Rookie needs help with Sports Utility Rifles

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Allectus, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Allectus

    Allectus New Member

    4
    0
    0
    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.
     
  2. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    Look for a Springfield M1A Scout.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    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! :D *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
     
  4. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    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.

    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?
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    21,833
    2
    0
  6. Allectus

    Allectus New Member

    4
    0
    0
    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 :-\
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    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. :D

    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
     
  8. Allectus

    Allectus New Member

    4
    0
    0
    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...
     
  9. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    Take a serious look at M14s/M1As.

    No harm, no foul on the terminology.
     
  10. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    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. :p

    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. :D

    JD
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  11. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    21,833
    2
    0
    The WASR-10 is NOT the preferred AK but it's probably the easiest to find at the best price. Just like every other rifle (gun), someone will always have a bigger, better, more accurate yada yada yada.... (Just ask Matt [​IMG])

    Here's a hint, at 100 yds and with iron sights I can put 28 of 30 rounds in center mass. I'm 62 and wear contacts. You got better eyes? Then you would more than likely drop all 30 inside the ring. You plan on shooting Zombies further out? Not me, that’s above my paygrade but I don’t think it would require a hardware upgrade. Besides that's why I keep JD around. Gotta love those long distant 'reach out and touch someone' guys but it's not me

    Is the black gun worth the $? Sure. Would I like to have a Colt 6920? You bet. Could I have more fun or reliability with the Colt? NO FREAKIN WAY!!

    Quick story, each time I go to the range with my Romey, there must be 10 guys there with the evil blacks. The last trip I shot next to a guy with one. On our target walk back we complemented each other’s accuracy. During the three hours I spent at the range, five people came up to me and ask me about my AK… Ooops, SUR-47. No one stopped by black rifle guy. I know that doesn’t mean sh1t but hey, a cheap thrill is better than no thrill at all!

    Bottom line, are there better rifles out there? Of course, and if you have the cash, buy one of each! What's best for you? Sounds like something you will need to figure out. Will the SUR-47 fit your requirements, YOU BET!

    Forget the "what if" Nobama BS and take the time to test different rifles before you jump in with both feet. Hell, jump on a plane and get down here and give my Romey a workout! I'll even pick you up at the Ft. Lauderdale airport! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  12. Allectus

    Allectus New Member

    4
    0
    0
    Thanks for all the responses, they've been quite helpful =)

    I think I'll definitely take a pass on the WASR, found a couple disturbing reports of them supposedly failing catastrophically (e.g. exploding in people's faces...). Thanks for the offer of a test though canebreak. =) Any AK manufactures I should look into instead?

    Matt G: the M1A looks as if it could be quite interesting and suit me well. I am a little concerned that since it's essentially a battle rifle (accepted terminology?) over-penetration might be an issue in home defense. I think I would have no issues shooting a thief, accidentally hitting a neighbor two doors down would probably weigh pretty heavily on me...am I overemphasizing that aspect too much?

    I've seen a lot of praise for the Colt 6920; with that I run into wait lists, although I could probably pick one up used at some exorbitant premium...one issue though: after digging around on Colt's site it seems as if it's Law Enforcement/Military only. Can I even legally own one?

    Looking at gunbroker.com it seems like for the price of a 6920 I could get one of the pricier, seemingly more modern gas piston rifles like the Sig 556 or Robarm XCR. Which way would you guys go on that? Looking at it, it seems like the XCR comes out on top, but then I'm clearly clueless, which is why I'm here.

    Please, educate me. =)
     
  13. tallguy130

    tallguy130 New Member

    56
    0
    0
    Just as a side thought, you may want to pick up a cheap 22 to learn on when you get you SUV or ATV (what are we calling it now?) rifle. The cheap ammo of a 22 will let you put A LOT more rounds down range and spend more time shooting. I'll admit I've only been shooting for a short time but its true what they say. Nothing beats range time for picking up skill.

    Just my two cents but if your going to spend all that money what's another 150 bucks for a used 22 to play with?
     
  14. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    Allectus - The new modern gas piston systems are good, really good, but they are expensive and I don't personally think they are worth the extra cash at this time.

    The original Eugene Stoner design was for a gas operated system. Because of the "millions" of "expert reporters" on the Internetz ( which is Cer-I-Us Bid-Ness ) and an overall common lack of knowledge about how to clean and maintain the damn thing, someone got the idea to combine the AR principles that they liked with the reliability of the AK/SKS platform.

