6 Best AR-10s: Complete Buyer’s Guide By: David Lane

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It’s not a secret that we love the AR-15 around here.

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That said, there are some things the AR-15 just can’t do. 

Upgraded AR-15s
Upgraded AR-15s

Namely, the AR-15 can’t handle “long-action” cartridges…so there’s a limit on the power or distance you can get out of a round fired from an AR-15. 

So if you’re looking at getting AR-10…look no further!

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

We’re looking at the best complete rifles here.

So without further ado…

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Editor’s Pick

    Aero M5E1 Complete Rifle

    Whether you are buying a complete rifle or looking for a platform to customize, it is hard to go wrong with Aero.

    $1423 at Aero Precision
    Jump to Details
  2. Best High-End AR-10

    LWRCI REPR MKII 7.62 Rifle

    The R.E.P.R is at the top of heap in elite company when it comes to AR-10s, but it has a price to match.

    $3819 at Grabagun
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  3. Lightest AR-10

    Ruger SFAR

    Utilizing an AR-15 frame, the SFAR is one of the lightest AR-10s on the market.

    $1257 at Guns.com
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  4. Best Budget Option

    PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Complete Rifles

    Palmetto makes quality rifles at an affordable price.

    $799 at Palmetto State Armory
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  5. Best Mid Level AR-10

    SIG Sauer 716i Tread Rifle

    The tread is a solid all-around pick that boasts excellent accuracy and legendary Sig quality.

    $1499 at EuroOptic
    Jump to Details

Best AR-10 Rifles

1. Aero M5E1

We’re big Aero Precision fans.

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

They’re known in the industry as one of the biggest quality manufacturers of lowers and uppers for other AR makers. They also offer a wide variety of build kits, including various Cerakote options that are available as limited runs.

Between the Pew Pew staff, we have a LOT of Aero builds. We’re price concise and like solid quality, and Aero delivers on that.

Aero M5E1 with DPMS LR-308
Aero M5E1 (top) with DPMS LR-308 (bottom)

So, all that out of the way, what about the Aero M5E1? Why does it make it on my list of the best AR-10s? I’m glad you asked, friend.

The Aero Precision M5E1 Complete Rifle is built with Aero’s excellent Enhanced Upper and M5E1 Lower, both of which are available for purchase separately and often available together if you want to get them both for a build.

270

at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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How Does it Shoot?

Good ammo is always a must when testing a firearm; never forget that!

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

These are the rounds recommended by Aero themselves:

  • Black Hills Match
  • Remington Premier Match
  • Hornady Match 168 gr HTHP (top rec)
  • Hornady Match 168 gr ELD (top rec)

As you can see, the top recommendations were the ones tested, and Eric shot between 1.5 and 2 MOA, which is perfectly respectable for a sub $2,000 .308 rifle with factory ammo.

Aero M5E1, Hornady Match Groups
Aero M5E1, Hornady Match Groups

With hand loads, we believe the gun is capable of around 1 MOA to Sub-MOA accuracy.

Eric’s full review here.

While Eric used a complete Aero AR-10 upper, I went a more custom route for my 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10.

This is one of the things we really like about the Aero Builder’s Kits; they allow for a lot of flexibility.

Aero M5 6.5 Creedmoor Build
Aero M5 6.5 Creedmoor Build

I started off with the Aero Precision M5E1 FDE Builder’s Kit and an FDE Magpul PRS stock.

From there, I added a Criterion heavy barrel, VG6 muzzle brake, Aero lower parts kit, Radian Raptor charging handle, and an Aero BCG with JP enterprises bolt.

Sig Match 140gr 6.5 Creedmoor
Center Group with my 6.5 Creedmoor M5E1 using Sig Sauer Match 140gr 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition

I’ve only gotten to push my Aero build out to 650 yards so far, but the experience has been outstanding! I’m well over 500 rounds into this rifle with zero malfunctions.

Best Bang-For-Buck
1423

at Aero Precision

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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The bottom line?

Be it in .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor, Aero built or custom parts, the M5E1 is a solid platform.

2. LWRCi REPR MKII 7.62 Rifle

Okay, first of all, it’s pronounced “Reaper,” which is either cool or a little too “edgy teenager with dark eyeliner,” depending on your perspective.

judging you
Me when another firearm company comes out with another edgy name…

But really, a name has never once caused a gun to perform better or worse. What matters, as the infomercials will tell you, is one simple question: will it blend?

