January 12th, 2018

Father of all ARs — The Original Full-Auto AR-10

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Yes before there were millions of 5.56 black rifles, there was a .30-caliber big brother with reddish-brown furniture. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company in the late 1950s, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles. Way ahead of its time, this remarkable, select-fire battle rifle weighed just 7.25 pounds as first developed.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10’s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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December 7th, 2017

Hardware and Rules for PRS Gas Gun Series

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

Ask most gun guys about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and they’ll tell you it’s a discipline for bolt-action “tactical” rifles. Yes that’s true, but PRS now has a “Gas Gun” series as well, and many local PRS-style matches also allow gas guns to compete in their own division.

Capitalizing on the success of the bolt-gun competitions, this year the PRS approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. The inaugural 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series competition took place February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. This article explains the basics of the Gas Gun Series and offers some factory hardware options.

PRS Director Shawn Wiseman Explains New Gas Gun Series in this Video:

Gas Gun Series Basics — Interview with PRS President
Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman.

SSUSA: What will be the format of the 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series matches?
Wiseman: The matches will be a two day format with 8 to 10 stages per day. There are three Divisions; Tactical Light for 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. rifles, Tactical Heavy for 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Win., and Open for everything else up to .30 cal. The maximum distance will be 800 yards.

SSUSA: What guns do you expect to be popular?
Wiseman: In the Open Division, I expect to see a lot of 6.5 Creedmoors for two main reasons; it’s an inherently accurate cartridge and Hornady makes great ammo for the folks that aren’t into reloading. I think the Tactical Light Division will probably be the most popular. It is hard to say specifically what rifles will be the most popular but there are a few AR companies that are known for the accuracy. Armalite, GA Precision, LaRue and Seekins will all be very popular rifles in this Series. I think we will continue to see high-end optics with 5X to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

PRS Gas Gun Series Factory Firearm Options

While you can compete in the Gas Gun Series with an AR15, many Open Division competitors are favoring the larger AR10-platform rifles that can shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor cartridges. Both Savage and Smith & Wesson offer AR10-type rifles optimized for this competition.

Smith and Wesson M&P 10, 6.5 Creedmoor

gas gun series PRS

S&W’s AR10-platform rifle is a leading choice for the PRS Gas Gun Division. The M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor shows good build quality and good accuracy with factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, the M&P 10 is a smart gas gun option. S&W offers good customer service and a rock-solid warranty. This rifle features a 2-Stage Match Trigger, Magpul MOE Stock, 15″ M-LOK handguard, and a 20″ barrel with 1:8″-twist 5R Rifling. MSRP is $2035.00.

Savage MSR-10 Long Range, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

gas gun series PRS

The updated Savage MSR-10 Long Range is available now in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. Next month (January 2018), Savage will also release a 6mm Creedmoor version. This rifle features a Magpul PRS Gen3 Stock, Blackhawk 2-stage trigger, non-reciprocating side charging handle, and QPQ-treated heavy barrel (1:8″ twist for 6.5 Creedmoor; 1:10″ for .308 Win). MSRP for all chamberings is $2284.00.

New .224 Valkyrie for AR15 Platform
Another option would be the smaller AR15 chambered for the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. This brand new offering from Federal is basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .224 caliber. With the 90gr Sierra MatchKing, it offers ballistics comparable to a 6.5 Creedmoor, with less recoil.

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors developed the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

For the new PRS “Gasser” Competition, the PRS developed rules on gun types, scoring, match timing, penalties, safety and other key topics. CLICK HERE for Full PRS Gas Gun Series Rules.

Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. A match DQ will result any rounds over the speed limit of 3,200 fps (+/- 32 fps for environmental factors and equipment discrepancies). Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph. If the bullet exceeds the 3,200 fps speed limit, the shooter will receive an automatic match DQ.

Tactical Light Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber (.223/5.56). This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department-issued rifles. Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington chamberings only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.

Tactical Heavy Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors’ use of their Service and Department issued rifles. Tactical Heavy Division rifles are restricted to 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps. No modified wildcat rounds permitted to shoot in the Tactical Divisions Anyone discovered violating this rule will receive an automatic Match DQ. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters.

