Help Me Choose a Tactical Rifle


November 2, 2007, 02:20 PM
In this day in age who knows what one may one day need a semi-auto tactical rifle for.....

But for now it will be for close range varmits, plinking, and in the right situation when the 870 wont do home defense....

So which would you guys choose and why.....I'll admit I dont really like the AR15 that much but am open for good conversation on it.....I feel about it like Sam Elliot did in "We Were Soldiers" feels like a plastic toy to me......I'll stick to my ole 45......

Anyway which would you guys recommend, I feel ammo cost has a significant factor here, what good is it if you cant have enough ammo to be effective with it.......

So I suppose the choices are: (if you can think of others feel free to mention them)

Ruger Mini14 or Mini30
M1 Carbine

So what do you all recommend and why? Do you have other choices I havent though of?

Thanks Guys

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November 2, 2007, 02:33 PM
I like the M1A on your list. My weapon of choice for my demographic region is an AR in .308 (DPMS LR-308). The 870 is my favorite thing for the home... makes a mess of things really fast. I don't like AK's and SKS's... long-range accuracy sucks, ammo is affordable though, and AK's are very reliable. Toss some 1.25 oz 3" magnum slugs in the 870 too... and put a 3/4" hole in anything.

It really depends on where you live, and what your needs are.

November 2, 2007, 02:34 PM
I vote for either a FN FAL or an StG44 :D

Hot brass
November 2, 2007, 02:36 PM
An SKS is a good gun. I have two. Not the best trigger, but it shoots very well. At the local gun range I can hit the 300 meter gong most times. Yes, ammo is cheep.

November 2, 2007, 02:38 PM
M1A would come in first for my strategic rifle. .308 has good range and is hard hitting. Accurate too.

AR in .223 would be next. Accurate, and you can carry a little more ammo. Range is good, but not in the same class as the .308. At least for impact energy. And let's face it, how many mall ninjas are really going to be popping zombies at 600 yards?


AR with a .308 upper. I'd like to have one of those myself, and I don't consider myself tactical. Well, I guess I'm old school tactical because I have the ammo pouches that come with a Mosin.

"Mosin Nagant - The ORIGINAL Tactical"

November 2, 2007, 02:46 PM
I live in southwest virginia......I dont consider myself tactical either but I have watched that show Jericho about the nuclear bomb attack on america and it made me think about how close people are that wouldnt be as well off in an emergency situation as my family would be......and just what people are willing to do to get what they need.

Dont want to sound paranoid but it is always better to be prepared than wait till you need it and wish you had it.

November 2, 2007, 02:51 PM
I vote for AR as well. I too was once like you and actually hated ARs, but I have come to really apreciate them now, and would carry it over just about any rifle for any reason (other than hunting). If not an AR, I'd pick an AK or Mini14...

November 2, 2007, 02:58 PM
M1A Scout....

November 2, 2007, 03:01 PM
16" Saiga .308.

Do the conversion yourself at home. Now you've got at AK chambered in .308 that you can throw all the tacticool goodies you want on it... and you still payed less than $450 total.

Or, if you can find one... Saiga 12. Convert it yourself. Semi-auto AK based 12 gauge shotgun that eats slugs and 00 all day. Who doesn't want one?

November 2, 2007, 03:06 PM
all above choices are fine...

I might recommend Savage Tactical .308 Bolt gun for longer range...

...and a CAR-15 in .223 for closer work

November 2, 2007, 05:02 PM
M1A. Good range, good reliability. The rifle is a little more than some of those others you have listed, but it can be used for everything out to 500 yards easy and with alot of practice further than that.

November 2, 2007, 05:09 PM
All of the above are great rifles...I own the AK, AR's, and SKS's and my father owns the M1 Carbine, M1, and M1A. I've got plenty of time with them all. The AR-15 is the obvious choice for Varmints, plinking, tactical etc etc! You can add a wood veneer to the stock if it will make you more happy to accept it. Need more power? Get the AR-10 308 from DPMS.

