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Two suggestions, neither one cheap:

VZ-58 in 5.56, now available. propriatary mags, but you can get a mag adapter to us AR mags. Also a full milled steel receiver.

AR-180. Not cheap anymore but a very fine running gas piston system. AR mags easy to modify.
 
PSA makes a piston gun called the Jakl that people seem to like.

People also like the Zastava M90, although Zastavas are getting increasingly difficult to find.

Wolf makes a piston upper (T91 Clone).

Also Century/MKE will be importing an (I believe) HK93 clone from Turkey at some point soon..

FWIW The Cetme L was on sale from K-Var a few weeks ago ($999)...

Good luck!
 
I'm fond of the mini 14
Next would be the Zastava M85 or M90
(But PSA's 556 AK offerings work too!)

I do agree with @Knobgoblin, the HK93 and clone variants are sweet. The C93 I picked up from a member here has been awesome.
Mags were a PITA but now there are a ton: MKE opaque polymer and also steel, HK promag (hit and miss) and soon AC Unity
 
I do agree with @Knobgoblin, the HK93 and clone variants are sweet. The C93 I picked up from a member here has been awesome.
Mags were a PITA but now there are a ton: MKE opaque polymer and also steel, HK promag (hit and miss) and soon AC Unity
I had a C93 Malaysian kit build (which I stupidly sold) and that one worked perfectly well with ProMags. It was fun to shoot and A+ for coolness. But in terms of ergos and accuracy any cheap AR could run circles around it. The trigger was pretty awful too. Also, anything HK, even the smallest pin or spring is somehow $89 minimum.

I am curious to see what the MKE HK93 clone guns will be like.
 
I had a C93 Malaysian kit build (which I stupidly sold) and that one worked perfectly well with ProMags. It was fun to shoot and A+ for coolness. But in terms of ergos and accuracy any cheap AR could run circles around it. The trigger was pretty awful too. Also, anything HK, even the smallest pin or spring is somehow $89 minimum.

I am curious to see what the MKE HK93 clone guns will be like.
Truthfully I have not stacked my C93 up to other 556 rifles. I got "decent" groups but I have not done high volume shooting with it yet.
I too sold my old one and HAD to buy another when I saw it for sale here on the forum since they are a bit rare these days.

Fully agree, The ergos are a bit strange. Not so terrible I've noticed, but it's a different feel for sure.
Trigger on mine isn't terrible, and I've heard there are a few folks that do trigger jobs on the trigger packs?

And man'o man.. I totally hear you on the HK parts prices. Hyper inflated for zero reason. Nothing is so unique it cannot be replicated.. I've never understood the prices.
It's my biggest complaint with that brand. I've even seen a paper manual for the HK33 go for $200.. PAPER, Something that can be copied and reprinted. It's just insane.

I heard that MKE was bringing back the 93 line but I've yet to see that gain any real traction. I'd like to get a brand new 93 variant but I assume the prices will be obnoxious.
 
SIG 556 (or 550? I always mix up which is the model with the 16+ inch barrel) are sweet shooting rifles and have been around long enough to prove themselves. I guess that would be my vote...
The biggest problem youll face is limited buying options while paying several times as much for the privilege of it not being an AR. Because of simple 'economies of scale' the AR is much cheaper now than any other legitimate option out there. And just because its not one doesnt mean it shoots any better than one.
 
I started this thread to see what my options would be instead of an ar. There really isnt in terms of price aftermarket etc, but I was still curious
 
I started this thread to see what my options would be instead of an ar. There really isnt in terms of price aftermarket etc, but I was still curious
If you're willing to spend more than $1k, there are alternatives. If not, probably not.

You could consider a Foxtrot Mike or Brownells BRN180 AR build - those are based on the AR180, so no buffer tube. I have a few of their uppers but haven't gotten a chance to shoot them yet. They seem to get pretty good reviews though. Uppers aren't horribly expensive depending on where you get them, and AR lowers are easy to find.
 
If you're willing to spend more than $1k, there are alternatives. If not, probably not.

You could consider a Foxtrot Mike or Brownells BRN180 AR build - those are based on the AR180, so no buffer tube. I have a few of their uppers but haven't gotten a chance to shoot them yet. They seem to get pretty good reviews though. Uppers aren't horribly expensive depending on where you get them, and AR lowers are easy to find.
I've been on the lookout for a brownells upper but haven't found many as of right now
 
If you're willing to spend more than $1k, there are alternatives. If not, probably not.
Unless you are buying an AR, pretty much every centerfire rifle is over $1k now.

$1k used to buy a nice firearm... I'm not talking about the "good ol' days" either. I'm talking about like 3 years ago.

On the flip side, few people are buying. I've had to take a loss on the last few I sold. So I don't know how all of of this pencils out.. but something has to give eventually. I'm planning to get out of the gun business next year.
 
Kel-Tec SU-16 is a solid choice that runs well and uses AR mags!
Kits for the H&K carbines are getting stupid expensive, but an Mod-33 or 53 would be an awesome build!
The CETME 5.56 is basically the same as the H&K, but way cheaper and the money you save you can then dress to match any of the H&K variants you wish!
AR-180 from Brownells, Nuff Said!
Some day Surbu is supposed to release his proprietary Side Charger upper which kinda follows the FAL as well as the AR-180 designs, but way better!
 
Kel-Tec SU-16 is a solid choice that runs well and uses AR mags!
Kits for the H&K carbines are getting stupid expensive, but an Mod-33 or 53 would be an awesome build!
The CETME 5.56 is basically the same as the H&K, but way cheaper and the money you save you can then dress to match any of the H&K variants you wish!
AR-180 from Brownells, Nuff Said!
Some day Surbu is supposed to release his proprietary Side Charger upper which kinda follows the FAL as well as the AR-180 designs, but way better!
Ya beat me by a half hour on the SU-16! It even comes in a folding survival version. They share the Mini-14's ability to not look too skeery.

Standard SU=16 w/ mag storage in the butt stock
1691618693296.png

Folding survival version
1691618551894.png
1691618521923.png
 
Ya beat me by a half hour on the SU-16! It even comes in a folding survival version. They share the Mini-14's ability to not look too skeery.

Standard SU=16 w/ mag storage in the butt stock
View attachment 1467681

Folding survival version
View attachment 1467678
View attachment 1467677
Also, Blackout Solutions makes an aftermarket fire control group that lets you use AR triggers & FCG parts (slight mod of the hammer required), AR pistol grips, and a picatinny rail for attaching a stock/brace. Got one for each of mine. The design has some minor quirks, but I like it better than the KelTec AR stock adapter.


PXL_20230809_223325418.MP~2.jpg
 
Brn-180 or Foxtrot Mike bufferless ($439 on sale for the upper). Psa has a new one too jackal I think it's called but it is way more expensive than the others.

I would study the cetme owner's experiences before buying one. I would not buy one over the brn-180 or foxtrot Mike. Older ones such as sig 556 might appeal also. If you are looking for slow fire accuracy type gun the h&k sl8 can be found used for a reasonable priced or $1500 new. Tavor is another option. Personally I would not touch Tommy built clones of the the g36. I assume you don't want a mini 14.
 

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