Lunde Studio is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission from Amazon at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best AR 10 Upper Receivers (2022 Updated)

Best AR 10 Upper Receiver

A solid and reliable upper receiver increases the accuracy and lifespan of your rifle, so if you are planning to change your stock upper receiver, you are in the right place. AR-10 rifle components are not as readily available as those for AR-15.

Our team spent 98 hours testing and reviewing almost twenty upper receivers to help you find the best AR-10 upper receiver for your rifle. Read on to find out our best picks for both assembled upper receivers (Reviews 1-5) and unassembled upper receivers (Reviews 6-10) . 

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Aero Precision - M5e1 Assembled Upper Receiver

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Aero Precision - 308 AR M5 Stripped Upper Receiver

EDITOR’S CHOICE: UPGRADE PICK

V SEVEN AR-10 308 Harbinger Stripped Upper Receiver

1. Aero Precision - M5e1 Assembled Upper Receiver

Why We Picked It

Aero Precision – M5e1 made top pick for assembled uppers because of its impressive precision. The upper receiver is made from 7075-T6 aluminum for added strength and is lightweight. 

Additionally, it comes with a forward assist, port door, and a handguard mounting platform for the forged receivers. This is the upper assembly I use on two of my own rifles.

Who Should Use It

The M5e1 is suitable for shooters who use AR-10 and AR-15 but prefer a little more range. Also, it is ideal to use for hunting and shooting competitions. 

Summary: 

The M5e1 Assembled Upper Receiver fits and assembles nicely compared to other upper receivers on the market. The aggressive lines on the upper receiver give a solid feel in hand and compliments the ergo grip well .

PROS

CONS

2. Aero Precision M5 .308 CMV Upper with Atlas S-ONE

Why We Picked It

The Aero Precision Atlas S-ONE is a game-changer for your lightweight build and handles more like an AR-15. Its slim profile 15 in. free-float M-lok handguard is easy to remove and can usually accommodate a bigger objective lens without a higher profile scope mount.  This upper is even compatible with low profile gas blocks. Available in anodized black or cerakote FDE.

Who Should Use It

We highly recommend the Atlas S-ONE for long range target shooting.

Summary: 

The DPMS high profile AR-10 upper comes with the the Aero Precision ATLAS attachment system. It is forged from 7075 T6 aluminum with a corrosion resistant finish. Its slim profile handguard has indexing grooves for positive grip control.

PROS

CONS

3. PSA Gen3 PA10 18″ .308 Win M-Lok Upper

Why We Picked It

The PSA Gen 3 18″ M-Lok Upper has an improved function and enhanced durability of a complete upper receiver. The black nitride stainless gas tube has a better heat resistance even after firing multiple shots than its previous edition. The design is slick, and it features anti-rotation and anti-slip handguards. 

Who Should Use It

PSA Gen3 PA 10 18″ is ideal for hunting and target shooting.

Summary: 

The PSA Gen3 18″ is a mid-length classic upper receiver that is aesthetically pleasing and has impressive heat and corrosion resistance. The Bolt Carrier Group extractor spring is treated with nitride for durability, and its charging handle is made from 7075 T6 aluminum.

PROS

CONS

4. PSA Gen 3 PA10 20" Lightweight M-Lok Upper

Why We Picked It

PSA Gen 3 PA10 20″ is a lightweight upper receiver enhanced for greater durability and reliability. It has a Bolt Carrier Group tool craft with extra power extractor springs, which gives proper torque function to military specifications.

Machining tolerances differ, so if aesthetics are a priority, your best bet is to pair with the PSA lower receiver.

Who Should Use It

This complete upper receiver is ideal for hunters and those shooters who prefer a traditional 308 barrel. 

Summary: 

Forged with 7075-T6 aluminum forging and a 416R stainless steel barrel guaranteeing heat resistance and utmost durability. Plus it has an adjustable gas block and has anti-rotation and anti-slip handles.

PROS

CONS

5. PSA Gen3 PA65 20″ Rifle-Length M-Lok Upper

Why We Picked It

PSA Gen3 PA65 20″ Rifle-Length M-Lok Upper is a complete receiver made from a heavy profile stainless steel barrel and 7075 T6 uppers. The receiver comes with a bolt carrier group, charging handle, 20″ barrel, free-float M-Lok rail, and a partial Picatinny rail. 

Who Should Use It

The 65 barrel and long-range cartridge on this AR-10 upper receiver make it an ideal choice for target shooting and hunting.

Summary: 

The PSA PA65 20″ fits well and is easy to install if the upper and lower receivers are compatible. The upper receiver is good quality, and comes with impressive grip handles. If you want an accurate rifle, it can be a solid choice for an upper upgrade.

