The Best AR 10 Barrels for Maximum AR Precision

The whole point of an AR-10 is to get more power and more long-range precision from the AR platform.

So it makes sense to get the best AR-10 barrel you can find. That’s how you maximize the benefits of using the larger .308 round in a semi-automatic rifle. It would be silly to get an AR-10, then stick a flimsy barrel on it.

Faxon Firearms 308 Winchester Big Gunner Profile Barrels
  • Gunner Profile maximizes precision and heat resistance while keeping the weight down.
  • Black nitride finish is thick and durable.
  • Exceptional quality control ensures that you never get a lemon.

SPOILER—if you just want to get a good AR-10 barrel without reading a diatribe, get the Faxon Firearms 308 Winchester Big Gunner Profile Barrels. It delivers solid precision. It’s relatively lightweight. And it’s affordable. It’s hard to beat the value for the money of Faxon Barrels.

If you like reading diatribes about gun gear (I know I do), stay with us. We’ve gathered all the best AR-10 barrels here in one place. So you can check them all out quickly.

The Best AR 10 Barrels Reviews: Shoot Further

The overall best AR-10 barrel gets reviewed first. The remaining best AR-15 barrels will be checked out in order of price.

Most affordable AR-10 barrels: first.

Highest performance AR-10 barrels with no regard for price: near the end.

Scroll to the reviews that work for you.

Faxon Firearms barrels are some of the best barrels for the money on the market. They’re well-designed and the performance is top notch. That’s why the Faxon Firearms 308 Winchester Big Gunner Profile Barrels are some of the best AR-10 barrels on the market.

The two standout features about this barrel are the profile and the finish.

First, the profile is a proprietary profile that puts more metal near the chamber, where there’s the most pressure, heat buildup, and blast erosion. This extends the barrel life and enhances the precision of your AR-10.

Additionally, the profile is thinnest out toward the muzzle, where you don’t need so much weight. This reduces the overall weight of the barrel and makes it easier to handle since the swing weight is lower.

Overall, this barrel is an outstanding blend of a lightweight barrel and high precision barrel. It’s not quite as precise as a bull barrel. But it’s much lighter. And this barrel is still precise enough for any type of AR-10 shooting.

A good finish might seem like table stakes. But the finish on this barrel is perfect. It’s a super smooth black nitride finish that’s exceptionally thick and durableIt’s a significant upgrade over a mil-spec phosphate or a parkerized finish.

Last thing: Faxon performs quality control on every barrel that leaves their factory, rather than doing batch inspections. I’ve never gotten a lemon from Faxon. And I suspect that you won’t either.

Ultimately, these barrels are an amazing value for the money. And all but the most critical precision shooters will be more than satisfied with one of these barrels.

Pros

  • Gunner Profile maximizes precision and heat resistance while keeping the weight down.
  • Black nitride finish is thick and durable.
  • Exceptional quality control ensures that you never get a lemon.

Cons

  • Slightly less precise than a bull barrel, but significantly lighter.

Ballistic Advantage is another company that produces remarkably high quality and well-priced barrels. So the Ballistic Advantage Modern Series .308 AR Rifle Barrel is an awesome barrel for anyone who’s blasting on a budget.

This barrel comes in 2 profiles: tactical government and heavy.

The heavy profile is exactly what you’d expect: a heavy profile barrel.

However, it’s a tapered heavy profile. It’s thicker at the chamber. Then it gets thinner toward the muzzle to reduce the overall weight and keep the swing weight low.

So you can maneuver your rifle more easily. But the precision is still just as good as a bull barrel.

The tactical government profile is unique, though. It still has the gas block shoulder that you find on a standard government profile barrel.

However, the tapering near the chamber isn’t as severe as a standard government profile barrel. Additionally, the muzzle end is slightly thinner than a standard government profile barrel.

All this means that you get the same performance—maybe even better performance—as a standard government profile barrel with less overall weight and a more maneuverable rifle.

