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Hey everyone,

Went to the local gun store yesterday and saw a variety of semiautomatic rifles. What I can remember seeing was an M1 Carbine, an SKS, a couple of rifles that reminded me of AKs but weren't named that, and a Colt Mod Sporter 5.56.
Do you recommend any one of these over the other?
Also, the Colt I mentioned is an M4 variant correct? Is an M4 variant worse than an AR-15 or is the only difference a barrel length?
Hope you guys can help me out. I figured with the SKS being about $400 (which is manageable) I'd at least get it but I really want an AR :(
Don't have any knowledge on this genre of gun so help a brutha out!

-Frank
 

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Big question. The SKS is a good weapon but not a 400 dollar one. The many different AK 47's are hard to to explain but they are for the most part not worth 900 dollars they selling for now.
AR's are out standing but 1200 max for a good brand mil-spec anymore than that IMO a no sale.
If you must buy now I would avoid the so called black rifles or the military style weapons they are just to far out of line in price.
First a good 12Ga with slugs or buck shoot it is flexible and affordable. If you must spend 400-500 a great bolt action rifle can be had for even less.
If your heart is set on an AR15 the wait the market may settle a bit before the next storm but have the cash ready when you see what you want at the right price buy it. It may not be there in a few hours or days.
Yesterday I saw Bushmasters new and used at double what they should sell for No go IMO.
I saw other very good AR's from 2500 and up again a no go IMO
What ever you buy keep in mind you need ammo for it also and that has to be figured into the budget. With 5.56 sell at a buck a round in some place it don't take long to exceed the weapons cost.
Going broke preping is never the goal
 
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A good M-1 Carbine is still $500 to $800, I can find PPU ammo for $22.95 @ 50 local. National Ordnance and Plainfield s are about $400 but are commercial guns, don't even think about a Universal

Dunhams has had the Bushy Carbons for around $900, but ammo is rare and $$$.

Dunhams has a SPAM can of 7.62 x 54 for $89 and change today and Monday. Maybe get a Moist Nugget to go with it.
 

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The only decently priced rifles I have seen lately are bolt actions. I would like to have another of the evil black rifles but Smitty is right, the prices right now are outrageous. Magazines are all but nonexistent and .223 and 5.56 ammo right now is almost as scarce as hens teeth.
 

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Of the rifles you mentioned, I would buy the Colt. This presumes the pricing is fair. Pre-panic these were running around $1100 in my area. Plus, you said you really want a black rifle - the Colt is a top quality black rifle.

The M4 is really a carbine length version of the rifle length M-16. 16" barrel versus 20", and a collapsible versus fixed stock.

AR-15 is just a commercial semi-automatic version of the M4/M16, again, depending on barrel length.

If you can afford it, and the price is fair, buy the Colt.

If not, get the SKS. AKs are great if you get the right kind, but if you get the wrong kind, they are not very accurate.

My two cents, anyway.
 

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Which Colt AR models would be worth looking at if I went that route?

-Frank
The Colt 6920 is a good option if you can get one. I am a big supporter of Colt but many brands now are just as good.
This is a 6920. the forward piston grip was added for my daughter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've also been advised to buy a receiver for an AR. Was told that is all you need and you can then construct the gun from there.
Where can one purchase AR receivers?

-Frank
 

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If you do not already own the AR platform you will soon find out how costly its has become to own, shoot and maintain. If you are looking to buy and put away, thats fine but you have to put 1000's of rounds downrange to become proficient with any weapon and I think that alone would make the AR cost prohibitive. if you do not already own a weapon, mags. bags. and related parts and ammo. Instead choose a quality weapon that is not getting the attention and negative press as the AR. Hell if the SHTF and you survive day 1 you can just go outside your front door and pick one up off the ground. Consider a caliber with a little more ass that the 223/556. Bolt action or semi. Now is the time to research you secondary choice and while you're at it research a tertiary weapon. Think NATO or domestic, consider weapons used in military forces all over the world and even old standbys like the M1. Good luck with your search. No offense to Colt. Excellent weapons platform, but i like the M16.

just my $.02

punch
 

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I agree with Smitty on the 6920 model. If you have the money, the 6940 with the monolithic (all one piece milled from aluminum) upper is outstanding, but adds at least $400 to the price tag.

You can buy a lower receiver (the part of the firearm that has the serial number and is registered) but these are not easy to find these days and sell out quickly. Then you have to buy a lower parts kit, an upper receiver, stock, mags, sights, etc. You also need tools to put these parts together, so factor that in.

Unless you plan to build more than one, try and borrow the tools if you have friends who have them.

You can get AR lowers from gun dealers. Other parts (including complete uppers) can be ordered online.

I looked at building my own. You can save about $250 doing your own work, including the bare essentials on tools.

