Affordable AR-15 Alternative?


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dmw16
December 2, 2008, 06:44 PM
I am looking for a rifle that can serve for home defense from animals (and hopefully never) intruders.

I have shot an AR-15 and really like the way it shoots, but I am wondering if there are more cost effective (ie cheaper) options out there?

Thanks in advance.

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1KPerDay
December 2, 2008, 06:57 PM
used ruger Mini-14
Saiga (or any number of semi-auto AK-47 variants)
M1 Carbine
Enfield Jungle Carbine

Or get a shotgun... ;)

dispatch55126
December 2, 2008, 07:08 PM
-SKS

WardenWolf
December 2, 2008, 07:09 PM
Saiga .223. Very stable when firing, very reliable. Lots of fun.

RyanM
December 2, 2008, 07:11 PM
Kel-Tec SU-16 series rifles take the same magazines.

gotime242
December 2, 2008, 07:15 PM
Yep, +1 on that saiga. I had one in .308, but i think the .223 would be a great gun too. Super reliable, actually way more so than the ar15 i have right now :(

jmr40
December 2, 2008, 07:18 PM
Laugh if you want, but if I could not legally own an AR I would use a properly set up Marlin 30-30.

Justin
December 2, 2008, 07:19 PM
You might consider an Armalite AR-180B (http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=180B&Category=0406c9ff-539d-4b4c-ae1f-d045b91324c3%20&ret_url=Categories2.aspx?Category=0406c9ff-539d-4b4c-ae1f-d045b91324c3)

The cost is somewhat lower than an AR15 (MSRP is listed on the website, but retail is somewhat less), the rifle is chambered in .223 and takes STANAG magazines.

WardenWolf
December 2, 2008, 07:19 PM
Since purchasing my Saiga, I've put probably 120 rounds through it. I've yet to see it jam or have any malfunction, either with the factory magazine or the aftermarket Surefire magazine. All I did to it after receiving it was open it up, wipe up packing grease, and lightly oil it. Out of the box, perfect reliability.

Crunker1337
December 2, 2008, 07:25 PM
Saiga, I think, is your best bet. Fires the 5.56mm round, and you can adapt it to use STANAG magazines (IIRC, anyway) and it's reliable due to its Kalashnikov operation. I'm sure that you'll be able to shoot it with decent grouping if you put some glass on it, too.

WardenWolf
December 2, 2008, 07:28 PM
The Saiga family in general averages about 2 MOA.

taliv
December 2, 2008, 07:53 PM
affordable defense against animals? i like my rossi/puma levergun

bang_bang
December 2, 2008, 07:56 PM
I would love to get a hold of one of the Kel-Tec rifles. Sadly, these fall into the current muck of hard to find firearms.

Seven High
December 2, 2008, 08:00 PM
dmw16: Have you considered building your own AR 15 from parts? Its not difficult to do. There are instruction books avaliable.

RyanM
December 2, 2008, 08:06 PM
dmw16: Have you considered building your own AR 15 from parts? Its not difficult to do. There are instruction books avaliable.

That's kind of like reloading. You don't actually save money!

But, for the price of a turnkey rifle, I've gotten the same rifle, with a better bolt carrier group, better charging handle, better buffer, tac sling, a KAC RAS, and 12 Pmags.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 2, 2008, 08:21 PM
Yes there are much much cheaper alternatives in fast cycling rifles which are either as effective and actually more effective, including:

-Lever action rifle in .30-30 Win
-Lever action rifle in .357 mag, .44 mag, or .45 colt
-Shotgun (pump or semi) in 12 or 20 ga loaded with slugs or buckshot (this option is the most defensive bang for your buck, bar none)
-SKS (7.62x39mm)
-Saiga semi-auto in 5.56x45, 7.62x39, or 5.45x39
-M1 Carbine clone (Plainfield, Universal, etc.) in .30 carbine

and quite a few others.

nalioth
December 2, 2008, 08:25 PM
You might consider an Armalite AR-180B (http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=180B&Category=0406c9ff-539d-4b4c-ae1f-d045b91324c3%20&ret_url=Categories2.aspx?Category=0406c9ff-539d-4b4c-ae1f-d045b91324c3)

The cost is somewhat lower than an AR15 (MSRP is listed on the website, but retail is somewhat less), the rifle is chambered in .223 and takes STANAG magazines.. . . just stay away from the Vulcan/Hesse offerings of this name.

Hoppy590
December 2, 2008, 08:27 PM
That's kind of like reloading. You don't actually save money!

um your doing it VERY VERY wrong then.

you sure your reloading/building and not like. eating the pieces or something?

RyanM
December 2, 2008, 08:31 PM
you sure your reloading/building and not like. eating the pieces or something?

I just explained it. Try reading.

$1,200 would have gotten me a plain rifle with a single aluminum GI mag, if I'd bought one off the rack.

Instead, $1,200 got me a rifle with way better internals, a Knight's Armament RAS, and 12 mags, because I put it together myself.

