AR 10 vs AR 15: What’s The Difference?

Are you a sports shooter or a gun collector in need of a new rifle? A devotee of AR rifles who is also a hunter or even a law enforcement officer? Or simply a shooter who is interested in the AR10 and AR15? Regardless of which group you fall into, you’ve found the proper site to learn more about these two guns.

We’ll assist you in making your choice if you’ve already made one but aren’t sure about it. After all, choosing a gun may be confusing, as we are all aware. It’s natural to have reservations and be undecided.

This article will examine the ArmaLite Rifle’s past while contrasting current 7.62x51mm and 5.56x45mm caliber ARs. Once you get beyond the caliber, these rifles have many more features than they do differences.

Brief History


In comparison to the Armalite rifle it replaced, the AR10 weights 3.29 to 4.05 kg (without a magazine and ammo). It has a 20-round detachable magazine and shoots NATO standard 7.62X51mm ammunition. It is air-force cooled and gas-powered.

The significant usage of alloy on the metal sections is responsible for the lightness. Steel is only used to make the weapon’s barrel, bolt, and bolt carrier. Each of the handguard, pistol grip, and buttstock components is made of glass-reinforced plastic.

It leaks the propellant gas into the port in the gun barrel like most gas-operated guns do. The piston is then found within the cylinder that is parallel to the gun’s barrel. To enable the bolt to re-cock, remove the expended cartridge, and load the new round into the chamber, this gas produces a force that drives the piston.

According to Stoner’s design, the AR10’s bolt carrier device is hit by the propellant gas that bleeds into the cylinder that runs parallel to the rifle barrel. This “direct gas impingement” gives the AR10 a high cyclic rate that enables it to fire 700 rounds per minute. The muzzle velocity in this instance is 845m/s.


The AR15 operates using a similar “direct gas impingement” since it is a variant of the AR10. By reducing the size of the rifle and changing the caliber to 5.56mm, the AR15 is an improvement.

Consequently, it is frequently referred to as the scaled-down AR10. It had a 20–30 round magazine and utilized a smaller cartridge. The light element known as “mylonite” makes up the majority of its composition. With a muzzle velocity of 975M per second and an effective range of 550 meters, the rifle’s direct gas impingement system allowed it to fire 800 rounds per minute.

How Do They Look?

When comparing the AR 10 vs AR 15, looks obviously matter. The AR10 and the AR15 may appear to be identical to folks who are not experienced with firearms in general. They could even go so far as to say that the AR15 is a scaled-down version of the AR10. They don’t know any better, so don’t interpret that as an insult.

Even a novice observer would initially note the size difference when contrasting the two guns’ appearances. The AR10 is 1.029 meters, or around 42 inches, long overall. Its barrel length measures 0.508 meters, or a little under 21 inches. The barrel of the AR15 is 0.508 meters long, or around 20 inches, while the weapon measures 1.006 meters, or 39 inches.

The AR15 may benefit from the apparent 3-inch discrepancy. For tactical environment shooting or close combat, the rifle is typically favored over the AR10 due to its overall length.

This does not, however, imply that the AR10’s design is lacking—especially because the AR15 has retained many of the greatest elements of its forebear. We may infer that the AR10 was developed with little need for improvement because the other elements of the design rarely change.

AR-10 vs AR-15 – How Do They Feel?

The benefit of being lighter is something that both AR rifles share when compared to their contemporaries and other similar weapons. Additionally, the lighter weight allows for the addition of additional gun accessories or the carrying of more ammo with both types of rifles. However, what if we only contrast the two of them?

It would be logical to infer that the weight of the guns is similar given their similar size differences. That is accurate. Another presumption is that the AR15 rifle would prevail in this contest because of its lighter weight. And that is also true.

To get to the point, without magazine or ammunition, the AR10’s weight ranges from 3.29 to 4.05 kilograms, or 7.25 to 8.9 lbs. As its lighter version, the AR15 weighs between 2.2 and 3.9 kilograms, or 5.5 to 8.5 lbs, depending on its configuration. That’s very appealing when we need to carry the firearm around for an extended period of time.

And what makes them so light? It’s an alloy made from lightweight metal and glass reinforced plastic. When the AR10 was manufactured, it was the key to its uniqueness. Thus, the same was used for the AR15.

