Rifle Recommendations - for the new guy

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by feedsasquatch, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. feedsasquatch

    feedsasquatch New Member

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    Alright, I'm thinking about purchasing a rifle within the next year or so, and I'd like it to meet this bill:

    - Semi-auto
    - Under $850 for the rifle, (spend $150 on scope?!?), for a grand total of $1k.
    - 30 Round Magazine Capable
    - Legal to hunt with
    - Suitable for home defense (is pistol grip necessary for this?). I already own a pistol for home defense, but I'd like the rifle to work for this purpose as well.
    - Easy to find and relatively inexpensive ammo (under $1 per round if possible)
    - Can hit a man/deer-sized target 300-400 yards away
    - Reliable as it will be my only rifle for a long time (I hear the AR platforms are known for jamming)
    - Larger caliber than .22 or .223 as I already own a .22 Henry lever action that’s good out to 100 yards for varmint.

    Would a .240 fit the bill? I honestly have zero experience with anything above the .22, or shooting beyond 100 yards. This rifle will probably be used for deer hunting occasionally. But I would like it to be capable of dealing with more, um, dangerous "two-legged predators" (in both a urban and rural environment) should the future need arise; I think you get my drift...
     
  2. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    There was a great deal on another forum a few days ago. It was a Polytech M14 for $800.

    The Chinese M14's are excellent, but sometimes the bolt needs to be replaced with a USGI bolt. Not always, though. Some of the ChiCom bolts were too soft, but some were fine.

    The only decent mags limit out at 25 rds, and the standard mags are 20rds.

    The rest of your criteria easily falls into this rifle's realm.

    I'll check to see if the one in question is still available.
     

  3. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    PM sent with info on the above mentioned rifle.
     
  4. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    If someone told you AR's are "known for jamming" , I'd stay away from that person...cause he don't know what the hell he's talking about!
    You can buy a 20" Classic DPMS AR-15 for under $760 new, or if you prefer something with lots of power and accuracy out to 600+ yds, DPMS sells the heavy barreled LR308. This is an 18" heavy barreled .308 cal AR with 1:12 twist and target crown. Mine shoots sub 1/2" groups at 100yds. It currently sells for $925 and is one of the best buys in an AR-10 type rifle. The .223 with heavier bullets (62 to 75gr.) is certainly adequate for deer sized game and the .223 has been a staple of varmint hunters for generations, not to mention it's sufficiency on the battle field.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  5. feedsasquatch

    feedsasquatch New Member

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    I've heard good things about the M-14. Forgive my ignorance, but what caliber is the gun in (do they only come in 7.62mm)? I haven't taken the time to join the other forum to view the rifle yet...

    Alright, so a AR-15 isn't "known" for jamming? Ok. That was the original platform I was wanting to go with, but was "informed" that it was 1: "known for jamming" and 2: "wasn't accurate beyond 300 yards since it was .223." I don't know anything about rifles or shooting beyond 100 yards to be completely honest. The person who "informed" me happens to be a huge fan of AK's, I wonder if that has anything to do with his "information."

    What are the main differences between the AR-15's and M-14's? Why would I choose one over the other?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  6. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    That explains it! The rift between AK owners and AR owners will continue until the end of time, but even honest AK owners readily admit that an AK can't even print 2" groups at 100 yds consistently. It is strictly a battle rifle, not a target rifle. The AR is both. The AR is accurate to well beyond 300 yds and is used in long range competitions at the Camp Perry National Matches (Service Rifle Competition). So is the M-14 which is a fine rifle if you can find a good used one for a decent price. A refinished M-14 will cost at least twice what a new AR-15 will cost. Same goes for the Garand. The differences between the M-14 and AR-15 are many, besides caliber (.308 vs. .223), although you can buy an AR in .308 which I mentioned above. Their is a historical significance to the M-14 and the fact that they are not manufactured anymore makes them collectible. As far as accuracy, I believe a rack grade M-14 will not be as accurate as an AR-15 or AR-10 unless some work is done to it. A fully accuraized M-14 will run twice teh price of an AR-15. If you do get an AR-15, be sure to go to the range with your friend and his AK-47....and tell him to bring some cash to back up his BS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  7. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    I know we all wish our M1-A's were M14's, but that won't happen. If you decide to go with the M14 style, it would be the M1-A, which is semi-auto only. The M14 was and is a select fire (semi-auto and full auto) rifle. If you have an unlimited bank account, do the proper ATF paper work, be approved and pay the $200 transfer, and your State Laws allowed it, you might be able to wind up with an M14. Check out the M1-A's by Springfield, they have several models. Although the are probably beyond what you are looking to pay.

    Jim...........................
     
  8. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Most of the M14 platforms are chambered in 7.62x51, and will work just fine with .308 Win using bullets up to 175gr (and no light magnum rounds). There have been M14's in other calibers (.243Win being most common), but expect any that you find to be 7.62x51.

    The M1A is the Trade Name of an M14 type rifle manufactured by Springfield Armory. They were not allowed to call it an M14 when they started building them in the early 1970's. Other makers of M14's have not had the same restrictions placed on them. LRB Arms, Armscorp, Norinco, Federal Ordnance, Poly Tech, A.R. Sales, Enterprise, Smith Enterprise, etc.

    Only a Springfield can be an M1A, but an M1A IS an M14 type rifle.

