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View Full Version : Which BR is right for me?


fdesalvo
12-15-2011, 3:59 PM
Hey, guys.

I'm midway through my search for a reliable battle rifle that can handle business at extended ranges if need be and my two options appear to be either M14 or M4. Can anyone illustrate why one would be a better platform than the other, or if I should be looking at other options, as welll?

For a little background, I've been lurking here for a few weeks, as my interest in 1911's have been reinvigorated, but I found this forum and the thought of looking through a nice set of peep sights has me pretty excited.

I grew up in the New Orleans area in a Mil/LE family and have been engaged in recreational shooting sports since I was 10. I'm not recoil sensitive and am a little flexible in caliber selection, though I am partial to the .308 - no love lost for the 5.56, as I think it's an excellent round, as well. Definitely frustrated with CA's stance on the Second Amendment; I can't own anything fun and having to have a "bullet button" installed in place of a standard release on a perfectly safe weapon is a load of horse crap.

I don't care about [over]accessorizing my next purchase and I honestly prefer iron sights over optics whenever I have the option, so an accessory rail won't really be something that influences my decision. What matters most to me are reliability, power, accuracy, and capacity (at a not-so-distant last). I appreciate any perspective you guys can offer.

Merc1138
12-15-2011, 4:04 PM
Hey, guys.

I'm midway through my search for a reliable battle rifle that can handle business at extended ranges if need be and my two options appear to be either M14 or M4. Can anyone illustrate why one would be a better platform than the other, or if I should be looking at other options, as welll?

For a little background, I've been lurking here for a few weeks, as my interest in 1911's have been reinvigorated, but I found this forum and the thought of looking through a nice set of peep sights has me pretty excited.

I grew up in the New Orleans area in a Mil/LE family and have been engaged in recreational shooting sports since I was 10. I'm not recoil sensitive and am a little flexible in caliber selection, though I am partial to the .308 - no love lost for the 5.56, as I think it's an excellent round, as well. Definitely frustrated with CA's stance on the Second Amendment; I can't own anything fun and having to have a "bullet button" installed in place of a standard release on a perfectly safe weapon is a load of horse crap.

I don't care about [over]accessorizing my next purchase and I honestly prefer iron sights over optics whenever I have the option, so an accessory rail won't really be something that influences my decision. What matters most to me are reliability, power, accuracy, and capacity (at a not-so-distant last). I appreciate any perspective you guys can offer.

Well you seem to like the .308, don't want to bolt a bunch of tactical stuff onto it(but still have the option), optics aren't a must for you, and capacity-wise you're limited to 10 rounds anyway unless you already have some mags for one or the other. Sounds to me like the m1a/m14 would be the choice(without the FH) since you'd still have 10 rounds and have a detachable mag without worrying about the grip.

hcbr
12-15-2011, 4:04 PM
I like the M4/ar-15 just based on the fact you can build it yourself (or to specs at least) and have quality products built into it. If you want an already made one, LWRC is awesome, but alot of coinage.

Other people should chime in soon , and they'll have all their opinions too to help you decide!

spencerk
12-15-2011, 4:18 PM
I vote M1a Simply because you can throw on a fixed mag and use stripper clips. possibly my favorite thing to reload a weapon with because of how many loaded stripper clips you can carry compared to magazines, plus they seem wayyyyy easier to reload to me. i can pretty much load 5 .308 rounds onto a stripper clip at a time instead of one by one with a regular mag. i just put the rounds between my index finger and middle finger and my middle finger and ring finger, primer side up with the lip raised about half a cm off my fingers. and then with two quick moves (10 round stripper clip) the clip is loaded and. makes it really nice for taking my mauser to the range. load up 100 rounds and im ready to go. plus stripper clips are often less than a dollar a piece so you can stock up on hundreds for the price of just a couple full magazines and be able to carry more ammo than with just mags. and if im correct, (i might not be i dont own a BR, just info i got a gunshop a while back) you can use hicaps in M1a's that are a fixed mag. this would make strippper clips even more important in my opinion because they do make 20 round single stack stripper clips and double stack stripper clips, and even an attatchment that makes 2 10 round stripper clips one 20 round double stack stripper clip, so reloading is cheap and effective. plus if you loose a stripper clip, its not like you wont have an extra dollar for another one.

