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When I was looking to see if anyone else asked this, the closest I could find were posts asking what the "Best Non AR" was.

My question is simple...what's the best semi-automatic rifle for both defense and general use? (Performance wise, not cost wise).

I'm not talking about popularity, availability, cost, or anything other than pure functionality... Meaning accuracy, dependability, endurance, etc.

I know the AR-15 is extremely popular, BUT is it the BEST? Or is it just really good for it's price?

If it's not, what's better?
FN Scar? Steyer Aug? Tavor X95? ACR? M1A? MCX?
The Mini-14 is reliable, but I've heard that the accuracy is inconsistent depending in what year it was made.

Also, I read an article about a recently declassified research project the Australian government did comparing the M16 to the Aug, and the Aug won hands down in nearly every category. Does that hold true of the Aug vs the AR15? What about piston AR15?
SKS, Hands down. Reliable, accurate, easy to handle, drop it in the sand or mud and it will still shoot. 10 round mag.

Don't buy aftermarket 20/30 round mags, stripper clips are your friend.
 

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I don't know for sure which one is best but I currently own the following: 10/44 SA M1 Garand , LMT 5.56 Piston , a Mega 8.5 SBR 300 BLK Larue/ LMT 6.8SPC SBR ,Barrett M-468 , SCAR 17 SBR .308 , SCAR 17 6.5 CM. , Bulgarian AK-74. Any one of them can boringly hit a 18x30 man size steel target at 500yds. I have taken the M1 out to 800 yds on steel and the farthest I have with the SCARs has been 1080 yds with their scopes. I have taken deer with the 6.8 Ar and with the 308 SCAR.I like them all for different reasons but all are reliable and accurate. I have owned FAL's , M1A's and a AG42 and they were also very accurate and reliable . If I had to pick just one it would be my SCAR 17 SBR which I also have 16" & 20" .308 barrel assemblies for which can be changed out in 5 minutes. Next would be my 6.8 SPC. They all are fine weapons.
 

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Well, while it should lead my list, the M1 Garand, however, age has made it's weigh seem much heavier. Next in line is my M1A, which is only slightly lighter with a 10 rd mag.. So finally my MAS 49/56 rifles. One in the original 7.5 and the other in a heavily rework and completely reliable 308. At the end of the day, I usually grab my late war vintage M1 Carbine. I can handle most any situation.
 

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I had an after thought after posting a "like" to "Hag's" post.
If you know the M1 Garand, it is accurate and functions reliably. If you are not trained to use the M1*, and expect instant gratification because you watched a couple of Youtube videos by Garand gurus with their caps on backwards, then look elsewhere. This is not a SLR for the dilettante.

*I am not a Garand guru and do not wear my hat backwards. My experience with the M1 Garand dates to 1961 high School ROTC. I qualified with it in 1966 during senior army ROTC summer camp, after completing Garand training at Camp Pendleton during the previous spring break. USMC WW II and Korean war veteran gunnies trained me to shoot it. I can take it apart and reassemble it blndfolded. I know how to lube it correctly. I know how to reload for it.
M1 Garand & the M1 thumb. :)
 

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The best rifle is t.he one that saves, or at least can save your life in the most dire of circumstances. Like everyone else here, I have an affinity for certain guns: SKS, M1s, FALs, etc. But if I had to just choose one for life saving purposes, it's the AK for me. Sure, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and we can go on for months debating it and everyone is still going to have their opinions. The runner up would be a piston driven, AR/M4.
 

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If you look at what's still running in 3rd world hell holes with zero care, AK and G3 pattern rifles.

With a knowledgeable user, AR (15/10) or scar seems to be better given more care.

-Dave
& FALs.
 

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For me , it's my POF short-stroke piston rifles.
5.56 and 7.62 .
Runs dirty as all get out and gas is adjustable (like a Fal) ,reliable like an AK and accurate as an AR.
What more need I say ?
If it all falls down , then .308 and 5.56 will be available to replenish , probably 5.56 more , but you get my drift.
 

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Is the AK47 accurate? 200 yard effective range. Limited bullet selection. Inferior to the 30-30 ballistics. Isn't the SKS a higher quality more accurate rifle in the same caliber?
The AK47 is widely well known ,because of its low cost, and low cost of ammo.
How many who favor the AK47 have shot other semi-autos?
Is there a poorer quality, cheaper ,less accurate semi-auto, than the AK47?;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
I haven’t noticed that my piston AR’s have any more recoil than DI rifles
That's good to know.
With 5.56/.223 you need laboratory test equipment to detect any difference in total recoil.
With .30 caliber SLR's the total recoil is actually two impulses, and the difference in the time each impulse peaks determines the perceived recoil. In other words, the perceived recoil force is a combination. If there is a delay between the arrival of the two impulses, the perceived recoil is more like a push than a kick. For example, the M1 Garand's reciprocating parts - oprod and bolt - exert their impact force on the receiver well after the bullet has left the muzzle. If you use a Schuster adjustable gas plug, this force can be reduced quite noticeably.

