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Old March 19, 2013, 10:13 PM   #1
dakota.potts
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Alternatives to the AR-15

I'm doing some research on 3 gun shooting competitions and the part that's going to kill me financially is going to be the rifle. What are some low cost alternatives to the AR-15? I think an AK in 5.45 would just be awesome but the cartridge is too small for competition. So naturally it got me thinking about an AK or an SKS with detachable magazines. Then there are the things like the FAl that can cost as much as a low end AR 15.

So that got me thinking about CETME's, Steyr AUG's, things of that nature.

So, while I'd really like to hear some low cost alternatives that are practical, I'd also like to hear anything you guys have experience with replacing semi automatic rifles. what about the PPSh? Or the semi automatic MP5 makes? Just share your thoughts and experiences.
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Old March 19, 2013, 10:32 PM   #2
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I've never done a 3 gun before...but I'll be the first to say I'd take a home build AR (that's the only kind I have) over any "AK" variant. I mean a super cheap one....SA&A lower, delton kit and or scavenge different sites classifieds to gather parts. If not that I'd take a non Chinese SKS over any "AK".

An Aug will set you back WAY more than a good, quality no nonsense AR.
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Old March 19, 2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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it doesn't matter what the gun is, it's how you use it. I've seen members here with photos of them competing in 3 gun with a k98 mauser.

you could just as easily train yourself to load a $235 sks with stripper clips as you could train yourself to change mags on an FAL.

as for low cost alternatives. the only gun that you listed that is cheaper than the AR15 is the SKS, now that obama gun grab 2013 just came to a screeching halt demand for 223 is going to go back down and soon after prices will fall back to pseudo-acceptable levels.
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Old March 20, 2013, 12:09 AM   #4
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Yeah, I'm aware the SKS is about the only one cheaper. I just listed many of the other ones because I wanted to hear other alternatives. I suppose you could say this is a two part thread. The first question is "what's cheaper" but I'm also curious what people like instead of or alongside with their AR models.

Although, I wasn't aware that homebuilding an AR from parts would be that much cheaper. When I looked it up it came to around the same price. So that's a useful tidbit of information
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Old March 20, 2013, 12:24 AM   #5
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well for bullpups, it's impossible to beat a FN Herstal FS2000, expensive and hard to find but overall it's probably the best one out there that's available to the public.

pistol caliber carbines like the beretta CX4 storm are great guns. accurate, well weighted, compact, and ammo capacity isn't horrible.

AK47 is another popular one though I think the days of sub-$1000 are well and truly gone, supply has dwindled, demand skyrocketed, now they are just expensive. IMHO, they are overrated anyway.

for me the AR15 is really the best way to go. it's hard to not find parts for them, you can slap a decent one together for less than $600, they are very accurate, triggers are mostly decent compared to other guns in this lineup, and controls are very easy to actuate/operate with your off hand while keeping firing hand firmly planted and without losing sight picture.

SKS is a decent second place in my opinion. simpler take down/reassembly than an AK47, more accurate(in my experience) than an AK47, well balanced, quite modular, and though not as easy to operate as the AR15, controls are easier to work around than a lot of other designs.

no experience with cetmes, fals and those other heavy, clunky semi auto battle rifles, I just can't convince myself to like them.
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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Can you find a used Mini-14?

#flamesuiton
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Old March 20, 2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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Mini 14 Rifles are through the roof right now too. I will be glad when things go back to normal , so we can enjoy our shooting sports again without worry.
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Old March 20, 2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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FAL costs as much as a low end AR??? In what world? I have yet to see a FAL for less than $1500. The AR is the cheapest platform. AK's and AR's are about the same price. Some can be had for $650-$700 and they can also be had in the $1500+ range. Ruger mini's arent worth buying when you can just pay $100 more and build or buy an AR. This whole thread is confusing. Prices on everything is crazy right now but if you want a rifle that performs like an AR but cheaper, you are out of luck. I prefer AK's but they arent cheaper.
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Old March 20, 2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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"Can you find a used Mini-14?"

I've read in a few forums that the Mini-14 is not a good choice for competitions, tactical training, etc. I love the Mini myself. Has anyone on this forum ever tried the Mini-14 for such a venue? I would be very interested to hear about how it performed in a 3 gun shoot or other competition. I ask this mostly because it is the only .223 cal rifle that I have and prospects of getting an AR style rifle is pretty remote. As far as the original post is concerned, it SOUNDS like it would fit the bill.

