Kel-Tec SU-16C or SAR-1?


May 12, 2006, 10:47 PM
Well, I've been the proud owner of a beautiful (after much refinishing) Romanian SAR-1 for about three years, now. It's as reliable as a hammer, as accurate as a hammer, and as pretty as one too. :D

However, a few things recently have got me wondering about its future in the family. Ammo is not as common as it once was. Mags, though cheap and plentiful, are large and unwieldy--shooting it prone is a pain. No rails on it, so I can't go "tactical" even if I wanted to. The rear sight is kinda annoying me, since it's so far forward. So, with these in mind, I've looked at other rifles in the moderate-caliber, moderate-distance, moderate-cost range.

What I came up with is the SU-16C.

It's lightweight, takes AR mags and is chambered in easy-to-find .223, has a built-in folding bipod and folding stock, has visible sights, and so on, and so on. It's as pretty as a hand drill, is more accurate than the AK, etc.

It's got its drawbacks too, though. "Battlefield durability" is unconfirmed; a lot of people have done a lot to them, but nothing beyond what they thought the gun would easily already live through. I know little of its reliability. How sturdy is the bipod and stock? .223, though flatter-shooting than 7.62x39, isn't quite as hard-hitting. How easy is it to take apart and clean?

Final question is, should I keep the AK or get the SU-16C?

P.S. If I do get convinced to go with the SU-16C, Azrael256 has first dibs on the AK, its mags and accessories, and all its ammo. ;)

P.P.S. Dangit, I was going to post a poll... :banghead: Ah well.

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May 12, 2006, 10:52 PM
I'd keep the AK and buy the SU-16C as well. Shoot both for a while, decide which you prefer, and then sell the other one. That way, you won't have post-sale regrets.

I'll put a poll into the thread for you.

May 12, 2006, 10:57 PM
The SU comes apart and cleans pretty easy, and is pretty clean running too actually.

The Bipod is flimsy, but enough. I like it because I dont have to lay it on its side on the ground or lean it against a tree. The stock is however, pretty good solid. Theres some flex in the charlie stock, but nothing that makes shooting uncomfortable.

May 12, 2006, 11:01 PM
Keep the SAR1 & get the other gun as well. Who knows? Maybe one day the 5.56mm ammo will dry up & the 7.62x39 ammo will flow like a ocean. Maybe one day zombie hoards will rise up & you'll have at least 2 good rifles to deal with them from the roof tops.

May 13, 2006, 10:13 AM
Put a rear peep sight and tactical rail on the AK and go to 20-round mags.:D

May 13, 2006, 11:52 PM
I wish I could have both, but I won't be able to. The only way I'll ever be able to get an SU-16C is if I sell off the SAR-1. The biggest reason for this is trhat I'm going back to school, and extra cash is a laughable dream for now. :banghead:

Maybe one day the 5.56mm ammo will dry up & the 7.62x39 ammo will flow like an ocean.
I kinda doubt this... since we're a NATO member, I don't think 5.56x45 will dry up anytime soon.

May 14, 2006, 08:44 PM
So why one and not the other? A bit more info, if available, is appreciated... :) I see more votes to keep the AK, but nobody elaborated on why. :confused:

For the sort of shooting I do, the SU seems to make a bit more sense to me. The main reason I got the AK is that it was my second rifle, and I wanted something "tremendously evil." These days, though, the SU-16C looks better in many ways.

May 14, 2006, 09:30 PM
I say keep the SAR-1 and save your pennies for the SU-16. SAR1s aren't that common anymore and since you have one that you know works, stay with it. Any new gun is an unkown. It could be a lemon and leave you with no working rifle.

That all said, I prefer 5.56 ammo to 7.62x39 for a civilian self defense/home defense round. If I was in Iraq, I'd take the AK, but here in semi-peaceful USA I like the SU-16 better(or mini-14s, or ARs, etc). 5.56 has better ballistics, it's a lighter round with good ammo availability (lots of proven options such as TAP, Winchester Power Points, etc), lots of proven history with police shoots. 7.62x39 ammo and 5.56 surplus are getting harder to find. However, you can always go to your local sporting goods store or gun shop and find some kind of .223 ammo.

I like the compact folder on the SU-16C. It's light and handy. I don't own one though so I can't comment on it's durability or maintenance. From the one's I've handled, it doesn't look like it could be as sturdy as an AK or SKS, but does it have to be?

Try looking at the Kel-tec forums:

May 14, 2006, 09:49 PM
I'd keep the SAR-1, it is a more serious combat grade weapon. 7.62x39 is out there still, will always be available and likely will soon be common again. 5.56x45 has been getting a little more scarce lately, too. I think you'd be better off just stocking up on ammo as you can rather than trading in and out of rifles.

May 15, 2006, 10:34 AM
It's like the other guy said. You know that the SAR1 works. If you get rid of it, your new gun might be a fake. Remember, the loudest sound in a gun fight is a empty click:uhoh: .

Save your pennies for the other gun. When I'm out walking or biking, if I see a penny on the ground, I take it. Even if it's when I'm biking through the drive through:D .

May 15, 2006, 01:49 PM
i said both and i stand by it even though you can't afford to get the keltec now. keep the sar1 for the reasons mentioned above. save for the keltec and when you can afford it, pick one of them up too. this is the only way to be sure you are not disappointed. seller's remorse lasts much longer than buyer's remorse.

May 15, 2006, 02:39 PM
I'd get both, but keep the SAR-1 otherwise. The SU-16 will still be there down the road. The SAR may not.

May 15, 2006, 03:36 PM
I'd keep the AK. You and the whole world know it works. If it breaks, you can fix it cheaply and easily. Most of the problems you listed are easily fixed. A 10 or 20 round magazine will be easier to shoot prone. Rail forends are available from B&T, Krebs, Ultimak, TDI, and I believe Surefire. Many AKs have the Russian side rail optics mount that makes it very easy to add an upgraded optic, like one of their superb red dot sights. My brother just got a Kobra for his AK while I opted for the PK-AS-V. Both are as solid as the rifles they are mounted on and drastically improve sight aquisition and targeting. In the meantime, a $40 Mojo ghost ring sight, while not improving the sight radius, will also improve the sight picture. AK ammo is still amongst the cheapest ammo available and can be bought in bulk to alleviate supply problems later on.
The rails are pretty expensive. The cheapest is the TDI synthetics, which I have and find to be plenty sturdy for my uses. I have a vertical foregrip that is rock solid and if I put the Kobra on the forward Picitanny rail, it seems solid as well. The set runs about $100, which is about 1/3 of what the aluminum rails will run. The rest of the solutions are relatively inexpensive. The Russian red dots are, from what I can tell, very high quality and at $200 or so, a very good buy. The Mojos are a cheaper fix in the meantime. The 10 and 20 round magazines are also cheap and available.
I wouldn't turn down an opprotunity to own both, but from what I have handled of the SU, it doesn't seem nearly as durable or even as well built as my Romanian AK. Can't speak for performance but my initial impressions weren't favorable for it. I don't think I would sell a rifle that worked well for one. Buy both if you can, but keep the AK.

May 15, 2006, 03:55 PM
GO SU-16!

May 15, 2006, 04:27 PM
Keep the AK

Buy a PLR-16. Make sure to buy the sling and fore-stock accessories.


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