The last few years
have seen the rise of a great interest in military style
semi-auto weapons. Manufacturers of AR-15 type rifles seem to
proliferate from all directions, with every imaginable variation
on the concept available. This is good, as the AR-15 and its
type is a fine weapons system.
If a larger
caliber AR type weapon is desired, the field narrows
dramatically in the choice of manufacturer. ArmaLite
dominates this market with its excellent AR-10 rifles. About a
year ago, Gunblast reviewed an ArmaLite
Realtree AR-10 and found it to be a powerful, reliable,
and accurate weapon.
ArmaLite now has a
new entry into the .308 caliber AR-10 family of weapons with
their Eagle Arms division. The Eagle line was introduced
to give shooters a lower-cost alternative to the ArmaLite
AR-10. With the Eagle line, a shooter can get a full-blown AR-10
.308 for not much more than the cost of a quality .223 AR-15,
such as ArmaLite’s own M15 series of weapons.
The Eagle Arms
AR-10s are built with the same care and craftsmanship as
ArmaLite’s other weapons, but use chrome-moly steel barrels
instead of the stainless barrels used on ArmaLite’s
top-of-the-line AR-10 target rifles.
With the Eagle
AR-10s selling for hundreds of dollars less than ArmaLite’s
other AR-10s, I was anxious to see how they performed.
The Eagle AR-10
sent to me is finished in a matte black over the entire weapon,
resulting in a serious, business-like appearance. The weapon
that I received is the target version, with the heavy
twenty-four inch barrel. The barrel measures .802 of an inch in
diameter, and, thankfully, has no muzzle brake or other
appendage attached. The gun weighs right at ten pounds, and
balances just forward of where the barrel enters the upper
receiver. The round aluminum hand guard is vented and free floated
for maximum cooling and better accuracy.
The AR-10 breaks
down for cleaning and maintenance easily, by pushing one pin to
the right and folding the upper receiver forward, allowing
removal of the bolt and bolt carrier without tools. The trigger
pull on the sample rifle released at 5.6 pounds, which is a bit
heavy for benchrest work, but a good compromise between target
and field use.
testing the AR-10 (T) with several rounds of Lake City
surplus NATO spec ammo, I mounted a Tasco 6 to 24 power
Varmint/Target scope in the superb ArmaLite scope mount, and
secured it to the flat top upper receiver. Functioning with a
variety of ammunition was excellent, with no failures to feed,
fire, or eject any of the ammo tested.
Accuracy with the
Eagle AR-10 was as good as the ammo. With the Lake City surplus
the gun would place two or three shots almost touching at 110
yards, then a flyer would mess up the group. The chronograph
proved that the ammo was at fault. Moving on to the Federal
Gold Medal match ammo, the gun turned in an impressive
performance, with groups measuring under three-quarters of an
inch at 110 yards the norm, and a few groups measuring closer to
five-eighths of an inch. The ArmaLite scope mount allowed
removal and replacement of the scope quickly and easily, with no
loss of zero. It is a rugged, strong, and simple design.
Overall, I was
very impressed with the performance and accuracy of the Eagle
Arms AR-10. It is the most accurate AR-10 that I have fired,
barely edging out the ArmaLite Realtree version tested last
year. It is a rugged, reliable, and accurate .308 semi-auto.
If you are ready to move up to an AR-10, give the Eagle Arms
version a serious look. It is priced well below its nearest
competition, and gives up nothing in performance. Go to www.armalite.com
Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or
disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.
All content © 2003 GunBlast.com.
All rights reserved.