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Posted: 12/30/2001 12:58:39 AM EDT
This is my first post here, I'm glad to be a member. I've been over at 1911 Forum for a while. I might as well start at the beginning, although some of you might develop a very strong hatred of me...

I'm going to have several thousand dollars to spend on nothing but guns in a couple of months. If you really want to know why, you can email me, but I'd rather not tell the whole world.

Am I a lucky SOB or what? Anyway, before anyone hunts me down and kills me, I need some help. I've only got one gun right now, my 21st birthday present: a Colt M1991A1 Gov't model (great pistol) that my dad bought for me. I plan to reimburse him when I get that money. I've also got my heart set on a S&W snubnose revolver - I found out that I shoot the little J-frames surprisingly well. That'll be my carry gun when the 1911 is too big or heavy for the clothes I plan to wear.

So I figure I need AT LEAST one rifle and one shotgun. Use: general plinking, informal target shooting, and especially defense. I'm leaning towards a semiauto shotgun, probably a Remington Police 11-87 or Benelli M1 Tactical. As for the rifle, well, that's where y'all come in.

As stated, cost is not the first priority. However, I don't want four different rifles to do four different things. I would like to limit myself to two, and preferably one, rifle. I'll still have to buy magazines and ammo, after all. The rifle will unquestionably be a semiauto, "military style" weapon. I'm thinking about the following types, in order of preference: AR15 carbine, M1A, M96 Expeditionary, M1 Garand, AK47 variant.

I nearly bought a Romanian SAR AK-type this fall, before the supply started drying up and the prices went up. I figured it was a good deal then, but I waited too long. However I'm still open to that possibility. The Garand is a personal favorite of mine for sentimental reasons, and I see the M1A as sort of a "modernized" Garand that would be a little more practical for all-around use. I like everything about the Robinson Arms M96 except the price. I will probably end up with some kind of M4gery produced by one of the ABCs. I also haven't decided about pre- or post-ban if I get an AR.

Confession time...I've never fired most of these rifles. My rifle experience is limited to: FNMI M16A3 I qualified on (expert!!), Colt AR15A2 HBAR, really old SKS, and H&K SL8 (nice rifle). I'm really just a pistol expert, and even though I'm on the hi-power team at the Naval Academy, we haven't fired a shot all year (long story - the civilian lady in charge of intermural scheduling won't allow us to practice, arrrgghh). So whatever I get, I will have little experience with it, with one exception: I am VERY experienced with basic M16 maintenance and cleaning, so the AR would be most familiar to me. I like its ergonomics almost as much as the M1/M1A. It's going to be a tough call.

Enough rambling for now. I greatly appreciate any experiences you want to share, and have a happy New Year!
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 1:11:14 AM EDT

...

Enough rambling for now. I greatly appreciate any experiences you want to share, and have a happy New Year!



Welcome and let me be the first to reply at this ungodly hour.
FWIW, I'd say go with an AR post-ban (we're talking shooter here, not collector). As a Colt owner I'd say do NOT pay their current prices (I bought mine back when they were the only game in town). Buy a good quality rifle in 20" configuration from Bushmaster, Olympic, Armalite or Rock River. make certain it's made of FORGED receiver parts. Take any more money you have left after mags, ammo and case and buy yourself an M4gery upper. Now you have two very versatile rifles available to you.
As time, funds and interest allow, you can branch out to uppers in other calibers or optics, or another lower...or...or....aw geez, just buy one of everything for the rest of your life...
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:27:58 AM EDT
I'd wait on buying an AK until the Afghanistan deal calms down. Seems all those pictures of Afghanis running around with those AKs caused a run on the market and the prices have shot up. They are coming back down some as we speak, but I don't think they'll drop back down completely. If you want to know more about the AK, visit us on the "dark side" at the sister site, ak.ar15.com, or just click on the site navigator in the upper left.

The M-1 Garand has alot going for it. It's low cost, and 8rd clips are far cheaper than anything else. You can also get it straight from US Army stocks from the www.odcmp.com.

The M-1A is a great rifle, mags cost a bunch (like $35-45 each) and that adds up quick. The rifle itself isn't exactly cheap to bigin with either to get one that works.

The M96 suffers from it's price tag. It is a cool design, and they are well made, but you're paying pre-ban prices for a post-ban gun. In the end you could buy two ARs for the same price as one M96 and they would all do the same thing.

The AR is probably the best choice for the first rifle. Cost wise it's sensible. Unit cost is not that high for a post-ban. Even pre-ban cost would be similar to the M-1A and M-96. Mag cost is still quite low compared to the M-1A. If you ever continue in high-power competition, you need to go to the AR to get anywhere nowdays. You will save money in the long run by just buying different upper halves in the future, effectively giving you different rifles at half the cost. You can use everything from a Match upper, to a carbine upper, to even a dedicated .22LR upper on the same lower. It gives you a versatility if you're only going to be using one rifle.

I'd recommend the AR (and I own all the others except the M96). It's the most cost effective of the bunch. Will give you growth room for match or other use. You've already trainied with it some, so it's not completely new. I vote for the AR.

Ross
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:52:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 5:23:48 AM EDT
If you want the best flexibility, you should go with an AR-15 or AR-10 if you want 7.62.

Parts are easy to get and you can switch uppers to use a rifle for many purposes. An M1 is a good collector's item but not as useful. M1A is nice but not as good for hunting or target shooting (the ARs have almost replaced them at serious levels).

A pre-ban AK is needed in a full collection but the post ban cheepies aren't useful for much.

Don't get a post ban FAL. None are made of all new parts. Stick with a pre-ban from FN or Springfield.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 7:42:05 AM EDT
Welcome !!

