The AR-15 platform is hands-down the most popular in America today — and for good reason. These firearms are among the most versatile on the market, and you can configure them using modular parts to accommodate a range of different purposes. If you're thinking of picking one up, here's what you should think about when buying your first AR-15.
WHY THE AR-15 MAKES A GREAT ADDITION TO YOUR ARSENAL
Whether you're buying your first gun or adding to a growing collection, an AR-15 delivers multiple advantages over other designs. These firearms are highly customizable, and you can change or upgrade virtually every part and accessory to create your ideal personalized build.
With an AR-15, you can change the barrel size, sights and optics, caliber, accessories and much more to design your ideal setup. You can also configure these firearms to deliver the performance characteristics you need to fill specific roles like recreational shooting, hunting or home defense.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST AR-15
Since there are countless aftermarket parts available today, you can continue modifying your AR-platform rifle or pistol for as long as you own it. When buying your first AR-15, however, it's best to try and keep things simple.
1. BUILD, BUY OR BOTH?
Your primary consideration is whether you want to buy a complete gun off the shelf, piece together pre-built upper and lower receivers, or build your first AR-15 from scratch. Each offers advantages:
- Fully assembled AR-15s: Complete guns are ready to fire off the shelf but lack personalization.
- Partial builds: Pairing your preferred upper and lower receivers offers flexibility and convenience.
- Custom builds: Customizing your firearm from the ground up takes the longest but provides the most control.
AR-15s are affordable, but it's important to differentiate between cost and value. Many complete AR-15s are available for under $500.00, but it may be worth spending a little more on the front end, depending on your goals. If you know you'll be customizing yours, take the time to price out how much it will cost to transform an off-the-shelf rig before you buy — putting it together yourself could save you time and money later.
AR-15s have endless applications they are used for. Their versatile allows them to be built for everything from long range precision shooting to plinking at the shooting range to home defense. While you may use your AR-15 for multiple things, keeping in mind its primary purpose while help you make important decisions like the caliber, barrel length, stock, accessories and more. For example, if you are building or buying an AR-15 for home defense you will want to consider a shorter barrel, with an adjustable stock and light or laser accessory.
Caliber is another top consideration when picking up your first AR-15. By changing out the barrel and a few key components, you can configure AR-15s to fire .223, .308, 9mm, 300 Blackout and 6.5 Grendel ammunition, among others. These calibers all have different places they excel, but range and ballistics can have a significant impact when you're out hunting or protecting your home
On the AR-15, you can add a wide range of accessories to help you gain greater accuracy when firing and achieve more comfort when handling your firearm — and rail systems offer even more to work with. Accessories include parts like handgrips, collapsible stocks, sights and optics, slings, bipods, lights and much more.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR FIRST AR-15 WITH PARTS FROM WING TACTICAL
Wing Tactical is your online source for an extensive selection of quality aftermarket AR-15 parts and accessories. We have complete upper and lower receivers for sale, or we can help you put together a custom build with all your preferred upgrades. Reach out to us online for assistance.