Throwback Thursday: 4 Alternatives to the AR-10

Black PTR-91 rifle

Depending on what you’re trying to put holes into, the venerable 5.56 isn’t always the right choice. Sometimes, you need that hard-hitting .308. While the AR-10 is a fine choice, here are four .30-caliber rifles you should try before pulling the trigger on the variant you’ve been eyeing. After all, there are a labyrinth of variations of the AR-10-style of rifle that make customizing them a real pain for the beginner.


Black PTR-91 rifle
The PTR-91 is much more affordable than its predecessor—the HK.

Ever since the SAS (Special Air Service) stormed the Iranian Embassy with the now iconic MP5—the HK series of roller-delayed rifles have been the choice of many top tier professional shooters. The ruggedly reliable G3 was produced by HK from 1958 to 1997. After HK dropped the rifle from production, PTR Industries picked production up in 2002. Thankfully, the PTR-91 is far more affordable than the HK rifles—making them a bargain. As for why you should give serious consideration to this rife, it has MP5 controls, excellent HK drum sights, an amazingly reliable action, and it throws giant .30 caliber pills down range. What isn’t to like? Couple all of that with super cheap surplus magazines (under $3) and you have the recipe for a really awesome rifle.


Black FAL rifle
Featuring an adjustable gas system, the FAL makes a wonderfully soft-shooting .308 that will work with just about any ammo, in any condition

The FAL has rightly earned the nickname of “the right arm of the free world” because it was adopted by so many NATO countries during the Cold War. The FAL has been largely forgotten by the shooting community in recent years because the parts kits have dried up, and there are no reasonably priced reproductions. Thankfully, DSA builds a bargain-priced FAL you can now seriously consider. Featuring an adjustable gas system, the FAL makes a wonderfully soft-shooting .308 that will work with just about any ammo, in any condition. Not considering one of these would be a disservice to yourself.

Springfield Armory M1A

M1A Loaded Series from Springfield Armory
M1A™ Loaded Series from Springfield Armory®

With the price of a quality AR-10 and a M1A being so very close, there is no reason not to think about the M-14’s offspring. There is just something charming and warm about the beautiful wood and metal construction of the M1A that makes me gravitate to this rifle. Maybe it has something to do with the M1A’s roots in a rifle that I am rather fond of and own several—the M1 Garand. After WWII, the military recognized the need for a magazine-fed rifle and the result is more or less what you see here, minus the fun switch of course. Now the M-14 did only serve five short years as the main line issued rifle, but it did live on in special roles. As a result, there is a whole host of parts out there that allow you to “tacti-cool” your rifle ’till you’re as operator as your heart desires.


Black FN SCAR rifle
The SCAR 17S has been reported to be the best battle rifle that money can buy these days.

The SCAR 17S has been reported to be the best battle rifle money can buy. The soft recoiling rifle has replaced the venerable M-14 in many military rolls largely because the M-14 is a bit long in the tooth after serving for 56 years. Not only is the SCAR a pleasure to shoot, but it also has almost as many accessories as the AR platform, allowing you to tailor this rifle to your exact needs. Now you might be asking, is it worth the premium over some of the other rifles? I think so. Boasting features such as a folding stock, built-in rails, adjustable cheek rest, and ambidextrous controls, it is hard not to see the value. Throw in the capability to convert calibers by buying the caliber conversion kit of your choosing, and you have a gun that really is something special.

As a result of the selection of interesting .308 semi-autos being a bit on the thin side, I was forced to limit this to four options. If you have AR fatigue, like so many shooters do now, this list might help you along with the process of selecting your next .308 rifle.

If you, the reader, have any suggestions for an interesting alternative to the all-too-common AR-10-style of rifles, please let us hear it in the comments.

