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 Who builds the best .308 AR?
minsane  [Member]
8/3/2008 3:28:14 PM EST
Hello everyone:

I recently became interested in in .308 ARs and wanted to gather opinions and experiences of the people in this forum. Your help is greatly appreciated.

My question is "who builds the best .308 AR?". I really have my eye on a RRA LAR-8 mid length and I was wondering how the price a features of the rifle stack up to the competition. I know that Rock River, DPMS, Eagle, and Armalite are manufacturers.

Here is brief list of what I am looking for. I am looking for a flattop upper with a shorter barrel of approximately 16 to 18 inches, hopefully chrome lined with a callapsible stock. A two stage trigger would be great. I eventually want to mount optics. I am also on a budget for about $1100 for the rifle itself.

Thank you!
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cav_scout_tj  [Member]
8/3/2008 5:36:22 PM EST
with your budget your options get smaller real quick. DMPS has an increasing following. I have one and I am very pleased. I have heard good things about the rock river, but I have never seen on in person. I am one of those people who never buy the first version; I'd rather wait a year for the inevitable kinks to get worked out. I am not sure how available the RRA is these days.

I think your question is really "who makes the best budget 308?" or "most bang for the buck in 308?". You can easily spend a lot more than $1100 on a 308.

KAC, POF, Fulton, JP, LWRC, Armalite/Eagle are all out of your price range.

SHIVAN  [Team Member]
8/3/2008 5:40:54 PM EST
Yep, your budget pretty much leaves you looking solely at DPMS. From what I understand from friends, they are pretty nice/reliable.
shrikefan  [Team Member]
8/3/2008 5:44:50 PM EST
IBTPMS!!

In before the pissing match starts.
js308  [Member]
8/3/2008 5:47:45 PM EST
How do Noveske N6 rifles stand up to the best of the best?
W_E_G  [Team Member]
8/3/2008 6:50:31 PM EST
The DPMS looks REAL good for the money.

Unless you fancy a bare-bones AR-15 type single-stage trigger, plan on replacing the trigger as mission #1.

These go for about $1000 less the optic
Paul  [Site Staff]
8/3/2008 6:50:56 PM EST
Define "best".
TaylorWSO  [Life Member]
8/3/2008 9:43:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hello everyone:

I recently became interested in in .308 ARs and wanted to gather opinions and experiences of the people in this forum. Your help is greatly appreciated.

My question is "who builds the best .308 AR?". I really have my eye on a RRA LAR-8 mid length and I was wondering how the price a features of the rifle stack up to the competition. I know that Rock River, DPMS, Eagle, and Armalite are manufacturers.

Here is brief list of what I am looking for. I am looking for a flattop upper with a shorter barrel of approximately 16 to 18 inches, hopefully chrome lined with a callapsible stock. A two stage trigger would be great. I eventually want to mount optics. I am also on a budget for about $1100 for the rifle itself.

Thank you!



Best what? best vs price or just best

realize Ar10 are different from others (interchangeability)

chromed lined only in a armalite, the DPMS are cheaper over all

best within budget, get a lower/parts kit and a AR10 upper.

Ther is a FAQ in the ar10 section that explains much
Markbo  [Member]
8/4/2008 4:46:15 AM EST
I cannot speak for any but Armalite. I have the AR10(T) version. Way big, way heavy but with most 165-168gr loads it is a solid sub MOA shooter. Since I don't forsee using this to save my life I consider accuracy above all else.
Roger3  [Member]
8/4/2008 7:22:21 AM EST

If I had $1100 to spend on a .308 I would get another DPMS.
A drop in trigger like a ChipMcCormick, Geilsler etc..... and a couple extra mags.


BiggiBen  [Member]
8/4/2008 10:52:01 AM EST
I want a Geiselle (witth the 3 springs sets like Rainier arms used to sell) but cannot find anywhere
j21black  [Team Member]
8/4/2008 3:30:19 PM EST
I paid about $940 out the door for my brand new DPMS AP4 last fall.....

minsane  [Member]
8/4/2008 5:37:22 PM EST
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.

