TFBTV: 5 Best Current Production AR15 Alternatives

    Not an AR guy? Tired of the same old platform being rehashed as a new product? Well we take a look at 5 great alternatives that should relieve some of your AR fatigue!

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    The full transcript is below …

    – Hey guys, it’s Alex C.

    – This is Patrick R.

    – We’re back at you with another five guns video for What you see here is five guns that are alternatives to the AR-15 platform.

    Something I’ve noticed is that when we do a post on the blog about an AR-15 or a new product that is kind of AR related, people will chime in saying things like, “Oh look, another AR.” and to be quite honest I’ve experienced some of that myself with something I’ve kind of called AR fatigue.

    The AR is a good platform.

    It’s been around, and you can get one for 600 or less these days.

    – I built one two months ago for $430.

    – There you go.

    With AR-15s out there costing $430 there’s no really good reason to not get that as your primary firearm, but some people don’t like them.

    Some people want something a little different, and that’s what this video is for.

    Obviously, a lot of these can’t compete on price, but the point of this video is alternatives regardless of price.

    What we’ve picked are our five favorites that we have access to.

    That’s not to say that there’s some that we like that aren’t on the table.

    We could do 10 easily.

    – Oh, absolutely.

    These are just the ones we had access to at the time.

    – And that we like the best that we’ve experienced.

    – Yeah. Yeah.

    – Going from our left to– – Well, the criteria that we had was it had to fire the.223, 5.56 round, and it had to not be an AR-15.

    – That’s pretty much it.

    Let’s go from our left to right, as usual.

    We’re gonna start off with a gun that I really like.

    It’s actually my favorite bullpup rifle.

    This is the FN Herstal FS2000.

    You can make all the jokes you want, it really does look like a yacht when you see it in frame there (laughs).

    However, they handle and point really nicely.

    I actually like the feel of them better than an AUG, and much better than a Tavor.

    It’s cool, it’s got a trap door here to check the chamber.

    This is one of the old-school models with the built-in optic with the backups on top, but you can take that off, and there is a Picatinny to replace it with.

    It’s really easy to field strip.

    It handles and points well.

    Patrick, you like it as well.

    – I do.

    – It’s just a great gun.

    It’s reliable. It’s accurate.

    The trigger’s bullpuppy, but sort of okay.

    – It’s not bad.

    Make sure we’re clear here.

    – It’s also ambidextrous.

    Rounds eject out the front, which is very cool.

    All in all, that’s my favorite bullpup, and it’s a great AR alternative.

    – Yeah, like you say, the trigger is kind of bullpuppy.

    Even the sight, it looks really futuristic and everything, but it works pretty well.

    It’s very clear.

    I like it a lot.

    – That’s the FS2000.

    That’s a great AR alternative.

    Let’s move on to an old design based on the G3.

    This is actually an HK33 rifle, but there’s clones on the market.

    Some made by Sentry, some made by other companies like Vector, and ATI I think has one coming out.

    – They might.

    – But a lot of companies make these.

    I know TPM Outfitters down the road from me will make you one.

    You can make your own, too.

    There’s kits on the market for about $500, which is awesome if you’re savvy.

    These shoot very well.

    If you like the G3, if you like the PTR91 guns, you’ll feel right at home on one of these.

    They’re very smooth.

    What do you think, Patrick? – I like this gun a lot, too.

    I think you’ve got one that’s shorter.

    I don’t remember what you’ve got.

    – I’ve got a 53 that’s basically a short version of this.

    It’s a lot of fun.

    – We’ve taken that out a couple times, and I really like shooting that gun a lot.

    It’s a crowd pleaser.

    – They’ve got that distinctive G3 carrier movement that jostles your body back and forth just right, and I like the HK Diopter sights.

    – I liked ’em so much that I purchased a set and put it on one of my short barreled AR-15s.

    – There ya go.

    That’s a great alternative, and you can build one of these for probably $600 or $700 I’m gonna say with a receiver flat if you’re a competent welder.

    If you’re not, then you can get a Sentry clone for cheap.

    However, there’s some questionable ones out there.

    Evaluate what you’re buying.

    – I want to say on building them, it is a little bit more daunting than building an AK or something like that, but it’s doable.

    – It’s possible.

    It is cool that it’s possible is the thing.

    Next up, everyone who’s into guns definitely knows what this is.

    – You don’t even have to be into guns.

    If you’re into video games you know what the SCAR is.

    – I will say, when giving kids, or my friends’ kids and what not tours of the gun room they immediately know what this is and they gravitate towards it.

    I don’t know why that is.

    This just draws the most attention from video game people, and I guess it’s in a lot of action movies these days, so it is what it is, but this of course is an FN SCAR 16S.

    It’s definitely the most expensive of the offerings on the table.

    – It is, but– – Arguably the most well made, and the most well received by the military.

    – You see the rifle, it looks kind of bulky, and until I had picked one up whenever they came out I was thinking, man, that’s gotta be heavy.

    I’m not gonna like it.

    Picked it up, and it is just.

    The handling and characteristics of this rifle are fantastic.

    I like it so much that I’m lookin’ to purchase one.

    – Right.

    I would say I prefer the FN FNC, the old gun, to this, but they don’t actually import that anymore, so unfortunately it’s not on the table.

