Before we start distinguishing between the different styles of AR10 model, let’s make sure everyone knows what the AR10 really is. The AR10 or ArmaLite 10 is a rifle chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges. Developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s, the AR10 is a stronger and more powerful older brother to the AR15. Everyone calls the .308 AR chambered rifle the AR10 style, but that’s not always the case. For example, the DPMS version of this rifle is called the LR308. It’s probably the most technically used term in our industry, but it’s still good to know what you’re seeing and what you’re actually seeing.
Now that you know the basics of the AR10, let’s compare the two main firearm configurations, the DMP SLR308 and the ArmaLite AR10.
What is DPMS LR308?
As mentioned above, the model is technically the LR308 but is often (and incorrectly) referred to as the AR10. This is probably what you see in the 99% time frame. In fact, if you’re reading this article in hopes that it can help you decide which project to buy/build, I highly recommend it. That is the reason…
Benefits of DPMSLR308
Parts compatible with this model are available at almost every decent sporting goods store in the United States.
This model provides the ability to change types, brands and styles of magazines.
Generally cheaper, but you can get a high-performance shooter for less than the AR10.
If you have a reputable LR308 manufacturing company, you can have quality parts and complete rifles in no time.
What is ArmaLite AR10?
ArmaLite 10 is abbreviated as AR10. It was born about 30 years before the LR308. However, nowadays it is not very popular. Easily distinguishable from the LR308, the AR10 has a bevel cut at the top and bottom just ahead of the vein housing where the LR308 rounds out. It didn’t really serve its functional purpose and was patented in 1958 through its acquisition by Eugene Stoner. However, after the patent expired, several companies entered the market and developed a universal “Milspec” configuration. Therefore, unlike the AR15 and AR10, the AR15 and LR308 are universally interchangeable. The AR10 is a great rifle with a modern design, but it doesn’t have many advantages over the LR308.
Advantages of ArmaLite AR10
Gives the shooter the ability to say they have a “real” AR10
Compatibility between DPMS and Armalite
Very similar to the untrained eye, but functionally very different from the LR308 and AR10. The main basic functional parts that are not compatible are:
Upper and lower receptors
Bumper assembly (tubes, bumpers, springs)
Gas hose (AR10 too long)
BCG (Headspace Difference)
So if you find yourself in a critical situation and need a crucial part for your AR10, you may be out of luck. However, if you need to replace non-essential parts, you can switch between the two platforms:
Lift spring and pawl
Safety selector (My fingers are my safety)
In reality the parts are not very compatible and frankly the 80 ar10 kit is hard to find commercially.
Without going into details (since that could be a whole different conversation in and of itself), the LR308 is the clear and undisputed winner between the two. The LR308 costs a fraction of an AR10, and while it improves access to inventory and spare parts, it’s still just as good, if not exactly.
Start your next DPMS build at 80% ARM!
As you can see, 80% of Arms only supplies DPMS compatible parts. Because honestly, I’m considering building a real ArmaLite 10. But the next time I build, buy, or repair I’ll be ready to install a variety of quality parts, accessories, and chargers. it is