Hello everyone. I just turned 18 a couple weeks ago and I've been thinking about buying a gun. I've been shooting guns and hunting since I was 13, and I have quite a bit of general knowledge about military weapons, but I'm a little rough on civilian ones and the specifics. Maybe you all can help me by answering a few questions.
As the title of this thread suggests, I'm looking to buy a battle rifle. I'm a big fan of the M14, so the Springfield Armory M1A looks like a good choice.
I don't have a real tight budget, I'm willing to spend up to $2000 including accessories and taxes.
.308 or 7.62mm Nato?
Fiberglass or wood furniture?
Open sights or 1x magnification sight? I'm not interested in high magnification because my dad has a .300 Magnum bolt-action with a 3.5-10 scope that he lets me use.
How long of a barrel?
Any comments about a sling?
Decent magazines are about $50 a piece aren't they? Why so expensive? How many should I buy? How many rounds should I put in? 18 or so?
How much for ammunition that won't shatter my gun?
Should I buy it at all? I'm not sure I'd have much use for it. I'd bring it with me for hunting deer (which I do twice a year). I suppose I could use the M1A in short range situations and the .300 Magnum in long range situations. Its seems silly to buy an extremely effective combat weapon, knowing that I'll never use it on a human (I'm going to college for a few years and then after that I intend to carry a pistol).
There are other factors that make me want to buy it. 1) It's a well-respected weapon in the US Special Operations Forces. Watching Sgt. Shughart hold off gunmen from the downed helicopter in Black Hawk Down with his M14 gives me shivers. 2) I'll probably have it for 20 or 30 years. 3) Gun control makes me cry.
I'm looking forward to hearing your responses. I'm sure I'll have more questions later.