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Posted: 10/7/2004 7:52:40 PM EST
I'm just curious of how many of you acually agree that this setup and it being an AR-15 is the ideal rifle... consider it not even for the use of SHTF useage.. but just for all around purpose of a rifle(self defense, CQB, long to medium range, hunting, handiness inside of vechiles.... etc.. ... is this it?

I personally agree with most of what is said... there are mainly 3 things that i don't agree with in the article:

1) flattops are more important than irons... i don't think that iron sights should be primary... i have a lot of confiedence in aimpoint and acogs... not that i can't fall back on my buis when i need them.. but i don't think i'll 'loose' them like the article suggests...

2) i recomend 55gr bullets instead of 62grs

3) i recomend the 50m zero rather than the 300m zero...




Ideal Rifle ___ (its copied below also)

This article is an attempt to select an "ideal rifle". What this means is that if you were forced to select a single rifle to rely upon for your survival, what would it be. The scenarios could range anywhere from a current day home defense weapon all the way up to global disasters and the aftermath that follows (TEOTWAWKI) and everything in between.

Modern firearms have come a long way. There are thousands of handguns, rifles, and shotguns designed for military and sporting use. You could select a single category such as ‘double-barreled shotguns for hunting ducks’ and get a large number of "ideal" choices. Ask a few people to select their choice, and you’ll likely get about as many different replies.

So how is it possible to select a single "ideal rifle"? And furthermore, why bother selecting a single rifle?

The answer to the latter is easier. Most do not select a single rifle. They have a selection, which they can call upon for the specific task at hand. This is perhaps the ideal condition, but in this article we’re operating under the premise that a single choice needs to be made. A single choice allows for better familiarity, consistent operation, and all resources are focused on a single firearm (ammo, tools, training, parts and accessories). In some situations, you may only be able to carry a single firearm, and thus be forced into the decision. It is not practical to travel by foot carrying multiple long guns, particularly over any period of time.

In modern times, one could argue the dependency for survival on a rifle is not what it may have once been. We have burglar alarms, cellular phones, laws and police forces, a powerful army, and technology has made us safer than ever. At the same time, technology has made us more vulnerable than ever before. A small group has the potential to wipe out millions of people with a single nuclear weapon. The fall of the Soviet Union has loosened the control over its existing nuclear weapons, and third-world countries can have nuclear arsenals. The threats from crime, terrorism, natural disaster, and weapons of mass destruction are real. If something were to happen today, you would need to have made a decision about the rifle you would select and be prepared for such an event.

So the need to select a "survival" rifle is real. Selecting a single "ideal rifle" is not easy. The AR-15 series of rifles comes out ahead when compared to everything else. In the text that follows, this article will attempt to justify that decision, as well as to take it a step further and specify a single configuration of the AR-15 that is "ideal".

Keep in mind that this is a single opinion in an exercise to select a general-purpose tool for a great number of possible scenarios. This means that while the selected rifle may not be the best choice for a particular scenario, it is the best choice when all those scenarios are viewed as a whole.

Requirements

General

Se­lecting a single weapon for your survival means that it is going to be called upon to perform a number of different tasks. These can range from hunting to self-defense including CQB and long-range battles. In addition, shooting may require penetration of body armor, cover, or other obstacles and at the same time the selected firearm/ammunition may be called upon to be safe when rounds go astray indoors.

The selected weapon and ammunition will need to be light as travel may be required, and you’ll want to keep them with you at all times. The rifle needs to be reliable, durable, easy to maintain, and parts should be readily available.

Since distances can vary from a few feet to a few hundred yards, selecting a single weapon/cartridge that will handle short to intermediate ranges seems like the best tradeoff. While it is often advantageous to keep as much distance between you and your target, this applies for the most part to offensive tactics; in a survival situation, most encounters will be defensive and thus at shorter ranges. These "defensive" ranges can range from a few feet to 300 yards.



The AR-15

The AR-15 series of rifles are the ideal firearms for the purpose at hand. Having been around for several decades and having seen considerable combat and widespread use, the AR-15 has evolved into a reliable, robust, and accurate weapon. It has managed to function under all types of conditions or been improved to do so. The following describe a few of the areas where the AR-15 excels.

Flexibility

The AR-15 is perhaps the most flexible firearm ever developed; in seconds, a carbine can be switched over to a long-range rifle by swapping upper receivers. With options available for almost every part of the rifle, a rifle can be custom tailored to an individuals specific needs and desires.

Accuracy

Today’s AR-15’s are capable of providing MOA accuracy or better. The AR-15 now dominates service rifle matches.

Reliability

Current AR-15 rifles are extremely reliable and suffer none of the problems experienced at its inception. Through advanced engineering and manufacturing the AR-15 has evolved into a dependable firearm as capable as any other.

Proven Performance

As one of the most widely issued military arms in history, the AR-15 series has proven itself though nearly 4 decades of military service. It has been used by most of the armies in the free world, and is current issue for a large number of these.

Maintenance

The AR-15 quickly disassembles into its major parts without the need for tools. At this point it can be easily cleaned and inspected, and parts replaced.

