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M16 or AR15 or...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TraumaHawk2011, May 21, 2012.

  1. Hey guys, I wanted some advice on getting a semi-auto rifle that is well rounded and reliable. What should I get (and where from)? Priced as cheap as possible. I don't need fancy or pretty, just to go bang bang bang... When I need it to. Thus rifle would be used mainly for personnel defense in a crisis situation and to hunt with if need be. I now it's too much to ask, but when monkeys brainstorm we usually get good solutions. Cheers!! :)
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    SKS or AK for utter reliability. I can't recommend a good source. General rules are you get what you pay for, and there is no substitute for hands on before laying down your FRNS.

    If your heart is set on an AR, look at more money for starters, lots more for out of the box reliability.
    jim2 and VisuTrac like this.
  3. So SKS and AK would provide more reliability for less $$$ than the AR in your opinion?
  4. sgt peppersass

    sgt peppersass Monkey+

    I have a bushmaster that can fire 5.56 or .223, its nice being able to fire both jic. Id carry my sks either way though haha
  5. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    For the money yes, if you can get an AK that is chambered for the US 5.56/223 rem, even better. Which by the way, is not chambered for the SKS.
  6. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    By the way, a chosen rifle is like your feet. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
    Brokor likes this.
  7. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Here is a link to a Saiga .223 in Wenatchee going for $549.

    Saiga .223 223 : Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com

    This is essentailly an AK chambered in .223. I don't have one, but for cheap self defense using the most common self defense cartridge in the US, it may be a good option.

    Of note, you can't hunt deer legally in WA with .223. Minimum bullet diameter is .24 with no case length minimum (stupid rule). If you want to legally hunt here and defend yourself on the cheap, consider the 7.62x39 version or an AK clone or an SKS clone.
  8. Thanks so much for the info guys, I really appreciate it
  9. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    Paid the price and it was sooooo freaking worth it for my DD M4v3.
    As they say, spend it once and cry once.
  10. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    I picked up an AK-47 variant for my main defense/semi-auto. ammo is pretty cheap and readily available. Tons of them out there for parts availability. Minute of bad guy accurate out to 200+ yards. 7.62 x 39 cartridge is heavy enough to take deer sized game at those ranges as well. 30 rd magazines available for very reasonable prices. Reliability is top notch.
    Guit_fishN and jim2 like this.
  11. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Be sure the front sight isn't at 11:57 or 12:57 or something slightly off 12:00. If you got stuck, the cure is an "RPD" rear sight which is adjustable for windage. Canted front sights are pretty common.

    The AK is no more reliable than the AR. If all a M16/M4 did was jam our enemies would have killed all our soldiers in each and every battle. The movie "We were Soldiers" would have ended very differently; same with Blackhawk Down.
    The M16's first issue had teething problems. So did the first AKs which is why the AKs issued were milled until 1957(?) when the stamped AK was issued.

    The AK is inexpensive firepower; the AR is expensive firepower.

    AKs come in 3 calibers, the AK-47 which is 7.62x39 and the AK-74 which is 5.45X39. You can also find AKs chambered in 5.56. They all use different magazines.

    The difference in accuracy is the difference in the doctrines of the East and West or spray fire and aimed fire respectively.

    Put a clay bird at 200m and an AR with a 3x9 will break one right after the other; then pop the bigger pieces. The AK with the same glass will not do that repeatedly. However, when you look where the AK hit it by the clay bird; it is close enough.
  12. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    Saigas will not take standard AJ magazines. All 5.56 AK mags are different from maker to maker. If you go AK it is best to stick with 7.62 or 5.45.

    90% of all your "engagements" of the combat variety will be under 100 meters. The standard AK is more than good enough for that. The Inter Ordanance is the best buy, and some very nice Russian Izmash rifles can be had.

