Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

tactical/assault rifle recommendations?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by tionico, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    128
    Looking at getting some sort of military/police/tactical sort of rifle, the sort Kalifornia declares to be illegal. I've pretty much decided on the Ruger Mini 14 Ranch for something in a small caliber. I'm also considering something in a larger more powerful round... the 7.62 NATO/308 Win being the obvious choice. BUT--- since I know little to nothing about this class of weapon, I'm open to reconsidering, given some authoritative input based on solid experience. I recently saw some material on the FN AR series, but I see the Saigas, Bushmasters, AR 14/5, AK 47 (the Chinese one I saw did NOT impress me with quality and workmanship... I definitely want a quality piece, one that will last and be serviceable. No cheap throwaways. If anyone was making a 20 or 30 round magazine for my Browning BAR, I'd be quite content with that... it doesn't have to LOOK like a full on military style assault weapon like the bad guys and soldiers have in the movies. Folding stocks, handles and gadgets, psychedelic stock, not necessary, I am after an action and barrel system that will be accurate, function reliably in a variety of situations, and have significant firepower in terms of rapid fire and hard hitting rounds.

    SO-- what do any of you recommend, and WHY... please, feature/benefit details. Cost might be a factor, other things being equal. I'd rather pay a thousand than two for a gun with essentially the same functionality. But, if it takes two to get a GOOD unit, oh well. I'll just have to sell some more stuff first.

    I've even thought of getting a WW II vintage M1 Garand... those are heavy, but from what I've heard, are solid, reliable, hard hitting, durable... and reasonably accurate. the venerable /30-06 round is one I already use, and is almost universally available. All benefits, as far as I am concerned.

    OK your turn..... also, any sources recommended for finding/buying such an animal would be appreciated. I'd prefer to NOT pay Washington State's sales taX, so an Oregon dealer (I can legally buy a long gun in Oregon....) or online source is fine.
     
  2. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    6
    The AR platform can do almost anything from several rifle calibers to pistol and even .22. Its a very versitile gun, and parts from any mil spec manufacture will fit and be interchangeable making the gun very serviceable. It has the tactical look that is customizable as much as you want. The gun is very accurate and I always figure if its good enough for the military, police, swat, and many other units its good enough for me. Prices range from 800 to 2500 and I personaly think the cheaper ones work just as good as the expensive ones and you can always put the expensive parts in it later down the road if needed. Alot of what you pay for is a name. If you like the 308 round get an AR chambered in 308 with a 20'' barrel and Im sure you wont be dissapointed. But there are many choices to choose from, and im sure other members will give you more advice.
     
  3. ajf1

    ajf1 beaverton Member

    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    about 9 months ago I was in the ame place as you are. I had determined that i wanted the .308 round. I had looked in to a few different options and I was leaning toward the FN FAL. I had looked into the kits and the different armories. I had pretty much set it in stone until my wife and I came a across a SOCOMII from the springfield armory. Checked it out and she ended up getting it for me while I was out of town. You have to be a litle bit of brute with the extra weight, but I believe that a little extra wieght is not issue if your up for it.
     
  4. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    128
    Thanks ajf1.... appreciate the time and all.
    I'll be sure and check those out as well.... Springfield have a long standing reputation for building solid functional arms... in fact, I've one of their XD pistols and like a lot of its features. I am curious as to the weight..... I handled an FN-AR at the Centralia gunshow last Saturday, the one with the heavy barrel, not the light fluted one. (didn't have any of the lights, only two heavies) That thing IS a bit of a beast, but manageable. I'd hate to pack it for a month...... but that's not quite why I'm interested in one. (I've other things that are more packable...).

    I like the fit and feel of the FN, and they do have a solid reputation for making nothing but good stuff.... I've an older BAR made in Belgium by FNH..... and an older Browing Hi Power, also by FNH, is now at my FFL Dealer, we're waiting for the local constabulary to deign to allow me to get it into my hands......I'd not have the slightest qualm about getting something else FN designed/made..... BUT, I'll check out the SOCOMM II on your recommendation. I don't have a wife to be getting me something like that whilst I'm away, so will have to make that decision all on my own......

    One thing I am fairly certain of.... I will lean strongly for a complete rifle, rather than scouting out bits and pieces, some here, some there, and "building" my own. I don't even know what to build.... so, I'll likely get something already finished.... that's one thing I liked about the FN AR. Drop fourteen hundred on the counter, pick it up, go home, fill a clip, put it in, walk out the back door, and fire away, OH, one detail, I'd have to have a scope mounted first... and the first order of business would be to sight it in. I WOULD like something with iron sights, though.... never know when the scope might no longer be part of the equation.....maybe someone has something that can be put on, and the scope mounted to look over the top of it...
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  5. asiparks

    asiparks PDX Active Member

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    121

    You can plonk down $800-$4000 on the counter and walk away with a complete AR, put in a magazine and head out your back door too...
    Mags are plentiful as are spare parts and if you wish to upgrade later you can do as time and funds allow or you can keep it basic.

