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Posted: 10/29/2001 1:27:48 AM EDT
Well the time has come to build my "Combat" rifle. I have narrowed it down to these finalists.

The DSA SA58 Carbine

Specs:
.308
8.25 pounds
20 round mag

Or

The Z-M Weapons LR300

Specs:
.223
7.2 pounds
30 round mags


I have looked at both time and again and just can't decide which to get. So many ups and downs to both, what are your thoughts? Price is not a consideration.

And for those of you out there who would suggest an M4, I already have one and direct gas is just not what I am looking for.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 1:58:21 AM EDT
I like them both if i had them both to choose and price wasn't the factor I would get the Z-M everyone has an FAL how many people have the Z-M
john
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 8:51:45 AM EDT
The only issue I have with the ZM rifle is availability of some parts if things go gunnybags. You can get a complete set of repair parts for the FAL for under $300.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 9:31:26 AM EDT
That ZM looks pretty sweet - who makes it - any links? How much?

As far as which you go with it depends what you intend to do in 'combat' If CQB, I'd go .223. If medium range engagements I'd go .308.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 10:17:46 AM EDT
HMMM as much as I prefer the 5.56 over the 7.62, and as much as I prefer the AR-15 over the FAL.

The question is WHY would you build your *COMBAT* rifle on a UNPROVEN design like the ZM Weapon.

If you are stuck between the 2 then go with the FAL. At least it has a proven track record under *COMBAT* conditions, and has been with us a while so its problems are known about and parts are readily found (hey just like a REAL AR-15).

The ZM is not a proven design. NOBODY uses them for combat, the idiosynchasis are unknown, and parts are tough to come by.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 10:20:38 AM EDT
Gunplay,

If you are in California, you cannot buy the DSA Carbine in it's pictured state. I believe it has to have a fixed (welded in) mag.

If you have an AR already, and can add parts (I'm not sure on CA law), then the ZM may be your only Choice.

Aside from that, let's say you 1. Don't have an AR, or were going to get another one to use with the ZM kit, and 2. You have a dual residency in a free state so you can buy what you want.

My suggestions:
1. Factory DSA SA-58 Carbine $1300ish. Their DSA Stg-58A "kit" gun has a dealer cost (carbine) of $850. Get the kit gun, and save $400, they are excellent quality/fit/finish.

2. The ZM would run you $1700+ for a pre-ban lower to build it on and the ZM kit itself.

Buy the DSA (after Dealer Markup figure $1000), and get a post ban AR for $700 instead of just the ZM. Or, get a pre-ban lower and put it together yourself sometime.

The ZM is a nice concept (haven't handled one myself, so I can't say how they shoot). I prefer the FNC, and you can get one for close to the cost of a complete pre-ban lower with the ZM kit, and you can get a registered sear for them later if you want.

Alternately, you could get a pre-ban AK for just over $700 instead of the AR.

I agree with you on the Carbine being the best way to go. I like the handling of the carbine vs. the standard FAL rifle. The muzzle brake you picture is VERY loud, however (one reason to go with the kit gun and the non-functional muzzle device). I believe the gun you picure has the Stainless receiver, which adds significantly to the cost of the gun.

AFARR
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 9:03:25 PM EDT
I live in CA to go to school all my firearms are purchased through a corp. I control in VA. As far as ZM be unproven, the design is an opt rod used in many "proven" rifles so I am not worried about performance. The direct gas system of the ar-15 is for me far more worrisome. I had considered the replacement parts issue and would order a complete set with either gun, but I know what you mean and this is a draw back for the time being.

Anyone else have 2 cents to put in. Any help is great.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 9:14:57 PM EDT
there is a preban ZM with the side folder built on a bushy lower for sale on gunbroker.com right now. brownells use to cary the kits.
john
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 7:07:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunplay:
I live in CA to go to school all my firearms are purchased through a corp. I control in VA. As far as ZM be unproven, the design is an opt rod used in many "proven" rifles so I am not worried about performance. The direct gas system of the ar-15 is for me far more worrisome.



Just because a design FEATURE is copied it does not mean the overall design is proven.

I'd love to know how the direct gas system is worrisome. Many of us have run THOUSANDS of rounds through the rifle w/o cleaning with no problem. The rifle has been around for DECADES and is widely used by military forces. The complete 'System' of the ZM IS UNPROVEN. And its the System you are buying - not the operating rod.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 7:16:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2001 7:11:49 AM EDT by hg112]

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By Gunplay:
I live in CA to go to school all my firearms are purchased through a corp. I control in VA. As far as ZM be unproven, the design is an opt rod used in many "proven" rifles so I am not worried about performance. The direct gas system of the ar-15 is for me far more worrisome.



Just because a design FEATURE is copied it does not mean the overall design is proven.

I'd love to know how the direct gas system is worrisome. Many of us have run THOUSANDS of rounds through the rifle w/o cleaning with no problem. The rifle has been around for DECADES and is widely used by military forces. The complete 'System' of the ZM IS UNPROVEN. And its the System you are buying - not the operating rod.



that is a good point.

Have you considered one of the M96 rifles? I've heard good thing about them.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 2:00:15 PM EDT
Direct gas is a just not something I want. The idea of the gas being diverted back into the bolt and being blown into the chamber disturbs me. I know the system works ok, I have three ar-15s myself. However for this project I want to get away from direct gas, that is just what I prefer.

As for the ZM I have seen reports that indicate the gun to be very reliable. Even under full-auto torture tests it has held its own, I am not worried about that.

I have looked at the M96 rifles but their weight does not advantage them over the FAL.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 2:04:13 PM EDT
Have you thought about the Armalite 180B? It should be reasonably priced, has the gas system piston, and has had some testing. It should weight less then M96.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 2:16:08 PM EDT
I shot in an USPSA rifle match this weekend,and there were a few Z-Ms,in fact Mr. Zitta was behind one of them.Suffice it to say that they all ran well enough to kick my a$$.Seemed to be quite accurate on the 300yd stage too
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 3:19:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2001 3:14:17 PM EDT by Hitman]
I have a ZM and have loaded a full 100rnd beta mag at least three times on the gun.

Fired them as fast as I could(on semi) and no problems. I have used them as well with 30rnd and 20rnd mags and to this date not a single failure.

I know my personal testing falls way short of real military expectations and testing but from an actual user of the product I can say that it has been 100% reliable for me. Very easy to keep clean too. Most internal parts are the same. The bolt is the same as the AR15 and the carrier is just a regular AR15 carrier but cut to a certain length and attached to the gas rod/piston.

As mentioned above if you don't have an existing FAL and are building a FAL for the first time then you gotta do it without the pistol grip in California. It is really hard to enjoy shooting it at the range without a grip.

If you have an existing AR lower(registered in California already) then the ZM kit is the other alternative wherein you will not have to worry about US parts counts and the legality of having a complete rifle with a pistolgrip.

Good luck.
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