I want a .308 battle rifle


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Heck
August 4, 2009, 09:47 PM
A new M1A is a little out of my price range, any other recommendations ?

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H2O MAN
August 4, 2009, 09:52 PM
What is your price range?

Birdmang
August 4, 2009, 09:53 PM
Mine is under $1000.... THREAD JACK.

Sorry...

WLE
August 4, 2009, 09:56 PM
What would 2000.00 get ya

mptrimshop
August 4, 2009, 10:01 PM
just bought this

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5729927abs

jeremy1391
August 4, 2009, 10:03 PM
buy a FAL you can get one from the company ENTERPRISE for about a grand

Jason_G
August 4, 2009, 10:11 PM
See if you can find something used. A NIB .308 MBR is gonna cost you right now. I'm wagering that the market is going to deflate eventually. If you buy new right now, I think it will depreciate more, if that's a concern, but then again I don't have a crystal ball.

All of that being said, I really love the M1A/M14 platform. Lots of folks prefer the AR-10 platform, but I just never took to pistol grips or the ergonomics of the AR in general. I grew up on hunting rifles though, so you may feel differently. There's also the H&K clones, and the FALs.

Jason

bobotech
August 4, 2009, 10:20 PM
FAL.

Don't buy a Century build unless it says "Imbel" on the side of the gun.

Buy a DSA.

Winston_Smith
August 4, 2009, 10:21 PM
Sounds like a DSA STG58 is the medicine you need.

http://www.dsarms.com/STG58-Austrian-FAL/products/9/

chris in va
August 4, 2009, 11:21 PM
Saiga and convert it yourself.

jr_roosa
August 4, 2009, 11:44 PM
Nothing says "battle rifle" like the M1 Garand.

How about a field grade M1 for $495:

http://www.thecmp.org/m1garand.htm

And then have this guy put a new .308 barrel on it for $350 (probably $400 or so when said and done):

http://www.fulton-armory.com/M1-Services.htm

You'd be all done for about $1000 and have a really nice rifle.

The major advantage to .308 in a military style rifle is that .30-06 military surplus ammo is a dionsaur looking for a tar pit...it will all be gone forever some day soon. 7.62mm milsurp will be around for a long time. If you reload, though, you can make all the Garand safe ammo you want in either .308 or .30-06 and the only difference is which brass and which dies you use...cost is nearly identical either way.

You can also get the "Special Grade" M1 Garand (on the same page as above) from the CMP and be out the door for $1000 and have a nearly new rifle: reparkerized receiver, new barrel, new stock, and new or refinished small parts. I got one and I love it. It would be silly to convert it to .308 or you'd be back in the same price range as a new M1A/M14.

Service grades are nice too, and they're reasonably priced. People seem to be surprised at how nice they are when they get them. Haven't seen one first hand, so I can only pass on what I've heard.

-J.

CornCod
August 4, 2009, 11:52 PM
Yeah, get the Saiga; inexpensive, accurate and fun...even unconverted.

jd46561
August 4, 2009, 11:58 PM
STG- 58 is an awsome rifle. or any well built FAL, Cetme.

Dr_2_B
August 5, 2009, 12:05 AM
would you consider a Saiga

Birdmang
August 5, 2009, 12:06 AM
Can they send a CMP Garand right to your house?

Girodin
August 5, 2009, 12:08 AM
You might consider a saiga if an M1A is out of your price range. The .308 is the easiest to return to proper AKM configuration. Stock ones run around $550 but can be found cheaper. Conversion can run from $100 up to what ever you want to spend.

If you are after max accuracy get a bolt gun. If you are going to shoot cheap ammo the saiga can probably match the accuracy of most of the other MBRs shooting cheap ammo. With decent ammo one can expect 1.5-2" groups consistently. For me that is sufficient for an MBR. I am limited by the open sights more than anything right now. I plan to put glass on mine soon. If I want more accuracy I go with a different platform.

The saiga is very reliable and rugged, a solid MBR (when converted). There are a good number of parts and accessories available. One draw back is pricey mags. One will pay $35+ for mags. I am a big fan of the converted saiga. If I weren't going to the conversion (which really is very simple) I would skip it.