November 2, 2007, 05:13 PM
For a "dommsday" rifle I would stick with a .223 or a .308 as those are standard military rounds and therefor there is a lot of it here in the US.

Check out the FAL if you want .308.

November 2, 2007, 05:28 PM
go with the M1A or the AR-15.

November 2, 2007, 05:44 PM
Since you seem like a traditionalist (going by the list above and your comments about the AR-15) I'd say get an SKS if you're dirt poor or get a Springfield M1A if you're okay financially.

An SKS is a very good gun for the money and it's one of todays best bargains. They're readily available just about everywhere, they're very inexpensive, parts and ammo for the SKS is cheap and readily available ($159 per thousand rounds, you just can't beat it) they're very reliable and next to an AK they're practically a target rifle. The only area that they suffer in a little is that most of them don't have easily detachable mags so with most of them it's easier to use stripper clips. Even in that area (detachable mags) Tapco has come out with a 20 round mag that works well, so even that drawback isn't there for a large part unless you just don't want to shell out the extra money for mags. Even if you don't want to buy extra mags 10 rounds of 7.62X39 will solve most of your problems and the stripper clips really aren't THAT slow to use. The Chinese and the Yugo SKS's are the most available with Russian and Romanian coming in third and fourth. There's nothing wrong with any of them.

Tapco 20 round mag.

The Springfield M1A while alot more than a SKS ($1000 to $1400 for the M1A vs. $125 to $250 for most SKS's) is almost as accurate as a bolt action (but not quite) and they're so reliable that it's almost boring. You really couldn't ask for a better battle rifle. The Boston Gun Bible by Ken Royce (which is a really good book on the subject of combat arms available to the American public that you might want to consider buying) gave them the best review after shooting all the various .308 battle rifles side by side. I'd have to agree with him.

To be sure there are other .308 rifles out there that are just as accurate and just as reliable (FAL or the H&K 91), but you seem a little more like me in that you like traditional style rifles that provide alot for the money. .308 ammo has gone up quite a bit, but there's still .308 ammo out there, you just have to find it (surplus ammo), use hunting ammo (that's a little more expensive) or start reloading.

I've come to tolerate plastic (some call it polymer, but to me it'll always be plastic) in recent years, but I prefer a nice piece of wood and I think that it looks and feels alot better too. Those would be the two that I'd pick out of the list above anyway.

November 2, 2007, 06:04 PM
I would vote for the M1A on your list. Personally, any of the .30CAL MBR's.(G3, FAL, M1A, M1)

.308 is not as cheap as it was, but is still out there.

I did mention the M1. It has a few drawbacks, BUT... surplus .30-06 is still relatively cheap.

The AK-47 also speaks for itself. In truth it is a carbine, and max effective range is @250m.

Whatever you buy, do it now while mags and ammo are available.

November 2, 2007, 06:45 PM
we all need to stock up on mags and ammo.

November 2, 2007, 06:49 PM
A lot depends on the range you want to be effective at and or how much money you want to spend.

The M1A has the best trigger and accuracy of the bunch. But the full size rifle can be unwieldy in the woods. My, present, FAL scout with a 18" bbl is very handy and fun to shoot. The price of either will top the Grand mark and the ammo is hitting the 60 cent a round mark.

I like the AK clones rifles. The price range from cheap to ouch! depending on what you want. People talk about the AK's being inaccurate. I can constantly hit a milk jug at the ranges it was designed for. Though the price has gone up x39 ammo is haft the price of 308, and still have enough punch to take care of deer sizes animals.

The SKS is a fun rifle to shoot, and you get a lot for your money. I very seldom fine people that don't like them. But if you are going to buy one with the intentions of changing everything to make it more like an AK just buy the AK. You'll save money.

