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Help, What AR or AK to buy ?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by RoadKing, Oct 11, 2011.



  1. RoadKing

    RoadKing Silver Member Silver Miner

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    First, I tried a search on these, but name to short.

    Second, I have read and understand the difference and usage between AR and AK's.

    The real question is what would y'all be buying or have bought and love?
    Manufacturer / Country and model(s)?
    What are things I need to look for in each
    What is the best round to use? (based on availability & cost)

    I am wanting to purchase one or the other, but need your help.

    Thanks in Advance,
    RK
     
  2. funk

    funk Seeker Seeker

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    Are you trying to stir the pot, or are you trying to get someone to tell you what to buy?

    Of all the information to be found on the internet, an AK or AR debate has to be on top of the list.

    DYODD
     
    GOLDBRIX and Sport like this.
  3. SilverCity

    SilverCity Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Buy one of each so you can participate in both sides of the debate. It's the only reasonable solution. :bandito:




    SC
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  4. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Strictly a matter of personal preference I believe, I had an ak and didnt like it, that's after a mini 30, 14, sar8, sks and a bushmaster ar.223, sold the ak and dont regret it. Im very fond of the sks.
     
  5. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    Ergonomics:
    #1 AR
    #2 AK
    #3 SKS

    Reliability:
    #1 AK
    #2 SKS
    #3 AR


    Military rifles are designed for young men shooting at man sized targets. They are not designed for scopes (AR Flattop excluded) and they are not designed for shooting at small targets. The SKS has very poor ergonomics and is tiring to carry with it's fat stock. The AR has a line of sight far above the line of bore which has distinct disadvantages.
    I own both AR and AK (got rid of SKS) but prefer the AK for SHTF, AR for playing. Both are lightweight.
     
  6. Nickelless

    Nickelless If coffee is gold, I own Fort Knox Midas Member

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    I bought a Norinco SKS with a collapsible stock a few months ago. I haven't had a chance to fire it yet because of my insane work schedule (it's easier to go to a handgun range around here than find a rifle range) but I've been buying a box of ammo for it each week.
     
  7. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Get an LWRC M6 and you will have AR ergonomics with AK reliability. Get a LWRC REPR in 7.62/.308 and you will trump them all. Bx3
     
  8. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    The .308 REPR is heavy and very expensive, AK's are inexpensive and lightweight. The M6 is a good suggestion, eliminating some reliability issues. The AR doesn't have a great reputation for reliability in combat situations, but I have never had a malfunction in any of the 3 AR15's I've owned and have run thousands of rounds through them.
     
  9. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Actually the REPR is not any heavier than most other 7.62/.308 platforms. While it is heavier than a 5.56/.223 rifle, it provides certain advantages over the 5.56/.223 or the 7.62x39 for that matter. It is expensive but as with many things, you do get what you pay for.

    I have been using military AR designs from A1s to M4s for many years and the only reliability issues I have experienced were due to worn out parts, bad mags/ammo or when lubrication was not properly applied. I just ran 600 rds through a personal Colt AR this last weekend during an advanced carbine course with no cleaning. The only failure I experienced was due to a bad primer. The rifle was filthy with dirt but well lubricated and ran like a sewing machine. I have thousands of rounds through that Colt with zero failures that could not be traced back to either a bad mag or ammo.

    Bravo Company is probably puting out the best AR (DI) on the market for the money right now. They have tens of thousands of rounds through several independent test guns that have never been cleaned but only lubricated.

    Between early teething problems, poor maint, worn out guns and more than a few sub standard manufacturers, the AR has gotten a bad rap. I love the reliability of AKs but the ergonomics will never beat an AR. The best solution is to make the AR more reliable (even though it is pretty damned reliable already). I think companies like LWRC have found the best of both worlds. Bx3
     
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  10. shake

    shake New Member

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    AR15 to buy? My pick would be LMT

    AK to buy? Arsenal milled receiver


    I would take the AR15 platform into combat in a heartbeat
     
  11. shake

    shake New Member

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    If your weapon has never malfunctioned or broken, You haven't shot enough


    Train how to get your firearm back in the fight because at some point something on it will fail
     
  12. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Shake, both the LMT and Arsenal are top tier weapons and while I strongly agree with you of the need to train for failure, I would have to disagree that a weapon must malfunction or break. While anything man made can fail, proper servicing/TBOs and replacement of certain critical parts will mostly prevent a quality weapon from failing when you need it most. I do most of my own smithing and I won't even consider buying a firearm that replacement parts aren't readily available for (LMTs biggest weakness). This might be a practice that most recreational shooters overlook but it is worth learning/teaching ones self to do. You bring up a good point though that if not properly maintained or more specifically if you buy cheap, anything and everything will eventually wear out and or fail. Bx3
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  13. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    I have the old Norinco from yesteryear with black poly stock, awesome gun. Never thought about the collapsibe stock great idea.
     
