Are you currently looking to put together your own custom AR-10 with a build kit? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Budget Pick: PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit
The PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit is a solid kit for putting together a lower receiver for an AR-10. It’s also compatible with the 6.5 Creedmoor round, which has increased in popularity over the last several years. Built out of aircraft grade aluminum, the clean and crisp trigger is a major standout feature of this kit. However, this is also a lower parts kit only, and you’ll need to buy the upper component parts yourself.
Best Value Pick: PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-Length Stainless Steel Build Kit
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-Length Stainless Steel Build Kit is a solid value for the money. The upper receiver in this kit comes fully assembled, which will make it very easy to install. The stainless steel barrel and mid-length gas system are the main standout features.
Best Overall Pick: PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-length .308 M-LOK ACS-L Rifle Kit
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-Length .308 M-LOK ACS-L Rifle Kit is our top pick for an AR-10 Build Kit. It provides you with all of the parts you need to complete your AR-10, and at a lesser price point than if you were to buy each part separately. This kit is built out of a high quality aircraft grade aluminum with a stainless steel barrel. The free floating rail and numerous M-LOK attachment points are also standout features.
The AR-10, along with the rest of the AR platform, is one of the most customizable firearms in existence. Not only are there numerous AR-10s that you can buy on the market already, but you can also put together your own custom AR-10 using an AR-10 build kit like we will discuss today.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the history and merits of the AR-10 rifle, the top qualities to look for in an AR-10 build kit, and then our choices for the top three best AR-10 build kits for 2020.
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Why Go With The AR-10?
AR-10 is a highly influential weapon in the firearms world. It served as the predecessor to the AR-15 and was the starting point for the AR platform as a whole.
The AR-10 was designed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s as a new lightweight infantry rifle that fired the 7.62x51mm NATO caliber and had select fire capabilities. An initial 10,000 rifles were built, but the gun was also initially not successful due to the fact that the military went with a modified M1 Garand in the form of the M14 instead.
As a result, Stoner sold the patent for the AR-platform to Colt, who developed the rifles further. Eventually, the military adopted the M16 and M4 rifles and carbines (or AR-15s for civilians) to replace the M14 a few years later.
The AR-10 in today’s world is virtually the same rifle as an AR-15, only it’s much larger in size in order to fire larger centerfire rifle rounds. Many people do not realize that it was actually the AR-15 that was born out of the AR-10, and not the other way around. That being said, certain parts between the AR-10 and the AR-15 are also compatible.
Choosing between an AR-10 and an AR-15 largely comes down to the type of ammunition that you want to fire. Both platforms are ergonomic, reliable, accurate, and customizable. But a solid argument can be made that the AR-10 is the more versatile rifle, and again, it all comes down to the ammunition choice.
The AR-10 is designed to fire larger rounds such as .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor, which are better both for shooting at longer distances of 800 yards or so and for bringing down big game such as elk. The 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington rounds of the AR-15 are intermediate rifle rounds, and while they are sufficient for bringing down medium sized game such as deer, there’s no question that .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor will be far more effective. Simply put, the .308 and similar rounds offer greater range and more power than intermediate cartridges such as 5.56.
The advantage here is that you can use an AR-10 for more purposes than you can an AR-15. An AR-10 can shoot at longer ranges, it can bring down literally anything in North America, and it can also be used for the same kinds of tactical uses like an AR-15 can. However, it is admittedly a bigger and heavier rifle with less magazine capacity, so those are a few sacrifices you’ll make with an AR-10 rather than AR-15.
To put things simply: an AR-10 is a highly practical rifle that effortlessly fulfills a variety of different applications. If you want an AR-10, you have two options for getting one: you can either buy an existing AR-10 from a manufacturer, or you can build your own.
Read more on the AR-10: We offer a similar guide on AR-10 Bolt Carrier Groups, make sure to give it a read if that’s a part you are looking for as well.
What Is An AR-10 Build Kit?
If you want to either build a new AR-10 from the ground up or otherwise upgrade your existing one, one of the best ways to do so will be to invest in a build kit.
What is a build kit? A build kit is simply a kit consisting of multiple or all of the parts needed to build an AR-10. There are numerous different types of build kits out there. Some are designed only for the upper or lower receivers of an AR-10, others come with literally everything you need, and others only come with a few select parts.
The main advantage to going with a build kit is twofold: first, all of the parts sold together in the build kit are compatible with one another and you won’t need to worry about those parts needing any additional fitting. Secondly, the cost of buying a build kit and the parts within it will likely be less than buying all of the parts separately.
So, what’s included in a build kit? Again, it depends on the specific build kit that you’re considering. Each AR-style rifle can be divided into two halves: the upper receiver and the lower receiver. While most AR-10 build kits will come with pieces for both, others will be upper receiver only or lower receiver only.
The upper receiver build kit therefore will include parts such as hand guards, forends, barrels, and so on. Meanwhile, the lower receiver build kit will include parts such as AR-10 magazines (although some build kits will not ship with magazines either), an AR-10 trigger, trigger assembly, stock, buffer tube, and so on.
A complete build kit means that you can put together a complete AR-10 out of the pieces included in the kit. It’s essentially like buying a complete AR-10, only one that comes disassembled from the factory. But by putting together your rifle when you first get it, you can easily familiarize yourself with each of the components.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best AR-10 Build Kits
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new build kit for your AR-10:
What Does The Build Kit Come With?
First and foremost, you need to analyze what the build kit even comes with. Some AR-10 build kits are complete build kit, meaning that they come with literally everything that you need to put your rifle together.