    I carried an AR for 13 years, and while I finally got a reliable one, it still had to be kept very clean to maintain reliability (Like about every 200-400 rds). AK owners clean their rifles every couple of thousand round whether they need it or not.
  13. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    If you do get an AR platform, try to acquire a spare parts kit (pins, springs, etc.) if you are planning to keep it long term and use it frequently. I am not saying they are unreliable, as I have come to appreciate my AR very much and prefer it over most rifles I own. If you are looking for a basic model in .223/5.56mm, you have several options to save money. One route is to look into the Kel-Tec SU-16 variety (various types of stocks) for around $400-$500, perhaps even cheaper. I believe it is reliable and accurate, but I do not own one for myself so I cannot throw all of my support behind it.
    Kel-Tec SU-16C: "Featherweight Firepower" By Nutnfancy, Pt 1 - YouTube

    Another, would be the M&P-15 Sport AR. It's prices are climbing, but it is a good option -not mine, personally...but still an option.
    S&W M&P15 Sport review by Nutnfancy - YouTube

    I don't always fully support Nutnfancy's final decisions on firearms reviews, but for the most part he has been fair and actually tests them out well enough. Sometimes he can be a bit unrealistic and looks for the "second kind of cool" in features and may not pay enough attention to the practicality. However, like I said before, he is fair.


    Take the time to shop around. It is better to save a little more and place that extra 25% in a quality firearm than to spend less immediately and end up wanting more out of your defense/hunting firearm.

    The final option I see, is to peruse our forums and shop online and locally for deals and maybe even buy your AR in parts and assemble it yourself. You can go the extreme route and buy a completely stripped lower with no drilling or taps, maybe a completed lower without internal parts, or with -it's up to you. Buy the upper complete or in parts also. If you shop around, you can save money sometimes. Of course, you could also lose big time if you are not careful. Again, there are threads here with information on this...somewhere.

    I bought my own AR from a private seller, ended up replacing parts as I deemed necessary over time. Since I have bought it, the only pieces that are original are the lower and barrel, with a few parts to boot. I even had the barrel tapped and added a flash suppressor/compensator since my Bushmaster barrel didn't have one. It's a good, medium 5.56 barrel -that's why I kept it. I found a DPMS flat top upper receiver at a local gun shop and added that myself. I upgraded the bolt and firing pin, stock, and rails along with a few small tweaks. I saved money in the long run by not purchasing a high end AR, but I ended up with one in time.
  14. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    I do have one that I have converted back to the AK configuration (basically making it an AK-101). It's appreciably heavier than my ARs, but you can drop it in the mud and run over it with a truck and it is most likely to still be serviceable.
    Silversnake likes this.
  15. ssonb

    ssonb Confederate American

    It seems that the AR can do the same...The gun writer Patrick Sweeney in an article AR Abuse took four different makes of AR and tested till they failed. These tests went far and beyond what any rifle can really be exposed to and still function.Any firearm that has been designed for the military be it AK,AR,FN,HK,SIG ..ect,ect.. and has proven itself around the world will be a good rifle.......BUT a cheap manufacturer can screw up a good design! A word of advice.. A AK IS NOT ALWAYS A AK AND A AR IS NOT ALWAYS A AR, just because it looks like one and barks like one does not mean it is one.Find the rifle style you like and do the research to dertmine who makes the best quality firearm that you can buy then work to match your quality to that of the gun you purchased.
    oldawg likes this.
  16. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    AR15 gets my vote.

    Google filthy 14. Last I heard, its up to 40,000 rounds with original barrel and one cleaning.

    Oil is your friend. Choose parts wisely.


  17. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    Whatever...I carried my first M16 in 1968 and have owned one AR or another most of the time since then (of varying qualities), as well as AKs. My personal experience says otherwise. My ARs have consistently taken more care to prevent FTLs/FTEs than my AKs, but maybe I have just been unlucky with ARs and lucky with AKs...

  18. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    everyone of my FTF's and FTE's was a result of a crappy mag. EVERYONE.. that's my experience.
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