Pros & Cons



  • Lightweight design lets you carry more ammo
  • The 7.62mm can outperform the competition.
  • modular system that makes changing the caliber and cartridge simple and affordable.
  • Bigger bullet with more kinetic energy and higher firing power.
  • No discernible recoil
  • Greater effective range


  • higher cost
  • fewer rounds.
  • substantially heavier due to the additional metal.



  • lighter and smaller.
  • Can stay on the target better
  • Carry more rounds at a faster speed
  • Increased firing rate for more hits
  • Additional penetration harm
  • high ergonomics to add extra features to the weapon
  • No discernible recoil
  • Different adjustments are possible with modular design.
  • lower cost


  • decreased effective range
  • The design of the venting machine can accumulate the soot and cause a delay.
  • Requires careful maintenance and cleaning
  • soft material makes it more susceptible to mechanical damage

Difference Between AR 10 vs AR 15


The AR10 calibers are 7.62 X 51mm NATO or.308 Winchester caliber; these two have fairly similar physical dimensions (but here you can get the FULL list of all AR10 center fire calibers).

However, the.308 caliber is more potent than the 7.62 X 51mm NATO because it has a thicker brass casing and produces greater chamber pressure (62000 PSI). You shouldn’t use 7.62 X 51mm NATO to fire.308 ammo since it has a pressure difference of 12000 PSI.

The 5.65 x 45 mm or.223 caliber of the AR15 has various specifications. The 5.65 x 45 mm can accommodate.223 Remington rounds and is hotter than the.223. It is not advised to load 5.65 x 45 mm since it might harm the weapon and the person using it. The.300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel,.458 SOCOM,.50 Beowulf, 6.8 Remington, and.22LR are other popular calibers.


Even though AR10 and AR15 both have great recoil absorption, AR10 causes a more noticeable recoil than AR15. This is so that AR10 can fire more potent rounds than AR 15 can.

The.223 and 5.65 x 45 mm caliber rounds weigh between 1/8 and 1/5 of an ounce, whereas the.308 and 7.62 x 51 mm NATO rounds weigh between 1/3 and 2/5 of an ounce. Given that this is more than twice, AR10s need more gunpowder to propel their bullet down the barrel.


The platforms for the AR10s come in two varieties: the traditional ArmaLite design and the contemporary DPMS adaption. While the modern variant may also use various aftermarket magazines made for.308/7.62 calibers, such as the SR-25, in addition to the DPMS, the traditional design only accepts the AR10 designed magazine.

As a result of the AR15’s military-specific design, its magazines are completely interchangeable. The majority of the AR15’s components are designed with interchangeability and adaptability in mind.


The AR10 weighs more than the AR15 because it can shoot more powerful bullets. The AR15 weighs roughly 6 pounds less than the AR10, which weighs between 9 and 10 pounds. However, it’s vital to keep in mind that since you may add as many attachments, you can anticipate a substantial change in the weight of the weaponry.

Bolt Catch

The bolt cans of the AR10 and AR15 rifles are substantially different. The lowers of the majority of AR10s cannot often be used with the AR15 bolt catch.


The bolt cans of the AR10 and AR15 rifles are substantially different. The lowers of the majority of AR10s cannot often be used with the AR15 bolt catch.

Due to their lightweight construction, the AR10 and AR15 allow the operator to increase the weight of the rifle’s magazine. Additionally, the user may shoot more bullets without frequently stopping to reload. However, there are certain benefits and drawbacks for each rifle’s bullet.

The rounds of the AR15 may fire more frequently and at a greater pace. You can shoot more rounds at your target more quickly because to its rapid rate of fire.

Fire Rate

The AR10 fires 40 shots in less than a minute while the AR15 fires 60 rounds while the two guns are in semi-automatic mode, respectively. The AR10 can store 20 rounds in a typical cartridge clip, whereas the AR15 can hold 20 to 30 rounds.

Muzzle Velocity

The direct gas impingement mechanism is utilized by both AR rifles for increased muzzle velocity and firing rate. While the AR15 can travel at over 3,150 fps, the AR10 has a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps. The AR15 appears to have an edge over other AR10 since it fires more often and with greater muzzle velocities.

Effective Range

The AR10’s effective range is about 600 yards without a proper scope, compared to the AR15’s 525–600 yard range.

The effective range for the AR10 may increase to 1,000 yards with the addition of a suitable scope, but the AR15 can have an effective range of around 800 yards.

Shooting Situation

The AR15 is excellent for long-range shooting, especially while hunting, because to its effective range. You can have more dependability and precision because it is light. When firing power is taken into account, an AR10 is more suited for hunting large animals than an AR15, albeit you may still use the latter but only for smaller ones.