SeanK1ng  [Member]
8/5/2008 10:30:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean
BiggiBen  [Member]
8/5/2008 10:53:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean



No.
SeanK1ng  [Member]
8/5/2008 1:19:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By BiggiBen:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean



No.


So why did he mention FAL mags....

Or did you mean "No" to the DPMS using FAL mags (as I'm guessing).

Thanks for any further clarification.

Sean
Slash  [Dealer]
8/5/2008 1:53:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By BiggiBen:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean



No.


So why did he mention FAL mags....

Or did you mean "No" to the DPMS using FAL mags (as I'm guessing).

Thanks for any further clarification.

Sean


He should have replied 'Yes' (to the first question) and 'No' (to the second one).

TORQ  [Team Member]
8/5/2008 3:44:24 PM EST
armalite for that price range
SeanK1ng  [Member]
8/5/2008 5:28:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Slash:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By BiggiBen:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean



No.


So why did he mention FAL mags....

Or did you mean "No" to the DPMS using FAL mags (as I'm guessing).

Thanks for any further clarification.

Sean


He should have replied 'Yes' (to the first question) and 'No' (to the second one).



Cool. Thanks for the info. I'd like to use FAL mags in my 308 AR, but I'm assuming a Rock River lower with a FAL mag will NOT work with a DPMS or POF 308/7.62 upper, correct? Just thinking here.....

Thanks,
Sean
Mad5757  [Member]
8/5/2008 5:40:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By BiggiBen:
I want a Geiselle (witth the 3 springs sets like Rainier arms used to sell) but cannot find anywhere


Creedmoor Sports has them.
DVCER  [Team Member]
8/5/2008 6:17:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By W_E_G:
The DPMS looks REAL good for the money.

Unless you fancy a bare-bones AR-15 type single-stage trigger, plan on replacing the trigger as mission #1.

These go for about $1000 less the optic
i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/DPMS/websitephoto.jpg


About 880.00$ at A PAWN in CO O.T.D.
Slash  [Dealer]
8/5/2008 7:07:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By Slash:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By BiggiBen:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean



No.


So why did he mention FAL mags....

Or did you mean "No" to the DPMS using FAL mags (as I'm guessing).

Thanks for any further clarification.

Sean


He should have replied 'Yes' (to the first question) and 'No' (to the second one).



Cool. Thanks for the info. I'd like to use FAL mags in my 308 AR, but I'm assuming a Rock River lower with a FAL mag will NOT work with a DPMS or POF 308/7.62 upper, correct? Just thinking here.....

Thanks,
Sean



Correct. The receivers are proprietary amongst the different manufacturers.

SeanK1ng  [Member]
8/5/2008 7:14:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Slash:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By Slash:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By BiggiBen:

Originally Posted By SeanK1ng:

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hey guys:

I went ahead and purchased the RRA flattop LAR-8 in 16 inch. What I liked about her was the trigger (2 stage), grip and calapsible stock. Good shooter. Took her out today. I definately knew that I was shooting something. Recoil is alot more than in my 16 inch AR15.

With flip up sights I spent a total of $1500 today. I already had FAL mags. I will keep you guys updated when I get some good glass.



The RRA takes FAL mags?

Does the DPMS?

Sean



No.


So why did he mention FAL mags....

Or did you mean "No" to the DPMS using FAL mags (as I'm guessing).

Thanks for any further clarification.

Sean


He should have replied 'Yes' (to the first question) and 'No' (to the second one).



Cool. Thanks for the info. I'd like to use FAL mags in my 308 AR, but I'm assuming a Rock River lower with a FAL mag will NOT work with a DPMS or POF 308/7.62 upper, correct? Just thinking here.....

