Best AR-10/LR-308 Barrel: Buying Guide [2019]

AR-10 rifles have developed a huge fan following over the years, especially due to the ability to customize the weapon as needed. You can, in fact, choose a barrel that fits your needs.

This older brother of AR 15 was initially designed as a combat rifle but the United States military never adopted it, hence it was never as popular as the AR 15. Still, it has a loyal fan base as it offers more recoil and is said to be a good option for long range shooting.

AR-10 3G Precision Rifle Match

AR-10 3G Precision Rifle Match

In this article, we’ll cover some of the best AR-10 barrels on the market. Without much ado, let’s have a look:

Why It’s a Nice Idea to Upgrade the Barrel for AR-10

Honestly speaking, it’s not mandatory to upgrade the Ar-10. The factory version is quite good, but if you have the option to improve it then why not avail it?

You can install a new barrel to make the weapon more versatile. Since there are many companies making the model, they’all pretty different in terms of quality and configuration.

Also, different shooters have different preferences. Some enjoy longer barrels as they offer more accuracy. Similarly, some shooters opt for shorter barrels as they do not want to compromise on speed and versatility.

In addition to this, weight can also be a good reason to consider an upgrade. You can upgrade the barrel to alter features such as profile, twist rate, length, and cartridge chamber.

The upgraded version of the weapon would offer optimized and accurate shooting. Plus, the right changes can even make the weapon more durable. For example, chrome linings can reduce the risk of corrosion and make the weapon long-lasting.

Upgrading definitely has its benefits but you should make this decision keeping your preferences and requirements in mind.

Best AR-10 Barrels: Product Reviews

WILSON COMBAT - AR 308 RECON BARREL

WILSON COMBAT - AR 308 RECON BARREL

Wilson Combat products are known for being durable and reliable, and this beauty is no different. These are made in the US and are of high quality.

  • Features:
  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester
  • Finish: Matte Bead-Blasted Stainless
  • Contour: Fluted
  • Length: 16 inches
  • Gas System Length: Intermediate
  • Twist: 10-11.25
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

This beauty is suitable for a number of applications including home defense, hunting, range shooting, and plinking. It’s the perfect length for AR-10 and works quite well, especially due to the 10-11.25 twist that makes it suitable for different purposes.

The barrel is made using 416R stainless steel and looks quite good as well. It features an impressive intermediate-length gas system specifically designed to work with the unit.

With this barrel, you will enjoy more accuracy while reducing weight, which puts less burden on the body and allows for better shots.

Pros:

  • It is very easy to use.
  • Looks very attractive.
  • Improves accuracy and handling.

Cons:

  • The gas system could've been better.

Who Is It For?

Wilson Combat - AR 308 Recon Barrel can be a good pick if you’re serious about improving your aim.

While the company does not make any written guarantees or warranties, the customer service is great and you will have no problem in dealing with the company in case you face issues with the product.


Faxon 18" Pencil-profile AR-10 Barrel, Nitrided

Faxon Pencil-profile AR-10 Barrel

Faxon offers barrels for the AR-10 at affordable rates. The products are made in the US and are said to be highly reliable.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester
  • Finish: Black
  • Contour: Big Gunner
  • Length: 18 inches
  • Gas System Length: Rifle
  • Twist: 1-10
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

Most buyers get attracted to this beauty due to its black finish that looks very neat. However, it has a lot more to offer.

It accepts .750" dm gas block and is quite durable thanks to a wear-resistant and tough nitride finish. The barrel has a medium-taper just behind the block. You, however, do not have to worry about the weight as it's designed to be easy to handle

Made from 4150 stress-relieved chrome-moly steel, the barrel offers rigid shots with excellent maneuverability.

Pros:

  • Very durable product.
  • Weights just 1.97 lbs.
  • Tested for quality.

Cons:

  • May get warm after a few shots.

Who Is It For?

