I have owned and regulary shoot these rifles for quite some time now and they are genrally a good piece. The last one I bought was in 1997 and was the (SAI) M1A loaded version. (I must be lucky as I have had no problems with this one) At that time they could be had for around $1200.00. I see now they go for around $1800.00. The Smith Enterprises version is very good. It is true that the Garrand style action is, for lack of better words, "violent" compared to a gas impengment action but I dont find it to be that major of a problem for the way I use the gun. If you do decide to buy one and scope it, acquire a good quality light weight scope and keep the mount as low as possible. Also, the Garrand type action compared to the AR type action is not totally but considerably much more immune from the muck and mire and dirt that it may encounter. The .308 caliber will reach out their (400 to 500 yards) much more effectively than the .223 caliber. Unless finances are a heavy consideration I would buy one. Although I shoot mostly big bore bolt action, I feel everyone should have at least one Garrand style action as well as a AR style action in their stable. As far as close quarter situations, you cant beat a 12 ga. shotgun with 00B or 000B ammo. Hands down in my opinion any rifle or pistol, any action used, of any caliber just can't compare to a 12 ga. shotgun in close quarters. Of course as for that last statement it's just my opinion and opions are like A holes; Everybody has one.