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Posted: 9/4/2008 8:41:43 AM EDT
I know, I know. But I'm being honest - my AR is light, handy, accurate and reliable... but I've never felt comfortable or natural using the blessed thing. It shares a safe with a Mini-14, a SOCOM II and a Garand, all of which just handle better for me. I tried to mentally make up my "perfect rifle" and came up with an accurate, reliable, 16" threaded-barrelled semi-auto carbine in .223 (or .243 so I could use it for deer out here) with a traditionally-contoured stock, peep sights, AR mag components (mag well, release and ability to use AR mags) and a rail for simple scope mounting. I don't really have a problem with a reciprocating bolt so could go either way on that.

And there's no such animal, near as I can tell. Except that plastic abomination from Kel-Tec. In fairness, I've never fired one and only handled their initial entry into the market (now the "SU-16A"). I like the company and the concept and carry a P3AT as an "everywhere gun" but that thing felt like the cheapest piece of crap next to a Lorcin. But I figure I'll be fair and not make assumptions. On paper, it's got just about everything I'm considering, even if the stock isn't a solid synthetic. I just question its durability under hard use.

Anyone been down this path, pondered the same problem, given it a try and/or have any useful suggestions beside "design your own" and "dream on"? Anyone ever realistically torture-tested the SU-16?
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 8:50:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KeithC:
I know, I know. But I'm being honest - my AR is light, handy, accurate and reliable... but I've never felt comfortable or natural using the blessed thing. It shares a safe with a Mini-14, a SOCOM II and a Garand, all of which just handle better for me. I tried to mentally make up my "perfect rifle" and came up with an accurate, reliable, 16" threaded-barrelled semi-auto carbine in .223 (or .243 so I could use it for deer out here) with a traditionally-contoured stock, peep sights, AR mag components (mag well, release and ability to use AR mags) and a rail for simple scope mounting. I don't really have a problem with a reciprocating bolt so could go either way on that.

And there's no such animal, near as I can tell. Except that plastic abomination from Kel-Tec. In fairness, I've never fired one and only handled their initial entry into the market (now the "SU-16A"). I like the company and the concept and carry a P3AT as an "everywhere gun" but that thing felt like the cheapest piece of crap next to a Lorcin. But I figure I'll be fair and not make assumptions. On paper, it's got just about everything I'm considering, even if the stock isn't a solid synthetic. I just question its durability under hard use.

Anyone been down this path, pondered the same problem, given it a try and/or have any useful suggestions beside "design your own" and "dream on"? Anyone ever realistically torture-tested the SU-16?




DSA Predator in .243


OK, maybe it's not perfect, but it's close.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 8:55:31 AM EDT
That, sir, is not a cheap piece of crap.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:00:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KeithC:
That, sir, is not a cheap piece of crap.

you know those famous authors, they all have expensive taste.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:03:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cacinok:

Originally Posted By KeithC:
That, sir, is not a cheap piece of crap.

you know those famous authors, they all have expensive taste.


I'm not famous...I'm infamous...no, no, I mean notorious!
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:06:18 AM EDT
Keith if you favor traditionaly stocked rifles try a saiga in .223.  It doesnt take AR mags but is a proven reliable and solid system
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:07:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 9:12:20 AM EDT by Bob1984]
Too much plastic for me.  The closest to what you want is probably a Mini-14 (which has its' share of problems).  The Garand or M1A would be a winner in most respects.  Personally, I'd rather have an AK or SKS than a SU16 or a Mini-14.  
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:22:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wesmerc:
Keith if you favor traditionaly stocked rifles try a saiga in .223.  It doesnt take AR mags but is a proven reliable and solid system


For a low-cost SHTF 223, the 223 Saiga and the SU-16 are really neck and neck.  If you modify the Saiga to take AR magazines, and add a rail/mount, then the Saiga price starts approaching the SU-16's.  And we're not even talking about stocks yet.

The only strike against the SU-16 and for Saiga is the problem the SU-16 has against prolonged firing.  People have commented that, after prolonged firing (aka mag dump), the SU-16 start having FTE/FTF due to heat expansion on the receiver.

The Saiga is probably best for a person starting out, but if he's going to outfit his family/squad, he may have to look pretty hard at the SU-16 (or PLR-16).
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:24:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Halffast:

Originally Posted By Cacinok:

Originally Posted By KeithC:
That, sir, is not a cheap piece of crap.

you know those famous authors, they all have expensive taste.


I'm not famous...I'm infamous...no, no, I mean notorious!

Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:32:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:34:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 9:41:20 AM EDT by KeithC]
This is the problem with fantasy - reality screws things up. That DSA is beautiful but too pricey. The Saigas, AKs, M1a and Mini don't have a push-button mag release and need to have mags rockered in (I'm real fond of the up/down of the AR mag feed). The Garand will never leave my ownership while I'm alive but it's just a little too long and heavy as a bush gun and isn't exactly a quick swap for optics. That SOCOM is just a "loaner gun" until my brother needs it back and it's handy but throws some serious fireballs with most ammo out of that short barrel. The Mini is light and quick but the mag situation sucks and the accuracy.... It's in the "good enough for 'Holy crap!' work" category but I can shoot smiley faces around it with my Bushy.

I actually toyed with the idea of working an old beater Mini-14 stock to fit the action of a SU-16 but saw that the trigger group was part of the pistol grip . Yeesh.

It's not like I'm unarmed or that the AR is unusable for me, it's just not a natural feel to shoulder it and get it into play. Been trying for 8 years or so now.

ETA: Yekimak - thanks. Nice review!
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 10:23:52 AM EDT
Having shot the SU16C extensively (a friend bought one as a "truck gun"), I give it a thumbs down.  It FEELS flimsy.  It was not very accurate, but that probably doesn't matter for it's intended role.  It was ammo picky, did not like Wolf or anything above 69 grain (lots of FTF and FTE).  Lastly it heated up quickly (degrading accuracy even further as the barrel became "whippy").  My biggest gripe is that it just doesn't seem very rugged.  For $500+ I think one could do better, honestly a used Mini 14 would be a better choice (I just threw up in my mouth a little).
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 12:02:19 PM EDT
I used to be the same way. I preferred a traditional stock over a pistol grip. You just need more trigger time. You get used to it eventually.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 1:29:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 1:31:04 PM EDT by wesmerc]
This occured to me.  They Have a significant aftermarket from what I understand.

www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_7615.asp

ETA: pic
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 1:37:22 PM EDT
That's, um.... It's.... Huh. I don't know if I want to say "hideous" or "brilliant". It's not semi-auto but the concept is interesting. Might be worth an email to their marketing department to look at a few tweaks to get me a new toy and compete directly with the Mini-14 - gas system, longer sight radius. Assuming, of course, it can shoot worth a damn.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 2:02:02 PM EDT
the  remington is great for someone living in california, but they are heavy and during a fire fight do you really want to pump a rifle for every shot when your opponets only having to move his finger?

you said you had an ar already so an m1 carbine should do you well for events leading up to the end of the world.

I think the kel tec is perfect for a spouse/truck gun/camp gun for people who already have ar mags.

guns are cheap nowadays compared to ammunition

another year and the ultimate shtf gun will be either a ruger 10/22 or marlin 60  
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 2:12:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KeithC:
That's, um.... It's.... Huh. I don't know if I want to say "hideous" or "brilliant". It's not semi-auto but the concept is interesting. Might be worth an email to their marketing department to look at a few tweaks to get me a new toy and compete directly with the Mini-14 - gas system, longer sight radius. Assuming, of course, it can shoot worth a damn.


there are rails available that you could put BUIS right over the recevier and you could also mount a FSB.  here is a pic of another member's rifle
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 2:18:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 2:20:00 PM EDT by Granola]
That is horrible looking.  

I am sure someone loves it though.

Edit +1 for the saiga.  Mags are pricey, but the guns work out of the box.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 3:16:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 3:17:32 PM EDT by whichfinger]
The "SU" stands for "Sport Utility." It's meant to be a recreational rifle, not a combat weapon, but you knew that.  I have the Alpha model, and it's fine for range time and the occasional coyote, but the barrel does heat up quickly. The Alpha sights are crappy, but you can mount a scope on the rail. It can deliver rounds down range as rapidly as an AR, albeit for a shorter time before the barrel warps.  IIRC, someone on KTOG once asked Kel Tec about barrel life, and the answer came back as 6,000 rounds. OTOH, it has a lifetime warranty, so if you wear the barrel out they'll replace it free. OTOOH, if you wear it out in a SHTF scenario, UPS prolly won't be around to deliver it.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 3:21:24 PM EDT
If Ruger would redesign the Mini-14 with a push button mag release for AR mags they would sell the heck out of that little gun.
I'd love to have one as a Sheeple / FUDD friendly truck gun in 6.8
I could even live with 3moa as long as the thing is durable and reliable.

