New Question: If the AR Platform is the Best, is an AR-10 better than an AR-15


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SharpsDressedMan
July 12, 2010, 07:26 PM
With regards to the two camps in the "Garand vs M16" discussions, with a large number of people liking the Garand for its longer range and better penetration, would the AR-10 be best of both worlds? It seems that the AR platform has succeeded in surviving the challenges of Viet Nam, has seen worthy improvements, and still serves well in service almost 50 years later. Why wouldn't the same design be even better with a longer range cartridge, giving our troops a rifle that outdistances that of the enemy?

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WNTFW
July 12, 2010, 07:32 PM
AR10 is heavy, expensive & some have feeding problems. I see it as having a disadvantage up close and for mid to long range a bolt gun would be just as good as you could add a detatachable mag to it.

mljdeckard
July 12, 2010, 07:36 PM
No. It's a different rifle with a different application.

The reason that the M-14 wasn't retained was that few soldiers could control it in full auto at all. An AR-10 in 7.62 would be about the same weight and recoil as an M-14. It doesn't solve the problems that the M-16 does, making a full-auto/burst rifle that soldiers of all shapes and sizes can handle effectively.

Stoner's original design was (the real AR-10 design) in 7.62.

Our troops ARE using AR-10s now, in specialized roles. (See the M-110 SASS.) But I talked to the 19th Group guys and they let me shoot it a little, they say the service versions are NOT at good as the prototypes were, they jam up if they shoot them faster than 6 rpm or so. They would rather pull old M-14s off the rack. I am building an AR-10 now, and I will have uppers in .243 and .308, but it is for hunting, not fighting. (I want to be able to say that I use ONLY EBRs for hunting.)

Bartholomew Roberts
July 12, 2010, 08:09 PM
Best for what? You seem to be suggesting a general issue rifle but 7.62x51 is dead in that role.

You mention outdistancing our enemies; but it seems to me that few can shoot the current 5.56 cartridge to its potential in field conditions. So I don't see how changing caliber will help that, especially the change you imply will increase training cost and result in less available ammo (both in terms of magazine and individual combat load).

Dionysusigma
July 12, 2010, 08:12 PM
WNTFW: [The] AR10 is heavy, expensive & some have feeding problems.Which ones do/ which ones don't? Been thinking of an AR-10 project, lately, is why I ask.

conhntr
July 12, 2010, 09:19 PM
I was always 308 308 308 until i got serious I realized 556 was the way to go. Cost (ammo and gun) was just too much higher for the ar10. If I could get an equal quality ar10 and 308 ammo for the same price as ar15 and 556 I would in a heartbeat.

benEzra
July 12, 2010, 09:33 PM
Assuming you want to shoot something larger than .223/5.56x45mm, the AR-10 is better than the AR-15 if you want to shoot .308/7.62x51mm or other .308-length cartridges, or magnum calibers (e.g., the .300 Remington SAUM).

http://www.shootingtimes.com/longgun_reviews/ST_ar10ultra_062309/

However, if 6.8mm SPC, 6.5mm Grendel, .458 SOCOM, etc. meet your needs caliber-wise, then the AR-15 is shorter, lighter, and has more aftermarket support.

migkillertwo
July 12, 2010, 09:48 PM
are we talking as a sniper rifle or as a combat/battle rifle? If the former, then yes, a .308 will serve better, but if the latter, no, the 5.56 is good, and follow up shots are kind of important in urban warfare.

stubbicatt
July 12, 2010, 11:05 PM
The disadvantages of the AR10 series direct impingement systems include the heavy for use bolt group increasing muzzle deflection -- which is magnified at rapid cyclic rates, and the heat buildup of nearly 50 grains of powder per shot (versus 25 grains of powder in an AR15) These would combine I fear to make a rifle of marginal value in situations requiring the expenditure of several rounds in a short time.

Except for the awkward scope mounting provisions on the M14 receiver, the design itself is more amenable to a military application IMO.

Is there a place in the middle, design wise? probably, but the piston driven AR platform is a better adaption in the heavy calibers than it is in the 5.56 rifles due to the volume of gas generated by the 7.62 NATO round.

WNTFW
July 12, 2010, 11:35 PM
Doinysusigma,
My comment really didn't address the OP's post. I was thinking in civilian terms.
My comment is based on 4 guys I know that had AR10s. I think all can be traced to mag problems. I can't remember the brands for sure or what mags.
Two gave up and sold their AR10s. One kept his as he feels he has his sorted out. He had mag problems. His is one that will make you want an AR10.
Last guy has his currently for sale. I know the guy pretty well and he is a very capable person. Accuracy was not a problem.

In my case the AR10 won't do anything for me. Semi-auto & more rounds is nice, but for my use I don't need that.

FTSESQ
July 13, 2010, 12:11 AM
IMHO, no. The 308 is a lame duck. (*puts on asbestos pants*... OK flame away). OK, I know the 308 gets the job done, and it's more than a match for a man... but, all else being equal, it is ballistically inefficient (for the purpose at hand). In its current rifles the 308 wastes a lot of energy. In short barreled rifles velocity is lost as much of the propellant winds up as a fireball in front of the muzzle. In longer barreled rifles, the bullet has energy to spare. Its heavy, the rifles shooting it are heavy, and it generates a fair amount of recoil. Also, its bullets have poor BCs and SDs. When compared to some of its peers, this results in more drop and drift, but with less penetration at a higher price paid in recoil. Sure in the US it seems like the end all - be all, but when looked at objectively you cannot deny that there are better alternatives.

