GUN Need help picking a rifle

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by rph74, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. rph74

    rph74 New Member

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    I'm in the market for a rifle to add to my measly arsenal of 1 gun (glock 9x 19 pistol). I'm buying primarily for home defense, but will also enjoy using it at the range. I'm seeking input on which weapon to buy, as I know virtually nothing about them. I'm considering buying at one of the many pawn shops in my area as I'd probably get more for my money that way. Anything to look out for when buying "used"? I like shooting my father in law's 22 magnum, but I don't know if that would have much stopping power. I'm not really looking for a shotgun right now.
     
  2. Mitch'SS

    Mitch'SS New Member

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    Bushmaster AR
     
  3. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    Bushmaster XM-15 E2S A3. you should be able to get it for $800, cash, with the carry handle, from a bushmaster dealer. this will give you a good platform on which to build skills, and a good defense rifle. you could save money by putting one together yourself, but you don't have the skills or the tools to do it, so it would actually end up costing more. this rifle makes an excellent home defense weapon, when used with the right ammo.
     
  4. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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  5. Painkiller

    Painkiller Sometimes remembering is better than forgetting

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    I'd buy a remington 700 and match it up with a leupold scope.
     
  6. ozwald

    ozwald OT Supporter

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    Fn-fal
     
  7. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    private joker, you'd spend a lot more money (nearly double) than buying an AR, and still not have a defense rifle. you would have to buy a good mount and good rings for that good optic and good rifle. a good stock wouldn't be bad either, if you get one of the sportier models instead of a PSS or LTR.
     
  8. Vatoloco

    Vatoloco In a pinch, though, you could jam it into someone'

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    If it's primarily for home defense then I would consider a good 16" shotgun. Go for the Mossberg 500 or 590 ($350-$500), or if you're on a budget then get a Mossberg Maverick ($200).

    If it has to be a rifle, then the AR-15 as has been suggested or (for the budget) a SAR-1 AK-47 ($350). If you're surround by other houses/apartments then these guns aren't exactly the best choice for home defense since you don't know exactly what will stop the bullet after flying through sheetrock and siding. Of course, they are always good if you are out in your yard and look up to see a group of terrorists parachuting down from Al-Qaida express.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2004
  9. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    Of course I need to weigh in with my standard support for the Ruger Mini-14. It fires the same ammunition as the AR-15 and costs about 1/2 as much. It's nearly as customizable as the AR, and shoots like a champ. If you drop an extra $200 for a heavier barrel, you'll get a rifle that's even better, and still costs $200 less than the AR.

    Both are very good rifles - I'm not bashing Colt in any way. But their stuff is very pricy. Of course a 12ga. Shotgun is probably close to the ideal weapon for in-home defense. Especially if you get it with the short barrel. But a rifle is better for general use.

    And NEVER buy a gun from a pawn shop, unless you've done your homework and know what a gun in a given condition should cost. They'll rob you. Most pawn shops I've been in charge more for their used guns than you would pay for a brand new one with a warranty.
     
  10. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    I don't have a shotgun anymore, and keep my Glock 21 and my Mini-14 handy in my house. But I think I have to disagree with you guys on the non-utility of shotguns for home defense. I don't know what kind of rounds footratfunkface uses in his AR, but the ones I shoot from my Mini-14 have no problem punching through both sides of a 1/8" thick, 4" diameter steel post. Makes two neat round flared holes - one on the front side, and one on the back side. I have a hard time believing that it would be made less effective by two layers of sheetrock.

    And I also have a hard time accepting that the average intruder wouldn't be stopped by a magnum load of #8 shot to center mass. If he's wearing a vest, maybe, but I don't think that's terribly common.

    Besides, when I had a shotgun, I kept my 7 shot magazine loaded like this: #8, #8, #4, 00, 00, slug, slug. That way you avoid the problem of not being able to put the intruder down. If the first two shots don't get through, the next three should. And if not, there were always two slugs waiting on deck to finish the job.

    For the record, I've never needed to use any of my guns in defense of my home, but I would feel totally comfortable even if a shotgun was all I had. The bonus of using birdshot - and it will blow a large hole in your sternum, even if it doesn't go all the way through you - is that it doesn't go through houses. It will not be deadly after two layers of sheetrock. I've tested it where I shoot. It makes two nice big holes in the sheetrock, and leaves just scattered paper debris and what look like pencil marks on the third layer.

