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The Top 13 Best AR Calibers That Aren’t 5.56 NATO



5.56 Is Great, But…

Let’s be honest about one thing, the 5.56 NATO/223 Remington is a battle-proven cartridge that has valiantly served the US military for decades. The 5.56’s effectiveness is well documented, and it is one of, if not the, most popular centerfire rifle cartridges in North America.

Yes, the 5.56 NATO is awesome. It has low recoil, a flat trajectory, is inexpensive, and has more varieties of ammo than you can shake a boomstick at.

But sometimes you want to shoot something different out of your AR, and that’s ok. One of the greatest aspects of the AR-15 rifle is its versatility, as many caliber conversions can be accomplished with a simple upper receiver swap. However, with so many different rifle calibers available, some shooters might be confused as to which cartridge is best for their AR-15 or AR-10.

In this article, we are going to break down the top 13 best AR calibers that aren’t 5.56 NATO so you can understand which one will best suit your shooting needs.

If you can’t wait, the best AR caliber is .22 Long Rifle, however if you want to see the full AR caliber list then keep scrolling.

Top 13 AR Calibers:

•   22 Long Rifle
•   300 AAC Blackout
•   6.8 SPC
•   6.5 Grendel
•   22 Nosler
•   224 Valkyrie
•   6mm ARC
•   9mm Luger
•   450 Bushmaster
•   458 SOCOM
•   50 Beowulf
•   308 Winchester
•   6.5 Creedmoor

Best AR-15 Caliber Overall

22 Long Rifle

If you’re like me, the first shot you ever took was with a 22 Long Rifle. As the most popular round on the planet, the 22 Long Rifle is the unquestionable best AR caliber thanks to its nonexistent recoil, extremely low cost, and high ammo availability.

The greatest benefit of the .22 Long Rifle (or 22 LR for short) in an AR-15 platform is that it allows you to train with your standard 5.56 NATO rifle for a fraction of the cost. Converting an AR-15 to 22 LR only requires a conversion bolt and new magazines as any AR 5.56 barrel can be used for 22 LR.

This is in stark contrast to converting your AR to different calibers as these will require a new barrel.

AR-15 22LR conversion bolts and magazines are inexpensive and of course 22 LR bulk ammo is dirt cheap and fun to shoot. You can easily spend an entire day shooting off 500 rounds of 22LR for approximately 1/5 the cost for same round count of 5.56.

This allows you to get in tons of training with your AR-15 while not breaking the bank in ammo cost.

Best AR Pistol Caliber



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