We’re Living in the Age of the Sub-$300 AR-15 Rifle

Courtesy Palmetto State Armory

Reader Steve S. emailed last night to let us know that now virtually anyone can afford to buy an AR-15 platform rifle. Palmetto State Armory is offing their PSA Freedom carbine length upper and “classic” lower at noteworthy prices, both with tactical peanut butter furniture.

The specs are what you’d expect in an entry-level AR.

Upper:

Barrel: 4150V Chrom Moly steel. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, with a 1/7 twist, M4 barrel extension, and a carbine-length gas system. This M4 profile barrel is finished off with a standard handguard in Flat Dark Earth, F-Marked gas sight base, and A2 flash hider.

Upper: Forged 7075-T6 A3 AR upper is machined to MIL-SPECS and hard coat anodized. These uppers are made for us right here in the USA by a mil-spec manufacturer.

Bolt: Full-auto profile bolt carrier group. Milspec Carpenter No. 158® steel bolt, Shot Peened, High pressure tested, Mag particle inspected, Gas Key Hardened to USGI Specifications, Fastened with Grade 8 screws, and Staked Per Mil-Spec. 8620 steel M-16 profile carrier is chrome lined and phosphate coated.

Lower:

Machined from Aluminum Forgings 7075-T6
Hardcoat Anodizing: MIL-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2
Milspec diameter Receiver Extension
M4 Stock, FDE
Staked M4 Lock Nut
Standard Carbine Buffer
Un-notched Hammer compatible with 9mm use
Caliber: Multi

The news here is the prices. The complete upper is selling for $179.99. The lower for $99.99. (They appear to be out of stock at the moment. At those prices, you can see why.) That puts a very serviceable AR-15 rifle in your safe for south of $300 before shipping.

We’ve seen affordable AR and stripped lower prices before, of course. And we’ve seen what happens when concerted efforts to reinstate a federal assault weapons ban drive those prices into the stratosphere.

I was in Utah last week with a bunch of other gun writers and this very topic came up. The consensus was that anti-gunners aren’t taking any vacations. The current administration won’t be in office forever and, as always happens in the American political system, party control of the presidency will change, as will that of Congress.

Should you invest in a new rifle or a half-dozen stripped lowers? That’s your call. We just wanted to let you know that if you were thinking about it, there may never be a better time.

 

comments

  1. avatar "keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

    Man,Im diggin it. Thought “they” had us in 94″, Constitutional carry to fed help shootin ranges, making progress.. . Celebration Day

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Possum, at the risk raising the ire of the powers that be I’m going off topic. I thought of you yesterday. I was watching one of the killin’ channels and the host was squirrel hunting on the Apalachicola River. Primitive camping. The menu had fried squirrel and stew. Venison backstrap on the grill and wild pig. And oysters on the halfshell of course. No hunting camp in N Florida is complete without a bushel of oysters. The only thing was they were shooting their squirrels with shotguns. How gauche. .22 LR. Head shots only please. All this in my backyard. Grew up on that river and the Ochloconee. Wait! Maybe I wasn’t off target. I mentioned guns, hunting, camping and wild game.

      1. avatar DrewN says:

        Because a .410 doesn’t ruin the brains? Of course, you aren’t supposed to eat them anymore anyway, because prions.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          These guys were shooting 12 ga and I never cared for the brains anyway. Also, I always shot standard velocity ammo. If you hunt an area that has been pressured a shotgun will send all the others heading for the hills.

        2. avatar DrewN says:

          Huh. 12 gauge. That reminds me, I need a couple rabbits for supper, let me just grab my .300 Weatherby…

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Drew, you might need that .300. Monty Python filmed In Search of the Holy Grail locally. If you don’t have a holy handgrenade you definitely need to bring enough gun.

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Depends on how tall the trees are…..

        At 30 yards up and away, a shotgun is dandy and you rarely find any pellets in the meat.

        I usually use a 22 revolver, but a single shot shotgun is dandy fun as well.

        Someone on here took issue with that the last time we discussed squirrels.

