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Differences Between AR-10s and AR-15s and Which Is Safer

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A AR-10 (top) and a AR-15 (bottom)

A AR-10 (top) and a AR-15 (bottom)

National Debate Over Guns and Safety

The national debate on gun control and the role of assault rifles has been a widely discussed topic following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018. This debate has also brought about some confusion as to the differences between AR-15s and AR-10s. Both are types of “assault” rifles. But which is more deadly? Which is more dangerous? Are AR-15s safer than AR-10s?

It’s easy to see why some people have confused these two rifles, but there are significant differences between them that make them completely unalike in terms of their design, operation, and effectiveness. Let's take a moment to talk about the major differences between them.

AR-15

AR-15

What Is an AR-15?

The AR-15 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle designed for civilian use. Although it looks like an automatic rifle, it only fires one shot with each pull of the trigger. The “AR” stands for “ArmaLite,” the company that first made this rifle. AR-15s are common in law enforcement and all branches of the military. They’re popular because they’re lightweight, easy to use, and extremely accurate.

The AR-15 uses a gas-driven piston to eject the bullet casing, cock the firing pin, and reload a new bullet from the magazine. The gas from the firing is channeled through the bolt carrier and piston into the magazine, where it pushes a new bullet up the feeder. The AR-15 rifle has a 15-round magazine, and each bullet is about .223 inches in diameter. This is a significantly smaller round than the bullet used in the AR-10 (.308 inches in diameter).

AR-10

AR-10

What Is an AR-10?

The AR-10 is a battle rifle that was designed as an alternative to the AR-15. It’s more powerful, more accurate, and more expensive than the AR-15. The AR-10 isn’t as commonly used as the AR-15. It’s an extremely powerful rifle and is often used by law enforcement, the military, and in hunting situations where there are large, dangerous animals.

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The AR-10 uses a gas-driven piston to eject the bullet casing, cock the firing pin, and reload a new bullet from the magazine. The gas from the firing is channeled through the bolt carrier and piston into the magazine, where it pushes a new bullet up the feeder.

How are AR-15s and AR-10s Different?

The AR-15 and AR-10 are different in a few ways. First, the AR-10 is heavier and more powerful than the AR-15, meaning it’s a more accurate and effective battle rifle. The AR-15 fires a smaller, .223-inch bullet, while the AR-10 fires a larger, .308-inch bullet. The larger bullet is heavier, slower, and more accurate than the smaller bullet. The AR-10’s gas-driven piston takes longer to load a bullet than the AR-15’s gas-driven bolt carrier, but the AR-10’s piston is more effective than the AR-15’s bolt carrier.

Why Are Some People Saying That AR-10s Are Safer Than AR-15s?

The bigger issue here is that these are semi-automatic rifles that can be “assisted opening.” The difference between these and “fully automatic” rifles is that the AR-15 and AR-10 need some time after being fired for the mechanisms to reload the next bullet.

Semi-automatic rifles have assisted-opening mechanisms that allow the bolt carrier (for the AR-15) or the gas-driven piston (for the AR-10) to open the reload mechanism quickly so the next bullet can be fired more quickly. These differences make the AR-15 more deadly than the AR-10. The smaller bullet, lighter rifle, and slower loading mechanism of the AR-15 make it easier to fire multiple shots quickly. Whereas the larger bullet, heavier rifle, and faster loading mechanism of the AR-10 make it harder to fire multiple shots quickly.

The Bigger Issue: Assisted Opening Mechanism Semi-Automatics (AA SEMi’s)

Semi-automatic rifles have been around for many years and have been used for hunting, sporting events, and self-defense. They are not new. Except for the recently manufactured “assisted opening mechanism” (AA) SEMis, semi-automatic rifles have been relatively unchanged over the past hundred years.

The AA SEMi’s are almost identical to standard semi-automatic rifles. The only difference is the mechanism used to assist in opening the rifle after each shot. Assisted opening mechanisms mean that the rifle is easier to operate and reload. This can be helpful for people with disabilities, seniors, and those who are not very strong. But it also makes the rifles more deadly because they allow more controlled shots and can be used to fire multiple shots in a shorter amount of time.

Conclusion

Semi-automatic rifles have been used for hunting, sporting events, and self-defense for decades and have been relatively unchanged. The only change is that the recently manufactured “assisted opening mechanism” (AA) SEMis are easier to operate and reload. These rifles can be helpful for people with disabilities, seniors, and those who are not very strong. But they also make the rifles more deadly because they allow more controlled shots and can be used to fire multiple shots in a shorter amount of time.

The AR-15 and AR-10 are different in a few ways. The AR-10 is a heavier, more powerful, and more accurate battle rifle than the AR-15. The AR-15 fires a smaller, .223-inch bullet, while the AR-10 fires a larger, .308-inch bullet. The larger bullet is heavier, slower, and more accurate than the smaller bullet. The AR-15’s gas-driven bolt carrier reloads the rifle faster than the AR-10’s gas-driven piston, but the AR-10’s piston is more effective than the AR-15’s bolt carrier.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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