Another option might be a PTR 91. The biggest advantage to the ptr 91 is that it takes cheap G3 mags. If you buy ten mags or so for whatever you are getting it can really change the price dynamics.

A FAL is the classic battle riffle IMO. If a DSA is in your price range they are good guns.

rockheadd
August 5, 2009, 01:13 AM
Saiga will work within the $1000 budget.
Rifle NIB: $525
RAA Skeleton stock: $75
3 15 rnd Surfire mags: $110
POSP 6x24 V: $155 + SH
What you get is a .308 that will feed, fire and eject until you run out of ammo. A 2-3 MOA. Yeah, the stock trigger is beyond lousy, but you can get used to it. It's the Timex of semi-auto larger caliber rifles. (450 rounds of all types of cheap ammo and no failures of any type so far. Shot 200 rounds, didn't clean it and fired the other 250 two weeks later just to see). If I had more money to spend, I'd 86 the RAA stock, spend the $'s on Dinzag's FCG conversion and put a pistol grip and different stock. BUT, as it is, I'm just fine with it. Anything beyond 400 yards is bolt action territory anyway, even if the round is capable of reaching out there. (I'm not that good anyway).

I almost went with the CETME, but it's used and a Century refurbish. Probably a better rifle NIB before CAI got their hands on it, but used? Your choice.

seanie!
August 5, 2009, 02:27 AM
If I weren't going to the conversion (which really is very simple) I would skip it.
I love my .223 the way it is. Either way, if you go with a Saiga, you can't do bad with or without the conversion.

USSR
August 5, 2009, 08:21 AM
FAL.

Don

http://ussr.clarityconnect.com/FAL2.jpg

H2O MAN
August 5, 2009, 08:33 AM
Save up a few more dollars and buy the M14/M1A that you know you want.

Storm
August 5, 2009, 10:51 AM
FAL. This weekend I spent some time behind my Century R1A1 and even a lowly Century FAL can be an excellent rifle.

http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/8179/img6378p.jpg

jd46561
August 5, 2009, 10:53 AM
Agree, FAL ROCKSSSSSSS!!!
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y206/jd46561/MyFal004.jpg

Robert
August 5, 2009, 11:54 AM
Get a FAL. Eats rocks and is field accurate. True it will never win a long range match but if you are at all decent shot engaging targets out to 300m with irons is easily done.

cleetus03
August 5, 2009, 12:10 PM
There's a CETME .308 imported by Century Arms on consignment at my local gun shop for $520. Whats the quick summarized general opinion on these? good, so so, bottom feeder?

Robert
August 5, 2009, 12:13 PM
Century built firearms are thrown together by drunken monkeys. I had a Century L1A1 that was not worth the sum of it's parts. Some folks have had good luck with them but from what I have read you will have to dump that much money into it to get it to run right.

Loyalist Dave
August 5, 2009, 12:16 PM
Well I was told that anything chambered in CETME .308 was not a good rifle to feed regular factory .308 Winchester rounds. I had a bolt gun chambered in .308 CETME that I sold to a guy who reloads, and he loves it, but $520 for one would be steep (I am assuming yours is bolt action too).

Is my .308 Israeli Mauser with a Leopold variable scope mounted scout-scope style not a battle rifle?

LD

FFMedic
August 5, 2009, 12:27 PM
Maybe this?

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=458862

FFMedic

Birdmang
August 5, 2009, 12:29 PM
holy magazines

smee781
August 5, 2009, 01:14 PM
Yes CMP delivers to your house.

RP88
August 5, 2009, 01:27 PM
get a .308 Saiga, a nice skeleton stock, a good scope mount, and a decent scope. Shouldn't run you more than about $900 or so.