        Tree rats are great game and tasty eating and if you’re hunting other stuff with shotguns, it’s a great multi purpose weapon just by changing ammo.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Specialist38, I hear you. Don’t know about that whole “hardly find any shot” thing though. My molars have found plenty. I’ve shot lots of squirrels with a shotgun. When I was in high school the weapon of choice among my friends was a 12 ga twice barrel with dual triggers for swamp hunting. High brass #6 in one barrel 00 buckshot in the other. You were ready for small game, waterfowl, turkey, deer and hogs. As to handguns for squirrel hunting. There are lots of great .22 revolvers out there. I keep a 4″ stainless Smith kit gun in my pack when deer hunting. I did my best small game hunting with a Ruger MK 1 5 1/2″ bull barrel.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Specialist, one other thing. If you hunt with a double you don’t have to change ammo.. Although, I killed my first deer by switching from bird to buckshot. Winchester model 1200.

        3. avatar Specialist38 says:

          GF
          When you use a break open smoke pole for squirrels, the deer seem to know it..

          …and taunt you at about 30 yards…..

          So a double would put you in a much better position.

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Specialist, not sure of your exact meaning, but if you’re referring to me swapping out rounds on that 1200. Let me elaborate. Two bucks walking down the edge of a corn field. Me sitting back in the woods. You ever stood in bright sunlight and tried to look back into the shadows. Usually have to shade your eyes. Except deer don’t have hands, or wear hats. Anyway, I see them coming. I very slowly slid the action open, but not far enough to release a shell from the magazine. Even at 14 I knew how the firearms I were using worked. Manually removed the birdshot and inserted the buckshot. Slowly closed the action. When I shot the buck the wound looked like it was made by a rifled slug. He was that close. Dad and I mounted the antlers on a walnut plaque after Mom wrapped and sewed the skull cap with black velvet. My name and the date engraved of a small brass name plate. Still have it today. Even a couple of the buckshot recovered when skinning him.

      3. avatar "keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

        A scopedd.22 for me, I’ve used shootgunms, .Wow shucks I, can’t get one, but a scoped .22 with a suppressor, sweet.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Possum, standard velocity LR is about as quite out of a rifle. I never walked a lot when I hunted squirrels. I knew which hickory and oaks they preferred to feed in where I hunted them. I find a comfortable place to sit and wait until I had 3-4 in the tree. Pick one off and the others usually freeze for a minute. When they come back out pick off another. Occasionally you’d get one that was cagey. If the tree had a handy vine you could usually pull it a time or two and he would expose himself. If he was hiding on the opposite side of the tree pick up a decent limb and toss it to his side of the tree. He would usually move around to your side. Bang. Sometimes you’d get one that had been around. They just haul ass. When that well is dry, pick them up and move a hundred yards. Oh, only wusses wear a game vest. Cut a small forked sappling just below the fork. Trim one side of the fork to about 3″. Leave the other about 12″ and sharpen. Cut a small slit in the rear foot of each squirrel and thread them onto the long side. Just lay them beside you when you sit back against a tree. No half full game bag digging into your lumbar.

        2. avatar DrewN says:

          LOL, that’s what younger siblings are for. Like caddys, except the only tip they get is invaluable life lessons from the (very slightly, yet bigger) elder.

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Drew, my younger sibling was too busy with cheerleading practice for her to carry around my dead squirrels. Besides, with a very few exceptions, I always preferred to hunt solo. No matter what the targeted game.

      4. avatar JW says:

        I would consider anyone shooting a squirrel with a shotgun to be an unusually brave person. If I ever laid eyes on an armed squirrel big enough to manage even a 410, I think I would go find something else to hunt. :O

        1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

          🙂 thanks, I need the laugh this morning!

      5. avatar John says:

        What ever happened to the good old reliable rubber slingshot? Very quiiet and reliable on the user’s ability. Ammo was very cheap. Gravel, small ballbearings…. HIt one with a pecan once.

        1. avatar Kirk Geahlen says:

          Or just a plain old sling….When I was a very young teen growing up in Tenn.,the state had a big problem with black birds.Can’t remember if it was sparrows,starlings,whatever,but they were actually paying people for each bird killed.A couple friends and I made slings with leather straps and cloth pouch.We ran around acting like David and Goliath,and actually got very good at taking them out,and made money to boot.Like you said,pebbles,marbles,ball bearings,all cheap and plentiful.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      think this answers the question…”why are there so many out there?”…….

  2. avatar NoSir says:

    Maybe you are living in the age of 300 dollar ar’s but for me Colt, FN and DD are still 1000+ dollar rifles. To each their own in the end. If a bargain makes you happy Go for it. Military clones make me happy. C’est la vie.

    1. avatar Mike V says:

      Very happy.

