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SoldierGround >> Best Assault Rifles: For Civilan Purchase


8/18/12 3:32 AM
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TexasThai
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 So when i get back from this deployment I want to buy and assault rifle before the next president takes away our ability to purchase them and obviously the only one I am familiar with is the standard issued M4.

Any advice on whats good for civilan purchase thats similar in style to the M4 Carbine and under a grand would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

TT
8/21/12 10:07 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 08/21/12 10:18 PM
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Just to clear a few things up, "assault rifle" is a very specific term.  Among other things, they are select fire, which means they cost $10k+ because of the very low supply of pre 1984 select fire receivers, not to mention the tax stamps and so on.   M4 rifles, by definition, are select fire and are Title 2 firearms covered by these laws.  An "M4" is a military designation that describes a certain configuration of AR-15 parts.  That is, an M4 is a type of AR-15, which includes select fire capability.  
  
What you are probably asking about is an AR pattern rifle.  These are semiauto and widely available to civilians, over the counter.  AR's are divided into two halves, upper and lower.  The lower contains the trigger group, receiver (AKA stripped lower), buffer tube, stock and misc related components.  The lower is considered the firearm by the ATF, e.g. you need a background check or CHL to buy one.  An M4 lower is not practical for a normal person to own.  The upper contains everything else... the barrel, gas tube, bolt and so on, and you can have this shipped right to your house.  Uppers are not regulated at all, e.g. no background check.  

All that said, you can buy a regular AR semiauto lower with an M4 upper.  It will resemble an M4 on the outside, but it will not have select fire capability.

Now that we have that out of the way, I think that Palmetto State Armory provides the best value of AR components.  You can go prebuilt or you can build it yourself.  Most people find that the best balance of price and ease of assembly is to build the AR lower and buy a prebuilt upper.  You can buy a PSA stripped lower for about $100, a lower build kit for $110 and a complete M4 upper for $450.  This is all you need for a basic, functioning rlfle.  PSA seems to be sold out of their basic complete M4 uppers at the moment, but here are the links anyway.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/lower-receivers/psa-ar15-lower.html 

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/build-kits/palmetto-state-armory-classic-lower-build-kit.html 

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/complete-uppers/16/psa-16-m4-cmv-mp-upper.html 

If you decide to build the lower yourself, the only special tool you absolutely need is a castle nut wrench.  There is a cheap Tapco one on Amazon that will work fine.  Additionally, you may want a set of roll pin punches.  It will make it a lot easier to install the roll pins without deforming them.  Also, remember to budget in money for a rear sight, optics, magazines, ammo and whatever else you might want.  At a bare minimum, you are looking at ~$50 for a rear sight and a magazine or two.

If you enjoy the .223/5.56 round, it's also worth mentioning AK pattern rifles in 5.45.  These have very similar ballistics.  AK's are generally less accurate, but are less expensive, more durable and require less maintenance.  Surplus 5.45 ammo is also like half the price of .223/5.56, but 5.45 magazines cost twice as much.  A run of the mill AR is good to 400 yards, whereas a run of the mill AK is good to 100-200.  If you want to go this route, Classic Firearms has Polish Tantals right now for $430, which are great rifles for the money.  If you want to go high end, Bud's has Arsenal SGL31's for about $850.  The latter are generally 1-2 MOA, whereas you might be getting 3-4 MOA on a Tantal.  It just depends on what you want it for.  AK's also have worse default iron sights, though those can be upgraded, and mounting optics can be an issue on models that don't have a side mount bracket.

If you are not stuck on that general caliber, there are also AK's in the classic 7.62x39 as well as AR's in just about any caliber you can imagine.  AR's in non standard calibers are going to cost a lot more, except there are also AR uppers in 5.45 which aren't expensive.  AK's in 7.62 can be had for about the same as 5.45, that is, $500 for a WASR-10, AMD-65  and so on, to around $850 for an Arsenal SGL21.  There are some that are even more expensive, but we won't get into that.  7.62 is cheaper than .223/5.56, but more expensive than 5.45.  7.62 mags are very cheap.  7.62 is significantly more powerful than 5.45, .223 or 5.56, but they do not have the fragmentation properties of the smaller rounds and, as such, are less appropriate for home defense unless you don't have neighbors.  
 
