Can't decide on a .223/5.56 gun...


September 5, 2004, 06:17 AM
One of these days, I know I'm going to get a rifle chambered in .223/5.56mm... but y'all won't like my following statement:

It won't be an AR-15.

For me, the only thing the platform has going for it is its unprecedented modularity. You can switch from an entry carbine to a varminter with just a swap of the uppers... but that's all. I don't like the idea of a direct gas impingement system, I don't like the way it feels, and the whole idea of a buffer tube just doesn't sit right with me. Others love 'em, and that's fine... but I just can't seem to like it.

However, everything else is game. If I forget something, let me know...

And just because I can, here're some pics of the poll choices:
Ruger Mini 14

Armalite AR-180B




Remington 700

Bushmaster M17S

HK G36

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September 5, 2004, 07:39 AM
Maybe not a "G36", but how about a SL8 converted?

Here's mine:

:D :D :D :D

September 5, 2004, 08:16 AM
I'd go with either the AR-180B or the VEPR, with the nod going to the AR-180B because of mag availability, accuracy, and reliability. Plus, you can pretend you're Ahnold in the police station shootout in the first Terminator movie. ;)

The Mini is overpriced for what it is, IMHO.
So are the various HK clones/variants.
You want an evil semiauto, so the NEF and 700 are out.

Chris Rhines
September 5, 2004, 08:47 AM
Okay, first things first - what are you going to get this rifle for? Plinking? Competition? Self-defense? Modern sculpture? :D

- Chris

Black Snowman
September 5, 2004, 09:26 AM
Yes, once you prioratize why you want a .223 it makes the choice much easier. I wanted one for home defense and ended up with the M17S because of it's very short OAL and long barrel. Just mounted the M3 light today ;)

September 5, 2004, 11:30 AM
bolt action:
CZ527 in .223
Set trigger (either regular pull which is average, or push it forward to set it and it's just a light touch). Great trigger.
Built strong , great value.
Can you tell I like mine? :-)

Semi-auto: ummm, AR ummm, sorry that choice was removed huh? Dunno. None of the other choices excite me much.

September 5, 2004, 11:42 AM
You say you want to have a 223 for fun and possible pest control. I'd go with a Mini-14 Ranch. Easy to mount a scope. Hi-cap magazines should soon be available at a cheaper price. Very reliable and easy to maintain. Accurate enough to get small varmints at 100 yards or so.

My second choice would be the Rem 700. More accurate and still a lot of fun. (At least mine is)

George S.
September 5, 2004, 12:11 PM
I voted for the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch. They are very affordable ($480 at Wally World when you can find one) compared to some of the other selections, you can get hi-cap mags for it now, the Ranch version comes with a set of rings for scope mounting and the action is based on the proven M1/M14 design.

The down side to the Mini is overall accuracy, but with a little bit of work and not much money, they are capable of 2MOA at 100 yards which is not bad for thet type of use you are describing. My Ranch is giving me 3MOA with only a muzzle break and a smaller gas port bushing and a recoil buffer.

Picking the right ammo for the Ranch is another factor in getting good groups. I have used both UMC and Winchester 55gr FMJ and they seem to work equally well. Wolf make some good ammo for cheap and it's almost as good as anything else (a bit stinky though!).

Visit the Perfect Union website for some good information about the Mini 14: Go down to the Ruger Mini-14 Talk section.

Quintin Likely
September 5, 2004, 12:36 PM
Unless you're willing to step up to a 700P, I'd go with a Savage 10FP-series for a bolt action .223. Any other Remingtons except the P have a 1:12 twist, which will keep you from shooting just about anything over 62 grains without making oval shaped holes in your targets. And besides, the Savages are cheaper and the Accutrigger is a nice touch for a from-the-factory offering.

September 5, 2004, 01:32 PM
I second converting an SL8 over to a pseudo G36. Might be my next project. I think it is the best 5.56mm EBR around currently.

Wonder how hard it would be to convert one to 6.5 or 6.8...

September 5, 2004, 02:52 PM
KelTec SU-16

September 5, 2004, 03:14 PM
I voted for the Mini 14 just cause they seem to be (in this list) the more reliable, affordable, and have more accessories for them on the market.

The M17s is a good gun, but not for everyone.

You could also go with an SKS or an AK clone, they are also relatively accurate, reliable, mags are cheap and ammo is dirt cheap.

My first choice is an AR, but you already said no to that class of gun.

September 5, 2004, 03:25 PM
Vepr,Kel-tec Su16 or get a russian saiga and convert it to Pistol grip and other AK parts into a nice 223 AK for $300-350 total minus mags. rumored hicaps availible after the ban sunsets.

September 5, 2004, 04:09 PM
Uh, j.wise, I hope for your sake that either that's airsoft, or you're a cop.

September 5, 2004, 04:54 PM
I'd imagine there are pre-ban SL8's to be had, aren't there?

September 9, 2004, 09:44 PM
No such thing as a pre-ban SL8.

Mine is a LE Only rifle. Yes, I'm a police officer. Department letterhead is a beautiful thing... :D

September 9, 2004, 10:08 PM
I didn't vote the poll because my choices are a toss-up of three.

Mini-14: Have one and like it real well. I do plan on adding a flash hider and recoil buffer and getting a trigger job. I handload for it with a 68grain BTHP and get decent groups. On the ranch model, I'm trying to recall where I read a thread about fitting a M1 Carbine rear sight to replace the little flip-up leaf sight. I think the scope ain't a bad idea with the Ruger factory rings.

NEF: I have experience with NEF's guns. They're simple in the extreme and durable. Not bad on the money either for about $200.

Bolt action: Rem700 is a good one reputation-wise, but it's also more expensive. Ruger's M77 is good, but it has a 1:12 twist barrel which is why the aforementioned 68gr BTHPs keyholed at 50yds. With 55gr SPs, it'll group tight. I've been hearing good about Savage's guns.

September 10, 2004, 06:34 PM
If price is an issue I'd go with the Saiga. If it is not then I would consider the SU-16. I've heard good things about them.

lee n. field
September 10, 2004, 08:24 PM
I voted for the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch. They are very affordable ($480 at Wally World when you can find one) compared to some of the other selections, you can get hi-cap mags for it now,

New ones? Has anyone announced that they will be making >10 round magazines for the Mini?

El Rojo
September 10, 2004, 08:42 PM
I voted other for an AR-15! :neener:

September 11, 2004, 04:12 PM
If you don't like the direct gas system get the new HK M4 when it comes out. Its a gas piston AR15. The AR15 is the best of the bunch in the 223 semi auto rifle/carbine class. Hk isn't bad though a close second.

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