The only large caliber gas impingement rifles I shoot are the Swedish Ljungman AG42b and the Savage MSR 10 LR. Subjectively, I find no difference in perceived recoil betweenthe Ljungman and an M96, but the Ljungman also has an effective muzzle brake. The Savage has a finely adjustable gas port regulator, so the second impulse from the BCG is also reduced and delayed.
Interesting. I don't know much about guns from an engineering perspective. I only knew the phrase perceived recoil from context and assumed it meant a something like relative humidity...is this, but feels like this.

I saw someone mention the AG 42, and lots of M1 Garand and M1 Carbine and M1A and Mini-14 advocates. I love all the old battle rifles. The SVT-40, the Egyptian Hakim, the Italian BM 59, the whole FN series. Heavier to carry, but built to reach out and touch someone.
I own an M1A. I haven't shot it yet, but I've wanted one for years.
If you look at what's still running in 3rd world hell holes with zero care, AK and G3 pattern rifles.

With a knowledgeable user, AR (15/10) or scar seems to be better given more care.

-Dave
The SCAR seems like a great gun, but it's hideous! Lol. The only SCARs I've seen are in the $3,500-4,000 price points. Is a SCAR worth it at those prices?
 

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If you're a fan of front line modern military firepower, you need a SCAR for the collection.
But if you have holes in your collection now, I wouldn't put a high priority on it.

The scar 16 doesn't get you more than a good AR does IMO, while the 17 is probably the lightest .308 semi on the market. With the Kinetic Development Group upgrades, they're a bit less hideous (but add to the price). When I got my 17, it was in the low 2Ks, which is around what I feel they're worth, maybe 3 with inflation?

I also like M1As for fun, but SHTF, I'm grabbing:

KAC upper AR
SCAR 17
Milled AK
PS90
G3 clone / FAL (interchangeable)

Depending on what it's needed for. These are reliable, accurate (some more so than others), and relatively lightweight.

-Dave
 

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I like the FAL, but it's big, long, and heavy. It's a battle rifle. I really wouldn't put it in the category of home defense or everyday beater.

You want an intermediate cartridge, just pick your preferred platform. I recommend the one you are most experienced & comfortable with.
DSA makes a shorter and lighter version. I love mine.
 

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My vote for the best overall semi auto rifle would go for the M1 Garand. I packed one around for Uncle Sam for two years and it never failed me once. My next vote would go for the M1A which is just a second generation of the M1 and I really like its multi rounds magazine capacity. The SKS and the AK 47 in 7.62x39mm would be my next in line. I really like the round they use and their fast firing capability with ease to hold on target while firing 3 or 4 quick shots.
I don't want to be "that guy", but the Garand's clip fed system was not used before and has not been used since...for good reason. Even John G. originally invented it to use a 20 round box magazine. few people know that. ...and as usual, the Army said troops would "waste ammunition". Better they die than "waste ammunition". Same argument for them poo pooing the Spencer and the Henry...which both became a war winners.

Just imagine how many US troops would be alive today had the Garand been equipped with a simpler 20 round BAR magazine instead of that 8 shot monstrosity feeding system with more bends and angles that a preschooler practicing ballet.

I know on all gun forums it is heresy to say even one thing bad about the Garand, but someone had to. That horrible awkward system was forced upon John G. by the Army. His first rifle with the 20 round box magazine should have been adopted right off. He knew what he was doing.

Just like it is MANDATORY to mention that quote from Patton in any and all reviews or discussions of the Garand. I dare anyone to show me even one video where they DO NOT say it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
If you're a fan of front line modern military firepower, you need a SCAR for the collection.
But if you have holes in your collection now, I wouldn't put a high priority on it.

The scar 16 doesn't get you more than a good AR does IMO, while the 17 is probably the lightest .308 semi on the market. With the Kinetic Development Group upgrades, they're a bit less hideous (but add to the price). When I got my 17, it was in the low 2Ks, which is around what I feel they're worth, maybe 3 with inflation?

I also like M1As for fun, but SHTF, I'm grabbing:

KAC upper AR
SCAR 17
Milled AK
PS90
G3 clone / FAL (interchangeable)

Depending on what it's needed for. These are reliable, accurate (some more so than others), and relatively lightweight.

-Dave
That brings up an interesting question...M1A in .308 vs SCAR in .308...the SCAR is twice as expensive, but is it better than the M1a? If so, how much better?

I'm glad you mentioned the PS90...I've been considering one for a while, but every time I mention it my post gets downgraded from "serious question" to "Call of Duty Cosplayer."
What do you like about the PS90? How'd it make your SHTF list?

I made a post on another forum and the consensus was that the KAC SR-15 was the absolute best AR. Since it's on your list, do you share that opinion? What makes it the best? (They said, specifically, that it had the best MRBF)
 

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The ps90 is light, small, and it's easy to carry a lot of ammo in mags.
I can also ride a motorcycle with one slung across the chest.
It also fits in a racquet bag for discreet carry (as does most ar pistols), and even big kids can fire the thing. It's very easy to shoot.