First may I congratulate you on being bright enough to get into the Naval Academy Academy and smart enough to go.

On shotguns others are better qualified.
I have a couple of semi-auto Belgium Brownings (one a "Sweet Sixten") A5's. If it gets any better than these I wouldn't understand anyway.

Especially at your age I would buy a preban AR-15 - lots of time for maybe some appreciation but your first AR should have evil features - bayonet lug, flash-suppressor, etc.
Others posting have already stated the AR's versatility - different uppers, etc.

My pre-ban choice AR would be Eagle Arms or Bushmaster.

Since you're going to be seeing-the-world, don't forget to save a buck to buy a couple of good lockable hardcases for safely shipping/transporting your firearms.

Happy New Year and the very best of luck with your Navy career !
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 7:50:19 AM EDT
That's a no brainer. If you are going to have the money do you want to drive a corvette or a pinto. Spend the extra and get a Pre-ban Colt.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 8:12:02 AM EDT
Welcome to the family. First off there is not much to choose from between the shotguns. The Remington kicks less and cycles slower. The Benelli kicks like a mule and cycles faster than any shotgun I know of. I had several Remingtons and liked them. Then I got bit by the Benelli and now have 2. If you are only getting 1 and have the money go with the Benelli. The poor mans Benelli, Beretta, is nice but never seemed to pattern tightly for me.
As to AR's, again if you have the money get a pre ban Bushmaster or Colt. You can add to your collection later. Good luck and good shooting.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 8:46:53 AM EDT
McNamara-
Neat choice of user i.d. as he was probably the main reason the Air Force adapted the AR15 and the rest of the Armed Forces during Vietnam.

Get the AR. The M96 looks cool but I sold mine after the novelty wore off. AR is far superior in my opinion. Then get an AK and after that get a FAL. Then you will have a well rounded collection.

Mark
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 8:54:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 9:04:35 AM EDT by Rudison]
Cousin McNamara,
You never call any more. I didn't here anthing about us getting any money.

Buy the best AR you can afford with out dipping into my share. I would think about an M-4gery and the new Bushmaster Varmint top end with a leupold M-1 3.5 X 10.

Wilson does a great job on Rem. 870's, I prefer my benelli M-121. (Old School, no plastic and cycles fast as hell)

Here's where the flames come.
Pistol choice: Browning Hipower in 40 S&W. the design works and 10 rounds is enough.

Congrats and Thanx for chosing the Navy.
God Speed,
Rudison.
edited because I'm too Dum to get into Annapolis
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:23:30 PM EDT
Thanks for the warm welcome, everybody. I must apologize to all the Navy guys out there, because if things go as planned I'll be commissioned into the Marine Corps when I graduate. It's not my fault, really! They lured me with promises of guns and cool uniforms.

There is just so much to discuss about shotguns and other rifles that I'll try to keep this about AR15s. I agree that an AR would be the best choice for my first rifle. I already know the design well, and I'll be able to take good care of it from the beginning. Plus I like the ergonomics and the placement of controls.

I'm planning on a carbine length because it meets my needs better. Light weight makes humping easier, shorter length makes for easier room clearing, and you don't lose much velocity or accuracy. I'm actually not much interested in shooting any hi-power matches. The main reason I'm on the team is to get a chance to shoot SOMETHING. It's sad how little we shoot at the Academy, and right now intermural basketball has a higher priority on my time than improving my skills as a future Marine officer. Every Marine is a rifleman, so shouldn't we have time to become the best marksman we can? We've got Armalite match-grade AR15s with green stocks (the AR15 replaced the M14 with camo fiberglass stocks, which I really wish I had a chance to shoot) and a million rounds of Black Hills match ammo just sitting in the armory. Maybe our new Commandant, a Marine Colonel, will set things right and make sure we are allowed to practice.

Well, that's all the bitching I'll do in this post. I've been thinking over the pros and cons of pre-ban rifles, and I can't come up with very many pros. I don't think I need a telescoping stock. Sure it looks cool and it's a bit lighter, plus it can be more compact if you want. I still prefer the A2 stock - I get a good cheek weld and it feels so much more durable. I would like to have a flash hider, but I would not like to pay twice as much just to have one. I have no need for the bayonet lug. It's really tough to find a pre-ban M4gery for less than $1500. Most pre-bans I see are the Colt Sporters with uppers that I'd have to replace anyway, and I really dislike the large pivot hole in Colt lowers. It's tough for me to say, as a hard-core Colt loyalist, but I probably won't buy a Colt.

Bushmaster and Fulton Armory make M4 style uppers that I really like, but I've recently been lured by Wilson. They build several AR carbines with very accurate barrels, 3-lb single-stage triggers, and a few other nice features. They're pricey, but I think it would still be a good buy. For $1600 I can get a single rifle that will do everything I want, and I wouldn't need to buy any other uppers. I would like to hear opinions both ways on the Wilson ARs.

As for optics, who has experience with Leupold's new CQ/T (close quarters/tactical) sight? It's already being sold at Botach for about $700, and it's variable between 1X (like a red dot) and 3X for longer ranges. It's tempting.

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:25:25 PM EDT
Okay, I might as well ask a little about shotguns while I'm at it. I like the Scattergun (Wilson) K-9, which is an upgraded 11-87. The lower recoil sounds nice, but then I didn't mind the twelve-gauge recoil in an over/under (that's the only kind of shotgun I've ever fired). How bad is the Benelli's recoil? Are there any regulations regarding the pistol-grip stock? Whenever I see a pistol-grip model it always has the shorter five-round magazine. Also, what are the advantages or disadvantages of the two types of action (gas versus recoil operation)?
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:02:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 3:04:23 PM EDT by AFARR]
I'll throw in on the Shotgun part of the question, as the others covered the rifles pretty well.

