Can somebody school me on 308's real quick?


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radiotom
February 7, 2013, 05:06 PM
I'm reading about these rifles online and starting to get confused.

Here's what I think I understand: Armalite made the AR-10 before the AR-15. The AR-10 is .308/7.62 and AR-15 is .223/5.56. But now the new AR-10's are different somehow? And there is SR-25 and DPMS 308 that is different from AR-10? And the magazines aren't compatible?? I seriously don't understand this "platform" at all. It seems like it's all messed up. The AR-15 platform was easy to understand but this is confusing. I'm very interested in getting a 308 caliber sporting rifle. Please help me! :confused::confused::confused:

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Skylerbone
February 7, 2013, 05:25 PM
As originally configured the AR-10 was not compatible with the AR-15. The AR-10 is an Armalite and IIRC is proprietary and I believe you are correct, there are variants with the same chambering that are not compatible.

Cosmoline
February 7, 2013, 05:34 PM
Also I believe the current AR-10's are more akin to a beefed up AR-15. They're AR-10B's IIRC.

Reloadron
February 7, 2013, 05:59 PM
Give this a read. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-10) The AR 10 did predate the AR 15 and actually for what it is or is not worth Colt owns the name AR 15 which is why other manufacturers market the rifle under different names. For example the Armalite version being the M-15 RIFLES and Bushmaster has their names and the list goes on even though people seem to refer to all manufacturers versions as an AR 15.

While Armalite has a few flavors of the AR 10 all rifles in the AR 10 family do not have interchangeable parts like most of the AR 15 family. For example I can't toss an Armalite AR 10 .308 upper on a DPMS .308 lower.

Ron

Skyshot
February 7, 2013, 06:57 PM
AR-10 is a bigger round so it takes a beefier receiver and bolt assembly than that of the AR-15. The case head of the 5.56x45 nato or .223 Remington which is the standard AR-15 chamber measures .378 and the case head of the .308 Winchester and the 7.62x51 nato measures .473.

hueyville
February 7, 2013, 07:20 PM
If you want a 308 then my suggestion is you buy a Springfield M1a in whichever model floats your boat. I have FN-FAL's, AR-10, HK's, etc. All have their finer points but bang for buck, functionality, parts availability you can't go wrong with any M1a from Springfield. I have five different variants of which none have ever let me down. 308 battle rifles and 1911's have been the cornerstones of my collection for 30 years. I do have AR-15's, mini 14's, etc also. Dollar for dollar, round for round with dozens of these in my collection and probably over a hundred through my vaults over the years if I had to trim it all down to one it would be my Springfield M1a National Match.

mljdeckard
February 7, 2013, 07:31 PM
Armalite launched their current AR-10 line during the now-lapsed ban. They made them able to accept modified M-14 magazines, thinking that it would be better to have them accept a 20 rd magazine for which there is a plentiful supply. Then the ban went away, making magazines a non-issue.

Knight's/DPMS released their version, which has a different cut in the joint by the rear take-down pin. The Armalite uppers won't fit them. Then, the DOD bought them as the new SASS system. With widespread acceptance from it being an issue rifle, the aftermarket accessories fell in behind the KAC/DPMS pattern too. Things like Pmags became available. The KAC pattern started to bury the Armalite. Armalite responded by changing their rifles to accept the new pmag too. I will be surprised, if in a couple of years, Armalite doesn't re-release their rifles to be compatible with the KAC pattern rifles.

And no, none of them are the same thing as the original AR-10.

radiotom
February 7, 2013, 08:21 PM
Armalite launched their current AR-10 line during the now-lapsed ban. They made them able to accept modified M-14 magazines, thinking that it would be better to have them accept a 20 rd magazine for which there is a plentiful supply. Then the ban went away, making magazines a non-issue.

Knight's/DPMS released their version, which has a different cut in the joint by the rear take-down pin. The Armalite uppers won't fit them. Then, the DOD bought them as the new SASS system. With widespread acceptance from it being an issue rifle, the aftermarket accessories fell in behind the KAC/DPMS pattern too. Things like Pmags became available. The KAC pattern started to bury the Armalite. Armalite responded by changing their rifles to accept the new pmag too. I will be surprised, if in a couple of years, Armalite doesn't re-release their rifles to be compatible with the KAC pattern rifles.