Parts Availability

The long-term success of the AR-15 means that parts are readily available worldwide and relatively easy to come by. These parts are interchangeable with other rifles. There is no other rifle in existence with more available parts than the AR-15.

Options

Semi or Auto

The only time that full-auto fire offers an advantage is when facing very close adversaries and multiple threats. The advantages of full-auto do not justify the high costs of registered firearms or the liabilities of illegally possessing one. In most cases, semi-automatic fire is not only adequate but also superior to full-auto, and this is especially true in a survival situation where conservation of ammunition is a priority.

Caliber

While there are also options to convert AR’s to a large number of pistol and rifle calibers, the standard .223 (5.56x45mm) is the best solution. (a comparison of calibers is outside the scope of this article) The .223 round is available and manufactured in greater numbers than any other round. In addition, different loads are available to fill a number of needs, from hunting small game up to long-range accuracy, tracers, incendiary and more.

It is perhaps the best round for CQB, surpassing any of the handgun rounds with more stopping power and less chance of over-penetration. It offers a flat trajectory, good penetration when necessary, and destructive effects on targets.

The 5.56mm NATO also offers a light recoil, and small size. This is important because you may need to carry and store a large amount of ammunition, and the light recoil aids in training and use by smaller or younger individuals.

As for loadings, either the U.S. M193 55 grain or the current NATO 62 grain, steel core will do (U.S. SS109). Preference goes to the 62 grain NATO round if it can be found. However, the 55-grain loadings are cheaper and more readily available. There are a number of other weights available, but do not offer any advantages for our general-purpose use.

Barrel

Length

The ideal barrel length is 16". This length is long enough to extract the necessary performance from the ammunition and to provide the accuracy desired, while remaining short enough to be easily maneuvered in close quarters. The 14.5" M4-style barrels are very popular, but the legal limitations and higher costs do not justify their selection over a standard 16". These barrels need to have their flash suppressors permanently attached to bring the overal length to 16"; the standard A2 flashider is not long enough.

Twenty-inch barrels are a bit long, and don’t offer the performance increase over a 16" barrel to justify their length and additional weight. Anything above 20" detracts from the rifle’s "all purpose" use, and is for more specialized applications.

Weight

The weight of the barrel will only refer to whether the barrel is a "heavy" one or not. The heavy-barrel (HB) designation means that there is more metal there. Some of these taper at different points, either underneath the handguards or from the front sight on. The HB whose thickness does not vary (i.e. is maintained from back to front) offers the most durable design. The 16" barrels are available in a lightweight configuration, M4 profile (thin under handguards, thick outside handguards, and with a cutout to allow mounting of M203, and in a heavy barrel. For this rifle, a lightweight or M4 profile offers the most advantages as far as weight and handling.

Fluting

Fluting a barrel will reduce the weight as well as offer improved cooling, but may reduce the strength of the barrel. This is a tradeoff that may go either way- get a heavier fluted barrel, and you’re at least as well off as the non-fluted barrel. Stick with a non-fluted barrel.

Terminating

For a survival rifle, the benefit of a flash suppressor is important. The standard A2 flash hider is very good, but not long enough for those 14.5" barrels. In that case, a better alternative is to replace it with the Vortex flash hiders that are most effective in their role. Many have argued the post-ban (non-threaded) barrels offer an advantage in accuracy, but the advantage of a flash hider outweighs this in the survival situation. Get a rifle with a flash hider. There are a few alternatives now to the Vortex, and time will tell how well these fare.

Bayonet Lug

A bayonet lug is for the most part never going to be used. However, since the flash-hider is required, the existence of the bayonet lug does not require any additional effort and should be included. It is better to have and not need than to need it and not have it... keep in mind that a bayonet will not fit correctly on a 16" barrel; it will fit a 14.5" barrel.

Twist

The barrel’s twist rate refers to the distance a bullet travels in the barrel to complete a full revolution. For instance, a 1/9" twist means that the bullet will make a complete revolution for each 9 inches traveled in the barrel. Heavier bullets require a faster twist rate to stabilize them correctly, but too fast of a twist rate will potentially cause a bullet to spin apart. For this reason it is important to match a barrel to the bullets being fired. In selecting a single twist rate for the survival AR, either a 1/7" or a 1/9" will serve the purpose best. These barrels are designed for bullets from 55 to 62 grains, and these are the weights that will most likely be used in survival. The 1/9 is the better of the two, but the majority of Colts/military barrels are 1/7.

Chrome

A survival rifle should have a chromed bore and chamber. The smooth, hard chrome finish offers increased longevity and facilitates the task of cleaning. It is also more resistant to the effects of oxidation.

Stock

While an argument can be made for the superior sturdiness and reduced complexity of the fixed stocks, the telescoping stock offers advantages in storage and carry, and is strong enough for rugged use. It also offers flexibility in stock length, useful when wearing body armor or thick clothing. While perhaps not as rigid as the standard stocks, the advantages of the telescoping stock make it the "ideal" choice.

