Recommendation on rifle

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groover000

Recommendation on rifle

Post by groover000 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:57 am

I am looking to buy my first rifle, but over the last few months I think I have entered the stage of "analysis paralysis". I would like a rifle (no .22 or shotguns please, looking to buy something that I might not be able to in the next month or so) in .223, 7.62x39, or .308. I want something that would be capable of SHTF duty, but also something that is fun. I don't have a ton of money to spend...750 or so, maybe a little more, but definitely under $1,000. Was thinking about an AR because I always wanted one since I was kid (I would build this myself to save some money). Not really looking for an AR with a lot of gadgets, just a basic model with iron sights. Also thought about a Saiga and doing the conversion myself so it will take standard AK mags. Also thought about the Saiga in .308, but the only place I can find that has them are in the 16" barrel version. Still not sure about a .308 because I am not sure about the recoil and as I said I want something that will be fun to go to the range with but still willing to consider.
Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

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Darrell
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Darrell » Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:34 am

IMO you should've done it six months or more ago, there's not a lot available right now due to the panic buying, and what is there is probably expensive. Who does the Sportical model AR? DPMS? I seem to remember seeing or reading that someone had them at a decent price...

ETA: Yes, it's the DPMS Sportical, considered an entry level AR, a cross between a sporter and a tactical. It comes with a Picatinny rail though, no iron sights standard.

http://www.dpmsinc.com/firearms/firearm.aspx?id=54

ETA2: I posted on RGuns out of Illinois recently, they do show several models of DPMS ARs in stock, and at surprisingly low prices. They show the Sportical as the "A3 Sport Tactical", $629.

http://www.rguns.net/rifles/rifles-semi ... -556.shtml

Caveat emptor, I've read bad things about RGuns, but who knows? They're the guys I wrote about having the reasonably priced IMI ammo in several flavors.
Eppur si muove--Galileo

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Whirlibird
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Whirlibird » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:52 am

Gotta agree with Darrell, kinda late unless you want to spend some hard cash.

AR's are insane right now, but Essential Arms haven't changes their prices, unlike many and they make an excellent product. That's if you want to go the build your own route.

Part's kits from many places (inc. Model 1 Sales) are running 12-16 weeks out as of Thanksgiving, who knows right now.

Pretty much anywhere you look for an AR, you're looking at $800 to start with and upwards for anything special or odd.

For my uses, I would want a proper rifle. I can always shorten or download for special purposes but a real rifle none the less.
I'd give Enterprise Arms a quick call and get a receiver on the way to my local dealer. $350
Parts kits are still available on Gunbroker for @$250-300 depending on condition. You want the best barrel you can find. The rest is easy.
Another couple of purchases and you're set.
922 compliance parts
922 compliance parts (stocks)
The guys at GunPartsGuy are tops to deal with.

Pop over and join the FALFILES for more instructions and information than you'd expect anywhere but here. Help assembling may even be around, it happens. Look for "local or area builds"

For free tooling, pop over to GUNTHINGS and download the receiver wrench and barrel vise diagram.

With a handful of tools, I can build a complete FAL in an evening if I ignore the finish.

Mags are around for $10-15 each. Again over at FalFiles is a good place to look.

The bonus is an FAL almost builds itself and is rebuildable unlike most other designs.
Downside: It's heavy and ammo is running @.50 a pop. But .223 isn't much cheaper and is much less effective.

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Aegis
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Aegis » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:03 am

Not a caliber you specifically mentioned, but an M1 Carbine from the CMP might be a good start. Not much recoil, but handy in a fight, if WWII and Korea have any bearing on the matter. They don't run much more than 500 for a service grade, but you do have to fulfill the fairly easy pre-requisites. Hurry, though, they're mighty popular.

Alternately, an M1 Garand is 600 bucks for a service grade, also from the CMP. The .30-06 might be a bit too much for a first rifle, but it all depends on how much (if any) you've shot before.

As a bonus, if you get one of those, you probably have enough left over to get a second-hand .22 rifle.
Chicks dig fixed bayonets

eocoolj
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by eocoolj » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:41 pm

Aegis wrote:As a bonus, if you get one of those, you probably have enough left over to get a second-hand .22 rifle.
If you want the AR, so be it, but make sure to pick up a .22 soon afterwards. I've got a friend who, when he got into guns, mocked the .22 for its supposed lack of power and manliness. He insisted on only buying guns in "service calibers". Then, at the range, he realized I could shoot 20 rounds of .22 for every shot he fired. We ended up spending most of our time that afternoon trading off with my .22. It just isnt affordable to spend an entire afternoon blasting away at 25 or 50 cents a trigger pull.

