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Old 01-29-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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Default Rookie needs help with Sports Utility Rifles

So here's the deal: I've just graduated from college and have never owned a gun in my life. However, I am a very strong proponent of the 2nd Amendment and have always intended to purchase at least a handgun after graduating (owning one on campus would have been a huge PITA). Originally I'd intended to ramp up my purchasing as I became more familiar and comfortable with the weapons market, ultimately looking to get a high end rifle in a couple of years.

Unfortunately, I'm now hearing a lot of grumbling about the reinstitution of an assault weapons ban. The threat of new legislation is starting to convince me that perhaps I should go whole hog and buy a high end 'assault' rifle now while I still can. This is a matter of principle rather than necessity for me.

So then, bottom line, what should I look to get? I have a budget of about $2k and am looking to focus it as much as possible towards acquiring things that may become unattainable in the very near future. Should I just get a bunch of high-cap mags and worry about the rifle later? What exactly is likely to be banned? As far as rifles, what should I try for? What legal issues do I need to look out for (I'm in Virginia now)?

I've naturally been looking at AR-15s of various manufacturers but I understand that many of them are back-ordered by as long as 10 months...I'm concerned that if I try to go that route I may never actually receive my rifle before new legislation kicks in. Any other suggestions? Obviously my little inner poser internet tough guy has been having wet dreams over the new civilian FN SCAR, although it's very pricey; I could almost buy several ARs for the cost of one and just slowly cannibalize them to keep at least one of them working for decades...Anyway, what are your thoughts on the matter? Any other advice for a first time gun buyer/owner? Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-29-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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Look for a Springfield M1A Scout.

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Old 01-29-2009, 10:58 PM   #3
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Allectus - Welcome to the Forum.

Matt G changed your title slightly as we are trying to eliminate one of the dreaded "words" of the Left - that being the A-Word when it comes to Rifles.

Sports Utility Rifle is the new Black! *respect to cpttango*

So, tell me, or us, what you want this rifle to do. What is your end goal??

The FN SCAR is nice, but save your money. Let's talk real world here, not go into debt for the rest of your early career just to "have" what you think won't be there in the future.

So - start at the end goal and work backwards. What will this rifle ultimately do for you in the worst conditions imaginable?

Welcome Again -

JD

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Old 01-29-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
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Assault is a verb. Verbs describe a behavior or action. Behaviors are exhibited by people, actions are committed by people.

Sports utility is an adjective. Adjectives describe qualities that objects posses.

Therefore, it is impossible for a rifle to be an assault rifle, as a rifle is an inanimate object an not capable of behaviors or actions. However, rifles that are equipped with certain features, can be described as SURs due to their utility and sports appeal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Origins

Early Sport utility vehicles were descendants from commercial and military vehicles such as the World War II Jeep[3] and Land Rover.[4] SUVs have been popular for many years with rural buyers due to their off-road capabilities.

The earliest examples of longer-wheelbase wagon-type SUVs were the GAZ-61 (1938), Willys Jeep Wagon (1948), Land Rover Series II 109 (1958), and the International Harvester Scout 80 (1961). These were followed by the more 'modern' Jeep Wagoneer (1963), International Harvester Scout II (1971), Ford Bronco (1966), Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-55 (1968), the Chevrolet Blazer / GMC Jimmy (1969), and the Land Rover Range Rover (1970).
Jeep Cherokee: SUV trend-setter as designed by AMC.

The transportation curator at the Henry Ford Museum, Robert Casey, contends persuasively that the Cherokee was the first true sport utility vehicle in the modern understanding of the term.[5] Marketed to urban families as a substitute for a traditional car, the Chrerokee had four wheel drive in a more manageable size (compared to the full-size Wagoneer), as well as a plush interior resembling a station wagon.[5] With the introduction of more luxurious models and a much more powerful 4-liter engine, sales of the Cherokee zoomed even higher as the price of gasoline fell, and the term "sport utility vehicle" began to be used in the national press for the first time.[5]

The increase in SUV sales was assisted by a legislative loophole. Created in the 1970s, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were established as minimums for passenger vehicles. Exceptions were granted business and farm vehicles. Car manufacturers utilized this loophole by selling SUVs as work vehicles.[6] In the last 25 years, and even more in the last decade, the popularity of SUVs has increased among urban drivers. Consequently, more modern SUVs often come with luxury features and some crossover SUVs have adopted lower ride heights and use unibody construction to better accommodate on-road driving.

Author Keith Bradsher, has linked the rise of the SUV directly to American Motors' (AMC) lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a waiver to the Clean Air Act: as a result, the EPA designated AMC's compact Cherokee a "light truck", which enabled the company to market it to everyday drivers.[7] This in turn led to the SUV boom when other automakers marketed their own imitators in response to the Cherokee taking sales from their regular cars.[8]
This is paralleled in the AR, civilian AK and M1A/civilian M14 platforms. Many turn to these platforms due to their versatility.

Assault weapons get banned and defamed in the media. Do you really want to own an assault weapon?
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:23 PM   #5
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Allectus to the forum,

We sure are geting a ton of people looking for sport utility rifles!

Check out this thread, post # 4

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f18/totally-lost-rifles-10419/#post66492
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
\
So - start at the end goal and work backwards. What will this rifle ultimately do for you in the worst conditions imaginable?

