First, I'd like to give you all a little background info so you know what I might be looking for. OK, so the only two rifles in my collection are a Rem700 VS (w/ 3.5-10x Leupold), and a Romanian AK47. After the first thrill of owning the evil AK and popping off using 40 round mags, I actually don't find it that much fun. Sure its fun to squeeze off a bunch real fast but the accuracy blows. I believe someone once said that only an accurate rifle is an interesting rifle. I agree. The remington is in 30-06 and is dead on. The only thing I don't like about it is the weight, ammo cost, and the heavy recoil makes range trips short. I'm looking for a rifle that is smaller caliber than 30-06 so that I can shoot more during trips to the range. I'd be using the rifle to shoot paper and the occaisional squirl, racoon, armadillo, possum, etc... I think I want something thats effective and accurate out to about 250 yards. Here are some of the priorities I have thought up:
2. Small caliber
3. Carbine length (willing to bend a bit here)
4. low recoil
5. reasonable price and availability of ammo
6. Would like the option of getting subsonic ammo
7. be able to kill animals listed above (as long as shot placement is decent)
9. Ability to accept detach mags of 10 or more rounds
10. Pistol grip (I'd be willing to be flexible on this too)
11. Decent selection of accessories
The only two rifles I can come up with seem to be a 10/22 (maybe 17 hmr) and an AR15. I think if a 10/22 can do the job I'd prolly just go for that but if it would end up being close in price to an AR kit I dunno. Either way I will prolly sell my AK to help out with the cost. Are ARs somewhat quiet with subsonic ammo? I don't have enough for a can right now. How do the prices for cans compare b/w the 10/22 and AR? What about sound level? What's the range of 22lr anyway? When is bullet drop noticeable? Finally, for either rifle what power (maybe fixed?) and brand of scope would you recommend?
AR...it can do all that the ruger will plus a whole lot more. You can get a 10/22 anytime, anywhere, they will always be around for cheap. And it ain't killing a damn thing at 250 meters. The AR is the platform for you.
AR no question - go and buy one NOW!
Every item in your wish list can be filled by an AR very easily and I agree with what's already been posted, go and buy one! Set yourself up a flattop AR with the Leupold of your choice and discover just how accurate a rifle can be... Besides, friends don't let friends buy Ruger...
edited for typo...