Which rifle to get?

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Erik
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Which rifle to get?

Post by Erik » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:00 pm

Hello, everyone!

I have only recently gotten into guns. I have:

1 - Ruger P89 9mm between my mattresses for home protection
2 - Bersa Thunder .380 for concealed carry
3 - A West German .22 rifle my father got me when I was a kid
4 - Romanian AK-47 semi-auto, acquired only three weeks ago.
5 - An original Mauser K98, due to arrive Tuesdayish (I can't wait!!!)

I don't plan on having fifty guns. I can't imagine carrying them all if I have to bug out. At this point, I want an excellent semiautomatic rifle.

The AK-47 is fun and cheap to shoot. Mine also shoots round after round after round with no jams or misfires. Very reliable. The problem with the AK is major accuracy issues past 100 yards.

The Mauser K98 I'm getting is known as one of the very best bolt action rifles ever made. The accuracy is insane. I'm told 500 yards with the iron sites and 900 yards with a scope. Also, if you get hit with the Mauser 8mm round, you're going down. Hard. The problem is the slow rate of fire and having to reload every 5 rounds.

I need the best of both worlds! I don't know a ton about rifles just yet, but I need one that's semiautomatic and uber-reliable like the AK, but is quite accurate like the K98 (okay, it doesn't have to be quite that accurate, but 100 yards just isn't cutting it with the AK).

Also, cost is important. I know a Garand would be a very good option. I'd LOVE to have one, but I can't afford to drop $1000 on one gun. I'm thinking something in the $500ish or lower range. Obviously, I have no problem buying a used rifle, even if it's fairly old.

Please, please, oh great Rifle Experts, guide me to a gun that is accurate and reliable, yet affordable!

Thanks for your answers and expertise.

-Erik

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Post by Trebor » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:25 pm

Get a Garand from the CMP. That's about in your $500 range. Go to www.odcmp.com for more info.
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Post by TheLastRifleMan » Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:13 pm

Keep shopping around for a Garand. Sometimes you can find them for not too much. If not, the CMP, as stated before, is your best bet.

Sounds like you got just about everything convered except for a good shotgun. Trying to find a good semi auto rifle chambered in cartridge with long range and accuracy on a budget is difficult. Most folks here have two rifles: one for short to medium range combat and one rifle (usually a milsurp bolt rifle) for long range use.

The 8mm Mauser cartridge will certainly reach out a ways but the military issue sights make thing rather difficult past 300 yards. They just don't have the ability to be finely adjusted for hitting small targets (a zombie's head for instance) past that. With a scope, it still takes a great deal of effort and know how to hit targets out to 800+ yards. I have done some 600m NRA Nat'l Match shooting with a Garand. The sights on the M-1 are some of the best desgined for a combat rifle and that range it is still very difficult, especially for a novice shooter.
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Post by jeepinbandtrider » Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:30 pm

I think you need to pratice more with the AK. I have no problem hitting targets well beyond 100yards accurately with my SKS. Is it M-16 accurate to 500 meters/yards no but it isn't near the jam-o-matic the other is either. In a paw type situation if you gave me the choice of having either the Mauser or the AK I would take the AK as it is a much better allaround weapon.
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Post by BIGJAKE » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:57 pm

Trebor wrote:Get a Garand from the CMP. That's about in your $500 range. Go to www.odcmp.com for more info.
I have looked into these before and how well/accurate do the $425 field grade models shoot. Have you heard of any blinding defects of action, barrel. etc.

I am very curious and interested in puchasing one of these soon, if you or anyone else here could provide more information for me I would really appreciate it.

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Post by Erik » Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:23 pm

Trebor wrote:Get a Garand from the CMP. That's about in your $500 range. Go to www.odcmp.com for more info.
Trebor, thanks for the heads up on the website. I was checking the prices on the Garands you were talking about. The $500 Garands are fairly junky and have significant corrosion, cracked wood, etc. I need a rifle I can stake the life of me and my family on, and I don't think a corroded, damaged rifle would be worth it.