    2. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

      For home defense, all it really really needs is to be 100% reliable. Personally I am very comfortable with lower cost, basic guns . I spend the extra on decent optics and lots of practice ammo to prove in the reliability. I have purchased better guns, there is a difference, but is a diminishing return unless you are competing or shooting long range. Just my 2 cents.

    3. avatar BigMikeU says:

      Well i purchased a couple of the best ARs on the market when they 1st came back into Production! Stag Arms and they make a damn good rifle at just under 1k for their mil-spec which i love too im a huge M4 fan.own three plus a few others.I think its funny nobody mentioned he possibility that they may Ban and try to Confiscate ARs in the near future?Its not like they are getting any of mine.I have dupes of several of them offsite that they will never find in a million years.With well over 400Million+ ARs out their in the hands of Americans that wont take kindly to having them taken away is a huge issue for the whole NWO! lol

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        It’s called “patterned evasion of social norms” i.e., bathtub gin in the midst of National Prohibition and Escorts in the midst of the 55mph era. Americans tend to prefer freedom and liberty over central government regulation.

      2. avatar Jeremy says:

        Where did you get this 400 million AR figure?

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          ARs must be banned. They have redefined every gun as an AR. Therefore every gun must be banned. See how that works?

        2. avatar frank speak says:

          probably pulled that figure out of a very dark place…closer to 10 million plus…..

      3. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees……i will never hide any of my guns!

    4. avatar American Patriot says:

      I sent an email to PSA (just a couple days ago) asking where their barrels are made on a complete upper & parts for a lower & if there was any MOA guarantee 2″,3″ 4″ or what. My reply (I think the guys name was Steve) said the barrels were made in S. Carolina & if I wanted an MOA guarantee to go to Thomson center!

      I was just looking to put together a cheap truck gun, but with a sarcastic attitude like that from a company, now they can go FU*k themselves. I’ve bought there in the past but I don’t need shit like that from a supplier when there’s too many out there that would appreciate my business.

      1. avatar Mike V says:

        An MOA guarentee from PSA is probably expecting too much. Not saying the attitude is proper, but I would be shocked to see any other manufacturer at that price point offer that. In the end, military spec accuracy or better is assumed. Never seen or had one do worse than that.

        1. avatar American Patriot says:

          I was just trying to get an estimate of what kind of accuracy their getting, like I said 2, 3, or 4 MOA. If their putting them together I would think their testing them with target ammo. That’s all I was trying to get….But the attitude, they lost a customer. I don’t need cheap guns I can afford the best but I also take care of them better then my kids & just wanted to put together something I didn’t have to care about……Know what I’m sayin?

      2. avatar George Washington says:

        Don’t take this wrong….(I’m sure you will), but when I run into customers that want a bargain, but expect the world, I generally prefer if they take their business elsewhere…
        They won’t miss your couple hundred dollars versus the thousands of other customers not asking for MOA guarantees from a $300 gun…
        C’mon dude…. Use some common sense

        1. avatar tibby says:

          He sems like a pan in the ass customer, and they probably didn’t say it quite the way he says they did. Probably asked for a discount too.

      3. avatar James Jarmon says:

        Sub-Moa, sub 300 dollar ar15s are not new. Bear Creek has been doing it for a couple of years. I have three, two 15s in 6.5 Grendel, and. 224, and one 10 in 6.5 creedmoor. All three shoot sub moa with Hornady ammo out farther than I can, and I’m a better than fair shot. They state any barrel 16 inches or longer should shoot sub 1 moa with proper ammo and techniques. They have replaced one barrel for me in 6.5 Grendel that wouldn’t. So their as good as their word. Some of there 24 inch barrels shoot better than my Remington 700 with a Krieger barrel. I’m just waiting for them to ream some .243 barrels for 6mm creedmoor.

        1. avatar Stock says:

          +1 on Bear Creek, they are everything you said above. Class act.

          -1 on PSA, as they have so much business they can be dicks.

  3. avatar Draven says:

    we went from $300 AKs and $1000 ARs to $300 ARs and $1000 AKs….

    1. avatar "keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

      Lovin ever minute of it, you betcha. Thank you Bill Cliton, had it not been for your gunm grabbing regime I tooled up, and you fcked up.

    2. avatar BigMikeU says:

      Thats so true and at the time i want an AK?Been wanting a 7,62 or a .308 for a while now?My long range rifle is a 6.5Creedmoor but want something with a heavier round and more punch?