    Next time I go, I'll run the same test with the .223, just to see what happens.
     
  11. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    That's a good point. But that one bullet can go a long way, too. :dunno:
     
  12. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    Also a good point. Only empirical data can solve this. Who wants to road trip to NM with their arsenals so we can test it out? I can supply the stuff to shoot at. :big grin:
     
  13. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    straight from the "show us your tits" thread:

    on the topic of the best home defense weapon, you've just started something that may take over this thread.

    it is MISTAKENLY believed by many that a shotgun, usually with 00 buck, is the best tool for home defense. this is not the case when an AR is utilized with M193 ammunition. not only does the 55 grain round perform better in terminal ballistics than 00 buckshot, it does not have the over penetration problems that 00 buck does.

    it is a proven fact that if you miss, 00 buck will carry through interior walls, and most likely exterior walls and possibly into other houses. this puts not only other members of your family at risk, but also families in the houses next door. the M193, and the M855 to an extent, yaw and fragment so well upon impact with normal wall construction (two pieces of sheetrock with about 4" of air betwixt them) that there is virtually no chance of the round going more than a few feet into the next room, and certainly not through another wall. no pistol round considered adequate for defense will show ballistic properties like this either, as they will all penetrate several walls.

    in addition, an AR has less recoil, and larger capacity, rendering that side saddle for your shotgun useless. you can equip an AR with a light just as with a shotgun or pistol. you can even have a flash hider, which is something you won't find on a shotgun or pistol, and is something that would be usefull in a low-light situation to save your night vision. as i'm sure you're aware, burglars and other intruders often use low-light situations as cover to break into your house.

    terminal ballistics: 00 buck is only going to spread its 8 or 9 pellets (depending on the load) an average of 1" for every 1-2 yards it travels out of an 18" barrel. that means that at 21 feet, you're going to have a maximum 7" spread, and a minimum of 3.5". at 21 feet, there's a pretty good chance that you could pull the shot and have part of that spread miss the target entirely. which would put part of your 00 buck in a non-center mass region of the target's body, and the other part in your neighbor's house. then you've got the actual terminal ballistics of 00 buck, which aren't good. it just punches holes. no yawing, no large permanent wound cavity, just a maximum of 9 little holes right through the target. with M193, you get one big hole. one big permanent wound cavity. and with the low recoil and fact that you don't have to pump it, you can use your AR many times in the time that it takes you to fire one 00 buck round, even from a semi-auto shotgun.

    if you miss with a shotgun or a pistol, you'll miss with an AR, and vice versa. but with a shotgun or pistol, you'll end up with your extraneous rounds in the other end of your house, or quite possibly in your neighbor's house, or worse yet, in someone other than the target. with an AR, it's a possibility one room over, but no more than one room. combine that with the vastly better terminal ballistics, the increased rate of controlled fire, and the ability to mount the same lights as on shotguns, better lights than pistols, and foregrips that neither can use, and you've got yourself the best home defense weapon.

    i'd also like to add to that that if you choose to use birdshot or another size shot smaller than 00 buck, you're not going to the penetration you need for defense. in addition, the lighter shot will spread faster, and might put a great deal of it off target just because it spreads too far, too fast. even if it does all hit, you've now got a bunch of tiny little pellets that won't do very much at all to a human in the way of a permanent wound cavity. slugs will certainly do some damage, but you still have to contend with the fact that they're muc going to overpenetrate more than 5.56 will, since it doesn't overpenetrate at all. if you miss, you're in for some fun trying to patch up the huge holes slugs make in walls as they pass through the entire house. and, since you're shooting slugs, the recoil is going to be huge. your recovery shots will suck, and you've now got a greater chance of missing with a round that has no spread to it at all. i'd say slugs are less effective than buck for that reason. buck will do about the same amount of damage, but has a greater chance to hit. it also has a greater chance to miss in a way, since you could get the center of the spread on target and still have the edge of the spread off the target, where a slug would be in the center, and have no spread to miss. if you're using a pump, you have to pump it. if you're using a semi, you still have to recover after the shot. either way, you get only a tiny number of rounds in comparison to a 30 rd. mag in the AR. all 30 of those rounds are more effective than 00 buck, and less dangerous to other people aside from the target.

    the easiest way to avoid all this, and still have the most effectively incapacitating round is to put together a good AR with a good light system.
     
