Every one who’s serious about defending their home with a firearm will always get an AR 15. It is always going to be the most popular rifle platform in the US because of its reliability, versatility, modularity, and availability. 

But it’s primarily because of availability that some good but not so popular AR 15 models are often overlooked, though there are other factors that affect availability    or lack thereof of some of the most obscure AR 15 models on the market. 

Some can be overlooked by most AR 15 enthusiasts who are willing to spend more money to buy something that they consider high quality. These are people who equate quality with dollar amounts and don’t care for models that offer more bang for the buck.

Also, there’s the marketing side of things. Lack of marketing and brand recognition can also contribute to a particular brand of AR 15 becoming often overlooked. Brands that are not as well known may not receive as much attention from consumers as those with more established reputations.

And lastly, market perception plays a great role in some AR 15 models becoming more and more obscure. It sometimes comes down to personal preferences. Some individuals may have a preference for more established brands or may be less inclined to try new or lesser known products.

It’s a vicious cycle. When an AR 15 model is released and nobody likes it, the low demand leads to lower prices, which in turn results to lower income, which tells retailers there’s no need to add more of that particular AR 15 model to their existing stock. Popularity affects availability which in turn affects popularity further. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Here are 9 of the most underrated AR 15s on the market, ones that offer superb value for the money but nobody talks about. Without further ado, let’s begin.

9: Del Ton DT Sport Mod 2

A little under three decades ago, Del Ton Inc. started out as a one stop online shop for quality custom rifle kits, rifle parts, upgrades, optics, and accessories. Their business grew more and more over the years, and so did the demand for more products. The company is now proud to offer a complete line of AR 15 style modern sporting rifles, both off the shelf and ready to shoot, or designed by you, the customer.

Still, even with their size and their customer centric operations, Del Ton Inc. remains to be a relatively lesser known brand compared to other more popular firearms manufacturers, which is one of the reasons why the DT Sport Mod 2 is on this list, the other being its price.

The Del Ton DT Sport Mod 2 is a budget AR 15 rifle with a low MSRP of $698, which only makes it popular with budget minded people. And if you know the AR15 community, it is full of gun snobs who don’t care for budget offerings.

DEL-TON DT SPORT MOD 2 16" 5.56 AR-15 RIFLE - DTSPORT-M2

But despite its affordable price point, the DT Sport Mod 2 is built using high quality components, including a forged 7075 T6 upper and lower receiver, a lightweight aluminum handguard, and a phosphated 8620 Steel Carrier Assembly with a Carpenter 158 Bolt.

8: Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II

The Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II AR15 is not necessarily overlooked, if only because of its brand. Big blue is one of the most well established and highly respected firearms manufacturers, not just in the US but all over the world. And all guns under their M&P or Military & Police line are known for their reliability, durability, and relatively competitive prices.

But even though it’s not necessarily overlooked, there are people in the community who believe it isn’t receiving as much attention as it should. It’s being marketed as an entry level AR 15 with an MSRP of $812, which makes it competitively priced when compared to other AR15s. 

S&W M&P 15 SPORT II 5.56X45 CA RIFLE, BLACK

Built with high quality materials including a durable polymer stock, a heat treated aluminum receiver, and a corrosion resistant barrel, big blue designed the M&P Sport II to be as reliable and as durable as more expensive models. But because it is being marketed as an entry level AR15, some AR 15 shoppers assume that it is less capable or less durable than premium AR 15 models.

7: IWI Zion 15

Israel Weapon Industries or IWI is an Israeli firearms manufacturer known for its production of weapons and small arms for military and law enforcement customers. It has a long history of producing weapons for the Israeli military, which has given it a reputation for producing high quality, battle tested firearms.

In addition, IWI is well known for some of the weapons they’ve produced over the years such as the Tavor, the Galil, and the Masada. They like to incorporate advanced technologies and materials into their weapons, constantly innovating and updating their products to stay ahead of the competition.

IWI ZION-15 5.56NATO 30RD 16" RIFLE, BLACK

The Zion 15 is the first M4 Variant rifle from IWI US. It is based on the popular AR 15 platform, but has been modified to incorporate IWI’s unique design features, such as its distinctive free float handguard, ambidextrous controls, and a B5 Systems Stock and Grip. This rifle is manufactured and assembled at the IWI US facility in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

With an MSRP of $900, the Zion 15’s combination of design, quality, performance, and compatibility with accessories make it a unique offering in today’s overcrowded AR 15 market.

6: Aero Precision M4E1

Aero Precision is a firearms manufacturer and distributor based in Tacoma, Washington. They specialize in producing high quality components and complete rifles, including AR 15s and other firearms, for military, law enforcement, and civilian use. 

Owners of the company’s products know Aero Precision is committed to precision engineering and strict quality control standards, which results in products that are both accurate and durable. In addition, it offers a wide range of components, including upper and lower receivers, barrels, handguards, and more, as well as complete builds.

Though the company has gained a following, it’s still nowhere near as popular as it should be, which is also why the M4E1 is an underrated AR 15 even with all its features and its decent price.

Aero Precision M4E1

With a starting price of $944.99, the M4E1 uses an Enhanced Upper Receiver, a 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium barrel with a QPQ corrosion resistant finish, the company’s proprietary Gen 2 Enhanced Series Handguard, and an 8620 Steel M16 Cut bolt carrier group with Phosphate Finish. 

It also has an Enhanced AR15 Lower Parts Kit with Billet Trigger Guard, a Standard Mil Spec AR15 / M4 Buffer Kit, a Magpul STR Stock, a Magpul MOE Grip, and a Magpul 30 Round PMAG.

