Many people would agree that the AR platform is the most versatile of all rifle designs. Created for military combat (as many sporting rifles were originally), Eugene Stoners design can be long, short, scoped, topped with iron sights, and maintained by novice operators with just a short list of tools. Also, the design allows for a choice of cartridges, for it is the chambering that defines what it can effectively be used for. In this test, we pitted a gas-impingement-operated 308 Winchester AR-10 against a piston-operated 308 and a gas-impingement AR-10 chambered for what is becoming a popular standard cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Our 308 Winchester AR-10s were the $3955 BDR10-3G Black/Blue Splash direct-impingement system and SIG Sauers $3108 716G2 DMR piston-driven system. A new rifle from the makers of E.R. Shaw Barrels, the E.R. Shaw ERS-10 chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition was a direct-impingement firearm carrying a list price of $995.
We chose four different rounds for collecting accuracy data from the 100-yard line at American Shooting Centers in Houston. The 308 rifles were fed SIG Sauers 150-grain HT and 168-grain Open-Tip Match (OTM) ammunition, and two rounds from Black Hills Ammunition. They were the 155-grain Sierra Tipped MatchKing (TMK) rounds and the 175-grain boat-tailed hollowpoints (BTHP). Our 6.5 Creedmoor selections for the E.R. Shaw rifle were Federals 140-grain soft-point Non-Typical White Tail rounds and three varieties from Hornady. They were the 140-grain Extremely Low Drag (ELD) Match, 143-grain ELD-X Precision Hunter, and the 147-grain ELD Match rounds. For optics we relied upon our Steiner 4-16x50mm Steiner Predator Xtreme first focal plane scope mounted inside a pair of 30mm Warne rings atop a riser from Yankee Hill Machine. Lets find out which of our rifle trio was most accurate, reliable, and versatile.Read More