And no, none of them are the same thing as the original AR-10.
I'm starting to understand this now. Thank you. Kinda makes me want a KAC one since it's what the troops get. Too cool. Now they better not ban them...

bdgackle
February 8, 2013, 05:50 PM
The KAC stuff is pretty expensive. DPMS would be a much lower priced alternative in the same pattern, if you don't have the cash. These rifles tend to be HEAVY, though – keep that in mind as you add accessories and select barrel length and profile. It can add up quick.

The DPMS rifles (and I assume others of the same pattern) share a fair amount of parts interchangeability with the AR-15 family. Stocks (but not springs and buffers), grips, triggers (with possible exception of hammer spring), and mag releases all interchange, so customization of those pieces benefits from the existing AR-15 ecosystem. I THINK gas blocks interchange, as long as you get the right diameter – I’m not 100% sure on that. Some trigger manufacturers will recommend going to a heavier hammer spring for the .308, but are otherwise identical.

You have to be careful of the charging handle – it goes back further than an AR. This causes an issue with aftermarket stocks. Magpul makes a special version of their PRS to accommodate this.

Several manufacturers make barrels, and the already mentioned PMAGS are excellent. Upgrade BCG’s are also available, though I have no personal experience there – I’m thinking about getting once, since I want a spare BCG anyway.

The deciding factor for me was that I’d already put (and still put) lots of rounds through AR-15’s. Having the controls and ergonomics the same is really nice. Nose-to-carry handle ends badly with a 308, though – keep that in mind.

Of course, this all assumes a market where any of this stuff exists, which doesn't really describe current conditions.

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 07:21 PM
Yes. Everything about them is heavier.

Right when the panic hit, I was in a store, they had one final DPMS AP-4 .308 carbine on the shelf for 11 something. My wife was with me, I looked at her, wanting to lay it away, she shook her head. The main reason I didn't push it was that I already have a lower I am building out, I didn't want to get another one. I could sell it now for enough to finish the .243 upper I want and probably order another .308 upper.

Swampman
February 8, 2013, 11:48 PM
The story of US made "AR-10" clones is remarkably similar to that of communist bloc .223/5.56 AK's. Absolutely NO standardization whatsoever. Things seem to be stabilizing on the Pmag type now, even Colt's new 7.62/5.56 modular rifle comes stock with the 7.62 mm Pmags.

mljdeckard
February 9, 2013, 12:39 AM
....Or it will if it ever ships. :)

jehu
February 9, 2013, 07:40 AM
Will the original Armalite AR10's that used the converted M14 mags accept the new P-mags??

madcratebuilder
February 9, 2013, 07:53 AM
Will the original Armalite AR10's that used the converted M14 mags accept the new P-mags??



The "original ArmaLite" AR-10 (1950's design) used SR-25 style mags. Pmags are SR-25 style. The "current ArmaLite" (early 90's and up) AR-10 has two models, the AR-10B that uses modified M14 mags, or ArmaLite GenII mags, and the new model, the AR-10A, released early 2012. This model (AR-10A) uses SR-25 mags (Pmags).

bdgackle
February 9, 2013, 05:41 PM
@radiotom - I am not saying you are wrong, but that is the first I have heard that SR-25 mags match the original AR-10. I thought the SR-25 was a new design based on the AR-15, which in turn is derived from the original AR-10. Do you have a source? If so, I would he interested in learning more.

As for the PMAGS and AR-10's designed for converted M-14 mages being compatible, it seems unlikely to me, though I don't claim to know for sure. It is just that if this worked, it would imply that M14 mags could be adapted to work in SR-25/DPMS, and I have never heard of anyone doing this, despite the wide availability of M14 mags.

I'll emphasize I am not an expert on either point - just trying to inject some caution to make sure no one makes any expensive mistakes. On both accounts, I hope I am wrong - learning new tricks is cool. :D

MCgunner
February 9, 2013, 05:46 PM
I donno. My .308 has a hinged floor plate.

bdgackle
February 9, 2013, 06:09 PM
One other item I am trying to figure out: Which 308 AR makers use forged 7075 aluminium? I think KAC and Armalite do. DPMS (which I own and love, BTW - I am not bashing it) uses billet 6061 lower and extruded 6066 upper, which is only like 60% as strong. I wonder if this means the receiver must be thicker, and thus heavier. I have heard no reports of cracking, though, so the structure must be strong enough. It is softer, though, so things like pin holes will wear faster. For my purposes, this did not justify a $1k cost differential. For yours, perhaps it matters.

If I ever have the $10's of kilo-dollars required to stock enough 308 to wear out my DPMS, I will definitely consider an upgrade. (And maybe before... nice guns are.. nicer).