I would go for the Benelli M1 or the same gun with a little different plastic in the Beretta 1201. Both are great post-ban self defense shotguns. Reliability may suffer with light loads and LOTS (side saddle, surefire forearm, etc) of accessories as they are both recoil operated. The 11-87 is fine, but is a gas gun, and you are at the mercy of the gas system if things go bad. Recoil is definitely stiffer in a Benelli than in other guns--a function of the design and fairly light weight, but Fed. Tactical Buck is easy enough to shoot out of my Benelli and Beretta.

My advice would be to get a Good FAL (cheap mags, reliable) like the DSA STG-58A guns and the Benelli M-1 (or M-3 so you can pump if you want). If you are unlikely to have significant quantities of money to spend on guns later on, I would get the expensive ones now and let the less expensive (J frame, etc.) ones come as money allows.

Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:19:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Helldog40:

...

Enough rambling for now. I greatly appreciate any experiences you want to share, and have a happy New Year!



Welcome and let me be the first to reply at this ungodly hour.
FWIW, I'd say go with an AR post-ban (we're talking shooter here, not collector). As a Colt owner I'd say do NOT pay their current prices (I bought mine back when they were the only game in town). Buy a good quality rifle in 20" configuration from Bushmaster, Olympic, Armalite or Rock River. make certain it's made of FORGED receiver parts. Take any more money you have left after mags, ammo and case and buy yourself an M4gery upper. Now you have two very versatile rifles available to you.
As time, funds and interest allow, you can branch out to uppers in other calibers or optics, or another lower...or...or....aw geez, just buy one of everything for the rest of your life...



I agree except that I would say buy a "Pre-Ban" rifle.... spend about $1300 or so and get a PWA or Eagle Arms.... still a quality rifle but less expensive than a Colt or Bushmaster. Then buy a telescoping stock and an M4 upper (if you want the telescoping stock feature) Then you can put any dang upper you want (pre-ban or post ban) on that lower of yours. You should be able to get all of that for less than $2000 total (since it sounds like money isn't a huge deal) and you'll have both an effective full sized battle rifle and the ability to swap uppers and buttstocks and have a great carbine.

Me personally. I own 3 pre-ban AR's and all are in Carbine configurations (2 M4's and one "Commando" 11.5" barrel with 5.5" flash hider)

Hope that helps
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:35:31 PM EDT
No problem with you becoming a Marine, three of my friends walk for a living. I prefer a nice moving deck thank you.
You seem to know what you want and the choices are good. I would ask some of the older dogs that post here thier opinion of Wilson's stuff, it seems pricey as hell.
I have a PWA lower with an honest to God Colt M-4 top end that I got in a trade.
I do miss the wife sometimes though.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:43:27 PM EDT
Ross, Please PLEASE let me in on your source for $35 M1A Mags! I need some!

I was poor when I started so I got the AK first then a Franken-FAL THEN an AR. I got a pre-ban PWA which I couldn't be happier with.
I love my M1A but it is NOT an inexpensive rifle in any way shape or form to own. Take that into consideration for down the road. My advise is sink the money into great AR first.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:02:45 PM EDT
Why spend the extra money on the pre-ban over a post-ban? How much use are you going to get out of the bayonet and flash hider? I have rifles with both those evil features and I must admit I have never taken one of my rifles out of the house with the bayonet and I don't shoot at night so a FH is of no help to me either. If you plan to use a bayonet or shoot at night then go for the pre-ban, but if not then save that extra money and buy some ammo and mags.

Just my 2¢ and I know thats all it's worth :)

Hooligan
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:12:40 PM EDT
As far as a shotgun goes, get a Beretta. Anything else is absolute JUNK! Don't waste your money on a pre-ban, get a post-ban! As far as a pistol goes, well, I need not say...


Glock_head out.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:17:00 PM EDT
get an m4 variant, when you have and startto set it up youll know why, i recommended it, it is the nicest weapon to personalize......
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:18:09 PM EDT
get an m4 variant, when you have and startto set it up youll know why, i recommended it, it is the nicest weapon to personalize......and welcome......yeah i hate you cuz you get to spend dough on toys instead of bills, dammit im jealous....
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:24:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By McNamara:
This is my first post here, I'm glad to be a member. I've been over at 1911 Forum for a while. I might as well start at the beginning, although some of you might develop a very strong hatred of me...



Welcome aboard! But, a fair warning- this place isn't as docile as the 1911 Forums. Be ready to defend yourself, knave.


I'm going to have several thousand dollars to spend on nothing but guns in a couple of months. If you really want to know why, you can email me, but I'd rather not tell the whole world.


Your money is your business; congrats on having enough of it to spend on firearms.


Am I a lucky SOB or what? Anyway, before anyone hunts me down and kills me, I need some help. I've only got one gun right now, my 21st birthday present: a Colt M1991A1 Gov't model (great pistol) that my dad bought for me. I plan to reimburse him when I get that money. I've also got my heart set on a S&W snubnose revolver - I found out that I shoot the little J-frames surprisingly well. That'll be my carry gun when the 1911 is too big or heavy for the clothes I plan to wear.


First recommendation: don't get into the 'gun of the day' trap. Pick something you're going to carry and stick with it. That may well mean the purchase of a third gun. But, pick something reliable that will work in all situations.

Different weather and clothing requires different guns and carry styles. If you get especially used to one style, you'll be at a disadvantage when you switch guns. And, if you're going to have to use a gun to protect yourself or others, you don't want to be confused or needing to take a second to think. It needs to be automatic and you need to be 'programmed' to respond.

Pick one gun and one carry style... and STICK WITH IT.


