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Old July 13, 2021, 09:34 PM   #1
chadio
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Want a 30 cal battle rifle .. can I complain just a little?

So I have found 4 that trip my trigger:

1) forged receiver M1a. Pushing over 2k, very expensive in my opinion, everyone seems sold out (not that it matters) and the ammo is a buck a round...

2) DSA FAL. Pushing $1600 and sold out, see above for ammo price

3) Zastava ZPAP ak - there is one for sale locally with a 75 round drum and 200 rounds for $1500 (add ffl and 'use tax') What the what? For an AK?

4) Valmet RK62 - pushing $4k on brokegunner (why do I even look, well because it is THE sexy rifle in my book)

... sigh...

Will patience pay off, or is this just the way it is going to be from now on???
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Old July 13, 2021, 09:38 PM   #2
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I tried a couple of those and ended up with a G3.
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Old July 13, 2021, 11:13 PM   #3
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Let's be clear on our terms,

Battle rifle fires a full size round, either from or matching the WWII era rounds.

It may be select fire, or it may be semi only. I would allow manual repeaters (bolt action) as "battle rifles" but most folks limit that term to semis and select fire arms.

So, right off the top, no AR15 or M16 is a battle rifle. Nor is any SKS, or AK or variant firing the 7.62x39 cartridge. The SVT40 is, because it shoots a full size round (7.62x54R). I would also add box magazine fed because belt fed battle rifle size guns are generally LMGs (light machine guns).

US law complicates things a little, because if there is a full auto function, then legally it is a machine gun. There is no classification in US law for select fire arms. Or rather, all select fire arms are classified as machine guns, no matter what other features they have.

SO, if (for now) we leave out the actual manual battle rifles, which were the standard infantry rifles from the 1890s through the 1940s, and we leave out legal machineguns that leaves us with semi auto versions of the select fire arms, and those guns that were only semi auto from the beginning.

I've had an M1 Garand, and an M1A, and an FAL, and an H&K 91, and an SVT-40, and I consider them "battle rifles".

Can't help you with today's prices, other than to say you're never going to see the prices I paid for mine back in the 80s ($500 was the most and the SVT was only $125 ) again. (part of that is the value of our dollar) I sold or traded them all over the years except the M1A. That one, I'm keeping till they close the lid, and if I can figure out a way to have it buried with me , I will.

What is it that you want to know, other than where can you get one cheap??

Because the only cheap ones are decades in the past...
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Old July 13, 2021, 11:42 PM   #4
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Patience and perseverance will be needed, as well as a realistic budget. I was able to venture into this field relatively inexpensively a little over a year ago, as I rolled the dice on a Century C308 (which is the latest incarnation of the Cetme). Got it for somewhere under $600, with a goodly supply of cheap mags. Mine has proven reliable and groups acceptably, and reviews of this particular run have been generally positive. Good luck finding one now at those prices...

I've watched a few others just for fun. I've been interested in an FAL, if I could get a bargain. Every so often, you see low end makes (Century again), on Gunbroker, go for under a grand. I've chased a couple, never won one, wasn't that far off on a few. Pushed my budget a little, but I regret not chasing the 2 that sold for just over $800. Doubtless the other bidder would have chased it higher, in my opinion at the time.

I really don't want to go over $1000, although I wonder if writing off a covid check for the purchase would justify it. Just the other day I saw a Springfield M1A (wood stock) in a local pawn shop for $1200... it called to me but I resisted. I succumbed and came back the next day, but it was gone. Just wasn't meant to be, I guess...
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Old July 14, 2021, 05:42 AM   #5
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I put together a PSA 308 carbine for about $500 (might be more expensive now). With a redot it is a relatively light weight, fast, maneuverable and plenty accurate freehand shooter. Wait around and they periodically put the completed lowers and uppers on sale.
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Old July 14, 2021, 08:53 AM   #6
Jim Horton
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Forged?

Don't be afraid of a non forged receiver in a M14 style from a reputable vendor. You'll never break it, especially since it's not selective fire.
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Old July 14, 2021, 11:25 AM   #7
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Why not a PSA AR10 in .308? I have one in 6.5 CM and love it.
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Old July 14, 2021, 11:30 AM   #8
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For my tastes,the answer is obvious,and you do not mention it.

What is commonly,if incorrectly,called the AR-10 pattern.

Go look at Aero,for one.

You can't beat the optics mounting. Get a good free float forend. Superb drop in triggers.

Reasonable availability. Good magazine availability . Good parts availability.

Potentially lighter weight than the other options. (A 10 lb plus rifle and several 7.62 steel mags makes for one pig of an outfit to carry)

My DPMS LR308L was 7.9 lbs as built.