About the Author:

Patrick Roberts

Since founding Firearm Rack in 2014 which evolved into Primer Peak in 2020, Patrick has been published by RECOIL, Ammoland, Gun Digest, The Firearm Blog, The Truth About Guns, Breach Bang Clear, Brownells, The Shooter's Log, and All Outdoor. When he isn't writing you can find him instructing handgun and AR-15 courses, training his dog Bear, or spending time with his son Liam. See what he is up to on his YouTube Channel, on Facebook, or on Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (60)

  1. AR-10 Carbine Buffer for .308

    Features and Specifications:
    3 Ounce Buffer Weight
    2.5″ Overall Length
    Color: Matte Black

  2. You can build a 6.5 Grendel AR upper for about $500. I just finished mine last month. I swap it out with my .300 BLK upper.

  3. The idea of “AR Fatigue” is difficult to imagine to me, but I guess it’s ‘possible’… regardless though, if you’re looking for something other than an AR-10 variant, you’d be hard pressed to go wrong with the Springfield Armory M1A in .308 win. The only ‘caution’ I could offer is to make sure you get the “loaded” series rather than the “standard”. It’s only a small bump in price, but you get a lot of upgrades – nat’l match barrel, nat’l match trigger group, nat’l match aperture rear sights, etc. Essentially you’ll get an sub-MOA weapon out of the box. I introduced myself to the world of .308 AR’s by building one after getting hooked (as everyone has) by the AR-15. But I grew up with a Mini-14 and will never have a bad word to say about either them or the Mini-30. However the second I went into the field with a buddy and his SA M1A I was an instant convert. To this day, the M1A has to be the softest and smoothest cycling .308 I had or have ever run. And the M1 Garand lineage is the epitome of coolness if you’re into the historical side of firearms too.

    Overall it’s a beautiful rifle that handles & shoots every bit as good as it looks. At a hair under 10# with a walnut stock, it’s a touch heavier than an AR. In the synthetic stock it’s just a hair over 9#. Weight correlates to pain as they say, but the beauty & ruggedness of the walnut (to me anyway) is worth the added ounces. Dollar for dollar the M1A is about the same retail price as any quality/reliable AR-10 that anyone’s likely to find. And for those who just can’t be satisfied with ‘a stock rifle’, there are just about as many mod possibilities out there for the M1A as there are for the AR based platforms

    To be sure, if you’re looking for a semi-auto .308 & actually DO have this condition referred to as “AR fatigue” (the existence of which I remain uncertain) I cannot imagine ANYone being dissatisfied with an M1A, let alone regretting one.

  4. Another good option in 308 is the FN FNAR. Even though AR is in the name, it has no similarity. The AR comes from John Brownings infamous BAR.

  5. There’s a “New Kid In Town”, the 7.6 Creedmoor (7.62×50). That can be chambered in any .308 Win firearm…

  6. Bought my DSA SA-58 (FN-FAL) back when Clinton was president and I can second what W Murphy said. Excellent quality, great accuracy (for a battle rifle) and large supply of available magazines (that don’t cost upwards of $50 each like Springfield M1A mags), makes for a great alternative to an AR-10. Add to that my SA-58 eats everything including steel case Russian crap, as needed. …just a great all around 7.62 rifle.

  7. My comment’s in line with other comments. Why would you spend considerable amounts more than the average AR-10 costs? You can pick up a decent AR 10 starting around $850 and up depending upon the extra’s you want.

  8. The first use of the Recoil-operated Roller-locking action was in the MG42. It proved to be a highly successful system, allowing high rates of fire and rapid barrel changes with extremely low maintenance and high reliability. The West German government had to license the G3 only because they were not allowed to manufacture arms after WWII until the United States and England allowed them to return to self-government and become a member of NATO. The actual action and operating system was developed during the early years of WWII and adopted in 1942 as the MG42. The weapon and its derivatives are still in use in the former Yugoslavia, Germany and Austria.
    As to the HK91, I have owned and shot one of these since around 1977. I have the claw scope mount and it works fine. The rifle digests pretty much anything, but brass has to be resized pretty carefully to get it to chamber in other .308/7.62X51 rifles. The recoil of my HK isn’t bad but the narrowness of the butt stock does not help. My brother has put a slip on recoil pad on it and that really tames it down. The trigger isn’t very good, but it improves with a little polishing. Accuracy is very good with good ammunition: on the order of 1″ to 11/2″. And in the manual I had, one of the cautions was that there should be a 1/8′ to maybe 1/4″ gap between the bolt and carrier when in battery, which kept the rifle from exhibiting excessive recoil. That gap allows the bolt to soak up energy as the roller bearings are forced out of their slots in the chamber. If the butt stock were wider than a hatchet blade, the recoil of this rifle would be no problem at all.

