If you enjoy shooting an AR-15, you will find that the AR-10 is something similar but some of the functions of an AR-10 are better than an AR-15. The AR-15 is made for the 5.56 cartridge and the AR-10 made for cartridges that deliver more power like the .308 Winchester cartridge. Also, the parts can sometimes be interchanged between the AR-10 and the AR-15.
Important Factors for a Good AR-10 Rifle
To not waste your money, you must first consider some of the things that make an AR-10 a good rifle through the research you’ve done. Let us assist you to look past all the controversy, and look at the things to look into when selecting the best AR-10 instead.
There are a lot of choices of barrels available and each of them is made with different materials, materials like carbon or stainless steel can affect the accuracy of your rifle. Other details of the barrel like the grooving is also a factor that you should consider. Different finishes of the barrels are also something you should consider as finishes like chrome may reduce accuracy. A shorter barrel and a longer barrel might also give you a different experience.
Triggers are also another component that dictates the accuracy of a rifle. The difference in accuracy having a match grade barrel and not having one can be drastic and it is just the same for triggers as well. There are tons of triggers to pick from for your rifle, whether it’s a single-stage or double-stage, adjustable or non-adjustable.
A cheap and normal trigger usually has a heavy pull and it doesn’t feel as good as expensive ones that are crisp and light. Different shooters have a different preference for the pull weight which is why an adjustable one is ideal so that you can adjust to your desired pull weight. Besides, you can also check out the compatible trigger guard as you are looking for an upgrade.
Just like many rifles, after buying an AR-10, it would be nice that you can upgrade it with parts that you prefer, whether it is to improve the ergonomics or it is purely for practical reasons. Which is why upgrades of a rifle should be taken into consideration when buying an AR-10. Ideally, you would want one that allows you to upgrade it easily and parts’ availability is high as well.
The Best AR-10 Rifles – Rated and Reviewed
With that said, let’s have a look at the list of the best AR-10 rifles that are currently available.
1. Armalite AR-10 Competition Rifle
Armalite is a well-known rifle manufacturer and is one of the first manufacturers that made AR-10 rifles. For shooters that are in the market for AR-10s, they would be familiar with the name, Eugene Stoner. He is the person that revolutionised assault rifle models but not many people realise that he started with the Armalite AR-10.
This rifle is also known as the AR103GN18 and it is designed for 3-Gun competitions. Its 18-inch barrel and the design has enabled this AR-10 rifle to achieve remarkable accuracy between the ranges of 40 to 400 yards. The barrel is also made with stainless steel and has a Hardcoat Anodized/Phosphate Black finish.
Another competitive feature that is equipped for this rifle is the Timney single-stage trigger. This trigger gives a light trigger pull of 4 pounds only which is ideal for long-range shooting and for competition uses. However, because of the light pull, it is not a rifle that will perform well for hunting.
This Armalite AR-10 rifle also comes with an Ergo wide grip making this rifle comfortable to hold. Besides that, it also has a lightweight MBA-1 buttstock which the cheek piece and length of pull can be adjusted. It allows the shooter to get in a comfortable position easily with these features.
Apart from being comfortable to use, this AR-10 rifle is also easy to use with the Raptor charging handle. It is designed to be operated easily by any type of shooter. In addition, the ambidextrous safety also provides good safety for both left-handed and right-handed shooters.
The customizability of this AR-10 rifle is great too. It has an adjustable gas block so that you can tune it to the ammo that you want to shoot. Plus, this rifle comes with an Armalite tunable competition muzzle brake that helps to reduce recoil.
This AR-10 rifle does not have a full-length Picatinny rail but it does have a 12-inch free-floating handguard that allows you to attach KeyMod accessories. To top it off, the receiver is made of forged 7075 T6 Aluminum, with the overall construction of this AR-10 rifle, it is quite durable.
The Armalite AR-10 is one of the best AR-10 rifles to be used in 3-Gun competitions. It is a semi-automatic rifle made by the best quality of materials that ensures the durability and reliability of this gun. The adjustable gas block allows the rifle to be tuned for different ammunition. Even though it doesn’t come with any sights, there is a 25 round Magpul PMAG magazine included.
