AR-10

Best AR-10 Build Kits

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If you’re looking to customizable a rifle that isn’t another AR-15, there are few options that offer the customizability, aftermarket availability and firepower of an AR-10. Although there are various AR-10s available for purchase, there’s a little bit of pride and more satisfaction if you can construct your own personalized AR-10.

It’s not always easy to track down the best AR-10 build kits. Finding the right components isn’t difficult if you have a specific vision in mind for your rifle. Although daunting at first, once you can take it to the range and it passes with flying colors, all of your hard work will be worth it. So, we’ve put together everything you need to help you find the perfect build kit for you. Plus, we included a few options we think you should buy right on the get-go.

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The Problem with Building AR-10’s from Scratch

Best AR-10 Build Kits
Image source: Reddit

So you’ve decided to build your AR-10. But after doing a little research, you’ll quickly realize that building an AR-10 from scratch can easily become an intimidating task.

AR-10s are notoriously difficult to assemble. If this is your first gun build, you might want to think about building something like an AR-15 instead. Because unlike the AR-15, the AR-10 does not have any official military specifications. Even the most popular main platforms vary from one another. Also, it’s not uncommon for you to run into compatibility problems, even when two parts are supposedly compatible simply because they came from different manufacturers.

For example, you can buy a lower and an upper, both marked as a DPMS, and find out once you’ve put them together that they won’t even work with each other. This is simply because of different internal changes from different manufacturers.

Best AR-10 Build Kits
Image source: Wikimedia

So why not just buy an AR-10 instead of building one? You might think that by purchasing a complete AR-10, you’d magically eliminate any problems. However, most of the AR-10s I’ve tried off-the-shelf come with their issues. Being marketed as a “luxury” or “premium” doesn’t help that. They’re either too difficult to use or don’t work at all, and something as simple as locking the bolt to the rear can be a pain with AR-10s.

If you want a popular alternative to building an AR-10 from scratch, you can buy a factory AR-10 off-the-shelf and tear it down for upgrades. So, even if the parts don’t work well together, you can still have a working rifle to go back to.

What’s An AR-10 Build Kit?

Best AR-10 Build Kits
Image source: 5D Tactical

If you want to construct a new AR-10 from scratch or enhance an old one, a build kit is one of the best possible approaches.

A build kit is just a package you can buy that includes all of the components necessary to build an AR-10. There are a plethora of different types of build kits available on the market. For example, some are designed only for the upper or lower receivers of an AR-10. Others also come with literally everything you need. And there are some that only come with a few select parts.

Types of AR-10 Build Kits

Not all build kits you’ll find are going to be the same. Here are some of the types of build kits you might run into that are available on the market:

Upper Build Kits

Best AR-10 Build Kits
Image source: Palmetto State Armory

These are packaged part kits made for, or as a replacement to the AR-10 upper receiver. There are two popular designs for the AR-10: upper build kits, the carry handle, and the flat-top.

If you’re looking for even more customizability, the flat-top designs will have more compatible aftermarket accessories than a carry handle design.

Lower Build Kits

Best AR-10 Build Kits
Image source: Palmetto State Armory

Lower build kits can come as entire lower receivers or just a few lower part kits. These will also include your trigger assembly or even an upgrade for your rifle’s gas system. Lower build kits are a good option for budget-friendly replacements to your lower receiver or bolt carrier group.

Rifle Kits

These kits are the whole package. It’s as close as you get to purchasing a disassembled AR-10 unit. These contain both an upper and lower receiver and their respective part kits. They can also include accessories like an attached handrail or a pistol grip.

Buyer’s Guide for the Best AR-10 Build Kits

What’s Included

The most important thing to look out for while you’re shopping for an AR-10 build kit is what’s included. Some AR-10 build kits are complete build kits, 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. Then there are some that are just incomplete sets of an upper or lower.

Knowing everything included in a kit will make the decision easier. It’s your responsibility to think about what you need a build kit for and then purchase a kit accordingly. So, make a list of what you’ll need as part of your build kit. This should allow you to narrow down your options considerably. If it includes parts you already have, you can consider getting the kit anyways should you need any spare parts.

