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Old February 26, 2017, 17:57   #1
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Armalite AR103GN18

I've been threatening to buy an AR-10 for years, but just recently a few things all came together at the same time and I broke down and ordered a "modern rifle" to see what I've been missing. Today was its first test run.



In case you can't read it - that's 0.817" at 100yds with 155gr Nosler JHPBT bullets, and 0.644" with 175gr FGMM. Note that I've done absolutely NO load development yet (the 155gr load is my old FAL load), and I was shooting this with a 4x scope with heavy cross-hairs. Adjustable gas block, tuneable brake (I hate brakes, but the combination of these two made for a very soft and flat shooting rifle), free floated keymod handguard, Timney trigger, Raptor ambi charging handle, ambi selector, and adjustable Luth-AR stock - all straight out of the box. I did the barrel break-in, set the gas and tuned the brake and it was good to go. The only part I changed was the triggerguard - I put a Magpul on there because the stock one always digs into my middle finger.

I then shot some VTAC drills from 100-300yds, and where I struggle with the FAL, with this thing hits were effortless and reliable. It really was like cheating. I only have about 75rds through it so far, but it ran like a sewing machine throughout - with 10rd, 20rd, and 25rd PMAGs. Next weekend I have a 3-gun match, so we'll see how it does with a little hard use. And we'll see if I can remember where the controls are on the clock!

The bad news is that I have NEVER seen one of these in stock anywhere, so I ordered mine sight unseen after doing a bunch of research and hearing some good reviews from a couple shooters I trust. The good news is that "every dealer is an Armalite dealer" - go down to your local gun shop, have them call Armalite, and they can order one for you directly. Their website always shows out of stock for some reason - but mine came really quickly.

https://armalite.com/shop/ar-10-3-gun-rifle/
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Old February 26, 2017, 18:42   #2
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Dude, I'm telling ya...... My DPMS is scary accurate and has been dead reliable since I got the gas issues sorted out (the adjustable gas block I installed was leaking POS)
And I mean..... It's a DPMS which is generally regarded as bottom of the barrel.

I still love the FAL but I'm thinking I like the AR308 better.
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Old February 26, 2017, 18:44   #3
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I ran mine at a 2 gun match last week. People were amazed that I was squeezing the trigger on a 308 that fast lol.
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Old February 26, 2017, 19:30   #4
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Dude, I'm telling ya...... My DPMS is scary accurate and has been dead reliable since I got the gas issues sorted out (the adjustable gas block I installed was leaking POS)
And I mean..... It's a DPMS which is generally regarded as bottom of the barrel.

I still love the FAL but I'm thinking I like the AR308 better.
We're going to have to stay quiet about this or they're going to kick us out of here.
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Old February 26, 2017, 19:51   #5
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Buddy of mine has a Remington AR10 or whatever they call it. I've been told it's a DPMS with a different badge. He swears buy it, says it's the most accurate .308 type he's owned, which includes an SR-25 and a POF. He told me that it shot so good with Fed GMM that he decided to develop a load for it, now shoots even better.
All conjecture to me and besides, I really don't care. His story always stuck with me though. I'll never say I'll never own one but the likely hood is small.
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Old February 26, 2017, 22:07   #6
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We're going to have to stay quiet about this or they're going to kick us out of here.
Yeah really lol. You're right about it being like cheating. My most accurate FAL doesn't hold a candle to the AR10 and mines a cheapie. I basically took a DPMS Oracle, put on a key mod handguard, Magpul stock and grip and did a trigger job.
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Old February 26, 2017, 23:47   #7
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Yeah really lol. You're right about it being like cheating. My most accurate FAL doesn't hold a candle to the AR10 and mines a cheapie. I basically took a DPMS Oracle, put on a key mod handguard, Magpul stock and grip and did a trigger job.
Hey man - if you can get the job done for half the price, be proud! I did the math, and where I was starting from scratch I was better off buying the Armalite with a lifetime warranty and every bell and whistle I would have to add to the DPMS G2 (my 2nd choice).