Now, they did appear to have some nice Garands, but they were in the $1000 range. For this reason, unless somebody knows a person who doesn't realize what their Garand is worth these days, I think I need a less expensive option - something that would be quite accurate at the 300-400 yard range.

-Erik

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Post by Kalashnikov » Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:25 pm

Sounds like a Garand is the right weapon for these criteria, but I think you should also practice more with the AK and possibly get it examined by a good gunsmith for possible accuracy-affecting defects. My own AK clone is accurate out to around 300yards with irons. Mind you, I can't see that far, but I've seen other people (better shooters then me) hit their targets with my rifle at those distances with iron sights.

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Post by Msut77 » Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:35 pm

If you dont mind bolt action the K31 is accurate as hell and cheap.

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Post by ais » Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:48 pm

Erik wrote:
Trebor wrote:Get a Garand from the CMP. That's about in your $500 range. Go to www.odcmp.com for more info.
Trebor, thanks for the heads up on the website. I was checking the prices on the Garands you were talking about. The $500 Garands are fairly junky and have significant corrosion, cracked wood, etc. I need a rifle I can stake the life of me and my family on, and I don't think a corroded, damaged rifle would be worth it.

Now, they did appear to have some nice Garands, but they were in the $1000 range. For this reason, unless somebody knows a person who doesn't realize what their Garand is worth these days, I think I need a less expensive option - something that would be quite accurate at the 300-400 yard range.

-Erik
Where did you see this? Service grade Garands are all mechanically sound with good bores. The wood may be cracked, but the Garands aren't graded by the condition of their stocks.

The field and rack grade Garands are reported to shoot around 2 MOA, service grade as well. For a 500" MBR that's probably seen a war or two, that's not bad.

CMP competitions all around the country are shot with these rifles.
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Post by Erik » Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:59 pm

"Bores will be generally good with only minor imperfections; the barrel crown may be nicked, and the muzzle may gauge more than “3” on muzzle gauge. The Throat Erosion will gauge less than 5 - well within US Army standards."

I'm not sure I want to bet my life on a "generally good" bore.

and

"there may be some minor pitting on the metal parts"

The inside of a barrel is a metal part.

Now that I look at them the $550 service grade would be good. However, I am looking to pick up a rifle in the next couple of weeks. Apparently, the ship time is 3-4 months on these. I wonder if I could drive to one of the shops and buy one right away without shipping?

-Erik

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Post by wilycyt » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:37 am

another option you might want to consider is the Hakaim, not as accurate as the K98 but it is semi auto and chambered in 8mm, so you get the quick follow up and the "knockdown" power
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Post by JollyRoger762 » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:33 am

The problem with a semi auto battle rifle (which is what you're asking for) is price.

You may get a good deal on a CMP Garand. Some in the $500 range are really good, some, not so much.

IMO, you really need to consider dropping $1200-$1500 if you want a battle rifle.

DSA STG-58 -- Austrian FAL built on a DSA receiver -- is a great rifle at a good (believe it or not) price of $1200. Magazines are cheap at $10 or so, it fires the 7.62x51mm (.308) round, and is accurate enough for 500-600 meter shots.

A 1000-meter battle rifle is going to be way, WAY out of your price range.

As previously stated, most people have two rifles -- a close-in carbine, and a longer range bolt gun.


As for your AK, you need to practice a bit. You shoulkd be able to land 80% or more on your shots on a torso target at 300 meters with an AK, even with cheap ammo. More expensive (i.e. not Wolf) ammo will most likely provide better groups. You may also be having problems with the sights (did you zero it?), as they have a very short sight radius. If your has the side mount rail, you might consider buying a scope or red dot for it, and see how you do then.
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Post by ais » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:50 am

Erik wrote:"Bores will be generally good with only minor imperfections; the barrel crown may be nicked, and the muzzle may gauge more than “3” on muzzle gauge. The Throat Erosion will gauge less than 5 - well within US Army standards."

I'm not sure I want to bet my life on a "generally good" bore.

and

"there may be some minor pitting on the metal parts"

The inside of a barrel is a metal part.

