Best Selling AR-15s of 2012

By CTD Rob published on in AR-15, Chronicle, Firearms

We often field questions about which AR-15 is the best. In my experience, if you ask ten different firearms enthusiasts about the best AR-15, you are likely to get ten different answers. Aside from some fundamental specifications, which at this point most manufacturers meet or exceed, most AR-15s you buy off the shelf work perfectly well for range time. Rather than searching in terms of the best AR, you might consider what the most popular AR is. We ran a report of the top selling AR-15s of 2012 to see which black rifle could be crowned king. Some of the answers might surprise you.

Colt 6720R Talo Edition

Colt 6720R Talo Edition

Colt 6720R Talo Edition

In fifth place, Colt chambered the Talo 6720R for 5.56 NATO as well as .223 Remington. It is no shock that this is one of our top sellers since it comes with a solid list of features. Some of these include the new Rogers Super-Stoc, Colt free float quad rail, Magpul MOE grip, MBUS flip up sights, and above all the Colt pony stamped on the side of the receiver. It’s a beast for a decent price. The 1:7 twist on the inside of the barrel can stabilize heaver projectiles, and the low profile gas block allows more room for goodies. You could do worse when picking out a rifle.

Colt AR-15 Magpul MOE 6920

Colt AR-15 Magpul MOE 6920

Colt AR-15 Magpul MOE 6920

Shocking—another Colt coming in fourth place. You would think these guys enjoyed making ARs or something. The Colt 6920 is extremely close to what the military issues our soldiers around the world. It is one of the highest quality rifles on this list, and yet we sold a ton of these things. Barrel twist rate is 1/7, one complete bullet revolution per seven inches of barrel, which is the military specification and which will effectively stabilize bullets from 55 grains to 77 grains in weight. They say the devil is in the details, and a detailed analysis of this gun will show it to be made of superior materials and workmanship. For nearly two decades now the 6920 has stood as the epitome of the M4 Carbine, and the loyalty to Colt and their design shows in the sales of this model.

Bushmaster M4A3 Patrolman’s Semi Automatic Carbine

Bushmaster M4A3

Bushmaster M4A3

The famous bushmaster name has been the misguided focus of attention from the media due to recent tragic events. One of Bushmaster’s most popular carbine models, the M4 type features a distinctive military barrel profile and six position telescoping buttstock-great for 3 Gun Match shooting, home defense and law enforcement use. The Bushmaster A2 & A3 type Patrolman’s carbines are similar to the M4 type carbines, but with additional barrel length to make them legal for sale to individual officers and civilians. They feature a chrome-lined barrel, birdcage flash suppressor, A3 upper receiver with picatinny rail, and removable carry handle and rear sight.

Colt LE6920

Colt LE6920 AR-15

Colt LE6920 AR-15

Coming in second is the venerable Colt LE6920 chambered in 5.5 NATO is as authentic as a semi auto AR-15 gets. Incorporating a 4-position retractable stock, M4 handguards with dual heat shield, flattop upper with removable carry handle, 1:7-inch twist, chrome lined barrel, and of course, the Colt pony on the receiver. It may look like a basic AR from the outside, but the buttstock is sturdy, and aside from some added optics, I wouldn’t change a thing. You don’t get the fancy free floating quad rail hand guards, but to be honest, I really don’t care. It’s a great rifle to start off with and it wouldn’t take much to upgrade any parts you wish. The core of this weapon is solid, and I wouldn’t scoff if I saw one at the range.

Windham Weaponry SRC

Windham Weaponry SRC

Windham Weaponry SRC

The winner for the absolute top selling AR-15 of 2012, The Windham Weaponry SRC, chambered in 5.56 NATO, it makes an economical choice for a functional flat top AR-15. If you haven’t heard of Windham Weaponry, you should read more. The former owner of Bushmaster runs Windham Weaponry, with the same machines and specialists that made Bushmaster. After selling the Bushmaster name to a conglomerate, they just turned the machines back on and started making Windham. The flat top upper receiver and gas block provide you versatility to mount the optic of your choice with the option for easy mounting of backup sights. It incorporates a number of quality features including a 16-inch chrome lined barrel with 1:9-inch twist, flattop upper, and two-piece plastic handguards. The result is a rifle that is ready for ammunition and a trip to the range. When we started selling Windham rifles, I knew informed shoppers would gravitate towards them, so its no surprise that this rifle finished in first place.

What do you think the top ARs of 2013 will be?

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Comments (97)

  • Barrycuda

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    It would seem that many have not been paying attention to what has been going on for years. If you had to “run out and buy”…anything, shame on you! I along with many others did not need to buy anything. We have been slowly preparing for years.
    This is the true heart of the matter…Everyone thinks the Constitution will defend itself.These liberals,progressives and democraps have been calculating and forcing political correctness down our throats till we have become spineless.
    It is past time to act like a junk yard dog in defense of our rights and our culture. We all love the (A)merican(R)ifle…the military has real AR’s,fully automatic…but wait according to the government ,theirs are personal defense rifles.
    According to Obama ,our founding fathers were a bunch of Old White Fools and they didnt create the second greatest document in History, and he is going to fundamentally change America..Get this bastards out of office,local,state and federal, and all there employess that make twice as much as you for 1/10 the work. Think about it,these Government workers are just as big a problem, why is DHS,Social Security,Homeland Security and the others buying record amounts(over 2 Billion) of Hollow point bullets? Not a rant or hate mail, just a factual look.