We're all climbing the same mountain, and there are several different paths that will get us there.
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Old February 27, 2017, 08:48   #8
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Hey man - if you can get the job done for half the price, be proud! I did the math, and where I was starting from scratch I was better off buying the Armalite with a lifetime warranty and every bell and whistle I would have to add to the DPMS G2 (my 2nd choice).

We're all climbing the same mountain, and there are several different paths that will get us there.
I ended up with mine on a trade deal. Really wasn't looking for one, but I thought "wth" and gave it a try. I've been thinking about getting something a little nicer since this DPMS is working so well. POF has my attention at the moment.
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Old February 27, 2017, 18:42   #9
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Originally Posted by kotengu View Post
I've been threatening to buy an AR-10 for years, but just recently a few things all came together at the same time and I broke down and ordered a "modern rifle" to see what I've been missing. Today was its first test run.



In case you can't read it - that's 0.817" at 100yds with 155gr Nosler JHPBT bullets, and 0.644" with 175gr FGMM. Note that I've done absolutely NO load development yet (the 155gr load is my old FAL load), and I was shooting this with a 4x scope with heavy cross-hairs. Adjustable gas block, tuneable brake (I hate brakes, but the combination of these two made for a very soft and flat shooting rifle), free floated keymod handguard, Timney trigger, Raptor ambi charging handle, ambi selector, and adjustable Luth-AR stock - all straight out of the box. I did the barrel break-in, set the gas and tuned the brake and it was good to go. The only part I changed was the triggerguard - I put a Magpul on there because the stock one always digs into my middle finger.

I then shot some VTAC drills from 100-300yds, and where I struggle with the FAL, with this thing hits were effortless and reliable. It really was like cheating. I only have about 75rds through it so far, but it ran like a sewing machine throughout - with 10rd, 20rd, and 25rd PMAGs. Next weekend I have a 3-gun match, so we'll see how it does with a little hard use. And we'll see if I can remember where the controls are on the clock!

The bad news is that I have NEVER seen one of these in stock anywhere, so I ordered mine sight unseen after doing a bunch of research and hearing some good reviews from a couple shooters I trust. The good news is that "every dealer is an Armalite dealer" - go down to your local gun shop, have them call Armalite, and they can order one for you directly. Their website always shows out of stock for some reason - but mine came really quickly.

https://armalite.com/shop/ar-10-3-gun-rifle/

You will be very well served by this rifle. They are superb right out of the box. The 13.5" version is super handy and with the brake perm attached from the factory it's non nfa. You bought the one I would buy if the FAL addiction would allow.
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Old February 28, 2017, 11:25   #10
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I have to admit to being a bit intimidated about AR10 flavor building cause of all the buy this here and, you to get this from there, cross your eyes and put it together stuff involved.

I think I'll sell a FAL and get started. Yeah, I said it. If I sell a STG58 will that be enough tacos to build one? Like, a modern looking space cool kind.
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Old February 28, 2017, 12:06   #11
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Very nice rifle and great shooting.
I have always had good luck with ArmaLite AR10's and still have a carbine I assembled years ago.
It's an old A2 upper, free floated barrel, sporting a Noveske Pig and an ACOG.
Has a Wilson 2-stage trigger which I am in like with.
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Old February 28, 2017, 12:32   #12
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AR 10 rifles have coma along way accuracy wise,are in some cases as accurate or better then many bolt guns.I have an Area 53 AR 10 with a Krieger barrel and its my most accurate rifle,way better than any of my Fals.
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Old March 05, 2017, 21:21   #13
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Well - it ran fine today through 5 different stages. It's going to take me a little while before I reach the rifle's full potential, as I can tell it still feels a little awkward in my hands (I've been shooting the FAL a LOOOONG time!). No complaints though, and good enough for top Heavy Metal and 4th overall. Here's a taste:

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Old March 05, 2017, 22:07   #14
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Nice shooting! Question.... you tuned the brake, to which load? Did you notice any difference in barrel control when you moved to the other weight bullet?

