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Old January 31, 2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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PTR-91 vs Armalite AR-10

Hey guys, i want to get into the 308 crowd and was wondering if some of you could breakdown the pros and cons to these 2 platforms.
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Old January 31, 2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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The Armalite AR10 is a well-proven platform, very relaible and good shooters. PTR91s tend to be hit and miss: the good ones are very good, but the bad ones are very bad. I helped a guy at the range whose PTR91 was coming apart, literally. The good ones will shoot with the best HKs out there. The bad ones won't hardly cycle. I have heard from people who own PTR91s that some PTR91 receivers are not hardened and wear out very quickly, but I have no direct knowledge of that issue.

Make sure you get a lot of info from folks who own them before buying either one.
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Old January 31, 2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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If you ever plan to reload, you'd much appreciate the AR not mangling your brass like the PTR will. I have a DPMS LR-308, and had a CETME... I got rid of all of other semi auto 308's after I got the DPMS.

Last edited by shooter_john; January 31, 2008 at 02:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old January 31, 2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Scorch writes:
I helped a guy at the range whose PTR91 was coming apart, literally.
Mine (SN 07XX) did this, too.

After reading around, I figured out that the early PTRs were sold with no recoil buffer of any kind. The buttstock that came with those early offerings were little more than bookmarks. There was a simple metal plate where the recoil buffer was supposed to be. I've never read an explanation for why JLD thought this was a good idea. The bolt head carrier was bashing my rifle to bits with each shot. The front takedown pin was handling the recoil in lieu of a proper buffer, and it became bent with use to the extent that it was difficult to remove. I was going to install a polymer "bumper" type recoil buffer in my original buttstock until I found that the countersunk screws which held the ersatz buffer plate in place were fixed in position with locktite.

I tracked down an old German Army surplus (wood!) buttstock which came with the original style mechanical buffer installed. The rifle works well now. Every once in a while I have a stovepipe FTE.

As far as I know, the new PTRs come with a "bumper" type recoil buffer. I've never handled one of these newer offerings, but I imagine that they're fine.

The very early PTRs also had an issue with the size of the chamber and too-few flutes in the chamber which caused problems with ejection when using certain ammo. I've read that that problem was remedied long ago.

And, yeah, no reloading the cases once they've passed through your PTR.

So what are the virtues of the PTR's HK design? If it is set up and maintained correctly, it is a rugged and (very) accurate rifle. No gas tube to get fouled up. With a little practice it's very easy to take apart and clean when it does get dirty.

As for the DPMS, I've never handled one in .308. I've read about them, and people will bicker furiously on line about whether they're totally awesome or not. The DPMS in .223 that I did hold a few months back seemed like a nice piece, but I didn't see it in action.
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Old January 31, 2008, 02:10 PM   #5
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I just recently purchased an LR-308B and couldn't be more pleased...

They are cheaper, better looking(IMO), and just as accurate as the AR 10.

When you do decide, I can point you in the right direction towards some fantastic surplus .308 thats about as accurate as any factory load you'll shoot.
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Old January 31, 2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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Having had both an AR-10 and a PTR-91 both using iron sights, I can say that the experience of shooting comfortably definitely goes to the AR-10. The recoil of the PTR-91 is significantly higher. The AR-10, while having the disadvantage of the AR gas system, has low felt recoil and the sights are design to maximize accuracy at longer ranges. The bolt of the AR-10 is less than half the weight of the PTR-91 bolt, and that counts for a lot comfort-wise. That and the fact that the AR design was created with accuracy in mind with regard to having the bolt motion in line with your shoulder, seem to give me a better group consistently than the PTR-91, and this was with a PTR-91 that I consider was one of better quality ones that were made. If you stick with ammo that is in spec, you can avoid the jamming problems that the AR system has suffered in the past. Unless you have a preference for German weapons, the AR-10 will probably serve you better. The AR-10 edged out my brothers FAL by a noticeable margin in accuracy mostly because the rear sight apperture on his FAL was larger than the AR-10's. When you compare military guns, you also have to compare production costs to be fair. The AR-10 is more expensive than PTR-91 which has lots of stamped parts. For the recreational shooter, cost of production is only a factor when it translates to cost in buying price. But, you should consider that when making comparisons, since it avoids unknowingly comparing apples to oranges and drawing skewed conclusions.
Old January 31, 2008, 05:06 PM   #7
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Armalite offers a life time warranty.
I fired a friends HK 91 many years ago, decent rifle but I am a hand loader and did not like what it did to the brass.

