Top New AR-15s of 2014!


Okay, don’t hate on us too much but a couple of these rifles are 2013 mid-year introductions or just too cool not to throw on the list. From practical to tactical to just plain fun, the AR-15—in all of its wonderful forms and derivatives—has truly taken its place as America’s rifle.

Colt LE6940

The LE6940 displays fresh ingenuity with Mil-Spec hammer and trigger pivot pins, a Magpul MBUS backup sight and a folding front sight for enhanced optical solutions, and a straight gas tube and a removable lower rail, which provides modularity for under mounting accessories. The patented one-piece monolithic upper receiver incorporates a continuous Mil-Spec rail from the rear of the upper receiver to the front sight. This feature affords unmatched repeatability for mounting optical systems, not found with separate handguard rail systems. Designed with accuracy in mind, its true free-floating barrel provides the enhanced accuracy necessary for long-range acquisition capability.

Caliber: 5.56×45 NATO (.223 Rem.)
Barrel Length: 16.1 in.
Extended Length: 35.5 inches
Collapsed Length: 32 inches
Weight: 6.79 pounds
Twist: 1:7 inches

Daniel Defense MK12

Daniel Defense has carved out a niche for quality and has the following to prove it. Now, the evolution of the SPR comes home to Daniel Defense in the MK12. Born of necessity, raised in the Army’s Marksmanship Unit and refined to Daniel Defense Mil-Spec+ standards, the MK12 is constructed around an 18-inch stainless steel barrel with a chamber created during the cold-hammer-forging process. The MK12 barrel, engineered with a rifle-length direct-impingement gas system, uses the MK12 gas block built to Crane specifications for USSOCOM. The MK12 gas block is precision CNC machined from 416 stainless steel and black oxide coated. Fed with an M16-profile bolt-carrier group, the rifle uses a Vltor Mod 4 charging handle for ease of operation.

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Barrel Length: 18 inches
Length: 34 ¾ inches to 37 7/8 inches
Weight: 7.41 pounds
Twist: 1:7 inches


Combining rock-solid reliability with pinpoint accuracy and battle-hardened durability, the FNH FN 15 rifle is ready for the firing line. The FN 15 features—

  • A 20-inch, button-broached, chrome-lined barrel
  • A fixed stock with sling mount and storage compartment
  • A removable carrying handle with rear sight and an A2-style front sight for easy target acquisition
  • A two-piece, ribbed hand guard

For those who want the newest version of this battle classic with the accuracy and reliability of FN, look no further than the FN 15 rifle.

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Weight: 10.5 pounds
Twist: 1:7 inches

CMMG Mk4 T-Series

When modularity, affordability and quality are all important, the Mk4 T is the rifle of your dreams. The Mk4 T introduces CMMG’s RKM series of KeyMod free-float handguards. Offered for the 5.56mm and .300 BLK both, you have a choice of either a 416 stainless or nitrided 4140 CrMo steel barrel in a medium-taper profile. The .22LR and 9mm models feature a nitrided 4140 CrMo M4-profile barrel.

Caliber: 5.56mm/.300 BLK/9mm/.22LR
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Overall Length: 32 inches
Weight: 6.3 pounds
Twist: 1:7 inches

High Standard Enforcer

Looking for something new or a new caliber? Maybe you have always wanted something in .300 AAC. Perhaps you are the type who does not want to jump on the bandwagon; perhaps you prefer to blaze your own path. High Standard’s AR carbines are designed to meet the needs of the tactical market without breaking the bank. The Enforcer features standard flip-up front and rear sights and a forward vertical grip.

Caliber: .300 AAC
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Twist: 1:8 inches


The SLK8 rifle from Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT) was specifically designed to meet the needs of 3-Gun shooters, but it truly serves a multi-mission role. The SLK8 features a match-grade, stainless steel barrel, ambidextrous magazine release, two-stage match trigger and an exclusive ERGO grip. Other notables include a Defender lower with SOPMOD buttstock, semiauto bolt-carrier group, rail segments, rubberized grip panels and heavy-duty push-button swivels.

Caliber: .223
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Twist: 1:8 inches

Ruger SR-762

The Ruger SR-762 is a lightweight, quick-handling carbine that is an ideal rifle for those who appreciate the familiar and ergonomic AR-style platform. The .308 Win./7.62 NATO cartridge is perfect for hunting medium- and most large-size game and enhances the capability of the AR-style platform in defensive or tactical roles. The SR-762 retains the features of the original SR-556, including Ruger’s chrome-plated, two-stage piston; ergonomic handguard; folding backup iron sights and telescoping buttstock.

