Posted: 6/2/2008 9:49:52 AM EDT
So I have about $6k I could spend on building combat rifles. I have sold off several unnecessary guns, and I've freed up cash and room in my safe.
With that money, I would like to obtain at least 2 (preferably 3) fully functional milspec (or better) AR15s.
I do not care if I build the rifles from kits or from upper/lowers, or if they come fully assembled. I would prefer new, or very lightly used.
so two questions:
1) How would the 3 ARs be configured?
2) What brands and/or kits should I be looking at?
I would encourage you to build/buy an XM-177E2ish / 629 Clone. Ideally, you'd be able to find an A1 upper on the EE or somewhere, and you can get a nice A1 lower from Nodak Spud. If you don't want to SBR it, you can get Kurt's Kustom Firearms to permanently attach a flash hider to an 11.5" barrel; I believe 45Bravo, a member here, offers similar services, though I haven't had the pleasure of dealing with him yet. I built one, with DPMS internals from Brownells. I went with a newer fiberlite stock, though I expect I'll replace it with a more authentic aluminum stock when I return home (I'm in Afghanistan at the moment).
Er, I didn't mean for this to be in the retro forum. I open to all kinds of combat rifles. They don't even have to be ARs I suppose.
Well with money to spend and room in the safe, I'de say your sitting in the cat bird's seat.
A good place to start would be to spend a lot of time checking out the different variations of USGI rifles and carbines at this extremely informative and well done website:
To help with knowing what to hunt for in original parts, check these awsome threads:
Two excellent books to recommend would be "The Black Rifle" and "The Black Rifle II". There you can really get into what happened and why it happened the way it did for probably all of the variations.
Of course you could go the classic route and pick up an vinatge original USGI part and feel the need and build a rifle out of it.
I know a guy who found a duckbill and from there eventually built a 601. Some guys have it so bad that if they found a "no-hole" screw, they'de build a rifle out of it. I light a candle for those poor sickos every chance I get.
Here's something that recently pinned me down:
If I had $6K, I'd save another $3K and get a registered receiver, but I guess that is not what you are asking. You specify military type builds, but don't state that they should be retro. That being the case, I'd pick the following for my 3:
1. An early replica rifle, such as a 601, 604 or maybe one of those new NDS-32 builds.
2. A replica carbine, such as a 607, XM177, 733, etc.
3. A late example of a rifle or carbine, maybe an M4 replica, or a Mk12 or Mk18 Mod 0. Or, maybe even an SR-25, if you're not limiting it to 5.56...
Here is a pic of my 601 replica:
My 733 replica:
And my Mk18 Mod 0 replica:
why not build one rifle for $6,000 dollors? Why is it that everyone thinks quantity is better than quality?
Removed picture because i forgot i was in the retro fourm.
Well in my case, specifically, I am trying to get the "evolution" of the AR down. the M16, the M16A1, M16A2, M16A4,
723, 727, m4, m4A1, etc.
Mk12Mod1, SDMR, RECCE,.......
My two cents:
First things first, immediately qualify to purchase from CMP and buy a Correct Grade M1 Garand (approx. $975 shipped) and one of the IBM or Standard Products M1 Carbines that CMP has coming up for sale next month (slightly less than $600 shipped), in Service Grade. Baring a major economic colapse, you'll always be able to get your money out of them.
Whilst that's working, get 45Bravo (or one of the known alternates) to ginning up a front end for a XM177E2 clone like jtb0311 has pictured in his post, and follow that build up with a semi-aut0 M16A1 clone. You can prolly get those two done for approx $1800 to $2000 or a lot less by some careful buying and depending upon how much you can do yourself. I certainly got by for less with mine.
While all those are working keep your eyes open for a decent M4-gery with an Aimpoint Comp M3 sight in a LaRue mount. I'm thinking you could find a decent M4-gery by a known manufacturer and put a M3 on it for around $1500 or thereabouts. That's about what mine cost.
Then you wander the fun shows til you find a decent gently used AK of some sort, four bills or thereabouts and still have enough money left over for a really good start on an A2 rifle from one of the known manufacturers. Again, per my spending experiences.
Of course, if the $6-K has to include magazines & miscellaneous accessories, you might have to drop the AK and the A2 for a while, or not depending upon how careful you are sniffing out bargains. Nothing sez you gotta spend $6-K this very instant. But generally that's how I'd do it.
Yer milage may vary.....
If you had $6k I too would save some more money and buy an M16, you would have much more flexability with that. Nice looking 601 there VAAR!
I agree-no battle/combat rifle collection is complete without the M1-and since you have the money to play with you might as well get a good one. CMP rifles sell direct for at least $250 less than what the same rifle goes for on the local market(bought mine from a local dealer for $650, turns out to be a rack grade Greek that went through CMP in '06. Not complaining, though, as it has a WWII receiver. Sure, the AR is what we're discussing, but you did say the rifles you buy don't necessarily have to be ARs. I'm trying to justify coming up with $995 for a BM59 I found.