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        PSA has had 300 Blackout and 7.62*39 AR uppers on sale for less than $300 recently.

      2. avatar billy-bob says:

        Blasphemy! There is none moor powerful than Creed! Long may it reign!

        1. avatar James Jarmon says:

          Check out the new one. .300 PRC. Hornady has a new 250 grain round out for it that will knock down an elephant.

  4. avatar Hank says:

    Soak it up now, because it won’t last forever.

  5. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    With Mil Spec receivers going on sale lately for 29.to 59 dollars,every one should be building away.
    Now is the time to buy or build a AR or two.

    1. avatar BigMikeU says:

      Yeah man i used these times in deals since the 4th of July to buy the parts and put together my 1st AR Variant build and 1st build ever!I Tried to actually cheat and purchase a Plum Crazy Complete lower from Classic.I figured what the hell….but when i got it the hammer and all internals other then springs were Poly/Plastic?!?!?!?? Ahhhh no so i purchased an Anderson striped lower and complete lower parts kit from CMC so as soon as a tool comes in i had to order ill be finishing it!Love the stock on the lower and i did upgrade the Lower to a metal buffer tube so feel safe from here on out in pulling the trigger once its finally finished! lol

  6. avatar D says:

    While the price is nice, I won’t depend on the cheapest rifle possible to defend my family.
    Nice range toy though.

    And yes, stocking up is a great idea. I have about 8 lowers in the safe. If Trump looses, it will be a disaster for us.

    1. avatar Narcoossee says:

      How much should this combination cost for you to be willing to depend on it to defend your family. Is there anything in the specs which indicate poor/inferior quality?

    2. avatar " keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

      I won’t depend on a rifle to defend my family either. a double barrel shootgunm with 28 inch barrel’s , if it’s good enuff for Biden, it’s good enuff for you,,

    3. avatar Mike V says:

      Range toy is a bit harsh. I’ve owned a plethora of PSA stuff in the last 5 years and experienced zero issues. I doubt I’m alone in that, I would tend to think that experience is far to common to deserve the range toy description.

      1. avatar AR47 Lover says:

        Never had one hiccup with my PSA AR-47. Definitely not deserving the title “range toy”

      2. avatar Jeep1967 says:

        Agreed. Very reliable, no problems at all. Price is not necessarily a good predictor of reliability or quality.

    4. avatar The Dude Abides says:

      PSA guns are run along with others at battlefield vegas, and they fire somewhere around 1 million rounds a month through their rental guns. They have only positive things to day about PSA.

  7. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    A $300 AR. Well, that’s about what they’re worth. No matter who built it. An acquaintance bought a Wison Combat AR a few years ago. He asked me to go to the range to wring it out. He was very proud. I wasn’t rude, but yawn. It was more expensive than most, but in the end it was just another AR.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      is war sport just another ar? huh?
      yes.
      yes, it is.
      larue?
      yeah.

    2. avatar "keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

      LOL, how yah doing GF? I take it you not a fan of Matels Shootin Shell. Hey at least they don’t weigh much, and look it’ comes with a handle

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Possum, the M-16A1s I was first issued in 1979 had a carrying handle. Of course, you weren’t allowed to use it. “Soldier! That’s not a suitcase you’re carrying! Get on your face and knock out 25!” Now they’re all flat tops. Got to have some place to mount those optics. Don’t misunderstand me though, I want to like the AR. I mean I had to use them professionally from 1979-2014 and have owned a few over the years. They’re accurate and the ergonomics are second to none. They just aren’t reliable enough for me. And reliability is #1 in a fighting rifle. See AK platform for reference.

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          You could build a ARAK pretty cheaply. I put one together with a Bear Creak barrel and a PSA lower. Mag choice is key for reliability..I recommend the https://www.cdnnsports.com/ar15-20rd-762×39-magazine-c-products.html#.XTTjs-bQiUk, they work pretty well.

          It helps to live close enough to the UpState PSA store and can avoid waits and shipping costs.

          Thinking of a side-charger build from Bear Creak.

        2. avatar jonhaul says:

          https://youtu.be/DX73uXs3xGU reliable? Yet an sp1 can out do it? https://youtu.be/LyXndCxn9K4 both are great guns which I own.

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Manse, thanks for the advice, but I’ll stick with what I’ve got. HK-91 and Galil ARM in .556. Haven’t been without at least one of each for decades. Tens of thousands of rounds through both platforms. Zero, and I mean no malfunctions, ever. Soft point or ball.

