Signed in as:
Signed in as:
For more years than not, the AR15 platform was confined to the military 5.56mm or civilian 223 Rem cartridges. As most enthusiast know, the AR is the semi-auto version of the original M16 that came to life during the ‘60s and has been used ever since by the military. In 1989, when Colt’s patent expired, Eagle Arms introduced the AR15 to the consumer market. Since then the AR has become the most popular general-purpose rifle platform.
With a complete lower, the standard AR can be topped with a plethora of complete upper assemblies, in as many configuration and caliber combinations as one can imagine. Some calibers may require a different bolt carrier group (BCG), but many use the standard AR15 BCG. The AR15 as a pinker and varmint rifle has given way to a platform for most any sporting or hunting application. And, with the introduction of the LEO Takedown/Switch-barrel system, a single lower can have as many barrel assemblies as one desires, attached to the upper receiver in seconds.
Currently, there are about 16 popular cartridges that the AR15 platform can chamber, suitable for plinking to big game hunting. The most popular are;
If you dig deep into Google, you’ll find about 50 more. The 10mm also just came to market.
So, what’s good for what? We’ll discuss that below, but for now just consider that we’re not comparing ballistics/performance versus tradition non-AR sporting and hunting firearms. Instead, we’re looking at what the best choices are for the AR platform. In this platform we get a compact and lightweight firearm capable of holding more rounds and providing quicker follow-up shots, less recoil, and with shorter barrels and built in compensators. What we really have is several firearms in one; one lower with as many uppers as the spouse will allow. So here we go.
Before we end the story, we need to discuss the older bigger brother of the AR15; the AR10. Originally designed in 7.62x51 NATO and later in 308 Win (civilian), these larger uppers require their own larger lowers. Many parts are compatible with the AR15, but most are not. There are five basic styles; Armalite AR10, DMPS LR308, DPMS GII, Stag 10, and the Rock River LAR308. Even these are not all interchangeable, and all have different BCGs. Without getting into specifics, the best platform is the DPMS LR308. Best in the sense of so many upper assemblies and calibers being available. Most all calibers fall into a much higher velocity, long-range capacity/accuracy category than any of the AR15 platform calibers, and most are suitable for big game at reasonable distances; let’s say under 400 yards. Without a full enumeration, the most common calibers are;
Noreen Firearms makes custom long-action and magnum AR style rifles. No, not at all compatible with the AR15 or AR10 platforms. These ARs are quite expensive, but available in long-action 30-06, 25-06 Rem, 270 Win, and in magnum-action 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua Mag, and 408 Cheytac. One lower for the long-action calibers and one lower for the magnums. I’ll have one when the time is right, but for now the wife would …….!