  9. There’s also the “Grandfather” of the American “AR” Patterned Rifle in .30-06 (7.62×63.3mmR) M8 (1955) by Eugene Stoner. Only 12 were ever produced…

  10. ONE MORE THING: STEYR AUG (Arme Universal Gewher)
    I’ve owned my AUG since 1990 and still think it’s one of the most advanced assault-style rifles aver made. Plus it is accurate, utterly reliable and easily broken down for compact &/or concealed carry.

    When I look at my PS90 I see the AUG trigger group copied faithfully by FN. The AUG was innovative and I’d buy one in .308 in a heartbeat if it was ever offered. I love bullpups!

  11. I found the FAL the best alternative to the AR10. Haven’t had the inclination to get the SCAR (strikes me as the ultimate rifle for those who want the gear as much or more than the rifle)

    The HK pattern is reliable and strong, but much more difficult to add accessories or change it from the stock configuration. I never found the claw mounts satisfactory and there is no adding a rail to the top of the receiver without substantial permanent modification. Hard to do and easy to screw up.

    The M1A is venerable, tried and true, but similarly limited in accessories. I never liked the side mounted scope base, and the bases that replace the rear sight mean that you’re stuck with the scope no matter what. On top of that, the rifle is capable of great accuracy, but takes quite a bit to maintain if accuracy is what you’re after. It is the easiest to change magazines in a hurry if you don’t mind dropping the mag on the ground. The M1A also had the best trigger of the 308s that aren’t an AR (The M1A trigger is the basis for most AR two stage triggers)

    My FAL is built on an Argentine parts kit and DSA receiver. I cut the chamber with a .308 semi-auto match chamber (same as a match M1A barrel) and it’s as accurate as the best of the M1As but requires less maintenance to keep it accurate. A picatinny railed top cover clamped onto the upper receiver gives me a stable scope mount and an adjustable para style rear sight equals the M1A for wind adjustments. Elevation is not adjustable unless you go with the lower equipped with the AR style sights that DSA has (and that’s in the future for my rifle, but realistically, there’s not too much chance of needing to adjust elevation repeatedly on your backup sight). A railed forend gives all kinds of space for mounting additional accessories if you want them. I find a grip-pod is sufficient. Magazine changes are the slowest of the bunch if you’re using a metric pattern rifle, but still manageable.

    So my recommendation if you don’t want to follow the AR pattern (or if you want to go with a piston driven 308 battle rifle) is the FAL. It can take all the accessories you could ever want, but is perfectly happy in a plain configuration.

    **A final word on accuracy: The many cheap builds using timing washers and special locking shoulders in order to set headspace and gas system timing have given the FAL a bad reputation accuracy-wise. I highly recommend avoiding a rifle built with washers (but I’m certain you can find examples that use a washer that are fine rifles).

    1. WMurphy, I’d be interested to hear more about your chamber modifications for the FAL. I make some accessories for the FAL, so I always enjoy hearing people putting more into the platform.

  12. For those of us that are not independently wealthy, Zastava makes an excellent .308NATO PAP77 that is very good quality all around. Adjustable gas valve. Hold open. Off a rest I can shoot consistently one MOA at 100yds with match ammo or hand loads. On a see food diet – it eats whatever it sees. They can be had for under $500. You can get high quality 15 and 20 rd mags from CSSPEC.

  13. I have an Aero Precision FDE Enhanced AR-10 and a Ruger Precision AR-10 rifle that I wouldn’t trade for nothing.I have $2000 in both guns less glass that shoot sub MOA at 500 yards. Building an AERO CREEDMOOR right now as my long range. I’ll stick with technology, it wins everytime in the right hands.Just go to a shooting match and see for yourself.