The AR15 is a tactical weapon that you may employ for self-defense since it is lightweight and simple to maneuver. The faster rate of fire is also helpful in circumstances like these.


Home Defense and Self Defense

Although both firearms are quite common, they both have very good applications. The AR15 would be preferable than the AR10 for home defense purposes. The AR10’s excessive penetration makes it capable of producing severe damage when discharged, which is the reason.

Additionally, the AR15 has less recoil than the AR10, allowing the shooter to fire faster and with greater accuracy. Close quarters are key in home defense, and quick fire is a real possibility. In an urban setting when there are non-targets like children and other innocent persons hiding behind the walls, the AR15 can remain on target better and is more appropriate.

The ideal weapons for home defense should be slow to break apart, have low wall penetration, and lose energy more rapidly when they come into contact with a mass. Small, quick AR15 bullets are therefore highly advised since they are likely to penetrate solid targets.

Even though AR10 has higher damage potential and the stopping power is crucial, location ultimately has a greater impact.

The AR15 is perfect for self-defense since it is lightweight. When empty of attachments, it weighs just 6 pounds, which is not excessively heavy. You won’t experience muscular tiredness when shooting, which would make your hands shaky and lead you to miss your target.

Additionally, it is small and has a small turning radius. Additionally, the AR15’s overall length may be adjusted, allowing it to comply with various states’ laws. If necessary, even petite ladies can wield them because of their minimal recoil. The shooter may be able to follow up rounds more quickly and maintain greater control of the weapon because to the minimal recoil.

Once things start to get out of hand, you need more ammo for self-defense than one shot per target. You can fire more rounds with an AR15 than any other firearm. As a result, while deciding between AR15 and AR10 for home protection and self-defense, AR15 should be your pick.


The AR15 is the superior option for hunting small game not for hunting large game. It can shoot at a shorter distance and at a faster pace. It is also lighter and fires more quickly. Don’t forget to look over the top canines for duck hunting!

You need an assault rifle with a larger muzzle blast if you want to hunt big animals. The AR10 is the ideal option in this situation. It has the ability to stop huge creatures in their tracks. It also has a larger range, which makes it the perfect hunting rifle.


For fun, linking is a straightforward sort of target shooting that uses unusual targets like cans, soda bottles, logs, etc. The AR15 is suitable for plinking since it is less expensive and comes with less expensive ammo. Its low recoil is a further factor.

Final Verdict: Is The AR 10 Better Than The AR 15?

As you can see, the AR-10 and AR-15 are very similar to one another. A somewhat bigger and heavier rifle is produced as a result of the change in caliber, but that’s about all. The caliber of the rifle has a significant impact on your selection when considering combat applications for the AR assault rifle.

It is more difficult for troops to carry enough ammunition because of the AR-10’s heavier ammunition. The .223 Rem is more deadly than a bullet that punches a clean hole through its target, even though the .308 Win has more “stopping” power. The differences between the weapons are essentially nonexistent for civilian purposes.

An AR-10 is equivalent to an AR-15 in terms of functionality. Accuracy is quite similar. (Ammunition plays a bigger role in accuracy than the rifle does.) Both are accurate between 400 and 600 yards away. The competition and testing conducted by the American military in the late 1950s can be linked to the origins of the ArmaLite Rifle.

The ArmaLite Gun faced controversy during its first testing and introduction into the American military due to phony tests carried out by the Army and strong bias against the rifle. In the 1990s and 2000s, as calls for “Assault Weapon” restrictions increased, this argument took on a new shape.

Recent years have seen a surge in calls for a ban as a result of widely reported school shootings that included AR-15s. But the truth remains that less than 4% of murders in the United States use assault rifles (all rifles), and “Assault Weapon” restrictions primarily target the aesthetic rather than the practical features of weaponry.

Making the perfect gun selection might be challenging. You must first decide how and where you will utilize it. Is it a home defense system? hunting large game? Or perhaps you simply want to add something to your collection. In addition to the significant financial commitment, you must also protect your investment.

It is difficult to choose between the two weapons, but with the advantages of the AR10 and AR15 discussed above, you may choose which is best for you. Your choice ought to be driven by your needs.

Choose the AR10 if you want more stopping power and outstanding range. On the other hand, the AR15 is the best option if you want a lighter, shorter rifle with a higher rate of fire.

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