Help me select my first "real" rifle

This is a discussion on Help me select my first "real" rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I inherited a Mossberg lever-action .22 squirrel rifle from my granddad years ago. Aside from that, I'm a .45 caliber handgun freak without a lot ...

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Thread: Help me select my first "real" rifle

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    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Help me select my first "real" rifle

    I inherited a Mossberg lever-action .22 squirrel rifle from my granddad years ago. Aside from that, I'm a .45 caliber handgun freak without a lot of rifle knowledge.

    So..... I tend to be a large-caliber fan in most things, so I guess a rifle is no exception. Therefore, I think .30 caliber or above is best suited for me, like 30-06, .308, 30-30, and above.

    I guess my questions are:

    Is it true that an AR-15 (.223) is more accurate than the AK-47 and SKS 7.62mm family? I read this somewhere, and it had something to do with certain part of the action moving vs. not moving.

    I have a small tendency to jump on the "mean" military-looking rifle idea because of the potential coming "assault" weapons ban, but I'm undecided. Would a plain old bolt-action 30-06 suit me better?

    If the scare subsides (hopefully) and Dianne Frankenstein doesn't get her way, what's a good quality non-Colt AR-15 maker? I know that the actual Colts are hard to come by these days.

    Lastly, does anyone make an AR variant in 7.62mm?

    Thanks!
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

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    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Start with an older Marlin 336...

    Similar manual-of-arms, great ballistics...

    Not so "scary" looking as to be a possible ban item in the future...

    I say older as in non cross-bolt safety and non Remlin.

    Good luck.

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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    What do you want to use the rifle for? Hunting, home defensive??

    I agree with the above post that a Marlin 336 in 30/30 (pre remington buy out) will have enough punch for hunting out to 150-200 yrds, and can be used quite effectively as a home defense carbine if you practice. This is what I have and I love the rifle. Not a scary "military" rifle that I hunt with and can use as a defensive weapon if needed. 30/30 has a lot of punch up to 200 yrds and has a better quick follow up shot capabilities than a bolt gun. But, only if used by someone experienced with lever action rifles. Capacity is your only issue. 6 rds in the tube, but you can easily top off the tube after every shot.
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    There are many to choose from. Lots of AR-15 makers - some good, some great, some poor. There are at least several 7.62mm AR type rifles as well. Many different battle rifles in 7.62mm - M14/M1A, HK-91/PTR-91, FN FAL/DSA SA-58 - for a start.

    What you want to use the rifle for will make deciding easier. This is a bad time to be a buyer of a semi-auto rifle - prices are quite high.

    A lever action is certainly a rifle - especially if chambered in a rifle caliber. Anything fired from the shoulder will be easier to aim than a handgun, but rifle rounds are "special" because they have so much more power. I wouldn't personally choose one for defense, but I have plenty of semi-autos to choose from with 3x-5x the capacity and all I have to do is aim and fire....so maybe I'm biased against them.

    In any case - knowing what you "need" will help your decision. If it's a "want" then be ready to spend some coin, because prices won't be going down for several months at least.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    For the money, it is almost impossible to beat a lever gun. Especially with the currently inflated prices for anything semi-auto that looks military-ish.
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    Help me select my first "real" rifle

    It is possible to get an AR for calibers other than .223/.556 though balistically these are still plenty potent. There is an excellent post (I have it bookmarked at home) on 'so you want to buy an AR' discussing a lot of the important points to consider.

    Last week, I ordered one. I too looked at options and decided on an American made model from a well reviewed manufacturer (thanks in part to this forum) that is not the cheapest but still good value. It will take a while to get it and I was quoted current MSRP as the highest price I will pay when it arrives in about 3 to 6 months. I wanted to get something on order now in case there is a ban, though I don't think there will be. Also, yes the AR is more accurate than an AK/SKS which has a lot to do with being built to a different design philosophy.

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    What exactly do you want this rifle to do?

    A rifle is not a magic death stick. Just like handguns, rifles are a compromise of sorts. Let's have some more info.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    What exactly do you want this rifle to do?

    A rifle is not a magic death stick. Just like handguns, rifles are a compromise of sorts. Let's have some more info.
    beat me to it? how do you intend to use the rifle?

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    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. As for the burning question, the purpose of the rifle, it's just because I think I would enjoy having one. I've fired an SKS and really liked it, plus I fired an M16 (rigged for semi-auto only) in the military.

    But for defense, that's what 12-gauge shotguns are for.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
    Thanks, everyone. As for the burning question, the purpose of the rifle, it's just because I think I would enjoy having one. I've fired an SKS and really liked it, plus I fired an M16 (rigged for semi-auto only) in the military.

