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TTAG has frequently mentioned the cooling off of demand and, therefore, prices since the post-Newtown buying spree. We have definitely seen ammunition — especially 5.56 — and black rifle prices dropping since last spring. Seems like everyone bought their fill (and then some) and now it’s much harder to move the now-plentiful products. At any rate, I received a Veteran’s Day sale e-mail from Primary Arms¬†on the 6th, which contained the stripped lower pictured above. Is $39.99 a new record low price for a forged lower? How about this Bushmaster Carbon 15 Optics Ready Carbine, with Pmag, from Kentucky Gun Co. for $378.88 after $50 rebate. When was the last time you saw a complete AR-15 priced this low? With or without the $50 back in the mail?


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  1. At the gun shop I worked in 1/6 of those bushmasters was broke out of the box. Either assembled wrong, missing pieces or broken take down pin holes. I’d rather get a free meal at McDonalds than a bushmaster anything, In one shipment we got 30 (something) of them and 2 had cross threaded buffer tubes and another was missing the free magazine.

    • I’ve heard plenty about the “new” Bushmaster the past year or so, and it’s all been pretty bad. Online stores around the net have been selling Bushie parts, but I haven’t tried any. I wonder if the individual parts suck as badly as the “finished” product? The prices I’ve seen on their components are pretty reasonable. Unless they suck.

    • Bushmaster was sold and moved from Windham, ME. When the do not compete clause expired, the same people reopened in the old plant as Windham Weaponry and are cranking out high quality ARs again. Give them a look.

  2. The budget ARs have been hit hardest, but the premium guns haven’t gone down as much. La Rue is still on backorder, and Wilson Combat guns still command a premium.

    • It’s strange that so many of the budget ones are completely different than milspec (no forward assist or removable trigger guard on the M&P15 for example).
      When all of the individual parts have gotten so cheap there’s really no reason not to build your own.

        • Forward assist is handy. If you brass check frequently, you’re going to use it to make sure your weapon is fully in battery before leaving the wire.

        • In my experience, if you run your gun hard, it will come in handy. High round count without cleaning, very cold temps, ect.

  3. I hope so. I want to do a NYS compliant build. I don’t want to spend a ton of money to build a goofy looking rifle.

  4. Yep. IMHO proof of end of panic buying in first time AR market, at least. I’d guess these models prices are more a sign of KGC clearing inventory for Bushmaster’s 3Q FY end. These sold retail at $849 but a quick Google shows problems making them at best .223 version of 22lr plinkers w/ red dot.

    It will take awhile for mid range quality prices to drop, depending on how much excess inventory is out there. The high end market will hold up. Those with money will always pay for quality now, and my guess is TTAG reviews are a continuing draw, esp as three gun comp mkt grows.

  5. It is bottoming out. Waiting too see what kind of black friday sales hit to finish off 3 builds with top quality parts for nothing.

    I think we’re going too see it get even lower after the 1st of the year. Right around tax return time.

  6. The market is flooded. Ever since the panic, more makers have popped up to fill the demand and now production has exceeded demand. I don’t think that demand is at an all time low, people are still scared of a AWB, but I believe the main cause of low prices is excess product.

    • Prices have been dropping for a long time. The Anderson lower that is mentioned has been down to that price point for quite a while now (6 months+). Sure, Black November (ugh, how I hate it so…) is going to bring some prices of some things down even more, but the base price for a lot of these rifles/components/ammo/etc. has gotten down to prices below where they were pre-Firearmageddon.

      • I haven’t seen prices like this for many years, including big sale days going back many years. Over a month ago there was another, higher-quality AR that I happened across and it was selling for like $460. Forged upper and lower, MPI bolt, etc. …and non-sale ammo prices are down quite a lot as well.

        • I got an Anderson lower for $50 in January, and another for $40 in August. Spikes Tactical lowers have been at around $80-90 all year. Prices of lowers have bottomed out and have been low for a while. At worst, they are at pre-2013 prices. As for full AR’s, I’ve been using the Colt 6920 as a benchmark and I saw one going for $900 ~6+ months ago. The only things that I consistently watch for that haven’t gone down to pre-2013 prices are 9mm (+$30-50/1000) and .22LR (if you can find it, though it does seem to be trickling back in now). 5.45×39 is up, but that’s because of the import ban. Prior to that, I got a crate of 2160 for $350 in February. Now is a good time to stock up because I doubt prices will get much lower than they are now. Black Friday will probably present some good bargains, but other than the occasional sale the base prices probably won’t get any lower.

  7. Lowest prices ive ever seen on those 2 items but we havent hit bottom until 420rnd cans of M855 are $140 to your door like they were about 2 years ago. Saw an S&W M&P Sport for $550 the other day.

  8. As others have already noted, the price depends greater on manufacturer.
    The questions is: is the market really cooling or are alternate economic
    forces coming to play giving the appearance of a cool-down.

