View Full Version : AR-10 vs AR-15

October 23, 2009, 09:41 PM
I was looking into buying a AR style rifle and looked to the dpms panther in both the 308 and 223.

I have never owned either but i have shot a 223,other than that i know little to nothing about either.Btw the reason i want one is just that,i want one. I'll eventually reload for it as well as my 357 sig.

Remember it's a want.:D

October 23, 2009, 09:52 PM
Between the two, the AR-15 is going to win in most every category, except in sheer firepower and effective range - those go to the AR-10.

The only problem with the AR-10 is that there's no standardized AR rifle in .308 caliber. In fact, the AR-10 is specifically an Armalite rifle (point being that you can't just walk into a gun store and ask them for an AR-10 like you can an AR-15 - if they don't have an Armalite model in, they'll tell you they don't have any, even if the wall is lined with DPMS models). The parts on .308 AR's are (for the most part) NOT, repeat NOT, interchangeable. AR-15 parts, on the other hand, can be swapped out with each other like Legos (with a few exceptions). In addition, the lack of a standardized .308 AR means that it hasn't been tested or perfected like the AR-15 has, causing them to inherently have more reliability and failure issues.

I've owned a few AR's and I currently have a Noveske AR-15. I plan on purchasing a .308 AR soon, but I'm glad I went with an AR-15 first, as it's more reliable and lets you learn the AR weapon system more efficiently.

I'd suggest getting an AR-15 first and then, once you've learned it, learned what you like/dislike about it, and are comfortable with it, get a .308 caliber AR. It'll save you alot of time and money doing so.

October 23, 2009, 10:04 PM
Not to mention AR15 uppers are available in several different calibers http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/ar15_conversion.php to get an idea. Two others that weren't shown on the website are 458 SOCOM and the 50 Beowulf. Swap out the upper and magazine (depending) and shoot a different caliber :).

October 23, 2009, 10:09 PM
I have heard some Colt components may not lego to other AR-15s. I have no first hand experience with this - all my ARs have been non-Colt (though Colt makes arguably the best)

The AR-15 wins hands down in everyy category for the casual shooter. Better parts availability, very good ammunition selection, the AR15 lower can fit a very -wide- variety of upper calibers (9mm, 22lr, 7.62x39 to name just a few) and offers a huge selection of furniture, rails, triggers... list goes on.

And... finally the standard A2 works great right out of the box :) The AR-10 does, too but the 15 is easier for more people to shoot well IMO

October 23, 2009, 11:51 PM
Oh, do not listen to Skyyr, he makes too much sense. The AR 10 is an awesome weapon and can not be compared to the 223. Except how he did it.

I have an AR 15, and would want an AR 10 after having shot one...:D:D

October 24, 2009, 12:25 AM
I like both but so far only have an AR-15. Though I'd love to have an ArmaLite AR-10B I doubt that I will since the AR-15/M4 makes more sense for me, it's the right size and .223/5.56 is much cheaper than .308. (But like you say, you'll reload).

If it's a matter of one or the other, be sure to choose the caliber you have the most use for. And if you ever think you want an AR for medium size game then the .308 is for you.

October 24, 2009, 03:55 AM
Never shot an AR-10, but the ones I've held at shows are deceptively heavy. That said, I do prefer the power of .308.

October 24, 2009, 04:05 AM
.223 AR15 first.
Opens up a lot of possibilities.

.308 Remington 700 LTR later.
Portable, pricision power shooter. :D

October 24, 2009, 06:42 AM
I have both and will say that if you reload, the cost difference in the ammo is not as noticeable.

Each has it's own purpose and you need to think about what you want the rifle to do for you before you buy. The AR-10 makes a great hunting rifle for just about every kind of medium to large game. The AR-15 is more of a gopher getter because many states still have laws prohibiting the .223 for deer :barf:. You could put a different upper on it but by the time you do that you could just buy the AR-10 instead.

DPMS makes very good quality rifles for a good price. My AR-10 style rifle came from them. I would say customer satisfaction is probably around 98%.

