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Posted: 6/15/2009 11:22:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 11:25:33 PM EST by 230grains]
In my lengthening quest to find the perfect first auto for me, may I pick your brains on the FN FNC and the AC556?

I've considered the following for my first auto:

M11 with lage upper
registered reciever
lightning link
uzi
and now the FN FNC and the AC556

Let me have it, what are the pros/cons of the FNC? The price is right... What about the AC556? I want my auto to last a lifetime, because in all likelyhood i'll only own 2-3 ever. I'm a shooter, as are my guns, so im not looking for something to be a safe queen, whatever auto I buy will get A LOT of use.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 2:55:06 AM EST
Having owned both a AC556 and an FNC.....


AC556 Pro's:

1) Very reliable (with factory mags).
2) Lifetime factory warranty (as long as the spare parts hold out).
3) Easy to clean.
4) .22 conversion kit available.


AC556 Con's:

1) Barrels are thin and get hot fast.
2) Can be finicky with aftermarket mags.


FN-FNC Pro's:


1) Takes AR mags.
2) Gas Piston.
3) Easy to clean.
4) Very accurate with the open sights.


Con's:

1) Firing pin prone to breakage.
2) Parts can be expensive.
3) Dings up brass (if that's an issue for you).
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:04:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By 230grains:
In my lengthening quest to find the perfect first auto for me, may I pick your brains on the FN FNC and the AC556?

I've considered the following for my first auto:

M11 with lage upper
registered reciever
lightning link
uzi
and now the FN FNC and the AC556

Let me have it, what are the pros/cons of the FNC? The price is right... What about the AC556? I want my auto to last a lifetime, because in all likelyhood i'll only own 2-3 ever. I'm a shooter, as are my guns, so im not looking for something to be a safe queen, whatever auto I buy will get A LOT of use.


i don't own either one of these weapons but, like every other person asking about thir first MG i also considered these two guns and asked about them. these two guns tend to get lumped together because of their price-point, but they are entirely different animals. here are a few commonly noted points.

the rugers were always desireable based on the fact that ruger would service and recondition them. this is not the case anymore as ruger is allegedly out of many parts for these guns and has no plans on making more. this is an issue since the AC556's will eat up its' barrel pretty quickly, and i gather that you cannot just drop in a mini barrel. also, you really should run factory ruger mags in these guns to be 100%, and factory ruger mags are expensive.

on the plus side though, .22 conversion kits are available for the AC's.

the FNC's have a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most robust and reliable weapons platforms on the planet and they use cheap and readily available M16 mags.

the downside with these guns is that there is just about NO spare parts available. in fact, i've heard several times that there are actually more registered sears in the states, than there are FNC hosts. there are also no .22 conversions available.

if you want to stay in that price range, your best bet would be an RLL, *especially* if you think it's going to be a "shooter". you'll be able to abuse the hell out of the whole package, and just replace anything that breaks with cheap and readily available AR parts.


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 9:36:31 AM EST
See, the lightning link is my favorite option. With the kns re enforcer, would it be safe to say it's not going to break and last a lifetime?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 9:37:03 AM EST
With the AC556, when the factory barrels are gone, are the owners basically SOL?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 11:14:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By 230grains:
<snip>

the lightning link is my favorite option

Then you just answered your own question.

I know of one RLL that's been owned by the same person for nearly 30 years - he runs the living shit out of it and it's still going strong.



Link Posted: 6/16/2009 11:31:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By 230grains:
See, the lightning link is my favorite option. With the kns re enforcer, would it be safe to say it's not going to break and last a lifetime?


probably, and even if it does break, it is the easiest to fix. pile on some welds, hit it with a file, and get it heat treated if you really want to go nuts.



Link Posted: 6/16/2009 11:33:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By 230grains:
With the AC556, when the factory barrels are gone, are the owners basically SOL?


from what i've heard, mini barrels can be used, but they aren't drop-in. they need to be machined and fitted. ruger won't do this for you, and most folks don't have the tools or know-how necessary to do this on their own, so you'll have to pay to have someone fit a mini barrel to your eight thousand dollar reciever...


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:12:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 4:12:50 PM EST by tony_k]
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 3:48:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By bullyforyou:
Originally Posted By 230grains:
With the AC556, when the factory barrels are gone, are the owners basically SOL?


from what i've heard, mini barrels can be used, but they aren't drop-in. they need to be machined and fitted. ruger won't do this for you, and most folks don't have the tools or know-how necessary to do this on their own, so you'll have to pay to have someone fit a mini barrel to your eight thousand dollar reciever...

bully, I have heard from one owner for whom Ruger did indeed machine an SS Mini14 barrel to AC556 config and installed it. That's not to say they will always do so, but ... Ruger is getting to be about as predictable as ATF Tech Branch.

I do know that Ruger is out of factory SS barrels. And SS receivers, for that matter.

IMHO, a comparison shopper should no longer assume Ruger will provide any factory support beyond minor pins and springs. They do try to be helpful but they are under no obligation to do so, and in today's economic reality, I would not plan on it.

YMMV.


i guess to be fair, it should be noted that while you may have to saw up a mini and pay to have a barrel installed on an AC556, at least minis are readily available and even some of their parts.

if you shoot out the barrel on an FNC, you are truely SOL. unless of course you don't mind buying ANOTHER FNC (4K...?) to sacrifice.


Link Posted: 6/17/2009 7:24:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By bullyforyou:
if you shoot out the barrel on an FNC, you are truely SOL. unless of course you don't mind buying ANOTHER FNC (4K...?) to sacrifice.


...at which point you'll have paid out as much as an RR M-16 costs, which you wouldn't have had any problems finding any/all parts for. That is why the FNC is priced so "affordably", even though it is a great rifle, from what I've heard.

Link Posted: 6/17/2009 7:26:14 AM EST
I struggled with the same choices when selecting my first machinegun. FNC, AC556, or RLL. Chose the RLL and been very happy with it. I would only get rid of it to upgrade to a Colt M16 but not in any hurry to do so. Only thing I can't do with the RLL is FA in .22 LR.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 8:36:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By Stahlgewehr762:
Originally Posted By bullyforyou:
if you shoot out the barrel on an FNC, you are truely SOL. unless of course you don't mind buying ANOTHER FNC (4K...?) to sacrifice.


...at which point you'll have paid out as much as an RR M-16 costs, which you wouldn't have had any problems finding any/all parts for. That is why the FNC is priced so "affordably", even though it is a great rifle, from what I've heard.



a GOOD ONE too, not one of the less-desireable conversions...


Link Posted: 6/17/2009 7:31:40 PM EST
I know that the OP has posted about the LAGE MAX-11 previously, and I have to mention that part of the reason I didn't buy an FNC or RLL was that .223 is $450 a case for cheap stuff, and 9mm is half that. Unless 230grains is independently weathy, he needs to factor that into the equation. With the economy what it is and ammo availability in it's present state, it really sucks to have to tell friends who want to see or shoot my new subgun "Sorry, I can't afford to buy a case of ammo right now and the gunshop won't sell me a box unless I shoot it at their range and they don't allow MG's" or "I can't find any ammo for it".

You for damned sure better already be starting to reload... Two buddies having a "good time" at a range but not going nuts can easily go thru 6-700 rounds in an hour. Even if you can afford it, you can't always find it.
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