Trying to pick a semi-auto 7.62x51

Balrog

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I am trying to decide on a semi auto 7.62x51 rifle. Intended purpose would be for range use. I want something that fills the niche of "battle rifle", though I would hope it would never be used for that. I would consider a variation of an M1A, FAL, or maybe the Ruger SFAR. I might consider a G3 clone, thought I am less familiar with that platform. I would also consider an AR10, but not sure I see the advantage of that over the SFAR. Reliability would be the most important consideration, followed by accuracy, but I would be happy with 2-3 moa.

LIghter would be an advantage. Ease of mounting an optic would be an advantage. Magazine availability and price would be an advantage. LIghter would be an advantage. None of these would be deal breakers.

I don't think I want a 16" barrel. 18" would be ideal. I would be OK with 20-22" barrel, but portability is a consideration.

Many rifles with shorter barrels such as the M1A scout and SFAR have muzzle brakes, but I would rather not have a brake because of concerns I have about the blast and increased loudness of the gun.

I would love to hear opinions on what I should consider, given the criteria above.
 
If your requirement of 2-3 moa is leaning towards less than 2 moa and budget is any sort of a concern I'd go with an ar10 or sfar just based on the likelihood of finding acceptable accuracy. I've had a handful of fal rifles, a cetme (hk91 style), and played with a few other of the contenders in this field. The AR pattern rifles just have a higher percentage of out of the box function and accuracy than the rest. Plus they are a lot cheaper.
I had an fal that could claim better than 1.5 moa with match ammo, but the other two were nowhere close, and my cetme (which has the most affordable 308 mags of anything) was at its best a 2.5 moa gun. Very fun to shoot and worth owning, But not a bench gun by any means. There are high dollar versions of every type that can shoot very small, But a 800 buck psa AR-10 will even push on those... just my thoughts.
 
I would also consider an AR10 ... 18" would be ideal ... I would be happy with 2-3 moa

I would love to hear opinions on what I should consider, given the criteria above.
800 buck psa AR-10
PSA Father's Day sale $630 for complete upper/lower:

PSA Gen3 PA-10 18" Mid-length .308 1/10 Nitride 15" M-Lok upper with BCG/CH $429 - https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa...1-10-nitride-15-m-lok-upper-with-bcg-ch8.html

PSA Gen3 PA-10 AR-10 Complete lower .308 MOE EPT w/ over molded grip $199 - https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-gen3-pa10-308-complete-moe-ept-lower-with-over-molded-grip.html
 
PSA Father's Day sale $630 for complete upper/lower:

PSA Gen3 PA-10 18" Mid-length .308 1/10 Nitride 15" M-Lok upper with BCG/CH $429 - https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa...1-10-nitride-15-m-lok-upper-with-bcg-ch8.html

PSA Gen3 PA-10 AR-10 Complete lower .308 MOE EPT w/ over molded grip $199 - https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-gen3-pa10-308-complete-moe-ept-lower-with-over-molded-grip.html
Friend of mine bought that upper and he has multiple targets proving sub moa accuracy out of it. It's kinda crazy how good it shoots. He's got me wanting one...
 
Pretty much impossible to beat a PA-10 for the money.
Had an M1A Loaded. Very accurate, also unbalanced and unweildy. Good magazines are $$$.
Have a 20" POF P308. Also very accurate. Ridiculously heavy with scope and bipod.
Have a .308 Garand. Great rifle, heavy but balanced. Limited magazine capacity and can be pricey and hard to find.

The 16" guns have unbelievable noise and blast effects. 18-20 is the way I'd go too.
 
Another to consider: M1 Garand. Longer and heavier, but seriously 'Merican -- I mean, July 4 is right around the corner. Converted mine to 7.62 when I had CMP's Custom Shop replace the worn barrel. The M1A Tanker is handier, but I miss the ping.

M1Pair.jpg

You could go short with Shuff's Mini-G, but that one is usually better with a brake as well.

Unless you go with a bullpup like the Desert Tech, you can't go very short without some flash and blast in 7.62 NATO.
 
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G3 and FAL, classics that look great (as iron sight rigs).
I even thought about an SL7..........til I handled one.

Optics rails kill the looks of the old battle rifles IMHO.

For optics, lighter weight.........appears that the Ruger SFAR (or similar) is the way to go.
Unfortunately, Ruger QC seems to be spotty.
 
LAR 8 , get as heavy or light as you want. No modifications needed. Order what you want.
Rough and tough like John Wayne toilet paper. Back when , I bought a DPMS , then upgraded. Upgrading always seems to cost me more than first class to begin with. It's first class for the likes of me anyway.
 
Many rifles with shorter barrels such as the M1A scout and SFAR have muzzle brakes, but I would rather not have a brake because of concerns I have about the blast and increased loudness of the gun.

