FINISHED! - AR10 Build: Help me fill in the blanks

CNJarvis

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I'm wanting to build a 6.5/260 Cal. rifle for hunting and paper punching out to say, 800 yds. (paper only beyond 350 yds.) I'd like to keep the rifle around 9-10# unloaded. Hunting will be from stands. The rifle must be capable of sub MOA, preferably .75 or better.

So far, I have: (on hand or on order)
Upper - Aero M5E1
Lower - Aero
Handguard – Aero Enhanced M5 G2, 15”
Barrel - Proof Research 22" 260 Rem.
Grip – Magpul MOE, Stealth Gray
Trigger – Elftmann ELF AR-10/.308
BCG - Toolcraft
Stock - Brownells A1
Cartridge - 260 Rem.
Gas Block - Superlative adjustable, clamp-on
Buffer & Spring - Standard

I still need:
Gas Block - Looking at Superlative adjustable, clamp-on
Stock - Looking at the Magpul PRS
Barrel - 20-22"
Cartridge 6.5CM or 260 Rem



Barrel - So far, I've looked into Craddock barrels and Rainier ultra match, but that's where my knowledge of barrel suppliers drops off. I'm willing to spend around $700 for the barrel, but if I can get top quality for less than that, I'm all ears.

Chambering - I handload, so I'm leaning toward the 260 Rem. as it's capable of a little more velocity and I already have 200+ pieces of once-fired 243 brass. The advantage of the 6.5 CM to me, is that there appear to be more barrels readily available and perhaps at lower cost. Lapua brass is available for both, so that's not a concern.

Bolt/Carrier - The options here are dizzying. Standard weight, low mass, etc. I'm leaning toward a "standard" mass BCG and looking for the best value.

Buffer - No idea.

Stock - I really like the looks and functionality of the Magpul PRS, but the price has me hung up. Are there other similar options?


Help a brother out. TIA!
 
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ShooterwithNoName

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The 6.5CM is gonna give you more bullet selection that fit the SR25 mag. The 260 is a damn good cartridge, just a little limited on what you can pack into a magazine.

The PRS is a pig, lol. If your gonna use it for hunting too I would recommend a good collapsible. I've tried hunting with a PRS, I was always in a bind with it. It's a great bench/prone stock. But for hunting, possible quick shots, awkward shots and positions, I prefer a solid SOPMOD or CTR.

You cant beat Toolcraft for bolt carrier groups. I have had not one single issue with mine. You can get them in high pressure: "6.5/.260/etc., dual ejector, they range from $125-$175 depending on specs. They are good to go.

Buffer: KAK heavy for collapsible, it's what I run, been perfect. If your going full length, A2/PRS/etc. Then I would check out the JP SCS. I love mine in my A2, they are expensive vs. a standard buffer, but worth it IMO.

Barrel: I'll admit, I use cheap barrels sometimes. For blaster 223/556/etc, I just run cheap barrels. They work fine, but I try to use good barrels on my long range rigs. It's the heart of the rifle. Theres a lot of great options out there in your budget. Unless you want carbon fiber, Proof Research stainless barrels are great. Criterion are pretty good, I have a chrome lined 308 barrel from them that's a good shooter. Fulton Armory barrels are Criterion barrels IIRC. Unless you want a blingy barrel, I would go with a Craddock Bartlein, Proof Research stainless or Criterion.

Superlative is a solid gas block. Out of all my adjustable blocks my Seekins has held up best, so far. I only have one SA .750 block and havent ran enough 223 thru it yet to call whether it's better than my Seekins. So far, so good.

Oh btw... if your gonna be packing this on hunts, I would stick to 20" or less. If its gonna be a dedicated target rig, paper punching, matches, then longer is fine. But a big block AR can get really front heavy really fast with a long barrel, or just heavy in general. 18" is my longest big block barrel nowadays. Just too damn heavy to drag around.
 
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CNJarvis

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Thanks for the info guys, keep it coming.


The 6.5CM is gonna give you more bullet selection that fit the SR25 mag. The 260 is a damn good cartridge, just a little limited on what you can pack into a magazine.

Can you enlighten me on this? My Hornady manual lists the C. O. L. For bothe cartridges as 2.800”

I prefer fixed stocks, so folding/collapsing stocks are out.
 

flyer

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I haven't had mine to the range yet but I bought a Wilson Combat 22" fluted barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor. I'm hoping it will be a good balance between light weight and muzzle velocity.

They seem to make accurate barrels from what I see online so I'm hoping for the best.

I have a 24" Criterion bull barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor that I got from Fulton years ago. It's a 1/2 MOA shooter with certain box ammo.

Creedmoor works for me and is getting to be pretty common. Both have the same COAL but a hand loader would typically load .260 longer for use in a bolt gun that has a longer magazine or single loads. With the long bullets a lot of people prefer in a 6.5mm, the shoulder and neck of the .260 case might not be far enough back to hold the bullet well when it is seated deep enough to fit the magazine and that compromised grip might allow the bullet to set back in the magazine which will mess with accuracy.

