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Old December 16, 2012, 10:49 AM   #1
Microscope
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Black Rifles Accurate Enough for Hunting and Self-Defense?

Hey,

If I had one black rifle, and needed to use it for self-defense & hunting (let's see everything from deer down), what might you suggest?

Thanks
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Old December 16, 2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Something in a caliber that's legal for "deer on down" in your state.

Were it me, for my hunting, 6.8SPC would be a minimum ...... though 6.5G would be better. Something in a .308 based case would be better yet (.243/7-08/.308).
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Old December 16, 2012, 11:01 AM   #3
Microscope
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And if you only get 1 gun, and there's no more law, and it has to serve
2 purposes?
What might you suggest? Same or lower like .223?
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Old December 16, 2012, 11:13 AM   #4
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I would want some bigger than a .223 for whitetail deer or larger game.

I would feel very ok with something based in a .308 case like jimbob said.

.223 would be adequate for deer, but shot placement is going to be critical.
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Old December 16, 2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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FAL with a fixed 4X Hensoldt scope. "Minute of adversary" to 600 yds, who needs more, or can justify a 600+yd shot as "self defence"?

165 Gr Sierra Gameking @2650FPS from this .308 will drop evrything up to a bull moose at any reasonable range for game shooting assuming you place the bullet well.
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Old December 16, 2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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I’d agree with Wogpotter if I were to have only 1 "black rifle" (which I would paint medium gray) it use on "everything" in North America. I'd get a good FN-FAL. [2 to2.3 MOA is about what most will do with good ammo] However if I were to be a bit more realistic about the mission statement I'd probably look at the area and targets you will have to shoot at. If a man can afford to go all over the continent and shoot "everything", he can afford more than one rifle. If such a man can go "anywhere" he can afford ammo.

So with that said, I would say that if ammo is to be loaded yourself and you have the money to get enough brass, powder, primers and bullets to last for many years, the best choice for MOST shooters in the USA (as of now at least) is the AR-15 in 6.8 SPC. {good rifles in this caliber will shoot sub MOA with ammo they like] It's got ballistics in the same league as the 257 Roberts factory load (of the 1950s) It's an excellent round for deer, antelope and of course, enemies and it is smaller and lighter than the 308 round. The reason I say "MOST" shooters would be best armed with this rifle is that 88% of Americans live in cities. Shooting elk and moose and bears is not a real concern to them in MOST cases.
The "down side" to the AR in 6.8 is that the rifles are a bit pricy and the ammo is quite pricy if you don’t load it yourself.

If the cost is an issue than perhaps the “best” rifle for most shooters might just be a good AK_47. [ A good AK with an American made barrel will shoot 3-4 MOA and some do a bit better] The ammo is cheap, accuracy is good enough for hunting or fighting out to 200 meters and out to 300 or even 350 in the hands of a good shot. The rifles are about as reliable as they can be. A quad rail forend makes them easy to scope or mount an optical dot sight on and is not very expensive.

One of my all time favorite military rifles for use in the field (I do not live in or near a city) is still the WW2 M-1 Garand. [Rack grade M-1s shoot about 3 MOA and very good ones can shoot close to 1 MOA but can’t be field stripped too many times if they are to maintain that degree of accuracy. 2.5 MOA is a realistic expectation for a good M1 with a good barrel]
It carries and feels like a rifle, fires the 30-06 round and with hand loads and correct powders, shoots bullets from 150 to 220 grains. It is not as “good’ as the FAL, the G-3, the M-14 or the SCAR Heavy as a combat rifle, but I am sure that doesn’t matter as much as many would think. If you win a fight with a lone enemy or a small group of enemies you just got what ever he had in most cases. If you loose a fight, --------well then your problems on this earth are over. You will either have untold problems in the next world, or none at all, depending on what you decided to do with your faith in this life.

So please do yourself the service of realistically defining the mission statement and establishing a realistic budget before you go out and buy a rifle. Remember that over a period of about 10 years, the rifle can be the cheapest part. The ammo is what is going to cost the most if you are an avid shooter.

Anyway, That's my 2 cents worth-----------
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Old December 16, 2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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So with that said, I would say that if ammo is to be loaded yourself
then the FAL is right out: wrecks brass, IIRC.
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Old December 16, 2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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Hunting deer on down plus SD is a bit of a stretch for one caliber but I'd say an AR in 5.56 makes a lot of sense here. If you find it's not adequate for heavier game a second rifle can come into play. Maybe a used bolt action at a good price.
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Old December 16, 2012, 12:38 PM   #9
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JimBob, why do you think the FAL wrecks brass?

I have been loading my own for my FALs since the 70s and it's always been just fine. I have owned 5 FALS since the mid 70s from 5 different countries and all have worked better with hand loads than any other auto 308s I have ever loaded for.
These include a converted M-1 Garand, two M1As, an FNAR, four different AR-10 style rifles, a Winchester M100, a Remington 742 and a few G-3s and their clones.