  14. If I were to choose a .308-caliber Rifle, it would br 7.62x51NATO Mil-Std. not .308 Win Mil-Spec. Mil-Std. gives you the option of being able to use the 7.62x55Nato/SH cartridge, Mil-Spec. WON’T…

  15. Do all the rifles lock open after the last round is fired? My HK91 didn’t. Isn’t that a necessary feature for any combat type weapon?

  16. Too bad the SCAR has a reciprocating bolt cocking lever.

    And too bad Remington Defense doesn’t make their ACR in .308. Rather have it than an FN SCAR.

    1. I like the M1 Carbine and have a nice one but it in no way can compare with any of these full power battle rifles.

  17. I own a SCAR 17s . It is the very first military weapon I’ve owned. I bought it sstrictly in case of an economic crisis when I would need to defend myself and my wife. It shoots wonderful and I promise you that if you shoot it without earplugs you will be sorry! Very accurate with the168 gr HP Atomic ammo I bought. Never jams never misfires. Very portable and light for what it carries. I only bought it for a heavier caliber against what a group of thugs might have if the economy collapses. I would not have bought these weapons under normal economic conditions. Obamas socialist policies have broken our country and its right at the point of collapse. One or 2 really bad catastrophes and China will break us down once and for all. If the SCAR doesn’t work I have a 1919 Browning belt fed .308 with a turn style handle to shoot as fast as I can turn it. I bought lots of ammo because Obama will try to control that instead of trying to stop people from buying guns. Buy all the ammo you need quickly because that is the key to gun control. Love my SCAR 17s I call it my “SCAR DIRTY” because it doesn’t play fair when it goes off. Marco

  18. I wish he’d have given average prices to buy one of these. You can buy AR-10’s for under $800 now if you look around. All these look to be pretty heavy. Not always a bad thing tho.

  19. I do not have experience with all the rifles and, since getting older, probably will not gain it. However, I have both the M1A, with a few mods and an inch pattern FN/FAL. Both are fine rifles and, for me, both shoot somewhat similar groups at 200 yards — the longest range conveniently available to me. Perhaps the M1A is just a shade more accurate but the difference is not that much.
    I have no experience with the others.
    However, I have one more rifle that I prefer over the two I am familiar with. It is the FN/FNAR. It is a bit heavy but not any heavier to me as far as my subjective feel is concerned. It just fits me extremely well and I shoot it much better than the other two. In my hands, it is more accurate.
    I understand that they are not readily available but, knowing what I know now, I would try very hard to find one again.

    1. I agree, and my Saiga .308 is my go to gun for any number of applications. Manufactured for US import by Ishmash, the original Kalashnikov factory; conversion from a sporter rifle is easy, and with a trigger job, the rifle becomes a very accurate and hard hitting battle rifle that will eat anything it’s fed, in true AK fashion. Unfortunately, the current administration has banned their import, but they can still be found.

  20. I own both a HK91 and a M1A Super Match. They are excellent rifles and both have been extremely reliable. Given the option of grabbing one of my AR15’s or one of my .308’s I’ll grab a .308 every time unless I’m on foot and having to carry for a long distance. Otherwise it’s my HK91. Hard hitting and utterly reliable I have not had issues with any ammo I’ve run through it and I have a slew of mags for it. The M1A is more a accurate piece but has a slower rate of fire. Both are worth owning IMHO

  21. Bought a new HK-91 in the early 80’s based on the hype about its legendary reliability. Never handled one prior to purchase because no one in my area stocked them, so I had to special order it. Worst rifle I ever owned, and I’ve owned a lot of them. The trigger was horrendous and the handling qualities of the gun were equally bad. It was not a pleasant rifle to shoot. Carried one (a G3) in training with the Norwegians and it reinforced my feelings about this rifle. Maybe the PTR-91 has an improved trigger, which would be a plus but it wouldn’t change my opinion.

