AR-10 vs M14 for DMR

Discussion in 'Rifles & Shotguns' started by B81, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I'm doing something that I shouldn't be doing, and that is looking at "precision" semi-auto rifles that could be loosely classified as a DMR rifle.

    In regards to caliber choice, my understanding is that shooting 5.56 out to 600 yards is certainly doable. However, 5.56 is more likely to get pushed by the wind, and it's effectiveness for anything other than paper punching is questionable at 500+ yards. My understanding is that the Army reintroduced the M14, which fires 7.62, early on in the war in Afghanistan because insurgent forces knew this and would strike from 500+ yards (and then bug out before air support or artillery could respond). For those of you who were there, I welcome any insights you might have into this story.

    I'm not fighting insurgents in Afghanistan. I'm just a hobbyist that is looking to attend some Known Distance (KD) Appleseed shoots and maybe try my hand at a local NRA High-Power match. Even though my adversaries are made of paper (and occasionally steel), I'm starting to wonder if I'm better off adopting 308 win for anything outside of 300 yards, as bullet drop is easier to predict than wind drift.

    In the world of semi-auto 308 win, I have a number of options: FN SCAR, FN FAL, AK-47, AR-10, M14 and their respective derivatives. At this point, it looks like either the AR-10 or M14 are the two most common platforms used to build budget friendly DMR inspired semi-auto rifles. (If you have money to burn, the FN SCAR is obviously another option to seriously consider.) By budget friendly I mean a rifle under $2000 (sans optic).

    So, I put it to you experts, both real and self appointed, to help me to understand the trade offs between the AR-10 and M14/M1A platforms. Bonus points awarded to those who can speak from actual experience with both platforms.

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Don't look at this website: It's very triggering for an addict like myself ;)
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  2. gaijin

    gaijin Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2015
    ^^ Relation of Centaur?

    AR10 is gonna be substantially easier than the M14 to put together a MOA and under rifle.
    There is also the cost aspect; the AR has more aftermarket parts/support than the M14 as well.

    I have no doubt a "winner" of an M14 could be put together, all it takes is money.

  3. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Your response is a copy and paste of amstel78 from

    The m14form profile for amstel78 says he is from Pennsylvania. Your profile says you are from Texas. His post was dated November 22, 2011. If you are the same person, then apparently you have been planning "to purchase the Armalite AR-10EBF SASS within the next few months" for about 8 years now.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  4. zChambers

    zChambers ........... Supporting Addict

    Jan 21, 2015
    the M14s were re-introduced during the war on terror because they were still in the arms inventory and they could be quickly fielded to fill a capability cap; delivering accurate and effective fire at high elevation, in extended ranges. M14's are now almost completely out of service again now that the procurement system has ramped and manufacturers can deliver .308 AR pattern rifles to the standard force. .308 AR's have been fielded by more specialized units for some time now and conventional units have been using them in some capacity for probably eight to ten years?

    M14's can be made to be accurate and I think there is a definite cool-factor in a super accurate M14 style rifle. But you will ultimately end up chasing your tail and spending a large amount of money and end up with a relatively fixed system at the end of the day (by fixed I mean not easily upgradeable). Last time I checked, highly accurized M14 shoot at about 1.25 MOA... someone will probably correct me on that number though.

    308 AR's are fairly common at this point, can be made to be relatively accurate with little effort, parts are plentiful and relatively cheap, gas systems have been worked out, and you can switch between calibers relatively easily.

    I would personally suggest spending a little more and getting a Larue rifle, but I'm a little biased towards that company. LMT and LWRC make fairly good guns for around that price point but almost any company that produces an AR15 now also makes an AR10. Many people would suggest making your own, but I would prefer to buy into a system that I know has had the bugs worked out, and is under warranty.

    FWIW, I think there are a lot better options than the SCAR 17 if you are looking for long range accuracy. The SCAR H is a great gun but in my mind it makes a better heavy assault rifle v. a DMR.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
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  5. pdogkilr

    pdogkilr Can't afford Therapy

    Jan 7, 2012
    I'm certainly no expert. I have not "been there, done that." But I have both calibers. I have taken Prairie Dogs out to 500+ with a 223 (bolt action). I have Rainier Ultra-Match barrels in 223 Wylde and 308 on AR Platforms. Both are sub-MOA shooters. If those two calibers were my choices, I would go with the 308 for distance - better ballistics at range. Precision shooters looking for extreme distance tend to move toward 6.5 Creedmore, or 338 Lapua. Both are expensive to shoot. Military ball is available for both the 5.56 and 7.62 for plinking (and spent brass) which makes them more economical to shoot. The 308 Barrel is shown below ... Hope this helps a little.
    [​IMG]IMG_3166 Rainier 308 Barrel by Jerry R, on Flickr
  6. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012
    The M14 I was issued as part of the OKNG rifle team was one that had been put together by the Army Marksmanship Unit at Ft. Benning. I did not like it, but I practiced with it out to 1,000 yards. My AR10 is an Armalite TCBNF with a 16 inch barrel. It is far more accurate in the 100-400 yard range, but I have never shot it at 1,000 yards though.
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  7. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    Why limit yourself to 5.56 or .308? I've got both but my favorites are in 6.5. A Grendel and a Creed. 20160916_202256.jpg 20181108_203754.jpg
  8. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Price and availability of ammo.
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  9. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    I get that. Why I've got a M1A and a DMRish BCM that I have pics of somewhere. Love the M14 platform. If going that way my only suggestion is to get a proper sling. It's a dying art that I haven't mastered at all but what some guys can do with a M14, open sights and a sling is amazing.
  10. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Yup. The only reason that I know anything about shooting slings is because of the Appleseed Project. (I'm scheduled to attend my first shoot this spring.) It's because of Appleseed that I even started looking seriously at M14 platform. That's not to suggest that Appleseed is exclusive to M1 Garand or M14 pattern rifles by any means. In fact, it looks like many use AR pattern rifles at Appleseed shoots. But, if you trace the history of the methods they teach, a lot of it goes back to the WWII era and the Garand rifle.
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  11. zChambers

