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Buying my first semi-automatic rifle, I ask your advice.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by James0723, May 27, 2009.

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  1. James0723

    James0723 Member

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    I'm very inexperienced about guns. I estimate I've only fired 100 rounds from guns in my entire life. I'm very interested in them, it's just that I've never had the money to buy them before now.

    I've already decided to get an AK as my first semi-automatic rifle because I've heard it's a good starter rifle being very easy to clean, strip, and maintain. However I don't want a cheap AK, I want a nice, new one with all the bells and whistles. Something like the Arsenal SLR-107FR with it's scope rail, folding stock, flash hider, and bayonet/accessory lugs would be perfect. I would also like to be able to legally use high capacity mags, and I've heard that it can only be legal with an Arsenal that has all it's parts made in the US, am I right about this?

    Here are the other questions I have:

    1. I've read a lot of reports on the internet about the Arsenal SLR-107FRs having issues with the sights. Can it be assumed that this problem has been taken care of since most of these reports were from a year ago?

    2. How can I be sure the rifle I buy is NIB?

    3. Should I worry about whatever gun store I ship the rifle to? What if they take the nice, new Arsenal parts out of the rifle and replace them with cheaper parts? How can I tell? Or am I being ridiculous to worry about this?

    4. On Arsenal's website it says the SLR-107FRs are out of stock but still in production. Does this mean that all of Arsenal's distributors are out of stock of the rifle and I won't be able to find one? If so, how can I know when more are available? Why are the vast majority of the rifles on their website out of stock and not in production?

    5. Ideally I'd like to get an AK-74 which fires the lighter, more lethal 5.45x39mm rounds, but all the 5.45x39mm on Arsenal's site are discontinued and out of stock, furthermore they are imports, so even if I found one would I be able to legally use the high capacity mags or no?

    6. Are there any other quality AK manufacturers out there that I can buy a NIB military style AK from that are better than Arsenal and that I can legally use high capacity mags in?

    I plan to have the rifle in about seven weeks. Thanks for taking the time to read my post (and hopefully answer my questions) everyone.
     
  2. Aquila

    Aquila Member

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    Well, NONE of these are Assault Rifles. Semi-automatic carbines is what they are. Our nomenclature will some day (soon) come back to haunt us all.

    Good luck on finding ANY Arsenal within seven weeks. It's that "bad"...
     
  3. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    Assault rifles sell for many thousands of dollars and require a tax stamp.

    Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a nice semi-automatic rifle that is fed by a detachable magazine?

    Consider semi-auto versions of the AK, AR, M14, FAL etc... I prefer the AKM and M14 :evil:
     
  4. James0723

    James0723 Member

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    Sorry guys. You can tell how much of a noob I am when it comes to guns, but yes, semi-automatic rifle is what I mean. I'll edit the post title.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Hard to go wrong with a cheap AK or AR 15. Garands can be had fairly reasonable. Mini 14's are a good all around choice. Saiga's are another option.
     
  6. James0723

    James0723 Member

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    Arsenal actually has some Saigas on their home page but they say they're Russian made. Could I still use high capacity mags with these and is the quality of the imported Saigas as good as a US made Arsenal rifle?

    Also their Saigas don't have a folding stock which I really want in my AK.
     
  7. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    You can make a Saiga what you like when you convert it (or have someone else to do so), my S12 has a railed forearm, folding skeletonized stock, HK sights, SAW pistol grip, et cetera. A Saiga is a great AK for the money.
     
  8. woof

    woof Member

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    IMO, no-one as inexperienced as you should get any semi-auto rifle, even a .22LR. Would you want your teenage daughter to learn to drive in a Ferrari?
     
  9. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    I look at it this way...
    Pick your caliber and then pick your rifle.

    5.56x45 = AR
    7.62x39 = AKM
    7.62x51 = M14 or FAL

    Try before you buy:
    Find someone or some place that will let you shoot a few different rifles before you go out and buy one for yourself.
     
  10. Devilnut

    Devilnut Member

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    Aww BS!

    Get a semi-auto if that gets you excited... If you want an AK you can find them used for not too much money- point being, start slow and shoot that sucker before you hang a bunch of "Geardo" crap on it. Get used to the platform and train with it, to evaluate what extra rail-mounted gadgets YOU might use/need before setting your weapon up that way. (No offense meant if you were kidding, Woof)
     
  11. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    if a semi-auto is a Ferrari, then a boltie must be a manual, and all I can say is that I'm glad I didnt learn on one of those or else I would have never gotten my driver's license:neener:

    I personally started on an AK rifle. In retrospect, it wasn't the best choice. The sights and ergonomics arent friendly to someone trying to develop proper stance and whatnot, and the recoil isn't good for those who havent developed very good follow-through, and the lack of accuracy isn't good for trying to gauge how good you're doing/getting. But in terms of getting your money's worth, it is a good choice, because it won't break, it comes pre-uglied up (meaning you won't freak when a new scratch appears on it), and can tolerate a lot of abuse and neglect before it even starts to become finicky. I would say get some .22 experience first, THEN an AK. Then from there, once you start getting accurate with an AK, you can decide to drop the money on a more precision-heavy platform like the AR, etc.
     
