Sometimes it’s hard to find a decent rifle in a specific chambering. The 223 Wylde is perhaps the best standard chambering for an AR, but most gun companies don’t make one. Here are five great options from manufacturers that I trust.
GLFA 223 Wylde Rifle
The GLFA 223 Wylde Rifle is the best 223 Wylde rifle for Under $1200. That’s a tall claim for an $800 rifle, but I think I can say that with sincerity. Most companies charge a premium for their 223 Wylde because it’s more of a custom caliber, but at GLFA it’s their number-1 produced caliber, and priced well.
This is the rifle I settled on, and it’s amazing! It shoots tight groups (as long as I don’t get excited) and runs flawlessly. Most people haven’t heard of GLFA, they’re a newer company located in west Michigan. GLFA stands for Great Lakes Firearms and Ammo.
Locally, they are known for quality rifles and are very popular with hunters. Being a local company, I know a lot of happy people with GLFA rifles. Their name is synonymous with quality and value. Customer service is amazing, but very seldom needed. These guys care about what they do.
They are available from several online retailers but are often sold out. It’s best to go right to their website. You can order it and have it shipped to your local FFL, or pick it up in-store to avoid shipping and transfer fees.
The GLFA 223 Wylde Rifle has a sturdy, free-floated handguard, standard pistol grip, and a 6-position extendable stock. It’s got a decent radial muzzle brake, a full-length Picatinny rail on the top, and a sling loop on the stock. The handguard is a traditional M-Lock to easily add accessories.
Since most ammo companies now market 223 ammo for deer hunting, this gun is gaining popularity as a youth hunting rifle. It’s low recoil, flat shooting, and has a stock that adjusts shorter than regular youth rifles.
With ammo like Winchester Deer Season XP, it’s a good deer rifle out to 200-yards. It’s also darn popular with coyote hunters, and just as a target shooting or home defense option.
I’m not super keen on the adjustable length stock. At the same time, I specifically wanted one so that this rifle can fit anyone in my house. It only takes a second to adjust the length shorter or longer. For utility’s sake, I decided it was a good idea.
GLFA puts a really nice finish on their guns. I got the stainless steel barrel. It’s not shiny or polished stainless steel. The barrel has a very dull sheen, which I greatly prefer to a polished one. It’s available in 10 different colors and with a black or stainless barrel, all for the same base price.
They have some more done-up versions like digital camo, their grunge series, and battleworn, but they cost a bit more. I recommend GLFA rifles over any other AR in their price range.
If you want to know more about the company, I wrote a brief article about GLFA. Here’s a link to it.
GLFA 223 Wylde Pistol
GFLA also makes a 223 Wylde pistol. It’s every bit as awesome and reliable as their rifles, and very competitively priced. For $750, you get a nice, basic AR Pistol. The basic pistol does not come with a brace. You can add one yourself no problem should you want one.
It’s also available in 10 colors and in a few specialty colors. GLFA works to keep prices down and deliver a good product. It’s hard to do better than $750 for a reliable AR-pistol. Palmetto State Armoury can do that once in a while, but not every day.
PSA Custom 223 WYLDE
The PSA Custom 223 Wylde is an awesome AR-style rifle that rivals the GFLA, but prices start at around $1200 for a basic, solid color option. They are good rifles. They are reliable. Just a bit more money than I would have expected.
Of course, PSA has very big sale prices all the time, but you never know what is going to be on sale that day. A lot of people own the PSA 223 Wylde. I can tell you that I trust anything made by PSA and they are a great company.
The PSA custom 223 Wylde is a good shooting rifle, keeping at or under 1-moa. They gave it a really nice trigger, which absolutely helps to make good shots a bit quicker. It has a nice finish too.
ROCK RIVER ARMS X-SERIES X-1 LAR-15
Rock River Arms makes AR rifles with serious quality, and they aren’t afraid to offer one in 223 WYLDE. This is a smooth, well-tuned, and slick finished AR. The X-1 LAR15 is an incredible rifle. Definitely the best and finest rifle in this article.
It is a bit costly, starting at $1,500. What you get for that price is a precision chamber, match-grade fluted barrel, and proprietary muzzle break design. The Muzzle break is a good one, and better looking than most.
I really like the X-1 LAR-15 with the solid stock ve the collapsable one. I really appreciate the versatility of a collapsable/multi-position stock, but I really like a traditional solid one too. The X-1 LAR-14 comes with either stock option. Both will give a good cheekweld for the average shooter.
BCA 223 WYLDE Complete Upper
BCA (Bear Creek Arsenal) gets a bad rap for being cheap. They offer inexpensive options that in my experience work efficiently. Although not a complete rifle, They sell complete AR uppers in 223 WYLDE.
Now, these are not high-end uppers, but affordable utility uppers at a low price point. There’s nothing fancy or fine about them. I own four BCA uppers. They all work reliably and all shoot about 1 MOA or so. These are not sub-moa guns, though there are a few exceptions here and there.
If you want a complete upper in 223 WYLDE, most companies charge $600 or more. BCA will ship one to your door for around $270. The finish is definitely a cheaper one. They have a light coating that can rust through, but it’s still better rust protection than traditional blued barrels.
Like I said, I own of them. They are reliable and available in chamberings that other manufacturers reserve for only their high-end or premium rifles. I know that people know on BCA, but my friends and I own Bear Creek uppers for deer hunting and are happy with them. It won’t hurt to check them out.
BCA only lists an upper on their website if it’s actually in stock. They have side-charging (my favorite) and regular rear-charging AR uppers. They are all ready to slap on your lower receiver and get shooting. They do not come with magazines. 223, 223 WYLDE, and 5.56 all use the same magazines.
223 WYLDE vs 223 and 5.56
223 WYLDE is a match chamber, not an actual cartridge. You could call it halfway between a 223 and 5.56 chamber, and it safe to use either. You can also shoot both in a 5.56, but the 5.56 chamber tends to have a bit less accuracy. 233 WYLDE chambers shoot both, and do so more accurately than a 5.56 chamber.
Sure, you could be a rebel like me and shoot both in a 223 as well, but the longer bullets usually used in 5.56 can further complicate things, not to mention the pressure differences. The 223 WYLDE is a perfect answer to all those issues.