Quantcast

AR-10 questions...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Trey Veston, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    800
    I bought a Palmetto State Armory PSA-10 lower last year to avoid the new WA state commie rules that went into effect.

    Didn't need one. I have three ARs; two in 5.56 and one in .450 Bushmaster. I also have three hunting rifles; all bolt action and all capable of any big game I want to pursue in the Northwest.

    I initially thought I'd go with building a lighter and handier AR in .308 for hunting, even though I currently live in Washington and don't hunt. I go with family in Idaho every Fall, but don't carry a rifle. I'm there for assistance in tracking, processing the meat, and making sure the whiskey is acceptable.

    But I may be going on a mule deer hunt in Montana or an antelope hunt in Wyoming in the future. Both are long range hunts and while my .257 Roberts and .30-06 are adequate, it would be nice to have a rifle that excels at ranges up to 700yds.

    Not sure if I can do that on a budget with the AR-10 platform.

    Was really interested in the PSA 18" upper in .308 that occasionally goes on sale for under $400. But I have no idea what kind of accuracy it's capable of.

    My brother went on the Montana Mule deer hunt last year and missed a 700yd shot with his Tikka T3.

    This year he is taking a Remington 700 sniper rifle in .308 with the hogue stock and bipod. I suggested that he get better at sneaking up on game, but that's a whole different discussion... LOL.

    I'm not opposed to the 6.5 Creedmoor and recognize its ballistic superiority, but I prefer the .308.

    I think at more realistic hunting ranges it is adequate, ammo is available over the counter nearly everywhere, and even though I reload, being able to stop at WalMart and pick up hunting ammo in the event I forget or lose my reloads is nice.

    So, the main question is; will a bargain upper like the PSA 18" offer MOA accuracy up to 600yds?

    If not, what upper will, and how much will it cost?

    I know I can find very accurate bargain bolt guns in .308 for around $600 or less, so if the upper is going to be over that amount, then it may make more sense to just go the bolt gun route for long range stuff.
     
  2. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2019
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    I'm not really seeing a path to an AR-10 accurate to 700 yards for $600. I have one that can do that job reliably but total cost on that rifle was upwards of $2500 and it's not what you would call light or handy. It gets pretty heavy walking through oak scrub looking for hogs.

    The 20' SS Bull Barrel alone on this rifle was around $400. By the time you add other parts, accessories and an optic you would be way over budget.

    For the hunt you described, I would probably take my Weatherby Vanguard and Ruger RPR as backup.

    .40
     
    Dave DeLaurant and Trey Veston like this.
  3. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    5,105
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I wouldn't bet on it.

    The real question is can you deliver moa accuracy and wind calls at 700 yards? Is this something you have practiced? A cold bore shot at 700 yards is something that requires a good deal of experience and practice, precise ranging, and a perfect wind estimation. Also at that range any velocity spread in your ammunition will show up as vertical dispersion at the target, so even a 1 moa rifle at 100 yards may not be a 1 moa rifle at 700. I know enough to know I would not be comfortable doing it. If your not going to send literally thousands of rounds down range practicing long range shooting I would suggest you forget about this idea. Ethical hunting ranges for the average shooter are more like 200 or 300 yards.
     
  4. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    800
    Excellent points.

    I'm no stranger to long range shooting as I have competed in 1000yd matches with a borrowed .45-90 Sharps rifle...

    aVYLtODqShaJpCu5sLWwYw.jpg

    And I've competed in silhouette matches up to 525yds with my own Uberti 1885 Winchester in .45-70...

    cB0mp8pXSNSRwWhAvv4QUQ.jpg

    So I'm familiar with the challenges involved.

    Pulling the trigger is the easy part, I've found. A good spotter is essential, and calling the wind is challenging, even on a controlled range with wind socks every 300yds like they have at Ben Avery in Phoenix.

    Using the 500 grain cast bullets we use in BPCR makes everything even more difficult since those big old hunks of lead are very susceptible to wind and elevation changes.

