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Looking for first semi auto centerfire rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by grooms, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. grooms

    grooms Member

    Hello all,

    I am looking for a semi auto rifle that will basically be used for recreational target shooting. I've been interested in AK and AR styles however the Mini 14's have caught my eye. I really do not have a caliber preference.

    I've thought about buying something before another ban takes place but cannot justify paying an overinflated price.

    Can anyone recommend a new or used rifle in the $500.00 range? Thanks for the help!
  2. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    My 1st centerfire rifle was a Norinco sks ~20 years ago. I still have the rifle! I picked up a saiga .308 ~ 6 months ago and it has been flawless. I'm not sure you can still buy a saiga for less than $500 anymore. The price of most semiauto centerfire rifles has soared since the election:(
  3. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    If anyone has those for sale, they will be at a premium. (Mine included!)
    You have an interesting decision....

    Buy now and no ban = Pay to much (Currently 200+/- high IMO):mad:
    Buy now and there is a ban = The current prices will look like a steal::scrutiny:
    Wait out any ban, watch it move through the court system, if rejected due to Heller = Prices will drop like a rock! :D
    Wait out any ban, watch it move through the court system, if upheld inspite of Heller = Prices will climb even higher (Unless it bans previously sold guns, in which case the need for an EBR will be present and pressing):cuss:
  4. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    If it were me... I would sit on the sidelines for now as far a centerfire autos are concerned. The hysteria about a new AWB is driveing prices through the roof! I think that in 6 months prices will drop back down to pre election levels once everyone figures out that the federal govenment has WAY WAY WAY bigger problems to deal with than passing a new AWB!

    For now, may I suggest tracking down a nice mosin-nagant. they are cheap, plentiful and you can still find relatively inexpensive ammo for them. I put a scout scope on my 1932 hex receiver M/N and its a real tack driver (2moa w/ privi ammo)
  5. woof

    woof Well-Known Member

    I'm just curious... why would you want such a rifle for target shooting?
  6. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus


    target shooting is exactly what 99% of the owners do with them.
  7. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Well-Known Member

    Buy now. Don't wait. Prices won' come down for a long time. Get an ak or ar.
  8. bpl

    bpl Well-Known Member

    I don't think you're likely to get a new or used AR or AK for $500 right now. Even the lowly WASR-10 AKs are going for $600+ right now. You could maybe order your AR in parts and assemble it yourself, but the waits are generally quoted in months now for all parts. Check out delton.com, model1sales.com and ar15sales.com for latest quotes.

    Here is an example: http://ar15sa.fatcow.com/store/page2.html

    I ordered the: Stag Rifle Kit Less Stripped Lower

    I have a stripped lower already, which was $125 back when I bought it. So $758 plus shipping (plus assembly) for this one. I think you will have a hard time finding a stripped lower for $125 right now though.

    This was maybe 3 weeks ago and the quoted wait then was 5-8 weeks, I think. Now it is 18-20 weeks.
  9. d2wing

    d2wing Well-Known Member

    The AR is superior for target shooting but hard to find in that price. I have a Saiga and have had Aks. Not tack drivers but fun to shoot at closer ranges.

    HOLY DIVER Well-Known Member

    i think a nice sks would work out nice
    ammo is cheap

    fun to shoot
  11. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    There are still decent AK's around for $500 in my area.
    I've looked them over and they seem to look a step above the WASR-10's.
    So grooms, if you can't find one in your area, PM me and I'll get you contact info for a shop that still has a couple.

    BTW - I missed a deal on a WASR-10 a month ago. It was $249 with a bunch of tactical crap added to it.
    I passed because I've already been through enough AK's to convince me that I can do better, but I was still tempted by that one.
  12. grooms

    grooms Member

    Thanks to all for the information! I went to the local Dunham's Sports Store tonight and they had one new AK .223 for $849.

    No one was around to actually look at it. About a month ago they had 4 used ones.

