The main benefit of an AR10 over the AR-15 is the increased performance at distances outside of the max effective range of the AR-15. This is all due to the larger caliber such as the 6.5 Creedmoor or the proven 308 Winchester round. Now we can add 8.6 BLK to the mix. Generally, anything larger than 5.56mm is considered an AR10.
With the larger caliber and long-action cartridges, the AR10 is more effective at ranges beyond 500 yards than the AR-15. Although the AR-15 has killed A LOT of bad guys, we witnessed the effectiveness of these larger AR10 platforms in the Global War on Terror.
The US Military has been using the AR-15 patterned rifle (M16 and M4) for decades, but at the longer engagement distances we saw in Afghanistan, the 5.56 NATO cartridge just didn’t have the needed terminal ballistics at the extended distances. Some military units went as far as pulling M14 rifles out of storage and issued them to designated marksmen.
Is the AR-10 a good rifle? Eugene Stoner designed the original AR in 308 WIN to compete in NATO military trials against rifles like the FN FAL and the HK G3. Decades later, Stoner’s AR10 design is an excellent choice for those looking to shoot at longer distances while unleashing some serious energy on target.
Features to Look For in an AR10
Generally speaking, to get the most out of larger AR10 cartridges, you want a barrel length over 16" in length to maximize velocity and energy on target. In addition to barrel length, a barrel that is cold hammer-forged guarantees a longer barrel life. Chrome-lined barrels (something from the Vietnam days) are great at reducing corrosion in humid environments such as the jungles of Vietnam but the downside is a slight degradation in accuracy. Although Faxon has an 8" and 12" barrel configuration for the Sentinel AR10, they have mitigated the loss in velocity by incorporating a 1:3 twist rate to give the larger round better stability in flight which will help keep the velocity where it needs to be.
For AR-15 rifles, we’ve accepted the military triggers that have a little play and some grit. That allows them to work in damn near any environmental condition. But with an AR10, you’re more than likely shooting at longer distances. Using a trigger with too much play can throw off those precision shots. We recommend trying to find an AR10 with an upgraded trigger or one that has a user-adjustable trigger so that you can dial it to your preferences. Faxon is using an upgraded trigger from Rise Armament.
We prefer an AR10 that comes with a handguard that free-floats the barrel and provides plenty of space for accessories. We like to run our AR10 rifles with bipods since our intention is to shoot longer distances rather than using them for a general-purpose rifle like the AR-15, although you can do that with an AR10 and bring the hate at closer ranges.
In the past, most AR10 rifles came with fixed stocks, but this is slowly changing as shooters want the same adjustability as the AR-15s have. However, a fixed stock can offer you a slight edge on accuracy by providing a consistent length of pull that is consistent. Faxon Firearms is offering their Sentinel AR10 in both a rifle and pistol configuration. The AR10 rifle comes with a B5 Precision adjustable stock and the AR10 Pistol options come with the popular SBA3 pistol brace.
The Sentinel 8.6 BLK, part of Faxon’s Summit Line of firearms, boasts a billet aluminum receiver set, G3 Aluminum Streamline M-LOK Handguard, new 8.6 BLK MuzzLok® Muzzle Device, and the impressive 1:3 twist Big Gunner Profile Barrel. The Faxon Sentinel is also backed by Faxon’s Lifetime Guarantee.
The Faxon Sentinel AR10 rifle and AR10 pistol configurations are the best of the best in their particular niches and are perfect if you find yourself needing to hit something further out with some devastating kinetic energy.
Stay Tuned to the RE Factor Tactical Blog and be part of this all VETERAN-run website. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for exclusive content and deals.