I am the resident “gun guy” at work/in my circle of friends, and I am asked all the time on how to get an AR for “really cheap”.
I normally try to dissuade people from going the cheap route when it comes to firearms, my viewpoint is that on things that are intended to save your life – you get quality. Just like you don’t want the budget parachute, you don’t want the cheap defensive weapon.
But there are some benefits to a lower cost weapon:
– Any malfunctions during training are a new training opportunity to fix those malfunctions.
– Any rife is better than no rifle, I would rather have a $600 AR over a free rock.
– Budget is not always crap, there are some good values out there.
So, as a personal test/mental exercise, I went about finding the best parts to build the least expensive AR I could, based on new components, that is not a pre-built kit.
Please be advised that I am referring to vendors below that I have no affiliation with, and have received no compensation from for this blog posting. I can only speak to the quality of the finished product of the DSA upper (seemed good, considering the price point) by a personal inspection (a work buddy purchased the upper listed below) but have not taken the items to the range, or have any live fire experience with these items. Please note that the upper is supposedly 100% american made, which is a big plus, in my book.
I could get everything from DSA arms minus the lower for $498.95, here is a screenshot of my shopping cart:
All you need to get now is a lower to attach all your components to, you can get them for as little as $79.99 – HERE is an example from AIM Surplus. This cost plus the $498 from above, bring us under a $600 total. Yes, I realize that you still may have to pay shipping and transfer fees, but those can shift from state-to-state, so I did not include them.
There are a few guides online on how to assemble everything, it is not that hard. HERE is a good outline, found on AR15.com
I am sure one of you out there has done it for less, but I feel that the above is a good mix of quality and price.
What would your recommendation be for a good budget or value AR build?
LAST MINUTE ADD: I forgot rear irons! – $16 bucks from Amazon (we are still under $600!)