Review: ACME Machine AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor
Everyone should have an AR — or five, or ten — in their gun collection. Of course, those who do have some ARs tend to gravitate to the AR-15 platform meaning they’re missing out on the wonderful world of the AR-10.
AR-10s are the big brother of the AR-15 and were, in fact, created by Eugene Stoner before AR-15s by about two years. There are a lot of options on the market for these bigger, badder rifles, and today we’re focusing on a manufacturer that’s been gaining popularity in recent years: ACME Machine. Read on for a closer look at the ACME Machine AR-10 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.
Acme Machine History
If you’re like me the first thing you picture at the word “ACME” is Wile E. Coyote going after the roadrunner. In this case, it’s an accurate mental picture because the infamous coyote’s buff cousin of sorts is ACME Machine’s mascot and featured on their company patches and other logo-emblazoned products.
The company has been around for years now and first hit my radar about four or five years ago. As usual, I was skeptical of a new manufacturer on the horizon but after years of hands-on time with many of their products I’m comfortable recommending them to AR fans.
Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately. Yes, some of ACME’s parts and products are made in Asia. If this is something you choose to nitpick you’ll be wildly disappointed to hear that a massive number of major manufacturers also do a great deal of business in Asia. It’s far more common in the gun world than gun owners might believe. Some manufacturers slide by claiming products are Made in America when they’re only assembled here, so at least Acme is up-front about their business dealings.
It is worth noting that many of ACME’s products are made here in the States. For example, Aero Precision in Lakewood, Washington makes the vast majority of their uppers, lowers, and handguards. ACME itself is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Moving on.
The ACME Machine AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor is an all-black, heavy-duty rifle meant for hard use.
The upper and lower receivers are ACME Machine Aero LR-308 with parts kits manufactured by ACME. Features of the lower include an integrated trigger guard, rear takedown detent hole being threaded for a 4-40 set screw, and selector made to fit any standard selector. A standard grip is used on this rifle by ACME, textured for a firmer hold, and has a molded finger rest. Receivers are forged from 7075-T6 aluminum.
ACME produces the handguard used on this model itself.
It’s a 17-inch M-LOK Super Slim Handguard — M-LOK being my personal preference — with excellent fitment to the upper receiver. A full-length Picatinny rail tops the receiver and handguard so you can mount whatever aftermarket accessories you like to the rifle. For this review, and for hunting use, an ACME Machine 6-24x50mm First Focal Plane Scope with an MOA reticle was mounted to the rail. ACME does offer Keymod handguards and MIL optics if you prefer them.
If you enjoy adjustable stocks the LUTH-AR MBA1 Adjustable Stock is used on this rifle.
The stock has a height-adjustable cheek riser and length-of-pull adjustment so you can customize the fit of the stock to your specific needs. It also has attachment points for a sling and molded pockets compatible with Grovtec QD cups which can be purchased as an aftermarket item. This is a durable stock that’s survived a lot of wear and tear on a few different ARs of mine.
About the Barrel
A 6.5 Creedmoor 22-inch Ballistic Advantage barrel machined from 416R stainless steel grants the shooter accuracy and durability. The barrel has a bead-blasted finish and is Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) tested. MPI testing is a process that involves looking for surface and subsurface flaws in the steel. This is a heavy barrel with a 1-in-8 twist rate, rifle-length gas system, .936-inch gas block journal, and a weight of 75.9 ounces. The muzzle is threaded for 5/8×24. A TIP Compact Muzzle Brake with eight ports ships standard on the rifle.
Other features include a forward assist, an ACME Machine charging handle, and a standard MILSPEC trigger. The bolt carrier group (BCG) has an 8620 tool steel carrier, 9310 carpenter steel bolt, and staked gas key. Hardware is Grade 8. The bolt itself is shot-peened and MPI tested. A nickel boron finish on the BCG means slicker movement and less accumulation of grit than many other finishes, but as with any BCG it still needs to be lubed.
After mounting the ACME Machine 6-24×50 FFP scope to the rifle it took only a matter of minutes to zero the gun at 100 yards. For the review, various ammunition was used including Federal Premium Fusion 6.5 Creedmoor 140 grain Soft Point, Winchester Deer Season 6.5 Creedmoor 125 grain Copper Extreme Point, and Browning Ammunition 6.5 Creedmoor 120 grain BXS. All ammunition fed reliably.
The ACME AR-10 is capable of sub-MOA groups but the average five-shot group size at 100 yards firing prone with different ammunition is 1.35-inches. A bipod was mounted to make shooting prone and from the bench simpler, using an aftermarket mounting system provided by ACME Machine. This is a heavy enough rifle you’re unlikely to want to try shooting it offhand but it can certainly be done. Just be mindful of the gun’s shifting movement and its effect on shot placement.
Shouldering the rifle is comfortable and it fits me well. With a few adjustments to the LUTH-AR stock, it fits much taller and broader shooters, too. The one thing I would change — and it’s the same thing I change on nearly every rifle I own — is the trigger. ACME’s provided trigger is serviceable and has minimal grit in its pull with a brief reset. There is nothing wrong with it. If you want a lighter trigger pull weight or crisp break you’ll want an aftermarket trigger, but that’s pretty normal for factory rifles.
ACME scopes perform at and above their price points and have improved over the years.
This ACME Machine 6-24x50mm First Focal Plane Rifle Scope with MOA reticle has a 30mm tube, three inches of eye relief, and an overall weight of 28.5 ounces. Adjustments are ¼ MOA per click with the adjustment range being 60 MOA. There is a side focus knob that also functions as a brightness adjustment for the illuminated reticle.
With this scope, the field of vision is broad, the view is clear, and it functions amazingly well in low-light situations. During a hunt the scope continued to gather enough light — without the illuminated reticle turned on — to shoot raccoons after dusk but before full dark. This scope performs well and is a good option for shooters looking to get into long-range work.
Overall this is a solid rifle capable of sub-MOA performance and tough enough for regular use not only at the range but in the woods. Mine has been fired from shooting benches, prone on the ground, from the bed of trucks, and balanced on fences. It’s reasonably well-priced and well worth a closer look whether you’re a new AR owner or specifically looking for a 6.5 Creedmoor for long-range or hunting use. 10/10 recommended.
ACME Machine AR-10 Specifications
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Upper Receiver: ACME Machine Aero Forged
Lower Receiver: ACME Machine Aero Forged
Handguard Length: 17 inches
Handguard: ACME Machine Super Slim M-LOK
Barrel: Ballistic Advantage
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Barrel Material: 416R Stainless Steel
Twist Rate: 1-in-8
Muzzle Threaded: 5/8×24
Stock: LUTH-AR MBA1 Adjustable
Muzzle Brake: ACME Machine TIP Compact
BCG: ACME Machine AR10 MILSPEC 7.62
BCG Finish: Nickel Boron
MSRP: $1299 (at the time of this writing)
Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you’ve seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master’s Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.