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I've been looking around my local gunshow recently, hoping to purchase a nice defensive/general purpose rifle, but I'm uncertain of the weapons on the market that would be worth purchasing. I know the standard AR's and AK's and some of the other weapons around like the FAL's and the G3's, but I've only shot a limited amount of "assault" rifles and it's making coming to an educated decision much more difficult.

I'd prefer the more common rifle calibre's; 5.56, 5.45, 7.62 (39, 51 and 54). I'm looking for a magazine box fed rifle with a capacity from 20-30 rounds standard (depending on the calibre), something accurate, ergonomic, operates smoothly and whatnot. I'd prerfer a ghost ring type sight system (or revolving cylinder like the G3), possibly with the capability of mounting optics not in a relief fashion (more near the face).

I've been looking at putting together a CMMG upper and lower AR reciever (A3 upper, medium length system, 16 inch barrel) and calling it a day with an AR, but there must be other (possibly cheaper) alternatives. I've seen G3's, FALs, Galil, the Isreali Galil clone, Mini-14/30's, AK's, Steyr's and other foreign weapons that possible are very nice but I wouldn't know till I shoot them.

I'm looking to spend anywhere from $500-900


Help would be much appreciated, Thanks.
 

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Here's one for you....just think about your choices.....humping one over 5 miles a day, and carrying ammo for it whatever it may be. Would that narrow down your druthers?
 

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A good Qualifier to consider Ram Rod!

For me, I still want a Springfield SOCOM 16.

I've already got an AR-15 (for the light weight consideration) and an FN FAL.
 

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I'm not sure there is such a thing as a "general purpose" rifle.

The smaller intermediate calibers (5.56) let you carry more ammo (if that is an issue for you), recoil less, and allow for faster follow-up shots. The rifles can be lighter in weight. BUT...the bullets run out of steam after about 300 yards, and their light weight tends not to penetrate barriers too well (if that is a concern for you).

The heavier calibers are more powerful, but kick more, weigh more...and the ammo costs more.

You really need to determine how you anticipate using the rifle, and then go from there. A FAL or M1A is a battle rifle...different beast than an AR or an AK.

My recommendation usually is to start with the most likely scenario - close range personal defense, and then work outwards. So...primary handgun, secondary handgun, shotgun, and lastly...a rifle or carbine. If you don't already have the first three, get them first. The rifle is the last priority.

Try a bunch out, see which you prefer. Good luck!
 

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If you already have a 12ga shotgun, then I would suggest looking into the Mini14 or Mini 30 by ruger. Its as close to an "all purpose" gun as you can get. mini 14's are 5.56x45, 30's are 7.62x39, and they make a 6.8 spc.
 

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I've been looking around my local gunshow recently, hoping to purchase a nice defensive/general purpose rifle, but I'm uncertain of the weapons on the market that would be worth purchasing. I know the standard AR's and AK's and some of the other weapons around like the FAL's and the G3's, but I've only shot a limited amount of "assault" rifles and it's making coming to an educated decision much more difficult.

I'd prefer the more common rifle calibre's; 5.56, 5.45, 7.62 (39, 51 and 54). I'm looking for a magazine box fed rifle with a capacity from 20-30 rounds standard (depending on the calibre), something accurate, ergonomic, operates smoothly and whatnot. I'd prerfer a ghost ring type sight system (or revolving cylinder like the G3), possibly with the capability of mounting optics not in a relief fashion (more near the face).

I've been looking at putting together a CMMG upper and lower AR reciever (A3 upper, medium length system, 16 inch barrel) and calling it a day with an AR, but there must be other (possibly cheaper) alternatives. I've seen G3's, FALs, Galil, the Isreali Galil clone, Mini-14/30's, AK's, Steyr's and other foreign weapons that possible are very nice but I wouldn't know till I shoot them.

I'm looking to spend anywhere from $500-900


Help would be much appreciated, Thanks.
Call it a day with the AR. It's got all the features you want. If you want a heavier caliber than .223, look around for a DPMS Sportical in .308.
 

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I just received my newest general purpose gun, it is a SBS on a form 4, Saiga 12 Ga barrel cut to 10" long. Should fix the next No-Knock
Warrant problem I have.
 

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Actually, although I love my EBR (Evil Black Rifle) if I were making this choice again, I might take a lever action carbine like a old Winchester M94 in either .30-30 or 45 Colt. Something that most folks can identify as being a rifle the "Good Guys" carried in the old west and was capable of also bringing down game to feed the family. ALSO the rounds for this are less likely to draw unwanted official attention in a SHTF scenario where such things might be tracked. Lightweight, easy to carry and shoot. Only down side is the rate of fire, but if you have the skill, that's really not a factor. In fact I do have a M94 TRAPPER in thutty thutty. It's one of the ones I have picked as a grab and BUG OUT weapon.
 

