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Recommendations on .308 Battle Rifle


Smokeman13b

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I have just about determined that I want to increase to .308 rather than stay with 5.56. What recommendations do you all have in regards to what is good. As I haven't fired any of the .308 battle style rifles such as SOCOM 16 or SCAR 17S, I would like input towards what I should try out.

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I have a SCAR 17 and a LWRC REPR. The SCAR gets used more, a lot more. I think its one of the best battle rifles out on the market right now.

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They all weigh a lot. I have an M1A and it is heavy, but it does have a particular use for me. If I ever had to use

it in vein, it would be a one way proposition and be some place high with a long view. I can still tote an AR15, so

it will be next to me, if that ever happened.

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If you're good with your hands and have access to a few rudimentary tools, I'd go with a Saiga or even a VEPR. The Saiga requires tuning( well some of them) to shoot to their full potential.
Obviously being Kalashnikov based in design, reliability is a nonissue.
The path the cartridge takes from magazine to chamber is almost a straight shot. No nasty feed ramps and such so they are fairly well suited to cast boolits.
They aren't very picky about what they eat, thats for certain.
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The SCAR 17S is lighter than all the rest, in some cases by far (2 pounds lighter than the SOCOM).  In my experience it is more accurate than the M1A models.  I have had a SOCOM 16 and a full-sized M1A, and it shoots tighter groups than either of them.  It shoots TULA Steel ammo under 1.5 inches at 100.  I shot my SCAR and another fellow's REPR on the same day side by side with quality ammo and they averaged the same group size (.75 MOA that day with 168 FED GMM), except the REPR was about 4 pounds heavier. 

 

I would like to have an AR10 to play with, but I wouldn't trade the SCAR for any 308 battle rifle.  There are cheaper alternatives out there, but I don't think there are better alternatives.  I picked mine up for $2500 In Feb 2012.  The prices are settling on them now.  Alot of people spent over $5000 for them during the scare. 

 

There are a lot of great 308 choices out there right now, but I would argue that as a battle rifle, the SCAR is the cream of the crop. 

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Depends on your budget and your wants/needs. 

 

At the lower end.... PTR-91, Saiga, kit FAL.  Mid range...  M1A, AR10, DSA FAL.  Higher end.... SCAR, HK91

Edited by peejman
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AR10.

Cheaper.

Lots more options if you want to personalize, or if want to reach out and touch something at a distance. There are tons more options for barrels if you want to get real accurate.

Not to mention caliber swaps are a barrel or upper away..... (260 Rem is mmmmmmm mmm good).
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Guest drv2fst

I've owned FAL, Saiga, and SCAR 17.  I've shot an M1A.  I strongly prefer the SCAR 17 over them all.  It's lighter than M1A.  It will group better than any M1A, Saiga, or FAL that I have shot.  

 

It has less recoil that any other .308 I have ever shot.  It's recoil is nearly that of an AR15.  If you want the best of this bunch the SCAR 17 is the winner.  However, if $ is a big factor nothing beats the Saiga for bang-for-the-buck.  The Saiga is not great but it's reliable and cheap.  If you like to tinker, the Saiga is fun to mod and play with.

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I keep getting ar10 and ar 308 mixed up...


Other than more expensive and looks cool, what benefit does a scar have over a quality ar 308? I have owned the m1a and know first hand it's nuances; other than nostalgia it has no benefit over an AR.
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Of all the .308 rifles I have shot, I personally like the SCAR 17 and the LMT 308 MWS.  I have the LMT, and love it!

 

The only thing that really keeps me from recommending the SCAR 17 is the problem with magazine availability.  If I were to get a SCAR, I would have to convert it using the Handl Defense lower so that I can use PMAGs.

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Other than more expensive and looks cool, what benefit does a scar have over a quality ar 308?

 

Besides being lighter, more accurate, monolithic, and a piston gun, nothing I suppose.

 

 

The only thing that really keeps me from recommending the SCAR 17 is the problem with magazine availability.  If I were to get a SCAR, I would have to convert it using the Handl Defense lower so that I can use PMAGs.

 

 

I started to go that route with mine, but mags are becoming available.  I got one in yesterday from OMB for $30.00 shipped.  I have 7 that I don't have more than $35 each in.  Plus converting FAL mags is easy with a dremel, and they are still dirt cheap.  I like the PMAG option a lot though, just haven't been desperate enough to go in that direction.

Edited by atlas3025
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Might help to define what you're wanting more specifically than just "battle rifle", as that means many different things to different people. 

 

You have 5 "real" players in that realm, two of which you listed.

 

Scar17s - IMO this is probably the best all around option especially since you didn't mention price.  It is already very ergonomic, set up for optics, has good sights, decent trigger, accurate, the lightest of the breed.  The only potential drawbacks I can see are price, magazine availability, and physical sturdiness.  To me, the price isn't a drawback as it comes out of the box with everything it needs other than an optic and a flash hider.  Stockpile some mags when their available.  The sturdiness I refer to is, will it hold up to using it like a baseball bat or if you fall on it?