Bottom line, hold and shoulder each and get the one that makes you happy!!:D

Prince Yamato
November 2, 2007, 06:51 PM
I'd get an AK-47. Go for a Lancaster, they're beautiful. The AK will ALWAYS go bang when you pull the trigger. I've personally NEVER been disappointed by mine.

November 2, 2007, 06:57 PM
Ar in .308. Great handling, and considerably easy shooting even though it IS .308. I like the M1A/Scout too, but the AR just feels better with the pistol grip. I have a flattop Armalite with a 1.5-6 scope on it that I really like. 5.56 ARs are good too, but the .308 in the same package is sweet!

Snapping Twig
November 2, 2007, 07:19 PM
I made this choice recently - Mini 30.

Short, light, powerful and effective to 150 yards.

November 2, 2007, 07:32 PM
I've had a thing for the .30 cal round so I've gone through an AK, AR-10 and now have a FAL that I plan to keep until the grave. Its just what I want and has been incredibly reliable, as long as you don't mind paying a little more for ammo.

November 2, 2007, 07:52 PM
I'm always reminded of what Jeff Cooper called his "impolite question".

What's it for?

Nail down exactly the job you want to do, find your budget, and you'll have a much easier time deciding. Start by picking a cartridge, then pick the rifle built around that cartridge that meets your other requirements.

Just for example, I live in an urban environment with lots of block walls and cars. Unobstructed ranges are often short, but can also open up to a mile or more along major arteries. I think 7.62mm NATO offers the best combination of cover-punching, range, and availability in that type of environment. After that, I like good iron sights, a good trigger, and scout optics. I want a firearm with proven reliability, and a decent aftermarket. So for me, it's the M1A scout.

And I think it's a pretty good all-around rifle no matter where you live, but there are better options for other purposes, and I've bought other guns for those purposes. Figure out what you need a rifle for, and the rifle will choose itself.

November 2, 2007, 07:53 PM
If my neighborhood turned into a war zone the gun I would grab first is my SLR-95. I have a Garand, a M1A, a 12-gauge 870 and pistols. Unless my significant others decided they needed the SLR, where I'd probably resort to my M1A, the SLR would greatly fit that niche.
For that type situation, a Mini-14/30 or SKS would also be cost-effective options I'd seriously consider.
When the SHTF, you want to shoot and scoot, heavy guns hinder that ability.

November 3, 2007, 05:24 PM
I feel about it like Sam Elliot did in "We Were Soldiers" feels like a plastic toy to me......I'll stick to my ole 45......

Typical Hollywood BS. As if a handgun is anything near as effective as even the weaker rifle rounds out there.

AR15's rock. :evil:

Ron Brooks
November 3, 2007, 09:14 PM
If you are just looking for something for "just in case" and not for TEOTWAWKI scenerios for a different sort of suggestion, how about a good old 30-30. Think about it, ballistics are equivalent to a 7.62X39. One of the really nice things about them is that a lever action 30-30 lacks any social stigma, except of course it is a gun. :D I mean, come on, everyone's grandpa has one so they aren't evil.

Oh well, think about it. Just thought I would throw it out.

November 3, 2007, 09:50 PM
As said, take a second look at the M-1 Garand. The CMP has them and ammo that is a real steal. Plus, it travels well and is 50 state / Canada legal.
You get suprisingly fast with the 8 rd clips, and unlike mags, they are cheap enough to be expendable if need be. There is a nice scout rail set up for the Garand that will allow modern optics--but the iron sights on the thing are still the gold standard in any event. Not for everyone but worth a look if you're thinking along the lines of a .30 MBR.

November 3, 2007, 10:52 PM
AR15 in 6.5 Grendel. You get all the benefits of an .223/5.56 AR platform, with ballistics that pretty much match .308/7.62 ;)

November 3, 2007, 11:30 PM
M1 Garand is my choice. Learn how to load the 8 round quick fast and you'll be able to compensate for the lower capacity versus the M1A.

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