first rifle advice


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SkyDaver
October 7, 2004, 02:11 PM
Amongst my principal failings, I'd say the foremost is the lack of any repeating centerfire longarms. I'm not a hunter (I had enough time being cold and wet as a USN diver, way back when they used brass helmets) so I'm looking for something suitable for a SHTF, or TEOTWAWKI weapon.

I'm still trying to decide on shotgun vs. rifle for the first addition to the inventory, but if I go shotgun, I have narrowed my choices (Mossberg 500/590, Rem. 870)

If I go rifle, I'm moderately sure I want to go semi-auto over bolt, and I'm also moderately sure I want .308 Win caliber.

The other factor is a rather limited budget.

I've looked over the board over the last few days, and I'm wondering about either an M1 Garand, or a Saiga.

Begging that you'll be gentle with a newbie, I hereby ask for opinions ...

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Nathanael_Greene
October 7, 2004, 02:16 PM
Hey, why not a Saiga? I don't own one, and they don't particularly appeal to me, but you could do worse.

I bought an SKS years ago, and it's a fun little rifle, as cheap semi-autos go. Lord knows the ammunition's gotten cheap in the last few years.

But a Saiga isn't a bad rifle, near as I can tell, since you want a .308.

patent
October 7, 2004, 02:28 PM
If you are set on .308 I'd go Saiga, but you could also consider getting a Garand and getting the surplus 30-06 ammo. Both .308 and .30-06 are readily available, both in mil surp and in off the shelf stuff. CMP garands aren't all that costly. Of course you can get a Garand and turn it into a .308, but that costs more.

patent

SkyDaver
October 7, 2004, 02:29 PM
Well, why not a Saiga is one of my questions. It's the AK action, in all calibers (if I'm reading their website correctly) My uninformed impression is that action is fairly reliable, and probably as accurate as I can be.

Would a new Saiga be cheaper than a M1 Garand?

Harry Tuttle
October 7, 2004, 02:30 PM
the upgrade to the saiga is the vepr II in .308

www.AK47.com

SkyDaver
October 7, 2004, 02:32 PM
Patent, thank you.

I don't know why I was thinking that the M1 was 308, rather than .30-06

.30-06 is readily available, and nearly the power of the .308, IIRC?

How hard is it to find a Garand? (and are they cheaper than the Saiga?)

I do have a sentimental fondness for the Garand, since my Dad was a USMC vet who spent 1951 in Korea ...

patent
October 7, 2004, 03:23 PM
.30-06 is readily available, and nearly the power of the .308, IIRC? The .308 is a necked down 30-06. For my purposes the cartridges do basically the same things, though handloaders will tell you that they have a little better bullet selection with the 30.06 because it is longer.

I believe you can make the 30-06 more powerful than the .308. I'm very fond of the .308 myself, but from what you want I'd probably go with the Garand.

How hard is it to find a Garand? (and are they cheaper than the Saiga?) The CMP sells them quite cheaply: http://www.odcmp.com/Services/Rifles/m1garand.htm

There are several requirements, but most can be met easily if you just sit down and work through it.

I think you probably want a service grade, but there are guys on this website who can advise you far better than I can. The CMP also sells 30-06 surplus ammo in their store. You'd also want to buy a bunch of those clips the Garand uses. Do a search around here for Garands and you'll get lots of good advice.

patent

itgoesboom
October 7, 2004, 04:03 PM
Garand would be a good choice. Nothing wrong with a 30.06. Saiga is also an excellent choice. Not much out there that is more reliable than the AK.

Another choice, also <$500 is the CETME. It can be tough to find a good one, but if you can, they can be an excellent rifle for the ever popular SHTF roles. It also has the advantage of using 20 round box magazines, and they are dirt cheap right now. I got mine, before the ban sunset, for under $2 each.

If you step down to 7.62x39 you could get an SKS or an AK pretty cheaply. Both are utterly reliable and ammo is dirt cheap.

I.G.B.

sumpnz
October 7, 2004, 09:59 PM
patent - The .308 is not a "necked down" 30-06. They both use .308" bullets. The .308 (7.62x51mm) replaced the .30-06 (7.62x62mm) and was designed to work better in automatic weapons. The military at the time figured they would capitalize on the improvements in powder technology and get a cartridge that would perform the same as the .30-06 but in a shorter case that would cycle better in the autos. I haven't, but I bet that if you look at the specs for the original .30-06 military load it is probably almost identical to the original .308 military load in terms of ballistics. Now, with modern powders available to the modern shooter for both, the .30-06 still retains the edge in top end performance. But the .308 will still do basically everything our thread starter wants to do just as well as the .30-06.

