The AR-15 is a versatile rifle that can be used for plinking, home defense, or tactical competition. And while the lower receiver is the serialized part that requires an FFL transfer, the upper receiver is where you’ll find most of the customization options.
A stripped upper receiver is a bare-bones version of the upper receiver that you’ll find on an AR-15. It’s just the metal portion of the receiver, with no finish, handguards, or other features installed. Many gun enthusiasts prefer to buy stripped upper receivers so that they can build their AR-15 from the ground up, choosing each component to create a weapon that’s tailored to their specific needs.
8 Best AR-15 Stripped Upper Receivers
For anyone looking to build an AR-15 from the ground up, one of the most important parts will be the upper receiver. The upper receiver houses the bolt carrier group and barrel, among other things, and so it needs to be strong and durable. With so many options on the market, though, it can be tough to know which one to choose. Here are eight of the best AR-15 stripped upper receivers on the market today.
Aero Precision Stripped Upper Receiver
Looking for a top-of-the-line upper receiver? Look no further than the Aero Precision Stripped Upper Receiver. This illustrious brand originally started in the aviation space but has over the years taken over, and is now leading the market in quality upper receivers.
The best thing about the Aero Precision Stripped Upper Receiver is its flexibility. You can choose your forward assist and dust cover, which gives you complete control over your rifle build. Additionally, it comes with M4 feed ramps and laser engraved T-marks for the rails. Plus, it’s available in several colors to fit your style.
So if you’re looking for the best upper receiver on the market, go with the Aero Precision Stripped Upper Receiver. You won’t be disappointed.
Aero Precision M4E1 Stripped Upper Receiver
Another great option for an upper receiver comes from the very same company, Aero Precision. The Aero Precision M4E1 Stripped Upper Receiver is perfect for anyone looking for a stripped upper receiver that’s both stylish and functional.
This upgraded version of the mil-spec stripped upper receiver gives you the look of a billet receiver without a ridiculous price tag to boot.
The M4E1 is machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and features a forward assist and dust cover assembly installed. It also has an integrated enlarged trigger guard for use with gloves. For added strength and durability, the M4E1 features a Type 3 hard coat anodized finish.
This billet aluminum receiver features a unique angular machined design that not only looks great but also provides extra strength in key areas.
This upper receiver is compatible with all standard AR-15 components and barrels, making it perfect for your next custom build. Whether you’re looking for a new self-defense gun or just want to add it to your collection, the Aero Precision M4E1 is a perfect choice.
Brownells M4 Stripped Upper Receiver.
Looking for a foundation for your next AR-15 build? Look no further than the Brownells M4 Stripped Upper Receiver. This model is all about quality, making it the perfect starting point for your custom build.
It’s compatible with a wide range of Mil-Spec components, so you can be confident it will work with the parts you need. Plus, it features a basic design with no forward assist or ejection port, making it perfect for those who want a clean canvas to work with.
So whether you’re a first-time builder or a seasoned pro, the Brownells M4 Stripped Upper Receiver is sure to be the perfect foundation for your next project.
Battle Arms Development Lightweight Billet Upper Receiver
Looking for a quality, lightweight upper receiver? Look no further than Battle Arms Development!
The BAD Lightweight Billet Upper Receiver is made from Billet 7075-T6 aluminum and is precision machined for a perfect fit.
It’s also compatible with all standard AR-15 lower receivers. Plus, it weighs in at just 6.28 ounces, making it one of the lightest upper receivers on the market today.
Whether you’re building a new rifle from the ground up or just looking to replace an old upper receiver, Battle Arms Development has you covered with their Lightweight Billet Upper Receiver.
Bravo Company Manufacturing BCM4 Stripped Upper Receiver
The Bravo Company Manufacturing BCM4 is another great option for those looking for a high-quality stripped upper receiver. This mil-spec receiver is machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and features a hard coat anodized finish for durability. It’s also compatible with all standard AR-15 parts and accessories, making it a versatile option for any build.
VLTOR Modular Upper Receiver (MUR)
With its thicker walls, the VLTOR MUR upper receiver is more rigid and accurate than other receivers on today’s market. If you want an easy-to-use yet high-performing firearm that will last for years then this product should be at top of your list; especially since they come in various colors too like black or silver so there’s one perfect fit depending upon what mood strikes you.