Col. Plink
August 5, 2009, 02:01 PM
+1 on field grade M1 Garand from CMP (the service grades are indeed much more attractive, weigh for yourself if looks are worth another $100). Went to the south store and had great service picking up a darn good shooter and over 1.1k rounds for a hair over $1k. I think these rifles enjoy the added advantage in a full evaluation of 'MBR' requirements in that they have pre-loaded magazines that never have to be refilled on the fly (if you have ammo, by definition it's ready to go). I don't see the concern for milsurp ammo eventually running out unless the low cost is your biggest concern there. Remington UMC 150gr is plentiful and well-suited to the Garand (Hornady has a specific round for it as well); the CMP manual actually only warns against anything over 180grains.

If the .308 round is your absolute requirement, FN FAL seems the very best though I cannot comment on the various makes.

Storm
August 5, 2009, 02:54 PM
The Century Cetme isn't chambered in .308 Cetme. The gun should only be shot with 7.62 NATO. The PTR 91, on the other hand, can be shot with both .308 WIN and 7.62 NATO.

As to the Century Arms FAL, knowing what to look for is absolutely imperative before purchasing (ie., widow's peak vs unibrow, one peice gas piston, inch vs. metric). The same with the Cetme and WASR...you've got to do your homework. My Century FAL and Cetme (and WASR 10/63) have never missed a beat.

Also, on any FAL it is necessary to correctly adjust the gas setting, which seems to cause some trouble, even though it is quite simple.

Girodin
August 5, 2009, 03:40 PM
Rifle NIB: $525
RAA Skeleton stock: $75

If I had more money to spend, I'd 86 the RAA stock, spend the $'s on Dinzag's FCG conversion and put a pistol grip and different stock.

I personally would not go that route. A true conversion wont cost that much more than the skeleton stock alone. The dinzag FCG is nice and easier because it is already to go (and dinzag is very good to do business with) but one doesn't need that FCG. A G2 can be purchased much cheaper and modified to work.

G2 trigger $29
Saw grip $18 (other grips as low as $11)
Pistol grip nut: $6
Stock $30

or if you want a dragnov style stock it runs slightly more than the PG/stock at $52

Can of engine paint to cover the bottom of the receiver $7
Screws, and other misc: $5 (high estimate)

Shipping: ? it will depend on where you buy but call it $20 to be on the safe side

Optional but nice:

Retainer plate: $10 (cheaper if you shop around)

With a little research and putting in the work a conversion can be done for not much money at all. One is left with a rifle that has very respectable performance and very good performance for the price

I love my .223 the way it is.

The .223 is different from the .308. They use a different trigger mechanism. The .223 trigger is horrible compared to a g2 but the 308 trigger is so much worse it isn't even funny. It travels backwards and then upwards. A converted .223 is much better than a stock one but the difference is even bigger on the .308. Really you wouldn't understand the .308 trigger until you've shot it. I had heard about it and was still floored when I first pulled it. I'm no sure shot and I found the trigger limited my accuracy greatly. The design makes the conversion even easier though so it isn't all bad.

For a scope I plan on using a Beryl style scope rail. I am eying the Texas weapons system one with the rear peep right now and the DPH arms one. I prefer these to the PSOP which puts the optic too high for my tastes. Return to zero seems to be much less of an issue as well. The peep is likely a huge improvement over the open sights and the longer sight radius can only help. The mount isn't too cheap at $150 or so.

Polar Express
August 5, 2009, 05:37 PM
I asked a similar question back in January of this year. Cost mattered, but I also was willing to wait/save to find the right gun at the right price.

I decided to go with the M1A (with some great wisdom shared by a few on THR) and I am very glad i went that route. I got my brand new M1A for $1200, plus About $800 for the SAGE stock assy, so thats $2,000 last I checked. I decided to spend about $400 on mags, but you can always acquire those at a slow pace if your money is tight.

Remember, when it comes to buying things and good deals: If there's one, there will be two! So, start saving your money, and looking for the package you want.


I'm not nocking the FAL product, or the AR-type either. Someday, I do want to add an FAL to the collection, but the gun-grabbers got me spooked, and I wanted to ensure my right to own a proper battle rifle ASAP.