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January 27th, 2017

ARchaeology Lesson — The Original AR-10 That Started it All

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Yes before there were millions of 5.56 black rifles, there was a .30-caliber big brother with reddish-brown furniture. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company in the late 1950s, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles. Way ahead of its time, this remarkable, select-fire battle rifle weighed just 7.25 pounds as first developed.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10’s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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January 6th, 2017

Savage Turns to the Dark Side — Introduces AR-Type Rifles

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

Savage Arms has joined the black rifle bandwagon with its new MSR Series of gas guns. Savage will offer four AR-style semi-automatic rifles in 2017. Savage will offer a variety of buttstock configurations, barrel lengths, along with some interesting chambering options. The MSR 15 Patrol and Recon feature a .223 Wylde target chamber for use with 223 Rem. or 5.56x45mm. The MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range models are AR-10 platform rigs offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win chamberings. The top-of-the-line MSR 10 Long Range model carries a hefty $2284 MSRP price-tag, but it does include a two-stage AR Blaze target trigger, adjustable gas block, and a genuine Magpul® PRS Gen3 buttstock.

While most of the engineering of the MSR series is classic AR, there are some interesting features and notable upgrades. The MSR 10 Long Range offers a non-reciprocating, left-side charging handle (along with conventional rear charging handle). All the MSR rifles have high-quality barrels with a durable surface hardening treatment known as Melonite QPQ. This should make the rifles run longer (with higher round count) before needing replacement barrels. Bill Dermody of Savage states: “These are high-performance barrels you’d have to buy as an upgrade with standard AR-15s.”

Savage MSR Notable Features:
Non-reciprocating SIDE charging handle on MSR 10 LR (plus normal charging handle)
1:8″-twist Barrels, Melonite QPQ hardening, 5R rifling (MSR 15 Patrol and Recon)
1:8″ or 1:10″-twist Barrels, Melonite QPQ hardening, 5R rifling (MSR 10 Hunter and LR)
Conventional AR-Type Gas System (No Op Rod)
Adjustable Gas Block (MSR 10 Hunter and LR)
Modular-Style Fore-end/Handguard
Flip-up Front and Rear Sights

Field Test of Savage MSR 15 Patrol
YouTube ace .22 Plinkster got his hands on one of the very first Savage MSR 15 Patrol M4 models. In this video, he tests it for function and accuracy, finding the MSR 15 to be “a good shooter”. He adds: “The Patrol is Savage’s entry-level M4. Because this rifle is brand new … you may want to check out Savage’s website at www.SavageArms.com.”

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

This Twang ‘N Bang video explains the key features of the MSR 10 Long Range, including the side charging handle and QPQ-treated barrel. It also describes the specs of the other three models.

Savage’s new MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range are purpose-built modern sporting rifles for game hunting and long-range shooting. Both are available in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor chamberings. Both models are built on compact, lightweight frames and feature adjustable gas blocks, plus the MSR 10 Long Range is equipped with a non-reciprocating, side-charging handle (see below).

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

On the AR-15 platform, the new MSR 15 Patrol and MSR 15 Recon are chambered in .223 Wylde for safe, reliable function with both 223 Rem. and 5.56x45mm ammo. All Savage MSRs offer premium features such as 5R button-rifled barrels with Melonite QPQ surface hardening, new BLACKHAWK! furniture, upgraded sights and more. To learn more about Savage’s new line of MSR rifles, visit www.Savagearms.com/msr.

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August 19th, 2015

Interesting New Products at Brownells.com

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Every week Brownells Merchandise Manager Paul Levy hosts a video featuring new products. We’ve seen these vid clips before, but three products in this week’s video really caught our attention. We like the new MTM Ammo Crate, and the new Durablue coating offers a great option for gun-owners who want a traditional-looking finish that is also durable. And for AR-10 owners, the gold-tone Titanium Nitride Bolt Carrier group promises smoother running with easier cleaning.

