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codisimo
10-17-2012, 05:35 PM
Here is my dilemma guys, and I respect everyone's opinions on here to actually post this for some thoughtful answers. I recently came into a little bit of money and want to acquire a semi-auto .308 to round out my collection. Unfortunately, my collection is totally utilitarian, I don't have the income or desire to acquire guns simply to have them anymore. As such, this rifle would used for primarily three things, target shooting, self defense and possibly hunting (assuming I was lucky enough to draw). To add a little bit of a twist to this discussion, I am extremely recoil sensitive. I have a defect in my right shoulder that basically allows it to slip out of socket if I relax my shoulder muscles or if it is jarred. As a little bit of background, I used to own a FAL, and while I love the way the gun looks, it was very uncomfortable for me to shoot. I also respect the fact that on his website, Larry Vickers says it is his favorite .308 battle rifle. Also knowing what I know about that platform, it was originally designed for a much smaller, much weaker cartridge, and shooting a .308 or 7.61x51 cartridge out of it is marginal. I would prefer a platform that utilizes easy to acquire parts and magazines, and I am really trying not to break the bank.

The platforms I have considered are:
FN Scar 17
FN AR
Colt LE-901
Sigarms 716
DSA Arms Fal
Bushmaster\DPMS\Remington Flavor AR10 Variant
CMMG's new .308

Anyone with experience with any of these platforms please chime in and let me know what you think about them.

codisimo

TGS
10-17-2012, 06:18 PM
Codisimo,

I know you didn't list it, but I was sort of surprised you didn't given your desire to not break the bank.

The VEPR made by Molot. $599 for the 20" 308 at CenterfireSystems.com.

It's built on the RPK receiver, so it's thicker, heavier and stiffer than a standard AK receiver along with a slightly heavier barrel compared to other 308/7.62x51 AK rifles. Most people on the forums who have one report it being a solid sub-2MOA rifle. Standard mags are expensive at $39, but the rifle comes with a 5 and 10 round which will be fine for hunting. If you want to go battle rifle with it, there are 20 round mags as well...again, not the cheapest thing, but the cost of the rifle is a huge advantage.

I'm thinking about buying one and got my hands on one 2 weeks ago. It felt nice, to say the least....especially for an AK. Unlike what a lot of critics cite as being "too heavy," I didn't find that at all.....it felt fairly light for what it is. Actually, it is very light for what it is. The 308 VEPR is lighter than a comparable FAL, G3, as well as the SIG 716 and most other AR10 pattern rifles. They look nice, too, with decently figured Walnut stocks unlike the plethora of crap grade walnut on American rifles these days.

They also have higher grade versions with push button safeties, supposedly better triggers, a less traditional stock that covers the whole receiver, and so on.

As for recoil and your shoulder, I can't comment. Of course, short of spending a fortune and buying the SCAR-H, I think the best way to work with recoil on a 308 is to hand load, i.e. if you're shooting at a deer 200 yards away, you don't need a full power cartridge.

The only disadvantage I can think of with the VEPR (having not owned one) is that the cheekweld sucks with a scope. However, you can buy Dragunov SVD styled stocks (synthetic, wood, or aluminum) to address that, or you can buy/make a Karsen adjustable cheekrest. Still a cheap package that is reliable and shoots sub-2 MOA.

Just a thought, even though it wasn't on your list. Seems to match what you're looking for quite well, so I wasn't sure if you had considered it. Me personally, I'm thinking of buying the 20" 308.

DocGKR
10-17-2012, 06:22 PM
If you shoulder is that bad, why not stay with an AR15--perhaps in 6.5, 6.8, .300 BLK if you want more umph for hunting?

In .308 it is very simple: for pure long range shooting get a LaRue OBR. For a general purpose rig get a LaRue PredatOBR. For a run and gun carbine get a LaRue PredatAR or KAC EMC. The FN Mk17 works well, but might kick harder than you want and is hard on some optics do to the recoil impulse. You already stated the FAL does not work for you, so the DSA FAL is out. I am not excited about anything else you listed.

