For 2020, gun manufacturers are still attempting to find solutions to the glut of modern sporting rifles in inventory. One approach is value-added rifles, which offer high-end enhancements at a nominal price. Meanwhile, gunmakers are also getting consumers back in stores by reinvigorating the pistol-caliber carbine. America's Rifle is still quite popular, as these offerings from a number of familiar manufacturers will attest.
ArmaLite | AR-10 SuperSASS Gen II With chamberings such as 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win., a choice of 20- or 22-inch stainless steel, match-grade barrel and an adjustable-gas block, the only thing left to add to this updated Super SASS is a sound suppressor for the ultimate tactical long-range-rifle system.
Diamondback | DB-15 BGSMB If you’re looking for next-level components at a (near) entry-level price, Diamondback’s BGSMB DB-15 carbine might be just the thing. An M-Lok-compatible handguard, backup sights, a custom receiver and a host of other options give the BGSMB an upgraded air.
▶Mid-length gas system ▶Diamondback CNC flash hider ▶Magpul CTR stock ▶Black nitride barrel
Faxon | Ascent It certainly appears that the middle ground is the next big thing in the AR-15 world, and Faxon’s Ascent carbine fits right in. Mil-spec grip and stock keep cost down, while a nitrided BCG, free-float handguard and enhanced receiver add value.
Faxon | Bantam Pistol-caliber carbines are still going strong, and Faxon’s Bantam is Glock-magazine compatible, uses mil-spec components and comes in at less than $1,000. Given the competition, it’s tempting to call it entry-level, but it appeals to more than just the wallet.
▶Last round hold-open ▶Glock-magazine compatible ▶A2 pistol grip and flash hider ▶Nitrided bolt-carrier group
Franklin Armory | M4-HTF XTD R3 The success of the 350 Legend cartridge is also not going unnoticed. Franklin Armory released the M4-HTF XTD R3 in Winchester’s exciting new straight-walled round, bringing an upgraded carbine to the mix of semi-automatic rifles for it.
▶Mid-length gas system ▶ B5 Systems stock and grip ▶Aura XTD muzzle device ▶M4-contour barrel
Gilboa | Pistol Caliber Carbine Light, handy and convenient all describe the blowback-operated Gilboa Pistol Caliber Carbine. A modular lower allows for interchangeable mag wells for use with either Glock or S&W M&P magazines.
IWI US | Zion-15 Rifle Best known for importing the bullpup Tavor family, IWI is now offering a U.S.-made AR-15 with some nice upgrades over a plain-Jane model. With quality furniture and a 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium barrel, this newcomer promises to be an exciting addition to a crowded market.
▶B5 Systems Enhanced SOPMOD stock ▶Freefloat handguard ▶Magpul PMag magazine ▶B5 Systems Type 23 P Grip
Rock River Arms | LAR BT-3 Select Target Rifle The heart of the LAR BT-3 Select Target Rifle is the 20-inch, fluted 1:10-twist cryo-treated Rock River Arms LAR BT-3 Select Target Rifle (BT31750) barrel. It’s flanked by a lightweight, 17-inch fleefloated handguard and an adjustable Magpul PRS buttstock.