Thanks for sharing.
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Old March 05, 2017, 22:39   #15
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I've had my AR-10 for probably 15 (?) years. I like mine a lot.
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Old March 05, 2017, 22:51   #16
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Nice shooting! Question.... you tuned the brake, to which load? Did you notice any difference in barrel control when you moved to the other weight bullet?

Thanks for sharing.
I tuned it to the 155gr load. I didn't notice much difference between it, the 175gr load, and a 110gr FMJ load I was trying - but to be fair, I really wasn't paying very close attention to the barrel control with the little bit I shot with those two other loads.
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Old March 06, 2017, 11:15   #17
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Good looking. Looks like she can run too. The best of both worlds. What does your FAL post with the same loads?
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Old March 06, 2017, 11:49   #18
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Nice shooting with the AR10.

My hard drive is kinda full and not sure I could remember the *shooting pattern* you followed on that stage so would probably rate a DQ...and not the good kind!

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Old March 06, 2017, 12:15   #19
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Good looking. Looks like she can run too. The best of both worlds. What does your FAL post with the same loads?
You mean times or groups? In its heyday, the FAL shot 2 MOA groups pretty reliably, so this one is more than twice as accurate. At the moment the old girl has more than 10,000 rds through that barrel and is shooting 6 MOA groups though - which led me looking for alternatives.

I'm still faster with the FAL, but I think that will change as I shoot this more.
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Old March 06, 2017, 20:03   #20
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...

I'm still faster with the FAL, but I think that will change as I shoot this more.

I can't believe you would post this thread. I can not believe the things you have said. Perhaps you would be better received on AR15.com?


































Nice rifle, but I'm not big on stainless barrels. Looks like a tack driver.

I may have to build one.
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Old March 06, 2017, 20:21   #21
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You mean times or groups? In its heyday, the FAL shot 2 MOA groups pretty reliably, so this one is more than twice as accurate. Atthe moment the old girl has more than 10,000 rds through that barrel and is shooting 6 MOA groups though - which led started me looking for alternatives.

I'm still faster with the FAL, but I think that will change as I shoot this more.
Meant groups.
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Old March 06, 2017, 20:33   #22
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I can't believe you would post this thread. I can not believe the things you have said. Perhaps you would be better received on AR15.com?
I know. I feel dirty. Kinda like talking about how awesome my new girlfriend is with all of my wife's friends.
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Old March 06, 2017, 20:54   #23
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I know. I feel dirty. Kinda like talking about how awesome my new girlfriend is with all of my wife's friends.
Good analogy.

I've been meaning to build one using a Pro Fab upper and lower from Aim Surplus. My price has gone up $45 or 50 on the parts since I first pondered it. I'd be curious to see how one of them shoots.
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Old March 09, 2017, 18:58   #24
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My Pro Fab build in 6.5 Creed hits 8'' steel at 600yds all day long. Long Live AR's too!
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Old April 30, 2017, 15:03   #25
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More blasphemy:

I've had a couple FAL matches over the last couple months, so am only now getting more time to play with this. With a fairly skinny barrel, I was curious to see if there was any POI shift as the barrel heated up - so I shot a 10rd group to really see what it was doing:


And I had a different lot number bullet with some questionable powder throw consistency I wanted to check, so I did it again:


Considering I'm using a 4x scope with heavy cross-hairs and I could probably use some work on my group shooting form, I'm pretty happy with this. The good news is that there is no stringing at all, the groups are consistent, and my perceived powder throw issue is not an issue at all.