F-Trooper05
10-17-2012, 06:24 PM
My buddy's duty gun is a SCAR Heavy (he's a Fed who uses it for bear protection mostly), and the recoil is barley much greater than a 5.56 AR. The fact that it comes standard with a compensator helps a lot. It's been out long enough for there to be plenty of after market accessories for it (IE: mags, extended rail sections, Geissle trigger, etc.). If I had to get a 7.62 today, that would be it. A LaRue OBR might be a distant second, but good luck finding anything from LaRue right now that doesn't have Chris Costa's logo stamped all over it.

tremiles
10-17-2012, 06:26 PM
Do you currently have a 5.56 AR and what kind of range are you looking to punch paper at? If you're not looking at long range target shooting, have you considered 300BLK? Low recoil, same magazines and BCG as 5.56, relatively low priced factory ammunition (comparable to. 308-7.62/51). Or you could consider 6.8SPC that would require a different bolt/mags. 6.8SPC has better long range ballistics than 300BLK.

Both would be easier on your shoulder than .308, in a lighter platform for hunting and only require an upper change (+bolt and mags for 6.8) if you've already got a 5.56 AR.

Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk 2

secondstoryguy
10-17-2012, 08:18 PM
I've owned a few different .308 semis in my search for perfection. I settled on the 16" LMT MWS platform and its been flawless. It's an honest sub MOA gun, very reliable and well built. Dont let the shorter barrels fool you, they can reach out a ways with surprising accuracy. A nice feature is that you can switch barrels in a few minutes with included tools. The Brits and several other countries are fielding them with good results. The higher end version of this is the Knights EMC .308 carbine, which has the same lower but comes in a little lighter and has some other internal differences geared toward hard use reliability.

I would take also take a hard look at Larue's offerings too. I've spent a little time behind a few Larue .308s and they are very sweet and extremely accurate.

As a side note keep in mind that .308s are heavy. There is no free lunch as the you have to have mass to counter the larger cartridge. By the time you put optics on top and accessories they are beasts. You can run them fast and hard but your form has to be perfect and holding them in a ready/off hand position for an extended time is an isometric workout.

Al T.
10-17-2012, 08:47 PM
Only thing I can add is that if recoil is an issue and (and!) you plan to hunt with it, get a Battlecomp .308 compensator. There are other, less expensive and more recoil reducing comps out there, but my experience with a 5.56 BC is that they reduce recoil and don't increase the noise as much as other comps.

GJM
10-17-2012, 09:40 PM
Have two SCAR H's, and like them so much I have sold, or am selling every other .308 semi-auto I have (SR-25's, FN-FAL, M1A Bush, M1A Socom, Larue PedatAR). I was enthusiastic about the PredatAR as a second .308 system, but have heard of too many reliability issues with them.

Alaskapopo
10-17-2012, 09:49 PM
If you shoulder is that bad, why not stay with an AR15--perhaps in 6.5, 6.8, .300 BLK if you want more umph for hunting?

In .308 it is very simple: for pure long range shooting get a LaRue OBR. For a general purpose rig get a LaRue PredatOBR. For a run and gun carbine get a LaRue PredatAR or KAC EMC. The FN Mk17 works well, but might kick harder than you want and is hard on some optics do to the recoil impulse. You already stated the FAL does not work for you, so the DSA FAL is out. I am not excited about anything else you listed.

My SCAR 17 kicks less than my former AR10's I used to own. Have not been able to do a side by side with it compared to a PredatOBR.

Here is mine. I use it as my patrol rifle.
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g299/355sigfan/Semi%20Auto%20rifles/SCARwithNightforce.jpg
This rifle has been flawless for me. Its a solid 1.5 moa rifle with my reloads using match bullets. Its 2.5 moa with ball and just under 2 moa with 155 grain Hornady Tap.
Here is me shooting it last weekend in a three gun match. It does have a lot more recoil than a 5.56 gun. But its not uncomfortable.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC0GURYlLLM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGj8xWDK_Jk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJBb_09TWz8

For comparision in recoil to my 5.56 Noveske 3 gun rifle with a Titan comp.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTGwNcerSdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOyzMSB92cA

I was 5 seconds faster with the 5.56 on the short course and about 30 seconds faster with the 5.56 on the long range standards stage (standing sitting prone)
Pat

Sean M
10-17-2012, 11:08 PM
I have fired tens of thousands of rounds through the SCAR family, every generation, and configuration.

