any semi-auto suggestions for me?


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ns66
December 30, 2011, 10:04 PM
I am pretty new to firearm, just recently bought a walther pk380 as my first gun, I have smaller hands and not a lot of strength so pk380 was chosen because that's the gun I can rack the slide easily. I am thinking getting a semi-auto rifle, must be as light weight and easy to handle as possible, since I figure even the best firearm if I can't handle it well it will be useless to me. I looked at ar-15 but it seems too many different types? I am also very interested in PS90, but all these seem to be still on the heavy side, any suggestions?

thanks

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Darkbob
December 30, 2011, 10:45 PM
For a first gun I'd suggest getting a .22. The one I have is a Ruger 10/22, and I'm very happy with it. It's small, lightweight, and cheap to shoot.

Another good choice is a Marlin model 60. I don't have one, but folks always seem to have good things to say about them.

An AR-15 is a good choice if you want more power than a .22 offers.

Matthew Courtney
December 30, 2011, 10:59 PM
Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport 5.56 - 6.45 lbs - $625
Smith and Wesson M&P 15/22 .22lr - 5.5 lbs - $499
Bushmaster Superlight Carbine 5.56 - 5.1 lbs - $699

sirgilligan
December 30, 2011, 11:06 PM
I don't own one, nor have I ever seen or held one:

Keltec Sub-2000
http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/rifles/sub-2000/

It is light.

ns66
December 30, 2011, 11:43 PM
thank you all for the suggestions, I will definitely look them up
I also saw this Bushmaster Carbon 15 R97S Rifle, only 4.4lb without mag

303tom
December 30, 2011, 11:55 PM
How about one of these ?

imac98374
December 31, 2011, 12:06 AM
Some people like the kel-tec su16? 4.7lbs and takes AR mags.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_151/products_id/17742.

boricua9mm
December 31, 2011, 11:27 AM
After having owned all manner of semi-auto magazine fed rifles over the years, I've come to terms that if someone was to only own one rifle, then a good AR15 would be the wisest choice.

If light weight was my number 1 priority, I would go with a lightweight profile barrel (huge difference in my experience), a flat top upper receiver with an added rear sight to eliminate the carry handle; a folding sight gives you more flexibility if you decide to add optics later. A set of Carbine handguards (not M4) would give you a nice slim profile and be very lightweight. Using a CAR stock instead of the M4 stock will also save some weight. The end result would be a very handy, quick carbine that still offers you some modularity down the road. Of course, you'd probably have to put together this package, but you should be able to find an upper meeting this criteria already built. Buying a lower and sorting out the furniture would be your only other hurdle. Would be well worth the "hassle" IMO.

Water-Man
December 31, 2011, 02:00 PM
Ruger Mini 14

almherdfan
December 31, 2011, 02:23 PM
Ruger 10/22-easy to handle, cheap to shoot/purchase, will last, can modify to your heart's content, accurate enough for plinking, hunting, even SD if necessary.

If you want a centerfire, there are probably a dozen very good choices, depending on use, budget, comfort, ability to modify, etc. The AR, Ruger Mini, or even an SKS may work.

ugaarguy
December 31, 2011, 04:16 PM
I liked the Kel Tec Sub 2000 I had, but I wouldn't recommend one for someone of limited strength. They're straight blowback, so the recoil spring in the stock tube is rather stout, and the charging handle is rather small.

The locked breech SU16 series are far easier to manipulate. If you go with an SU16, I'd look at the B, C, and CA models for their much sturdier & more precise AR-15/M16 style front sights, as compared to the wide & odd to adjust orange plastic blade on the A model. The B has a longer sight radius (than the C & CA), but the C & CA have all parkerized steel parts.

All that said, the S&W M&P15 Sport in the low $600 range (only slightly more than the Kel Tecs) is hard to beat. It's probably the best value to be had in a $600 semi-auto rifle.

USAF_Vet
December 31, 2011, 04:32 PM
I like the idea of using a .22 for smaller, weaker, less experienced shooters. The cost of the rifle and ammo is such that you can turn a non-experience shooter into a well-experienced shooter for not a lot of money in a short amount of time. Also, I don't care who you are, I'm not volunteering to get shot with a .22.
Considering the cost of the SU-16 rifles, you can get a decent AR for a little more. the SU-16C can be fired from the folded stock position, which gives it an edge over the rest, IMO, but I can't imagine having decent accuracy firing like that. An M4gergy would be my top recommendation for anyone in need of a lightweight rifle. I'm going to start looking more heavily at the polymer receiver ARs for an ultralight build.
I think New Frontier is advertising their lowers boast a 7.5 Oz weight difference over the aluminum billet receivers.


303Tom, I know I've seen one of those before, but I can't recall exactly what it is.

ns66
December 31, 2011, 08:51 PM
thanks all for the suggestions, happy new year!

jwgml
December 31, 2011, 09:21 PM
ruger 10-22

ns66
January 1, 2012, 02:11 AM
I think I would get an AR-15 because this will be my only rifle that I would buy for both practice and HD. I looked at Bushmaster SuperLight Carbine with Red Dot it seems to be pretty much what I am looking for, 5.1lbs that's pretty lightweight, I just can't find anything ligher it seems for an AR-15? I am not sure about the red dot sight or stay with folding sight

tundraotto
January 1, 2012, 02:38 AM
AR platform is the only sensible choice...infinately customizable to however one wants it - and with great accuracy and reliability to be had by all.

ugaarguy
January 1, 2012, 02:55 AM
Ns66, the Bushmaster Superlight is a variant of their Carbon-15 rifles, and utilizes carbon reinforced polymer upper & lower receivers to cut weight. The polymer uppers in particular are not known for strength & durability. The included red dot is a pretty cheap Bushnell model. Bushmaster also only warrants their firearms for one year.

