AR rifles chambered in .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm NATO seem to be cropping up everywhere. And to those of us who are accustomed to the traditional 5.56mm NATO AR, they can seem oversized at first. Of course, anything larger than a 16-inch AR carbine is huge seems to me now, but it’s a matter of what we’re accustomed to. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that I was carrying a full-sized, 20-inch-barreled M16A2.
Of course, Eugene Stoner’s original design for a new military rifle meant to replace the M14 was the AR-10 in 7.62x51mm. As with many things, what was old becomes new again. But the new PG12 rifle from Black Rain Ordnance is not the old AR-10. Rather, it’s a beefed-up AR-15 with several enhancements that make it well suited for heavy-duty use.
The Black Rain Ordnance PG12 is a high-precision, direct gas impingement, semi-auto rifle. Its precision and attention to detail starts with its 20-inch heavy barrel. Made from 416R stainless steel, the barrel has polygonal, three-groove rifling with a smooth 1-in-11-inch twist rate. The barrel also features longitudinal fluting along its entire length, which both helps to stiffen the barrel and reduce some of the rifle’s weight. The rifling has only three grooves, which may seem like too few and look a bit odd, but the results speak for themselves.