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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking for a rifle to use in the event I need to join a militia. It won't be used for any other purpose.

What rifle would you suggest, and why?

I'm a Marine Corps veteran of 8 years. In the military I had the privilege to use a variety of weapons including the M16A4, M4, and M27 IAR. And I've occasionally had the pleasure of shooting some of my friends' personal rifles.

One impression I was left with is the M16/M4 jam a lot and shoot surprisingly dirty, especially compared to the IAR, so I was VERY surprised to discover that the AR15 was the most popular rifle. (Slightly less surprised after learning about piston vs gas driven).

I'm sure there are various reasons for this popularity...price point, availability, many different manufacturers, customization options, owning a gun that's similar to what the military uses, or maybe it's just better than everything else...I'm more focused on pure functionality, even if it looks hideous, has no customization options, is difficult to find, costs a small fortune, and has bever been in a Call of Duty game. (I exaggerate, but hopefully you know what I mean).

Unfortunately, I'm no expert...just someone who's used a few different guns and now want to own the best available semiautomatic rifle, so I could use some advice.

What I've done up til now is go to every gun store I can find, talk to employees, gunsmiths, read forums online, watch YouTube videos, and read comparison reviews.

Some guns I'm considering:
H&K SR556 (the civilian version of the IAR), Bushmaster ACR, IWI Tavor, Steyr Aug, IWI Galil, M14/M1A, Mini 14/30.

Again, I don't care about price point, availability, or customization...just pure functionality...Accuracy/precision, reliability, endurance, durability, etc.

So what rifle would you suggest, and more importantly, why?
 

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Welcome, Macgyver!

The ones you've listed are all good, have their strong points, and are all very different.

You'll get a lot of input here. probably at least 12-18 different rifles too. 😂 An M1A or M1A1 is at the top of that list. 👍

Mine? IWI Tavor.
 

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Interesting parameters. What distance will you want to be able to reach out to consistently? Is it for CQ or distance? Caliber? Weight?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting parameters. What distance will you want to be able to reach out to consistently? Is it for CQ or distance? Caliber? Weight?
I don't foresee needing it for great distances...probably 100 to 200 yards reliably.
I'm open to caliber suggestions. Most of the rifles I've look at were 5.56 or 7.62x39.
A heavier rifle won't bother me. Lighter weight is easier to carry; heavier weight has less felt recoil. Both have pros and cons.
 

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Reasons for selecting the IWI Tavor:

Made by IWI;
Common caliber;
Available with a 15" barrel if so desired (not for me);
Bullpup;
Compact; and
Robust battle tested

Downside - parts. I'd buy two for that reason
 

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The popularity of the AR or AK platform is a direct result of it's functionality as a good defensive rifle.
I do not think most of us buy one to look like a soldier. I do not find it very pretty. If I wanted a good looking semi auto rifle I would get a M1 Garand. I do not find that my AR jams a lot or runs super dirty. I do not think you casn go wrong with any of the AR variants by any good manufacturer. Or build one yourself. Not hard to do.
 

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The popularity of the AR or AK platform is a direct result of it's functionality as a good defensive rifle.
I do not think most of us buy one to look like a soldier. I do not find it very pretty. If I wanted a good looking semi auto rifle I would get a M1 Garand. I do not find that my AR jams a lot or runs super dirty. I do not think you casn go wrong with any of the AR variants by any good manufacturer. Or build one yourself. Not hard to do.
For 100-200 yards that is precisely what I did. Bought parts from PSA as they came on sale and put together a rather nicely spec'd AR15 in 5.56 for just over $300 without mags but with iron sights. It's been 100% through the first 1000 rounds.
 

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I am not a fan of the one gun fits all philosophy. I have semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, and lever-action rifles in eight different calibers from .223 to 460 Weatherby Magnum. They can all be used for hunting, plinking, and self-defense.
 

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You will be best served by a well built AR.

There is a lot to consider with where we are at right now, spare parts, magazines, ammo availability.
Getting something exotic right now could be problematic going forward. All of your training on the platform needs to be considered as a huge plus.

You really can’t judge the ar by the entire line, from professional builds all the way down to budget parts assembled by a hobbyist, and certainly not by your experiences with worn out mil-spec guns that who knows how they were maintained.