So I figure I need AT LEAST one rifle and one shotgun. Use: general plinking, informal target shooting, and especially defense. I'm leaning towards a semiauto shotgun, probably a Remington Police 11-87 or Benelli M1 Tactical. As for the rifle, well, that's where y'all come in.


A shotgun for plinking? You've got more shoulder than I ever will. If money truly isn't an option, buy a preban shotgun. You can't go wrong with the Benelli M1 Tactical. If you can find a VERIFIED preban 11-87, go for that.


As stated, cost is not the first priority. However, I don't want four different rifles to do four different things. I would like to limit myself to two, and preferably one, rifle. I'll still have to buy magazines and ammo, after all. The rifle will unquestionably be a semiauto, "military style" weapon. I'm thinking about the following types, in order of preference: AR15 carbine, M1A, M96 Expeditionary, M1 Garand, AK47 variant.


Continued--->
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:25:29 PM EDT
Very wise. If you really want to go on the cheap, pick a pistol-caliber rifle or get a conversion. Imagine just having to buy .45acp; some for the 1991 and come for a Olympic pistol-caliber converted AR-15! (Then again, there ARE disadvantages to pistol vs rifle calibers. Buit, that's a different discussion for a different day.)

I'd go for something that has available mags and spare parts. When I purchase a gun, I want reliability, easy repairs, and availability. To discuss further:

1. I love the Daewoo. It's priced good. But, barrels and spare parts are nearly impossible to find. Thus, I avoid it.

2. I like the UZI. Spare parts can be found, as can spare barrels. The price is slightly higher than I'd prefer, but it's still accaptable. Not my highest choice, but still a good one.

3. I love the M1A's reliability. It never ceases to amaze me in regard to its accuracy. However, mags aren't cheap and repair is best done by a gunsmith. Thus, I'll take others before I take it.

4. The AR-15 and AK-47 have it in all departments. They can be inexpensive, mags are plentiful, repairs are easy (relatively easy for AK), and accuracy is acceptable (AK) to possibly outstanding (AR).

My advice is to go with the AR-15. Spare parts are accessable, many people know how to use/repair/train you with it, and the .223 caliber is a good all-around caliber.


I nearly bought a Romanian SAR AK-type this fall, before the supply started drying up and the prices went up. I figured it was a good deal then, but I waited too long. However I'm still open to that possibility. The Garand is a personal favorite of mine for sentimental reasons, and I see the M1A as sort of a "modernized" Garand that would be a little more practical for all-around use. I like everything about the Robinson Arms M96 except the price. I will probably end up with some kind of M4gery produced by one of the ABCs. I also haven't decided about pre- or post-ban if I get an AR.


If you like the SAR, go get one. They won't ever get cheaper. Yeah, you could have gotten one a bit ago for less. But, do you think they'll fall back to that price? It's a lot more likely that they'll only go up MORE as the supply shrinks.

I'm not a big fan of the Garand. But, we're not talking about me- we're talking about you. If you like it and it means something to you, don't be afraid to buy one. Yes, the M1A is probably slightly more desirable with the capacity. But, get what you like.

As for pre/post... I obviously have my preferences. Prebans don't go down in value, either. But, do what you prefer and what your budget allows.

Oh, and IF you decide that you must have a preban, remember two things:

1. Ensure that it was a complete rifle before the ban. Even if the lower was made in the 70's, if it was never a complete rifle it's just an old postban. If you're offered something as a "preban," VERIFY THE SERIAL NUMBERS.

2. Brands of lowerrs mean little. Yeah, people who have horses (Colt) or a snake (Bushmaster) on the sides of their lower will have the satisfaction of saying that their gun is a $2k gun [if it's complete]. People with "PWA" or "Eagle Arms" on the sides of their guns will have their rifle, a LOT of spare magazines, some ammo, and maybe a second upper and can say that the whole lot of it cost less than $2k.

Continued again--->
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:26:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 4:30:05 PM EDT by prebans]
On the other hand, if the assault weapons ban continues beyond 2004, their guns will go up more in value than PWA/Eagle Arms guns.

As for M1A's, stick to Springfield. Norinco M1A's suck; they're inaccurate, some parts weren't properly heat-treated, and they're not always perfectly to spec.


Confession time...I've never fired most of these rifles. My rifle experience is limited to: FNMI M16A3 I qualified on (expert!!), Colt AR15A2 HBAR, really old SKS, and H&K SL8 (nice rifle). I'm really just a pistol expert, and even though I'm on the hi-power team at the Naval Academy, we haven't fired a shot all year (long story - the civilian lady in charge of intermural scheduling won't allow us to practice, arrrgghh). So whatever I get, I will have little experience with it, with one exception: I am VERY experienced with basic M16 maintenance and cleaning, so the AR would be most familiar to me. I like its ergonomics almost as much as the M1/M1A. It's going to be a tough call.


If you've got that much money, just buy a M1A and an AR-15.


Enough rambling for now. I greatly appreciate any experiences you want to share, and have a happy New Year!


Well, here's wishing you a happy new year from another 'youngster' (22) to another!

EDITED to add: Consider one more thing. You're in the military. What rifle do you use/train with? Is it a full sized A2? M4? Consider getting an exact copy of what you use to improve your marksmanship and familiarity with your weapon. But, if you're going to do this, no shortcuts-- get the preban and make it an exact carbon-copy of what you use. (Perhaps sans full-auto.) Get used to the collapsable stock [if applicable] and the flash suppressor.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 4:56:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 5:00:04 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 5:58:54 PM EDT
Welcome to the board!

As far as shotguns, go with the Benelli. My friends got a semi-auto, and that thing FAST!