  14. voodoo1951

    voodoo1951 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    I like AK's in 7.62x39...They are the most widely used battle rifle on the planet and function flawlessly, if maintained. I have a few different ones but the top of the line is my Arsenal Nevada SAM-7...You can buy an AK anywhere from around $400 and up. Once you learn how to field strip it, you can accomplish teardown and assembly in a few minutes. Milsurp ammo is pretty cheap too...I'm not a big fan of AR's, as they are too complicated for my simple needs...
     
  15. seabum

    seabum New Member

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    To due battle; you need a battle rifle, AK or FN-FAL etc. To due sport,get a sporting rifle, any of the ar 15s or ar 10s will work.
     
  16. Merkin

    Merkin Seeker Seeker

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    I have an AK47. Romanian WASR10 like it for its durability and ammo availability. Whatever you decide methinks you need to do it soon. Merkin
     
  17. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    That is probably one of the most inaccurate statements I have ever seen posted here......and for GIM, that's saying a lot. AK/M-16 = Assault rifle. FAL/AR-10 = Battle rifle. There actually is a quantifiable difference between the two categories. Bx3
     
  18. funk

    funk Seeker Seeker

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    Buy a less expensive rifle and more ammo. I feel it is wiser to have a $500 rifle with $500 of ammo and $500 of food than a $1400 rifle with $100 of ammo and nothing to eat.


     
  19. Unca Walt

    Unca Walt Midas Member Midas Member

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    Yikes. Caught me flatfooted.

    :hahaha:"Shake" was my nick in the SE Asia Games. :s13:

    But... I like the cheapo-rotten skanky Chicom SKS. I have fired over 3000 rounds through my bringumhome, and not one single dud.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  20. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    Post deleted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  21. noworries

    noworries Seeker Seeker

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    Why wouldn't you have any food?
    More important to have food you are acclimated to use in your daily diet than a bunch of "survival" food in a can that will wreak havoc with your system or be rejected by your children when it comes time to eat it.

    As to this "topic", the Armalite 15 offers more versatility and the 10 offers greater power, when chosen in flat-top configuration. A riflescope extends the function of a precision weapon. AR A2 designs and Garand designs (M1, M14, Mini 14/30) offer very capable iron sight functions for accuracy, but most casual shooters don't learn to use the sights beyond (maybe) getting a usable zero.

    There is a great comfort factor (apparently) for slinging lead. If you live somewhere that leads you to expect a need to Rambo and face hordes of opponents; you are living in the wrong place! Whatever floats your boat is fine by me. Yet a Garand or AR type rifle of quality components will hold 1moa and in case of AR-15 about .5moa or better. That accuracy is usable for hunting, varmint control, seizing targets of opportunity, and distant target engagement. Ammunition for these rifles is typically brass and boxer primed so it may be salvaged and reloaded.

    AR15.com has AR and AK forums, also an AR-10 forum in the discussion section. Good info there.

    An Armalite type rifle offers bolt-action accuracy. If you buy a quality made arm, Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT), Colt, Armalite, Rock River Arms, or custom quality rifle like a Noveske, Baer, among others, your rifle will offer you ability to hit whatever you can see as long as you possess the skill to use it. An AR-10 in .308win or .260rem offers great power and potential for longrange bullet delivery.

    Ammunition is really the key to accuracy if you have a weapon that is setup to make the most of it.

    If you are concerned about survival planning, my advice is to buy a rifle that is easily gunsmithed in the field and has parts of all types readily available. Brownells.com and MidwayUSA.com offer great parts selections for almost all recent and current production firearms. The AR-15 and 10 are pretty easy to build and work on if you have any mechanical aptitude.

    A good AR rifle with some spare parts like ejector, extractor, firing-pin, a basic handloading setup like Lee Anniversary Kit w/dies, primers, bullets and powder; plus a decent scope & mount would give you a very complete and self-maintainable system for all you could hope to do with a centerfire rifle.
     
  22. honu5050

    honu5050 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    the 5.56 is a varmint round but you carry more ammo the 7.62x39 has more penetration in close but not as accurate & the 308 has both in spades ! of course if ta cant hit it all 3 wont do ya much good anyway.
     