The S&W M&P15 Sport can be found for a little less money. At 6.45 lbs it's a little bit heavier than the plastic receiver Bushmaster, but still quite light for a semi-auto rifle. Build quality & durability on S&W's AR-15 style rifles are excellent, which I think is quite important for your intended uses. The included fixed sights are top quality, so it's ready to go until you can add a high quality red dot if you choose to go that route. S&W has a one year warranty that then transfers to their Lifetime Service Policy (lifetime warranty) as long as you fill out the registration card & mail it in within 30 days of purchase.

I hope this helps.

ns66
January 1, 2012, 08:21 PM
i will take a look at S&W M&P15 Sport see how heavy it's, thanks all for the suggestions

by the way, I am not going to have any heavy use of AR-15, hopefully 2012 is a peaceful year :D, so i guess Carbon-15 should be ok as well, don't know about quality of Bushmaster product though

sgtstryker
January 1, 2012, 09:05 PM
I personally feel Bushmaster is as good as most, better than some. The selection is good for someone like yourself, deciding for a first AR..I recently bought a Doublestar lower and put a DPMS flattop upper on it. It was the most cost effective way for me to go. The DS Co. is in KY. and seem to be catching a good reputation for affordability and quality. Good luck, you have a fun decision to make..

kfgk14
January 1, 2012, 09:30 PM
BCM AR-15 lower, put a rimfire upper on it for now. When you've perfected your marksmanship skills and are comfortable stepping up, buy a mil-spec upper from a reputable manufacturer.

Allow the links to demonstrate:
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Lower-Receiver-Groups-M4-AR15-s/117.htm-BCM complete lower receiver. Built to mil-spec, so it's very well-made and you can count on it down the road as a platform for building further AR-15's.
http://www.tacticalsol.com/tshome/ar22-22lr-conversion-Tactical Solutions upper. I'd suggest the AR22-M4 upper, as you'll want to learn on iron sights first. You'll also want a rear sight, a Magpul MBUS2 rear sight will serve you just fine.
You'll also want some magazines, I'd suggest CMMG's mags or the offerings from Black Dog Machine.

When you want to step up to centerfire, check out this:
http://palmettostatearmory.com/23929.php-the MOE MBUS option would work great for you as well, just buy a few good mil-spec mags with Magpul followers.

For further info on the AR-15 platform, join M4carbine.net. They're far more knowledgeable and dedicated than I am over there, and they'll introduce you to all the goodies.

Of course, you may just want a Ruger 10/22 with some Tech Sights, that setup will total under $300 while the above AR will reach $800 fast.

ns66
January 2, 2012, 08:54 PM
any more feedback about Bushmaster c-15 quality? the M&P sport looks really nice but still 1.3lb heavier

303tom
January 3, 2012, 10:34 AM
I like the idea of using a .22 for smaller, weaker, less experienced shooters. The cost of the rifle and ammo is such that you can turn a non-experience shooter into a well-experienced shooter for not a lot of money in a short amount of time. Also, I don't care who you are, I'm not volunteering to get shot with a .22.
Considering the cost of the SU-16 rifles, you can get a decent AR for a little more. the SU-16C can be fired from the folded stock position, which gives it an edge over the rest, IMO, but I can't imagine having decent accuracy firing like that. An M4gergy would be my top recommendation for anyone in need of a lightweight rifle. I'm going to start looking more heavily at the polymer receiver ARs for an ultralight build.
I think New Frontier is advertising their lowers boast a 7.5 Oz weight difference over the aluminum billet receivers.


303Tom, I know I've seen one of those before, but I can't recall exactly what it is.
It is a French MAS 49/56 in 7.5........

Pilot
January 3, 2012, 10:38 AM
I will second the MAS 49/56 as a good rifle. The LOP is too short for me, so the rubber buttstock in the photo is a must. Make sure you get one in 7.5 French and not converted .308. 7.5 French is easy to reload for using cut down 6.5 mm Swedish Mauser brass.