In the end, I just bought a complete rifle. Full warranty, and I did not have to deal with sourcing parts in this panic driven market.

Unless you are mechanically inclined, don't try to build your own rifle or carbine.

There are gunsmithing DVDs you can get (Midway USA, or Brownells) to show you the right way to build your own.

Up to you as to how to proceed. Best of luck with your decisions.
 

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The hardest part to find for a self-built AR is the BCG - Bolt Carrier Group. If you can find one of those... grab it. Either for yourself or as an investment. I can name 20 ppl in my immediate group of friends that would buy it from you in an instant. Next... the lower. It is harder to find, but not as difficult as the BCG. If you buy a lower... try to find a matching upper. Although all AR manufacturers claim to be Mil-Spec... there are still slight variations. So... matching your upper and lower is a good idea. I'd personally match my LPK to my lower... but you have a bit more play here. Personally, I replace all of my essential pins with non-rotating pins from KNS Precision, Inc. This also keeps them from coming out when I'm out banging mine around in the field.

Barrels are still easy to find... other essentials like gas tubes, forward assists, ejection port covers, gas blocks, etc... are still readily available. Furniture is getting a bit harder to find... especially if you want the more common brands like MAGPUL, Troy, etc. I've had a rail on back order for about 6 weeks now.

Then... after you've bought all your parts... and all your tools... even if you build it correctly and don't shoot your pins off into never never land (most are spring loaded), I'd still recommend finding a local armorer and having it checked out, which is an additional cost. So... at this stage... it might be best to find one already built and buy it... assuming they aren't trying to rip you off on the price. You can still run across a few deals out there on the internet... and some stores still get shipments in (but you usually have to be in good with a store employee to know when to get there to buy it.) Just my $.02
 

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The AR is a nice platform. At $1 a round, not cheap to shoot right now. I'm sure it will drop or hope it will. The colt is a good carbine but there are others that are just as good. A solid ak by arsenal is good at $900-$1,100 if you can find them. Most ak types are a bit too high right now, just like the ar's. However, I can still find 7.62x39 ammo at .24 per round so the Ak is cheap to shoot and stock ammo

My suggestion is keep reading and go shoot a few. See what you like. If you can, wait until the summer. Hopefully prices will moderate.
 

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If you have no guns at all here is what I would be looking at and in the order I would be looking for it in...

1. Handgun

I would get a hand gun in a defensive caliber first. Its very concealable, compact and light weight, this means its something you have on you even when your in the crapper taking a dump. Might be around your ankles at the moment but you do indeed have it and can use it on the spot! Bad guys aint going to be waving a Pirate Flag and coming from 300 plus yards away, they are most likely going to get you up close and personal and those distances are measured in feet not yards! I personally think a 9mm is the minimum here, I would prefer something with a little more bullet frontal area but thats up to you. Which handgun? Good question there are so many that are more than suitable I cant list them. Something like a Glock, Springfield XD, Ruger P series or my personal favorite 1911 in one flavor or another. Thats just a sample list not a definitive list.

2. 22 Rim Fire

Many here will say a rifle and you can make that argument for sure. I would personally suggest a handgun with a 6 inch barrrel or perhaps a bit longer for a number of reasons I wont list here but PM me and I will take the time to explain why. Light cheap, compact and easily concealable in the case of a handgun. Ammo? Still some of the cheapest out there. The last 550 round value pack I bought was a paltry 20.00 fun dollars which was considerably more than it was a couple of years back. Why 22 rim fire? Cuase it will do a whole lot of things very well and will work in a number more if you do your part and its better than throwing rocks in others. As cheap as it is you can shoot the dog crap out of it and not break the bank allowing you to built shooting skills and conserve more of your other ammo for the real deal stuff. I like the Revolvers, Bolt actions and lever actions more than I do the semi autos for their ability to function with CB Caps, Shorts, Longs, Long Rifles, shot shells and sub sonics and everything else in between. Most here will probably flame me for that choice, but auto loaders can be pretty picky about the ammo they will feed with more so than those other actions I suggested. Many here would much prefer the Ruger 10/22 or Marlin Model 60 instead and both are great guns.