The telescoping stocks are available in either an aluminum or plastic construction, both of which are strong enough for the purpose, but the aluminum have a tendency to shatter if hit. They are also offered in 2, 3, or 4 position varieties representing how many positions it locks open in. The 3 or 4 position stocks are desirable to offer the flexible stock lengths necessary when either smaller individuals are using the rifle, or when thick clothing or body armor are used. The best of these is the Colt M4 stock, which is a plastic,4 position stock. Bushmaster's stock is also pretty good, and I would not recommend on that wasn't Colt/Bushmaster.

Sights

Iron

The rifle’s iron sights are its primary sighting system. When optical sights, lasers, and other aiming gizmos fail, the iron sights are always there to fall back on. Iron sights are also quicker to acquire and offer a greater field of view than most any other alternative. Do not get a rifle with detachable iron sights that can get lost.

The A2 sights are supposed to be superior to the original A1 style and allow for easy windage and elevation adjustments. In addition, the A2 sights are calibrated for adjusting range; zero your rifle for 300 meters and you can dial in the range up to 800 meters. In reality, a combat rifle should never have the sights adjusted once the rifle is zeroed. All that "adjustability" only introduces the chance that the sights will be knocked out of adjustment. Preference is the simpler A1 sights, but replace the tiny aperture with the A2 aperture for better target aquisition at closer ranges.

The recommended zero is 300 meters, as the bullet’s flat trajectory will require no adjustments from 0-300 meters.

Optical

Optical sights can enhance target acquisition, particularly at longer ranges. While iron sights should be the rifle’s primary sights, a scope can offer some advantages.

It is easier to aim and more precise using a scope. Magnification can vary, but about 4x is ideal for the medium ranges we’re interested in. A key benefit for an optical sight on the survival rifle is in target identification. Although a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope offer a better picture, the rifle mounted scope is always with you, does not require an additional set of hands and eyes, and eliminates the need for movement when switching from target identification to firing.

The current cost and dependency on batteries prevents the current generation of weapon mounted night-sights from being practical. However, a scope with an illuminated reticle can offer some benefits when shooting in low light. Even though such a scope would be dependent on batteries, they are small, last a long time, and are commonly found. Once the supply of batteries is exhausted, you only loose the illumination; scope will function fine (minus illumination) without the batteries.

Receiver

The big question with upper receivers is flattop or carry handle?

The flattop uppers provide a more stable platform for mounting sights as well as a closer to bore line of sight. This allows for a natural cheek-stock hold when sighting. There are a large number of optical as well as fixed and flip-up sights available for these receivers.

However, there are several advantages to the carry-handle uppers that make them a better choice for the "ideal" rifle. The most important of these is the ruggedness of the built-in sights. When selecting a survival rifle, it is important to always have backup iron sights regardless of how good of a scope you mount on your rifle. I prefer the carry handle sights to any "clamp on" option for flat tops.

Another advantage is the ability to use this handle for carry. Anyone that’s carried an AR-15 for any period of time ends up either slinging it or carrying it with four fingers in front of the magazine well underneath the barrel and the thumb through the front of the carry handle; a carry not available without the advantage of the carry handle.

Although flattop receivers have a removable carry handle available, I would not want to need to keep track of add-ons not attached to my rifle. If you intend to keep the handle mounted at all times, then you might as well skip the flattop.

Accessories

The AR-15 can be enhanced with a few accessories, and some are required.

Lights

The advantage of a tactical light may not justify their added weight in most cases, but if any work is done in a dark environment, they can be invaluable. When selecting a light, make sure it is designed for its intended purpose. A weapon-mounted light is subjected to the repeated abuse of recoil, and most bulbs are not designed to withstand that.

It should offer bright light and a it’s pattern should be free of dark spots that may detract from it’s purpose in identifying a target. Also, the light should offer a pressure activated momentary-on switch mounted where it’s operation does not interfere with normal handling of the rifle. Perhaps the best of these is the SureFire Millennium.

Magazines

A good supply of 30-round GI aluminum magazines is a must. The plastic magazines are also usable, but the GI aluminum magazines are more widely available, more reliable, and even cheaper. The 30-round capacity is superior to the 5, 10, or 20 round varieties, and the 40-round magazines are more prone to jamming, less available, and cost significantly more. Many prefer the 20 round magazines as they do not interfere with shooting in the prone postion, or from a bench. Recommendation? Get some of both.

These can be reused, as long as they are well taken care of, indefinitely.

Cleaning Supplies

Rod

Stay away from the multi-sectional cleaning rods whenever possible. The joins on these rods can cause irreparable damage to the barrel.

Solvents

There are a large number of solvents on the market, and most of them do a decent job. While some may take longer than others may, their purpose is to dissolve deposits left on the barrel that may affect accuracy. Some would argue that a chrome-lined barrel doesn't need a solvent to clean; oil or CLP is enough.

Lubrication and Protection

Lubrication and protection are the most important parts of maintaining your rifle. With proper care, a rifle will last several lifetimes. Light lubrication prevents wear and binding on metal parts, and the same oils are used to protect against oxidation. Just about any oil will do, and while there are very specialized "gun oils" around, plain motor oil will do when it runs out. If available, some of the dry lubricants work better than oils particularly in colder climates where oil can freeze. General purpose CLP is probably the best solution.

