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Considering a rifle purchase.

1856 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  CombatEffective
First off, i am a new member here, so i am sure if this the right place to ask this question. Here is some background. I have a CWL in OK. I have been reading many discussions that say a pistol is only used until you can get back to your rifle. Then I saw the real demonstrations on and saw that rifles penetrate much father than pistol ammuntion, and against cover, pistols are not effective. So this got me thinking.

Now i am considering buying a new rifle. I have no idea what i am in the market for. I currently own hunting rifles and shotguns, but am looking for something in a more combat/home defense model. I have read some about AR-15's, but do not know much about them (good/bad etc.) Also, I am not sure what caliber i need. I know that rifles that shoot pistol ammunition do not solve my problem, but do not know much more than that. Thank you for your help in advance, also i am new here so i am sorry if this is a bad post.

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Well you can go with the Ar platform in 223 308, 7.62x39 and other calibers

Then you can go for a AK clone in same calibers

one thing is your Budget??

Do a search theres been a lot of discussion on the pros cons of the Ar platform

Some on the Ak style of firearms.

I like Bushmaster Ar's that what i have Xm-15 have a ton of rounds though it with no problems.
AK's or AR's make good defensive rifles. So would many other rifles. Some trade offs. AR's are typically more accurate at 200 yrds. For short distance it probably will not matter as much. AK's use a heavier bullet. I guess you need to decide what application you want a rifle for. If you are a patrol officer, what do others carry in your dept.? common ammo /mags is a great thing.
BCurry - welcome :smile:

The choice is actually pretty large but once you hone down stuff like budgetary constraints, caliber choice, ammo availability etc it becomes a bit easier.

I will make the assumption that you do not want to go top end for price - things like Bushy's are well up there.

You could do worse than pick up an AK clone in 7.62 x 39 - or even the venerable SKS if you can find a good one. This would keep costs down to below $500. SKS might be $150 or so if a reasonable one - AK depending on exact type - $350 might find you a fair deal.

I have assumed we are going to think semi - probably your own thinking too.

Let's see what other folks have to say - you'll get plenty of ideas!!
Well, I"m not expert, but I'll share what my thought process was.
I have an ARa5 .223, a lever .357, and a 22 mag lever.
After the shootout in Texas where a hero went up against an rifle firing armored person, I decided a "trunk" rifle was needed.
Looking at what I already had, the 223 was too expensive to carry in the trunk. The .357, being a pistol round doesn't have enough hump, same with the 22 mag.

So I started looking around. AKs are great but they are fairly expensive. I decided to look to milsup SKS. These are inexpensive, easy to shoot, cheap ammo, and can take being in the trunk.

Sorry about being so long winded, but I thought if you saw my thought process it might help.
My recent buy might just fit your needs. Check out Kel-Tec's website at and take a look at the Sub 2000 in either 9mm or .40 cal. The gun folds up to be compact, and when opened, it is an accurate and reliable carbine. The 31 round Glock clip is also a must with this gun, as I just discovered. I shoot Cor Bon 115 grain 9mm+P out of it.

It is good not only for home defense, but could easily be taken on the road.

The world of rifles is just as wide and varied as the world of handguns. If one rifle did it all, then only one rifle would need to exist.

I am personally of the school of thought that for a civilian, a rifle is the gun you're least likely to ever reach for, but it may be the one you are most desperate for if you ever do.

I take from your description that you are looking more at a defensive oriented piece and what you have does not satisfy you. What kind of firing platform are you looking at? Do you require semiautomatic operation and/or detachable boxfed magazines, for instance? What is your local terrain like, and how far away could you accurately see a threat coming? What is likely to threaten you?

For instance, when I think of practical rifle usage, I realize that relatively small animals and perhaps goblins at ranges of 50 yards or less are what's most likely. I don't need a large caliber or a "reach out and touch someone" setup, but your needs may be different.
I find it strange that so many people want a "tactical looking rifle" for home defence. The 30-30 lever action rifle has been around for over 100 years and has served many a farmer as their base weapon as well as their truck gun. Personally that is all I need. The prices on leveractions new and used are much better then all those "tactical Rifles". Just a thought.:vikings25:
Raevan - in my case my suggestions are actually totally removed from ''looks tactical'' - more geared towards relative value and function.

I love levers but there is some penalty on capacity and also reloading time, compared with removable mag semi's. For ''discreteness'' - sure a lever is about the most ''innocuous'' and one in 30-30 even is going to be a very useful tool.

One other thing with AK types is size too - being shorter they are very wieldy and pretty problem proof.
I was thinking of going with an SKS because of the budget but was left drooling over the new SOCOM II that was reviewed in American rifleman. Would the SOCOM be too heavy for a city defence rifle? Would the .308 be better for penetration? Also there are a number of accessories for these rifles form catalogs like cheaper then dirt. I was looking at an AimPoint like sight called the EOTech weapon sight anyone have experience with these?
Then again raevan I know an awful lot of people whose hunting rifle is semiautomatic, who own all semiautomatic pistols, etc. etc.

I love revolvers, but I prefer stainless finishes with black rubber grips, and even at that I carry a plastic wonderpistol that I hate.

Sometimes you just want something ugly, soulless, and idiot proof.
EOTech sights Brian are IIRC pretty pricey tho rated well I think. Others can comment.

.308 has for sure more use if stretching ranges but if closer ranges (say within 200 yds) then not necessary - and would usually be calling for a heavier gun in most cases.

The SOCOM is desirable that's for sure but I would tend to stay with something which, let's say - I could stand losing and/or getting pretty crud covered etc. Not exactly a throwaway but - not too precious either!!
Then some times ya dont like the lever gun kicking brass back into your Face ..
Bud: Get a Marlin. Even with left handed shooting I can't imagine you'd catch brass in the face, in your lap or on your chest perhaps...
But then i would have to actually like the Levergun to buy it they just dont intrest me i have one in 375 probley only one i will ever own
In defense of a lever gun. in the time it takes to change out a magazine I can top off a lever gun wit 3 or 4 rounds. you can't top off an ar15 without removing the magazine. as far as size goes the 44 Mag carbine is small and light with the same power of a 30-30.

since you say you don't like lever guns the L1A1 FAL in semi auto cn sometimes be found used and are dependable. A good bolt action can be quite servisable such as the Lee-Enfield jungle carbine.
I have an AK and a SKS. Unless being attacked by hordes of Tangos I'll grab my Marlin 336 in .30-30 before I go to the AK or SKS.
The SKS?AK 7.62x39 ctg will penetrate a windshield if need be........There is a video out.........was produced a LONG time the early 80s about balistic effects .........I found it to be VERY enlightning to say the was titled "deadly weapons"
went right thru all the calibers........
We have a couple of carbine version NORINCO SKS models right now.........16 inch BBLs..........for around 220.00 (just came in BTW)
If I hadn't spent so much money recently on firearms I'd jump on one of those carbine SKSs. I like my Yugo, but a shorter/lighter SKS would be a lot of fun.
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