The VLTOR MUR is a high-quality AR15 upper receiver that’s machined from 7075 aluminum and features a Mil-Spec finish. It also includes all of the necessary modifications to make it compatible with standard Semiauto rifles, such as feeding ramps for easy magazine changes or forward assist housing should you need extra help during combat situations
F1 Firearms UDR-15-3G Upper Receiver
Take your shooting game up a notch with the F1 Firearms UDR-15. This lightweight upper receiver is perfect for competition shooters who need to be quick on their feet, but it’s also built tough enough that you can shoot all day long without worrying about getting too hot or heavy! With large ventilation cuts in its design and overall low weight (just 6 1/2 ounces), this gun will keep pace no matter what type of activity gets assigned by HQ – whether they’re isolation exercises at night time ambushes over supply routes; firefights within cities Blockaded from outside interference
Bootleg Upper Receiver
The Bootleg Upper Receiver is a sleek and lightweight upper for your AR15. It features a low-profile brass deflector, no forward assist, or dust cover pin to make it clean looking with the style of an A1/A2 grip installed on top. With this receiver weighing only 7 ounces you’ll have more metal to add weight to the front of your gun if you choose. It also comes equipped with our favorite things: adjustable gas rigs and M4 feed ramps.
Types of Upper Receivers
Before we get into our list of the best AR-15 stripped upper receivers, let’s first take a look at the different types of uppers that are available on the market. Generally speaking, there are three different types of AR-15 uppers: direct impingement, piston-driven, and blowback-operated.
Direct impingement uppers are by far the most popular type on the market. Almost all factory AR-15s come with direct impingement uppers, and they’re often seen as being the most reliable option. Direct impingement uppers use gas from the firing of the round to cycle the action. This type of system is simple and usually lightweight.
Piston-driven uppers are somewhat less common than direct impingement uppers but are gaining in popularity. In a piston system, gas is bled off from the barrel and used to push a rod that cycles the action.
This design is seen as being more reliable than direct impingement because it doesn’t introduce hot gases and carbon buildup into the action.
However, piston systems are often more expensive and can be heavier than their direct impingement counterparts.
Blowback-operated uppers are typically only found on rimfire rifles chambered in .22LR. In a blowback system, there is no gas system; instead, blowback from firing the round is used to cycle the action. Blowback systems are very simple but have inherent limitations in terms of power and reliability.
Now that we’ve looked at the different types of AR-15 upper receivers, let’s move on to the things you should keep in mind as you select an AR-15 upper receiver
Factors to Consider When Choosing an AR-15 Upper Receiver
When choosing an AR-15 upper receiver, there are several key factors that you’ll need to consider.
The first factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is what you will be using it for. Are you looking for a receiver that will be used primarily for hunting, or do you need one that is geared more towards self-defense? If you are not sure what you will be using your receiver for, it is best to choose one that is versatile and can be used for both hunting and self-defense.
Another factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is your budget. There are many different receivers on the market, and they range in price from around $100 to over $1,000.
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider opting for a less expensive model. However, if you have the money to spend, it is worth investing in a high-quality receiver that will last for many years.
The next factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is the barrel length. The most common barrel lengths for receivers are 16 inches and 20 inches.
The length of the barrel will affect the accuracy and range of your weapon, so it is important to choose a length that is appropriate for your needs.
If you are unsure which length to choose, it is best to consult with a firearms expert before making your decision.
Another factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is the weight of the receiver itself.
Receivers range in weight from around 3 pounds to over 6 pounds, so it is important to select one that is not too heavy or too light for your needs.
If you plan on carrying your weapon a lot, it is important to choose a lighter receiver so that you do not get tired out quickly. However, if accuracy is your main concern, a heavier receiver may be the better option.
The final factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is the caliber of the weapon. There are many different calibers available, so it is important to choose one that is compatible with the rest of your weapon.
Most AR-15s are chambered in .223 or 5.56mm, but there are other options available as well. Be sure to choose a caliber that is compatible with the rest of your weapon so that you do not have any problems down the line.
