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Semi-auto 7.62 recommendations?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dmancornell, Oct 29, 2009.

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  1. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    So...my deployment was imaginary? Firing thousands of rounds under Army direction was imaginary? The infantryman designation on my personnel file is imaginary?

    One of the main current uses of our personal combat weapons these days is clearing houses, so if you're talking about combat arms, which weapon to clear houses does fall squarely into "combat arm".
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    That's an absolutely true statement, and one that I will vigorously defend. However, it has nothing to do with the dynamics in this thread. The issue at hand between you and John isn't the presence or absence of military experience - it's your continued efforts to proclaim a specific tool (a rifle, in this case) to be a recommended 'combat rifle' without the benefit of any 'combat' bona fides upon which you predicate your opinion.

    If I ask the Domino's Pizza delivery guy tonight what his opinion is on this topic, he may give me one. That doesn't meant that it's an informed opinion - it's just an opinion. He may even be a gunny, and have sunk tens of thousands of dollars into range toys upon which he bases his opinion. Sadly, that still doesn't make him an expert, either. It simply makes his a fan of the object into which he's sunk tons of money. In fact, it might even imply that he's lost a certain amount of objectivity because he's such a fan of his chosen toy that he's neglected to gain real-world experiences with the other options.

    WaterDude - you'd easily avoid the issues that you face in this thread and every other thread in which you post if you simply were willing to caveat your impressions and recommendations with the specifics of how you came to that recommendation. It's not a hard thing to do. It is unreasonable, on the other hand, to firmly declare 'this is the bestest combat arm!' or somesuch without being able to explain WHY you say such things.
     
  3. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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  4. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    Although on second read,




    then



    Humm. Not sure I want a gun that doesnt work till Ron Smith works it over, or that requires a gunsmith to make work right. Is that the impression that other people are getting?
     
  5. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    H20man is clearly knowledgeable about the M1A. He knows the rifle and the accessories and upgrades available for it, and has sunk a lot of money into optimizing the platform. I applaud his loyalty to the platform, and his willingness to put his money where his heart lays.

    He does not have the same level of knowledge about the other rifles in the same class of weaponry, and he certainly does not have a strong notion of how these weapons, or any other, are actually employed in anger by those that do such things.

    If he was only willing to state that when he enters into these debates, we'd have far less thrash and far more meaningful dialog. As it stands, these threads always devolve into him pimping out the M1A as the best solution for whatever ails ya, based upon his understanding of the mechanics of the rifle and not an understanding of the ailment itself.
     
  6. woodybrighton2

    woodybrighton2 member

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    An m14 can be made into an exceptionaly accurate weapon not sure you can do that with an FN model not really a flaw in the FN rifle it does what its meant to do and by the time you've pimped your m14 to prefection you could have brought two FALS:D
    or 3 plain m14s:D
     
  7. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    The most vocal of you don't have the same level of knowledge and expertise that I have with the modernized and enhanced M14.

    If you would be willing to state this when you enter into these debates we'd have far less thrash and enjoy a far more meaningful dialog.




    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  8. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    The guns typically work right out of the box, I just prefer to have my rifles balanced a blue printed.
    Ron Smith is not the only M14 armorer out there, but he has served me well.


    Thanks, but I don't own an M1A...


    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  9. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Huh? The DSA Extreme Duty scope mount is rock-solid, and does not need to be removed to clean from the breech.

    Don

    FAL1.jpg
     
  10. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Member

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    Well, I thought about making my own thread just to say "Just got my Saiga .308!", but why clutter the board when there's such a nice .308 discussion going on over here? And with all the diverging opinions, good to see it has been a nice discussion in politeness as well.

    But the cool thing is, I just got my Saiga .308 so I can contribute! It's the version 21 (thumbhole wood stock [not Dragunov]). With a rail on the left side of the receiver.

    I am eager to take it to the range; it came with a test-fire range report that reported a 4-shot group with a maximum measurement between shots listed as 94mm, which is right at 3" (from 100m). Not exactly charmin' the pants off me out of the box with that information, but I do like the proof marks and explanations included in the booklet. It's as much of a looker as any stamped jobbie is likely to be, though. Hope the next range report is more fun than the proofing range data.
     
  11. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    Just having an opinion does not mean that it's valid or well-informed.

