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View Poll Results: What's the best reliable .223 for under $700?
Cheap AR-15 28 54.90%
Mini-14 14 27.45%
Saiga 110 4 7.84%
Other; please post in reply 5 9.80%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 29, 2012, 01:20 AM   #1
AlBundy
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Looking For A Budget .223


Hey guys. I'm sure that there are other threads that have covered this already but I just want some feedback. I'm looking for a semi automatic .223 for under ~$700. So far it looks like I'm down to:

1. A plain jane AR-15

2. Mini-14

3. Saiga

What do you guys think I should get? Are there any other good .223s that I'm not aware of? I'm just looking for a good truck gun. I would prefer that it can use both 5.56 and .223 and that optics can be mounted. It doesn't need to be a tack driver but if I needed to go out to 250-300 yards that would be nice. I've wanted a Bushmaster for a long time but I just can't see ever spending close to $1000 dollars for one. Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by AlBundy; January 29, 2012 at 02:07 AM.
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:01 AM   #2
Sport45
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Welcome to The Firing Line!

For less than $700 new, you can probably pick up a great Weatherby, Savage, CZ, or Remington bolt action ,223 that would do anything you wanted to 300 yards.

The AR pattern rifles will let you burn through ammo faster and are arguably more fun to shoot. I can't help you on the under $700 bit though, Mine have more than that in the uppers (not including optics). I think the DPMS models are fair and may be found in your price range.
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Last edited by Sport45; January 29, 2012 at 02:09 AM.
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:06 AM   #3
AlBundy
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Thanks for the reply. Actually I want a semi automatic .223 ... I probably should have mentioned that. Editing now ...
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:12 AM   #4
Sport45
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When you set your purchase price limit keep in mind what you'll be spending to shoot the thing. In my case the purchase price looses significance when considering the total cost of ownership.
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:13 AM   #5
nate45
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I agree with Sport, if you want accurate out to 250-300 yards, get a bolt action.

Although its very possible that an individual lower priced AR might be nice and accurate, but its not as sure a bet as a decent bolt action.

As far as the Mini 14 and Saiga go on the accuracy front, well...I'd rather not comment.

Edit: Had reply window open too long. I'd get the AR then if you want a semi.
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:22 AM   #6
bigghoss
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Of these I like the saiga. It'll come in well under budget, even if you convert it to standard AK configuration. If you get a mini 14 get the tactical. The shorter barrel is stiffer and helps with accuracy but it'll max out your budget. It's hard to recommend a $700 AR15 when you can get a colt for $1000 and that's a gun you can trust your life to. The only other I can think of would be an Arsenal AK in .223, I think they run $700 maybe $800 but you get a serious rifle that is good to go.
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:33 AM   #7
AlBundy
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It looks like it's down to the AR-15 or the Mini-14. The Saiga looks nice but I don't want to have to deal with conversions and all of that. I know the bolt actions are more accurate but I'm looking for more of a SHTF gun, an assault rifle. So I guess it boils down to: Would it be better to get a really basic AR-15(no collapsible stock, not a chrome lined barrel) or a Mini-14? Are cheap AR-15's good? Reliable? I'm looking at this one specifically: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct347.aspx

Would that be better then a Mini-14 as they are, right out of the box? I just don't want to spend $600 on crap ...
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:46 AM   #8
chadio
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Ruger 5816 (Mini 14 new model).

I think it fits your budget and purpose quite nicely
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:00 AM   #9
Young.Gun.612
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I hear you can build a PSA ar for at or below $700. I just picked up an LRB m4, 2 mags and a cleaning kit for $677 shipped on gunbroker.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:08 AM   #10
bejay
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would probably go with an ar might consider building atleast the lower for getting the most out of your budget.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:33 AM   #11
AlBundy
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If I go with the AR, what's my best bet for $700. I don't want to get crap but I just can't afford a high end one right now. Also, I know I can save some money by building one but I would much rather it be assembled and ready to go.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:52 AM   #12
raven11
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M&P Sport $627.00