I realize this is a lot to take in at once, but hopefully it will help you get started on your research.  AR's are basically the Legos of the gun world, so it may take a while for you to decide on a configuration.  I'm a big fan of AK's also, so I figured I'd throw that in there.   
8/23/12 5:25 PM
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crubs
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I just picked up a Norinco 56s-1 UF on craigslist. Traded my ruger 10/22+ a maverick88 shotgun for it. Alpo, you know anying on these rifles? thx
8/23/12 5:25 PM
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crubs
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*anything
8/25/12 3:27 PM
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alpo
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crubs - I just picked up a Norinco 56s-1 UF on craigslist. Traded my ruger 10/22+ a maverick88 shotgun for it. Alpo, you know anying on these rifles? thx

Um, yeah, I would say you got an insane deal if that's in good condition and especially if it's preban.  Does it have a bayonet lug?  The Chinese generally make very good quality AK's.  I've seen Norinco 56S1's in new/excellent condition go for $1800-$2000.  If it's a preban and in half decent condition, it is worth at least a grand.  
8/25/12 4:55 PM
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crubs
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Wow, thx Alpo, I guess previous owner didn't know what he had. It does have a bayonet lug on it and from what I've been reading, it is a pre ban model Phone Post
8/25/12 11:19 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 08/25/12 11:40 PM
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Or it was used in a murder... :/ 

Chinese AK's like Norinco and Polytech are pretty similar to Arsenal Saiga type AK's in the$900 range, maybe a bit better.  Reliability and accuracy are about the same, fit and finish are very good. The main reason the Chinese ones are worth a lot more is because there is a 20 year old arms embargo against China, so they are collector's items to some degree.  If you hang on to it and keep it in good working order, the value will only go up because there aren't going to be any more of them any time soon in the US.   
9/17/12 3:03 AM
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MeeRevO
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Rock River Arms has a LARGE selection of different ar pattern rifles. Personally I would go for a Daniel defense they are quite amazing to hold and even more to shoot. Phone Post
10/31/12 9:25 AM
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Atomic
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samúð og völd - Going to have to disagree with Alpo on 7.62 being less appropriate for "home defense" than 5.56(.223rem). Having first hand seen the impact and effect that each has on the human body, I would choose the larger caliber for almost all applications other than squirrel/varmint hunting. 5.56 rounds(at least the ones I have been put using on...individuals) tend to go through and through leaving a minimal wound cavity. Just the $.02 of a person who has used each for its designed usage.
I think the concern here is over penetration with the 7.62. They will go through the house while the .223 will supposedly tumble after impact. Phone Post
11/1/12 2:05 AM
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alpo
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samúð og völd - Going to have to disagree with Alpo on 7.62 being less appropriate for "home defense" than 5.56(.223rem). Having first hand seen the impact and effect that each has on the human body, I would choose the larger caliber for almost all applications other than squirrel/varmint hunting. 5.56 rounds(at least the ones I have been put using on...individuals) tend to go through and through leaving a minimal wound cavity. Just the $.02 of a person who has used each for its designed usage.

Standard .223/5.56 loads from a 10"+ barrel fragment on impact.  7.62x39 is much heavier and does not fragment.  7.62 is a bad idea unless you have nobody else living in the house and no neighbors for a long distance.  If tissue damage was the only factor, there are a number of other cartridges that could be appropriate as well.

11/12/12 8:54 PM
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Neal Zumbro
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I just picked up a S&W m&p 15/22 MOE. Its a tactical 22lr built identical to an ar. Rounds are cheap and the barrel is threaded ready for a suppressor. Its my poor mans ar, and one hell of a zombie prep gun. Phone Post
6/2/13 4:05 PM
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0bamasux
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Both USAF. Phone Post

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