Sure both guns are rifled styles but there are very noticeable similarities as well as differences. You will find that the main difference when comparing these rifles is very simple. You must compare the rifles depending on how you personally intend to use it. Here are a few differences.
There are a few differences in the are of kinetic energy. This all depends on the weight and velocity of each bullet. With velocity, the weight of the bullet does not necessarily travel with more or less. This is actually more dependant on the ballistic coefficient. This is the measurement of whether or not a bullet can overcome air resistance. The higher the ballistic coefficient of the bullet basically means the higher the precision and impact of the bullet.
Of course, AR-10 was produced first. You can find this rifle in stores with barrels at about 18 to 20 inches long. This rifle actually chambers 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester.
It also has a much longer effective range. Despite the accuracy of bullets and velocity, the AR-10 has an effective range around 600 to 1,000 yards, roughly.
AR-10 is better suited to long-range use and better term because of the longer barrel and the greater velocity. With such stopping power, this is another great difference between the two rifles.
This rifle is slightly smaller with a barrel at about 16 inches for the standard model. The AR-15 chambers 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Remington.
It is also more effective with closer range shooting from about 300 to 500 yards. Which can vary but those or the stats. The AR-15 sends faster followup shots, and that can be a dealbreaker depending on the purchaser or owner. The rounds for this rifle are usually offered at a cheaper rate.
If you’re looking for higher momentum, more energy and speed then an AR-10 may be your best bet. To recap, one of the main differences between the rifles is that an AR-10 is bored in 7.62/.308 while the AR-15 is bored in 5.56/.223. Mechanically, there is no difference between the impingement gas systems the two rifles have in common. It is responsible for recycling the exhaust gases from the barrel and sending it back into the receiver to cycle the bolt.
Although the AR-15 was originally derived from the AR-10, there is a noticeable difference in the operating of each rifle. The ArmaLite rifles, which is what AR stands for, can vary in availability. The AR-15 is easier to find and purchase because it is more commonly used among citizens. Storefronts often have more variety of this rifle as well. The AR-15 is more lightweight and accurate, it also has more accessories available. This rifle does not have the air cooled features like the AR-10.