Help me decide...


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tarrigoni
August 12, 2004, 12:07 PM
I'm trying to decide on a rifle.

This rifle will be used for general plinking and SHTF scenarios.
I already have a 30-40 Krag for hunting, so that's not a consideration.

I like detachable magazines, but they're not completely needed. I'm not much for a pistol grip, so that's really not all that big a deal either.

I'd like to keep the caliber around .223 or 7.62x39 so I can afford to shoot alot to get proficient with the weapon.

My choices so far are :

1) KelTec SU-16 - I like that it folds up to a small package, takes AR mags, and shoots .223

2) SKS - Cheap. Cheap Ammo.

3) M1 Carbine - what can you tell me about the .30 carbine round?

4) Saiga .223/7.62x39 - cheap ammo, but the mags are pricey.

Is there anything I'm missing?

Thanks for all your help!

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MAUSER88
August 12, 2004, 12:50 PM
I'm an SKS and AK fan. :D

rbernie
August 12, 2004, 01:27 PM
What's your price point? After all, a decent SKS will be less than half as expensive as the KelTec and at least $100 cheaper than a low-end AK (at least in my neck of the woods).

tarrigoni
August 12, 2004, 01:29 PM
$500 ish. While the sks is quite a bit cheaper, that's not really going to factor in to the equation.

Onmilo
August 12, 2004, 01:34 PM
of the options listed you can't go wrong with an SKS but choose your rifle wisely.
Avoid the cheaply made Chinese 'tourist' SKS variations, stick with genuine military issue and it really doesn't matter which military made it or used it, just be sure the gun is military issue.
I really like Saiga rifles but the name "sport rifle" says it all.
This isn't designed for or intended to be a SHTF rifle.

rbernie
August 12, 2004, 01:48 PM
I've been intruiged by the KelTec since it was introduced. I've not been able to find a place in my safe for it, tho - it just seems like an awful lot of money for something that may or may not have the durability that I'd like it to have. The Saigas that I've handled have looked AWFULLY crude when compared to most SKSs - their only real advantage over the SKS would seem to be the detachable box magazine. You decide what that's worth to ya. The 30Cal Carbine is a neat plinker, but ammo for it is not as cheap/readily available as .223 or 7.62x39.

I'd almost say get a Chinese or Romanian SKS for $200-$250, spend a few more dollars getting a decent rear sight for it, and put the next $200 into buying and shooting 2000 rounds of 7.62x39. Otherwise - commit to spending a bit more than $500 and build a low-end AR-platform. (Dunno why, but I've never really gotten into AK's all that much. But I'm sure that someone will be along shortly to extoll their virtues for you. :) )

tarrigoni
August 14, 2004, 02:33 AM
I'm leaning towards an sks at this point, but I'm going to throw another rifle into the mix..

how bout a marlin 336? what can ya'll tell me about one of these?

rbernie
August 14, 2004, 12:29 PM
The 336 was my first rifle, and I don't regret the choice. There's a lot to be said for the way a lever-action carries and feels - very thin, well-balanced, and with a certain panache.

Both the SKS and 336 will be relatively handy in enclosed spaces and to carry in the field. The semiauto SKS may have the edge in SHTF scenarios, but that's more of a training issue than anything else - a lever action can be cycled VERY quickly without losing sight picture by someone who knows what they're doing. The 336's 30-30 round is about on par with the SKS's 7.62x39 round in terms of power, with the nod going to the 30-30 in terms of bullet weight choices (130, 150, 170 grain @ .50/round) and the nod going to the 7.62x39 in terms of practice ammo cost (124 and 152gr @ .10/round).

If you think that your intended use may ultimately swing more to the hunting side of things, I'd favor the 336 - especially if you intend to shoot factory ammo. But so long as you envision training/practicing with more of an eye towards SHTF type usage scenarios, then I'd favor the SKS - the practice ammo will be far, far less expensive and frankly more plentiful under most any set of circumstances.

I'm presently on an autoloader kick, so I prefer the SKS to the 336 overall. But they're both viable choices.

El Rojo
August 14, 2004, 01:07 PM
I say SKS. You can get a good one for cheap and then tons of ammo to go with it. That was the first rifle I bought with my own money.

jAK-47
August 15, 2004, 09:54 AM
$500 ish

Get the Saiga .223 AND you can still get an SKS, M1 OR another Saiga in 7.62X39. Also, have you looked into Saiga shotguns??? Man, they are high on my list. The mags for the Saiga OR the gun can easily be converted for hi-caps if you really feel the need for SHTF. If you convert the gun I guess you'd have to put on more parts like a pistol grip, etc. to make it legal - not sure about the mags.

I sold my Bushmaster years ago and bought my VEPR 7.62X39 and wanted a .223 rifle just because. The Saiga arrived last week and I put 300 rounds through it without a hiccup; the sights were RIGHT ON, no recoil, etc. The 10 rounds are enough for me right now but I'll probably end up at least getting some hi-cap mags that are converted.

It ain't exactly a 500 yard sniper rifle but just for fun I put my Simmons 3.8-12X44 on it and had a ball. I have a POSP 4X24 w/laser and a red dot and those will be fun next time; Kobra in the future... The iron sights are just fine for plinking out to 100 yards and co-witness makes it ideal.

http://www.gunsnet.net/album/data//500/15916Saiga_223_Scope-med.jpg

jAK-47

MrMurphy
August 15, 2004, 10:20 AM
The SKS, with about a thousand rounds of ammo and stripper clips to go with it will do fine.

PS The m1 Carbine is a handy little rifle, but with softpoints only hits like a .357 Magnum out to bout 100 yards, maybe 150. Not a long range weapon it was designed to arm radiomen, truck drivers, cooks/bakers/mechanics etc not frontline troops. It'll certainly drop someone, it just might take multiple hits. For close range, it's nice and handy and packs enough punch, but beyond that, it starts to suffer. Audie Murphy (who singlehandedly whacked 300+ Germans) liked it, but then he primarily used it for up close (M1 Garand, BAR and .50 for longer ranges).

tarrigoni
August 15, 2004, 07:24 PM
I picked up a yugo sks today for $119 otd. :)

now I just need to go shoot

El Rojo
August 16, 2004, 02:43 AM
See you can't beat that. Now go buy 2000 rounds for about $150 and you are set for a long, long time.

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