While we’d all love to have the resources to piece out AR-15 builds without thinking of price, for most of us that’s not a possibility. Welcome to the budget build. The budget build opens the door for shooters who want an AR-15 but can’t spend the dough on parts exceeding $100.
Guns.com has you covered, as we have curated our list of best budget-friendly items for AR-15s with each part slipping in under $100.
1. Stock: Magpul MOE — $39
Magpul leads the list offering its MOE Carbine Mil-Spec Stock. The drop-in replacement buttstock features an A-frame design to prevent snagging or catching on the move, shielding its release latch from accidental deployment. The MOE Stock provides a 0.30-inch thick rubber butt-pad to prevent slippage while firing and comes in a few colors (black, FDE, gray, OD Green and pink) to spice up the look of any AR-15 build. Though its MSRP is right around $39, do enough online hunting and you can bring that price down closer to the $30 mark.
2. Grip: Hogue OverMolded Rubber Grip with Beavertail — $26
Available in finger grooved or flat models, the Hogue OverMolded Rubber Grip with Beavertail provides a durable, yet comfortable surface to grip. The synthetic rubber delivers a recoil absorbing material that is soft and sturdy. The Beavertail design adds to the comfort, carrying the rubber design further up the grip frame and better padding the webbing between thumb and forefinger when shooting. Available in nine colors, basic black retails for $26 while brighter additions run closer to $30.
3. Optics/Sights: Bushnell TRS-25 — $99, Magpul MBUS – $72
In the world of optics and sights, you often get what you pay for. While we recommend putting good money into a nice red dot or scope, we understand that sometimes budget is best. Enter the Bushnell TRS-25. While it doesn’t offer the robust features or fancy bells and whistles as high-end red dots, the TRS-25 does provide a functional 3 MOA red dot sight for just under $100. Weighing in at 6-ouces, the TRS-25 delivers multi-coated optics with a total of 11 brightness settings. The red dot is also waterproof, fogproof and shockproof.
Back-up sights are always a good addition to any rifle build and once again Magpul pulls through with a budget friendly design. The MBUS is a low-profile, polymer sight set that features a flip-up design. Utilizing a spring-loaded ambidextrous release mechanism, the sights engage quickly and lock into place. The same release mechanism also allows the sights to fold back down into place. Designed for AR-15s, the MBUS mounts to any rifle using Picatinny rails. While MSRP is over $100, do enough digging and the MBUS sights can be purchased for around $70ish.
4. Sling: Vickers Sling by Blue Force Gear — $45
Blue Force Gear teamed up with 1st SFOD-Delta operational member and renowned gun expert Larry Vickers to create the Vickers Combat Application Sling. The Vickers Sling uses a Quick Adjuster to allow users to quickly move from transport of a firearm to engagement with the weapon. Available in standard configuration or padded, the Vickers sling uses 1.25-inch sling webbing with lengths starting at 54-inches for the standard and topping out at 64-inches full extended. The padded version measures 57-inches with a 67-inch extension measurement. Available in 10 colors and patterns, the Vickers Sling also gives consumers the choice of nylon or metal hardware, all under $50.
5. Charging Handle: BCM Gunfighter Ambi– $79, Strike Industries, $35
The BCM Gunfighter Ambidextrous Charging Handle, styled in black, provides a snag-free profile that allows shooters to easily manipulate the handle with either hand. The charging handle is designed to reduce the load on the pivot pin therefore keeping energy from charging closer to the centerline of the rifle. This layout offers a larger surface with, ultimately, a smaller silhouette.
If $79 for the BCM Gunfighter is still outside the price range, Strike Industries delivers its ARCH-EL Charging Handle for $35. The ARCH-EL boasts an extended latch design in either black, FDE, red or blue. Constructed with an aluminum latch surface, Strike says the wear and tear on the receiver is less thanks to that aluminum latch construction.
6. Adjustable Gas Block: Seekins Precision Adjustable Gas Block– $59
Seekins Precision is known for quality parts and the Adjustable Low Profile Gas Block is no exception. The Seekins Gas Block allows shooters to fine tune their rifle’s gas system for a smoother operation. Field adjustable, the gas block can be tweaked using the gas regulating screw to lessen the amount of gas or add more. A brass tipped set screw locks settings into place. Measuring 1.37-inches in height with a left to right measurement of 0.94-inches, the gas block is compact enough to fit under most handguards.
7. Handguard/Rail: UTG Pro Super Slim — $99, Magpul MOE — $30
The UTG Pro Super Slim Free-Float Handguard by Leapers delivers a 13-slot Picatinny rail with 14 slots on seven tracks for mounting M-LOK accessories. Machined from 6061-T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum with a matte black hard coat anodize, the UTG Pro Super Slim handguard is quick and easy to mount onto rifle builds and is designed to work alongside standard gas tubes. With an ergonomic octagonal profile and grooved surface for a positive grip, the UTG Pro Super Slim is a functional handguard, slipping just under $100.
For shooters who need to keep their accessories under $50, Magpul once again proves why its MOE series is a powerhouse in the budget community. The MOE M-LOK Handguard, priced at $30, fits AR-15s with carbine-length gas systems. Featuring M-LOK slots at three positions, the handguard allows users to mount optional 1913 Picatinny rail sections as well as other M-LOK attachments. Easy to install and offering a reinforced, heat-resistant polymer design, the MOE Handguard ships in the same colors (black, FDE, gray, OD green and pink) as the MOE Stock.
8. Miscellaneous accessories: Real Avid Gun Boss– $30. MagLula, $26
Though the following doesn’t mount on any AR-15 build, they still prove extremely useful when working with the AR platform. First up, is the Real Avid Gun Boss cleaning kit. Packed in a zippered ballistic nylon case, the Gun Boss kit stores a variety of useful tools every AR shooters needs to clean their AR builds. From cleaning patches to BCG brushes to steel rods, the Gun Boss delivers necessary tools to clean on-the-go.
Following the Gun Boss is the MagLula loader and unloader. While not a necessity on the range, the MagLula is a nicety. Saving fingers and time from the tedious task of loading and unloading mags, the MagLula gets shooters up and running at the range quicker. Worth every penny of its $26 price tag, the MagLula is the perfect addition to any AR-15 range day.
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