ArmaLite Defensive Sporting Rifles


ArmaLite is now offering three rifles in a new line called Defensive Sporting Rifles. Two guns are chambered in 5.56 NATO, while the third is chambered for the 7.62 NATO cartridge.  All of the rifles are aggressively priced, and likely to appeal to many budget-conscious shooters.


ArmaLite DEF10

The DEF10 rifle is an AR-10 style rifle. It uses a 16″ Melonite treated barrel. The barrel is threaded and ships with a flash suppressor installed. The rifle uses a classic-style handguard and adjustable buttstock.

The gun does not ship with sights, but has Picatinny rails on the top of the upper and low profile gas block for adding irons or glass. It ships with a 20-round Magpul PMAG. The MSRP is $999, and it is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.


ArmaLite DEF15 & DEF15F

The DEF15 and DEF15F are both AR-15 type rifles chambered in 5.56 NATO with a classic handguard, pistol grip and adjustable buttstock. The 16″ barrels are chrome-lined, threaded and have a 1:7″ twist. Both ship with a 30-round Magpul magazine. The only difference between the two is the DEF15F has an A2-style front sight, while the DEF15 has a low-profile gas block with a Picatinny rail. Neither have a rear sight.

The MSRP for both of these rifles is $699. They are also covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Zachary marrs

    Geez what a mess, it seems like they took a bat to the marketing departments head “defensive sporting rifle” really? A ar 10 “home defense rifle? Who the fvck thought that would be a good idea? And no iron sights? Smdh

    • AK™

      Magpul all the things!

      • Zachary marrs

        Magpul beats whatever is on those guns every day

    • sianmink

      It’s not a bad idea if you’ve got a clear 600 yards from your house to the fenceline.

      • adverse

        Does the six houses in between count?

        • iksnilol

          Can’t you just use frangible ammo (or hunting ammo)?

    • iksnilol

      Good choice if hogs and bears are a problem. Some people use their HD rifle more on animals than people.

    • Fred Johnson

      Iron sights? It seems everywhere I look on the net, everyone runs flip up sights and optics. And those that do have a front sight are looking into cutting it down and cover it with a full floating hand guard. All in the name of scoping it without having the optic having to be higher than the front sight.

      Essentially, the sporting 7.62 AR is following in the footsteps of the American Hunting Rifle.

      • Zachary marrs

        Well, flip up sights are iron sights, this seems to be marketed towards the “throw it in your closet once you buy it” crowd

  • Frank

    So Armalite is finally using SR 25 pattern magazines on their 308 rifles?

  • MatKep

    I have an original Armalite AR-10 and an Armalite National Match in 556. Both are great weapons but they are ten years old. Armalite has fallen behind the times. They pioneered the black rifle market but failed to adapt to trending styles and configurations. Now they’re trying to regain market share by offering budget priced ‘defensive sporting rifles’. I don’t know…

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Hi, MatKep :

      Whatever you choose to do, it would be a good idea to hang on to what you have as long as you keep them in mint condition, especially the AR-10 ( I’m going on the basis of your post stating that it is an original AR-10 ). They might be much older than the current offerings, but it sounds as if they might have real collector’s value down the road, again especially concerning the AR-10. I suppose one way you could get around the conundrum of wanting to shoot an AR frequently yet still limit the long-term usage on the more collectible AR’s in your inventory would be to purchase a reliable and well-built low to medium-priced AR such as one of these Armalite offerings, or a similar version from Windham Weaponry, DPMS, Bushmaster, et al, that you would not have to worry about.

      To put things in perspective, I am not personally a die-hard aficionado of the AR platform ( I prefer Czech vz.58’s and high-end AK-based platforms ), but I did use an M16A1/ M16A2 and M4 when I was in the military, know these weapon systems quite intimately and have few complaints about their reliability or performance on the battlefield, as long as they are properly cleaned and maintained. And I still immensely enjoy the AR’s that I do own regardless.

  • USMC03Vet

    Defensive Sporting Rifles

    What an oxymoron. Good jerb, marketing!

    • iksnilol

      A rifle can be used for sporting and defensive uses. Doesn’t seem like an oxymoron to me. Now a “defensive assault rifle” would be an oxymoron.

      • Fred Johnson

        Sounds better than “dual purpose”.

      • Sulaco

        Are they thinking about how the average “non gun” person would see it?

      • Bp. David

        Except that the “assault rifle” part would not apply here. These are all SEMI-autos, not assault rifles. Only military, police, and a few extra special subjects may use assault rifles.

        • iksnilol

          That picture says everything. I know what an assault rifle is, even used them (didn’t use the giggle switch but it was there). No I am not a soldier or anything.

