Compact Rifle Requirements


Bartholomew Roberts
August 7, 2007, 10:35 PM
OK, what rifles meet the following criteria:

Overall Length (with stock folded or collapsed): less than 23", ideally 20"
Semi-automatic, detachable magazine
Effective on 20"x20" targets out to 300m, ideally 500m
Good penetration of intermediate barriers using ball ammo (glass, sheet steel)

Do any rifles meet those criteria?

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Evil Monkey
August 7, 2007, 10:51 PM
I know that most subcarbines like the aksu or hk53 use a 8-10" barrel and with stock extended, generally are around 30" long. With stocks folded, assuming there's an average ten inch decrease in length, they maybe around 20-23" in length.

It seems like they all fit the criteria, however, 300m-500m effective ranges maybe unrealistic. I'm sure you'd be able to hit targets out that far but terminal ballistics will suffer in comparison to 16"+ barrels. It all depends on the load you're using.

Barrier penetration, I don't know. Someone might want to tell me about that.

August 7, 2007, 10:51 PM
Maybe something like can SBR it with a collapsable stock

August 7, 2007, 10:51 PM
A Yugo M92 SBR?

Evil Monkey
August 7, 2007, 10:54 PM
A yugo m92's 7.62mm trajectory might be a problem from a 10" barrel shooting beyond 200meters. We already know that the 7.62x39 has serious drop at 300meters from a 16" barrel in comparison to a 223. A 10" ain't helping. The round will be deadly, but what's the use if you can't hit the target?

August 7, 2007, 10:59 PM
Kel-Tec SU-16C?

It isn't really a military rifle though.

August 8, 2007, 12:17 PM
that's a tough one, bart

closest i can get is a PS90. overall length (after SBRing) is 20", but max effective range is listed as 200m. some rounds are pretty well known for penetration

Redneck with a 40
August 8, 2007, 12:55 PM
I think 300 meters is an unrealistic expectation from a carbine sized rifle. Out to 100 yards, I think the "30 Carbine" is a dandy, they are very compact and light, packs plenty of punch out to 100 yards, and they use 15 rd magazines.:D

August 8, 2007, 02:07 PM
With a folding stock AK you get to about 26" folded. IIRC, a 16" M-4 broken down is about the same. One other thing I have seen is some manufacturers are building AR pistols with long buffer tubes that are coated in foam. Although it is not technically a stock, it doesn't take much imagination to see that you could brace it against your shoulder and get a cheek weld on it. Broken down or possibly not you should definitely be able to at least meet your size requirements.
As for the accuracy needs...
But I do know a guy who can consistently do amazing things with a 1911. He has hit cans of shaving cream at 150 yards.
I don't think it is impossible.

August 8, 2007, 03:13 PM
Federal law requires any rifle to have a barrel length of not less than 16 inches and an overall length of 26 inches. Otherwise it is restricted under the NFA - class 3.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 8, 2007, 07:52 PM
The NFA requirement is with the stock in the extended position IIRC. In any case, NFA weapons are legal here, so that isn't a problem.

One rifle I had in mind was the DSA Compact FAL with 11" barrel. According to an article by David Fortier, the 147gr 7.62x51 Radway Green leaves at about 2497fps from the 11" barrel. Compare that to 2300fps from a 16" AK for 123gr 7.62x39. The OAL of the rifle is 22" folded.

As for as 300m being unrealistic, I disagree. The 10.5" AR will deliver hits at 300m with no problem. I am less concerned about whether the terminal performance is ideal at that range; but I do want to be able to make good hits on the upper half of an IDPA target at that range.

The PS90 also meets a lot of the criteria if you use the SS190; but I am a bit skeptical of the ability of a small, high-velocity round to get good penetration, especially if you cannot use SS190.

Deer Hunter
August 8, 2007, 07:58 PM
The only thing I can think of is a pistol-rifle of some sort. Like AR-15 pistols, AK pistols, or Keltec's pistol .223 carbine.

Evil Monkey
August 8, 2007, 09:30 PM
11" seems awfully short for a 308! What you plan on using it for anyway? Is it for CQB, security, VIP, etc.?

You mentioned an IDPA target, is it for competition?

Zeke Menuar
August 8, 2007, 10:57 PM
AR15 6.5 Grendel?

Big bag of cash not included.