great reliability , great warranty, and customer service

and if you want a dustcover or forward assist in the future you can just change the upper
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Old January 29, 2012, 04:00 AM   #13
AlBundy
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@Raven11 I'm liking that M&P 15 Sport. It looks a lot better then the plain Olympic Arms one. Who has it for $627? Anyone else have experience with it? Heard anything good or bad? Thanks for the help guys.
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Old January 29, 2012, 04:12 AM   #14
Young.Gun.612
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What's the aversion to building it? I mean I kinda wish I had done that, get a good feel for the rifle. The more you know about it the better you can use it, imho.
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Old January 29, 2012, 05:02 AM   #15
AlBundy
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I'm just a little apprehensive about it. I'm not totally against it but I just don't like mismatched parts and I've never even shot an AR before, so I didn't think it would be such a good idea putting one together. If there's a fantastic deal on kits though I'm all ears.
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Old January 29, 2012, 06:32 AM   #16
chris in va
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I now have 2800 rounds through my Sport with no issues. All I've done is add a curved butt pad and heat shielded handguard...and a sling.

S&W deleted the 'features' that you really don't use, and added a few extras like a 5R gain twist rifling, Melonited barrel in and out, chromed/staked bolt, darn nice trigger and solid warranty.

I bought mine for $630, and it was the last of a 100 count order. The shop sells them within two weeks of receiving a shipment.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:33 AM   #17
wnycollector
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+1 on the M&P recommendation. It's a very nice little rifle for the $$$.


Quote:
Who has it for $627?
This one has a Buy Now price of $616
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=271515079
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Old January 29, 2012, 09:01 AM   #18
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From past experience, (ie; buying something I really don't want only to trade it in later for what I wanted and losing money both ways,) you should save up and purchase what you want. Right now I'm also looking at budget ARs (the infamous black rifle.) I'm leaning toward the M&P Sport.
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Old January 29, 2012, 09:07 AM   #19
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Tikka t-3 lites are very accurate bolt actions at least my 25-06 is.
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Old January 29, 2012, 09:38 AM   #20
David the Gnome
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You would suggest picking up a Doublestar M4 from Bud's for $669 shipped. That should leave you enough left over to pay a local shop for the FFL transfer and then you have an excellent start AR-15 for under $700.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...os.+Stock+.223

I had that exact same gun with a detachable carry handle and it was awesome. I sold it in a fit of madness but I have replaced it since then.
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Old January 29, 2012, 10:04 AM   #21
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It's going to come to preference at a certain point. All three will be fine but they are somewhat different styles of rifle. I'm not an AR guy and would probably go with the Mini-14. Ruger is selling the 30rd magazines again. The Saiga will be good too. However, you'll most likely want to convert it to the AK set-up sooner or later. (Also, the magazines aren't always the easiest to find.

All that said, if I was going to make a "general recommendation," I would say to buy a S&W M&P-15, replace the standard grip and buy some P-mags.
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Old January 29, 2012, 10:56 AM   #22
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PSA Rifle kit: http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...rifle-kit.html
PSA Stripped lower: http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...r15-lower.html

No mismatched parts, the only thing you have to assemble is the lower, you are looking at $579.94 for a rifle with all the stuff you need, proper steel in the barrel, chrome lined bore, chrome lined bolt, it's a bargain. The lower should take about 30 minutes or so to put together and you really don't need any special tools. Hammer, a few punches and some instructions that are all over the internet.
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Old January 29, 2012, 11:05 AM   #23
bigghoss
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Well if you've narrowed it down to a entry-level AR or a mini 14 (and aren't considering an arsenal AK) than I'd for sure go for a mini 14 especially the tactical.
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Old January 29, 2012, 11:25 AM   #24
tobnpr
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For "truck gun" purposes, I'd go with the Mini-14 as well.
Get the stainless model in the Hogue stock- you can leave it in the truck indefinitely, bang it around and it'll be none the worse for wear.
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:40 PM   #25
bigoneslurk
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palmetto state armory
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