    – That, and prices on those FNCs are over what you would spend on one of these– – Not that much more than that, really.

    – [Alex] They were about $3000 – [Patrick} Well, yes, but.

    – [Alex] These go for $2300 or so.

    – $3000 to $2300 is significant.

    – If I had the money, to be honest with you, I’d probably spend the extra dough, and get the.308 version.

    It’s only a couple hundred more, and you do get that heavier hitting round which is awesome.

    – Wouldn’t fit the criteria, unfortunately. – [Alex] Wouldn’t fit the criteria.

    – So that’s there. It is an option.

    I really do like this gun.

    It’s reliable. Accurate.

    It’s everything you want in a modern firearm and more.

    – Something I do want to touch on is all the controls on this gun are very familiar.

    If you’re an AR-15 shooter, you can pick this one up, and run it just like you would your AR-15.

    – Absolutely, so great alternative.

    The next one’s nothing new.

    It’s actually been on the scene for years and years.

    It’s based on the M1 Garand action.

    This, of course, is a Mini-14.

    I actually am a huge Mini-14 fan.

    I think I bought this for $600 a couple years ago when I first graduated from college.

    I thought, wow that’s a really cool rifle that I’ll use to take to the lease and whatnot, because I liked how the sights were right above the bore as opposed to the high bore sights of an AR-15.

    I got some 20 round mags and stuff, and I used it to kick around for a little while.

    It’s reliable. They’re accurate.

    They’re good guns.

    Another thing is they’re legal in California, New York, and your other ban states, because without the flash hider they’re featureless.

    That’s one of the reasons I included this as a great alternative.

    – We’d be wrong if we didn’t include it, to be honest.

    Anything that uses this action belongs in a best-of video, period.

    – Now, Nathaniel, I know you don’t like this action, but I do, so be quiet.

    (laughing) They are reliable. They are accurate.

    As long as you don’t do silly things like clog the action with mud like in one of those crazy videos.

    – I want to say it was Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons.

    They did an extreme mud test on an M1A, which uses a scaled up action, and it did very poorly, but as long as you’re using it reasonably, it’s great.

    – For civilian use, it’s a great rifle, so don’t get hung up on those kind of deals, but understandable if you don’t want a traditionally laid out rifle like that.

    Last and not least, these are in no particular order by the way, is the AUG, which we have done a cool video on for TFBTV.

    This is a great rifle.

    – I absolutely love it.

    I’m currently searching for one as well.

    – If you want a bullpup with history, support, and a proven record, the AUG is the way to go.

    Some people will say, “Well, the Tavor.” Well the Tavor hasn’t been around as long as the AUG.

    The AUG’s been around for much longer.

    – The Tavor is a cool rifle in its own right, but it’s, in my opinion, just not as cool as this.

    – It is my least favorite bullpup.

    I probably will catch some flak for that, but the AUG and the FS2000, I think, beat the Tavor.

    I haven’t had an opportunity to fire your Tavor yet, so I don’t really have an opinion, but I have shot this.

    – Some people prefer the Tavor.

    Some people prefer the AUG.

    Some prefer the FS2000.

    We’ll cover that later.

    – We do have a bullpup shootout video coming. – [Alex] We do have a bullpup shootout video coming, so that’ll be kinda cool.

    This is my, or our pick for the last great current production AR alternative simply because it’s handy, reliable, accurate, and it’s modular.

    There’s parts. There’s long barrels.

    You can convert ’em to nine millimeter.

    – Magazines are readily available.

    – True, and you can take either AUG or AR-15 magazines.

    – Yeah, if you change out the body of the gun, which it’s not that hard, is it? – No, also as an aside, there are plenty of registered full-auto trigger packs available for these which is not something most people consider, but it’s just kind of cool that that exists for the gun, so in theory you can just get a full-auto AUG or trigger pack, throw it on your gun, and go to town.

    – The same thing can be said about this HK rifle here.

    You can get a Flemming sear for that, or a registered trigger pack, or whatever have you.

    – Absolutely.

    It’s a great gun.

    I can’t sing the praises of the AUG more.

    – Out of all of them, if I had to pick one it probably would be the AUG.

    – That’s pretty bold.

    I honestly don’t know which one I would pick.

    What context? Are we talking hunting? – Just an all-around rifle.

    Which one of these five would you choose if you had to have just one? – I would probably choose the SCAR, simply because of its user friendliness, and its modularity.

    When I say modularity I mean it’s got a big Picatinny rail on the top that I can mount an optic to.

    It’s got pistol grips I can change out to whatever I want to.

    Folding stock. Collapsible stock.

    – All fair points.

    – I do wish it had a caliber conversion kit available like the ACR.

    I think some companies make ’em aftermarket.

    – I don’t know.

    I don’t know enough about them, to be honest.

    You do have to remember you’re built a little bit, you got longer arms and that kind of nonsense, so something like this works better for a short guy like myself.

    – Well, there you go.

    I can’t argue with that.

    That’s our picks for the best five AR-15 alternatives that are currently in production.

    I’m Alex C.

    – And I’m Patrick R.

    – Thanks again for watching guys, and if you liked our video hit that subscribe button.

    We’ll really appreciate it.

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.