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Old October 18, 2009, 02:13 PM   #1
DanThaMan
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Business Rifle: M1A vs AR 15

Quite frankly I’m torn between buying a Springer M1A or dumping those funds into training with and optimizing my RRA AR 15. I am pursuing the best “business” rifle, because that simply sounds better than SHTF (which currently carries extremely negative connotations and alternative hoax meanings like “Stupid Homicidal Teen’s Fantasy”). I am not a soldier but I would like to address the possibility of having to use a rifle in a modern battle-field setting. I can’t justify using an M1A as home defense for obvious reasons, and although I will train with it at the range, its real purpose is a dormant one which will most likely never be fulfilled, however, should not be taboo on a forum which is dedicated to the exploration and discussion of the efficacy of arms.

I digress: I read more and more about people pursuing the best AR 15 for tactical purposes. I simply can’t get past the caliber’s shortcomings. Sure, .223 definitely has its strengths, if you want the rifle to be truly versatile you must have to carry a plethora of magazines labeled with different loads. 55 gr hollow points for close range, 69 gr hollow points for 100-200 yards, 74 gr HP BT for anything past that. I would like to be able to put anything in my gun, which will feed every time, and will effectively stop a threat. .308 seems to be a solution.

However, the ergonomics of the AR 15 are a beautiful thing which I don’t like sacrificing. Obviously, carrying more rounds is a definite plus as well.
I won’t even touch on reliability because everyone’s experiences are different. However, in general, my AR 15 jams more than I would be comfortable with if I was to invest my life in it.

So what route would you choose, invest in upgrading my AR 15 and training with it (more than usual, that is), or get the M1A and muster more funds to train with in the future?
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Old October 18, 2009, 02:25 PM   #2
Action_Can_Do
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This is a question that only you can answer for yourself. I suspect that if you think about it, you have actually already made up your mind. Me, I would buy the second rifle, because I wouldn't want my AR to get lonely.
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Old October 18, 2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Dantheman,

If you think you need a multitude of different magazines to carry three types of ammo for your RRA AR-15 then you shouldn't buy another rifle.

Using crappy 62 gr M885 you can engage targets from 0 to 600 meters without difficulty if you know what you are doing. Hollowtip match ammo 69 gr or higher will do the same.

Save your money, find ONE load that shoots tight in your rifle, and stick with it. I don't know what sights you are using, but the stock rear sight is calibrated for 62 gr ammo (unless you have a custom BDC).

It isn't about having a bullet that fragments completely at X range, it's about having a rifle/ammo combo that hits where it is aiming. If the first round hits right through a goblin SHOOT AGAIN. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. And a 223 will kill something just as dead as a 308.

Train, don't buy.

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Old October 18, 2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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If you're AR15 is jamming more than you like then you need to spend some more time cleaning. I never had one jam the whole time through basic training except when they put blanks in our mags of real ammo. You only need what your rifle is zeroed in for. I miss is a miss and a hit is a hit.

If you want something with more power and reliability, then why not an ak? Less up front costs and will cost less to feed.
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Old October 18, 2009, 03:09 PM   #5
Willie Lowman
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If it were me, I would spend the money ironing out the reliability problems with your AR. Use whatever is left on training.

I have two ARs and they are very reliable unless I put Russian ammo or a junk mag in them.


I want a M1A but the cost of ammo is what keeps me away from it.




...alternative hoax meanings... I like that. Thanks.

Last edited by Willie Lowman; October 18, 2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old October 18, 2009, 03:49 PM   #6
pvt.Long
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I own an AR and an m14(M1a) The m1a is easyer to maintain, I shoot bulk mil surp amo so the price isnt to bad, unless I go hunting. The m1a is just more fun to shoot. The AK has a lot of limitations In range and accuracy.
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Old October 18, 2009, 04:16 PM   #7
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A new upper for your AR will give you the extra punch you're looking for without the cost of a whole new rifle. Of course if this is an excuse to buy another rifle, by all means, don't let me stand in the way!

A 6.8 or 6.5 or 243WSSM or x39 or (insert any of 1000 caliber options here) are all more powerful than .223 in the same AR-15 format you like.
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Old October 18, 2009, 05:14 PM   #8
Bartholomew Roberts
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Reading your post, I'd go with whatever option will allow you to get some quality training; because it sounds like you've got some misconceptions about using the rifle.
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Old October 18, 2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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No matter what you call it, "business" or SHTF it still means

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Your words,
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Old October 18, 2009, 05:30 PM   #10
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Your AR15 is fine as a defensive weapon as is, even with iron sights. The jams can be resolved. Keep it clean as already mentioned.

You don't need a variety of ammo. Pick one that serves most of your purposes and get familiar with it. 55 gr is cheap to shoot and is generally effective for defense (excluding barriers) to 200 yds, especially with 20" barrels that give greater velocity. 62 gr FMJ is supposed to be the least effective due to the reduced velocity. 64 gr soft points could be a good all around defensive round. The 70 gr - 75 gr HP are supposed to be pretty good all around rounds, against barriers and effective at reduced velocities in short barrels.

ETA: If you like the AR platform then getting a second one in 6.8 or the other cartridges mentioned is a good idea. It would give you redundancy in lowers and commonality in handling and accessories. On the other hand the M1A is a fine rifle and as you said you don't have to be too picky about bullet weight to be effective.

