Say you had a budget of 1300-1700...what would you get a why.
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February 13, 2010, 11:01 PM
IMHO, the FAL, M1A and AR-10 are all great rifles, each with its own pros and cons. I would get the one you like best. If you want to use a scope, the AR-10 flattop is likely the way to go.
I owned a PTR-91, sold it and don't miss it. And mine was 100% reliable! Opinions on those vary and a lot of people like them, but I found it to be a $500 rifle selling at $1000+ and occasionally worshipped as a $1500 gun. Other than reliability and looks, I have little good to say about it.
February 13, 2010, 11:05 PM
FAL. No question as it's so far beyond the other three it isn't even funny.
February 13, 2010, 11:40 PM
If you are looking for a bench target rifle, either the AR10 or the M1A will work. Edge to the AR10 for being easier to mount a scope.
If you want a reliable rifle to keep for defense and such, the M1A or FAL would get my vote. Carbine versions are available.
I have a PTR-91 and while it is reliable and the mags are cheap, it is not a fun rifle to shoot for me. The recoil is far above the M1A and AR10. I guess it really depends on what you want, but I would shoot one before buying.
February 13, 2010, 11:44 PM
In military testing in the 1960's the prototype M14 beat out the FAL. (for what its worth) They didn't have the AR-10 of course. I think you would be hard pressed to beat the LR308AP4. I like my Vepr because I set it up myself. Its lighter than a FAL and more ergonomic than an AR10.
Editing myself "The T44 competed successfully against the T47 (a modified T25) and the FN FAL (T48). This led to the T44's adoption by the U.S. military as the M14 in 1957."
February 14, 2010, 12:12 AM
Having owned all 4 platforms...my favorite would be the AR10 from an accuracy standpoint. They are all heavy rifles, so keep that in mind if you are planning to use it for SHTF.
If you are planning using optics, the AR10 is the best choice as well. Sure you can mount optics on the other three platforms as well.
Even though I've owned all four types, I do not own any of them currently.
February 14, 2010, 12:18 AM
Well, no, even reading Hatcher's Notebooks it's obvious that he T48 beat the T44 silly. Had we bought the T48 in the British .280 we might still be waiting for the next service rifle to be designed rather than trying to put yet another bandaid on one or two bad designs...
But NIH was too strong no matter how good the weapon was. The same stupidity meant we took an extra 30+ years to adapt the FN MAG (AKA M240) as our MMG rather than that god forsaken POS, the M60.That was almost as bad as the M73/M219 disaster...
February 14, 2010, 12:34 AM
MAS 49/56 if you are looking for a true mil spec MBR that wont break the bank. From what Is on your list though... AR-10 (LR 308 to be exact)
February 14, 2010, 01:25 AM
I've shot examples of the PTR-91 and M1A, as well as an Armalite AR-10 carbine. I also owned an FAL for a regrettably short time.
The PTR-91 has an awkward manual of arms with the charging handle up front, and the safety selector is unergonomic to me. The trigger was awful and recoil was unpleasant. It lacks a bolt hold-open. It is also the worst on brass if reloading is a concern for you, though I hear that a port buffer helps with the battered cases. It is my least favorite of the four rifles the OP mentioned and I will likely never own one at any price point. Never fired a CETME but I'm sure it is similar but can't comment on it until I try one.
The AR-10 is the most ergonomic, perhaps because of familiarity with my AR-15 transferring over to the AR-10. Is is easy to mount a scope as was said in previous posts, and it is supremely accurate, and accessories abound. My only gripe is that parts are non-standardized, as DPMS parts are incompatible with Armalite AR-10 and SR-25 parts in some areas. My other gripe is that the recoil was unpleasant for me simply because it was a shock to me after being used to the 5.56mm AR-15. The lightweight carbine model AR-10 that I fired kicked like a mule, but a rifle with a heavy barrel, rails, and a hefty scope will be easier on the shoulder. Overall a good rifle, I recommend one for ease of customization and optics mounting.
The M1A is a fine rifle, some call it the rifleman's rifle. It is different from the other three in that it lacks a pistol grip and an inline stock. It is more of a traditional rifle in format and feel. It has excellent iron sights, the best of the four rifle's IMO. They can be tuned for great accuracy and customized with tactical stocks such as the Sage EBR that doesn't require bedding. They have good triggers. M1As are very expensive to get into but they are a great platform to build on and very rewarding to shoot. They are comfortable and I like the ergonomics. Never disassembled one so I can't comment on it. I also don't like how open the action is, seems like it would allow foreign debris to get in easier but I've never heard of it being a problem so it's just speculation on my part and I won't count it against the design. I would like to own an M1A someday.
