Defensive Tools- The Rifle

These weapons posts I wrote for another blog and I’m reposting them here

16 Sept, 2012

I’ve gotten a lot of request recently from customers and students concerning what defensive firearms I would recommend, so here goes my list, Keep in mind, this is for the average person with little or no firearms experience. This week we’ll talk about rifles.
Rifles
AR-15. Why the AR? Simple, it is accurate, ergonomic, low recoil, relatively reliable, prices start at about $600, and parts and mags are readily available. 5.56x45N (.223Rem) ammo is also readily available, with plenty of power to stop an adversary, or bring down a deer. The ammo can be found pretty cheap if you know where to look. Not many rifles are more comfortable to shoot than an AR (not counting rimfires), and comfort is a huge factor in the learning curve for a lot of folks. AR’s are fine in the reliability arena, as long as you lube them liberally, and don’t buy some fly by night (Built by Cleetus) off the wall brand. Accessories abound, but don’t go wild in this area, optics, tac light, maybe a laser, but most other options are unnecessary. Models? M4 style (16″ barrel, collapsible stock) is hard to beat, but a 20″ barrel with full size stock if fine too. Standard mag holds 30 rounds
M14/M1A. If your tastes go to longer range and more power, the M14/M1A as made by Springfield Armory is the way to go. Accuracy and reliability are the chief advantages of this weapons system. There is a reason the military still uses this rifle, it works, every time, and it does so accurately. The rifle is heavier, and recoils more than the AR, but it also has twice the power and realistic range. A lot of accessories are available for this rifle, especially stocks if you don’t like the original style. Models? If you want range, go for the Loaded 22′ barrel model. If you want a compact rifle, get the SOCOM 16 model, and get a Sage or Mcmillan collapsible stock. Both of these models cost about $1500 for the basic model. Ammo, 7.62x51N (308 Win) is more expensive, more powerful, and readily available. Standard mag holds 20 rounds.
AKM/AK47. Utterly reliability is it’s forte. Accuracy is ok, ergonomics suck, but that’s more of a training issue than anything. Models, basic full stock, side folder, or underfolder. Full stock is the most comfortable, underfolder is the most compact. Ammo, 7.62x39S (30 russian short), can be compared to the 30-30 Win, in terms of power and bullet diameter, and is readily available and cheap. Suffice it to say, the AK and it’s cartridge, will handle bad guys as well as deer size game, without a problem. Accessories are widely available for AK’s, and most items you can  buy for it are relatively cheap. Average cost for a basic AK right now is about $500. Standard   mags hold 30 rounds.
Alternatives to the three above:
Keltec SU 16C- Great rifle! Reliable, compact, accurate, light weight. Chambered for the

5.56x45N and it uses M16 mags like the AR. Cost is about $600 last I checked.
SKS- Accurate, cheap, and uses the 7.62x39S cartridge like the AK. Costs about $250.

Non-removable 10 round magazine is the standard, it uses 10 round stripper clips to reload.
FN-FAL- Relatively reliable, accurate enough, parts and mags abound, chambered for the  7.62x51N like the M14/M1A. Costs around $900 for a decent model. Standard Mags hold 20 rounds.
I know there are a lot of other weapons to choose from. Not a huge fan of HK (ergonomics), or the AR10 platform (reliability) for that matter. Sigs are ok (overpriced). I’ve used most of them in the last 25 years, and developed my list based on those experiences.
Next week we will discuss pistols.
JCD,
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

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