Ease of Installation

Building an AR-10 would be a lot easier if you’ve had experience building other ARs before. If you consider yourself a beginner or even a novice gunsmith, then I highly suggest getting professional help for most of the installation. If not, choose a different rifle configuration altogether. It’s easier to put an AR-10 together than it is to make one that works.

Also, consider built kits marketed as a “drop-in.” These tend to be easier to install. Or even better, consider build kits that are already pre-assemble since you shouldn’t be worried about installation and assembly as much as you should be about actual compatibility.

Real Compatibility

This one is going to be a lot more challenging to decipher. There’s only so much you can do outside of practical testing to determine the real-world compatibility of your AR-10 build kit with your rifle or other installed AR-10 parts. You can undoubtedly find parts marked as DPMS, but there’s also a good chance those two aren’t compatible.

Your best bet for real compatibility is to purchase your build kits and parts from the same manufacturers. Manufacturers will have one specification for their AR-10 that they’ll use to manufacture their parts and build kits to make sure they work. Ordering parts or build kits from multiple manufacturers increases the chance for your rifle build to encounter issues.

Build Quality

When shopping for an AR-10 build kit, don’t compromise on quality even if it means you’ll have to pay extra money. The basic rules for selecting an AR-10 build kit should be the same as for buying an AR-10 rifle itself.

The gold standard for durability is opting for a build kit made of high-quality 7075-T6 aluminum steel with a stainless steel barrel and an anodized or nitride finish hard coating. This type of build kit would not only be strong and durable, but it would also hold up very well against surface wear, moisture, and rain.

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Follow the Laws

Remember to abide by all applicable federal, state, and local laws. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. As you’re probably well aware, there are certain states, including Illinois, New York, and California, that have very tight gun laws and heavily regulate AR-style weapons.

Also, be aware that there are some jurisdictions where ARs as a whole are legal. However, certain upgrades, components, and parts are illegal. So before purchasing a rifle build kit, make sure you are aware of all applicable local, state, and federal firearms regulations in your area.

Best AR-10 Build Kits for 2022

PSA Gen2 18-Inch .308 WIN 1:10 Rifle Kit: Best value pick.

PSA Gen2 18-Inch .308 WIN 1:10 Rifle Kit

If you’re looking for a solid kit that offers a lot of value for the money, then consider getting a PSA Gen PA10 Mid-Length Stainless Steel Kit from Palmetto State Armory. This kit is designed to build a mid-length AR-10 with an 18-inch barrel. The kit comes with a barrel with a 1:10 twist rate ideal for lightweight ammo. So consider upgrading to a 1:12 rated barrel if you’re looking to shoot larger .308 rounds. The 18-inch length is also a good compromise between the maneuverability of a short barrel and the longer-range accuracy of a longer barrel.

This rifle kit features a stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum build, giving you a good balance of weight and durability. Additionally, the upper receiver will ship pre-assembled, making it easier if you’re planning to put together your AR-10 by yourself at home.

Overall, the PSA Gen2 18″ .308 WIN 1:10 Rifle Kit is a solid complete pick-up for the price. The stainless steel barrel can also chamber and handle .308 cartridges. But a barrel with a 1:12 twist rate will make a better upgrade. However, the barrel is a small compromise for a high-quality, semi-drop-in build kit that should work without any issues for a long time.

Pros
  • Constructed from stainless steel and aircraft grade aluminum
  • Upper receiver comes fully assembled
  • Very good for hunting-oriented AR-10 rifles
  • Almost all the pieces fit together without a problem
Cons
  • The 1:10 twist rate is better for lighter ammunition
  • Some fitting issues with bolts and the lower receiver

PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit: Best budget pick.

PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit

If you’re looking for a build kit that can shoot powerful rounds, then the PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit is a great option. Constructed mostly from aircraft-grade aluminum, this powerhouse of a build kit is specifically designed to shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge with extreme accuracy up to 1000 yards. Included in this kit are your usual detents, springs, pins, and a trigger assembly needed to put together an AR-10 DPMS platform lower receiver.

A key element to this lower build kit is the fact that the trigger has been engineered to provide a very clean and crisp trigger pull giving you that extra boost in firearm performance. It also comes with a 6 position adjustable buffer tube allowing you to customize the length of pull for a more comfortable shooting experience.