    Your original post said you wanted a caliber larger than .223, wanted to hunt deer sized game at 300-400 yards, and wanted something suitable for defense. Aside from the 30rd mags (which make anything in 7.62x51 pretty heavy anyway) an M14 will give you what you want, plus the flexibility to upgrade and accessorize as funds allow.

    The AR and M14 operating systems are not similar. Both are great. The M14 has a more traditional look than an AR. The AR traditionally has used a "direct impingement" gas system that blows hot gas directly into the receiver to operate the action (though there are many excellent piston driven AR's available now), whereas the M14 uses a gas fired piston to cycle the action. In your price range you won't find a piston operated AR, especially in a caliber larger than .223 or 5.56x45.

    There are other good rifles to be had in the $850 price range, if you shop around and jump on the deal when you find it.

    Finding any M14 in the $800 range is a very rare thing, but as I showed you it can be done.
     
  9. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    The Springfield M1A, being in 7.62X51 (.308 Win.), does lend itself well for hunting. I've used mine to hunt with a 5 round magazine, which can be ordered from Springfield Armory or CMI. CMI also makes 20 and 25 round magazines for this rifle. Also you can shoot heavier grain ammo than 175 gr. if you turn the gas off and cycle the rounds through it manually. When I have hunt with mine I usually use 185 gr. to 190 gr. ammo with the gas turned off and cycle the action manually. Dont shoot over 175 gr. ammo through this rifle when the gas is on and the action is working semi auto though as it could damage the gas system that operates the action of this rifle.

    IMO the .308 Win. is a better round for all around game hunting than the .223and 7.62X39 ammo.

    I use a Leoupld VXIII 4-14X40mm scope with a McCann Industries scope mount. The Smith Enterprises is a good scope mount for this rifle also. The Leoupold VXIII scope is past your $150.00 scope budget but you could find a different brand scope for less. Personally, I tend to "break the bank" when it comes to scopes. I believe that I paid around $550.00 for the VXIII I use on my M1A. Also, I paid just under $180.00 for the McCann Industries scope mount.
     
  10. feedsasquatch

    feedsasquatch New Member

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    RL357Mag - I didn't realize there was a AK vs AR rift (kind of like Colt vs "plastic"). Good to know that, I'll take his "facts" with a grain of salt from now on...

    I think the AR in .308 is more in my price range. What's are some good manufacturers out there for AR's other than DPMS? Or should I just stick with DPMS? I've heard of people building their own AR's, is it that cost efficient and reliable? Also, With the .308 caliber, am I going to have any problems with accuracy in the 300-400 yard range if I get a barrel shorter than 20 inches?

    As far as scopes go, I may get a cheap one and deal with it for a year or two, and then sink some money into a nice one later on. I know I'm showing my ignorance here, but is there a way to have both iron sights and a scope on at the same time? Because that would be awesome...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  11. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    As far as having your iron sights and scope at the same time on these rifles I dont know about the AR-10, but on my M1A, the iron sights are left on when the scope mount is attached and I remove mount with scope when I want to use the iron sights. When reattaching your mount and scope you may have to re sight in your scope but I have found that this is not always necessary with my set up.
     
  12. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I only named DPMS because I have bought two of their LR308B's (18" bull barrel). I bought one for my son when he returned from Iraq this past spring. Both guns are sub-moa accurate. Rock River Arms makes a nice .308 AR also. It is called the LAR8. It costs a couple hundred more, Colt and Armalite each make an AR-10 which costs a few hundred more still. Barrel length is not as critical as barrel quality and rifling twist, far as accuracy goes. The benefit to a longer barrel is more due to the longer sight radius on a longer barrel, making sighting easier and more precise. If you were to place a 24" and an 18" barrel in a machine rest, the accuracy would be virtually identical. The DPMS barrel is almost 1" in dia. at the muzzle, making it very rigid and able to dissipate heat, which affects accuracy. On my LAR308 I have a 6-24x scope for long range shooting, and I also have BUIS (back-up iron sights). With a set of high profile see-thru scope rings you can have both. If you purchase a carry handle with A2 sights you can buy a carry handle scope mount which also allows the use of scopes AND the built-in rear sight. Accuracy as I mentioned is spectacular, having achieved a .40" 100 yd. group with my handloads. Theoretically that equates to 1.6" at 400 yds. That would be very difficult if not impossible for me to achieve, but it is possible. Several others on the forum have built their own AR-15's in .223 and it IS cost effective, but requires some know how, which I'm sure would be provided to you if you inquired. If you choose to go this route seek out Dillinger (JD). I do not know of any .308 kits available for the do-it-yourselfer, although DPMS sells all of the parts separately - this would be more expensive than buying a complete gun however. If you have a friend who has an FFL you can knock off about $300 from the price by asking him for a copy of his FFL and ordering the guinb yourself to be shipped to his address - he would only charge you a small transfer fee.
     
  13. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Also, 6.8 SPC Remington caliber is available in some AR type rifles. The 6.8 SPC has been gaining favor with hunters of white tail deer as of late. I think this would be a possible option you might look at if you build or buy a AR.
     
  14. feedsasquatch

    feedsasquatch New Member

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    After doing dome research, I may just go with a .223 AR-15 for now. I can get 77gr ammo for hunting, and jhp's for "two-legged predators." I didn't realize how much more .308 ammo is, and how much harder it is to find. Plus, AR-10 style rifles are almost impossible to come by around here, and AR-15's aren't.