    But for defense, that's what 12-gauge shotguns are for.

    What kind of military riggs a weapon designed for burst fire semi auto only, and what purpose would that serve?

    As to your question, given your reasoning, then pick one that seems like it would be the most enjoyable because for your purpose, its for fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
    I inherited a Mossberg lever-action .22 squirrel rifle from my granddad years ago. Aside from that, I'm a .45 caliber handgun freak without a lot of rifle knowledge.

    So..... I tend to be a large-caliber fan in most things, so I guess a rifle is no exception. Therefore, I think .30 caliber or above is best suited for me, like 30-06, .308, 30-30, and above.

    I guess my questions are:

    Is it true that an AR-15 (.223) is more accurate than the AK-47 and SKS 7.62mm family? I read this somewhere, and it had something to do with certain part of the action moving vs. not moving.

    Yes, it's true. AR's are more accurate than an AK or SKS. Howeverrrrrrrr, this largely depends on the shooter and is blow WAYYY out of proportion on the internet. The AK is as accurate as you are. You take a noob on an AR and a skilled shooter on an AK, the skilled shooter is going to win all day long.



    I have a small tendency to jump on the "mean" military-looking rifle idea because of the potential coming "assault" weapons ban, but I'm undecided. Would a plain old bolt-action 30-06 suit me better?

    You'll have a very hard time finding anything semi-auto right now. There would be nothing wrong with going for a Marlin 336, which easily classifies as a "real rifle".



    If the scare subsides (hopefully) and Dianne Frankenstein doesn't get her way, what's a good quality non-Colt AR-15 maker? I know that the actual Colts are hard to come by these days.

    Colt's are the gold standard, and not that hard to find.... a month ago. Other comparable brands are BCM, Daniel Defense, LMT. A step below would be S&W and Spikes. A step below that is Bushmaster and DPMS.



    Lastly, does anyone make an AR variant in 7.62mm?

    Yes, both 7.26x51 and 7.62x39. Though the x39 variants are generally not reliable due to the lower receiver and magazine design of the AR rifles. If you're dead set on a .30 caliber rifle, it's easier to just go with an AK, or that Marlin 336 I mentioned earlier. You can pretty easily convert an AR to shoot 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel or .300 Blackout. Those are all "superior" rounds as far as defensive performance goes than the 5.56, but FARRR more expensive to shoot and train with. The 5.56 round really isn't that bad. It may not work extremely well for medium size game or hunting large animals, but it can do the job. A for defense against angry two legged creatures, 5.56 will do a fine job given you're using the proper ammo. Defensive 5.56 ammo could be an entire forum all on it's own.

    Thanks!
    My answers in bold.

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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    What kind of military riggs a weapon designed for burst fire semi auto only, and what purpose would that serve?

    As to your question, given your reasoning, then pick one that seems like it would be the most enjoyable because for your purpose, its for fun.
    Glockman, I know the Air Force does this as do the Air National Guard for the yearly qualification of the Medical staff. Some are even qualified using 22lr conversions.

    Springer, How about something like this?

    Nice Marlin Camp 45 acp carbine plus extra stock : Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com

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    OK, if this rifle is just for fun and for range time only then the sky is the limit.

    If you like shooting the SKS then I'd look hard at one of those. The SKS is a super reliable battle rifle that would serve well as a SHTF rifle and be a fun plinker. Ammo (when there isn't a panic) is super cheap and easy to find.

    ARs are super fun but in all reality you missed that boat. Gun and mag prices are out of this world right now so I'd look elsewhere. If I were to suggest a semi auto rifle to you today chambered in 5.56, I'd suggest a mini 14. Even then those prices are probably not worth it until the panic is over.

    Here are a few other fun ideas for you to chew on. These are all cool rifles that will hold up and be fun to shoot at the range.

    Mossberg & Sons | 27714

    UNIVERSAL M1 CARBINE 30 CALIBER : Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com

    Ruger 77-GS Scout Rifle .308 Win Laminate 308 : Bolt Action Rifles at GunBroker.com
    ignore the price on this one it's way too high but the pictures are good.

    http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-527-carbine/

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=323996434
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    Senior Member Array surefire7's Avatar
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    Ruger mini-30 (7.62 X 39)?? Fun to shoot but might be one of those "expensive" rifles now.
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    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    Glockman, I know the Air Force does this as do the Air National Guard for the yearly qualification of the Medical staff. Some are even qualified using 22lr conversions.

    Springer, How about something like this?

    Nice Marlin Camp 45 acp carbine plus extra stock : Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com
    Yep. I'm an Air Force vet and I should have explained that better. We weren't shooting .223 in semi-auto; they were .22 conversions for training.
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

    -miklcolt45

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