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Say there is a reason why something AR is a no-go for a primary preparedness carbine for whatever reason — bad experience with them, legal reasons, just prefer something else, the Intergalactic Space Pickles abducted all the ARs, or whatever. What would your choice be for a self-loader as a primary rifle/carbine?

For this inquiry, anything goes assuming:

  • Is a self-loader; semi-automatic or select-fire.
  • It is not an AR-pattern rifle.
  • Magazine or clip fed.
  • In an appropriate caliber (e.g., 5.56x45㎜ NATO, 5.7x28㎜ FN, .30 Carbine, 7.62x39㎜ Soviet, 7.62x51㎜ NATO, 5.45x39㎜ Soviet, .30'06 Springfield, et al.)
  • Is legal and at least somewhat available to individuals in the Pacific Northwest.
What would it be and why? What upgrades would you put in place? Thanks for sharing!

(This question isn't completely random. Early last year I encountered an issue that brought this to the fore. Original thought was an M1A Tanker, with good glass, a pile of magazines, and the big silencer attached to said. Backup idea was a CETME-L, fed from existing STANAG magazines, and, maybe, hang the 5.56㎜ can from said. Then I forgot about it and wandered away for a spell. Then, bizarrely, found the answer in the M1 Carbine and now on a hard target search for an M2. Though I'm not going to kid myself that the search is ever really over. Beep-beep.)
Steyr Aug would be my non-ar of choice. They have two versions, one that takes steyr Aussie mags and the other "NATO" version takes standard ar mags. Short overall length for close quarter, 16" barrel for reaching, and very reliable. The aug is as short as a 10.5" ar pistol with a collapsed sba3 brace -- for reference. Insanely versatile weapon.
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You buy a non-AR that shoots 5.56x45 rounds that takes the standard magazines that AR’s use. I am not sure what other rifles that takes AR magazines but I have not done any research on any either.


FN/FAL hands down the BEST battle rifle ever made!
FN-49 Old school battle rifle perfection, especially in .30/06
BM-59 Too cool for school, the M-1 Garand perfected
H&K 33/53 Roller bolts that actually worked
Tavor From the guys who build things to run coated with sand, and they flat out work
Robinson XCR, everything you ever wanted in a 5.56 rifle, but were afraid to ask
SIG 551, 5.56 fighting rifle that went to collage
AR-180, the better AR in every way, the rifle we should have adopted
SKS, Iron Curtin simplicity at it's finest, and superior to it's little brother the AK
If money isnt an issue, I would go with the SCAR 16 or 17 (ideally one of the new non reciprocating ones). You get excellent accuracy, reliability, durabilty in a light-weight package... the main downside is availability of replacement parts, but thats going to be a problem for virtually every non-AR in a SHTF situation.

If the SCAR is too expensive, I would probably go with the IWI Galil ACE 2 or the best AK that I can afford
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