    • Bp. David

      Hey, Jarhead–you’ve never been hog or bear hunting? That’s the epitome of “Defensive and Sporting!” SEMPER FI!

      • iksnilol

        That and you can also use your 3-gun/hunting rifle to defend yourself. Then it becomes “Defensive and Sporting” aswell.

  • Burst

    While the author is free to quote the press release as needed, he’s not doing us any favors.

    Whatever the hell “aggressive pricing” is, I’m sure they’re priced after careful consideration of the market, with the expectation of making a tidy profit. As per usual.

    The less said about “Defensive Sporting rifles”, the better…

    • iksnilol

      Why is it better that less is said about them?

    • Fred Johnson

      Yep, it’s so un-American to make a profit.

      It looks like the SAC owned ArmaLite is trying to stay competitive with the likes of the S&W M&P Sport and all the others in that price range. Yet, with the ArmaLite it still comes with a dustcover and forward assist for all of those that still want those things.

      • Burst

        Those are good things, by themselves.
        How they’re marketing them is questionable, though.

  • Doopington

    I’d rather have an aggressively priced AR-18 update, not the bog standard attempt to venture into the already hyper-saturated AR15&family market.

    • iksnilol

      Wonder how cheaply (read: inexpensive) you could make an AR-18 compared to an AR-15?

      • Zachary marrs

        That would largely depend on how many you could make. The problem is that they will not sell, ask armalite, they tried to resurrect the ar180 and it was a flop. With how reliable and cheap di ar’s are now, there is no need

        • gunsandrockets

          You mean the AR-180b? But that was not really an AR-180 now was it? Plus it was hampered by introduction during the awful Fed AW ban, which castrated that rifle in important ways.

          I imagine the market for a proper semi-auto only AR-18 would be at least as good as for other non-AR-15 .223 semi-automatic rifles. And those other rifles seem to survive in the current marketplace just fine.

          • Fred Johnson

            Is that the one with the polymer/plastic receiver? Those were fairly cheap just a couple years ago. When you could find one.

          • iksnilol

            I would like an AR-16 more, a cheap way to get 20 rounds of 308.

      • Bp. David

        I’m wondering– at a price of $699, is there as much plastic in the receivers as the Bushie has?

  • jrt 82

    It may be the photo, but
    the front sight block and the receiver do not seem to be on the same plane.

    • big daddy

      Yes you have to get special front sights made for a gas block that is not the same height for to them line up. 2 steps ahead – 3 steps back.

      • Sulaco

        You can easly buy (gas block front sights) them on line, even Ebay and Amazon…I have done so with an older AR.

        • big daddy

          Yes you can go on any online gun store and buy one. The idea is to not have to get a harder to find special sight or replace the gas block with a $100 Yankee Hill for instance If they had used a simple same plane gas block you could use a set of Troy’s or inexpensive PSA. By doing so they have added to the final overall cost to get the rifle completely functional.

  • Pete Sheppard

    I’d like to see more ‘Dissipator’ style rifles; full-length sighting plane with 16″ barrel. Using the iron sights, the front post can be easier to focus on. The long handguard also gives more space for tacti-Gucci…

    • Zachary marrs

      For 16 inch barrels, a mid length gas system is ideal

      • Fred Johnson

        I know what Pete means though, a “faux” dissipator with the gas block under that handguard and an add on fixed FSB would be pretty nice. Muzzle heavy maybe, but nice.

        • Mike N.

          Well, that would not really be a “faux” dissy, since that’s what a dissy is by definition (carbine or mid-length gas system, bas block under the handguard, FSB where it’d be on a rifle length gas system used only for increased sight radius). I think Pete didn’t make that clear and Zachary thought he meant a 16″ barreled gun with a rifle length gas system.

          • Fred Johnson

            Thanks. I keep thinking of the older rifles as a dissipator where the barrel was merely cut back to the FSB and the flash suppressor reinstalled. I guess the name didn’t get attached to that set up.

          • Mike N.

            That’s probably also a legitimate definition of a dissy, though I bet that, commercially, it’s not very common.

          • Cymond

            The idea of a carbine-length or mid-length gas system hidden under the handguards, with a standard fsb at the muzzle is a relatively new concept. The original ‘dissipators’ had rifle-length gas systems, and some still do.


  • notjanis

    “Lord, won’t you give me a 7.62? My friends all have 5.56s, and I need to make amends”.

    • Fred Johnson

      Perfect! LOL!

  • supergun

    Amalite M15 are very good guns.

  • Brian Flate

    Hmmmm….if i’m thinking defense rifle i’m thinking suppressed 300BO pistol with a siig brace.