Thanks,
Sean



Correct. The receivers are proprietary amongst the different manufacturers.



Figured as much....but thought I'd ask as I'd like a 30 round .308 mag and FAL has one, but there aren't currently any for my POF p-308.

Sean
NoAim  [Member]
8/5/2008 7:25:14 PM EST
Short list:

FAL mag = Older Bushmaster (BAR-10), Rock River (LAR-8)

DPMS mag = Knights (SR-25, I think), DPMS (LR-308), POF (P-308), Fulton Armory (FAR-308 Titan), LWRC (SABR), Magpul (Massoud, tentative), Remington (R-25)

Armalite mag = Armalite (AR-10), Noveske (N6)


Also remember
- Bushmaster licensed the LAR-8 design from Rock River.
- DPMS, Remington, Fulton Armory are all owned by the same company, and are essentially all DPMS made.
BillC3  [Member]
8/6/2008 7:10:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By NoAim:
Also remember
- Bushmaster licensed the LAR-8 design from Rock River.
- DPMS, Remington, Fulton Armory are all owned by the same company, and are essentially all DPMS made.

One minor correction: Fulton Armory is an independent company, they are not owned by Cerberus (which owns DPMS, Bushmaster and Remington). Fulton just gets their receiver parts from DPMS (and probably a bunch of other parts, too).
NoAim  [Member]
8/6/2008 9:39:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By BillC3:

Originally Posted By NoAim:
Also remember
- Bushmaster licensed the LAR-8 design from Rock River.
- DPMS, Remington, Fulton Armory are all owned by the same company, and are essentially all DPMS made.

One minor correction: Fulton Armory is an independent company, they are not owned by Cerberus (which owns DPMS, Bushmaster and Remington). Fulton just gets their receiver parts from DPMS (and probably a bunch of other parts, too).


Ah yes. You are correct. My mistake.
W_E_G  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 11:15:37 AM EST
Can somebody comment on the details (pics would be nice) of how a FAL mag is used in the Rock River rifle?
sinsir  [Member]
8/6/2008 11:57:28 AM EST
i have a dpms, 20" flat top, w/ a quad rail, which i picked up from r&r arms, shipped and transfer was less then 1k. so far i'm happy, she shoots good, just plan on working out if you want to carry it any distance, and some trigger work if you realy want her to purr.
damuckal  [Member]
8/6/2008 8:17:26 PM EST
I got my 16" Rock River LAR-8 about two months ago and I love it! It has been 100% reliable (even with Lithuanian surplus 7.62x51) and the cheap and available FAL mags and two stage trigger made the deal for me. I don't have a scope yet, so I cant comment on accuracy, but if they guarantee 1.5 MOA I'm sure it will live up to it. I wish the option of a chrome lined barrel was there, but overall it is a great rifle that I would buy again. Also, I got mine for $1100 on Gunbroker.com and if you plan on adding a nice trigger to a DPMS and the mags are $40 each then it starts to even out.
hootowl  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 8:32:55 PM EST
DPMS SASS 2-k
neg. talk
pos. results
so far so good
minsane  [Member]
8/10/2008 3:16:44 PM EST
The FAL Mag is pushed straight into the magazine well just like a regular AR-15 magazine. It is not "rocked into place as is the case with and FAL or AK rifle.

NoAim  [Member]
8/10/2008 3:56:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By damuckal:
I got my 16" Rock River LAR-8 about two months ago and I love it! It has been 100% reliable (even with Lithuanian surplus 7.62x51) and the cheap and available FAL mags and two stage trigger made the deal for me. I don't have a scope yet, so I cant comment on accuracy, but if they guarantee 1.5 MOA I'm sure it will live up to it. I wish the option of a chrome lined barrel was there, but overall it is a great rifle that I would buy again. Also, I got mine for $1100 on Gunbroker.com and if you plan on adding a nice trigger to a DPMS and the mags are $40 each then it starts to even out.


