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Posted: 11/14/2001 7:14:42 PM EDT
I'm a novice looking for a good shtf rifle. I'm thinking about the Bushmaster XM15E2S or the DSA STG58A. Don't have any experience with semi auto rifles, but Sept 11 really got me thinking. I want a effective, accurate, reliable, ergonomic (I'm a southpaw) rifle to defend my own with if the world goes to heck. I don't want to invest tons of money into my rifle (just cleaning kit, a dozen +/- mags, case or two of ammo, and possibly a $300 scope). With practice and a good scope and ammo, I'd like to be able to take out a human sized target at, say, 300-500 yards if God forbid it ever comes to that. Could those of you in the know recommend which one you would choose out of the box based on the above criteria? Thanks a ton!
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:21:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:29:39 PM EDT
I comes down to this. How profeicent are you with either rifle system? How much weight are you willing to bear? and last where are you going to get parts? For me, I go with the AR-15 system.
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:33:58 PM EDT
I have both rifles and would choose either depending on the situation. If I had to buy just one it would be the AR for the following reasons.

First more than likely the S isn't going to HTF. More than likely you'll use the rifle inside your home to protect your family. The .223 is the best weapon bar none indoors as it causes much less damage to people after penetrating though walls than a duty pistol, 12 gauge with buck shot and certainly a .308. The round was designed by my Uncle Sugar for use on human beings and though luck or engineering the round using the right bullet causes more damage than anyother known (the German 7.62/.308 based on our .223 is a known equal).

The .223 rifle is smaller and lighter so that means it points quicker and handles faster. The AR fits me better than the FAL. The AR's magazine release, safety and bolt release just make sense to me. The FAL's tiny magazine release and bolt release don't work as quick as the AR's for me. In fairness I have more than 10,000 rounds though the AR's and just a couple thousand though my FAL...

The FAL's adjustable gas system is very dependable.

Each rifle is going to run about the same amount of cash. A good AR runs about $650 to $800. A good FAL starts at around $850. Magazines are $12-$15 for the AR and $5 to $8 for the FAL (get a metric FAL/STG-58 vice the inch pattern).

Ammo is about the same cost but the .308 is much heavier in its steel magazines. MUCH. That's one of the primary reasons that I have both weapons. My wife is just on the far side of 90 pounds and I'm on the far side of 200. The lighter AR ammo load compared to the FAL is a major factor to my wife.

If I was defending house and home from the swarming hordes of invaiding Taliban's I would be armed with a .308 - more than likely my FAL and my wife with an AR. If I had to leave the house and strike out for greener pastures it would be with a couple of AR's between us. One is an M-4 flat-top with an Aimpoint, the other is a 20 inch barreled rifle with a telescopic ACOG.

One last thing to think about. 500 yards is a long long way away. In many parts of the country you can't get a 1500 foot shot if you had to. At those long ranges the .223 just ain't got enough (for me) to shoot at a human. So if I was standing on the highway shooting at another guy on the highway (about the only place you'll see 1500 feet around here) I would use a .308 - more than likely my Springfield Armory M1A. I figure I have to say where the food is and that's in the cities, along the ocean or the rivers where the trees are going to be thick and the ranges close enough for a .223.
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:40:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2001 7:38:15 PM EDT by dillweed]

Originally Posted By AR18:
I comes down to this. How profeicent are you with either rifle system? How much weight are you willing to bear? and last where are you going to get parts? For me, I go with the AR-15 system.



Not proficient with either. Pretty good at hitting deer and elk with a bolt action 30-06 though. Shot a friend's AR15 a couple of times (also using his computer right now to surf this site at his suggestion). Didn't much care for the trigger, iron sights, or grip. I do understand that parts can be swapped though. Never even held a FN/FAL, although I do know its widely used by many countries around the world. I was leaning toward the FAL because of the more powerful 308 round, although it is heavier. I figure if things do go bad I'll be hiding on a hill top taking shots of opportunity, not kicking in doors and clearing buildings.
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:46:47 PM EDT
Thanks for the detailed answer Paul. Thanks to others also.
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:47:13 PM EDT
If you live in a urban area get a AR, but if you are in the boonies get the FAL. The .223 is just not a very good mankiller at 500, so if this kind of shot may possibly present itself in a SHTF scenario get a .308. You may want to consider a AR-10 to get the ergonomics of a AR with the effective range of the FAL.

Kyle
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 8:14:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
Ammo is about the same cost but the .308 is much heavier in its steel magazines. MUCH.


There are aluminum FAL mags available is you look around. BIG diff. in weight if you have to carry a bunch of them.
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 8:33:27 PM EDT
As long as you are capabale and willing to hold the extra weight of the FN-FAL then that would be the way to go in my opinion because it does have more power at greater ranges and also you can still hit someone standing in front of you as well. I also agree that your surroundings should be a major factor in this decision as in the fact that if you have 100 or less yards of opening around your house before the woodline then AR is definately your choice but if their is a good chance you will be able to take longer shots to protect yourself then FAL, because I would rather shoot the bad guy at 500 or 600 yds than 25 or 100. For me I would prefer to have both as my wife also barely breaks the triple digits with her weight and she shoots the AR very well but is very intimidated by the FAL.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 1:12:01 AM EDT
When deciding between a 5.56mm (.223) gun and a 7.62x51mm (.308) gun, don't forget the main reason the US adopted the M-16 in the first place: a soldier can carry twice as many rounds of 5.56 as 7.62x51 for the same weight. And the 5.56mm cartridge is more lethal within usual engagement ranges.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 1:46:56 AM EDT
Buy an AR,if you even need to work on it you will be glad you did.

The AR is a far more well rounded weapon.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 4:25:25 AM EDT
I am going to make this easy for you. Buy both. Once you get one it will just be a matter of time till you get the other. Save all the hassle and just get them to start with.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 4:30:42 AM EDT
Hang 10 fully loaded FAL mags on your body and go for a run.
They get real heavy.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 9:55:41 AM EDT
the only way to answer the is to shoot both. the fal is more demanding, heavier, longer, trigger is not as nice and iron sights are truly "rugged".
ar15 is easier to shoot, made to meet the minimum requirements of an auto rifle, women can shoot the ar15 very well and most women will not like the fal. bad part is the ar still shoots a .22 cal round. look at some ballistic tables some time, 5.56 really dies around 300 m and is still a varmint round (small mammals).
i have an fal, can shoot thru cars, trees, houses, deer, elk,with no problems. scoped it can easily engage targets at 500-600 m with solid bullet performance. 7.62 rounds are heavier but will reward with much better bullet performance. fal is very easy to clean and does not have a lot of small parts to loose.
i carried the m16 and respect its strengths and weaknesses, but the fal is a step above in bullet performance and ruggedness.
there are aluminum fal upper and lower receivers available now so rifle can be greatly decreased if desired. go to www.l1a1.com for more info

Link Posted: 11/17/2001 6:55:28 AM EDT
If you decide to go the AR route, I think that DPMS has a "leftie" model.
Not my first choice but IF I had to have just one. It would be an AR.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 7:08:44 AM EDT
It depends on where you are located, Urban setting (Closer ranges, More firepower)AR15 hands down winner, Rural setting(Opportunity for very long shots & Ability to take large game) FAL wins.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 8:12:20 AM EDT
I have both - a 16" AR-15 and a 21" FAL. I have to say that the FAL is much heavier and longer (clumsier) than the AR-15, and as such is probably much better as an outdoor weapon. If you get a FAL, try to get one with a shorter barrel.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 11:20:24 AM EDT
Get both.
GG
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