October 24, 2009, 06:59 AM
a guy was shooting an AR 10... all I can say is there is a world of difference standing under a covered firing line about 30 ft from a guy shooting .308 as compared to .223.

I usually shoot 22lr and man that AR10 is a cannon. Then again as I was packing up a guy showed up and started sighting in his bolt action 306.... I'm used to folks shooting all around me but every time that damn rifle went off I jumped.

I can't imagine doing a lot of shooting or target practice with a 308.

October 24, 2009, 08:16 AM
I've had a DPMS LR 308B for three years. I ordered it from DPMS with 18" cryo bull barrel, adjustable gas block, JP trigger & Hogue grip. It is and has been totally reliable when fed decent ammo. Accuracy is excellent, averaging just under 1 MOA and better with 168 SMKs. Recoil is quite moderate. My normal range session is 50 ~ 75 rds, rarely more, occasionally less. No bruising or pain after the day.
The only suggestion I have on ANY AR style rifle, is to upgrade the trigger, either when you order it or immediately upon receipt. The stock triggers are HORRID, creepy, heavy & gritty.
The rifle is heavy, just over 11 lb with a 4 ~ 16 scope.
Overall, I am very pleased with the rifle & would not change the specs if I were to do it again.


168 grain
October 24, 2009, 08:16 AM
My opinion......I've handled both with the AR15 being both long and short barrels and for the .308 not an actual AR-10 (Armalite) but a DPMS LR308 with an 16" barrel. Yes a little more kick but .308 power. I wouldn't suggest trying to whip aroud a 24" bull barrel AR10 on a tactical shooting course, but depending on what you want it for it does several things well. I wanted it for a hunting, tactical, and short to medium distance range shooting. It does all three.....well.

October 24, 2009, 08:32 AM
I own a DPMS AP4 with a 16 in barrell and a bushmaster in 5.56, dosnt compare in the firepower dept. I have to take them to the range at different times because after firing the AP,well the 556 feels like a toy. The .308 is about a lb heavier but holds groups very well. Only drawback is .308 is alot more expsensive to purchase in bulk, but .223 aint as cheap as it was used to be either.

October 24, 2009, 08:36 AM
Im now looking at the new Kel-Tec bullpup in .308 but i will wait a see a few reviews of this new rifle? and the price drops alittle, looks very interesting?

October 24, 2009, 12:00 PM
I just bought the DPMS in .243 with the 20" heavy barrel. I chose the .243 because it has better stopping power and long range accuracy than the .223 and much less recoil than the .308. First 3 rounds after sighting in were 3/4". Very happy with this choice so far, but the rifle does weigh 12 pounds with scope and bipod.

October 24, 2009, 04:12 PM
javven: I have heard some Colt components may not lego to other AR-15s. I have no first hand experience with this - all my ARs have been non-Colt (though Colt makes arguably the best)

Yeah, you'd get a lot of arguments about that absurd statement! Key information: "I have no first hand(sic) experience with this....." :rolleyes:

October 25, 2009, 12:37 AM
Yeah, you'd get a lot of arguments about that absurd statement! Key information: "I have no first hand(sic) experience with this....."

I'm sure he's talking about the non-standard lowers Colt made for a while, trying to be sure that no M16 parts could be dropped in. Unfortunately that also prevented many third party AR-15 trigger upgrades as well. Even the takedown pin wasn't standard. Colt finally realized their mistake and got back out of the ditch.

October 25, 2009, 12:49 AM
To actually answer your question, you really haven't explained for what purpose or how you plan to use the weapon. This makes it hard to advise you either way.

If you are looking for urban SHTF protect your family, then the AR14 M4 4 or 6 position stock with 14.5 or 16 inch barrel with 1:7 twist, with the right dot sight will probably be a good choice Note: others may argue, but on a AR15 with with less than 20" inch barrel I would not recommend using M193 class ammo!