    zChambers ........... Supporting Addict

    Jan 21, 2015
    I'm guessing that Appleseed shooting is an outgrowth of CMP and Camp Perry shoots, which may explain their history and methods.

    I'm hoping that my two year old becomes interested enough in shooting that we can go to appleseed-type events in the future.
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  12. 7.62Kolectr

    7.62Kolectr On guard

    Jun 6, 2018
    I have both. For me I shoot an M1A Natl match with open sights and there is nothing I have that FEELS like it. There is still something about the smell and feel of wood and leather that beats all in my book.

    This is representative of what my 100yd groups look like, again with open sights. I sit next to people who have scoped rifles of all flavors and when we are on the bench shooting they kinda look at me funny. I know they are chuckling at my lack of an optic. Then we go check targets and guess what, many are no better than the below.
    Can a scoped rifle do better? Sure.
    Can a different shooter do better than some folks I see? Sure.

    But to me, again I like open sight shooting and the smell of warm wood in my hands.
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  13. JohnnyEgo

    JohnnyEgo Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2017
    I love the M14, but it weighs eleventy billion pounds. Or at least that is how much I recall it weighing when I used to have to do rifle aerobics with 80 of my closest friends at 4:00 AM. Of the thing you specifically wish to do with it, the AR10 is going to be the lowest price-point of entry, the easiest to upgrade if it turns out you really like what you are doing with it, and the easiest to offload if it turns out you don't.

    I run my Knights gun all the time, and can reasonably reliably ring steel at 800 yards (8/10, with the first two usually being the misses that help me get on the plate). And I am definitely not a great shooter; I know just enough technique to get me out there, not enough to actually 'group'. My shooting buddy is a better shot, and prefers 6.5 Creedmore over .308, because we are often fighting prairie cross-winds. He believes it is more stable in the wind, and he hits the 1000 yard plate more consistently than I do, for what it is worth.

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  14. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 29, 2014
    Ar-10 is:
    Inherently more accurate
    More reliable
    More ergonomic

    Not as common

    I carried both for work, DMR/EMR in Corps and LaRue OBR on tac team with PD. It’s a no brainer to me considering the ar-10 is superior in every measurable facet.

    Here is a thread on my personal/match rifle. Only change sonce is ATACR instead of SHV scope and Magpul PRS stock.
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  15. 7.62Kolectr

    7.62Kolectr On guard

    Jun 6, 2018
    If you buy an AR10 you won’t be able to do this. :)

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  16. 7.62Kolectr

    7.62Kolectr On guard

    Jun 6, 2018
    This was the first night I had my Natl match. I took her out to dinner.
    She had the entre’ which consisted of 10 rounds of 168gr Gold Medal SMKs, a few shots of Hoppes, some Remoil and Rig grease on her op rod for dessert. :)

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  17. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I have both a M1A and a DPMS LR-308 that I built on a 80% lower. Both are 7.62x51. I'm a bit old school in that I still believe that North America is 30 cal country. :)

    My rifles (and pistols) are intended as weapons, although they do punch paper during practice. The M1A is my close in battle rifle (<300 yds or so) and is actually lighter than my LR-308. I replaced the original black stock with a Archangel stock that fits my ergonomics better. The LR is my heavy-barreled and scoped rifle that is primarily for situations where longer ranges, out to about 600 or so, and better accuracy are required. At my age I'm not going to put a Ghillie suit back on, crawl around on the ground, and engage targets out to 1000 yds... ;)

    Both will function as a defense tool and put meat on the table if/when necessary although I haven't hunted game for years. But you never know.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
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  18. sinister

    sinister Member

    Apr 10, 2018
    The Army Marksmanship Unit has broken most of the long-range iron sight service rifle records previously set using the M1, M14, and M16 with Armalite AR-10s.


    An M14 is going to take a lot more money, patience, and luck to get (and keep) shooting precisely than an AR-10 style rifle.
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  19. Marine24

    Marine24 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2015
    I have a couple of M14/M1As, one with a Winchester heel to give it a more authentic M14 look and another from the Golden Era of M1As. I have a couple of AR10/308 AR platforms as well. One in 308 and the other in 6.5 CM.

    As stated above, there is something satisfying shooting my M14, similar to the feeling I get with shooting my Garand but old eyes and iron sights don't play nice together. I have one set up with a Vietnam era Unertl scope that helps but my goal building this rifle was more to represent ones used during the Vietnam War by the USMC.

    If I was doing long range (800 yard+), the 6.5 CM AR would be my choice.
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  20. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    I have a Fulton NM M14 and it is a tack driving beast.

    With that said, it was built 20 years ago, back when GI Operating Rods and other parts were still around but drying up. I suspect now, they would be all gone and who knows what is out there now.

    Buy the KAC if you want a known quantity. If you just want to Mr. Potato Head something together others may have advice.
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