- 1 Top 5 Budget AR Uppers
- 2 Picking the Best Budget Upper
- 3 Buying an AR-15 Upper on a Budget
- 4 Finding the Right Compromise
- 5 Brands to Choose for an Upper Receiver Assembly
Right now is one of the best times in history to buy AR-15 uppers on a budget. Cheap AR uppers don’t have to mean cheap quality and in fact more likely represent the incredible bargains you can get in a world of mass-produced parts that currently have more supply than demand. There is no sign of this marketplace glut going away anytime soon, so let’s take a look at some of the best budget AR-15 Upper Receivers For Sale out there right now. Remember, you should take advantage of this bargains now because there will come a time when you’ll remember this golden age of AR-15’s and wish you’d taken advantage of it.
Top 5 Budget AR Uppers
The words “crazy cheap” come to mind when looking at this high quality budget upper. Chambered in the increasingly popular .300 Blackout and fitted with a free float KeyMod handguard, this upper just needs the bolt carrier group, charging handle and sights/optic of your choice to be ready to go. For well under $250, you can use the savings on your upper to get some really nice glass to put on it.Current Price $239 – Click Here For More Info
For just under $220 this budget upper is incredibly hard to beat. Add a BCG, charging handle and sights and you are done. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, with a special Radical Firearms free floating handguard featuring QD swivel attachment points, this upper is a powerful reminder of the huge variety of cheap, quality uppers that are flooding the market right now. Don’t let opportunities like this pass you by.Current Price $220 – Click Here For More Info
Many budget uppers do not ship with a bolt carrier group and charging handle. While this is nice if you want to use a premium BCG, or charging handle there is nothing wrong with standard parts either. And for about $320, who cares? This is a complete, ready to use upper that only needs your choice of sights or optic. Slap a red dot on top or another ar-15 accessory, and that’s it. A complete upper for this price is almost unheard of. Take advantage of it while you can.Current Price $329 – Click Here For More Info
Same deal as other budget uppers, add the BCG, handle and sights of your choice. Build a fun to shoot and own 8.5” barrel .300 pistol (or jump through the hoops to build a legal SBR). $219.99 cheap doesn’t mean low quality. You’ll love this upper as much as you’ll love the gun you can build around it. Makes a great companion to a .300 rifle.Current Price $219 – Click Here For More Info
Picking the Best Budget Upper
Budget uppers often lack bolt carrier groups, charging handles, and may not have the most advanced handguards. However for most of us, some sort of free float handguard (or even a standard handguard) is good enough, and quite frankly I’d rather buy a premium BCG and charging handle with some of the money I saved by buying a budget upper. Find the one you like and enjoy the savings.
Buying an AR-15 Upper on a Budget
Buying an AR-15 upper receiver could cost you a lot of money – but there are some things that you can do to keep the cost low without sacrificing quality. The good news is that prices, in general, are coming down – there are more companies manufacturing them, and while there is a difference between mass-produced foreign imports and some of the “original” quality names, there are compromises to be had that shouldn’t be too painful.
Think of this as a golden age for AR-15s. There are plenty of budget uppers out there – and the majority are of excellent quality. Here’s a quick overview of some of the bargains that you can pick up right now.
Radical Firearms Midlength Upper
It’s hard to beat the price of this ultra-budget midlength upper. It’s chambered in 5.56 NATO, and has a free-floating handguard with QD swivel attachment points. It’s a nice upper to build on – if you add some good sights to it then you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it – and prices start at just $220! Radical Firearms make some other budget uppers too, and the deal is always the same. Stick on a handle, BCG and some sights, and you’re good to go.
DPMS Complete Upper
If you don’t want to be fussing with the BCG or charging handle, then there are other options out there. The DPMS Complete Upper comes with a bolt carrier group and a charging handle. You will still need to add sights, but other than that it is a complete upper that is ready to install and use. It costs around $330 – and for that you get the peace of mind that you’re getting all the kit you need.
Finding the Right Compromise
Shooting is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, so it should come as no surprise that when you buy a budget upper you might end up having to spend a little extra money on extra parts. If you’re the minimalist type, then it may be that you’ll be happy with a standard handguard and you might be happy to pick up some cheap sights, charging handles, etc. Alternatively, it could be that you are deliberately choosing a basic upper and that your plan is to put the money that you save into buying the best possible BCG or handle. It really depends on what your budget is, how you shoot, and what your goals are.
Brands to Choose for an Upper Receiver Assembly
Replacing the upper receiver can offer a lot of benefits. If you aren’t happy with how your AR is, but don’t want to buy a new gun, then you can change a lot of the properties of the AR by changing the upper receiver. It’s usually about $200 less expensive to replace the upper compared to buying an entire new gun. Only the lower is serialized, so replacing the upper gives you a new gun without the paperwork. It also means you get to keep your grip, buttstock, etc – so if you’ve customised those then you don’t have to redo the work.
There are some great uppers on the market – companies such as Colt, Noveske, Larue and Daniel Defense make high-end, reliable uppers. If you don’t want to spend that level of cash, then Sig Sauer, Spike’s, Smith & Wsson and Aero Precision are all mid-tier brands that are worth the look. For budget brands, look at the ones listed above, as well as Bushmaster, Delton, Stag, Olympic and DPMS. These offer good value for money and are nice for recreational shooters or a starter build – but they aren’t for heavy use. They won’t come with the accessories that you might demand if you do a lot of shooting, and they’re not up to the same level of precision machining. That’s not to say that they’re badly made or dangerous, but you get what you pay for and some people have complained about things like reliability issues with shorter barrelled budget receivers.
If you’re left handed, then you might want to spend some extra money to get a proper left-handed AR-15 from a well-known make. Stag offers some great uppers for left handed people, but you can expect to pay more than for a standard set up.