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Posted: 12/18/2001 11:12:24 PM EDT
I realize that the first two are a different caliber than the AR15 but I'm intrigued by the FAL and HK. Can anyone out there that give me some suggestions or real-life experience? My main use is going to be plinking and range use so I'm not too concerned with match grade accuracy. Price is a consideration. Any help/insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 2:06:40 AM EDT
MustangMan,

For starters, what guns do you own. If this is your first high power. Then you may want to re-think your list.

List is price of rifle and ammo.

1. Ak-47(sar1), rifle is $350. and ammo is $80. for a 1000 rounds. Great for shooting in pits and short distances(less than 200 yds). A must own for any auto rifle shooter.

2. AR-15, rifle is $600. and ammo $95.(wolf) for 1000 rounds. Mags are $15.00. Great for shooting up to 300 yds and rifle has no recoil.

3. FAl, Rifle is $600. built and ammo is $140. for 1000 rounds. Mags are $9.00. Great rifle for shooting at the range. Built correctly will shoot less that 2MOA, but a bit long in the stock for exstended off hand shooting. Has a adjustable gas system so you can taylor the rifle for any 308 round. The felt recoil is smooth due to the gas system.

4. Hk91 or clone, true HK $2500, Clone $1000. ammo is $140. for 1000 rounds. Mags are $10.00 from Aims. Great rifle for shooting off hand, but leaves a little to desired on the bench. A few hundred rounds will leave a mark on your shoulder(bench shooting) The rifle has a shorter stock than the FAL, which helps in shooting the rifle off hand. The rifle uses a delay blow back system rather than a gas system. It works off the negitive pressure spike of the barrel pressure to allow the bolt to unlock. When it unlocks, there is nothing smooth about it. To cock the rifle, you have to let the bolt slam home. The trigger pull(stock) is not for the weak. And the rifle is not the prettiest,full of weld spots and lines. There are two lethal ends on a 91. One being the muzzle, the second being the ejecting port. The brass is ejected a good 20' out.
Granted that I love my HK-91, but for some people, it is a bit too much rifle.

All you have to remeber is that once you have the rifle, you will need to feed it. The reason that I have included ammo price is that you will be burning it up real quickly.

Also, the reason I have included the Ak-47 is that It makes a great starter rifle. Mags are less that $6.00 and came be had by the handfull. The rifle will run even it you don't clean it for months at a time. If you like, you could get a SKS, but the mags are $30.00 and some are junk due to weak feed lips.

Start with what you can afford to buy and shoot. Then as you start to make more money that your wife can spend(helps to hide it in secret savings), you can buy the rest.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:31:16 AM EDT
I like what Dano had to say.

I would say pick between the FAL and AR-15. My personal choice would be the FAL. I love my AR's but when it comes to general cleaning and maintenance the FAL & AK are dirt simple.

Also, if you're not concerned about having interchangable mags, the SKS is an outrageously fun gun. It is built like an anvil and tends to be a little more accurate than an AK. The .30 Russian round makes more of a boom than a pop and is cheaper than all get out.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 8:28:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2001 9:48:01 AM EDT by MustangMan]
Thanks for the replies... a lot of good info. In answer to the first question, this will be my first high power weapon in a while. I've owned guns throughout my life (I currently have a Glock 23C and a Marlin .22 carbine) but nothing high power in years. A couple of my buddies both have AR-15's and really like them but we've also discussed the other two I mentioned. I've thought about the AK and SKS also.

Ammo price is definitely a consideration but not a deal killer as I'm not going to be shooting 1000's of rounds a month to start with. I like the idea of having a "starter" rifle but I also want decent quality. Another consideration is the caliber. One of my friends likes the smaller round as he feels it's easier on his shoulder compared to the .308.

I'm going to read this some more and give it some more thought. I'll reply back in a while.

I forgot to mention that I served in the 82nd Airborne so I have quite a bit of hands-on experience with the M-16 of course. I also owned a .308 rifle many years ago.

Thanks again.

Link Posted: 12/19/2001 10:35:33 AM EDT
mustangman: I've owned ak,ar,hk,fal,m1a,and sks. Sold the sks(boat anchor),hk(can't reload tears up the brass),and the m1a. Still have the ak,ar,and fal. Absolutely love all 3 and will never part with them. While all 3 have their own good traits the ak would be in my hands if I had to leave in a pinch with only one hands down. my .02
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 5:05:07 PM EDT
Dano523, esq1995 and gunny51, thanks for taking the time to reply back. Your input is excellent.

