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  #1  
Old 09-30-2005, 08:48 PM
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Best battle rifle


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This has probably been addressed here before, and will be again, but I would like to hear the current opinions...

What is your opinion on the best available "battle" rifle?

Not a hunting rifle.

Not a target rifle.

Not a sniper rifle.

A BATTLE rifle, for SHTF conditions!

My personal choice is the SKS (pick your flavor). They are light, quick, precise enough, and just work, every time, in all conditions.

A close second is the M1 Garand. It has the advantage in precision and power, but looses in the weight and maintenence departments.

A common factor in my choices is the fixed magazine. It is "low capacity", but cannot be lost. IMHO, this is a big advantage for the worst-of-the-worst conditions.

What is your opinion?
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2005, 09:41 PM
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Can't find find much wrong with your picks Stanger73. I've owned several flavors of battle rifles over the years. I currently own 2 M1 Garands, M1A1 Super Match, Colt H-Bar Match, SKS, and HK models 91 and 93.
If I had to pick one for absolute reliability when needed, it would be one of the HKs. In fairness to the others, I would really feel pretty well armed with any of them.

Guess I should also confess that the SKS gets shot the most. I have several thousand rounds of Cheap ammo and my wife and I both like to shoot it.
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2005, 10:21 PM
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I've tried a friend's SKS that he got for $150 and couldn't believe how well it pointed and how accurate it was.

Field striping is very simple. I my opinion it beats the AK.

Now my father in law, who was in the 2nd Armored Division in EUrope in WWII, swears that the M1 gave them the edge against the Germans. Not having been in combat myself, I would have to go with his opinion.
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2005, 11:06 PM
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For SHTF situations, give me a bolt-action Mauser (type) rifle, with aperture sights. Yes, one would be at something of a disadvantage if "coming up against" other(s) armed with autoloaders. But, in such a scenario, the wise person, with intentions of being a "survivor"....would be well-advised to AVOID such battles, if at all possible. Further, the bolt-action battle rifle would tend to force a certain economy...in that being tempted to pour on the fire (and WASTE precious ammo)...would not be so much of an option. In any such scenario I can imagine, long-term success/ survival (which would seem to be the true goal), would be just as possible with the "old-fashioned" battle rifle...if one avoids playing Rambo. That sort of thing is a sure recipe for a short life.
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2005, 02:27 AM
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battle rifle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanger73
This has probably been addressed here before, and will be again, but I would like to hear the current opinions...

What is your opinion on the best available "battle" rifle?

Not a hunting rifle.

Not a target rifle.

Not a sniper rifle.

A BATTLE rifle, for SHTF conditions!

My personal choice is the SKS (pick your flavor). They are light, quick, precise enough, and just work, every time, in all conditions.

A close second is the M1 Garand. It has the advantage in precision and power, but looses in the weight and maintenence departments.

A common factor in my choices is the fixed magazine. It is "low capacity", but cannot be lost. IMHO, this is a big advantage for the worst-of-the-worst conditions.

What is your opinion?
Best battle rifle is the british lee enfeild in .303.
Why ?.....two world wars and numerous smaller campagins, all conditions from the sands of North Africa to trenchs of the Somme to jungles of burma, to ice and snow.
Its well made and amazinly tough yet accurate.
The calibre give it more range and punch than an SKS, the action is inherently more relaiable than any semi, it comes in many forms, want it short and fast to point ?...try it in jungle carbine format.
Its killed hundreds of thousands...maybe millions, it over 100yrs old ( an sks is still wet behind the ears and wearing nappies ).Sure its now obsolete but It is the most PROVEN
battle rifle ever made, history makes it so.
Ive shot many, I have one in my cabinet stamped 1915, its still smooth, accurate and one of the fastest bolt actions ever made.It is No1, history and blood make it so.
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2005, 02:27 AM
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My 2 pennies go for the M14M1A. Get the real Mc Coy in selective fire and she will serve you very well. As a shtf weapon she can reach out like a sniper rifle and on full auto you can "spray and pray" when need be. Top it with a good 3X9 scope and you are set. Sks rifles are great. The reason everybody likes them is the are cheap to buy and cheap to shoot, Nothing wrong with that. But I like being able to reach out there to 800 yards plus if need be. For urban- house to house- combat, Get a 12 gauge pump of your choosing preferrably 3 inch chamber and cut barrel back to 22 inches and add a 3 shot extension tube. put in screw in chokes and use a full. Use 3 inch mag number 4 buckshot and you are very well protected. OOPS. I wandered on again. But with these 2 weapons you can sleep very well at night knowing you can protect yourself and family when need to. God Bless Steve
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2005, 05:00 AM
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I'm a fan of the M-16A1. Training time is typically one day. At morning start, the soldier/student knows nothing. Yet at end of day, they can partially disassemble, trouble shoot, and re-assemble. Same person can hit a man sized target at 300 meters 8 out of 10 shots from a supported position. Recoil is not a hinderance to training. .223 is inherantly a quite accurate carridge. Power is adequate; lethality has been increased with recent upgrades in ammo and faster barrel twist.

