Just for the record, I focus on Non-NFA barrel configurations for 2 reasons: velocity/muzzle energy from the length of the barrel and avoiding unnecessary legal/regulatory issues such as filling out a Form 1, paying a $200 tax, and setting up an NFA Trust. I also am not a slave to accuracy and I don't shoot in 3-gun competitions. I view AR 15s as battle rifles, not precision rifles. We're talking about a gun chambered in 5.56, not 6.5 Creedmoor or .338 Lapua, so its range is limited. (Generally, a maximum effective range of somewhere around 500 yards, give or take, depending on the specific rifle and load.) As such, barrels that are NOT built to withstand rapid fire, are meant to be disposed of after 2,000 rounds (or, similar low round count), or have very limited corrosion resistance will not be featured here. I would only build an AR 15 for myself that I could reasonably go to war (GTW) with, if I needed to. You might also note that I do not recommend Colt parts. It's not because they're no good - it's just that they are hard to get and way over-priced. I'd prefer a BCM part over a Colt in virtually all cases, anyway.
Speaking of BCM, it may come across as though I am a fanboy of theirs. The truth is, they make great guns at very reasonable prices and are among the leaders in innovations to the AR15 platform. Truthfully, if I ever buy another complete rifle, it will probably be one of theirs. I love Daniel Defense as a company, but they aren't "lighter, stronger, better" anymore - BCM is. Check out the BCM KMR Rails and the Gunfighter Stocks as examples of how DD is being beat in weight and ergos by BCM. Check out the BCM CHF Barrels and the weight-saving profile they use. Knight's Armament makes a great product too, but it's ridiculously over-priced and not as light-weight. The rest of the industry needs to react or BCM could absolutely rule the market. So, maybe I am a fanboy, but it's for good reason!
- Bravo Company: Upper and Lower
- Wilson Combat: Upper/Lower Combo
- V Seven: Upper and Lower
- Spike's Tactical: Upper and Lower
- Aero Precision: Upper and Lower
- Palmetto State Armory: Upper and Lower
- Rainier Arms: Upper and Lower
- Daniel Defense 16" 5.56mm Mid-length, LW
- Spike's 16" Mid-length (by FN)
- Bravo Company BFH 16" ELW
- Faxon Firearms 16" Gunner Profile Barrel
Note: The first 3 are Cold-Hammer Forged, Chrome-lined, and available in 16" with a Mid-length gas system set up. The only one with a .625" diameter gas block seat is the BCM. The others are .750" diameter gas block seats, which I prefer because I dimple my barrels to secure the Gas Block. Spike's barrels are built with the M249 call-outs for Chrome lining, which makes the barrels wider to accommodate the extra Chrome and, obviously, heavier. If you are planning to use a full auto lower and put the automatic setting to extensive use, I recommend the Spike's barrel. In general, I think the Daniel Defense barrel I linked is the perfect barrel and is my default for almost all builds.
Note #2: I've found that Odin Works, Ballistic Advantage, and Faxon Firearms make very good quality barrels at reasonable prices. Very accurate barrels, especially Odin Works. If you are looking for a good, pre-made barrel for accuracy, I suggest searching their wares. You'll find longer-lasting durability out of the QPQ or Nitrided barrels, but the most precise rifling is found in the bare stainless barrels.
- BCM KMR Handguard
- BCM KMR Alpha Handguard
- Geissele Super Modular Rail MK14 M-LOK
- Troy M-LOK Rail
- SLR Solo Ultra Light Keymod
- SLR Solo Ultra Light M-LOK
- ODIN Works KMod Forend
- ODIN Works M-LOK Forend
- Spike's Micro Gas Block
- Seekins Precision Adjustable
- ODINWorks LP Gas Block
- BCM Low Profile Gas Block
Bolt Carrier Groups:
- Bravo Company
- Wilson Combat
- Daniel Defense
- Spike's Tactical
- Palmetto State Armory
- Cryptic Coatings (Mystic Black)
- Noveske (Nitride)
- Spike's Ejection Port Door
- Aero Precision Kit
- V Seven Ultra-Light Port Door
- V Seven Ultra-Light Forward assist
- Tactical Gear Junkie's huge selection of Ejection Port Doors
- Any A2 Flash Hider from a reputable company: BCM, Aero Precision, Spike's, Damage Industries, etc.
- Any reputable Suppressors: Silencerco, Griffin, Gemtech, etc.
Lower Parts and Part Kits:
- BCM LPK Enhanced
- ALG LPK
- PSA MOE/QMS LPK
- PSA K2/QMS LPK
- V Seven Lower Parts
- Wilson Combat LPK (No Trigger)