Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Crown Precision’s AR10 Elite lineup challenges common perceptions by offering lightweight rifles with guaranteed sub-MOA accuracy. Their tagline of “starting at 4.1 lbs.” piqued my interest, highlighting their commitment to weight reduction. The Elite model stands out as their top-tier option, featuring a wide selection of carbon fiber and titanium components. Additionally, Crown Precision manufactures both AR10 and AR15 platforms, with the AR10 lineup offering chamberings in .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 22 Creedmoor, 6MM Creedmoor, or .338 Federal. Each rifle is custom-built to the consumers’ specifications, and current build times are between 30-45 days.
Out of the Box
When ordering an Elite rifle, it will come packed up in a durable Boyt Hardcase and with two hex magazines. After purchasing the rifle, the fun begins with determining how to set it up. To top off this build, I figured I would have to use the Eotech 5-25 since it is one of the shortest first focal plane rifle scopes on the market. Then I mounted it in the Black Collar Arms Forged Carbon Fiber One-Piece Scope Mount. Why? Because carbon fiber everything is the theme of this review. From the barrel, handguard, stock, pistol grip, scope mount, and even the tripod I used when hunting, the Elite is designed to shave weight.
While Crown Precision lists the Elite at a starting weight of 4.1 lbs, this is for a short barrel paired with a straight buffer tube. The rifle I reviewed sported a 16″ barrel, 15″ handguard, and their own fixed carbon fiber stock paired with their cheek riser.
The Elite is equipped with a set of carbon fiber furniture that enhances its overall performance. The ultralight pistol grip weighs a mere 1.3 ounces, ensuring both function and weight reduction. Depending on the desired barrel length, there are several handguard options available. These range from a lightweight 5.4-ounce 7″ option to a 7.8-ounce 15″ handguard, which includes a full-length top Picatinny rail for added versatility. Additionally, Crown Precision provides three different types of ultralight carbon fiber butt stocks. These stocks come in an “open” design, a shorter version, and even an adjustable configuration. These cater to multiple intended roles. Crown Precision offers a 3.25-ounce adjustable cheek riser as well.
Crown Precision offers BSF carbon fiber barrels in a range of lengths, from 10 inches to 24 inches. Unlike competitors who wrap their barrels in carbon fiber, these BSF barrels utilize machine slots that facilitate airflow and efficient heat dissipation. BSF states that “after turning down the barrel, we jacket a 416R Stainless steel match barrel in a roll-wrapped carbon fiber sleeve and load it under tension.” This design diminishes the risk of delamination often associated with wrapped barrels. Additionally, their carbon fiber barrels are claimed to be stiffer than all-steel barrels, resulting in reduced warping and vibration, leading to improved accuracy. The enhanced cooling properties of the barrels contribute to a longer expected barrel life as well.
This Elite rifle, being in line with AR10 specifications, is compatible with a wide range of triggers available on the market. However, it comes equipped with an adjustable AR Gold drop-in module trigger straight from the factory. These triggers are adjustable from 1.8 lbs up to 4.5 lbs, and Crown Precision had it tuned right at 2 lbs. The AR Gold trigger is an awesome option, and I have used this exact trigger in my main AR for the past two years without any issues. It has an extremely short reset and a clean break, all while being completely drop-safe.
Since these rifles are custom-built, there are multiple bolt carrier groups available for fully configuring the Elite. Ranging from standard mil-spec BCG’s, to more premium lightweight titanium options, Crown Precision has you covered. The rifle I spent time testing used a steel BCG and ran without issue throughout the duration of my review. One thing to note that I found was that the upper receiver cannot be rocked as far forward as most receivers when removing the BCG due to the handguard hitting the lower receiver. While not a big deal, it is something to note as carbon fiber is more brittle than aluminum, and unfolding without care could chip the hand guard.
SEE MORE: TiN Coated BCG from Brownells
The backbone of every AR-style rifle is the receiver set. Crafted to shave as much weight as possible while remaining rugged, the Elite utilizes machined 7075-T7 billet for both the upper and lower receiver. One side of the magwell is skeletonized to reduce weight while avoiding the pitfalls of a skeletonized upper receiver which allows dirt to enter the system and impact reliability. Asking why only one side was skeletonized, I was told it was to allow for custom engraving on the other side which could be done without any additional charge. To further reduce weight, the lower receiver also features titanium takedown pins, a safety selector, and a magazine release.