 

H&K G3 or G3 clone - These have functioned in third world countries for 50 plus years with little to no maintenance.  They are certainly robust, reliable, accurate, have good iron sights.  Magazines are readily available for $10 or less.  Drawbacks are the ergonomics take some practice, optics require MORE money to mount, and they are heavy. 

 

FAL- Basically look at the G3 but with improved ergonomics but a higher cost of entry for a good one.  Magazines and accessories have been a little harder to source and are more expensive than the G3.  Optics mounting requires a few hundred more dollars but is more elegant than the G3 claw mount.

 

AR platform- Best ergonomics which translate easily to standard AR use.  Essentially you don't have to learn another platform.  Most are optics ready and very accurate.  Negatives here are there isn't a lot of consistancy in the different manufacturers in regards to magazines and other accessories.  Some standard AR stuff will work some don't.  Some work with Magpul mags and some don't.  Stockpile the right mags and parts and that's a non issue.  Also, this platform isn't exactly designed to break down doors with and it still function properly, so it's not quite as sturdy as some of the others.

 

M1a - Another proven design.  Unfortunately it's somewhat out trumped by technology.  Primarily in the mounting of optics.  Yes, there are work arounds but they aren't as good as the integral rails on the SCAR or AR's or even a weld on rail for the G3. The SOCOM versions aren't very well balanced. Probably the best stock trigger of the bunch with good iron sights and a very sturdy yet heavy stock.  Maintenance should be minimal, magazine availability will vary and is more costly.

 

Some say the Saiga's and/or VEPR's make a good starting point.  To me, it's just too much effort and tuning involved.  Magazine availablility nowhere approaches the other options especially for 20 rounders.  YMMV.

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With pmags being made for DPMS/Knights and now some Armalite the magazine issue is getting resolved (RRA being the holdout... That's probably a small portion of 308 ARs though).

The AR can be made to be whatever you want it to be. Want it light put a lightweight barrel and light rail and its lighter than a scar. Put a heavy barrel and pretend you are shooting an SR25 at coyotes... Don't like the long heavy trigger of one of the other rifles mentioned then put a Geiselle DMR or match trigger in it. With the AR you are only limited as to what you want to spend.

The other rifles mentioned you have options but not near number of even the confusing AR 308 world.

This is nothing against the SCAR rifles or the m1a, its choices. They all are excellent choices.
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Guest drv2fst

I think the SCAR is a collection of all the best features of AR, FAL, AK rolled into one gun.  It has much of the ergonomics of the AR, enough AR like rails to satisfy any mall-ninja, piston operation similar to FAL and AK, reliability and folding stock like an AK.  Plus some innovations like polymer, ambi features, recoil reduction, .....

 

I keep getting ar10 and ar 308 mixed up...


Other than more expensive and looks cool, what benefit does a scar have over a quality ar 308? I have owned the m1a and know first hand it's nuances; other than nostalgia it has no benefit over an AR.

 

SCAR17 is lighter, has softer recoil for more enjoyable long days of shooting and faster followup shots, has folding stock for a shorter OAL, can be fired with stock folded, absolutely 100% reliable ( with AR's some brands are fantastic, others not so much), very ambi friendly (controls are fully ambidextrous or can be moved from one side to the other), FN makes them. 

 

Mags really aren't a problem.  I have 4.  One came with the gun and the other 3 I bought during the panic off FN's USA web store for about $30 each.  If you MUST have PMags, there are companies that make PMag compatible replacement lowers.  

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I agree the scar is a very nice total package, and I see the value of having one really nice total package instead of a lower and a couple of uppers.

I just don't know if for me and my situation if the cost justifies owning it over an AR and a couple of uppers. You give up a lot of flexibility, there is something to be said for a package deal though.
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I agree the scar is a very nice total package, and I see the value of having one really nice total package instead of a lower and a couple of uppers.

I just don't know if for me and my situation if the cost justifies owning it over an AR and a couple of uppers. You give up a lot of flexibility, there is something to be said for a package deal though.

 

Is there a big difference in the cost of a top of the line, or at least upper mid-grade AR-10 and a SCAR?  I know you could get an entry level AR-10 pre-panic for about $1k out the door.  But to get one with the some of the features to mimic a SCAR was probably closer to $2k or more.  SCAR's were in the $2500 range pre-panic (unless you wanted the-less accurate FDE variety). 

 

Budget has a lot to do with it, and the OP didn't mention one, so $500 (or whatever the difference may be now) could be huge. 

 

I can never give too much cost saving creedence to the multiple upper approach with an AR type rifle.  Extra uppers don't stay "extra" for long.  :)

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I guess what I am getting at is, I have an AR with a light 308 upper and it suits my battle rifle needs well and its a legit 1moa rifle. I have an upper for that rifle in 260 rem that I can shoot 1/4 moa with occasionally and 1/2 moa with ease. I am in the process of building another distance upper in 308 with a heavy match barrel. I still will be under the cost of the SCAR. Recoil on a 308 AR is negligable, my 13 yo son shoots mine with ease and impacts can be easily seen on the 260. I am certainly not rich but do alright, I would buy a SCAR if it truly done something that my AR didn't (other than look really darn awesome).
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