Sling

A sling on your rifle is required. It is probably going to be the most used item on that rifle. A sling allows you to carry a weapon while freeing your hands, carry additional rifles, and helps to always keep your rifle with you. I cannot recommend any of the "tactical" slings, as these are too restrictive in a fast moving environment; the standard M16 slings server their pupose as a "carry strap" very well and can be had for less than $5.

Summary

The "ideal rifle" as described above is an AR-15 with a short (14.5 or 16) lightweight or M4-contoured barrel with 1/7 or 1/9 twist (latter preferred), flash hider, M4 collapsible stock, A1 carry handle receiver (with A2 aperture). Options can include illuminated optical sight and a weapon-mounted light. A scope can re-balance a front-heavy rifle (caused by tactical light). This configuration gives the greatest flexibility under a variety of conditions, and performs its duties as well as or better than any alternative.

The need for self defense under unpredictable geography, weather, and conditions is common to every military force. It is also common to police forces and anyone interested in "survival." A large portion of the world’s armies has adopted the AR-15 in its various forms, and currently police departments throughout the world are making the switch. The U.S. military, perhaps the best equipped Army in the world has recently begun deploying it’s new generation rifle to it’s forces: an AR-15 with a collapsible stock, short barrel, and optical sights where appropriate. Millions of dollars on research and development have been spent to find the "ideal rifle" and the AR-15 has once again risen to the top.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 8:15:32 PM EST
I like my LMT with LMT BUIS, 1/7 (I'll get some 77gr ammo sooner or later) Aimpoint and DD FF rail.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 8:17:03 PM EST
The article is mostly OK, with some points that most of us would disagree with and some points some of us would disagree with.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 9:25:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 11:17:12 AM EST by Cans4you]
Ideal for me would be:

HK416 or M4 16" 1:7 twist / OpsInc MBS 16th Model / 62grain AP and 77grain BTHP, ACOG TAO1NSN /Arms #19 mount

With a 4x Raptor / Arms #19 for night.

Now someone give me 10k

Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:09:36 PM EST
Sorry, I may get flamed for this, but I would not use ANY rifle as my ONLY weapon. If I had to choose ONE gun, it would probably be something like this: Remington 11-87 with maybe 3 different barrels, an extended magazine, and a synthetic pistol-grip stock, and a tactical sling. Drilled and tapped to add a Weaver rail on the slug barrel. THAT should just about cover any situation. I could go from deer-hunting to pheasant hunting to defending myself quite effectively.

Although I do love my Bushmaster, shotguns make better overall weapons. At least for me.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:15:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2004 10:19:41 PM EST by Lumpy196]
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:34:05 PM EST
I haven't fired one myself yet, was just told by 2 who have, it's going to workout better then the current M4 & geries for a number of reasons.

Working on getting one, but it will be an out of state pet.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:37:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:42:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2004 11:17:53 PM EST by Cans4you]
What did you hear?


www.tacticalforums.com/

Under Military Forums / The Navy Fourm / HK M4 Topic has a bunch of information, i don't know any of these folks.. but here is some more information.



I have seen M4's that have gone at least 5,000 rounds between cleanings that ran without fault or failure of any sort through a 3,000 round course without any cleaning and an occasional squirt of miltech. (Bringing the round total to 8,000) This strikes me as another attempt by HK to fleece the market.



I got this quote from part of a post there. I have never had this much luck personally, but if it's true, i would imagine it would be difficult for HK to imporve as much as it claims it's going to.

Link Posted: 10/8/2004 5:52:48 AM EST
i agree lumpy truck guns need to have 14.5in phatom's a2 upper with a1 sights with a2 appetures... lightweight barrels...

and a typical buttstock... i like the LMT 2nd gen. stock...

i want one of these setups... buts its definately not next in my list of guns [:-D]

its pretty much the dummy proof gun...
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 5:55:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 5:58:22 AM EST by El_Roto]
No tax stamp for me, so I'm on board with Semi-Auto Fire

.223/5.56mm caliber - What site is this?

I shoot XM193 so I'm good with their other ammo choice.

I have an LE6920 on order, so no disagreement on barrel length, weight, fluting (yuck), bayo lug, and FH.

I don't agree with the "1:9 twist" as being "better" than the 1:7: who's going to shoot varmint rounds with a combat rifle? I see it as a toss up since most folks can't afford to buy the 75/77 grain ammo in bulk right now.

Tele-Stock - hell yes.

As for the A2 w/a 4x scope mounted - that's ACOG TA31 territory baby, which is my setup (though I have an A3, so they don't like me). I think they're geniuses.

The zero should be the 50 yard Santoze IBZ, though. IMO it's much more practical.

I see their point about a simple sling as well.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 7:41:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By jar3ds:
1) flattops are more important than irons... i don't think that iron sights should be primary... i have a lot of confiedence in aimpoint and acogs... not that i can't fall back on my buis when i need them.. but i don't think i'll 'loose' them like the article suggests...


I can go either way. I now prefer flattops (but they must have a BUIS that is loctited into place. But if I go with a fixed handle is MUST be a C7 upper (A1 with brass deflector).



