Choosing a Semiautomatic Centerfire Rifle- Where to Begin? - Page 2

Choosing a Semiautomatic Centerfire Rifle- Where to Begin?

This is a discussion on Choosing a Semiautomatic Centerfire Rifle- Where to Begin? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by B52 SKS is a good alternative, but in my area the used Yugo's 59/66's are selling for almost $300...crazy. Agreed; they're hard ...

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Thread: Choosing a Semiautomatic Centerfire Rifle- Where to Begin?

  1. #16
    Member Array chuck brick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B52 View Post
    SKS is a good alternative, but in my area the used Yugo's 59/66's are selling for almost $300...crazy.
    Agreed; they're hard to get for that "cheap" here, too - but they still beat any other alternative for the price.
    I bought mine nearly 20 years ago for about $80+/- and it was unfired, and not even "cosmolined." A couple years ago, they were only twice that. We have to just "deal with it" best we can and follow the best buys available. Oh, well. That was then - this is now.

    Stay safe,

    Chuck Brick.
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    1. Should I decide on a caliber first? Or is that a backwards way of shopping for an SA rifle?

    2. How can I find the "best" in my price range without paying a premium for mil-spec standards?

    3. How do you choose a weapon for home/emergency defense?
    I know it is strange to quote myself but this is the best way to comment for me.

    1. I think the .223 cartridge is best, just based on the idea that it seems readily available in many places. From what I can tell, the Wolf ammo is pretty affordable for target practice.

    2. I am willing to pay about $1,000 for everything, including about 1,000 rounds of ammo.

    3. I want this weapon for an emergency, home defense scenario. And I want to have fun learning how to shoot it accurately.

    So I guess I am on the hunt for an AR, chambered for .223, that costs less than $1,000, including the cost of buying about 1K rounds.

    You guys think that is feasible?

  3. #18
    BAC
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    Not sure how else to put this, $1k will not get you a home-defense worthy AR15, mags, and 1k ammo. A thousand rounds is going for over three bills on average for .223, more for 5.56 stuff. Mags are going to run $15 on average, and you'll want at least half a dozen (mags are consumables; when they fail, you throw them out), so that's already $90. We're talking $400-$500 before you even get to the rifle.

    For $1,000 total, including both the rifle, mags, and 1k ammo, I'd pass on the AR15 and pick up an AK47 and soft-point personal-defense ammo. A decent AK will run you about $400 and probably include one or two mags, Bulgarian 30-rd magazines go for $15 apiece, and you have a little over $500 left for ammo. I wouldn't call this ideal, because I have concerns about even 7.62x39 softpoint stuff against housing materials, but $1k's not a lot to work with for a HD gun, ammo, and mags.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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  4. #19
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    Ruger Mini 14 - Geesh! are they selling for that much now?
    Well, scratch that idea.

    I had a Stainless Mini 14 years ago & I bought it because it was inexpensive & Stainless Steel and it was a great rifle to leave up at the cottage where it was damp all the time.
    Accuracy was OK for Government Work and it was not finicky regarding ammo at all. I used to plink with it and it was a fun gun.
    I traded it when we sold that place. I'll have to dig out my old receipt and see what I paid for it but, it was not a lot.
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  5. #20
    BAC
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    New Ruger Mini's now go for lower/mid-range ARs. Not the inexpensive ranch gun they used to be.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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  6. #21
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    And if I remember correctly, the AK is more of a "peasant" gun, not as much fun to shoot but works well, whereas the AR platform is more of a precision tool, effective in the hands of skilled soldiers, correct?

  7. #22
    BAC
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    Don't get caught up with peasants and skilled soldiers; Spetznaz does pretty good with the AK, and I think they rate as "skilled soldiers". You're the end user, so what it comes down to is what your requirements are for the caliber and rifle. The convenient thing about both the AK and AR is both are battle-proven. Just make sure your rifle is reliable and durable enough to practice often with and you'll be golden. A $1k limit for the whole kit effectively guarantees a quality AR is out of the question.


    -B
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  8. #23
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    And if I remember correctly, the AK is more of a "peasant" gun, not as much fun to shoot but works well, whereas the AR platform is more of a precision tool, effective in the hands of skilled soldiers, correct?
    I think it depends on how you define some of your terminology. As far as a "peasant" gun goes, yes the design philosophy on the AK is more for ease of maintenance and more tolerance of abuse. The relatively loose fit of parts allows you pretty much burry it in the sand for a few months, dig it up, make sure the bore is clear and use it. You could clean an AK with rags, boot laces and old motor oil.