And finally, the FAL. My favorite 7.62mm rifle of all. Softest recoiling of the 4 rifles, mine was accurate with iron sights to 450 yards on silhouettes (did not get to shoot mine much further but I'm sure it would hold its own at a longer distance, especially with a scope). Recoil pushes straight back rather than side-to-side, a quality I especially liked. The trigger on mine was heavy but it was very smooth, short, and crisp. Cleanliness after firing was exceptional, carbon fouling in the breech are was almost non-existent. The L1A1 style safety selector allows operation while keeping the firing hand on the grip, much like an AR. Only the L1A1 saftey allows this, not all FALs have this style of saftey. I also like the non-reciprocating charging handle on the left side and the ease of disassembly with least parts (easiest of all). The only downside is the user requires knowledge of how the gas piston operates and how to properly set it. After having my FAL fall off the tailgate of a truck and into a mud puddle with the bolt locked open a day after it rained at the range, I fired 240 rounds without failure. I am a firm believer that the FAL is the most reliable autoloading rifle after the AKM. The FAL was used by nearly 100 countries worldwide, and has seen real combat action (continues to prove itself in battle, in fact), often on opposing sides, and has proven to be reliable and effective. My FAL was a British L1A1 built on a metric IMBEL receiver. I regret selling it more than anything else and still miss it. I will definitely be buying another one at the first opportunity. So out of all four, the FAL gets my vote. The M1A follows at a distant 2nd, and the other two (AR-10 and PTR-91) never even cross my mind. :)
Also, one thing I can say is that all of these rifles are heavy and are tiring to carry after a short while (AR-10 carbine was the lightest, contributing to sharp recoil). That's the price to pay for sending a bigger slug downrange.
Sorry for the long, post, just thought I would share ALL my thoughts on each of these. These thread ALWAYS come up.
February 14, 2010, 03:11 AM
You looking at 'em or just wondering?
"...In military testing in the 1960's the prototype M14 beat out the FAL..." Mid '50s and no it didn't. The FAL won every test except accuracy. The M14 was adopted for political reasons just like the M16 was 10 years later. Shortest lived general issue rifle in U.S. history.
"...my Vepr..." AK variant.
A new M1A will be a bit more than $1700 depending on the model and where you buy it. It's a high priced hunting rifle, not a battle rifle.
The current crop of AR10's aren't battle rifles either. They start at $1600.
"...PTR-91..." Copy of an HK, built on old tooling. Under $1300ish for a reason.
FAL's depend on who built 'em. Not DSA. Lower receivers are Al. Real FAL's don't have Al receivers. Wouldn't touch any other one made Stateside, either. Definitely not if Century had anything to do with it. No concept of what QC is. They build rifles out of parts bins and don't bother the check headspace to ensure the rifle is safe to shoot.
If you could find a milsurp FAL or FAL variant, that'd be the one to jump on. Most of 'em are Class 3 though. You might find an FN that was built as semi-auto only. C1A1's were, but you won't find one of them. Chopped by our idiot government.
"...The trigger on mine was heavy..." No fixing that either. Trigger design.
"...user requires knowledge of how the gas piston operates..." Very short learning curve. Set it on 5 and adjust as the rifle gets dirty.
Rain is nothing. Ran a range day with C1A1's in a snow/sleet storm, long ago. Rifles ignored it. So did my teenage troopies.
February 14, 2010, 03:24 AM
Having owned and enjoyed an HK91 for quite a few years I'd recommend the PTR91. I like the action and reliability of the system. My HK has been flawless. The PTR91 has an avid following and would make a nice addition to anyones gun safe.
February 14, 2010, 09:39 AM
This subject has been hashed, rehashed, dissected, examined, pruned and generally flogged as an expired equine. Search is a fantastic feature on this board and will yield dozens of threads on the same topic.