Now that I look at them the $550 service grade would be good. However, I am looking to pick up a rifle in the next couple of weeks. Apparently, the ship time is 3-4 months on these. I wonder if I could drive to one of the shops and buy one right away without shipping?

-Erik
I have yet to read of anyone having issues with pitting on a field or rack grade Garand, much less a Serivce grade.

Actually, i have yet to read anyone that has been dissatisfied with their Garand.

And no, you can't drive right to them. You can place an order with them, but service grades are backlogged, and as they find them, they're being used to fill current orders. I should know, i just ordered one and talked to their customer serivce at length about it.

Although, i have a feeling 3-4 months is a bit of a stretch. I look at it as a more "CYA" manuever.

If you want to see some of the stuff you'll get, go to their forums. Plenty of users have posted pictures of their CMP Garands of nearly every quality. Some have also reported that after accurization, they've gotten sub-MOA out of their field grades.
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Post by Erik » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:04 am

Thanks for the advice on the Garands. However, I don't want this thread to get hijacked (partially by me) to end up being about Garands. I'm looking for a rifle that is fairly accurate, semi-auto, and reliable that NOT a Garand. I suppose I could drop as much as $600+ on the thing. The rifle does not need to be as accurate as the K98, but definately more accurate than the AK-47.

Thanks,

Erik

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Post by ais » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:04 am

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q269 ... C00026.jpg

That's a Service Grade someone just recently recieved.
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Post by Erik » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:08 am

JollyRoger762 wrote: If your has the side mount rail, you might consider buying a scope or red dot for it, and see how you do then.
Actually, I would like to get a scope mount for my Century Arms AK. Not knowing much about sights, my first reaction is that I'd like a see-through, you know, the kind where you can use the scope, but there's a line of sight below it for the iron sights. Where can a person get these? Are they less accurate than a scope mounted right on top of the barrel?

Here I go, hijacking my own thread agian. :roll:

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Post by Jeriah » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:03 am

Erik wrote:
JollyRoger762 wrote: If your has the side mount rail, you might consider buying a scope or red dot for it, and see how you do then.
Actually, I would like to get a scope mount for my Century Arms AK. Not knowing much about sights, my first reaction is that I'd like a see-through, you know, the kind where you can use the scope, but there's a line of sight below it for the iron sights. Where can a person get these? Are they less accurate than a scope mounted right on top of the barrel?

Here I go, hijacking my own thread agian. :roll:
There are three places to mount a scope on an AK: dust cover mounts, siderail mounts, and gas tube mounts. Gas tube mounts (check 'em out at www.ultimak.com) are solid and accurate, and you can put see-through rings on them if you want to be able to use your irons. The downside is, they're too far forward to use with a normal riflescope. They're good for red dot sights such as Trijicon Reflex (non-magnifying) and for intermediate eye relief "scout" type scopes. Good for what they're for but probably not what you're looking for.

The dust cover mounts are pieces of shit and should be avoided at all costs. From what I hear they won't stay zeroed, and they make field stripping your AK a bitch because you have to undo a bunch of screws and shit. Since you have to remove the scope every time you clean the gun, you can't count on it being zeroed when you go to shoot it again. Also the dust cover is thin and I don't trust it not to shift etc. So, avoid these.

I advocate a siderail mount. I believe that these intrinsically allow the use of your iron sights. You can install a siderail if you don't already have a siderail on your rifle. These are the most stable mounts available for the AK.
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Post by BiggerIsBetter » Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:37 pm

Purchase another AK.
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Post by Dr Tran » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:03 pm

I took a look at some side rails, and like Jeriah says its probably your best bet. But speaking of which, where the hell do guys find all these SKS and AK's? Can you buy online, or do i need to go to a dealer? Under $200 for an SKS sounds like a gun for me.