  23. noworries

    noworries Seeker Seeker

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    The versatility of the AR-15 is very significant. The 16" carbines not so much, but a 20" barreled rifle when loaded with 75/77gr BTHP ammunition is a whole other situation. These match bullets are very heavily jacketed and are the heaviest that can be loaded to magazine length function. The Army Service Rifle Team has used 77gr ammunition to win in years past, and those matches are fired with a 600yd stage for slowfire. The AR-15 dominates Service Rifle competition because it is easier to shoot well and performs almost the equal of the .308win from M14/M1a matchrifles at 600yds.

    The .243win and other 6mm rifles are primarily used for hunting with 85gr bullets. Does the extra weight really matter if the bullet is tough and hangs together even when shot into rocky soil at close range? I have never recovered a hornady 75gr bthp that has fragmented. They bend like pretzels, but are tough.

    The AR-15 can employ 80gr and VLD ammunition along with 90gr VLD bullets when single-loaded. The 80 & 90gr bullets are extremely accurate at distance with 90gr Sierra and JLK bullets showing great results out to 1000yds. From about 400/450yds onward the 77gr .223 rd begins to show better impact power and velocity retention than the 7.62x39 AK round.

    With a 1:8 or 1:7 twist barrel, an AR-15 can deliver accurate fire at 500+ yards. The heavy jacketed bullets will not intensely damage meat animals and with ease of accurate shooting, deer and other animals are possible once game laws are not applicable, (*if you live where there are caliber restrictions etc).

    Ammunition is 1/2 the weight of .308win ammo, compact and when 75/77gr loads are used a shooter will not feel handicapped or be disadvantaged.
     
  24. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    noworries, you bring up some very good points. I would just add that at ranges past 500-600 yards, .223/5.56 rounds (even the heavier bullets) lose most of their ballistic energy. As I'm sure you know, having the ability to punch holes on paper vs. having the ability to drop animals (2 and 4 legged) at distance are not the same thing. While most folks don't have a need or a worry about distances much past 600 yards if that, I am surrounded by 1000+ yard ranges. In my case, I would choose the 7.62x51/.308 at a minimum as my go to round. That being said, some of the 6mm offerings are getting some great results at long range in both ballistic coefficients and energy on target. Of course every ones mileage will vary. Bx3
     
  25. honu5050

    honu5050 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    1000 yards you might want to pick up a 338.
     
  26. bonedaddy

    bonedaddy Seeker Seeker

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    From experience, and all joking aside, I would recommend one of each. For the price you will pay for a Colt/Bushmaster/Rock River AR15, you can get a DPMS AR AND a Romanian AK47 (SAR). You can get both in .223 or 7.62x39. There are more accessories for both than you can shake a stick at.

    For the average shooter, the AR is more accurate. However, the AR REQUIRES more maintenance than the AK. There is a good reason the AK designed rifles are the preferred weapon for more nations (and warring groups) than all other weapons put together. They run, and run, and run, and then run some more. You can throw an AK in the river, then in the mud, then in the sand ... and it will keep running like the Energizer Bunny.

    For reference, a short list of guns I own are:
    * a SAR-1 AK in 7.62x39 with Choate replacement furniture and a 3-9x40 scope
    * a DPMS LEO (threaded barrel with flash hider) A1 in .223 with RedDot sight
    * a SAR-3 (Romanian sniper AK) in 7.62x54r with Russian sniper scope, tripod' etc
    * a 12g Mossberg 500 pistol grip Persuader
    * an original Russian (Tulia) 1952 SKS in 7.62x39
    * a LEGAL Class III MAC 10 registered in 9mm and .45
    * a few handguns ;-)

    I have owned a lot of AKs and ARs in different configurations (under folders, side folders, etc) and have decided that simple is better. As you can see from my list, I think I have whatever is needed for any situation ... except artillery or tanks :s13:

    Never take a sniper rifle to a tank battle :D

    Added: there are a few online auction sites for guns. I have purchased quite a bit on GunBroker
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  27. Unca Walt

    Unca Walt Midas Member Midas Member

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    Very kind of you to bring it up, hoarder. But SKS's are, by definition, NOT full auto. The SKS design is famous for doubles.

    What I have never had happen (but have seen it numerous times) is slamfire.

    If you gots a dirty firing pin, it kin git stuck with its tongue out. You load the magazine, close the bolt... and powpowpowpow.