As such, here's a "cut and paste" overview
Here's my synopsis of your choices:
full power cartridge
very comfortable (for most) stock
can be quite accurate
safety is convenient location in trigger guard
scope mounting is awkward over the receiver
field stripping has lots of part/not straightforward
can't be cleaned from chamber side with a rod
full power cartridge
extremely good ergonomics
extraordinarily easy to break down, field strip, clean
adjustable gas system
sights are adequate but better A2 style sights exist
triggers not known to be great but they can be improved
full power cartridge
somewhat easy to break down, field strip, clean
sights are adequate
no bolt hold open
abysmal ergonomics - safety selector is near impossible to reach, cocking handle is in terrible place, mag release is hard to reach
Triggers are absolutely horrible but they can be improved
full power cartridge
extraordinarily easy to break down, field strip, clean
not as common...but still plenty of parts around
charging handle is in a silly place
AR-15 based rifles
BOHICA Mk II upper on a DPMS lower, .50BMG
J&T 24” varmint upper on DPMS lower, 5.56x45mm
CMT upper, 18” WOA barrel on AeroPrecision lower, 6.8x43mm SPC
CMT upper, 18” BCM barrel on DPMS lower, 5.56x45mm
J&T M4-gery upper on DPMS lower, 5.56x45mm
WOA DCM upper on Rock River lower, 5.56x45mm
Olympic Arms upper on DPMS lower, 9x19mm
im a huge fan of the M14 type rifles, have a 22'' and 18'' barreled rifles, my brother is a FAL guy.... we've been going shooting almost every sunday for the last few years... and where still waiting for one of our rifles to break down . both kick butt
February 14, 2010, 10:40 AM
Get the AR10. The most modern of the designs, most accurate, and for a civilian who goes to the range once every two months to fire less than 50 rounds from a benchrest, it will be the most satisfying.
I'm a fanboy of the PTR91, and really have enjoyed mine. I don't see trading it on any of the other choices.
I love the posts on "unpleasant" recoil. I've shot all of these rifles side by side, on the same day, with the same ammo... and you know what? Recoil is the SAME. (This shouldn't come as a surprise, now should it?)
February 14, 2010, 02:13 PM
I prefer the FAL.
February 14, 2010, 02:27 PM
I know you didn't ask but as long as your just looking I would say to look at an FNAR or the same gun in a diferent color the Winchester SX AR. If you are looking for a long range semi auto that looks to be user friendly and set up for scope mounting it might be worth it. I have also seen the Win SX AR for $850.00, far below msrp. If I didn't already own an M1a I would be tempted.
February 14, 2010, 07:55 PM
PTR-91, I too have to laugh at the folks who complain about the recoil. Good grief, this isn't a .223, and shouldn't be expected to recoil like one. The triggers aren't glassy smooth, but then again this isn't a super sniper, bench master, 1/4 moa rifle. This is a full power battle rifle with excellent accuracy and incredible durability and reliability. Ease of takedown is second to none, I can have mine apart in less than 4 seconds.
February 14, 2010, 08:07 PM
Get the FAL. I picked up my first one last year and I think it's miles ahead a better battle rifle than my wifes M1A. Just one guys opinion though - a side benefit though is you'll look eminently cool when you uncase the bugger.
February 14, 2010, 08:11 PM
Of those you listed, I only own an FAL (although a decent specimen, a Springfield SAR48 with Imbel receiver). Honestly, my only 2 complaints involve the weight and slight difficulty installing a scope.
However, the scope mount issue is resolvable and the weight dampens the recoil.
My FAL cost me $1150 (before the professional installation of a KDF muzzle brake), but this was back in the mid 90's when they were still being offered by Springfield. I doubt I could replace it with another SAR48 for that much.
I have nothing but respect for those others you listed, I am an absolute fan of the FAL (and L1A1 by proxy).
February 14, 2010, 08:48 PM
I would buy the FAL simply because of parts interchangability. Get the DSA and then get some mags, extra bolt carrier and bolt, piston and springs etc. What I am saying is you can still buy spare parts for the FAL fairly reasonable. That makes it worth more than the others in my book. Plus it has an adjustable gas system.
February 14, 2010, 09:03 PM
Good grief, this isn't a .223, and shouldn't be expected to recoil like one. The triggers aren't glassy smooth, but then again this isn't a super sniper, bench master, 1/4 moa rifle. This is a full power battle rifle with excellent accuracy and incredible durability and reliability. Ease of takedown is second to none, I can have mine apart in less than 4 seconds.
I've shot all but the FAL, and using identical ammo with rifles of comparable weight (all around 9.5lbs) I find the M1A and AR-10 (technically a DPMS LR-308) to have much lighter recoil than the PTR-91. I hated the sudden jerk of PTR-91 recoil, while not as heavy as a 12ga shotgun it was just as unpleasant. I think the shape of the buttstock and the low sights made it worse.
