Your Guide to Common AR-10 Calibers By: Brandon

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We explore the most popular options available for AR-10 calibers among American shooters.

The AR platform has become the dominant rifle in the United States. Popular for hunting, target shooting, and home protection, there are lots of options available when it comes to AR-10 calibers for shooters.
While the AR-15 is more common, many shooters are drifting to the AR-10, a larger platform that can handle a variety of cartridges. If you want more power and larger bullets, you’re likely choosing the AR-10 over the AR-15.
But what chambering should you choose? If you are considering an AR-10, here are some of the most common and popular AR-10 calibers you can choose.
The Most Common and Popular AR-10 Calibers
Common AR-10 calibers displayed on a shooting bench

6.5 Grendel, 22-250, 260 Remington, 7mm-08 Rem, 45-70, 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 30-06 Springfield, and 300 Win Mag displayed at the shooting range (left-to-right.)
22-250 Remington
.243 Winchester
.260 Remington
.300 Winchester Magnum
.308 Winchester / 7.62×51 NATO
.45-70 Government
6.5mm Creedmoor
.30-06 Springfield
7mm-08 Remington
Now, let’s learn a little bit about each of these common AR-10 calibers to determine which is best for you.
22-.250 Remington

22-250 black hills gold ammo

Bullet weights: 40 – 55 grain
Muzzle velocity (fps): 3,500 to 4,000+
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 1,500 – 1,800

Designed before the Second World War, this cartridge was built as a short-action round that would deliver high velocities in rapid succession.

Although not extremely powerful, this is one of the fastest cartridges on the market. It’s a great option for distance shooting, and can put a bullet on target at ranges of 500 yards or more. Ideal for coyote and varmint, this cartridge is also known for low recoil, making it ideal for youth or inexperienced shooters.

Ammo Options:Winchester Varmint X 22-250 55gr. Polymer TipBarnes VOR-TX 22-250 Rem 50gr. TSX FB

.243 Winchester

Bullet weights: 55- 100 grains
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,900 to 3,400
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 1,800 to 2,100

This round was created in 1955 by Winchester for use in their Model 70 bolt-action rifle. Today it’s one of the top rounds for hunting with an AR-10.

Despite its smaller size compared to the popular .30-caliber cartridges, the .243 holds its own at the range and the hunting grounds. It’s commonly used for whitetail, as well as pronghorns and mule deer. It’s also suited for varmint and coyote, making it a popular AR-10 option.

Good Ammo Options:Hornady Superformance .243 Winchester 50gr. V-MAXFederal 243 Win 95gr. Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo

.260 Remington

Barnes 260 Remington ammo

Bullet weights: 120 – 150 grains
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,700 to 2,900
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 2,300 to 2,600

Known for carrying bullets with a high ballistic coefficient, the .260 is accurate and reliable. There are faster, heavier, and more powerful rounds available, but the .260 Remington is a well-balanced option for target and hunting.

With muzzle energies above 2,000 ft-lbs and bullets over 120 grains, this cartridge is strong enough for many hunting pursuits. However, the manufacturers tend to produce primarily competition and target loads for this cartridge.

Good Ammo Options:Remington .260 Rem 140gr. Pointed Soft Point Ammo

.300 Winchester Magnum

winchester Deer Season XP 300 win mag ammo

Bullet weights: 140 – 220 grains
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,800 to 3,300
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 3,500 to 4,100

If you want power and performance for your AR-10, and you’re not worried by thumping recoil, the .300 Winchester Magnum needs to be on your shortlist. This round delivers muzzle energies over 4,100 ft-lbs and can stay near 2,000 ft-lbs at 500 yards.

This makes it one of the top options for long-range hunting on large deer. You can also use it for black bear and other thick-skinned game.

Ammo Options:Browning Silver Series 180gr. SP AmmoPrvi Partizan 300 Win Mag 150gr. Soft Point

.308 Winchester / 7.62x51mm NATO

Shooting an AR-10 chambered in .308 win at the range

Bullet weights: 110 to 220
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,500 to 3,100
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 2,400 to 2,700

If you arrive at the gun range and find someone shooting an AR-10, it’s most likely chambered for a .308 Winchester, one of the most popular rounds in the entire industry. It’s powerful, accurate, reliable, and has a strong reputation with a well-established following. Virtually all ammo manufacturers make at least one product in the .308; many have dozens of options in this caliber.

