Hitting an attractive $999 price point while retaining a premium fit and finish, FN's latest 5.56 sporting rifle is sure to turn some heads.

Building on the company's well-known "battle-proven" heritage earned by being in the Mil-Spec M16/M4 biz for decades, the new FN 15 Guardian ships built around a precision tuned 16-inch MIL-B-11595 CMV button-broached, hybrid-profile barrel with a 1:7 twist. This is mated to a slick-sided upper receiver that deletes the forward assist while retaining a brass deflector, a 7075 lower, and a 15-inch free-floated aluminum handguard with an anti-rotation pinch-lock design. 


FN 15 Guardian
Note the upper does not have a forward assist but does retain a modified brass deflector. FN says the receiver format reduces snag points and cleaning time. Besides, the debate about the need for a forward assist (aka "jam enhancer") has always been a heady one. (Photo: FN) 
FN 15 Guardian
The Guardian uses FN’s custom-designed 30-round magazine and furniture, which the company says is developed for improved ergonomics and handling. (Photo: FN) 


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Shipping sans sights, the Guardian includes a continuous top Picatinny rail for optics. Meanwhile, the handguard carries 24 M-LOK slots spread across the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions, allowing for other accessories. There are also lots of Mil-Spec items including the charging handle and safety selector lever, a classic A2-style flash hider, and a single-stage trigger listed as having a break ranging from 4.75 to 7.5 pounds.

When it comes to specs, the direct gas impingement AR with a mid-length gas system hits the scales at 6.6 pounds and has an overall length of 32.1 to 35.5 inches depending on the 6-position adjustable stock. It has a black anodized finish. 

Delving into the BCG, it runs an 8620 steel, nitride-coated bolt carrier and a 9310 steel MPI bolt with a gas key that is Mil-Spec sealed, torqued, and staked. 

"When we created the specification for the FN 15 Guardian, our focus was on perfecting the foundation of the rifle to ensure the high standards for FN quality remained, cutting corners to reduce the purchase price was not an option, our customers expect more from our brand and we have to deliver on that trust," said Scott Vilardi, FN's Senior Product Manager for Law Enforcement and Commercial Carbines.

At $999, the FN 15 Guardian delivers a lot of performance for half the price of the company's $1,889 FN 15 TAC 3 and likewise comes in at a fraction of the cost of the $2,439 FN 15 DMR3. In fact, the Guardian is the most affordable FN 15 in the company's catalog, coming in at a price point lower than the $1,359 Patrol Carbine. 

revolver barrel loading graphic