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Old December 20, 2012, 06:28 PM   #1
phamily man
Join Date: June 15, 2012
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Need help on a rifle purchase

Hi all,

I want to buy an assault rifle, but I don't know if I should go with .308, .223, or... well... I don't really know anything. I have ZERO experience with rifles.

I've always been a pistol guy, and have never so much as even fired an "assault weapon". I remember firing a .22 rifle when I was a kid on vacation with my pops, but that's the extent of my rifle experience. Sad... I know.
Sooo... unless you live under a rock, you're probably not wondering why all of a sudden I'm interested in buying an "assault" style rifle. So, what should I buy while I still can?
Bear in mind, I live in CT where the AWB is, for the most part, in effect. I think the laws don't allow for a pistol grip, but because I've never been interested in buying one, I didn't pay attention and don't know what can be legally purchased in my state.

I have a $2000 budget, but would like to keep it down to half of that if I can... $1500 would be okay too, and $2k is my limit.

After talking with a buddy who owns an AR-10, I must admit feeling partial to a .308 over a .223... but what do I know? As far as pistols go, I've always felt that bigger is better. I love my Springfield 1911 .45, but its too big to carry, so my ccw is a Beretta Px4 Storm SubCompact chambered in 9mm. That particular pistol comes in 9mm or .40 cal, and I usually believe bigger is better, but I liked the 13+1 round capacity of the 9, rather than 10+1 in .40 cal.
That being said, I'm not going to be carrying this thing around with me (unless the Mayans were right, and the zombie apocalypse really does happen tomorrow, 12/21/12 ) so mag capacity isn't as big of an issue as it is in a pistol, because I can always carry more magazines.

So what do you all feel the best bang for the buck is? Let's assume I want a .308 unless you can convince me otherwise.
I want to be able to mount a scope and/or other extras like maybe a laser, but I really don't know anything about this stuff, so help me out!

Thanks in advance!
-Phamily Man
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Old December 20, 2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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Good luck finding one right now.

most big retailers are pulling them from the shelf
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Old December 20, 2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Yeesh. Stop saying "assault rifle". That term carries such negative baggage and has no real meaning. AR (automatic, not "assault") will serve you better

With a $2k budget, your options are WIDE open, recent scarcity notwithstanding. A 308 AR-10 would be super cool but that's a huge round, likely more than you need. Consider a Colt 6920 AR-15 instead. If you can find one, that is.

Is the zombie apocalypse scheduled for tomorrow? I thought it was end-of-the-year.
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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i have rock rivers in both 556 and 308. 308 AR style rifles are HEAVY (with the exception of SCAR and Larue). don't get me wrong, i love my 308, and would never part with it, but i'm not putting a sling on it and going for a hike.
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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I don't have much experience with ARs myself, but I know the recoil of a .308 might be a bit much for you. Seeing as your new to rifles i'd go with one in .223. Less recoil, cheaper ammunition.
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:02 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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For hunting, casual "plinking" type shooting and defense, the Ruger Mini-14 is as good as anything. A benefit in a state like Connecticut is that it's not an "Evil black rifle", even though it's the same style of operation.

The .223 cartridge, thanks to modern R&D efforts in bullet design, can be adequate for deer hunting.

The Mini-30 is basically the same animal, but for its chambering in the 7.62x39 cartridge.

IMO it's sorta six of one, half-dozen of the other insofar as cartridge performance.
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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I bought a ruger 10-22 as my first rifle. That's what I learned with. Great gun, fun to shoot, cheaper than dirt, well…almost lol
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Old December 21, 2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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The .223 and/or 5.56 NATO round (they're different, and compatability goes ONE way, 5.56 MAY fire .223, but .223 may NOT fire 5.56 until you get into alternate chamberings such as .223 WYLDE etc) will feel pretty similar to your 22LR. MUCH different than your .308.

.223 is acceptable for deer legally in some, but not all states.

For defense I would point to the thousands defending our country using one right now, and for the half century or so.

The .223 ammo will (usually) be extremely wallet friendly.

the .308 won't be as bad as the upped chamberings a 5.56 lower can use for hunting i.e. 6.8, or 300 Blackout etc. In other words, a 5.56 sized lower will accept uppers chambered in other rounds, the most "common" alternate sizes being the 6.8 and 300 Blackout. My understanding is the magwel for an AR-10 is different than an AR-15.