Heavy Metal Hero
August 8, 2007, 11:01 PM
I would almost assume this has to be a bullpup rifle of some sort. What about the new Kel-Tec .308 rifle?

August 8, 2007, 11:12 PM
If you can bump your max overall length to 30" a Bushmaster M17S would fit the bill.

August 9, 2007, 12:24 PM
Folding stock AK in 7.62x39mm, 16" barrel, 20-round mag, with Kobra or red dot comes pretty close. A 1x optic makes a decent AK a 300-yard carbine, IMHO, but 500 yards is way out of its league.

The same gun in .223 might have acceptable accuracy out a bit further, but I'm not sure about 500.

August 9, 2007, 12:34 PM
people are mentioning AKs. Maybe you could try a saiga in 308 from Tromix?

August 9, 2007, 01:21 PM
HK53 or HK51?

Something like this with a collapsible stock...

Bartholomew Roberts
August 9, 2007, 01:31 PM
The concept is a rifle that can be worn across the chest via a two-point sling by the driver of a vehicle. The rifle needs to be short enough that the driver can bring it into action quickly or dismount quickly. Since the concept is for use around vehicles; sufficient barrier penetration to deal with other vehicles also makes sense.

30 inches is definitely too long for that requirement and I believe 23 is probably the maximum length where that is practical for a driver. Not sure what the OAL of a folding stock AK is; but I think a non-NFA barrel would be a no go. A shorter barrel might work but I would like to keep velocity above 2200fps.

It looks like the various short .308 options are the way to go. I like the looks of the Tromix Saiga. What barrel length is that?

August 9, 2007, 02:52 PM
Maybe a shorty (11.5) AR in 6.8 SPC? Should have better barrier penetration than 5.56 and the platform is already known among most operator types.

Zak Smith would know a lot about these.

August 9, 2007, 03:01 PM
A krinkov wouldn't be a bad idea...

walking arsenal
August 9, 2007, 03:34 PM
I had an AR-15 pistol for a while. It was fun but very loud. Keep noise levels in consideration with your choices.

If it werent for the range you want i'd suggest one of the tromix SBS shotguns.

Nice and compact. But enough punch.

August 9, 2007, 03:53 PM
The concept is a rifle that can be worn across the chest via a two-point sling by the driver of a vehicle.

i drove a hmmwv in iraq, and can say that it wouldnt work for me in one of those. there is barely enough room behind the wheel with me and my armor with the seat as far back as it will go. tried wearing a low profile chest rig one time, bad idea if youre driving. personally i think youre trying too hard to solve this problem. if your driver has a pistol on him somewhere and a rifle with him he should be alright. just gotta get him to remember to take the rifle with him when he bails

August 9, 2007, 04:03 PM
the short saiga has an 8 inch barrel I think.

Zak Smith
August 9, 2007, 04:16 PM
I think any of the 5.56-sized assault rifles that have folding stocks (the M4 cannot) should meet the overall length requirement when SBR'd. Terminal effectiveness can be addressed by ammo or caliber choice.

August 9, 2007, 04:30 PM
IMHO, Keltec RFB is very close to that size. With 18" carbine, the lenght is 26".

May be you can ask them to chop off the barrel a bit more. 16" will be at 24" total length?


Bartholomew Roberts
August 11, 2007, 10:47 AM
Any SBR .308 users of the Saiga, H&K or FAL want to chime in on their experiences with the platform?

August 11, 2007, 11:36 AM
The up-coming Keltec RFB is the only thing I can think of which is available to us here in the US (or will be soon) that might fit the requirements. The Chinese and various other Asian countries have some interesting bullpup concepts which would likely also work, but they're not available to us at all (and use hokey calibers).

Failing that, maybe a custom M1 carbine with a .30 carbine wildcat of some sort in a bullpup stock (travor). I don't know what kind of pressures the action can withstand, though, so...

August 11, 2007, 11:50 AM
hey bart, instead of getting a smaller gun, why don't you get a bigger truck? :)

August 11, 2007, 12:26 PM
Somewhere in my crates of photos, I have some of me with my long sold HK51S. It was, (and still is in someone else's collection), an awesome weapon. I needed the money to fund an extended stay in Africa and the deal was too good to pass up, so off it went. I remember spending $500.00 on the HK91 and had the conversion done for around the same dough. God I miss the 80's...