5: Windham Weaponry MPC

Windham Weaponry is an American firearms manufacturer that is known for producing AR 15 style rifles for the civilian market. It has a rich heritage as it was founded in 2006 by the former owner and some employees of Bushmaster Firearms, which used to be one of the largest producers of AR 15s in the world. This heritage helped establish Windham Weaponry as a trusted and experienced producer of AR 15s, but only a little.

It’s why their MPC made it to this list. Despite the fact that the company is really Bushmaster Firearms with a different name, the Windham Weaponry brand is still seen as a relatively new player in the AR 15 market. The MPC AR15 has yet to see the same level of recognition as more established brands.

Also, the Windham Weaponry MPC doesn’t look anything special despite its $1,184 MSRP, which may also be another reason why no one seems interested in it.  But it does have an enhanced trigger and is using high quality components, including a lightweight aluminum handguard, a hard coat anodized upper and lower receiver, and a high strength bolt carrier group.

4: Bravo Company Manufacturing M4 Carbine Mod 0

Established in 2003, BCM Rifle Company, also known as Bravo Company Manufacturing, is widely considered to be a reputable firearms company. It was founded to supply durable mil spec weapon parts to Private Security Professionals working in locations where such parts are not readily available. 

BCM builds professional grade weaponry that are all manufactured, strengthened, and subjected to torture tests to meet the unique demands of their military, law enforcement, as well as civilian customers. But like most of the companies in this topic, they’re fairly unpopular, especially to newbies who only just started taking an interest in AR 15s.

Their BCM M4 Mod 0, with all its features, is a competitively priced AR 15 with its MSRP of $1,200. Both its upper and lower receivers are machined from forged 7075 T6 Aluminum with an anodized finish. It has an M4 Feed Ramp Flat Top with Laser T markings.

Bravo Company Manufacturing M4 Carbine Mod 0

Its bolt carrier group is machined from mil spec Carpenter 158 Steel that is high pressure tested proof and magnetic particle inspected. The extractor uses tool steel, and the carrier is chrome lined. The barrel is made of mil spec 11595E Barrel Steel with a manganese phosphate finish. 

3: Fulton Armory FAR 15 

Originally an M14 rifle maker, Fulton Armory was founded 31 years ago and would inevitably grow to become the company that it is today. It employs master armorers to build M14s, M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, FAR 15s and FAR 308 rifles, all handcrafted to high standards. 

And because original USGI M14, AR 15 and AR 10 type receivers have never been available to the U.S. commercial market, the company has faithfully recreated versions of those receivers for semi auto rifles.

But like all other lesser known brands, firearms enthusiasts tend to overlook Fulton Armory’s products, among which is the FAR 15. It has an MSRP of $1,274.95, which means it’s not a budget offering. 

Fulton Armory FAR 15 

Features include an A3 / A4 upper receiver, a .223 / 5.56 NATO Hybrid match chambered 16-inch barrel, a Bolt Carrier with HPT / MPI Marked Bolt, a forged gas block with a bayonet lug, and a forged, machined, anodized, teflon coated full auto lower receiver with Accu wedge. It also comes with an A2 pistol grip, and a standard military single stage trigger. The only thing I don’t like about it is it only comes with a single 10 round mag.

2: American Defense Manufacturing ADM4

To some people, it’s not necessarily accurate to say that the American Defense Manufacturing ADM4 AR15 is underrated. It is widely regarded by its owners as a high quality, reliable, and accurate firearm. However, it is underrated because it’s nowhere near as widely known as the more popular brand name AR 15 models on the market like the ones made by Colt, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, et cetera. 

The American Defense Manufacturing ADM4 is a great AR15 in several ways. Firstly, the company, American Defense Manufacturing, may not be well known, but they focus on producing high quality firearms such as their patented fully ambidextrous AR15 and AR10 platform rifles, as well as their QD Mounting Solutions for optics and accessories for all firearm platforms.

American Defense Manufacturing ADM4

And secondly, the ADM4 is a modernized version of the classic AR 15 platform, which includes high end features such as a slick side 20-degree competition style mag well, and fully ambidextrous controls featuring a right side bolt catch and release lever and left side magazine release. 

It also has an ambidextrous safety selector, enlarged trigger guard, an ADM HD Buffer, a Geissele G2S 2 Stage Trigger, a QD Endplate, a Lightweight Castle Nut, and a 10 Position Enhanced Buffer Tube, all for an MSRP of $2,200.00.

1: Your Very Own Frankenstein AR 15

And lastly, I get to talk about what SHOULD BE everyone’s number 1 pick: YOUR very own AR 15. And for you to be able to call an AR 15 your very own, you have to learn to build one using individual parts procured from more than one source. It sounds intimidating if you’re a newbie, but in reality, it isn’t.

Unfortunately, YouTube will de monitize us if we so much as drop channel names or share links to websites that can help you build your own AR 15, so, if you want to learn how to build one, you’re on your own.

But it stands to reason that your own AR 15 is going to be the most underrated AR 15 because nobody would ever look at your AR 15 the way you do. You built it for YOUR specific purpose. And if you try selling it, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would be willing to buy it for the exact amount you spent building it.

Your Very Own Frankenstein AR 15

But it’s yours and yours alone. You can make it as boring or as exceptional as you want. It can be fully decked out with a Dual Drum mag with a 100 round mag capacity, an ACOG, a night vision, et cetera, et etcetera. Go wild. 

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