Select a rifle that meets these criteria...


January 29, 2004, 02:06 AM
Okay, so I'm looking for a good Designated Marksman's Rifle with which to equip my growing private army. I have a few ideas for what would work, but I thought I'd consult THR.

My criteria are as follows:

Semiautomatic operation.
Detachable box magazines holding ten or more rounds.
Must accept a quality scope, with a quickly detachable mount (that holds zero).
Must have decent iron sights as back-up to the scope.
Must be in a major caliber: 7.62x51mm preferred.
Must be accurate enough to hit a man sized target at 600+ meters.
It must be very reliable, even when dirty; no high-maintenance prima-donna rifles.
It must have controls/scope setup/stock design that allow firing from either shoulder.
It must accept a bipod; it is preferred that the bipod fold away into the handguards.
It should be able to use a shooting sling.
It must not weigh more than 11LBS loaded.

I don't think that any existing designs perfectly fit my criteria, but I'm sure an existing design could be modified to at least be very close? Which would you pick, what modifications would you do, and why?

I'm not looking for a sniper rifle, per-say. Many tip-top-accurate sniper's rifles are also high maintenance (in addition to having low capacity and being manually operated). The DMR would be issued to the more skilled shooters amongst my troops, and while they'll receive additional training they won't get the extensive stalking/camouflaging/stealth/800+ meter marksmanship traning that my sniper corps will have. (On the other hand, I'll have a lot more DMs than Snipers.) The snipers will get their own rifle, probably a bolt action of some sort.

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January 29, 2004, 02:17 AM
If you're wondering what the private army is for...well, I switched my major from political science to super villainy. Happily, the bulk of my credits transferred as many of the core classes are the same.

On the other hand, I need to work on my final project. For this I need a liar, henchmen, and a super weapon of some sort...

Beetle Bailey
January 29, 2004, 02:37 AM
SVD because it's cool. Come on, you're a super-villain, not the Navy SEALs. When your DM's show up, it's to look good on TeeVee. You want them running around carrying a plain-ole M21? Who's gonna take a super-villain seriously if his henchmen are all running around with stuff our own military has? You gotta go exotic. HTH :D .

Andrew Wyatt
January 29, 2004, 03:09 AM
there's always the H&K family of firearms. they have automagic cool points.

January 29, 2004, 03:09 AM
I too have to go with the SVD. Simply has evil super villain army written all over it. I mean if it was good enough for COBRA then it darn well should be good enough for your needs.


January 29, 2004, 03:24 AM
The SVD does have a lot going for it. Needs a new stock that can be properly used from either shoulder, though, and I don't know if it was ever mounted with a bipod.

American weapons are fine. I'm going to start my career in evil by terrorizing the European Union (I'm going to replace all the pot in Amsterdam with paprica, and I'm contemplating tampering with the European mint so that each new Euro produced says "America Rules! Deal with it, losers!" in bold print), so to them American weapons are somewhat "exotic" and "foreign".

In some places, SVDs are more plentiful than trees. They're only exotic over here because they're banned from import. :D

Prefer 7.62x51mm, though. A FAL type would work, but the handguard/bipod arrangement would have to be worked out. The SVD probably could match or beat the accuracy of a medium or bull barreled FAL, though, while being lighter...

January 29, 2004, 04:10 AM

January 29, 2004, 04:54 AM
Are any of those under 11lbs?

The Armalite AR-10 meets your demands, and is available in .300WSM too. (ouch.)

I think even the HBAR AR-10(T) is within your weight limit.

The AR platform is so versitle, there's even a .338 Lapua version made (semi-auto no less!)

January 29, 2004, 12:48 PM
How about a KAC SR-25 lightweight match with a FF RAS? Loaded, without a scope or bipod it should be under 11 lbs and accurate to hit out to 600M.

Zak Smith
January 29, 2004, 03:16 PM
I think the AR-10, FAL, M1A, or G3/CETME would meet your needs. Easy of scope mounting from easiest to hardest: AR10, M1A/FAL, G3.

My AR10 has the "lightweight" JP barrel and is probably around 11lbs loaded with 20 rounds and scoped with a TA11 ACOG, but I haven't weighed it.


January 29, 2004, 03:42 PM
I'm not inclined to believe that the AR-10 is as reliable in field conditions, or when dirty, as a FAL or Dragunov, though. The examples I've examined are tight; very tight. I'm sure that makes for an accurate weapon, but your typical AR-10 (T) was never meant to be dragged through the dirt in a low-crawl.

I think the Galil Sniper would work. It, the FAL, and the G3 are the only ones you can get with bipods that fold up into the handguards, out of the way.

Zak Smith
January 29, 2004, 04:17 PM
I would tend to agree, w.r.t reliability. In principle, an AR-10 should be no worse off than an AR15/M16, though.


January 29, 2004, 04:28 PM
You don't think the M1A/M14 variance would work for this, yes?

January 29, 2004, 05:23 PM
SA-58. Stainless Steel:D

I'm definitely gonna get one of those sometime after the AWB goes down.

Jeff White
January 29, 2004, 06:12 PM
I really can't think of any 7.62x51 that will meet your weight criteria of 11 pounds with scope and bipod. If 11 pounds is your criteria for just the loaded rifle, I can think of several.