I would not even consider the old battle rifles anymore.
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Old July 14, 2021, 01:44 PM   #9
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I built an AR10 style rifle (in .338 Fed) for about $650 (not including scope).

Got a couple parts for birthday/Christmas presents, and watched for sales on the rest. Barrel was about $300, because of the chambering I wanted, but could’ve put a decent .308 barrel on it for $125-150, instead of the $300 I spent.
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Old July 14, 2021, 01:56 PM   #10
Bart B.
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Let's be clear on our terms,

Battle rifle fires a full size round, either from or matching the WWII era rounds.
What should we call rifles larger than 30 caliber used in battles before WWII?
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Old July 14, 2021, 05:26 PM   #11
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What should we call rifles larger than 30 caliber used in battles before WWII?
Antique wall-hangers?

Best "Turdy-cal" battle rifle ever fielded is the most-awesome M1 Garand.

Every red-blooded 'merican gun owner should have one.
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Old July 14, 2021, 07:47 PM   #12
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Everyone - thank you for the opinions and advice. Please excuse my summation as I think it will be less cumbersome than quoting and replying to each one...

Maybe I should have used a different explanation of what I want: which is something semi - auto that makes a 30 cal hole with a .308 or 7.62 x 39 cartridge, which has been used historically in battle. If some of them are not called battle rifles, I guess I learned something new today, thanks for that.

A couple of more caveats and yabbuts:

1) Already have things that make little holes, including a rifle that is black, and for some unexplainable reason, I don't necessarily want a .308 AR. Maybe I would, providing that I painted it a different color.
2) Also have a shorty SKS that is adored by my son and I, so keep in mind I may or may not have a cache of that ammo ...
3) Prefer peep sights with a long sight radius. Where there is a will there is a way, regarding mods and aftermarket, with most rifles I have encountered...
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Old July 14, 2021, 08:09 PM   #13
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Best "Turdy-cal" battle rifle ever fielded is the most-awesome M1 Garand.
Why? Because George Patton said so 78 years ago? He also said we'd be home by Christmas, and that was a fairy tale, too. The M1 was the first generation, and at the time it was good, but we have better toys to play with nowadays.

Not much call for a 30-caliber battle rifle any more. We don't fight horse cavalry, we don't fight from trenches, and we don't try to shoot through houses. If we need to deal with any of those things we call for artillery or air support. But if you want to hump a 15-20 lbs rifle, OK!

Best bet as far as price and availability is a 308 AR (AR-10 is proprietary to Armalite and is not the same as a DPMS M25 standard rifle). DPMS and Aero Precision (and a few other manufacturers) churn them out by the hundreds a day. You won't find a better rifle (sorry M1A fans, PTR/HK fans and FAL/STG 58 fans). Price, parts availability, ease of maintenance, ease of feeding it are vastly superior to the older designs. Not that those other designs aren't any good, just that the 308 AR platform has received millions of dollars of refinement over the past 30-40 years while those other designs are still stuck in the 1960s.

Me, I love my FAL, but I realize I will never again dress in battle gear, so I don't play army any more (not that I ever did, I was a jarhead).
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Old July 14, 2021, 08:49 PM   #14
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FALs look pretty, but are just mediocre to shoot.

I’m saddled up to a pretty one with all wood furniture. Just the least favorite to shoot in the locker
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Old July 14, 2021, 09:01 PM   #15
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I liked the M1 Garand, and the AR-10s I owned were nice enough, but my favorite 7.62x51 is the M14.

The M14 can be a rack grade standard, or a NM rifle in a wooden or synthetic stock, or a precision EBR in a chassis stock. It can be rather light, or really heavy. It can have a standard 22" barrel, 18", or 16.25" barrel. It can be set up with a fixed, folding, or collapsible butt stock. Improved optic mounting solutions are available... the rifle has a lot of aftermarket support including new USGI mags.
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Old July 14, 2021, 10:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by chadio View Post
Everyone - thank you for the opinions and advice. Please excuse my summation as I think it will be less cumbersome than quoting and replying to each one...

Maybe I should have used a different explanation of what I want: which is something semi - auto that makes a 30 cal hole with a .308 or 7.62 x 39 cartridge, which has been used historically in battle. If some of them are not called battle rifles, I guess I learned something new today, thanks for that.

A couple of more caveats and yabbuts:

1) Already have things that make little holes, including a rifle that is black, and for some unexplainable reason, I don't necessarily want a .308 AR. Maybe I would, providing that I painted it a different color.
2) Also have a shorty SKS that is adored by my son and I, so keep in mind I may or may not have a cache of that ammo ...
3) Prefer peep sights with a long sight radius. Where there is a will there is a way, regarding mods and aftermarket, with most rifles I have encountered...
Y'know, if you want 7.62x whatever, and can tolerate it being an AR, you don't have to go with an AR 10.