If you go AR15 with 20" barrel typical Service Rifle competition than the .223 is probably a great rifle.

If you are looking for more fire-power then one of the .308 rifles may be a good choice, however, I would caution against getting a AR in 308 that has a barrel less than 18" in length. As others have already mentioned, .308 ARs (Armlite AR-10, DMPS LR-308, RRA LAR-8, POF-USA P-308) are all different with different parts and are not interchangeable.

I'm going to mention something else for you to consider: If the urban defense weapon sounds interesting to you, I would like to suggest something else for your consideration, and that is either a different upper and mags or as complete rifle. TFL already knows IMHO what i think of short barreled AR-15, so will set that aside for the moment. However, if you want real stopping power, aren't worried about over penetration, think apartment complex, then I would suggest you look at a AR-15 in 6.8 SPC, this cartridge was designed to function well in a 14.5 to 16 inch barrel and has better terminal and barrier ballistics. The real cool thing, is other that bolt, barrel and magazine it uses standard AR15 parts.

A couple of comments to consider: 1) AR-15 platform is available is more than just .223 cartridge, AR-15 allows for interchanging upper and lower receivers, my brother has two AR-15 lowers, one with a A2 fixed stock, and one with M4 6-position collapsible stock, M4 16" 5.56mm upper receiver, M4 14.5 inch 6.8 SPC upper and NM A2 upper. With these five units he mixes and matches to suit his needs. He is talking about getting a A4 upper in .243 for deer hunting. 2) I would spend some time thinking about how you will actual use the rifle and do some research both here and at the Ar-15.com web site to refine your choice/decision. 3) I agree with those who say you should start with AR-15 first.

My last comment is I take exception about Bushmaster rifles not being good quality that has never been my experience, however I never bought an assembled AR-15 in my life, and even uppers I bought were tore down and reassembled by me. I am a engineer, machinist and gunsmith, so the only person who does work on my weapons, is me, my self I, hey it is crowed in here. But with the AR-15 platform, the cost of the right tools is not cheap or for everyone, some will say all you need is wrench, but don't believe them, gauges, holding fixtures, disassembly blocks, pin punches, hammers, etc all cost if you don't possess them. And head spacing is not a simple job, and requires the right tools. Thus if you are looking for great quality already assembled weapons, than choosing the right manufacturer or supplier is important, if you are like me, then the quality of the parts is more important than the name, and I know how to verify the quality of parts :D


Ignition Override
October 25, 2009, 03:18 AM
As for the sound of the .308, it grabs your attention driving by your club range with closed windows and a guy demonstrates his G-3 to family members with ten or so rounds of fairly rapid fire. One has no doubt that rounds that size are designed for deadly combat.
If Russian etc .308 ammo were available for what Wolf .223/7.62x39 costs, an AR-10, G-3 or M-1A1 would be in my house.

If ever in a hostile situation, might the .308 sound alone keep an aggressor's head down for a while, compared to .223?

October 25, 2009, 08:10 AM
I was in your position awhile ago. I wanted a AR-10 or 15 I didn't really care for 5.56/223 I thought it was to small, debated back and forth between .308 AR-10 or 5.56/223 AR-15. I decided after listing to advice to first get an AR-15 5.56/223 and I must say that I am glad I did because it has been a blast to shoot. It has helped me learn the AR platform and in the future I will get a AR-10 .308, but for now I am having fun with my AR-15.

October 25, 2009, 08:45 AM
For fun (a "want"), not shooting a lot, a 308 AR is great. More shooting, AR15 is good because you can also get a 22LR upper/mags and it is cheap to shoot.

I can't imagine doing a lot of shooting or target practice with a 308.First, it is not as bad if you are behind the shooter, or you are the shooter. Second, some AR rifles (whatever caliber) have a compensator which directs gases to the sides, improving felt recoil, but making the experience less pleasant for bystanders. Regardless, have good hearing protection, even if you are shooting "just" a 22.

