The Best AR-15s to Hit the Market in 2024!

by Vern Evans

The SHOT Show is always a great opportunity to see what is new in the AR world all under one roof. The almost unmanageable size of the show makes the search a bit of a challenge. Highly motivated, I marched on and gathered some of the best that the industry has to offer this year. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the newest AR rifles I came across at the SHOT Show. Here’s some of the best AR-15s to hit the market in 2024!

Best AR-15s for 2024

Bishop Ammunition and Firearms M16A1S

Bishop Ammunition and Firearms owns a reputation for producing custom lever- and bolt-action guns in exceptionally powerful cartridges. This year, however, they are entering into the world of ARs with the M16A1S. Veteran-owned and operated, one owner decided to reproduce the very rifle she qualified with. The M16A1 clones the original down to the smallest detail. The gun has the teardrop forward assist, the tiniest little charging handle, and, of course, the simplified sight. The rifle is ultra-light and is one of the perfect examples of what made the M16A1 such a light and handy rifle. The rifle is an excellent retro offering in the AR world. (bishopammunition.com)

HM Defense Stealth MS Series Rifles

New from HM Defense are their Stealth MS series rifles. These rifles are both integrally suppressed designs. The MS5 is chambered in 5.56, while the MS3 is chambered in .300 Blackout. What makes these so unique is that the HM Defense barrel and suppressor are made from one solid piece of steel. Traditionally an integrally suppressed rifle utilizes a suppressor that’s permanently attached to the barrel. With the HM Defense MS series, the suppressor is part of the barrel. They are both one piece of metal, and the barrels and suppressor are milled together from one block of metal. This monobloc design is a patented design by HM Defense. It is a unique design and is sure to catch the eye of those who like to run suppressed. (hmdefense.com/)

Knight’s Armament KS-1

At the SHOT Show this year, Knight’s Armament displayed their KS-1. This rifle was primarily designed for the British Special Operations Forces. Knight’s is releasing a civilian semi-auto-only model. The KS-1 is a 13.7-inch rifle and features a muzzle device designed to quickly attach suppressors and mitigate flash when the suppressor isn’t present. When you start looking through the rail, you’ll notice the barrel is also dimpled to reduce weight and improve cooling. Like all Knight’s rifles, the KS-1 came in with completely ambidextrous controls, a huge charging handle, and a ton of small feature adjustments that produce an extremely well-made and reliable rifle. (knightarmco.com)

Global Ordnance Monolith

The Global Ordnance Monolith is a bufferless rifle platform. It features an innovative Mono Barrel with a single-piece integrated barrel extension, gas block, and Dead Air KeyMo muzzle brake. These combine to provide superior accuracy, reliability, and simplicity. The Monolith includes an integrated folding adjustable stock, ambidextrous controls, and a folding side-charging handle. The Monolith rifle is compact, lightweight, and feature-rich. The rifle has a SCAR mixed with AR look to it and is worth a serious look. (globalordnance.com)

Rock River Arms .17 HMR

Rock River Arms was excited to announce the company’s first AR-platform rifle chambered for the .17 HMR cartridge. The new RRA .17 HMR joins the company’s LAR-22 rifle lineup to round out its rimfire long-gun offerings. This rifle is ideally suited for rimfire fans looking for an accurate and reliable varmint buster or for a fun gun to ring steel across the .17 HMR’s effective ballistic range. Built upon the RRA A4 billet upper receiver and forged A2 lower, the RRA 17 HMR is fronted by a precision-manufactured 41V50 CMV 18-inch barrel rifled with a 1:9 twist. The cycle of operation is managed by a gas impingement, delayed blowback system that delivers reliable cycling of 15.5- to 20-grain cartridges.

Adding to the precision barrel is RRA’s NM Ultra Match two-stage trigger. The rifle utilizes a rear charging handle for convenient operation and comes with a winter trigger guard for use when wearing gloves. Further, fitted with an ergonomic Magpul MOE grip, adjustable Magpul MOE SL-K six-position stock, and RRA’s lightweight 15-inch free-float handguard with M-LOK compatibility, the RRA .17HMR is adaptable to the shooter and is ready to be outfitted with essential accessories like a bipod, lights, thermal, and optic. A 10-round magazine is included. (rockriverarms.com)

Cox Arms EMR

Adhering to its motto of “When Mil-Spec’s Not Enough,” Cox Arms USA introduces the EMR-1 (Every Man’s Rifle). The EMR-1 is an American-made, feature-rich rifle with quality parts not found on many other more expensive rifles on the market. The EMR-1 starts with a 7075-T6 Aluminum forged receiver set. Inside the upper, Cox Arms uses an Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group. The EMR-1 has a mid-length gas system with a 16-inch government profile, 5.56 NATO, 1:7 twist, 4150 CrMoV barrel. Cox Arms USA takes time to ensure the durability of the EMR-1.