I'm in agreement with SKS as another good battle rifle. Accurasy is not predictable as with M-16 and it's variants but still okay for general use.
I've shot several that would group into a 5 inch circle at 150 yards with commie surplus ammo. Performance is typically bettered with USA made hunting grade ammo.

AK-47 is another proven winner. In some situations it is superior to M-16 due to larger and heavier bullets and slower automatic rate of fire.

I'd NOT opt for a bolt action rifle. Soviet studies completed in late 1940's proved that average soldier does not require a longe range bolt action rifle. These conclusions were based upon thousands of interviews with combat veterans and closely studied actal battle conditions. A long barreled bolt action with long range capability was a genuine hinderance for most real battle conditions. Also much longer training time.

Soviets developed the 7.62mm X 39 as a cartridge to fit approximately halfway between handgun and rifle cartridges. Although often compared to 30-30 this is not so. The Soviet round weighs but 123 grains where 30-30 is commonly encountered in 170 grains.
TR
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2005, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.R.
I'm a fan of the M-16A1. Training time is typically one day. At morning start, the soldier/student knows nothing. Yet at end of day, they can partially disassemble, trouble shoot, and re-assemble. Same person can hit a man sized target at 300 meters 8 out of 10 shots from a supported position. Recoil is not a hinderance to training. .223 is inherantly a quite accurate carridge. Power is adequate; lethality has been increased with recent upgrades in ammo and faster barrel twist.

I'm in agreement with SKS as another good battle rifle. Accurasy is not predictable as with M-16 and it's variants but still okay for general use.
I've shot several that would group into a 5 inch circle at 150 yards with commie surplus ammo. Performance is typically bettered with USA made hunting grade ammo.

AK-47 is another proven winner. In some situations it is superior to M-16 due to larger and heavier bullets and slower automatic rate of fire.

I'd NOT opt for a bolt action rifle. Soviet studies completed in late 1940's proved that average soldier does not require a longe range bolt action rifle. These conclusions were based upon thousands of interviews with combat veterans and closely studied actal battle conditions. A long barreled bolt action with long range capability was a genuine hinderance for most real battle conditions. Also much longer training time.

Soviets developed the 7.62mm X 39 as a cartridge to fit approximately halfway between handgun and rifle cartridges. Although often compared to 30-30 this is not so. The Soviet round weighs but 123 grains where 30-30 is commonly encountered in 170 grains.
TR
G36 or Sig552 variations are both top notch rifles...of course their lack of availablility here in the states means very few of us can actually say with authority that they perform well.

Although I've shot many rifles that use the ar build...I haven't been the biggest fan of it. I think the new XM8 looks promising...again I've only handled one not fired it.

My personal pick would be the springfield socom rifle in 308.
Very simply built...made to withstand the elements...and serious power and range...made into a nice compact controllable package.
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2005, 06:01 AM
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My [308Win] Steyr-Scout rifle, would be the first rifle I grabbed "in-case-of-a-fire" along with my patrol-pack.

[...This may change when I get the SOCOM-16 though...]

Either-way...it's gonna be a .308Win.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2005, 02:31 PM
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I would have to say M-14, the detachable mags and selective fire are the big factors, next in line is the M1
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2005, 05:27 PM
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I think ones' choice of arm would depend a lot on the theater of operations. Obviously if you looking at door to door / room to room operations, something in the Uzi / MP5 style would be in order.

For general purpose infantry with nominal ranges being zero to 150 yards I'd go with the AK or similar type medium power round autoloader with detachable mags.

