When you think of a rifle, what’s the first model that comes to mind? If you said an AR-15, you’re not alone.
The AR-15 is great, but if you’re looking for something with some serious stopping power, the AR-15’s 5.56 caliber ammo might not cut it.
That’s where the AR-10 comes in, often marketed as the AR-15’s big brother.
The AR-10 which is a civilian version of the military M-16 is currently the most popular semi-automatic rifle in America.
It’s also earned quite a negative reputation thanks to popular media dubbing any semi-automatic gun in the news an AR-15, regardless of its caliber or manufacturer.
What sets the AR-10 apart from other semi-automatic rifles on the market today, and what are the best AR-10s available?
9 Best AR-10 Rifles Comparison
|AR-10 Rifles||Top Feature||Caliber||Overall Length||Check Price|
|LWRC R.E.P.R. MKII||Full-spectrum weapon system||7.62 X 51 NATO||41.25”||Check Price|
|Sig Sauer 716i Tread||Has good adjustable stock||7.62 NATO||37”||Check Price|
|Armalite AR-10 Tactical Rifle||Precise||7.62 X 51 NATO||41.5”||Check Price|
|Springfield Armory Saint-Victor||Excellent design||5.56 X 45 NATO||35.5”||Check Price|
|Savage MSR 15 Recon Semi-Auto Rifle||Resists wear||5.56 X 45 NATO||36.75”||Check Price|
|DD5V4 Daniel Defense 6.5 Creedmoor ||Long lifespan||6.5 Creedmoor||41.5”||Check Price|
|Rock River Arms LAR-8 X-Series Rifle||Easy to shoot||7.62 X 51 NATO||40.5”||Check Price|
|Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Optic Ready Rifle||Remarkably maneuverable||7.62 X 51 NATO||34”||Check Price|
|Wilson Combat Ranger AR 10||Gas impingement system||7.62 X 51 NATO||37.75”||Check Price|
Top 9 AR-10
As with any firearm purchase, it depends on what you’re going to use it for.
The AR-10 has a dramatically more effective range than the AR-15 or other similar rifles. A skilled shooter can hit targets up to 2,500 yards away, making it an ideal choice for long-range target shooting.
1. LWRC R.E.P.R. MKII
LWRC International created a patented short-stroke gas piston operating mechanism widely acknowledged as one of the most durable and dependable on the market. We put LWRCI’s first REPR to the test.
It was designed as a semi-automatic precision rifle, and it was very accurate and reliable compared to the competition.
It was a little hefty and had a charging handle on the left side, but it was an excellent weapon.
It was a very different ballgame when we initially got our hands on the REPR MKII for testing. It appeared more like a hand-built bespoke rifle than a mass-produced battle weapon when we took it out of the package.
It was enhanced in every way, including its intrinsic accuracy. And we couldn’t believe the pistol could get much better until LWRCI announced that it would be available with a Proof Research carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel.
Over two days, four separate assessors put each rifle through its paces, awarding scores in various areas such as accuracy, ergonomics, and dependability. And, of all the firearms, the R.E.P.R MKII came out on top. The fit and quality outperformed the lone bespoke rifle in the competition.
Its accuracy and ergonomics also played a role in outperforming all other rifles. The sole drawback was that it was the most costly in the “value/price” category. However, we all agreed that it was a good investment.
- A full-spectrum weapon system
- Built on the AR-10 platform, which takes a 7.62 mm cartridge
- Ambidextrous controls
- The gun has a full-length Picatinny rail
2. Sig Sauer 716i Tread
While Sig Sauer does not have a reputation for making low-cost weapons, there is no doubt that this manufacturer can produce some very outstanding rifles.
It ran well, but it was also adequately gassed from the factory, the Ambi-controls are fantastic, and it was a real nail driver! This rifle’s first and second groupings were superb.
One of the most common complaints about AR-10s is that they are very over-gassed. To the point that it is a pain to shoot! Sig, on the other hand, nailed it with the 716i. Right out of the cardboard box, this gun is properly gassed.
It is excellent to see Ambi-controls on a “budget” rifle. It is not the end of the world if you don’t have them, but what a nice feature to put on the Sig Sauer 716i Tread.
However, the 716i is not completely Ambient. The Ambi-safety and mag release are included; however, the bolt release/hold open and charging handle are only on the left side.
The Sig Sauer Tread operates like butter, has excellent ergonomics, and looks good to boot.
