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FortheFuture

First .308 battle rifle

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Dear all,

I am looking for suggestions for my first .308 battle rifle.

 

What brands are recommended? What brand do you have that you like or dislike? I am looking for a wide gamut of opinion here so I can make a good purchase.

Input is appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Matthew

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32 minutes ago, FortheFuture said:

Isn't that incredibly heavy? Like 20 lb rifle?

More like 26 Lbs.

(For 3) 😁

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A few thoughts:

FN FAL - has seen more combat than any other 7.62NATO rifle.  Gas can be adjusted to work reliably with whatever ammo is available.  Rugged, reliable, decent ergonomics and handling.  Sights are not precision, but adequate for normal combat roles.  Easy takedown and maintenance.  Parts and mags are reasonable.

M14/M1A - excellent sights, decent ergonomics and handling.  Prices are a bit high for rifles, parts, and good mags compared to other choices.  Likes good quality NATO spec ammo.  Can be finicky with other ammo.  Get a non-wood stock so humidity changes don't affect POI.

G3/Cetme/HK91 - reliable and accurate.  Adequate sights HK style is better than Cetme.  Very reasonable parts and mags.  Ergonomics and handling of a 2x4.  Likes hard brass, soft brass tends to stick in the chamber.  Very inexpensive parts and mags.

BM59 - a good alternative to the M1A.  Rifles and parts are reasonable right now from Classic Arms.  Mags are a bit pricey but VERY well made.  Likes NATO spec ammo, but users report good results with heavier bullets too.  Get one with the tri-compensator.  

Nothing else has a decent combat history except the original 1960's AR10.  Those are very pricey and spare parts are almost non-existent.  FYI, a very nice Portuguese model just sold at auction for $9000!

Handle, and if possible, shoot, several to narrow down your choices. All of the above have worked well under combat conditions.

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In .308 A’s I have owned a DPMS Panther and now own a DPMS 308 Recon LR-GII. I’ve never had an issue with either. I only sold the Panther because it had an A2 front sight post I didn’t want (I use optics on most everything), also DPMS changed the specs of their lowers and had different heights. That became an issue when trying to buy accessories; so I sold it and got the current model. I’m very happy with it, other than the scope I put on it.

The main piece of advice I would give you is that there isn’t a Mil-Std for the AR-10. That makes aftermarket options much more expensive than for a Mil-Std AR. So it will cost you less if you get the options you want, on the rifle from the factory when you buy it.

I own many firearms that serve many different applications. But if I had to pick and keep only one rifle; it would be my DPMS 308 Recon LR-GII; it serves most any purpose.

https://dpms-gii.com/full.html

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@1gewehr provided a solid, unbiased accounting of the different rifles in contention. I’ll be a bit less unbiased and slay some sacred cows in the process. Skip the M1A (M-14) it’s an inferior rifle when compared to all of the other options. The FAL and the G3 are both superior rifles. The US should have, and would have fielded the FAL if not for bias & chicanery on the part of the head of the Army’s procurement office. 

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What @1gewehr said. M1A has good accuracy. FAL is paper plate accurate and fun to shoot (I have one).  AR10's are also fun but not standardized.  None of these are light weight toy guns like AR15's. 

Edited by peejman

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11 hours ago, FortheFuture said:

Isn't that incredibly heavy? Like 20 lb rifle?

This family isn't my bailiwick, but I'm familiar enough to know that considerations about weight in a 308 battle rifle are similar to considerations about MPG in a one-ton pickup.

Do you want a 308 battle rifle, or do you want a rifle that's truly light?

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The FAL is a beast...and I mean that as a compliment, not a pejorative.  If I ever felt the 7.62x51 itch, that's where my money would go.

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As an addendum to my previous reviews, I'll add a bit more:

FN SCAR17s - ergonomics and accuracy are excellent.  Very pricey, and mags and spare parts will add to that.  Has some battle experience with specops groups.  But does not have years of proof testing that use by regular troops in combat would provide.

