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View Full Version : NEW Rifle ... 308 M1A, AR308 or Bolt action (Howa etc)


Scouter
07-17-2007, 9:27 PM
Well finishing the final pieces on my first AR in 223 and now I want to pick something up in 308 -

So what do you guys think, go with an AR 308 build, an M1A or something like a Howa 1500 bolt action?

I checked out a few rifles today,

1 - was as Socom II, weight wasn't bad at all, very solid, 16" barrel
2 - was a M1A wrapped in a JAE-100 stock 24" barrel, WAAAAY too heavy for what I want now, I want something for the range as well as hunting
3 - was a Howa 1500 in an Axiom stock 20" barrel, had pretty good balance to it and felt pretty good.. but it's bolt action.

Haven't gotten to handle an AR in 308 ... I'm sure it would be lovely.

So any and all input would be greatly appreciated Thanks!

aplinker
07-17-2007, 9:35 PM
It's amazing how different the 3 guns you mentioned are. The only thing that really connects them is the caliber.

You'll get optimal accuracy out of a bolt gun (maybe not a Howa... most people will push you toward Remington or Savage).

The M14 vs AR in 308 has been discussed to death. It truly comes down to your preference. I like my Socom II, but if I had to do it again, I'd probably get just the Socom 16 and put a rail top and bottom. The rest of them are superfluous and the weight isn't worth it. Besides, we can't vert grip it and a rail system like that doesn't help with accuracy like a free-float does with an AR. Honestly, if you choose to go semi, the question really comes down to, do you want another AR or do you want something different?

rssslvr
07-17-2007, 9:38 PM
FAL or M1a

Scouter
07-17-2007, 9:40 PM
very good points ucplinker - thanks.

I do like the Socom, but haven't handled a AR 380, which would you consider to be more accurate and which weighs less? I know it'd probably be hard to say since you can configure the AR with so many different options...

Not a fan of the FAL, so if it were AR type probably POF build

Prc329
07-17-2007, 9:44 PM
If you can afford the M1A and a JAE-100 you should steer clear of the Howa and get a Savage 10fp or Rem 700.

Scouter
07-17-2007, 9:57 PM
Wow didn't know Howa's had that bad a reputation - what's wrong with them? I was handling one today that was in an AXIOM stock and liked how it felt ... I don't know anything about the performance though.

aplinker
07-17-2007, 10:08 PM
Wow didn't know Howa's had that bad a reputation - what's wrong with them? I was handling one today that was in an AXIOM stock and liked how it felt ... I don't know anything about the performance though.

They're not terrible. They're "value" rifles. They're not that much less, either. An equivalent Savage would maybe run $100 more.

Configurations matter a lot for weight in ARs and M1As. In the end, IIRC, the AR has a slight edge in being lighter (if you try to compare apples to apples -- same barrel length and weight).

I'm a big fan of POF stuff. The gas piston system is great -- in the words of Outkast, "So fresh and so clean..." My piston upper doesn't crap where it eats. I shoot dirty ammo and the receiver still looks clean.

What's your issue with a FAL? Don't like the looks? How they shoot?

A POF would be more expensive than the M1A. Both would be 1.5-2X more than a solid bolt gun.

They're such different shooting... a bolt gun and a semi. It's like driving a Ferrari vs. Rolls. They're both great, but the roads you pick and how you drive them are way different.

Scouter
07-17-2007, 10:19 PM
POF's just seem to me (I don't know much) like you can configure them a bit more that is all.

Starting to lean more towards the POF ...

Who's got 'em for the best price? :43:

aplinker
07-17-2007, 10:33 PM
POF's just seem to me (I don't know much) like you can configure them a bit more that is all.

Not really true. They just do a nice job with pictures. You can infinitely configure your own. Try browsing here:
http://noveskerifleworks.com/cgi-bin/imcart/display.cgi?cat=7

And that's just to start...

What's really unique about POF is that they use a gas-piston system.

Starting to lean more towards the POF ...

Who's got 'em for the best price? :43:

ha ha

No one. Nobody's gotten their hands on the 308's from POF. Ask the people "at the top" of the page in the ads. They might know when to expect them.

BossHogg
07-17-2007, 11:23 PM
Wow didn't know Howa's had that bad a reputation - what's wrong with them? I was handling one today that was in an AXIOM stock and liked how it felt ... I don't know anything about the performance though.