3. A good solid Bolt Action Center Fire

Yeah I said it, that wasnt a Typo. Granted it goes against a lot of the wisdom you have here but hear me out. If your got a good accurate bolt action...you can get yourself one of those evil black rifles if you need one bad enough and the situation has deteriorated that bad, if you know what I mean. It only takes one bullet to the bad guy with one and you can go out and collect your booty when the smoke clears and the shootings over. They way I see it I am a lot more likely to need precision fire than putting a lot of lead down range quickly. I aint Rambo. With a good bolt action and glass on it and some skill building you will be able to own anything from 1 yard to 600 plus! I would suggest a caliber that you can also use in your future "evil black rifle". But if you look at the ammo shortage right now, the shelfs have a lot more 30-06, 270 Winchester and 243 Winchester on the shelf than 308, 7.62x39, 7.62x54R or 223/5.56. So there is a lot to be said for a cartridge not in one of those evil black rifles. I have one in 223, 308, 30-06. 8mm Mauser, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag and 338 Win Mag and if I can find one, money standing by for one in 7.62x39 in the flavor of a CZ-527. Lots of great guns out there and really hard to find a crappy one. Some of my personal favorites are the Rem 700, Savage 10FP, Howa, Ruger American and Weatherby Vangard. Those aint the only names that are game in town just some I would default to without reservation.

4. Good 12 Guage (or 20 if thats more suitable)

A good shotgun is very versitile. Change the ammo and you quickly change the mission of said gun. Its deadly from point blank to 45 yards and in the case of slugs a bit beyond that in even a smooth bore. Close up its straight up brutally devastating and effective beyond just about anything short of artillary. A bad guy taking a load of 00 buck inside 30 yards is not likely going to be a problem for long. With a slug at that range and they are likely dropping dead right there. Great for moving game or game on the wing. I would suggest a good Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. A two barrel set would be the bomb, short 18-20 inch barrel and a 26-28 inch barrel with interchangable choke capability. Right now I am using a Mossberg 535 which is 5 shots max with rifle sights and interchangable chokes and I by no means feel under guned. I paid about the same as what you would have paid for a Mavrick 88 or Pardner. I also have a couple of Remington 870's in combat configuration as well. I paid 150 or less for each of them (870's) used at a pawn shop. My point here is look around and find you a good deal! Then load up on ammo for it. 00 Buck, Slugs, #6 shot at the least is what I would suggest and what I generally stock a lot of.

5. Evil Black Rifle

Now here is your force multiplier! You really got a lot of options here. Some of the more popular are the AR's, the AK's, the SKS's, Mini -14's, AR-10's, M1A's, FAL's and G-3's. These aint the only games in town though just some of the more common choices. Each has some advantages so I wont tell you what to get here. You just need to do your research and find out what works for you. Personally I have at least one of almost everyone of those and like them a lot. But I really love the AR. Its a great platform chambered in a number of calibers and configurations making it suitable for just about anything. I wouldnt want a M4 configured AR unless it was in 300 Whisper or 300 ACC Blackout and I was using sub sonic ammo exclusively. Hopefully by the time you reach this point you will have a few laps around the block as a prepper and have a much better idea on which platform will serve your needs the best. While not an evil black rifle per se...dont under estimate the M1 Garand, or Lever Action. Both can serve you very will in most situations and have the fact that they are liable to slip passed any future gun bans more than likely but can still assault looters and those up to no good just fine. While not optimal both action types are good enough to pick up the check more times than not and allow you to put some lead down range muy el pronto and do it with some pretty serious punch to boot. I have a M1 Garand and I would feel pretty dang comfortable with it unless in CQB clearing a building! So dont hesitate to think outside the box, there are possibilities there in addition to the more popular choices!

Well there you have it, what I would get and when I would get it and why I would get it!
 

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Let me add to what Piratesailor posted. I just bought several 30rd mags for an SKS yesterday at $19.99. There were still plenty on the shelves. AR mags were no where in sight. It's still a darn fine weapon and, in qualified hands... well... you get my point.

But you can also keep in mind that in a post-TEOTWAWKI environment when laws cease to function... all of the AR's will show their pretty black heads... and you shouldn't have a hard time acquiring one from one of the slime balls that will crawl out of their holes. So, you might consider buying a less-expensive bolt action with a scope, practice hard, and wait for shopping time. :)
 
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PS:

iF i WNET ar-15 I would build it not buy it, that way I get a gun just the way I want it, with the features I want it. I own several and I built them all. Its pretty dang easy and can probably be done for about as cheap as one can be bought and in many cases cheaper. This gun is not rocket science! Hellen Keller could probably build one!!!
 

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While not an evil black rifle per se...dont under estimate the M1 Garand, or Lever Action. Both can serve you very will in most situations and have the fact that they are liable to slip passed any future gun bans more than likely but can still assault looters and those up to no good just fine. While not optimal both action types are good enough to pick up the check more times than not and allow you to put some lead down range muy el pronto and do it with some pretty serious punch to boot. I have a M1 Garand and I would feel pretty dang comfortable with it unless in CQB clearing a building! So dont hesitate to think outside the box, there are possibilities there in addition to the more popular choices!