I have three AR 10s. One malfunction in many rounds, new mag had too much phosphate inside and caused the follower to hang up. Two minute fix.

My full length rifle is the most accurate gas gun I have ever seen.
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Old January 31, 2008, 05:30 PM   #8
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I helped a guy at the range whose PTR91 was coming apart, literally.

Scorch, I tend to agree with alot of your posts, but this is not one of them!
I dont believe it for a second!!! I own one, and its built like a tank. You may have confused it for another clone, but the PTR is a friggin tank!!!! I had to chose between the two a year ago and the PTR won. I would make the same decision all over again. The ar is proven, true, but so is the hK 91, psg1, and 93 versions. I worked on ar's in the Corps, and used to own one, and still chose the PTR! The PTR is every bit as good as the HK, if not better. Thats right I said better. I personally would suggest buying the PTR!!!
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Old January 31, 2008, 06:09 PM   #9
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I've been trying to make this same decision for awhile however with my experience in the military I am going with the ar 10 b/c it is a weapon I am comfortable with.
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Old January 31, 2008, 06:16 PM   #10
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Based on group size alone, the AR10 has been reported to hold sub-MOA groups, where as the 91 has been reported to hold 3MOA groups.

Just hearsay, though. I've only read about them.
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Old February 1, 2008, 06:55 PM   #11
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Scorch, I tend to agree with alot of your posts, but this is not one of them!
I dont believe it for a second!!! I own one, and its built like a tank. You may have confused it for another clone, but the PTR is a friggin tank!!!! I had to chose between the two a year ago and the PTR won. I would make the same decision all over again. The ar is proven, true, but so is the hK 91, psg1, and 93 versions. I worked on ar's in the Corps, and used to own one, and still chose the PTR! The PTR is every bit as good as the HK, if not better. Thats right I said better. I personally would suggest buying the PTR!!!
My experience with my PTR 91 was been positive, and I agree with this post. I purchased mine in Oct 07 and it is a well built firearm. Now I have not shot the barrel out, as I have done with my match M1a's, but I have put enough rounds down range to determine that the rifle is reliable. Whatever problems they had, I think they are all fixed.

The PTR91 just feels serious. I know that is subjective, but it has a very serious "no nuts" attitude.

Incidentally the first AR10's were awful. I got to shoot a very early one, a carbine version. It would not feed five rounds without a failure to feed. Rounds were partly out of the magazine, and the bolt was jammed into the sidewall. But Armalite has been improving their rifles too, and I don't hear any new complaints.

My preference for 308 battle rifles is 1) M1a, 2) FN/FAL, and 3) PTR91.

I am of the opinion that the AR10 is an excellent target rifle.
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Old February 3, 2008, 09:17 AM   #12
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I also have a PTR-91. There is nothing cheap or crappy about it. They are very well made guns.

I'm sure some lemons are out there, but name another maker/gun that hasn't had that happen.

I'm sure the AR-10's are great too. But the PTR-91 I have is fantastic.
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Old February 3, 2008, 09:50 AM   #13
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When I went shopping for a very accurate .308 I considered many different weapons. I purchased an Armalite AR-10T. I was looking to buy a very accurate .308 semi-auto. I wan't in search of a good semi-auto battle rifle (if I were, the AR, Springfield and Valmet would be tied for first place in a race for my budget dollars; how's that for eclectic?).
The AR, PTR/HK/Cetme, FN FAL, Valmet/Galil/AK, Springfield, etc. systems are all very different and "feel" different for each shooter. Yes, "feel". Totally subjective for each shooter. The recoil is different, the way each weapon is addressed is different, trigger systems, mags, etc.; all different and all factor into a purchase decision.
Accuracy of the AR-10T is better than many other AR's from other .308 manufacturers as well as other Armalites. Some weapons (semi-autos only here) are good sniper/counter-sniper weapons and some are good battle rifles. Don't expect a good battle rifle to be a good sniper weapon.
If you're looking for a good battle rifle, go with what feels good for you (include other financial, maintenance, parts availability, accessory availability, etc. in to your decision). If you're looking for a sniper/counter-sniper platform the AR and Springfield families will be the best places to search.
Good luck.
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Old February 3, 2008, 09:09 PM   #14
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Id say the psg 1 was a very good sniper platform. No semi auto that I know of will replace a bolt gun for long stuff, unless its a 50. I will give the AR the advantage in a better trigger. As far as cheap replacement parts, the AR cant even compete! There are a gazilliion parts, mags and stock sets out there. Mags go for 1.50 to 7.00 per mag. The AR mags are 20 bucks. Try to replace your bolt assy for 20 dollars. O, my Ptr eats every crap ammo I can feed it, and will spit them out with viggor. Its not the greatest for the reloader. It will however eject brass without an extractor. Another benefit of the blowback operation. There is a reason for the trend for short stroke gas pistons in Ars. The PTR is a hevy hitter when it comes to recoil, but I dont mind. I look at the HK design as having the accuracy of the AR platform, and the bullet proof durabuility of the AK. Just my take but the PTR is a very serious player in the 308, 243 semi auto market.

