6 Best AR-10 Barrels: Our Favorites For Builds By: Travis Pike

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If you’ve built your own AR-15, and it just wasn’t enough for you, you may be looking for something even bigger and better to try your hand at.

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If so, the AR-10 is calling your name!

PSA AR-10 .308
PSA AR-10 .308

While the AR-15 and AR-10 can share some parts, one of the things they can’t share is their barrels.

The barrel of your gun is incredibly important, but you know that.

Sure, it can determine the velocity of your ammo, and the accuracy of your weapon, but it can also change how the gun handles and even the legality of your firearm.

Let’s look at a few diverse barrel options and talk about why, who they’re for, and where you can get them.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall Pick

    Faxon Firearms Match Series 20″ Heavy Fluted, .308 WIN AR-10 Barrel

    Faxon nips at the heels of barrels costing hundreds more, all while offering a wide variety of options that all boast excellent performance.

    $349 at Faxon Firearms
    Jump to Details
  2. Best Budget 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel

    PSA 20″ 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 Barrel & BCG Combo

    If you want to try out a 6.5 Creedmoor AR build on a tight budget, PSA has you covered with a barrel that won’t break the bank and won’t disappoint at the range.

    $349 at Palmetto State Armory
    Jump to Details
  3. Best High-End Barrel

    JP Enterprises Supermatch .308 WIN Barrel

    Exacting tolerances, extreme build quality and QC, and an individually matched bolt make the JP king of this list.

    $569 at OpticsPlanet
    Jump to Details
  4. Best Short AR-10 Barrel

    Ballistic Advantage 12.5″ .308 Tactical Govt. Carbine Length AR-10 Barrel

    If you are looking for a shorter more tactical build and aren’t focusing on hyper accuracy at distance, Ballistic Advantage has you covered with quality barrels at or under $200.

    $210 at Ballistic Advantage
    Jump to Details
  5. Editor’s Pick

    Criterion 308AR Hybrid Barrel, 6.5 Creedmoor

    Criterion represents a sweet spot; getting you high-end performance without the extreme price tag.

    $301 at Brownells
    Jump to Details

Table of Contents

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The AR-10: Big Brother to the AR-15

Do you guys remember that show Tool Time with Tim Allen? It was a staple of my childhood, and the main character’s catchphrase was always “More power!”

I bring all this up because, for some reason, I can’t help but picture Tim Allen screaming MORE POWER when describing the AR-10.

we-just-need-more-power-tool-time

In reality, the AR-15 is the AR-10 with less power because the AR-10 came first.

The AR-10 was the original Stoner Armalite design and was a product of its time. Full-powered battle rifles were still the NATO standard for weaponry, and the powerful 7.62×51 was the round to rule them all for infantry rifles.

Couple of AR-10s
Couple of AR-10s

The AR-15 has always been a bit more popular with everyone. Militaries, police forces, and civilians all love the AR-15, but the AR-10 is starting to see a resurgence.

A lot of guys have built or bought AR-15s en masse and are beginning to look at the bigger brother for something new.

This is especially true with the success of rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor and the rise in long-range shooting (see our reviews for the best precision sniper rifles for beginners!). 

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor
Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor

The Many Patterns of an AR-10

AR-10s are tricky animals.

For the most part, there are two different patterns, DPMS and Armalite. This essentially means there are two different ways to build a gun via magazines, receivers, etc.

The DPMS pattern is way more common and likely makes up about 90% of the AR-10 market. DPMS patterned rifles have cheaper magazines, a ton of different manufacturers producing receivers, and a much wider aftermarket.

Aero M5E1 with DPMS LR-308
Aero M5E1 with DPMS LR-308

For that reason, I could only find barrels for DPMS guns across the market. The oddball Armalite pattern is here or there, but I doubt many people use the pricier and harder-to-find Armalite pattern. So keep that in mind when shopping for any AR-10 pattern part.

PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Upper and Lower
PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Upper and Lower

We’ve rounded up a collection of our favorite options for just about every budget and need. You’re pretty sure to find something that will work great for you and your AR-10.

Let’s take a closer look.

Best AR-10 Barrels

1. Faxon Match Series

Do you want to build a gun capable of hitting the hat off a mockingbird at 100 yards? We got you covered!