Well there you have it, what I would get and when I would get it and why I would get it!
I'll second that, the Garand is a great idea and readily available from the CMP for a whole lot less than an AR is going for right now. The .30-06 it's chambered for packs a lot of punch and is capable of killing any critter in North America even if it may not be ideal for some. Also Greek .30-06 ball ammo is available from the CMP also. A good lever action would also make a good choice for conflicts under about 150yds maybe even a little farther out. Lever guns offer a pretty high rate of fire in the hands of a trained shooter and are generally pretty accurate. Look for a good used Marlin 336 in either .30 WCF (.30-30) or .35 Rem (harder to find ammo for and a little more expensive than .30 WCF but packs more punch) or maybe a guide gun in .45-70 which is fully capable of taking even the biggest bears.

If your choosing from only the rifles you listed I'd lean toward the SKS personally, reason being that ammo is a bit cheaper $5 for a box of 20 allows more practice plus the cost of the rifle will leave money left over for ammo. Find yourself some quality stripper clips and practice with them until it's second nature to you. Your issue right now is you're looking at rifles in an inflated market and ammo is virtually non-existent right now so stockpiling ammo and practicing with your rifle may be difficult right now.

I'll also recommend a good bolt action rifle. As well as being a good game getter it'll also serve nicely as a defensive weapon for longer range conflicts. Lets face it most bad guys are going to flee the scene when they realize the target they've chosen is not as soft as they initially thought so volume fire probably won't be necessary. The Ruger American is getting great reviews and would make an excellent choice as would the Savage line of rifles. If money is no object the Winchester Model 70 or Remington 700 would also be excellent choices (I'm a Winchester man myself but I wouldn't turn down a good deal on a 700). Cartridge choice is completely up to you in this but I'd stick to something readily available so you can stock up. .308 in a short action or .30-06 in a long action will be available in any gun shop in the country when the panic subsides.

-Infidel
 

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While I would not disagree with this one bit, if I were buying now I'd focus on things that have not skyrocketed like a shotgun and bolt action. My gosh you can still get a quality bolt Savage in 308 for $500 including a cheap optic which is better than none. This way you can also afford to invest in ammo, powder, primers and bullets to go with a cheap reloading press.

To me the Colt AR is good quality right now, the company is still making these very good and even though its probably 33 to 66% higher than it should be if I were well off - it wouldn't bug me. Here is how I related to that. I carried a Walther PPK/s for a decade as a back up and off duty firearm. I like em, shot em well, depended on them, and have a couple. When, in my home town, a Walther PPK/s in 22LR came up 2 years ago and I was broke and the owner wanted "too much" I decided to sell some silver bullion and buy it. I paid $700 for that gun with 2 magazines. But ultimately I paid 16 ounces of silver that cost me about $6 an ounce. I'm so glad to have my little PPK/s 22, I know I over paid for it, but its a gun I always coveted. If you have the resources I don't think over paying for a quality AR is a bad thing to do.

BTW Smitty901 out here in Cali a $400 SKS is sold in a heart beat.

Big question. The SKS is a good weapon but not a 400 dollar one. The many different AK 47's are hard to to explain but they are for the most part not worth 900 dollars they selling for now.
AR's are out standing but 1200 max for a good brand mil-spec anymore than that IMO a no sale.
If you must buy now I would avoid the so called black rifles or the military style weapons they are just to far out of line in price.
First a good 12Ga with slugs or buck shoot it is flexible and affordable. If you must spend 400-500 a great bolt action rifle can be had for even less.
If your heart is set on an AR15 the wait the market may settle a bit before the next storm but have the cash ready when you see what you want at the right price buy it. It may not be there in a few hours or days.
Yesterday I saw Bushmasters new and used at double what they should sell for No go IMO.
I saw other very good AR's from 2500 and up again a no go IMO
What ever you buy keep in mind you need ammo for it also and that has to be figured into the budget. With 5.56 sell at a buck a round in some place it don't take long to exceed the weapons cost.
Going broke preping is never the goal
 

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The only SKS you could buy here for under $400 is the Yugos and they're probably selling for around $400 now. Russians have gone right through the roof, last one I saw was priced at $700. Chinese SKS are going for $450 and up last I saw which was some time last Oct. The Yugo SKSs get a bad rap because the barrels are not chrome lined but mine shoots as well as I could ever expect and it's reliable. $400 for a reliable, accurate semi auto rifle ain't too bad of price as far as I'm concerned. Yes I remember when they were under $100 but I also remember when Mosins were under $70 and German k98k Mausers could be had for $125, I paid $125 for an SMLE No4 Mk1* try that now, those days are over.

-Infidel
 

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Buy the Colt or grab a stripped lower and build it up. May take a while to build, but it will give you knowledge of the platform and saves you the 11% excise tax on the completed firearm. Not to mention the ammo and parts are produced in the US, unlike others that Obama can Executive Order to stop importation of foreign ammunition and firearm components.
 
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