Flemming converted mine to a 12.5" with the wide MP5 front end. I understand 8" models were available, but I can't imagine it really. The 51S was a handfull - especially in full auto, but it was quite a hoot to shoot. 300-yard shots in SA were no trouble at all - center mass all day. Things got much more loose in FA, but I do remember making hits from a benchrest out to 500 on a full sized silhouette, using the then new fangled Aimpoint, (I still have that around here somewhere). I had a collapsible and a fixed stock and found the fixed did not have the "cool factor" but was much more realistic for accurate fire, (at least for me).

Standing next to this gun would feel like the air was being sucked from your body and the muzzle flash completely overwhelmed the flash suppresor. Even in daylight, muzzle flash was stunning - at dusk or at night it was surreal. I had a friend who had his hand slide off the forend during a mag dump - how he did not shoot his hand was beyond me, but his hand went forward of the muzzle, missing his digits, but tearing up his hand with burns an concussion - he wasn't right for weeks... ;) I can't fathom shooting this gun from inside a vehicle.... :eek:

I can't see it being a practical combat weapon, but hey - what do I know?

Bartholomew Roberts
August 11, 2007, 02:20 PM
hey bart, instead of getting a smaller gun, why don't you get a bigger truck?

I can barely afford the gas for the truck I have now ;)

Standing next to this gun would feel like the air was being sucked from your body and the muzzle flash completely overwhelmed the flash suppresor. Even in daylight, muzzle flash was stunning - at dusk or at night it was surreal.

I actually kind of like that effect. Since the role I was thinking of would make this mostly a reactive/defensive weapon with a little extra bite, I definitely want people on the receiving end to feel like Thor's hammer is coming at them.

However, I agree that full auto is probably too much. I was thinking more along the lines of a semi-auto SBR.

August 11, 2007, 03:42 PM
Since the driver is there to drive, I would think anything beyond a pistol would be part of the "bail out kit".

Couple folks who discussed that subject with me said anything bigger than a small pistol caliber SMG just got in the way.

When I had a need for a long gun I was alone in the vehicle, so it went into the passenger footwell where I could reach it if needed. Not great in an accident though, which is why I would recommend some sort of gun rack if available.

Getting in and out of vehicles in full gear is a pain in the butt, and I do not know how guys manage it in full armor and helmets... Whole lot of practice and a fair amount of force I guess.

August 11, 2007, 03:46 PM
However, I agree that full auto is probably too much. I was thinking more along the lines of a semi-auto SBR.

Agreed. It was very useable in SA. I'm not sure if Vector makes one, (I think they make a 33), but with a JLD PTR and a trip to Azex, ORF or another builder, (not sure if Flemming is still at it), it can be done for a decent price, (by today's standards). I can't remember the name, but there's builder from Virgina, (I think) that can take a 91, or a PTR and convert it to a 51S length HK 21...Now that would be something. A belt fed SMG length 7.62x51. I handled one at a gun show and was truly amazed....

August 11, 2007, 04:28 PM
Magpul PDR

August 11, 2007, 04:36 PM
Get a SBR AR-10, you are likely going to look for a 12-14in long barrel.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 11, 2007, 04:43 PM
I like the AR series; but the problem with all of the AR variants is that the buffer tube means that the stock cannot fold and so they can never be as short as a folder. A 12" AR10 would be too long for what I have in mind.

An AR pistol works fine lengthwise (as does an AK pistol); but doesn't have a stock - which limits its effective range to about 50-100m.

August 11, 2007, 04:57 PM
Have you checked out the Kel-Tec PLR-16/SU-16D?

Get a PLR-16, submit Form 1, & add SU-16D stock once you are approved or submit Form 4 & get a SU-16D direct.

Vector Arms V-51 SBR or V-53 SBR with collapsable stock might fit your criteria.

August 11, 2007, 05:06 PM
If you're looking for a weapon, a real weapon, which you intend the military to use, .308 is pretty much not an option.
If they're to adopt it, it will have to be 5.56, take AR magazine, and have at least a 14.5 inch barrel, to get the round up to useable velocity.
Olympic Arms makes an upper reciever that has the buffer tube across the top of the gun, rather than out the back.

It's not going to be useful strapped like that. It'll just be in the way.

Now if you're going to use it, for SHTF or whatever, I agree, get the SU16.

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