    You'll note that I rarely, if ever, comment in threads dealing with police or military matters, especially in terms of doctrine or practice.

    Why?

    Because, quite simply, I have no experience as either a cop or a soldier, and any opinion I may have is only going to be based on theory and conjecture rather than on actual life experience, and is therefore not going to add anything of value to the discussion, especially when we have no shortage of real-life cops and soldiers on this forum who've actually been there and done that.
     
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    You need an FAL.
     
  13. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    A couple of points:

    This thread is called "semi-auto 7.62 recommendations" and the poster was asking about a SHTF scenario rifle. Therefore, any rifle that is neither semi-auto nor 7.62 is not germane to the discussion.

    I think most of us have assumed the poster meant 7.62x51 since he referred to the FN-AR and FAL.

    It is true that no rifle is perfect for all situations. However, my understanding is most of us conceive a SHFT situation to mean a rifle that needs to do it all, without the presence of support weapons or even another person.

    As a former infantryman and infantry officer, I have no issue with the M16 variants as a military rifle. It performs its role very well. But it is used in the context of fire teams and larger units, with support weapons available on call - including 7.62x51 and larger weapon. This is not the SHTF situation most people visualize.

    Granted, probably the most versatile weapon in a real STHF collapse situation is a 22 rifle, let's stick with the poster's original query.

    Military or combat experience may or may not be relevant to the scenario, so we might as well dispense with that requirement right now and try and keep things civil.

    It seems that the best place to start is to review operational requirements for the SHTF rifle.

    It must be durable. We will assume that repair and parts will be limited to what is on hand. The user should be able to perform all repairs.

    It must be reasonably accurate. The lone survivor will need to be able to engage targets as far as possible to minimize danger to himself.

    As a follow on, it should be able to mount an optical sight to maximize utility as a long range weapon and hunting rifle.

    It must be lethal. The rifle must be able to drop game and neutralize threats. Since we are not limited to military ball ammunition, there is no arguing the lethality of 7.62x51 over 5.56x45, 7.62x39, etc.

    It must have enough firepower to neutralize multiple targets, or to provide enough covering fire to unass the area as required.

    It must be light enough and compact enough for constant carry and use in restricted spaces. In a SHTF scenario, you shouldn't be house clearing, but you may find yourself in a MOUT situation. Basically, you shouldn't be house clearing if you don't have a team. Solo house clearing is a recipe for getting killed. As a lone survivor you want to avoid conflict, and barring that, keep it as far away as possible.

    Given the above, I can really only see two possibilities: the M14 clone or the FAL. Both are reliable, accurate enough and durable. Which the Saiga and the G3 clones are also accurate and reliable, there is a lack of available spare parts. The FN-AR is too new and proprietary to even be considered.

    Some will argue you won't ever need parts for the AK rifles, or the G3 types, but that is not my experience. Even AK's fail, however rare that may be. You can get parts for the FAL or M14 type rifle fairly easily and keep replacements handy.

    In the final analysis between the two rifles - the M14 clone and the FAL, it is going to depend on what is most important to you: accuracy or reliability. I give the FAL a slight edge in reliability but the M14 wins in accuracy, mostly because the is a whole industry devoted to making the M14 type rifle shoot well for matches while the FAL is fairly new to American shores.

    Note that the match grade M14 type rifle is very costly and much heavier than the standard grade version.

    If cost is a big factor, the FAL can be had for at least $500 less than a comparable M14 type rifle. When you start adding things like scope mounts, trigger work, match barrels, etc, the M14 gets far more expensive.

    In either case, I would look at one of the 18 inch variants. These are generally short enough for urban work, but don't have unreasonable muzzle blast or give up too much velocity.

    I didn't include the AR-10 rifles in this list, but they are certainly viable alternatives. There is still some variation between makers that you have to be aware of when buying parts and magazines. When it comes to accuracy, the AR-10 is king, with examples of MOA or better guns being relatively common. If you are already a good marksman, I might lean towards one of these rifles but I would build one as a dedicated DMR type rifle, rather than a general purpose SHTF rifle. The AR-10 is just less rugged and durable than the FAL and M14.