Akita1
February 11, 2013, 03:43 PM
If you want a 308 then my suggestion is you buy a Springfield M1a in whichever model floats your boat. I have FN-FAL's, AR-10, HK's, etc. All have their finer points but bang for buck, functionality, parts availability you can't go wrong with any M1a from Springfield. I have five different variants of which none have ever let me down. 308 battle rifles and 1911's have been the cornerstones of my collection for 30 years. I do have AR-15's, mini 14's, etc also. Dollar for dollar, round for round with dozens of these in my collection and probably over a hundred through my vaults over the years if I had to trim it all down to one it would be my Springfield M1a National Match.
+1; best .308 I have owned is Springfield M1a.

mljdeckard
February 11, 2013, 04:00 PM
I had an M1A and there were a few reasons I scrapped it.

It came with serious optics, but not a raised cheek piece or comb. This meant that I had to lean way over to get my face in the scope, which has very limited adjustability for eye relief or height due to the nature of how the mount accommodates the top-ejecting action. So, I would need to re-stock it, and while I was at it, bed it and replace the trigger at least. It was immediately a bigger project than I had intended to take on.

An AR-10, on the other hand, is a project a rookie can build from scratch. You can build different uppers in different cartridges as you can afford parts, and they all take the same bolt face and magazines. It doesn't need bedding. The other factor driving me is that it lets me refute the assertion that you can't use AR-pattern rifles for hunting.

T.R.
February 11, 2013, 05:21 PM
.308 is more than one needs for deer sized animals at typical forest and foothill distances. But it's my TOP choice for elk, bear, and moose.

TR

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/elkinforestsized-1.jpg

mljdeckard
February 11, 2013, 09:32 PM
Our deer are bigger. .308 is a VERY popular deer cartridge.

ol' scratch
February 12, 2013, 10:07 PM
Just go DSA SA58 (FAL) and be done with it. That is what I did and never looked back. :D

Kurt_D
February 13, 2013, 12:50 AM
It's like this:

1) Armalite designs the AR-10 around the 7.62 NATO cartridge using the latest in aerospace tech. They also work on a design that is better able to manage recoil despite the lighter weight. The AR-10 evolved and parts where redesigned for better usability and beefed up where needed; a few foreign countries adopted the updated versions.

2) The medium cartridge idea was adopted and the AR-10 was down sized into the AR-15. Of course, weight was further reduced with the smaller .223 round and the AR-15 evolved just like before. Parts where beefed up where needed, the layout evolved into today's format, parts where simplified for mass production, etc. The final AR-15/M16 was standardized and went into service and continued it's evolution from E1, A1, A2, A4, M4 and so on.

3) A couple of companies in the 90s decided to reintroduce the .308 AR. Eagle Arms bought the Armalite name and remarketed the "AR-10". This AR-10 was a scaled up AR-15 and attempts to use as many AR-15 parts as possible to reduce cost. It, the "B" model, shared only the .308 chambering of the original AR-10 until the "A" model came out using the original pattern mags. M14 mags were chosen as the first mag pattern because real AR-10 mags were ultra rare, ultra expensive and due to the `94 Klinton AWB, illegal to make in standard capacity for civilians. With it's expiration, new standard capacity mags could be made and the Gen II AR-10 mags were released followed by a original AR-10 pattern mag option.

Knight's Armament didn't care about such issues as their efforts were LE and .mil related, and with Stoner designed the SR-25. Stoner used his original mags because, surprise, they worked best in the platform. There are few parts that carried over from the AR-15 to the SR-25. With the expiration of the `94 AWB new standard capacity SR-25 mags could be bought by us civilians. Other companies designed rifles around the SR-25 mag as again they worked best, the SR-25 was adopted by the military, and they weren't patented by Armalite. Of course the price of KAC mags turned people away and DPMS couldn't make a 20 round mag that actually holds 20 rounds, so Magpul was able to come in and offer their P-mag in SR-25 pattern. Now you have a proven, reliable, inexpensive mag; plus the SR-25 pattern mag is the adopted pattern by the .mil and everyone is going that way.

Unfortunately the .308 pattern AR is not standardized like the AR-15 so despite using the same mag, very few other parts interchange; and NONE of the parts interchange with the original AR-10.

bdgackle
February 13, 2013, 05:50 AM
Kurt -- awesome summary. Thanks for the info.

It all makes more sense now.

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