Until then I'll just have to make due with a FAL.
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 12:26:27 AM EDT
Use the Mini-14.  Just do a little basic accuracy work and you will have everything you need.  They handle great, safety is well located and they are reliable.  Since factory 20 rnd. mags are now available the magazine problem is solved.  The new models have good iron sights and they easily accept optics.  I have one of the new ones as a truck gun and with some simple stock shimming to tighten up the action/stock fit it shoots sub-2 MOA which is plenty good enough.  As far as reloading speed it does just fine.  I don't know when you will be fighting an entire attacking hoard but if you haven't solved the problem after the first 20 shots you might want to get out of there!
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 7:15:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KeithC:
That's, um.... It's.... Huh. I don't know if I want to say "hideous" or "brilliant". It's not semi-auto but the concept is interesting. Might be worth an email to their marketing department to look at a few tweaks to get me a new toy and compete directly with the Mini-14 - gas system, longer sight radius. Assuming, of course, it can shoot worth a damn.


i read a review a few years back and according to the author it shot very well.  remington had LEOs in mind when they developed it.  since many agencies use the remington 870 as their shotgun, the theory is that it'd be an easy gun to deploy w/o hours of training to get the officers proficient.  they also make it in .308  - now that i think of it, the author that i referenced may have reviewed the rifle in .308.  
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 7:27:23 AM EDT
Well, I'm not overly fond of the idea on its own merit but, if Obama wins and all semi-autos are banned, at least the money spent on my AR mags wouldn't necessarily have gone to waste. Assuming, of course, "hi-caps" aren't banned as well....
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 8:58:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2008 9:00:25 AM EDT by Cacinok]
if obama wins, you may eventually need your semi autos and high cap mag's to fight off the tide of marxism.  especially if he gets his "'civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded' as the military" in place.  a liberal-lock-stepping "security force".  why does that scare me?
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 9:09:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cacinok:
if obama wins, you may eventually need your semi autos and high cap mag's to fight off the tide of marxism.  especially if he gets his "'civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded' as the military" in place.  a liberal-lock-stepping "security force".  why does that scare me?


1. Because you're not stupid.
2. Because you've actually *opened* a history book.
3. Because you won't be one of them.

I'm not commenting any further due to CoC and concerns about charges of premeditation ....
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 9:42:00 AM EDT
How about the Armalite AR180B . I didn't see anyone else yet reccomend this rifle so I will . I considered the keltec for a while but went this route .

I love mine . takes ar mags and feels good . maybe a tad more $$ than the su16 but not as much as an AR-15 .

Check one out .
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 10:28:45 AM EDT
Not a bad arm at all but my gripe - if you even want to call it that - is the whole straight-line-stock thing. I make it work but it just doesn't feel natural to me. I like everything else about the AR family, though, especially the magazine system. If I was starting over *entirely* from scratch, I'd probably start with a VZ58 or FAL. Just wondering if there was a "cheap fix" other than in my head.
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 11:02:33 AM EDT
why dont you get a cali stock for the ar?
www.riflegear.com/c-15-california-legal.aspx
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 11:07:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ThePatriot556:
Having shot the SU16C extensively (a friend bought one as a "truck gun"), I give it a thumbs down.  It FEELS flimsy.  It was not very accurate, but that probably doesn't matter for it's intended role.  It was ammo picky, did not like Wolf or anything above 69 grain (lots of FTF and FTE).  Lastly it heated up quickly (degrading accuracy even further as the barrel became "whippy").  My biggest gripe is that it just doesn't seem very rugged.  For $500+ I think one could do better, honestly a used Mini 14 would be a better choice (I just threw up in my mouth a little).


A relative of mine also has an su16, and I second the thumbs down.

Out of probably 15 mags fired so far, only ONE has had 0 FTE/FTF jams.  Accuracy is marginal.

That said, the concept is cool, and if you get one, it would make a good weapon to fight your way to your sidearm (assuming its already on your side).
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 11:10:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2008 11:10:48 AM EDT by KeithC]
Hm. Hadn't considered that. Easy enough to test first - I'll pull off the pistol grip I've got on it tonight and see how retarded it feels to shoulder it "normally". If not complete retarded, I might try it.

I think I'm getting old and cranky now that I'm a parent. I used to just adapt to the quirks of any new "toy" that I bought. Now, I expect the damned thing to fit me the way *I* want it to and make me a damned sammich while it's at it.

ETA: After this thread, the SU-16 is right off the table.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 7:13:53 AM EDT
It is hard to beat an AR for a survival gun.  It has been refined over the years of service into what it is - kinda the swiss army knife of rifles.  
My AR is about as dependable as I could ask in my area.  I don't have to deal with Iraqi sand but apparently, the AR holds up well there with proper maintenance - which is very easy, I will add.

I would look at any of the military rifles for survival weapons because they are robust and accessories are available.  AK, AR, FAL, M1A, etc.

Inexpensive mags, ammo available.  Whats not to like?  
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