There are reasons why 6.5 Creedmoor barrels are easy to find and .260 is not.

A PRS stock will hurt your weight goals.

I've read that some people think the Luth-AR stocks are a bit flimsy. They are probably fine but I know of one stock that is solid and pretty light weight: the Strike Industries Viper Modular fixed stock. It fits over a Mil Spec carbine buffer tube, either AR15/LR308 length or AR10/Vltor A5 length, it's inexpensive and it is built for an optional monopod. For a standard buffer type setup I prefer the longer AR10/Vltor A5 length buffer tube, it allows use of standard AR15 buffers instead of expensive shorty buffers like the AR15/LR308 length buffer tube. If you buy a JP Silent Captured Spring (SCS), the situation reverses, the SCS will drop in to an AR15 length buffer tube, no spacer required.

I have also used the Magpul MOE FCS stock which is similar to the Strike Industries Viper Modular fixed stock and it is nice, lighter weight but doesn't have quite the same solid feel, the ledge for your off hand or the monopod option but still a pretty solid good stock at a good price.
 
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jtatum1

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I’m a pretty big fan of those rainier arms ultra match barrels. Most of mine have had SLR adjustable gas block on them and once set it has been great. Whatever bcg you go with I’d look at a high pressure bolt and firing pin. I had a issue with a standard bolt on a 6.5 creed. I handload and the rounds were a little hot. I kept punching the center of the primer out and it eventually locked the gun up.
 

flyer

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I've heard of a lot more problems with "high pressure" bolts and large rifle primers. It seems that if you go high pressure you should use small primer brass which limits you to Lapua, Alpha, Starline and Peterson (I think).

I have had zero trouble with box ammo (large rifle primer) and a standard pressure bolt so I think people are screwing themselves up with reloads that don't have the right pressure curve or just too hot. At 800-1,000 yards, you don't need too hot.
 

jtatum1

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I’m not sure about factory ammo, my experience has been with reloads. I have several guys that I shoot with and all had the same experience that I did. Want to say 4 separate rifle and shooter combo. They all ended up with the high pressure bolt and that solved all their problems.
 

The DFC

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Nice looking list-nothing to add other than don't skimp on the barrel-although sounds like you know that with your barrel budget. Just prepping for the "I got my barrel at xyz for $100" crowd.

Also-I'm no Larue fanboy by any means-but their MBT trigger for sub $100 is really sweet-have them in all my rigs save for my LMTs on account of their triggers are also very good. Now they have it in straight bow for same price.

I hope my second paragraph wasn't exactly what my first paragraph warned against except for triggers :cautious:
 
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CNJarvis

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Nice looking list-nothing to add other than don't skimp on the barrel-although sounds like you know that with your barrel budget. Just prepping for the "I got my barrel at xyz for $100" crowd.

Also-I'm no Larue fanboy by any means-but their MBT trigger for sub $100 is really sweet-have them in all my rigs save for my LMTs on account of their triggers are also very good. Now they have it in straight bow for same price.

I hope my second paragraph wasn't exactly what my first paragraph warned against except for triggers :cautious:
The barrel is the heart of the rifle. I want the best bang for the buck, but I don't intend to skimp. So far though, I've bought everything when it was on sale. I picked up the Elftmann trigger NIB from a coworker for $150. ;) I'll pick up the rest over time as they come on sale as well.
 
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CNJarvis

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OK guys, I've found a Proof Research stainless barrel for a good price. Any reason not to buy this barrel over a Bartlein or Rainier Ultramatch?
 

ShooterwithNoName

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Thanks for the info guys, keep it coming.





Can you enlighten me on this? My Hornady manual lists the C. O. L. For bothe cartridges as 2.800”

I prefer fixed stocks, so folding/collapsing stocks are out.
The 6.5CM has a shorter case so it can be loaded with the longer, heavier bullets and still fit in the magazine confines of the SR25 magazine. The appeal of the Creedmoor over the 260 was that the case allowed you to load long match bullets in a Semi Auto/Short Action magazine.

I think you'll be happy with the Proof barrel, they are top shelf barrels.
 

CNJarvis

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The 6.5CM has a shorter case so it can be loaded with the longer, heavier bullets and still fit in the magazine confines of the SR25 magazine. The appeal of the Creedmoor over the 260 was that the case allowed you to load long match bullets in a Semi Auto/Short Action magazine.

I think you'll be happy with the Proof barrel, they are top shelf barrels.
I had to look at the SAAMI cartridge drawings but I think I understand now.

IOW, beecause the cartridge is shorter, the bullet can be seated out farther (closer to the lands) before running out of room in the magazine. Do I have that right?

ETA: It’s a moot point now. I decided to go with the Proof Research barrel in 260 Remington. If I decide I have made a mistake, I can always sell the barrel, brass, and dies, and buy a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel.
 