But on the point that keeps comng up, your not going to find many guns that are cheap, accurate, and powerful. So I would go with the "two needs = two guns." Your AK will most likely do fine for any 100 yard or under comat/shooting. Anything over that is gonna require more accuracy and that Mauser will take care of it.
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Post by eldorf_dragonsbane » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:36 pm

Well for $600 you can easily build an AR15 for around that. If you go through J&T Dstributing (www.jtdistributing.com) you can get a COMPLETE 20” Kit (only thing not included is the Lower receiver which you need to go through an FFL to get, more on this later) for $459.95, or a COMPLETE 16” CAR Kit (agin you need a lower reciever) for $459.95. Both these kits come with the uppers completely assembled and all the parts that are needed to be installed into a stripped lower receiver. Therer are other compnaies that you can get kits from so dont think that J&T Distributing is the only one. As stated above the only thing the kits do not have is the lower receiver, that you need to go through an 01FFL (a Gun Store) to get. You can order a lower from one of the many retailers such as www.essentialarms.com ($77), J&T Distributing (unfortunately I do not have my copy of thier catalog on me right now and lowers arent listed on this site), www.rockriverarms.com ($155), www.lauerweaponry.com ($120, additional $35 if you would like a custom mark of approx 50 characters), ect... If you order a lower from one of these places you will have to have it shipped to the 01FFL, they will likely have you pay whats called a transfer fee, each 01FFLs transfer fees will be different. Not counting the shipping costs and the transfer fee for the lower receiver you can have an AR15 for $459.95+$77 which ends up being $536.95 if you go with the essentail arms lower, or $459.95+$155 which is $614.95 if you go with a Rock river Arms or a Lauer Custom (with custom mark) lower receiver.

If you do go the AR15 route try and get a kit that is chambered for 5.56NATO and not .223., this way you can safely use both 5.56NATO and .223 in it.

When I get to the point of getting an AR15 I will be going the route of building my own.

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Post by Rus » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:52 pm

Dr Tran wrote:Can you buy online, or do i need to go to a dealer? Under $200 for an SKS sounds like a gun for me.
http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Yugo ... Rifle.html

$149.95

If you don't have an 01 or 03 FFL, then you can't mail order firearms. You might contact your local firearms dealer and see what they charge for a firearms transfer.
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Post by Erik » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:45 pm

I took your advice, guys, and just bought the AK side rail mount for $37. http://www.thecountryshed.com/ak47_scope_mounts.htm

Dr. Tran, all of the gun shops in my town will happily order through the SOG International monthly catalogue.

http://www.southernohiogun.com/

You can order their catalogue, which ALWAYS has AK-47s for around $329 and SKSs for $109.95 in good condition or $149.95 in outstanding condition. Most gun shops will order these for you after charging you a small amount for shipping and then tacking 10% or so on for profit. Walk into your local gun shop and see if they have an SOG magazine.

-Erik

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Post by FelixArchon » Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:49 pm

I hate to be the one to say this, but I think you're wasting your time asking around, especially if you want something other than the Garand. As a general rule, good guns are not cheap, and cheap guns are not good; I don't think we have any real secret dark-horse firearms to suggest.

An AK is certainly functional, and has its share of supporters on this board. But my personal opinion, having fired a few, is that you can't realistically expect any real accuracy beyond 300 yards. It's certainly doable to hit a man-sized target in the chest at that range, but I wouldn't want to bet my life on my ability to make that shot with that rifle.

You can get or build an AR in the price range you're looking for, and it certainly has the accuracy to hit a target at range. But it's limited by the caliber of its ammo; it's accurate at longer ranges, but the slug's energy drops drastically at those long ranges

If you're serious about semi-automatic accuracy at ranges beyond 500 yards, it's a short list, and the M1 is the only quality piece in your price range. You can someitmes find a CETME for pretty good prices - haven't seen any around for a while, but haven't looked - but they don't have the quality (or accuracy) of an M1 or M1A, and lots of people don't like the ergonomics.

All in all, and for what it's worth, put me down on the "reconsider the CMP M1" list.

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Post by jetsiphon » Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:58 pm

If you're going to spend that much, why not by an Arsenal AK? Doesn't get much better than that.

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