Faxon Pencil-profile AR-10 Barrel is an excellent choice for hunters and people who want to enjoy great mobility. However, the company suggests to keep an eye on the space between bolt and barrel before using the weapon.

Moreover, it also recommends to only use PTG headspace gauges with the barrel.


Faxon 16" Big Gunner Hybrid-profile AR-10 Barrel, Nitrided

Faxon Big Gunner Hybrid-profile AR-10 Barrel

Here’s another beauty from Faxon. Shorter than the one reviewed earlier, this unit is also made in the US and offers the same durability that Faxon products are known for.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester
  • Finish: Black
  • Contour: Big Gunner
  • Length: 16 inches
  • Gas System Length: Rifle
  • Twist: 1-10
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

This one has similar features as the first item except for the length, which can be a difference maker for some users as explained earlier.

This is very easy to install and causes no vibrations, as a result, you will enjoy precise shooting.

Since it is smaller than the previous version, it is lighter and hence is even easier to carry. This DPMS-compatible barrel is made in-house and is said to be quite durable.

Pros:

  • Easy to handle thanks to its low weight (1.91 lbs).
  • Tested for quality.
  • Highly durable.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for long range.

Who Is It For?

Faxon 18" Pencil-profile AR-10 Barrel, .308 Winchester, Nitrided can be an excellent choice for shooters who want to enjoy mid-range shooting. However, the company suggests to keep an eye on the space between bolt and barrel before using the weapon.

Moreover, it also recommends to only use PTG headspace gauges with the barrel.


BROWNELLS 24" 308 DPMS Med Rifle Gas Barrel

BROWNELLS PREMIUM BARRELS - 308 AR BARRELS

Just like Faxon, Brownells is also known for quality products. You will find barrels in different lengths including 16 inches, 20 inches, and 24 inches.

Like previously discussed models, they are similar in terms of features but largely differ in performance as length can be quite a difference maker.

This is a review of the 24-inch barrel, which is also the longest barrel on this list.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester
  • Finish: Stainless Steel
  • Contour: Medium
  • Length: 16, 20, and 24 inches
  • Gas System Length: Rifle
  • Twist: 1-10
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

This is a superior barrel as it is made of high-quality stainless steel and is said to be quite durable as well. The nitride finish ensures there is no risk of corrosion for additional safety.

One of its biggest benefits is the presence of dimples on the other side of the gas port. This ensures the gas block screws are properly secured and there are no movements or distractions.

While its length is its biggest strength, it can also be a downer as the additional length makes it difficult to use for users with little to no shooting experience.

If such is the case, you can start with smaller versions of the barrel. They come with similar features. Once mastered, you can move to a longer barrel.

Pros:

  • Offers excellent range.
  • Highly durable unit.
  • No risk of vibrations or movements.

Cons:

  • Very heavy at 3.725 pounds.

Who Is It For?

BROWNELLS 24" 308 DPMS Med Rifle Gas Barrel - 308 AR BARRELS Made in the U.S.A. is for shooters who are serious about business. It is quite long but can be a bit difficult to handle for new users.


Proof Research PR-10 Carbon-Fiber .308 Barrels

Proof Research PR-10 Carbon-Fiber .308 Barrels - 2

If you are looking for a premium barrel then your search ends here. It is the most expensive product on the list but also the most decorated.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester
  • Finish: Carbon-fiber
  • Contour: Heavy
  • Length: 18 inches
  • Gas System Length: Rifle
  • Twist: 1-10
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

Carbon-fiber barrels are popular for a lot of reasons. They offer more effective dissipation of heat between shots, thus result in less deformation. As a result, you enjoy a higher accuracy.

The company uses a special technique to build these barrels, which is also why they are more expensive than most other options.

A steel barrel is turned down and then wrapped in carbon fiber before being bonded with the help of adhesives.

All in all, carbon fiber barrels offer better harmonics and are even easier to use and manage than fluted or steel barrels.

Made using 416 R stainless steel and composite materials, this barrel follows thermo-mechanical design principles and is said to be highly durable.