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Depending on what your ammo budget is, an AK in 5.45 is a cheap gun to shoot. On the other hand, so is an AR with a 22 conversion kit. Just another option out there...
 

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I have to agree with the 'lever gun' suggestions.
General purpose? A Marlin 336 (in stainless) 30-30 is about as general purpose as one can get. For fun, I'd throw in a Henry Rifle in .22 mag.
You can get both of these for less than the cost of that evil black AR you're taking about, and no one will look twice at you with either one in your hands.:king:
 

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MY all purpose rifle is the .308 in an AR platform. (your choice of manufacturer)
problem with the smaller rounds is of course knock down, but also many places (CO is one) will not let you hunt game with .22 cal. you gotta have a .243 or better. Weight may be a consideration for you, but this would be how I would roll if I was limited to one all purpose/general purpose rifle. Plus, you can still get rounds of the shelf at wally-world! :danceban:
 

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i concur with the two post about lever guns. Even a 357 mag at rifle velocities is formidable. A carbine lever action handles well. A true dual purpose rifle.
 

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I LOVE my Marlin 30-30! Best rifle I've shot and I've done several 'black guns' too.
 

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Easy for me to say this when I have a 5.56 Stag Arms 2, AR 15 in the safe plus 1200 rounds of .223 ammo, but I too think the lever action is an ideal urban all purpose rifle. Let's face it, we're not going to be sniping guys out past 300 meters. Urban or even rural up close and personal defense means stay out of harms way, avoide, evade and when you can't, fight your way out of trouble.

I too think a good lever action is ideal. It doesn't look tacticle cool but a good Marlin 1894C in .357 can take down a deer at close range with a well placed shot but can also be devestating on two legged critters. The recoil is nominal, capacity is "ok" at 10 rounds and you can also shoot the ammo out of a revolver (SP101 being a good choice).
 

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I like the lever gun option, too...especially in the ubiquitous .30-30. Ammo is everywhere, and the carbine/cartridge combination hits more above its weight class than many modern hunters realize. I also nabbed a used but not abused Mini-14 ( and 83XXX vintage) from a retired LEO buddy quite reasonably. This particular gun has a 10" twist (Mini-14s have several different twist rates based on manufacturing date) which seems to do quite well with a broad variety of bullet weights. It's also a pretty versatile little gun. Ruger has finally made the 20 round mags available to the public.

Bottom line, I think you could be into a nice, dependable used gun for under $400. (I've personally found very, very nice Marlin 336's for half that).

PC
 

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An AR is my choice. Ak's, 30-30's and larger cal. rifles are great for open areas. The 223 is alot lighter and extras for it are very easy to find. Pick what is comfortable and something you are familiar with.
 

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Based on your "idea" of what you seem to be looking for when say a "General Purpose"

I utilize a SOCOM16. 7.62 NATO ( you may want it configured to handle .308 civilian )

Up side on this gun is
1.Garand platform.
2. 7.62 NATO
3. Size
4. With the muzzle brake recoil is not a problem & the "recovery" is quick

Down side on this gun
1. It is LOUD (as are any guns with muzzle brakes.
2.$$$$$ they are not cheap
3.7.62 NATO has high penetration & in "urban" situations " collateral damage" MUST be taken into consideration.

This gun is my GP & the uses (note it is not what I use for Home or Property Protection ( I have a 12ga & hand guns for this )
1. Tactical = equipped with a "giles sling" & 20 rnd Mag.
A. CQ (under 50 yd.s = the peep sights.
B. Out to 100 yds, = Gen. the peeps but sometimes "scoped" ( see "hunting")
C. 100 - 300 yds = Scoped ( Leupold 4x "scout scope" )

Hunting & in the "Field" = 5 rnd mag & hand loaded "hunting rnds" Scoped or peep sights, depends on usage.

Another ideas, if $$$ are a problem,
The a SK/AK platform chambered for .308 ( note the recoil is a "little nasty" so a good "pad" is recommended. )

Also the guns chambered for .223 ( I own a Ruger"rancher") but the major down side to this cal, IMHO, is that if you want a gun for GP & that includes hunting etc, then you will be restricted to "varmints" & sm. game in most states.

Puffer
 

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The AR is a very popular option. I have one myself. I also like the M1 carbine, and the lever guns. The great thing about the lever guns is they come in so many different calibers, almost as many as an AR. LIke the others have said they dont attract as much attention. You can also get the new scout rails and mount a red dot. This over all makes them a very effective defensive rifle in very easy to find calibers.
 
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