        4. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Misunderstood, thought 7.62x 39 was subject. sorry

        5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Manse, none taken. When I referenced the AK it about reliability, not caliber. However, if we’re talking reliability and 5.56; look at the Valmet, Galil (my favorite), HK 33/93 etc. Even Eugene Stoner tried to correct his mistakes with the AR-15/16 with the AR-18/180. Although, when I’ve shot those they felt even more flimsy than an AR-15, but that was mostly the butt stock design..

      2. avatar ",keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

        I’m an AK fan. Nothing wrong with the modern AR’s, I just like AK’s. And it just ain’t as cool shootzing your AR at the sky screaming Allyah Snackbar, gotta have an AK to do that.

  8. avatar Eng says:

    It is because suppliers are choking on them after ramping up production for the expected Clinton win.

    Get while the getting is good. This was never intended to be the case.

  9. avatar Wedge259 says:

    I bought three stripped receivers from them last week. $30 a piece (realistically 40-45$ a piece after shipping and transfer, but not complaining!). Have a plan for one of them, but nothing in particular for the rest. But at that price I’ll probably buy at least another three for a rainy day!

  10. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Like the man said: “Colonel, if I need a (AR style in this case) rifle , there will be plenty of them laying around on the ground.”

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Ginny, “We Were Soldiers Once and Young.” Read the book. Then saw the movie. Both good, but I almost always like the book more. Sam Elliott plays a great tough guy.

  11. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    We are approaching the lower limits of prices where a company can make any profit shipping commodity AR components. I predict that, absent a huge buying spree to drive up prices and consume the surplus of available AR’s, we’ll see one or two AR companies fold up or be acquired by a competitor in the next couple of years.

    At the current low prices, people should buy the components that wear (in the order of priority):

    – Barrels
    – Bolts (when you change a barrel with the extension, get a new bolt)
    – Gas rings that go on the bolts, or get a bolt with gas rings pre-installed
    – Bolt carriers (you shouldn’t need a bolt extension that often, but you might need a gas key if your gas tube has been rubbing)
    – Gas tubes (see above – and also if you heated up the prior gas tube from rapid fire)
    – Springs, including buffer springs, magazine springs, trigger springs (springs wear from use)
    – Small parts that get lost in the LPK or UPK

    You get the idea.

    You can make an AR barrel from a raw barrel blank, but it takes time and skill to do it properly. BTDT, I buy my AR barrels pre-made/profiled/etc, with the extension already installed. It costs more in my time to do it than I’m paying the guys who do this all the time to do it.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      This is true, but at these prices touted by the article, just buy complete kits (uppers, lowers, FCGs, etc.) for the same money. If/when the Fed Gov does flip Liptard in the future, that replacement barrel will be costing the same amount of money as an entire upper kit does today.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Sure, buy a complete upper. That’s plenty fine as well – just make sure you get a new bolt or BCG, and you’re done.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          However, to your point, I do recommend that people perform a full tear-down and rebuild of an AR at least once, to be familiar with the way they work. I really like the convenience of a fully assembled upper, but it’s good to have some extra parts as well.

  12. avatar Ollie says:

    ARs are on the verge of becoming a commodity. Every good home should have one. Or two. Or more.

    1. avatar Mike V says:

      One for every person mature enough and able enough.

    2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Rather like a jack for your car and or a fire extinguisher for both.

  13. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The entire point of the Melting Point Laws was to price guns out of the reach of the (black) poor. Because The Rich or even the middle class will always be able to afford at least one gun in the home.

    Gun Control and Economic Discrimination: The Melting-Point Case-in-Point 44 pages long
    https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6828&context=jclc

    I could afford a Daniel Defense AR15. So I got one and I don’t ($1550) regret it. I also have a Hi Point 45 pistol. And I don’t ($145) regret it either.
    I have noticed that competition has been forcing the price of nearly all guns down.
    Capitalism is a wonderful thing! (smile)

  14. avatar M1Lou says:

    Earlier this year I was able to build a PSA AR for $289 total cost. I fired 40 rounds out of it without issue and put it back in the safe. I have more expensive guns, but there is always room for one more.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      M1Lou,

      The real problem, as I see it, is that shipping plus your local FFL transfer fee will total nearly $100 which means your $289 rifle actually cost $389. I sure hope that I am wrong on the cost of shipping and FFL transfer fee.

