Build an AR-15 for UNDER $500

July 3, 2019, 12:41 a.m.

Have you been wanting to expand your arsenal beyond your everyday shooter? Maybe you are looking to build a truck gun or something for home defense. If you are also trying to stay on the budget side of things, then this build might be for you. 

First off, in this post we will be building a pistol. If you decide to go the route of a SBR, then this build will also be a good starting point for you. If you are unsure of legalities and requirements to SBRs, then head over to our post where we talked about it here. Note that when we are referring to the build price for the SBR, we are not including any costs for the stamp or paperwork needed.

Whether you want something for utility, or just something fun to shoot on range days, a pistol or SBR is a great tool to have in your AR-15 lineup. In the past, these have not always been the most economical to build, but luckily nowadays you can build one for under $500!

Palmetto State Armory is known for making fantastic firearms at affordable prices. Right now, they have a couple of build kit options for a fully firing pistol or SBR at a budget price. Depending on which caliber you are looking to chamber your gun in, there are manyoptions you can choose to make it yours. 


Although there are plenty of 5.56 build kits that PSA offers, their best valued option is the 10.5’’ 5.56 chambered barrel, with a 12” free float M-Lok handguard. It also comes with the SB Tactical SBA3 Pistol Brace which is one of the best pistol braces on the market. The kit is priced at $380 at the time of writing.


This kit comes with a full lower parts kit as well, which features a Magpul grip and trigger guard. The only thing else that is needed is the lower receiver, which can be purchased online or at your local FFL for under $100. This makes your total build less than $500! If you are looking to order online, then check out some recommendations below.

PSA AR-15 Lower Safe/Fire ($30-$50)

PSA Lower


Aero Precision Gen 2 Stripped Lower Black ($60-$90)

Anderson Manufacturing Stripped Lower Receiver ($40-$60)



One of the best calibers for pistols or SBRs is the 300 Blackout. This is due to its ballistics and its suppress-ability. We will go over the advantages and disadvantages in another article. If you have been set on building a Blackout build, but the price of admission was keeping you away, then you might be in some luck.

This 300 Blackout build kit at PSA features an 8.5" barrel with a 7'' lightweight M-Lok handguard. This kit comes with a Shockwave Blade pistol stabilizer to add on to the lightweight build. At the time of writing this, this kit was priced around $300. This gives you plenty of wiggle room to add a lower and even a set of sights like the Magpul MBUS Gen 2 ($80-$110) 

So there you have it! Your next AR-15 build can be done for under $500. Let me know in the comments if you added a different option to yours.

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