Long story short, .22s give you the most "bang for the buck" and powerful cartridges are useless if you cant afford to practice enough to get proficient with them.

MarkD
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by MarkD » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:48 pm

+1 on the Garand, but then again I'm a big Garand-fan. For you budget you could get the CMP Garand and a couple cans of Greek surplus ammo (excellent stuff). Anyone who tells you you're under-gunned is full of that which makes yonder flowers grow.

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Combat Controller
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Combat Controller » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:06 am

The AR is a good choice, I rather like the platform. I say get what you desire.

As a side note (yes I am going to mention the .22) get an insert for the AR, that way you have trigger time on the actual rife you would use if the SHTF for a fraction of the cost. End the day with your 5.56 practice.
Winner of the prestigious Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года award for excellence in rural travel.

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Netpackrat
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Netpackrat » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:46 am

I wish people would post this stuff in the regular gun forum, since I hardly ever check this one.
groover000 wrote:Also thought about a Saiga and doing the conversion myself so it will take standard AK mags. Also thought about the Saiga in .308, but the only place I can find that has them are in the 16" barrel version. Still not sure about a .308 because I am not sure about the recoil and as I said I want something that will be fun to go to the range with but still willing to consider.
Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
One reason that the 16" .308 is more popular, is because they are more consistently accurate than the 22" version; it probably has to do with barrel harmonics. Mine will consistently put 5 rounds of the blue box Federal hunting ammo into 1.5"-2" at 100 yards, consistently, which is not bad at all for a rifle of this type. Being gas operated, the recoil isn't really a big deal, although I didn't fire mine much with the factory stock before converting it. I have a Choate stock with a decent recoil pad on it, which probably helps a lot. The .308 is still fun at the range, but more expensive to shoot, and hi-cap magazines are expensive, but at least they are available now (downside is they are all plastic). The FBMG mags like I have are currently unavailable because they are having issues with their supplier of followers (the russians are being difficult), but there are also Surefire mags available for about the same price as the FBMG were (I think the FBMG is a better mag, based on forum reading). Also, if you decide to go hunting sometime, the .308 is a far better choice with fewer limitations compared to the other two calibers. I wrote about converting mine here in the Wiki.

The 7.62x39 would also be a good choice, especially if you convert it to take standard mags, which are plentiful and cheap (although maybe less cheap now). The conversion process for the x39 and .223 is more complicated than it is for the .308, but the majority of the x39 mags are metal and of excellent quality. I wouldn't get the .223 version because the cartridge is more appropriate for prairie dog hunting than anything else, and the magazines are far less available. Either caliber is severely limited for hunting deer sized game, although with the right ammo, and within 100 yards or so, the 7.62 should do a decent job.
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Windy Wilson
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Windy Wilson » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:31 pm

I have to echo what the proponents of the .22 are saying. You need a .22. As Kim duToit has said repeatedly, a .22 rifle is a household staple, like flour. Every home should have one. You can shoot all day with a .22 for what two mags of practically any centerfire would cost, and the principles are directly transferable. In the past 4 years I can count on the fingers of one hand the days I went to the range and did not shoot my .22 in addition to whatever else I was shooting that day. I recommend checking out the CMP for a carbine or Garand, and also buying a Savage Mk 2.
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"I support the Second Amendment, but". . .
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Rich Jordan
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Re: Recommendation on rifle

Post by Rich Jordan » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:14 am

Darrell wrote:ETA2: I posted on RGuns out of Illinois recently, they do show several models of DPMS ARs in stock, and at surprisingly low prices. They show the Sportical as the "A3 Sport Tactical", $629.

http://www.rguns.net/rifles/rifles-semi ... -556.shtml

Caveat emptor, I've read bad things about RGuns, but who knows? They're the guys I wrote about having the reasonably priced IMI ammo in several flavors.
RGuns gets a lot of grief for slow delivery and poor customer service. The IMI ammo has been getting horrendous reviews on arfcom; way too many rejects due to corrosion and damage. The other surplus ammo they list is reportedly good stuff though.
Last edited by Rich Jordan on Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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