Newbie with questions


October 29, 2003, 03:47 PM
Hello everyone. Newbie to the forum here. I'm excited about shooting and interested in getting something besides my .22 guns for plinking, home defense, etc.

I'm really interested in getting a good .223 rifle or possibly a 7.62 x 39. Biggest problem is my limited budget. It's taken me about a year to scrape together $300 dollars. I'm getting to the point where I don't know if I have much more patience to keep saving.

Here are the "what is it for" and "what should it do" answers:

1. Good multi-purpose gun (plinking, home defense, etc)
2. Relatively good accuracy. Around 2 MOA is preferred. A good 300 yard rifle (using optics for my poor eyes).
3. Good reliability
4. Uses less expensive ammo (that's why I'm looking at .223 and 7.62x39)

My concerns:

1. Money. Like I said, I'm on a budget, and a rifle under $400 is preferred.
2. The 7.62x39 ammo is great up to 100 yards, but I worry about it's accuracy beyond that.

So far, the rifle that seems to fit my needs/wants is a Saiga in .223. Does this sound like a good choice to all of you more experienced folks?


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October 29, 2003, 03:56 PM
Tikka T3 blued/syn goes for $399 around here----a .223 choice---you would still need a scope---but these are accurate as get out.

SAR-1 is around $350---has a scope rail for optics----7.62x39 choice----not known for its great accuracy.

Yugo SKS----less than $200---7.62x39-----one heck of a fun shooter.

Also saw a Ruger 77 MKII last weekend chambered in 7.62x39 for $399.

October 29, 2003, 04:06 PM
You didn't specify if you wanted a repeater or not. If a single-shot will do for now, I'd look into an NEF in .223 with the bull-barrel. This will require optics as they come sans iron sights. Actually, I have been thinking about one as a "play" gun, but limited budget here as well. The price should be right around $200+/- a little. Think of the $$ saved for scope and practice ammo!

In my experience, a .223 launching any of the various 50-55 gr is adequate out to 300 yards, even for informal target use. Obviously a single-shot is not an across-the-course match rifle, but I have seen shooters using xtc match rifles run pretty good 300 yard groups with PMP and similar ammo.

BTW, welcome to the sport!

October 29, 2003, 04:11 PM
Sorry for not specifying. I'm looking for an autoloader.

Does anyone know if the Saiga .223 rifles come with any barrel length besides 16 inches?

October 29, 2003, 04:14 PM
I agree on the Yugo SKS.....fits in with anybody's budget. I picked mine up for $139. And I'm in Maryland where all guns cost more!

Not sure about the accuracy at 300 yards though....My eyes only let me see to 100 yards, and not very easily at that.

October 30, 2003, 04:00 PM

Doesn't look like they do .223 in a longer bbl. :mad:

October 30, 2003, 04:02 PM
Look @ the Saiga 100....

Covey Rise
October 30, 2003, 06:41 PM
You can make the choice for the round.

.223 sorta cheap
7.62X39 cheap

October 30, 2003, 11:02 PM
Welcome Shane.

I've never shot a Saiga, so I'll avoid commenting on them, other than to say the comments I've read tend to be more favorable than unfavorable, at least considering the price.

My two thoughts were the SAR-1 and the Yugo SKS, already mentioned. Between the two, the SAR is the better choice, just because it accepts high-cap mags, but it will cost up to $150 more (but still pretty much within your budget). Pick up a copy of Shotgun News at your local newsstand and check out all the possibilities. Another possibility is the high-capacity WASR-10, which for all practical purposes is an SAR-1 that's about $40 cheaper but probably just as good. There are also 10-round-only WASRs that are fairly close to the price of the Yugo SKSs, and you get the "AK look."

None of my suggestions will win any awards for accuracy, but they are "accurate enough" for having a lot of fun at a relatively low price. With a little practice, you'll hit a 2-liter bottle of water at 100 yards every second or third shot, even with iron sights and poor eyes. With a good bench rest, you'll do even better than that.

October 31, 2003, 04:57 PM
If I were in your position, knowing what I know now, I'd go with an AK variant, preferably bulgarian if you can squeak out just a little more $$ ($400-$450 should get you one). Caliber would be 7.62X39. I shoot milk jugs with mine at 400 yards using cheap ammo and open sights and hit 8/10. At 300 yards not a milkjug gets away unless it's the nut behind the stock.

You should be able to pick up a MAK90 for $350.


October 31, 2003, 06:14 PM
Thanks 98G, sounds a lot like what I'm looking for.

October 31, 2003, 06:28 PM
For your requirements as stated, I think I'd buy any old SKS for plinking and home use, and a milsurp Mauser of some sort. You can mount a relatively inexpensive scout mount and scope in lieu of the rear ladder sight. Milsurp 8mm can be had (corrosive) for $0.05 per round. You can buy a Rack Grade Garand from CMP for $375 plus $21 shipping, no FFL required.

Balancing a requirement to be short and manueverable enough for home defense and displaying good accuracy at 300 yards for under $400 is a pretty tall order. Given that you can buy an SKS for not much over $100, seems like an attractive place to start.

2 MOA with any of the above ain't gonna happen.

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