    Now, as for the problems concerning the kabooms with the WASR and other models. Yes, they do happen. But, they are usually because the weapons are not properly maintained and they haven't been properly tuned. They are usually battlefield pick ups like the contractor in Fallujah video where the entire top metal comes of the AK he is shooting on full auto.

    I would be HIGHLY surprised if a correctly modified and maintained weapon like canebrake's would experience the same occurence, even under heavy sustained fire.

    The thing is this, anything that was made cheaply overseas, also probably has a more stable, tighter tolerance, hardcore version made here in the states. If there is a market for the cheap stuff, there is also a market for someone to build a really good one. And one thing we still do better here than anywhere else in the world ( with VERY few exceptions ) is build very good firearms.

    Now, if you want an AR, I think that is a great platform and I personally think a great choice. But you have to be prepared to take good care of it and make sure that you learn how to use it correctly to get the type of SHTF reliability out of it.

    With the AK/SKS type of platforms, they are more forgiving and they are usually much cheaper to get into on the initial purpose.

    But, most of that is mute until you actually fire a couple of them and see what you, personally, are comfortable with. After you decide what direction you truly want to go, the guys here will definitely be able to help you sort out the good, the bad and the completely stay away from models.

    JD
     
  15. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    Over penetration has been a consistent complaint with the 5.56 NATO from both operators and conventional boots on the ground. Many have complained that the 7.62 NATO is a far superior round. This is why you see the resurgence of the M14 and related rifles. You can even see it in programs like the H&K 416/417 and FN ARs. The problem can bee seen in ammo development programs like 6.8 REM, among others.

    7.62x39 and 5.45x39 are both better choices than 5.56 NATO. This is mostly due to their bullet construction though.

    If you're looking for home defense, stick with your pistol or get a shotgun. If you want a zombie defense rifle, go big and don't look back.

    I like the M14 platform on traditional wood furniture or USGI synthetic furniture, because it doesn't look "tactical", even with optics and a bipod added. This prevents the arousal of suspicion on the part of my neighbors or anyone that I happen across in the woods. It offers the benefits of most hunting rifles as well as most of the rifles that have been tagged "evil" by the media.

    It comes chambered in the highly lethal and highly accurate 7.62 NATO round that is capable of kill shots out past 800m. It has readily available 20 round magazines that function well with the platform. Surplus ammo is relatively cheap and easy to find. Being semi-auto, it is capable of quick follow up shots and again, you've got a detachable 20 round magazine, so, god forbid you need to lay suppressive fire, you're able to do it. With modern upgrades, it's more reliable than the AR platform. With these upgrades, it exhibits near AK levels of reliability, but with none of the lowered accuracy issues that the AK displays.

    It doesn't have a pistol grip. It isn't black. Optics and bipods make them look more like hunting rifles.
     
  16. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    Modern M14 based platforms:

    US Army M14s in use with the 25th Infantry Division:

    [​IMG]

    US Army M14, as delivered to the 101st Airborne Division:

    [​IMG]

    Mk 14 MOD 0, as used by the US Navy SEALS and Swicks, as well as US Air Force EOD:

    [​IMG]

    One of my 82nd Airborne brethren, using an M14 in a SAGE EBR chassis in Afghanistan:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    A couple FAST Company Marines using their DMR M14s:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the 2 ID configuration:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Which is how I'm ordering mine, minus the crappy GI bipod and unfortunately, minus the suppressor. I'm also downsizing the optics to a Leupold VX-III 1.75-6x32mm and getting an 18" barrel, instead of the 22" shown.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  18. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    21,833
    2
    0
    Matt nice stuff! (Yea I know you are expecting the punch line but not this time! :p)

    Really nice sh1t!!
     
  19. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    It should get the job done, as long as I can get it ordered before brother Obama and his henchmen decide that I'm a danger to myself with one of them.

    That combination should allow me to put rounds on a beer can at 400 yards and take minute of bad guy shots out to 800 yards.
     
  20. HarborSite Usana

    HarborSite Usana New Member

    3
    0
    0
    Try out a few different firearms before making your purchase

    Allectus,

    Congrats on College and your decision to exercise your Second Amendment Rights.

    With regard to what you should purchase, I recommend that you try some different firearms out and go through a course or two on home & personal defense as well as a basic firearms course before you make this decision. Every shooter has his/her own preferences and what works for me may not be right for you.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at our Shooting Sports Center (856) 358-0734

    Good Luck