What caliber for a semi-auto rifle?

What caliber for a semi-auto rifle?

This is a discussion on What caliber for a semi-auto rifle? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Time to buy a nice semi-auto before Obama or the UN keep me from getting one. I am thinking the best bet would be to ...

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Thread: What caliber for a semi-auto rifle?

  1. #1
    Member Array cmycek's Avatar
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    What caliber for a semi-auto rifle?

    Time to buy a nice semi-auto before Obama or the UN keep me from getting one. I am thinking the best bet would be to get something chambered in 5.56, so that I can run either .223 ammo or 5.56 through it.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?
    Exercise your 2nd amendment rights....not doing so jeopardizes that right for everyone.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    Well, what are you going to use the rifle for? Hunting, target shooting, plinking...

    Without a purpose it's hard to make a recommendation.

  3. #3
    Member Array Pioneer's Avatar
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    It sounds like you are thinking SHTF or "get it while you can" tactical rifle. I chose two different semi-autos, a Ruger Mini 14 in the 1990's about the time of the (first) Clinton "assault weapon ban" and a Bush Master AR m4 platform more recently. My thinking included ammo availability, and battle field pick-up opportunities. Both rifles are 100% reliable and combat accurate.

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  4. #4
    Member Array cmycek's Avatar
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    You got it, Pioneer. An all around tactical rifle for home defense, target shooting at the Gun Club, SHTF, etc. I just want to get one that is versatile, and have read that a 5.56 caliber (SHTF) will also chamber .223 (target). Assuming that .223 ammo is cheaper than 5.56
    Exercise your 2nd amendment rights....not doing so jeopardizes that right for everyone.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Well, this being the Defensive Carry Guns sub-forum, I will first of all state that I very rarely CARRY my Mini-14 Ranch Rifles, but if I decide to start slinging them under a waxed canvas duster, or carrying them in a Brine lacrosse racquet bag, I reckon .223/5.56 will serve quite well in the defensive role. Both of mine are 580-series, with the many improvements over the older Minis. One is mounted in a Sage International chassis-style SCAR stock, and one has the standard synthetic factory stock. .223/5.56 does quite well for US LEOs against bad guys, with the humble 55-grain JSP having a quite good track record. Other rounds, such as the Federal Tactical, will probably perform better when vehicles and auto glass present intervening barriers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array mwhartman's Avatar
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    I'm no expert. However, based on my time in VietNam I would go with an AK. In my opinion, those damn things are like Glocks. You pull the trigger they go bank! Here is a link that has three videos that may help AK-47 vs AR-15 Part 1, by Nutnfancy - YouTube
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    7.62X39!!


    -------------------------------------------------
    I'm also a fan of the 7.62X54R, but I don't know many semi-autos for that round. The SVT-40 comes to mind, but it doesn't have a very large capacity...
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I (personally) would go for an AR....after I get an AK and an M1A. (7.62x39, .308)
    Last edited by tubadude; August 23rd, 2011 at 10:08 PM.

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    Member Array chjtoken's Avatar
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    AR15 chambered in 5.56 would be my choice. There are many quality choices available, check the rifle / shotgun section for a lot of info. 5.56 62 grain NATO round for SHTF situations and .223 for cheaper plinking and target usage.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    The AK is a great platform for a lot of reasons....if you are anywhere else but US of A. I look at a SHTF as anything extreme from WROL to TEOTWAWKI, or possibly just a natural disaster, where order will be restred ina reasonable amount of time. That being said i want something common and readily available. My personal BOB guns and SHTF weaponry will be 9mm, 12 ga and 5.56 or .308. Why? Because thats what the LE and MIL use mostly. A lot of civilians also use it. If I need to borrow/trade from another civilian or even scavenge from LE/MIL sources, I would have statistically greater success.

    I personally would go for an AR for parts compatability and ammo commonality.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite75 View Post
    The AK is a great platform for a lot of reasons....if you are anywhere else but US of A. I look at a SHTF as anything extreme from WROL to TEOTWAWKI, or possibly just a natural disaster, where order will be restred ina reasonable amount of time. That being said i want something common and readily available. My personal BOB guns and SHTF weaponry will be 9mm, 12 ga and 5.56 or .308. Why? Because thats what the LE and MIL use mostly. A lot of civilians also use it. If I need to borrow/trade from another civilian or even scavenge from LE/MIL sources, I would have statistically greater success.

    I personally would go for an AR for parts compatability and ammo commonality.
    Great reasoning. But, all you would have to do is 'scavenge' one, and you're set. Personally, I say get the AK, because I believe it to be more reliable, and more simple to maintain.
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

    "Gun control means hitting your target every time."

    Please take everything I say with at least one grain of salt- I am a very sarcastic person with a very dry sense of humor.

  12. #12
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    Go with the AR.

    Get a short one, preferably 16".

    Get lots of ammo.
    jwhite75 and SIGguy229 like this.
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    Sign in the gun shop: "Your wife called and said you can buy anything you want!"

    For close range (100 yds) it's hard to beat the price, reliability, and punch of the SKS/AK/mini 30 platforms. If you want to reach out to medium range (500 yds) the M1-A1, G3, FAL, and AR10 in .308 do a great job. If you want a semi auto for long range (1000+yds) a Barrett 50BMG will not disappoint anything but your bank account. Depending on the range and your eyesight, optics can be a major factor. If you stock up on ammo, you can barter instead of scrounge.

    The short, light AR15 can be the girl's gun while you man the heavy artillery. We're limited only by the room in the gun safe.
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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    Like an old (80's) Ruger mini 30 - in Butlercreek folder furniture...scoped with and old M8 Leopold...ammo is cheap ... and hunting ammo is available ,you cannot hunt with 5.56/223 where I live...and I have taken game with it...(rim rock muleys)...I dont care how available the 5.56 ammo is, its still just a 22 to me...I can make 123gr rain with it...I grew up in Hartford CT..keep the Mattel upgrades..just sayn

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    If you plan on staying in this country, I'd go for an AR, in a M4 clone, first. I would pick up an AR-10, M1A, etc... in .308 (7.62x51) second. After that I'd have to think about the AK. It's a great design and a decent round, but the AR-15 has been the most popular rifle in the US, for the last few years. The AK is basically a weapon filling the same category as the AR, but requires a third supply of ammo. One problem dealing with AR's in .308 is magazine compatibility. There are currently two different mag types being used in current guns.When you throw in the FAL mags and M1A mags, it can really get confusing.

    An alternative is the good 'ole 30-30 in a levergun. In a real SHTF situation, ammo conservation will most likely be a greater issue than, long extended gun fight capabilities. With the AR and M1A, or AR-10 as your defensive guns, the 30-30 levergun can handle all your hunting needs as well as serving as a 2nd or 3rd defensive weapon, if needed.

    My choices are an AR-15, in an M4 configuration, an M1A in 'scout squad' configuration and a 30-30 in a trapper style (16" barrel) levergun. And, of course, my trusty 870 pump plus a safe full of other guns if I'm staying at home.
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