    In the post-Newtown rush everyone started pumping out ARs as fast as
    possible. The increased volume caused more than a few issues with
    quality control. However, these issues occurred in some companies more
    than others. One explanation for some ARs (such as those made by
    Bushmaster) vs others of higher quality (LaRue) showing such a dramatic
    fall in price may not be so much market supply but of demand. (Badly
    worded I know but follow me.) If a company tries to sell a POS they have
    two basic choices: improve the product or sell at a reduced price.
    Considering that many ‘higher end’ manufacturers are still swamped with
    orders, I don’t think that demand has dried up so much as willingness to
    purchase tools of lesser value.

    • Can you show that? The only graphs I can find of pricing were within 6 months of Newtown and back from there. I searched closed auctions on GB just now and even if I only compare current pricing from the last month or so to pricing from back in August, the going rate seems to have dropped by a couple hundred bucks. They’re currently in stock at various places online for $899. LE6920s…

  9. I wonder how many folks maxed out their credit cards during the panic and are now stuck with debt and a rifle that they paid more than its worth for?

    • i don’t know if that’s ALWAYS the case (i personally did all my pre-MD AWB spending on now-banned rifles that were NOT ARs) … but i am pretty sure it’s a big factor.

  10. At the local gun show today, few vendors, few browsers, and lower prices on just about everything. Vendors very grumpy when I tried to haggle over 22LR prices. They buy a box of CCI SV 22LR at WalMart for $7, try to sell it at the show a day later for $12. People aren’t falling for that anymore. I offered a guy $40 ($0.08/rd) for his beat-up scotch-taped $55 box of 525 Remington Golden Dirt Bullets that he’s been hauling around from show to show for three years. I bought the same ammo for $0.054/rd after tax at retail a couple months ago. So my offer was very generous, 50% over recent retail. He said “Goodbye! Insulting!” and kept muttering as I walked away. I couldn’t keep myself from laughing out loud. The bubble has burst, buyers are walking, and the gougers are p!ssed off.

    • This is what it’s going to take. Yes, it’s .22LR. Yes, you don’t think you have enough. BULLSHITE! Walk away. That’s it, just walk away. Let him grumble about what a cheapskate you are, and save your money for those magic moments when you walk into Wallyworld or Academy or Bass Pro and find some priced right. Shoot less than you buy. The shortage will.not.stop. until the majority of us quit panic buying whatever we see at whatever they want to charge for it.

      • I haven’t had a “magic moment” since I bought brick last black friday. :/ it’s just not in stock here at DFW.
        And boy does it SUCK!!!!

        • The last magic moment I had was a few months ago. #1 son called from Bass Pro with a 1,000 rnd brick in his hand, wanting to know if I wanted it for $55 + tax. Of course, I said yes.

      • Not quite the same, since your link was for 5000 rds for $521.84 or a little over $.104/rd and the $55/1000 rd is only $.055/rd.

        Edit: Sorry, I thought you were commenting on 1911A1’s comment about his son offering 1000 rds for $55 plus tax.

  11. Use brass badger for Wally’s. BassPro has been getting some .22LR in sporadically. I even scored a bucket within the last 60 days.

    • I’ve got a 1,400 round bucket of Remington on backorder at Midway for $68. Later this month I’ll be celebrating it’s 1st anniversary on backorder. STILL no expected delivery date….However, if and when it DOES come in, they guarantee I’ll get it-at the price it was ordered at. We shall see.

      • I backordered 5000rds of mini mags from Midway in September 2013. Got them about 2 weeks ago. Opening that box gave me a semi. Hang in there.

      • LOL I have the same bucket backordered (it’s been 1 year, 10 days now), even though I [b]HATE[/b] that ammo. Remington .22 has been the absolute worst for me of any brand since I was a kid. I don’t know if I’m just unlucky with Remington stuff or what, but I’m used to at least 5% dud rounds. And I don’t mean didn’t fire on the first strike and I gave up. I mean no primer in it whatsoever. I avoided buying it for like 5 years and then came across a box of 100 Remington match target loads like 9 months ago at a sub-10-cent-per-round price… THREE duds in the first 30 rounds. Haven’t gone through the rest of it yet. Tossed it in a box and forgot about it haha. Freakin’ hate that crap. No idea why I’m leaving the backorder in place. Sort of lucky in that the local range here has had plenty of decent .22 LR in stock for quite a while now. I picked up 5 bricks of the American Eagle Suppressor stuff, which I definitely like a lot.

        • I have had no FTF’s with the Remington Golden (bucket) .22LR, but it is the filthiest ammo I’ve tried. I’ll buy it all day long at 5 cents a round for plinking, but it’s not precise enough to shoot at paper. But budget more for your cleaning patches and Hoppes, because it is dirtier than Christina Aquilera.

      • The lower end and middle-segment stuff is what I think will see vicious price competition in the next year or so. Rack-grade barrels (ie, hammer-forged, mass-produced barrels) with nothing special about them will fall in price. Plastic furniture will come down in price as more outfits get into the market.

        The high end stuff (best quality barrels, high-end trigger groups, high-end optics) will hold up.

  12. I ordered an Anderson Manufacturing stripped lower through my LGS, for $50 (total), on 2-14-2015, now I’m waiting. Hoping to start my build soon!


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