If you already have an AR 15 in 5.56 and you need a rifle for long range shooting or for hunting any game species larger than deer, the AR 10 in .308 will outshine your AR 15. You do have an option to get a .50 Beowulf conversion kit for your AR 15, but .50 Beowulf ammo can be hard to come by and it isn’t exactly a long range cartridge.
Sure, the AR 15, being more compact and lightweight than an AR 10, will be better suited for home defense or any close quarters battle scenario, but if you need a rifle that can chamber more powerful long range rifle calibers, then you’ll want to purchase an AR 10.
Similar to the AR 15, there are many different models of the AR 10 available, produced by a variety of manufacturers. Some of the most well known AR 10 models include the DPMS LR 308, the Armalite AR 10, the Knights Armament SR-25, et cetera.
As with the AR 15, many manufacturers offer several versions of their AR 10 models, allowing customers to select specific features and options they want. But there’s a bit of a problem. If you’re budget constrained, it can be a chore to find an AR 10 that will fit your budget with the HUNDREDS of different models available.
I’ll talk about the TOP 8 BEST BUDGET AR 10 models you can buy today.
Just a quick disclaimer, the AR 15 is legal in more states and counties than the AR 10, which means the availability of AR 10 models will vary depending on two things: your specific location, and your state and county laws. Your local firearms retailer may not have all the AR 10 models on this list in stock.
With that out of the way, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
8: Windham Weaponry SCR 308
An American firearms manufacturer known for their AR 15 style rifles, Windham Weaponry has a rich heritage. It was founded in 2006 by the former owner of Bushmaster Firearms, and most of its employees today also came from that company.
Bushmaster Firearms used to be one of the biggest names in the world of AR 15s, which is why people who know of Windham Weaponry’s history know that they’re one of the most trusted brands in the industry.
Our number 8 on this list is Windham Weaponry’s SRC 308 model number R16FTT 308, which is the most expensive AR 10 in this topic, but with its MSRP of $1,413, it’s not terribly priced. Its 4150M chrome moly vanadium 11595E steel barrel is the only chrome lined barrel on this list. It’s 16.5 inches long with a 1 in 10 twist rate and an A2 flash hider and is capable of up to 0.25 MOA accuracy using Federal Gold Medal match ammo.
The SRC 308’s bolt is machined from mag particle inspected 9310 steel. The rifle is built on forged 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum upper and lower receivers, both with a hardcoat black anodized finish. It comes with a 6 Position Telescoping Buttstock, a mid length tapered shielded handguard, a Hogue over molded pistol grip, and a Magpul Pmag 20 round mag.
The rifle doesn’t have sights installed but it does have a Picatinny rail gas block so it’s ready for aftermarket accessory sights. It also has a transferable lifetime warranty. Again, the SCR 308 has a relatively high MSRP but you’d be hard pressed to find any AR 10 at the same price point with all of its features.
7: Ruger SFAR
In the world of rifles chambered in .22 LR, Ruger is a dominant name, due in part to the quality of the company’s 10/22 semiautomatic rifles which have developed a reputation for their high quality and affordability. Ruger is also well known for its highly accurate Mk IV semi auto pistols chambered in .22 LR and its rugged and durable revolvers like the SP 101, the GP 100, the Redhawk and the Super Redhawk series.
Ruger rifles aren’t as popular as their other firearms, but their new SFAR AR 10 released in late 2022 deserves attention. That’s because it was designed to convert the powerful but heavy and cumbersome AR 10 rifle typically chambered in .308 Winchester to a smaller and lighter rifle that approaches the weight and dimensions of the AR 15.
Because it has the best of both worlds — the firepower of the AR 10 and the maneuverability of the AR 15, the RUGER SFAR is different from all the other rifles on this list.
The SFAR is built on Type III hard-coat black anodized 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum alloy upper and lower receivers that have been made smaller and lighter to give the SFAR dimensions closer to an AR 15’s.
