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Inexpensive .223 rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by cluttonfred, Mar 11, 2008.

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  1. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Member

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    I'd like to be able to take advantage of inexpensive milsurp .223/5.56mm ammo for plinking and keeping proficient. I also have a thought to a rifle for home defense or SHTF situations.

    I prefer short, light carbine-style rifles--my favorite gun to shoot, ever, was my grandfather's M1 Carbine. Well, that and the Thompson M1A1 on special occasions, but that's another thread. With an eye on the ups and downs of gun legislation, and so as not to draw attention, I don't want anything that screams "assault rifle."

    Among inexpensive options, I have found a couple of H&R Handi Rifle models--Survivor and Superlight Compact--that might fit the bill, as would some other single-shot rifles though with obvious disavantage for some situations. The Savage/Stevens 200 in .223 is also a good bet with four rounds, though longer than I'd like.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions? Let's stick with new guns, the cheaper the better, for argument's sake.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JWarren

    JWarren Member

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    Did I miss something? inexpensive milsurp .223/5.56???

    While it is not as expensive as .308, .223 isn't all that cheap these days. There are certainly cheaper calibers right now such as 7.62x39.

    Then your choices are narrowing to something like a Ruger Mini-14 or Saiga .223 if you are interested in semi-auto with detachable magazines.

    We may be thinking on different lines then. I'd prefer semi-auto detachable magazines, but that may not be your concern. I do know this however... I wouldn't want a single-shot if I was considering this rifle for Home Defense.

    Saiga 223 would be a good, cheap option.


    NP.


    -- John
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  3. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Saiga .223. Just over $200 and an excellent rifle, and if you choose to, you can convert it to an AK configuration later as long as you satisfy the parts count rule.
     
  4. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I third the Saiga .223
    These aren't much more money than a Handi-Rifle and you get ten shots instead of one.
    There is a receiver mounted scope plate that accepts a removable scope mounting platform and the iron sights are entirely adequate for shooting coyote size animals out to 200 meters.

    I have a Saiga in 7.62X39 and another in .308 and they have served me quite well.
    I have sold, and assisted in selling, several .223 Saigas through the shop I gunsmith for, none of the buyers are complaining.

    As a bonus, the chambers on these rifles are a bit looser than commercial .223 Remington chambers and they can digest all kinds of .223/5.56 Nato cartridges including the steel case stuff without problem.
     
  5. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    5.56 costs a lot and may continue to for a long time. Consider if a SKS in 7.62 x 39 svt. could suit your needs as you described them. The Yugo varrient is a little heavier than it needs to be but still come in at less than $180 bucks. No, it's not 'new', but it eats ammo that is (now) just over 1/2 the price of 5.56 on average.

    What you'd like, in terms of similar to the m-1 carbine, is a Ruger Mini--but the cost will start at 350.00 for a well-used example and go up from there to 550-650 new.

    And that Saiga--again, good idea--MAYBE consider getting one in 7.62 x 39.....the gamble is, of course, that the war might end tomorrow and the market might FLOOD with that cheap 5.56 that we all want...

    I would not bet on that. We're almost at the point where it makes sense to find the ammo first and then buy the rifle!
     
  6. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    Saiga or STG for semi auto, then , the stevens for a boltie, nef for a single shot, would fill the bill.
     
  7. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    heck, even a kel tec will do nicely.
     
  8. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    NEF warns not to use military ammo in the Handi-Rifle.
     
  9. Leadhead

    Leadhead Member

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    I don't have a picture with the regular buttstock on it but I picked this 7615 up used for $500.....nice little pump carbine that takes AR mags.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jguy101

    Jguy101 Member

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    Leadhead, I don't think it was a good idea to post that picture unless you've paid your NFA tax for that 7615...
     
  11. Omaney

    Omaney Member

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    Forgive my ignorance. NFA tax for a pump action?
     
  12. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    I've been debating the Saiga .223 vs. 7.62 for a while now...I think one or the other is going to be my next purchase. I'm leaning towards the .223 because I think it's capable of better accuracy. I reload so even if .223/5.56 gets too expensive I'm not too worried.

    But where do you find a Saiga .223 for just over $200? The cheapest I've ever seen was Classic Arms for $259.
     
  13. 000Buck

    000Buck Member

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    I think you have it backwards. Leadheads gun is legal, no NFA tax needed. You can take the stock off a rifle without and NFA tax, its when you put a stock on a pistol that it requires an NFA tax as it is then a short barrelled rifle.

    For a cheap .223 rifle, the Saiga is by far the cheapest of the quality semi-autos available. They are usually just under $300.
     
  14. serrano

    serrano Member

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    [​IMG]

    $400 or less used.
     
  15. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

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    If you want a cheap semi-auto go with a Saiga. However, for an extremely accurate cheap rifle, I love my H&R bull barrel Ultra handirifle. It is accurate with bullet weights from 45 grain to 72 grain bullets. I've shot cheap Wolf ammo and expensive ammo all with no problems. However, if you are wanting to shoot military suplus ammo, don't buy one.
     
  16. drphil

    drphil Member

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    Doesnt it only need a stamp if the barrel is <16". Also, I thought you could from pistol to rifle just not rifle to pistol....?
     
  17. JWarren

    JWarren Member

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    That barrel looks 16" or greater.

    Check your local laws towards overall length, but in most cases (most states), it is completely legal to remove the stock from a rifle or shotgun as long as the barrel has an overall mininum length on Shotguns (18").

    You get into trouble with building a SBR or SBS where the barrel on a stocked rifle or shotgun is less than the mininum lenght (16 rifle, and 18 shotgun)

    Think about it a minute... how many pistol grip shotguns have you seen? Plenty. This is the same principle.

    Furthermore, there are rifle caliber pistols-- Thompson Contender anyone?


    Just don't add a stock to a short barrel pistol or saw-off a rifle/shotgun below mininum length.

    There are also considerations as to what makes a firearm an AOW (Any Other Weapon) but that goes beyond the scope of this.


    -- John
     
  18. Leadhead

    Leadhead Member

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    It usually wears the stock it came with...the picture with the pistolgrip is the only one I have right now.
    It's got a 16 1/2 inch barrel and here in Canada it's considered a non restricted firearm.
     
  19. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    That's wild, never seen one of those before.

    Oh and yes to the Saiga or KelTec.
     
  20. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    Saiga is my recommendation.
     
  21. Odnar

    Odnar Member

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    Re: NFA tax; Also, don't put a foregrip on a handgun.
     
  22. eventer289

    eventer289 Member

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    What is the parts count rule?
     
  23. BAT1

    BAT1 Member

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    The Stevens .223 would be a fine bolt gun. What rifle is that serrano?
     
  24. GEM

    GEM Member

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    Saw the Kel-tec fall apart as the plastic cracked. YMMV - but I saw it happen with my own eyes and the dude had to use my AR and the instructor's Marlin 45 ACP camp gun to finish a class.
     
  25. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Another vote for the Saiga. I bought one on speculation and found it to be one of the best buys I ever made. Mine is staying in the standard configuration. I think you're better off looking for 223 AK rathe than converting a Saiga.

    I think a 223 is a much better choice than a 7.62x39. 223/5.56 is the standard US military cartridge and the days of cheap 7.62x39 is over.

    The price will be about $300 maybe a little over by the time you're on your way home with it.
     
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