Additionally the AR-10 platform is not nearly as standardized as the AR-15. Parts from one AR-10 may not fit on another. Parts from one AR-15 will- assuming you match commercial to commercial and mil-spec to mil-spec. Mil-spec does not mean military only, it just means that a few of the parts are sized to the mil-spec plans, comemrcial parts for these FEW parts are also a standardized size, but different than mil-spec. These parts are pimarily in the stock area, i.e the buffer tubes, and stocks that fit over them, as well as other parts used to secure and mount these pieces, for example, a sling plate that goes between the castle nut that holds the buffer tube mounted in the lower and prevents it from backing out.

There are optics pre-designed for the .233 and .308 AR's. They are much more plentiful for the AR-15. Most optics are not caliber specific.

The ability to mount things to your rifle is more dependant on the "furniture" than the rifle itself. Furniture is a term used in other firearms to denote the stock and fore end, I assume because of the gorgeous wood grains on my shotgun. A round basic plastic foreend will not allow you to mount tons of things. A free floated quad-rail will let you make Batman jealous. Adding that much crap to the front of your rifle will cause me to smirk at you, but also concede to each their own. At max I'd stick a flashlight, and a bipod on the thing.

An addtional benefit of the freefloated quad rail is a longer optics mounting base. The basic flat top reciever will allow you to mount generally one short tube to be co-witnessed. (your iron sights line up through the optic to be useable at the same time.) I have two small tube optics, and i cannot fit the flip up rear sight on my upper right now. I plan on getting a Daniel Defense Omega VII or whatever it's called so I can shift both tubes forward enough to mount the flip up rear sight.

Barrel/action length can also affect your optics. A carbine length gas system with the big front sight tower will prevent the basic mounting system for larger optics i.e. the 6-24x40 or 50 varmint scopes. You can still get them mounted but it's a non-standard method involving a removable carry handle, and an insert for the carry handle that results in a non-standard cheek weld.

Even a basic 3-9x40 will run into issues... it will be over your charging handle making the angle to grasp and operate the charging handle twitcy.

I bought the Colt LE6920 MP-B for about 1K to 1100. I don't think you'll find a better bang for your buck.

The accesories I suggest to add to that are a Magpull ASAP Sling Plate, and single point sling if you want a better sling than the two-point system that comes with the rifle. I have it, though I rarely ever use it. Just wanted to have it if I ever needed it. It hangs off the end all day long.

the Omega VII (requires no chopping of the front sight tower, it's a two piece free float),

the Magpul BAD (Battery Assist Device. Stupid literal me thought this was actually for operating battery operated accesories, instead it helps control the "slide lock" functions of the magazine with your right hand, leaving your left free to operate the charging handle)

A BCM "Gun Fighter" charging handle, Look and see which Mod (meaning Size) works for you, I went large.

You could get an ACOG for 1K+ or you could get a Vortex Strikefire and a VMX3 swing out magnifier for 500 or less. There are other options in inbetween price ranges. The Strikefire and VMX3 was what I settled on. It was good enough, and better wasn't worth the price to me. Your value judgements may vary, and truth be told a smaller dot on my red dot wouldn't hurt my feelings.
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Old December 21, 2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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Please refer those as "modern family sport rifle" or just "modern sport rifle". Can't you just see the whole family passing the ar 15 around at the range grinning from ear to ear as they all have a family fun afternoon spending time together. Makes me sigh just thinking about it.
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Old December 21, 2012, 06:01 PM   #10
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Please, once and for all,AR doesn,t stand for assault rifle or automatic rifle..

It simply stands for Armalite, the company that first developed the rifle.

If the R just stands for Rifle, then why are there AR shotguns and pistols?

OK I,m done..
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Old December 22, 2012, 05:57 PM   #11
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A .223 will take down a deer with a correctly placed shot, but if you are not confident in firing rifles I would not attempt it.

thank you stillhunter, i have seen many people (some on this forum) state that AR = assault rifle.
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Old December 23, 2012, 01:14 AM   #12
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I don't own any assult rifles I do own some self defense and target guns and stop walking past those sks rifles you will be sorry one day you did not grab it at $400. Damn good rifle easy to work on and plenty of parts.
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