He is talking about getting a A4 upper in .243 for deer hunting.Careful.... a "243 Winchester" upper will not go onto an AR-15 lower, and requires a 308 lower. The right "243 WSSM" upper will go onto an AR15 lower.


October 25, 2009, 08:49 AM
Thanks, I'll tell him.

learned something new!

October 25, 2009, 09:40 AM
The simple answer: Get an AR15 first - cheaper to shoot - see how you like it. (You'll probably come to love it... lots of fun, reliable, accurate; you'll become part of an army of fans.)

Then, get an AR10.

But realize there's a chance you'll add another AR15 first, in order to satisfy a desire to have another one with a different configuration. I've come to appreciate that 'AR15' describes a stripped lower that can become just about anything from that point, forward. :)

October 25, 2009, 10:03 AM
He does not really need a .243 upper. There are lots of cartridges not based on the .308 that are good for deer hunting. The upper comes in the following options that are good for deer hunting:

300 Whisper / .300Fireball / 300-.221
6.5 x 40
.30 Coyote (30 x 45)
6.8 SPC
30 HRT
338 Spectre
10 mm Mag
7.62 x 40
7.62 x 39
.338 x 39
6.5 Grendel / 6.5 AR / 6.5 PPC Improved
30 Carbine (marginal)
7 BR
6.5 BR
300 Sabre
44 Mag
440 CorBon
44 AMP
.475 Tremor
50 Beowulf
10mm (marginal)
and .243 WSSM

But if you want a .308 based cartridge you need the AR-10.

October 25, 2009, 10:10 AM
Careful.... a "243 Winchester" upper will not go onto an AR-15 lower, and requires a 308 lower. The right "243 WSSM" upper will go onto an AR15 lower.

The value of reading TFL shines again! I recently began considering a .243 carbine AR set up with an adjustable stock as a possibility for something my petite girlfriend could use for deer, but wouldn't be some kind of youth rifle with no other use. I was thinking about an upper swap onto an AR I already have. The beauty of going the AR route is that the adjustable stock would make the gun useful to other adult shooters, including myself, with more potential of purpose.

When adjusted, my AR carbine fits her beautifully and she doesn’t look or act like she’s trying to steady 50 pounds of something.

I hadn't considered this closely enough to realize it would be a WSSM, so a sincere thanks for the mention of this.

44 AMP
October 25, 2009, 12:34 PM
MTT TL, show me where I can get an upper (and lower, AND mags) in .44 AMP, and I'll buy one today!

The usual trouble with the AR 10 rifles is not the gun design so much as the magazines. Recently tested a friend's AR 10, and out of a dozen magazines (covering 3 distinct generations of mag mfg) close to 1/3 of them had some kind of feeding issue. These were 10, 20, and 25rnd mags. The rifle was scary accurate, ringing the 350yd gong with boring regularity.

I am not particularly a fan of the AR design, not because they don't work, only because the gas system dirties eveything and cleaning them is more work than other systems.

The 5.56mm is a good pest round, and Uncle Sam thinks it is proper for 2 legged pests as well. It is light, recoil is nearly nil, and you can carry a lot of rounds. This is fine for soldiers, even police. For me, I prefer the maximum from each individual round, so I'll stick with the .308 Win.

October 25, 2009, 04:14 PM
OK since thinking this over,i'm leaning towards the ar -15,but say i used it indoors for hd/ do they make something to convert it down for say a .40 or 9mm.

October 25, 2009, 04:32 PM
MTT TL, show me where I can get an upper (and lower, AND mags) in .44 AMP, and I'll buy one today!

ooops, I think I am selling ARFCOM wolf tickets there. It would be pretty neat though.

October 25, 2009, 06:27 PM
What do you plan on using this rifle for? Choose accordingly...

ETA: Get both.

October 25, 2009, 06:52 PM
I was looking into buying a AR style rifle and looked to the dpms panther in both the 308 and 223.

I have never owned either but i have shot a 223,other than that i know little to nothing about either.Btw the reason i want one is just that,i want one. I'll eventually reload for it as well as my 357 sig.

