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The split receiver design of AR-type rifles lends itself to using a standard lower receiver with stock, grip, magazine well, and fire control system containing trigger, hammer, sear and safety mechanisms.
Then, in theory, and for the most part practicality, you can mount different upper receivers that house the chamber, barrel, bolt carrier, bolt and hand guard.
The 300 AAC Blackout allows for a near-infinite variety of bullet weight and velocity combinations.
You can launch a 245-grain hunk of pure lead downrange at 1,000 feet per second.
For example, one of the big differences between AR-15 and AR-10 type rifles is the larger magazine well on the AR-10 to accommodate .308 Winchester. Back in the Arma Lite days when the AR direct impingement rifle was being developed, the original plan was to make it a .308 / 7.62mm rifle, but the military folks liked the smaller caliber option.
Everything is bit larger owing to the need to handle bigger cartridges. The thinking was that the average soldier could hump a lot more cartridges if they were smaller and lighter.
The debate over terminal effectiveness will outlast all of us, so I’ll stick to the theoretical performance idea.
Bolt action 6.5 calibers can outperform it, but only because they’re not limited by the same overall length restriction due to the magazine well.
If you want to perform a fun science experiment, take a bunch of wallboard to the range, separate it to create artificial walls, and shoot it with 55 grain .223 ammo and some normal handgun hollow-points.
You might be surprised at which one penetrates the most interior walls. Before the hate mail starts, I’m not claiming it’s “better” than any other AR cartridge, I just really enjoy it, mainly because I love to reload ammunition.
In these troubled times where everyone wants to stir up trouble and hate over our differences in appearance, I want it to go on record that I don’t just tolerate diversity, I embrace it.
In my safe right this moment, I have AR-type rifles chambered in .223/5.56mm, 6.8 SPC, 300 Blackout, and .308 Winchester.