- Custom assembled
- Chambered in .308 Win
- Suppressed, Thermal Equipped
With so many shooting disciplines available, it can be hard to find time to learn how to shoot all of them. This author has been a run and gun guy for most of my shooting career. From pistol and carbine competitions to tactical classes, I’ve enjoyed the demands of running a gun at speed. It was only recently that I have been coaxed into the deep world of precision shooting. Talk about rabbit’s hole.
There’s a lot to learn about the category and the deeper you go on the subject, the more you realize you need to learn. Like myself, the owner of the featured rifle is only just embarking on his journey to learn the craft of precision shooting.
There are guns that are built to serve a variety of applications and then there are guns that are created to serve a single purpose. The rifle featured here falls into the later of the two categories. Devised by its owner to be used as a platform for him to learn about ballistics and how to calculate shooting targets at distance while suppressed, this long-range shooter is outfitted with plenty of innovative parts as well as a heavy dose of passion from its creator.
The creative mind behind this AR-10 is Jay Canter, a professional photojournalist by trade. Like many of us, he’s also a gun fanatic that always has his eyes set on his next build. In the case of this AR-10, the Mesa, Arizona resident started out with a billet upper and lower receiver set made by Quentin Defense.
The Quentin Defense ARQ-10 Billet Receiver Set is manufactured from robust 7075-T6 billet aluminum and comes mostly stripped other than an ambidextrous bolt release. This allows visionaries such as Canter to build the rifle up to suit any need that arises. The ARQ-10 is based on AR-10 architecture so it accepts most LR308 lower receiver components. The lower’s magazine well promotes fast mag changes thanks to its proprietary ARQ radius mag well ramp design. The contours also help give it a cool, modern look as well.
The upper is designed as a slick side receiver, which means that it does not have provisions for a forward assist assembly. Omitting the forward assist helps keep the receiver set’s weight down to 20 ounces. For most shooters, a forward assist is rarely, if ever, used so its omission in favor for weight savings makes sense. Canter tells us a little more about why he chose this receiver set, “The Quentin Defense ARQ-10 receiver set is easily one of the most striking looking sets available on the market and its fit and finish are flawless. Being made in Arizona made it a no-brainer for me to base my rifle off of.”
Speaking about the concept of this rifle, Canter informed us, “Going into the design of this rifle, I already had some sort of idea of what I wanted it to become. I always love seeing suppressors inside of hand guards no matter what their intended use is for. So that’s what I decided for this build. I would get a direct thread suppressor to fit inside the hand guard and it would basically live permanently on this build.”
The centerpiece of the AR-10 is the Torrent Suppressors T3i sound suppressor. Canter chose a raw titanium version of the T3i and purposely didn’t have it Cerakoted because he loved the look of the uncoated titanium. We have to agree with him, the titanium does look mighty sharp. The suppressor is 7.75-inches long and weights a scant 10 ounces and is attached to a 16-inch Rosco Manufacturing barrel, which is chambered to fire .308 Winchester caliber bullets. Regarding his barrel choice, Canter says, “I proudly run Rosco Manufacturing barrels on virtually every build I design. Their price point is fantastic and I have not had a single issue with any of their products.”
When asked if he encountered any challenges while building the AR-10, Canter revealed, “The main issue was finding a hand guard that looks great, lightweight, and would accept a suppressor. That was the main issue. Deciding on other parts wasn’t overly difficult. A super tiny bit of clearance help inside the hand guard was needed to get the suppressor to not touch even by a .00001” which is how close I feel it is whenever I look at it.” The handguard he went with is a JL Billet 17.2-inch angle cut model complete with M-LOK attachment points. For it to properly match up with the upper receiver, a DPMS high profile version was required.
Driving the action of the rifle is a Toolcraft AR10 Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group (BCG). The DPMS pattern compatible Full Auto BCG is manufactured using a 9310 steel bolt and an 8620 steel carrier. If you haven’t heard of Toolcraft before, you’ll want to know that the company is an OEM for the U.S. military and many other large firearms manufacturers.