Others are lower or upper build kits only, meaning that they only come with enough components to complete the upper receiver or lower receiver. Yet others don’t come with enough parts to complete either the upper or the lower, and only come with select components instead.
It’s your responsibility to think about what you need a build kit for and then purchase a kit accordingly. Do you want a kit that you can use to put together a complete rifle, or do you only want a kit for certain components of the gun? Are you looking to upgrade your existing AR-10 or build a new one from the ground up?
A good idea is to make a list of every part that you need in your build kit. This should allow you to narrow down your options considerably.
Ease of Installation
If you want your build kit to be as easy to install on an AR-10 as possible, then it should be marketed as being a ‘drop in’ kit. This means that no additional tools or the aid of a gunsmith are needed to put the kit together. ‘Drop in’ is essentially another way to say that the kit is easy to install.
Your build kit will become even easier to install if it already comes preassembled. Some upper receiver and lower receiver build kits, for instance, come with the uppers and lowers already pre-assembled. A complete build kit, however, will most likely not be.
Never sacrifice build quality when looking for an AR-10 build kit, even if it also means that you will need to spend more money. The basic rules for selecting an AR-10 build kit remain the same as for buying an AR-10 itself.
A build kit that is made out of high quality 7075-T6 aluminum steel with a stainless steel barrel and hard coat anodized, or nitride finish is an example of the gold standard to look for when it comes to durability. This is because such a build kit would not only be strong and durable, it would also hold up very well against moisture and rain.
Follow The Laws
Last but not least, be sure to follow your state and local laws. A good rule to follow Ito take the side of caution. As you are probably well aware, there are certain states in America that have very tight gun laws, including Illinois, New York, and California, and where AR-type rifles are heavily regulated.
But there are also some jurisdictions where AR’s as a whole are legal, but certain components and parts are not legal. It’s your responsibility to research your city, local, and state gun laws before choosing a build kit to get for your rifle.
The 3 Best AR-10 Build Kits For 2020
Now that we’ve covered what to look for in an AR-10 build kit, here are our choices for the top three best build kits for 2020:
PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-Length Stainless Steel Build Kit
The first kit that we will examine is the PSA Gen PA10 Mid-Length Stainless Steel Kit. This kit is designed to build a mid-length AR-10 with an 18-inch barrel. The barrel has a 1:10 twist rate that is ideal for lightweight ammo, so you may want to be wary of using heavier .308 loads. However, the 18-inch length is a good compromise between having a shorter rifle that is easier to maneuver and a rifle that is still capable of placing accurate and precise shots at long ranges.
The upper receiver comes pre-assembled, so putting together your own custom AR-10 should be an overall easy affair. All of the parts are built out of stainless steel or aircraft grade aluminum.
All in all, this is a solid kit that offers you a lot of value for the money. All of the parts are very well made, the upper receiver comes fully assembled, and the mid length barrel and gas system offer a solid compromise between maneuverability in tight conditions and good accuracy out to longer ranges.
- Built out of durable stainless steel and aircraft grade aluminum
- Comes with a 1:10 twist rate
- Upper receiver comes fully assembled
- Has a mid-length barrel and gas system
- Some fitting issues between the lower receiver and other parts
- Designed to fire lighter ammunition
PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit
The PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit is designed to function with 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition. Included in this kit are your usual detents, springs, pins, and a trigger assembly needed to put together an AR-10 lower receiver.
One of the main standout features of this lower build kit is the fact that the trigger is designed to provide a very crisp and clean trigger pull. The buffer tube is a six position adjustable model that should make the resulting AR-10 you build user friendly and compatible for most shooters.
All in all, if you’re looking for a classic lower parts kit that is good for the 6.5 Creedmoor round, you’ll want to take a close look at the PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit. It comes with all of the parts that you need to build a lower receiver and is also compatible with most other AR-10 parts that are floating around on the marketplace.
- Very easy to install
- Compatible with most AR-10 parts and components on the market
- Designed to function with 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition
- Trigger is very crisp and clean
- Built out high quality aircraft grade aluminum
- Does not ship with a magazine
- Does not ship with upper receiver parts
PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-length .308 M-LOK ACS-L Rifle Kit
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-Length .308 Build Kit comes with an 18-inch barrel built out of durable and rust resistant stainless steel. The barrel has a free floating rail that permits you to customize the entire upper receiver with any accessory, pair of sights, or optics that you would like to install. As the name suggests, there are also many M-LOK attachment points present on the upper as well.
In addition, you will also get parts such as a pistol grip, buffer tube, and an AR-10 butt stock. Most components that ship with this rifle kit are built out of aircraft grade 7075-T6 aluminum with a hard coat anodized finish. What’s more, is that by purchasing all of these parts together you’ll pay less than if you were to buy them separately.
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 18” Mid-Length .308 Build Kit is built out of high quality aircraft grade aluminum and will provide you with all of the parts that you need to build an AR-10 at a lesser price point than if you were to purchase each of those components individually. The stainless steel barrel with a free floating rail for the easy addition of accessories are standout features.
- Comes with a Picatinny rail that makes it easy to add accessories, sights, and optics
- Most parts are built out of aircraft grade 7075 aluminum
- Barrel is built out of high quality stainless steel
- 18” barrel is a good compromise between better maneuverability in tight conditions and accuracy at longer ranges
- Barrel has a free floating rail
- Comes with several M-LOK attachment points
- Some components fit very tightly
- Does not ship with a magazine
And that concludes our list of the top three best build kits for an AR-10 in 2020.
Any one of these build kits that we have covered here today will be a solid choice to help you put together your own AR-10. Alternatively, you can use the buyer’s guide we outlined above to help you choose a suitable build kit as well.