DPMS mags are currently $26/each. Armalite mags are currently $30/each (for the 20rd.)

Just FYI.
minsane  [Member]
8/10/2008 4:22:51 PM EST
What did it for me was the two stage trigger. I have my rifle for about a week now and I have come to like the Hogue grip as well. I had a bunch of FAL mags which was an added bonus. From what understand FAL mags can be bought for about $10.

My Nightforce should arrive next week.

Lifetime warranty also from RRA.

Holmes  [Member]
8/12/2008 9:04:29 AM EST
POF P308 : gas piston driven, cleaning optional, upgraded trigger (JP), stock (VLTOR), pistol grip (Ergo), quad-rail free-floated handguards, fluted case-hardened machine-gun rated barrel, chromed bolt/upper receiver, sub-moa accuracy by all reports, and under 9lbs.

http://www.pof-usa.com/p308/P-308-16-MRR-CF-308-CARBINE-C.R.O.S..htm

It's pricey, though, but if it shoots as well as I've heard it does, it's worth it to me.
SeanK1ng  [Member]
8/12/2008 6:28:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By Holmes:
POF P308 : gas piston driven, cleaning optional, upgraded trigger (JP), stock (VLTOR), pistol grip (Ergo), quad-rail free-floated handguards, fluted case-hardened machine-gun rated barrel, chromed bolt/upper receiver, sub-moa accuracy by all reports, and under 9lbs.

http://www.pof-usa.com/p308/P-308-16-MRR-CF-308-CARBINE-C.R.O.S..htm

It's pricey, though, but if it shoots as well as I've heard it does, it's worth it to me.


I can't say anything about the other .308 ARs as I haven't even shot one, but the POF P308 I have now is outstanding. I LOVE this gun. Can't say enough good things about it. Super accurate at the close ranges I've fired it free hand. Oh, my trigger is a 4lb Timney not a JP. JFYI.

Sean
M10Powell  [Member]
8/13/2008 3:40:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By minsane:

My question is "who builds the best .308 AR?".


The Dutch. The ones that built the only real AR10 IMO & that was years ago. Of the current crop of wanna-bees, Knights. I know my answer is of no help to you because both are ridiculously overpriced. Get a DPMS & wish it was real. M9
ARmory04  [Member]
8/14/2008 7:02:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By BillC3:

Originally Posted By NoAim:
Also remember
- Bushmaster licensed the LAR-8 design from Rock River.
- DPMS, Remington, Fulton Armory are all owned by the same company, and are essentially all DPMS made.

One minor correction: Fulton Armory is an independent company, they are not owned by Cerberus (which owns DPMS, Bushmaster and Remington). Fulton just gets their receiver parts from DPMS (and probably a bunch of other parts, too).




Cerberus still makes me go ...
bobby25514  [Member]
8/18/2008 7:08:30 AM EST
I just bought the Remington r-25. Where can i get the extra mags at for it. I know dpms mags will fill ( I think). Have not had a chance to take it to the range yet but am anxious. also bought the little brother r-15 it shoots really well. can cover a dime with 4 shots at 100 yds but also only have shot it about 20 times. still working on breaking the barrel in. how do you break the barrel in on a 308?
StaffyBull  [Member]
8/18/2008 8:42:37 PM EST
For mags try here.

44Mag Link



W_E_G  [Team Member]
8/19/2008 4:31:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By bobby25514:...still working on breaking the barrel in. how do you break the barrel in on a 308?


Barrel "break-in" is one of those highly debatable subjects.

Take care aways not to bugger the muzzle when cleaning.

You probably won't HURT your rifle if you give it a few strokes with a brush, solvent and patches every half-dozen-or-so rounds until you have twenty or thirty rounds down the pipe. That's what I did, and I shot this group yesterday with the 16"-barrel DPMS gun.



Just throw a towel over an ammo-can, and let rip!