The German G-3 (HK91 and CETMEs ) are a bit hard on brass, but I have loaded from them too. Brass life is not as good, but even they work just fine with reloaded ammo. The dents in the cases are minor and don't effect the ammo at all as far as I can tell.
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Old December 16, 2012, 12:44 PM   #10
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I was under the impression that is shared the same roller-delayed blowback system of the CTME and G-3 ..... I stand corrected.
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Old December 16, 2012, 12:49 PM   #11
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Still, being as how I don't have a quartermaster branch supporting me and mine .... I'd stick with a bolt gun.
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Old December 16, 2012, 03:02 PM   #12
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I'm in complete agreement with WYOSMITH here. I'd probably say 3~3 1/2 MOA with factory milsurp, but mine will do 2 with handloads.

FALs can be hard on brass, but its easy to fix with a few simple changes. Mostly the complaint was severly dinged case mouths with a dent so sharp-shouldered that reloading was problematic. To clarify, compared to a bolt action every single semi-auto is hard on brass to a lesser or greater degree.

To make a FAL brass friendly:
Don't add on alloy scope mounts with a different internal profile from the military sheet metal. The internal shape & that rolled lover front/top section of the ejection port is there for a reason, its part of the ejection system, mess with it & you'll have brass kisses & dinged brass.

Do use the FAL's biggest advantage an adjustable gas system! You can actually tune the gas operation for individual loads without tools. Correctly adjusted a FAL will; drop all its brass in a neat 15" circle 12' out at 2 O'clock. If it isnt then I'll bet you have dinged brass & brass kisses.

Do check the angle of the ejector face, adjust it with a stone, if needed. Most 1911 .45 shoters know all about this just ask them.

I've reloaded fired brass 5~6 times. Less than a bolt gun, but not bad for a self-stuffer.

Quote:
Still, being as how I don't have a quartermaster branch supporting me and mine .... I'd stick with a bolt gun.
What the heck do you need with a QM branch for? What is really going to break on a FAL? a 1-piece firing pin maybe? OK, replace it with a 2-piece now & keep the 1.5 Oz 3" long 1/4" needle-sized original as a spare.
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Last edited by wogpotter; December 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM.
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Old December 16, 2012, 03:16 PM   #13
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Oh, yes.
Check out the sig line
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Old December 16, 2012, 03:28 PM   #14
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just about any of them. most AR15s are capable of MOA out of the box on a good day. guns chambered in x39mm soviet calibers like the SKS, and AK47/74s are less accurate but at self defense ranges are still good enough to do the job.
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Old December 16, 2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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I am there right now. My chosen AR (Rem R-15) is plenty accurate, and successfully killed a large bodied buck this year. While I wouldn't place it among the greatest white-tail rounds ever made it is sufficient when loaded with proper ammo such as Nosler Partitions, or Barnes TSX or something along those lines. It will never have the power my .280 or 7-08 has but then again its a lot lighter, and holds more ammo, which plays into the SD role. Its not the end all be all of any particular job but excels in some areas and "gets by" in the others.

Many on this board and AR15.com unknowingly tutored me as I read the posts about AR's, I assumed if I could get consistent Minute of Hubcap accuracy at 100 yards I would be happy, now I expect much better. My particular rifle gives up some things like power (it will never be a .243 let along a .308) but it gets the job done. It will never be a short compact weapon suitable for CQB, but I don't intend it to be, although it is shorter than just about any rifle I own.
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Old December 16, 2012, 04:25 PM   #16
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My DPMS LR308 is stone cold reliable, consistently sub moa with decent ammo, has sufficient power for virtually any north American animal, two legs or four.
Ammo is readily available at any walmart. If 20 rounds of .308 are not enough to solve your problem, then reload or RUN.
IMnvHO the best combination of power, accuracy, firepower, ammo supply that you could buy. Mine is #1 on my bug-out list and on my what if list.

Roger
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Old December 16, 2012, 05:03 PM   #17
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A lightweight 16" AR carbine with a 1:7 or 1:8 twist to shoot heavier bullets with a 1-4X scope on it. Weight will be under 7 lbs if you choose scope and mounts carefully.

With the scope on 1X or 2X it makes a great SD package at close range. With the scope on 3X or 4X you have the ability to shoot accurately to at least 300 yards.

With 60 gr or heavier conventional bullets, or the Barnes bullets in any weight, it is more than adequate for any deer out to around 200 yards. I wouldn't hunt anything larger than deer or pronghorn and I wouldn't take a shot farther than about 200 yards.

At the last count I had only 6 states where rifles are allowed did not allow 223 for deer and at least 2 of those are considering changing that. Odds are good it is, or will be legal in most any state where rifles are allowed.

If not legal for hunting in my state I'd still buy the AR and either use something else for deer, or just use it anyway.
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Old December 17, 2012, 08:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
What the heck do you need with a QM branch for? What is really going to break on a FAL?
The chain.

(wait for it)

.

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.....

The supply chain.

You have to be that, too.

Even if you have a 10K rounds stocked up, you'll chew through them much faster with a semi- .....I do.
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Old December 17, 2012, 08:05 AM   #19
Art Eatman
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I know of no semi-auto rifle which will NOT hold minute of torso within any rationally-viewed "self defense" distance. Most will easily hold minute of cranium. Necessary accuracy mostly depends on the skill and adrenalin control of the shooter.

Pretty much, any halfway-decent ammo will suffice for defense.

Modern R&D has made the .223 a reasonable deer cartridge; it's always been useful for coyotes and smaller animals.
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