The PSA PA-10 Classic Lower Build Kit is also very compatible with a lot of aftermarket AR-10 parts, something that can rarely be said with most AR-10 part kits. Just make sure the parts work with the 6.5 Creedmoor and there’s a high chance it’ll work with this build kit.

Pros
  • Very easy to install
  • Compatible with most AR-10 parts and components on the market
  • Clean and Crisp trigger for increased performance
Cons
  • The lower receiver is only compatible with Palmetto lower parts

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PSA Gen 2 PA10 18-Inch Mid-length .308 M-Lok ACS-L Rifle Kit: Best overall pick.

Our next AR-10 build kit comes with an 18-inch barrel built out of durable and rust-resistant aircraft-grade stainless steel. The barrel has a free floating rail that allows you to customize the entire upper receiver with any accessory, sights, or optics that you want for your build. As the name suggests, there are also many M-LOK attachment points present on the upper receiver, great for tactical builds.

This build kit also comes with a decent pistol grip, buffer tube, and adjustable AR-10 buttstock. It gives you everything you need to reduce the recoil of the .308 and get the best control out of your rifle. Most components that ship with this rifle kit are built out of aircraft-grade 7075-T6 aluminum with a hard coat anodized finish for maximum surface wear and corrosion resistance.

This is a complete package build that’ll save you a lot of money rather than purchasing each part separately. If you’re looking for a good quality barrel that won’t break that bank, the PSA Gen 2 PA10 18″ Mid-Length .308 Build Kit has everything you need to build an AR-10.

Pros
  • Good quality, complete and affordable build kit
  • Great starter kit for first time AR-10 builders
  • Extremely durable and corrosion resistant parts
  • Lots of attachment points for sights and M-Lok compatible accessories
Cons
  • Some parts fit tightly
  • Magazine not included

PSA MOE ACS-L EPT Lower Build Kit

PSA MOE ACS-L EPT Lower Build Kit

If you’re looking for a complete package lower build kit, then the PSA MOE ACS-L EPT lower build kit might just be the one you’ve been searching for. This is a good starter lower kit for beginners or people on a tighter budget looking to take their AR-10 upgrade slowly.

The buttstock is made from a durable high-quality polymer with an adjustable length of pull. This kit also comes with a pistol grip, buffer tubes, and other parts needed to complete the lower receiver.

The trigger is where you get your real money’s worth. This PSA trigger has a smooth, crisp, clean pull making consecutive shots easier to replicate for better performance. The trigger upgrade alone makes this gun one of the best build kits you can get for your money.

The parts are also easy to assemble and will make a good option for beginners and novices who want to start getting into AR-10 rifle builds.

Pros
  • Great starting lower build kit for beginners
  • Excellent trigger pull
  • Good quality parts and accessories
Cons
  • Take down pins are difficult to remove

Our Pick

The  PSA Gen 2 PA10 18″ Mid-Length .308 Build Kit is a great product to start off an AR-10 build. Its parts are 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 purchasing each component individually. The stainless steel barrel with a free-floating rail for the easy addition of accessories is a standout feature.

If you have the budget though, we highly recommend the PSA Gen2 18″ .308 WIN 1:10 Rifle Kit. You get so much for what you’re paying with almost no real compatibility issues. The parts and pieces are almost all made of aircraft-grade aluminum making it a great long-term use. Plus, this rifle kit alone is a few parts away from a complete build and will make a great secondary gun if things don’t work out the way you want it to with your build.

Wrapping Up

Since AR-10s are notoriously difficult to find compatible parts that actually work. When building or upgrading an AR-10, build kits are always going to be one of your best options. Build kits are a great way to ensure that your parts come from one manufacturer’s specifications for maximum compatibility.

Any one of the AR-10 build kits that we’ve covered here today will make a solid upgrade, whether you’re building an AR-10 from scratch or simply replacing parts of your standard AR-10. If you.

A few reminders before you go. The easiest way to avoid compatibility issues with AR-10 stocks is to purchase all your parts from the same manufacturer. It’s easy to find AR-10 parts that are labeled compatible, only to find out that they won’t work due to different manufacturer specifications.

So if you have to buy from different manufacturers, at least get one with a great return policy or a complete built kit that can be easily converted into a new rifle.

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