One more thing: these barrels are finished with a QPQ corrosion resistant coating, which is both better looking and more durable than a parkerized or phosphate finish.

Ballistic Advantage barrels are one of the barrels that I recommend most often. There just aren’t many other barrels that offer such excellent performance for the price.

Pros

  • Both the tactical government and heavy profile contours are enhanced to reduce the weight without compromising precision.
  • Guaranteed to shoot 1 MOA or better.
  • QPQ corrosion resistant coating looks better and lasts longer than a mil-spec finish.
  • Very affordable.

Cons

  • Tactical government profile retains some of the harsh contour lines (like the gas block shoulder) of a standard government profile barrel.
  • Tapered heavy profile is a tad less precise than a full bull profile barrel.

Criterion Barrels is basically a precision rifle barrel maker that happens to also make AR-15 barrels. Criterion Barrels are incredibly high quality. And the Criterion Barrels Inc. 308 AR Chrome Lined Barrels are surprisingly affordable, considering the performance.

These barrels use a hybrid profile which is tapered all the way from the barrel extension to the muzzle. This hybrid profile maximizes the precision and heat resistance. And it reduces the swing weight and overall weight. So you get a reasonably light barrel that’s still superbly precise.

These barrels aren’t exactly lightweight profile barrels. So the precision is almost as good as a bull barrel. It’s about as precise as you can get without going to a full profile.

Additionally, as the name states, these barrels are chrome lined. And the chrome lining is thick and super polished. The target crown is also chromed. You can see how nice the chrome lining is when you check the muzzle.

The finish on these barrels is parkerized, which might be the weakest aspect.

I prefer a nitride finish. But I have to admit that the parkerized finish on these barrels is impressively durable. And it’s a nice deep black, rather than the slightly gray finish that some parkerized barrels have.

Also, you can get these barrels in a stainless steel finish. The Criterion Barrels Inc. 308 AR Stainless Steel Barrels are an excellent option if you want the performance and aesthetics of stainless steel.

Overall, the only reason I call these value barrels is because they’re really well priced. There’s nothing budget about the performance of Criterion Barrels. These are excellent barrels for even long range precision shooters.

Pros

  • Hybrid tapered profile delivers as much precision as possible without using a full profile.
  • Relatively lightweight.
  • Very thick, durable parkerized finish that’s a nice deep black.
  • Chrome lining is impressively thick and highly polished.
  • Chromed target crown.

Cons

  • Parkerized finish isn’t quite as nice as a nitride finish.

4. Wilson Combat AR 308 Recon Barrel - Fluted AR-10 Barrel

The Wilson Combat AR 308 Recon Barrel is an excellent all around barrel. But it’s especially nice for AR-10 battle rifles.

First, this barrel is 16 inches long. That’s a couple inches shorter than many AR-10 barrels, which tend to skew toward 18 inches and up to capitalize on the higher muzzle velocities and terminal ballistics of the .308 round.

However, 16 inches is long enough for good performance at most typical distances. And it’s short enough that it keeps your AR-10 easy to maneuver in tactical contexts.

Additionally, this barrel is fluted. The fluting improves cooling and reduces the weight. The fluting also keeps the barrel rigid, despite the low weight.

So you get a nearly full profile barrel that weighs about as much as a medium profile barrel. And this barrel is almost as precise as a bull barrel.

One unique feature about this barrel is the twist. It’s a 1 in 11.25 rate of turn. It works well enough with all bullet weights. However, it does offer a bit better stabilization for lighter bullets, which is nice for light, tactical loads.

Lastly, this is a stainless steel barrel. And the bead blasted finish is remarkably nice. It’s matte. But it looks just slightly polished. It’s a very high quality look, as you’d expect from Wilson Combat.

This isn’t exactly a budget barrel. However, the fit and finish are excellent. And the precision to weight ratio is almost unbeatable. So this barrel is definitely worth the price.