Caliber: .308 Win.7.62 NATO
Barrel Length: 16.12 inches
Weight: 7.8 pounds
Twist: 1:8 inches

Vltor Weapons Systems XVI Warrior Carbine

Vltor is not a common household name, but that does not mean it has not been building quality rifle for years. Along with its existing line of short-barreled rifles, Vltor has moved into the carbine-length AR market. The XVI Warrior carbine features an oversize mag release and sidesaddle sling plate, forward assist and KeyMod system, seven-position A5 receiver extension with VLTOR A5H2 5.3-ounce buffer with rifle spring and Geiselle DMR trigger.

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Weight: 7.25 pounds

Windham Weaponry .308 SRC

Windham Weaponry’s .308 SRC comes with a flattop upper, a 20-round Magpul magazine, direct-gas-impingement operation and a forged upper and lower receiver with an integral trigger guard. With a 16 ½-inch barrel and a collapsible stock, the rifle stays handy, and at 7 ½ pounds empty, it is easy to carry. The .308 SRC ships without sights but is equipped with front and rear Picatinny rails.

Caliber: .308 Win.
Barrel Length: 16.5 inches
Weight: 7.55 pounds
Twist: 1:10 inches

Adams Arms Mid Tactical Evo

Adams Arms offers a family of EVO rifles and uppers to suit your tactical needs. Features include Mil-Spec forged 7075-T6 upper and lower receivers, a Type III Class II hardcoat-anodized finish with beveled mag well, machined chevrons in the front strap M4 feed ramps, a Picatinny rail flattop with dry lube internal finish and laser-engraved T-markings. Barrel lengths vary by model, and barrels are constructed as government-contour 4150 CM Melonite and are chambered for .223/5.56x45mm NATO. They are backed with a Vltor IMOD collapsible stock and decked with a Hydrocoat Kryptek Highlander pattern with an automotive-grade clear topcoat.

Caliber: .223/5.56x45mm NATO
Barrel Length: 14.5 inches
Weight: 7.09 pounds
Twist: 1:7 inches
Stock: Enhanced six-position buttstock


Across the country, many law enforcement agencies and SWAT teams use the original SASS, as did the winning sniper in the 2012 CAN AM Police Games. Take that proven performance, throw it into a more versatile and lighter sniper platform and you get a match made in long-range heaven. It features a 30% weight reduction, an 18-inch fluted stainless barrel, a four-rail free-float tube, a Harris bipod and adapter, a Magpul PRS stock and Gen 2 MBUS.

Caliber: .308/7.62 NATO
Barrel Length: 18 inches
Weight: 10.5 pounds
Twist: 1:10 inches

JP Enterprises 5.11 Always Be Ready (JP-15)

Designed to suit a wide range of shooting needs, the 5.11 Always Be Ready edition rifles are available in three different configurations. The first is the value-packed and duty-driven .223 JP-15 with flip-up BUIS. Add on a primary optic and this model is ideal for military and LE operators. The second is the lightweight SCR-11 all-out competition rifle, also with BUIS included. Available in .223 or .300 Blackout, the SCR-11 is meant to provide maximum utility. The discounted Pro Package upper assemblies chambered in .22LR, .223 or .300 Blackout offer the serious competitive shooter the option of different calibers in the same rifle platform. Finally, as a long-range precision package, the third configuration is a 20-inch LRP-07 chambered in .308 Win. similar to the sniper rigs sold to LE departments around the country.

Caliber: .223 Rem.
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Twist: 1:8 inches


Based on LWRCI’s Individual Carbine (IC) platform, this 5.56mm rifle combines an 8½-inch barrel with an Ultra Compact stock (1 inch shorter than the Compact stock). The M6 IC PSD rifle is also outfitted with a patent-pending ARM-R rail system, featuring a removable top portion and a return-to-zero system that requires no tools. The carbine-length rail over the low-profile gas block provides plenty of room for adding sights and accessories. The M6 IC PSD rifle combines submachine-gun size with a battle-rifle cartridge and LWRCI’s ultra-reliable gas-piston operating system, offering the professional shooter never-before-realized capabilities in one sweet little package.