PROS

CONS

6. Aero Precision - 308 AR M5 Upper Receiver

Why We Picked It

Aero Precision – 308 AR M5 Upper Receiver is the best AR-10 upper receiver made from forged 7075-T6 aluminum. It features upper M4 feed ramps and is hard coated with matte black anodized Mil 8625 Type 3. Aero Precision is compatible with standard DPMS pattern hand guards, bolt carriers, lowers, barrels, and charging handles. 

Who Should Use It

Highly recommended for those who participate in competitive shooting, hunting, and tactical exercises. 

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Summary: 

Aero Precision – 308 AR M5 upper receiver works well with DPMS style receivers. It is a forged upper at a reasonable price.

PROS

CONS

7. V Seven AR-10 308 Harbinger Upper Receiver

Why We Picked It

Our upgrade pick for stripped upper receiver is the V Seven AR-10 308 Harbinger. Due to its proprietary design we immediately noticed the quality workmanship on this more custom option. Billet 7075 T6 aluminum finished with black cerakote over type iii hardcoat anodized makes this pick highly durable. This SR25 pattern upper with standard mil-spec height is compatible with most DMPS high profile handguards and barrels. 

Who Should Use It

This upgrade pick is for the shooter that wants aesthetic flair along with excellent performance.

Summary: 

V Seven AR-10 308 Harbinger Upper is a durable and reliable upper receiver that pairs slick aesthetics with reliable performance.

PROS

CONS

8. STAG 10 Marksman Upper With Nitride Barrel In .308

Why We Picked It

The STAG 10 Stripped Upper is precisely machined to ensure its compatibility and fit with Stag 10 lower. It has a picatinny rail with a tang height of .210 and will work with any DPMS upper parts kit. It is forged with 7075 T6 Aluminum with type 3 hard coat anodizing

Who Should Use It

The STAG 10 is known for impressive functionality, which is a good pick for hunting because it is practical for both short and long-distance shooting.

Summary: 

STAG 10 upper receiver nicely compliments your build with forged 7075 T6 Aluminum with type 3 hard coat anodizing. It’s standard picatinny rail makes this compatible with a variety of accessories.

PROS

CONS

9. Luth AR 308 A3 STRIPPED UPPER RECEIVER

Why We Picked It

The Luth AR 308 A3 is a stripped upper receiver that makes a solid choice for your AR-10 upgrade. Made in the USA and machined from 6061-T6  aluminum extrusion for excellent strength, this upper features a black hard coat anodized finish for wear resistance and durability.

This low profile upper pairs easily with many of the low profile DPMS cut and patterned lower receiver options available today, although we tend to always recommend pairing with one from the same manufacturer. The low profile 1913 Picatinny Rail (0.151”) allows for a variety of accessories to complete your build.

Who Should Use It

This stripped upper receiver is great for shooters who plan to completely customize their AR-10 build. It is a great option for hunting and target shooting.

Summary: 

The Luth AR 308 A3 Stripped Upper Receiver supports the DPMS platform, which is compatible with a DPMS cut and patterned lower receivers. We did not have any fitting issue while testing it, and it has a top rail for optics.

PROS

CONS

10. 17 Design And Manufacturing - AR-308 Upper Receiver

Why We Picked It

The AR-308 Upper Receiver from 17 Design and Manufacturing is a perfect match for the 17 Design Manufacturing Integrated Folding Lower Receiver. It is made from a solid billet of aluminum for utmost durability. The billet uppers of 17 Design and Manufacturing are anodized with a black, hard coat finish. The standard mil-spec dimensions and traditional tang height  of .230″ limits hand guard selection if you want to ensure a seamless top rail.

Who Should Use It

The AR-308 upper receiver from 17 Design and Manufacturing is ideal for people who engage in long-range shooting.

Summary: 

Add a new caliber to your next AR-10 build with the AR-308 Upper Receiver from 17 Design and Manufacturing. It was machined to ensure compatibility and its billet machined design guarantees reliability and durability.

PROS

CONS

Complete Guide to Buying

buying guide

Buffer & Spring Combination

If you plan to upgrade your AR-10 upper receivers, the first one you should consider is the buffer and spring combination. When the gun is fired, the buffer system’s function relies on the cycling of the BCG [1]. The right buffer and spring combination may reduce recoil and can smoothe the action of your AR-10.

Profile

High

High-profile uppers are used in older versions of AR-10, where it has a wide top portion that measures 3/16″ and a charging handle that measures 0.210 tang. High Profile AR-10 upper receivers are not compatible with low profile lower receivers, so make sure to check the profile of your AR-10 before buying the upper receiver.  

Low

Low profile upper receivers are more versatile and slicker than high profile receivers because it has a ⅛” top portion and a 0.150″ tang charging handle. Low profile is also known as DPMS style, and due to its versatility, it allows you to install aftermarket accessories easier. 