- A battle rifle made for competition with optics and sights attached
- Adjustable gas block to tune the rifle for different ammunition
- Light single-stage trigger
- Comfortable Ergo wide grip
- Comes with a tunable muzzle brake
- Durable build
- Does not come with any sights
- Limited room for attachments
- Can’t be used as a hunting rifle
2. DPMS Oracle .308 Winchester
DPMS is one of the biggest companies for the AR-10 rifle business. It is almost as big as its biggest competitor, Armalite. The DPMS Oracle is a line of rifles that is made to be budget-friendly. The price for upgrading parts for this AR-10 rifle can be considered as low too.
AR-10s are not made to military specifications which means that many parts and accessories of the rifle are made according to its manufacturers. This may be an inconvenience when upgrading your AR-10 but DPMS has been a standard for AR-10s and if you want to customize your rifle, you will have more choices with the DPMS Oracle .308 Winchester.
The Oracle has a Chrome Moly barrel with a barrel length of 16-inch and an A2 birdcage flash hider attached to the front end. Apart from that, this gun uses an A2 pistol grip which will definitely be a frustration for many shooters. A pistol grip is to help with the distribution of recoil to your hands rather than your shoulder and a poor one can make a big difference in your shooting performance.
Even though the grip is not the best choice, there are some qualities elsewhere in the rifle that raises its standards. A very good example is the stock, which is a DPMS Pardus six-position stock. This stock is similar to other adjustable stocks in the market but the difference is just that it is DPMS’ design. It is also a good stock on this rifle as it can be adjusted depending on the shooting position you are in.
Sights and optics are not something that is included for this AR-10 rifle. However, it does have a gas block and a flat-top upper receiver that is railed for a different combination of sights or optics. The build of the lower receiver uses 7029 T6 billet aluminum.
This may not be the best choice but it is definitely one of those best budget rifles that are worth your money. The price point of the DPMS is lower than many AR-10s in the market and the specs of the will lack some. However, it can still provide a good level of functionality as well as customizability since most of its upgrades can be bought easily.
- Lower price compared to other AR-10 rifles
- Best number of customization available
- Fairly lightweight
- Comes with an A2 flash hider
- Doesn’t have a rail system on the handguard for attachments
- Mediocre quality parts
- Does not come with iron sights
3. Palmetto State Armory AR-10 Gen 2
Palmetto State Armory is one of the best platforms that sell weapons like AR-10 and AR-15 rifles to gun enthusiasts. Other than selling guns by other manufacturers, they also have a production line that creates their own version of those weapons. An example of these weapons would be the Palmetto State Armory AR-10 Gen 2.
This weapon is made entirely by PSA, without using any parts from other manufacturers. The quality of this rifle is fully under the control of PSA ensuring that the best quality of the product is made for the consumers. PSA has devoted their love and effort into making this rifle the best possible and to prove their credibility through this product.
The gas system that this PSA AR-10 rifle uses is a mid-length gas system instead of a carbine length system. An advantage of using this system is that it can reduce the impact on the bolt carrier group which then reduces the chances of failure and ensures the durability of the rifle. If recoil is a matter of concern, a mid-length system is able to provide a light recoil.
The 18-inch barrel of this rifle is made from 416R Stainless Steel and chambered in .308 Win. It has also been nitride treated to ensure its durability as well as accuracy. It is also fitted with an A2 style muzzle device at the front end of the barrel. While this barrel may not be the best in the market, it is definitely reliable and can last for a long time.
One of the improvements that can be made to this AR-10 rifle is the standard trigger that PSA has equipped this rifle with. Triggers like a match-grade trigger and a two-stage trigger are so common nowadays and yet this rifle uses a standard AR trigger. Another design that needs to be improved is the A2 grip that is used. It is not the best one to use if you want to have a smooth shooting experience.
The upper and lower receivers are both made with forged 7075-T6 aluminum and black anodized hard coated. While the material is not the best, there are protective coatings to make sure that it doesn’t break easily. The style of the receiver is a PA10 Flat top which gives identical configuration flexibility as an AR-15.
The PSA AR-10 may not have the best features but some shooters will find the simplicity of the design to be satisfying. The result of the materials and protective coatings used on this AR-10 rifle is the durability of it. A reliable rifle can last for a long time and won’t cause too many problems for you, which is this PSA AR-10’s ability.
