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jrsessums
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Posted: 12/5/2005 1:45:27 PM

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I am looking into buying a general purpose rifle. I am trying to find out whether I should buy a 223 or a 308. My financial situation makes it necessary for me to choose just one general purpose rifle that could be used for both hunting and self-defense. I was considering an AR in carbon fiber, but I was told that the CF was not as reliable. I was also looking at the m1a with an 18 inch barrel. What is the best choice for reliability, ease of maintenance, magazine availibility, and spare parts availibility?
eklikwhoa
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Posted: 12/5/2005 4:16:37 PM
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FUNction over form

my replies consist of my opinions, my $0.02 worth so take it or leave it
topgunpilot20
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Posted: 12/6/2005 3:25:41 AM
[Last Edit: 12/6/2005 3:26:39 AM by topgunpilot20]
You'll have to decide whether you want to use a .223 for hunting or not. I assume you will be hunting deer--if not, what will you be hunting? If I could have only one rifle, I would choose an AR over an M1A. For a rifle that may used for hunting, I'd suggest a 20" A3 (flattop) and switch between a hunting scope and a defense optic (eotech, aimpoint, etc.) or the carry handle if funds are tight.

ETA: Stay away from the carbon models. It was an answer to a question nobody asked.
zoom
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Posted: 12/6/2005 3:28:33 AM
Metal beats burnt string and glue every time.z
MurdockTheCrazy
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Posted: 12/6/2005 3:51:41 AM
[Last Edit: 12/6/2005 3:54:32 AM by MurdockTheCrazy]

ETA: Stay away from the carbon models. It was an answer to a question nobody asked.


Now wait a minute, either my weather alarm is sounding, or my BS detector is going off.

For those that missed the memo, there's one thing 'tactical' rifle shooters are always asking for: A lighter weight rifle.

That was the whole point behind the M16/AR-15, if you'll recall.

Carbon composite, like in the Bushmaster Carbon-15s, is much lighter than Aluminum.


The Carbon composite rifles have yet to undergo enough testing and use for me to trust them. Thus I won't be getting a carbon rifle for a while. But so far there haven't been many serious issues with it, the biggest problem has been jamming while chambering a round, but from what I hear Bushmaster worked that out. If, in a years time, no serious issues have come forward, you'll see me picking one of those up and making a SHTF lightweight carbine out of it.

But the Carbon rifles are an answer to a question lots of us have always asked: "How do we make this rifle lighter?".




However, with reference to the topic at hand: I wouldn't suggest a carbon rifle for a first-time AR owner. Go with the traditional aluminum rifle, from Bushmaster, Rock River Arms or Armalite. Stay away from Colts, they'll give you warts [ ]. I'd go with either a standard 20" A2 or a 16" mid-length A3/A4, if it's your first rifle.
remedy
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Posted: 12/6/2005 4:27:57 AM
[Last Edit: 12/6/2005 4:28:23 AM by remedy]
My buddy has a Bushmaster Carbon-15 M4A3 and other than a small problem at purchase-time with the buffer tube not being screwed-in all the way and the buffer retainer spring being all caught up in the bolt (Bushmaster promptly fixed the problem and sent it back within a week), the rifle is awesome. I shot it this past weekend and had a lot of fun with it. It weighs almost 5lbs, it is super-light; feels almost like a toy. But it has very little muzzle-rise and shoots great. I would have no problem recommending this rifle to anyone.

- rem
JonLSU
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Posted: 12/11/2005 10:32:26 PM
I recently purchased a Bushmaster C-15 M4. The gun is awsome. Its easy to clean, simply wipe off. Its lighter and supposedly its stronger than aluminum. I've had zero problems with mine. I mainly shoot at the range in in the woods behind my house. I've put about 2000 rounds through it and have yet to have a jam. I've been shooting 62 grain federal surplus ammo from sportsmansguide.com. The only problem I can see with it, is if you drop it on its side, it doesnt have the chamber cover.
DSOTM518
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Posted: 12/11/2005 10:42:09 PM
I got one of the Bushmaster Carbon 15 model 4's and the only regret i have with it is that I wish knew they had a flattop comming out when i got mine. I have now fired over 1500 rounds through my rifle with only a couple extraxtion problems with Wolf ammo. No problems anyone else hasnt had with there aluminum AR's.
Special-K
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Posted: 12/11/2005 11:15:20 PM
To answer your other question, I would say that if you are looking to hunt with it I would have to go with a .308 over a .223. Both make good choices for self defense/SHTF, though we could argue till we're both blue in the face about which is better for that and still not come up with an answer.

Your requirement for a hunting rifle IMHO calls for a .308. I too am figuring on deer sized game, though if you aren't worried about game that size the .223 would be better. Then again, if you're looking to shoot squirils and bunnys a .22LR or Mag would be less wasteful than a .223.

While some rounds in .223 can handle deer - ie. Winchesters 64gr Power Point Plus - a .308 would give you much greater flexibility and range. It is also capable of taking down pretty much anything in North America, certainally larger stuff than a .223.

As for a SA with a 18" barrel - the "Bush Rife" or "Scout" - try to get an older one. There are lots of stories lately about shitty Springfield QC and them putting out a lot of bad rifles lately. This is apparently due to the fact that they have exhasted their supply of UGSI M-14 parts and are now using parts of inferior quality. My NM M1A has been great from day one, but I bought it in early '99.

There are many other .308 rifles you could consider too - the FAL, CETME, G3 types, and others. If you know what to look for you can get a real nice CETME or FAL for a whole lot less than an M1A.

-K
Truth is called hate by those who hate the truth.
geerhed
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Posted: 12/12/2005 12:03:42 AM

Originally Posted By Special-K:
There are many other .308 rifles you could consider too - the FAL, CETME, G3 types, and others. If you know what to look for you can get a real nice CETME or FAL for a whole lot less than an M1A.

-K



+1
FAL - cheap parts and magazines abound. Easy to work on. .308. Extremely reliable, and great for both hunting and home defense. Highly recommended.