Rifle review: Armalite AR-10
The AR-10 is the big daddy to the AR-15. Interestingly enough, the AR-10 was designed before the AR-15 was, but was modified to fit a smaller cartridge, the .223 instead of the .308.
What it is:
The AR-10 is a .308 version of the AR-15 that comes in a variety of barrel lengths, and accessory combinations.
Why you want one:
If you get an AR -10 with a barrel of 20” or more, you now basically have a long-range, semi auto rifle perfect for taking out anything from deer to hog, to whatever else you would want to hunt with a .308 with a 25 round capacity.
The AR-10 reviewed in this post was a 20”barrel with chrome lining, flat-top upper with the normal A2 fixed stock, a quad rail, Harris bi-pod, and a Leupold VX-III 4.5-14×40 Adjustable Objective scope. Man was this review fun.
Taking the AR-10 out to the range proved to be a little bit of a haul, since the rifle weighs about 11 lbs with scope and everything. Lugging around ammo was equally heavy; if only the rifle and ammo were lighter…. hey, that’s why we have the AR-15. Once set up, the AR-10 looks mean. Pointing this bad boy down range brought pure joy to everyone that came along for the review that day. Putting a .308 round next to a .223 makes the latter look tiny in comparison. But what about the recoil? After carefully lining the duplex in my scope up on target, flipping off the safety, and waiting for the wind to die down, I gently squeezed a trigger that could only be equated with a glass rod breaking. Next came an incredibly loud bang, and once my sight picture reappeared there was a neat hole in the middle of the quarter-sized target I was shooting at. This is where the heft of the rifle comes in handy. Since it is a heavy gun, it pretty much eats up all of the recoil of the .308 round, feeling much like an AR-15, just meaner. The accuracy out of this rifle is absolutely incredible. At 100yds it was extremely hard to miss what you were aiming at. 5 shot groups of military surplus ball were always touching, sometimes even forming one big hole, depending on the skill of the shooter.
Like all AR’s just pop the rear pin, pull out the bold carrier and bolt group, and scrub and lubricate. Get a bore-snake for the barrel, and you will be done with cleaning in no-time. Since this is a direct impingement firearm, meaning the gas from the fired round travels back into the chamber in order to force the bolt back, the chamber does get very dirty, and will require good scrubbing.
Some big bore AR’s get a bad rap for being unreliable and going through parts quickly, but as far as I can tell, this AR will be in great shape for many, many rounds. There is next to no wear on any of the parts, and this rifle fires every single round thrown at it. There was never a mis-feed or failure to feed using anything from quality Remington ammunition to the cheapest Spanish surplus.
I am keeping this one for a while. Having a big bore AR that you can use as an assault rifle, hunting rifle, or long range rifle pretty much gives you the best of all worlds and combines them in the great looking package the black rifle is. My hat off to Armalite for such a fine product.