      What is the minimum realistic price that I should expect to pay for shipping and FFL transfer?

      Fun questions — if I purchased two lower receivers in a single transaction:
      (1) Would my local FFL handle the transfer of both of them for the same price as transferring one lower receiver?
      (2) Would the shipping cost be nearly the same and only increase a couple dollars?

      1. avatar Mike V says:

        Add them to your cart, it’ll give you an option to get a shipping quote before you get to the payment. It’ll also display the taxes if applicable. For me, that pairing would cost 336, shipped and taxed. My FFL would then charge 20 to transfer, so grand total of 356.

        If you can stomach a KG product, they’re cranking out a 5.56 kit with quad rail for 259 shipped. Pair this with a locally procured stripped lower, typically an Anderson will go for around 50, and you have about as good a deal possible.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Mike V.,

          Thank you for the feedback.

          It looks like shipping + sales tax + FFL fee will be at least $55 assuming that your FFL only charges $20 for a transfer.

          I hear about a lot of FFLs that want considerably more (easily $40 to $50) which could increase that cost another $20 to $30 for a grand total of $75 to $85.

      2. avatar just a buddy says:

        Try Gander outdoors for a FFL.they waved the transfer fees.

      3. avatar M1Lou says:

        The price was $289 total. The parks kit was on sale for $259 with free shipping from PSA. Then I paid $30 for the lower, shipped. The transfer was free as my range did transfers for free for members.(OK, slightly cheating) I got a carry handle for free.(A little more cheating)

        For your situation I would shop around your town. I have seen fees range from Free-$75 for a transfer. I mostly see $25-35 being the norm.

        The kit can be shipped to your door and if you are patient, you can get free shipping. While you are at it, get some $7.99 aluminum AR mags from PSA. I usually buy 10 at a time and store them in a box.

        The lower you might be able to find from a store for around $40, saving shipping and transfer fees. Anderson lowers are everywhere these days and most places I’ve been to sell them very affordably these days. My local store sells them for $40 and they work just as well as my other brands. They might have a small quirk or two, but they don’t usually effect the function.

        If you really want a PSA lower to match the PSA parts kit, then you will have to pay the fees. I’ve seen Magpul MBUS rear sights for about $40.

        Here is a breakdown of what to expect:
        16″ PSA AR kit -$269 (Daily Deal) $279 for FDE, OD, Grey Kits, $299 for other budget kits.
        Rifle kit shipping-$17
        Anderson Lower-$40 (I’m sure they are out there for this price if you look around)
        Transfer fee-$30 (approximate, I won’t transfer to a store that charges over $35)
        Rear Sight-$40
        Magazine-$7.99

        Total-$404

      4. avatar Reason says:

        Watch for PSA to offer free shipping. They often do on their sale items. So far I have not been charged sales tax. And I found a local shop that transfers for $20. I have purchased several firearms from PSA. All have been of good quality. For a service grade rifle I don’t know why anyone would want to pay more.

        1. avatar xtphreak says:

          Palmetto’s State Sales Tax Policy here

          https://palmettostatearmory.com/customer-service#SpecialTaxNotices

          12 states not currently
          the rest they do add sales tax

      5. avatar xtphreak says:

        PSA 16″ Classic M4 Freedom Upper with BCG & Charging Handle, OD Green – 7780181
        7780181
        $179.99

        Ordered: 1
        $179.99

        Shipping & Handling
        $17.00
        Grand Total (Excl.Tax)
        $196.99
        Tax
        $13.79
        Grand Total (Incl.Tax)
        $210.78

        shipped to non-FFL address (home etc)
        ***********************************************************************
        PSA AR15 Freedom Classic Lower, Olive Drab Green – 7779347
        7779347
        $99.99

        Ordered: 2
        $199.98

        Shipping & Handling
        $34.00
        Grand Total (Excl.Tax)
        $233.98
        Tax
        $16.38
        Grand Total (Incl.Tax)
        $250.36

        Shipped to Palmetto State store for pickup (out-of-state purchase of long gun) NO FFL FEEs.

        Note that I bought two (2) lowers

        shipping on one was $17
        so
        $210.78 total for one (1) upper
        $125.18 total for one (1) lower
        $335.96 total for one (1) complete AR

  15. avatar Jeff O. says:

    I propose a budget AR shoot-off test!