The really funny part is the 110gr FMJ carbine bullets I loaded up for 25yd bay stages that will save me 10 cents a round. They shot pretty well at 25 and 50 yds, so just for giggles I shot a 10 rd group at 100yds with them. It was pretty dang close to my 155gr zero, and at around 3 MOA is a whole lot better than I expected for those bullets! I'm still not sure what happened to shots 5 and 9. I'm not driving them very hard at all (load is below published minimum) so I don't THINK they overspun and exploded on the way to the target - but I also didn't see any other holes in a fairly large surrounding piece of cardboard.
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Old April 30, 2017, 15:07   #26
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I also intended to recreate this FAL video with the AR-10 and do a fancy split screen comparison between the two, but I screwed up and forgot I did it with the FAL at 5 and 6 yds with the targets right next to each other. With the FAL I did it in 1.88 seconds with one "-1" hit.


With the AR-10 today I did it at 7 and 10 yds with a full yard in between each target. And I was really getting frustrated why I was shooting it so slowly! My best time today was 2.20 seconds, with two "-1" and one "-3" hit:

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Old April 30, 2017, 15:10   #27
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It still feels a little blocky in my hands and not nearly as comfortable as the FAL, but you can really see the controllability when I switch to two hits anywhere on target. I've got a match coming up where this is the criteria, so I'm really pushing the speed until the rails fall off to see how fast I can go. 2.66 seconds with two misses:

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Old May 02, 2017, 19:29   #28
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I only had two issues with my ban Era Armalite ar10. The brake was intolerably loud and the mags were expensive and finicky. You can change the brake to anything you desire, and pmag were a great change for them to make.
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Old May 02, 2017, 22:16   #29
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I only had two issues with my ban Era Armalite ar10. The brake was intolerably loud and the mags were expensive and finicky. You can change the brake to anything you desire, and pmag were a great change for them to make.
I hate brakes in general. Even .223 brakes are intolerably loud when I'm around them. But I figure everyone else at every single match I attend has used them and punished me with theirs while I politely used a simple flash hider on my FAL for a decade - so they've earned the pure misery that is standing next to a .308 brake that I'm going to dish out.

I really don't notice it at all when I'm shooting it, but I hope I never have to stand next to this thing when someone else is shooting it.
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Old May 03, 2017, 04:49   #30
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I love brakes on big guns more and more as the spine falls apart. Also like how the right brake can tune the barrels harmonics and result in better accuracy. Purchased a PRI Quiet Control*muzzle brake from market place here just for grins when building my 22 Nosler and stuck on end. It's very comfortable from shooters position but in the bigger over bore Nosler cartridge those poor folk at range on either side especially two or three benches either side see a poodle shooter on the bench, think little of it till the Nosler barks and turns their hats sideways. Most of my 5.56, 6.8 and 308 rifles run cans or straight flash hider but my big 7mm Mags and 7mm Practicals are intolerable on my neck to shoot without a good brake and my rifle smith tuned each of his proprietary brakes to rifle to maximize barrel accuracy and shooter comfort. They will send half the folk at a range packing, and even my 22-250 Ackley Improved will upset folk. Only shoot them when range has plenty of empty benches or if a bunch of yahoos want to clear from the line the big 7mm's will send many home.

Don't worry about other folks at a match, like you say they have been abusing you with them for years. Pistols with comps, rifles with brakes, at matches people will run what think will improve their scores and it's part of the game. I still get the occasional suprise at work where have built an indoor range. Put covers on smoke heads and blaze away. One time was running a drill with a compensated pistol and ended up shooting from a point in a "moving off the X" drill and fired from right below a smoke head ten feet above me. Had no idea till then how much pressure comes out top of the comp till parts were raining out of sky on me and alarm was in fire alert. One double tap blew a commercial smoke head to pieces. Have had to put protective lenses on fluorescent tubes as was breaking them when ran comp guns. Now have paint on floor under each smoke head and security camera to remind me to not shoot from those positions with comp guns. Yes, comps and brakes cause issues but solve more from shooters end than cause as part of colatteral damage.
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Old May 03, 2017, 06:54   #31
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I only had two issues with my ban Era Armalite ar10. The brake was intolerably loud and the mags were expensive and finicky. You can change the brake to anything you desire, and pmag were a great change for them to make.
During the ban era, ArmaLite AR10 mags were revamped or Bubbafied M14 mags and subject to occasional finicky-ness.