I second the buying a lower (Bushmaster, but Eagle Arms are great especially for the money) and putting an M4 upper on it. Preferably Bushmaster (just my opinion of course).

I know you mentioned you were looking at Wilsons, but remember that their barrels aren't chrome lined. A very important thing with AR15's if you ask me. Make sure you get one with a chrome lined barrel.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 7:08:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Originally Posted By McNamara:
........ I must apologize to all the Navy guys out there, because if things go as planned I'll be commissioned into the Marine Corps.....

"Darn right you should apologize !!!
Do you know the Marines go, go...camping ?? They actually live outside in tents and dig and squat in holes !
Not that things weren't tough on subs. I remember the week we only had steak three times !!
---------------------------------------------


Every Marine is a rifleman.....

You know this and you still want to go with these guys ??
There's still time to change.
And you can forget my crap posted earlier about being bright and smart !



Link Posted: 12/30/2001 9:13:25 PM EDT
Bright and smart I may not be, but I want a job where I carry an M16 with me wherever I go. If that means camping, too, so be it. I didn't like the Boy Scouts much, but that's because we never got cammied up and humped machine guns. The woods are much more interesting with a SAW and 200 rounds ready to go.

Back to the present day. Money is somewhat of a concern (although not the most important), as I'll have to pay it back eventually (it's part of a loan, okay?) so I don't want to just blow it on an impulse. Thank you for the heads up on Wilson, seamusmcoi. I don't remember reading on their web site that the barrels weren't chrome-lined. I would gladly shoot a non-chrome-lined barrel, but I'll be damned if I clean it!

So let's talk triggers. I don't need a match-grade trigger, but I'd like something at least as nice as my Colt '91. Should I get single stage or two-stage? I know how they feel, but I wonder which would be better for a tactical rifle. I have in mind quick follow-up shots, and it seems that single-stage may be better for that. Recommendations in this category are welcome.

Shotguns for plinking...well, let's just say I think they're really fun, and I tend to shoot fun firearms alot despite any pain or financial expense. I'll try to keep the shotgun under $1k. By the way, what kind of features will a pre-ban shotgun get me?

My military rifle experience has so far been limited to the M16A3. For some reason the Boat School has a whole armory full of the 'A3s, but of course they never let us fire on full auto. I have yet to fire ANYthing on full auto. I think the A2/3 design is rather impractical. Its extra weight defeats the original purpose of the M16, and its length is annoying in tight quarters. I will be issued an A2 if I become an infantry officer, but if I fly I'll only shoot one for my annual re-qual. I feel comfortable enough with the design that I don't need any more practice with it, so I'll get the rifle that I want, which is an M4 style. The only way I'll actually get to use one of these in the Marines is if I make it into Force Recon. Until then, I'll just pretend with a 4gery.

Bushmaster is looking really good at this point. Can anyone give me comparisons between BM and Fulton? I can probably drive to the Fulton Armory's shop since it's in Maryland and check out their products. Here are two uppers that are near the top of my list:

www.bushmaster.com/shopping/uppers/post-ban/pura2b16m4.asp

www.fulton-armory.com/

It's the "GEN II Classic FAR-15A4: Numbered Military-Contract Flattop Upper with 16" M4-profile barrel." Both the Fulton and BM uppers have 16-inch barrels, M4 profile, flattop, and (not sure about Fulton's) chrome-lined barrels. The Fulton upper also has a removable muzzle protector that looks like the A2 flash hider.

Let the discussion continue!
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 10:01:14 AM EDT
McNamara,
Welcome to the club from the class of '79. 18th Co, 3rd Bat, 1st Regiment. Sometimes I actually miss Ma Bancroft.

Anyway, here is my advice. If you don't have the time or energy to search for a good deal on a pre-ban rifle, then get the Bushmaster M4 Postban with the A3 upper (no extra cost if you forego the detachable carry handle)and ask them for the A2 stock instead of the fake collapsible. You get a better cheek weld and you've got the cleaning kit storage. Even better is an A1 stock if you can scrounge one up someplace. The flat top gives you the most flexibility with optics and backup iron sights.

If you want a longer barreled match grade upper, its easy enough to swap.

With regards to a preban, don't be so quick to dismiss their advantages. Personally, I'd love to see the ban sunset in '04, but I'm not holding my breath. If you search around, you can get find a deal on non colt or bushmaster preban and then you have the option of using collapsible stocks, or barrels with flash suppressors or bayonet lugs, or the post-ban style. As an example, I bought a preban SGW (Olympic Arms) that had sat in the gun safe from 1989 to 2001. Maybe 200 rds fired through it. I sold the CAR upper it came with for $200 and bought a Bushmaster M4 upper 14.5" w/ Phantom flash suppressor for about $350. End result, pre-ban M4 for $900. Unless you get a really great deal from your local gunstore, the post-ban version new from Bushmaster will run you about $100 less.

Anyway, get what you want. If the bug bites you, you'll eventually want to get another one or a new upper, etc. You won't be satisfied with just one. If however, you remain immune to the bug, get what you want and you'll be happy. If you assume that there are x number of members here, you'll get 1.5x number of ideal combinations (at least!!).
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 10:42:31 AM EDT
I'm going to quit joking with you about your incredibly poor choice in becoming a Marine when, by act of Congress, you could be a "Naval Officer" and therefore a gentleman.

However over on the "General Discussion Board" there's a great arguement going on about "your favorite MRE." You might want to peruse some of the excellent choices.

Finally, I am forced to admit (Gasp, choke strangling-sounds) my own brother was a Marine.
And in Vietnam.

You might review my "standing orders" to him on the eve of his departure. "If you're shot I want it to be in the ass or heel as proof you were running and/or diving."
(He came back without a scratch.)