FWIW, the PTR-91 I had, which I bought brand new, could hardly put 5 rounds into 4" at 25 yards (i.e. 16 MOA). In comparison, the first time I shot an M1A, on the exact same range, I put 10 rounds into 1" at the same 25 yards without even trying hard. Sure, I've read of PTR's that supposedly do sub 2 MOA, but it wasn't my experience. This was all using quality, recent production, brass cased ammo.
As for field stripping, the FAL is tops for routine maintenance, with the AR-10 very close behind. The PTR-91/G3 is easy to take apart, but can be very difficult and tricky to reassemble without a special tool. The M1A is nearly as fast and easy to take apart as the other three. Really, they are so close together it's a non-issue, apart from the potentially difficult reassembly of the PTR bolt group.
Of the other three, I don't think there is a clear best, though it seems that:
-the FAL is most liked by ex-military types other than those who used an M14 in the US military;
-the M1A is most liked by people coming from a sporting/hunting background and by a lot of people who shoot competition;
-the AR-10 doesn't generate the same love that the others do, but reports of sub-MOA groups from AR .308 types (in particular, but not only, the DPMS LR-308) arrive with boring regularity. The LR-308 is probably the cheapest highly accurate semiauto rifle you can find in .308.
My thoughts? For all-around use, I would get an FAL, closely followed by an M1A. For casual competition (DCM/CMP but not at the highest levels) and some hunting, I would choose M1A. For long range precision shooting and competition classes where it's allowed, I would choose a .308 AR due to its higher accuracy potential and highest accuracy at any given price point. As for the G3/PTR, I would rather have an AK or SKS, not to mention any of the other three "battle rifles".
One other comment: just a few years ago, cost and availability of standard capacity (20rd) magazines was a big issue, with the FAL having a huge advantage, followed by the PTR. This has since changed dramatically, with FAL mags becoming more scarce and expensive, and brand new, quality US-made mags for the M1A and .308 AR types being available at quite reasonable prices ($21.50 for M14 mags, $15-20 for CP LR-308 mags, $27-35 for Armalite brand mags for the Armalite Inc. AR-10).
February 14, 2010, 09:05 PM
There are trade offs with these rifles. The FAL magazines are like the M16 magazines. The feed lips often have issues. The adjustable gas system "feature" is not a feature, IMO... Just one more thing to go wrong when you don't want it to. They heat up like nobody's business, so bad you can't hold the forend after a couple of mag dumps. The sights are only fair in comparison to either the M1a or the Gew.3.
None of these weapons is "perfect."
So get the AR10. More modern, most probably more accurate, easier to put a scope on, better ergos for the selector/safety, aftermarket triggers abound. Only downside is the magazines (I understand that Magpul has perfected these) and the DI gas system which makes cleanup a bit more involved.
February 14, 2010, 09:07 PM
You need to be more specific about your application.
There are many flavors of each rifle, each with its own reason for being.
I "like" them all.
I probably like the fluted-chamber design (PTR-91) the least of the choices listed.
Very hard on the brass, and throws it too far.
February 14, 2010, 11:05 PM
For iron sights: M1A
For optics: AR10
February 14, 2010, 11:24 PM
The FAL was not called "Right arm of the free world" for nothing. It has a history the size of Himalaya. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif
February 15, 2010, 12:14 AM
February 15, 2010, 02:50 AM
Have no idea, but for $700, a guy who walked in with his almost mint-bore FAL would have sold it at the Southaven gun show three months ago.
Could not find a scratch on his Battle Rifle.
He let me look through the bore etc and then he drove with it back to Batesville, MS.
February 15, 2010, 02:36 PM
If you are a good shot get the AR. If not then the others might be just as good.
February 15, 2010, 03:29 PM
I think the AR-10 is the way to go.
I disagree with above posters that the recoil is sharp.
I find it to be quite comfortable and I'm a pretty small guy.
It handles easy. Get one.
February 15, 2010, 04:09 PM
Interesting to see the opinions on the different rifles. I have owned all of the rifles listed by the OP at one time or another along with a couple others in 7.62 not listed. I once had a quest to find the best 7.62 semi-auto rifle for hunting.
I settled on the AR-10 for a hunter. The AR-10 was the best alll around rifle for what I wanted; others came close or equal in accuracy but failed in one area or another (accuracy, ease of use, aftermarket parts availability, Optics mounting, and weight). If your looking for a hunter the AR-10 is the way to go!
February 24, 2010, 07:03 AM
i cant speak for the other rifles because i have not shot them. but after shooting the M1A, i really dont care to. everything i expect in a battle rifle is right here.