- Low maintenance cost with a durable construction
- Mid-length gas system for lighter recoil and better durability
- Good quality control as all parts are made in-house
- Comes with a 20 round magazine
- Only a standard trigger
- Uses an A2 grip
4. LWRC International R.E.P.R. MkII
LWRC International is a company that specializes in making high-performance rifles and is definitely one of the best AR manufacturers. The first model of the Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle (R.E.P.R.) was made for the military’s CSASS (Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System) competition and the new and improved version, the R.E.P.R MkII has the same qualities of the first model but better.
This improved version has an upgraded tunable gas block where adjustments can be made between 20 different positions, unlike the first one that only has two settings, suppressed and unsuppressed. It makes this AR-10 rifle capable of shooting long-range in competitions and to be used when targets are at a close distance like hunting.
Unlike other AR-10 rifles that use a direct impingement, the LWRCi R.E.P.R. uses a short-stroke gas piston design. Some people might argue that a gas piston system may affect the rifle’s accuracy but this rifle has been made with care to ensure that it maintains its accuracy. LWRC International also claims that this rifle is able to achieve a sub-MOA accuracy. Plus, it helps to keep the rifle clean too.
The cold hammer forged barrel has a barrel length of 20 inches and it adds to the versatility of this rifle. A twist rate of 1:10 has allowed the rifle to stabilize different bullet types. It is also finished with black nitride to resist corrosion and make sure the rifle lasts long. At the end of the barrel is a muzzle brake to help reduce recoil and muzzle rise.
A feature worth mentioning is the two-stage trigger that is used for this LWRCi rifle. It is a Geissele two-stage trigger and is known to be one of the best triggers in the market. This AR-10 rifle also has a PRS adjustable stock, an ambidextrous charging handle and a polymer Magpul MOE grip that is made for various environments.
The LWRC International R.E.P.R. MkII AR-10 rifle is a versatile rifle that is packed with features that no one in the market can compete with. From being a hunting rifle to a range rifle, this weapon can get the job done exceptionally well. Whether you are a hunter or just someone looking for a rifle to use in training, this rifle can give you what you are looking for.
- Excellent accuracy and performance
- Comes with a match-grade Geissele two-stage trigger
- Much more versatile
- Has backup iron sights
- High-quality build
- Very high price
- A heavy rifle
5. Windham Weaponry R16FTT-308
Windham Weaponry has bought over Bushmaster and is now claiming to be the newest rifle manufacturer in America with decades of experience. Bushmaster Firearms is an experienced company that was founded in the 1970s and was known for its products like variants of M4 and AR rifles. After the bought over, employees of Bushmaster are now working for Windham Weaponry and through high standard innovation, rifles like the R16FTT are produced.
For your information, polymer lowers are some of the designs that are not so popular in the firearms industry. This is because metal usually performs better than polymer which is why most of the lowers are made with metal. However, the R16FTT uses a polymer lower and has started a trend in the firearm industry.
The result of using a polymer lower for this gun is the reduction in weight. AR-10 rifles are generally light in weight but it can still be quite heavy, but with the polymer lower used for the R16FTT AR-10, the gun weighs at only 7.55 pounds. The weight of this rifle is lighter than some of the best AR-10s and it can really improve maneuverability when using this gun.
Although this gun does not come with any factory iron sights, the flat top upper receiver is fitted with rails for the shooter to mount a scope or a sight. The high-quality components of this AR-10 enhance the gun’s durability, the barrel that is used is made from 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium 11595E Steel and has a chrome-lined finish. The chrome-lined barrel is 18 inches long and is attached with an A2 flash suppressor to reduce muzzle flash.
Not only it has good durability, but it also has decent handling with the six-position adjustable stock. This AR rifle also has oval handguards and the grip that is used is also better than most AR-style grips. In addition, it also comes with a polymer magazine that has a magazine capacity of 20 rounds.
The Windham Weaponry R16FTT-308 is a well-constructed gun that doesn’t cost you a lot of money. As a shooter, you will find this AR-10 to be comfortable to shoot and has decent accuracy and durability. This gun can also be used for long-range shooting since it has a rail for mounting a scope.