Going cheap is just that, save up enough $ to buy what you want, you'll be happier in the long run. I still haven't bought an optic for it, but they aren't very likely to restrict optic sales. My order was: gun, mags, ammo, optic.

hope that helps, and good luck!

H2O MAN
August 5, 2009, 06:02 PM
Polar Express

I asked a similar question back in January of this year. Cost mattered, but I also was willing to wait/save to find the right gun at the right price.

I decided to go with the M1A (with some great wisdom shared by a few on THR) and I am very glad i went that route.


:cool:

Heck
August 5, 2009, 07:49 PM
I appreciate all the info everyone. The main issue with the cost of an M1A is the wife. It would be an extremely hard sale to her. Since January I have added a Norinco SKS M, 1942 mfg Model 94 Winchester in .30wcf, Kel-Tec PF9, SPS tacital in .308,870 tactical, CZ452 scout for my 1 year old son (yes i know he cant shoot it) and a new safe. Needless to say I have a wonderful wife but even she has her limits.

I like the Garand idea a lot but hate the idea of altering such a historic icon and I will be getting my fathers at some point. I also am intrigued by by the converted Saiga. Have any of you personally done this? How do you like it?

Any opinions on the DPMS rifles in .308? I dont think anyone mentioned them

Rob Yanichko
August 6, 2009, 10:19 AM
I would not recommend a Century CETME. The remake they do on them is very poor. Unless you want to get one and then sink a few hundred more into it as money becomes available. There is just too much to correct on them. I got one of the good ones and it still needed a lot of work. You will put more than a hundred into trying to get the trigger to be acceptable, and will still be disappointed.

SAIGA and FAL are the way to go in your budget. However, my recommendation to you changes because of the price of ammo. You can go cheap, and then still spend a lot shooting. When you look at the price of the rifle and compare it to the price of ammo, you will find that saving a bit on the rifle just doesn't have the cost benefit it did before price of ammo went through the roof.

My recommendation is to save a little more and get a good rifle. Then you can concentrate on accurate shooting rather than blowing a lot of expensive ammo all over the place.

The DPMS AR10 has gotten some very good press and would be a quality choice.

Then again I am an M1A and Armalite AR10T fan so my recommendation can be seen as biased.

RobertRogers
August 6, 2009, 10:40 AM
Good information guys

TexasPatriot.308
August 6, 2009, 03:13 PM
I got my share of 'em from Saigas, Armalites, Bushmaster etc. in .308. I am waiting on a Springfield Armory M1A1, I carried on years ago in the Southeast Asia war games. my next will be the Scout Squad rifle and I hear the muzzle blast is worse than any of the above. for the price Saigas are great. I currently have one to sell NIB in box I bought when the Hussein Osama for socialist president set in, dont need it now, got too many.

H2O MAN
August 6, 2009, 03:17 PM
TexasPatriot.308
my next will be the Scout Squad rifle and I hear the muzzle blast is worse than any of the above.

The blast from any muzzle brake is bad and the SOCOM M1A is one of the worst.
The brake on the Scout is not that bad and it can be replaced with a neutered
USGI flash hider, a Vortex that uses the castle nut or a DC Vortex from SEI.

CTW
August 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
I would reccomend the Fal platform. You can still find decent centurys with Imbel receivers in the 800 dollar range. I bought a kit gun for 800 from a local shop that was an imbel parts kit on an imbel gear logo receiver and I was impressed with how it shot. With handloads at 100 it shot into 2" and with bulk bullets. It does better with SMK's. It has also been 100 percent reliable so far.
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/cwade550/FALTarget004.jpg

Shear_stress
August 6, 2009, 04:22 PM
You can get a DSA STG-58 from Aim Surplus for $1099 or a PTR-91 from CDNN for a hair under a grand. Both of these are very high quality rifles with warranties. I'd steer clear of the Century-made stuff unless the price was rock bottom and you really knew what you were looking at.

I prefer the M1A to the FAL and H&K-style rifles, but had to do a fair amount of searching before I found one for a price I was willing to pay. By all means buy what you want. The couple of hundred bucks extra you'll spend for your heart's desire will quickly be forgotten. Likewise, the amount you might save by buying a cheaper rifle as a "substitute" will come back to haunt you the first time it needs repair.