The very best to you with your rifle selection, the balance of your time at the Academy, your military career and the rest of your life.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 11:08:02 AM EDT


Not that things weren't tough on subs. I remember the week we only had steak three times !!



5subslr5, maybe you'd like to describe what can go wrong on a sub when you try to flush the toilet after taking a dump. Think I'd stick to camping.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 11:19:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By marvl:


Not that things weren't tough on subs. I remember the week we only had steak three times !!



5subslr5, maybe you'd like to describe what can go wrong on a sub when you try to flush the toilet after taking a dump. Think I'd stick to camping.


marvl,
you're of course referring to highly skilled, trained, motivated and completely fearless fighting (mostly in bars) sailors here.

Now specific to your question, taking a dump and flushing ain't a problem.

However, when you prepare to blow the sanitary-tank out to sea and forget to close a valve/s....now that can turn into a right 'shitty' situation and quickly !!
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 2:07:58 PM EDT
Subs. Yeah, I know all about you guys. Well, there was this one really awesome sub officer, Captain "Fleetwood Mac" McDonald. He was the 6th Batt officer when I was a plebe, until they decided that he wasn't a very good role model for us (not enough of a starched shirt for their standards). He told the best sea stories.

Unfortunately, we've sent a few real losers into the sub fleet since I got here. One guy I know will probably get stuffed into the reactor compartment or fired out a torpedo tube by his sailors if he doesn't strangle them all first (horrible temper and unpredictable mood swings, not a good thing to have on a cramped boat). Another guy is a total social reject and kiss-ass. I have to put up with him in the same company next semester. But then I do know some fine people who are going to be sub officers, maybe they'll cancel out the tools.

I'm in my third company so far. 29 Palms plebe year, 8 Ball as a youngster, and now 23rd Company. I lived on decks 8-3, 1-1, and now 1-4. Next year it will rpobably be somewhere in 6th wing. No, I didn't "love chit" all over the place. The 'dant moved our entire class each year, instead of just shotgunning us after plebe year. We've been shafted so many times (priviledges taken away needless new regs, etc.) that "getting the '03" is starting to become a saying for getting screwed.

I suppose it all builds character. By the way, we had the last real plebe summer (and the hottest on record).

Back to business. I'll try to find a good deal on a pre-ban, but I'd rather not buy in Maryland, and that's where I'll be for the next two months. It looks like new complete lowers are going for $250-$300, and uppers for a bit over $500. Not a bad deal, but if I could put together a pre-ban 4gery for just a little more money and effort I'd go for it.

I think the bug has already hit me. Can that happen even before I buy anything? I'll try to stave it off as long as possible by getting a good rifle the first time, but eventually I'll have to get an AK, a FAL, an M1A, an M1, and more ARs.

Oh yeah, I like most MREs. Some are nasty, but I think the Chow Mein and Beef Stew are pretty delicious. Occasionally I eat them just because they taste so damn good. Am I kidding? Maybe. But you know what else? Those little chemical heater units are useful in other ways. I didn't tell you to do this, but put one in a large plastic bottle, fill it with water, and then quickly screw the cap on and toss it. Woohoo!

Thanks for the encouragement, y'all, and I'll just have to take this ribbing with a grain of salt. Remember, it takes guts to go in there and kill face to face, rather than to push a button a thousand miles away. Oh, that must have hurt! You know I'm kidding. Best of luck to ya.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:25:54 PM EDT
3 grand, to do all THAT, is nothing much. High Power teaches you almost NOTHING of the sort of shooting that MATTERS. I wouldn't pay the price of a postban, because Bush's popularity is probably going to win him the election in 2004, and if the 94 ban is allowed to sunset, the preban's won't be worth more than $50 or so more than the post bans. Ditto the mags. I wouldn't pay today's prices for more than a very few. The .22 conversion unit, and ideally, another such unit and its own "upper", will pay for itself in short order, practicing the necessary snapshooting skills. Luminous sight inserts, ambi safety, scope, free floated barrel, forend mounted bipod, see-through scope mount, all are very useful for a general utility rifle. If you want to match your issue rifle's "feel", don't get the single stage trigger job. I'd skip the shotgun until I REALLY had the rifle and pistol donw pat. That's because you have to learn to "slap" the shotgun's trigger, and doing so is likely to screw up your other shooting if you aren't superbly well grounded in the other 2 weapons. Also, shotshells, especially buck and slugs, are very expensive. The shotgun can't replace either the pistol or the rifle, and if you are truly skilled with the other 2 types of guns, the shotgun has little to offer. That's IF you load the .45 with RBCD pre frags. Their 90 grs at 2000 fps loads have 800 ft lbs of energy, which they actually transfer to the target. That sort of performance, with solid chest hits, makes the pistol ok to 20 ft or so, and then real speed with the rifle takes over from there. You really shouldnt settle for the 38 snub, ever. Stick with one of the compact, alloy framed versions of the 1911, and just figure out how to dress accordingly. A .22 conversion for it will let you practice cheaply, and not have to bother with swapping the parts back and forth on the Govt'Model. Get an electronic shooting timer ($150) so that you can discover what real ability is with firearms. Slowfire is virtually meaningless. Anyone can get the hits, if he has enough time. The issue is, can get the hits FAST enough to save yourself?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:26:38 PM EDT
3 grand, to do all THAT, is nothing much. High Power teaches you almost NOTHING of the sort of shooting that MATTERS. I wouldn't pay the price of a postban, because Bush's popularity is probably going to win him the election in 2004, and if the 94 ban is allowed to sunset, the preban's won't be worth more than $50 or so more than the post bans. Ditto the mags. I wouldn't pay today's prices for more than a very few. The .22 conversion unit, and ideally, another such unit and its own "upper", will pay for itself in short order, practicing the necessary snapshooting skills. Luminous sight inserts, ambi safety, scope, free floated barrel, forend mounted bipod, see-through scope mount, all are very useful for a general utility rifle. If you want to match your issue rifle's "feel", don't get the single stage trigger job. I'd skip the shotgun until I REALLY had the rifle and pistol donw pat. That's because you have to learn to "slap" the shotgun's trigger, and doing so is likely to screw up your other shooting if you aren't superbly well grounded in the other 2 weapons. Also, shotshells, especially buck and slugs, are very expensive. The shotgun can't replace either the pistol or the rifle, and if you are truly skilled with the other 2 types of guns, the shotgun has little to offer. That's IF you load the .45 with RBCD pre frags. Their 90 grs at 2000 fps loads have 800 ft lbs of energy, which they actually transfer to the target. That sort of performance, with solid chest hits, makes the pistol ok to 20 ft or so, and then real speed with the rifle takes over from there. You really shouldnt settle for the 38 snub, ever. Stick with one of the compact, alloy framed versions of the 1911, and just figure out how to dress accordingly. A .22 conversion for it will let you practice cheaply, and not have to bother with swapping the parts back and forth on the Govt'Model. Get an electronic shooting timer ($150) so that you can discover what real ability is with firearms. Slowfire is virtually meaningless. Anyone can get the hits, if he has enough time. The issue is, can get the hits FAST enough to save yourself?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 6:02:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By McNamara:
Subs.