It’s available in two barrel lengths, a 16.1 inch and a 20 inch, both are cold hammer forged 4140 chrome moly steel with ultra precise 5R rifling and a black nitride finish. Both also have five eighths by 24 muzzle threads and are capable of sub MOA accuracy using Fiochhi Exacta match grade ammo.
With its $1,329 MSRP, you get an AR 10 with a small foot print from a reputable manufacturer.
Another affordable option, the DB 10 Model DB10CCMLODG manufactured by Diamondback Firearms is a 308 Winchester caliber rifle that is considered a high quality budget AR 10.
It is made with forged 7075 T-6 aluminum and features a mid-length gas system, a Diamondback barrel, and a 15″ M-LOK handguard. The product has received positive reviews from customers and experts in the firearms industry for its accuracy, reliability, and build quality.
The MSRP of the product is $1160. Its UPC is 810035754980 and it is chambered in 308.
The DB 10’s light weight barrel measures 16 inches and has a five eighths inch by 24 thread with an A2 .30 caliber flash hider attached. It is made of 4150 chrome moly vanadium with a Black Nitride finish and a twist rate of 1:10.
The DB 10 uses a mid length gas system and its bolt carrier group is a shot peened, Magnetic Particle Inspected Mil Spec 8620 Carrier with a lasered logo. The T marked upper receiver is an A3 Flattop built with forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, and the lower receiver is crafted from Standard Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum.
The handguard measures 15 inches and has an M-lok Rail with a black nitride coating. The grip is a Magpul MOE-K Grip and the stock is a Magpul MOE Carbine Stock. The Diamondback DB10 comes with a single Pmag Gen M3 20 round mag. The rifles comes with a standard trigger so you may want to add a Geissele trigger to it. It also has no sights installed, so you’ll have to buy your own.
The DB 10 is capable of sub MOA accuracy using Federal Gold Medal Match ammo so for its MSRP of $1,160, it’s another good option.
5: Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Sport Series
One would think that because Smith & Wesson is one of the biggest and most popular firearms brands in the world, they wouldn’t build an AR 10 for budget minded people. But that is not the case.
Smith & Wesson’s M&P 10 Sport Series is one of the more affordable AR 10s on the market with its $1,129 MSRP. The 4140 Steel barrel measures 16 inches and has 5R Rifling with a 1 in 10 twist rate. It has the company’s proprietary version of nitride finish called Armornite which provides enhanced corrosion and wear resistance, reduced light reflection, increased surface lubricity, and a smoother surface. It is capable of sub MOA groups using Winchester’s Match King HPBT.
Additional features include a gas block with a Picatinny style rail for accessories, a sling swivel, a mid length handguard, a chromed firing pin, an ambidextrous safety switch, an ambidextrous mag release, and an ambidextrous bolt release. For a $1,129 AR 10, it’s not a bad option, though big blue could have easily thrown in a Magpul MOE grip. They missed the boat by including a standard A2 style grip.
4: BLEM DPMS DP10
The DPMS DP10 boasts a barrel made of 416R Stainless Steel with a dimpled design, measuring 18 inches and chambered in 308 Winchester. With a 1:10 twist rate, owners report sub MOA accuracy using Federal Gold Medal Match and Hornady ELD Match.
The mid-length gas system is complemented by a 15-inch M-Lok free-float rail and a low-profile gas block with an adjustable click detent for 3 positions. The gas tube is nitrided for increased durability against heat and corrosion.
The upper is machined from forged 7075 T6 aluminum and finished with a Black anodized coating to MIL 8625 Type 3 class 2 standards. The handguards feature dual retention and anti-slip, anti-rotation capabilities.
The Bolt Carrier Group is made of a nitrided Toolcraft 9310 steel bolt assembly and a nitrided 8620 carrier, both with grade 8 fasteners properly staked. The charging handle is crafted from 7075 T6 aluminum.
