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Posted: 5/10/2002 7:07:28 PM EST
I used to own a Springfield SAR-8 (H&K 91 copy).  My wife could not hold it up as it was too heavy.  Although she never fired it, I don't think she would appreciate the recoil (.308).  I want to buy her a rifle for when the stuff hits the fan but neither I nor my wife know much about rifles.  I want to get her a tactical rifle (durability and sem-auto are the reasons).  She has held (not fired) a friends Bushmaster 16" A3 with Eotech Holo sight on it and was able to stand and hold it in firing position.

I would prefer something in .308 but if I get a rifle in .308 that is light enough, the recoil will be too much.  So, I was thinking an AR in .223 because the recoil is manageable and the ammunition is readily available.  

My wife was not disappointed with the Bushy, but she wants to compare with other rifles.  My friend with the Bushy also has a couple of Mini 14s (.223), but I don't consider them to be a good choice - they don't appear to be very durable and I've heard that many people have complaints about the inaccuracy of the Mini-14s.

I've looked in Shotgun News and seen a variety of military rifles in all sorts of calibers, but I don't know what the recoil for the different rifles and calibers is like.

I am replacing the SAR-8 with an M1A (awaiting its arrival).  I will let her hold/fire it, but I think it will be too heavy also.

Any help, please?
Flat top
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:13:09 PM EST
I would vote for the 16" Bushmaster.  They are light and if you get one with the muzzle break it would reduce recoil even more though increasing volume.  They are light, especially if you get a M4 or other light barrel.  I would not waste you money on the Mini-14, as they are junk with very poor accuracy.  Spend a little more and get a Bushmaster.  
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:17:24 PM EST

My vote is for the Bushy, too.  I just don't want to "put my foot down" and force the Bushy on her or she'll start off the wrong way.  Of course, I could buy the Bushy and if she doesn't want it, I could keep it for me and get her something else.  :)
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:23:20 PM EST
       I don't really know what other light and accurate semi-auto's there are out there.  You could go for an Armalite in .308, but the recoil is going to be more, plus it will be somewhat heavier.  An AK could be a choice also, but everyone I have shot are way to light and kicked the devil out of you.  Maybe if you got one in a .223, it would be better. Your wanting a SHTF rifle so that limits you some.  Hopefully someone else will chime in with more knowledge.  I'm not pushing the Bushmaster, I just think that would be a good choice.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:26:31 PM EST
A LIGHT barrelled AR, with a 16" barrel.

Another very good option, is an AK in 5.45X39.  The is less recoil than in an AR, the round is quite accurate.  The AK is very light and very easy to maintain.  Mags are still relatively cheap.

I have romanian (cur-II I think) that my fiancee' has for the most part claimed it! Well until it needs to be cleaned.

AK in 7.62 do recoil, but this is a cheaper option than an AR if you so desire.  The M-4 type AR would also be a good choice, or a dissipator with a light weight barrel.

My fiancee' has commented that H-Bar 20" get very front heavy very fast.

If you would like I can bring the AK to the BRC if you are going, and you or your wife would like to have a go at it.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:27:05 PM EST
The Mini-14 is a very rugged rifle, I have a lot of shooting time in with mine, never a problem.

Accuracy is less than what can be obtained with the average AR these days, but can be improved, that is for another post.  With good mags, reliability and simplicity is its big plus.  On the minus side, Ruger makes it difficult to get the parts you would really want to stock up on for long term upkeep or just in case.  IF SHTF, I would not want to have to ship my rifle off to Ruger for repair.

A 16" Bushmaster, Armalite, DPMS, Oly, or several other of the good brands of AR variants would do well for your wife.  Weight and balance are very good for women, small men, or teenagers.  The ergonomics of this rifle is second to none.

30 rnd USGI mags are plentiful for now, and I would buy while I can.

The .223 Rem/5.56 NATO round is plenty effective for self defense use, and is very easy on the shooter.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:40:32 PM EST

I'll check into the AK.  I want to be careful with the recoil, though.  The second time she ever fired a pistol, I had her fire a Ruger SP101 (2" .357 Magnum) and a Ruger Redhawk (7" .44 Magnum).  The first time I took her out (which was only a couple of weeks earlier), she fired a Glock with the Ciener .22 caliber conversion.  I don't claim to be the brightest bulb in the package, but the recoil didn't completely chase her away.  She has her CHL and carries a Glock 26 (9mm).


Thank you for the Bushmaster, Armalite, DPMS, Oly names.  I knew Bushmaster and Armalite are good, but now I can research a couple more companies.

I'll have to check with my wife, again (she's sleeping).  Maybe she just wants to compare to other types of ARs (longer, no front sights, dissipator, etc).
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:53:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 7:58:38 PM EST
okay, i have to ask:  is she only going to be shooting this if SHTF????

if it is, have you considered a shotgun?

however, if she's at least a recreational shooter, the ar15-type rifle gets my vote too.  mine is a 20" H-bar and it does get front heavy.  so for  her i would recommend a 16" light barrel model.

a 5.45 AK would be my second choice.  i mean, half the world uses this (or a variant) as its main military weapon.  it can't be that bad.  it's light (relatively speaking), wimpy on the recoil, and cheap ammo.

while i love the mini14 for plinking around, i don't consider its accuracy good enough for SHTF.  every shot has to count.  the mini doesn't have that good of a record for me to put my life on the line with it.

