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best all-around rifle in .308

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by judaspriest, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. judaspriest

    judaspriest Well-Known Member

    I understand it's a somewhat goofy question, but I am going to ask anyway. I am looking for one rifle that would be a jack of all trades - an competent performer in all categories, even if it doesn't shine in any single one of them. I.e:

    - rugged / reliable (vital)
    - quick follow-ups (hence bolts are out)
    - decent accuracy to 300-400 yards, usable to 500 or so
    - usable with iron sights and scope (QD / see-through)
    - can be used for hunting if necessary, self-defense
    - the one rifle you would want to have by your side in a long-term survival situation

    I have already picked the caliber, .308 (as a reasonable all-around choice). Initially, I thought I had made my choice - an M1A for about $1500-2K tops, but as the expected costs keep climbing (esp. for forged-receiver with good scope mount, etc), I am starting to have second thoughts. I am now trying to consider sporting pumps such as the Remington 7600 or semi-autos such as Browning BAR as well as perhaps even the lever-actions.

    I was wondering what people think about my dilemma?


  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Well-Known Member

    I drank the Kool-Aid, but I think Jeff Cooper's scout rifle is what you are looking for. Yes, it's a bolt, but bolt guns can be manipulated with "startling alacrity". I strongly doubt that the lever or pump guns are as fast as a trained man at the bolt.
  3. CA357

    CA357 Well-Known Member

    Dsa Fal
  4. MassMark

    MassMark Well-Known Member

    Stick with your initial gut, combine .38Special's advice and go with an M1A Scout. The forward rail is perfect for a Leupold, Burris or Nikon scout scope set-up. No extra mounts to buy - use throwlever rings so you can go to irons quickly if need be. Springfield Armory's cast receivers are GTG - your children's children's children will not shoot it out.....You will absolutely be stellar at the ranges you describe....
  5. dstorm1911

    dstorm1911 Well-Known Member

    FAL or L1A1 designed and built for the worst in battle field conditions, capable of super tight accuracy with quality ammo, adjustable gas system......... commonly reffered to as "The right arm of the free world" for a reason, unlike many other military 7.62x51 based battle rifles the FAL/L1A1 pattern has zero issues with heavy hunting load .308 win or standard NATO 7.62X51 due to the tunable gas system ya can dial it in for any ammo on hand to feed it....

    Mags are cheap (around $6 ea for metric pattern, $19 for Inch pattern)

    New basic military configuration STG58s from Enterprise arms at $899 up to a higher end DSA all USA built paratrooper (folding stock, 16" barrel etc...) around $1500

    Tons of aftermarket goodies to set it up exactly as ya want

    500 yards is a cake walk for the cartridge and the gun both with optics

    Enterprise arms


    DSA Arms

  6. aloharover

    aloharover Well-Known Member

  7. Brother in Arms

    Brother in Arms Well-Known Member

    if I was going to buy a .308 rifle fitting your specifications for a reasonable cost I would get a Saiga .308

    here are your specs:
    - rugged / reliable (vital)
    - quick follow-ups (hence bolts are out)
    - decent accuracy to 300-400 yards, usable to 500 or so
    - usable with iron sights and scope (QD / see-through)
    - can be used for hunting if necessary, self-defense
    - the one rifle you would want to have by your side in a long-term survival situation

    -rugged and reliable is the AK platforms first and middle name.
    -quick Follow up shots are not a problem as it is semi-automatic.
    -decent accuracy 300-400 yards and usable to 500 or so.
    -all Saiga .308 rifles have a side mounted optics rail that is QD and could be see through depending on scope mount style you choose.
    -can be used for hunting and self defense
    -One rifle I would be comfortable with in long term survival situation.

    Here are some of the Saiga .308's benefits. Proven system, simple to maintain and operate, excellent all around caliber many accessories and customization options available. Very affordable compared to other semi-automatic battle rifles ($350 base cost). It is available in 16" and 21" chrome lined barrels so you can have a full length rifle or carbine that is easy to clean and maintain. It can be used in standard configuration or converted to use a pistol grip and AK butt stock if you choose to. Eastern bloc optics available for this rifle are tougher than nails, work well and are cost effective. The rifle accepts most AK accessories.

    here are some of its draw backs:
    Magazines are synthetic and are only 8 round ( but easily converted to 10 round) Recently a company is selling after market hi capacity 20 round magazines but they sell for about $50 a piece. But the 8 round magazines are $30-35 a piece.

    Original butt stock isn't my favorite it is hollow and is light weight it feels a little cheap. But the worse thing is the distance of the hand from the trigger and safety lever. ( a thumb hole or skeleton stock is now available and requires no conversion and its is extremely sturdy.)

