Last year, I wrote an article about what handgun I would choose if I could only own one handgun and had to get rid of everything else. Typically, this will be a conversation I have with like-minded shooters at dinner and then we will debate the rest of dinner about our choices. Deciding on a rifle was a bit tougher for me than the handgun just because there are so many options depending on your needs. Let’s dive into the one rifle I’d want if I could only have one for the rest of my life.
Picking The Right Type Of Rifle
Probably the most time I spent on figuring out what kind of rifle I would choose was on the style and receiver type. I love bolt actions but they are usually pretty specific to one caliber without changing a fairly large amount of parts on the rifle. I decided on an AR-style rifle after awhile but was debating on the standard AR-15 lower receiver or bump it up to an AR-10. After going back and forth I decided on an AR-10 lower receiver for a few different reasons. Just like the smaller AR-15 lower receiver, the AR-10 lower receiver can accept both 308 Win ammo and 6.5 Creedmoor depending on what barrel is in your upper receiver.
The next big debate was a barrel length to start with. Now one of the best parts of choosing the AR lower as a base is the fact you’re not tied down to one barrel length or caliber. I already own a 10.5 upper and as fun as it is to shoot and have as a truck gun, there’s no denying there’s a decent amount of velocity you lose from such a short barrel. Because of that, I would probably go with a 14.5-inch barrel as the standard range gun set up.
For this article, I actually built and bought this set up to give it a shot and it’s one of my favorite rifle setups I own. I put the new Vortex Razor 1-10×24 on it and decided to try it out like it would be my only rifle from here on. The 14.5 barrel length makes the rifle feel quick during transitions despite being a big boy AR-10 frame.
With the muzzle brake, the 308 has hardly any muzzle rise and its a very soft shooting gun despite being a 308. I will probably break this into a full-blown review once I get around 1,000 rounds through the rifle but right now I’m extremely happy with how the gun handles and shoots.
Modularity Of The AR-10
Like the SIG Sauer P320 I wrote about in my just one handgun article, the AR-10 has a fair bit of modularity of its own. It can take a wide variety of barrel lengths and can be switched over to a 6.5 Creedmoor set up with a simple swap of the upper receiver. In under a minute, the 14.5 inch 308 can casually be turned into a 22 inch 6.5 Creedmoor long-range bruiser. With the 6.5 Creedmoor and a Schmidt & Bender 3-20 PMI II Fine optic, it’s almost effortless to connect with steel targets at 1,000 yards and more.
Having the ability to swap upper receivers and calibers make the AR-10 almost more capable than the AR-15 for its ability to reach out at long ranges where the 5.56 and 300 Blackout can’t. The one big disadvantage with both the 308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor rounds is the overall price. Buying 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor in bulk usually brings tears to my eyes since it’s basically like taking another mortgage out. If these are the only calibers you have to buy, it’s possible to buy more expensive ammo since that’s your only rifle.
Overall, I think the AR-10 system is the best for me because of its modularity and capability at close and long distances. I know many of you will disagree with me and have your own choice about what one rifle you’d pick if you had to absolutely only have one rifle. Let me know in the comments below what you would want your only rifle to be. If you have questions feel free to contact me on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.
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