It takes very little time to install as it comes pre-chambered and headspaced.

Pros:

  • Aerospace-grade carbon fiber is 10x stronger and 6x stiffer than stainless steel.
  • Cool about 50% faster than other alternatives.
  • Match-grade accuracy.

Cons:

  • Very expensive.

Who Is It For?

Proof Research PR-10 Carbon-Fiber .308 Barrels are for people who can afford to spend big. This Standard DPMS™ compatible barrel cools down very quickly, making it a good option for hunters and users who want to take part in competitions.


Faxon 20" Big Gunner Hybrid-profile AR-10 Barrel

Faxon 20 Big Gunner Hybrid-profile AR-10 Barrel

Here is another beauty from Faxon. This one offers a length of 20 inches, the longest from the company. It offers the same features as the other two options discussed above but the increased length can be quite a difference maker.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester
  • Finish: Black
  • Contour: Big Gunner
  • Length: 20 inches
  • Gas System Length: Rifle
  • Twist: 1-10
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

This can be a good option for users who enjoy big barrels. You will, however, also have to bear its additional weight (2.24 lbs) which can make it difficult for some users.

It's best to start with a lighter version and then move towards bigger barrels if you're just starting out and have no previous experience with rifles and similar weapons.

The twist makes it perfect for various uses as it’s not only suitable for hunting but also for competitions due to its long range.

The contour adds more value to it, making it reliable and more durable.

Pros:

  • Very affordable for a big barrel.
  • Highly durable product.
  • Easy to install.

Cons:

  • Can be a bit difficult to maneuver for new users.

Who Is It For?

Faxon 20" Big Gunner Hybrid-profile AR-10 Barrel, .308 Winchester, Nitrided can be a good pick for users looking for a barrel that offers great accuracy and is also affordable. It has various uses and is also quite easy to install.

However, the company suggests to keep an eye on the space between bolt and barrel before using the weapon.

Moreover, it also recommends to only use PTG headspace gauges with the barrel.


CRITERION BARRELS INC - 308 AR HYBRID BARRELS, 6.5 CREEDMOOR

CRITERION BARRELS INC - 308 AR HYBRID BARRELS, 6.5 CREEDMOOR

Hybrid barrels are quite in demand for all the right reasons. This beauty from Criterion Barrels is both reliable and durable.

You will find the barrel in two lengths (18 inches and 22 inches). Rest of the features are similar, but as mentioned earlier, the length can make a lot of difference in the overall experience.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Finish: Stainless steel
  • Contour: Fluted
  • Length: 18 and 22 inches
  • Gas System Length: Rifle
  • Twist: 1-8
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

This barrel seems to be more popular among long-range shooters due to its incredible features. It has a flatter trajectory that gives it an edge over some other alternatives. Plus, having a higher ballistic coefficient also helps.

It's compatible with a long range of rifles including DPMS, Remington, Fulton Army, and Midwest Industries.

It offers excellent uniformity. The finished chamber makes it easy to install, however, it's important to take the tool to a professional to get the headspace checked. Also, it’s a little heavier than most similar sized barrels (18 inch weighs 2.75 pounds) so be cautious.

Note: The 22" 100-019-352 works with a .875" gas block while the 18" 100-019-351 works with a .750" gas block.

Pros:

  • Offers excellent range.
  • Suitable for a variety of purposes.
  • Easy to use and offers good accuracy.

Cons:

  • Do not come with a gas block.

Who Is It For?

CRITERION BARRELS INC - 308 AR HYBRID BARRELS, 6.5 CREEDMOOR Made in the U.S.A. can be a good choice for users who want to enjoy a care-free experience as it is very easy to use and also quite affordable.

It can be a good choice for target practice, hunting, and shooting. However, you will have to buy a gas block separately as it does not come with one.