2) i recomend 55gr bullets instead of 62grs


Agreed - heck I recommend 75gr OTM over all, but for mass produced ammo M193 is much better than 62gr.



3) i recomend the 50m zero rather than the 300m zero...


Again agreed.

Link Posted: 10/8/2004 7:50:43 AM EST
I just pick an M1A.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 7:51:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 7:53:59 AM EST by Cato]
It is still a very good article, but maybe needs some updating.

*We know the 1/7 barrel doesn't have severe disadvantages- and offers you the option to shoot 77gr. bullets. BTW, 55gr. and 75-77gr. work better than 62gr.

*We know that the Aimpoint M/ML2 works and for 99% of the shooters, it does so much better than iron sights. This is true for the BAC ACOGs and (maybe to a lesser extent) Eotech too.

*The Magpul stock is a great compromise between a fixed and a teleskoping stock and their followers cure many potential mag problems.

*The midlength carbine is worth considering.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 7:53:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
I just pick an M1A a FAL.



Fixed it for ya.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:04:37 AM EST
I actually used that article to do my first build. The last time I owned an AR was a SP1 I purchased in '73 and sold around '88. I hadn't followed the progression of the rifle since then (except for my issue weapons in the Army, M16A1 and M16A2).

Originally mine started out just like the pic. I used an A2 upper however, instead of the C7. I'm still debating on whether I should have gone flattop with BUIS.

I did go with the IBZ at 50 yards.

I stayed with the tried and true XM193 that I also used in my SP1.

The article assumes this to be your only weapon. I think it's pretty much right on except, as noted above, for the zero and ammo selection.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:21:04 AM EST
Everyone should know the the Scout is the only rifle needed to command any situation.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:29:16 AM EST
I agree with everything but the twist and sighting options: 1/7 and A1 or flattop.

Also, the ammo info is a little out-of-date. I'd run 55gr M193 before 62gr M855, but a proper heavy OTM over both. My kingdom for a replica of the 70+gr Stoner 63 LMG load. :)

jbombelli: Shotguns are great until you have to carry the ammo and reload them while empty. Also, do you know how high to hold on a 200 yard target to hit with slugs? ;)

El_Roto: I agree with the closer, flatter zero.

Ideally, pack one of these as a PDW with a pistol for backup and a heavier rifle as needed.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:45:21 AM EST
Actually, I am much more practiced with shotguns than I am my AR (I'm still new to AR's, having purchased my first Bushmaster only a few months ago, and I've been a skeet shooter for nearly 25 years now). And you are correct regarding carrying the ammo; carrying shotgun ammo in bulk really sucks, and reloading is not nearly as quick. But...the *versatility* that's available in the 11-87 platform makes it an ideal choice *for me* if I had to be limited to only 1 gun.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 9:06:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 9:07:55 AM EST by Cans4you]

11-87 platform makes it an ideal choice *for me*

Here is something new for the shotgun enthusist www.remingtonmilitary.com/870mcs.htm


With such a small difference in POI between 50 and 100 yards for zero, why are more people choosing 50?

Aren't most people with this configuaration aiming for center of mass at that distance anyway?

Link Posted: 10/8/2004 9:20:12 AM EST
The LTC Santose (50yd) IBZ gives you a flat trajectory with POA and POI within +/- 2 in. from 50y-220y using one setting on your elevation wheel.

Here's the dope (no pun intended) on it: groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite/improvedbattlesightzero.msnw
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 9:31:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
I just pick an M1A a FAL.



Fixed it for ya.



Not really I have zero trigger time on a FAL, out of the 4 years I've owned my M1A its have given me zero problems. Granted its only been 4k so problems will arise. I would have no problems using a fal even with zero time on one. Seeing how they like to run and run, at least that I hear.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 9:48:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 9:50:07 AM EST by Dave_A]
I'd agree with irons being primary... Optics are good, but they're also (A) expensive, and (B) easier to damage than irons... Forget the un-adjustable A-1 sights, though...

55gr is obselete, too light... ESPECIALLY for a 14.5" barrel

Finally, I disagree with the bias against heavy barrels...

And I STRONGLY disagree with 1/9 twist... Unless you're shooting specialty lightweight bullets, 1/8 is as slow as you should go. 1/7 is about perfect....
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 9:57:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Forget the un-adjustable A-1 sights, though...



Strangely my A1 sights are adjustable. YMMV
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 10:27:55 AM EST
In 2001 after i got out of basic i wanted a AR. I did alot of research and found this article. The most i know of the AR was from the military, so i took this article to heart and bought a post bushy m-4 with perm A2's. I really like the rifle, but i wish i would have got the A3 rifle instead. so basically what im trying to say is that this article is old as hell and needs to be revised. there should be a disclaimer at the bottom saying that you should consult the AR15.com forums for further reference.

Remman
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 10:36:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 10:39:46 AM EST by Morpheus32]
I think the article is just fine. It makes some good points. It tries to eliminate some of the murphy variables and give some guidance to newbies. If you asked the membership of the ideal rifle, you will get 100s of variations. The article discusses a survival/SHTF rifle, with the minimum of murphy in the mix. All I can add is to mitigate problem areas that could cause problems if you had no corner gun store to effect repairs. Using optics, have BUIS. Using a detachable carry handle, have a spare screw incase it came loose and was lost.