The lower receiver was completed with a host of quality aftermarket parts including an Elftmann Tactical drop-in trigger, Ascend Armory takedown pins, Forward Control Design bolt catch and magazine release button, among other parts that Canter carefully selected for this build. The rear end features a fully adjustable Luth-AR MBA-1 buttstock, Luth-AR buffer tube, and Strike Industries buffer spring. The combined buttstock assembly allows for fine adjustments to length of pull and checkweld height for taking precision shots.
Ever conscious of budget, Canter makes it a point to source gear that works above and beyond his requirements at reasonable costs. For one of the most important elements for his precision AR-10, the optic, he chose to run a Bushnell Optics Forge series 2.5-15×50 first focal plane scope. Of the scope, Canter says, “The optic fits perfectly with the rifle but also is one of the nicest pieces in the price range available.” Bushnell offers their Forge series of optics as a part of their line of optics geared toward hunters.
While Canter’s AR-10 is built with precision shooting in mind, hunting can be an alterative use for it as well. It’s lucky then that Canter also has the use of a Night Optics Panther C 336 Thermal Clip-On Sight at his disposal. The thermal system can be mounted to Picatinny rail or as in Canter’s case, is mounted directly to the front bell housing his Bushnell scope using a Night Optics day/night mount. The Panther C is a dual-mode system that gives the shooter access to up to date thermal imaging technology over a 600×800 high-resolution AMOLED display. Although not used as a part of his precision shooting set up, it’s cool kit that we would welcome if the opportunity ever arises to use it. Perhaps a future hunting trip is in order.
To give the rifle a unique look, Canter went to the Cerakote experts at FS Defense for a one-off custom paint job. He’s done many projects with the coating company and trusts their work immensely. The rifle was finished in Burnt Bronze, but you’ll also notice some darker shades that were applied on the gun that give it an enhanced, high contrast look.
After all the parts were selected, gathered, coated and prepped for assembly, Canter went to see Jason at Quentin Defense for the gun’s final assembly and to perform safety and clearance checks.
Canter’s final thoughts about this build, “Maybe to get longer range I would have been better off selecting a different cartridge and maybe bolt action. However full semi automatic is more user friendly with easier access to parts in a pinch if need be. Once this tool gets out and really dialed in it will make for a great distance tool.”
Now that the rifle is complete, he’s ready to go use it to learn with and practice shooting targets at distance in the field as per his original concept. We’d be happy to come along to help break it in and join you in the rabbit’s hole of precision shooting.
Jay Canter’s Suppressed Precision AR-10
- Caliber: .308 Win
- Length: 43 in.
- Barrel: 16 in. Rosco Manufacturing 308
- Weight w/o magazine: 12 lbs., 0.8 oz.
- Upper & Lower Receivers: Quentin Defense ARQ-10 Billet Receiver Set
- Coating: Cerakote by FS Defense Cerakote
Optic: Bushnell Optics – Forge RF2155TF1 2.5-15×50 bronze first focal plane
Opic Mount: Weaver 30mm Mount #99680
Thermal Optic: Night Optics Panther C 336 Thermal Clip-On Sight (336×256, 50mm)
Suppressor: Torrent Suppressors T3i
Handguard: JL Bilet 17.2” Angle Cut M-LOK DPMS High Profile
Buttstock: Luth-AR MBA-1Bipod: Accu-Shot Atlas PSR #BT46-LW17
Magazine: Lancer Smoked 20 Round L7AWM20
Parts & Accessories: JL Billet Gas Block, Toolcraft BCG, Strike Industries Charging Handle, Strike Industries Charging Handle, Elftmann Tactical Trigger, Ascend Armory Takedown Pins, Quentin Defense Safety Selector, Forward Control Design Bolt Catch, Forward Control Design Magazine Button, Ascend Armory Magazine Catch, Luth-AR Buffer Tube, Luth-AR Buffer, Strike Industries Buffer Spring, Ergo Pistol Grip
About the owner:
Name: Jay Canter
Social: IG & FB – Jay Canter Photography
Occupation: Professional Photojournalist, creative mind
Special Thanks: Quentin Defense, FSDefense, Torrent Supressors, Rosco Manufacturing, Bushnell Optics, Night Optics, Accu-shot, Strike Industries, Elftmann Tactical
Text by Martin Anders / Images by Jay Canter