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Good general purpose rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Phaethon, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. Phaethon

    Phaethon Member

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    So my brother wants to get a semi-auto, and I'm having trouble giving him suggestions. Basically he has a tight budget and wants to stay under 500$. He's supremely adamant about getting an AK-47 pattern rifle, I suspect mostly because of the way they look. He wants it to primarily be a home defense rifle that he could also turn into a rough hunting rifle in a pinch (he wants to mount a low magnification optic on it).

    I've suggested a WASR-10 as the most widely available AK within his price range. However, I don't know what the realistic accuracy one can expect out of a typical WASR rifle. I've heard that the average is 6 MOA, which doesn't sound great by any means.

    I'd like to recommend something else, within five hundred dollars, semi automatic, capable of at worst 3 MOA, and with actual ergonomics that facilitate practical mounting of a scope, but I really can't think of anything. A higher intermediate calibre would be preferred too. Is there such a thing? I find it hard to put my finger on any semi-auto considering that I can pick up a surplus bolt action for a hundred bucks that has all of the other characteristics that I'm asking for.

    Perhaps I can find a different AK? How do the VZ-58's fare? How hard is it to convert a Saiga?
     
  2. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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  3. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Member

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    Most, if not all, decent, Western-made semi-auto rifles are $800 to twice or three times that.

    Many people want to avoid the look of an AK, or even an AR. Unless he thinks the mere appearance of an AK has enough "scare value" that he would never actually have to fire it in self defense? Not a bad idea, actually.

    Several "Hillbilly Assault Rifles" (AKA lever rifles) meet your brother's requirements, with only slightly reduced rate of aimed fire compared with semi-autos.

    With that, I will stand aside as the experts on ComBloc-produced .30 cal semi autos advise you.
     
  4. Archaic

    Archaic Member

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    I second the SKS
     
  5. cadcom

    cadcom Member

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    Mini-30 fits the bill.
     
  6. tahunua001

    tahunua001 Member

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    AKs are good guns, I own a wasr10 that is great as a home defense gun but it would be highly impractical for hunting unless you found a good bullet that interacts with your barrel well and you kept it within 150 yards. a SKS and a VZ58 are going to have the same limitations but the SKS would be a more stable platform for hunting since it's longer and weight is distributed more evenly.

    th VZ58 is a great rifle but it's a bit confusing if you are already familiar with AKs simply because the controls are all in different spots but it's pretty easy to adapt to. the only problem is CZUSA discontinued them but if you can find one somewhere in good shape then I would say jump on it.
     
  7. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    vz's from czechpoint(dont buy century imho) are great but will cost nearly $800

    You can get an interarms ak for around 500 at Atlantic and its a good step up from the WASR based on the reviews ive read.
     
  8. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Member

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    I dispute
    for new Ruger Mini-30s. New ones are $712 at Buds Gun Shop, and then you have to pay FFL fee. However, a used Mini-30 may fall into the sub-$500 range. But not likely - these are highly prized for what they are.

    That said, the older Mini-30s are barely 3 MOA rifles, with some random variability from one production unit to another. Some 1.5 MOA, some worse than 5 MOA. There is a whole forum full of expertise in solving this problem at Perfect Union, so if you want a fun hobby rifle, get an older Mini. It seems like the newer Mini-30s (Serial numbers 581-XXXXX) are mostly 1.5-2 MOA, but you're not likely to find a used one for $500.
     
  9. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    SKS is another good option. You can buy a replacement stock and aftermarket mags to get a higher capacity and pistol grip configuration, although find one with a chewed up wooden stock if your going to do it. No sense in spending the extra money on a nice stock when you can get a functional one for much less
     
  10. Phaethon

    Phaethon Member

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    What's the reasonable expectation out of a WASR-10, though? If it's at least within 3 MOA barring user capabilities, then I'd rather just give him what he wants and help him pick out a cheap Romanian rifle. Otherwise, would you notice any improvements in Arsenal AK-47's, or is the lack of accuracy merely a design flaw due to its construction methods and loose tolerances?

    I've advised him that a cut-down PSL might be more of what he's looking for, or to at least attach a Dragunov-style stock to the AK to create an adequate cheek rest for use with a scope, but he seems very unwilling to explore either options. I've even considered suggesting an M1 Carbine, or a Hakim rifle, but I imagine he wants something a little more compact - though, he seemed receptive to the idea of using .308 cartridges in lieu of intermediate cartridges.

    That Mini-30 seems like a good bet. What do they run these days?
     
  11. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Both my AKs are pretty solid 4MOA rifles. If you get a AK with a side optics plate there are plenty of inexpensive optics that you can use, both red dots and magnified.

    6x42 For $210: http://kalinkaoptics.com/rifle-scop...meter-rangefinder-rifle-scope-ak-version.html

    The problem with a SKS is there isn't a good way to mount a scope on it that doesn't have a big impact somewhere else. The receiver cover mounts are pretty much garbage, you can't strip the rifle, and the straight up ejection will pound the snot out of a scope. I like my SKS, but it isn't a AK.

    BSW
     
  12. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    You also can't acquire a solid cheek weld to the stock. All the mounts I'm aware of put the scope way too high.

    I love my SKS but I'd never put a scope on it.
     
  13. ByAnyMeans

    ByAnyMeans Member

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    If your brother has shot an AK and a few other rifles than it seems he would have a solid idea of what he wanted. If not maybe setting up a chance for him to try out a few would be the best thing.