Design

Flat Top

Design is another thing to consider when buying the AR-10 upper. If you want to opt for additional accessories like a scope or laser, go with a flat top design with Picatinny rail. Unlike the carry handle receivers, the mil STD Picatinny rail offers many customization options. 

Carry Handle

The carry handle design needs adapters and mounts when adding accessories and scopes, unlike flat top. Carry handles are often not used because they cover the rear sight assembly. Ensure that the carry handle has a forward assist button that allows you to load the next round without a loud clicking sound from the charging handle. 

Build

Cast

Cast upper receivers are made from raw aluminum which gives consistency and strength to the receiver. However, an upper receiver made from cast suffers defects that may amplify under pressure during the cooling process. The cast is one of the lightest among the four builds but lacks precision and strength. 

Polymer

New to the rifle market, Polymer receivers are lightweight and are the most affordable receivers. This type is reinforced with metal on high-stress points. However, we don’t recommend a polymer receiver because its durability and weight can affect the rifle’s performance. 

Forged 

Forged metal has the greatest integrity when it comes to the strength and durability of the upper receiver. The build is constructed using treated aluminum, and it is molded into the upper receiver shape by forging the metal. Forging is a process that increases the strength of the metal by pressing or hammering [2]. 

Billet

Billet receivers are more aesthetic than a forged upper, and when it comes to strength, its key components are close to that of forged metal. Because they can handle recoil impressively, billet uppers are widely used by shooters to improve shot precision.

Finish

Stripped

The stripped upper receiver is often used by shooters who prefer customizing accessories. These do not come with a forward assist button, but they provide the flexibility to choose the bolt carrier group, trigger, and barrel that drives your rifle’s performance. Using the same brands can help avoid fitting issues we have seen in our experience

 A big plus, is that these allow you to easily attach accessories without hassle.

Complete

The complete upper finish includes an ejection port and forward assist button which will save time and ensure no issues with ATF laws. ATF strictly enforces gun laws for manufacturing, modifying, selling, and possessing firearms in the US [3]. The complete finish comes with all the required hardware you need to make your AR-10 function. 

Style

DPMS 

Compatible parts for DPMS models are easier to find because these allow you to interchange magazine types, styles, and brands. Also, the DPMS platform gives you high-performance shooting often at less expense. 

However, to avoid incompatibility, if you choose a DPMS upper, we recommend also using a DPMS lower receiver set. 

Armalite Style

Armalite style is the original AR-10 with a different geometry cut at the rear part of the upper receiver. Both barrel nuts are different because Armalite has 32 TPI while DPMS rocks at 16 TPI.

Durability & Ergonomics

It is important to consider both durability and comfort when buying an upper receiver for your AR-10. As much as possible, skip the polymer uppers and go for forged or billet builds. The best AR-10 upper receiver must provide a firm grip and offer a right and left-hand ejection system. 

In addition, the ergonomics of the gun should be considered because it affects operational impact, ease of use, and visual effectiveness for the shooter [4]. 

Price Point

If price point is a consideration for upgrading your upper receiver, mil-spec parts can be somewhat costly. Consider your budget and all of the components you plan to upgrade. You may not want to go all out with just the upper receiver, especially if you are getting stripped uppers.

More resources for your AR-10 build:

Our Team's Selection Process

selection process

Overall Performance

The first thing we always look after when selecting the best AR-10 upper receiver is the overall performance. We tested almost twenty upper receivers and narrowed it down to the best ten, with a strong consideration of smooth firing action and accuracy.

Weapon Compatibility

As much as we like the smoothness and accuracy of other uppers, we also considered the weapon compatibility. It was challenging to get stripped uppers as we fully assembled the upper, so make sure to get the same brands with the lower receiver set.

Product Quality 

The fit and finish of the upper receiver were considered in our team’s selection process. We checked ease of attaching popular accessories to upper receivers and ensured that the forward assist and ejection port were high quality.

FAQs

Yes, AR-10 uppers can be interchangeable with an AR-15 because it has a similar design. Trigger, buffer detent, pistol grips, springs, and release buttons are some of the parts that can be interchangeable.

No, you cannot use an AR-15 lower with an AR-10 upper because of its physical differences. Even if both lower receivers use that same lower receiver set, the dimensions and BCG have physical differences, so the fitting will be an issue.

And the #1 Upper Receiver for AR-10 is...

Our team chooses Aero Precision – 308 AR M5 Upper Receiver as the number one upper receiver for AR-10. It is a solid choice for those who want to upgrade their upper receiver because it is forged metal machined to perfection. 

Aero Precision – 308 AR M5 Upper Receiver is easy to install and versatile because you can use it for different distance shooting. It is an effective and inexpensive addition to your AR platform.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Our #1 Recommendation

Aero Precision - 308 AR M5 Upper Receiver

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.