Armalite invented both the AR-10 and the even more popular AR-15. The AR-10 is now over 60 years old and was originally developed in the 1950s as a 7.62x51mm basic infantry rifle. It included features from older designs, a lightweight chassis, and a new gas system.
Here we’ll focus on the Armalite AR-10 Tac (or Tactical) carbine series. This covers the AR-10 Tac 14, Tac 16, Tac 18, and Tac 20. All are named in honor of their respective barrel lengths.
All share certain characteristics including MAGPUL MBUS flip-up slights, MAGPUL MOE+ pistol grips, MAGPUL STR 7-position collapsible stock, ambidextrous controls, and an ambidextrous “Raptor” charging handle. All share a beautiful Key-Mod dotted free-floating handguard that’s crowned with a full-length Picatinny rail along the top, permitting room for any number of useful combinations of sights and scopes. All use a two-stage precision trigger, all are chambered for 7.62×51 mm/.308 Winchester and all come with a MAGPUL PMAG 25-round polymer box magazine. It is slightly curved, ruggedized, and detachable.
The AR-10s stand out as follows. All but the 16” have a Luth MBA-1 stock as an option. The Tac 14 has a 12” long handguard while the Tac 16, 18, and 20 all use a 15” handguard.
The 14” barrel gun’s barrel is stainless steel with a black Cerakoted finish. Unusually, it has an integral welded muzzle brake, and the brake has a visually mesmerizing twisted/spiral chamber design. Thanks to the MAGPUL STR collapsible stock, the gun’s overall length adjusts from 33.3” to 37.3”, and it weighs 8.0 pounds.
Stepping up, the 16” gun has a chrome-lined chrome-moly barrel with a 1 to 11.25” twist. The gun’s length is 36” to 40”, and it weighs 8.4 pounds.
Third, the 18” gun is 38.25” to 42.25” long overall and weighs 8.8 pounds. And finally the 20” long barrel gun is 41.5” to 43.25” long overall and weighs 9.6 pounds. These last two also use a chrome-lined chrome-moly barrel.
Back to the sights. These AR-10s use folding Magpul MBUS (back up/flip-up spring-loaded) sights. These popular sights are made of injection-molded polymer, keeping weight down while maintaining strength and impact resistance. The Magpul MBUS rear sight is dual aperture and can be adjusted for windage.
The imposing Luth MBA-1 buttstock option is beyond merely intriguing. It is fully-adjustable and skeletonized. The versatile MBA-1 permits adjustment of cheek riser height and length-of-pull via a pair of knobs. It has multiple sling attachment points and even molded pockets for QD cups.
The polymer Magpul MOE+ grips combine a rubber overmolding plus a beavertail backstrap for improved comfort and handling. These grips are 1.2” thick with front and rear horizontal serrations and light texturing along the sides. They are also hollow permitting storage through bottom caps.
As befitting a company with such a long heritage, fit and finish are superb. In 2018, Armalite moved to Phoenix, Arizona. where to buy AR-10?