Best .308 semi-auto?


March 10, 2009, 10:32 PM
With things as crazy as they are I have decided to get a semi-auto .308 rifle. I have looked at various different designs. I am leaning towards an AR10 piston set-up. I like the platform because of its similarity to the AR15. I have also looked at Fal's G3's & their clones and M1a's. I would like some thing that could be scoped (once again leaning towards the AR). Before I settle on which platform I wanted to hear from some one that has experience with some or all of the above mentioned. I already have a Rem 700 PSS so I have my bench/hunting gun. This would only be used for fun and possibly 3 gun shoots in the future. How do the above rifles rank as far as accuracy, reliability, and durability. Also, I understand that the AR is going to have the most after market stuff i.e. Quad rails, sights, accessories, ect. but, how do the others stack up? Any help would be appreciated.

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Coal Dragger
March 10, 2009, 10:40 PM
I have heard mixed results with the AR10 platform from a reliability standpoint, but don't have much first hand trigger time on them.

The M1a is generally very reliable/robust and accurate, but scoping them is not as easy as others.

The FAL is very durable when made to proper spec, and is also extremely reliable (like AK reliable) but the triggers usually suck it hard. Scoping is not terribly difficult with the DSA rifles.

The G3 as made by HK is also a great weapon, very reliable, relatively simple, and reasonably accurate. Hard on brass though if you reload the fluted chamber is not going to be your friend.

March 10, 2009, 10:42 PM
Ok. If you can afford it Noveske makes a fine .308 AR.

My next vote would be DPMS in .308. Out of the box accuracy rivals that of bolt action rifles. A big plus on top of inherent accuracy is that the AR 762 platform is that you can suppress them fairly easily. And that's a big +1 in my book.


March 10, 2009, 10:48 PM
AR has more aftermarket stuff.

I have a PTR91 (G3 Clone) and it's nice. I have the .22 conversion kit for it - otherwise I would probably seldom shoot it. The iron sights are easy to learn. Easy to find cheap mags. Hard to scope.... there's not a huge amount of mounts out there, and it can screw up the cheekweld. You could always dish out the extra money to get "Perimeter rifle" version which has the adjustable stock and welded scope rail. All in all, it's a serious battle rifle, reliable, easy to maintain - not necessarily a paper popper with the heavy trigger.... but the trigger can be smithed.

In order, from battle rifle (durability, reliability) to target rifle (accuracy, accessories)

1. G3
2. FAL
3. M1A
4. AR10

That's kind of a gross simplification, but the M1A is probably the best of both worlds. I am happy with my PTR91.

March 10, 2009, 10:50 PM
A true, Belgian Fabrique Nationale FAL. These are made to spec and represent one of the best battle rifles ever designed. They have excellent ergonomics, are well balanced, robust and accurate. As large and heavy as the rifle is, its ergonomics and balance result in a rifle that is very quick to shoulder and point. The sights are excellent. For anything except very quick shots at close range, this is one fast shooting rifle.

March 10, 2009, 10:57 PM
I have an AR-10 and it's a nice rifle...shooting from a tabletop with a bipod. Yeah, the AR platform has more options, but what are you planning on doing with an AR-10 with a quad rail???...nothing practical I can assure you.

March 10, 2009, 11:56 PM
I prefer the M14 :evil:

March 11, 2009, 12:05 AM
I prefer H20's M14's or what I can my case a DPMS LR-308:

March 11, 2009, 12:07 AM
for reliability, and very good accuracy, get a Saiga 308. If you can wait, remington is doing what is called a 30 ar, which is a total ar 15 based rifle, which fires a remington made round, the only diff between it and a normal ar 15 is the bbl, and the bolt, every thing else is the same and interchangeable, even the magazines!!!! I am wondering what price their ammo is going to be, if competitive with regular 308 ammo, I will be all over it.

March 11, 2009, 12:15 AM
I like the M1A and it's not too hard to scope.....and it's so darn ergonomic.

March 11, 2009, 12:18 AM
Here's the link ( to more info on the 30 RAR that Rangerruck is referring to.

March 11, 2009, 12:54 AM
I like my DPMS LR-308-T -- Really accurate - and lightweight!
An "unproven" platform when it comes to reliability.
I wonder whether I'll ever get enough rounds through it in enough different conditions to have a real good opinion of its RELIABILITY.
I wonder if many other people will either.
Be advised that some AR accessories are not compatible with the .308 models.
Particularly some collapsible stocks, and most rail forearms.

The FAL is already "battle proven" over decades of service.
If that sort of thing matters to you.
Few FAL's can hold better than 3 MOA (some much worse) when fired from the magazine.

I got away from the HK platform for various reasons - but mainly because I really hate the way optics mount on an HK or CETME. I don't care for what the fluted chambers and violent ejection do to the brass either.

M14 is OK too. Don't really like the way scopes don't mount/dismount with much ease on the standard models. The super-high-end replacement stocks create some better options in this regard. But all that on an M14 is just too much for me.

FAL for harm's way.
DPMS LR-308 for sport.

March 11, 2009, 01:02 AM
I dunno W.E.G.

I trust my LR-308 explictly. So far it has a better track-record than the FAL that I owned.

As for parts, there are plenty for the LR-308. How often do you really replace a forearm? I have a Superior Weapons Systems forearm getting installed on my LR-308B right now.

While I am not blasting any firearms, I don't think it is valid to discount the 308 AR platform as a workhorse. It has had quite a bit of development and a certain degree of the learnings from the AR platform has crossed over.

