I am looking to purchase my first rifle. I have been looking at rifles now for a couple months, and I have decided on an AR-10/AR-15 type platform. I am looking for a .308 rifle that will be useful for the range, as well as for hunting and possible marksmanship competitions. Specifically, I am leaning towards .308 because I may use this gun for deer hunting.
My main question is: what is the best route for me to get a high quality gun at a reasonable price? I have saved up enough for this project, and there is no real rush to just impulsively buy something. I want to make sure Iím investing in a quality weapon, so advice from you guys is definitely an important part of my research ;).
I would like to know: is it better to build my own rifle out of select parts, or would it be better to purchase a stock gun from a manufacturer?
What kinds of setups do you guys have/recommend?
Pictures and details about your recommendations would really assist me.
In case you need more of an idea what I have in mind, I really admire the DPMS SASS .308. A friend of mine has one and it is a real workhorse :cool:.
As in any case, all advice is welcome. Again, it is great to join you guys here on THR.
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February 8, 2011, 12:00 AM
I have several AR platform rifles currently. I have a 20" stainless barreled .243, on the 308 platform. This gun was completely hand built. WOA ss barrel I'm getting 1/2 moa and better, RRA 2 stage trigger, v-tac free float tube Harris by-pod, at 200 yards I can cover a piece of masking tape 1" square w 10 shots I put a miculek comp on it, I really hate them as far as noise and everything, but I can take instant follow up shots at running coyotes without ever loosing my side picture.. literally no recoil.
I also have a 223 similar setup 16" WOA SDM bbl, 1/2 MOA or better bbl..
And lastly I have a 308 sportical that I have modified from factory.
I have build about approx 7 AR's in the last couple years, and I would not buy a factory rifle. If it were me I would get ahold of D9Firearms in Kansas city and have him build you exactly what you want. he is a AR wizard, and his prices are reasonable. He has a lot of stuff that you can't get anywhere else. He orders large lots of bbl's and white oak custom cuts them for him, along with kriegers and other top makers. he has been a customer of mine for several years, and he has built most of my guns. he is a great guy to deal with, he is class III also so if you wanna add a supressor later he's got all that.
I personally think you can build a better AR than you can buy for the same money. If you would be intersted in seeing my builds pm me and I can email or text you some photos. His site is D9firearms.com and his name is darrel. this is just my .02 many others will have other options. also keep in mind when building an AR the only two parts that really matter are your trigger and barrel, everything else is cosmetic or preference
February 8, 2011, 08:14 AM
The .308 platform AR's get real heavy for hunting. If you are a serious hunter and want to keep the weight reasonable look at a alternate caliber AR15. A 6.5 or 6.8 can be built at a very reasonable cost and kept very light weight. Nuts accurate at typical hunting ranges.
I think due to the weight of the 308 AR platform it will be hard to find a do it all model. I tried and had a 16 inch 308 that weighed 14 pounds! Now I have a 18 inch 308 that weighs 11 pounds.
February 9, 2011, 12:06 AM
You could build a custom rifle to your own specs on a Mega Arms MA-Ten lower and upper receiver matched set. They allow you to use a barrel and bolt carrier group from either a DPMS style or an Armalite style. It takes standard AR stocks, but you need a buffer and spring setup that is for a .308. Everything else you need comes in a standard AR-15 lower receiver parts kit. It also takes KAC/DPMS/Magpul mags, which is the best way to go for cheap, high-quality mags.
You will want to keep it light for the roles you stated... that means no bull barrels and no DPMS barrel that is GI-profile past the handguards but super think under the handguards. I recommend a barrel with a profile that is on the lighter side. A regular Armalite AR-10 barrel is nice and light, and it is chrome lined. Ranier Arms also has some choices that would work pretty well if you want a stainless barrel.
Here is a good thread on the MA-Ten over on arfcom: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=121&t=516132&page=1
February 9, 2011, 09:41 AM
The AR10 .308 platform didn't make it to one specific blueprint like the M16 did, so not all the parts interchange, and it drives up the cost. As said, they aren't a lightweight, battle rifle calibers as a class aren't. I hunted with a HK91 for years, it wasn't either.
For deer, a .308 will do, but plenty get taken with power levels in the .30-30 and 7.62X39 class. Unless you are hunting open country with 250m + shots, it's more gun than needed.
I chose to build a AR15 in 6.8SPC specifically because it would weigh about the same as a Win 94 lever gun, but with the ergos and options of the AR15. The caliber is no slouch, 40% more power in typical hunting ranges than 5.56. Building isn't cheaper, you have much more control of parts selection, and you get what you want, not what the Director of Marketing saw Research point out as the hot new sales trend.
What might be better is what to avoid: since light weight and effective accuracy is key, a bunch of CQB and target gun parts should be avoided, like adjustable stocks, bipods, $300 free float quad rails, $250 back up sights, etc. KISS works very well on a combination gun that hunts and sees range time. Stick with a fixed stock, the best barrel you can afford, and quality parts, it will run and shoot like a champ without all the macho bling that currently infests the marketplace.
If you can find a lightweight version of the NM freefloat (I haven't yet,) then you'd have the one item that would make or break the whole concept: being able to use a sling on the range, and not getting beat up with the extra 1 pound of a target gun part.
It's just a threaded aluminum tube, yet nobody in Marketing sees the potential. Oh well.
February 9, 2011, 12:15 PM
If you really only want the gun for hunting purposes I don't think that a ar-10 platform in absolutely required. A 6.8 or 6.5 grendel will do the trick just fine for deer. You can probably build either one for cheaper and it will be much lighter than an AR-10 platform.
February 9, 2011, 03:41 PM
Iím not really too concerned about the weight of the AR-10. Iím a pretty big guy, and I donít really hunt much. This gun is going to be mostly for the range, but I know guys who hunt with the heavier rifles. I only threw hunting into my original post as an option for this gun, but not necessarily primary use.
That said, I am trying to put together a gun that utilizes the .308 in a high quality setup, just at a somewhat reasonable price. Have any of you ever had an issue with muzzle lift on the lighter frame .308s?
If any of you have AR-10 setups that may fit this bill, feel free to share specifics/pics.
February 9, 2011, 05:32 PM
Google: Larue OBR and LMT .308
February 9, 2011, 09:41 PM
Larue OBR and LMT .308 If these are out of your budget check out DPMS.