I am going to buy a Semi Automatic Rifle

This is a discussion on I am going to buy a Semi Automatic Rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I do not know a lot about weapons so I am counting on you guys to help me out. I own a Kimber Ultra CDP ...

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Thread: I am going to buy a Semi Automatic Rifle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Timmy Jimmy's Avatar
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    I am going to buy a Semi Automatic Rifle

    I do not know a lot about weapons so I am counting on you guys to help me out.

    I own a Kimber Ultra CDP .45 that I am pretty good at shooting (unless you have seen my scores at IDPA matches).

    I have a Winchester Defender 1300 12 GA with a 18 1/2 inch barrel, that I can hit the broad side of a barn with.

    I want to get a semi automatic rifle (before GW is out of office) for a SHTF weapon. I am leaning towards a AR-15 because I was in the Army for 20 years (one month and eleven days) and I know a little about M-16s (had to shoot them once a year for qualifying and I was usually a marksman the worse grade and still qualifying).

    If I go with a AR-15 which brands are the best quality?

    How is a AR-10 different and what are the pros and cons compared to a 15?

    Is a G-3 a better weapon?

    Thanks any advice will be appreciated!
    Timmy Jimmy

    If it is not in the US Constitution then the Federal Government should not be doing it.

    "Carrying a gun is a social responsibility."

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy Jimmy View Post
    I do not know a lot about weapons so I am counting on you guys to help me out.

    I own a Kimber Ultra CDP .45 that I am pretty good at shooting (unless you have seen my scores at IDPA matches).

    I have a Winchester Defender 1300 12 GA with a 18 1/2 inch barrel, that I can hit the broad side of a barn with.

    I want to get a semi automatic rifle (before GW is out of office) for a SHTF weapon. I am leaning towards a AR-15 because I was in the Army for 20 years (one month and eleven days) and I know a little about M-16s (had to shoot them once a year for qualifying and I was usually a marksman the worse grade and still qualifying).

    If I go with a AR-15 which brands are the best quality?

    How is a AR-10 different and what are the pros and cons compared to a 15?

    Is a G-3 a better weapon?

    Thanks any advice will be appreciated!
    AR-10 is just a .308...same basic overall layout of controls and "look" to the gun as an AR-15 type gun.
    brand choice seem to be personal preference, but most people will like the Bushmasters, Colts, Armalites, RRA etc. RRA makes some very fine weapons and if you ask me and they would probably be my one of my first choices (again just personally) if I were going to buy a factory rifle.
    Do you plan on buying a whole factory rifle or seperate upper and lower receivers...or stripped lower, lower parts kit, etc.?
    I really like the G3, but for me it's not a prime SHTF weapon...I'll take the AR and AK platforms over G3.
    again though, I think most of what makes a good rifle is one that you are comfortable with...same as a carry piece

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array mavrik46's Avatar
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    I own a Rock River Arms AR and so far it has been a fine weapon.

  5. #4
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    308 can get awful expensive to shoot if you intend on doing lots of shooting. Just something for you to think about.

  6. #5
    Member Array vernonator's Avatar
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    I just shot my new Springfield M1A loaded for the first time yesterday....two words...GET ONE. What a blast...nothing like a big bore battle rifle to put some rounds down range.....

  7. #6
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    For a SHTF rifle, stick with the common and what you know. AR parts/mags are a dime a dozen. Ammo is easy to come by.
    The .308s are fun and nice, but I would hate to have to find parts in a true SHTF situation. Every GI on the street will be carrying a M16 as well as LEO's and a whole lote of civilians. Mags/ammo/parts will be a lot more common.
    You can easily stock pile spare parts for an AR rather cheaply. I always say to buy a couple of spare parts kits when you buy the rifle. DPMS has put together packages of common parts often lost or broken.

    Brands... this is the order I prefer. There are others that are really good too, but these are the most often seen in shops. They are all pretty good.

    Rock River
    Bushmaster
    Armalite
    Colt
    Dpms
    S&W
    "Just blame Sixto"

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Steve48's Avatar
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    I have a Bushmaster I really like!! Steve48

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    Member Array foreveryoung001's Avatar
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    I picked up a DPMS about a month ago, just for some fun and to do some 'yote hunting. Never having shot the platform before, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much fun this gun is. I've only been hunting once with it so far, but I've put several hundred rounds through it at the range... it ads up quick, so I'm glad I went with the .223 over the .308.

    As far as brands go, I've shot several other's since I picked mine up, and they are all great. I know DMPS has a reputation as being a "lower" end gun, but I've not noticed any difference in the few rounds I've put through mine... but again, I'm not an expert.

    Food for thought... I heard the same thing about Taurus, but my 1911 is an amazing gun, so I've quit putting to much stock in people's opinions, especially if they have never owned, or shot the particular brand they are bad mouthing. That said, you'll find great reviews from all the brands that everyone has mentioned.

    Have fun choosing, and give us a range report when you finally pick one up.
    When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Some good advice has been given already, but let me add my thoughts.