ugaarguy
January 3, 2012, 02:34 PM
I don't understand the idea that buying a .22 upper for an AR is a good idea. If you do buy another centerfire upper for the lower later on you will essentially be stuck without a lower for the rimfire. If you just buy a .22 to start with you'll always have that .22 and you won't be sharing parts between two rifles. What is most likely going to happen is that the rimfire upper will be tossed in a corner or in a box and you won't use it again because swapping back and forth will be a lot more hassle than you think.
If actually owned one you'd understand that swapping uppers requires about ten seconds to push out two pins, switch the uppers, and push the two pins back in.
I don't believe you can learn to shoot better using a rimfire upper either. From what I've heard the accuracy of those Frankenstein guns is not all that great compared to a regular .22.
So you have no actual experience .22 LR AR uppers. You're confused between a .22 LR conversion kit for a .223/5.56 upper, and a dedicated .22 LR upper. Conversion kits are simply a bolt carrier group with a chamber adapter that lets you send the .221 diameter .22 LR bullets down the .224 diameter .223/5.56 bore. In contrast, a dedicated .22 LR upper has a .22 LR chamber, and .221 diameter bore. A dedicated .22 LR AR-15 upper is just as accurate as any regular .22 LR rifle with equal quality barrels.
You can get a very good .22 for not a lot of money and you can have one that will always be complete. There's just no way I would try to share a lower for two different rifles. The price of an upper will be much higher than the price of a good semi-auto rimfire bought as a whole rifle. It just makes zero sense to me.
You probably don't get people buying rimfire barrels for T/C Contenders & Encores either. Those barrels cost more than a $160 base model Marlin rimfire too. Just like swapping uppers on an AR-15, T/C owners swap barrels on a receiver. It's not a new concept.
I do not see the point at all. If you just want a .22 that looks like an AR then yeah, go for it. But to actually learn to shoot you'll be MUCH better off buying a whole .22 rifle.
If you want to train with the same rifle you plan to use for defense it makes quite a bit of sense. If you look at AR-15 sights you'll see that most rear sights are target type aperture sights because they've evolved from the aperture sights on US service rifles. AR sights (in any caliber from .22 LR up) are typically much better than the flimsy notched blade on cheap .22s like the Marlin Model 60.
You can buy a very good semi-auto .22 for $160 - and that's the shipped price. How much does an upper conversion cost? The ones I looked at were over $550!. And you only get half a rifle? It makes absolutely no sense to me. You can get a fantastic .22 for that price and it will actually be accurate.
Again, I've addressed the accuracy issue above. You're assuming without any actual experience. Midway has a CMMG dedicated .22 LR AR upper in stock for $350, but you'll have to add the sights of your choice. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/210789/cmmg-ar-15-sierra-a3-flat-top-upper-assembly-22-long-rifle-1-in-16-twist-16-barrel-wasp-melonite-treated-chrome-moly-matte-with-m4-handguard-flash-hider-pre-ban. Notice that you're getting a WASP treated (black nitride - aka Tennifer, aka Melonite) barrel which provides extreme durability. That barrel is also threaded 1/2x28 RH so you can take off the flash hider and add any popular .22 caliber muzzle device. You also have a forged aluminum upper with Mil 1913 (aka Picatinny) rail. Trying to compare a quality .22 LR AR upper to a cheap Marlin rifle is an apples to peanuts comparison.
I did find an upper for $500 but that doesn't include shipping or an FFL fee. You can get a CZ 453 for that price which will shoot fantastic. No upper conversion is ever going to match it's accuracy and you get a whole rifle instead of half a rifle.
The fact that you think an AR upper requires an FFL fee further demonstrates your ignorance. An AR upper is just a part; the lower receiver is the serial numbered firearm that has to go through an FFL. I'd put a CMMG dedicated .22 LR upper against a CZ 453 any day. The accuracy will be much closer than you assume.
I've held off saying that for a long time but I just felt like it was time someone said it. It just passes as good advice without question too often and I can see a whole bunch of reasons not to do it.
If you believe in training with the rifle you fight with it's a great idea. If you like the AR-15's superior ergonomics, sights, and scope mounting options it's a great idea. If you like the capability to drop in a trigger like a Geissle SSA, that will go toe to toe with any match rifle trigger, without need of a gunsmith it's a great idea. If you like having a stock that can almost instantly adjust LOP to go from an adult to a 5 year old & back again it's a great idea. If you like the ability to switch stocks, grips, and forends to fit you perfectly without need of a gunsmith (in most cases) it's a great idea.
To each his own I guess but this is something that just baffles me. I guess it's black rifle fever or something. Nothing personal guys but I don't get it at all. Heck by the time you buy an upper and a bottom you could have bought an Anschutz, which is the best rimfire you can buy AFAIK. Instead you'll get a black rifle looking .22 that isn't as accurate as a Marlin 795, which can be bought for $100. I guess you have your reasons but I don't know what they are.
I hope that my comments above have dispelled the accuracy myth, and shown this isn't just a black rifle thing, but a practical concept for a variety of reasons. I do sincerely hope that my comments have at least allowed you to understand the reasoning behind a .22 LR AR upper. If black rifles aren't your thing that's totally cool with me, but hopefully my comments have helped you appreciate them more. Anschutz rifles aren't my thing, but I certainly appreciate them for their accuracy & craftsmanship.

In the interest of full disclosure a Marlin Model 60 was my first rifle & I still own it. I also own a T/C Contender, and have a .22 Mag rimfire bbl. for it too. :D

ns66
January 3, 2012, 06:08 PM
to be honest i am not sure why people suggest buy a .22 just for training, that money i can buy more ammo for ar-15 and i have to get that and practice with it anyway, if ar-15 is too hard for me to handle at first i don't think it will be the rifle for me anyway

i plan to buy one rifle that fits me well and practice with it and HD with it. i read this thread about Bushmaster SuperLight Carbine with Red Dot - Carbon 15, it's an interesting read, but i still have no idea about its quality

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-rifles-shotgun-discussion/112768-bushmaster-superlight-carbine-red-dot-carbon-15-a.html

kfgk14
January 3, 2012, 08:07 PM
I'd advise against Bushmaster, DPMS, and RRA. They all have spotty QC histories. We are advising the .22 LR for training and such because it is a lot easier to start out on a .22. Recoil is low, ammo is cheap, etc. If you have the money to shoot centerfire, by all means, shoot centerfire. It is your money. But starting out on a rifle with relatively high recoil (compared to the .22, which likely won't flinch in your hands) and light weight (multiplies recoil) could cause you to develop a flinch, hurting your shooting.

If you're saying you need a defensive firearm because someone is after you and you need a gun now, no time for training and working your way up through rimfire and such? Buy a pump shotgun with a six shot magazine tube and an 18.5" barrel.

I only advise starting on a dedicated .22 if you have a serious interest in following the AR pattern rifles in the future. If not, or you're undecided and don't want to get invested in the system yet, just buy a Ruger 10/22 and get Tech Sights for it.