Products featured in this week’s video include:

MTM Ammo Crate. Wide, flat polymer box features O-ring seal for water resistance, and stackable shape for convenient storage. Integral handle makes for easy transport. Holds up to 85 lbs. of ammo, magazines, and any other type of supplies or gear. Available in 4½”- and 7¼”-deep models.

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Titanium Nitride is an extremely robust, durable coating, and now it’s available on an AR-10 bolt carrier group. The new Prime Weaponry .308AR Titanium Nitride Bolt Carrier Group drops into AR-10 type .308 AR uppers. The tough gold-tone finish resists wear and corrosion, plus the slick surface speeds up the cleaning process.

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Duracoat DuraBlue is a new spray-on coating that provides a deep, glossy finish like traditional bluing but without the worry of rust, scratches, or high cost. DuraBlue comes in an aerosol can or liquid form (for application with sprayer) in both glossy black and traditional blue. DuraBlue can be used on on all kinds of metal, even stainless steel and aluminum.

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

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February 9th, 2015

Hornady Progressive with Automated Case Feed and Bullet Feed

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10
Gavin Gear tests .308 ammo with his DPMS LR-308B, AR10-type rifle.

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com owns a DPMS LR-308B, an AR10-type semi-auto rifle. Gavin finds that his DPMS has a healthy appetite for ammunition. So, he set up his Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press to produce .308 Win ammo. This video shows the process of press set-up and operation, complete with Hornady’s automated Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder. Employing elevated rotary hoppers, the case feed and bullet feed systems really speed up production. The automated feeders allow the operator to produce cartridges without ever touching case or bullet with his hands.

If you need large quantities of .308 Win ammo for 3-Gun matches or tactical games, and if you value your time, a progressive press may be a wise investment. The progressive can load a complete round with every cycle of the press handle. With Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder in place, the Hornady L-N-L can easily crank out a new .308 round every 3-4 seconds (watch video at 5:25). Conservatively speaking, that’s 15 rounds per minute sustained production (and some guys can go even faster).

Get updates from UltimateReloader.com via Gavin’s twitter feed: @UReloader. To learn more about the Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive Press (with case/bullet feed options), and to see a list of the dies and accessories Gavin uses, click the link below:

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 5: Loading .308 for the AR-10

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10

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July 26th, 2014

Jerry Miculek Shoots Original, Full-Auto AR-10 from the Fifties

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10’s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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May 28th, 2010

Armalite Now Offering AR-10s Chambered in .243 Win

For the first time in six years, Armalite is producing a special run of semi-auto AR-10 rifles chambered in .243 Winchester. The .243 Win chambering is excellent for long-range target shooting as well as hunting most North American deer species (you want a bigger round for Elk). The new Armalite features a 20″ barrel, 2-stage “tactical” trigger, and a flat-top receiver with Picatinny rail. Units should start shipping in late July, with an MSRP of approximately $1600.00.

Armalite .243 Winchester AR10

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January 31st, 2010

Front and Rear Bag-Riders For the New AR Benchrest Game

The IBS recently announced that it would allow AR-platform rifles to compete in local IBS benchrest matches in their own class. If you plan to campaign your AR in this new class, you should definitely add a 3″-wide front sled and some kind of rear bag-rider to your gun. Without a flat fore-arm “sled” and rear bag-rider, ARs tend to be very wobbly, and the standard rear stock (with sling loop in place) is terrible in a rear sandbag.

Robert Whitley’s AR-X Enterprises has just what you need to improve your AR’s bench behavior. AR-X sells precisely-fitted Delrin bag-riders, crafted expressly for ARs by Evolution Gun Works (EGW). The 3″-wide front bag rider (aka “sled”) features a “twin rail” design and attaches to a tubular fore-arm via a swivel stud. The rear bag-rider mates to the bottom of a standard AR stock and attaches via the rear sling swivel anchor. This provides a smooth, straight surface to ride the bags.

These Delrin EGW bag-rider units were originally designed and prototyped for AccurateShooter.com’s 20 Practical AR project rifle. We tried many different designs, and the final production versions really work — as you can see in the video above. The AR bag-riders cost $40 front and $40 rear, or $75.00 for the set of two. To order, visit 6mmAR.com, or email Robert Whitley: rcw3 [at] erols.com .

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