I've been looking around my local gunshow recently, hoping to purchase a nice defensive/general purpose rifle, but I'm uncertain of the weapons on the market that would be worth purchasing. I know the standard AR's and AK's and some of the other weapons around like the FAL's and the G3's, but I've only shot a limited amount of "assault" rifles and it's making coming to an educated decision much more difficult.
I'd prefer the more common rifle calibre's; 5.56, 5.45, 7.62 (39, 51 and 54). I'm looking for a magazine box fed rifle with a capacity from 20-30 rounds standard (depending on the calibre), something accurate, ergonomic, operates smoothly and whatnot. I'd prerfer a ghost ring type sight system (or revolving cylinder like the G3), possibly with the capability of mounting optics not in a relief fashion (more near the face).
I've been looking at putting together a CMMG upper and lower AR reciever (A3 upper, medium length system, 16 inch barrel) and calling it a day with an AR, but there must be other (possibly cheaper) alternatives. I've seen G3's, FALs, Galil, the Isreali Galil clone, Mini-14/30's, AK's, Steyr's and other foreign weapons that possible are very nice but I wouldn't know till I shoot them.
I'm looking to spend anywhere from $500-900
Help would be much appreciated, Thanks.