The lower is made from forged 7075-T6 aluminum, also with a Black anodized coating to MIL 8625 Type 3 class 2 standards. The rifle comes with DPMS’s proprietary Panther Polished Trigger, a Magpul STR adjustable stock, and a DPMS Custom Overmolded A2 Grip, making the DPMS DP10 a top-performing platform for the .308 cartridge.
You get all these for an MSRP of $999.99.
3: Anderson Manufacturing AM 10 Battle Rifle
Anderson Manufacturing is known in the firearms community as a manufacturer of basic mil spec rifles, ones that have very few bells and whistles if any, and aren’t tuned for better performance in any way. Their rifles are very popular with people who only want a basic military spec, not for those who need premium models with high end features.
The AM 10 Battle Rifle is the newer version of Anderson Manufacturing’s classic AM 10 chambered in 308 Winchester. One of its new features is the company’s redesigned Generation 2 receiver and handguard.
The Battle Rifle comes standard with a 16 inch 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium Barrel with a nitride finish and a 1 in 10 twist rate. It is five eighths by 24 threaded with an included A2 flash hider and is capable of sub MOA groups using Hornady ELD Match ammo.
Both the upper and lower receivers are Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum with a Black Type 3 Hard Anodized finish. The 8620 steel bolt carrier and 9130 bolt both have a nitride finish. The rifle uses a low profile mid length gas system and comes with a 15-inch M Lok handguard, a Magpul K2 pistol grip, and a Magpul butt stock, all for a relatively low MSRP of $949.99.
The PSA PA10 Gen3 is the third generation of Palmetto State Armory’s PA10. With enhanced durability and improved functionality, this latest model boasts a black nitride stainless gas tube that resists heat and corrosion while preserving its glossy black finish.
All Gen3 PA10s come with a dimpled barrel that makes gas block replacement effortless, as well as a new 3-position adjustable gas block for fine-tuning to your specific load. The PA10 Gen3 features a forged receiver set designed with a relief cut geometry that allows for use with a wider range of aftermarket bolt carrier groups.
The rifle is fitted with a carbine length buffer tube and short, heavy buffer, as well as a standard PA10 buffer spring. The Gen3 PA10 from Palmetto State Armory is equipped with a Toolcraft BCG for dependable performance and a 4.5lb pull EPT or two-stage nickel boron fire control group for ease of use.
It has been shown to be capable of sub MOA groups using cheap Wolf steel case ammo, though it doesn’t seem to like some of the match grade ammo manufactured by PPU. Its sub MOA accuracy makes it a solid contender, especially for its low MSRP of only $850.
1: Bear Creek Arsenal BC 10
When it comes to budget rifles, the most common brand name is Palmetto State Armory. But a new player, Bear Creek Arsenal, is becoming popular in the budget segment of the AR market, though not much is known about them.
The company started in the 1970s as a two person shop doing repair work on automotive, off road construction equipment, and power tools. In 2013, the management team decided to move into the firearms industry as a rifle barrel manufacturer.
In 2014, BCA started doing complete builds, and today it manufactures AR style rifles for 19 different calibers. All of its complete upper assemblies, barrels, bolt carrier groups and components are made in house in Sanford, North Carolina. This allows the company to leverage economies of scale, and the savings result in their products having the lowest MSRPs on the market.
The BC 10 Slick Side is an AR 10 chambered in .308 with a 20-inch heavy barrel. With a black nitride finish, a 1 in 10 twist rate, and a flash hider, it is capable of sub MOA groups using Hornady ELD Match.
The gun’s gas system is rifle length and includes a 15-inch M LOK Split Rail and an M4 flat top. Both upper and lower receivers are machined from 7075 – T6 Aluminum, with the lower engraved before being anodized.
The BC 10 also uses the company’s proprietary AR 10 bolt carrier group with a rear charging handle. It has no forward assist or dust cover for a cleaner look. So why is it number one on my list? Because it offers the highest value per dollar with its unbelievable MSRP of $534.99. No other AR 10 model comes close.