    The AR platform has much tighter tollerances requiring more detailed stripping for cleaning. The trade off is in your maximum effective range for point targets. The precision of the AR design allows for real precision work if you set it up right. My H-Bar that I built for CMP matches is accurate with enough Black Hills match ammo that I can put a scope on it and hit a dime at one hundred yards. That kind of accuracy is not uncommon in AR's but I have never seen it from an AK. I am not saying it is not possible, but I have never seen it.

    Either one can be lots of fun to shoot. You just have to have reasonable expectations for the rifle. My Bushy carbine is nowhere near as accurate as my H-Bar, but it is a whole lot of fun to shoot!
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  9. #24
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like an SKS would do the trick for you. Reliable, easy to use. Accurate enough for practical work, though not a match gun. If you buy a tapco stock for it you can use removable albeit expensive magazines. In the meantime a fixed magazine and stripper clips works fine.

    I just ordered an AR kit and ended up spending $165 on the lower and $690 on a rock river rifle kit. I'm a student so you can bet I shopped like crazy, but I couldn't find a way to save enough money to do what you're trying to with an AR.

    My solution is to buy the AR and a little bit of ammo, then more ammo as I save more money. I can slowly improve my ammo stockpile, but can't slowly improve the gun. So I'll start with a decent gun and then stock up.

    Of course that relies on the assumption that I don't need more than a few hundred rounds in the next few months.

  10. #25
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    I have to agree - AK-47 will meet the home defense purpose (unless you home has a huge viking hall over 400 yards). I will fit into the budget of $1000US. Figure 650 for a top of the line AK and about 250 or so for 1k rounds of 7.62x39. Pick up a sling and some cleaning supplies and you have your grand spent!

  11. #26
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    $1000 can easily buy you a decent AK, a case of ammo, and some mags...

    At the ranges where most of us have any chance of needing a rifle for actual defensive use, the AK will do everything the AR will do.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

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  12. #27
    Member Array Delucas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post

    Assuming that you are, indeed, looking for a home/self defense weapon I would recommend a pistol or shotgun and not a rifle. Rifles are designed to “reach out and touch” which is not generally needed in a self defense situation.
    I agree, home defense, particularly urban area( condo, apt, etc) a shotgun loaded w/ 12ga bird shot.

    I have a shotgun beside my bed, and my PS90. I like the PS90 because it is a "hybrid" if you will. Compactness of an extended pistol w/ the accuracy of a rifle up to about 50 yds w/ the standard optic. I live out in the country but I don't have a need to shoot a BG if he is outside my home (unless I want to be the one going to jail for murder.)

    Also, there are a wide variety of ammo available for the PS90 from standard target type stuff to frangible and light body armor piercing. And a 50 round mag holds a lot of pain.

    The frangible is the best for home defense. Like a shotgun loaded w/ bird shot, it doesn't easily penetrate sheet rock and injure the wife or kids/ neighbors.
    Grassroots SC, SC CWP, NH NR-PRL

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
    I agree, home defense, particularly urban area( condo, apt, etc) a shotgun loaded w/ 12ga bird shot.

    Please do not use Bird shot for anything but shooting birds. If you want to stop a BG you have got to use something that will penetrate into the BG and Birdshot will not do it.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  14. #29
    Member Array Delucas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Please do not use Bird shot for anything but shooting birds. If you want to stop a BG you have got to use something that will penetrate into the BG and Birdshot will not do it.
    A shotgun blast at close range, it wont matter if it's bird shot or 00buck, the BG will go down.
    Grassroots SC, SC CWP, NH NR-PRL

  15. #30
    BAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
    A shotgun blast at close range, it wont matter if it's bird shot or 00buck, the BG will go down.
    Except that this has been proven to be untrue, the two examples coming to mind were in an individual's home and in a convenience store. In both cases the aggressor remained active and violent; I don't remember the ending of the home invasion, but the convenience store involved the clerk getting hurt. In addition, your example of a PS90 addresses an excellent sized weapon, but one whose cartridge's terminal ballistics are seriously lacking.

    I don't really like suggesting the AK47 for home defense, because I'm not confident that there is a load for 7.62x39 that has both adequate terminal ballistics and minimized risk of over-penetration of housing/wall materials. I don't think there is a better rifle caliber for home defense than the 5.56. The problem is you can't get a good rifle, a good number of mags, and a thousand rounds for $1k. You make due with what you have. I'm still of the mind that it might serve you best to save up until you can get a good AR, but on such limited funds an AK is hard to beat.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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