    I have no illusion that making a 600yd shot on a big game animal is easy, but I've seen it done.

    I was more interested in the capabilities of the AR platform and if a PSA upper would be capable of good groups at longer ranges. And if it's not, then what kind of upper is needed. If it's not realistic, then why not?

    How can a $500 Savage do MOA shots at 500yds while a $1200 AR-10 can't?
     
  5. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,781
    Accuracy issues aside, my biggest downside is the AR10's weight. Unless you plan on a pencil barrel or composite that might change the equation.

    I've hunted Antelope with both FN-Fal and the AR10.....wouldn't do it again.
     
    czhen likes this.
  6. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    11,843
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    They absolutely can. MOA at 500 is around 5", not exactly I know but close. As a hunter and a competitor I get where you are coming from, but a bad shot in a match is at worse a miss. A bad shot on a living breathing animal is at worst a wounding shot and a lost animal I can not find. Yes, clean, ethical kills are made at ranges that most consider too far. Some are made by people who practice and train to read the wind and make the shot. Most are dumb luck. Shooting long range in the mountains is worlds away from shooting long range on a range with berms on the flats somewhere. The winds can shift several times between you and the deer. Up, down, left and right or just swirl like crazy.

    H&Hhunter and I ran a test last year. I bet him I could hit a man sized target at 600y with my 375H&H. We went to the Ben Lomond range set our targets and got to it. To say the wind was blowing would be an understatement. It was swirling every which away between us and the target. Shooting prone, off of our hunting packs like we would in the field, we both had clean misses on our first shots. We are both average or better shooters and H&Hhunter has taken game on multiple continents with his 375. It was laughable. Subsequent shots finally found the target after a few more misses and basically walking in the shots. When we did get on paper, the same hold did not result in hits anywhere near the previous shot. While I did "hit" the target, had it been a game animal it would have resulted in a wounding or maiming hit. Not something I ever want to do. And I am sure, neither do you.

    Point being, no matter what rifle you pick, practice like a life depends on it and make sure you can make a clean kill, and know your limits. The AR308 is most capable of that.
     
  7. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    800
    Was doing some looking into others who built the PSA with the 18" upper and it is a 10lb rifle. Ouch!

    Might just have to build it as a range toy.
     
    cougar1717 and kcofohio like this.
  8. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,507
    Location:
    Kansas
    My Stag AR10 with 18 inch barrel is 11#,4oz total with scope and a Magpul bipod mount in place. Did particularly aim to make it as lightweight as possible but didn't put anything particularly unusually heavy on it either.

    On the other hand, it's rapidly becoming my most fired gun. Just something a 308 will do inside the shooter that a 22 plinker or 223 AR15 can't touch.
     
  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,696
    Antelope and mule deer aren’t elk. I don’t like taking “vitals shots,” I prefer to know I can hit the heart of the animal, so 1moa at 700yrds doesn’t pass muster for me.

    Waking a lot with an AR-10/LFAR doesn’t strike a tone as a walking hunter, but I’ve carried heavy rifles for a lot of miles without crying over weight.

    I’ve built a lot of AR’s, literally hundreds. Getting sub-MOA for $600 isn’t terribly realistic. $1200 is getting close - easy to do a sub-MOA AR-15 for that price, little harder for an LFAR.
     
  10. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,881
    Location:
    Mississippi
    The 308 AR is plenty capable of doing what you ask. I do not believe it is capable of doing what you ask with a bargain upper unless all the stars happen to align in your favor. My SCAR is much lighter than my Large Frame ARs, but it’s still not something I would consider a stalk-hunting rifle. I hunt with it a lot, but most of that hunting is chasing pigs around on a Bad Boy Buggy at night.

    If I were in your position, I would save my money, invest in some really good shooting sticks and ammo and practice shooting in field positions until I felt completely confident shooting a deer/antelope at 300 yards from those positions with one of the rifles you already have. I just feel like you are going throw money at a rifle that you will end up not using because it’s overweight and not up to snuff in terms of accuracy.
     