Conditions permitting being able to pin down and eliminate the enemy at ranges from 100 to 600 yards, I'd go with a high power autoloader also with detachable mags & optional optical sight.

If terrain permits picking off the enemy at ranges over 600 yards, first choice would definitely be a high or magnum powered round in an optically sighted bolt gun.

Another real consideration would be logistics. In western Europe, chances of having replacement parts and ammo available for NATO and Brit guns would probably be pretty good. Eastern Europe all the way to China and most of Africa, I'd be more likely to go with an SVD or AK based solely on their commonality to the regions and their proven reliabilty in all types of elements.

In any case, one things that maintains is that I'd have a 1911 no matter what.
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  #12  
Old 10-02-2005, 03:38 AM
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Generally in a urban enviroment I'll take a M4 style AR15. Its lightweight, can add optics, lights, and other bells and whistles which greatly improve my all weather/all enviroment engagements. I can hit targets out to 500 yds on the range with it. Ammo is pentiful and battlefield recoverable. Mags are cheap and realible.

As many countries after action combat reviews states that the average engagements are at less then 300m. There's several reasons for this.
1. Indentification-At long range you can't ID nor are they much of a threat.
2. You actually want to close the distance to bring maxium amount of firepower in the shortest time given. You don't want anything leaving the kill box or room to manuever/flank you.
3. In a self defense issue, what court will believe you where threated at 500yds that you had to engage first? Its close and personnel, that's where a fast handling carbine comes to excell.

Plus the fact I've got 22 yrs handling the AR format.

CD
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2005, 03:52 AM
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I've been really impressed with the FAL type rifles for a long time. They're quite accurate, and with the adjustable gas system they're one hundred percent reliable with any type ammo under any conditions.

The only drawbacks I could see with a FAL is the fact they're relatively long at something like 43" and heavy at 11 to 12 pounds, which would make them a little hard to use in really confined spaces. Also, carrying very much .308/7.62 ammo would get to be pretty heavy compared to the same amount of .223/5.56, but for me would be worth the trade off in terms or range, power, and penetration.

I had really wanted something a little more maneuverable and easy to use in confined spaces for a long time. After the end of the Clinton gun ban, I thought I better do something before our ace polititians enacted some other legislation for the kids.

Last fall, I ordered a DSArms SA58 Paratrooper carbine with 18" barrel, flash hinder, and side folding stock. It wasn't cheap, and it took about three months to get it, but for me it's the ultimate SHTF weapon. I mounted a Leupold VX-III 1.75-6X scope on it. It can go anywhere I can go, and from up close and personal out to any realistic range it will do anything I need to do. If for some reason I ever have to take off with only one rifle, it's the one that goes with me!
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  #14  
Old 10-02-2005, 09:38 AM
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Its a toss up between the M14/M1A and the G3. I used an M14 in the Army and it will work in the worst of conditions. The G3 has a slight edge in accuracy and will funtion with lousy ammo that will make the M14 balk. This is box stock guns. The M1A can be customized into a slightly better gun.
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  #15  
Old 10-02-2005, 10:06 AM
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The average soldier is not required to "pick off" an enemy at 500 yards. Sounds like someone who has never spent time in uniform.

Snipers are trained and equipped for picking off those long distance targets. Big difference between battle conditions and long distance sniping.
TR
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  #16  
Old 10-02-2005, 02:27 PM
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I have found that most of us will fall back on what we trained with. We know it's weakness and strong points. We remember when and where it saved our butts.

The SKS would be one of the last rifles I would want in my hands when the caps start poping. In most I have handled they are awkward and poorly made when compared with the M1A or M16 series. I think the reason most people think they are great is that they are inexpensive to purchase. I've been handed a number of SKS rifles and asked to "fix it". All were caused by lack of service and understanding of the weapon.