I think the foundation is fine in the article especially for new AR shooters. It is up to the operator to determine which elements best fit their need. I think you would be well suited by the recommendations made in the article especially for SHTF type stuff.

Jeff
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 11:42:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 11:43:12 AM EST by DevL]
Its all messed up.

The ideal rifle is...

M4 or Lightweight barrel 14.5"-16"

A1 or flat top upper

M16 bolt and carrier with Wolff extractor spring (reliabillity plus you can plop your badass upper on a "dropped" full auto lower)

Compact ACOG (A1) or ACOG/Aimpoint/Eotech/Nightforce (flat top) with quality BUIS

Magpul stock with H or heavier buffer (most adjustable, MORE rigid than a fixed stock)

Pistol grip that fits your hand (soon to be Magpul MAID grip for all uses)

LIGHTWEIGHT FF railed foreend (DD, Larue, URX)

Accuracy Speaks trigger (reliable as stock but WAY better)

Surefire light (Scout, 6V or 9V system of your choice... no wires)

Single point sling

PRI charging handle (for the PRI latch and the suppressor you will use)

QD suppressor and flash hider that takes it (otherwise get a new Phantom or Vortex)

Hornady TAP 75 grain ammo (best commercially availble cannelured 75+ grain round)

Teflon USGI mags with Magpul followers (most reliable and lightweight mag with toughest finish)

Old school magpulls turned sideways (like holding mag with a rubber gripper for opening jars yet low profile like the new style ranger plates but does not decrease capacity)
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 11:49:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 11:51:18 AM EST by Hoplophile]
The important thing to remember is that the article in question was written at least 5 or 6 years ago and even then it was just one person's idea of the perfect rifle. Notice the wording at the end:


The U.S. military ... has recently begun deploying it’s new generation rifle to it’s forces: an AR-15 with a collapsible stock, short barrel, and optical sights where appropriate.


There's been A LOT of development on the AR platform in the past several years.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 11:59:26 AM EST
AH! I didn't know that, Hoplohile. Thank you.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 1:48:26 PM EST
Obviously the "ideal" rifle will vary with the situation. The best AR for kicking doors in Iraq wouldn't be the best for the mountains of Afghanistan. The article is a bit outdated, but not too far off the mark for a general purpose SHTF rifle. We now know that M193 is better than M855, and with the new 75/77gr OTM loads 1/7 is preferred over 1/9. Optics such as the Aimpoint and ACOG have proven reliable enough that a flat-top with them would be preferred over a fixed handle.

I like DevL's version. I wouldn't have thought about picking parts to work with a FA lower or suppressor. I'd go 16", and mid-length (unless I was really concerned about parts supply). You could make a case for a CavArms C1 stock for the storage compartment. Same for a grip with storage for a spare bolt (like a G27?). Knight's trigger would be acceptable too. Single-point sling may not be best since you'll need to be able to run and/or carry stuff without having to keep a hand on the rifle. Otis cleaning kit.

One last thought on A1 vs. A2: the A2 seems to be rugged enough in military service and has the advantage over the A1 that it makes it easy to adjust for .22LR with a conversion kit. In a true TEOTWAWKI situation .22LR will probably be the most available ammo and you could use the kit to hunt small game and conserve your 5.56mm ammo.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 1:54:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By DevL:

...

Old school magpulls turned sideways (like holding mag with a rubber gripper for opening jars yet low profile like the new style ranger plates but does not decrease capacity)



can you show a picture of what your talking about? Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 6:24:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 6:34:20 PM EST by Ridley]
For a true survival rifle, I'd still rather have my ruger 10/22 and 4x32 scope and here's why. First, ammo is light, plentiful, and cheap, you can carry ten times more of it, and if you know anything at all about true survival then you know that you'll constantly be on the move. I can carry several thousands of rounds of .22lr, I can't carry more than a few hundred of the 5.56. It's also feather light, folds up in a small package, and is quite capable of downing larger game as well as not tearing up small game that is much more plentiful than larger game. It's quieter, and would scare remaining game less rather than clearing th whole woods. However, this is for survival only, not a SHTF as you wouldn't want to engage humans with a .22lr.

If your fighting for your life against people, then I agree with most of what the article says except the choice for optics which I feel are essential, and ammo selection. I also would much rather have a flattop. Carry handle is useless IMHO, and raises any optics too far above the barrel. fixed front, Eotech, aimpoint, or acog sight, and a quality rear flipper IMO. The rest seems accurate. It seeems to resemble my rifle quite well
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 6:28:24 PM EST
Simplicity, reliability, ease of use, and adaptation. Meaning SHTF, plinking, home defense, fun in the sun, competitions.

Pump shotgun anyday.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 6:38:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Forget the un-adjustable A-1 sights, though...



Strangely my A1 sights are adjustable. YMMV



You need a tool to do it, though...