    But, just for the helluvit, I will follow yer advice. :s13:
     
  28. noworries

    noworries Seeker Seeker

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    Mostly, the remarks I post on this topic are aimed at the guys who own AKs but have honestly come to a vague understanding that they probably need an accurate rifle to rely on rather than a weapon that is known for poor accuracy at almost any distance, relatively low-power, and offers no real-world benefits.

    If you look at the Remington catalog ballistic tables, you'll find that the 77gr .223 rd does outperform the 7.62x39 125gr out beyond 400yds; both in retained velocity and energy.

    Pretty hard to rationalize that a new shooter is better served with a weapon that might hold 5 rounds on a Pie Plate (MOPP: minute of pie plate!) at 100yds than one that will put 5rds into 1" or less at same distance. How can someone learn to shoot if their weapon is not capable of sufficient accuracy to put the shot within 8" of where they're aiming?

    All the BS about onerous maintenance with the AR-15 is just silly. It does take a bit of lubrication (oil and grease) on the boltcarrier components and trigger parts; possibly a bit of cleaning from time to time, but a chrome-lined barrel is very forgiving if looked after once in a while, and even stainless or plain chrome-moly steel barrels aren't hard to take care of. Too much to deal with? I know a guy who shot a full season of service rifle competition w/o cleaning the barrel of his rifle; and he still won most of his entries. 1800rds or more w/o cleaning the barrel, in a match quality rifle? Don't seem that the AR-15 is as maintenance dependent as the AK guys like to believe....

    Most guys won't buy anything but the cheapest ammo, and won't be bothered learning to handload, so they aren't going to derive ALL The Benefits of owning an AR-15. Of course, you could buy a 6.8spc or 6.5Grendel upper and have bullets in the 125gr weight class from the start. AR does offer that option for interchange of upper receiver assemblies, many which are made to shoot with Great Precision to 1000yds, like the 6mmAR, Grendel, .243wssm and other specialty ctgs.

    I see the basic AK-47 as ineffective for my needs. Of course, I live in a rural area and have need for an accuracy rifle rather than a carbine. I know how to build an maintain Armalite pattern rifles, handload my own match ammunition, and can shoot with usable precision in a sudden confrontation or with excellent precision from a resting position. I am sure a selective-fire (*full-auto) AK-47 would be a tremendous close-in fighting tool, but I am not a soldier or terrorist intent on ambushing unarmed combatants. If you are preparing for such "combat", pretty doubtful you will live long enough to learn how you might've used an accurate rifle...

    An accurate rifle gives you options and capabilities. It is your decision whether you seek Minute Of Angle accuracy or Minute Of Pie Plate. Once distance doubles, if you're lucky your MOPP rifle now can only reliably deliver hits within 2x that 8" area, or a 16" circle. Maybe that's good enough, but if you pulled your shot, you literally missed the broad side of the barn... A good shot can likely make a marginal weapon perform, but a beginner or average shooter is going to suffer and/or lose if the shooting is a contest.

    Point to owning a weapon is to be able to reliably hit the target you can see/discern, and do so reliably, confidently, and decisively. Beyond close-range, an AK likely fails on all 3 counts. Wish you all the best!
     
  29. shake

    shake New Member

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    Only because they are dirt cheap. Don't believe the hype about AKs being indestructible.. I've seen plenty go down.

    A well made mil-spec AR-15 is superior
     
  30. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    .338 would be nice but right now is cost prohibitive. I used to run a .300WM and that did well also. I have had good results running 7.62x51/.308 out to a grand. I have acquaintances that regularly go out to 1,100 and 1,200 yards (on movers no less) with their set ups. While it is definitely wringing the max everything out of a .308 and is more work than with the previously mentioned calibers, it is certainly doable. Bx3
     
  31. bonedaddy

    bonedaddy Seeker Seeker

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    ... and will cost 5 times the price of a basic AK. Just like a competition built Rem 700 will make that mil-spec AR look like an AK with a bent sight. I tried to word my post so that it did not have the AK vs AR (or Chevy vs Ford vs Mopar) sound. Now are we going to talk about a Super Comp Dragster or a Top Fuel?

