Looking to purchase a defensive/general purpose rifle

Looking to purchase a defensive/general purpose rifle

This is a discussion on Looking to purchase a defensive/general purpose rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; 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 ...

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Thread: Looking to purchase a defensive/general purpose rifle

  1. #1
    Member Array Sgt.Rock's Avatar
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    Looking to purchase a defensive/general purpose rifle

    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.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Here's one for you....just think about your choices.....humping one over 5 miles a day, and carrying ammo for it whatever it may be. Would that narrow down your druthers?

  3. #3
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    A good Qualifier to consider Ram Rod!

    For me, I still want a Springfield SOCOM 16.

    I've already got an AR-15 (for the light weight consideration) and an FN FAL.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I'm not sure there is such a thing as a "general purpose" rifle.

    The smaller intermediate calibers (5.56) let you carry more ammo (if that is an issue for you), recoil less, and allow for faster follow-up shots. The rifles can be lighter in weight. BUT...the bullets run out of steam after about 300 yards, and their light weight tends not to penetrate barriers too well (if that is a concern for you).

    The heavier calibers are more powerful, but kick more, weigh more...and the ammo costs more.

    You really need to determine how you anticipate using the rifle, and then go from there. A FAL or M1A is a battle rifle...different beast than an AR or an AK.

    My recommendation usually is to start with the most likely scenario - close range personal defense, and then work outwards. So...primary handgun, secondary handgun, shotgun, and lastly...a rifle or carbine. If you don't already have the first three, get them first. The rifle is the last priority.

    Try a bunch out, see which you prefer. Good luck!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    If you already have a 12ga shotgun, then I would suggest looking into the Mini14 or Mini 30 by ruger. Its as close to an "all purpose" gun as you can get. mini 14's are 5.56x45, 30's are 7.62x39, and they make a 6.8 spc.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt.Rock View Post
    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.
    Call it a day with the AR. It's got all the features you want. If you want a heavier caliber than .223, look around for a DPMS Sportical in .308.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    hhhhmmmmm..."general purpose" rifle to me means a lever gun

  8. #8
    Member Array billdeserthills's Avatar
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    I just received my newest general purpose gun, it is a SBS on a form 4, Saiga 12 Ga barrel cut to 10" long. Should fix the next No-Knock
    Warrant problem I have.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Actually, although I love my EBR (Evil Black Rifle) if I were making this choice again, I might take a lever action carbine like a old Winchester M94 in either .30-30 or 45 Colt. Something that most folks can identify as being a rifle the "Good Guys" carried in the old west and was capable of also bringing down game to feed the family. ALSO the rounds for this are less likely to draw unwanted official attention in a SHTF scenario where such things might be tracked. Lightweight, easy to carry and shoot. Only down side is the rate of fire, but if you have the skill, that's really not a factor. In fact I do have a M94 TRAPPER in thutty thutty. It's one of the ones I have picked as a grab and BUG OUT weapon.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Depending on what your ammo budget is, an AK in 5.45 is a cheap gun to shoot. On the other hand, so is an AR with a 22 conversion kit. Just another option out there...

  11. #11
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    I have to agree with the 'lever gun' suggestions.
    General purpose? A Marlin 336 (in stainless) 30-30 is about as general purpose as one can get. For fun, I'd throw in a Henry Rifle in .22 mag.
    You can get both of these for less than the cost of that evil black AR you're taking about, and no one will look twice at you with either one in your hands.
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  12. #12
    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    MY all purpose rifle is the .308 in an AR platform. (your choice of manufacturer)
    problem with the smaller rounds is of course knock down, but also many places (CO is one) will not let you hunt game with .22 cal. you gotta have a .243 or better. Weight may be a consideration for you, but this would be how I would roll if I was limited to one all purpose/general purpose rifle. Plus, you can still get rounds of the shelf at wally-world!
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    i concur with the two post about lever guns. Even a 357 mag at rifle velocities is formidable. A carbine lever action handles well. A true dual purpose rifle.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  14. #14
    Member Array CRags99's Avatar
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    I LOVE my Marlin 30-30! Best rifle I've shot and I've done several 'black guns' too.
    Glock 27

    "Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot."

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Easy for me to say this when I have a 5.56 Stag Arms 2, AR 15 in the safe plus 1200 rounds of .223 ammo, but I too think the lever action is an ideal urban all purpose rifle. Let's face it, we're not going to be sniping guys out past 300 meters. Urban or even rural up close and personal defense means stay out of harms way, avoide, evade and when you can't, fight your way out of trouble.

    I too think a good lever action is ideal. It doesn't look tacticle cool but a good Marlin 1894C in .357 can take down a deer at close range with a well placed shot but can also be devestating on two legged critters. The recoil is nominal, capacity is "ok" at 10 rounds and you can also shoot the ammo out of a revolver (SP101 being a good choice).

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