Originally Posted by 1911love
Kbd, thanks for your input! I was pretty close to making my mind up. You guys have helped me make my decision. I was just scared about all the money it costs, I've never spent this much on a weapon. I'm no longer scared.
Thanks again to everybody, one will be in the safe really soon. All in all, I think a great semi-auto .308 will be much more useful than a PS90/FiveseveN combo.
Now I just have to decide between black or FDE. I'm in Florida, so no desert environments. The LGS brought up a good point though. If I want to put a camo finish on her, the FDE version would be better. I'm not sure, anyone have thoughts on color choice for a Florida environment?
Always happy to relate personal experiences with firearms use. If I had known now what I didn't know before, I'd have saved a lot of money on weapons that didn't have the feature set and characteristics I wanted. It's hard to say how something will work out until you actually start using it.
Here's what I've learned from time and experience as it relates to rifles:
1. All other things being equal, if you actually have to carry a weapon in your hands, a lighter platform is what you want.
Battle rifles and their ammunition are freakin heavy. There's no need to go with a heavier rifle unless there's some specific feature of that heavier rifle that you need or want. These days, there's very little practical accuracy difference between a semi-auto and bolt action out to 600 yards or so (meaning any target that you could reasonably hit with a factory-made bolt action you could also reasonably hit with a factory-made semi-auto). I chalk that up to improved manufacturing methods and quality control.
2. No matter how accurate a rifle is or could be, unless you can carry it and shoot it accurately enough to warrant the extra expense in terms of dollars and weight that comes with it, then it's not doing anything for you.
A lot of people buy heavy barrel Savages, 700's, M-14's, FAL's, or G-3's and then after the first time they attempt to carry it with them anywhere on a hike through whatever part of the country they're going through, it tends to get left behind after that, where it does them no good and basically ends up as a range queen or safe queen.
All the pig hunters I know who shoot pigs and coyotes through scrub brush want light, short, ergonomic rifles that they can shoot off-hand at close ranges.
The difference in accuracy between a 1K 700P and 2-5K custom 700 is slight, but the cost difference between a .5-.75 MOA 700P and a .25 MOA Surgeon is astronomical by way of comparison. The Surgeon is heavier still than the 700P, more than triple the price, and I've met very few people who can shoot better than .5 MOA on a good day. I find that I'm no better than .5 to .75 MOA on a good day, no matter how much the rifle I'm shooting costs because that's as well as I can shoot. Buying a Surgeon would be a waste of money for me.
3. The more ergonomic something is, the longer you can use it and the more proficient you'll be at using it because it's easy for you to use so you'll use it more.
I have fun shooting AK's and Mosin-Nagants, but I find myself going back to the AR and 700 because they're easier to use and don't beat up your shoulder quite as much. I'm sure there's an AK sniper out there who can shoot pop cans at 1000 yards all day long, but most people (myself included), will have a really tough time past 200 yards because the front sight post is so wide and anything past 300 yards is wishful thinking for me. Again, there are better shooters out there than I who don't have this limitation and for them an AK may be a 600 yard gun but for anything past 200 yards I want an AR, 700, or SCAR-17.
4. Recoil is not your friend and getting punched in the shoulder is not fun.
All rifles recoil, some more than others. Some recoil more sharply than others. You want the rifle that recoils the least if capabilities are the same.
5. Cost is relative. 2.5K may seem like a lot of money for a rifle, even if it is a feature laden semi-auto, until you consider that .308 or 7.62MM NATO ranges between $.50 and $1.25 per cartridge.
If you shoot just 100 rounds every weekend, you can surpass the cost of the rifle in less than a year (assuming your cartridges only cost fifty cents, mine run around a dollar).
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that even if you reload (I don't, although considering my ammo bill maybe I should), you're not going to have to shoot much before you've far surpassed the cost of the rifle in terms of the cost of the ammo you've put through it, at which point; Do you still care what the rifle costs? It's trivial.
For myself, I wanted a platform that embodied all of those important qualities that a rifle should have and, after using all of the other common .308 rifles, I settled on the SCAR-17. It's not a perfect rifle, but light weight, reasonable length, good ergonomics, good iron sights, a usable trigger, and low recoil are important qualities for any rifle to have and it has all those qualities.