Looking to see if the Crown Precision Elite could live up to the 3-round sub-MOA claim, I put it to the test with 8 different types of ammunition. While most shooters settle for 3-round groups, I believe that 5-round groups provide a more accurate representation of a rifle’s actual performance. It’s worth noting that 5-round groups typically exhibit larger deviations due to statistical probabilities and factors such as barrel heating. Due to these reasons, take from my results what you will.
Speaking to the co-owner of Crown Precision, he said that the guns typically like Federal Premium 168gr BTHP and we were able to get a .797 MOA 3-round group (the only 3-round group we shot for the day), and then averaged right around 1.0 MOA for multiple 5-round groups. Either way, I wanted to use a variety of both Hornady and Norma ammunition to see which types of ammo the Elite liked best. Also, I would like to mention I know I pulled a shot in the Hornady American Whitetail group and that it was a quarter inch further out than the other three rounds that were touching, and omitting this I would have got a .750ish MOA group. Nonetheless, my groups can be seen in the chart and picture below.
|Ammo Type||5-Round Group Size in MOA|
|Hornady Whitetail 150gr InterLock||1.059|
|Federal Premium 168gr BTHP||1.092|
|Norma Whitetail 150gr Softpoint||1.249|
|Norma Golden Target 175gr FMJ||1.375|
|Norma BondStrike 180gr||1.875|
|Hornady Precision Hunter 178gr ELD-X||2.009|
|Hornady Superformance 168gr ELD Match||2.018|
|Hornady Black 155gr A-MAX||4.583 (due to one flyer)|
So now you all know how Crown Precision can shave off so much weight with the Elite, but how does it shoot? I am happy to report that it shot great. As a brand new rifle off the shelf, it proved to be the most accurate AR10 I have ever handled. Throughout my test, I fired over a hundred rounds of different 308 and 7.62×51 ammunition, encountering only a single malfunction – a failure to feed with S&B 147gr M80. Other than that, the rifle operated flawlessly.
Some guns can be finicky when shooting suppressed vs unsuppressed, but the Elite powered through it all when paired with an AB suppressor. The recoil, while more noticeable compared to my significantly heavier AR10, remained controllable, allowing me to stay on target even during a rapid mag dump at close range. Furthermore, the rifle’s performance extended to longer distances, as I successfully hit a small rock on a berm at 500 yards after getting dialed in with the new rifle.
Hunting With The Crown Precision Elite
For the last portion of this review, I was allowed to take the Crown Precision Elite out hunting with Bart, a co-owner of Crown Precision. After meeting up, we drove out to northeast Texas to try our luck searching for pigs out on his ranch. Due to the damage these wild pigs do, they can be hunted any time of the year, day or night. Using the Pulsar Thermion XG50 thermal scope, we were well-equipped for hunting at night when the pigs are most active.
Not long into our scouting we found a group of 4-5 pigs 800 or so yards away. From this point, we exited the side-by-side and started stalking. For some reason or another, Texas decides that around midnight it can still be 80+ degrees with a crazy amount of humidity. These conditions and the 500-yard stalk helped remind me how much lighter the Elite felt out hiking than my personal AR10 I have been using for years prior. “Ounces equal pounds” is a common and fitting quote that comes to mind. The Elite made the stalk much less burdensome. While the pigs ended up moving into the woods before we could get within shooting range, this was nonetheless a valuable experience out in the field with this AR10. You win some and you lose some, but anytime out hunting is a good time in my book.
For those that have been looking for an ultra-light custom AR10 built to your specifications, the Crown Precision Elite is for you. With its range of furniture options, BCG variations, barrel lengths, and personalized engraving, it is built to be set apart. The MSRP starts at $4,499.99 but that is understandable when only the best lightweight cutting-edge materials are utilized throughout the whole AR10. Throughout my testing, the rifle ran without issue and proved to be more comfortable when hunting and hiking through farmland stalking wild pigs.
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