5 Tips To Pick The Right AR-10 Upper

best ar-10 upper

Much like the AR-15, the AR-10 can be customized according to your preference. This is thanks to how the upper and lower receivers are designed which allows you to split them by pushing two pins out. Since the rifle can be separated easily, it makes swapping out the upper a much easier task. 

However, not many people are familiar with picking the right AR-10 upper which is why we’re here to help. The following section will cover some of the tips you can keep in mind when choosing an AR-10 upper to help you find the right one. That said, let’s take a look at how you can pick the suitable AR-10 upper

Before we move on, you should understand that the following tips are just some of the many that we think will be helpful for you. Anyways, here are the tips to pick the right AR-10 upper. 

1. Make Sure You Are Buying The Right Parts For Your Build 

Generally, there are two styles of AR-10 uppers, the original Armalite style which is the AR-10, and the newer DPMS style which is the LR-308. When you’re buying AR-10 upper parts, it is important that you are buying for the right platform because not all the parts are interchangeable. 

Besides that, you should also understand that although an AR-15 and an AR-10 are quite similar, they actually have visible differences when placed side-by-side. However, there are some parts between these two platforms that are interchangeable as well. 

If you are planning to build an AR-10 upper piece by piece, it is crucial that all the parts you buy are meant for the AR-10 platform. In the worst-case scenario, you might think that you’re building an AR-10 but you’re actually building an LR-308 and you end up purchasing parts that don’t work with each other. 

One way that you can prevent building the wrong upper is to buy upper kits that come with everything you need. We strongly suggest people who are building an AR-10 upper for the very first time to go for these kits as they are helpful for gaining experience and minimizing critical mistakes at the same time. 

2. Check The Upper’s Compatibility With Your Lower Receiver 

When it comes to building an AR-10 rifle, the compatibility between an upper and lower receiver is extremely crucial if you are looking for a tight fit. Some manufacturers make their upper receivers to go exclusively well with their lower receivers, so if you are using an upper and lower from different manufacturers, you might see some gaps and overhangs between them. 

If the fitments don’t matter that much to you then this wouldn’t be that big of an issue to you. But, if it bothers you, then make sure the AR-10 upper you’re building is compatible with your lower receiver. 

The best way to get tight and clean fittings between your upper and lower receiver is to go for build kits that come with both. That way, both upper and lower will be compatible with each other and they will fit nicely. Building an AR-10 with tight tolerances is important because the tighter the tolerances, the better the performance of the AR-10. 

3. Pay Attention To The Profile Of The Upper Receiver 

The profile of an upper receiver is sometimes referred to as the tang height and it represents the height of the rail. There are about six different ones available but they only vary slightly from each other. You can’t really tell the height differences between each profile until you thread it to the handguard. 

If the profile of your AR-10 upper doesn’t match the profile of your handguard, you will be able to see a slight difference in the height of the rail. This is something you need to pay attention to, especially if you are mounting a scope on your AR-10 because when both scope rings are not leveled, you will have an issue with the scope’s elevation. 

To avoid this issue, you can opt for AR-10 uppers that come with a matching handguard. Otherwise, make sure you check the description and specification of your AR-10 upper and handguard to make sure they have matching profiles. 

4. Remember That The BCG For AR-15, LR-308, And AR-10 Is Not The Same 

The bolt carrier group (BCG) is part of the upper and it is not interchangeable between the AR- 15, LR-308, and AR-10. Hence, you should pay close attention to make sure you’re buying the right BCG for your AR-10 upper, otherwise, it won’t fit nicely. 

If you don’t wish to buy the wrong BCG for your AR-10 build, you should read the description carefully first before making a purchase, or you could just go for kits that come with a compatible BCG. 

5. Avoid Uppers With AR-15 Buffer And Buffer Spring 

Finally, you need to be aware that the buffer and buffer spring for an AR-15 is not going to work on an AR-10 build because they are distinctively different. If you are using an AR-10 BCG with the AR-15 buffer, buffer spring, and buffer tube, you will notice that there is not enough space because the AR-10 BCG is much longer. 

Not only are the BCGs for AR-10 longer, but the buffer and buffer springs are also shorter in comparison to the AR-15’s buffer and buffer spring. This is why when the proper AR-10 BCG, buffer, and buffer spring is used, there will be enough clearance and space for the BCG to cycle and pick up another round. 


The AR-10 is highly customizable and there are ample parts on the market for it which is great, but at the same time, making it challenging to find the right upper. We hope the tips that we’ve provided helped you gain a better understanding of how you can pick the right AR-10 upper for your firearm safely and affordably. 

As you can see from the tips mentioned above, it is clear that finding the right AR-10 upper is mainly about compatibility, so as long as your upper and upper parts are compatible with each other and also the lower receiver, then you’re on the right track for your AR-10 build.

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