Bang for My Buck In a Semi Auto


February 21, 2007, 10:06 AM
Im 22 and I start nursing school on monday. Ive always liked guns, but Ive only been really learning and some what active in shooting for the last year or so. I have to buy stuff for school and I may not be able to work beyond the first semister. I wont get my RN until December 2008 so no more fulltime paychecks until then.

That said Ive noticed a gap in my small collection. I have a sporterized 1903 that my dad picked up for me years ago for $50 it has its issues but it shoots straight. I have a Marlin 30-30 lever action that I shoot well. I dont have any semi-automatic rifles in anytype of military chambering. I think I should have one to take to the range and for general SHTF and "Homeland Defense" rifle.

I have a lot of needs (read wants) as far as firearms that should be filled. That said Im looking for something around $250. I cant afford to spend anymore than that anytime soon and if I could Id spend it on a new XD or stash it away and work up the cash for a pretty good AK or an AR lower.

It seems that maybe SKS is the way to go? Some trigger springs and sights and I should have a decent carbine. I dont know much about whats out there for what kind of prices.

I need some help from those of you that know. What are my options? Do I have any options? This is my first foray into the world of rifles that I dont intend to use for hunting; please be gentle.

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February 21, 2007, 10:31 AM
SKS is a good start. Still relatively inexpensive (although not as inexpensive as in the past), and ammo isn't too bad (although not as inexpensive as in the past).

1 old 0311
February 21, 2007, 10:32 AM has basic WASR's for $279.00. Not the best looking AK made but they do work.

February 21, 2007, 10:33 AM
use the Springfield for reaching out (it was an MBR after all).
use the lever for mid / short range.
it's not the worst choice for a SHTF thing either, really. ammo is always around, can take some game, it's light & would seem somewhat packable, it's about as discreet a firearm you can get.
i'd say buy a 10/22 or other .22cal auto or bolt rifle to hone yourself on & have fun with CHEAPLY as you save up for other stuff.
my $.02

February 21, 2007, 10:34 AM
I have a marlin bolt action .22 and my father has his father's lever .22. Its possible Ill talk myself out of buying anything all together, but researching my options doesnt hurt and its a way to learn.

February 21, 2007, 10:41 AM
you can get a whole saiga for 250 to 275, and it will be rockin, and accurate.

High Planes Drifter
February 21, 2007, 10:46 AM
If you're strapped for cash in a bad way, then you really cant beat the WASR's for that price. If you can spare a bit more, building a kit AR is never a bad idea. I built mine for under 600.00. You can find lower recievers for around 120-130.00. Buy the lower reciever now, and when you get some more money saved up, get the upper reciever.

February 21, 2007, 11:02 AM
SKS ($150-200 for good one)---utterly reliable w/ relatively cheap ammo

Hi-Point carbine, cheap/fun to shoot ($165-185), 9mm (vs. .40) is cheaper to shoot. very reliable, with lifetime warranty

I have 2 SKSs and 1 9mm of the SKSs, and the Hi-Point botha have over 5000 rounds through them, with no problems.

February 21, 2007, 11:17 AM
Gotta say, stock SKS is a mighty fine rifle. And if you want a little higher end, or 5.56x45, you can go Saiga for just a little more money.

February 21, 2007, 01:17 PM
So it seems like SKS or Saiga are the way to go? Time to start reading.

February 21, 2007, 01:29 PM
SKS is probably the most "bang for the buck". I love mine.

February 21, 2007, 01:30 PM
SKS or Saiga

February 21, 2007, 01:33 PM
Saiga in .223, 7.62x39 or for the reach out and touch em the SAIGA 308. All in your price range and they have all got the left hand scope mounts installed so when you get a few more bucks you can pick up a good scope and mount for it also.

February 21, 2007, 02:03 PM
+1 for the SAIGA 308

February 21, 2007, 02:18 PM
Gotta agree with choosing an SKS as best bang for the buck. One note here though I always suggest that people replace their stock firing pin with one of the "sprung" ones from Murray's gunsmithing ( I consider them cheap insurance against "doubling" or a slam fire.

February 21, 2007, 06:05 PM
SKS or Saiga.

February 21, 2007, 06:13 PM
Yugo SKS for entry level 7.62x39mm rifle, get the "unissued", not the "shooter" grade.
WASR is a good rifle, but you may need the trigger kit to eliminate trigger "
slap", which is painful after a while.
How much can you spend? If not too much, get the SKS, and have fun with the ammo and range time you can pay for out of what you didn't spend...:cool:

February 21, 2007, 06:38 PM
The Saiga in any caliber is the best bang for the buck in autoloading rifles.

Although at $250+ it's likely twice the price of the SKS, step up to the Saiga. It's a well-made rifle, quite accurate and new.

February 22, 2007, 09:51 AM
Man Saigas sure are looking spiffy... Im thinking that may be the way to go. Im going to do some more reading, Im thinking there may be some Saiga questions yet to come.

B.D. Turner
February 22, 2007, 10:02 AM
I would stick with the Marlin 30-30. The Marlin will likely do everything you need done. I can think of many reasons to pick the Marlin over the SKS. After you graduate from school you can buy whatever you want a year of hard study will pass quickly.

February 22, 2007, 10:24 AM
Yeah this is true. But hey Ive already learned from this stuff. For instance I now know that 5.56 and .223 arent exactly the same. I didnt know that before hand. So at the very least Im going to keep researching even if I dont buy anything. :)

February 22, 2007, 10:44 AM
The 30.30 and 7.62x39 are nearly identical in ballistics, FWIW. Your Springfield is a very fine Rifle, if in good working shape, not to be taken lightly in the hands of someone who can shoot. 500 yard shots should be no problem, and at 300-500 yards, you loose little by having a bolt vs. a semi, and if you were to go with a carbine semi, you still would not gain over the Springfield at that range.

I would like to see you get a MBR, like the M1a or FAL, but the price tag doesn't work for you now.

So, (If I was you, and I ain't, and free advice is worth what you pay for it) I would also suggest that you either get more ammo for the two rifles that you have, and shoot them more OR a 10/22 with a bunch of ammo. You can pick up a 10/22 for @175-200 and a bunch of 22lr with what is left over. Consider the TechSights, then get yourself to an Appleseed shoot and learn to put lead on target out to 500 yards. You can learn the skills with the 10/22, and your Springfield will be very effective at that range. If you find one near you, and you want to go, PM me and I will pay for your fee;)

For Now, and for Free, contact your State Senator and tell him to oppose Bill 48, it is an "Assault Weapons" ban for Penn, and if you read it, they could include nearly any semi-auto or pump centerfire rifle or shotgun.

February 22, 2007, 11:15 AM
Yeah Ive been aware of the PA AWB bill. Ive also looked at the Appleseed shoots. Id love to go to one, but last time I looked they were all still a pretty good distance from me. Thanks though :)

February 22, 2007, 12:03 PM
Not sure what a homeland defense rifle is but a good semi-auto in a military cartridge that is often overlooked and under appreciated is the Remington Woodsmen 742 in 30-06. The ammo can be had cheap in bulk straight from CMP delivered to your door. Good solid made in America gun and ammo. Ammo can be had literally everywhere ammo is sold and I have yet to see a shortage of 30-06, unlike 7.62 which is come and go.

I see them in pawn shops everywhere in decent shootable condition for $250-300. Magazine fed it looks like and is a hunting rifle. It is not only twice as powerful but way more accurate than any sks or ak you will find on the shelf in 7.62 X 39. Rugged and reliable it does have some drawbacks but IMHO is better in many ways than the ak and sks.

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