ugaarguy
January 3, 2012, 11:24 PM
But you aren't training with the same rifle. You're training with half the rifle. And you still have to pay that FFL for the lower friend.
I'm training with an upper that's configured identically, but in a lower cost caliber. Whether I put that upper on the same lower as my 5.56 upper uses, or another identical lower matters not. It's the same rifle save the caliber. It lets me shoot at the nearby 25 yard indoor range when my schedule is cramped, and not waste more expensive ammo. I then have practice with same sights, same trigger, same stocks, and same cheek weld when I take the rifle with 5.56 upper out to the gun club with its real rifle range. If the rifle bays are there are all full I can swap to the .22LR & upper shoot on the pistol range until the rifle range becomes available. That way I can maximize my range time.
And this "accuracy myth" you speak of is only a myth in your head. No way that Leggo system rifle you're touting shoots as accurate as a rifle that costs the same price but comes in one piece. It just doesn't happen.
My real world experience differs. AR-15s can be extremely accurate, and they're very easy to accurize.
Go find yourself a T/C rimfire and test it against your mighty AR Frankenrifle.
Like I said in my last post, I own a T/C Contender. I have a .22 Mag bbl for it, and had a .22 LR bbl for it too. My dedicated .22 LR upper built with a 16" CMMG bbl. shot just as well as the 20" .22 LR bbl on the Contender, so I sold the Contender LR bbl. I still have the .22 Mag bbl because it fits a need, and I haven't found a dedicated .22 Mag AR upper yet either.
Find yourself a well built 10/22 (which you can leave in it's condition without constant swaps) and see which one is more accurate.
My dedicated upper is just as accurate as my Marlin Model 60. That Model 60 is just as accurate as friends' 10/22s.
If you think it isn't more accurate to put a Green River barrel on a 10/22 with a really good trigger then you just haven't shot them.
I'll see if White Oak Armament or another match grade AR bbl maker will make me a .22 LR bbl compatible with the Ceiner Atchisson / CMMG type bolts. Once I save up some more money and get Geissle trigger in one of my AR lowers it'll be a fair comparison to the tricked out 10/22.
That's my opinion. It's valid. You can argue all you want. I'm not coming off my opinion. Your problem is you really think I haven't read the reports comparing the accuracy of these setups. I've heard it all from wrong twist, to keyholing, to 1" groups at 50 yards (terrible), etc.. It's always easy to discredit anyone who disagrees with you by declaring they don't know the subject. But do you really think people are going to buy that crock of bull after seeing that technique used for the millionth time? Go ahead and give it a try. I doubt you'll sway many opinions that way. I probably won't either but at least my POV is original.
Your POV is based on what you've read. My POV is based on owning & shooting traditional .22 LR rifles, a T/C Contender with various barrels including .22 LR, and a dedicated .22 LR AR upper. You've heard dedicated .22 LR uppers have the wrong twist & keyhole. I've seen that happen with conversion kits in 5.56 uppers. I've never seen it happen with dedicated uppers. My dedicated upper has a 1:16 twist barrel, which is the same as the factory bbl on a Ruger 10/22.
I don't just jump no the black rifle bandwagon that got rolling when Obama got elected. I think for myself and I don't follow trends. I don't have a Facebook account and I don't have a 1911. When I buy something it's because "I" want it.
I've owned an AR-15 of one form or another since Clinton was in office. I've shoot them all of my adult life including four years in the USAF where I deployed to Iraq twice. I have more training & trigger time on AR-15s than I do any other rifle. It's not about any bandwagon: It's about shooting what I shoot best.

Like I said at the end of my last post here, I appreciate Anschutz & other finely crafted rifles. They're beautiful to look at, they handle wonderfully, and they shoot superbly. They're just not for me. I'm not trying to make you like AR-15s & other so-called black rifles. I understand they're not your thing. I had hoped you could at least appreciate them. I'm sorry that you can't.

Robert
January 3, 2012, 11:38 PM
I'm not coming off my opinion. Your problem is you really think I haven't read the reports comparing the accuracy of these setups. I've heard it all from wrong twist,
Hey that's fine. We are all entitled to our opinions no matter how wrong they may be. But having read or heard something is not a replacment for actually having done something. I have never fired an high end target .22 and I have only fired one 10/22 so I would not try to tell someone like you that they are terrible rifle because that is what I read on the internet. You obviously have vastly more experience with them and as such would know that my opinon was based on hear say.

I have shot enough 22 uppers on ARs to know that I'd put a stock 22 upper AR against a stock 10/22 all day long. But honestly shooting at 50 yards off a bench, or any other way, is just boring to me. So I don't pretend to know what it takes to do that. Just looks really, really boring. But that's just my opinion.

ns66
January 4, 2012, 09:38 PM
thank you all for your suggestions, even heated debates are all very helpful

ns66
January 5, 2012, 11:44 AM
after read a lot more on the net I think I still want a 5.56 and the weight is still most important to me since I want to make sure the gun is potent and easy enough for me to handle

I am very intersted in bushmaster superlight c-15 with red dot, even though i read on the net there are doubts about it, i am not going to be any kind of heavy user, basically some target shooting and personal defense if it ever is needed.

i can also go build it myself route, the problem is i need to limit the total weight to 5lb without mag, lower carbon/polymer should be ok, if i should do better than the bushmaster i guess i would buy a better upper, but the thing is i don't know there are carbon/polymer uppers that will help cut down the weight and upgrade on the quality, since bushmaster has light profile and carbon upper already, i don't see colt/bcm etc. that have better reputation on the web sell carbon upper

ns66
January 5, 2012, 11:53 AM
i am also interested in Kel Tec Sub 2000, but concern is first it may be too hard to rack as people here suggested? 2nd concern is is the 9mm much better than using a handgun just because sub 2000 has longer barrel? correct me if i am wrong the point of having a rifle is it has longer range and potent round like 5.56 compared to a handgun, to my understanding that's

JustinJ
January 5, 2012, 12:44 PM
ns66, do you mind if i ask why you feel 5 lbs is the maximum acceptable weight? A couple of things you should consider is that how heavy a rifle feels depends a lot on weight distribution and the lighter the weapon the heavier the felt recoil. Guns that are front heavy generally feel heavier than guns of the same weight with more mass towards the rear. I don't recall the exact weight off hand but my suggestion to you would be to at least handle a Colt 6720. With the pencil barrel it feels much lighter than mil spec barreled ARs. Mil spec barrels do nothing but add weight in the worst possible place.

ns66
January 5, 2012, 01:02 PM
i just don't have good physical strength, i have handled military m16 it's like carrying a heavy furniture, there's just no way i can be good at it if self defense is needed, if i can get a 5lb instead of 6-7lb that could mean big jump in my ability to handle it, while the risk of malfunction maybe increased only marginally if at all. i searched the web extensively, although bushmaster/c-15 is generally not highly regarded, but i didn't see any real examples/incidences that owner reported it failed, and i guess thousands or even tens of thousands are out there and being used everyday, i did see one youtube video that it jammed, but author said poor quality ammo was used...

