Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Toughest Battle Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by amprecon, Oct 12, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. amprecon

    amprecon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,458
    Location:
    TN
    I understand that all man-made machines will break no matter how "fool-proof" they may have been designed to be. I also understand that even equipment that has a track-record of being totally reliable under most conditions always encounters that "one" condition that made it fail that baffle it's designers.
    My question is leading to this, regarding semi-modern "Battle Rifles" in .308, in their civilian semi-automatic or mil-spec forms, to include CETME, FAL, M-14, M1, HK91, and others that I may have overlooked, which one if left neglected or even used and abused without care for extended periods of time or use has the best track-record for reliability?
    I know militaries want the be-all-end-all in their small arms, but that just doesn't seem practical, to be accurate, seems like some other attribute is weakened and vice versa. I guess in the short of it, what I'm asking is which of these rifles is most resistant to malfunctions under adverse usage and care?
     
  2. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    There is no way to know which one is "best." We can argue 'til we're blue in the face, but the only way to answer that question would be a controlled study testing all of the listed designs in similar conditions. To my knowledge, that hasn't happened.

    It is true that all of the designs you mentioned have admirable records for reliability under difficult conditions. They never would have been widely adopted as military rifles, or lasted for long in that role, if they weren't.
     
  3. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Of those listed, I have experience with FALs and M14s. I recently acquired a Garand, but I haven't had it long enough to form any opinions about its longterm durability.

    The FAL is built like a tank. Any conditions that would destroy my FAL would long since have killed me. The FAL belongs near the top of the list in terms of robustness.

    The M1A belongs at the other end, IMO. They're fine rifles, but I've seen too many of them lose little bits during highpower matches. They just seem to shoot themselves apart. You can't negelect ANY rifle and still expect it to work, but the M1A seems to be worse in this regard than my FAL.

    My opinions are founded entirely on anecdotal evidence, and may not be entirely reliable.
     
  4. Ian

    Ian Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,857
    The quality of the manufacturer probably makes more of a difference than the design, among military rifles.

    That said, I would add the M1 Garand to your list. From everything I've read, it had a very good reputation among soliders in a wide variety of operating environments.
     
  5. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,450
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    Probably the Saiga or any other AK-derived 308.
     
  6. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Let's just say it's not the SA80/L85. :evil:
     
  7. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Sorry, didn't see the ".308" qualifier. Wouldn't win toughest assault rifle either.
     
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    10,497
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    The M1A isn't a battle rifle. It's a commercial copy of one.
    The AK and FAL would be right on top of any list of battle rifles. The AK was designed for illiterate conscripts given scant training. The FAL was desgined from the beginning as a battle rifle for troopies of any level of training. Both have seen extensive use in the Third World's brushfire wars.
     
  9. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,938
    Location:
    The Copper Country, Michigan
    I'd point out that high-power tuned guns probably aren't built the same as the real thing.
     
  10. Bart Noir

    Bart Noir Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Mossy part of Washington
    Part fell off my REAL M-14

    I let the bolt go forward under full spring power, without magazine or cartridge being anywhere near the weapon. A piece fell off into the snow, I think it was the extractor but not sure since we never saw it again. Sarge looked irritated, and one of the instructors swapped bolts with me. Since we were firing blanks I guess no headspace checks were necessary.

    Bart Noir
     
  11. trbon8r

    trbon8r Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    863
    Location:
    MD
    I've shot plenty of highpower matches and have never seen M14 type rifles ASSEMBLED WITH GI parts spilling their guts all over the firing line or dissasembling themselves in any way. Note I said rifles made with GI parts, not SA Inc. out of spec cast junk.

    I'm getting tired of the bad rap that the M14 series is getting because of SA Inc.'s crappy quality control. Get some good quality forged GI parts in the rifle that are made to government specs and you will have a hard shooting rifle that will last a long time. Do parts break? Sure they can, as they can on a FAL or anything else that is shot 3 to 5 thousand rounds a year like serious highpower shooters do with their Garands, M1As, and ARs. I've got over 10,000 rounds through my competition M1A and the only thing I've replaced was the barrel. Same goes for my match Garand.

    It's the same story with 1911 pistols; take a battle proven pistol design, add zero quality control, out of spec parts, and let some apes assemble it. The buyer purchases said piece of crap and when it pukes the first time out, he gets on the net and tells everyone how "unreliable" 1911s are.
     
  12. RTFM

    RTFM member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    Land of ID
    What ever bolt action rifles we have now would be more hearty than a gas gun.
     
