We take a closer look at AR10s. There are a lot of models out there, and we want to take a look at which we can recommend.
Table of Contents
Why have an AR10?
Knowing and probably having the AR15, you might ask yourselves, why should you consider buying an AR10?
We know, the AR15 is the best of the best. It has the best ergonomics, good to very good precision, is not heavy, is modular. All that is missing is an attached TV set and a microwave, but those might come soon, and that is just a matter of time. Wait, the question was, why an AR15, not an AR10, right?
Actually, to answer why an AR10, we have to acknowledge first that the AR15 has what it takes to be the Uber rifle. It has only one flaw or rather one slight shortcoming that in some situations make it a little bit less than ideal. This shortcoming is its limit when it comes to power, plain and simple.
The 5.56×45 mm or .223 is less than ideal when it comes to range or punch. However, there is a round, 7.62×51 mm or .308 that delivers both. Even better, there is a rifle out there using this round in a weapon system pretty similar if not the same as the AR15, the AR10.
That is why you should consider buying an AR10: it delivers more punch at a greater range than the AR15 with the same precision and ergonomics and even the same look. You can use it for hunting, competitions, and home or self-defense. Having established why an AR10 makes absolute sense, we should take a look at the best models on the market.
Our first candidate is the Aero M5E1. Aero itself is known to be a high-quality manufacturer with a good reputation. They offer ARs as complete rifles, build kits, as well as just uppers and lowers. It is a good choice for everyone who has some budget constraints but is looking for a good rifle with a good precision.
With factory ammo and without much training, you will easily be able to shoot sub 2 MOA groups. This means, all your shots at 100 yards will be inside a ring with a diameter of less than 2“. If you use handloads, might be able to tighten these groups to sub-MOA accuracy, meaning that you will shoot all rounds in one group into a ring of less than 1“ in diameter. This is great if you take into account that this is a rifle with a price tag of a little under $1500.
Besides 7.62×51 mm or .308, you can also go for 6.5 Creedmoor. Here too, you have the option to go with a Builder’s Kit or with a complete ready rifle. The complete rifle is the easy route, but the kit enables you to do some more customization. For example, for the Creedmoor, it pays to go with a HBAR 22” 6.5 Creedmoor AR 10 barrel for long range precision, you will not get around one. Further recommended upgrades are a Wojtek adjustable gas block, Radian Raptor charging handle, and a VG6 muzzle break.
When it comes to precision, you might also want a Bushnell scope and Wheeler rings. Then you can hit right on the spot and that over a long distance.
Alone the name, Reaper, is already cool, but that is not enough. This rifle will lie and shoot well in your hand and that without long training as it has very easy handling characteristics and very good ergonomics. This comes as no surprise. LWRCi introduced the REPR into the competition for the CSASS, the compact semi-automatic sniper system.
They did not make it as H&K won that one, but now they have a rifle with sniper like precision that they throw onto the civilian market. Actually, the REPR MK II is not the exact same rifle, but it is an update. This means, it is an improved version of a sniper rifle that was pitched for the military.
The improvement includes a new gas system that allows you to adjust the setting to 20 different position. That is better than the original version which offered only 2, one for suppressed and one for unsuppressed fire.
Shoot it with some really good ammo, like for example the Federal Gold Medal Match 175 grain, and you will hit all rounds in one group in an 1” circle at 200 yards. That is not 1 MOA, that is a half MOA. Precision like this has its price. The REPR MK II is yours for $4100. However, for this, you get a battle rifle with the highest standards. By the way, if you are looking for a dead on the spot precision AR15, LWRCi does offer those too.
The guys at Daniel Defense know what they are doing. That got them some military contracts, and they are putting this experience to good use. This means, they offer you guns that shoot reliably every time and hit where you want that bullet to go.
If it is precision you are looking for, you should go with the 6.5 Creedmoor version. This one comes with a four-bolt system for the barrel and handguard attachments, a Geissele SSA 2-stage trigger, dual ejectors, and oversized trigger guard.
At 100 yards, you can easily put half a magazine into a ring smaller than half an inch. At 800 yards, you will always hit a man-sized target. There is not only no problem with that, it is also a piece of cake. This makes this gun great for hunting, competition, and home defense on a farm or otherwise big territory.
What about the price with that precision? Well, the good news is that it won’t break your bank, but it is also not necessarily a budget rifle. You can get one for the nice sum of $2500.
A real treat ergonomic vise is the 716i from Sig. It has a direct impingement system, but you can also get a version, the 716G2, with a short-stroke piston. However, piston systems are heavier and more expensive.
With the 716i, you have a lighter rifle for $500 less, and the direct impingement system is not to be trifled with. The gun shoots with a soft recoil and a high precision and that right out of the box. It comes with ambidextrous controls, a Magpul stock as well as an M-Lok handguard. For $1300, this is an impressive setup and an impressive system.
The PA-10 is a very good rifle and at the same time a really good deal. Everything in this weapon is made by Palmetto State Armory in house. This keeps the price down and the quality up. In the Gen 3 version, it does now include an adjustably gas system. This helps to reduce the felt recoil of the rather strong .308 rounds.
However, there is one problem with this rifle. For its low price of $799, it is really hard to find. Such a good deal does not wait for a long time to be taken. Good quality and a budget price, ones they are in stock, it takes a short time, and they are out again.
Alternatively, you can use the modularity of the system and buy the upper and lower completely separately. This allows you to also avoid paying the 11% takes on complete rifles. Also, you have some more options for the furniture and trigger. For example, you can go with a stainless barrel to have more accuracy. You can also have it shorter in 18” to make it easier to carry.
You know that the original AR15, the thing that became the Colt M16, was a development of the AR10? However, after the AR10 got rejected, the rights to it and tooling were sold. In order to get the AR10 of today, they had to be developed from the AR15 of today. While sharing the designation AR10, they do not look the same and have some differences in ergonomics and modularity. If it is one of the original AR10, that you long for, you might not get what you want. However, Brownells offers a version that comes pretty close to it in looks and functionality.
At $1600, you can get a rifle based on the original invention of Eugene Stoner from the 1950s & 1960s. It does not come with the improvements of more modern AR10s, but with the coolness of the original rifle. It brings you back in the good old days and manages to shoot very well at the same time. You can use it for hunting and home defense but not necessarily for competition with the exceptions of those made for some older systems.