SHIVAN  [Team Member]
8/19/2008 4:45:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By bobby25514:
still working on breaking the barrel in. how do you break the barrel in on a 308?


Shoot it all day. Then take it home and clean it as you normally would. Then repeat as many times as you like.
Holmes  [Member]
8/19/2008 7:47:01 AM EST
I've heard some people use boresnakes to make breaking in a barrel much easier. I figure it's pretty cheap insurance, just in case there IS something to barrel break-in.
Essayons  [Team Member]
8/19/2008 8:03:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By js308:
How do Noveske N6 rifles stand up to the best of the best?


+1 . . . If price were no object
SHIVAN  [Team Member]
8/19/2008 9:44:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Holmes:
I've heard some people use boresnakes to make breaking in a barrel much easier. I figure it's pretty cheap insurance, just in case there IS something to barrel break-in.


Yep, until that one time you get lazy and ding the crown up badly, or scratch the bore accidentally.

I've broken-in barrels. I've not broken-in barrels. I haven't noticed much difference.

My observations mirror several of the shooters I shoot with regularly too.

One of them noticed that breaking in the barrel made it a little easier to clean over time, but it never offset the time invested in doing the break-in properly.

I think McMillan knew a thing or two about the subject...
Aimless  [Site Staff]
8/19/2008 10:46:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By ARmory04:




Cerberus still makes me go ...


I have not heard anything bad and know people at some of those companies
Mad5757  [Team Member]
8/19/2008 7:55:05 PM EST
Old benchrest shooters advice. It's oK to use a brush but only push it through from breech to muzzle, unscrew the brush and do this about three times. Use you favorite solvent on the brush. If you pull the brush back the the barrel it will round off the knife edge on the crown.

There is a picture of a 6PPC benchrest barrel floating around the internet that was taken through a micron microscope. It's frightening.

And whatever you do, do not clean any barrel without using the proper size cleaning rod guide. That screws up more barrels than anything else and is a horrible thing to see the damage with a borescope..
SilverState  [Member]
8/19/2008 8:18:17 PM EST
Mine is a little longer than the OP described, but I can't complain about my DPMS in .308

Dave_A  [Team Member]
8/19/2008 8:20:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By minsane:
Hello everyone:

I recently became interested in in .308 ARs and wanted to gather opinions and experiences of the people in this forum. Your help is greatly appreciated.

My question is "who builds the best .308 AR?". I really have my eye on a RRA LAR-8 mid length and I was wondering how the price a features of the rifle stack up to the competition. I know that Rock River, DPMS, Eagle, and Armalite are manufacturers.

Here is brief list of what I am looking for. I am looking for a flattop upper with a shorter barrel of approximately 16 to 18 inches, hopefully chrome lined with a callapsible stock. A two stage trigger would be great. I eventually want to mount optics. I am also on a budget for about $1100 for the rifle itself.

Thank you!


For the absolute best, DoD says...

Knights Armament...

The only one with a contract....

However, I don't think you can go wrong with DPMS...

Bushmaster's old design (now bought by another AR maker, IIRC) had serious problems because they tried to make FAL mags work....
SHIVAN  [Team Member]
8/20/2008 5:18:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Bushmaster's old design (now bought by another AR maker, IIRC) had serious problems because they tried to make FAL mags work....


Almost nailed it...

Rock River Arms licensed the design to Bushmaster. Bushmaster had some tails of the bolts break due to a heat treat/hardness problem with the bolt material.

Bushmaster also suffered from a high price tag for less features delivered then ArmaLite, DPMS, and KAC.

Rock River Arms is now producing the same design, the LAR-8, but with an improved bolt design/spec. They are also offering it with a Lifetime Warranty.

Contrary to internet rumors, I don't think the FAL mags caused the failure of the Bushmaster 308.
BiggiBen  [Member]
8/20/2008 8:09:37 AM EST
Shivan- I agree. And we all hope that RRA fixed the bolt problems. So far I haven't heard of any problmes with the RRA.