My vote is M1a Hands Down.

cannon
12-15-2011, 4:19 PM
I like and respect the abilities of both the AR and M1A. Were I deciding between the two it would come down to the distance of most of my shooting.

It really sounds from your post that you are leaning towards the M1A. That rifle is an excellent choice for most applications. Accurate on iron sights, hard hitting, no bullet button required (assume no pistol grip.) and long range is something it does well.

Bull's_eye
12-15-2011, 6:16 PM
If you have a mixed mag rifle, it CANNOT legally have a greater than 10 round capacity. If it is a featureless rifle with detachable mags, assuming the mags are legally owned, you can use your high caps without a bullet button.

Bull's_eye
12-15-2011, 6:16 PM
Fixed* mag

spencerk
12-15-2011, 6:39 PM
but what if it is fixed mag and still featureless? Or is that just an oxymoron?

Sicarius
12-15-2011, 6:47 PM
As far as Battle rifles go, your main options are the M1a, FAL, PTR91(HK 91 clone), AR10 pattern and some consider the .308 Saiga. The m4 suites the roll of an assault rifle because of the caliber so it really isn't considered a battle rifle.
The M1a is a great rifle. You really can't go wrong with it. Excellent iron sights, reliable, accurate and you can drop mags freely in this state. Springfield lifetime warranty is a nice perk to boot.
Since you mentioned the M4, you may want to consider the ar10 patterned rifle. They are an oversized m4/ar-15 and can be extremely accurate and has all the options as any other AR platform. Definately the best platform to mount optics by far.
The PTR 91 is a good option for the budget minded that wants a .308. Very reliable and solid feeling. It is a very fun gun to shoot unless you reload. They will bang up your brass really good but they sell buffers for it to help. The g3 mags are the cheapest of any of the battle rifles and can be had for 2 bucks a mag. Be sure you check the prices of the magazines for the other battle rifles and factor that into the final cost.
The FAL is probably the softest shooting because of the gas system is adjustable. It is not as accurate as the previous battle rifles i mentioned but what it lacks in accuracy, it more than makes up in reliability, ergonomics(probably the best out of the bunch... if you are right handed) and just plain damn fun.
The 308 saiga is, like the ar10 vs ar15, an oversized version of the ak. I really can't comment on them specifically because I don't own one... but if it is anything like any other saiga, it will be reliable but the stock sights are terrible. Most put a scope on it so it usually isn't an issue. Accuracy will suffer when compared to the others due to the platform limitations. Out of the box it does feel flimsy or cheap(synthetic model) compared to the others but what do you expect for more than half the price of any other battle rifle. There is a plethora of parts out there for it so you can swap the parts out at your whim.

Even so, you mentioned that you are a 1911 guy and the M1a looks right at home next to one. From your want list, the saiga is out due to the iron sights and I will have to say that the M1a and PTR have the best two out of the bunch. As far as no bullet button or at least the most natural to hold without a grip wrap it really leaves only the M1a. I suggest getting the loaded model from springfield. It sports the trigger and barrel from the national match and is a bit cheaper. Either way, all battle rifles have their perks and flaws but you really can't make a wrong choice with any of them. Just get what you WANT and don't look back. No regrets or buyers remorse. Hope that helps.
Kevin

Bhobbs
12-15-2011, 8:22 PM
What's the budget?

jokat989
12-16-2011, 12:21 AM
but what if it is fixed mag and still featureless? Or is that just an oxymoron?

you know how they teach you not to use 2 condoms?
well the same logic applies here. pick one or the other

spencerk
12-16-2011, 1:03 AM
God these laws here make owning an AR seem so much less appealing to me. AR's are definatly not on my list of priority Firearms. Personally, my first semi auto is going to be a Browning BAR. but im more into hunting style rifles so thats just me.

roushstage2
12-16-2011, 2:02 AM
What? Either having it featureless or having a BB? That's only two, it is just that there's a caveat to having one or the other. That one caveat applies to both either way.

fdesalvo
12-16-2011, 7:57 AM
Awesome questions and perspectives, guys.