Understand, an 18" barreled .308 is going to have muzzle blast regardless. My 16" Socom16 M1a has a brake... yes, it's loud, and not only because of the brake. The 18" M1a Scout does have a similar brake, but, again, it's an 18" barrel... it's going to be loud regardless. Further, you can swap the brake for something else if it really bothers you.

The M1a isn't the ideal platform for optics, but things have gotten better over the years. There are several different mounts that use the receiver as an anchor point, and even something as simple as the Ultimak mount, which replaces the upper handguard with a rail.

I'm with Dave... an M1 or M1a is a fantastic rifle to shoot and operate. A very physical rifle, unlike something slick and efficient like an AR. Yes, they have their moments, but otherwise they are very rewarding weapons.

yCe7xZ1l.jpg
 
Unless theres some nostalgia going on, the AR10's are going to be your best bet and fit your criteria best.

Ive had a number of M1's, M1A's, HK91's, FAL's, and all are cool guns, but the only one of that lot that comes close to what youre looking for is the HK91.

I currently have a S&W M&P10 and I have no complaints whatsoever. Ive been eyeing the SAFR's as well, but there still seem to be issues there and Id wait a while yet and see what ups there. Maybe down the road.

M&P10 with Vortex 1x8
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AR 10 of some flavor. They are all great guns to shoot and all have followers. Any would fill your needs. I think a full size AR 10 would be more enjoyable to shoot than a SFAR but heavier to carry.
In a .308 I prefer at least a 20 inch barrel. For hunting a SFAR would be a strong contender. I love the M-14 so a M1A would be a third pick. I also like FAL type guns so that would be fun and my fourth pick. Another thing I like about the M1A is that I was trained to use a bayonet with it and smash an enemies face in with it.
 
Unless you are willing to step up to a SCAR 17, the AR-10 will provide you with the best experience. FAL, G3 HK91, and other all have accuracy and optic mounting hurdles that are difficult (read: expensive) to remedy.
 
As mentioned.. A PSA PA10 would be hard to beat. Plenty of Bang for the Buck.
 
Reliability, light weight, and accuracy are priorities you should look at a SCAR-17S IMO. Any of the other choices will be fine but the SCAR is very accurate and reliable and pretty lightweight in this market.
 
I'm pretty happy with the Ruger SFAR with a 20" barrel. With the brake removed it's about comparable to an 18.5" barrel with a brake. I don't need a brake on an 8 lb rifle (with optics), recoil is pretty mild. It's quieter without the brake and appears to be more accurate. Not enough trigger time with it for me to say that with certainty. But the limited range time I've had with it showed better accuracy without the brake. But that could just be a fluke.

With optics it's easily a 1" to 1.5" rifle with my best loads. Nothing worse than about 2.5".
 
I'm pretty happy with the Ruger SFAR with a 20" barrel. With the brake removed it's about comparable to an 18.5" barrel with a brake. I don't need a brake on an 8 lb rifle (with optics), recoil is pretty mild. It's quieter without the brake and appears to be more accurate. Not enough trigger time with it for me to say that with certainty. But the limited range time I've had with it showed better accuracy without the brake. But that could just be a fluke.

With optics it's easily a 1" to 1.5" rifle with my best loads. Nothing worse than about 2.5".
How hard is it to remove brake? Any special tool needed?

Did you replace the break with anything such as flash hider?
 
Not a fan of the G3- not really optics friendly, not very accurate with optics or without, nasty recoil, no bolt hold open after last round. Not a fan of the M14 style either, as they are not typically very accurate without some modifications, also not optic friendly and not very modular at all, Attempts to modernize them have been wanting and expensive. The FAL is probably the all-around best of these 3 "legacy" type rifles- well ballanced, skinny, reliable, and more capable for modifications of any type. AR10 types are going to be the better choice, as they are easy to modify, and the components to do this are very available, as is the case for any AR type rifle or carbine. On the more "modern" end, the SCAR 17 has also given satisfactory service during the recent unpleasantness. It was designed from its conception as a very modular weapon system and has some excellent features, even if it has that dumb reciprocating charging handle. The biggest downside of the SCAR is the price, which is why I don't own one and probably never will- to me, what it offers is just not worth the $, at least if it is my $. These observations are based on personal experience. I served for a long time as a SF weapons SGT, and later as an instructor at the school, and had the opportunity to travel around the world and work with allies using most of these rifles. I was also qualified as a HK armorer, and used M14 type rifles myself in a number of different places. When the last of them were removed from our inventories to be replaced with better systems like the SCAR and AR10 type carbines, the M14 based rifles weren't really missed.
 
I have a 18" aero precision AR platform and it's heavy, but shoots well.
Have a 12" that's just as accurate and much lighter, but still heavy
 
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