For those of you who dont remember this- I will repost Armailtes thoughts on the FAL mag...


http://www.ar15.com/lite/topic.html?b=2&f=27&t=149407


We've published this FAQ several times over the past decade as customers ask why we don't use a cheaper magazine. Here's an update based on the latest inquiry.

Q: Why doesn’t the AR-10 use FAL Magazines? They’re cheap.

A: The FAL magazine suffers from technical weaknesses when applied to the AR-10.

Normally, a rifle magazine should be built to suit the rifle mechanism instead of the rifle mechanism being built to match the magazine. At the time the AR-10 was designed, however, the Assault Weapon Ban was in effect and ArmaLite could not produce new magazines for commercial customers. If 20 round magazines were to be available to its customers, ArmaLite needed to use a magazine that was already in existence and could be used intact, or with slight changes. Four magazines were considered:

M-14 (which was derived from an earlier government test magazine)
G-3
Early ArmaLite AR-10 magazine
FAL

The G-3 and early AR-10 magazines weren’t easily available at the time, so were written off early. The logical choices came down to either the plentiful M-14 or FAL magazines.

Mark Westrom was attracted to the low price and easy availability of the FAL magazine, and studied it and others thoroughly. The FAL magazine is very effective in FAL rifles. Unfortunately, it suffers a number of characteristics which make it very much less suitable for use in an AR-10.

The FAL magazine is not a stand-alone feed device. It merely contains cartridges and presents them to the feed lips in the rifle. The actual, functional feed lips are machined into the upper receiver. The feed lips protect the magazine’s lips from damage. The machined lips are in close alignment with the chamber and tolerate poor quality magazines. Because the AR-10 requires the magazine lips to feed, the FAL magazine was not determined to be tough enough for an AR-10.

Next, studying of the movement of the cartridge during feeding revealed that the M-14 magazine closely matched feeding from the early ArmaLite 10 magazines, and was thus very suitable to feeding up the barrel extension of the AR-10.

The feed from a FAL magazine was very much different and obviously required dramatically ramping the bottom of the barrel extension in a way that cut deeply into the lowest locking lug. This reduces not only the strength of the barrel extension, but the symmetry with which it accepts recoil loads from the bolt. The M-14 magazine thus allows a stronger action in the AR-10 than use of a FAL magazine would.

Unless modified by cutting an M16 style magazine catch slot in it, using the FAL magazine requires the action of the rifle to be built considerably longer than the action of the AR-10. The magazine itself is longer, and the magazine locking and bolt catch mechanisms behind it required more space between the trigger pocket and the barrel. The whole action thus must be longer, as well as the carrier. Both weight and length are increased.

ArmaLite was not alone in declining to use the FAL magazine. Two other firms building .308 caliber rifles settled on another magazine design. One of them put considerable effort into trying to use the inexpensive FAL magazine, but found that even an adjustable magazine catch made the proposition a failure. In the final analysis, ArmaLite accepted the tough, proven M-14 magazine as the basis for its AR-10 magazine. A third firm actually fielded a 7.62mm rifle with the FAL mag and it was a miserable failure, although it was difficult to tell if it was because of the mag or general incompetence. A fourth firm tried to introduce a rifle with a FAL mag and has failed to date, with considerable delay in introduction.

Three other companies did try the FAL magazine. All experienced significant problems with feeding and those rifles are now apparently off the market.

In the final analysis, it is poor policy to accept a magazine only because it is cheap. It’s letting the tail wag the dog, and if the rifle proved popular the supply of inexpensive magazines would disappear, prices would rise, and the advantage would be lost anyway.

ArmaLite will therefore not alter its design by switching from the proven M-14 magazine technology.




DLaw  [Team Member]
8/20/2008 8:15:26 AM EST
Armalite
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