- Reliable and runs like butter
- With Ambi mag release. Has good adjustable stock
- Accurate, with forged aluminum receiver
- Crisp safety
3. Armalite AR-10 Tactical Rifle
The Armalite AR-10 Tactical Rifle has direct gas impingement technology. Semi-automatic rifle in 308 calibers with a 20-inch barrel and a rifle-length gas system. Like the original, it features iron sights and is magazine-fed.
Armalite has incorporated a Magpul MOE grip and an ambidextrous safety to the lower receiver to manage their unique two-stage precision trigger.
The Armalite’s initial stage of travel is short but distinct, and the break is constant if a touch rough.
They offer an AR-10 Tactical series with a 20-inch heavy barrel, a full-length MIL-STD 1913 12 o’clock rail for optics, and a multi-position adjustable MBA stock for those seeking to reach out and touch anything with sub-MOA accuracy.
Upon testing, the trigger is snappy, and it may be one of the most significant factory triggers available on an AR these days. You get a very shootable rifle when you add in the completely adjustable stock.
The AR-10 is a little heavier than the AR-15 standard. The magazine well is also roughly a bit longer to accept the larger NATO bullet and the larger and heavier magazine needed to feed this autoloader. The
AR-10’s bolt is also much more extensive than an AR-15’s, allowing it to withstand the more decisive kick of the powerful 30-caliber cartridge.
It is a blast to fire the ArmaLite AR-10. You may add one to your collection without breaking the bank, and Armalite’s [non-transferable] lifetime guarantee is unbeatable.
- MAGPUL MBUS flip-up sights and MOE+ pistol grips
- It has a flash hider compensator that you may use for both purposes
- A full-length MIL-STD 1913 12 o’clock rail and adequate hand placement are included
- With an adjustable gas block, you may fine-tune the rifle for the best performance
4. Springfield Armory Saint-Victor
The Springfield Saint Victor does not have a tremendous hook, but it does offer an impressive set of features, a plethora of accessories, and a meager price.
With a 16.1-inch barrel, the Saint-Victor is a typical AR carbine. It employs a standard AR loadout and is chambered in 5.56mm. This rifle is very light, weighing just 6 pounds and 9 ounces.
Things start to line up rapidly from the outside. Springfield staked both the gas key and the castle nut. The handguard is mounted and positioned correctly. There isn’t a single strand of hair moving in any direction.
The gun does not have a conventional M4 stock or pistol grip. Springfield adds Bravo Company gear, such as the Gunfighter stock and pistol grip.
The M-LOK handguard is 15 inches long and is missing a full-length i12 o’clock rail. For a front sight, you receive a tiny rail portion. This rail design is lightweight, although it does restrict rail space.
This gun is not for you if you want to use a night vision clip-on or another optic extension.
Finally, the Springfield Saint Victor is an AR-15 that is accurate, dependable, and simple to use. It is well-made, and the rifle is very light and loaded with functions. We have no reservations in recommending it to others.
- Include a mid-length gas system in the carbine version, as well as a mid-length gas system in the basic Saint
- Because of the enlarged port placement, the post-port barrel length is shorter
- A typical H-weight tungsten buffer is included
- It uses a Carpenter 158 bolt and an M16-profile USGI-spec bolt carrier group
5. Savage MSR 15 Recon Semi-Auto Rifle
Savage is a brand we never expected to produce an AR-15 weapon. They gained their reputation on dependable bolt action rifles.
It is a big step from super-precise cheap bolt guns to [usually] less accurate semi-auto platforms. However, when seen in perspective, the action makes sense.
The Recon seems to be promising from the outside. The birdcage flash hider makes sense – it’s an excellent muzzle device that’s easily forgotten after you obtain your BLACKHAWK! silencer with direct thread. You may also use any muzzle you want to replace it with.
It is a good idea to use a barrel with a conventional profile. The Savage MSR is lighter than a featherweight profile barrel, yet it gives better accuracy. Savage used a mid-length gas system for this rifle.
It has a somewhat lower recoil impulse than the purposely over-gassed carbine-length systems, and it’s more dependable than the rifle length system with a 16-inch barrel. This gun is a great option.
The trigger on the top-of-the-line MSR Recon was an abysmal eight-pound affair. Pressing the trigger slowly and smoothly revealed more stuttering.
Despite that trigger, the Savage MSR is a strong contender in this price range for the “Recon” market. The Savage features a better handguard at a lesser price.
The Savage MSR Recon is an excellent alternative for budget-conscious shooters seeking a nice solid foundation AR-15.