JustinJ
January 5, 2012, 05:50 PM
For just about any realistic self defense scenario you will only have to support the weight of the gun for a relatively brief period.

Also, i've found that many people who have trouble racking slides of auto handguns are too tentative and find it much easier when they just use do it as one fluid motion with a firm grip and drive it back.

ugaarguy
January 5, 2012, 08:34 PM
ns66, I'll try to help out a little more by answering some of your questions / concerns. If anything isn't clear say so, and I or someone else will explain further.
i am also interested in Kel Tec Sub 2000, but concern is first it may be too hard to rack as people here suggested? 2nd concern is is the 9mm much better than using a handgun just because sub 2000 has longer barrel? correct me if i am wrong the point of having a rifle is it has longer range and potent round like 5.56 compared to a handgun, to my understanding that's
Part of the advantage to a carbine certainly is a more potent round like 5.56 / .223. The larger advantages are longer sight radius, higher velocity even with pistol type rounds from the longer barrel, and greater control of the weapon. The greater control comes from three contact points on the carbine (stock to shoulder, dominant hand on pistol grip, and and weak hand on forend) vs. the single contact point of a pistol (one or both hands on pistol grip). Those advantages also apply to a shotgun, but obviously with your limitations we don't want to introduce shotgun recoil*.
i just don't have good physical strength, i have handled military m16 it's like carrying a heavy furniture, there's just no way i can be good at it if self defense is needed, if i can get a 5lb instead of 6-7lb that could mean big jump in my ability to handle it,
I'll expand upon what JustinJ has stated on Military M16s. Government profile barrels on the M16A2 and later variants are smaller diameter under the handguards to both save weight, and allow for mounting of a grenade launcher. Forward of the handguards & front sight base the barrel is a relatively heavy profile to increase durability of that exposed portion. So, not only is an M16A2 heavier than an M4 / AR15 carbine, all the extra weight is very far forward.

A 6 or even 6.5 pound carbine will feel significantly lighter than a 7.78 pound M16A2. An AR carbine with a light contour bbl, aka pencil barrel, like the Colt 6721 will weigh in at about 5.8 lbs. That's a near 26% reduction in weight over an M16A2, and that doesn't even factor in the perception of the rifle feeling even lighter because of the improved balance. Another way to look at is that the Beretta CX4 9mm carbine which weighs 5.75 lbs unloaded, and that's a carbine commonly used by folks are weight & recoil sensitive. I hope that all makes sense.

At this point, I'd recommend you go and handle various AR carbines so you can evaluate them yourself. If you find that you absolutely need the rifle to weigh closer to 5 lbs than 6 lbs I'd buy a 4.7 lb Kel Tec SU16 before I bought a plastic receiver AR of any make (carbon reenforced or not).

*There has been some discussion on another forum about using .410 pump shotguns for home defense for folks who are physically limited. It's worth considering, and you may even want to open another thread here on THR in the shotguns forum to discuss this niche use. Link to other discussion (http://www.gunrightsmedia.com/showthread.php?t=423676).

ns66
January 5, 2012, 09:35 PM
to ugaarguy and all others who posted, thank you very much for the replies, i sure will try to handle different ar-15's in the next gun show and get a feeling about them before i make any buying decisions

btw i am just curious why people stay away from carbon in general so much, i am all for new technology and will keep an open mind until i see consistent evidence that it breaks, the test videos in the other carbon test thread are quite impressive, the lighter the rifle the easier for me to handle.

ugaarguy
January 5, 2012, 10:14 PM
CJ, I love how your posts change from: (paraphrasing here) "They (dedicated .22LR AR uppers) cost $500 + shipping & FFL fee" to "Well, you still have to pay an FFL fee for the lower" and "I've read all the reports" to "Well I actually do have first hand experience."

Again, CJ, we're not trying to change your opinion. We're just providing a counterpoint to some of your more questionable assertions. Anyway, I think we've beat the .22 LR AR upper horse to death from both sides of the issue, and then kept on beating this dead horse. At this point I'm going to get back to trying to help ns66 find a firearm that works within his or her needs & limitations. I hope you'll do the same.

ugaarguy
January 5, 2012, 10:46 PM
btw i am just curious why people stay away from carbon in general so much, i am all for new technology and will keep an open mind until i see consistent evidence that it breaks,
A couple of things. First, the Carbon 15 line isn't a woven carbon fiber sheet / epoxy laminate that we think of when we say something is made from carbon fiber. They're just plastic with bits of carbon in the mix for added strength. Second, is the application. AR-15 barrels are held on by a castle nut which screws over a relatively thin section of the upper receiver. Likewise, the receiver extension (aka the buffer tube) screws into a relatively thin section of the lower receiver. Plastics (and even woven carbon fiber laminates) don't hold threads very well in high stress applications. Molding in a metal thread insert only makes the surrounding plastic thinner.

The Carbon 15 line is the only polymer AR upper out there, which tells us something. There are only a few companies offering polymer AR lowers, compared to the myriad of manufacturers making both their own aluminum lowers & branding them for other companies.

There are some workarounds if you want to use plastics though.

Cavalry Arms made what was the most durable polymer lower offered. This lower did not truly have a receiver extension because the buttstock & buffer tube were integral to the molding of the lower receiver. Unfortunately Cav Arms had some legal issues & lost their firearms manufacturing license.

The Kel Tec SU16 line, while not AR-15 rifles also give us a lesson. To maximize the strength of these rifles at the barrel / receiver junction Kel Tec chose not to use a thread in bbl. setup. Instead they opted to mechanically press fit the barrels to the receivers on the SU16 rifles.