Try asking reloaders how much they actually save per year.

99% of the time, it's $0. You still spend $X on ammo, you just get more for that amount. Geeze, does anyone buy a .22 conversion so they can shoot the same 30 shots per range session, for 75 cents instead of $10? Or do they get one so they can shoot 400 rounds in a $10 range session instead?

I'm sure your wife tells you that getting more for your money is "saving" money, even when the same amount is spent. But 2 pairs of shoes for $300 instead of 1 pair for $300 really isn't saving money.

Ratshooter
December 2, 2008, 08:34 PM
The new 580 series of Mini-14s are good. Also the Remington 7615 Patrol Carbine that takes AR mags.

Lever action 357 and 44 mag carbines work well as allready mentioned.

Hoppy590
December 2, 2008, 09:13 PM
I just explained it. Try reading.

im supposed to look into the future and read a post you make 4 minutes after me?

heres an idea, drop the attitude.

Instead, $1,200 got me a rifle with way better internals, a Knight's Armament RAS, and 12 mags, because I put it together myself.

as far as i can tell. you are getting a better quality to dollar ratio ( AKA "Value") id consider that "saving money" vs purchasing a comparable model.

i don't think its a stretch for one to assume we would be discussing two comparable models of rifles.

But 2 pairs of shoes for $300 instead of 1 pair for $300 really isn't saving money.
if the 2 pairs of shoes are comparable. yes yes it is.

you can just as easily only buy 1 pair of shoes for 150 or in this case build a good rifle for 800$ thats on par with a 1k factory rifle

Paladin_Hammer
December 2, 2008, 09:35 PM
If money is the issue, Saiga. Usually, they can be had for under $350 dollars. If accuracy and money is the issue, I've heard of something called a "N.E.F." rifle, its bolt-action, and I heard it doesn't have a magazine (single-shot), but apparently its cheap and accurate.

jpwilly
December 2, 2008, 09:48 PM
$100 for a Mosin Nagant M44.

$150 for a Nagant Pistol and you'll have your bases covered pretty cheaply!

greyling22
December 2, 2008, 10:31 PM
you might try a bushmaster carbon 15. they're a little cheaper.

but a 12 gauge will do a better job on home defense. they can be had for 250 or much less.

pgeleven
December 2, 2008, 10:34 PM
WASR-10

but IMHO, you may as well try to pick up an AR while you can, they dont look to be getting any cheaper.

Texasred
December 2, 2008, 10:48 PM
If you plan to get an AR down the road, go ahead and get it now. Don't try to make a Mini-14 into a tack driver, you'll spend way more money paying someone to do it for you. The Saigas are good ideas but you'll come to a faster deadend in modularity and creativity. Personally the coolest pick would be a M1 Carbine. Very PC image and great history and ergonomics.

dmw16
December 2, 2008, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. Seems like I have lots of answers to sort thru and research to do.

One comment that seemed like one worth considering would be to get a shotgun instead. Might have to consider that too.

gotime242
December 2, 2008, 11:12 PM
If i was really strapped and wanted a decent HD gun (if i didnt choose a shotgun first) i would probably look at a Hi-Point Carbine 9mm, with the ATI stock. They are actually very good guns (the pistols are crap) and a lot of people love them. Get all set with the cool stock for less than 300 bucks.

http://world.guns.ru/civil/hi-point995-3.jpg

RyanM
December 2, 2008, 11:17 PM
im supposed to look into the future and read a post you make 4 minutes after me?

It was explained in my first post. For the cost of a turnkey (i.e., complete, off-the-shelf) rifle, I bought the exact same thing (same brand upper and lower) plus a ton of accessories.

But, for the price of a turnkey rifle, I've gotten the same rifle, with a better bolt carrier group, better charging handle, better buffer, tac sling, a KAC RAS, and 12 Pmags.

Maybe I misread the tone of your post, but come on, the "reloading doesn't save any actual money" line is thrown around on a daily basis on the reloading forum. It makes your money go further, but very few people actually spend less.

And the general wisdom with ARs is that the same thing holds true more often than not. Especially since with some dealers, like CMMG, you can swap parts around or leave some off if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

Also, most of the "kit" deals really aren't deals if you ask me. It's about $660 with shipping and transfer fees for a Del-Ton stripped lower and a kit with a chrome bore. And you end up with the equivalent of a rifle Del-Ton sells for something like $790 all told. A used Del-ton... well, if it were 6 months ago, you could find a like new one for just about $660 with all the fees, if you were patient and lucky.

About the only way to really save a good amount of money there is to buy as many parts as you can used, and put together the upper yourself too. That can save you a good $300-400 instead of $100-$150, but you end up needing a lot of fancy tools, which kick the savings back down to $100-$150, unless you build more rifles in the future.

I pretty much only managed to put my rifle together so cheaply due to being lucky, and snagging some great deals before others could. If I hadn't been in the right place at the right time so often, it probably wouldn't have been worth the 2 months it's taken just to order everything, versus buying a rifle off the shelf.

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