- The chamber improves the precision of the device
- Instead of the more conventional chrome lining, it has a Melonite finish
- Includes a tougher coating that resists wear while keeping the coefficient of friction low
- The MSR-15 Recon has a mid-length gas system
6. DD5V4 Daniel Defense 6.5 Creedmoor
Even though there are more modern sports rifle manufacturers than at any other moment in history, Daniel Defense stands out by producing the highest-quality, most accurate MSR rifles with a comprehensive list of premium features.
The Daniel Defense DD5 V4 goes even further in the simplicity of use and adaptability. It has a revolutionary gas-block design that lets you quickly and alters the gas block to fire suppressed or unsuppressed.
You may use an Allen wrench to adjust the gas block, which is placed between the M-LOK slots. To fire suppressed, you just need to turn a quarter turn.
The rotating switch pin is composed of 17-4 stainless steel with salt bath nitride treated for optimal corrosion resistance, and the gas block is machined from hardened 4140 steel.
The DD5 V4 6.5 Creedmoor MSR comes with all of the luxuries you’d expect from a Daniel Defense rifle, including the revolutionary adjustable gas-block design.
Daniel Defense’s usage of superior and shooter-friendly components throughout their rifles is one of the factors that set them apart from their numerous rivals.
Daniel Defense’s unique glass-filled polymer pistol grip and buttstock include soft-touch molding. Both are well-suited for long-range sessions and provide a secure and comfortable grip on the rifle.
The Daniel Defense DD5 V4 is an excellent all-around rifle that can regularly strike targets at up to half a mile.
It’d also make an excellent hunting rifle, and it’s tough enough to withstand daily range or ranch work. Switching from suppressed to unrestricted gunfire is also quick, easy, and effective.
- It comes with a custom 18-inch cold hammer-forged barrel
- A buffer is included in the 8620 bolt carrier group to provide smooth, consistent cycling
- For optimal wear resistance, the surface is super polished and DLC coated
- Daniel Defense’s increased extractor shape is used in the VAR stainless steel bolt
7. Rock River Arms LAR-8 X-Series Rifle
Rock River Arms (RRA) is developing a weapon that might be useful for departments looking for a.30-caliber rifle with the characteristics and feel of an AR-style rifle. The LAR-8 X-1 is a semi-automatic rifle that fires 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
The LAR-8 X-1 is designed for precision, and it includes a target that demonstrates the gun has shot a test group with at least a 1-MOA accuracy at 100 yards.
The rifle we got for testing came with a target that showed a three-shot group of less than one inch.
The 18-inch fluted stainless steel barrel of the LAR-8 X-1 rifle has a 1-in-10-inch twist rate. Cryogenic treatment is applied to the barrels. The value of cryogenically treated barrels is debatable, but we’ve found no indication that the technique comprises the barrel’s accuracy or lifetime.
The weapon is much heavier than many 7.62mm AR rifles we have tested. With a weight of 9.5 pounds unloaded, this isn’t a rifle you’d want to carry for lengthy periods, particularly when a high-power sight is added.
The rifle is still easy to maneuver, and the weight feels good when you pull it in tight while sitting at a bench. Off-hand shooting is undoubtedly possible.
The Rock River Arms LAR-8 X-1 is a capable rifle that should be considered by any agency that has to deploy a.30-caliber rifle in a patrol situation. When compared to 5.56mm NATO rounds, the 7.62mm NATO provides superior barrier penetration and is well-known for its capacity to incapacitate an armed aggressor.
Finding the correct ammo for this pistol may allow it to be used in a more precise role. However, based on the well-regarded commercial loads we tested, we’d be hesitant to recommend this pistol as a sniper weapon right out of the box. However, we believe most police and agencies would be content with a.30-caliber patrol rifle.
- Include an 18-inch fluted stainless steel barrel with a 1-in-10-inch twist rate
- Cryogenic treatment is applied to the barrels
- On the end of the barrel was an RRA Beast muzzle brake
- The company’s free-floating TRO handguard is included
8. Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Optic Ready Rifle
The barrel and receiver set is the heart of the Smith & Wesson M&P10 Sport rifle.
The barrel is a 16-inch 4140 steel tube with a low weight contour and 5R rifling that is “all the rage“. The cut preferred by many shooters, is currently being mass-manufactured in increasing numbers.
The Smith’s size is standard, but the ambidextrous controls set it apart. The magazine release, bolt catch/release, and safety are all mirrored on both sides of the rifle. The rifle’s magazine well is textured for a more stable grip if putting your support hand on the handguard isn’t working for you.
The upper receiver is ordinary, with the standard front assist and a sturdy rail on the cannon.
The M&P10 Sport is equipped with a traditional circular handguard. It is the same kind that came with my M16 during basic training. I’ve always liked and will continue to appreciate that grip. Whether I’m standing, prone, or kneeling, it feels excellent in my hand.