    Only good thing about the HK-91 was that when Comrade Clinton’s “Assault Rifle” ban took effect I was able to sell it for 50% more than I paid for it. Yes, it is reliable – but so is a Maytag washing machine.

    1. Owned a Spanish clone of the G3, CEMTE, I believe. It’s recoil was brutal.As on being accustomed to M-14s and other gas operated .308 platforms, as well as turn-bolt .308s. the recoil was nothing that an 6 year old couldn’t handle. Not so the CEMTE. Bruised my arm every time I fired it. Even knocked a friend of mine, of slight build, down. Perhaps the PTR-91 has improved on this. One almost, has to enjoy pain to shoot the G3 or it’s clones. While accurate enough, but no more so than any, off the rack .308 rifle, I wouldn’t trade a gas operated rifle for this recoil operated brute. Silly concept, any way. A recoil operated main-battle-rifle.

    2. A couple of corrections. The CETME came before the G3. Germany purchased the rights to build the G3 from CETME. Rheinmetal and H&K both produced the modified CETME.
      The action of the CETME/G3/PTR/MP5 is delayed roller blowback, not recoil operated. The CETME you fired may have had a worn buffer or out of spec bolt gap or both creating excessive recoil.

    3. AN, call you what you will, delayed roller blow-back, or recoil, the act of firing drives the bolt back on a ‘recoil’ spring. My CETME was new in box, when I purchased it, still wrapped and coated with grease. Talked to those that knew,any number of gun smiths, military weapons experts, all agreed that the excessive recoil was part and parcel of the operating system. I am no self-appointed expert on any firearm, but I have used most of the worlds military firearms in combat at one time or another and know them inside-out as anyone using a particular weapon should. Too, I have taken then down past field stripping to clean or repair. Being ‘no expert’, I do know when a weapon is functioning as designed or not.

  22. I too was an M-14 supporter, having had one many years ago But old age and arthritis have taken their toll. I have become very recoil sensitive — but with situations being as they are, I went looking for something that I could shoot without getting hurt.
    Ran across the article here about the comparison tests of the 6.5mm Grindel vs. M4 and M14 — way better performance and half the recoil! But way too pricey for the ones made. Plan B convert a Ruger Mini 30 to this caliber. Found a gunsmith in Colorado who does this, but first get a rifle! Went on a search & finally found one I could afford.
    But for now, I am going to stick with the 7.62x39mm caliber. I don’t plan on having to take any shots out past 300 yds., so it will work fine— and for a lot less money!

    1. You can build a 6.5 Grendel AR upper for about $500. I just finished mine last month. I swap it out with my .300 BLK upper.

  23. The PTR91 is the very same Rifle as the Century Arms C308 and the C308 is a lot cheaper at $670 from Cheaper than Dirt. I have fired 3 of the 4 Rifles here and the C308 (which cost a lot lease) is really the best and I can hit 7 inch groups at 600 yards with the C308. The .308 round really chops wood at 600 yards and a lot fun to shoot. You will need a scope mounted on the C308 to make 7 inch groups at 600 yards.

    1. I have the CETME .308 which is pretty much the same rifle as the pt91 in most every way but the most accurate .308 in semi auto i have is the M77 .308 CAL AK from zastava with the chi-com russian style slide on scope it has a 20 inch barrel with the twist rate just perfect for 168 bthp match grade bullets it also has an adjustable gas system to handle any load you want to feed it add the M4 stock style adapter i got from classic arms and razor muzzlebrajke and 800 meters is not a problem on steel man sized targets.But the cetme from century i bought in mid 90’s with all the upgrades i have given it will almost shoot just as accurately i still have to give the M77 the winning slot between the 2 if you have not seen the M77 zastava AK in 308 win i suggest you look into one with the ar buttstock adapter the thumbhole stock it comes with was a but bulky to me but shot rather well i just prefer the look and feel of the m4 style adjustable stock and it did lighten the total weight a few lbs .It will eat any 308 win ammo i want to feed it very accurately and is very dependable you can alter 25 rd imi m1a mags to fit it easily and classic now sells 20 round mags for it as well i prefer the 25 rounders i made . The rifle came with 3 10 round mahs as well.In the sniper role 10 rounds is enough before needing a reload in close 1/4’s the 25 rounders make it a wall busting beast that will shoot through most any cover they can find .Check out the M77 ak in .308 win a superb rifle from the serbs.

