BAR Mark III
The BAR semi-auto rifle was designed in the 60s by the grandson of the great John Mosses Browning. It’s had a number of iterations, and all of them have been exceptional. The modern version, Mark III, is a sub moa rifle with well-managed recoil for a bit over $1,000.
Even the older BAR semi-auto rifles tend to be very accurate, so getting a used one is a safe bet. It’s available currently in 11 calibers from .243 to .338 Win Mag, so it’ll definitely give you the option you want.
My dad has a BAR Safari II, which is an absolute knockout beauty. Most people know the BAR for its gorgeous walnut stock and flawless finish on the barrel and receiver, but there are also options in camo and matte black. It’s a bit heavy at just under 8 pounds but that really helps reduce muzzle rise.
The BAR is the benchmark of all Semi-auto hunting rifles and it’s well deserving of that title. Considering the reliability, accuracy, and price, there’s no question as to why. If you want a good Semi-auto hunting rifle, look at the Browning BAR first.
The Benelli is another classic rifle in the same class as the BAR. It has a reputation of having a slightly better fit and finish than the BAR, and also shoots sub moa with good ammo. It’s about 10 ounces lighter than the BAR and you can feel an increase in recoil.
They say it’s a military-grade action. It’s basically a rifle version of the Benelli m4 tactical shotgun. While not as popular in the states, it’s a reliable and accurate gun. It’s available in .308, 30-06, and 300 Win Mag, so it can handle anything in North America.
GFLA 6.5 Grendel Rifle
GLFA is a Michigan company that I’ve talked about before. They make Modern Sporting Rifles (AR-style). GLFA (Great Lakes Firearms and Ammo) makes a really nice 6.5 Grendel and they just call it the GFLA 6.5 Grendel Rifle. It weighs 7 pounds, has a stainless steel 20-inch barrel, and shoots sub-MOA all day.
6.5 Grendel is a great cartridge for deer, hogs, and black bear. It’s not too popular and ammo can be hard to find. It recoils a bit more than a .223 and will take deer to around 300-yards. I am currently trying to popularize this awesome cartridge.
It’s a $975 rifle and well worth it in my opinion. GLFA builds their rifles after they are ordered. If you want one, your local FFL can order it and it will be in the works in a week or two. If you happen to live around Sparta, Michigan then you can just stop in yourself. GLFA makes great rifles.
DPMS GII Hunter
The DPMS GII Hunter is a great shooting AR-10 style rifle. It’s a great, optic-ready hunting rifle. They made it in .243, .260, and .308. It’s a sharp shooting rifle and not known to jam or have trouble. DPMS is currently out of production, but they are available used.
I’m still upset that DPMS was put out of business. They were bought up and closed down by the competition, but are going to be back into production after the DPMS company was sold in the latest Remington Bankruptcy.
They are just getting back into things, and it’s probably going to be a few more months before they can get any big game rifles rolling out of the plant again. Keep your eyes out though. I’m hearing good things about the new production line.
PSA GEN3 PA10
I’m a big fan of PSA and the guns they manufacture. The PA10 is an AR-10 style in .308 and the latest model seems to shoot great. It sells for $800 and shoots great! It also seems to shoot well with steel-cased ammo. I’m not sure how they managed that.
The PA10 has been compared with the early DPMS AR-10s that made the company famous in 2005. It’s a durable, accurate, bullet spitting machine. And it’s the cheapest one on this list. Honestly, it’s the cheapest semi-auto 308 I’ve seen.
In the hands of any decent hunter, I would not doubt the PA10’s potential to bring home the bacon. I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a general-use AR-10.
Savage MSR10 Hunter
My first experience with an AR10 style rifle was with a Savage MSR10. I was shocked by how moderate the recoil felt and how well it pointed. It’s a good gun. They tend to shoot right at or just below MOA, so it should do fine with a 450-yard shot if you’re a decent shot yourself.
It’s available in .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor, and there are older ones in .338 Federal The rifle sells for around $1,500. It’s not too heavy and has a really nice trigger. The finish doesn’t loom fancy, but it doesn’t look cheap either. It was designed to be used, not looked at from behind glass.
Based on my personal experience and that of my friends, I give this one my stamp of approval and wouldn’t mind taking it with me any time in the woods.
Smith and Wesson M&P 10
Smith and Wesson isn’t a top-tier manufacturer, but they make good guns. The M&P 10 is a standard AR-10 style rifle in .308. It doesn’t have a free-floated hangduard, (ARs don’t have free-floated barrels) but it still has an MOA or better reputation. You would have to be mindful of torquing the handguard.
It’s a reliable gun for sure. Definitely hunting cappable. Personally, I prefer a free-floated handguard myself. Still, it’s more accurate than the average hunting rifle 30 years ago was and will definitely do the job.
There is a Performance Center M&P 10 that’s free-floated and well-tuned up for enhanced accuracy. It’s also more expensive. The standard model goes for about $1,200 and the Performance Center model goes for $2,000.
GA Precision makes perhaps the most accurate Modern Sporting Rifles. Certainly at the top end of the stack at least. The company has always boasted 1/2 MOA and guarantees sub-MOA with their rifles. The GAP-10 is a fine-tuned AR-10 that has been made in 243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 260 Rem, 6.5mm Creedmoor, and 308 Win.
I’ve never heard a bad word about them. And, for the price, I better not. These are considered top tier, best of the best by many Modern Sporting Rifle enthusiasts.
It’s a custom match-grade rifle with an amazing trigger that isn’t likely to leave you disappointed, other than the condition of your wallet. Trouble is, the rifle can cost upwards of $4,000. Would you like some caviar with that? Sure, I kind of want one, but I’ll happily settle for GFLA, BAR, or PA 10.