A few more thoughts I have on the subject. It seems to me that the 7.62 is a good round, especially if the heavier round is necessary. On the other hand, the .223 being a lighter round (recoil) seems like a good choice for range and general shooting. However, as you've all mentioned, the AR seems to me to be more labor intensive vs the others. I would like to have both but I'm leaning toward the AK or FAL and get the AR later as you mentioned Dano523.

I've talked this over with my buddies that have more hands on experience than I do and they concur. Any more thoughts or suggestions would be great!
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:19:17 PM EDT
mustangman: If price is your main concern then the ak is certainly the way to go. I still see them in Shotgun News for under 300 dollars with mags. The sar1's(not wasrs)have chrome bores and take the hicap mags. They are not target or varmint quality (sub moa) but you can hit about anything under 200 yds. I have a 12 year old son who can field strip,load and hit stuff with the ak that my old eyes can't even see. He thinks the ar is like a toy but thinks that ak is the baddest looking weapon on the planet plus if you ran out of ammo in the ak you could take out the mag and beat up most bad guys(joke)
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:58:55 PM EDT
AR and FAL
Man I would hate to be forced to pick a single choice.
cpermd
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:01:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2001 7:00:02 PM EDT by marvl]
Mustang,

What do you mean labor intensive? Field stripping and cleaning? While the FAL is definitely easier to maintain, both are butt-simple. I have both and love shooting both, but if I could only have one I guess it would be the AR.

BTW, I would definitely avoid Wolf ammo. Right now there's a lot of South African surplus on the market that shoots reliably, groups pretty well, and is quite cheap. That would be my choice.

Here's my two children (and, no, I don't carry a picture of them in my wallet )
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:47:58 PM EDT
If you want a real FAL or HK, you will have to spend much money. Otherwise, you are looking a a post-ban clone with the headaches of 10 US parts.

I would recommend the AR first, then a M1 Garand through the CMP for $400 or $500. Those are battlerifles with much more character than the FAL or HK. Who knows, you may get one that was carried in WWII.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 8:50:54 PM EDT
Man, you guys are great. Thanks for all the input. Where to start...

I really like the "looks" of the FAL. It just looks mean. Not that the AR doesn't. And I'm not basing my decisions purely on looks mind you. As far as price goes, the AK is no doubt the leader there. I worry a little about quality but I guess it's a tradeoff.

As far as maintenance goes, I'm not too worried about that as I'm pretty anal about cleaning and such. I've heard that the Wolf ammo is not good for the AR's especially because of the steel casings and the coating on the rounds that can gum up the works.

Does anyone know anything about the HK-G3 made in Portugal? I saw one in Shotgun News for $595. I'm really torn as I like the AR's but the AK's and FAL's are nice too. Sorry if I'm rambling but this is a topic that interests me a lot and I want to learn as much as I can.

marvl, thanks for the pix and cpermd, I can relate about having to choose. Again, you guys are really helping out here!
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 9:31:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2001 9:27:20 PM EDT by cnatra]

Originally Posted By stator:
If you want a real FAL or HK, you will have to spend much money. Otherwise, you are looking a a post-ban clone with the headaches of 10 US parts.



www.dsarms.com

Tough call. AR or FAL for sure BUT I think every able bodied man should have an AR.

So get the AR to start. Ammo is relatively cheap & plentiful & once you have the rifle you could buy another upper to vary the setup.
The 5.56 is accurate & easy to shoot.

Although FAL mags are still cheap now.....
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 10:23:24 PM EDT
Save your heart and go with an AR-15. Yeah, the FAL appeals to the pocket book and has that certain 3rd world charm about it . That all quickly goes a way when you install BATF mandated 6-7 parts for compliance. I had two recalled. I've been dicking with this project since september, and have no idea if I see my rifle working again. AR-15 all the way baby. You don't need to have a big bullet, just a good cross-hair.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 10:33:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nachoman:
Save your heart and go with an AR-15. Yeah, the FAL appeals to the pocket book and has that certain 3rd world charm about it . That all quickly goes a way when you install BATF mandated 6-7 parts for compliance. I had two recalled. I've been dicking with this project since september, and have no idea if I see my rifle working again. AR-15 all the way baby. You don't need to have a big bullet, just a good cross-hair.



So is this a kit gun? If so what make is the receiver?

DSA builds high quality & reliable FAL's

Link Posted: 12/19/2001 11:01:22 PM EDT
One point: the HK does not tear up brass. It does throw it way the hell out (which presumbably can be fixed with a shell ejection bufer), but the brass is fine for reloading.

For my money, I'd go with the AR. It is very accurate, and you can use it as a service rifle in NRA Highpower (the best way to become a good shot IMO). Also, ammo is cheeper than 7.62 NATO, and shooting lots is key. And the low recoil of the 5.56 makes it easy to learn the basics of shooting.

