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The AR platform is extremely versatile. The choice of calibers, D.I. vs piston, irons vs optics, etc. makes it hard in my mind to rationalize anything else. I can see why some might want a bull pup design for CQB/vehicle applications. But if you are not anticipating such scenarios I think their rarity could be a negative down the road if legislation gets passed that impacts parts availability.
 

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How well do the Minis compare to ARs, Tavors, etc? Accuracy, range, reliability, and durability?
I am not familiar with Tavors. I do have (3) AR's but there is always room in my safe for a Mini-14/30! They are very reliable in my experience as long as you use factory or John Masen mags. The Mini-30 is a realistically a a 250-300 yd rifle at best. IME they are as accurate or even better than the higher end AK's with the right ammo. An interesting side note. My wife does not like shooting AR's at all! OTOH, she enjoys shooting the Mini-14! 馃
 
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I notice no one has suggested or mentioned the FN SCAR, Bushmaster ACR, or Steyr Aug. Are those guns not considered very good?
Not that they are "not good" They are not main stream America. Where are you gonna get a replacement part for a Steyr without online ordering?

I think you are looking for the holy grail.
 

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The Alexander Arms AR-15 in .50 Beowulf has .45-70 ballistics in a semi-auto.

341778
 

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Discussion Starter #87
I had the chance to shoot one and I tried like "all get out" to find one single thing that bothered me about it or that I didn't like & I just could not.
The Israelis sure do know how to design and build them.
The preliminary testing was incredibly extensive and intensive before production began.

I absolutely love the early IMI Israeli Galil and so many pluses but there are negatives.
The weight, some difficulty in installing an Aimpoint optic exactly where I would have preferred it. The Israeli metal MIL mags are HEAVY. The price $$$ these days for an Israeli built one is unreal.
There are so many pluses though. Excessively overbuilt, double coil wound springs, extreme accuracy with the correct weight bullets, breeze disassembly, few parts - all forged, Originally designed & built to be a fully automatic squad weapon so semi-auto configuration is no "work" for the rifle at all, eats dirt and sand for dinner, etc. It's the AK on steroids.
The rifle was expensive to produce. So when truckloads of FREE battle rifles flooded into Israel from the U.S. - production basically halted.
The fully machined receivers made from a solid block of Steel greatly added to the production cost. The hammer forged barrels are incredible.
The original Tritium front and rear night sights on all of the originally produced Israeli versions are long dead by now. Replacement fresh ones were available for a while but, were a bit on the expensive side.
The original rifles sported a 1:12 barrel twist rate and were great for lighter weight 5.56 but, were only passable for heavy weight bullets.
Later on when the twist rate changed that became a non issue.
Some in the military were not super pleased with the weight of the rifle - lugging it around when not actually in combat became burdensome.
For all of the pluses and minuses....the TAVOR is definitely an upgrade featuring the same ultra reliability.
That makes "breaking the bank" for an original Magnum Research Israeli import a much less logical/viable option.
Before I forget...the lighter weight aftermarket magazines were a great plus. And they were quite inexpensive and were just as reliable.
I could go on and on but, why bother - now that the TAVOR is here?
That having been said...if a quality AR was laying on my coffee table I wouldn't be crying into my bowl of chili.
Especially with the low friction super lubricants that are now in existence. I have always been sort of a modern lubricant freak.
Sorry....didn't intend to write a book chapter for an answer here.
Don't apologize. That was a fantastic answer, and I enjoyed reading it. As I said in the OP, why is more important than what, because I can't make informed decisions off of what (unless I'm blindly copy catting), but I can off of why.
 

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I grew up in a time when vets, recently-returned from that SE Asian trouble spot, were largely spewing hate about the M16, so, I did not come of age with any love for the AR15. When my wife bought me a Knight Armament SR15, in 2002, and it repeatedly malfunctioned, well, let鈥檚 just say the AR15 system did not make a good first impression. I soon learned that Knight Armament had made a error in machining a whole run of this weapon, and they made it right, on their dime, but even so, a bad first impression is a bad first impression.

Well, while my SR15 was at KAC, for the fix, I needed an AR15 for a scheduled 32-hour patrol rifle certification class, and if I lost my slot, it might be a very long time before another opportunity would arise. I quickly got PD letterhead, to get a then-LE/government-only Colt AR15A2 Govt Carbine. Wet, semi-dry, filthy, or clean, it never malfunctioned. I learned to appreciate the AR15/M4 DI weapon system. I did have difficulty with the front sight being too close to my aging eyes, during a time when my employer only allowed irons, on duty long guns, so I sold the carbine to a younger colleague, to fund a rifle-length AR15. (Nothing I have typed should be taken as an indication that I am ANY kind of expert.)

I live in a state with laws friendly to the AR15 system. Our home is in a built-up area. We have family-owned land that is heavily-wooded. This entire region gets enough rain to make things really grow. Long shots are low-probability, even for hunting. So, if it has to be 鈥渙ne defensive rifle,鈥 the AR15 and .223/5.56 make sense. DI is fine, with me. Lewis Machine & Tool makes monolithic-type uppers, with quick-barrel-change capability, and a straight gas tube, that mitigates some gripes about the DI system. Barrel removal is so simple, that it makes sense to pull the barrel for cleaning. I really like this LMT upper system.
 

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When I say best, I mean best performing in the categories you'd want a rifle like this to be good at. Accuracy/precision, reliability, endurance, etc.
Best accuracy/precision = tightest MOA
Reliability = jams and misfeeds the least of all option available
Endurance = works under the most extreme situations. (Can i pull it out of the mud and it will still shoot?)