maybe an M1 carbine.  maybe.

you should try this too:  [b]GET HER USED TO RECOIL[/b]
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 8:07:53 PM EST

I'll check into the AK.  I want to be careful with the recoil, though.  
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recoil is part of the package.  you need to help her overcome this crazy fear of recoil.  she should be able to pick up any gun in the safe and use it without a second thought.  you do her a big disservice by catering to this irrational fear.

i know i sound harsh.  but this is the biggest pet peeve i have about women shooters.  i don't ENJOY a lot of recoil when i shoot.  but i'm not afraid of it either.

and if you're worried about SHTF scenarios, then that's even more reason to make sure recoil isn't going to be her first thought.  first, you can't guarantee that the weapon available to her is going to be one she's feels comfortalble with (i.e., low recoil).  second, you don't want her looking at that .308 rifle going, "oh, my god.  i just know that's gonna hurt."

it's all about mentality.  start changing hers NOW!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 8:29:27 PM EST
Yep, sounds like a job for the M1 Carbine. Find someone who is knowledgable of them to help you pick one , we have to get one for my buddy's wife because she's not comfortable with ARs. I've seen lil girls shoot the carbine without any problem.
Link Posted: 5/11/2002 5:29:56 AM EST

recoil is part of the package.  you need to help her overcome this crazy fear of recoil.  
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Well, me-lady (me-ARLady, that is), I agree with you.  However, my last attempt with handguns was not the correct way to overcome her dislike of recoil (it's not really a fear).  For me, I enjoy the recoil - along with the loud noises (I'm sure its a testosterone thing).  She doesn't like the recoil of powerful handguns.  She hasn't fired a rifle more powerful than a .22, so she has no reference for rifle recoil.  I may have mis-spoken earlier.  With my SAR-8, the big problem was just being able to hold the rifle up.  I make the assumption (I know) about the recoil.  Should I be correct in my assumption (I'll check it out when I get my M1A, what do you suggest to help her overcome the "fear" of the recoil?

i know i sound harsh.  
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I appreciate bluntness.  Thank you.

. . . second, you don't want her looking at that .308 rifle going, "oh, my god.  i just know that's gonna hurt."
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As for the shotgun, it's on my shopping list, too.  That's another issue.

Flat top
Link Posted: 5/11/2002 5:51:07 AM EST
She doesn't like the recoil of powerful handguns.  
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i know the feeling.  we've got a ruger gp100 6" that, with the .357 rounds really slams back into my hands.  ouch!  don't like it, but i practice with it anyway.  

She hasn't fired a rifle more powerful than a .22, so she has no reference for rifle recoil.  I may have mis-spoken earlier.  With my SAR-8, the big problem was just being able to hold the rifle up.  I make the assumption (I know) about the recoil.  Should I be correct in my assumption (I'll check it out when I get my M1A, what do you suggest to help her overcome the "fear" of the recoil?
View Quote

hmmm.  i don't know if you're assumption is correct or not.  just don't share it with her.  if she's got no reference, then she doesn't have any scary experiences with recoil either.  so her fear is a fear of the unknown rather than the recoil itself.  that's actually a good thing.

my suggestions for overcoming the recoil problem (i'll tell you what worked for me, because i used to be scared of them too):
1.  try and avoid using "kicks like a mule" or other terms when describing the recoil.  even if you're not talking directly to her.  what she doesn't know won't hurt her, right?  [:D]  at least let's not help her form any opinions PRIOR to shooting it.

2. work her up gradually with the recoil.  i think a .223 is a good next step after the .22.  then perhaps an AK in 5.45 x 39. then something in 7.62 x 39 (could also use an AK here, maybe an SKS, but i hate their ergonomics).  after that you could probably try an M1A in .308.  after that you're really getting in to the heavy hitters and you can decide at this point whether she's ready (or ever will be) to try them.

3.  always be honest with her.  "this one will kick more, but i know you can handle it" kind of thing.

that's probably the most reliable and effective method, but it takes time.

here's an alternative, that, on the record, i don't recommend, but i think it would have worked for me.

after the .223 and AK, have her shoot something like an 8mm mauser.  you know, one of those "kicks like a mule" firearms.  be honest and tell her that it will kick considerably more than the AK or .223 (probaly wouldn't hurt to help explain why, i.e., bolt action, therefore no gases expelled to operate bolt assembly, etc.)

after she shoots about 3 rounds, hand her any other gun you want and you can honestly say that "it will kick less than the mauser!"  [:D]  evil, yes, and it may not work with your wife.  but it's an alternative.

of course, all of this will have to be adjusted to meet your wife's comfort level with firearms.  you could always have her contact me if she's concerned.  there isn't much in the way of caliber i haven't fired.

oh, i just thought of something else:  when she gets into the heavier hitters, consider getting her a pad that protects the shoulder from the recoil contact.  she'll still be able to feel the power of the recoil but it won't be directed unimpeded directly into her shoulder.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 4:44:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:27:05 PM EST
Hi Flat Top.

The mini 14 is a good reliable rifle.  By the time you spend the money to accurize it you could have an AR.

Have her shoot a few rifles and not just hold 'em.[;)]

There has to be some Texas AR15.com fun shoots.  That would be a great place to try different rifles.

HTH good luck.  
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:36:49 PM EST
Since weight and ease of use for a novice are issues why not a Carbon-15 with a Reflex sight of some sort?
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