    Lacks a muzzle device. Saiga .308 rifles do not have a muzzle device (or threads for a one) so a flash hider muzzle break, is not easily attached . (Though they can be fitted with one by a gunsmith if you so desire.)

    no on board cleaning kit or cleaning rod or bayonet lug. Not serious but possible draw backs depending on your opinions.

    So here is basic rifle with a few useful accessories

    Saiga .308 rifle $350
    2-8 round mags$ 65
    PSOP 4X24mm $125
    sling $ 10

    Total $550 given average prices of a basic rifle and accessories. I have seen several used Saiga .308 in my area with some accessories in the $300 range. Seldom though do they have spare magazines they usually must be ordered online. Ammunition will be the greatest cost of any .308 battle rifle so I would buy a saiga .308 and with money I save buy reloading equipment so you afford to become very proficient with it.

    Brother in Arms
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  8. judaspriest

    judaspriest Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys for the input.

    Saiga and FAL are very fine choices indeed, but I forgot to mention one more thing that eliminates the FAL and likely Saiga as well - I live in a socialist-run state that branded them both "assault rifles" and banned. Otherwise, both would be very high on my choice list...
  9. mikec

    mikec Well-Known Member

    Which state? If it is CT, then they had a name ban, right? You can't own a FN FAL or anything that has the name FAL on the receiver, right? However a clone not named in the ban was OK based on posts on the FALFiles. I don't know MA's rules. NY also allows FALs.
  10. judaspriest

    judaspriest Well-Known Member

    The People's Republic of Neu Jersey
  11. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    I like the M1A. Get a Loaded model or the Scout. SOCOM has to much stuff attached. very heavy.
  12. mikec

    mikec Well-Known Member

    I know that ARS has shipped FALs to NJ. Any gun you buy will still have the silly 15 round mag rule. Are all FALs a no no or just FN FALs? Is this a new law? Back in '01 or '02 FALs were OK in NJ.
  13. gunnie

    gunnie Well-Known Member

    if "mikec" is right, i'd suggest an FAL non-named unit. otherwise the M1A seems your option, though not my personal choice. many feel otherwise, and i have no problems with their personal choice. it IS a good system.

    bummer about living in the com-bloc held north east coast, bud. they haven't usurped the right to move yet, have they?


    PS---yet more PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS from gunnie:

    everybody's stirring and they're packing up their goods
    buying 'em a pickup truck and heading for the woods
    it's a strange wind blowing

    you can see 'em on the freeway with a u-haul tucked behind
    running from the cities for a little peace of mind
    where are they going

    so the peasant left the castle walls and struck out on his own
    and all he had was on his back and he felt so all alone
    when he was leaving

    'cause the road it is yer enemy and the road it is yer friend
    it's there the day the journey starts and there the day it ends
    no time for greiving

    the ancients left their mark behind in most every way they could
    they warned us not to be like this and always knew we would
    and now it's falling

    my cabin door has cracks in it and they let the north wind in
    at night the wailing of a wolf you wonder where he's been
    and who he's calling
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  14. judaspriest

    judaspriest Well-Known Member

    The current law (though, unconstitutional to any unbiased reader) states the following "'Assault firearms' means ..... FN-FAL, FN-LAR or FN-FNC type semi-automatic firearms" and then after the full list of any decent rifle known to man, "Any firearm manufactured under any designation which is substantially identical to any of the firearms listed in
    paragraph (1) above"

    Hence, it would seem to me that any FAL clone is banned and so is Saiga (since the AK is prominently on the list, of course)
  15. gunnie

    gunnie Well-Known Member

  16. Acheron

    Acheron Well-Known Member


    That's all there is to it.
  17. RLsnow

    RLsnow Well-Known Member

    G3....why? CUS ITS FROM HK!!!

    no really...G3 is your man....
  18. gunnie

    gunnie Well-Known Member

    Hk 770

    while i really dislike the HK 91, due to poor human engineering, these have the same internals/action as that mdl. the 91 is a VERY reliable weapon, and maybe the 770 has a decent trigger. perhaps others reading this posting can expand on this as i have no experience with that model. The 770 centerfire series used a roller locked action as did the SL6/SL7 which had shorter barrels and a less traditional stock style.

    the outward appearance of these could even fool the clintons. maybe N.J. as well?

    see same @:


  19. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i would still lean toward the ma and that would be my first choice even after reading your post, i agree with the above poster, either the scout or the loaded model, i personally want the scout.
  20. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    You can buy a Saiga 308 in Jersey. I was in Jersey City recently having a priceless old 38 transferred to where I live in VA, and they had one for sale in their gun rack.

    I think the 'ban' you're referring to is a firearm with 'evil' features such as a pistol grip. The Saiga doesn't have that. Semiauto sporting/hunting rifle.

    Here's the store in JC I saw the Saiga.

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