Budget Rifle

This is a discussion on Budget Rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have recently found myself seriously wanting a rifle for defensive purposes. I don't have the cash to blow on a AR even though I ...

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Thread: Budget Rifle

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Budget Rifle

    I have recently found myself seriously wanting a rifle for defensive purposes. I don't have the cash to blow on a AR even though I wish I did. So I am more looking for a "budget" type of rifle. I thought I had settled on a kel tec su-16. There is an adapter to mount a pistol grip and M-4 style adjustable stock along with a M-4 style front shroud. It also takes M-4 mags.

    Today I have been watching a few vidoes on whats new at the shot show and I noticed saiga rifles that use the A-K action. I was turned off by the lack of rails and such to be able to "tac it out" however I then saw that Tapco makes a conversion kit for it that includes a adjustable stock and rails.

    Anyone own a Saiga? Hows the quality/reliablity? Would you recomend it over a SU-16? Is there another low cost rifle out there you would reccomend?
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Saiga rifles are made in the same factory AK 47s and 74s have been made in for decades. They are the really nice Russian AKs everyone wants, but brand new and at a fraction of the cost.

    Just make sure that if you do the conversions you make it 922r compliant.

    Edit: I really like keltec products, and especially their SU16 rifles, but they are not intended for heavy end of the world type use. Probably decent enough for 99% of homeowners needs though.

    The benefit to getting one over a Saiga is that you could have ammo mag interchangability with an AR down the road.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I owned a Saiga AK in .308. It was inaccurate - would not shoot anything I would call a "group" at 100 yards. It was unreliable - trigger reset issues, and stovepipe jams (so much for the vaunted AK reliability). The finish was terrible. The gun had dead bugs in the packing grease (no joke!). You need a special tool to adjust the sights.

    Not sure what your budget is, but there are many better choices.

    I like my Mini 14 much better. For a while I thought I needed a .30-something rifle, until I realized a 5.56/.223 is more than adequate for what my needs are.

    My go-to long gun is my Rem 870 pump shotgun. The Mini is only for SHTF scenarios. For most civilian defensive needs, I feel the shotgun is the best long gun choice.

    Good luck with your decision!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, you can't go wrong with a good ole fashion 30-30, or an 1894 marlin in 357 mag or 44 mag. While they don't have hi cap mags, you can "road load" or load as you go. Nothing wrong with an sks either. They are cheap, reliable, and will do what needs to be done in social senarios as well as anything.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    I posted some of this info on an earlier post recently but will repeat it here for the OP. Generally the Saiga rifles which are made in Russia by Izhmash the orginal AK manufacturer are exactly like the basic AK mechanically/operationally but in order to qualify for US importation the Saiga AK is made in a "sporting" configuration without the AK signature pistol grip and to accept only 10 round magazines specifically designed for the Saiga. Basically the Saiga rifles do not have pistol grips and the trigger groups/guard are located further back on the receiver so the lenght of pull is right for a sporting stock as opposed to the tpyical AK pistol grip setup.

    The basic AK design is the same, and the differences can be easily overcome. Some companies will buy Saiga's and do the work themselves and sell them as "Saiga Conversions" for an increased profit.

    I am only personally familar with the 7.62x39 and .223 Saigas not the .308, but 10thmtn Saiga experience is very odd and and not very common, Saiga's are a very well made AK's platform and generally considered one of the most accurate AK's. If you check any of the AK forums or do some more research you will find this to be true. Personally, I had a Ruger Mini 30 (7.62x39) for a couple years and while a solid rifle I found it was not any more accurate than my Russian SKS or Saiga so I got rid of it. My Saiga has had zero issues with many 1000's of rounds through the gun in the 5 years I have owned it. None of these rifles mentioned(AK's, SKS, or Mini's) are tack drivers, they are "hammers", but when you need a tool to hammer something hard and often, thats what they shine at. So if you want a reliable, fun to shoot, and relatively cheap to feed rifle for plinking and or HD with acceptable combat accuracy they will serve you well in that roll.