After twenty oh four, the steel, Gen2 ArmaLite mags were released and they are not the least bit finicky.
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Old May 04, 2017, 12:42   #32
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Anybody know anything about quality of the armalite ar10 defender? There's one for sale for 820$
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Old May 04, 2017, 13:22   #33
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Anybody know anything about quality of the armalite ar10 defender? There's one for sale for 820$
Is the $820 new or pre-owned?

I started salivating over the 3 gun when Kotengu posted this thread back in March. Talked myself out of it by insisting there was no room in the safe. And now the thread is back dammit (enjoyed the video's BTW Kotengu) and I'm looking again for room in the safe. I've found the 3 gun online at $1684; a great price I think for everything this rifle comes with.
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Old May 04, 2017, 15:57   #34
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Anybody know anything about quality of the armalite ar10 defender? There's one for sale for 820$
Sorry man - I saw your other thread first so I'm double-posting. I'd imagine it's just their entry level line so would expect the quality to be lower. But what exactly they skimped on to get the price that low I have no idea.

But this is all pure speculation from me and I have no personal experience with the Defender.
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Old May 04, 2017, 16:09   #35
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Is the $820 new or pre-owned?

I started salivating over the 3 gun when Kotengu posted this thread back in March. Talked myself out of it by insisting there was no room in the safe. And now the thread is back dammit (enjoyed the video's BTW Kotengu) and I'm looking again for room in the safe. I've found the 3 gun online at $1684; a great price I think for everything this rifle comes with.
It's new. It has 16". Melonited barrel standard m4 butstick and handguards dovetailed front gas block. I think you could turn it into something similar to the three gun without much more money. In theory the bcg and everything is the same. Differences would be the barrel and furniture and has block I believe.
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Old May 04, 2017, 16:19   #36
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Looks like the 3gun also has a timney trigger where as the defender would be more mil spec
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Old June 04, 2017, 21:04   #37
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I just passed 500 rds, with no cleaning since the initial break-in. It's seen a fair amount of rain, a little mud, and zero pampering. Still running like a sewing machine.

I'm a little new to the AR-family so I'm guessing at the typical wear points, but here's what it looks like so far:





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Old June 25, 2017, 21:19   #38
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So I started feeling guilty for not cleaning it in so long, and I wondered what 500 rds of copper fouling was doing to my accuracy:



It's a pretty safe bet the one shot that opened that group up to 0.741" was me, and not the rifle. Dammit. That's a 5-rd group, BTW.

The other thing I wanted to check while I was there was to see how fast I was driving the little 110gr Carbine bullets. I've had a few good calls with no holes in paper, so I'm a little worried they're going up in a puff of smoke halfway to the target. Doesn't look like it, and I'm still amazed how accurate these cheap little bullets are for what they are:



I guess I'll stop feeling bad about not cleaning it...
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Old June 26, 2017, 06:59   #39
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Looking good and glad you are pleased with your rifle's performance.

What is the *chunk/shard/piece* of metal (?) laying next to your bolt in the photo?

Carry on with all your good works.
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Old June 26, 2017, 08:39   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTea View Post

What is the *chunk/shard/piece* of metal (?) laying next to your bolt in the photo?
It's a piece of a 1911 magazine basepad I trimmed to fit my magwell, and has nothing to do with the Armalite. I need to clean my bench more often.
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Old June 26, 2017, 08:50   #41
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I've owned a AR10 Defender for a little over 2 years now. I removed the collapsible stock and installed a standard A2 butt stock, and replaced the front A2 Type handguards with Magpul MOEs. I removed the blocky picitinny gas block, and installed a folding front sight/gas block from Rock River Armory in it's place. I removed the the bottom and right side sling swivels, and just kept the one on the left side.