Well, in this case, it will absolutely blend. Or shoot. It’s a weird metaphor, just go with it.

(Photo: Shooting Illustrated)

LWRC originally created the first version of the R.E.P.R. for the military’s CSASS (Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System) competition. While they lost that contract to H&K, they certainly didn’t do poorly.

The LWRCi R.E.P.R MKII is an updated version of that rifle and is built to the same exacting standards as the already awesome first version.

The main difference between that version and the MKII is the gas system. The new gas system is adjustable to 20 different positions as opposed to the suppressed and unsuppressed settings of the first R.E.P.R’s gas block.

kitted out repr rifle
A fully kitted R.E.P.R

How Does it Shoot?

Really good. Okay, freakin’ great!

Using Federal Gold Medal Match 175 GR, Matt put five rounds into a one-inch circle at 200 yards. For those of you playing along at home, that’s a half-MOA performance.

Not only is the R.E.P.R incredibly well built, but it’s also crazy accurate. The price is steep, but you get what you pay for.

Best High-End AR-10
3819

at Grabagun

Prices accurate at time of writing


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3819
at Grabagun

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LWRC also makes a great line of AR-15s that deliver the same level of performance and reliability as their AR-10. I highly recommend you take a look!

3. Daniel Defense DD5

Daniel Defense makes good stuff — that shouldn’t be news to you. They hold a number of military contracts, and with good reason. Their guns shoot, they shoot well, and they shoot every time.

DD5 V4 (3)
DD5 V4 in 6.5 Creedmoor

Specs

  • Four-bolt system fastens barrel and handguard attachments
  • Geissele SSA two-stage precision trigger with 2.5-lb. take-up
  • Oversized cam pin, enhanced extractor geometry, and dual ejectors
  • Lower receiver with oversized trigger guard and flared magazine well

How Does it Shoot?

Like a dream. We’ve killed deer with it. We’ve rung the gong at 800 meters with it. We’ve put half a mag in a half-inch hole at 100 yards. Never had a problem with this gun and never expect to.

DD5 V4 BOG DeathGrip Tripod
DD5 V4 BOG DeathGrip Tripod

If you’re looking to use this gun for competition, hunting, or even home defense, the gun will do its part if you do yours.

One thing I will say, particularly about this gun and the LWRC: you get what you pay for. 

With some guns, you don’t, and when it comes to expensive guns like this, that price tag gets harder to justify the bigger it gets. All of these guns made this list because they are worth the money.

2599

at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing


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2599
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Want more? Watch our review below!

4. Ruger SFAR

Normally I am a little hesitant to recommend something that is newer to the market. But while the Ruger SFAR lacks a long-term track record, it makes up for it with some great features.

Aside from the magazine, it looks like the smaller AR-15, and it definitely feels like one. (Photo: Guns.com)

So what sets it apart? Well, for starters, it weighs in at an amazingly-light 6.8 pounds. Ruger achieved this by utilizing a true AR-15-sized platform that stretches the magazine well to accommodate the .308 cartridge.

Ruger employs a toughened 8620 steel bolt carrier, and a proprietary super steel bolt and barrel extension to ensure that it can withstand the increased recoil and wear produced by the larger cartridge.

The gas system is mid-length and features a 4-position adjustable gas block to help ensure reliability and function for most common ammunition on the market.

As you can see, the Ruger SFAR bolt (left) has thicker lugs than a standard AR-15 bolt. (Photo: Guns.com)

On top of all that, you get a 15-inch free-float M-LOK handguard, 2 port muzzle brake, Ruger Elite 452 2-stage trigger, and Magpul MOE furniture.

And the best part about all of this? It clocks in right around the $1,000-1,200 mark, making it one of the more affordable AR-10s out there.

How Does it Shoot?

While we haven’t gotten our hands on one yet, other reviewers have.

Lightest AR-10
1257

at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing


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1257
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The general consensus is that the rifles shoot anywhere between .5 and 1.5 MOA, depending on the ammunition and the shooter. That puts the SFAR right in the ballpark with some of the other guns on this list. Considering the price and other features, that isn’t too shabby.

