It's not like a 5.56 that is hotter than .223.
It's not like a 5.56 that is hotter than .223.
Just to muddy the water more, you might want to check out 300 blackout. Seems to be a nice alternative to a full blown 308.
300 will most likely be my next AR build.
300 AAC BLACKOUT (300BLK)
OP - It's going to be difficult for anyone other than you to judge felt recoil, as there are so many variables, and what one person might view as "mild" might feel "wild" to another.
If you are going to hunt with it, then as others suggested, the first step is going to be to check your local laws. In some areas, you can only hunt deer with a shotgun, so go figure.
Bottom line is that you can defend yourself quite well with a "hunting" long gun - whatever that happens to be.
My bigger question on the rifle is about accuracy. Are there any of these that are considered more accurate than others with same optics (ruger vs. winchester vs. savage, etc)?
What is going to be the primary function of this gun? Is it going to be a primary hunting gun or are you buying a SHTF rifle that you can also hunt with every now and then?
I'm really worried about that 'bad nerve'. I don't know if you want to kiss the caliber right up to where it's nearly too painful, or if you want to be well-below whatever threshold you feel is appropriate.
My calculations show that an ET apocalypse is more likely than a zombie apocalypse, and Hollywood recommends the .308 vs. aliens.
Actctimmy: In reality, hard to say real purpose as while my plans are to get to the outdoors more, life sort of gets in the way...SHTF: while I believe in being prepared, the world is always falling apart. WWI, WW2, Vietnam, Africa, China, gas crisis in late 70s, 18% interest in early 80s, Three mile island, chernobyl, tsunamis etc.
Truthfully, when push comes to shove, I am going to shoot lots more paper/clay/bottles etc. than zombies or deer. Another reason for inexpensive ammo.
Maybe AR10 is less expensive than having AR15 AND Savage/Ruger/Marlin.
If your heart is set on something other than the Mini 30 I initially suggested then it's time to look at the AR 15. The AR 15 is a modular design so you can get it in lots of flavors. Also the AR15s are quite a bit less money (and weight) than an AR10.
OK, thinking about what would serve you well in an AR15 I can think of two calibers. One is our old friend the 7.62X39 and the other is the 6.8SPC (SPC = Special Purpose Cartridge). Both are solid cartridges and will kill deer with no problem. The 7.62X39 hits a little harder up close but isn't that good at long range (greater than 250yds or so) The 6.8SPC hits plenty hard and will be good for zombies out to 7oo or 800 yds ( but not for hunting use at this range).
So an AR 15 can be had in either of those deer crushing chamberings. Mags for both will be a little more pricey than standard AR mags (because they are not the standard .223). Mag price shouldn't really be that big of a deal though.
Now for the downside.
The 7.62X39 is good for hunting out to a max of about 200yds and about 350 for zombies. It has a big hunk of lead at moderate velocity so it loses energy faster than some other rounds. To me it's not that big of a deal because in my whole life I've only shot 1 deer past 150 yds. If you lived in Kansas it would be a different story but in the woods of the NE it's going to be OK.
The 6.8SPC on the other hand is good for deer out to around 300yds and zombies well past what anyone would rationally need. The biggest detractor is the cost of 6.8SPC ammo. It's expensive and probably more than you want to spend on ammo. It is a great "all arounder" but when I was searching for a similar gun I passed on it because of ammo price. It's just flat out expensive. Other than that it's perfect for you so I felt like I should include it and leave the choice up to you.
So in summation I will give you my top three recommendations:
#1 The Mini 30 in 7.62X39. It's still my top choice for you and deserves a LONG HARD look. You may decide on something else but IMO it is tops in price/value/performance. A new Mini 30 can be had for around $700 to $750. Anything higher and you'd be getting ripped off.
Here is a review of the Mini 30 tactical model (my favorite model):
Ruger Mini-30 Tactical
#2 An AR15 in 7.62X39. A good accurate platform in a caliber that will do all you need it to do, and ammo at a good price too.
#3 An AR15 in 6.8SPC. A great all around gun in a cool do it all cartridge. I really like everything about 6.8SPC except for the price. And as we both know price is pretty important.
Cost of ammo is critical. As I said, more rounds are going to targets than anything else. If the hurt of the cost of the round is more than the recoil, you don't wind up practicing much! So I agree with your assesment of the 6.8.
Will look at the Ruger next week when by local store. Really appreciate your inputs. Thanks.
If ammo price is as important as you say then there is no doubt in my mind that 7.62X39 is the right choice.
The SKS paratroop (16" bbl) is a fun, handy, cheap, durable, reliable, and accurate 7.62X39. If you can find the SKS-M version, AK mags work. Following compliance regulations, they can be accessorized. I use a red dot with see through BUIS for 100-200 yard thin skin stuff. After that I like the AR10. After that I like a 338 bolt gun.
Norinco Paratrooper SKS : Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com
He could go to an AR in 6.5 Creedmoor, solves recoil and also would be a great hunting cartridge for deer sized game.
Down side is what I talked about earlier in having a common caliber for an SHTF rifle.
Honestly--he should perhaps consider a lever action in .30-30., instead of getting into exotic AR calibers like 6,8, 6.5 (Grendel or Creedmore) or .300BO. And while the x39 isn't necessarily exotic, I've personally never met a 7.62x39 AR that was reliable.
I find .30-30 very mild in recoil, and it has the same effective range as 7.62x39. Also, an nice older Marlin 336 can be had for under $300, and can easily have optics mounted on it.
Personally, I think that the suggestion of a Mini-30 was the best one yet.
I use a 12GA for the Zombies. Got to destroy their heads.