AR10 Or LR10
When you hear people talking about an AR platform, they are referring to any AR15 styled rifle, regardless of caliber. However, it can get somewhat confusing because not all AR platform rifles are the same.
There are three different styles in the AR10 platform; the AR10, the LR10, and a hybrid of the two which will not be covered in this article. The AR stands for the Armalite pattern and the LR stands for the DPMS (Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services) pattern. The AR came first and the DPMS came out around 30 years later. Its not so much that one is better than the other, its more of what’s used more by the industry. Most AR styled rifles today are found in the DPMS pattern.
Its One Or The Other
Its important you understand that you have to pick one pattern over the other as certain parts don’t mix. Parts that don’t crossover include the upper and lower receivers (can’t mix and match), the buffer assembly (tube, buffer, spring), and the gas tube (the AR10’s is longer). The Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) is different (due to head spacing ), as is the handguard, barrel nut, and magazine catch.
It gets confusing sometimes because manufacturers and dealers alike use AR10 for both in their advertising. One reason they do so is because it makes things easier. Another reason is most people refer to it as an AR10. Also, its what is used as key words when searching on the internet. I’ll keep using AR10 throughout the article for the same reasons.
The take away here is, before you buy, its up to you to confirm what pattern it is. Buying the wrong pattern is a waste of time and money especially if the return policy sucks or is non-existent.
The Receiver Set Is The Heart Of The Rifle
The heart of any AR10 rifle is the receiver set which consists of an upper and lower. These two components hold everything else together. If the receiver set is not up to speed and the tolerances are off, your parts are not going to fit well. If you don’t build your rifle with a quality receiver set, you’ll have spent money on an interesting looking conversation piece and not much else. Since the AR10 platform is not mil-spec, there has always been some confusion surrounding compatibility and which pattern to buy.
Other Related Issues
Unlike AR15s which use mil-spec parts, the AR10 platform is not mil-spec. In other words, there is no one standard for AR10s.
In addition to deciding whether you want an Armalite, DPMS, or hybrid, you have to decide if you want it high profile or a low profile. This speaks to the top portion of the upper receiver. Get the wrong one and your handguard won’t fit and or match with the upper receiver.
The lower parts kit can have several different fitting parts as well. Some manufacturers throw in proprietary parts that only fit their product.
There is another underlining issue as well. Most sellers of receiver sets are not manufacturers or worse, they pretend to be. To be clear, I’m not against entrepreneurs and capitalism, (Go USA!) but I like knowing where my stuff comes from and who makes it. I prefer made in America, with made in America materials (Go Live Free Armory!) and not just an American name but manufactured overseas in Korea, China, or Taiwan.
You need to ask questions before you buy! The conversation should go something like this. “Hey, do you guys sell AR10 receiver sets? You do? Great. Are they Armalite or DPMS pattern, and are they high or low profile?” Those questions will help you make sure everything you build is going to match.
An easy fix is to get a matching set from the manufacturer. For example, Live Free Armory is a manufacturer of AR10 receiver sets and sells them under the Live Free Armory brand. These sets are made to match and are hand fitted. They are DPMS pattern and high profile. As a manufacturer, they have built upon their reputation for a tight-fitting no rattle receiver sets.
Many other companies sell matching sets as well, like Matrix Arms, Aero Precision, and Spikes Tactical. A quick search on Google will give you all the choices you need. Some of these companies offer great deals if you are patient and watch the adds for their sales and discount pricing. Just remember, ask questions and make sure what they are selling fits into your build formula.
If you asked me which pattern I would recommend, I would stick with a DPMS high pattern since they tend to be the most common. Barrels and magazines are easy to match. Even though I’m the operations manager for Live Free Armory, I still work as an armorer/builder when needed. The DPMS pattern is what I have had the most experience with.
Obviously I’m biased towards Live Free Armory AR10 receiver sets because they are the manufacturer I work for. But it’s not just that. I see how they are made. Live Free Armory is ISO compliant company and their quality control is second to none. I don’t just talk or write about it either, this is where I spend my money.
I get it, it’s not like everyone can work for a manufacturer like Live Free Armory. So, if were you, I would shop around, ask about fit and finish, and then pick the set that’s right for you and your budget. And please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that paying more means better quality. Sometimes you’re paying for marketing hype and nothing more. A name doesn’t shoot; you do.
Author with a clean kill using his Live Free Armory AR10 receiver set build for .308
Close up of Author’s AR10
If you’d like more information or have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember that Live Free Armory is here to help you whether you choose to buy from us or not. We believe that obtaining the right information should always be your first step.