Pros

  • 16-inch length maintains the maneuverability of an AR-10 battle rifle without sacrificing too much terminal performance.
  • Fluting improves cooling and reduces the weight without giving up precision.
  • Slightly slower twist improves performance with lighter, tactical ammunition.
  • Semi-polished steel finish looks super cool.

Cons

  • Not the most ideal barrel for long-range precision AR-10 rifles.

5. Christensen Arms 308 AR Carbon Fiber Barrel - Lightweight AR-10 Barrel

The Christensen Arms 308 AR Carbon Fiber Barrel is probably the most precise lightweight AR-10 barrel you can get. Christensen Arms really knows what they’re doing with carbon fiber.

This barrel might seem a bit expensive at first glance. However, it comes with a gas block and gas tube. So it’s a good value, despite the high price point.

But the big deal with this barrel is the carbon fiber construction.

The core is 416R stainless steel. Then the carbon fiber jacket puts lateral tension on the barrel to reinforce the core and enhance the rigidity.

Essentially, the carbon fiber jacket puts pressure on the barrel as if it were trying to stretch the barrel out, which keeps the bore and rifling straight, even though the core is thinner than a pencil profile barrel.

The end result is a super lightweight barrel that’s just as precise as a medium or heavy profile barrel. It’s still not quite as precise as a bull barrel. But the precision is excellent. And it’s incredible when you consider how lightweight this barrel is.

The only real downside to a carbon fiber barrel is the heat resistance. A carbon fiber barrel simply can’t withstand as much rapid fire as a full steel barrel.

But, if saving weight without sacrificing precision is your goal, this Christensen Arms barrel will do it. And it comes with all the hardware you need to slap this barrel on an upper receiver and go.

Pros

  • Stainless steel and carbon fiber construction is super lightweight.
  • Carbon fiber jacket keeps bore and rifling straight to provide enough precision for long-range shooting.
  • Includes gas block and gas tube.

Cons

  • A bit expensive, even with the gas block and gas tube.
  • Not as heat resistant as a full steel barrel.

6. Rainier Arms Ultramatch Mod2 20” M11 - Long-Range Precision AR-10 Barrel

The Rainier Arms Ultramatch Mod2 20” M11 is literally just a precision rifle barrel that fits in an AR-10 upper receiver.

It’s a heavy profile stainless steel barrel, with a dished target crown. There’s no muzzle threading. But this barrel gives you bolt-action precision.

The barrel fits into your upper receiver with a TiN coated receiver extension that produces a remarkably tight receiver fit and smooth bolt locking and unlocking. This ensures that you get as much precision as possible from your barrel. And the TiN coating enhances your rifle’s reliability.

This barrel also uses a rifle length gas system for reliable cycling and the softest possible recoil impulse, despite the non-threaded muzzle.

Admittedly, this Rainier Arms barrel is a bit pricey.

However, the build quality and precision are fit for the absolute best precision AR-10 rifles. If you’re looking to get hits at the longest possible distances, this is the barrel to get.

Pros

  • Heavy profile gives you the most precision possible.
  • TiN coated receiver extension improves both mechanical precision and reliability.
  • Rifle length gas system ensures reliable cycling and produces the softest possible recoil impulse.
  • Dished target crown rather than a threaded muzzle.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Does not accept muzzle devices.

Lobbing Big Rounds Out There

Standard 5.56mm precision won’t cut it with an AR-10. An AR-10 demands a bit more precision. Why shoot that big .308 round if you’re just going to spray shots all over the place?

A good barrel is key to maximizing the benefits of all that extra weight and ammunition cost.

Faxon Firearms 308 Winchester Big Gunner Profile Barrels

Still on the fence? Hop down, and get one of the Faxon Firearms 308 Winchester Big Gunner Profile Barrels. These are affordable, precise, and relatively lightweight barrels. You can’t go wrong.

Now you’ve seen all the contenders. Pick up an AR-10 barrel, and head out with the confidence that your rounds will go where you want them.