    Trey Veston likes this.
  11. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    800
    Been poking around the internet all day and think I'll end up with a Ruger American Rifle Predator in .308. They seem to be capable of impressive accuracy out of the box for under $500.
     
  12. Cemetery21

    Cemetery21 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    403
    Location:
    MO
    I think that is a good call Trey. I worked on loads for one in 6.5 for my son last winter. Pretty amazing accuracy for the money out of the box.
    So far, I've resisted the urge for a large frame AR. I don't hunt any more and too old to get into the precision rifle game.
     
  13. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    3,143
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I think that’s a smart decision. I’m not an AR guy although I have 5. And spend a fair amount of time shooting them. I am a pretty decent shot (not a competition shooter) with a rifle. But I limit my shots to what I consider ethical distances. And 700 yards does not enter in that category for me. I’m not even beginning to think about a shot on an animal until I’m within 300 yards. But I concede I don’t hunt wide open spaces.

    I think Robert’s story is extremely applicable to this discussion. Targets are not animals. And you are trying to take that animal’s life. We owe it to the animals we harvest to dispatch them with the highest degree of certainty for a quick, clean kill. There are many rifles and calibers capable of such a feat at 700 yards. A budget AR just isn’t one that I personally would consider. And good on you for actually taking into account people’s real world experience and not just discounting it.
     
    Stevenvalleyky likes this.
  14. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    9,658
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
  15. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,024
    .308 is very nice for factory loads and cheap fodder.

    But, 7mm-08, 20”, 1:9 twist for heavy for caliber) barrel is what I would do if in your position and wanting a longish range hunter. But it’ll be more than $400 that’s for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  16. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    I would suggest the 6.5CM over a .308. The ballistics of the 6.5CM offer a very valuable and noticable decrease in drop and wind drift.
    You might get lucky with a sub MOA PSA straight out of the box... and even if you don't ,they are very easy to accurize.

    I have had excellent results with PSA's ( not everyone has ) I also do quite a bit of tuning / tinkering.

    Polish the feed ramps, add a heavy buffer and recoil spring weights, add an Adj. GB, Lantac muzzle brake, and lap the upper receiver face "true" then loctite in the barrel.
    All of that results in a very, very soft shooting rifle.

    I also have had , what I consider excellent accuracy, from the various PSA supplied barrels after my tuning.

    My first PSA DC Machine barreled 6.5CM upper shot 5 factory 6.5CM rds ( 5 rd groups ) sub Moa.
    After Lapping the receiver face flat and loctiting in the barrel it fired 7-8 more ( not sure anymore, I'd have to look it up ) factory rounds sub Moa.

    I have a few very detailed threads available if anyone is interested... shoot me a IM ( pun intended )

    All groups at 100yds, benched, scoped, bagged front and rear.

    Criterion barrelled PSA
    bcs1wiqa-606179.jpg

    FN Barrelled 308 PSA upper... 10rds Horn. AG 155gr
    IMG_3106_JPG-860403.jpg

    And last but not least... PSA / DC Machine OEM 20" 6.5CM barrel
    IMG_2738_JPG-386184.jpg

    I have numerous other results from the PSA barreled 6.5CM and 308 PSA barreled uppers in the other threads I was talking about.
     
    Gordon, czhen and Trey Veston like this.
  17. JDGray

    JDGray Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,190
    Location:
    SW MI.
    Get a Tikka with a light weight bbl! Hunting with an AR when your limited to 5 rounds is, well....
     
  18. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    800
    Idaho has no such round limit. In fact, the firearm restrictions section of the Fish & Game rules is pretty short and sweet.

    Interestingly enough, though, there is a weight limit for hunting rifles. They can't be more than 16 pounds...

    https://idfg.idaho.gov/sites/default/files/seasons-rules-big-game-2019-2020-laws.pdf

    WEAPON RESTRICTIONS Rifle, Shotgun and Airgun In any hunt, including any-weapon seasons,

    It is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals:

    • By any means other than approved firearms, muzzleloaders, archery methods and airguns.