    AKs are not known for their workmanship, they're known for dogged reliability under a wide variety of inclement conditions, easy and cheap to repair. As to accuracy, some people do very well indeed out to a couple of hundred yards but they're not for MOA shooting.

    I think the FNAR has a <1MOA guarantee, so it's more accurate and substantially cheaper than most Springfield M1As. You might want to look at some AR based 308's, there are a couple for sale on this board. Probably not as accurate as the FN, but near enough.

    I love my FAL. It's about a 4MOA rifle, but I can cheerfully use it to hammer in nails, roughly club some seals then shoot it without a hiccup.
     
  6. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    369
    If you liked the Mini-14, consider it in 7.62 x 39 or the new 6.8 SPC calibers. This will handle most of your social problems without taking the step up to a .308 which can be less fun to shoot...:) The new Mini-14 design is improved in terms of accuracy over the old ones from what I've read.
     
  7. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    128
    Hmmmm.. hadn't heard the Mini 14's are now in something larger than the .223 round. Improved accuracy is always welcome, as well. Thanks... I'll be at Puyallup this weekend, and so will try and find one to get personal with.

    So, so far we've got the Mini 14 in 7.62 x 39, the FN AR in 7.62 NATO/.308, and the SOCOMM by Springfield..... I think my friend Mike and his wife will be at Puyallup this weekend, and he's into those sorts oof firearms.... hanging with him and asking him a bunch of questions might be profitable.....

    thanks again for YOUR input. Much appreciated.
     
  8. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    12
    May I humbly suggest you will be better served by getting an AR-15 variant of some sort.

    Mini's aren't known for their accuracy and there isn't the selection of parts and mags (compared to ARs). And by not know for their accuracy I mean pretty much any AR will out shoot one noticeably off the shelf in my experience.

    An M1A (SOCOM) or a FAL, while fantastic rifles, are not the weapons I would recommend as a primary arm for most shooters/most applications out there. More recoil = slower, less accurate follow up shots... Heavier gun + heavier ammo = you not being able to hump as much/as far... Also, that Socom is a blasty mother... 16" .308 is tons of fun though... =)

    As for the FN-AR... cool gun, but same caliber issues and spare parts and mags are an issue with it as well.

    AR-15s are light, accurate, and in common use with civvies, LEO and .gov, and parts and mags are plentiful (well, things are a little crazy still from the obama panic, but there are complete ARs ready to go home at most funstores now it seems). .223/5.56 is plenty of gun for two-legged threats with the right ammo.

    Various .30 cal rounds are great and all, and tempting because of all that "knock down power" [sic], range, etc. but I recommend going the .223 route. Unless you're shooting at distance a lot do you really need .308? Are the terminal ballistics of commercially available 7.62x39 any better than 5.56 vs. people? (hint: no...) Carry more ammo, and shoot it faster and more accurately, go with the smaller caliber.

    If you do decide to go the AR route there's lots to learn, but for where you're looking for I'd say pretty much any box-stock AR from a reputable manufacturer will work.

    I would be more than happy to offer more detailed advice but this post is getting long already and there's not a lot of AR love in the thread so i don't wanna waste my breath...

    If you're REALLY sold on .30 cal or something else bigger than 223, I still say get an AR... AR-10 or an AR in 6.5 or 6.8 but have fun finding ammo w/o rolling your own.

    ETA: Oh, and AFAIK, the only new mini that has any sort of improved accuracy is the match/varminting one with the adjustable (??) comp thingy on the end. I don't mean to hate on an iconic ranch gun but I would argue its not really in the same category as an AR or an AK... it's not a weapon designed for the battlefield.


    ETAA: I base this opinion on having owned or at least done quite a bit of shooting with all of the guns you're considering or that I'm recommending, except for the FN-AR which I have not shot at all - for what its worth.
     
  9. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    369
    I don't own one but I think the new Mini 14 is a fine rifle and this is just one of the reviews that I have read that tells about the accuracy improvements.

    http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-NEWMini14.htm

    "The test gun proved capable of shooting groups of under two inches at one hundred yards with all ammo tested, including military full metal jacket, commercial varmint ammo, and my handloads using the Barnes TSX bullets. The handloads grouped into one and one-quarter inches."

    I haven't seen too many AR's that can be had for around $800 that can do any better accuracy wise. While it was never designed as a battle rifle, it uses a Garand style rotating bolt and trigger mechanism along with an M1 Carbine style short stroke piston gas operating system. Pretty good battle credentials in my book. Oh, I love AR's in their full rifle models, just not too fond of M4 with their overly tight barrel twist and short barrels, though it does make them easier to stow inside the Bradley...:tank:
     
  10. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    12
    I agree that the mini-14 is a fine rifle. I maintain my opinion however that some AR variant would be best for the OP. I say this because I'm assuming that part of the intent behind purchasing such a rifle is to have it for use it for "social" purposes.

