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The Aero Precision M5: Quality Receivers at an Affordable Price

By Christopher R. Bartocci

The AR-10 has achieved near epic popularity over the last 20 years. Ironically, in the late 1950s, the Ordnance Corps of the U.S. Army felt it was not good enough to replace the M14. Although the AR-10 was light years ahead of the M14 in materials, weight and reliability, it was far more of a priority to keep Springfield and Rock Island Armory’s producing the M14 rifles. Politics, careers and personal interests heavily outweighed what was best for the U.S. military. They would soon be called upon not only to answer for that mistake but would lose the M14 in favor of the new AR-15. Much heavier consequence to follow would close down both armories for good and put weapons development and production in commercial hands. The Ordnance Corps was abolished by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

Due to the perseverance of Gene Stoner, the AR-10 was brought back to life in the early 1990s when he went to work with C. Reed Knight, Jr., president of Knight’s Armament Company. The introduction of the SR-25 resurrected the AR-10 from the scrap heap of the Ordnance Corps lack of vision and foresight. Since 1994, there are several companies that have come out with their own versions of the AR-10-type rifles; the leading companies being Knight’s, ArmaLite (at the time owned by Mark Westrom) and DPMS. There would be two patterns of receivers, the KAC/ArmaLite pattern and DPMS pattern. What separated these two patterns was the shape of the rear portion of the upper receiver and it’s mating surface on the lower receiver. The SR-25/ArmaLite maintained the same more squared profile of the original AR-10 compared to the rounded profile of the DPMS. Neither was better than the other; perhaps it was just the DPMS way of securing their own brand and keeping out interchangeability between the earlier rifles.

Since then, numerous companies have come on line with their own AR-10-type variants including Rock River Arms, JP Rifles, Colt, LMT, Larue, Bushmaster, Heckler & Koch, SIG, and Remington to name a...


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