    Here is a good step by step instructions on how to do the conversion yourself and its not difficult if you have even basic skills.
    Saiga Conversion


    This is a Saiga with the Tapco Intrafuse stock, not the full conversion, and fully 922r compliant with the correct number of US made parts. I have several other AK's so I want to be able to convert back to orginal form if I decide too. And I like the longer lenght of pull and adjustablity the Intrafuse stock gives me on this rifle.
    Here is some good info on 922r complinace for Saiga's , but it goes for SKS rifles also.
    http://www.dinzagarms.com/922r/922r.html

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  7. #6
    Member Array MrReady's Avatar
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    I suggest one of two things. Keep saving for the AR or get a SKS/AK.
    I love my SKS but if you REALLY want an AR then save for it rather than
    buying something you dont want.

    I dont know if you are in the military or not but I dont like AR/M4 weapons
    myself. I prefer the 7.62X39 or .308 type rifles. My 2 cent.
    Ruger P345, S&W 637
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrReady View Post
    I suggest one of two things. Keep saving for the AR or get a SKS/AK.
    I love my SKS but if you REALLY want an AR then save for it rather than
    buying something you dont want.

    I dont know if you are in the military or not but I dont like AR/M4 weapons
    myself. I prefer the 7.62X39 or .308 type rifles. My 2 cent.
    I had not considered the SKS but I will definetly look into one. A couple questions

    When you say SKS do you mean SKS rifle all # matching even the clip : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com ?

    Can they be converted over to be a bit more modern like the saigia can?

    Are they 7.62 only?

    Honestly I would prefer a AR but this is my problem. This is strictly a SHTF weapon. It will get the least use of everything in my aresnal. I just cant justify spending 1000.00 on something that will MAYBE get fired 4 times a year.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Yes, that's the gun. The SKS is similar to the AK, but has a fixed 10-round magazine. I've only seen them in 7.62 x 39.

    There are lots of accessories available for it. They are cheap - but not as cheap as they used to be.

    I cannot comment on accuracy or reliability, as I've never used one myself. I did think about getting one, and I've looked at them at gun stores, but the finish on these things are rough. They are what they are.

    There is the Remington 7600 pump rifle - check it out:

    Remington 7600 308 Win Synthetic for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $535.00

    Only 5 rounds, but a good price.

    I'll second the recommendation for a good lever gun as well.

    I like that the Mini locks the bolt open when the mag is empty. AKs do not. The SKS does, but has a fixed magazine.

    By the way, if you already have a shotgun, you can use slugs to get more range - if you think you'll need it. Like you said, a rifle is good to have, but the least likely firearm to get used.

    Hope this helps some.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    I think a Ruger Mini-30 would be right up your alley. The Saigas do seem to be nice also.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Can the SKS's be converted to use high cap mags.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

  12. #11
    Member Array MrReady's Avatar
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    yes Rollo they can. I havent done so becasue some brands are crap
    while others are good. I think Tapco is the best but you will have to
    see what works best for you if you get a SKS.

    Also good point on the wasting money thing, I assumed you would
    shoot it more often. Just dont forget to stay current on those rifle
    skills. Good Luck.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    Can the SKS's be converted to use high cap mags.
    yep...takes just a few minutes with a punch to drop the trigger group, then drop the stock box mag out. The only 30 round mag I found was...choke, choke...promag. Never did work right, but for $15 it was at least an interesting experiment. I also don't care for the long extended magazine sticking out of such a heavy and cumbersome rifle.


    surv

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    These AK's might be a good deal:

    AK47

    With shipping and transfer fees, you're looking at ~ $500.

    Supposed to be "certified" to be straight and work properly out of the box. I was going to get one myself, and still might some day, but just could not sell myself on what this could do that my Mini could not already do.

    Give 'em a look.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  15. #14
    Member Array booyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    Can the SKS's be converted to use high cap mags.
    Yes, problem is that the SKS mags cant be changed when the bolt is forward. If you want to change mags halfway through one its a bit of a trick.

    That said I love my sks. Mines a norinco that I bought pre assault weapons ban new in box (and cosmoline) for $89. got a synthetic stock for it, scope mount bolt cover and scope for another $70.

    Too bad you cant get them for that now

    Tapco makes the best higher cap removable mags at 20 rounds each. Wolf 154 grain soft point rounds are absolutely lethal and make great HD/hunting rounds

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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