I'm sure that no weapon is the best in ALL of those categories, but surely there's a trade off. Maybe one is the most accurate, but middle range reliable, or vice versa. Maybe one will fire no matter what, but you'll never hit anything.

For example, I used to own this 1911 that was incredibly accurate, but I had to keep it VERY well lubricated or it would jam. Sometimes i had to stop and clean it after 100 rounds. Given, it was only an $800 gun, but I expected more. I took it to a gunsmith, and he told me it did that because the tolerances were so tight, which is also why it was so accurate.
You are correct, no one rifle is best at everything.

You already have rifles that can be used defensively, like the lever gun.

Ammo is scare. What is your ammo stock like? I would suggest you start there, as I would rather have a Ruger 10/22 that I can train with than a .50 BMG that I can鈥檛.

The fact that you are trained with the AR platform already suggests strongly that you start there. You don鈥檛 need to burn any ammo learning how to run it, you already do.

I鈥檓 not a fan of the AR but I have one similar to the M16A2 I had back in the day for this reason.
 

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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.
Given those parameters, have you considered the Mini-14 or Mini-30?
 

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Really I would never want one semi auto to fill all roles ..Just ask the Brits how that work with using the SA80 for a smg a carbine and a LMG .. ...

I would say at min for me it would be

1. A 223 rifle either a AR or a Tavor or Aug or persoanl choice a Galil
2. something with reach like a 308 or 7.62x54r etc


Frankly looking at where everthing is at now I would pick

A galil or a AK ..Why you ask ..Well they are not as cheep as a AR but will run till the end with very little care or cleaning or spare parts ..Mags and ammo can still be found ..And they are made for steel cased ammo which is right now about the only cheep ammo left

I dont know about you but having 4 50 round Galil mags ready to go is a handy thing .....
 

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MacGyevr125,
"I'm kinda confused...you said you can't beat an AR15, but also said it's not the best at anything...if that's the case, what guns are better for that role?"

When I say that I simply mean you can get more accurate rifles (usually bolt actions), more effective calibers for large game (I usually think of 5.56/.223 when talking an AR15) but it can still be effective for mediums size game so it's not ideal for larger game but can work. If working in "CQB" situations the standard barrel length (16") is not ideal but can work, but it's a good general duty rifle in many situations.
 

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It matters what you want to defend and where you will be defending it. About anything I could shoot in town could kill neighbors three houses down and I don't have any real powerful weapons.
Don't know how I would justify shooting at somebody a mile away. That just doesn't sound like self defense.
 

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An M1 Garand in 30-06.
1 You can kill anything in North America with a 30-06 and you can do it from the end of your nose to a long long far piece away.

2 Clips are cheap, get all you want.

3 It is always going to be worth what you paid for it or more.

4 You can get them from the CMP.

5 I don't think there is a piece of plastic foreign made junk on it any where.
 

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Since it appears that you are looking for a good all around rifle that could serve you well for everything from hunting to two-legged threats. One rifle that comes to mind pretty quickly is the Ruger Mini-30. In it's basic form, it is a very competent rifle with a cartridge (7.62x39) that can take deer, can defend against more dangerous game, and is a proven man stopper in combat situations. Lot to say for this little .30 caliber rifle.
 

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An M1 Garand in 30-06.
1 You can kill anything in North America with a 30-06 and you can do it from the end of your nose to a long long far piece away.

2 Clips are cheap, get all you want.

3 It is always going to be worth what you paid for it or more.

4 You can get them from the CMP.

5 I don't think there is a piece of plastic foreign made junk on it any where.
Also, buying it from the CMP increases the value. I always see ones with CMP paperwork sell for more. For some reason, they sell for more right away on Gun Broker, so in a sense, the increase in value is instant.

I still think the AR is an important part of a home/liberty/personal defense arsenal. To me, the perfect setup for a very modest cost is the AR-15/Garand combo. Those two can do pretty much everything between them and if needed, I could toss the AR to my wife and use the Garand myself.
 

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Also, buying it from the CMP increases the value. I always see ones with CMP paperwork sell for more. For some reason, they sell for more right away on Gun Broker, so in a sense, the increase in value is instant.

I still think the AR is an important part of a home/liberty/personal defense arsenal. To me, the perfect setup for a very modest cost is the AR-15/Garand combo. Those two can do pretty much everything between them and if needed, I could toss the AR to my wife and use the Garand myself.
Any one can shoot a Garand from predetermined defensive positions. The recoil is no worse than an AR15. The AR is a little more friendly to reload for those not familiar with the Garand tendency to get their thumb bit.
 

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Any one can shoot a Garand from predetermined defensive positions. The recoil is no worse than an AR15. The AR is a little more friendly to reload for those not familiar with the Garand tendency to get their thumb bit.
Have to disagree about the recoil of 30.06 and .223 being the same. They are not.
 

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An M1 Garand in 30-06.
1 You can kill anything in North America with a 30-06 and you can do it from the end of your nose to a long long far piece away.

2 Clips are cheap, get all you want.

3 It is always going to be worth what you paid for it or more.

4 You can get them from the CMP.

5 I don't think there is a piece of plastic foreign made junk on it any where.

Plus you can get AP rounds for it that will go though anything short of level 4 armor ..

The issue I see is the cost of ammo and needed to do mods to it to run commerical non mil spec 30-06 ammoo
 
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Really though all this talk is great but imop right now I would hold off buying any non "evil" rifle .. Look I love me a good lever gun or suplus rifle but I am pretty sure a 30-30 lever gun is last on the list to ban a AR,AK etc etc is first .. Me even if I was not a big AR EBR guy would want to get one and any other scary gun now while the price are not as bad as the will get come Jan 1st ... Even if you are going to just stick with a more classic HD guns it will be a wise investment ....
 
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