What have we here? The Ruger SFAR, a AR 10-style rifle in 7.62×51, is about the size of a AR 15 in 5.56×45. Yep, that is precisely correct but will it hold up?

With Magpul MOE SL stock and MOE pistol grip, you can be sure the furniture is state-of-the-art. The fifteen-inch free-floated aluminum handguards feature M-Lok on the port, starboard, and bottom with Picatinny rail sections at the forward and aft. The rifle ships with a single Magpul twenty-round PMag and no sights.

One essential feature of this rifle is the included Ruger duel port Boomer muzzle brake 5/8′ x 24. It certainly aids in taming the 7.62 NATO in a rifle that weighs less than seven pounds. The rifle can be had with a sixteen or twenty-inch cold hammer-forged barrel made from 4140 chrome-moly steel and is finished in black nitride. An adjustable mid-length gas system features a 0.750″ four-position rotary regulator gas block. This is important when dialing in the rifle for specific ammunition and being able to choke the gas down if you add a silencer. With baffle stack-type silencers, an adjustable gas system is necessary to prevent bolt-over speed and risk a malfunction. The included onboard 3/16″ ball-end wrench makes for easy adjustment.

A lot of engineering went into this rifle, as you can see here, several vent holes in the carrier and barrel extension to help vent gas out of the ejection port and away from the user. The rifle is made from 7075-T6 hard-coat anodized aluminum forging, reinforced in the crucial areas of the rifle. ensuring a long and reliable service life.

The manual of arms is identical to all other AR pattern rifles.  The trigger is two-stage that broke cleanly at four and a half pounds. Ruger says the bolt and barrel extensions are CNC-machined from high-strength alloy that outperforms traditional Carpenter 158 bolts, and duel ejectors are standard. Tapered lug geometry further strengthens the breech to support larger short-action cartridges. The bolt carrier is 8620 steel and is chrome lined. The SFAR features a titanium firing pin that has been DLC-coated for long service life.

As you can see, it took a lot of engineering to shoehorn the .308 Winchester into such a rifle and make it reliable, durable, and accurate. Using the Meopta MeoSport R 3-15x 50 scope As reviewed here, we shot the rifle at 100, 300, and 400 yards with factory ammunition.

Average, three-shot groups shot from a rest at a hundred yards.


As you will notice, there is indeed a lot going on with this rifle, and to be perfectly honest, I had my doubts about it. I have shot plenty of AR 10s, which are always large and bulky. Once I shot it a bit, I decided to get the opinion of Andrew Barnes of Barnes Precision Machine. Andrew is a machinist who has been machining and building his line of high-end AR-style rifles and parts for many other manufacturers. He is a good resource for my firearm reviews and an excellent source for all things AR. When I got to his range, he looked the rifle over, took it apart, and expressed some reservations. I had less than a hundred rounds through the rifle but had brought plenty of ammunition with me, and Andrew was good enough to donate an ammo can full of Federal XM 80C and 118 LR. We spent the better part of the day shooting the rifle with and without a silencer at 100, 300, and 400 yards from a rest and offhand. By the time we wrapped up, we had passed the 500 round mark with zero malfunctions, stoppages, or breakage. While 500 rounds is not a lot of rounds downrange, it would have shown up by now if something were going on with the rifle. With it being in such a small footprint but bringing the mighty 7.62×51 NATO to bear, this is a handy rifle with plenty of horsepower. Being reliable and accurate justifies this as a strong contender in the AR world, and at an MSRP of $1229, I can’t see any reason not to own at least one or two.


  • Stock: Magpul® MOE SL®
  • Handguard: Lite Free-Float with M-LOK® Attachment Slots
  • Sights: None
  • Barrel Length: 16.10″ or 20″ 
  • Thread Pattern: 5/8″-24
  • Grip: Magpul® MOE®
  • Capacity: 20
  • Finish: Type III Hard-Coat Anodized
  • Height: 7.20″
  • Weight: 6.8 lb.
  • Twist: 1:10″ RH
  • Overall Length: 34″ – 37.25″
  • Length of Pull: 11″ – 14.25″
  • Grooves: 5
  • Suggested Retail: $1229.00



Defender Ammunition 


Andrew Barnes of Barnes Precision Machine 

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

10 thoughts on “Ruger SFAR, downsize your .308 AR.”
  1. Will the upper fit any mil-spec AR .308 lower? Can I change(carbon fiber) the buffer and stock to make it even more lighter? I am wanting to put on a iray Alpha 640 on this and only use it for night hunting up to 300 or less yards

    1. In short, NO. The takedown pins on the SFAR are spaced differently than on a DPMS AR-10. The SFAR lower is not compatible with a DPMS pattern AR-10 upper, and vice versa. Same story with the discontinued Ruger SR 762.

  2. How does this compare to the Sig Cross in 308. I know the SC is a bolt action, but how about handling and accuracy?

  3. Hunter, I watched your video and it really inspired me to get this rifle. I pulled the trigger and took it out for the first time the other day. I unfortunately had a ton of malfunctions with this thing. I ran 7.62 ball ammo out of it on gas setting #2 and could not get more than 3 consecutive shots without some sort of feeding malfunction. At some point it would try to feed 2 cartridges at once and at one point the charging handle got stuck and I had to use a hammer to break it free. After that I turned it up to gas setting # 3 and was getting the same issues so I put it back down to setting # 2. At this point I only had about 50 rounds through it, so I decided to take the thing apart and the bolt carrier group was bone dry, so I oiled it up and was able to run a full 25 round mag without fail. After I loaded a new magezine I couldn’t get more than 2 shots consecutively without a jam. What gas settings did you run for the first 500 rounds? Rugers manual recommends to use the lowest possible gas setting and most commercial ammo can be run optimally on gas setting #2..I dont want to over gas this thing and use gas setting #3 and degrade the long term performance of this rifle…This weekend I will try .308 and see If I can get some better luck…I really enjoy your videos and need someones opinion who was able to run this rifle without failures. I look forward to hearing from you

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words. I am sorry you are having issues with your SFAR. I have spoken to several folks who have the SFAR and have had great luck with them. Have you tried different ammunition? You want to run quality ammunition to be sure the pressure is correct. It may be a magazine issue but I would clean it will and lube, then try some quality ammo to see how it runs. Please keep me posted.

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