For some reason I was only thinking AR's. Ya gotta get an M1. Sometimes CMP has decent Springfields too, though those days may be over...
If limited to 3 ARs
1) M-Forgery, your SHTF weapon and some day it will be a classic, be sure to invest in good optics such as an Aimpoint
2) SPR, for longer ranges, although personally I would go with something in .308 such as an AR-10/ M1A for this role
3) since you landed this in the retro forum, and retro is both cool and quite functional in their own right, I would build a Vietnam era M16E1 clone.
Building AR's is half the fun of having them, and if you don't want to go into it too deep, then buy pre-assembled uppers, the rest is not that tough. For the M-Forgery, I would probably go with a MEGA lower and if I were to buy an upper, consider CMMG. There are so many other good choices, that this post could go on and on. Those are just a couple of choices that I have had good experiences with. You will want a 1:7 rate of twist on the barrel.
for the retro build, get a NODAK lower, and look for an SP1 upper, it will most likely have seen a lot less use than an M16, and will not be a heck of a lot different for the purpose of a retro build, then scrounge a couple of spare parts such as an A-1 pistol grip and a few other items off the Equipment Exchange, find a lower parts kit, and you are ready to roll.
M16A1 or 601 clone
XM177 or 610
M1 Carbine or M1A1
HK93 or 91
AKS or other type (NHM91 into RPK clone)
Rem 870 Older Wingmaster with riot barrel
You did say $16,000 right ?
I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun whatever you get.
Oh...and a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun in 45.70
and don't forget Ammo !!!
Unless you are just looking to fill up the safe again I would only encourage someone in your position to purchase one serious combat rifle. That way, you only have to train with one system. The AK and AR share nothing in common and require changes in reloading techniques, magazine carriers, and ergonomics. In a serious situation you revert to your training and unless you train a lot with a lot of different weapons you may fumble at the worst possible time.
Again, I would choose just one rifle. I know this is the retro forum so one of my first picks would be something along the lines of the Colt SP1. There are still vast quantities of 55 grain ammo out there, plenty of magazines, lots of spare parts for support, and it is a very reliable 5.56mm rifle with a proven history of quality. The Colt SP1 is a good combat rifle as is.
Now, if you wanted to go modern but stay stock there are a few other choices, though I won't name them all. SIG offers the SIG 556. It is a piston operated rifle which holds an advantage over direct impingement rifles like the AR15. The system runs cooler and doesn't blow carbon back into the bolt group or firing mechanism. It uses AR15 magazines but has a faster twist for the 62 grain ammo, though it will still shoot 55 grain ammo just fine.
A second option if you want something that looks really cool would be the Micro Tech clone of the Steyr AUG. It uses the same magazine as the Austrian AUG and has the faster twist for heavier bullets. It's very compact as it is a bullpup.
Another bullpup is the FN FS2000. This rifle uses AR15 magazines and has a faster twist for heavier bullets. It is unique in that it does not eject empty cartridge casings like most other guns. Instead, it controls the spent casing and pushes it into an ejection tube that lies on top of the barrel. The cases are eventually pushed out the end well away from the shooters face.
Bushmaster will soon release their version of the MAGPUL rifle which is supposed to be as near perfect as a combat weapon can get.
Another good rifle would be the XCR. It is a very simple, rugged, no nonsense 5.56mm rifle that also uses AR15 magazines.
The M96 is another interesting choice. The stamped sheet metal receiver is made of stainless which is colored black. Very corrosion resistant. Also piston operated much like the original Stoner from which it was copied.
I'm sure I left out a few fine choices for a 5.56mm but those are a few highlights that would be capable of the job.
Depending on the terrain in your area you may or may not be better off with the 5.56mm as your first choice. Some places would be well suited to the 7.62x39mm or even the 7.62x51mm. The latter would depend on your ability to carry the weight of enough ammunition. The X39 would be much lighter and the 5.56 would be even lighter.
Other considerations would be targets. Would the targets be armored, hardened, or just simple zombies? Ammo selection must be carefully considered in order to be the most effective.
Here's what I would really consider doing if I were in your situation. I would buy one good rifle that cost between $1000 and $2000. Then I would invest about $2000 in ammunition. A rifle without ammunition is a club. Then I would find a decent training course for less than $1000 that would teach me how to use that rifle and survive a gunfight. A rifleman without training is a danger to himself and others. If you are serious about investing in a rifle that could be used for combat, you should train for combat.
While you are training you will find out that some techniques work better than others. Take the best techniques that work for you and practice those often. You will also find out along the way that some gear works better than others. Invest in quality gear, cheap gear is just cheap gear.
If you want to be a warrior you must train like a warrior. Don't half ass it.
Plus one and then some to 45Bravo for focus on reality.......
To clarify my post;
I thought the OP was a collector seeking advise from other collectors on what to collect.
By all means a "Warrior" should master basic rifleman skills and know your weapon of choice.
But you should also train with and get to know as many other types of weapons you may encounter.