  12. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I learned to shoot on a semi...wish I had a chance to learn to drive with a Ferrari. :D
     
  13. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    Tens of millions of shooters have learned to shoot with semi-auto and select fire rifles. The only really limiting factor is that very few of them are capable of anything more than mediocre accuracy.

    Be that as it may, if military style rifles are what turn your crank then go get one. A good AK is still capable of about 3 MOA, (or about 3" at 100 yards). If you haven't done much shooting it will take you some time to get to that level, especially with an AK. Although AK's can deliver mediocre accuracy, most people never achieve it with them. They have sights which can be difficult to use and are fairly hold sensitive.
     
  14. Dan Crocker

    Dan Crocker Member

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    I'd recommend a 5.45 x 39 instead of a 7.62 x 39 just because of ammunition availability. The AK platform is a lot of fun and you'll enjoy it.
    Plus, to be honest, it's an AK. Don't be afraid to get a less-expensive version than the Arsenal. I've got a super cheap ROMAK that shoots as well as my buddy's SLR-106.
    As for a shop taking your Arsenal and pulling the parts, I really, really doubt that would ever happen.
    As far as being US legal for hi-caps, I don't know how that works. I always thought that if it was imported and sold here, it already met US requirements...if not, you can always bring the US parts count up to 10 by replacing things like the front sight post, pistol grip, pistol grip bolt, muzzle brake, gas tube, handguard...not difficult at all. It's a very user-friendly design.
     
  15. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I am pretty sure you are right...unless it is a sporting gun...and an Arsenal isn't.
     
  16. BBstacker

    BBstacker Member

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    I have a arsenal akm 7.62x39. I have 20 & 30 round mags for it. Some states only let you have 5, 20,or over 30 round mags. In Cal. you can,t have detachable mags.
     
  17. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Arsenal...hahaha loooong wait on those boys!

    We have had all the Arsenal models on order for 6 months now! :banghead:

    Probably the best(modern) AK out there. And the most expensive!

    AKM-
    A Aint... K Killin'... M Much-
    A All... K Kinds (of)... M Malfunctions-
    A A$$... K Kicking... M Machine-
    I know... but I couldn't help it. hehehe True though. :neener:

    If a shop molested my firearm.... call a cop! :cuss:
    I doubt any of them would stoop that low, but hey.....
    No problem with the hi cap. mags.-

    Have you given any thought to a nice .22LR auto loader... lets you hone those shooting skills for meer pennies... OK, dollars now days.

    Wait out the buying madness in play right now... Ak's are selling for big dinero more than they are worth right now!
     
  18. Hunt3r

    Hunt3r Member

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    If you refer to 922(r) I think that it requires that no more then 10 foreign parts can be used. It's kind of a rubbish rule, but the laws are the law for now.

    The AK is great for 7.62x39. If you grew up on rock-in mags it's quite familiar. If you want a NATO caliber you can't go wrong with ARs. If you want a 30-06, join a gun club, buy a 10/22 and some .22LR, spend time going through Appleseed, and buy a Garand for 500 dollars and snap up some cheep 30-06 from the CMP, and enjoy!

    If you want stripper-clip loading and the 7.62x39, SKSes do well. Beware of having to spend a weekend getting out cosmoline though. You'll never get it out of the stock, so on hot days expect to see it drip out.
     
  19. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    For sporting arms...which the AK is not considered amongst.
     
  20. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    YES- You CAN use HI CAP MAGS!!
     
  21. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    +1...I checked then double checked and you most certainly can!
     
  22. SodiumBenzoate

    SodiumBenzoate Member

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    "IMO, no-one as inexperienced as you should get any semi-auto rifle, even a .22LR. Would you want your teenage daughter to learn to drive in a Ferrari?"

    What's the problem? As long as he can resist the impulse to dump the magazine, it's no different.
     
  23. Hunt3r

    Hunt3r Member

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    Ah.

    I don't really mind if they make it in America or in Russia. I just want the thing to be good and shoot straight.
     
  24. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Start with the basic rifle, get the geegaws later, learn the firearm before trying to depend on extras. A good solid AK semi auto clone is a great learner rifle. With the asmmo shortage, snag what you can get, when you can get it, either caliber. 7.62x39mm is at least made here in the US, too, I don't know if the other is.
    As for "lethality", any bullet can be lethal, and any bullet can miss, it's up to the shooter. I'd rather face a complete novice with a full auto AK than a competetive shooter with a 22lr.
    I'd reccomend going to an Appleseed shoot if one is held in your area, or try to get with some sort of training in your area, if possible.
     
  25. Travis Bickle

    Travis Bickle member

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    Ever since the '89 import ban, there is no such animal. You can either have a nice new one, or one with all the bells and whistles, but you can't have both, at least not right out of the box.

    Your best bet would probably buy a NIB post-ban import and then take it to a reputable gunsmith to have the requisite number of U.S. parts installed as well as all the bells and whistles (you have to have a certain number of U.S. parts on you rifle in order to legally have all the bells and whistles.) That shouldn't cost too much extra, and it will get you what you want. It's what I would do if I wanted an AK.
     
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