JD
In all honesty this is likely to be the only weapon I'll own for quite some time since I'm preparing to put so much into it in almost a panic buy situation. Given that I'd say versatility is quite important. In order of importance:

1) Accurate, fun, and ergonomic range rifle.

2) Home/Property Defense.

3) Hunting appropriateness.

In general I'd like it to be very reliable, rugged, and comfortable. As I said I'd be a new owner and while I'd like to believe that I'd perform proper maintenance it should definitely be able to stand up to the abuse and neglect that I imagine many weapons owned by rookies face. I definitely understand that this sort of tool is not truly appropriate for a first buy and that I'm likely not quite ready for it; I just have this prevailing sense of now or never, and I'd greatly prefer now than never...

Matt G: My apologies for the vernacular :-\
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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Allectus - How do you feel about the Soviet Bloc weapons like the AK or SKS platforms?

What you are describing is basically why the AK/SKS platform has been so popular with so many people for so very long.

This is a very basic platform, very reliable, and very easy to clean / maintain with a limited amount of knowledge. I would say, given average intelligence, I could train a monkey to field strip and maintain an AK/SKS in about half a day - A college graduate, perhaps a little more.

The round is a 7.62 x 39 - which is a hard hitting, medium range round that will definitely put a Space Zombie on it's lips with a couple of hits.

The weapon isn't the most accurate, and I am not sure about hunting with it in your part of the country, but if martial law were ever imposed, it would keep meat on the table and the unwashed masses out of the wire.

Ammo is available and common, though not as common as the American made stuff, but still not scarce.

I am not a fan of the platform - but for a novice, with a desire to start small and learn, this is really a good choice that won't break the bank.

As canebrake has shown you above, there is a lot you can do to "dress it up" and make it yours.

With the current prices of AR's going through the roof - and without a real strong knowledge base of weapons and their care - I would be hesitant to talk you through building one or buying one outright.

That said - IF you purchased the weapon now, and it was on back order, you SHOULD still be grandfathered in and "allowed" to keep what you paid for....

JD

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Old 01-30-2009, 12:06 AM   #8
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I could be amenable to an AK. To be honest I don't know enough about them; just out of curiousity what sort of drop off in accuracy am I likely to experience? Any suggested manufacturers? Is the WASR-10 noted in the above post the preferred model?

I've posed this question to another, less dedicated, forum and was suggested either a civilian Steyr Aug or a Sig 556. Any opinion on those?

I sort of alluded to it earlier, but I suppose I can only be better served by being forthright: I consider this my '**** hits the fan' insurance policy...

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Old 01-30-2009, 12:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allectus View Post
In all honesty this is likely to be the only weapon I'll own for quite some time since I'm preparing to put so much into it in almost a panic buy situation. Given that I'd say versatility is quite important. In order of importance:

1) Accurate, fun, and ergonomic range rifle.

2) Home/Property Defense.

3) Hunting appropriateness.

In general I'd like it to be very reliable, rugged, and comfortable. As I said I'd be a new owner and while I'd like to believe that I'd perform proper maintenance it should definitely be able to stand up to the abuse and neglect that I imagine many weapons owned by rookies face. I definitely understand that this sort of tool is not truly appropriate for a first buy and that I'm likely not quite ready for it; I just have this prevailing sense of now or never, and I'd greatly prefer now than never...

Matt G: My apologies for the vernacular :-\
Take a serious look at M14s/M1As.

No harm, no foul on the terminology.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allectus View Post
I could be amenable to an AK. To be honest I don't know enough about them; just out of curiousity what sort of drop off in accuracy am I likely to experience? Any suggested manufacturers? Is the WASR-10 noted in the above post the preferred model?

I've posed this question to another, less dedicated, forum and was suggested either a civilian Steyr Aug or a Sig 556. Any opinion on those?

I sort of alluded to it earlier, but I suppose I can only be better served by being forthright: I consider this my '**** hits the fan' insurance policy...
Steyr or Sig is going to cost you an ARM AND A LEG. Scratch those. If you are willing to spend that kind of money, write me a check and I will build you a SHTF AR-15 of AR-10 and still be laughing my @ss to the bank with the extra coin I "took" from you.

Look, both are good weapons, but you are paying for a name, not the performance.

The AK isn't as accurate as the SKS, the SKS is definitely a better choice in that department - and neither of them is as accurate as a well built AR. But, the AR is going to require a bit more due dilligence on your part to keep it running effectively. The benefit of either of the Soviet style platforms is they will run, wet, dry, dirty, muddy, at 0300 on Weds, at 1700 on Sunday, no matter what.

Minute of Bad Guy accuracy, out to about 200 or 250 yards in the hands of a novice shooter. Given a standard SHTF Urban Environment, that is a LONG ways....

Now, like I said, I am not an AK guy. I can strip one, I can shoot one, and if the Chinese Army invades, once I dump a few advance troops, I know enough to scoop them up off the battlefield, clean them/repair them and issue them to my neighbors. But, they aren't a weapon I would have in my safe only because I have the training and the trigger time to be able to build / modify / repair and effectively maintain my AR's. Well, that, and I am a boltgun guy.

JD
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