Thinking about a "battle rifle"

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I'm wanting to join the 'battle rifle' club, but don't know very much about which ones to avoid and which to look for. By battle rifle, I mean some in .308/7.62, and unfortunately, somewhat on a budget. For those of you who have an opinion (or two or three opinions), please let me know what you like/don't like. Fal? M1A? Scar? AR-10?
 
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" On a budget" and ".308 battle rifle" are mutually exclusive terms. $1K+ for most decent rifles and ammo hovering at 50 cents a round for surplus....what are you looking to do with it?
 
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I have a few questions*:
Number wise, what does "budget" mean?
What does battle rifle mean to you?
Does battle rifle mean your go-to-war-gun?
If so, what kind of war do you expect or find most likely if that's the case?
How far do you intend to shoot with what kind of degree of accuracy?
Does battle rifle only = .308 and/or NATO 7.62x51?
AFAIK, those rounds are slightly different from each other.
 
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M1 Garand well under 1K

M1A about 1.5k

AR .308 platform 1-3+k



The Garand has the history, is affordable, shoots well, only holds 8 rounds, ammo is a bit spendy.

The M1A is spendy, it's spendy to scope, magazine fed, and cheaper to feed.

AR style can be cheap but you'll have a cheap AR style. Figure about 1.2k or so as minimum for the .308 AR. Outstanding accuracy, lots of accessories, kind of heavy.

Do you want a wood and steel rifle or the evil black rifle style.

The Garand and M1A look very similar, you can get synthetic stocks or enhanced battle rifle stocks for the M1A. The EBR stocks can cost almost as much as the rifle.

Any one of these is a hoot to shoot.

Garand
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AR10
ar10001.jpg
AR10noveske03.jpg

M1A
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A M1A SOCOM II runs about $1900, it has a good stock but if you step up, a VLTOR stock (AR style pistol grip and modified M4 style buttstock) would run just under $500 most places, Then there is the Magazine issue, they are $40 to $50 apiece. SOCOM II's have all the rails and such and use a 16 inch barrel. Of course you can get by somewhat cheaper, a Squad will run about $1600 have a little longer barrel (18") and has the same decent plastic stock standard on the SOCOM. Cheaper yet you can find a good "Regular" M1A with plastic stock for around $1350, it has the 22" barrel.

You are talking "Battle Rifle" and I have used a M-14 for real, our basic load was five magazine, but everyone carried at least seven of the heavy sons-of-a-guns, The longer barrel while great for longer ranges did get in the way some and I think I would prefer shorter. The 7.62 X 51 will smash through bricks and is a good choice if you can stand to carry the weight, but it really isn't a dedicated "Home Defender" Personally I like the idea of the SOCOM II with the VLTOR stock as I think it is the best "One rifle" compromise.

The Prime three calibers for this survival/battle rifle are .223, 7.62 x 51 and 7.62 x 39 as they would be the most prolifically available. In Doomsday type of scenarios, handloading may not be an option.

I have had some good experience with the M1A platform and as such am reluctant to recommend others such as AR's which I also used and carried (Carried a lot more ammo) and AK's even though my limited exposure to AK's was mostly on the receiving end, I did try them out and they were okay. My prejudice will keep me aligned with the M1A.
 
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Keep in mind the price of mags too.

G3/PTR/HK91 are under $5/mag
AR $20-30/mag
FAL I believe are still around $20/mag
M1A/M14 about $25/mag
SCAR H over $50/mag

As others have said there is nothing cheep about "battle Rifles".
Also a litte more description on what you want can help narrow it down.

There are things like the PSL out there that are a good happy medium between price, accuracy and quality.
 
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AR10, 14.5" barrel with welded comp, Eotech. Now that's my idea of a rifle. :)





I just cant afford to buy/build/shoot something like that so I shoot an AR15.
14.5" .308 is just stupid, might as well use something in .300 Black or 7.62x39.

For a .308 battle rifle.. look no further than the FAL. $1000 gets you a DSA built with IMBEL parts, and it's a solid rifle. You won't get MOA accuracy out of it, but it will be minute of man out to 500 yards easily. DSA IMBEL $999 from AIMSURPLUS. I love my DSA, and it shoots about 3" at 100 yards with surplus ammunition, which is pretty average for an FAL.

If you want excellent accuracy, then the AR platform is the only way to go, and it's not cheap. The one I built last year cost around $1300 and I went cheap on the barrel. Looking back I would have bought a different barrel and it would have been closer to $1500, without a nice trigger or optic or sights.
 
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"Budget" Battle rifle to me = WW2 - Korean war type rifles... most of which were mentioned here already.

Garand
Mauser
Enfields -- No4 & No1
Springfields -- M1903 & 03A3
M1917
Mosin-Nagant -- 91/30, Finn M39

Surplus ammo is still available, and can be less expensive than 7.62 Nato. I find the peep sighted rifles (Garand/No4/03a3/M1917) easier to focus on the front sight, and shoot accurately.

In addition to a good "battle rifle", I find that a good peep sighted .22lr rifle is excellent short range practice to keep my "battle rifle" skills up at low cost. Also reloading short range cast lead "gallery loads" for the (bolt action only) battle rifles is a good thing to do. Makes it cheap to shoot & practice your sight picture & trigger squeeze. They also make great small-game loads.
 
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Another thing you guys are forgetting is weight. The m1 for example, have you ever picked one up? I have recently at a gun show and I cannot see how anybody would choose to lug a heavy rifle like that around of they had too.
 
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14.5" .308 is just stupid, might as well use something in .300 Black or 7.62x39.

For a .308 battle rifle.. look no further than the FAL. $1000 gets you a DSA built with IMBEL parts, and it's a solid rifle. You won't get MOA accuracy out of it, but it will be minute of man out to 500 yards easily. DSA IMBEL $999 from AIMSURPLUS. I love my DSA, and it shoots about 3" at 100 yards with surplus ammunition, which is pretty average for an FAL.

If you want excellent accuracy, then the AR platform is the only way to go, and it's not cheap. The one I built last year cost around $1300 and I went cheap on the barrel. Looking back I would have bought a different barrel and it would have been closer to $1500, without a nice trigger or optic or sights.


The 14.5" 308 is what I would choose as as optimal battle rifle. When I think of a battle rifle I expect most threats to be within 250 yds. Maybe you could call it overkill for CQB but stupid I think is a bit extreme. I know that a 5.56 green tip round will not penetrate 1/4" steel at 250 yds. I know that a 308 will. I'm into maximum firepower in the smallest package available. You call it stupid but I call it being better equiped to win.
 
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Another thing you guys are forgetting is weight. The m1 for example, have you ever picked one up? I have recently at a gun show and I cannot see how anybody would choose to lug a heavy rifle like that around of they had too.
Most of my rifles are of the weighty variety. I find that an exercise regimen that includes arm curls remedies the symptoms of carrying heavy objects.

Keith
 
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If you have an AR15 you have a battle rifle. Ask your self what the guy's over sea's are using. Sure they have 3 shot burst and full auto but you will never have that here in the states.
So just get\use an AR15 and put all the goodies on it that you want..
 
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I don't know about the pricing for AR mags where you shop, but IMO you are paying way too much if you are buying in that price range. AR mags shouldn't cost more than $12-$14 each. You can get inexpensive mags for under $10 if you wait for a sale.
Would sure like to know where you get those prices. You link me too them at that price and I will buy you some too.
Pmags run about $19 on the low end and Armalite running on the high end at $50 44MAG.com - .308/7.62x51 NATO Caliber AR15 Magazines
I know there are some AR's that take G3 mags which are under $5 and ones that take the FAL mags around $20.
 

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