Personally, I preferr to be able to adjust windage and elevation without taking the gun off my shoulder, and without needing a special sight wrench to do it...
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 6:43:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Personally, I preferr to be able to adjust windage and elevation without taking the gun off my shoulder, and without needing a special sight wrench to do it...



That's nice for a target rifle.

But of a do-it-all carbine (which means rough use) it neither needed nor is it helpful.

When hunting or in a defensive shooting scenario do you think you'll be adjusting elevation or windage? Especially as the elevation wheel on A2 carryahandles are calibrated for M855 out of a 20" barrel.

Notice they don't put simple turn knobs on optics (unless it's a 'sniper type' optic - and a carbine isn't a 'sniper type' weapon).
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 6:56:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Forget the un-adjustable A-1 sights, though...



Strangely my A1 sights are adjustable. YMMV



You need a tool to do it, though...


You have 20-30 tools depending on which mag you are using.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 7:06:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stryfe:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Forget the un-adjustable A-1 sights, though...



Strangely my A1 sights are adjustable. YMMV



You need a tool to do it, though...


You have 20-30 tools depending on which mag you are using.



Link Posted: 10/9/2004 12:35:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Personally, I preferr to be able to adjust windage and elevation without taking the gun off my shoulder,



why?
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 3:53:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By jar3ds:
Since distances can vary from a few feet to a few hundred yards, selecting a single weapon/cartridge that will handle short to intermediate ranges seems like the best tradeoff. While it is often advantageous to keep as much distance between you and your target, this applies for the most part to offensive tactics; in a survival situation, most encounters will be defensive and thus at shorter ranges. These "defensive" ranges can range from a few feet to 300 yards.




I would argue that this is backwards as far as "offensive" versus "defensive" uses go, at least in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Defenders will want to keep attackers as far away as possible; while those attacking will seek to "close with and destroy" as the old slogan has it.

Legal considerations---laws regarding what is "reasonable" use of deadly force in self-defense today in a nominally peaceful setting---require short engagement ranges in almost all cases. But in a serious SHTF situation, where there is no functioning legal system or police force, allowing attackers to get close only makes it easier for them to kill you and those under your protection. Engaging at maximum possible ranges uses your advantages of cover and concealment while forcing them to expose themselves to your fire for much longer periods of time.

I'm not convinced the AR or the 5.56mm is the best choice for this use. For defensive uses many of the 5.56mm's advantages are less compelling---light ammunition is no advantage if you're not carrying large quantities on your body for long distances---and its disadvantages become more apparent---poor penetration of common cover for one. In most military uses this isn't such an issue, as there are plenty of supporting weapons to deal with targets more than a couple of hundred meters out; for the lone rifleman or small band of rifle-armed defenders this support will not be available.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 4:45:50 AM EST

with the new 75/77gr OTM loads 1/7 is preferred over 1/9


This is more TEOTWAWKI, but how many of these loads are you going to find in your local Wally World? Can you always guarantee you'll be at a location that will allow you to access your premium ammo stores when the SHTF? (access to your AR is a whole 'nother can of worms he


One last thought on A1 vs. A2: the A2 seems to be rugged enough in military service and has the advantage over the A1


I vote A1 with A2 aperture. h=85%

Engaging at maximum possible ranges uses your advantages of cover and concealment while forcing them to expose themselves to your fire for much longer periods of time.


If they're that far away, you could easily just run. No need to engage and draw attention to yourself.


light ammunition is no advantage if you're not carrying large quantities on your body for long distances---


But for the same weight, you get less ammo for a larger caliber.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 5:45:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mulliga:

with the new 75/77gr OTM loads 1/7 is preferred over 1/9


This is more TEOTWAWKI, but how many of these loads are you going to find in your local Wally World? Can you always guarantee you'll be at a location that will allow you to access your premium ammo stores when the SHTF? (access to your AR is a whole 'nother can of worms ) The 45 gr. WWB that you find everywhere might not be very impressive, but at least it goes bang...if it's all you can find, you'll have to use it. A 1/9 might theoretically come in handy then. Theoretically.




Resupply is a valid concern. Unless and until the heavier 5.56mm loads become common there is no compelling reason to go with a 1 in 7" barrel. Being able to use more easily obtained varmint loads is a good thing. Any cartridge beats _no_ cartridge.




One last thought on A1 vs. A2: the A2 seems to be rugged enough in military service and has the advantage over the A1


I vote A1 with A2 aperture.




I would agree. The 'A2 rear sight _is_ more vulnerable to being damaged, and offers no real world advantage over the 'A1 if the 'A1 aperture is replaced with an 'A2.

I would still prefer a flat-top receiver with an optic and a BUIS (preferably an 'A1-like BUIS like the LaRue).




Engaging at maximum possible ranges uses your advantages of cover and concealment while forcing them to expose themselves to your fire for much longer periods of time.


If they're that far away, you could easily just run. No need to engage and draw attention to yourself.




That assumes running away is an option.

This is getting off into the Survivalism board's area of interest, but fleeing with just a rifle in your hands is very seldom going to be a viable survival strategy. Especially if you have a family or other people under your protection. People who try that as a survival strategy end up in refugee camps, if they're lucky; more often they end up dead in the boonies due to lack of food, shelter and clean water.




light ammunition is no advantage if you're not carrying large quantities on your body for long distances---


But for the same weight, you get less ammo for a larger caliber.




