I was at the range with my Springfield 1903-A-3
military rifle, preparing for a Canadian black bear hunt. I'd been
told by the outfitter to expect close encounters with towering
coastal black bears, and I didn't care to go unprepared. Vancouver
Island bears are a unique species and have been known to grow up to
400 pounds or more. I had a box of Win. XP-3 in 180-grain for my
.30-06 WWII-era rifle.
No sense in taking any chances with big bruins.
Pulling up in my truck, I noticed three beefy men bent
over a rifle at the 100-yard marker.
Long story short, the shaven-faced, crew-cut men were
SWAT officers from up the road.
The purpose of their labors was the department's newest
acquisition: a shiny, new AR-10.
They explained the department had two rifles: the
semi-auto AR-15 in .223 and the bolt-action Remington 700 in .308.
What they were looking for was ONE gun to replace the guns in their
arsenal. They needed an extremely accurate semi-automatic .308.
The gun they stood over had been accurized, and the
officers were painstakingly following the gunsmith's cleaning
instructions between each officer's four-round test firings.
Collectively, they looked at me, and asked, "Care to shoot it?"
I'm nobody's fool. I answered immediately, "Oh, yes!"
I have had a Rem. 700 chambered in .308 for years, and
it's been a great deer rifle.
I have an AR-15, and I shot the M-16 in the Army. I had
never fired a semi-auto .308.
The two-stage trigger fooled me on the first shot, but
I was only slightly off the mark.
The Leupold scope worked flawlessly, even with my
My next three shots were about .5 MOA at 100 yards. I
have not shot so well since I had 20-20.
And that was 40 years ago. "Where can I get one
of these babies?" I asked. The SWAT guys were cool and let me
keep the target. Their training officer smiled, "No one will
ever believe you!"
The AR-10 comes from the same fellow that gave us the
M-16, Eugene Stoner. It's been in service since 1960, but the AR-10
seems to be making a come-back after never really hitting it BIG.
Only a handful of these guns have been made, yet it's
seen action in numerous small conflicts.
This gas operated, rotating bolt, semi- and full-auto
rifle is chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win.). It is capable of
700 rounds per minute rate of fire, and it's effective range is
four-tenths of a mile. It measures 41 inches and change and features
a 20-inch barrel, replete with a muzzle brake.
The AR-10 uses 10- and 20-round magazines and spits
lead to the tune of 2700 feet per second.
Bottom Line: I'm getting one just as soon as I pay off
my Canadian taxidermy bill.