I think that the state of current technology will keep you in the 12-14 pound range for what you're asking for.

I have a 5.56x45 DM prototype I built that weighs a bit over 10 pounds with a loaded magazine:

Essential Arms pre-ban lower
Bushmaster V-Match upper
Colt 1/7 twist Govt contour barrel
A.R.M.S. #38 SWAN Sleeve with BUIS
Trijicon TAO-1 4x32 optic on TA51 mount
Harris Bipod and KAC adapter
Eagle sling and Magazine Stock Pouch.

I think you could come up with a FAL varient that would be close, but remember that you're cutting into durability when you start cutting the weight. There are several 7.62x51 platforms that would make weight on their own, but when you start adding optics, mounts and bipods, you're going to push the weight up there.

One thing you left out was the capability to install an AN/PEQ-2 so you can designate targets for the rest of the squad in the dark.

You've given me something to think about....don't know enough about what you could do to lighten the FAL without cutting into accuracy or reliabilty though.

Have you looked at the Knight's SR-25?


January 29, 2004, 06:17 PM
I've gotten some amazing first hand reports of our guys using suppressed SR25s with extreame effectiveness in Afghanistan. :eek:

So after listening to my friends, I would have to add suppressed capability to that list.

January 29, 2004, 06:36 PM
Suppression capability is an easy modification. You simply thread the end of the barrel, and screw on a cap to protect the threading, or a muzzle device, like a brake or flash suppressor, when you're not using the can. Any of the rifles listed could easily be modified as such.

But unless the .308 caliber AR-family is a lot less maintenance intensive than I'm given to believe, I'd much sooner go with a Drag or FAL. Sub-MOA accuracy is not necessary in a DMR, and that accuracy often comes at the price of field reliability. All the maintenance my DMR should need is a cleaning at the end of the trooper's shift and a thin coat of CLP on the moving parts.

January 29, 2004, 06:47 PM
I'd go with the M1A for this situation, except the weight requirements are restricting. Springfield Armory Standard and Standard Loaded weigh at 9.2lbs and the National Match and Super Match weigh in at 10.8 and 11.2lbs respectively. The Scout Squad weighs 9 and 9.3 lbs for the synthetic and walnut, respectively, and the Bush Squad 8 3/4 lbs.

McMillan's FAQ states that their stocks can be made to weigh as low as 2lbs, and if so, the McMillan M1A, M2A, or M3A could work as an alternate stock in conjuction with the M1A/M14 to fit the criteria defined.

January 29, 2004, 11:34 PM
Your conditions rule out just about everything I'm aware of--I'm not even aware of anything that comes close.

A semi-auto that can be fired from either shoulder? Are you going to be wearing an catcher's mask?

You're going to have a very hard time finding any .308 semi-auto that will go less than 11lbs loaded and equipped with a folding bipod and a scope mounted on a QD setup...and a suppressor.

It looks like you've got about 4.5lbs of accessories, ammo and magazine before you even get down to your rifle. Don't know of any 6.5lb semi-autos in a "major" caliber.

January 30, 2004, 12:21 AM
A semi-auto that can be fired from either shoulder? Are you going to be wearing an catcher's mask?

What are you talking about? The only rifle that's ever brassed me in the face, firing from the left shoulder, is the M16.

11.5lbs loaded is for the rifle itself. Scope and bipod are going to add extra. Apologize, I should've specified that.

January 30, 2004, 12:25 AM
What are you talking about? The only rifle that's ever brassed me in the face, firing from the left shoulder, is the M16.
That would be one time too many for me! :uhoh: I've got rifles and pistols that throw the brass out hard enough to ding the case mouth. My face is a lot softer than brass...

A VEPR II in .308 comes pretty close to filling the bill if you don't mind risking some impromptu dental work. The iron sights aren't great, but they work OK. The side-rail scope mounting setup works great and comes with the rifle. It shouldn't be hard to fit a bipod, but I don't know of any made to order.

Zak Smith
January 30, 2004, 12:54 AM
My AR10, with TA11 mounted, weighs in at about 11lbs.

With a shorter barrel and lighter handguard, it might bring it down. The big problem is the bolt carrier assembly which is basically a 1" steel rod.


six 4 sure
January 30, 2004, 02:09 AM
Well, if money is no object you might be able to build a M14 to those specs. The only thing I wouldn’t be sure of is the weight. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some high quality detachable rings (somewhere) and there are all kinds of NM iron sights avaiable. I’d be willing to bet if you talked to McMillan and had enough $$$ they’d be able to design a quality fiberglass stock you meet your needs. But, I could be (and have been) wrong.


January 30, 2004, 03:07 AM
Staying away from the T model then, the AR-10 should be just fine, as should the SR-25 currently in use.

PS: my .30-06 semi-auto 7400 is ~9.5lbs with Scope, bipod, and loaded mag. But I wouldn't bet on it after crawling through the swamps. Just an example of a light semi-auto in a 'major caliber' :rolleyes:

(unfortunately, untill we overturn the PRK 'laws' on the matter, SR-25s and AR-10s, [and FALS, G3, etc] are all a felony.)

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