    If it's a SHTF rifle, I would go with a .223 AR (and in fact, I did go for just that), simply because they will be everywhere, as Sixto pointed out. They're lightweight, small rifles (with a 16" barrel, at least), the ammo weighs a lot less than almost anything else with any punch, and they're easy to use.

    Some people like AK pattern rifles, and those are fine too, but whatever your rifle, make sure that you have a few sets of spare parts, and that it uses readily availible ammo. To me, that means .223 Rem or .308 Win if you want to go a little bigger.

    G3 pattern rifles are good rifles too, but I wouldn't want one as a primary save-my-butt rifle. They're a lot heavier than the AR, not counting ammo, which is heavy as well, they're long and have stiffer recoil, and parts will be harder to find. Also, .308, while plentiful, isn't quite as widespread as .223, and it's more expensive to practice with.

    That said, I'm in the process of buying a PTR-91 (semi-auto G3 clone), but I got the AR first, and that's what I would grab if I saw zombies out the window.

    As far as AR manufacturers, any of the ones Sixto listed will be a good rifle. I've also heard good things about the AR's that High Standard has started making, but they're pretty new, and don't have a long track record yet. Personally, I own a DPMS, and it's been a fine rifle for me.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    I say stick with the AR platform and what you already know. Plus parts are all over the place. You can get 2 AR's for the price of one M1A loaded.
    ďAre you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the roomĒ?--Chuck Swindoll

    Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!

  12. #11
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    DPMS is a good rifle at a lower cost. They make many of the parts that go in the higher end guns. All my spare parts are DPMS.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  13. #12
    Member Array duracles's Avatar
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    As far as I know, any AR is great. Colt isn't as compatible if you like to swap parts and tinker, but as is they are just fine.
    "The best compliment to the Warrior is that others feel safe while you are around." I would add especially if they REALLY ARE safe when you are around.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    I just made the same sort of decision. My main EBR is a DSA SA58 Para FAL, great gun, but even with reloading it costs more to shoot than 5.56 and the surplus is drying up. Itís also not exactly optimum for use in carbine classes. I love the DSA SA58, but even with the lightweight lower, with optics and a full mag, itís got some heft to it, close to 10lbs fully loaded.

    Like you, Iím retired Army (21 years, 7 months, 22 days) so an AR makes good sense from a training standpoint. So I went looking to get another AR to replace the one I sold a while back.

    Thereís a wealth of information about ARs on the net, hereís some pretty good threads:

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=1777

    http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bi...=000497#000000

    http://www.1911forum.com/forums/show...121#post744121

    As with everything else, these are all opinions, but some of these guys have some pretty informed opinions and know way more about ARs than I do. So after reading all I could, I settled on 3 manufactures: LMT, CMMG, and Colt. I was about to order a CMMG, when it just so happened that I lucked into a Colt LE 6920, for a pretty reasonable price so I jumped on it.

    Chuck
    homo homini lupus est

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    All a matter of whether you want .223 or .308. It's a lot cheaper to shoot .223, but .308 is wonderful for when you really want to reach out and touch . . . something. I'd recommend starting out with the AR-15, and buy lots of practice ammo so you can bring your marksmanship up to speed.

    The major brands are all excellent, I've got both Rock River Arms and DPMS, and can recommend both without reservation. I'd suggest a trigger upgrade no matter what you purchase. You can either purchase a lower with an upgraded trigger, or Steve Cline in San Antonio is renowned for his trigger work, and not too far from you in Austin. At $100, it's well worth it.

    An AR-15 lower gives you a lot of options to add uppers of different compatible calibers (eg., 22LR), barrel lengths, top configurations, rails, handguards, etc. Lots and lots of options.

    Here's my stable of ARs:

    Top is Rock River Arms AR-15 with Aimpoint M4 Red Dot, and SureFire G2Z light
    Bottom is DPMS AP4 .308, before accessorizing


    Rock River Arms M4-type lower with DPMS SBR upper. Pressure switch laser control on the vertical foregrip.


    And the DPMS AP4 with Nikon 4 x 12 scope, Harris bipod and vertical foregrip.


    Have fun, and if you're going to be down in San Antonio, give me a shout.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Short answer- if you're invested in .308, and feel comfortable with it, the G-3 is more economical in regard to parts & mags; "punch" and penetration are far superior. Basically, it will be equal in cost(or very close), looking at your savings in parts-ammo-replacement regimen.

    The AR is more movement-friendly, as long as you don't hang all the crap on it. If you want weight, put it on in the form of a 16-20" Hbar, and squeeze more velocity and range from the .223. Relatively cheap(ammo), and everybody has one.

    The G3 is a far superior design (compared to all but the really high-end AR-10 variants), in the .308. Again, really hard to argue with the .308 If you see limited mobility in your SHTF setting,and/or you're an ox that can lug one,the G3 is a fine platform.
    JLD makes the best value for the $$, at the moment.

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