Clear as mud? :D

ns66
January 6, 2012, 11:31 AM
polymer/fiber doesn't hold threads as well sounds like a valid concern, although so far i haven't found posts on the web about c-15 broke because of that, it's interesting

kfgk14
January 6, 2012, 03:56 PM
LOL yeah I don't "get it". You still end up with half rifles that cost more than whole rifles that shoot better. I've shot my share of T/C rifles. You're talking about needless complexity, more money, and less accuracy with AR/M4 type weapons. And training with "rifles you're going to use in battle? You going to Afghanistan? Just how many shootouts does your LEO department have? The ones here can afford whole rifles without having to make the swap. What happens when the "rifle you're going to use for battle" is configured wrong when you need it? Unless you have the gubmit paying for your toys or you're getting a big discount (because of being a LEO) there is no logical reason to do what you describe. I guarantee I just saw a better CQB rifle than you'll get to play with for a long time and guess what? They practice using the same ammo they intend to use for "battle". If you can afford to go the route you're talking you can afford to buy the ammo. Heck I can afford the ammo for my battle carbine and I pay retail for it (such as it is). I have several thousand rounds lying around. I'd much rather train with the ammo I'll be using than with something that doesn't aim the same, shoot the same, or deal with wind the same. That just makes no sense.


Okay...first...you recognize self-defense as a legitimate use of a firearm? Yes? Good. Home defense...AR-15...See how they work together? So you may have to bet your life on an AR-15 at some point if that is your choice self-defense weapon.

Now, centerfire ammo (5.56) is expensive. I know this all too well, I shoot an awful lot of 5.56. By contrast, .22 LR isn't expensive. It will pay for itself very quickly, as in under 1000 rounds, then you're saving money shooting .22 LR. I know this, I went the .22 LR alternate upper route. Brownells and others have very affordable .22 LR conversions and uppers available. The conversions are quite accurate as well as the dedicated uppers (which will shoot just as well as a Marlin Model 60), go to vuurwapenblog.com and look it up.

Now, is a Marlin model 60 a good training platform for an AR-15? No, didn't think so.
So, see how the conversions make sense?

On the subject of "oh noes, I have my .22 LR upper on my defensive gun" this is called dumb. You know the solution? Be intelligent. Store AR-15 in combat configuration. It doesn't take that long to pull two pins and swap uppers.

This is all going on the assumption the OP wants to use an AR-15 for defense. If not, I'm wasting my time trying to show him the logical reasons for training with a .22 LR AR-15.

Off my soapbox.

ns66
January 6, 2012, 08:15 PM
I looked at colt's website, I can't find any model or spec of its ar-15's, only catalog pdfs which do not have complete list, for example I can't find official spec/weight of AR6720, 6520, am I missing something here?

JustinJ
January 6, 2012, 08:25 PM
Specs are available here:

http://clydearmory.com/colt-ar6720.html?SID=6q329k8ct96vnn3b26oqlq18p7

snakeman
January 6, 2012, 08:27 PM
I would get a del-ton sport model ar, but only after you have got a semi-auto22 and gotten used to it.

HJ857
January 6, 2012, 08:34 PM
ns66, if you end up with an AR, and it sounds like you will, you may want to consider adding a good muzzle brake to it. An off the shelf AR will come with a flash hider, normally called a "birdcage". The flash hider just screws on to the barrel, and so you can easily remove it and replace it.

A muzzle brake works to eliminate muzzle "jump" and can also reduce the recoil impulse. The .223/5.56 round does not have a lot of recoil, but does have a fair muzzle jump with a standard birdcage. A good brake will make shooting the rifle even more pleasant to shoot, with one caveat - some brakes make the rifle a great deal louder, particularly for people standing off to the side of the rifle when it's being shot. To the shooter there is almost no difference in loudness.

While not exactly cheap, but still a good deal and very effective is the PWS FSC556 brake. Definitely worth consideration.

ns66
January 6, 2012, 08:46 PM
Specs are available here:

http://clydearmory.com/colt-ar6720.html?SID=6q329k8ct96vnn3b26oqlq18p7
I did find that link but it listed weight of 6.12lb with pensil barrel, heavier than even the 6920? and this site
http://colt6720.com/the-colt-6720
seems to be the same clyde but price differently, are they the same 6720?

i find it hard to believe for colt to not have an official site that lists all its ar-15s with detailed spec

which model is the lightest colt, 6520?

ns66
January 6, 2012, 08:52 PM
@HJ857, i will consider a muzzle break, is there 14.5" barrel+muzzle brake pinned and welded for reduced weight?

toivo
January 6, 2012, 08:59 PM
How about a pistol-caliber carbine?

http://www.berettausa.com/products/cx4-storm/

Very easy to handle and shoot and uses pistol magazines.

goon
January 6, 2012, 10:31 PM
I don't think starting out with a 5.56 AR is too bad of an idea. Assuming you have a knowledgable shooter to give you a lesson or two, starting with the 5.56 isn't that difficult. Lots of raw recruits in our armed forces have never fired a rifle before and learn without incident on the M-16.
But a good .22LR rifle is still what I'd call essential to any collection. You should have one if possible. You can shoot 500 rounds of .22 for less than $20. Show me a source of 5.56 ammo that cheap and I'll buy it all!

breeze010
January 6, 2012, 10:32 PM
Maybe I missed it but other than some vague references to home defense and target shooting I haven't seen you say exactly what you want out of the rifle. If you're considering it for HD you may want to look at the more "standard" (pistol/shotgun) first. Each system has its pros and cons of course and it will be up to you to decide what suits you best. For me, I don't see the disadvantages such as length, weight etc of a rifle to outweigh its advantages in a home defense situation.

