The AR10 is a powerhouse of a rifle. It is semi-automatic, magazine fed, and modular. Like an AR 15 you can build your own AR10. In fact, you can even build an AR10 from an 80 lower receiver. An AR10 is easy to build but there are a few critical things to know before you dive into it. Here are 4 things to know before building your own AR10.
1) What is an AR10?
The AR10 is the less popular, older, and bigger brother of the AR 15. Eugene Stoner initially designed the AR10 as a combat rifle, but when the demand came for a lighter rifle it shrunk to the AR 15. The AR10 is chambered in the full power .308 caliber round. The AR10 was never adopted by the United States military and never reached the same popularity as the AR 15.
The AR10 has more recoil due to its full powered round, but is much better suited for long range shooting. The AR10 is also a popular hunting rifle option, as it is suitable for both medium and heavy game. It is also extremely versatile for security and defense purposes as it a top performer at long range while boasting 30 round mags.
2) The AR10 Platform is NOT Standardized
The AR 15 is a standardized platform. Take any two AR 15s and there is a 99.99% chance their parts can interchange. AR10s are a bit different. They are not standardized for construction and different companies have different iterations of the AR10 design.
This leaves two main AR10 patterned rifles, the Armalite series and the DPMS series. When you choose your AR10 80 lower receiver you must make the decision to go DPMS patterned or Armalite patterned. Both patterns can result in a good rifle, but DPMS has a slight advantage when it comes to magazines and parts interchangeability with other manufacturers and even the AR 15 rifle.
For this reason, and more, we’ve chosen to go with DPMS patterned 80 lower receivers.
3) AR10 Internal Parts are not Always Compatible
Because of the different patterns you’ll see barrels designed for both Armalite and DPMS, or upper receivers designed for Armalite and DPMS. These parts are not interchangeable between rifles. Once you select which pattern lower to use, you’ll have to select parts that are compatible with it. This includes your barrel and BCG. If you go with a DPMS pattern rifle you must use a DPMS barrel and BCG, the same goes for choosing the Armalite platform.
DPMS pattern AR10 80 lower receivers do have more options in terms of parts choice once it comes to assembling the rifle. Going the 80 lower route also means you’ll a specific jig. The jig must be matched to the 80 lower. It’s not like AR 15s where there aren’t differences. When you choose an AR10 80 lower receiver make sure you purchase the compatible jig.
4) AR10 Lower Parts Kit
Because of small difference between lowers there are several parts that are only compatible with AR10 lower receivers. Small parts like the safety, trigger, and trigger springs can be swapped from AR10 to AR 15. Parts that will not swap are the following.
• Bolt Catch
• Takedown pins
• Magazine catch
• Most Pistol Grips
The AR10 does bring the boom in terms of power and range. (And noise.) The AR10 is probably one of the most modern, and modular 308 rifles out there. Most 308 rifles are stuck in the Cold War period where the AR10 happily evolved out of it. If you are looking for a versatile and reliable rifle for your kit, the AR10 should be towards the top of your list.