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Old February 4, 2008, 08:34 PM   #15
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what about the ptr in 7.62x39? it would be very economical to shoot, still pack a punch plus just being different having a ptr.

anybody know what kinda mags they take? <------dumb question?

Last edited by Caeser23; February 4, 2008 at 08:42 PM. Reason: dumb question?
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Old February 4, 2008, 11:55 PM   #16
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i own 2 308 semi auto's a fa 91 g3 clone and an ar-10 can someone tell me of anyone having problems with recoil on th ar? i also own 2 bolt action rifles and the ar recoil is very fierce compared to the rest of them
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Old February 5, 2008, 09:47 PM   #17
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The year and the price point will demarcate the choice of PTR91 over AR10.

Around 1999, I paid about $1400 out the door, for an AR10 carbine, with muzzle brake. At the time, it was a 10-rd mag allowance, too. I had 2 mags which were short, but seem to look better on teh rifle than the full 20rd which were impossible and expensive, back then. They were the M14-modified ones.

I compared the AR10 to a used HK91 during the AWB, and the HK91 was averaging $2500.

Then, in 2005, I paid $759 for a regular skinny forearm, standard length PTR91 with 2 steel HK91 mags. In 2006, I paid $900 for a PTR91 Carbine with folding stock. Both came with nice doskocil cases. Both had true flash hiders.

Then around July 2007, I saw that JLD was bought out by the newer owner. The prices jumped $300-400 per rifle, overnight.

I could not go to a gun show, or gun store, and find the same satandard PTR91 for less than $1150. The folding stock versions jumped to a whopping $1400.

So, these days, in 2008, given the price point being the same again, I see AR10 floating at $1200, and PTR91s going for $1200-1300.

Buy the AR10. It is a softer-recoiling, and more nicely-fitted rifle than the JLD. The JLD has always been a superb copy.

I also like the eject of the AR10 and minimal case deformation.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:21 PM   #18
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No matter which you chose, they are all very good choices.
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:25 AM   #19
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I have a PTR-91 carbine. The build quality is excellent, the welds are much, much better than most of the HK91s that I've compared it to and the barrel is more accurate than my friend's HK91. The trigger was a little heavy so I had Bill Springfield lighten it up for $55.

However if I had to do it all over again I would definitely go for an AR-15 chambered in .308 (M110) instead of either the the AR-10 or a G3/HK91 clone.

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Old November 25, 2009, 02:31 AM   #20
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I looked at both and went with the Armalite AR-10.
It was a nice rifle with decent ergonomics, but it left me wanting.

I sold it and upgraded to another modernized M14


Last edited by SR420; November 25, 2009 at 09:16 AM.
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Old November 25, 2009, 03:06 AM   #21
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Very solid. Heavy ass bolt built like a bank vault. This sucker will not break. Has been totally reliable and as accurate as I can be with with iron sights. Also, about the cheapest quality .308 battle rifle there is. I paid $850 last year for a used one with 40 mags. The mags are extremely cheap, like $5/ea or less, yet are excellent quality. The iron sights are not great, as I am spoiled by the M1 Garand and AR15 sights. YEt they are good enough. Ergonomics suck. Just about the worst human factors design imaginable: makes an AK feel intuitive! Yes, the chamber flutes mar the cases but I have reloaded them fine. You can get a clamp on scope mount but not much in the way of rail options. Overall, the PTR91 is very robust, accurate enough, reliable, and nothing seems to break. Oh yeah, it is heavy, and barrel heavy at that. But, you can put a true folding stock on it.