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ShooterwithNoName

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I think you'll still be happy with the 260. It's a great cartridge really. I figure you wont have problems finding a good heavy load to shoot in it. Sounds like its gonna be a nice rig, let us know how it shoots.
 

Greg Langelius *

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A), The 260 vs 6.5CM comparison is mostly a wash, except until one gets down to semi-auto firearms.

Although I am an adamant backer of the .260, I give the edge to the 6.5cm in the semi-auto. The case configuration moves the shoulder back, and with it, the neck section. This allows a smidge shorter COAL without necessitating seating the bullet quite so far into the case as the 260 does.

In practical terms, they're both going to go deep, but the .260 will be doing it deeper. Now, I've never had a visible issue with deeper seating, but honestly, how would I recognize one, with seating deep into the .260? There's just no other way around it, for either chambering, with the cruise missile bullet lengths that have become the norm. Staying with those practical terms, AR-10 magazine lengths are likely going to be restrictive, and being able to reduce the COAL somewhat shorter in the 6.5CM is also likely going to be of some minor(?) benefit.

B) I have the Luth AR MBA-1, and love it's adjustable LOP because it easily accommodates my 6' 5" tall frame/LOP issue. But, the cheek rest is better left uninstalled for me. Even at it's lowest height, it puts my Cheek Weld above the optimal height. If you are of moderate stature, one even simpler, but maybe also smarter, approach could be to simply go with an A2 stock. It was designed to be Uber Generic, something that will probably lend itself rather well to disparate applications.

C) I've built and bought, and once I got the build experiment/education out of my system; I went with, and stayed with, fully assembled AR segments, like Aero's fully assembled Uppers.

They are fully developed, debugged, confirmed as suitable for professional assembly line construction, quality checked/fired and capable of being warranteed. This is something you will not usually get with a build, and it is a genuine value.

Just the relative simplicity of getting it to cycle right out of the box is worth far more than one might save by piecing together disparate wunderparts. Here's a possible solution.

I'm looking into this precisely same question right now, including using the Aero Precision M5E1 setup. Its a bigger gulp, but I seriously suspect I'll just be buying the complete, intact 308 Upper, and then, buying a (L-W) .260 barrel for a swap right out of the box (if it's even possible). Later on, maybe even another complete 308 Upper, with the takeoff 308 barrel from above onhand for a replacement, if needed.

Barrels. In an AR, my experience is that this is the most important place to put your big bucks. My first build was a Franken-AR15, with the parts deliberately sourced from the absolutely cheapest available (then) from Amazon.

Except the barrel. It is a Stag 3G comp barrel. It's very satisfactory. Buy a good great barrel.

Greg
 
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flyer

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If you have long arms, A2 can work but A1 length and shorter works for me.

A large frame AR is always going to be heavy so bringing it in closer seems easier to handle for me.

The benefit of the fixed carbine stocks is that they generally have spacers to allow you to choose the LOP that works for you.

The benefit of the A1, A2 and stocks like the ACE Skeleton is that they use a standard AR10/LR308 rifle buffer in a standard AR15 fixed stock buffer tube. It's the easy button for large frame AR buffers.

The difference between the A1 and A2 is that the A1 stock was pulled directly from the original AR10 and put on the AR15 despite the AR15's shorter receiver creating a shorter LOP on the AR15. The A2 was introduced to increase the LOP on the AR15 using the same buffer tube and a spacer. Making the trip back to a large frame AR, the A1 seems more appropriate.
 
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CNJarvis

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Thank you all for your input.

Flyer, I hadn't thought about it, but you're quite correct. the Aero lower is exactly 5/8" longer when measuring from the rear trigger pin to the back of the receiver. I suspect you knew that though... I think I'll pick up an A1 length stock.

As far as the gas system and buffer, the PROOF Research website states:
"Proof Reseaerch AR-type barrels are designed to be used with standard, ‘full’ mass bolt carrier groups, standard mass buffers and standard rate recoil springs to ensure the best reliability and accuracy." and that "Light-weight or variable-weight bolt carriers are not recommended."
Given that, I'll pick up a standard buffer and recoil spring, and I'll have the adjustable gas block in the event that it needs any tweaking.
 

palmettoman

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I just received the Brownells A1 retro stock and it's solid (it doesn't have the rear pocket/door tho). I'm using an A2 on my AR10 now and got it to see which I prefer.
 

CNJarvis

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Mine just shipped after being back ordered at Brownells. The LOP with the A2 on an AR15 is already .4” longer than the LOP on all of my other rifles so I’m glad @flyer brought it up.
 

ColoradoShooter

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I couldn’t find a high pressure bolt on Toolcrafts website or wether or not you can purchase just a bolt. I like my JP stuff, but have a hard time spending $200+ just for their HP bolt.
 

CNJarvis

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Ok guys, I’ve got it assembled. The scope is a viper PST II 3-15. Range report to follow someday...Gray Ghost.jpg
 
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