  13. kahr404life

    kahr404life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Enfield Mk-4 in .303. It is a kick-ace battle rifle that will take a beating. I hope we don't overlook the pike as well it is very reliable :D .
     
  14. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,261
    The 1914 Eddystone my father has seems really well made and shoots MOA to boot.
     
  15. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Point well taken about commercial copies of military rifles. I have had very good luck with my M1A but would be happier with the M14 I had for a while. My M1s are the real deal and must have been the inspiration for Maytag and Timex ads. Read Hatcher's "Book of the Garand" to see what they learned after making 4 1/2 million in WWII.
     
  16. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The bolt guns make a lot of sense. If extreme durability is your primary requirement, a milsurp bolt action would probably serve you better. Simplicity is king. Keep a cleaning rod, a spare extractor, and a spare firing pin in the buttstock and you'll always have a working rifle.
     
  17. Stinkyshoe

    Stinkyshoe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    Midwest
    HTG
    That is a very good point. Semi auto is only useful to a point. A bolt gun is more reliable and accurate. Ideally, a BR is versatile. In a situation you'd likely have one BR and it would need to do everything well. I'd say a good FAL would fit that description.
     
  18. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,773
    Location:
    Illinois`
    German G-3 hands down.
    That's an HK-91 when you remove the selector,,,,,
    Saiga's, Veprs, etc. don't even compare.
    M14 with a fiberglass stock is pretty close in durability but it won't shoot as accurate in sustained fire.
    FN/FAL, maybe but they were never really used in a "WAR".
    The ones that get used in African conflicts didn't, and don't, fair near as well as the G-3 rifles.
    The Australians had fairly good luck with their FN-FAL varient in the Viet Nam but there was really not very many Australian troops stationed in Viet Nam and many, if not most, were seasoned Special Operation troops who knew how to take care of their personal weapons.
    That leaves the SiG PE-57/550 series, they stand up pretty well in Chile, there are some in Nigeria but there just aren't enough numbers in actual conflict to say, 'yeah, this rifle is the best.'
     
  19. Ash

    Ash Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,358
    Location:
    Anywhere but here
    Sunray, none of the rifles on the list are available and all are commercial copies. The M1 Garand, the French MAS 49/56, the Hakim and Ljungman, the SVT-40, and the German semi-autos from WWII would all qualify as true military battle rifles, but not the AK's or FAL's (or L1A1's) (which are just as neutered as the M1A).

    The AK isn't a battle rifle in any case. But, including it in the discussion, no select fire weapon is available to the general public (pre 86 weapons aside).

    In any case, I would argue the FAL would be more rugged than the M1a. I would also argue the MAS 49/56 would be as rugged as the FAL, along with the Hakim (while unwieldy, it is very simple).

    Ash
     
  20. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Onmilo said:
    As I said way up front, there is no way to really answer this question with certainty. We have no good data on the subject. That said, my guess would be the same as Onmilo's, for the simple reason that the G-3 (and the almost identical Spanish CETME) are the only rifles being discussed that operate via recoil instead of gas. Blowback systems are inherently less sensitive to variances in ammo, weapon condition, etc. The FAL has a nifty adjustable gas port, for instance, which is an improvement over non-adjustable designs. The G-3/CETME, however, simply don't need one. When it comes to reliability, simpler is almost always better.

    Consider that the latest autoloading shotgun designs, such as Benelli's "Interia Driven" system, are recoil operated instead of gas. They are touted as being able to shoot any load under any condition, and work reliably every time. Gas guns can't do that.
     
  21. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,027
  22. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,235
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Fal

    with hard use in over 70+ countries I would find it damn hard to break one (and I've tried!).
     
  23. english kanigit

    english kanigit Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    Oklahoma - At the "Bubonic Bed and Breakfast" look
    Heh, y'alls are gonna hate me...

    The Mosin Nagant!! :neener:

    Oh, wait, you said semi-auto. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,000
    An AK isn't a "battle rifle"? There are only about 40 jillion of them being used in combat, all over the world ,in every extreme of conditions, by highly trained soldiers and bush war guerrillas alike. I don't know what else could be more of a battle rifle. Arbitrary ,useless and irrelelevant caliber distinctions aside.
     
  25. itgoesboom

    itgoesboom member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,675
    Location:
    By the River
    Tokugawa,

    The AK-47/AK-74/AKM design is considered an "assault rifle". That being a intermediate carteridge rifle with select fire capability. M-16s, AUGs, Galils, etc are other examples.

    Battle rifles are generally full power rifles. .303 brit, 7.62 nato, .30/06, 7.62x54R, etc.

    I.G.B.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page