DPMS - 308 AR SASS BARREL

DPMS - 308 AR SASS BARREL

While color is not the most important factor when choosing a barrel, we can't deny the fact that this beauty looks pretty impressive thanks to its matte black finish. It's a rare find and has some great features to boast.

Features:

  • Cartridge: 308 Winchester, 7.62 mm NATO
  • Finish: Matte Bead-Blasted Stainless
  • Contour: Heavy, Fluted
  • Length: 16 inches
  • Gas System Length: Mid-length
  • Twist: 1-10
  • Muzzle Threads: 5/8-24

This barrel is compatible with a large variety of weapons and works quite well. It's said to be a good choice for long distance shooting thanks to the heavy profile that makes it strong and rigid.

Despite being fluted, it is still quite heavy. However, there are no compromises on quality. Made from 416 stainless steel, it is highly durable and also accepts military type ammo.

It puts very little stress on the gas tube and also cools down very quickly, however, it needs a proprietary gas block. Also, some users may face problems with the handguard.

Pros:

  • Very easy to install.
  • Offers accurate shots.
  • Quality construction, hence very durable.

Cons:

  • Very heavy at 3.461 pounds

Who Is It For?

DPMS - 308 AR SASS BARREL can be a good option for shooting, hunting, and target practice but the weight can be a problem for some users. It's best to first practice using lighter options before moving to this one.


Things to Consider When Picking an AR-10 Barrel

Length

According to Wikipedia, the gun comes with a barrel length of 20.8 inches, which may be too much for most users.

18 inches is said to be the right ar10 barrel length if you’re just starting out, but it changes from person to person. You will find different lengths. We have carefully selected products in this review to include a variety of lengths.

Longer barrels have some amazing benefits. They offer more velocity, hence can be suitable for long range prone competitions. However, a longer barrel can reduce mobility and make it difficult to carry the weapon. In such a case, a smaller barrel would be the better choice.

Other than this, the length can also greatly impact barrel vibrations. Hence, pay special attention to this factor.

Material

Most high-quality AR-10 barrels are made of stainless steel. It's the first choice for obvious reasons – it’s corrosion resistant hence highly durable.

The material can make a lot of difference. When AR-10 was first launched, it had an iron/aluminum barrel that couldn't pass the torture test performed by Springfield Armory. The makers then replaced the barrel but it was too late by then.

You do not want to make a similar mistake so make sure to be careful about the material you go for.

Contour

Barrels are available in different contour options. Chrome lining is the most popular option but many people also opt for fluted barrels. Similarly, nitride treating a barrel is also a possibility.

Many users think contouring only affects the look, whereas it has an impact on performance as well.

Heavier contours can be very slow to heat up and may take longer to cool off. However, their weight can play an important role in lessening the recoil of the gun.

On the other hand, thinner contours can be a good choice as they cool off very quickly but the reduced weight can cause a lot of jumps.

A medium contour is typically the best choice since it offers the best of both worlds.

Twist

This is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to upgrading your AR-10.

The twist of a rifle can play a very important role in the overall performance of the weapon. You need to find a balance as a slow twist can cause the bullets to lose stability and a fast twist can reduce accuracy.

Our final thoughts

These were some of the best ar-10 barrels out there. While our personal favorite is the Faxon 20" Big Gunner Hybrid-profile AR-10 Barrel, available in different sizes, it’s not the only option out there. You can also opt for other products such as the popular DPMS - 308 AR SASS BARREL known for its durability.

If that’s not enough, get your hands on the BROWNELLS 24" 308 DPMS Med Rifle Gas Barrel, which is the longest barrel on the list and offers incredible accuracy.

CRITERION BARRELS INC - 308 AR HYBRID BARRELS are also a good choice but it’s too expensive. WILSON COMBAT - AR 308 RECON BARREL can be a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable option.

All in all, these are all exceptional choices, but the right one depends on your needs. Make sure to keep all the important factors in mind when picking a barrel so that you can enjoy great shots.

Best AR-10/LR-308 Barrel: Buying Guide [2019]
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