AR10 vs. AR15: Which One Is For You?

Are you a law enforcer or a hunter?

Are you interested in collecting or shooting guns as a mean of sports?

Whoever you are, you’ve clicked on the right website.

Here we’re going to make a comprehensive comparison of the AR10 vs AR15.

Understanding the common troubles that customers may run into when picking one out of two types, we stand ready to clear up your confusion.

Sound appealing? Move on reading.

* Shooting gear you may need:


AR10 and AR15 are both introduced by the company of ArmaLite.

They share the same predecessor of AR1, which is the first assault rifle developed by the same mother company.

Each one plays a vital role in the other’s development.

The AR10 appeared on the market first, followed by the AR15 as an upgraded model.

For example, compared to the AR10, the AR15 has a smaller caliber and rifle.

However, they have distinctive features that set them apart from each other.

As a result, depending on your specific needs, one of them may be a better choice.




For starters, they may look quite the same.

However, in fact, the AR15 is smaller and more compact than the AR10.

While the former length is 39 inches with a 20-inch long barrel, the length of the latter and its barrel extends to 42 and 21 inches respectively.

It is the 3-inch difference that grants the AR15 an advantage over its counterpart. Therefore, such a rifle is more practical in close combat.

Both the firearms are rather light in weight, enabling you to carry more ammunition or gun accessories.

This especially comes in handy if you intend to carry the rifle for an extended period of time or over a long distance.

Why so light?

The producer uses the alloy made from glass reinforced plastic and lightweight material to reduce the total weight of the construction.


In general, the two models are rather similar in weight with a slight difference of 2 pounds.

The Ar10 weighs approximately 8 pounds, but the Ar15 is even lighter.

Thanks to the help of mylonite material, the weight of the upgraded model is reduced to around six pounds.

This doesn’t matter much unless you are going on lengthy excursions.

In that case, the Ar15 is highly recommended to save you from getting bogged down under the weight of a heavy weapon.

Related: You should have best bipod for ar10 and best bipod for ar15 to hold your ar rifle. It'll help you!




Accuracy plays an important role in determining the quality of any firearm.

Customers should take this factor into account before selecting one for their collection.

Taking aim for one thing but in the end, hitting another thing is such a great failure for gun owners.

If you already own an accurate weapon, what you only need is the skill in taking aim to reduce chances of missing points.

When it comes to AR10 and AR15, accuracy doesn’t make much difference.

Both guns do an excellent job, even in long-range shooting cases.

However, a lighter recoil makes the Ar10 produce faster and more accurate follow-up shots.


The bullets for each model have both plus and minus points.

The AR10 uses heavier rounds which can travel farther. The larger bullet also means the more kinetic energy that can be transferred to your target.

At the same time, each round requires you to harness more stopping power.

Thus, the AR10 owns a powerful punch.

On the other hand, the bullets for the AR15 have a higher rate of fire and can travel at higher speeds. This means that you’re able to speed up putting bullets into your target.

When choosing between the two guns’ bullets, consider your practical needs.

* Read more:


From the AR10 to AR15, the ArmaLite makes some improvements in recoil.

Compared with the AR10, the AR15 is equipped with a significantly higher recoil to fire more powerful shots.

One of the outstanding points in the AR10 and AR15 models is the application of recoil absorption technology. This makes them easier to manage for an average shooter, which is rather difficult in a bolt-action rifle.


The AR10 is bored in 7.62/.308 while the AR15 is bored in 5.56/.223.

The ammunition of the AR10 is rather heavy for troops to carry a large amount all at once.

However, big game hunters often go for larger calibers like 7.62mm rifle.

As a result, the AR10 seems to be a better choice in a large game.


Bolt Catch

When it comes to bolt catch, there is a big difference between the two models.

In many cases, most AR10 lowers are incompatible with those of the AR15.

Fire Rate

In the semi-automatic mode, the AR15 can fire almost 60 rounds while the AR10 model is confined to 40 rounds within a minute.

An AR10’s standard cartridge has the capacity of 20 rounds while that of the AR15 is up to 30 shots.

Muzzle Velocity

An advanced system of gas impingement is applied in both rifles to increase the fire rate along with muzzle velocity.

As for the AR10, it can reach about 2,700 fps while the other rifle can create a velocity of over 3,150 fps.

With a higher fire rate and muzzle velocity, the AR15 is obviously superior to the other model.

Effective Range

With the attachment of a powerful scope, the AR10 has a wider range of about 600 yards while the AR15 can produce great shots within the range of 525 yards.

A good scope can increase the range up to around 1000 and 800 yards for the AR10 and AR15 respectively.

I have the post about the best scopes for ar10 and best scope for ar15 here. You can read it and chose the good scope for your ar!!!

Also, if you own another rifle/shotgun/pistol, read my Scopes & Sights Resource. You can find a suitable scope/red dot/reflex/iron sights...(link below)

Shooting Situation

The AR10 shows better results in long-distance shooting while you can rely on the AR15 in tactical situations as a defensive weapon.



It is understandable that a good rifle means a high price.

The price of a rifle can fall into the range of thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is advisable that you think about what you need carefully before making a purchase. Otherwise, your money can go to waste.

The AR10 is selling on the market between $900 and $8000 depending on add-ons and extra accessories. If you want to equip your weapon with more applications, a larger sum of money is expected. And if you are looking for the best AR10 for the money, this post will show you all.

As for the AR15 model, it is cheaper from about $500 to $3000. This may be due to its smaller size and lighter weight.

>> Read more: You want to buy an AR-15 rifle, which manufacturers should you choose?

AR10 or AR15?


Ar10 vs Ar15  (Source img)

Depending on your specific needs, each model can turn out superior to the other one.

If accuracy and power at long distances are your top priority, let’s go for the Ar10.

Owning the stopping power of the 7.62mm ammo and a longer range, the Ar10 is relatively popular among law enforcers, particularly snipers.

However, if you are planning for a small hunting game, the Ar15 can be a reliable companion.

This is also true in home protection and public protection duties.

Regarding home protection, the Ar15 is preferable to the Ar10. The latter tends to produce more devastating damages while the former has light recoil, positioning you at a better place to produce more accurate follow-up shots at a greater speed.

As the Ar10 provides a wider search range than 22 rifles, the Ar10 and Ar15 are favored by gun collectors in achieving a good standoff range.

Moreover, their lightweight enables women and teenagers to pursue their hobby of gun shooting.

Generally speaking, there is no single option for each use. Both weapons are good enough to satisfy sports shooters, collectors, police, and hunters.

Because of their lightness, they can be used by anybody no matter how small their stature is.

In particular, if you are a big game hunter, the AR10 may make a better choice.

Its stopping power turns out necessary during the hunt for large animals.

This is also true for military snipers. With additional range, longer shots become feasible.

For other purposes, the AR15 proves somehow superior to the other model, especially in small game hunting, private security work, home protection, and law enforcement.

Thanks to the capability for short-range fire, the AR15 is widely applicable in the military.

In an urban setting, the combination of faster fire rate, lighter weight, shorter length, and the larger clip makes this model ideal for combat in close quarters.

Final Thoughts  

Choose the right weapon is no way a piece of cake. Each choice comes with a financial commitment.

We’ve covered both common types of rifle, AR10 vs. AR15 with their similarities and differences so that you can differentiate between them.

It always makes sense that you work out your goals and purposes in owning a gun. This can direct you to the right product.

Don’t forget to share your experience with us before leaving this page.

By the way, If you are a hunter and using ar15, I highly recommend the best green laser sight for ar 15, it is useful.

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