Whatever your choice, learn to maintain amd service the weapon. Learn to employ it in it's strength and weaknesses. And most important, train and practice with the weapon so that you are proficaint with it in good and bad situations.
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  #17  
Old 10-02-2005, 07:27 PM
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Put me down in the AR column. T.R. and Combat Diver summed it up pretty well. I have one and will admit it is not my favorite by a long shot, but..... when I pick it up its operation is second nature. They must beat stuff into your head pretty well at Ft. Benning, because 20+ years later I can look on as my hands and rifle do what they are supposed to. I also used an M-14(M-21 actually) when I was in Korea, but to this day I do better with the AR platform. Having taught several people of various experience levels to shoot one I have to say it is a natural ergonomically. Great results in a short period of time. Good for coyotes and groundhogs too!
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  #18  
Old 10-03-2005, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfarmer
Put me down in the AR column. T.R. and Combat Diver summed it up pretty well. I have one and will admit it is not my favorite by a long shot, but..... when I pick it up its operation is second nature. They must beat stuff into your head pretty well at Ft. Benning, because 20+ years later I can look on as my hands and rifle do what they are supposed to. I also used an M-14(M-21 actually) when I was in Korea, but to this day I do better with the AR platform. Having taught several people of various experience levels to shoot one I have to say it is a natural ergonomically. Great results in a short period of time. Good for coyotes and groundhogs too!
I agree also, AR. I would much rather pop in a 20 or 30 round mag than try to push 10 rounds in on a stripper clip. The Iraqi units that were armed w/ SKS rifles would fire 10 rounds, throw them away, and run! I don't think you can say what is the best battle rifle, without first setting up time lines or classes. The SKS was the only Rifle in modern times to be obsolete when it was introduced. Same as the Krag was when it went up against the Mauser in the Spanish American war. If you want mobility and fire power you need a light firearm. The AR! JP
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  #19  
Old 10-03-2005, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.R.
The average soldier is not required to "pick off" an enemy at 500 yards. Sounds like someone who has never spent time in uniform.

Snipers are trained and equipped for picking off those long distance targets. Big difference between battle conditions and long distance sniping.
TR

I think it was the battle of Belleau Wood in 1918 (not real positive on places & dates so pardon any errors) when our regular US Marine infantry grunts, not "trained snipers" killed the snot out of the Germans at 800+ yards.

How about the regular Army airborn guys in WWII that either killed or pinned down the Germans running machine guns and artillary above Normady at a range of 500-600 yards because they could not get any closer.

Was it Midway or Guadalcanal where once again just a handful of Marine grunts killed a boatload of Japanese moving supplies nearly 1000 yards away?

What the un-trained Israeli civilians who hammered the crap out of the invading Egyptian forces from 500+ yards?

Can't recall if it was North Africa or Sicily where Monty's grunts wiped out a pile of Germans at something like 700 yards too.

Commonality here is that none of these were trained snipers, they were plain old soldiers and in the case of the Israeli's civilians including women, who did what they had to do when they had to do it. No one told them they could not engage the enemy at these long ranges so they did and got the job done. No one is saying that every round was placed just so but the outcome of these battles that won wars. Battles fought by people with the will and determination to win no matter what obstacles were placed in their way. They used what they had and used it to the utmost of their ability. Underestimating the enemy is the quickest way to end up dead.

Sounds as if someone never spent any time in a history book.
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Last edited by markkw; 10-03-2005 at 08:38 AM.
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  #20  
Old 10-03-2005, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanger73
This has probably been addressed here before, and will be again, but I would like to hear the current opinions...

What is your opinion on the best available "battle" rifle?

Not a hunting rifle.

Not a target rifle.

Not a sniper rifle.

A BATTLE rifle, for SHTF conditions!

My personal choice is the SKS (pick your flavor). They are light, quick, precise enough, and just work, every time, in all conditions.

A close second is the M1 Garand. It has the advantage in precision and power, but looses in the weight and maintenence departments.

A common factor in my choices is the fixed magazine. It is "low capacity", but cannot be lost. IMHO, this is a big advantage for the worst-of-the-worst conditions.

What is your opinion?
I think the better question is - How would you equip a "Squad" for battle? Rather than a individual solder. This is a lesson in variety the US armed forces have abandoned to reduce the logistics of multiple ammo.

The main problem is in what setting do they have to fight - Open field as oposed to close quarter house to house.

IMO:

In the open field I would want some M14s and another with a scoped M40A1 coverted to 10 (& 20) shot clips as opposed to the 5 shot std.

In close quarters (including riding in PCs) I would want at least one with a 12 gauge pump and at least one more with a M1928A1. I also like the SKSs (Converted to clip feed) in this setting.

But note how differently the two fictious squads above would be equiped.
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Last edited by RaySendero; 10-03-2005 at 04:04 PM.
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