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Old March 20, 2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delarosadavid
Has anyone on this forum ever tried the Mini-14 for such a venue?
Yes, at the one and only 3-gun match I've ever shot. Unfortunately, I had to use some shoddy, no-name, picked-up-at-a-gun show magazines, and it would not even feed the first round from them. Fortunately, one really nice guy allowed me to shoot his SR556 for the match. (Due to the fact that the Mini had never actually chambered a round, it was not considered "changing rifles mid-match.") Unfortunately, his rifle (which was a joy to shoot, by the way) jammed on him later in the afternoon.
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:39 PM   #11
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Mini 14

Our Department uses Mini 14's exclusivly for our tower guns and our ERT Teams use them for thier deployments. The ERT Team Mini's have the tacticle stocks on them though. We have to qualify with them out to 100 yds standing unsupported. They work pretty good for that. Its no sniper rifle thats for sure, but its what we have to work with.
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Old March 21, 2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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How about a saiga in .223 or 5.45 x 39. They are decently accurate and can be customized/scoped. They also come in 7.62 x 39 and .308.

Last edited by jersurf101; March 21, 2013 at 07:52 PM.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:05 PM   #13
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Re: Alternatives to the AR-15

The barrels of the minis heat up really quickly and begin to spray shots if you shoot a long range stage... I have RO'd a couple of matches where they were used and when we got to shooting past 250 yards they were more than erratic whereas ARs were consistent... Don't get me started on the shots past 400 yards....
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Old March 22, 2013, 06:46 AM   #14
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saiga's are good if you can find one lots can be done to them
would go for 7.62x39 for caliber

best bullpup is the original made by Steyr though somewhat update the A3
accept no imitations, though they are costly and I am not sure if Steyr is up and running with USA production yet.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:44 AM   #15
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I'm not familiar with 3 gun would an m1 carbine be a good choice?
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:51 AM   #16
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not particularly bad but not that great either.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
I'm not familiar with 3 gun would an m1 carbine be a good choice?
I suppose it could work. If you are just going out to give it a try, sure. The matches that I shoot at mainly have an average rifle target distance at about 300 yards; not what I want an M1 carbine for.
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Old March 22, 2013, 02:11 PM   #18
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An accustrut added to a skinny barreled mini-14 stops the drastic shot stringing of the mini once the barrel heats up. Mine shoots very good groups and has no problem hitting a torso sized target at 3-400 yards.

I dont know of any rifle that doesnt lose a little accuracy when it heats up. Even my heavy barreled AR does when it gets hot.
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Old March 23, 2013, 06:39 AM   #19
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A mini is still $699 minimum. Add the accu strut and you could have bought an AR or AK
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Old March 23, 2013, 08:33 AM   #20
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I like the SKS ideas with stripper clips, or the Saiga when prices come down. I also have a feeling AR-15's will be less costly on the used market in coming months, so you may just want to start looking, and get a basic Bushmaster or DPMS which can be found for less money than some other brands. They work just fine.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:45 PM   #21
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It all depends on the match. If they are running 3-gun in pistol bays, then any of the above will work, Mini-14, SKS, AK, pistol caliber carbine (including M1 carbine). Yes, ballistically, M1 carbine is a pistol caliber.

The more the distances go out, the less you want any of these. The pistol caliber bullets will require too much elevation and hitting targets at 100+ yards is about impossible. And, yes, you can hit targets quickly with an AK, but an AR in equally-skilled hands will beat you. Reloading an SKS after the stock 10 rounds will get old fast, so you will want to change out the fixed 10-round for something with higher capacity. If you are buying new, the AR or higher price range will be the way to go.
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Old March 23, 2013, 05:31 PM   #22
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*I might not like the answer, but here goes*
What about the SU16? Or would be such competition ask more of the rifle than it was designed/intended for?
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:51 PM   #23
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we'll just go with the latter and leave it at that
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:17 AM   #24
tahunua001
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I'm sorry roberg but I can't see a single bit of data relevent to the discussion at hand.

this is not a political forum, there is a section here for those types of discussions. try to keep responses specific to the OP or the discussion.
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Old March 24, 2013, 04:03 PM   #25
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best alternative to the AR15.. look at the sig-551-a1, which is a civilian version of the sig rifles, offer the ergonomics and customization of an AR15 with the reliability of the AK
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