The final factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is the material that the receiver is made from. The most common materials used for receivers are aluminum and polymer
Aluminum receivers are typically more durable than polymer receivers, but they are also more expensive.
Polymer receivers are usually lighter in weight than aluminum receivers, but they are not as durable
Another factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is the twist rate. The twist rate is the number of inches that the bullet will travel in one complete rotation.
A higher twist rate means that the bullet will spin faster, which makes it more stable in flight and therefore more accurate. A lower twist rate means that the bullet will spin slower, which makes it less stable in flight and therefore less accurate.
It is important to choose a twist rate that is appropriate for the type of bullets you will be using.
Finally, another factor to consider when choosing an AR-15 upper receiver is the manufacturer. There are many different manufacturers of AR-15 upper receivers, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Some of the most popular manufacturers of AR-15 stripped upper receivers are Aero Precision, Anderson Manufacturing, and Bravo Company USA. It is important to do some research on the different manufacturers before you make your final decision so that you can choose one that offers a quality product at a fair price
Type of Gun
When you are choosing an AR-15 upper receiver, it is important to think about the type of gun that you want to build. Are you looking for a plinking gun or a competition gun? The type of gun that you want to build will dictate the types of components that you need, so it is important to make this decision before you start shopping for parts.
When you are choosing an AR-15 upper receiver, you will want to consider the features that are important to you. For example, some receivers have forward assist buttons, while others do not (A forward assist is a button that helps to chamber a round if the bolt does not fully close.) Some people prefer to have a forward assist, while others do not feel that it is necessary.
Similarly, some receivers are compatible with certain types of optics, while others are not. Consider the features that you want and make sure that the receiver you choose has those features.
Another thing to consider when choosing an AR-15 stripped upper receiver is the finish. The most common finishes are anodized and Cerakoted. Anodized finishes are more durable and resist corrosion better than Cerakoted finishes. However, Cerakoted finishes typically provide a better look and feel.
Finally, you will want to make sure that the AR-15 stripped upper receiver you choose is compatible with the rest of your rifle. This includes compatibility with the lower receiver, barrel, handguard, and other components. Be sure to check compatibility before making your final purchase
How to Make The Most of Your AR-15 Stripped Upper Receiver
Whether you’re a first-time builder or an experienced amateur, there are a few things you can do to maximise the use of your upper receiver. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Choose the right caliber for your needs.
The first step in building your AR-15 is to select the right caliber for your needs. For example, if you are looking for a plinking gun to take to the range, you might want to consider a .22LR conversion kit.
Or perhaps you’re more interested in building a tactical rifle for home defense? If that’s the case, you might want to opt for a .223 Wylde chamber.
There are many different calibers available, so do your research and choose the one that’s right for you.
Select your handguards.
One of the benefits of building your AR-15 from a stripped upper receiver is that you get to choose which handguards you want to install. There are many different sizes, styles, and materials available, so take some time to browse your options and pick the ones that best suit your needs. Remember, you can always change them out later if you change your mind!
Install a barrel nut and gas tube.
Once you’ve selected your handguards, it’s time to install them on your stripped upper receiver. To do this, you’ll need to first install a barrel nut and gas tube.
The barrel nut is what secures the handguards to the receiver, while the gas tube allows gases from fired rounds to exit the firearm and operate the action.
Again, there are many different options available when it comes to barrel nuts and gas tubes, so take some time to research which ones will work best for your build.
Assemble the rest of your upper receiver components.
Now that your handguards are installed, it’s time to assemble the rest of your upper receiver components.
This includes installing the bolt carrier group (BCG), charging handle, forward assist assembly, dust cover assembly, and Barrel (if not already installed). Once again, there are many different types and styles of each component available on the market, so take some time to research which ones will work best for your specific build before making any final decisions.
We hope these tips help you as you begin planning your AR-15 build! Remember, there are many different options available for each component of your rifle; take some time to do your research so that you can choose the parts that best suit your needs. With a little patience and attention to detail, you’re sure to end up with a finished product that you’re proud of!
Final Thoughts: AR-15 Stripped Upper Receivers
We hope this list has helped you in your search for a stripped AR-15 upper receiver! We know there are many other great options out there, but these are our favorite six.