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View Poll Results: Which .308 caliber Battle/Assault Rifle is Best?
FAL 27 22.69%
M1A 53 44.54%
AR-10 21 17.65%
G3/HK91/PTR-91 18 15.13%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 14, 2009, 11:38 PM   #1
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The Best .308 Rifle

Certain user(s) have repeatedly made duplicated threads, promoting certain .308 chambered rifles that the majority of us neither care about nor even want to know about.

Since they seem to enjoy ignoring recorded statistics, demonstrations, and the laws of physics showing that said weapon is sub-par, while blindly promoting their weapon of choice, perhaps a poll is in order. Which .308 caliber rifle has the overall best combination of reliability, accuracy, price-point, etc?

In short, which gun is the best (in your opinion, naturally)? Please respond using the polling feature.

- The FAL
- The M1A
- The AR-10
- The G3/HK91/PTR-91

Last edited by Skyyr; June 14, 2009 at 11:47 PM.
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Old June 14, 2009, 11:54 PM   #2
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Well, this will solve the dilemna once and for all, with a complete lack of prejudice and with blind objective facts.

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Old June 15, 2009, 12:36 AM   #3
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This poll will very likely result in the M1A winning. Here is why;

1) U.S. government monopoly & Familiarity. The M-14 was a U.S. service rifle. As a result, this is the rifle that many have used and are familiar with. People like what they are familiar with. People will also vote for what they are familiar with -- especially when they know very little about the others and have no experience with them. As a result the poll is just a popularity contest. The poll results would be much different if it was a requirement that everyone who votes had actually used each rifle in combat instead of just target practice. Many people don't even realize that the G3 operates unlike the others, without a gas tube and system at all. This is simply because many people have no experience with them, outside special forces and SWAT.

2) Prohibition. In direct contrast to the first point, the G3/HK-91, has been banned in the United States for over two decades, thus forcefully and dramatically reducing popularity and familiarity with the weapon. There's simply no competition regarding a popularity poll - the G3 will always lose. The FAL has a chance simply because of widespread government use - (see point 1), as does the AR-10, since people are even more familiar with the AR-15 design, also a result of U.S. monopoly.

A popularity poll means nothing and will be a display of ignorance; guaranteed. When I was a kid, my favorite rifle was an M-14, and it's still my favorite looking rifle. This G3 is ugly, but I would bet my life on it before an M-14:

Last edited by smartwhois; June 15, 2009 at 06:37 AM.
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Old June 15, 2009, 01:14 AM   #4
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Personally, I prefer the design of the G3. But this is not a poll just displaying ignorance. You make a very good point about people voting with what they're familier with. However, this does not mean that all of their opinions are not based on some facts. Most people will come up with a very good and intelligent reason for their choice. Like I said, I like the G3 best. I'm not sure if it is the best system but it is my favorite and I like the design best.

There really is more than one way to skin a cat. The way that you're brought up and trained will of course have a huge impact on what method you use. I don't think there is a right or wrong choice with any of these weapon platforms. They all skin the cat so to speak.
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Old June 15, 2009, 01:40 AM   #5
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I owned an HK for about 3 months, I was not impressed. I really like the FAL, but they are heavy. The M14 has the dubious honor of being the shortest-lived US military general issue weapon since 1803, and I am unimpressed. All 3 of the designs are over 50 years old, and from an era when war was changing radically from large unit actions to small unit actions. Which was the best? People who claimed to be in the know say the FAL, but the G3 also saw combat in many areas of the world. The M14 was an answer to a question no one asked.
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Old June 15, 2009, 06:54 AM   #6
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Tough call for me. The BlueBlooded Patriot in me wants to say M-14/M1a. But after owning all 3, the FAL takes it.
Although the irons are mediocre at best, it is:
- Easier to field strip
- Easier to control under rapid fire
- Easier to scope
- Has a Bipod(which is a debatable bonus
- More common, so parts are more available.

I love the M1a/M-14, but IMO, short of LONG RANGE accuracy, the FAL is a superior fighting weapon.
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Old June 15, 2009, 06:58 AM   #7
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Never tried the HK and would like to but the FN-FAL was my training and first duty rifle in the army and hated every second with it and then I got my Mauser K98 re-barreled from 7.92 to 7.62 and an Uzi and I was very happy...

I just love the Eugene Stoner designed AR but the ones we were issued were the rejects from Vietnam and caused us big problems until we changed the ammo and cleaned the buggers without the supplied (missing) cleaning kits...Only used it for guard duty that I very occasionally had to do otherwise it just sat in the company gunrack...but never fired the AR10!