Less ammo of a more effective caliber.

A round of 5.56mm may weight about half what a round of 7.62mm does. Which will allow you to shoot through a car, tree or wall and kill the bad guy on the other side?

And if you're not carrying it around on your body in large quantities for long distances, who cares what it weighs?
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 10:46:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mulliga:

with the new 75/77gr OTM loads 1/7 is preferred over 1/9


This is more TEOTWAWKI, but how many of these loads are you going to find in your local Wally World? Can you always guarantee you'll be at a location that will allow you to access your premium ammo stores when the SHTF? (access to your AR is a whole 'nother can of worms ) The 45 gr. WWB that you find everywhere might not be very impressive, but at least it goes bang...if it's all you can find, you'll have to use it. A 1/9 might theoretically come in handy then. Theoretically.


I've tried a little of everything .223 that Walmart sells and it all worked fine in my 1/7.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 11:05:27 AM EST
do you have another rifle besides your RRA midlength? because i'm positive thats 1x9...
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 11:13:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By jar3ds:

Originally Posted By DevL:

...

Old school magpulls turned sideways (like holding mag with a rubber gripper for opening jars yet low profile like the new style ranger plates but does not decrease capacity)



can you show a picture of what your talking about? Thanks!





These mags have old school magpuls turned sideways. Notice they are MUCH lower profile than when installed as intended, still et you pinch the loop with 2 fingers for removal from a mag pouch and you still have the additional grippy surface on the outside of the mag to aid in magazine handling and they dont decrease capacity like a Ranger floorplate.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 4:35:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mulliga:

with the new 75/77gr OTM loads 1/7 is preferred over 1/9


This is more TEOTWAWKI, but how many of these loads are you going to find in your local Wally World? Can you always guarantee you'll be at a location that will allow you to access your premium ammo stores when the SHTF? (




Umm I keep a stock of ammo on hand - I don't wait till the SHTF to decide I need to buy some ammo.

And yes I can get it locally thanks to Fulton Armory.

But if I have my AR - then I have a supply of 75gr OTM.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 5:03:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Forest:
Umm I keep a stock of ammo on hand - I don't wait till the SHTF to decide I need to buy some ammo.




If anyone takes anything away from this thread, let it be this.

No matter what scenario you're considering---TEOTWAWKI, UN "peacekeeper" invasion, black helicopters swarming out from under one's bed---you need to have an adequare supply of ammunition _on_ _hand_.

Read any history of revolution or resistance: adequate ammunition is always harder to obtain than weapons.

How much is enough?

Estimate how much you would need for ten years of struggle. Double that. Then double it again. Then multiply it by some randomly selected large number. Then find a dozen places to stash it. There's no such thing as "too much ammunition." Unless the stack tips over and lands on you...
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 5:41:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By AGC:
Estimate how much you would need for ten years of struggle. Double that. Then double it again. Then multiply it by some randomly selected large number. Then find a dozen places to stash it. There's no such thing as "too much ammunition." Unless the stack tips over and lands on you...



Seriously, about how many rounds do most people come up with as a final number they need stored up at their residence and/or in a cache somewhere? I have no idea what it takes to wage a struggle for ten years, so I'm lost from the very beginning of the equation. Currently I happen to keep about 1k of AR fodder and around 400 or so rounds for my pistol at any given time in a big ammo can, but I never really considered the long term thing, and I'm imagining this amount is inadequate based on the above
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 5:51:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 5:53:10 PM EST by Stryfe]

Originally Posted By ph713:

Originally Posted By AGC:
Estimate how much you would need for ten years of struggle. Double that. Then double it again. Then multiply it by some randomly selected large number. Then find a dozen places to stash it. There's no such thing as "too much ammunition." Unless the stack tips over and lands on you...



Seriously, about how many rounds do most people come up with as a final number they need stored up at their residence and/or in a cache somewhere? I have no idea what it takes to wage a struggle for ten years, so I'm lost from the very beginning of the equation. Currently I happen to keep about 1k of AR fodder and around 400 or so rounds for my pistol at any given time in a big ammo can, but I never really considered the long term thing, and I'm imagining this amount is inadequate based on the above


Every time you buy a case, set half of it aside.
What I do is buy a case, once I've shot 500 rounds, I order a new one. I use the next 500 rounds from the oldest lot, then repeat. In no time, you'll have a nice stash.
Another thing I do, is if I have spare cash, and one of the vendors has a sale, I buy what I can afford.
You don't need to drive yourself into the poor house to get a nice stash going, you just have to be prudent.

AGC's point was that you never know when there'll be a price hike, or some anti-gunner will introduce a tax, or a registration requirement, and there's basically no expiration date on new ammo, so buy what you can, when you can.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:31:19 PM EST

There's no such thing as "too much ammunition." Unless the stack tips over and lands on you...



I just knocked a case of q3131a off the top of my stack today and those flimsy 20rnd boxes just fell apart. So I spent this afternoon loading stripper clips. Fortunatly it did not land on my foot.
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