  24. I prefer the M-1A1 or M-14 style and shape in basic walnut wood stock. It handles very smoothly and is accurate. I have one in black plastic and wound up dressing her up in walnut. A little heavy if you hunt on the move or combat, (close quarters), as it is longer than an AR-15 platform. Shooting from a bench or prone is a lot of fun. It is well balanced for freestanding or off hand shooting. You will proudly say, “I can make that shot.”

  25. We had some FNs on contract in Iraq that we picked up from a SOCOM armorer. They were great guns but very heavy and somewhat unwieldy. Yeah, I definitely want one in my personal collection, but i can’t say that any of these alternatives are superior to an AR10 in actual combat.

    Both the FAL and HK clone PTR-91 are much heavier. I’ve shot them both in Iraq and I am not convinced either are more accurate. Nice guns, though, and i want one of each in my collection.

    As for the M1A . . . well, that’s a no-brainier. The M1A is one of the primo accurate rifles of the world. I can’t comment on the SCAR since I have no personal experience with them.

    But in the final analysis, if it was a case of just wanting a cool .308 i would go with the FAL first and the HK second. But if it is a case of practicality and utility in combat, i think i would go with the AR10.

    1. I, too, am a fan of the AR10. I have two, and would not trade for any other .308 except maybe the M1A. I certainly would not pay the difference in price between the AR10 and the M1A. I could not be any happier with my AR-style rifles in both .223 and .308 calibers.

    2. @Allen

      Pure common sense, Brother. If you want the firepower of a .308, and the easy handling and utility of an AR . . . it quickly becomes a no-brainer. The AR design is one of the best designs of the gun world. If Mr. Browning were alive and designing guns back when Stoner came up with the design, Mr. Browning would have come up with it first.

  26. I have a SIG 716 – I’m thinking that’s not technically an AR10 since it’s a pushrod design instead of DI. I’m probably wrong about this and am happy to accept rebuke of my ignorance. Of the three listed above, I would bet all of them are very accurate with a well-sighted-in scope and some practice. Outside of the 716, I’m not really certain how the average AR10 with a 16 inch barrel would fare against rifles like that long-barreled M1A shown above or the FNH. Of the rifles above, I have to say that from my point of view, the FNH is the most drool-worthy. It’s on my list. I do love my 716, though – it’s surprisingly accurate even through the iron sights, and with a decent recoil pad, it’s actually very comfortable for those 100+ round days at the range. Even with a 1x red-dot, I can get decent groupings at 100+ yards with my sucky eyes. I am a huge fan of the .308/7.62 NATO. Lots of punch and a very nice, long reach. I think the biggest downside is the weight of the rifle. My SIG is just shy of 10lbs without ammo or accessories. With a 20 round mag and scope it’s … um… well, let’s just say it’s inspiration for arm and upper body exercises, and I hope I never have to carry it in a ready position with a 25 round mag for more than a few minutes.

    I know this doesn’t really answer your question, but it was fun to think about…

  27. Thank you. I love that the author did not once use the word “tactical” and I wish it would disappear from all of the gun lovers’ and gun writers’ vocabularies. I feel that it only serves as ammo for the anti-gun crowd and is a label used by them to cast a negative light on us firearm enthusiasts as a bunch of kill crazy maniacs. To me it ranks as low as “assault weapon”.

    1. It’s kind of off-topic, but, although I own a couple “SBRs” (Scary Black Rifles) the only true assault weapon I own is my Mosin Nagant: it’s just the thing for charging out of trenches and giving Diane Feinstein nightmares. 😉

    1. The FN is an incredible, if very heavy rifle. Very accurate, but I can’t honestly say I know one is more accurate than any of the others. They are all fine rifles.

    2. @ Mikial.