It's just a little over MOA with surplus ammo, way more accurate than my FALs. Currently I'm running a cheapy Bushnell SR-25 red dot on a riser, and really like this set up for close up and personal out to 300 yards (and that's pushing the envelope). I consider the Defender a M4 on steroids.

With just over 800 rds thru her, and only cleaning the barrel after each shooting session, and adding some oil before the next shoot, she has ran 100%. I am really impressed with the little beast she is now my go to SHTF weapon of choice. She is not a sniper rifle, I have a RRA LAR-8 Special Operator custom set up for that as she is a Sub-MOA shooter all day long.

The defender while more accurate than neccessary can't touch the accuracy of my RRA LAR-8. But that's the main reason I bought the Defender was due to it's 1/11.25 Twist barrel which works well with surplus ammo, for me she is a combat rifle. Possibly with Match ammo she might shoot MOA or less, but that's not what I bought er for, and have never ran any Match ammo thru her.

I highly recommend the AR10 Defender.
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Old June 26, 2017, 11:59   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotengu View Post
It's a piece of a 1911 magazine basepad I trimmed to fit my magwell, and has nothing to do with the Armalite. I need to clean my bench more often.
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Old October 12, 2017, 10:17   #43
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Follow-up: I had my first two failures at around 1,200 rounds. The first was an FTE in which the empty case got crammed above the new round feeding in from below and locked everything up (see below). Easily cleared by grabbing the empty case and yanking it out by hand. But it caught me by surprise and made me wonder what caused that.



Not long after, I had a FTX that stopped me cold. The extractor slipped over the rim of the case and left it in the chamber. No matter how many times I tried to re-seat the bolt and pull the empty brass out of the chamber, the extractor would slip over the rim again. I even swapped in my spare (brand new and clean) bolt and it had the same issue - so I had to knock the brass out with a range rod. I replaced my bolt with my new and clean spare and everything ran fine after that.

I did clean the rifle at the 1,000 rd mark, but I admit I did not detail strip the ejector and extractor from the bolt and clean those - so I'm blaming my laziness and lack of attention to detail for these malfunctions. When I did strip the bolt both areas were filthy as would be expected. Lesson learned - I'll clean or swap bolts every 500rds or so now to be safe.
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Old October 12, 2017, 10:56   #44
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Did the FTX impact your match time/score or were you practicing?

I habitually strip and clean AR15/AR10 extractors (when I do clean) but *almost never* strip and clean the ejector.

Remind me to do that the next times, would you? Thanks much!
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Old October 12, 2017, 15:04   #45
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Luckily this was during practice - so all it did was piss me off.

Don't forget to clean your ejector!
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Old October 12, 2017, 20:11   #46
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Thanks for the heads-up. I'm going to check mine this weekend. I don't have but about 300 rounds on the gun total though.
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Old October 12, 2017, 20:23   #47
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Quote:
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Luckily this was during practice - so all it did was piss me off.

Don't forget to clean your ejector!
Much obliged and duly noted.
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Old October 12, 2017, 21:30   #48
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I don't have but about 300 rounds on the gun total though.
Shame on you!!!

To be fair, this isn't your typical range rifle and has seen some pretty hard use. If you are kind to yours it probably won't be as filthy. We can fix that though.
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Old October 12, 2017, 23:52   #49
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I need to get to the range more! I have yet to burn out a barrel, even on my way overbore 7mm -300's.
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Old October 13, 2017, 10:41   #50
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I know on the AR15 the extractor spring sometimes can benefit from the o-ring treatment to increase extractor pressure. Would that help here as well? Obviously being dirty matters, but that would seem to be a smart and cheap mod on a gun where $$$ matters are at stake.
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