Well, not us, but Faxon Firearms has you covered with their match series, 20-inch, heavy fluted barrel.

Best Overall Pick
349

at Faxon Firearms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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The Faxon Match Series barrel is a very heavy-duty design, and one made for those demanding a high-quality barrel without worrying too much about the cost. While this isn’t the cheapest barrel, you are getting a lot for your money.

The barrel fluting will help reduce weight, and the 20-inch, stainless steel barrel weighs only 2.4 pounds — which is very nice. The barrel is 416R stainless steel, which makes it a better option for precision shooting.

Faxon Firearms Match Series- 20" Heavy Fluted, .308 WIN AR-10 Barrel
Faxon Firearms Match Series 20″ Heavy Fluted, .308 WIN Barrel

The rifle has a salt bath nitride finish and is button rifled with a 1:10 twist rate. The barrel is a magnetic particle inspected and sports an 11-degree polished target crown. The fluting not only reduces weight but helps the barrel cool a bit faster between strings of fire.

The barrel extension is DPMS LR .308 compatible and has a nickel Teflon-coated finish. It’ll last just about forever in the most common AR-10 platform out there.

Faxon has created an excellent barrel for those looking to build a high-powered, accurate, semi-automatic gun in the traditional, hard-hitting .308 Winchester. It’s almost a shame to put a handguard over it with it being as pretty as it is.

Popular .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm Ammo
Popular .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm Ammo

What’s your take on the Faxon? Rate it below.

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2. Palmetto State Armory

Palmetto State Armory makes a variety of different guns, and they often do it at a great price. These are great for a first AR-10 or if you are on a tight budget. For those looking to try out 6.5 Creedmoor instead of the more standard .308, a cheaper option to dip your toes in the pool is never a bad thing.

PSA AR-10 .308
PSA AR-10 .308

The barrel is made of stainless steel, which will enhance accuracy a smidge. Of course, stainless steel will wear out sooner, but not everyone is Daniel Horner, so I’m sure stainless steel will work fine for most applications.

Best Budget 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel
349

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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PSA uses a heavy-profile, rifle-length 20-inch design. They are also threaded, so you can top it off with a muzzle device of your choice.

The PSA 20″ 6.5 Creedmoor barrel has a 1:8 twist rate, so you stabilize rounds in the 139 to 142-grain well. This barrel sells for a hair over $200, or you can snag the combo that includes a BCG for $350. We’re a big fan of the PSA 6.5 Creedmoor upper, which includes this barrel.

3. JP Enterprises Supermatch

If you are looking for the absolute best barrel on this list, it’s right here with the JP Enterprises Supermatch.

JP Enterprises LRP-07

These are top-of-the-line 416R stainless barrels that are lead-lapped, button-rifled, air-gauged, and then cryogenically treated. All of this means that you will have better consistency from your very first cold-bore shot all the way to your last.

And if that isn’t enough, each Supermatch barrel includes an individually matched and headspaced JP EnhancedBolt. This takes out any of the guesswork when it comes to making sure your bolt and barrel are working to get you the most out of your gun.

Best High-End Barrel
569

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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JP Enterprises is sitting near the top of the heap when it comes to everything AR these days, and their barrels are no exception. These are in the same league as barrel offerings from companies like Bartlein, Shilen, LMT, and other high-end manufacturers.

4. Wilson Combat Super Sniper

Wilson Combat is known for making some of the most excellent firearms on the market.

From their finely tuned 1911s to their always excellent shotguns, they do a bit of everything. The Wilson Combat Super Sniper barrel lives up to its reputation of being just fantastic.

Pure Accuracy King
335

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing


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335
at Brownells

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Wilson Combat’s Super Sniper barrel is best found in 6.5 Creedmoor and is purposely built to shoot longer and heavier rounds. These rounds are what is commonly used in long-range shooting.

The barrel is made from stainless steel and has a 1:8 rifling twist rate. The rifling is a right-hand twist and is precision button rifling.

It is a long barrel at 24 inches, but it maximizes the 6.5’s velocity and allows the shooter to reach out and touch their target. The barrel is long and made of stainless steel, so you can expect it to be a beast.

