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Which SHTF rifle for @ $400?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Studio BK, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Studio BK

    Studio BK Tualatin, OR Active Member

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    I already have a 10/22, Glock 19, Mossberg 590, I need a centerfire rifle to round out my shtf weaponry. I have a $400 budget. What is the best (I'm sorry) bang for the buck lol? SKS? AK? Bolt action hunting rifle? Thanks for any ideas!!!
     
  2. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    You need to feed that gun, so if $400 was my limit I would get an SKS for $250-ish and use the remaining money for ammo. If you go the SKS route, make sure you avoid guns with aftermarket duckbill magazines and dustcover-mounted scopes. These "upgrades" are functionally worthless; the duckbill mags jam and the dustcover scope mounts wont hold zero. The Yugos with grenade launchers can have issues with corrosion in the gas tube selector switch, and the launcher also makes the gun rather nose-heavy so my first choice would not be a Yugo although many used ones have already had these issues addressed. Your best bet would probably be a stock and unmodified Russian or Chinese version. SKS's are robust and dependable weapons when left in their original configuration and once you practice using stripper clips you can keep up a high rate of sustained fire with them.
     
  3. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    Mini-14(used) or an SKS
     
  4. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    SKS. I like the Tapco 20 round magazines.
     
  5. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A 22 with alot of ammo. Easy to carry.
     
  6. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    They are fun at the range and somewhat more reliable than the cheap steel ones, but if I had to rely upon an SKS for protection/SHTF usage I would rather have the standard 10 rd internal magazine and a bunch of stripper clips. The other issue with Tapcos is that you run into 922r compliance issues unless you play the parts game and by the time you have replaced the stock, the operating rod, and enough other parts to be legal you have spent almost enough money to get into an AK. SKS's truly are at their best when left in their original configuration.
     
  7. Silvercitygunner

    Silvercitygunner Silverdale, WA Member

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    used mini 14
     
  8. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Gonna keep throwing my hat in for the Mosin Nagant...you can scope it out, buy more than one, and buy lots of bullets for $400.

    mosinnagant.jpg
     
  9. Studio BK

    Studio BK Tualatin, OR Active Member

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    Thanks for the ideas everyone! What do you guys think about the Saiga 7.62x39? Someone on another site shared this link with me. Coincidence that it's exactly at my budget lol? Saiga or SKS and why?

    Russian Saiga .223 Rifle w/ 16" BBL - Long Guns
     
  10. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Saiga in 7.62x39.

    Why the 7.62x39 over the .223? Ammo.

    Why the Saiga over the SKS? Mags.

    Putting an aftermarket mag on an SKS is a gamble for reliability. The Saigas you can put a 30 rounder on and never look back. 7.62x39 is less expensive than the .223 as well. Not going to get into the .223 vs. 7.62x39 debate.

    *edit to add rifle*

    http://aeonarms.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=&products_id=488\
     
  11. Pepiot

    Pepiot Oregon My other girl ^^^^^

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    Marlin 336
     
  12. Studio BK

    Studio BK Tualatin, OR Active Member

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    Great response, thanks much! I'll start doing some homework.
     
  13. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Saigas do not accept standard AK mags without modification, which then gets you into the whole 922r compliance game.

    I agree that 7.62x39 is by far a better SHTF choice than .223 for any number of reasons. And Saigas are decent guns, as long as you are willing to accept either a 10 rd mag or a (technically at least) illegal 30 round proprietary mag that is not interchangeable with a standard AK version.

    Or, for the budget-minded SHTF'er, you can get an unmodified SKS and learn to use stripper clips. Hi-cap detachable AK mags are nice, but there are actually a few benefits to the 10 rd internal mag on the SKS. An SKS is easier to fire from a prone position, and it is can be easier to maintain a higher sustained rate of fire vs an AK depending upon how many loaded AK mags you have ready. Once an AK mag is empty, it is a chore to reload it and in the meanwhile it is very difficult to load rounds singly into the rifle. An SKS on the other hand was designed to be able to load rounds singly, or to use stripper clips if available. It is quite easy to "top off' a partially depleted magazine while still having the weapon loaded and ready to fire quickly. And decent AK mags cost between $10 and $15, whereas stripper clips can be bought in bulk for less than $1 apiece.

    Im not saying that the SKS is "better" than an AK, I am merely saying that, like any weapon, it has its strengths and weaknesses.
     
    Studio BK and (deleted member) like this.
  14. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Google "922r compliance" before deciding on a Saiga. They are good guns, but they are modified AK's that are technically illegal to use with 30 round magazines.
     
    Studio BK and (deleted member) like this.
  15. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    922r applies to manufacturers.
     
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  16. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    .30 carbine
     
  17. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    It applies to anybody who wants to modify their imported rifle by adding high capacity mags or pistol grips.
     
  18. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Just an FYI you do not need to convert the receiver to accept hi-cap mags, but you do to accept regular AK mags. Also from "googling 922r compliance" for Saiga rifles...

    Parts Count on Saiga Shotguns and Rifles - Saiga 922r Compliance / THE LAW - forum.Saiga-12.com
     
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  19. CAL30M1

    CAL30M1 Longview, WA Active Member

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    SKS and as much ammo as you can afford.
     
  20. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    The problem with using US made mags plus a handguard or gas piston for compliance in a Saiga is that those US made mags can only be used in a Saiga. They are not compatible with, and will not function properly in, a conventional AK. And conventional AK mags will not function in a Saiga. If this limitation is acceptable to you then fine, but if it isnt then you may want to reconsider purchasing a Saiga unless you are willing to do a full conversion on it. This involves removing the trigger, drilling holes in the receiver, replacing the trigger with a Tapco unit, reinstalling it in the correct forward location, installing a pistol grip, modifying the magazine catch, and installing a bullet guide below the barrel.

    I learned all of this the hard way, thru my own ignorance, back in '06 when I was on a budget and looking for a cheap AK. What I discovered...thru trial and error and a lot of wasted money and aggravation can neatly be summed up in the following;

    a) If you want an authentic AK that is legal and good to go with standard milsurp AK mags...then spend the extra money up front and buy one that is set up that way to begin with.

    b) If you are OK with a "sort-of" AK that will require the use of proprietary US-made Saiga mags that are not interchangeable with standard AK mags....then go ahead and save a few bucks and buy a Saiga. Or if you feel confident in your gunsmithing abilities, buy a Saiga and do a proper conversion. A properly converted Saiga can be a very good weapon...better than a WASR Century import....but you will wind up spending more on it in the process.

    c) If you cannot afford either of these options, then buy an SKS and leave it alone. Dont waste money on jam-o-matic duckbill mags trying to turn it into an AK. Accept its limitations, make the most of its advantages, and use the $$$ you save on extra ammo and stripper clips.

    I dont know all of this because I am smart, I know all of this because I was stupid and have chosen to learn from the stupid mistakes that I have made.
     
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