I've fired the the M1/M14 many times and like it so that is what I checked off
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Old June 15, 2009, 08:42 AM   #8
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The most objective comparison of .308 battle rifles I can recall reading was in Boston's Gun Bible.

I cannot remember the margin, but he handed it to the M14 overall, beating out the AR10, FAL, and G3.

Some of those designs did things better than the M14, but he made a good case for it being the overall best choice.

The trigger pull on the M1A is better and can certainly be made better than the FALs I've tried. Not sure about G3s, but I suspect it is the same story.

Iron sights on the M1A are probably the best of all the choices, with the AR10 probably close in quality.

M1A beats AR10 in cleanliness, as the M1A doesn't blow gas right into the action.

Those are just a few points I can remember from Boston's.
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Old June 15, 2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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Let's keep those votes coming...
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Old June 15, 2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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I held an HK G3 at a gun store the other day (asking price was 3grand). I felt like butter in my hands...
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Old June 15, 2009, 05:53 PM   #11
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Keep in mind that the poll is about battle rifles not competition rifles.

When you look at the overall picture, only two choices are field maintainable by semi-skilled troops, and that cuts the the M14/M1A and G3 out by a wide margin. That being said, the AR10 has the FAL beat hands down in the field maintenance department.

You can just about replace every part on an AR10 with field improvised tools. For the FAL, you at least need a vise to rebarrel it. For the M14, headspacing is a nightmare without a pull-through reamer, and the G3 requires a welder to replace just about anything connected to the receiver.

What wins battles (and wars) is logistics. The M14 and G3 are not logistics friendly. I think there are several reasons the M14 was not a regular issue rifle for very long, and I suspect that logistics had a major role in the decisions, especially when the FAL rolled out around the same time and was still coming off the production line over a decade later than the M14 was retired.

Now, if you want to talk competition rifles, considering off-the-rack untuned rifles, the AR10 again, probably has the edge, followed very closely by the M14. The FAL would probably come up real short, although I have seen and own FALs that are tack drivers. FAL triggers are easy to slick up, but I don't see are rear-lockup tilting bolt platform as having (and keeping) a whole lot of accuracy for the average run-of-the-mill fighting rifle. In my experience, standard G3 clones have a slight edge over the FAL.

I have done one-handed drills with all my rifles, just to see what would happen if one of my arms became incapacitated. The AR platform and the FAL are easier to shoot accurately one-handed than the G3 (which loosened my fillings when I shot it one handed), and much easier than the M14/M1A.

I like the light weight of the synthetic stocked G3 and I love the cheek weld and sight picture on the M14. The FAL just feels right, and the AR just has so much aftermarket support. There is a lot to love about all 4 rifles.
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Old June 15, 2009, 07:01 PM   #12
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I tried them all before buying. It came down to the FN FAL and the M14.

I decided on the M14 even because of the way it feels and handles in my hands, the accuracy, and the excellent trigger. I had no budget, just wanted the best for me. The fact that the M14 is an American legend evolving from the M1 Garand, is drop dead gorgeous, and American made had nothing to do with my decision, LOL.

The FN FAL is much cheaper to own, maintain, buy magazines for, and buy parts for. For budget minded folks, the FN FAL makes the most sense.
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Old June 15, 2009, 07:19 PM   #13
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For budget minded folks, the FN FAL makes the most sense.
Should read
For budget minded folks, the CETME makes the most sense.

A GOOD FAL, Is not much cheaper than your standard M1a. Once you start dumping NM parts into your gun, that's where the price spread starts.
FAL parts are really starting to grow in cost. While some parts are still inexpensive, others(like Bi-pods) fetch a premium.

I am not downplaying the M1a, but the days of "cheap" FAL's are gone. AND, when you figure you can find a SOLID Polytec M14, for below $1000, It further levels the scale.
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Old June 15, 2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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They are all good, but this one is the best:

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Old June 15, 2009, 07:38 PM   #15
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Having more than casual experience with the M1 Garand and M14/M1A while in the service, and having used them for more than 40 years, I would feel comfortable betting my life on either (though I am not so deluded as to think that a lone 62-y/o rifleman, however skillful and experienced, facing multiple hordes of zombies or other better-trained aggressors would survive for long).

That said, I have some limited experience with the HK91 and FN-FAL...both are highly reliable, well-engineered, widely used and effective as battle rifles. I would feel less familiar with them but comfortable, though my preference would be for the I have owned and used a SuperMatch for 31 years and, more recently, a SOCOM 16 as well. My M1A SM is a 1/2 MOA shooter within 300 yds and 1 MOA shooter out to 600 yds. I have fired an AR-10 but have the same lukewarm feelings for it that I have for the M16/AR15 that I first met, and trained with, in 1968. I'm sure it is preferable to a 9-iron or sand wedge, but neither of those is subject to the engineering malfunctions that used to occur with my M16.