I slapped together an AR in 7.62x39 for under $500, and it runs very well. Got a Bear Creek upper, put it on a cheap complete lower, spent the coin to get C-Products Duramag magazines, and spent $11 for an enhanced firing pin to deal with the Russian primers (BCA now states they ship with an enhanced pin, so that's not even an extra expense).
The only thing that is "expensive" is the mag, and that addresses any feeding concern.

It's cheaper to shoot than my 'regular' AR, because I also have some SKS's and a stash of cheap ammo.
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Old July 15, 2021, 04:41 AM   #17
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AR15 in .300HAMR would do if you handload.
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Old July 15, 2021, 08:38 AM   #18
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Why? Because George Patton said so 78 years ago? He also said we'd be home by Christmas, and that was a fairy tale, too. The M1 was the first generation, and at the time it was good, but we have better toys to play with nowadays.


The Garand won WW2, a Korean "police action," and served credibly in the early years of Vietnam.

The M14 never made it to lunch ... and was soon replaced by that 5.56 plastic mattle junk, which was never a "battle rifle" anyway. By the time they got around to improving the M16, we'd gotten booted out of South East Asia and went on to do nothing much with the black plastic thing until Grenada.
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Old July 15, 2021, 12:48 PM   #19
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The M14 never made it to lunch
This is something the under-informed would say.
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Old July 15, 2021, 10:45 PM   #20
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It always boggles my mind how people can think that the decisions of the people playing politics in and with the military are somehow the fault of the equipment being introduced or removed from service.

No, the M14 didn't have much active service time, but that wasn't the rifle's fault. Not in the least.

Quote:
The Garand won WW2,...
Yes, ALONG WITH many other rifles, handguns, the odd Browning machine gun or two, and oh yeah besides planes, tanks, ships, artillery there were just a few million people in and out of uniform who's actions and sometimes lives worked to end WWII.

And while Patton said the M1 was the greatest battle implement ever devised, he said a lot of other stuff too, not all of it as sensible as praising a good rifle design.

Do remember that Patton and some others actively worked to keep the M26 heavy tank out of Europe. I understand that reasoning, though I don't agree with it. But its the cold calculation of what gets the mission done.
Always remember that is the military priority. Not providing the "best possible" but the "good enough to get the job done" at an acceptable cost.
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Old July 15, 2021, 11:25 PM   #21
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The Garand won WW2, a Korean "police action," and served credibly in the early years of Vietnam.
No weapon ever won a war. That honor belongs to the tired, stinky, foot-sore, red-eyed, tired-as-hell fighting men making the enemy think it's best to quit now before things get worse.
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Old July 18, 2021, 12:36 PM   #22
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I own and operate three "battle rifles". A pre-94 FAL, an STG58 I built from a virgin parts kit, and a Fulton Armory match M1. Much to my bemusement, the STG58 is as accurate as the M1 with the same match ammo. I would take the STG over the M1 for battle 'cause the former has an adjustable gas system and the latter has gorgeous walnut furniture.
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Old July 18, 2021, 01:17 PM   #23
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I built an STG 58 from a parts kit. For a few rounds,it would shoot like a bolt gun. But as it warmed up the shots would walk.

For myself, if I drove to the firing point with the rifle,it was fun,and it was cool,
Except trigger was poor at best and not easily improved (to my knowledge).

The DSA optic mount was OK for a dust cover adaptation,but not like the picatinny rail of the AR rifle.

My issue was,its a good thing when an Old Fat Guy decides to go for a long walk carrying a rifle, but I decided my STG plus 100 rds / 5 steel mags was a pig. I stopped having fun.

Sure,in a war,its not about fun. You carry heavy stuff.

I'm not at war. A friend owns it now. Good rifle,but I can't keep them all
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Old July 19, 2021, 09:36 AM   #24
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The Garand won WW2, a Korean "police action," and served credibly in the early years of Vietnam.

The M14 never made it to lunch ... and was soon replaced by that 5.56 plastic mattle junk, which was never a "battle rifle" anyway. By the time they got around to improving the M16, we'd gotten booted out of South East Asia and went on to do nothing much with the black plastic thing until Grenada.
So much incorrect information in one post that it’s making my eyes hurt.
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Old July 19, 2021, 04:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Fishbed77 View Post
So much incorrect information in one post that it’s making my eyes hurt.
Be specific.

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