The best advantage you will have in a SD scenario is practice. IMO the "best" home defense weapon is going to be the one you're the most familiar and comfortable with--whether it's a carbine, rifle, pistol, revolver etc. The only way to achieve this is to spend time (and money) putting rounds down range.

It sounds like this may be your first rifle or you have limited experience with them in general. If that is the case a 22LR will be perfect for your situation. As many others have stated you can get a rifle for <$200 and ammo to practice with is dirt cheap compared to any centerfire. No it isn't the best caliber for home defense, and no if you're plinking with a 10/22 the controls and ergonomics are not going to translate directly to an AR. However all the time spent at the range learning marksmanship skills, trigger control, shooting accurately etc will carry over to every other rifle you own now or in the future. Don't look at purchasing a 22lr as wasted money that could have been put towards an AR...it is actually an investment in your shooting future IMO.

If you have the finances to shoot a 223 as much as a 22LR then more power to you. IMO you'd still be better off learning the basics on a 22lr and going from there. If you are simply learning the basics there's no need to spend exponentially more money shooting a centerfire "just because". If you're still determined to buy a centerfire then there have been plenty of good suggestions already posted. I would also look at a Saiga in 223, 7.62x39 or 5.45. The 5.45 would make a great range toy with all the cheap milsurp ammo available.

Good luck!

ns66
January 7, 2012, 11:43 AM
thanks for all the suggestions
22 not going to be the HD weapon, so i will get the 5.56, since they are very different so i am honestly not sure how much i can gain by learning 22 first, i think i will buy/build a lightweight good quality ar-15 (or similar potent calibre) and practice with it....

303tom
January 7, 2012, 11:54 AM
i just don't have good physical strength, i have handled military m16 it's like carrying a heavy furniture, there's just no way i can be good at it if self defense is needed, if i can get a 5lb instead of 6-7lb that could mean big jump in my ability to handle it, while the risk of malfunction maybe increased only marginally if at all. i searched the web extensively, although bushmaster/c-15 is generally not highly regarded, but i didn't see any real examples/incidences that owner reported it failed, and i guess thousands or even tens of thousands are out there and being used everyday, i did see one youtube video that it jammed, but author said poor quality ammo was used...
Sorry about that, sorry I offered up the MAS as a semi-auto for you, it don`t weigh no 5 lbs.

ns66
January 7, 2012, 02:17 PM
@303tom no problem at all thx for the suggestion

just found out colt 6920 is 6.95lbs, the weight on their 2011 catalog is wrong lol

if i go with colt it will have to be the lightweight 6720, can the front and back sights be removed to reduce weight? i'd prefer red dot and i don't need back up since i am not going to iraq

6520 is lighter but i want a flat top

ugaarguy
January 7, 2012, 03:37 PM
I knew I'd bring out the flame throwers by posting my opinion. From changing the subject to personal attacks to red herring arguments nothing ever changes on the net.

Pot, meet Kettle.

ugaarguy
January 7, 2012, 03:39 PM
if i go with colt it will have to be the lightweight 6720, can the front and back sights be removed to reduce weight? i'd prefer red dot and i don't need back up since i am not going to iraq
ns, you can replace the front sight with a low profile gas block (the gas block is integral to the A frame front sight), but it will reduce the weight little if at all.

goon
January 7, 2012, 04:28 PM
I don't know what your weight requirements actually are but a light AR carbine is barely more weight than a five pound bag of sugar. A gallon of water or milk weighs about 8 pounds. I think before you start looking to shave off every extra ounce from rifles that are already so light you should at least get out and handle them to see if they're not manageable as they already are.
And we've said, .22's are great because they give practice with the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship - breathing, sight picture, trigger squeeze. If you master those with a .22 they quickly translate to centerfires, especially to one with as light of recoil as the AR. But if you don't think a .22 is worthwhile for your purposes that's your call.

woad_yurt
January 8, 2012, 10:23 PM
Why not buy a Norinco SKS, a Paratrooper model if you can find one, and be done with it? The ammo is cheap, way cheaper than 5.56, and it's a great gun. If you want to expand your horizons later, you can, but, in the meantime, you'll be thrilled. The Norinco SKS, especially the Paratrooper model, feels almost like a Marlin 60 in hand. I know, I own one.

Note: You can remove the bayonet in two minutes if it has one. Also, a $30 Williams peep sight makes life a lot nicer.

Speak of the devil:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=268758992

My Paratrooper on top, regular Norinco minus bayonet on bottom:

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee150/woad_yurt/SKScomparison01-1.jpg

ns66
January 9, 2012, 01:44 PM
i know 11% tax applies to complete ar-15, how about completed upper? i read it somewhere with completed upper still need to pay tax

ugaarguy
January 9, 2012, 02:58 PM
Why not buy a Norinco SKS, a Paratrooper model if you can find one, and be done with it?
Because ns66 already stated the 7.78 lb M16A2 is too heavy for his or her needs, and you're recommending a rifle that (at 8.5 lbs) weighs 3/4 of lb more.
i know 11% tax applies to complete ar-15, how about completed upper? i read it somewhere with completed upper still need to pay tax
If you order the upper & lower at the same time from the same dealer then the dealer must charge 11% tax since they're selling all the parts to complete the weapon. If you assemble the rifle for personal use I believe you're exempt from the tax, but I'm neither a lawyer nor a tax expert, so don't quote me on that.

goon
January 9, 2012, 04:10 PM
Yeah, from previous posts I'd say the SKS is definitely ruled out on weight. Especially if an AR carbine is too heavy. And I'd doubt there's a tax on the completed upper. They don't count as a firearm.

justice06rr
January 9, 2012, 11:50 PM
how tall are you and how much do you weigh?