      The British version of of the FN-FAL (L1A1) was built in the INCH scale using Heavier Parts. All the OTHER Commonwealth Counties built there FN-FAL’s (C1A1’s) in METRIC scale using More Precise Parts, which tended to make them Lighter in the process. The Heavier Weight acted like a “Shock Absorber” damping the effects of the Recoil. There’s even a term for it, But I’ve since forgotten the Name…

    3. I can see where the extra weight would be a benefit in prolonged shooting. As i mentioned in my earlier comment, all my experience with the FN and FAL were in the desert in makeshift ranges (really just some berms in the sand) or as designated overwatch when doing static CP for civilian DoD contractors in Iraq. Consequently, I never humped one much further than out of the gun truck and up a few flights of stairs. Sure were fun to shoot, and we liked having the extra oomph of the 7.62X51 round in the event someone tried to crash the party in vehicle.

    4. I have experience with four of the five (if a SIG 716 counts as an AR-10). I don’t have experience with the SCAR. Having shot all the rest with iron sights, I believe them to be inherently accurate. Which is more accurate is a tough question as it depends on barrel length, sights, scope, etc.

      The battle sights on the M1A Standard, M1A SOCOM II, FAL, and PTR-91, all take some skill. They are designed for mass infantry combat, not precision marksmanship. Having said that, they can be mastered.

      While the sights on the M1A are probably the best of the three, I have had fair amount of trouble calibrating the rear sight on an M1A standard so that the 100 yd zero is at the 100 yd setting on the rear sight elevation knob. I have not had the same problem with the SOCOM II. Overall, M1A’s handle great. They are reliable as can be. My only criticism is that you need special tools to disassemble the gas piston for cleaning.

      The PTR-91 is rugged and ergonomic. The bolt assembly is a challenge to master and it gets very dirty during firing. The open V battle site at 100 yds will be a challenge for most civilian AR shooters that I have seen. The 200+ settings are easier to obtain a good site picture.

      The SIG 716 is very accurate with the included BUIS. It seems a very reliable, and fairly easy to maintain rifle. It’s pretty much like an AR-15 except everything is bigger, so it’s easier to clean. The piston system keeps out a lot of carbon, but not all of it.

      The FAL has the others beat on ease of maintenance. It kicks pretty good on the factory default gas setting, so I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Christopher on the soft recoil part of his review. The Dutch military sight system is the most crude of the bunch. You can upgrade it to take optics, but I don’t think it will work out as well as the SIG 716.

      They are all great rifles that have their own pros and cons. All shoot as accurate as I can. Any difference will depend more on your skill than the rifle. Hope this helps answer your question.

    5. I own one of each of these.

      It depends what you’re asking for. Out of the box? Or customized?

      They all have a ton of customizable options. The M1A National Match out of the box is good. Add an adjustable gas block, a titanium nitride piston, a Sadlak op rod guide and spring and a good optic, and it’s pretty dang accurate.

      The AR-10 is just as accurate and doesn’t suffer from the same issues with piston barrel harmonics as the M1A and the FAL but again, you’re going to need to modify it to get any real degree of accuracy. You can get a basic one under $1,000 but a good barrel will set you back $300-400 alone. Optioned out you’re close to $2,000.

      The FAL is 3rd in terms of accuracy. The barrel harmonics with the piston system combined with the gas block not containing 100% of the gas when it’s fired tends to muck up your long-distance shots. It’s a solid 1 MOA gun, and very, very rarely more. That said, that’s about all most people need. If you’re engaging a target past 100 yards, it better be on four legs, or you’d better have a squad beside you.

      The reason the FAL is my go-to gun? Because you can drop it, freeze it, drag it, run a tank over it, and blow it up with tannerite, pick it up, and it shoots just fine. There’s a video doing exactly that with a DSA FAL. I’ve never seen a weapon take more abuse and work except an AK.

      As for recoil? Don’t leave it on the stock setting. Convert it to para, dial the gas in properly, and it’ll shoot softer than anything else you own.

      Best of luck!

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