I've owned the HK-91, FAL (L1A1), Saiga 308, and the LR-308. The only big player in that area that I haven't owned is a M1A. I'd put my faith equally in a LR-308 that I've had the opportunity to check out prior on the same par as any of the above. (I'd want to have checked out ANY firearm that I've put my life on.)

-- John

March 11, 2009, 07:48 AM
A big plus on top of inherent accuracy is that the AR 762 platform is that you can suppress them fairly easily. And that's a big +1 in my book.

Pretty easy to suppress an M14 see H2O Man's SEI direct connect suppressor it connects directly to the SEI vortex flash suppressor. Plus with the piston you don't get tons more gas spit back into the chamber. Not sure if that is a problem with a suppressed AR but it seems like it would be.

BTW I vote: 1) M14 2) AR10 3) PTR91 4) FAL 5) FNAR.

Though if I had to buy one I just one I could easily convince myself it was the greatest. Oh wait I have already done that.

March 11, 2009, 10:12 AM
I either own or have used all of these weapons and I would agree with what most here have posted.

Make sure you handle each of these guns because how they feel to you will make a big difference:
My FAL carbine handles very nicely but the trigger is still a little stout and shoots about 2 MOA for now
My HK is my never miss gun - everyone shoots tight groups with it
The AR10's seem real accurate, but not really balanced for some reason
I hate the M1A ergos, but that's just me

Are you stuck on 308? For 3 gun I would expect a 6.8 AR would be a better gun???

March 11, 2009, 10:15 AM
FN FAL. Easy to operate, eats rocks, and mags can still be had for a decent price. $12 for a nused Austrian 20 rnd steel mag with the witness holes from DSA, last time I checked.

March 11, 2009, 03:17 PM
My FAL carbine handles very nicely but the trigger is still a little stout...

Send your fire control unit off to Bill Springfield. For about $35 he will lighten it up for you.


March 11, 2009, 03:22 PM
Well, the absolute best .308 in terms of reliability, durability, and accuracy is probably the Chinese NDM-86. It's an SVD clone, but chambered in .308. Given that it's used as a sniper rifle, and indeed typically shoots 1 MOA or better, it's plenty accurate enough. And, of course, it has typical Soviet reliability and durability. Beyond that, there's several options. But in terms of those three categories, that's probably the ultimate. Of course, it's out of the price range of most people.

March 11, 2009, 04:17 PM
+1 on the NDM-86

March 11, 2009, 04:21 PM
I say get a .308 Saiga.

March 29, 2011, 11:17 PM
Well I've owned a DPMS A2 AR-15 & I own right now a FAL from Enterprise arm's, from what I've heard & researched it's 2nd to DS Arms. But in my oppinion I'd go for a LWRC REPR (Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle) it's a AR-10, .308 & everybody I've pointed towards it loves it & if not that then some other LWRC set up. Then one of my friends showed me another set that are uber light because of their Carbon Fiber made barrels that are supposed to be super strong but light. They also come in all different kinds of caliber's my favorite so far is the CA-10 in .308 but they're all very pricey as well. The REPR would run you 3,500 on retail & the Christensen's arms CA-10 will run about 3,250 but I have no experience with the Christensen's except a little research so I don't know if they function well or anything. They're both high end AR's though so if you bought one then you'd defiantly never have to buy another & would just have to concentrate on accessories. Those would have been my two choices but like I said I only had a little low end DPMS A2 and I hate the little varmint round of the 5.56 or .223, & so I sold it for $600 then saved another $400 to buy myself a FAL because it was the highest quality for the cheapest :) So to some it all up #1 REPR, #2 FAL, then I'm not for sure about the CA-10 since I don't know enough about it to say anything besides a little research. But still a #3 choice at least to try it out before I went to anything else. I hope that helps out a little bit since I went through the same thing not even 6 months ago.

March 30, 2011, 12:20 AM
Semi auto .308s are fun, but if you're looking for accuracy that rivals that of a bolt gun, you're going to be disappointed. If a semi auto could shoot as well as a bolt gun, I wouldn't have gotten into bolt guns.

Now, that having been said, I've shot plenty of the DPMS versions and they are pretty nice rifles. Getting them to shoot right at MOA consistently was pretty easy to get to and they shot reliably. There is also a broad range of custom parts that you can get into as well as plentiful spare parts. The downside is that they are pretty heavy and awkward to handle for what they are.

If you're looking for something for three gun, you might want to look into either a standard AR15 package or perhaps something in a 6.8.

March 30, 2011, 09:57 AM
Easy to get semi auto 308 as accurate as bolt actions. Just insert $$$. For $2995, get a LaRue OBR. They are guaranteed sub-MOA, and actually are.

As for reliability, I have a DPMS LR-308 and it has been reliable, until I banged it against a prop during a 3-gun match and dislodged the gas block. Not sure I would blame the gun for that. Oh, DPMS had a bad batch of mags a few years ago and those are still percolating through. DPMS exchanges them, no questions asked, no charge. Or just buy Magpul Pmags.

I have an STG58 (Austrian FAL) and it is not as reliable as I would like. Very magazine sensitive, and the supply of cheap mags has dried up, and nobody is making new ones. It was a parts gun I bought some years back, so I cannot blame the design, and buying a new DSA would solve that problem.

Just for 3-gun, I would start with a 223/5.56 rifle, just to be competitive, and it is cheaper to get into and shoot. But if you want 308, go for it.


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