A basic AR15 with iron sights isn't really that heavy by any means. One of my shooting friend's who's a 115lb chick can shoot my Spikes Tactical AR15 with no problems, although it will get a bit tiring with extended shooting. there are solutions to that of course, like shooting from a rest (sitting or lying down).

ns66
January 10, 2012, 12:06 AM
does the online vendor charge 11% tax or after it shipped to FFL the FFL will charge 11%? i went an online site it doesn't seem to add the tax

@justice i can use a heavier gun but i just feel much better with a lighter one

ugaarguy
January 10, 2012, 04:41 AM
does the online vendor charge 11% tax or after it shipped to FFL the FFL will charge 11%? i went an online site it doesn't seem to add the tax
The vendor should add the tax after checkout, but check with the individual vendor.
is there 14.5" barrel+muzzle brake pinned and welded for reduced weight?
Sorry I didn't answer this earlier, and I don't know how much weight it saves, but yes such uppers exist - http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Standard-14-5-LIGHT-WEIGHT-Upper-Receiver-p/bcm-urg-car-14lw.htm
Sorry. Wrong answer. The Paratrooper only weighs 7 lb.s. It's shorter than the regular Type 56 and therefore lighter. It was also built for the US market and is not a milsurp rifle. It has lighter components as a result. So it ends up weighing about 1.5 lb.s less than the standard milsurp Norinco.
First, Woad Yurt said "a Norinco SKS, a Paratrooper model if you can find one", and then he posted a picture of both. I stated standard SKS weight since I couldn't find an accurate source for the weight on the Paratrooper. I'll take your word that the Paratrooper weighs about 7lbs. That's still about a pound heavier than a lightweight AR like a Colt 6720.

woad_yurt
January 10, 2012, 09:01 AM
The Paratrooper only weighs 7 lb.s. It's shorter than the regular Type 56 and therefore lighter. It was also built for the US market and is not a milsurp rifle.

It looks like any other Norinco SKS that I've seen except for the muzzle end of the barrel. It appears that they altered regular ones to make 'em. The underside of the stock even has the slot cut out to accomodate the folding bayonet. Were they still making new SKSs in the late 80s?

No matter which it is, it's still one fantastic, little rifle, even if you have to pay the $350-$400 that they're bringing nowadays. They're quite a bit more accurate than an AK, too.

goon
January 11, 2012, 02:20 PM
I know ns66 is interested in the PS90. I found this review by accident today. Hope he finds it useful.

http://www.gunblast.com/FNH-PS90.htm

ns66
January 11, 2012, 10:27 PM
thanks all for the replies.
i like the ps90 new technology and 5.7mm, but it's still bulky and as heavy as ar-15. the ar-15 is a bit too long for home defense and close quarters, and weight is also an issue, the lightest i can get is bushmaster carbon-15 upper/lower 5.1lbs without mag. so i think a good PDW lightweight/short and at the same time provide decent long range capability is hard to find still currently. the HK mp7 looks like a good candidate but not available to civilians yet.

priler
January 12, 2012, 08:28 AM
personally i think you need a bit more time to understand certain things and to know what you really need,this is according to your statements here,including how long range capability is achieved,..BUT..

how about an AK pistol(7.62x39). it should be at 5.5lbs,just don't expect to get a cheek weld.

i like a rifle or a pistol,not an AK pistol,an SBR yes but not pistol. i've always thought of them as just fun range toys but maybe it's just what your looking for.

i hope no one ever comes out with a 5.45 version,that would ruin that cheap ammo supply.




...or how about a mossberg 410 with no stock. i think those weigh about the same as an AK pistol. i forget the exact model name.(oops,this is not a semi-auto)

anyway,good luck.

goon
January 12, 2012, 10:38 AM
ns66 - I mean no disrespect, but you can't really understand what you're even saying unless you get to some gun shops and handle some of these guns. Trust me on this - an M-4 clone with a 14.5 barrel and permanent flash hider is very light and quick handling just as it is. A Colt carbine with lightweight barrel is even lighter, and the PS90 is lighter yet. You can literally shoulder and aim it with one hand. An M-1 Carbine fits into the PDW concept very well too. You really need to get to a decent sized gun store and do some handling!

EnfieldEnthusiast
January 29, 2012, 06:08 PM
I'd like to suggest an L1A1 SLR.Probably reasonably-priced in the USA,tough,rugged &reliable & fires a 7.62mm round,which is great for all rifle target work & hunting game too.i believe its 20-30 roumds in a mag.
Thats a gun I would have bought,if they didn't ban them on the UK mainland,like they did 23 years ago & some were also made in old Blighty too,from the BSA factory.
It might be your thing if you are into classic rifles.

roscoe
January 29, 2012, 06:52 PM
Lightweight rifles with low recoil include (in descending order of recoil) include the SU16, M1 carbine, and the 10-22 magnum. All are adequate for self defense within 100 yards.

ns66
January 29, 2012, 08:28 PM
since this thread is resurrected, let me update on what i finally got. i went to the local gun show for full 2 days, and handled all kinds of rifles, shotguns, "pistols", and i know i want to get the lightest ar-15, and ordered bushmaster superlight with red dot. it's lightweight and comfortable for me, put on red dot and riser mount, and magazine, the whole thing probably weights about 6lb+, although i haven't shot it, but i like what i have got so far, pretty happy, no regrets.

i bought it from cabelas, top service, i am very impressed (first time ever dealing with them).

thanks all who replied and all of your suggestions

Ramone
January 29, 2012, 09:13 PM
Good for you!

I was about to offer a 2ond to someones suggestion of the Kel Tec SUB2000 (my preference being the GLOCK19 9mm variant).

Light, portable, good for minute of torso at 100 yards, next cheapest ammo to .22lr, little muzzle flash, quiet (especially with sub-sonic ammo), it's my first suggestion for a first rifle- especially as a first rifle might be the ONLY rifle for a while, which keeps me from jumping on the .22lr first rifle bandwagon.

But Mazel Tov!

welcome to the loud dysfunctional family of AR ownership.

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