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Battle Rifles (SOCOM, HK91, M14)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by PaulKersey3, May 4, 2012.

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  1. PaulKersey3

    PaulKersey3 Member

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    I will be investing in a 7.62X51/.308 battle rifle soon. It will either be a socom, An HK91, or an M1A/M14. I'd like to hear some input on these particular three as these are what I've narrowed it down to.

    I left out FN as I'm not too partial to their looks. I really like the socom 's look and it's currently at the top of the list. I do find the other two appealing as well, and so I'm stuck at the moment deciding which to get. Leaning socom for the accessories as well, but the HK91 has that Euro art to it like a glock. Also some of the M1As and M14s I've been feeling up have that retro "run through the jungle" look that I like.

    Which would you go for?

    "Be prepared Jack, it's the boy scout marching song!"
     
  2. The-Reaver

    The-Reaver Member

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    Owned all three.

    I would probably go with a nice Para FN-FAL 1st.

    Socom 16 second

    M1A/M14 third

    And HK91 last.
     
  3. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    I think you're missing out if you're excluding the FAL. But it's your choice.

    I own an HK91, and I really like it. However, while they were always expensive, the import ban put their prices beyond reasonable. Their roller-delayed action is extremely hardly and dependable--and very hard on brass. It is a heavy rifle.

    If I was starting from scratch, and I couldn't go with an FAL, then sure, a short M1A (SOCOM).
     
  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    What are you going to battle? Seriously, what you plan to use it for does make a difference.
     
  5. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    I would forget about the SOCOM. It's a nice up close and personal rifle, but you get huge sights that are practically worthless beyond 100 yards and the traditional stock format would need to be changed to update it with more modern ergonomics (VLTOR stock, SAGE, E2/LAW483, etc). Of course, if you want to imagine Vietnam with your M1A, then a stock upgrade wouldn't be one of your concerns. Also, be aware that if you want to keep its light recoiling, smooth running characteristics then you will be married to the obnoxious muzzle brake that comes on the rifle.

    The M14/M1A is probably my favorite 7.62 NATO rifle for medium range, but it costs a lot of money to update to the more modern translation of a Battle Rifle. The full-size 22" barrel makes it a bit unwieldy for something to carry around all day, not to mention the weight; if you add a proper scope mount and magnified optics you are looking at ~12 lbs. minimum.

    For my interpretation of Battle Rifle, a German HK91 would be my choice. If you're patient you should be able to find one in good condition for ~$1800. The ergonomics of the safety lever and magazine catch aren't as good as an AR15, but they are workable. In my experience with them, they tend to recoil a bit more than M1As, but the amount of recoil seems to be a function of the stock buffer type and the bolt gap (timing of the unlocking). German parts are expensive, but then again the first two letters of the rifle's name already told you that. ;)

    FAL would also be a great choice, but if you don't like the look and can't get past it, then it's a non-starter.
     
  6. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    If one is going to exclude a rifle because of looks i'm thinking just pick the one you think looks the best.
     
  7. GI_Jared

    GI_Jared Member

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    Good luck finding a real HK 91, they have been banned from importation since 1989 because they are a non-sporting rifle. Instead you will want to check out the PTR-91 which is and excellent American made version of that design and they sell them for $993 on Bud's.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    Over 48,000 HK91s were imported into this country. They're really not that hard to come by, but if you want a good deal on one you will need to be patient. Since everyone likes to freak out around Presidential elections, now may not be the best time to score a good deal.

    Lots of German 91s regularly come up for sale here. Then there's gunbroker, local sellers, etc.
     
  9. Scurrin

    Scurrin Member

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    Just got to handle an FN FNAR not sure if that is one you have concidered, it is pretty nice compared to my century arms G3. That said I've always wanted to pick up a FAL.

    As far as the M1A, since you are concidering looks what would you be after? I've been looking into JAE stocks: http://www.jallenenterprises.com/index.html But if you are into wood then that probably won't help you.
     