- Has a rail to mount a scope or sight
- Good quality components
- Comes with a 20 round magazine
- Comfortable handguard
- Barrel is chrome-lined
- Some people may not like the polymer lower receiver
- Does not come with iron sights
6. Daniel Defense DD5 V4 .308 Win
Daniel Defense is another best of the best rifle manufacturers in the industry. It has been known for its reliable AR-15 rifles and their AR-10 rifles are no exception too. Some of the more common rifle models are the Daniel Defense DD5V2 and DD5V1. Each model of the DD5 AR rifles has some improvement and the best one currently would be the DD5 V4 by Daniel Defense.
Rifles from Daniel Defense are usually made for competitive uses and so is this DD5 V4. This gun is chambering for the 7.62x51mm NATO and 7.62 rounds can be used for many different occasions like shooting targets at a long-range or deer hunting. This DD5 V4 is also made to maintain precision for up to a range of 1000 yards. It can be categorised as a precision rifle or a sniper.
Being one of the best AR-10 rifles, the DD5 V4 has an adjustable gas block that ensures a consistent feeling. It also has a DLC-coated bolt carrier group which allows the rifle to be cleaned easily and has a smooth operating system under different conditions. There is also a buffer equipped for the bolt carrier to optimize cycles and improve recoil impulse. The design of the bolt also uses an enhanced extractor geometry and dual ejectors.
The 18-inch barrel is made from cold hammer forged steel and puts the rifle at a full length between 35.38 to 39 inches. Ambidextrous controls for this gun are good as well using a Grip-N-Rip charging handle. The lower and upper receiver are both made of 7075 T6 aluminum and both the receivers are Type III hard coat anodized.
The handguard doesn’t have a Picatinny rail but it does a DD5 rail and has M-Lok attachment. This is unlike the DD5V2 and DD5V1 that uses KeyMod attachments. The rail also allows you to mount a variety of scopes that you desire. Besides that, it also comes with a stainless steel muzzle device that is salt bath nitride finished.
One of the best AR-10 in the market that has good capabilities for hitting a target at a long-range. It is also chambered for rounds that are versatile. This AR-10 also accepts Magpul PMAGs and can fire up to 20 rounds. Besides that, Armalite is the original AR creator and it is safe to say that the rifle’s reliability makes it one of the best AR-10 in the market.
- Excellent performance
- Handguard accepts M-Lok attachment
- Can fire up to a range of 1000 yards
- Match-grade trigger
- Comes with a suppression device
- Higher price than some AR-10s
Our Final Thoughts – The Best Overall AR-10 Model
In our humble opinion, the best AR-10 in this list would be the Armalite AR-10. This is the best AR-10 because it is made to be competition ready by just adding optics and sights. If you wish to, you can also mount a scope on the Picatinny rail of this weapon. Other than that, the rifle has a solid build with the parts that are included and it is also made to provide comfort for shooters. The Armalite AR-10 will definitely give the best value for the money out of all the options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Which AR-10 rifle is suitable for me?
If you are looking for something that is cheap in a way but still remain functional, we would highly recommend the DPMS Oracle. It may not have the best features but it does have uppers that allow you to mount sights or optics. For good durability and easy maintenance, AR-10 by Armalite, Windham Weaponry SRC and Palmetto State Armory would be the best options in our list.
For hunters and shooters that don’t mind spending more on rifles with good features, the Daniel Defense DD5 V4 and the LWRCi R.E.P.R MkII are great choices. Both of these rifles are packed with features that enhance the overall performance of the rifle. It may be more expensive than a normal AR-10 but the value you get from it will definitely be worth it.
Q: Are AR-10s good hunting rifles?
Unlike the shotgun or modern bolt-action rifle, the AR-10 is not the best choice for hunting. However, an AR-10 does have lower recoil, easier to use and it’s more reliable than most rifles that are made for hunting. While an AR-10 might lack firepower compared to a bolt-action or lever-action rifle, it is compensated with its accuracy and versatility.
Q: Is the AR-10 reliable?
Yes. While some people may have issues with the AR-10, it is not to say that the AR-10 is not reliable. You can tell from all the reviews when compared to the famous AR-15s, the AR-10 does have poorer reliability and has more issues than the AR-15s but the fact is that it is still more reliable than some rifles out there.
Hello there, it’s Michael here. A gun lover since young, served the country for the last 20 years. I started the blog to share my experience and gun-related knowledge accumulated throughout the years. Hopefully, you will find something useful over here or just have fun! You can learn more about me here.