The AR-10

posted on September 15, 2009

The AR-10 name is copyrighted by Armalite. But it, too, is used generically to describe the AR-15’s big brother. AR-10s are bigger and heavier than AR-15s, but they are also built for larger cartridges. They were engineered originally for the .308 Winchester and will handle any cartridge in the family. The .308 Winchester is the most common chambering, but .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08 Rem. and the .338 Federal are available. The guns are also chambered in some new cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor offered by DPMS.

ArmaLite and DPMS offer hunting rifles in the .338 Federal. Mine is a DPMS LR338, and it’s become one of my favorite hunting rifles. I like the .338 Federal and have used it, or watched it used, to take a bunch of game including multiple whitetails as well as moose, caribou and black bear. It hits very hard and can handle longer shots out to any reasonable hunting range very well. I find it interesting that my swinging steel target from R&R Racing will take .308 hits all day long, but when I shoot it with my .338 Federal, every few shots it is knocked completely out of the stand. The impacts are visibly much harder with the .338 Federal. I like that in a cartridge.

I also have DPMS rifles in .308 Win., .243 Win. and .300 Rem. Short Action Ultra Mag. Unfortunately, the .300 RSAUM has since been discontinued.

Remington introduced their R-25 in .308 Win., .243 Win. and 7mm-08 Rem. I used one in .308 last fall to take three Texas whitetails with three well-placed shots.

It seems like every day more and more companies are adding AR-10s to catalogs. While the list of manufacturers offering them as hunting rifles is still far shorter than AR-15s, it is growing, and with that growth will come more cartridge options suitable for hunting.

I know one custom barrel maker who is turning out rifles chambered in the new Ruger Compact Magnums, and would be surprised if one of the innovative rifle companies didn’t introduce them very soon.


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