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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

After this last week, I have decided the bad guys out gun-me badly. I am retired military and liked the M-16 platform (AR-15). The accessories for it are amazing. I like high capacity magazines - and I want to be on equal footing with an opponent. I realize that most times, a CCW handgun is all I will have for immediate access before engaging. But, if there is time - I would go for a long-gun - one of my shotguns or the AR. I would also consider an AK-47.

I need advice on:
- Which AR is the best value / reliability?
- Which company / website is the best to buy from? (a lot of 'beware' reviews out there)
- Any recommendations on an AK-47?
- What else should I consider - but did not know enough to ask?

Allen
 

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I don't know the answers to those questions, but my brother went gun shopping last weekend and said that the stores are bare. Not an AR-15 to be found anywhere near him. So whatever you decide to get, good luck finding it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1fastsedan - Yep, it might take a bit to sort out a purchase. I don't want to get hung up with a website that has lousy customer service - I don't buy enough to know. I know a number of companies make the AR-15 - but again - I don't buy enough to know which ones to avoid. This forum has real experts and this cowboy is ready to learn.

Allen
 

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Shade Tree Mechanic
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I personally like the AR (5.56) much better than a 7.62x39. The accuracy is better at longer ranges although the stopping power is greater with an AK. I have shot both the M16 while on active duty and the AK-47 a few years ago. Both were military versions and hands down I liked the M16 better. You may want to consider something in 7.62x51 NATO that is a very powerful round and also good for deer hunting.
 

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Senior Charter Member
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Look at Ruger Mini 14 as well.....acog sight magpul mags.
 

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Weapons with oversized controls, low recoil, and high magazine capacity are great choices for the slight or handicapped. However if you are able bodied, the best way to outgun someone is to have more gun. How about an M1A?

Also if my life was on the line I'd want a short stroke piston cycling my gun not direct gas impingement.

Mike
 

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+1 for the Mini 14. Upside, they are usually less expensive, very reliable, light weight, will shoot whatever ammo you put into it without complaint (although I would still avoid corrosive powder). And, it is a Ranch Rifle, a truck gun, not an assault rifle.

Also, the Mini is the Funnest gun I have ever fired, my friends tend to think so too :)

Enjoy.
 

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Shade Tree Mechanic
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AMG I also have a Mini-14 and it is a fun gun to fire and very reliable and fairly accurate. That said it seems like you are looking for more of an assault type weapon? The AR platform IMO is just so much more "customizable" with a picatinny rail there is just so much more you can do with it.
 

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Well, after using an M16 in the Reserves for 22 years, I finally got used to direct impingement. It actually does work, and I had so much experience with it I could no longer pretend it was as bad as some would have me believe. So, I built one.

The main complaint about direct impingement is that the bolt gets covered in gas residue. Here's the deal, the gas chamber is built into the bolt, and yes, there's residue. The M1 suffers from buildup, too, most don't deal with it because they don't shoot the same volume of ammo thru it. Something about .30-06 having more recoil that 5.56. Anyway, the M1/M14 have to be torn down and periodically cleaned or the gas pistons in them can't be removed, and it becomes a gunsmith's job, who charges accordingly. You get to hear him complain about poor owner maintenance at the same time, just icing on the cake. I was taught that in '69.

Shoot the M1 all you want, the bolt gets dirty anyway. All gas operated firearms open the bolt just early enough in the firing cycle to allow a bit of the barrel gases to float the casing and have it help push the bolt open. That gas then exhausts past the bolt face. It's simple physical science - 50,000 pounds of gas pressure does not instantaneously escape the muzzle behind the bullet. It has it's own bulk to get out of the way, like a water hose slowing down after you turn the spigot off.

Anyway, there is no "best" AR15. There are some to avoid, Del Ton isn't rated highly on the overall list of better guns from the gurus on M4carbine.net, AR15.com, etc. And it may be moot - the panic buying has dried up all the guns, including stripped receivers.

The AK is an entirely different gun, a generation older in design. Considering them as equal alternatives is arguable. It suggests that the request is to get an look alike assault rifle of any kind, rather than the one which you specifically know will be better suited for your shooting purposes. Kinda like showing up at a exotic car lot and telling the salesman you'll take either a Maserati Quattroporte or Mazda RX8. They are kinda more different than alike.

Good luck with finding any AR15, it could very well be too late.
 

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And if you don't have magazines currently in hand for it, you might as well buy a bolt gun.

Magazines will be at least as difficult (and expensive) to find for months (at the very least).
 

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Gas piston cleaning on the Garand/M14/M1A is not a gunsmith job and does not require a teardown. In fact teardown is discouraged. You just need to remove one little cap at the end of the gas tube with an ordinary box ignition wrench. If you have an accurate gun, to avoid torquing the action in the bedding, you should hold the gun with a gas tube wrench like the $29 one below.



I'm a proud member of the purple thumb club.

Mike

PS. The gas system on the M-14.M1A is mostly self-cleaning, Every 500-600 rounds you should remove the gas plus and piston, clean the carbon out of the piston (with a letter-P drill bit), clean the carbon out of the gas plug (most use the same letter-P bit but some older ones use a letter-O), and clean out the piston side port with a #15 drill bit. Some people use special blunted bits but it is not a big deal. It's not like you are chucking them up in a press. Do not lubricate anything in there, put some anti-seize on the lug threads and tighten to between 10 and 23 ft-lb. Most people find their guns shoot the best between 120 and 150 in-lbs. Some shooters only use a torque wrench until they find the best pressure and use a witness mark afterward.



The volume of the piston and plug act as an additional delay beyond the length of barrel before the port (which is also long in the M1A). Once the piston starts going back, the piston port no longer lines up with the barrel port and additional gas is blocked, so the absolute minimum amount of gas is used. All this dirty action and the heat that goes with it are occurring about 14" from your breech area. After market plugs can increase the volume of light loads or reduce the volume for heavy bullets. Many find they can squeeze more accuracy our of a particular load with adjustments,
 

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FFR Rookie Craftsman
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Howdy Allen,

Start hitting your local WalMart(s), Academy Sports, LGS, etc and buy the first one you can find.

Paul

P.S. Buy all the mags and ammo that you can find too.
 

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There is a build your own option. I don't know if you're interested, or much about the quality, but this store is in our county and advertises on the radio. Essentially they sell you an 80% complete receiver and then all the other parts to assemble your own AR. I also don't know what they have left in stock. Just another idea for you.

AR-15 - Ares Armor
 

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Parts are getting hard to find now as well. In my area, complete lowers are going for 500, the cheapest upper I can find is 800.

I have a stripper lower and was offered 400 for it but I am not parting with it. I just looked and can't even find a trigger for it locally. Just about the only thing I can find is stocks and barrels.
 

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Panic buying will drive up the price for the immediate future. Wait, be patient. Don't get caught up in it just yet.

Personally, I'v always wanted a mini-14. There's quite a few of them available new and used in my area. Maybe next month I'll buy one.

5.56 ammo might be tough to find, though. I might start buying some now. Whenever I'm in the right store, I check the ammo cabinet for anything I can use. I buy a few boxes here and there - and that adds up pretty fast.
 

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Better to have more fire power then the same

 
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