    • With any electronic device attached to, or incorporated in, the firearm or scope; except scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles are allowed.

    • With any firearm that, in combination with a scope, sling and/or any attachments, weighs more than 16 pounds.

    • With any fully automatic firearm.

    • With any shotgun using shot smaller than #00 buck.

    • With any rimfire rifle, rimfire handgun, or muzzleloading handgun, except for mountain lions, or legally-trapped gray wolves.
     
  19. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,933
    I think if you are talking long range 308, that starts at a 21.5" barrel, and at that point your AR10 is pushing 12lbs. Do you really want to be carrying a 12lb rifle?
    You mentioned you already have a 30-06. I would load that up some nice 165-168 gr. bullets and sight in at 300 yds. Then determine your hold over or adjustments to 400 yds. For a Wyoming antelope or mule deer you should be able to get to at least 300-400 yds.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    13,509
    Are you going to be hunting from a stand?

    I have turn bolt 308’s that are much more carry friendly than my AR10’s.

    My 300WM BAR would be my pick for what you are describing over the 10.
     
  21. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    9,658
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
     
  22. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,074
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Another vote for an "original" sporting rifle being the best bet.

    Midwest deer hunting is as much walking as I would want to do with a scoped AR-10/LR308. Out west? If the hunting places in Montana and Wyoming are basically driving to the source of water, waiting for the game to show up, glassing for the biggest one, and waiting for the rest to get out of the way, then that would be ok. Throw the bipod on the truck hood and pop your trophy - haha. Mule deer are not the smartest animals. They literally might walk up to the truck out of curiosity!

    However, if you are walking any significant distance, hauling a 20"+ barreled AR-10 boat anchor is about the worst possible tool for the task. If you are serious about shooting at ranges longer than 400 yards, part of long range shooting, whether paper or hunting, is having enough initial velocity and high enough bc bullets to hit where you are aiming - to reduce both drop and wind drift. A 16" AR-10 with 180gr bullets may not make 2500 fps and probably has bullets with bc less than .500 (unless you trust nosler numbers - haha). Adding barrel length adds weight, especially when semi auto fire is not absolutely required. Tack on big sky country and variable, significant winds, where at a "measly" 400 yards your windage adjustment could easily be over 12"........ (ie, the difference between a good shot and a gut shot) ......and you get the idea. Just the wrong tool for the job on several levels, IMHO.

    The only thing I would say about the RAP, is that the 308Win barrels are only 18" (unless you're left handed). I think I would want at least Ruger's 22" barrel (preferably more if possible), regardless of the rifle name if the 700 yard distance was realistic.

    Which brings us full circle. If you want to shoot long range and need more velocity and the ability to shoot high bc bullets (ie - 180's or heavier)........... Then, why not just spend the money on a bipod and possibly upgrading glass for the 30-06? Unless it isn't that accurate, it literally checks all the boxes that you are trying to make an AR-10/RAP fulfill.
     
  23. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,623
    My 20" Pa-10 in .308 runs 147gr. pulled surplus bullet generic reloads at 2 moa, and I have no doubt it will be an moa gun with heavier, higher quality bullets and some load developement. That said, it weighs more than I'd want to carry as a hunting gun...the barrel diameter is about 1" thick to the gas block then .75" thick to the muzzle...so its a pig.
     
    Gordon likes this.
  24. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    406
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    If I had to shoot 700yrds my first choice would be 50bmg, but mine weighs 47lbs. My second choice would be a 30-06 with a 168 or 180gr bullets. I think you should just spend the money getting your 30-06 dialed in. I have 2 sighted in at 300 and feel confident out to 600. The others are sighted in at 200 and rarely get shot at anything over 100.
     
    Gordon likes this.
  25. GAF

    GAF Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    872
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Get closer to the game you intend to shoot as you suggested your brother do.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice