What else besides AK/AR/SKS/Mini?


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Jim PHL
December 22, 2008, 09:34 AM
I am not a "Rifle guy", but am looking into possible first purchase. (Hi, my name is Jim and I'm a panic buyer!) It seems the basic search/research always leads people towards one of the above. What others aside from the above, do any of you recommend with the following guidelines?:
1) Semi-auto
2) Magazine fed. (I am ok with stripper clip/internal mag as in SKS)
3) Caliber 7.62x39 or .223 (Don't really see a need or desire for full power [x54 or '06 or Mauser] and like the mass availability of these two as well.)
4) Price is a strong consideration.
5) Commonality of parts, both stock and aftermarket is also a consideration. (I like the idea of a folding stock-believe it or not more for storage/transport convenience than EBR status!)

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ny32182
December 22, 2008, 09:56 AM
The rifles that by far and away best meet that set of criteria are the AR and AK (emphasis on AK if price is a strong consideration), so that is probably why the research leads to those platforms. :)

kcmarine
December 22, 2008, 10:05 AM
Hm... Kel-Tecs are a nice rifle... though I'm not sure what others here think of them.

Maverick223
December 22, 2008, 10:11 AM
however not really my choice of weapons. I would start with caliber first...if you want to use it for deer hunting you need the 7.62, if varmit hunting or just plinking the 5.56 (or 5.45x39) is far superior. Now if you decide you want the utmost reliablity go with the AK or Mini. Both of these are available in large and small caliber. The AK in 7.62 or 5.45 (although harder to find and at greater expense), and the Mini in 7.62 and .223. If you decide you want greater accuracy and a more refined feel to the rifle, go with the AR. All of these guns seem to fit the bill, but the Mini 14/30 has less accessories available than the others.:D

woodfiend
December 22, 2008, 10:17 AM
Now if you decide you want the utmost reliablity go with the AK or Mini.

Ummm. I hardly believe that a Mini 14 is more reliable than an AR. My Bushmaster has NEVER jammed, providing I use good magazines. Mini 14's use magazines that are hard to find, expensive, and many of the aftermarket ones are crappy. Compared to the AR, the Mini 14 is NOT a fighting rifle, IMOP. They weren't meant to be. Sure, they can be, any firearm CAN be, but they aren't DESIGNED to.

Maverick223
December 22, 2008, 10:22 AM
Saw your other post, and seeing as you will not be firing the rifle much, I would probably go with the AK, SKS, or even a nice .22lr. I was looking into a GSG-5 for myself, and I think it may fit the bill for you as well; however it is not all that cheap at about $600:banghead: for a .22. It does have some good aspects though, as it is a MPfake you can get a collapsable stock and they look cool. :eek:

black_powder_Rob
December 22, 2008, 10:24 AM
I love my mini and I know it can be altered to your needs, just I am pretty sure you could get an sks for cheaper, but i have not shopped prices for the sks since way before the election. Good luck with your selction.

Maverick223
December 22, 2008, 10:28 AM
From my experience minis are very reliable with factory mags, but I concede that many of the aftermarket mags are crappy. I find this especially true for ARs, by Bushmaster will jam every time with some mags, and has 100% reliability with others, namely Magpuls and Labelle. What I stated was a generality, ARs are a bit more picky than other weapons, I think we can agree that AKs certainly are not.

Jim PHL
December 22, 2008, 11:42 AM
Maverick- good condition SKS' can be had around here for $200-$225.

I couldn't bring myself to spend $600 for a .22lr. A GSG-5 might even be worth the price but for my purposes, if I chose the .22lr there are lots of better choices. I'd sooner spend the same money on two 10/22's or two SKS' and a shipload of ammo and accessories.

briansmithwins
December 22, 2008, 11:54 AM
If you eliminate the AR and the AK you eliminate the 2 rifles (not counting 7.62 NATO) that have the longest track record and most copies produced.

There is a reason the AR has been made my the millions and the AK by the 10s of millions: They work and they are reliable. I'd love to have a FN SCAR, but I'm waiting for them to build a few million to get the bugs worked out first...

The AR and AKs popularity also mean that magazines and spare parts are easy to find. BSW

alvincullumyork
December 22, 2008, 12:30 PM
Sigg 556
Robinson XCR

Maverick223
December 22, 2008, 12:43 PM
"I couldn't bring myself to spend $600 for a .22lr."

Agreed, that is why I have three .22lr, none of them a GSG-5...but I have looked into them because they look like a pretty fun plinker, for 50% off i'd grab one :rolleyes:

Jguy101
December 22, 2008, 12:49 PM
Saiga.

Golden Hound
December 22, 2008, 12:53 PM
Uh there's always the AR-180. Proven record of service in Northern Ireland. Fairly cheap, rugged design, good reliability. It meets all your criteria. I have a friend who has one and swears by it.

Other than that, all I can think of is the SIG 510-3 prototype in 7.62x39. Good luck finding one - you better brush up on your Swiss and your detective skills. And you'll need, like, $86,000.

But it's SO COOL!!!!

http://world.guns.ru/assault/sig_sg510-3.jpg

RockyMtnTactical
December 22, 2008, 01:02 PM
Why are you avoiding AK's, AR's, and SKS's??

nwilliams
December 22, 2008, 01:15 PM
I would look at the Sig 556 maybe, I really like mine. Although I don't know if it meets all your criteria.

As for the GSG-5 I love mine, I paid $525 for mine and it was worth every penny, I've been considering also buying the GSG-5PK at some point.

Maverick223
December 22, 2008, 01:49 PM
Funny that you mention that firearm, I kinda have one, just wrapped in aluminum and a bullpup configuration. The M17 (better known as the Bushmaster Bullpup) is simply the guts of a AR180 put in a al. reciever with a heavier barrel. I love mine, you may want to research a M17 if and only if...
1. you like the handling of a bullpup configuration
2. can live with a "decent" trigger (even with work its never going to be great)
3. you DO NOT shoot lefty (insert smiley eating brass here)
4. you are OK with the magwell being under your armpit
If you don't mind the above, this may be the gun for you. In return you get a unique firearm (vs. millions of AKs and ARs) that is 100% reliable with good magazines (AR mags), very good reliability, and a relatively long (21.5") barrel for an overall short length (31.5"). I love mine, it my favorite gun in my collection.

ny32182
December 22, 2008, 02:42 PM
Sigg 556
Robinson XCR


If an AR is out of his budget, those are way out of his budget, and the parts aren't widely available either.

Gunfighter123
December 22, 2008, 05:07 PM
Not cheap but you owe it to yourself to check out the SA M1As.

Big Bill
December 22, 2008, 07:36 PM
Auto Ordnance M1 Carbine Walnut Wood Furniture CA Legal

http://www.impactguns.com/store/media/auto_aom110w_ca.jpg


Price: $749.99
Manufacturer: KAHR ARMS
Manufacturer Item #: AOM140W
Impact Item #: 602686313087
Available online, ships in 48 hrs.

AOM140, Walnut stock and handguard (shipped with 10 round surplus magazine)

The Auto-Ordnance M1 .30 Caliber carbine is produced in Kahr's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Worcester, MA. The Auto-Ordnance carbines are produced using newly manufactured parts on high precision computerized machinery.

The AOM140 features American walnut stock and handguard, parkerized receiver, flip style rear sight, flat bolt and a barrel band.

Markings include the following: Auto-Ordnance, Worcester, MA behind the rear sight; U.S. Carbine, Cal. 30 M1 on the receiver in front of the bolt and the serial number is stamped on the left side of the receiver.

http://www.impactguns.com/store/602686313087.html

doc540
December 22, 2008, 07:41 PM
I suggest you start with an SKS.

Once the infection takes hold and begins to spread to your wallet there will be no hope for you.

I was infected by a 1952 Russian
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/SKS/1951/000_0388-2.jpg

Feverishly did the folding stock thing
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/SKS/ATI%20Paratrooper/AtiSKS006-1.jpg

I'm now on life support and shopping for parts for my new AR
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/AR15/Bushmaster%20A2S/Bushmaster001-1.jpg

Don't ever say you weren't warned!;)

btw: if you take your time and shop you can build a folding stock SKS for less than $400, but mind your P's and Q's to keep it legal

Shooter88
December 22, 2008, 07:41 PM
The Vz. 58 is an interesting weapon. 7.62x39mm, milled receiver, usually slightly more accurate than your average stamped AK clone; you'll get a lot of "what kind of rifle is that?" at the range because they're not nearly as common or well known as the AR and AK.

FMJMIKE
December 22, 2008, 07:44 PM
CMP M1 Carbine.............:D
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/CMPROCKAA.jpg

doc540
December 22, 2008, 07:48 PM
dittos....:D

1965/$25
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/M1%20Carbine/carbine5-1.jpg

ServiceSoon
December 22, 2008, 09:17 PM
What about a FAL? I'm not a FAL guy and know nothing about them but there are a few people here who like them. They are considered an "assault weapon."

Scratchy
December 22, 2008, 09:32 PM
Shhhh don't tell anyone about the DR200

FightingWombat
December 22, 2008, 09:43 PM
I've always liked the AR-180B takes AR mags seems real nice has after-market for it. Also the SU-16 series.

woodfiend
December 22, 2008, 09:51 PM
What might you think of an AK-74 clone? They can be bought for cheaper than an AR, but the ammo is $139 for 1,080 rounds on Aimsurplus. Magazines are easy to find, and are cheap. Commonality of parts is also a plus, and with this you will have it. I've been wanting one of these for myself....:rolleyes:

Exposure
December 22, 2008, 10:08 PM
Orignially posted bywoodfiend-

Ummm. I hardly believe that a Mini 14 is more reliable than an AR. My Bushmaster has NEVER jammed, providing I use good magazines. Mini 14's use magazines that are hard to find, expensive, and many of the aftermarket ones are crappy. Compared to the AR, the Mini 14 is NOT a fighting rifle, IMOP. They weren't meant to be. Sure, they can be, any firearm CAN be, but they aren't DESIGNED to.




Uhhhhh...... If your Bushmaster has NEVER jammed then how do you know good magazines from bad ones? A fighting rifle should use any magazine you put into it shouldn't it?

Mini mags are hard to find? I don't think so, they may not be cheap but they can be found very easily.

The AR is designed to be a fighting rifle??? Try to disassemble the bolt on one when your fingers are nearly frozen and the only light available is coming from the moon. I am not saying the Mini is better is this regard but the AR has several small parts that can easily disappear when you are not sitting at the comfort of your kitchen table, and these are parts that Uncle Sam tells you to strip out in your basic field maintenance, ask me how I know this.

Now think of an AK or SKS in the same situation. They can pulled apart and cleaned with freakin gloves on. Drop an AR in the mud a few times and see if it still goes bang, now do the same with an AK.

Sorry but the AR and the Mini are compromises at best. And I am saying this as someone who owns both. But I will tell you straight out that the AR is NOT the be all and end all of military weapons. Is it superior to the Mini? In terms of accuracy yes, reliability, no.

I am sure this post will ruffle a few feathers. :D

woodfiend
December 22, 2008, 10:15 PM
A fighting rifle should use any magazine you put into it shouldn't it?


Any semi-automatic rifle will jam if you are feeding it poorly made magazines. The ONLY time my rifle has given me trouble is when I DIDN'T clean it, or oil it, and used a magazine with one of those crappy black followers that will tilt backward/forwards/any which way. Since I've replaced all of my magzine's followers with Magpuls, I haven't had one hiccup whatsoever. Additionally, 95% of the ammo I feed my rifle with is WOLF.

woodfiend
December 22, 2008, 10:28 PM
Anyone who offers their advice that the AR15/M16/M4 is not a fighting rifle, needs to read Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. In Lone Survivor, 4 SEALS slay about 150-200 Taliban warriors in a battle. What were they using? 2 M4s, and 2 Mk. 12's. Gas impingement, and everything bad the AR has.

Exposure
December 22, 2008, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by woodfiend-

Any semi-automatic rifle will jam if you are feeding it poorly made magazines. The ONLY time my rifle has given me trouble is when I DIDN'T clean it, or oil it, and used a magazine with one of those crappy black followers that will tilt backward/forwards/any which way. Since I've replaced all of my magzine's followers with Magpuls, I haven't had one hiccup whatsoever. Additionally, 95% of the ammo I feed my rifle with is WOLF.

So you admit that you have had problems with your AR? Can you always clean, oil, and find the best magazines when you are fighting with your rifle? No infantryman should have to go to the incredible trouble of checking, then finding a new follower for every magazine they have just so that they can make their rifle reliable! The weapon should go BANG as issued. I stand by what I said. The AR15/M16 platform is a compromise.