The Springfield M1A is in my budget and it seems like the best choice for my needs. Was someone mentioning that since it is a featureless rifle, I could use high-cap mags?

Much appreciated, as usual, and I'd love to get invovled in some range work with you guys as some point. It's been a few years since I handled a rifle and could use the practice.

Sicarius
12-16-2011, 1:00 PM
You can use hi cap mags as long as you owned them pre 2000.
Kevin

fdesalvo
12-16-2011, 1:26 PM
Below $2K


What's the budget?

Sicarius
12-16-2011, 1:37 PM
I would suggest a Loaded model or a used Polytech m14s. The Poly is chinese but sports a forged receiver that is GI spec unlike all of springfield's cast non GI spec. The poly is also about 1k used, sometimes less if you do look around. The perk of a Springfield is that it is new and has a lifetime warranty. Lord knows I have had to use it on a non M1a rifle but it sure is a great peace of mind. The loaded will run you about 2k, everything said and done. The standard M1a is only 200 bucks cheaper and lacks the NM barrel, trigger and front sight. Well worth the 200 dollar difference IMO.
Kevin

Bhobbs
12-16-2011, 1:42 PM
Below $2K

Springfield M1a is a great choice in that price range.

Crunch130
12-16-2011, 8:17 PM
Or, starting at $600, a CMP M1 Garand is an awesome rifle. I'm surprised no one even mentioned it. And it is a BATTLE rifle.

No disrespect to the AR's. I have one in .223. Very accurate, and fun to shoot. But .308 or .30-06 have way more ballistics out past 300 yards.

Crunch

Jpach
12-16-2011, 8:34 PM
.308 AR

-hanko
12-16-2011, 9:22 PM
I would suggest a Loaded model or a used Polytech m14s. The Poly is chinese but sports a forged receiver that is GI spec unlike all of springfield's cast non GI spec. The poly is also about 1k used, sometimes less if you do look around. The perk of a Springfield is that it is new and has a lifetime warranty. Lord knows I have had to use it on a non M1a rifle but it sure is a great peace of mind. The loaded will run you about 2k, everything said and done. The standard M1a is only 200 bucks cheaper and lacks the NM barrel, trigger and front sight. Well worth the 200 dollar difference IMO.
Kevin
Without the lifetime warranty, Springfield would be out of business.;)

The Polytech is superior in both materials and workmanship. Aftermarket parts designed for the M14 actually fit the Polytech.

-hanko

Sicarius
12-17-2011, 1:45 AM
Without the lifetime warranty, Springfield would be out of business.;)

The Polytech is superior in both materials and workmanship. Aftermarket parts designed for the M14 actually fit the Polytech.

-hanko

LOL. No doubt. I too believe it is a better and cheaper product but I am very pleased with my M1a loaded and it hasn't given me any grief thus far. Time will tell...
Kevin

Agent Tikki
12-17-2011, 6:13 AM
Featureless lightweight AR10

sonnyt650
12-17-2011, 7:09 AM
A .308 AR can be had for around $1400 (http://www.davidsonsinc.com/consumers/subsites/inven_sql.asp?preview=&manufact_combo=DPMS&category_combo=2&price_range=None&mod_ser_combo=None&g_type=Rifle&finish_type=None&calib_combo=308&sight_class_combo=None&num_rec=50&instock=all&offset_rec=0&b1.x=54&b1.y=17), and there are many more manufacturers if DPMS doesn't float your boat.