    Get the 3 or 4 of the lowest prices ARs possible, then a couple of control rifles, say an S&W Sport II, something by Windham and something by FN or Colt and beat the heck of of all of them.

  16. avatar S.Crock says:

    We are about two mass shootings away from seeing these prices sky rocket. One mass shooting with a pistol brace used and the NRA will be advocating for Trump and the ATF to look at banning those.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Indeed. Braces and suppressors won’t be around much longer I fear.

  17. PSA has always been good to me, fellows.

    1. avatar Gunfan says:

      Me too!

      +1

  18. avatar VicRattlehead says:

    I’ve had a palmetto AR for a little over a year now and I’ve never been anything but pleased with it. I bought the ‘upgraded’ version with the M-Lok handguard and, more importantly, the polished trigger group.
    Does it feel like it was machined from a solid piece of billet and finished with the finest furniture/hardware in existence? No, but it does all fit together tightly, as it should, and has functioned flawlessly through who knows how many rounds now. It a real good shooting gun with a very serviceable trigger that punches holes exactly where I aim. I’m not exactly sure what else you could really ask for from an EXTREMELY affordable rifle.
    I sincerely hope Palmetto sells MILLIONS of them. The more AR’s we have out the the less likely any future ‘assault weapons’ bans are to succeed.

  19. avatar Imayeti says:

    Getting there! I’m waiting till they give me an AR when I buy ammo! I just have no place to shoot right now.

  20. avatar Imayeti says:

    Anybody else notice that there are a lot of weapons on the market at reasonable cost as Glock is approaching the cost of a 1911? I don’t get it.

    1. avatar ai338 says:

      Glock is the same price as a Sig, Smith, or Springfield.

      1. avatar Thomas says:

        Glock is the same price as a Sig 1911, Smith 1911, or Springfield 1911.

        Fixed that for ya.

    2. avatar Twr says:

      There is at least one gun shop here in town that I believe would only sell Glock if there distributors did not make them buy other things. They are close to $700 for some models, and that hasn’t even touched the mos’ yet. They also try to give you crap for trades fwiw.

    3. avatar P 320 U.S. Military Approved says:

      Imayeti,

      Glocks are the likely the most overrated firearms out there. However, because they were essentially first(HK did beat them) to the market, they gained a foothold they enjoy today.

      They are extremely overpriced relative to the competition, and have some flaws that they refuse to correct, which competitors have picked up on and now produce firearms that are superior right out of the box. No need to immediately pay the aftermarket for a nice trigger, usable sights, or workable grip surfaces (among other glock problems).

      However, many are happy to pay hundreds of dollars more for a glock, even when they have been surpassed by a number of different competitors. Never underestimate the power of kool-aid.

  21. avatar Timothy Rollet says:

    Good! and shame on you if you are the one two elections from now paying $ 700 for a BCG, or $3000 for an omni hybrid.

  22. avatar enuf says:

    So it’s $280 plus shipping and the FFL fee for receiving the lower. No NICS fee for me, I just hand the FFL my CWP, he smiles and wraps the paperwork.

    Okay, so now what do I do with the two AR’s I already have?

    1. avatar EndDangerEd says:

      Never heard of Hide-N-Go-Seek? Greatest kids game of the ages….. Am I right?

    2. avatar Reason says:

      PSA needs to run a sale on cosmoline or something when they do these sales. 🙂

  23. avatar former water walker says:

    Oh man I’ll never have any $😫 Only been shooting my S&W Sport for a relatively short time. These prices are startlingly low with some local shops dropping the he!! out of prices. I’m old and not really comfortable buying internet-yet. I have some relationship(s) with a few Indiana shops. If I bitch they’ll make it right…I have no clue what PSA or BearCreek would do(hire more bueno boy’s?).

    1. avatar " keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

      I won’t buy nothing off the internet, specifically gunms. I’m a paranoid individual, I only buy gunm related stuff with cash, which I don’t have much of either. In a way, being able to just go out and easily buy any gunm doesn’t make them as special as when you have to save to get them, IMO. The 1911 I own was purchased with my first Wheat harvest job. It’s special to me. I can look at it and remember good times.

  24. avatar Bob in IN says:

    As with my $99 Mosin Nagant, inexpensive does not equal cheap.