Boston T. Party put it well: If you want a battle rifle for the end times with little likelihood of replacement parts or gunsmithing, then the HK/PRT is the rifle for you. You might need to clean it every decade or so, just to be safe.

Superb ergonomics, iron sights and accuracy. This is the pinnacle of American semi-auto design. It has the drawback of the direct impingement gas system, but if you clean and lube it regularly then it works. Plus, you can put rails and myriad optics on it. The main downside for me is cost. Nearly twice the cost of a PTR91, and the mags are not cheap, more like $20 or more each.

If you want a strong rifle that is TEOTWAWKI ready , not likely to break anything, and can be had with numerous mags for under $1,000 then the PTR91 is it.

If you want a rifle that is fun to shoot, easy to be accurate, can be accessorized, lots of barrel length and style options, and cost is not as much a concern, then the AR10 is a better rifle.

For me, I already have some M1 Garands that I love to shoot and have near perfect ergonomics as far as I'm concerned. Great sights, accurate, well balanced and only needs one accessory (leather sling). I just wanted a solid .308 battle rifle that didn't cost too much so the PTR91 fit the bill well.

If I didn't already have my Garands, and I wasn;t concerned that civilization was going to end anytime soon, and I was getting my first .30 caliber battle rifle then I would go for the AR10. Fun to shoot, accurate, lots of options and parts.
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Old February 22, 2010, 10:26 AM   #22
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PTR 91 reloading

I have a ptr,. and reload,.
and have NO problem reloading the brass from this rifle,.
the chamber grooves leave a black stain,. but,. caes reload just fine,.
cases are NOT dented,.
I switched the flash hider to a compensator,.
and changed the buttstock,. added an extention,.
it is a very fine rifle,.
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Old February 23, 2010, 09:22 AM   #23
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I am a fanboy of the PTR91. I have one and am *mostly* satisfied with it. It has some warts, but accuracy and reliability are top notch. Ergonomics as it comes out of the box can be improved by adding an ambi selector and a paddle magazine release. With these additions, the rifle is top notch.

For a range rifle for shooting groups, I would choose the AR10. But I really don't like the AR platform due to the "sproooiiinnng" in your ear from the mainspring in the buttstock, and the unnecessarily complicated bolt/carrier assembly. I suspect that it is the more accurate rifle tho.

The other thing I like about the PTR is the availability of neat accessories like the 22 long rifle conversion kit, and many other just kindof "cool" things.

To *me* nothing points like this rifle. I can reliably hit pepper poppers with the rifle just point shooting it. It just comes up and shoots where I point it. The sights are outstanding, granted not adjustable in the M1a sense of the word.

I really like mine. I also like the 308 round. It has been a good choice for me.
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Old February 26, 2010, 10:30 PM   #24
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308 Battle Rifle

Lot's of good comments you guy's have posted here. I thought I would go ahead and take a minute to chime in with my 2 cents.

I currently have a Nat'l Match M1A (and I do love my Sprigfield's) and a Entreprise FAL STG58C Carbine among other battle rifles. I have owned a Cetme in the past too. And I have shot a number of other weaponry to include select fire. My buddy just picked up a really nice DPMS 308 and it's just fantastic!

For me, if I were going to shoot for paper score, I'd just grab a good bolt gun out of the safe for that. If I were going to defend the homefront at close range, it would be a shotgun of course. If I needed a little distance out to about 100 yards, it would be a reliable quality AK variant. But when I feel like I want to shoot something with a little more punch out to say about 300 meters, I'm dragging out my FAL. These are just my personal comfort zones and they are certainly capable of minute of pie plate.

"The right arm of the free world" as they call the FAL, are in over 60 countries, built like a tank, mags are cheap to buy and the rifles are too (If you can find a Century that was built right) or for a little more money a Entreprise, or even for a little more cash-ola a DSA.

"Some" of the early Entreprise had a few quirks but I believe they've had that worked out for some time now and they have without a doubt the best warranty and customer service....not that I've ever needed it but it is comforting just in case I ever do. Also, if you happen to pick up an Entreprise that needs some tweaking, the factory is there for you. Try that with their competition and see how that works out for you.

Good luck in your pursuit on the PTR v AR 10. To each his own, do your research on your personal needs and what works for you.
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