Unfortunately, we've sent a few real losers into the sub fleet since I got here. One guy I know will probably get stuffed into the reactor compartment or fired out a torpedo tube by his sailors if he doesn't strangle them all first (horrible temper and unpredictable mood swings, not a good thing to have on a cramped boat). Another guy is a total social reject and kiss-ass.


Mc N
as you pointed out this is simply good natured ribbing.

I do want to mention something serious and maybe something to mention to a friend or two.
In over seven years active duty I served with exactly "TWO" incompetent officers on the boats.
This fact is both a testament to the officers who choose to serve and the selection process of the Navy. One more time; two out of hundreds were incompetent. Each was asked not to remain in the Navy.

No inter/intra service rivavlry with this next comment. The position of submarine captain is one of the hardest to achieve in any Navy in the world. One of the primary reasons is simply availability of "slots." Maybe one thousand in the world.

I knew "Fleetwood Mac." Not yours of course but probably three or four like him. These types have that certain undefinable "something" that causes men to follow and willingly. For this guy his crew would put-it-on-the-line when he requested.

The bad news about "Mac" is the starched-shirts would not have liked him - they would have despised his ease with command and authority - his ability to get things done with seemingly little effort. Never mind his lack of ass-kissing abilities.
The good news? In time of war "Mac" and his type take over. Why ? Because "Mac" can get the job done and the starched ones cannot.

Finally a quick word about "horrible temper" and "social reject."
First they must get through sub school.
Second, no one, seaman apprentice or ensign goes on a boat with dolphins. Each must qualify - over about a six month period - to wear the fins.
No EM can qualify without the assistance of the officers. No officer can qualify without the assistance of the EM's.
The qualifying process is the first step in welding new sailors into an integral part of the crew. Everyone helps everyone else. Everyone breathes the same air and takes the same risks - even to everyone eating the same chow.

Horrible-temper and social-reject will be submitted to the same process. A process that has served the submarine force well for many decades.

Oh, if you can't get qualified - you can't stay.
Seems there's always a need for failed officers in Thule, Greenland and other such career enhancing garden spots.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:59:47 PM EDT
Like you said, hopefully those guys will shape up or ship out. I know they won't be given any responsibility unless they meet the high standards, but I'm surprised they made it through the nuke interview! They look good on paper and apparently have the smarts to get through nuke school (the social reject got a scholarship to Oxford). Oh well, it's none of my concern anymore. I've got to worry about the guys that are going Marine Corps!

Jett3, it seems like you've got all the answers. I agree with most of what you say, but I must disagree with your opinion on carry guns. To make this short, let me just say that I don't like compact 1911s. I can't explain much of my taste in firearms, but I just can't buy, much less carry, a gun that I don't like. In addition, I shoot the J-frame about as well as the full-size 1911, and I shoot the 1911 better than any other pistol. In the rare occasions when I choose to leave the 1911 at home, I want a lightweight pistol with me that I can shoot very well.

I'm not quite sure what you mean about pre-bans versus post-bans. Are you saying I shouldn't buy a post-ban now, because I can get a pre-ban in two years for the same price? Also there is no guarantee that Bush will let the ban sunset. He may extend it as a peace offering to the Democraps, or in exchange for something else. Who knows?

I'm painfully aware of hi-power's impracticality. Who wears heavy shooting jackets and gloves into combat? Like I said I'm just doing it to improve my basic skills and get trigger time. It's literally the only way I can shoot a real weapon at the Academy. My issue rifle is a demilled M1 Garand - for parades. I've never been issued a working weapon. Isn't that sad? You all should write your congressmen about that, God knows I have little influence. I know, I promised no more bitching, and there I go again.

So there's no point in trying to make my personal rifle like a military A2. I wouldn't want an A2 anyway, 3-round burst or not (I would very much like a full-auto M4, though!) so I'll just put what I want on the rifle. Still, I will probably start out with a mil-spec trigger, which is good enough for a while.

