I'm in the hunt for a semi auto .308 to fill the last gap in my SHTF lineup. I've had a chance to wring out a CETME, a Sagia, a Polytech M14S, a Norinco M14 clone and a Socom M1- A.
Not an all inclusive list, to be sure, just a good stab at being an informed consumer. (I'm not gonna get into a pizzin contest to damn or defend my data/impressions or yours, just sharing what I think I learned)
In my experience, the Sagia was reliable, easy handling with acceptable accuracy, with the 16 in. barrell. Price around $550.00
The CETME was rough, sticky and not as easy to shoot well, compared to the Saiga. Price around $700.00.
Both the Polytech and the Norinco were good shooters, reliable and more accurate than either of the AK style platforms. The AK's were much lighter, but I liked the offhand "balance" better of the M1-A platform. (IMO, need's a shorter barrel, but that's a trade off with accuracy and "handling" and a nod to the tacti-crazy bunch) Prices were between $700.00 and $1100.00
The SA Socom was, overall, the best of the bunch, hands down. (But heavy and bulky to carry) Sticker shock was evident, not sayin' it ain't worth it, just more than I want to spend on a SHTF gun.
I'd still like to get my hands on a Mini-G and the Remington R-25 to shoot, but both are way out of my price range.. So, for now I'm looking for a used Polytech. The search goes on... Paul