ArmaLite AR10A2 in .308 Win. (7.62 NATO)

Armalite Inc.

You may not know this, but the “AR” part of AR-15 comes from ArmaLite. Eugene Stoner, the inventor of the M16, AR-15 platform, was the chief engineer at ArmaLite in 1955 when his first design the AR-10 went head to head and lost to the M-14 as a replacement for the M1 Garand.

Today that AR-10 in .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO design lives on at ArmaLite and for SHOT this year they released the only A2 service rifle configuration available in the US today.

I have a friend who always reminds me that you can only shoot one gun at a time. That means that we all should be thinking in terms of a “one gun solution,” no matter how many guns we have in the safe. And bringing firepower to bear is how I think of what should govern the choice in that one gun that you grab in the middle of the night, or in a regional catastrophic disaster, or of course, if all of your neighbors turn into zombies and you and Woody Harrelson have to make it out alive.

Lights and red dot/green dot sights all need batteries. And in my experience, unless you use them regularly, even lithium batteries die over the course of several months in almost all devices. As an electrical circuit hobbies I can tell you that it is very difficult to make a circuit that has no residual drain on a battery, however small, that will eventually leave your device dead. If your “one gun” is going to sit in the safe indefinitely, waiting for it to be needed, the months can tick off quickly without you ever realizing it. And if the time ever comes for you to take that gun out of the safe to bring force to bear, you may be left searching for an allen key go get that sight off your rifle so you can aim it effectively with the iron sights, because your read dot is dead and nobody showed up at work in Wal-Mart today for you to buy batteries.

For that reason I generally suggest a simple and electricity free firearm as a one gun, “come the day” weapon. When it comes to caliber, that is a whole other discussion, but the AR-10 is 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.), not .556 NATO (.223 Rem.) like common AR-15s and US service rifles. As a simple gun that has a battle proven design, with a cartridge that can punch through ½ inch of pig iron and still keep going, you won’t find a more effective weapon than an AR-10. This A2 configuration is a matter of preference, so if you like it, ArmaLite, the original inventor of the AR, now makes it.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Scott Eisenhart August 2, 2015, 5:50 pm

    Why is it that you can’t find a complete AR10A2 for sale anywhere? I want one to complement my AR-15.

    • STEVE CAST January 14, 2017, 10:46 am


  • J Elwood September 24, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I’m getting one of these (AR10A2BF) this week. It comes new, boxed from the factory, for $1249.00. I understand it takes a while to properly “condition” the barrel. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m also going to get the Armalite AR-24K pistol, 9MM (just for a pocket liner).

  • Ned in Connecticut February 27, 2011, 4:39 am

    I have a number of 308 rifles in various configurations and have taken many deer with them. It is an excellent caliber with more than enough stopping power. I just bought an AR-15 three days ago in .223. Now I read about this AR-10. Wish I did a little more research before buying that. I will look in to the purchase of the AR-10. It seems to be the perfect weapon for multi-tasking.

  • ottoman January 23, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Due to an auto accident I am pretty recoil sensitive. I sold my bolt action .308 because I couldn’t take the pounding. AR-15 and AK-47 are fine. How much recoil does the gas system and recoil spring in an AR-10 absorb? Is this a gas piston system?

    • Administrator January 23, 2011, 7:54 pm

      All ARs are gas piston systems. Either they are inline or external. This is an inline and does not have the recoil of a standard .308, but it is still a .308 not a 556.

  • Tex the Texan January 21, 2011, 8:34 pm

    I like the AR-10 that I have, but my favorite battle rifle is still my Springfield M1a SOCOM II………….

    That being said, it’s a great thing Armalite will be selling this .308 jewel…….you can’t shoot Dinosaurs or dragons with AR15’s (.556) it just pisses them off 🙂

  • Tin Moose January 21, 2011, 8:57 am

    I have an older AR-10T. It’s a great rifle. The guy I bought it from always asks if he could get it back… I don’t think so! 🙂

  • Patriot1 January 21, 2011, 6:08 am

    Will there be a version for the United Socialist Republik of Kalifornia? meaning 1 rnd. magazine, Carbon-neutral, with Green Technology, and “Anti-Global Warming?” bovine Scatology, Tofu and MoonBeam advertising, and with Union Pension Tax included? Joking aside, will there be a California Legal Version?

    • Administrator January 21, 2011, 7:37 am

      I don’t think so. 🙁 Move to florida.

  • Dave Barrett January 21, 2011, 2:22 am

    I want one with the 16 inch barrel and the mid-length hand guard and gas tube assembly. That would be perfect.

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