Remember it's a want.

Because you say it's a 'want' my suggestion is to go for the .308. I own a DPMS Panther, and it's just awesome. Then again, I've always like big guns. My first experience with a rifle was 41 years ago. . . basic training at Ft. Dix . . . an M14. We later also qualified with the M16 and as much as I liked that rifle, it just didn't feel as nice as the M14. My LR308B feels a lot like it. If I could afford to shoot everyday, I would!

One other consideration is what ranges you have near by. For me (northern NJ) 300 yds is the longest range within an hour's drive. And honestly, 300 yds is just not much of a challenge with a 308 and decent scope.


October 27, 2009, 01:54 PM
I thought I'd also add that the magazines that can be used for the AR-10 and the larger .308 caliber 'style' rifles are also different between manufacturers.

CMMG makes different lowers now - I think one to accept G3 mags, and a different one for DPMS style magazines.

October 27, 2009, 05:22 PM
This is true.

For simplicity's sake, I would start with the AR-15 platform. It will probably cover 99% of your needs, if not all of them.

The AR-10 idea is great if you have the range/desire to shoot out to 1km.

October 27, 2009, 08:37 PM
I want to prefice my point by stating that I am a HUGE fan of .308 battle rifles. I hunt every year with a M1a Scout rifle and it has been a great rifle.

I was in the same boat you are in now a few months ago, but was never a big fan of the 5.56 caliber. After much debating, I came to a few conclusions:

- The 5.56 caliber is deadly under 2-300 yards, especially in 62+ grain bullets (don't flame me for this statement, I know the 308 is more deadly, but let's face it, it is not a 22lr and it will tear guys up within 200 yards). If I need to use it for self defence, it is even handier than my M1a Scout and easy to manuever.

- The AR platform is the most fun, modular, less expensive to shoot, badass blackgun that liberals and hippies cry themselves to sleep over every day.

- It's less expensive to buy and shoot than an AR10 and easier to tweak to fit your needs.

If you are going to be buying more than one gun (if this will not be your only semi-auto rifle), then you definately should get a good AR15. And I wouldnt mess around, just get what the military does: a Colt 6920 (flame away guys :p). With a Colt, you will know that the barrel, bolt, bolt carrier, front sights, bore, etc. are done right and you can bet your life on it. If you just want a range gun that is accurate and less expensive, get whatever strikes your fancy. There are a lot of great AR manufacturers out there that sell rifles for less money than a Colt.

Good luck

edward hogan
October 28, 2009, 02:41 PM
Two completely different platforms.

AR-15 very capable of longrange precision with correct barrel and twist rate. Lots of different uppers, but in .223 about the heaviest bullet you can load to magazine length is the 77gr match. It is a 600yd precision round when loaded to match specs. The 6mmAR and 6.5 Grendel are the other main precision engineered choices. The 6.8 SPC is an option, but probably necking up the Grendel makes more sense to use the 135gr match bullet.

For much more power and another 1.5-2lbs minimum weight gain, there is the AR-10. .22-250 up to .450 Marlin or any short magnum w/.532 bolt face. An Armalite AR-10T w/scope will weigh about 14lbs with magazine; but shoots like a varmint gun all day long.

There are blasters too in each, but why spend the money and not get precision? AR-15 is best choice for all-around use with precision as goal. Iron sights, match sights are excellent. Buy an Armalite or RRA A2 or A4 Service Rifle and change out the heavy float tube for a light one, or a Badger Ord and you are GTG. About 10lb w/30rd mag and irons. Add another 1-1.5 lbs for scope. The weight helps keep rapidfire on target and heavy barrel retains accuracy as long as you don't burn it out.

Gonna blast all day long? For sure you want a chrome-lined barrel. No such thing in the precision world, but if you think you'll ever live to tell about the time you fired 500rds in 2hrs to stave off the Zombie Hordes, you may want that chrome-lined barrel. That was why Uncle Sugar spec'd them.