    Finally, keep in mind that the most likely SHTF scenario is some sort of natural disaster that won't end civilization. In such a case, wandering around with a rifle may be counterproductive. Something you can easily conceal on your person is probably more useful for the type of disasters we've seen in the past.

    Whatever rifle you do select, make sure it is something you like so that you will shoot it enough to be proficient. The most important part of the system if the person behind the trigger.
     
  14. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    USSR, thanks for the info and picture of the DSA scope mount. One of the major complaints from the guys with FALs is that you need to remove the scope cover to clean the FAL. Perhaps I mis-understood the complaint.

    However, the scope mount uses screws that press into the upper receiver to keep it from shifting. That is not as stable as a mount that has some kind of mechanical lock. I do not claim that mounting a scope on a FAL is more trouble that it's worth, just that it's less trouble to mount one on a 91. I also do not claim that it's impossible to keep the scope mount from shifting. Just that it's a potential problem that one should be aware of if deciding to mount optics.

    I know of fellers that have mounted scopes on any of the rifles with great satisfaction. I know of fellers that have mounted scopes that decided to go back to the issue sights.

    My personal choice is to stay with issue sights on the M14, FAL, 91 and AR as I enjoy shooting with peep sights and have the utmost confidence in my ability to use them.

    If I should ever mount optics on an M14 or FAL, it will be on a second rifle dedicated to the use of optics. With the mount on my 91, I can install a scope and remove it easily, Same with the buttstock with the cheekpiece. Yes, I l know that removing and reinstalling the scope will require re-zeroing.

    I'm not talking about the H&K claw mount, that sits rather high for my taste. There is an aftermarket mount that sits low and gives you the picatinney type rail. I have one on mine and I'm saving up for a scope & rings to try it out
     
  15. MarcusWendt

    MarcusWendt Member

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    As one who has served as an Army infantrymen I will tell you that the best weapon I was ever issued was a freaking radio to call in close air support and arty. :)

    Ultimately I believe we've heard from a number of people all offering good advice. I have always and will continue to love H20man's M-14. That thing is just pure sexy.

    IMHO things to consider are accuracy(combat), reliability, and serviceability. I believe that almost every rifle recommended here fills the bill.

    If I were the OP I would hang out around some rifle ranges, talk to people, make friends and see how many of these mentioned rifles I could take for a spin. One I figured out which one I shot best, liked best, and could understand and service the best, that's the rifle I'd buy.

    I own a PTR-91 and an M1A. Love them both for different reasons. My quest continues. I suspect the best SHTF rifle will be the one I can get to and load up the quickest if and when the S does hit the F.
     
  16. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    ok quick question.


    My "SHTF" rifle is the AR-15, mostly due to the fact I can throw a conversion bolt in there and shoot 22lr, and really the most important considertion is that it fits into my backpack after I take the two pins out to break it into upper and lower.

    If the 308 round is so leaps and bounds better than the 223, is it worth giving up the 22lr capability, and would that lean any of you guys towards the ar-10?

    I mean, going visibly armed from place to place during a national disaster sounds like a bad idea.

    At least having the option of stowing your rifle seems to me at least, to be invaluable. in a duffel bag, backpack, violin case etc.

    Why when people talk "Shtf" do we talk about heavy rifles? it would seem the opposite would be true.
     
  17. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    The lightest I have ever gotten any 308/7.62x51 military-style semiauto rifle has been just under nine (9) pounds, and the average is closer to ten (10) pounds. On the other hand, most of my AR15 builds are around seven (7) pounds complete with optic. As I have said in other such threads, I think that weight is more important than chambering under most of the likely usage scenarios. The only instance that I can see where weight and recoil would not be an overriding consideration is a barricade scenario against hardened targets. ;) Under all other possible circumstances, mobility and focus will be hampered as weight increases, and follow-up shots will be slower as the recoil of the round increases.

    However, somebody will be along shortly to suggest that talking about anything other than 7.62x51-chambered rifles in a 7.62x51-centric thread is bad form, and they would be correct. Perhaps a new thread for this question is a better approach.
     
  18. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    I think if you are moving around in a SHTF situation, you are already in trouble. You just can't last long with the gear and food you can carry on your back. It's much more practical to defend a fixed location unless you have absolutely no other choice.