DAdams
August 6, 2009, 04:36 PM
Any commentary on one of these. I am somewhat enamoured with it.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/55810

Robert
August 6, 2009, 05:01 PM
Other than being the butt ugliest firearm I have ever seen I have heard nothing but good things about the FNAR. They seem to be very accurate rifles and reliable to boot. But gawd is it one ugly rifle. Still rather have my FAL. But, as they say, to each his own.

bk1
August 6, 2009, 06:27 PM
You can get a DSA STG-58 from Aim Surplus for $1099 or a PTR-91 from CDNN for a hair under a grand. Both of these are very high quality rifles with warranties. I'd steer clear of the Century-made stuff unless the price was rock bottom and you really knew what you were looking at.

I prefer the M1A to the FAL and H&K-style rifles, but had to do a fair amount of searching before I found one for a price I was willing to pay. By all means buy what you want. The couple of hundred bucks extra you'll spend for your heart's desire will quickly be forgotten. Likewise, the amount you might save by buying a cheaper rifle as a "substitute" will come back to haunt you the first time it needs repair.
I agree 100% with this post. I went with the PTR91 because mags can be found at $1 each. So, stocking up on mags is easy to do.

That FAL is nice and is the one I would recommend also if going that route. I can't find much in the way of FAL mags though. Anyone have a good source?

Robert
August 6, 2009, 06:46 PM
I can't find much in the way of FAL mags though. Anyone have a good source?
I do but I am not telling. Less than $20 a mag, though some are used most look brand new or have very light wear. If you are in Colorado Springs I'll tell you where they are :)

Mr.510
August 6, 2009, 11:33 PM
Heck said: I also am intrigued by by the converted Saiga. Have any of you personally done this? How do you like it?

I converted my Saiga .308 myself and it was EASY! The most difficult part was stripping the guts out of a brand-new rifle, wrapping it in shop towels, and grabbing it in a bench vise! :evil:

If you're going to do it at home the only "special tool" you need is a Dremel and some cutoff discs. You'll be grinding through a few spot welds and carving the heads off a couple rivets. Depending on your luck the trigger and PG (Pistol Grip) nut cutouts may already be there when you cut the spot welded cover plate off the bottom of the receiver. Some guns have the cutouts, some don't. Mine did not. Buy the G2 FCG that's been modified for use in the .308! I modified my own and it was not worth the extra effort. I spent about six hours on my conversion but I'm a professional metalworker and a perfectionist: I TIG welded up the extra holes and welded the trimmed trigger guard to the mag latch box so it's totally smooth. The Saiga12.com .308 forum has all the information you could ever want, plus pictorial step-by-step instructions!

http://www.saiga12.com

I like the end result very much. It's a great rifle and a blast to shoot. It's 922r compliant so it's considered a "US made" weapon.... but I know the truth: It's a real Russian battle rifle with it's original Russian receiver. To me that's a very good thing!

:cool:

SuperNaut
August 6, 2009, 11:44 PM
I'm diggin' my FNAR

jr_roosa
August 7, 2009, 12:15 AM
Don't sweat the historic icon thing. Keep the barrel and you can have it swapped back on without much trouble. Plus the field grades are real beaters which probably have already been refinished restocked rebarreled.

Swapping a worn barrel for a new one is a lot different than having bubba make a Mauser into a deer rifle. At least in my mind it is. You can even argue the navy did it to their garands so it's a historically appropriate modification.

bk1
August 7, 2009, 05:58 PM
I'm diggin' my FNAR
Are mags available at a decent price yet or still hard to come by?

I like the accuracy of that rifle. The only question marks in my mind are mag availability and it does not have a proven track record (yet) as it is a new rifle on the market.

Cajun
August 7, 2009, 07:41 PM
DPMS has an AR platform 308!!

SuperNaut
August 7, 2009, 09:13 PM
Are mags available at a decent price yet or still hard to come by?

Yeah, I'm not diggin' mag availability (or total lack thereof).

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