5. Palmetto State Armory AR-10 (PA-10) Gen 3

The PA-10 is probably the most affordable one on this list…and that’s because from raw materials to final product…PSA does it all in-house. 

PSA AR-10 .308
PSA AR-10 .308, Gen 2

We’ve tested the Gen 2 for years and now have updated our full review with the Gen 3.

PSA AR-10 Gen 3 with Magpul Bipod
PSA AR-10 Gen 3

One of the best updates to the Gen 3 model is the inclusion of an adjustable gas block.

PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Adjustable Gas Block vs Gen 2
PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Adjustable Gas Block vs Gen 2

It doesn’t magically make recoil zero…but it helps dampen the .308 cartridge when you configure it for your specific load.

A lot of the time, PSA’s complete rifles are out of stock.

Best Budget Option
799

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Plus, you get slapped with an 11% completed rifle tax.

But since AR-10s are also pretty modular, you can buy a complete upper and complete lower separately.

It saves you some money and gives you more control over furniture/trigger options.

For lowers, I like their STR buttstock and 2-stage trigger.

179

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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And for uppers, I’m a fan of going 18-inch to wring out some extra accuracy and velocity of the bigger rounds. Plus, it’s not as unwieldy as the 20 inch.

Make sure you get a combo WITH bolt carrier group (BCG) and charging handle (CH) included.

599

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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How Does It Shoot?

Pretty well! Especially when it’s supported with a decent bipod.

It will run reliably out of the box and shoot decent groups for a rifle around $600.

PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Groups
PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Groups

Truly the best bang for the buck in the AR-10 world…if it ever stays in stock long enough!

Reviews

I’ve had the pleasure to shoot two AR-10 offerings from PSA.

Some 7.62x51mm Rounds
Some .308 Rounds

The more common one is the .308 version (full review here) which shot great. Check out the review for videos of me hitting 600 yards with ease.

PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Handguard
PSA AR-10 Gen 3

And just in…our full YouTube review of the PA-10 Gen 3:

Need to go further?

The AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor will stay supersonic to 1,200 yards and still pack a punch further than that.

Assorted 6.5 Creedmoor (L to R: Federal FMJ, Soft 129gr, Ballistic Tip 120gr, Gold Medal 140gr)
Assorted 6.5 Creedmoor (L to R: Federal FMJ, Soft 129gr, Ballistic Tip 120gr, Gold Medal 140gr)

Full review of PSA’s 6.5 Creedmoor.

PSA 6.5 Creedmoor Front
PSA 6.5 Creedmoor Front

What’s your take on the PSA line of AR-10s? Rate it below!

Readers’ Ratings

4.96/5
(2606)

Your Rating?

6. Sig Sauer 716i Tread

Most of the PPT staff has had the chance to shoot the 716i Tread, and we are in agreement that it rocks!

Sig Sauer 716i Tread AR-10 sniper johnny shooting
Sig Sauer 716i Tread AR-10

Johnny was the lucky one that got a 716i sent to him for complete testing, he loved it so much that he insisted on buying it for his personal collection — that really should tell you a lot.

He has a complete video review on it, so take a look at that or read our article for all the details!

This puppy shoots. Right out of the box, the groups are outstanding, the recoil is soft, and the system as a whole is clearly well-tuned.

It also features almost completely Ambi-controls, a Magpul stock, and M-LOK handguard.

But the trigger isn’t perfect, and the charging handle is bleh. Still, this delivers a LOT of rifle for the price.

Best Mid Level AR-10
1499

at EuroOptic

Prices accurate at time of writing


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1499
at EuroOptic

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Between this or the Aero Precision M5E1…it’s a really close call.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I love the AR-10.

It’s a sometimes-finicky rifle that, when done well, can be one of the greatest joys to shoot, and one of the most versatile options in your gun safe.

PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Handguard
AR-10s are inherently accurate, modular, and just plain awesome to shoot.

These guns are the best of the best in their particular niches and are perfect if you find yourself needing to hit something very far away with a very large bullet.

What are you thoughts on the AR-10 and our list? Let us know in the comments below. Also, check out our hands-on reviews of the Best AR-10 Muzzle Brakes and Best AR-10 Buttstocks. Already have an AR-10 and ar looking to add a scope? Check out our recommendations here!