  10. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    check out the ptr91,comes in various barrel lengths,match etc,.american made rifle on hk tooling.send trigger assembly off to williams trigger specialties for the set trigger set up.not much you can do to screw it up.order it with the orig collapsible hk stock.fixed oem stock cheaper as surplus than the collapsible is.2 pin pop out and change them.
    dsa fn para is nice,compact rifle.try to get match grade barrel.order with at least 16-18 barrel with removable flashider,that way suppressor options are available.
    m1a,unless your very familiar with finding a manufacturer to set it up properly,can be a financial nightmare.best of both worlds on them is the 18.5 inch bbl setup.try to stick with something that offers chrome lined barrels.use only original military mag.

    check out the ar-10 variations,they can be made to order with all the bells and whistles.begin your choice by starting with what mags they use,availability,and price.1 mfg uses fn-fal mags.newest one to take a good look at is the new colt sp901 in 308.adaptible to 223 also.best of both worlds.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  11. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    On your list, M1A. If it were me FAL.
     
  12. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Member

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    I owned a PTR-91 (HK-91 clone) and I hated it. Higher felt recoil, DESTROYED brass. The flutes also become dirty and need to be cleaned more often. I bought an FAL, but I know you don't like the looks. I will say that the FAL is a great rifle if you reload. The grenade shut out even allows the rifle to be a straight pull bolt action. The adjustable gas system lets you tune the rifle for different loads.

    Also, the SOCOM is downright miserable to shoot and be around. Muzzle flash and blast are higher, recoil also seems to be higher. I didn't care for the one I shot.

    I have considered a standard M1A, but came to the conclusion the FAL fit the bill better due to POSSIBLE gas system problems with the M1A. What I mean by that is that it is more prone to a bent op rod if shooting heavier bullets or slow burning powder...Just like the M1 Garand. If I were going to tune one for match use I would go with...AR10. A national match AR 10 will out shoot a national match M1A and doesn't need the upkeep of bedding in the stock like an M1A.
     
  13. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I'm not planning on going into battle with my "battle rifle", but I really like my M1A/M14 with the USGI fiberglass stock. It's proven to be very accurate and reliable, and the glass stock stays bedded and holds its zero better than the wood stocks, I think. If I were shooting match competition with a 7.62mm, I'd probably lean toward the AR10 types. The AR and M14 are a lot easier on brass than the fluted chamber of the HK delayed blowback actions, if handloading is a consideration. The FAL rifles are okay, but I prefer the feel and handling of the M14/M1A in its traditional configuration, as a personal preference.
     
  14. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    "...Aaand the PTR fanboy pipes up..."

    (Me, that is)

    I've had my PTR-91F for 2 years now, and like it a lot. The 91F is the 18" heavy barrel model, mine has the picky Thompson Center barrel and doesn't feed tar-sealed surplus. Deal breaker for some, i got over it when i realised it's perfectly happy with cheap steelcased, which is even cheaper and more readily available where i live. I'll trade cheap surplus for the consistent accuracy and resistance to stringing i get from my barrel.

    Fixed the brass munching and felt recoil with an ejection port buffer and PSG-1 recoil buffer, respectively. Added a trigger pack from Bill Springfield.

    Fit and finish on mine is at least as good as any HK i've seen. Bought new for $1200. If you want a cheaper one that WILL feed tar-sealed surplus and has a lighter, military-profile barrel, get the PTR-91GI model. It comes parkerized, without the nice black powdercoat of the other models though. But it's basically a spec HK91 without the branding for about $900.
     
  15. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    Oh, and all the PTR's are built to spec as far as receivers and internal parts go, so mags, bolts, rollers, etc. can all be swapped out for commercial or milsurp parts from G3, PSG-1, MSG-90, HK91, and some parts from 21E (I have a 21E cocking lever). Also, try to shoot an HK91 or a PTR before buying one. They're both accurate and reliable, but ergonomically odd and don't have a last-round hold-open. Add in the odd recoil impulse (as-delivered) and many people find themselves put off after shooting one.

    As a last aside, i agree that you are hamstringing yourself if you aren't at least CONSIDERING the FAL.

    And the M1A is a great platform, but i'd personally look into an M1A Scout before a SOCOM.
     
  16. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Ive owned all three and for just one, all around gun, I would take the 91. Its as accurate as a standard to match grade M1A, and just offers more options.

    Ive always thought the G3's/91's had the best "combat" iron sights going. They cover things from CQB out to realistic longer range shooting, and do so with a simple twist of the sight barrel.

    With an ARMS flat top type claw mount, you can mount a variety of optics, and the mount is readily removed and replaced and is zero repeatable.