Wilson Combat Urban-Super-Sniper1190
Wilson Combat’s Urban Super Sniper AR-10 build

While the barrel is fluted, it still tips the scales at 63 ounces. However, if you are shooting long-range targets, you are likely in a prone position, and this isn’t a big deal. This barrel is designed to be as accurate as possible.

This is the go-to option for reaching out to 1,000 yards with consistency. This will undoubtedly give you an edge for hitting targets far away and producing teeny tiny groups. Wilson Combat also does a body good, or a receiver good, and they don’t slack here.

5. Ballistic Advantage 12.5 .308 Tactical Government Carbine

Oh my…who doesn’t want an AR-10 with a 12.5-inch barrel? Seriously? It’s a tiny powerhouse that is perfect for an SBR or a pistol build.

I know what you are thinking…a 12.5-inch AR-10 in .308 seems mighty uncomfortable.

Best Short AR-10 Barrel
210

at Ballistic Advantage

Prices accurate at time of writing


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210
at Ballistic Advantage

  • Ballistic Advantage (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)

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Admittedly it’s not as smooth as a 24-inch barrel, but it is entirely controllable. I had some time with a 12.5-inch barrel at a SHOT Show Range Party, and it was quite comfortable with a good muzzle device.

Even with a linear comp, the flash is still pretty damn bright — but, man, is it cool.

The Ballistic Advantage 12.5-inch barrel is a 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium barrel that will resist the heat and pressure put on it by tons and tons of rounds fired downrange. With a barrel this short, you have a fun build, and I’m sure you’ll be putting plenty of rounds downrange.

Ballistic Advantage 12.5" .308 Tactical Government Carbine AR-10 Barrel
Ballistic Advantage 12.5″ .308 Tactical Government Carbine AR-10 Barrel

The Ballistic Advantage 12.5-inch barrel also has a QPQ finish for increased corrosion resistance and a nice strong finish. This little fellow is an interesting choice and will allow you to maintain a compact rifle when using something like a suppressor.

Ballistic Advantage is known for its outstanding performance for the price. They make barrels for many other companies, including their sister company Aero Precision. This barrel will get you a compact gun that is quite fierce in a very light and small package, all at great value.

Otherwise, BA does have some nice 6.5 Creedmoor barrels recently as well.

Ballistic Advantage 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel
Ballistic Advantage 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel

6. Criterion Barrels

If you need the best precision for a price that won’t buckle your knees, Criterion is one of our top picks.

AR-10, David (3)
PPT Editor David’s custom Aero Precision AR-10 using a 22″ 6.5 Creedmoor Criterion HBAR Barrel

While the extras on David’s rifle have gone through some changes, the Criterion barrel has been outstanding from the first shot.

The AR-10 is an inherently accurate platform, and sub-MOA groups aren’t uncommon. However, a tuned gas system and a quality barrel can really push the accuracy envelope of the platform. Getting half-inch groups or less at 100 yards isn’t unheard of for a well-equipped AR-10.

Several factory loads are sub-MOA with this rifle and most of that is due to having a great barrel.

Sig Match 140gr 6.5 Creedmoor
Sig Sauer Match 140gr 6.5 Creedmoor — .64 MOA at 100-yards

We really recommend Criterion!

301

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing


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301
at Brownells

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Prices accurate at time of writing

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Final Thoughts

The AR-10 is an excellent gun.

With modern parts, accessories, and more manufacturers, we are seeing the AR-10 continue to rise in popularity. What was once considered heavy and cumbersome is quickly becoming the handiest option for a full-powered semi-automatic rifle.

Aero Precision M5 AR-10
Aero Precision M5E1 AR-10 Complete Rifle

The AR as a platform is extremely easy to modify and change, like its younger sibling, the AR-15, and one of the most significant components is the barrel. Long-range, close-quarters shooting, and hunting all have different requirements, so choose one that best fits your mission.

Have you tried out any of these barrels? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below! Interested in more best upgrades for the AR-10? We’ve got a bunch:

  • Best Long Range Scopes
  • Best AR-15/AR-10 Triggers
  • Best AR-10 Buttstocks