Letter Re: Advice on Buying AR-10 Rifles

I live outside of Boise, [Idaho] on 40 acres with a deep well and have most everything ready for a jump to my brother’s new ranch in Montana, if (when) the SHTF. While my place will be occupied by my friends that don’t have anywhere to go and /or want to stay in the area. I will leave for a better Bug Out Location where I and my family can better survive long term. I only live here because it is a good job and I can’t find anything even close to pay in the part of Montana that my brother lives in. He is a doctor and can afford the remote life style.

I would like your input,. My brother and I are getting ready to buy a pair of .308 semiauto rifles and for the most part I like the Armalite AR-10 with an ACOG scope. This would be our defensive long range (250 to 500+ yard ) rifle. Any recommendations as to something “better” than a factory model, do you know of someone else building something with .308, reliable magazine design. While rails and collapsible stocks are cool and I would like them, they are not necessary for the intended purpose. I have looked at [the] DPMS [AR-10] but I also here a lots of complaints from people who actually own the weapon. Thanks, E.

JWR Replies: Aside for Eugene Stoner’s relatively dirty gas tube action (which can be mitigated with regular cleaning), the only drawback to most of the AR-10s on the market is the high cost of extra magazines. Most AR-10s use variations of M14 magazines which can cost up to $40 each. However, a few brands of AR-10s use standard FAL magazines which can often be found for under $8 each! So, with that in mind, I would recommend the Bushmaster AR-10 (now out of production) and the RRA (Rock River Arms) LAR-8 A SurvivalBlog reader was recently told by a Bushmaster customer service representative that Bushmaster sold its tooling and rights for their .308 rifle about a year ago to Rock River Arms.

The AR-10 is a fine rifle choice for your circumstances. They can be quite accurate, so they are ideal for open country–like the majority of Montana. Just be sure to get at least one of your AR-10s set up for long range shooting. Get a full length (20″) barrel and fixed stock flat top (“A4”) model that will readily take optics mounted low enough to provide a consistent cheek weld. The ACOG TA-01 or TA-11E would be good versatile day/night scopes. They are available from a number of Internet vendors including CGW. (I noticed that they currently have the TA-01 .308 BDC scope on sale.) But since you are planning on open country shooting, make sure that at least one of your long-barreled .308 rifles is set up a with an adjustable magnification Mil-Dot or ART scope in its primary configuration, with perhaps an ACOG as a spare if you can afford it.