After you get the AR, you can set about getting the FAL or HK or perhaps a Garand or M1A. Just get the AR first.

Link Posted: 12/20/2001 5:54:52 AM EDT
Who makes the receiver? Tannery has 80% FAL receivers. There are also DSA, enterprise, some guy in Oregon making them in aluminum (bad idea), and century.

The HK G3 is probably a clone and NOT an HK. This is like calling an ASA a Colt AR. Typically, somebody builds the receiver and gets HK part kits to finish the rifle. The parts kits are demilled HKs. Many of them were demilled for a good reason.

Your best bet is to get the AR first as new, quality parts are very plentiful. If you want several rifles but are low on cash, then get the AR and the M1 Garand from the CMP like I stated.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:27:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DonS:
One point: the HK does not tear up brass. It does throw it way the hell out (which presumbably can be fixed with a shell ejection bufer), but the brass is fine for reloading.



I absolutely agree. My 91 doesn't destroy the brass. I have the port buffer on mine, and the brass flies to the 2 o'clock position only about 15 feet. I just don't mess with reloading the stuff. It's just as cheap to buy surplus.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:42:45 AM EDT
I have a Centurion G3 (HK clone). It cost $550. Since I didn't have $550 at the time, I traded a 1987 1/2 Nissan Centra for it. It was well worth it too.

It has a diopter sight which is one of the best types of sights you could have on a rifle. There are different versions of it. Mine has a milled aluminum receiver which is meant for heavy-duty use. It's somewhat on the heavy side. Other versions have free-floating barrels and folding bipods. I'm fairly sure they all have scope rails.

If you can do without the diopter, you could go for the CETME rifle, which is an HK contract gun. It's profile is basically identical to the HK-91/G3 design with only subtle differences. It has a different sight and takes a different type of bayonet lug. It has wood furniture (like the older HK-91s) as opposed to synthetic...like my Centurion, which would be considered hideous by the politically-correct elite.

As mentioned earlier, it has a roller-locked delayed blowback system which enables it to be fired reliably in any type of weather. It has a non-reciprocating cocking handle on the left side next to the barrel which can be operated ambidextrously (I know because I shoot left-handed).

There's also a short carbine version and a version with a collapsible stock (G3A4).

I would recommend an HK-91/G3/CETME to anyone!
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:46:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HavocHound:
collapsible stock (G3A4).



The collapsible stock is the A3.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:58:28 AM EDT
I've heard legends about AR-15s that cost $750 or less but I've never seen one before. I've never seen any AR or Bushmaster XM that cost less that $900-$1,000.

If you shoot right-handed and don't really care about ambidextrocity, you could go for a Bushmaster M-17S for $700-$750. It's basically an AR bullpup. It takes regular AR mags, has integral sights in the carry handle, and has a scope rail. The scope rail is on the carry handle and to me seems mounted too high but that could just be me.

My only gripe is that the M-17S can't accept an M-203 and it doesn't have a Quad-Rail forearm for mounting flashlights and laser sights and forearm grips and other such things. But just in its Plain Jane format, it's still a decent rifle.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 5:04:27 PM EDT
You guys have given me lots to think about and I'm reevaluating a bit. I'd just about decided on the FAL but I'm now leaning toward the AR again, which is what I'd thought about to begin with. I like the idea of the smaller round and even though the initial cost of the AR is higher it's probably worth it.

Now I just have to do some research and pin down best price and brand. Maybe I should start another thread asking about Armalite vs Bushmaster vs Colt, etc!

I have to thank my best friend who first turned me on to ar15.com and then suggested that I ask this question in the first place. He's got an Armalite and loves it. And thanks to you guys for the great input. MustangMan
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 7:46:42 PM EDT
So you're leaning towards the AR again. Hey, it's a great rifle so why not? But don't forget about the $5 used FAL mags. If you don't like used mags, TAPCO had 20 rnd never used/never issued Belgian mags for $10 each. And ammo at $.13/rnd isn't that expensive.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 9:15:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cnatra:
I think every able bodied man should have an AR.



DITTO

I have had all the above
H&K - heavy expensive - and yes it does eat some brass (Federal esp.)
FN - carried it- loved when we got the C7
AK - good in quantity
SKS - a good 8 MOA gun
AR - versatile, accurate etc.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 11:00:18 PM EDT
Mustangman,

DPMS lower, Jeffs shooting $119.00
(Or a Rock River is the price is right).
Rifle Kit, JT Dist. $430.
FFL to transfer the receiver $20.00
Total price $590. with shipping

The upper will be built, all you will have to do is install the parts in the lower( 5 minutes is you stop to drink a pespi). Also, you will not need any special tools to build the lower.

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