I’ve got guns from Daniels Defense, BCM x2, and LWRC, never had a gun induced malfunction with any of them, I run all of those hard, hot, and dirty in classes and training.

The AR is an excellent zero to 600y or so weapon.
 

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I would stay with the AR platform. Although direct impingement guns can run on the dirty side, this should be a non issue with a regular lubrication and a properly tuned gun. The advantages of staying with an AR platform include:
-Similar handling to the M16, M4, M27 IAR
-Easy to find, drop-in parts
-Extremely common magazines (although most weapons the OP mentioned take the same mags)
-Maintenance tutorials can be found on Youtube. This is helpful when changing parts or diagnosing malfunctions.
-Most instructors build their long gun curriculum around the AR
-Easy customization. Even if you don't plan on changing the internals, I usually change the grip and stock on my ARs.

Most reputable gun companies make a good AR-15. If you want a high quality rifle, check out BCM, LWRC, Noveske, Spike's Tactical, LaRue Tactical, Daniel Defense, Troy inc, Sig Sauer, and Aero Precision. Also make sure to put a quality optic on it. Aimpoint, Trijicon, and Holosun make good optics. Some people will write Holosun off as a budget brand, but their products have been making their way into the US market and have been well liked. A good light is also a must. Streamlight, surefire, and Inforce all make good weapon mounted lights. Finally, make sure you train with the rifle. I'd rather have excellent training and a crappy rifle than the other way around.
 

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The LWRC I listed is a piston gun like the IAR you were issued. While they do keep the bolt/chamber clean, I still prefer direct impingement guns. The piston guns have a different impulse and weigh considerably more, that weight is also in an odd place at the far end of the weapon.
My LWRC is set up as an urban DMR, if I could do it again I would have a DI gun in that role.
Also, if a piston part breaks you are going to have to source the replacement from the company you purchased the gun from. Every piston system is proprietary and unique. Not good for times like we are in where entire companies may start to fold and parts are no longer available.
 

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There is a reason the AR platform is the most popular rifle in America. Versatility, light weight, easily customizable, magazines up to 150 rounds, and reliable. I have two, one for close in defense with an RDS, and one set up for precision long range with a scope. Neither have ever had a malfunction. Whatever direction you go, ammo may be a challenge for the foreseeable future.
 

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If I could only keep one, I'd keep my 16" 5R heavy barrel AR chambered in 5.56.
It's 100% reliable, the heavy barrel makes it the most accurate intermediate caliber rifle I've ever shot, while at the same time light enough to carry all day for days, and I have.
I can stock parts cheap, interchange parts with everyone else, and get parts at any gunshop. Ammo (used to be) cheap and easy to stockpile. If anything ever broke, I could replace any part without the help of a gunsmith.
It gets a little dirty I guess, but who cares? I can't imagine the need to shoot more than a thousand rounds without cleaning.

The funny thing is you say
I'm sure there are various reasons for this popularity...price point, availability, many different manufacturers, customization options, owning a gun that's similar to what the military uses, or maybe it's just better than everything else...I'm more focused on pure functionality, even if it looks hideous, has no customization options, is difficult to find, costs a small fortune, and has bever been in a Call of Duty game.
I look at ARs as being boring and practical. Boring multi-function tools. I look at all the guns you listed as being more exciting, exotic, role-specific, and video game / movie generated interest, at the cost of functionality and practicality both in parts and use.

If I could keep 2, it would be my 5R AR and my Tavor, for that role-specific compactness I just mentioned.
 

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My little talk given to many, many people.
  1. Guns are tools for saving innocent lives. Period. Full stop. End of story.
  2. Tools come in many forms and shapes. No prizes are awarded for owning the oddest.
  3. Tools come in all prices. No prizes are awarded for owning the most expensive or the cheapest. Find the one that works for you.
  4. People who tell you to spend $4,000 for a tool that you only need to spend $500-$600 for are missing points #1, 2, and 3.
  5. The important point is to own a tool and keep it functional. When it is needed, nothing else will matter.
This is the short version. But you catch my drift. What do I own? AR-15. I also own an AK. Why? I can always find ammunition. Without that, point number one becomes difficult.

There is a very valid reason millions of people own AR-15's. A great many of them are vets. Ultimately you will have to decide for yourself.
 
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