  14. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    It sounds good, but what's the source for all that info?
     
  15. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    I just priced the M193 ammo locally, at $3.68 for a box of 20. I'm going to procure a 12 ga shotgun, a few yards of drywall, and some 2x4s for spacing, and I'm going to put a few hundred rounds through some simulated walls to test your theory next weekend (busy this coming one).
     
  16. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    you can get Q3131A, which is the same as M193, or XM193, if it's cheaper. Q3131A is the winchester commercial designation for IMI M193.

    also, you could, if you were really motivated, try making some exterior walls also, by using some insulation, and some insulate board and some siding. but, i'm not asking you to, because that's a lot of money on top of the current spending.

    if you want to see how it's been done before, and try to replicate their test and see if you get different results, go here: http://www.ammolab.com/_223_vs_handguns.htm
     
  17. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    by the way, that link, plus http://www.ammo-oracle.com/

    those are two of them. i've done extensive research on it, and the people who wrote that FAQ do some of the ballistics tests at ammolab. i consider them experts on the subject, and trust their evaluations very well. considering that doc roberts and dr. fackler also trust their findings, i'm going to go with that.
     
  18. nycmatt49

    nycmatt49 Guest

    Bushmaster is decent. Go with the Les Baer Thunder Ranch .223. .5 MOA as opposed to 1.5 MOA
     
  19. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    yeah, and three or four times the price for a rifle that won't stand up to the rigors that a bushmaster will. it's a match rifle, not a defense rifle.
     
  20. nycmatt49

    nycmatt49 Guest

    inaccurate. It is the ultimate defense rifle. It is far more durable than any bushmaster, and MUCH more reliable. It's probably the most reliable/durable AR on the market actually. You mentioned it's accuracy though, and you were right about that. It shoots 1/2 MOA, whereas Bushmaster shoots 1.5 MOA. Check out this review.


    http://www.gunsmagazine.com/F9.html
     
  21. nycmatt49

    nycmatt49 Guest

    If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, here is the part that tells you about it being able to "stand up to the rigors"

    When the design was completed an example was shipped to Clint for testing. He promptly gave it a hot supper by running 700 rounds through it in 25 minutes. In doing so he got it hot enough to begin cooking the Bearcoat off of the gasblock. Yet, the rifle ran flawlessly with all the rounds staying on a half-scale silhouette placed at 200 yards. The next day Clint pounded another 300 rounds through it without incident.


    Impressed, he took a rubber mallet to the front sight to see if it would withstand some abuse. It did. Next his wife Heidi ran it through an Urban Rifle course. She wanted some first hand knowledge of how the carbine performed if it was going to wear the Thunder Ranch logo. During an interview Heidi related the rifle impressed her as being, “solid as a rock.”

    The TR Rifle was flawlessly reliable and ate whatever I stuffed in it. Accuracy is simply superb, especially for what it is, a seven pound AR carbine. Workmanship is excellent and evokes pride of ownership. This is one rifle you’ll show off to your buddies. It’s well balanced, quick handling, and compact. Accessories are widely available and easily mounted. It performs superbly with the new generation of heavy bullets.
     
  22. nycmatt49

    nycmatt49 Guest

    But ya. Only get this one if you want to spend $2,500 on a rifle, and if you want the best AR. In accuracy, durability, defense, weight(it's the lightest), and the most "tactical".
     
  23. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    okay, so it works fine. still one problem with using it as a defense rifle: it's in .223, not 5.56. you won't (well, you SHOULDN'T, but you COULD, if you didn't care about the several grand you just spent, or your face) be able to use defense loads, which are ALL chambered in 5.56 nato.
     
  24. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    Would I be able to buy a 5.56 AR and use both 5.56 and .223? (or vice-versa)
     
  25. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    My local gunsmith said that in any newer rifle, .223 and 5.56 are pretty much interchangeable.
     

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