MAS 49/56 - I HAD to toss this one in.  Excellent handling, accuracy, and reliability if the Century monkeys didn't ruin it.  The 7.5 round is comparable to .308 in size and ballistics.  If you want a .308 rifle, be sure to test fire with NATO spec ammo as some conversions are badly done.  Drawback is the 10rd mag and prices are going up.  Has excellent combat results from some real $hitho1es around the world.  I love mine, and if you like to tinker, FAL mags can be converted.

Most newer rifles do not survive the kind of abuse that real combat use provides.  If you want a plinking/hunting/ target rifle, get whatever floats your boat.  But you said ' battle rifle', and I could not recommend a DPMS, AR10, AK- type, or anything else based on that request.

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On 11/4/2019 at 8:41 PM, Garufa said:

Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad.

Garufa nailed it. I'm a big fan of the M1A rifles and I think the Scout Squad is the best of the bunch. Not quite as long as a full size M1A which makes it easier to handle,  but plenty of barrel to make proper use of the cartridge. 

I sorta have a thing for the M1A. :D

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Folks have covered the mainstream options well. I will add two other thoughts or considerations with a qualiifer that a true battle rifle IMO should be piston drive for reliability. I have AR's and like AR's. Fighting thru your DPMS pattern 308's gassing issues is fun and all, but after I get them running well I think of them as range only.

Outside the previously mentioned great options, I would really suggest an AK pattern 308. A Zastava M77 on the more affordable side or a Galil ACE if you want more of a premium version. Both that I've had delivered good accuracy with indisputable AK reliability.

If feel you want to stay with the AR feel another good option in piston drive that is under rated because its was made affordably by Ruger, a SR-762. 16" makes it a bit punchier but runs for days with good accuracy.

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18 minutes ago, Erich said:

Outside the previously mentioned great options, I would really suggest an AK pattern 308.

I got to shoot someone's 308 AK years ago. Huge fireball from the muzzle in daylight and it was shatteringly loud. It was awesome! 

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1 hour ago, peejman said:

I got to shoot someone's 308 AK years ago. Huge fireball from the muzzle in daylight and it was shatteringly loud. It was awesome! 

I have witnessed the spectacle of a .308 AK.  Earth shattering kaboom.  A real crowd pleaser.

Edited by Garufa
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The very first brand new rifle I bought when I turned 18 in 1977 was a M1A. SN 006022. It was a nice rifle but accuracy was out the window once the barrel got warm. Nation Matching the bedding points is some what of a fix but not an easy job and takes on wear with cleaning take downs. I sold it when Springfield started selling SAR48's and that rifle is the nut. After tuning it up to my liking, I at one time fired 10 rounds in 5/8ths"  group @ 100yds. Hand weighed & prepped cases with W748 behind Sierra 168g BTHP Match kings.  Typically the AR's will out shoot a FAL but the history, parts and field reliability loom large in the FAL's corner. The HK is a decent rifle but they are far more rough on the brass with their fluted chamber walls and the sheet metal stamping of a receiver is a huge negative compared to the sleek FAL's milled bolt guides. AK 308's are built AK reliable but what you inadvertently get with that is an over gassed weapon with a high piston over barrel bore that inherently creates way more barrel whip that the close to bore piston of the FAL.  Speaking as a trained Gunsmith, a properly built FAL is the best bang for the buck in SHTF hardware. In that scenario, adjustable gas launches it past the more accurate AR guns. The M1A is simply out dated with its multi point bedding system compared to FAL barrel harmonic geometry. I like the M1A but I love the FAL design. So much so.... I hang FAL lowers on more than just their uppers!

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Best buy right here...DSA w/ life time warranty

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Edited by xtriggerman
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I have a Mega MA-Ten 308 ...shoots great but heavy as hell....I have an FNAR...super accurate...also heavy as hell...mags are $$$  And then I have the Adams Arms "small frame" 308...haven't shot it yet but I like the size much better than the other 2 and if its reliable would probably use it over the other 2...however that being said I still prefer the ol .223 if I was using a  "battle rifle"...if your defending the home then who cares about weight but ya know if for some reason you had to physically carry the gun for long distances...well then I sure wouldn't choose a 308.

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