    If going with the AK than I would suggest a Saiga. They are said to be more accurate than WASR's although my experience puts them the same.You can get them online for three hundred and when shipped and transferred it's about $350. The parts for a basic conversion will put you around $450. Their are many videos to walk you through the conversion and my first time it took me about an hour.

    I prefer the basic conversion because the longer handguard allows me more places to put my hand. Their are many mounts for the side plate and MI has just put out two new ones that seem very good. They also have the TWS dog leg. This has fantastic reviews and this would be how I went for a new build. This will put the mount on the dust cover. It has a peep sight at the rear because it takes out the old AK sight.

    Then he can start saving up for optics. He may want a 1-4 scope if hunting is a possibility, if not a red dot is great.
     
  14. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    Tactical lever action in .30-30 Winchester with peep/GR sights. Change the sling arrangement to patrol style and you've got a light and handy package capable of some knockdown power. 150 gr let alone 170 gr soft points going to do a lot of hurt on the chest cavity of a 2-legged critter. And they offer decent penetration. Ammo is cheap and available, easily reloadable too. Rifle is politically correct. Lots of spare parts available for the 336 and 94 designs. You can also feed a round into the chamber for combat reloads. Optional, red dot mounted forward on a scout mount.

    Probably can be put together for about $400-500.
     
  15. bejay

    bejay Member

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  16. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Saiga rifles are hard to not mention, they would serve this role even in stock configurations very well.

    A SKS would be very nice as well, I'd suggest sticking with the original magazine, the extended ones have a spotty reputation. I'd recommend trying a hi cap mag, but not getting your hopes up.

    You might be able to find a Remington Model 7615, it's a slick 5.56 pump rifle that uses cheap hi-cap AR mags.

    Also might want to consider a Kel-Tec SU series rifle, super lightweight, gas piston, uses cheap plentiful AR mags and folds to a very convenient size. For a general purpose plinker, truck gun, and bedside rifle, you'd be hard pressed to find a better, more capable rifle at this price point. The downside is, with it's thin barrel it drops in accuracy a bit quicker than most. Within this restraint it's a great rifle for this application, won't be a issue at HD ranges, but they still maintain enough accuracy to drill pop cans at 50 yards with the iron sights all day.

    All that being said, AK's are still great rifles I'd lean towards buying a Saiga and converting it myself, or the Kel-Tec.
     
  17. karlb

    karlb Member

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    I would recommend a 7.62x39 Saiga. Perfectly useable in it's stock form. He can convert it later if he's so inclined.
     
  18. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I'd agree with suggestions for the Saiga and the Keltec Su-16 line. Nothing wrong with SKS's, but If the OP's brother is looking to spend up to $500 he might as well step up to an AK or Keltec.

    It looks like classic arms is selling converted Saigas, for $459, That will probably be the highest quality and likely most accurate AK you're going to find for <$500.
     
  19. HavelockLEO

    HavelockLEO Member

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    +1 on the SKS , simple, reliable and built like a tank
     
  20. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    AKs are fairly accurate. They suffer from crappy iron sights (for accuracy, good for close range. ) and crappy ammunition. Most any AK is plenty accurate enough for self defense and hunting under 150 yards.
     
  21. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    The side mounts are far better for mounting a scope. With good ammo and a side mount scope my Saiga will usually make 4 MOA or better. A reciever mounted scope doesn't do nearly as well.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My SKS rifle shoots 2MOA with 154 grain Wolf. It seems to like the heavy bullets and that stuff is good soft point hunting ammo. The standard 123 ball is 3-3.5 MOA. I got my SKS rifle for 75 bucks 22 years ago and my paratrooper carbine for 115. They're Norincos. They run 3 or 4 times that now, methinks, but are under your 500 dollar limit.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Member

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    Saiga is my vote, you can snag one for 300$ give or take for your area. And a conversion is really simple, just need a drill or press and some files (or a grinder if you are impatient). Carolina Shooting Supply sells prepackaged conversion kits that fit the saiga and even with a fancy one you'd stay in the price range. My 5.45 Saiga will shoot 2 moa with tec sights and new wolf ammo. Using some hot yugo surplus its about 3 moa and the true russian surplus tightens the groups to 1-1.5 moa. however YMMV.

    If he wants to hunt then get the 7.62x39. within 100 yards it will put a deer down just fine and it works well on hogs that aren't monsters. Hollowpoints are available for hunting and self defense. People may riot because it's a rifle round and could penetrate walls and fly around the neighborhood. The simple truth is this; if you want to stop a bad guy you need a bullet that will penetrate the bad guy and if a bullet will penetrate a bad guy then it will penetrate a wall. So don't miss.:cool:
     
  24. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I have a stock Saiga and it is simply great! I have drug it all over the deserts and mountains here in CA and it never misses a beat. I like it better than my SKS because it is more compact and lighter. I also like having detachable mags. My Saiga is just at accurate at my SKS to boot.
     
  25. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Ok, I'll give you reliable, and robust, but on simple I just have to disagree.

    If we're comparing the SKS to a AK let's looks at the trigger: SKS trigger has 20 parts, including the trigger guard and pins. The semi-auto AK has 7. The SKS's gas system has 2 rods and it's own spring vs the AK's gas piston being riveted to the bolt carrier and using the recoil spring.

    I don't think anyone whose ever stripped a SKS trigger group has called that Rube Goldberg contraption 'simple'.

    BSW
     
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