    HK came up with the first realistic combat sling system, and its still as functional today as it was when it first showed up.

    Like the AK's, most of the complaints you hear about them go away with familiarization and use. If you live with one for a little while, you quickly adapt to them. They do lack a bolt hold open on the last round, and the charging handles are in a strange place, but neither are a handicap once youre familiar with them. Even without the "correct" G3 paddle mag release, its still very easy to make quick mag swaps with the civilian models.

    As far as the brass issues for reloaders, with a port buffer installed, the brass isnt destroyed and is readily reloadable. The HK's are harder on brass overall though, and I usually got about 6 reloads to a lot of brass, compare to around 10 with the M1A's.

    If you want a "target" rife, the M1A is the better choice.

    The SOCOM is definitely a sales gimmick on Springfields part. About all you gain from them, is a slightly shorter gun. About everything they did, appears to be a bolt on afterthought with no other innovation. They still weigh about the same as a full size gun, and pretty much everything else is a loss. I didnt find mine unpleasant to shoot, but others around me when I was shooting were not real happy. Short barrel .308's tend to have a lot of muzzle blast, and in some cases, fame. I never noticed to much flame, but if you were on the side of it when it went off, you knew it right away.
     
  17. Shoobee

    Shoobee member

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    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=ptr-...49&start=10&ndsp=14&ved=1t:429,r:9,s:10,i:117

    The PTR-91 looks really good.

    Note that they have done away with the high triangular front sight blade of the German sturmgewehr, the AKs, and the ARs.

    That gives you a better sight picture for close shooting, such as on small game, or even CQB.

    And you can actually hunt deer with this one, since it is like a .308.

    Its a very good all around survival rifle and sturmgewehr.
     
  18. ElToro

    ElToro Member

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    your talking 16, 18 and 22 inch barrel rifles. pistol grip or no pistol grip.

    im in california and cant have pistol grip rifles without a big friggame bullet button so i have M1As. i have all 3 versions (including 2 scouts). i think its the best balance of all 3. with an 18 inch barrel your not really sacrificing much. the HK has a 18 inch barrel.

    with the M1 you can still go pistol grip if you spend a lot on a vltor stock. but theres nothing wrong with traditional rifle style.

    check out 18 inch the bush/scout rifle before you make your final decision
     
  19. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    Out of the three choices, I'd say the M14/M1A.
    I agree with ElToro in that you should check out the M-1A Scout before making a final decision.
     
  20. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    Another vote for the scout. I wasn't 100 percent satisfied with the last 2 M1as that I owned and after much research, went with the Scout. I consider it a perfect balance between having the manueverability of a short barrel and the accuracy and velocity of a longer barreled rifle
     
  21. C'Thulhu

    C'Thulhu Member

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    The PTR/HK 91 would be my vote, but if money was no option.....

    Well, let's just say this would change my mind.
     

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  22. Jason_G

    Jason_G Member

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    M1A, but not a SOCOM.

    The SOCOMs have a proprietary gas system (which might mean less interchangeablilty with USGI or aftermarket parts, but I've never disassembled a SOCOM's gas system to be sure. Check on this.), big sights that will be kind of coarse outside CQB distances, and the cheese grater front end screws up the balance IMHO.

    A Standard, Loaded, or Scout would be the way to go IMO.


    Jason
     
  23. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    I think you are missing out if you don't give a FAL a good look before choosing. FAL is the most popular battle rifle ever, I would say it's for a reason.To me it sounds like the OP is choosing based off looks, which is okay cause it's your money, but still a rather poor method to choosing a weapon.
     
  24. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    How 'bout a SCAR-17s?
     
  25. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    I would take a M14 clone first - not necessarly a M1A, but if a M1A I would go with a Loaded to get its trigger and barrel.

    Second would be a Socom 16. I would plan on mounting an Aimpoint T-1 on it as the irons are pretty bad for medium to longer ranges, and the weight of other optics, like say a scout scope, really foul up the balance of the gun.

    Last would be a HK 91. I had considered them back in the mid 80s when they were readily available but the ergonomics were just horrible I thought. Particularly the length of the stock. I am slightly shorter than average and have a lot of muscle in my shoulder pocket, and the length of pull seemed like it was made for someone about 6' or taller. It just felt wrong to shoulder. I have also heard the stories of brass damage by the 91.
     
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