Personally I would lean toward getting the M1A just because I like that platform and size cartridge so much, but also spend some time working out the kinks in your AR shooting (cleaning, settling on a single ammo type). The RRA is a quality rifle and should be able to run reliably.
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Old October 18, 2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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Old October 18, 2009, 07:01 PM   #12
Tucker 1371
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I would opt for the training as opposed to the M1A (even though I am dying to have one). Do the training then save a little and buy a 6.5 grendel upper from Alexander Arms. That's what I'd do.
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Old October 18, 2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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Buy them both and send me the one you dont like. Ill see if I cant make do
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Old October 18, 2009, 07:58 PM   #14
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Get trained on the M1A.
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Old October 18, 2009, 08:04 PM   #15
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if you like the AR platform and the .308 id go with a dmps .308 AR or AR10
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Old October 18, 2009, 08:08 PM   #16
mesabi
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Good call Piper Cub. In fact, the Army will pay you to get that training.
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Old October 19, 2009, 12:30 AM   #17
Edward429451
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Get the AR for now and some training. Maybe a couple / few AR's and then get an M1A. Then train on the M1A. Friends. You need friends for business as you call it. I've heard it called a brick. You and a few buddies whom you can trust with, well, your life, trains together and prepares together. Then God forbid if the time comes you have a half assed organization which could be assimilated into a larger organization. BTW, the guys with the AR's are security and give the guy with the .308 time to work.

I took out a personal loan to get my M1A. I reload for it too.

I'm up way too late.
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Old October 19, 2009, 07:40 AM   #18
Skans
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M1A.....all the way. Unless you plan on hiking great distances where a lighter weight rifle and ammo would be better than nothing, it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.
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Old October 19, 2009, 07:47 AM   #19
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Me,I'd stick with the AR. De-bug as necessary, and practice in shooting positions away from a benchrest. Ammo? Any old clean stuff for practice. For social work, I'd be just as happy with a good hunting load as anything else. Since a 55-grain HP creates a double-handful of mush inside a coyote, I figure it will do more than just tickle on a Bad Guy. And nowhere is it written that you just shoot once and then just stand there breathing through your mouth while you look to see if you did good.
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Old October 19, 2009, 07:55 AM   #20
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1) Shot placement trumps power. It's easier to make fast & accurate hits w/a .223 than a .308.
2) Less weight = less shooter fatigue = faster & more accurate hits. AR's generally weigh less than M1A's.
3) More ammo > less ammo. For the same weight you can carry more .223 than .308.
4) Training, training, training! I'd be far more worried about a Jeff Cooper w/a .22 than a noob w/a Barrett .50BMG.

With that being said I settled on the MSAR STG-556: Very short OAL while still maintaining 16" ballistics, fast-handling & manuverable in close quarters, runs clean, adjustable gas system, quick-change bbl (less than 10 seconds to completely swap out bbls), easy to strip/maintain, 42rd mag doesn't interfere w/any shooting position I've tried in a couple of carbine classes and it gives you 40% more ammo per mag before reloading.
Just MHO...
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Old October 19, 2009, 08:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Shot placement trumps power.
A well placed powerful shot trumps a well placed less powerful shot.

Quote:
It's easier to make fast & accurate hits w/a .223 than a .308.
You may need fast multiple hits with .223, but just one hit of .308 may be all you need.


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Old October 19, 2009, 08:10 AM   #22
Tomac
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Quote:
A well placed powerful shot trumps a well placed less powerful shot.
Unless you're talking armored trooped in barricaded positions where brute penetration of obstacles is important then that's not accurate. Both well-placed shots would be equally effective (dead = dead regardless of caliber or bullet used).

Quote:
You made need fast multiple hits with .223, when just one hit of .308 is all you need.
Again inaccurate. The .308 isn't a guaranteed "stopper" no matter what bullet is used. You can find numerous examples of *every* handgun/rifle caliber failing all the way up to 12ga slugs. Regardless, it's still easier to make that well-placed shot w/.223 than it is w/.308 (a well-placed hit w/.223 > a peripheral hit or miss w/.308) and if one or more followup shots are required then it's faster/easier to do w/.223 than .308.
I've trained w/both M14's & M16's when the M14 was still common in ship's armories for the Ship's Landing Force (for ships too small to rate a Marine detachment) and while .308 is my first choice for "reach out and touch someone" I'll take .223 for up-close and personal (YMMV).
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Old October 19, 2009, 09:22 AM   #23
SR420
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You misunderstood why I said the more powerful shot trumps the less powerful shot. Allow me to put it another way...

The more powerful shot is less likely to be deflected off course than a less powerful shot is as it travels to its intended target.



Sorry, but your understanding of the word "may" is also incorrect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SR420
You may need fast multiple hits with .223, but just one hit of .308 may be all you need.
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Old October 19, 2009, 01:05 PM   #24
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5.56 has a lot of value as a full-auto caliber, but not as a semi-auto caliber. The light rifles that fire .308 were really designed primarily for semi-auto type shooting, but some were given full-auto capability.

So, assuming you are looking at semi-auto only rifles, then it should be a no-brainer to choose .308 based rifle over a .223.
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Old October 19, 2009, 06:44 PM   #25
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Sorry, SR420, but you changed your own post. Here's what you originally posted as preserved in my quote from your post:
Quote:
You made need fast multiple hits with .223, when just one hit of .308 is all you need.
You then changed it to:
Quote:
You may need fast multiple hits with .223, but just one hit of .308 may be all you need.
My response was made to your original post, not the edited post w/the "mays" added. Adding "may" makes a big difference in how your post reads.
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