The KAC seems to be the most bulletproof direct impingement upper around. And the parts are of excessively high quality.

Would I feel under armed with a lmt, dd, etc? No. Just what I have (got a deal on the upper used).
Only downside is a proprietary bolt head- though I don't recall ever hearing of one breaking.

Scar.. I mean, a lot of it is subjective. If you get a good one, the 17 is the lightest MOA rifle you can probably buy. I wouldn't feel under armed with a good M1A though either.
 

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I have a FAL I like very much. Cetme I built, it is nice. C93 it works flawlessly. Two AR15 5.56 very fun to shoot. AR10 7.61 its flawless and very acurate. Latest purchase is an AR10 6.5 creedmoor. It is amazing!! Right now I like it best. Flawless operation. No recoil. 600 yard accuracy. What you think?
 

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it did, as in it did mean a No1 or No4,

but only when the other listed option is not available or capable,

though honestly, I have some M1's and 1903's that may work better,,,,



re the 300 Blackout vs Whisper,

Whisper's parent case is the 221 Fireball, IIRC, vs the Blackout using 223/556x45 cases
but yes, performance is the same
That's true, but a 221 Fireball is just a shortened 222. 223/5.56 is a 222 with the shoulder blown forward. JD Jones started with the 221 since its easier to form a Whisper/Blackout case. Anything based on the 222 (17 Rem, 20 VarTarg, 204 Ruger, 222, 223, 222 Mag) can be formed into the 300 Whisper/BO.
 

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I don't want to be "that guy", but the Garand's clip fed system was not used before and has not been used since...for good reason. Even John G. originally invented it to use a 20 round box magazine. few people know that. ...and as usual, the Army said troops would "waste ammunition". Better they die than "waste ammunition". Same argument for them poo pooing the Spencer and the Henry...which both became a war winners.

Just imagine how many US troops would be alive today had the Garand been equipped with a simpler 20 round BAR magazine instead of that 8 shot monstrosity feeding system with more bends and angles that a preschooler practicing ballet.

I know on all gun forums it is heresy to say even one thing bad about the Garand, but someone had to. That horrible awkward system was forced upon John G. by the Army. His first rifle with the 20 round box magazine should have been adopted right off. He knew what he was doing.

Just like it is MANDATORY to mention that quote from Patton in any and all reviews or discussions of the Garand. I dare anyone to show me even one video where they DO NOT say it.
Packet loading was actually pretty common, prior to the Mauser system. I can also reload my M1 faster than change magazines on my M1A. With a Garand you don't have to keep track of magazines, or worry if damaged ones will work. Military logistics are also simpler. The 20 rd magazine shows up on the M14 because it was designed to replace BOTH the M1 and BAR (hence the higher capacity). The real weak link with the M1 is the gas system. By the time that you tune down the 30-06 to M2 specs, its no more than a .308. M1 for M1919 and BAR, M2 for the Garand, not a very good system. The M14 / M60 was supposed to simplify that.
 

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I don't want to be "that guy", but the Garand's clip fed system was not used before and has not been used since...for good reason. Even John G. originally invented it to use a 20 round box magazine. few people know that. ...and as usual, the Army said troops would "waste ammunition". Better they die than "waste ammunition". Same argument for them poo pooing the Spencer and the Henry...which both became a war winners.

Just imagine how many US troops would be alive today had the Garand been equipped with a simpler 20 round BAR magazine instead of that 8 shot monstrosity feeding system with more bends and angles that a preschooler practicing ballet.

I know on all gun forums it is heresy to say even one thing bad about the Garand, but someone had to. That horrible awkward system was forced upon John G. by the Army. His first rifle with the 20 round box magazine should have been adopted right off. He knew what he was doing.

Just like it is MANDATORY to mention that quote from Patton in any and all reviews or discussions of the Garand. I dare anyone to show me even one video where they DO NOT say it.
Re enbloc clip vs. box magazine. First of all, the US Army spec called for a Mannlicher-type clip. This was not capricious. Experience from WWI with stripper clip loading of the 03 and M1917 was behind this. (Parenthetic note: many competition 03/03A3 shooters these days use Swedish Mauser clips.) Loading the M1 Garand offers no problems to a trained shooter. "Trained shooter" means instructed and thoroughly drilled in the operation of the rifle with some intensity. As I mentioned earlier, the M1 Garand is not for the dilettante. Contrary to popular myth, you can top off a partially expended clip. Again, this is something that takes training and practice. You do not master this by watching a Youtube video on your cell phone at the range.

Regarding the 20 rd box magazine. Do some research and see how many magazines the BAR gunner carried, and how much they weighed. Then you will know why the British riflemen all carried extra loaded BREN magazines as well as their basic load. And when you have to reload the box magazine, it's either single load or stripper clips, which brings us right back to the reason the enbloc clip was specified for the M1.
 
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