One example of that is Rocksetting the screws in the gas block. Over the barrel is a 13-inch Lightweight Anti-rotation, Steel-on-Steel Retention Handguard. The barrel is finished with Cox Arms USA’s High Performance “Battle Brake” Muzzle Device. The Battle Brake is the gold standard in muzzle devices. The gun includes an Elftmann Tactical trigger. The Elf-SE trigger has a pull weight of only 3.5 pounds and is set inside an enhanced trigger guard for a sleek, complimentary look. The EMR-1 has both an ambidextrous safety as well as an ambidextrous charging handle to make operation easier. Coming in at only 6.6 pounds, it is an exceptional rifle that can serve a spectrum of needs. (coxarmsusa.com)

Nemo Arms

Nemo has released the Battle-Lite 22 ARC. This rifle starts with NEMO matched billet upper and lower receiver set made from 7075-T6 aluminum. They have full ambi (safety, mag, and bolt release) and are built in-house. It also has a 15-inch 6061 extruded aluminum, M-LOK modular handguard with slim design and steel QD rotation limited mounts. The barrel is a NEMO 20-inch 416R stainless steel barrel with a 1:7 twist. All in all, it has the bones to be a tack driver.

Another great addition to their line is the NEMO Battle-Light 6 ARC rifle. This rifle has an 18-inch barrel with a NEMO DC-1 6AL-4V Titanium dual chamber muzzle device. Designed to provide optimal ballistic and terminal performance, the Nemo Battle-Light 6 Arc provides substantial weight savings. Thirty-eight percent lighter than a .308 Win, it provides 21% less elevation and 29% less windage at 1,000 yards.

Nemo 6.5s

Joining the 6.5 Grendel world is the Battle Lite 6.5 Grendel Carbon. The first thing you notice about the gun is the 20-inch Proof Research carbon fiber-wrapped barrel with a 1:8 twist. Like its cousins, the rifle uses a NEMO-matched billet upper and lower receiver set made from 7075-T6 aluminum. They have full ambi (safety, mag, and bolt release) and are built in-house. It also has a 15-inch 6061 extruded aluminum, M-LOK modular handguard with a slim design. Another unique feature of this rifle is the Titanium through drilled takedown and pivot pins. It is a good-looking rifle, to say the least, and certainly a shooter.

Last but not least is the new XO Carbon in 6.5 Creedmoor. This feature-rich rifle has a blend of carbon fiber and accuracy. If you’re considering a large-frame patterned AR platform in calibers other than the tried and true .308, then look no further. The Executive Order (XO) in 20-inch trim is a lightweight, accurate, hard-hitting carbine. Available with a 20-inch Proof Research barrel, you can choose between .308, .260 Remington, and 6.5 Creedmoor chambering to fit your shooting needs. The longer barrel ensures that you can extract maximum velocity from your projectiles. Ambidextrous controls make operating the XO a cinch for any shooter. I am very excited about this rifle and look forward to getting it on the range. (nemoarms.com)

Anderson Manufacturing Frontline Series

Anderson Manufacturing is a major player in the AR world. That is why it was no surprise to find some new rifles at the Anderson booth. New this year is the Anderson AM-15 Frontline Series composed of five new complete builds, including rifle and pistol variants. The line takes inspiration from Anderson’s law enforcement exclusive line, the Defender Series. The Front Line series has two rifles and three pistols. Four guns are chambered in 5.56, while the Frontline 7.5 chambers .300 BLK. Each firearm utilizes a newly developed handguard system, Magpul furniture, and the Breek Arms Micro Warhammer Mod2 Charging Handle.

First up is the Frontline 16. It features a 16-inch, mid-length barrel chambered in 5.56. The barrel and low-profile gas system pair with a lightweight, 15-inch Stable Lock Free-Float Handguard. The newly developed AM-15 Stable Lock Handguard System features an M-LOK accessory mounting system conveniently dispersed throughout the length of the handguard with a top-rail and two quick-disconnect (QD) sling sockets, located at the 3 and 6 o’clock positions. This rifle also hosts an H1-weight buffer system, Magpul K2 Grip, and MOE SL Stock. 

Next up is the Frontline 11.5. It comes equipped with an 11.5-inch carbine-length barrel chambered in 5.56. It also employs a low-profile, carbine gas system and Anderson’s lightweight, 10.5-inch Stable Lock Free-Float Handguard. The newly developed AM-15 Stable Lock Handguard System features an M-LOK accessory mounting system conveniently dispersed throughout the length of the handguard with a top rail and two QD sling sockets, located at the 3 and 6 o’clock positions. This pistol also hosts an H2-weight buffer system, Magpul K2 Grip, and BSL Arm Brace. 

More Frontline Models

Going smaller yet, we have the Frontline 7.5. This one comes with a 7.5-inch pistol-length barrel chambered in .300 BLK. It includes a low-pro, pistol-length gas system and a 6.5-inch Stable Lock Free-Float Handguard. The newly developed AM-15 Stable Lock Handguard System features an M-LOK accessory mounting system conveniently dispersed throughout the length of the handguard with a top rail and two QD sling sockets, located at the 3 and 6 o’clock positions. This pistol also hosts a standard carbine (3 ounces) weight buffer system, Magpul K2 Grip, and BSL Arm Brace. 

One I really like is The Frontline QR-16. This rifle brings the same combination of features as the Frontline 16 apart from the handguard system. The QR-16 features a 12-inch Free-Float Quad-Rail Handguard with Picatinny rails located at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions throughout the length and four QD sling sockets at the 3 and 6 positions.

Last in the new lineup is the Frontline QR-10.5. This AR pistol comes with a 10.5-inch carbine-length barrel chambered in 5.56. The barrel and low-pro, carbine gas system pair with Anderson’s 9.5-inch Free-Float Quad-Rail Handguard. It features Picatinny rails and QD slings socks. This pistol also hosts an H2 weight buffer system, Magpul K2 Grip, and BSL Arm Brace. (andersonmanufacturing.com)

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