It seems that one of the most common questions I get from friends, family, and acquaintances alike is, “what’s a good entry-level AR-15?”
While I’ve not yet personally put my hands on an AR-15 in the $450-$550 range that I feel very confident in, I have seen a lot of the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport at about $100 more.
hickok45 has just put out a video on one of the entry-level AR-15 variants, and seems to enjoy it quite a bit.
The M&P15 Sport is carefully designed for the market segment it is priced to serve. It is going to work well for the average recreational shooter, home defender, or law enforcement (and indeed, the rifle is carried by numerous law enforcement agencies). It should work fine for plinking, hunting, and similar pursuits with low to moderate rates of fire over a short amount of time, or intense but brief use as you might find in a law enforcement or home defense scenario.
Do I expect it to have the fit and finish or long-term, high-volume performance of some of the much more expensive better-than-milspec AR-15s?
Of course not.
But I do think that the M&P15 Sport is a very functional gun for most purposes, and if I’m a buyer interested in buying multiple AR-15s for my family for range trips or for “just in case” prepping, it would seem to be a tough gun to beat for the money.