As far as the Black Hawk Down, Lone Survivor books go, I have read them both. I have not said that the AR platform was NOT lethal. Just that is was not the most reliable. Those are incredible stories but neither one is about how awesome the AR platform is.

BOTH of those stories are about how AMAZING the American soldier is. Please don't try to turn either one into an "AR is the best rifle ever!" thread.

For absolute, awesome, always go bang battle rifles, you need to look at, in no particular order:

Springfield 03
Garand
AK47
Mauser's
Enfields
Mosin's

Elgin47
December 22, 2008, 11:22 PM
+1 on what Exposure said -

We can - and should, because positive, constructive debate always presents an opportunity to learn something - argue the relative strengths and weaknesses of various firearms and their applications.

But - though I've been around awhile and have spent well over 50 years shooting a bunch of guns of nearly every type - I suspect that under almost any circumstances a younger, well-trained, combat-experienced soldier using a single-shot .22 will probably kill me before I can do him in with the best AR/AK/Mini/Whatever money can buy.

Again, I agree with Exposure - whether hunting, recreation, competition or combat - having the appropriate weapon is important, but the shooter is the critical element in the ol' success vs. failure equation.

That said and back on topic (sorry) I have three Mini-14s that have been utterly reliable with both factory 20 rd. and Pro-Mag steel 20 & 30 rd. magazines so I'm partial to the Mini - but I am looking for the "right" AR (I know, I know, but I'm also still looking for that '67 427 Vette under a tarp in the barn....)

Maverick223
December 23, 2008, 07:53 AM
Uhhhhh...... If your Bushmaster has NEVER jammed then how do you know good magazines from bad ones? A fighting rifle should use any magazine you put into it shouldn't it?
...Amen
I like ARs, but I don't know of another rifle as picky about the mag you feed it. The mini is based (kind of loosely) on the proven M14, reliability is pretty good, and I would argue that in some ways the durability (not reliability) rivals the AK. :evil: The AR is definately the most accurate of the few mentioned, however the AK-74 has decent accuracy, is 100% reliable, and a few (thousand) :neener: readily available aftermarket parts and accessories.

stubbicatt
December 23, 2008, 08:18 AM
HK makes some really fine rifles. There are clone manufacturers too. I love my Vector 93, which is 223 caliber, and does anything I ask of it.

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j187/stubbicatt/Vector%20V93/IMG_0622.jpg

Once I got the bugs worked out of it, it has been as reliable as a P38 can opener, and will shoot quite accurately. At least it shoots very accurately for my girlfriend, who put 10 shots in just over an inch from prone with a scope mounted on it.

The down side, and it is a down side, is that the magazines for the rifle are quite dear. They are superb magazines with a very sturdy feedbox and excellent construction. IMO they are worth the price. Just that if you lose one of these magazines you feel like you should make a claim on your homeowner's insurance or something!

Jim PHL
December 23, 2008, 08:51 AM
quote: "Why are you avoiding AK's, AR's, and SKS's??"

Rocky; I am not necessarily avoiding them. (Right now leaning towards an SKS because $$$ seems to be trumping most other issues.) It's just that most posts/threads here and on other boards seem to narrow everything down to those four -admittedly most popular and probably for good reason- platforms. Again I am not and probably will not become a 'rifle-guy'. Just trying to take advantage of the rest of your collective experience.

The 7.62x39 and .223 seem to make the most sense for caliber due to price and availability. AK's and AR's and Mini's have these calibers in their favor and also commonality and availability of magazines. Obviously SKS with fixed mags loadable by strippers or by the round have a similar advantage. The AK/AR/SKS have plentiful and cheap parts, both OEM and aftermarket. All four of these also have common knowledge/experience among the shooting community. These are a few of the features/benefits that make choosing one of these four make sense. Especially for someone not going to be "into" rifles. (Kind of like how it makes sense for people not "into" handguns to stick with a good solid .38/.357 revolver.)

So again, my question is along the lines of 'aside from these four models, is there a semi-auto rifle equivalent of a S+W Model 10?':scrutiny:

Maverick223
December 23, 2008, 09:47 AM
Although I like the M1 Carbine, I don't feel that the rifle fits the bill. A Universal is made very poorly, and a decent M1 is in the $800.00 range. However, they are excellent, rugged firearms, and like the mini are designed like the M1 Garand/M14 series of battle rifles. Also the round is sufficient to hunt with in NA and reasonably cheap. :D

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