5- and 16-inch barrel as well as a lightweight (LW) option. The 14.5-inch variant is pinned and welded, and the lightweight models weigh less than 6 pounds unloaded.  

A BCM AR-15 usually hovers around the $1,500 to $1,800 range, but this depends on the model and whether any extras come with the rifle. Keep in mind that some packages offered by them cost over $2,000.  

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Geissele Automatics 

You likely know them for their incredible aftermarket parts and trigger assemblies, but Geissele Automatics or Geissele for short, is one of the premier manufacturers of high-quality AR-15s. Their Super Duty AR-15 rifles come from the factory equipped with components that most enthusiasts later add to their AR builds to upgrade them.  

These rifles already have Geissele’s Reliability Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group, Stress Proof Bolt, Super 42 Spring, their SSA-E X Lightning Bow Trigger, and their SMR MK16 handguard pre-installed into the rifle. Not only are these components exceptionally durable, but they’re highly sought-after by enthusiasts looking to upgrade their builds. In addition to them, their rifles are available in either a 14.5- or 16-inch version. They each have cold hammer forged and chrome lined barrels and come with B5 systems furniture.  

A Geissele Super Duty AR-15 ranges from $2,000 to $2,500, depending on the model you choose. Now, we know this sort of stretching the parameters of the title, “AR15 Brands in the $2000 and Under Range”. But keep in mind that when these rifles are part of our sales, they often drop below, or hover around, the $2,000 mark.  


Sons of Liberty Gun Works 

Another highly regarded manufacturer is one that’s blown up in popularity over the last few years. We’re of course talking about Sons of Liberty Gun Works. SOLGW AR-15s are constructed with exceptionally high-quality parts and are fine tuned to work exceptionally well out of the box.  

SOLGW offers an abundance of models; One of the most popular models they have is their M4-89 rifle series. These rifles come with full length M-LOK handguards, B5 Systems furniture, an ambidextrous safety, and an ambidextrous charging handle. The barrels are made from 4150 CrMoV steel and coated with a QPQ corrosion resistant finish. One feature that sets the SOLGW M4-89 apart from other options is that it comes with a 9 position A5 buffer system for better recoil control. If you don’t know the difference between buffer weights, our guide on how to choose the right one will teach you everything you need to know about them.  

As we mentioned, SOLGW M4-89 rifles are available in different models, with the key difference being their barrel lengths. Currently, they offer these rifles with either a 16-, 14.5-, or a unique 13.7-inch barrel. Both the 14.5-inch and 13.7-inch barrels are pinned and welded to have a total overall length of 16 inches. You can usually find these around $1,600 to $2,000, but just like the Geissele ARs, they sometimes go on sale for less.  

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Lewis Machine & Tool 

Lewis Machine & Tool has been a known producer of high-quality rifle systems for decades. Their rifles have been used by Military and Law Enforcement groups around the world, and they still produce rifles for civilians in the United States.  

One such LMT AR-15 rifle is their Defender-L. Compared to the other rifles in this list, the Defender is the only one that uses a monolithic upper receiver, meaning the M-LOK handguard and upper receiver are milled from a single aluminum forging. In addition to this, it uses mil-spec components and comes with an upgraded rubber over molded grip and a durable 41v50 CrMoV steel barrel.  

Another cool feature of this rifle platform is its ability to quickly change calibers. Since the Defender-L uses a monolithic upper system, they’ve integrated a barrel disconnector that allows you to swap out different barrels. Multiple barrel configurations are available from LMT, making it a versatile platform that can easily be customized. The Defender-L is one of the more expensive options, as this rifle is priced around $1,950 to $2,000. 

What Should You Consider Before Buying an AR-15?  

Though we’ve gone over some incredible AR-15 options, there’s a strong possibility that you still don’t know which one to choose. That is totally okay. There’s a lot to consider before buying your rifle. And when you’re spending thousands of dollars on one, it’s crucial to make sure the choice you’re going with fits your needs.  

One of the key points of consideration is your intended purpose of use. AR-15s are used for more than just plinking at the range on a Saturday afternoon. A lot of enthusiasts use them for home defense, duty, competitions, and hunting along with recreation. Depending on how you want to use your rifle is, you may want to look for certain parts and accessories.  

Upgraded triggers and ambidextrous controls can make your rifle more versatile in different scenarios, but if you don’t mind having only Mil-spec controls or aren’t left-handed, they aren’t entirely necessary. Something to keep in mind though is that about every part on AR-15s can be swapped out for upgraded ones later.  

If you can, you should search for a rifle that meets as many of your needs as possible. Still, we know that this isn’t always doable for everyone. For some, it may be better to find a more inexpensive yet high-quality AR-15 to start with, since they can always be upgraded later. At the end of the day, the best AR is the one that works best for you. 

Is it Better to Build or Buy?  

Building an AR-15 is an excellent choice if you’re having trouble deciding on an off-the-shelf model, but whether it’s better to build one rather than buying one up for debate and completely subjective. Both options have their own pros and cons.  

Buying a pre-built rifle when you have a budget of $2,000 is great since there isn’t any extra labor involved on your end, making it better for newcomers that just want a solid rifle. Another perk is the included factory guarantee of compatibility and assembly, which is beneficial if you’re new to the platform.  

Building a rifle can take time and comes with a learning curve, especially if you aren’t familiar with the platform. However, it also comes with the bonus of being able to control exactly which parts go into your build. Assuming you keep the same initial budget of $2,000, there is an incredible array of high-quality parts available.  

If you decide to build your rifle, you can easily pick and choose custom parts like fully ambidextrous lowers and controls, lightweight handguards, and the furniture of your choice. Regardless of which method you choose, though, there are a lot of high-end rifle models and individual parts at your disposal.  

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There is an astounding number of AR-15s on the market today. So much so that it’s often hard to pick one. For around $2,000 you can find some great options that can fit a vast array of purposes while providing sub-MOA precision and incredible longevity.  

If you’re interested in seeing what else is available, we recommend looking at our article on the best AR-15. It has more info on the platform and goes in-depth on what to look for when shopping for an AR-15. 

Regardless of whether this is your first rifle or if you’re simply looking for the next addition to your personal collection, we recommend taking your time to research the options available to you. Your shooting experience will always benefit from having a quality rifle.