    1. avatar EndDangerEd says:

      I really miss my 1927 Mauser big-ring 7mm… $79 delivered and I had to sell it to get my stuff out of NYS. Darn shame too but at least I got out… As I recall it was an “Escape From Alcatraz” kinda deal but at least SH Schumer is no longer my Congressman. Oh yeah!!

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Senator. Congratulations on your escape.

  25. avatar Patrick says:

    I paid less than $500 for my PSA 308 AR (PA10) recently. Including the transfer fees. I don’t know how much lower the prices can get. There are only so many guns a person needs but I’ve got a son and he will need one of each as well so I keep buying an extra.

  26. avatar TX223 says:

    Links Please?

    1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      They’re above. Click on upper and lower.

  27. avatar former water walker says:

    TX223…just type Palmeto State Armory on yer ‘puter or smartphone. Enjoy😎

  28. avatar Grunt49 says:

    Eating squirrel and venison will kill you!
    Country folk dying at 90 and a hundred left and right!

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Yeah, that free range stuff is deadly!

  29. avatar Bowtie41 says:

    Looking at this article with interest as I am looking to get my 1st AR,Have an AK pistol(called “Thumper,lol),several revolvers and other handguns,rifles,and shotguns.My question is as to why no one mentions 80% lowers to avoid fees and tracking?Ideas,comments?Thanks from an AR Newb!

    1. avatar Jeep1967 says:

      If price is the bottom line, the 80% lowers are out. They cost more and you need an expensive jig to finish them properly, and appropriate power tools and bits, if you don’t already have them.

      If having an unserialized firearm to avoid confiscation, 80% products are the way to go. Except in California where completed 80% receivers must be serialized and registered. CA makes me sad.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        at some point congress will look at this and say enough already…get ’em while you can….

      2. avatar Bowtie41 says:

        Nah,I’m in IL,just about as bad as CA.No suppressors,and lots of other BS.Absolute bottom dollar not a req.,but nice.I have all the drills,mills,etc,even a mill/lathe.Saw PSA blem lowers cheap,and as said,saw none mentioned,and wondered why.Frankspeak is right,time to get some before they change the books,AGAIN!Thanks for the replies!

  30. avatar Geoff says:

    I sold all my serialized lowers except for the one on my AR pistol, and it will be replaced with an 80% lower once I finish milling and drilling it. My other 5 AR15s have lowers made from 80% aluminum or polymer, even my AR10 has an 80% polymer lower. All but the AR10 cost me between $300 and $400 for the custom parts I wanted, only one is a Plain Jane AR like the pictured upper in the article and it cost me about $330 to build. The AR10 with a Polymer lower cost about $800 total, including the PSA Rifle kit (no lower). All have after market handguards and MOE stocks. The AR 300BLK pistol has a ShockWave Brace. The 5 ARs are .22LR (CMMG Kit), 5.56/.223 suppressed, 300BLK suppressed, 5.56/.223 and .458 SOCOM. AR10 is .308Win/7.62X51 and can use my 30 Cal. suppressor. Both the 5.56 and 30 Cal suppressors are Form 1 I designed and built.

    1. avatar Doesky2 says:

      The gov knows what you got and you confirmed it.

  31. avatar jros says:

    The thing about AR’s is they go from a $300 gun to a $1000 gun pretty quick.

  32. avatar Justin says:

    Yeah sub 300 to build one yourself but have you seen the prices folks want for their frankenguns on armslist? Were talkin $1000+ for a delton or new frontier armory build. Sure you may find some for less being sold by someone like me who doesn’t overvalue an object but the majority are way out of line.

  33. avatar jimmy james says:

    I swore I’d never buy another one at just under $400 all but damn, $300. They dont go bad or expire and they dont eat nuthin’ unless you feed them. Still waiting on a shoot out, test to destruction between a “cheap” PSA and a spendy DD or other hi end brand. My PSA’s run like maw maw’s old Singer sewing machine.

  34. avatar Jeff says:

    Meanwhile, Robar’s “serious” Farnam rifle goes for $3000 and up. I doubt it’s that serious.

  35. avatar Mr. Fastener says:

    There are NO Grade ‘8’ screws on an AR-15. They are Socket Head Cap Screws (ASTM A574) which are stronger than SAE J429 Grade 8 (Hex Cap Screws). You and everybody else needs to stop calling them that.

  36. avatar Alan Rose says:

    I’m not a rifle guy so please indulge me here. You’re saying these 2 items can be put together to make a functioning firearm? What does it mean by stripped receiver? Thanks!

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