    I have a PA State Police Beretta 96D .40 cal that I may try to trade for an AR (plus cash).
  13. Ohio Gun Guy, good analysis.

    Get two SKSs or a Saiga and have $$ to spare - each SKS is twice as good as a Mini-14, so that gets you a total of 4 times the value of a Mini-14. :p
  14. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    You may be better off to keep the Beretta or try to sell it "privately" (you have to go through an FFL in PA with handgun sales).
    Beretta 96 trade in's aren't that uncommon right now and they're not that expensive for the customer to buy from the store. So if you go to trade your "low value" handgun for an AR right now (dealers can't keep them in stock) you're probably going to get hosed big time.
    Unless you don't like the Beretta I'd say keep it.
    FWIW, do you even have any AR's in your area right now? My favorite shop sold almost all of theirs in the last few weeks. About all they have left is a .50 Beowulf and a left handed one. The rest are pretty much gone.

    Also, unless that AK is an Arsenal it's overpriced. I saw a WASR in .223 a couple months ago for $359 (I think). It's possible that the price on it went up since the election but I doubt it's climbed by $500.

    I support the SKS suggestion as well. Even when compared to the "others" on just their merits they still stand up pretty well.
    In my experience they are more accurate than an AK and just as tough. If I had to choose between the two I'd go with the SKS even if it weren't cheaper (and I say this after having owned five different AK's).
    It also might make sense to wait to buy a semi-auto but that's a gamble. I think if you can find a good semi-auto at a half decent price right now you should probably buy it.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  15. rust collector

    rust collector Well-Known Member

    Please allow me to echo the SKS recommendation. Even at 200 to 300, they are a lot of gun for the money, very simple and serviceable. There are heaps of parts available, they are pleasant to shoot, and ammunition tends to be relatively inexpensive.

    My experience is with a Norinco, but different makes have different pros and cons. While not competition or long range prairie dog guns, they will menace pop cans at 50 paces and can just provide all sorts of shooting fun. I suggest that you take one out and try it. If you let us know where you live, someone near you may offer a test drive.

    You generally don't get good value for your gun on trades with dealers, but that doesn't matter so much if you no longer want your trading stock and don't want to sell it yourself.
  16. grooms

    grooms Member

    Thanks again t all for the information. I'm going to several large gun shops at the end of the week. We'll see what they have.

    I also just found out a friend of a friend has an SKS and 500 rds for $300.00. He was going to see if it was still available.

    If nothing comes around I'm going to sit and wait. I have a feeling things will come back to reality.
  17. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Well-Known Member

    See if the SKS you mentioned is a Norinco. I have one now, a Paratrooper model, and had a regular one in the past. I've also owned a Yugo, as does my shooting buddy & I've shot 2-3 other Yugos. Those Norincos outshoot any of the Yugos I've tried. Plus, the Yugos feel like a telephone pole in comparison.

    There's another plus for the Norinco: Unless you find a rare bona fide military issue Norinco, all of the ones you'll see were made for commercial sale here. All of the other Com Bloc SKSs were military issue. Chances are that your average Norinco will have way less miles on it than will the others.

    $300 for a halfway decent SKS and 500 rounds isn't bad for these days.
  18. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Saiga in 7.62x39. Cheap to shoot now, and can be converted to AK config if desired for another $150 worth of parts and such.

    The rifle and round are affordable and relatively easy to shoot. You can scope the Saiga either by using a siderail scope mount or by using an Ultimak scout mount.
  19. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    Any battle/assault type semi-auto rifle you buy these days will be at least a few hundred dollars overpriced. I would wait it out until all these panic buyers figure out that you can't eat a gun and a gun won't pay the rent. In the mean time buy something cheap like a Hi-Point 995 carbine for $180-$200 and have fun shooting it while you wait for the bubble to burst. Just like the housing market these prices cannot be sustained for much longer during the worst recession since the depression.
  20. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Don't limit yourself to AR and AK, look at other rifles around, too. The Yugo SKS is a great buy, IF unissued, if shooter grade, get a new gas valve.

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