    The AR is used by the military, law enforcement agencies, and I would say the vast majority of civilians who are seriously prepared for various crises. By choosing an AR you choose ammo, mag & spare parts commonality with these forces, as well as familiarity with the manual of arms for a weapon you are very likely to encounter.

    Also, the AR platform has much better ergonomics as a fighting rifle.

    And, I don't believe you can get a mini chambered in 5.56... correct me if I'm wrong? I would consider the ability to reliably shoot 5.56 a must in a typically .223/5.56 platform if its a serious use weapon.

    If the feces does hit the air circulating device, an AR is an excellent choice for the above reasons. A much better choice, in my opinion, than a mini.

    I'm not trying to force anyone to drink any AR coolaid - as I think that all of the rifles mentioned in this thread should be a part of any gun enthusiasts collection if they can afford it - however I do sincerely believe that if you are going to have ONE high-capacity semi-automatic rifle in a common "military" caliber, that the AR-15 platform is absolutely the way to go.


    ETA: AR love aside, my second vote would be for an M1A.... not the SOCOM II though (personal preference on account of violent muzzle blast and loss of ballistics), I would look at the Scout variant if something with a slightly shorter barrel gets you going OP... Lord knows I want one...
     
  11. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    128
    Dutchy, thanks for your time and input. This is precisely the sort of thing I was hoping to get here, You give some very solid information based on personal experience.....

    As to something like the Mini or anything else using the .223/5.56, I don't intend that to be a primary devense weapon.... actually, the "ranch" version suits my as it is light, handy, easy to find fodder for it, relatively cheap to shoot, and, while most likely a short range weapon, that's fine... it seems it could deal with crazy dogs, nuisance varmints, and at least strike a bit of fear into the two legged crazies. Maybe even put a deer on the table, if I could get close enough or hit him often enough. I don't see that, or anything like it, being a "battle weapon". Truth is, I don't forsee myself knowingly going into a "battle" situation. Maybe that's wishful thinking.....

    the larger piece I want to get WILL be something near .30 cal... .308, 7,62 variant, .30-06. Common ammo will be a factor, and all three of these seem to meet that need. Hitting power, making it suitable for longer range with accuracy, will be a must.... four or five hundred yards I think would be the minimum capable range. and so it must be a VERY accurate weapon. I am not concerned about filling the air with dozens of rounds per second..... hey, even when I had a 35mm camera with a motor drive, I simply used that as a quick wind... never in "machine gun mode". I tend to shoot less, but place them well. Wild kickback disrupting one's stance for the next shot WILL be an issue... and so something manageable in that department would be preferable to something that does the jig all on its own every round. That's why they invented bold action rifles, right? and I have some, very fine ones. .300 WSM, 7mm RM, both of which, whilst having considerable recoil, can find their mark at a thousand yards pretty reliably. Sako and Browning are no slouches when it comes to quality control and dead on accuracy.

    SO-- I will add your recommendations to the pot..... for this particular purchase I will actually seek opportunities to USE the weapon in question before parting with my plonk.... this one will be the "last one in the cabinet", the ONE weapon I'll hang onto to the bitter end... or pass on to my kids whenever they show up.

    I did happen across a SPringfield M1A Tank gun at the Centralia show.... interesting. The short barrel was quite the thing to see. Lighter, handier... but I'd guess nowhere near as capable at range. That one's out.... but the standard issue M1A is still on the table, and I've seen them on offer for mid-high hundreds... $650-850, with good clean bores and generally in good condition. One thing in favour of such a weapon is it falls into the C&R category, and could conceivably be exempt from "collection" on the grounds of its age and historical antiquity qualities. Seems our govemint uffishuls aren't capable of normal thought processes, and are more concerned with the "ugly black things the crazies are stockpiling".

    enough back... thanks again. The search continues..... once I make a decision, or as I come across "show and tell" opportunities, I'll come back again with the details.
     
  12. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    12
    There you go... try before you buy is absolutely the best plan! Good luck with the search!
     
  13. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    7
    During that weapons ban era I built 6 assault rifles; 4 FALs one AR, one M1A1 in TRW parts. It is my all time fav. Parts were hard to find because I chose TRW only. It shoots 2 1/4" at 200 for four rounds Iron sites;fiberglass Fred's stock bedded/camoed. Got to love the thump of a 308. Ars' are more accurate but I'd forego the AR for a M1A1 everytime, 'cause the 308 reaches out.
    Now about those HK USCs in 45ACP. Thump'aThumpa.
    All FALs were sold. Now onto another interest,,,USCs.