    The staple of SHTF scenarios in movies and books is the lone wanderer. But a better survival strategy IHO is a community. You need someone to watch your back and a place to keep your stuff. :)
     
  19. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    Within any community, there is constant movement of the inhabitants. More to the point, safeguarding a fixed encampment is not done by sitting on your fanny with a rifle resting on a breastwork.

    Carrying 10lb-12lbs of weapon plus other mission kit all day long as you traverse the encampment going about your assigned chores is literally a drain, especially when that load can be lessened considerably if you're willing to accept a smaller rifle platform.
     
  20. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    LOL. All I know is, when all the crap was hanging off my M4, it was pretty darn close to 10 pounds. Come to think of it, it seems like 9-10 pounds is pretty typical of just about every military rifle.

    But you are correct in the sense that lighter is better. Which is exactly why I went back to a fiberglass GI stock for my M1A, and an 18 inch standard profile barrel.

    I've used said rifle two years hunting deer, which means packing it around all day. I didn't find it cumbersome.

    I've packed a 17 pound precision rifle around all day at sniper matches, and that is a major pain.
     
  21. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Dom, you make a valid point. If running around town, you may not want to show being overtly armed. Though they do not break down into as small of a package, the FAL can be split into two. Also, the M14 can be seperated from it's stock as can the 91. Also, the Para Fal has a good folding stock and the 91 can be fitted with a collapsing stock.

    When I think of needing my "Walter Mitty Rifle" I think of defending my house or the house of another family member. I cannot think of anyplace safer to be during a realistic disaster scenario unless my house is destroyed. If I have to flee, I'm screwed as everybody and their dog will be clogging the roads. I did get lucky during that hurricane that hit Houston a few years ago in that I had already packed up my house to move and hit the road ahead of the panic.

    In reality, defending the house means a good shotgun and handgun with the Main Battle Rifle reserved for times when I need the Big Guns. Probably the real advantage to the MBR is psychological. They are visually impressive. Nothing else says "Get off my lawn!" with same authority.

    I've hiked many a mile across deserts and over mountains in search of game. Rifles weighing up to 10 lbs are no problem. Heavier than that, I start thinking about not hiking so far. I've had no problem with a Garand or M14. I haven't put as many miles on a FAL or 91, but it feels like they weigh about the same. Not that the weight savings of my lighter rifles isn't appreciated!

    If required to defend my homestead during a disaster, my first choice will be one of my MBRs. Doesn't mean I wouldn't use my AR. If Dom came over to lend a hand, I'd much rather he brings the AR he is confident in and shoots well than something bigger that he knows nothing about. Most important of all is that he brings the willingness to stand by me in times of trouble and that I be worthy of his help and willing to return the favor
     
  22. frayluisfan

    frayluisfan Member

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    M1A/M14 questions

    Hi, all.

    Enjoying this thread. Recently purchased an FNAR. My "mission parameters'" were to find a semi-auto .308 rifle with hi-cap mags that would be good for deer (with 5-rounders) and could be used for home defense/SHTF if needed. Thought a lot about the M1A, but counldn't bring myself to buy one. As some have expressed here, I am very nervous about the safety placement. But even more important, every M1A I've picked up has felt very heavy to me. I work out and am no weakling, but I don't think I could hold up an M1 for more than a couple seconds before I'm wobbling so much I can't hit anything. I know off-hand isn't the best, but I want to be able to do it if I have to, and I don't think I could with an M1. So my question is to you M1 fans: How did you get used to the weight?

    Thanks much,
    frayluisfan
     
  23. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    And I've never claimed to have any particular expertise with "the modernized and enhanced M14."

    That said, if the rifle that you love so much is so superior, why do I not see rifles in such configurations being widely adopted among 3Gun competitors?
     
  24. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    I don't know about your 3gun thing, but why do you see a good number of M14s in like configurations being used by competitors on 2-way ranges?
     
  25. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    If I can sqeak by the banter, this is mine, though it's 7.62 is 7.62x39mm...



    SA vZ-58, with EOTech 512, Zahal forarm, folding foward grip and poly stock. Lighter than the AK, accurate and reliable.

    As for the M14, I used it on board ship 87-89, great rifle, loved it, waaaaaay to long in military garb to use for compartment clearing, which I had to do, as we did not have any Marines on our ship.
     

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