SkyDave - If you can afford it, I would recommend you look into the FAL or AR-10. I've been lucky enough to fire both, and ohhhh is the FAL nice. So is the AR-10. No idea what they sell for. I've purposly avoided looking so as to not be too tempted to run up the credit card.

Mulliga
October 7, 2004, 11:18 PM
.30-06 is readily available, and nearly the power of the .308, IIRC?

How hard is it to find a Garand? (and are they cheaper than the Saiga?)

I do have a sentimental fondness for the Garand, since my Dad was a USMC vet who spent 1951 in Korea ...

For the standard 150 gr. FMJ round, I believe .30-06 averages about 100 fps faster than .308 Win from the same length barrel. Not much more powerful, but the .30-06 case is only about 1/2" longer, so not much difference there, either, IMHO. You can handload .30-06 to near magnum levels (and there are some factory "light magnum" loads available, but I don't know if they'd function well in a Garand).

IIRC .308 is a little cheaper ($150/1000 versus $200/1000) if you buy surplus ammo by the case. There's also no telling how much .30-06 surplus is left. Both are still extremely common, however.

A Garand probably wouldn't be cheaper than a Saiga. It would, however, be an American classic - sometimes the intangibles are important :). I think Garands are massively fun to shoot, and so does Oleg. :D

http://www.a-human-right.com/RKBA/garand.html

Not hard at all to find a Garand (spring for the Service Grade):

http://www.odcmp.com/Services/Rifles/m1garand.htm

patent
October 8, 2004, 06:45 AM
patent - The .308 is not a "necked down" 30-06. They both use .308" bullets. Your right, sorry about that. Typing too fast. I should have said that the .308 is a shortened 30-06, but even that isn't really correct as they based the 308 on some other cartridge (I believe). It was intended as a replacement to the 30-06 that would do everything the 30-06 would do, but in a shorter cartridge.

patent

MrMurphy
October 8, 2004, 10:05 AM
I would get a CETME. $300 for a 20-shot .308 rifle of good reliability (it was what the G3 was based on), served the Spanish Army a long time well. Make sure your sights are set on "2" for 100 yard shooting. :)

The ergonomics aren't the greatest for mag release and safety, but they work and the rifle is a solid shooter. Accurate enough, and comfortable to fire. Mags are cheap too.

SkyDaver
October 8, 2004, 11:21 AM
I appreciate all the thoughtful and informative answers. The budget at the moment won't cover a Garand.

I think what I'm going to do is save some money over the next few months. In the meantime, if the SHTF, I'll run over to the local big box sporting goods store, pick up a Mossberg Persuader, run to the local friendly gun store, pick up the cheapest semi-auto in a .30 caliber (.30-06 or .308) (I'm going to do some calling today to look for a CETME, a Saiga, or even an SKS)

Right now, SWMBO is stressed with a number of things, and since she doesn't understand that you can't have too many guns, I'm going to put off bringing up the subject. If the SHTF, she'll be much more receptive. In the meantime, the .45s will have to do.

And, when the mad money builds up to enough for a ODCMP, I'll order a service grade Garand, and be happy.

Finally, how do you pronounce 'Garand'? Is it "GAR-and" (almost like 'gerund')
or 'ga-RAND'. The dictionary shows either, but the first listing is 'ga-RAND'

TooTaxed
October 8, 2004, 12:09 PM
Here's another plug for the SKS for a first centerfire semiauto rifle. Inexpensive, highly reliable, ammo costs about $80/1000, lots of inexpensive aftermarket stuff for it. The standard 10-shot fixed magazine is entirely ample...I got one of the aftermarket 20-round detachable mags (about $18), and found it inconvenient for bench and prone shooting...darn thing is in the way. A short scope with mount not extending over the open receiver is less than $40...if you get a longer scope, you also will need to get a case deflector (about $5 from CCDN) as SKSs eject vertically. I ring the 360-yd gong every shot. Fun shooter, low recoil, usable for deer hunting, undoubtedly the best bargain on the market in this category. (Carried an AK-47 in Vietnam...much prefer the SKS for target shooting as it has a longer barrel and sight radius.)

I also have a CETME...heavy, bulky, not the easiest to operate, can't reliably use commercial ammo, good only for range shooting, and the non-reloadable milsurp ammo costs about twice the SKS fodder...and a .30-06 Springfield, which used to be my deer rifle until I decided it was overgunned for deer...now use a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser sporterized by Kimber...one of my best all-time finds!

perry1963
October 8, 2004, 03:12 PM
If you're want one in .308 WIN i think springfield armory still makes there M1 in .308 as well as 30-06

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