Continued in the next post...
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 8:00:35 PM EDT
You have a good point about the shotgun, jett3. Damn it, why did you have to mention that? I really wanted to buy one. Okay, new question - assume that I have already bought the AR I wanted, and I still have a little over a grand left in my gun fund. Benelli M1 Tactical for $800 or a nice $1100 .308 semiauto? Don't dare try to talk me out of buying two long guns, it's going to happen. :) So would I get more use out of an auto shotgun or another rifle? I have in mind either a compact FAL, maybe from Arizona RS, or a Springfield M1A standard model. Both would run a little over $1k. I've never shot a .308 rifle, so that's another thing to consider, but I am familiar with the M1's ergonomics (what else am I going to do with a drill rifle? I point it out the window at people when they're not looking, that's what. So I already like the feel of a Garand). Which gun would have the better trigger, FAL or M1A? I know FAL mags are much cheaper than M14 mags.

Maybe it would help to be more specific on my intended use for these weapons. First, simply to own and shoot for fun. Second, self defense. No serious competition, no hunting (unless I were to buy an M1A, then I might take some deer), and not as collector's items. Just to have fun and, if the need arises, defend myself and my home.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 8:38:49 PM EDT
My advice remains constant on the AR.
Get a pre-ban Bushmaster or Eagle Arms carbine.
Lookfor maybe a 95% or so rifle as you're going to shoot it anyway.

Almost certainly the M1A1 will have a better trigger than the FAL.
Take a look at the Springfield Armory site. There's an M1A1 Squad/Scout that I like the looks of. Post ban but you can still use pre-ban mags.

Don't forget to budget for a couple of good lockable hardcases.

Don't make too big a deal about mags. You can do a lot of shooting with three or four mags/rifle.

Happy New Year !
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 10:43:53 PM EDT
Yeah, but how else am I gonna fill up those mag pouches? I'm the kind of guy that likes to pack around eight mags as though the Commies are just over the next hill. If I commit to a weapon, I'm more than likely gonna buy at least ten mags, but the mag cost isn't as important as the qualities of the particular weapon.

I don't know if I'm going to have time to find a good deal on a pre-ban. It's hard enough to find a pre-ban that's not a Colt Sporter, and even the few Olys and BMs I've seen are too expensive to be worth the pre-ban features. I go back to Canoe U on Thursday, I'll have the mulah sometime in late February, and then I'll be home for Spring Break in early March. I don't want to spend the whole week of vacation searching for an AR!

More evidence of my strange taste in guns - I don't like the looks of the Scout M1A, but I like the standard length. However, I like the looks of the compact FAL for some reason. Go figure. If I had to choose a .308 right now it would be the Springfield M1A standard, walnut stock.

Here's another thought I just had. What if I don't get an AR for my first rifle? I could get an M1A instead. I'll have plenty of time to play with M16s in the Marines, and since the only difference between a pre- and post-ban M1A is the bayonet lug (which I won't use) it won't matter if I buy one now or later. However, if I wait until '04 to buy an AR, there's a chance that (as jett3 mentioned) the ban will sunset and I can get a full-featured AR for not much green. I don't know if I can wait that long, but like I said I can get my AR fix from the military. I'll never get a chance to shoot an M1A unless I buy one myself.

Just a thought. What I might actually end up doing is spending more money than I should so I can get both kinds!
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 10:53:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By T2:
...Don't get a post ban FAL. None are made of all new parts. Stick with a pre-ban from FN or Springfield.



Hold on there, T2! The DSA-58 is a post ban rifle that you'd think was a pre-ban. It's also made entirely of new parts that DSA fabricates itself. These are strongly touted as being better than the original FAL, and they shoot exceptionally well.

McNamara, if you're thinking about a larger cal. rifle, then the DSA-58 is defeinitely worth your time. Check it out at www.dsarms.com

As for the AR family, you really can't go wrong - spare parts availability, upgrade parts, etc. give it a lot of life beyond its original design. A quick look at some of the photos posted on this site are a testament to the customizability options out there. I prefer pre-bans, mostly because I don't like the "bastardization" attempts that have befallen the AR. - I especially can't stand the bunghole stock.

Since you've got the cash, I'd say go with a pre-ban lower to your liking, mated to an M4 upper. There are preban Colt's out there that are milspec - I own 2 myself. However I wouldn't pay a dime for the current crop of Colt lowers because they've altered so much for no other reason than PCness.

However, if you are considering a post-ban, I'd strongly recommend taking a look at SOCOM lowers (www.socommfg.com). These are the best lowers made, IMHO. They have every feature that an AR should have - push pin spring retention screws, and even a fit screw on the lower that works like the "accuwedge" to tighten the upper & lower together to eliminate "play". Additionally, they're machined from aluminum bar stock - very nice.

Shotgun-wise, the Benelli is a good gun; M1 has a good rep., too. I'm hoping the M4 will make it to market someday soon, but you really can't go wrong with the M1 Super 90. It has earned its rep.
Link Posted: 1/1/2002 5:14:35 PM EDT
For an ar I bought a bushmaster with the 20 inch heavy barrel, and no it is not a flat top. I have been very impressed with it and recomend the brand.

But, a dsa 58 fal is a lot more fun. I went above the stg 58 cause I wanted the best I could find.

I did get a sar 1 recently just cause I already had mags for it, it is neat but not on the level of the ar or fal. I do have to say you can not hurt one and I believe their reliability is well documented.

I have to agree with the idea of carrying one firearm all the time. I prefer polymer even though ohio will not let me carry concealed.

Shotguns have been well discussed, get what fits the budget and do not worry about preban. If you want a preban I think the ar style comes first and then if you still want get the shotgun.

I had a similar situation to yours, and I recomend getting the best you can afford, and start with the rifle. The shotgun could be the next most expensive, but the handgun is more important in my mind.

And always keep in mind, most laws rarely die away, they simply reapear elsewhere.
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