    Reply

  • Ira Radnick

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    I live in the less insane Upstate NY, as opposed to the liberal idiot territories near Albany and NYC with folks that cower in fear of any citizen who is pro-gun. My wife and I are CCW holders for NYS, Arizona, Florida, and Utah. We have purchased a nice array of .380, 9mm and .40 caliber handguns (Glock, Sig-Sauer) for personal protection, an 18.5″ barrel 870 12 gauge pump shotgun for home defense, an 11-87 shotgun for hunting, another 870 20 gauge for hunting, several .22 rifles for small game hunting, an AdCor 5.56 mm chambered rifle for long distance hunting and civil defense, and a whole lot of ammo (had to buy a 2nd gun safe) with thousands of rounds per caliber for the little mini-armory my wife and I have. Why? It is less about fighting our own citizens in the military, and more about a few other things that concern me.

    I do believe that within my lifetime we will see the collapse of the American dollar. How could we not given the heavy debt and insane tax burdens placed on us? If it comes to pass I want to be able to defend and feed my family, and trade ammo for essentials we will need. For me the firearms are tools, and the ammo allows me to both use these tools, and trade for things I do not otherwise have. If a guy is a better squirrel hunter than I am, I will trade a dozen rounds of .22LR (we have over 10,000 rounds of that particular caliber) for him to bring back two squirrels for dinner. If someone is a deer hunter and I do not have the time to go get one myself, despite being a smaller round than ideal I would trade a few dozen rounds of 5.56mm NATO ammo for him to share the meat with me when he takes one down.

    Ammo will become a commodity with real exchange value once nobody cares about paper currency and electronic numbers in bank accounts. It will become more valuable than food as food can’t be used to defend you and your family – it can allow you to eat, but you may have to fight to keep it from being stolen. Ammo will allow you to hunt and/or trade for food & water, and you can use it to keep others away. I buy as much ammo as I can each month, thousands of rounds. About to buy a 3rd fire resistant gun safe just to be able to store even more. For investors, what else can you purchase that gains 15% per year in value – tax free? That’s right, nothing but good quality ammo in popular calibers (.22LR, 9mm, and .223/ 5.56mm are real popular).

    Just sayin’…

    Reply

  • Dale

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    wise words Ira.

    Reply

  • Barrycuda

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    You my friend and fellow “True American” are part of the 1% that have vision and clarity.

    Reply

  • JJ

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    Fear the government that fears your guns.

    Reply

  • Neil Schmidt

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    Re Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban bill of 2013: (http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/assault-weapons-ban-summary), it states:

    “Assault weapon bans have been proven to be effective.

    The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was effective at reducing crime and getting these military-style weapons off our streets. Since the ban expired, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 450 injured by these weapons.

    A Justice Department study of the assault weapons ban found that it was responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal.
    Source: Jeffrey A. Roth & Christopher S. Koper, “Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994,” (March 1997).
    The same study also found that “Assault weapons are disproportionately involved in murders with multiple victims, multiple wounds per victim, and police officers as victims.”
    The use of assault weapons in crime declined by more than two-thirds by about nine years after 1994 Assault Weapons Ban took effect.
    Source: Christopher S. Koper, “An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003” (June 2004), University of Pennsylvania, Report to the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
    The percentage of firearms seized by police in Virginia that had high-capacity magazines dropped significantly during the ban. That figure has doubled since the ban expired.
    Source: David S. Fallis and James V. Grimaldi, “In Virginia, high-yield clip seizures rise,” Washington Post, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/22/AR2011012204046.html
    When Maryland imposed a more stringent ban on assault pistols and high-capacity magazines in 1994, it led to a 55% drop in assault pistols recovered by the Baltimore Police Department.
    Source: Douglas S. Weil & Rebecca C. Knox, Letter to the Editor, The Maryland Ban on the Sale of Assault Pistols and High-Capacity Magazines: Estimating the Impact in Baltimore, 87 Am. J. of Public Health 2, Feb. 1997.
    37% of police departments reported seeing a noticeable increase in criminals’ use of assault weapons since the 1994 federal ban expired.
    Source: Police Executive Research Forum, Guns and Crime: Breaking New Ground by Focusing on the Local Impact (May 2010).”

    I would bet that John Lott has something to say about the statistics mentioned above. Has anyone seen a reply by John that would clarify and refute the claims you have just read? It seems to me that if “assault weapon” bans were the sole cause of a “6.7% decrease in total gun murders,” as per the DOJ, nothing is really proven. Fewer “assault weapons” don’t mean a thing, IMO. It means only that criminals used a more readily-available weapon. Also, what about the association between more criminals being caught and being put in prison? Certainly, this would affect the stats. To summarize, these statistics need to be picked apart, otherwise statements made are open to question, as they should be.

    So….where are you, John Lott?

    Reply

  • TEX

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    I dont agree with that list,…its wrong !!!

    Reply

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