In my view, what we really need is a completely new cartridge. Lets stop worrying about what will fit in an AR15 or AR10 or some other platform and design something new (or make an AR in between the AR15 and AR10) Something somewhere in between the 223 and 308 length, but in 6.5mm or maybe 7mm. Over all length for 223 is about 2.25" and the over all length for 308 is about 2.8". What if we designed a 6.5mm round from the ground up with a OAL of, say 2.5" pushing, say a 123gr bullet at 2600fps (say right between the 6.5Grendel and the 260 Rem), it would have more than enough thump for 2 legged varmints and it would do it (I think) with much less recoil than the 308 in a lighter rifle with the ammo weighing less than a 308. Also, because of the 6.5mm's high BCs and SDs, it would retain velocity and energy and have great penetrating potential... But thats just my thoughts....

FTSESQ
July 13, 2010, 12:19 AM
Why wouldn't the same design be even better with a longer range cartridge, giving our troops a rifle that outdistances that of the enemy?

Because most of the combat seen is minute of AK, not long range shootouts. Most of our troops are doing battle in urban areas at shorter range, which is why neither round is good IMHO.

regal
July 13, 2010, 09:22 AM
Because most of the combat seen is minute of AK, not long range shootouts. Most of our troops are doing battle in urban areas at shorter range, which is why neither round is good IMHO.
Are you implying the 7.62x39 is ?

Tirod
July 13, 2010, 10:56 AM
So, it would be for the greater good to equip 130,000 troops in Afghanistan with a rifle that weighs 3 pounds more, has double the foot pounds of recoil, and 1/3 less ammo?

I believe the command structure looked at that and decided to resurrect 5,000 M14's for combat troop use only would fill the gap. The Brits bought those more directly, about 460 7.62 AR10 type guns for combat use.

The force structure is set up 9 soldiers in support to one soldier in combat. Truck drivers, triage nurses, clerk typists, and supply sergeants have little need and probably zero - zip - nada desire to start humping a bigger rifle that they can't shoot accurately any further than the M4 they already have. The German combat studies, and all the succeeding ones since, have demonstrated since the days when battle rifles were the only choice, soldiers do not use and cannot use them as effectively as an intermediate caliber assault rifle.

The Taliban and others aren't using major caliber rifles to any large degree - the average insurgent has an AK. It's the few setup ambushes with .50 cal Russian MG's and old Enfield copies that seem to get all the attention. The SDM program in a combat unit, plus the M14, was all the command structure saw as necessary to respond. We already had other long range weapons in the unit, and the mission isn't to blast away at 600m in showdown fights at high noon. They aren't real good at that anyway, it's obvious by the recent move back to IED's and urban fighting that the Taliban is getting kicked out in the open.

Since it's a hearts and minds campaign, I don't see any reason to take the M4 from a Field Agricultural Advisor and make them carry a "huge" fantasy blaster that was considered obsolete before WWII.

230therapy
July 13, 2010, 11:16 AM
Knights Armament seems to think so, if the price alone determines superiority.

http://www.knightarmco.com/sr25.html

At around $5,000 per SR-25 rifle (which is about $3,000 more than the SR-15), it's clearly "better".

briansmithwins
July 13, 2010, 01:24 PM
Back to the OP's original question: “With regards to the two camps in the "Garand vs M16" discussions, with a large number of people liking the Garand for its longer range and better penetration, would the AR-10 be best of both worlds?”

First , people throw around the phrase ‘AR-10’ like it actually means something. The only AR-10s were bought by Sudan and the Dutch (if I remember right) and were phased out about 40 years ago. What’s being marketed as ‘AR-10 rifles’ is about half a dozen companies interpretation of those original rifles, mostly w/o the option for automatic fire.

Another point, pretty much none of those manufacturer’s parts are compatible with each other. If you buy one, you had better hope the maker stays in business and decides to support that weapon in the future. There are plenty of orphan weapons out there already, which is how Numrich Arms stays in business.

Secondly, the real questions seems to be: ‘What’s better, 7.62 NATO or 5.56 NATO?’

I think the answer isn’t that complex: For an individual weapon 5.56 NATO has plenty of effective range and within that effective range has adequate ability to kill (or render ineffective) a man.

1) Is 5.56 NATO too light for crew served weapons? Possibly.
2) Does 5.56 NATO lack range for special targets? Sure.
3) Is it worth saddling all GIs with 7.62 NATO for general use. No way. Too heavy (cartridge and weapon both), uncontrollable in a individual weapon, and overkill on realistic targets at realistic ranges.

What would be ideal? Probably something like the cancelled G11 project: 4.7mm caseless in a compact durable weapon. Keep 7.62 NATO for crew served weapons both for hitting power and because ejected cartridge brass makes for better heat management.

BSW

Zak Smith
July 13, 2010, 02:21 PM
The AR-15 overall works better mechanically. Historically the AR-10 rifles have been less reliable, although it seems that the new .308 AR pattern rifles that have come on the market in the last 4-5 years have mostly fixed this. The AR-15 is easier to make run reliably and easier to make accurate.

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