“It was a good combat weapon that never failed me,”
In the rugged African Jungles and savannahs, Portuguese paratroopers used the AR-10 to flush out insurgents.
As a matter of fact, the AR-10 rifle flushed out the insurgents so well that the AR-10 rifle earned a reputation for accuracy and reliability — a view shared by the US army.
“It was a good combat weapon that never failed me,” one Congo police instructor remarked.
And it’s true.
The AR-10 is super reliable, accurate, and powerful. It’s no wonder the AR-10 is now one of the top hunting rifles in the world.
But it can’t be the top without finding the…
Best Scope for AR-10
That’s right. The AR-10, without a doubt, is a powerful and highly accurate rifle. But if you can’t see your target clearly, what’s the use of dead-point accuracy? Nothing.
Now, you must be wondering…
Who Made The AR-10 Rifle?
ArmaLite. A small company that started in a tiny machine shop. ArmaLite was never intended to be an arms manufacturer.
But that’s what they became, thanks to an accidental encounter.
While testing the prototype AR-5 survival rifle, ArmaLite met the man that would design the AR-10 (and AR-15), Eugene Stoner.
Eugene was quickly hired and furiously went to work, nailing out dozens of unique rifle concepts before Stoner settled on the AR-10 rifle.
It was good timing…
The US Army’s Search For A Rifle
After World War 2, the US army was searching for a replacement for their obsolete M1 Garand.
The top weapon manufacturers submitted their rifles for testing. But the choices weren’t impressive. They were mostly an updated version of the M1 Garand.
That was until the AR-10 prototypes entered the competition (a bit late).
They blew everyone away.
The AR-10 was light, powerful, and some even went so far as to say it was the “best lightweight automatic rifle” ever tested.
And everything was going well until someone decided to screw everything up, leading to…
The AR-10 Disaster
ArmaLite’s president, George Sullivan, demanding that the untested prototype design (the AR-10 with an aluminum/steel composite barrel) be put to the torture test — a cruel gun firing test.
Eugene Stoner was 150% against the idea. Stoner begged Sullivan to reconsider to no avail. Then the testing started.
The US army conducted the torture test and, during the test, something went horribly wrong.
The AR-10’s barrel burst
ArmaLite tried to resolve the issue quickly with the more tested, conventional steel barrel.
But, it was too late. The damage was done.
The US Army wasn’t going to adopt the AR-10 rifle. So…
ArmaLite’s AR-10 rifle lost their contract
Ouch. It was a real blow, but they knew how good the AR-10 truly was.
So, ArmaLite embarked on a different route.
They were going to sell the AR-10 directly to militaries of other countries. The result? A huge success except for one country: Nicaragua.
The Nicaragua Incident
It’s kind of a funny story actually. ArmaLite hired a very famous arms dealer, Samuel Cummings.
Samuel is the reason why the AR-10 became popular. But he screwed up on his first attempt.
Cummings just secured a deal with Nicaragua for 7,500 AR-10 rifles. Not bad considering they only had 50 in stock.
And that was the problem.
ArmaLite didn’t have many AR-10 rifles in stock. So, Eugene decided to give his personal demonstrator AR-10 to Nicaragua’s chief military commander, General Anastasio Somoza.
It was fully decked out with a suppressor and all the bells and whistles. All it was missing was the best AR-10 scope. If it had possessed that feature, it would’ve sold out.
Cummings left, thinking his job was done. Which it was, until the AR-10 nearly killed the general. this happened in the accursed torture test.
During an AR-10 shooting test, the bolt log popped off the gun and flew past Somoza’s head, nearly killing him.
To say Somoza was annoyed would be a grave understatement. He returned the AR-10 and canceled the entire order.
But that wasn’t the end of the AR-10. It still had one last trick up its sleeve.
AR-10’s Comeback Plan
By now, the AR-10 had been a failure. Nobody wanted it. The military, Nicaragua, and very few countries wanted it.
Then, the AR-10 rifle made a comeback.
Suddenly, Sudan placed an order for 2,500 AR-10 rifles. Once countries saw the usefulness and success of the AR-10, they followed suit.
Germany, Finland, Guatemala, Burma, Italy, Cuba, and Portugal bought out the AR-10’s limited production.
Read another story from us: A Brief History Of The AR-15: A Classic American Weapon
The AR-10 is so reliable that it was used by the Sudanese Special Forces until 1985. If you prefer the AR-15, you should definitely check out best 300 Blackout scope guide!
If you can’t find the scope for you, visit us at Scopes Field. We’ll teach you how to avoid nearly getting yourself killed like Somoza with his AR-10.