With plenty of power for whitetail deer, elk, and black bear, this is one of the most popular AR-10 hunting options. Likely oversized for varmint and coyote, the .308 remains a great option for numerous pursuits.

Great .308 Ammo for AR-10’s:Federal Gold Medal Match 175gr. BTHP .308 AmmoFiocchi .308 Win 150gr. SST Polymer Tip

.45-70 Government

Bullet weights: 225 – 400 grains
Muzzle velocity (fps): 1,500 to 2,500
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 2,000 to 2,500

Packing one of the heaviest bullets that you can shoot from an AR-10, the .45-70 Government dates back to 1872 and was one of the premier cartridges of its day. The U.S. military used it for a couple of decades. Then, they military retired it in 1892. 45-70 remains a popular straight-wall round for deer and other game animals.

While the .45-70 is traditionally a lever-action round, it has found popular use in modern sporting rifles. AR-10 owners living in straight-wall-only states can use this round for deer hunting; it’s often found in Midwestern deer camps. Most rounds have a muzzle energy around 2,500 fps, so despite slow speeds the .45-70 is still a powerful round, although its range is limited.

Solid Ammo Options:Barnes 45-70 Govt 300gr. TSX FNWinchester 300gr. Super-X Jacketed Hollow Point

6.5mm Creedmoor

Bullet weights: 95 to 156 grains
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,700 to 3,200
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 2,000 to 2,500

With outstanding trajectories, thanks in large part to superior ballistic coefficient numbers, the 6.5 Creedmoor is one of the most accurate and long-reaching AR-10 calibers on the market.

Made specifically for distance target shooting, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is a popular option for casual hobby shooting and elite-level competition. It can also be used for hunting when you select the right product. Deer and pronghorn, as well as coyote, are popular targets for this AR-10 round.

6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 Ammo Options:Sellier & Bellot 6.5 CDMR 140gr. FMJBTFiocchi 6.5 Creedmoor 129gr. PSP Ammo

6.5mm Grendel

Hornady 6.5 grendel ammo displayed at the range

Bullet weights: 90 – 130
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,500 to 2,900
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 1,600 to 2,000

A newcomer for ammunition (released in 2003), the 6.5mm Grendel has found a popular following among many shooters. Although most shooters stay within 500 yards, this round has been used to place bullets at 1,000 yards or more.

The round is most commonly found at the gun range, but it can be used for hunting, specifically medium-sized game and varmint. It’s also known for low recoil, making it perfect for high-volume target shooting.

Good Grendel Ammo Options:Hornady 6.5 Gren Match Black 123gr. ELDBarnes VOR-TX 6.5 Grendel 115gr. TAC-TX BT

.30-06 Springfield

Barnes 30-06 ammo displayedBullet weights: 125 – 225
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,600 to 3,100
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs): 2,800 to 3,100

One of the classic American cartridges, this round is typically associated with bolt-action military rifles. But thanks to the innovative design and versatility of the AR-10, and the reliable power of the .30-06, the two have become a firearms power couple.

The .30-06 Springfield is used for deer all across the country. As one of the most popular rounds on the market, there are numerous options available, so hunters and target shooters can usually find whatever they need. From deer to big game animals, this round is a fine option for almost any pursuit.

Ammo Options:Remington 30-06 Core-Lokt Tipped 150gr. Polymer TipHornady Precision Hunter 178gr. ELD-X

7mm-08 Remington

Bullet weights: 125 – 180
Muzzle velocity (fps): 2,500 to 2,900
Muzzle energy (ft-lbs):

Offering a flat trajectory and reliable accuracy, you can use the 7mm-08 Remington for many different purposes. It’s popular for hunting but it also makes an effective, accurate target load. The cartridge has reliable speed and energy, creating a good balance.

The round packs a variety of bullets that can be used for deer, target, elite competition coyote, hog, and more. The manufacturers specifically make many 7mm-08 rounds specifically for deer hunting. This gives a clear indication of this round’s capability.

Good 7mm-08 AR-10 Ammo Options:

Prvi Partizan 140gr. Soft PointWinchester Deer Season XP 140gr.

Of course, when you need affordable ammo for hunting or target shooting for any AR-10, visit ammotogo.com! We have a massive in-stock selection of all these calibers at more than fair prices.

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