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Buying my first Carbine... advice wanted.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sean Dempsey, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Sean Dempsey

    Sean Dempsey Well-Known Member

    BRIEF history: I have a number of handguns I am quite familiar with, along with my CFP (utah concealed permit). I had a pump action .22 growing up (which is gone) and shot a bunch of my dad's shotguns. They were all guns from the 70's and 80's, lots of polished woodgrain. No real carbines.

    Okay, so I am interested in acquiring my first carbine. I have no idea where to start or what to get. Here are some random thoughts:

    - I do not hunt, nor do I plan to. I also have no need to shoot at nuisance animals.

    - I prefer a EBR over something woody, but I'll take a wood gun too.

    - Semi-auto would be nice, but something like an auto-feed bolt action would be cool too.

    - I have no real need for a carbine or a fullsize rifle... I just want one. I don't need something real fancy, but I do want something I can take to the range and do some decent and fun target practice with at a good range.

    - A scope would be nice, or maybe an aimpoint or ACOG.

    - I figure my budget is going to be 1200 or lower. If that's not doable, maybe I'm just dreaming.

    - I have no idea what sort of caliber I am looking for. Something decent but cheap to shoot?

    So where does one start? Is the AR-15 a good carbine to start with? What about a springfield M1? I really have no idea what to look for, or what makes a good gun over a bad gun. To be honest, I am looking at the M1 just because springfield is a brand I trust.

    Thoughts on this?
  2. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    I suggest you try and shoot a couple different carbines before buying.
    You might find a lever carbine as interesting as an AR type.

    I have an old commercial M1 Carbine and shoot it now and then. Factory ammo can be harder to find, and more expensive, than .223 for an AR.

    There are an awful lot of carbines available, and many are much cheaper than $1,200. You shouldn't have much trouble finding one once you decide what you want.
  3. Sean Dempsey

    Sean Dempsey Well-Known Member

    There's nowhere to try guns around here. There's no formal ranges, and no rentals... and my only gun-buddy has just 1 handgun =D

    Thats part of my purchasing woes... I don't really have any options to try something. Everything I've bought, I've bought on faith =/
  4. 22/22mag

    22/22mag Well-Known Member

    I like semi-auto rifles ...I have a new Saiga 7,62x39mm converted to folding stock will take all AK mags cheap to shoot, cost about $650.for new rifle and complete conversion.

    Kahr M1 .30 carbine folding stock very handy + a National Ord,.30 carbine.Ammo costs close to .223 .

    Mini-14 with folding stock + Mini-30 carbine stock or folder.Average weight around 5-7 lbs.
    Cost for Kahr M1 .30 carbine + Mini-14/30 $550-$600.

    I have 3 .308 rifles but they weigh 9-10 lbs and more with scopes.

    2 AR 15 good shooters but I like the feel of the carbines better.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  5. miko

    miko Well-Known Member

    Try a Marling lever in 357 Mag or, if you want more power, in 44 Mag.

  6. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus


    There are other THR members out there- whine just a little bit, and maybe someone reasonably close by will volunteer to let you have some trigger time on their ARs.

    From what you're saying, it sounds to me as if you'd be happy with an AR platform to play around with. IMHO it's one of those things that everyone needs to know how to run, because they are so prolific. I'd consider it an important part of your firearms education to be familiar with the use and basic maintenance of the AR platform, as with most other very common firearms designs in this country.

    Main thing about AR carbines is they are such a blast to shoot. And relatively inexpensive too, in the scheme of things as it stands now. Magazines, ammo and accessories are widely available for them, so you can make it as eeeevile as your budget can stand. There's any number of threads here on the topic.

    And after all, now that the election is over it's time to have your obligatory EBR panic attac- if you haven't had one yet, you're overdue. It's time to start now...

  7. rugerdude

    rugerdude Well-Known Member

    You could get a hi-point 995 semi-auto carbine...and a LOT of mags and ammo!

    Seriously, if it fits the bill, there's no sense in not buying something cheaper. I have one and I love it. It's robust and accurate, it also only cost me 170 bucks. It's very short and controllable as well. Oh yeah, it's chambered for 9x19mm ammunition. A great value but if you have the green to spend, ruger makes a nice carbine, and you could always get an AR in 9mm.

    If you want a nice, short full powered rifle, then a saiga 16" "shorty" would be good. They come in 3 flavors, 7.62x51, 5.56x45, and 7.62x39. Wood of composite stocks.
  8. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    RRA or Stag AR 15, 16" flattop, Harris Bipod, and a red dot of your choice. ACOG's are more than likely out of the picture if if you are 1200 budget. To get one you want could cost nearly your budget, w/o a gun. I just purchased an eotech holosight 512 today. With all of the stuff I mentioned, it was around 1300. But you could get a scope that would be decent enought for what you want it for, and would be a bit cheaper.
  9. Fat_46

    Fat_46 Well-Known Member

    Ameetec complete lower - $200
    Ameetec chrome lined M4 upper wi B/BC/CH - $420
    Demo ACOG TA01 from SWFA - 600

    total - $1220 for an M4 with Acog...I know - I just bought those things!!
  10. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    How far are you planning on shooting?
    If most of your time is going to be spent shooting no farther than 50 yards a handgun caliber carbine should work well. I used to shoot my Rossi .357 lever carbine out to 100, but without hitting much. (Might have been my reloads.)

    If you plan to shoot at 100 yards, or more, a .223, or .30 cal would be a better buy. This could include the .30 Carbine. I shot a couple of 200 yard Highpower matches with mine, years ago. All the bullets hit the targets point first, and some even hit the 10 ring.
  11. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    Sean, what ever you decide on, look into ammo costs before layin up the green. A fun 9mm or other pistol cal. carbine will be a lot cheaper to shoot than the larger cal. I don't know about you but I like to shoot and not worry about the dough I'm burning up. I don't have one but the .223 ammo seems easy to get and cheap and there are alot of rifles made in that cal..

    I'd like to have one myself, but I just bought a Marlin levergun in 357 mag to plink with.
  12. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    lever actions are fun.....

    and if you have a .357 revolver....you could get the dies and reload for both.

    for that kind of money.....you should get a couple different types and enjoy learning them.

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