S&W has created a low-cost AR-10 that is designed to be adapted. It is well-made, with an above-average barrel and a fantastic receiver set. It is excellent enough to shoot, hunt, or guard for roughly a grand.
- S&W Enhanced Flash Suppressor
- Integral Picatinny-style Rail
- QD Sling Swivel Attachment Point
- Ambidextrous Magazine Catch and Safety Selector
9. Wilson Combat Ranger AR 10
The Wilson Combat Ranger combines a lightweight billet receiver set with its Ranger profile for tactical, defensive, and hunting applications that place a premium on lightweight.
The rifle comes in 5.56 NATO 6.8 SPC, 300 Blackout, 243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 WIN, 358 WIN, and 7.6240 WT calibers. The barrel length is either 14.7 inches or 16 inches, depending on the caliber.
The Ranger comes in two different versions: standard and ultralight. Both have an adjustable gas block from SLR Rifleworks, Wilson’s Tactical Trigger Unit, and a threaded muzzle with Wilson’s Q-Comp muzzle brake Mil-Spec, etc.
The Wilson Combat AR-10 Recon Tactical is a well-made AR-10 rifle that focuses on the essential areas.
The quality of the fit and finish is exceptional. The anodized finish is strengthened with Armor Tuff, a unique finish that provides a smoother feel and increased durability.
On the other hand, the ergonomics are primarily well-designed for precision shooting.
In addition, the Wilson Combat trigger is fantastic. The break is precise, and the movement is little. On the other hand, the trigger is tuned to a 4-pound pull weight. Some precision shooters may find it a little heavier than they want.
The Wilson Combat stock is also nothing more than regular adjustable stock. It is prone to the same fatigue as any other carbine stock during extensive shooting sessions.
The fluted barrel, on the other hand, is exceptional. And, with just about any .308 ammo, this rifle is more than capable of providing high-level accuracy at long range.
- Lightweight billet aluminum receiver set
- A match grade barrel
- The Ranger has a gas impingement system
- It has a Mission First Tactical pistol grip
B. The Specs of an AR-10
The AR-10 and AR-15 might be two totally different rifles, but they spring from the same family tree.
Contrary to what popular media would have you believe, the AR in their names stands for Armalite Rifle, not assault rifle, and both of these firearms owe their creation to the Armalite company.
This business opened its doors in 1954, offering the AR-1 as a lightweight tool for paratroopers.
We’re comparing the two models below primarily because so many people are familiar with the AR-15.
The main difference between the AR-15 and the AR-10 is in the caliber.
The AR-15 is designed to be lighter and to fire smaller rounds — 5.56 or .223 caliber. This sacrificed some stopping power but allowed troops to carry more ammo.
The AR-10, on the other hand, will help you stop whatever is in your path with extreme prejudice. They’re designed to fire 7.62 or .308 caliber ammo.
When you compare the two, it’s easy to see the difference. The AR-10 will be a couple of pounds heavier than its smaller counterpart and may have a slightly longer barrel.
The AR-15 achieves marginally higher muzzle velocity, but the AR-10 has a much better effective range. Mechanically, they’re nearly identical.
They come equipped with the same direct impingement gas system, and they use a rotating bolt design and equal trigger groups. The AR-10 will just have a little bit more heft and larger rounds than the AR-15.
C. Why Choose an AR-10?
Why should you think about choosing an AR-10 when it’s so easy to walk into your local gun store and bring home an AR-15?
The fact that the AR-10 uses larger and heavier rounds means it’s an effective tool for hunting, as well. It’s capable of easily downing most large animals in the United States, or abroad if big game hunting is your thing.
In the right hands, an AR-10 offers fantastic accuracy at extreme ranges, though it may be more expensive to bring home ammo to feed this beast. Still, if you’re planning some big-game hunting or long-range shooting, the AR-10 is an ideal choice.
D. Choosing the Right AR-10 for You
There are so many AR-10s on the market that it can be difficult to know where to start. Our best advice is to use your instincts and, if possible, try out a gun before buying it.
You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, and you shouldn’t buy a rifle without doing the same.
The AR-10 might not get all the attention the AR-15 does, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve some love.
If you need something for your next big game hunt or just want something for long-range target shooting, check out the AR-10. You might be pleasantly surprised.
The AR-10 and the AR-15 both have a special place in our hearts, but when it comes to long-range shooting, the AR-15 just doesn’t cut it. If you’ve never tried an AR-10, it may be time to pick one up.