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Barrel Length: 16 inches
Twist: 1:7.5 inches

Rock River Arms X-1 Series

Throughout the past decade, Rock River has become a favorite among law enforcement after winning a federal contract to supply rifles to the DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies. Designed for the long-distance shooter, the X-1 series of rifles arrive right out of the box with a bead-blasted stainless steel 18-inch barrel. Barrels are also cryo-treated, and you have the choice of an RRA beast or Hunter muzzlebrake with 1/2-28 thread. The brakes are the same except for the jagged teeth on the end of the beast for window breaking or leaving a baddie with a nasty tattoo on his forehead.

Caliber: .223 Wylde Chamber, 7.62 NATO, 6.8 SPC and .458 SOCOM
Barrel Length: 18 inches
Weight: 7.8 pounds
Twist: 1:8 inches

DoubleStar DSC 3

The DSC 3-Gun Rifle is the total package for 3-Gun competitors. Used as a stage gun on NBC Sports’ “3 Gun Nation,” the 3 Gun Rifle has all of the characteristics the big boys are using. Every part of this rifle was designed with the competitor in mind. DSC worked with competitive shooters to make sure they got what they wanted. If you are just getting started or are looking to buy a new competition rifle, the DSC 3 Gun Rifle is just what you’ve been waiting for.

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Barrel Length: 18 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Twist: 1:8 inches

IWI Tavor FD16

The dynamics of the battlefield are forever changing. With the increasing threat of terrorism in our streets to the evolving situations of combat applications, a new paradigm in firearms was required. In 1982, with foresight of what the modern battlefield was becoming, IWI, in a decade-long collaboration with the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) Research & Development teams, developed the new standard-issue weapon for the IDF. The TAVOR was born and has only gotten better.

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Barrel Length: 16.5 inches
Weight: 7.9 pounds
Twist: 1:7 inches

Primary Weapon Systems MK114

Developed on the M4 pattern rifle, the PWS MK114 Rifle has quickly become the crowd favorite for those wanting a compact package without the NFA paperwork associated with shorter barrels. The MK114 retains lethal capability out to 500 meters with varying types of ammunition and boasts a permanently attached Triad Flash Hider.

Utilizing the proven system originally designed for the MK107, the MK114 uses a mid length gas piston system. The operating system, designed after the venerable AK-47, features a long stroke fixed operating rod design, with a free floated barrel and KeyMod handguard.

Understanding the importance of an ultra-reliable package that is light as possible, mil-spec forgings are used for the upper and lower receiver. Additional features include the BCM GUNFIGHTER charging handle; the PWS enhanced buffer tube and an ALG Defense QMS trigger. The rifle is rounded out with industry leading features such as Magpul MOE grip, MOE stock, and MBUS2 sights.

Caliber: .223 Wylde
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Length: 31.4 inches
Barrel Length: 14.5inches

Do you know of a new AR that missed? How about a new favorite? Share your favorite long guns in the comment section.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (25)

  1. After putting hundreds of thousands of 5.56 downrange over the last 40 years, I bought a Mossberg MMR in 5.56 last year. Extremely accurate with a truly free-floated barrel and all AR accessories fitting easily, I am extremely satisfied with my purchase. You will be too!! Just waiting on the 7.62 version now and I’ll be set…

  2. Quite honestly I do not know why anyone with a minimal amount of mechanical ability would ever buy an AR 15 when you can build one in less than an hour and a half with very basic tools. I recently built 2 better than middle of the road AR`s and had less than $525 in one and $475 in the other. They perform flawlessly and are extremely accurate. You can brag about the name brands, but you are just wasting your money when you consider the fact that all AR`s are literally built from the exact same parts and pieces. You are just paying for the name on the gun that’s all.

    1. I beg to differ my friend. I`ve built more than one myself, and I can tell you there are different grades of steel, different grades of sites, barrels etc. There are better and worse grades of ALL aspects of these rifles. This is where your pricing comes into effect. Sure you can use “cheap” crap to build your rifle and have it fall apart, or worse, faulter at a critical moment. Then your ass is hung out to dry! It`s solely up to you. I prefer to use top shelf parts if self built, and would spend the extra on a well built model if I buy one. Good luck on your “Wall Mart special”!!!