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Old June 15, 2009, 07:43 PM   #16
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Old June 15, 2009, 10:31 PM   #17
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Old June 15, 2009, 10:40 PM   #18
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Who f&*^%$# cares?
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Old January 9, 2012, 11:51 AM   #19
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Trick Question

Actually this is a trick question because none of these is the best choice. While all of them are fun to shoot, have some though different levels of historical value, and I would be proud to have any or all in my collection of range guns, none of these would be even close to the best .308 for accuracy, price, quality or even my choice for combat let alone hunting. The winner here would be the Winchester Model 70 pre-64'. It is far more accurate, it is far lighter, cheaper than all of the others and still better as both a sniper platform and a deer rifle. A well built AR-10 with a free floated barrel and all the bells and whistles would be the best of the models offered in this poll, but if I couldn't get the pre-64 model 70 I'd still rather have a Remington 700 or the military issue Kate. - Just one mans opinion; but you know what they're worth...LOL
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Old January 9, 2012, 11:58 AM   #20
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I voted M1A !!!
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:22 PM   #21
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:29 PM   #22
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"Battle Rifles
I frequently get asked which battle rifle is my choice for a preferred 7.62mm weapon. I have one of about every type ever made in my personal reference collection, and some are better than others in a given area, but the one I have always liked the best is the FAL. The M14 can be tuned to a higher degree of accuracy and the G3 I would consider the most rugged, but all things considered the FAL as a 7.62mm battle rifle or carbine is, in my opinion, the all around best choice.

I currently own 14 FAL style rifles of different flavors, mostly original Belgian made guns, but I would recommend a buyer look hard at DS Arms offerings if you find yourself shopping for a 7.62mm rifle or carbine vs paying the high price for a pre ban Belgian FAL. In addition DS Arms deserves the lions share of credit of keeping the FAL viable in this day and age and offering more options and varieties than Fabrique Nationale ever dreamed of. I own 3 DS Arms FAL style rifles and I find them well made, more than adequately accurate, and reliable if you know how to treat an FAL. Make no mistake the FAL is not an AK; you cannot abuse it like an AK and expect it to work. If you treat it with the respect it deserves however it will serve you quite well. Jeff Cooper said it well; “The AK is the rifle for the masses and the FAL is the rifle for the classes”. As he so often did Jeff summed up the situation perfectly; and make no mistake the FAL is the rifle for the classes.

Featuring excellent engineering the FAL has always been a weapon that holds a special place in my heart. In addition it features attention to detail and quality construction throughout. I find serious firearms enthusiasts almost always love the FAL for the sake of the remarkable design characteristics. For a serious use FAL my favorite is the tactical carbine offered by DS Arms. With an aluminum alloy lower receiver and 16.25 inch barrel it makes for a very handy 7.62mm carbine. For my particular version I used an Israeli mag release, a Norwegian AK4 style modified FAL bolt carrier with forward assist scallop, and DSA scope mount. I also mounted a Surefire flashlight with a Vltor clamp to a short piece of picatinny rail to the handguard. I topped it off with an excellent Schmidt & Bender Short Dot II scope with a 7.62 mm M118LR BDC. The S&B scope is heavy duty so to keep the weight down I opted against a DSA modular rail system. After I did a radiusing of all sharp edges DSA black Duracoated all the metal and I installed one of my VCAS slings. The end result is a superb general purpose battle carbine. It would be my first choice in a .30 caliber carbine to take into harms way.

There are countless spare parts and accessories available for the FAL on the market. Many of the parts interchange with other FAL variants so customizing your 7.62mm rifle is easier than with any other long gun save the AR family. DS Arms not surprisingly is an excellent source for FAL parts and a simple Google search will reveal several others also.

A few end user tips on the FAL: keep it reasonably clean and well lubed, learn how the gas regulator functions and how to adjust it, and only load 18 rds in the magazine. In my experience if you abide by these rules the FAL will serve you well."
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:31 PM   #23
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Who f&*^%$# cares what Larry said?

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Old January 9, 2012, 02:02 PM   #24
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Greetings Lone_Rider, and welcome aboard.

Once again, TFL has a newbie dusting off an old tread. The OP's pole was about Battle/Assault rifles and newbie's opining on bolt action guns. Am I the only one who's wondering why? Should old threads self-close after a reasonable period of inactivity?
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Old January 9, 2012, 02:56 PM   #25
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Oh no you didn't!
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