There is not thing wrong with them. It has the Weatherby Vanguard action which IMO is the smoothest. Most people that do not like them because they are made in Japan and are old farts that dont like change or foreign rifles. Funny how they dont talk trash about the Vanguard .... but the Howa they do because its new to them :confused: A buddy of mine has a short action .308 version and a long action 300 Win Mag version which I shoot all the time. Both are very nice and light weight. I think the one you are speaking of has a bull barrel and is heavier. Ohh yeah .... and I HATE Savage triggers.

I have a POF .308 lower and correct me if I am wrong but Noveske .308 uppers are AR-10 compatible not POF/DPMS/Fulton compatible. They only option right now is to buy a DPMS upper. I'm waiting patiently for the POF uppers because of their modular railed receivers look phenomenal :drool5:

CHUCK-E
07-17-2007, 11:33 PM
I own a Howa M-1500 in .270 win. I have no complaints. Shoots better than I can. No problem hitting that 600 yard pig @ angeles.

daskraut
07-17-2007, 11:43 PM
M1A first, then the others, long barrel version.

aplinker
07-17-2007, 11:52 PM
I have a POF .308 lower and correct me if I am wrong but Noveske .308 uppers are AR-10 compatible not POF/DPMS/Fulton compatible. They only option right now is to buy a DPMS upper. I'm waiting patiently for the POF uppers because of their modular railed receivers look phenomenal :drool5:

Yes, the Noveske upper is not POF/Fulton compatible. I believe he could do a Hesse lower.

How can you hate the Savage Accutrigger?

Prc329
07-18-2007, 8:21 AM
Wow didn't know Howa's had that bad a reputation - what's wrong with them? I was handling one today that was in an AXIOM stock and liked how it felt ... I don't know anything about the performance though.

Nothing is wrong with them, hell I owned and loved one it is just if you have the money for a much more expensive rifle i would spend a few dollars more and get a Savage that has an after market and a better rifle to start out with. I paid $600 for my Savage and immediately replaced the stock (the guns only week link) with a B&C Medalist for another $200.

Scouter
07-18-2007, 8:03 PM
Saw a savage 10fp with folding stock today, not bad, but I still like the Axiom stock better.

I already started purchasing the parts for an AR 308 build, but still would like to hear what everyone's opinion is.

proraptor
07-18-2007, 8:37 PM
Id go with a savage 10FP.....I love mine

heyjak
07-18-2007, 8:45 PM
Second only to the Garand (30-06) is the M14. IF you can afford one, go for the M1A by Springfield Armory. Expensive, but worth it!:o The bolt actions will be (marginally) more accurate shot-for-shot, but you'll have more fun shooting the M1A (civilian M14) :)

aplinker
07-19-2007, 2:09 AM
I wrote the following to Scouter in his "looking to buy M1A SOCOM" thread, but I thought it would be nice to solicit other opinions. By the way, from that thread, it seems you've made your choice?

Given the chance to purchase an M1A again I would buy them in this order. Scout > 16 > II. I have the II. I would buy a scout, put an extended top rail on and a bottom front rail, too.

My reasons are thus:

1.) the 2 extra inches barely raise the weight of an already heavy rifle.
2.) that length increases velocity and long-distance usability
3.) the Socom has a proprietary gas system and muzzle brake. It will not be interchangable with GI parts nor can you change to other brakes without interfering with the rifle's operation. You can also change the barrel weight and length of a scout for a standard, match, heavy, .....
4.) The rail system of the II is unnecessary and will be underutilized in CA. It doesn't add any accuracy like a free-float on an AR and adds WEIGHT! You can't put a forward grip on it (makes it an assault weapon), too. It just becomes a rail cover attacher. Pretty useless.

My 4 rails hold a red dot (either Aimpoint or Eotech) on top, a bipod and rail cover on bottom, and a flashlight on the side. The only one that can't be accomodated directly on the configuration I suggest is the flashlight, but there are a myriad of ways to attach it on the bottom, side, etc...

Just offering from my experience. An 18" would still be carryable, but would offering some distinct advantages. I think the Socom 16 over the II is a pretty obvious decision. I wish I'd have learned "function over form" earlier in my gun pursuits.

I don't regret my Socom II, just would change it if I could.