DefensiveCarry.com AR-15 Buyer's Guide
If you’ve been here for any length of time, you’ve probably seen a title including the words "Which AR?" at least a couple times every couple months. This is notable for a couple reasons. First, it tells us that many people are buying AR-15s, and many of those for use as a home defense tool. Second, it tells us that there is not a centrally-located knowledge base for people to look at to help them decide which rifle to purchase. It is my hope that this guide can fill that vacancy and be useful for readers on the hunt for an AR-15.
Since this is a buyer’s guide, it will share overlap with jwise’s outstanding complete AR-15 buyer’s guide. If there are any mistakes or incorrect statements, let me know and I'll fix them. If I don't in a reasonable time frame, we have mods for a reason.
Unlike in my initial version of this, there is no planned cost-benefit analysis, example builds, or "Chart" discussion section. This is a guide for what to look for in buying an AR-15, not a shopping list; availability and price change frequently, companies come and go, and it's better to know the how's and why's than just the what's. Teach a man to fish and all that. Since this is the same intent as the infamous Chart, there is no need for a discussion here. Having said that, the References section is specifically so that I/we can dump a ton of useful links and resources there. If you have some good ones, please share. If I can't get to it, ask a mod to edit it in.
It's my hope that this guide helps members and visitors understand how the AR-15 works and how to pick out a rifle that meets their needs in a defensive AR-15, so that regardless of changes in availability and prices they'll still know what to look for.