    The bottom line is ... staying within the parameters of an over the counter assault rifle, the AK47/74 is cheaper, easier to maintain, is a lot of fun to shoot, and WILL hit the target at 100 yards. A baseline AR will cost about 2x what the AK costs, has a bit more involved in maintanence than the AK, is a lot of fun to shoot, and is a bit more accurate ... say out to 200 easily. Now, in both of these cases, you will be needing a scope. I don't know about you, but past 50 yards without a scope I can't tell the difference between the 10 ring and the 2. So ... open sights at 50 yards ... As a plinker? The AK is the best value. If you want to compare a Ford Focus to a Veyron - let's go ahead and bring the Barrett in. I like the Ma Bell approach myself. "Long distance - Reach out and touch someone" at 1.5 miles :s11:

    I am a fan of anything that fires a projectile (and doesn't blow up in your face). The AR is a finer precision made weapon. In some circumstances, this can be a negative. The tighter tolerances WILL require more maintenance and cleaning than an AK. Will you ever see an AK in a sharpshooter competition? If there is one, it will probably not place on the podium. The same can be said about the ARs though. If you want to win a shooting competition against the pros, plan on spending $10,000+ on a custom built Remington. For shooting at cans and varmints, I would buy the Volvo ;)

    BUT - as my original post stated - buy inexpensive versions of both. I did. I own more than one AK AND more than one AR.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  32. honu5050

    honu5050 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    buy one of each if they are that cheep....its the ammo you will need in the end.
     
  33. noworries

    noworries Seeker Seeker

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    Bud's Gun Shop in KY is selling Armalite A-2 style 20" heavy barrel rifles for $860 brand new. Armalite rifles are standard equipped with precision chrome-lined barrels unless you opt for match stainless. Pretty good deal for a lifetime warrantied premium build rifle.

    Might look on the net for a used National Match gun from Colt (chrome-lined match barrel), or Armalite, Rock River Arms, or Bushmaster which all use stainless match grade barrels. All come with match grade triggers. RRA is a very good value at about $1200 new. Might also buy a standard lower, put in a Giesele trigger and add a NM upper. The barrels and NM sights plus float tube hidden under standard forend make for a very basic looking rifle, but one built to shoot with 1moa precision or better out to 600yds. Have seen the heavy barrel Colt for about $850 used and with Chrome-lined barrel the barrel life improvement over ss or cm steel is very worthwhile.

    Better off to use the 75gr match ammo in the 8 or 7 twist AR rifles. Cost about $30 per box unless you handload. TJ Conevera sells military 1x brass and hornady 75gr match bullets in qty of 600ea for $140. The brass is cleaned and primer crimp removed/uniformed on machine. Good stuff a 5lb jug of RL15 or Varget plus 1400 primers will cost about $150 so, if you can handload, the best ammunition you can shoot will cost about $425 for 1200rds and you have enough leftovers to prime and charge 200 more cases.
     
  34. honu5050

    honu5050 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    if we do have a social breakdown accuracy will be very Important. the prices are fair . the 308 & 30-06 will reach out far enough in most situations with plenty of penetration and the proper rounds. the ww2 ppsh dropped many with its minuscule round so an AK in 7.62x39 or 223/5.56 in close will do very well. thanks.
     
  35. shake

    shake New Member

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    there's reports of MK 12 SPRs (18 inch bbl) dropping people at 800 meters :yes:
     
  36. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Pat Rogers with EAG has been running multiple BCM Ars at their shooting courses. They have purposely not been cleaning them to see how they will run. One of them named filthy 14 just surpassed 41,000 rounds this year. The bolt was replaced at approx 16k rounds due to a cracked lug and several extractors and springs have been replaced but other then generous application of Slip 2000 lube, that is the only maintenance. So much for properly built ARs not being reliable. Bx3
     
  37. K_Flynn

    K_Flynn Seeker Seeker

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    unless you live on a 100+ acre ranch, I am just not buying the need to shoot 1000yds in any reasonable SHTF scenario. I have no illusions that I would get the drop on the bad guys and snipe them.

    A reasonably accurate short-medium range battle rifle with high cap magazines is a better focus, IMO... Any reliable and AK or AR fits the bill.
     
  38. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Flynn, I would have to agree with you for the majority of situations and at least the experiences of some in Argentina over the past decade would tend to quantify this. The only caveat I would add is that nobody can truly say what a reasonable SHTF scenario really is since they all come in different flavors. As an example, folks living in the NE will have different needs (more than just firearms) than those living in the SW and so on. The worst thing humanity tends to do in preparation for anything is to lack imagination which then limits their options. Having been on the receiving end of a few incoming rounds, I can honestly say that there is no fun to be had knowing that you have been out ranged. Bx3
     
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  39. bonedaddy

    bonedaddy Seeker Seeker

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    All of this talk about AK vs AR made me hungry - so I bought a new toy yesterday. I got a Smith & Wesson M&P15 (Military & Police AR15)
     

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  40. Bx3

    Bx3 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    I love it when a plan comes together. Bx3
     

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