    2. I agree with Scott. Sure there are differences in parts quality. But at any quality level you need, you can play the sales, order the parts, and assemble it all yourself for much less than a name brand complete gun. The more you know about the parts, the better you’ll do. In addition to saving on the pricing, you can get exactly what you want. I have my favorite parts that I know and like to use. Never going to find all those parts all on a factory complete gun. But I can make one using those parts, from the stock to the flash hider and everything in between. And save enough to pay for an Aimpoint.

  3. might want to take a look at the Joshua Mark 5 ( JoshuaMK5) Hybred cross between an AR15 and an AK47 chambered in NATO 5.56/.223.

  4. I agree that the Tavor is eye candy. I thought about purchasing one, but we have to support the USA. So I stuck to the American AR15

    1. Your right on with POF ( Patriot Ordinance Factory) I’ve owned a lot of AR’s and I think POF is the best hands down. There American made from American made alloys! 556 and 7.62 To prove a point with a friend who’s a current army operator I loaded 4 30 round mags told him to fire all 120 rounds as fast he could. He did. I then immediately removed the bolt carrier and handed it to him with out gloves he could not believe it could run that cool! He know believes in piston driven guns to say the least! POFS Build quality and triggers are great to say the least! My 2 cents!

    2. The point you made about the POF bolt carrier really caught my attention. I went to the POF website and discovered that they also have some piston driven 308 models with different barrel lengths. Would you make the same statement about the 308 version running cooler? Also, does the piston driven technology improve vibration? I’ve had an issue with my DPMS LR308 loosening screws and nuts.

      Before anyone replies about locktight, yes I know it exists.

  5. Yankee Hill Machine has a new AR15 that’s pretty slick. YHM makes quality products. I own an AR15 from YHM and am happy with it. Check it out.

  6. I found this article to be very informative. It states the facts with no hype or bs included. I am currently looking for a new .223/5.56 because my Mini-14 is junk. I would not trust this rifle with my life whatsoever. It misfires, double feeds and pretty much everything else to gripe about so i am looking for a new rifle to purchase and this article was a great read to help me do some research on these above mentioned rifles. Thank you for the read!

  7. Just got a Core-15….it is very tight and right….they are of excellent manufacture with great warranty.

  8. I think you missed the two flagship ARs – the Noveske and LaRue. The Noveske shoots 1/2 MOA out of the shortest legal length barrel. I have shot groups that small with it, and I’m not all that great of a long gun shooter. I will look more into that Tavor though. Thanks for the article.

  9. I own the Ruger SR762 and it is joy to shoot. I also own a Palmetto State Armory 5.56 yet I have yet to see a single comment on these excellent rifles. Hammer forged chrome lined chambered in 5.56 and is very accurate. Barrels made by FN. Check them out.

  10. Primary Weapons System rifles (PWS) never get mentioned or even shown in these web blogs. Instead its the same generic manufacturers with same calibers over and over. Everytime I think there will be something new or innovative this blog barfs up dpm and rock river arms and various other crappo manufacturers. Move on from the same old same old. PWS is innovative and thinks outside the box, cheaper than dirt needs to take notice.

    1. Alpha,

      PWS does in fact make great guns. When putting a list such as this together, it’s hard to remember them all, but I’ll get PWS added now – thanks for recommendation.

    2. Alpha,

      I already own a DPMS AR-10 308, and it performs extremely well. I checked out the DPMS website last night, and was shocked at their wide array of creative and technical offerings. The company seems to be constantly improving and innovating.

      If you’d like to JUSTIFY why a PWS AR-15 is selling for $1899 on CTD (click the link), when so many quality AR-15 manufacturers have dropped below $1000, I’d really like to hear it.

  11. Wow getting bored with the same general AR type weapons coming out quarter after quarter don’t get me wrong love the platform but same old shit, I want something new!like to get my hands on that tavor

    1. Not exactly the most eliquent way to state an opinion, but I agree. As for the Tavor…YES, no question on that one! Looks like a crowd pleaser.

  12. Thank you Cheaper Than Dirt for an excellent and informative presentation. Now THIS is the kind of article I like!!

    I’m really liking the DPMS GII .308 SASS

    Also the Rock River Arms X-1 Series in .458 SOCOM!!!! Now there is a caliber to learn about and expirement and have some fun with!!

    Both of these are going on my watch list and make me want to earn some extra money very soon.

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