Looking for the best AR-10? In this article, we are going to look at what the best ones have and review the top 5 out there right now.
The .308 caliber gives the AR-10 a significant advantage over the AR-15 at longer ranges (greater than 600 yards).
This provides the shooter with an enhanced potential for accuracy using a bullet that projects significant force upon impact.
No wonder that...
In military and law enforcement circles, the AR-10 is commonly used for sniper support and long-range target engagement.
In the civilian world, it has gained significant popularity for being highly effective as both a hunting rifle and a defensive weapon.
If you are looking for a great scope to go with your AR-10, I've got you covered.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Let's explore a few key things that you should be aware of when choosing your AR 10.
Main Things To Consider
With a modular design and a multitude of aftermarket parts and accessories readily available, the AR-10 is an excellent all-around rifle platform for any shooter wanting all the features of an AR-15, but with a slightly longer reach.
Arguably, one of the most important features to look for in a rifle meant for long-range accuracy is a high-quality trigger.
There are two main types of triggers:
Single-stage triggers are common in entry-level AR-10s. If the manufacturer advertises a “Mil-Spec” trigger (or does not mention the trigger at all), it is a single-stage.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with a single-stage trigger. In fact, some single-stage triggers are quite good.
However, a lot of experienced shooters recommend two-stage triggers because they help the shooter differentiate between the trigger’s “slack” (the start of the trigger pull) and “break” (the point at which the trigger spring breaks, causing the rifle to fire).
With a two-stage trigger, the shooter can slowly squeeze the trigger using a constant, light touch, taking up the “slack”.
They will hit a point where a little more pressure is needed in order to fire the rifle – that point is often called a “wall.”
Once the shooter’s trigger pull hits the “wall”, they can make minute adjustments to their point of aim, focus on their breathing, and/or adjust their posture to steady themselves.
Once they are ready, simply increasing pressure on the trigger will make it reach the “break” point and fire the rifle.
There are also triggers available where the shooter can adjust the pull themselves. For less experienced shooters, non-adjustable triggers are recommended.
If long range accuracy is important, another feature to consider is the barrel of the rifle.
There are three main barrel constructions:
- Stainless Steel
Chrome-lined barrels are the current standard for the US military because they last longer and have a reduced chance of rust.
However, due to the natural inconsistency that occurs when chrome-lining a barrel, this type barrel is not considered “match grade” or highly accurate.
At one hundred yards while firing from a bench rest, a competent shooter can expect two-inch groupings.
Stainless steel barrels are “match-grade” or extremely accurate, but they have a shorter lifespan than chrome-lined barrels.
Over time, the accuracy will degrade. With a stainless steel barrel, a competent shooter should be able to make one-inch groupings at one hundred yards.
Nitrided steel barrels are a happy medium between chrome-lined and stainless steel barrels. The nitride layer is harder than chrome, but is more consistently applied.
Barrel length plays a big role in a rifle’s accuracy. A rifle with a longer barrel is typically more accurate than one with a shorter barrel.
AR-10s are available with barrel lengths ranging from sixteen inches up to twenty-four inches.
If the rifle will predominantly be used for long-range shooting, a barrel between twenty and twenty-four inches is recommended.
For closer-range shooting, sixteen- inch barrels are more than adequate. AR-10s with eighteen to twenty inch barrels make great all-purpose rifles with a balance of maneuverability and accuracy.
ArmaLite vs DPMS
It is important to note that not all AR-10 components are interchangeable.
There are two main types of AR-10 – the ArmaLite design, which is the “original”, and the DPMS design, which is basically an AR-15 redesigned around the .308 cartridge.
ArmaLite-style AR-10s take proprietary magazines, while DPMS-style AR-10s can accept third party magazines. There are dozens of companies that produce quality AR-10 rifles of both variants.
Let's not forgot that one of the biggest keys to longer distance shooting is optics. The AR-10 platform is great here for a wide variety of choices.
Most AR-10's will have something like a picatinny rail system so that you can put on standard scope rings and get a medium to high quality scope.
The key here is to not go too cheap on a scope. You don't want to get an awesome rifle and then be limited by the optics.
One of the most popular choices by AR-10 owners is the Nikon M-308 4-16x42.
Users claim excellent performance out to 800 yards easily. The glass is high quality and the scope performs well for the 308. If you are looking for even more options, check out our article on the best ones.
Best AR 10 - Top 5
Because the AR-10 is made in so many configurations and price points, our list of the best AR-10 rifles will cover some from each category.
They are in the order of increasing price.
The DPMS Oracle is a simple, no-frills AR-10 that accepts P-Mags.
The sixteen-inch barrel is chrome moly. The upper receiver and gas block are ready for optics and backup sights.
The standard stock, trigger, handguard, and grip are basic, but functional.
Windham Weaponry was created by Richard Dyke, the former owner of Bushmaster firearms, and employs a number of former Bushmaster employees.
The SRC-308 is an AR-10 variant that goes a bit easier on your wallet without sacrificing quality.
It has a sixteen and a half inch chrome-lined barrel, optics-ready upper receiver and gas block, plain AR handguards, stock, and grips, and a standard AR trigger.
Overall, it is a reliable platform for the civilian and makes a great starting point for those that want to upgrade a stock rifle piece by piece. It is the best AR10 for upgrades.
The “original” AR-10 by ArmaLite is a rifle for purists who prefer Eugene Stoner’s classic design, but want a flat-top upper receiver.
A crowd favorite, the Armalite AR-10(T) from a few years back is a twenty-inch stainless steel match-grade free-floating barrel, precision two-stage trigger, and ArmaLite handguard ensure that this rifle is a tack driver right out of the box.
The AR-10(T) comes in either “A” configuration (accepts third party magazines, like Magpul P-Mags), or “B” configuration (accepts ArmaLite proprietary metal magazines only).
In the last year or so, it appears that Armalite doesn't offer the AR-10(T) anymore from their website. So you may or may not find these locally. What Armalite is now offering is their AR-10 Tactical series that comes in 16, 18, and 20 inch barrels.
The newer rifles come with some awesome features like MAGPUL flip up sights and pistol grips. There is also a sick looking compensator to hide the flash and help reduce recoil. The barrels are chrome lined and the trigger is two stage.
A piston-driven variant of the AR-10, the Ruger SR762 comes with a lot of bells and whistles.
It features a two-stage Ruger Elite 452 AR trigger, fluted chrome-lined barrel, chrome-plated bolt and bolt carrier, and a top rail that runs the full length of the upper receiver and handguard.
The SR762 accepts P-Mags, and has an adjustable stock.
Daniel Defense produces some of the highest quality rifles in the industry.
The DD5 series is a modern take on the AR-10 and features a cold hammer-forged free-floating barrel (DD5V1 is sixteen inches, DD5V2 is eighteen inches).
It also has a KeyMod handguard, Geissele two-stage trigger, ambidextrous controls, and a top rail that runs from the charging handle almost all the way up to the flash suppressor.
The DD5 series accepts P-Mags and has an adjustable stock. Given it's overall specs and capabilities, it is by far the best AR 10 rifle.
That wraps up our list. If you are looking for other battle rifles beyond the AR-10, check out our review.
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