I bought a Pred.

nyeti
10-17-2012, 11:29 PM
I have been on the quest for a long time. I spent a ton of time on the HK 91, done the FAL and M1A's, and saw nothing but issues with the AR based .308's, so I got on the 6.8 SPC thing early. My LMT MRP 6.8 guns have been very reliable, light recoiling, and a really good choice for a mid range carbine.

WIth that said, I have had a lot of exposure to the LaRue OBR's and PredatAR's and seen first hand a very high level of reliability. I purchased a custom LaRue .308. I have run the gun at various L/E demo's for Aimpoint, and just finished a 3 day low light EAG Carbine 2 class with it. I have run about a thousand rounds of match ammunition through it with no malfunctions and no cleaning. Here is the reality. It is a highly accurate, reliable, hard hitting machine........that runs like a .308. It is not like running a 5.56 for three days doing 5.56 drills. In that regard the 6.8 SPC runs like a 5.56 and hits like a .308 lite. If you have recoil issues, a short .308 from anyone is not the best choice.

GJM
10-18-2012, 12:00 AM
I have fired tens of thousands of rounds through the SCAR family, every generation, and configuration.

I bought a Pred.

Please elaborate.

ToddG
10-18-2012, 12:08 AM
Please elaborate.

Sean M's LaRue OBR/Predator Review (http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?1342-LaRue-OBR-Predator-Review)
(dated July'11 so certainly Sean may have updated thoughts & opinions since then)

Sean M
10-18-2012, 12:41 AM
Ummmmm

Guys who played on that initial range day bought $30k worth of Larue's....that's all there is to really add. Oh, and don't use KAC SR Mags in that gun. They don't like it.

SLG has my Pred right now, maybe he will come along and offer his opinions.

GJM
10-18-2012, 12:56 AM
My friend and I each bought one. His didn't run, and it took several months to get Larue's attention to fix it, which seemed very out of character for Larue. Then I read where ten LE guys from a dept showed up at a rifle course, and +/- 8 of them wouldn't run. I had just zeroed mine, but decided to sell it and buy a second H. These were early guns.

GJM
10-18-2012, 01:32 AM
Sounds like you would be the person to explain some of those nuances of running the H.

Hearing your philosophy on beta testing, I would respectfully add to your list, to not ride in the first 100 serial numbers of any new helicopter model.

Alaskapopo
10-18-2012, 03:52 AM
I was on the fence between a Predatober and a SCAR. I went with the SCAR based on some of what Larry Vickers said about it being the most tested of the .308 semi auto rifles in service. That combined with my own bad experience with AR10 style rifles put me into the SCAR which has not let me down at all. I may still get a PredaTober later for three gun use only.
Pat

Tamara
10-18-2012, 08:01 AM
Do the SCARs still have that reciprocating charging handle like the one that gave me a SCAR last October? Because that sucked hard. (Tore my left thumbnail down into the quick. Owie-stingie. :o )

SLG
10-18-2012, 09:10 AM
GJM and I were talking about this a little, so i thought I'd jump in since Sean was kind enough to loan me his 7.62 PredatAR (AR). I also have a 7.62 PredatOBR (OBR). Both have 16" barrels. In addition, I have seen 10 or so of them run hard, and work has about 100 so far. The early guns did have a problem, and at one groups insistence, it was fixed. The fix is called XTRAXN, and all the guns either have it, or can be refitted for it. If yours has it, it will say so on the right side of the gun. I can't go into what the fix is since I believe it is considered a trade secret with Larue, but I may be wrong. At any rate the guns run great, and are the best shooting, best handling 308's out there, IMHO. Like Sean, I had some insight into the early SCAR stuff, and while the current stuff is much better, I don't prefer it.
The AR is a true battle rifle, that will still hit to 600 yards when warm. The OBR is about 1# heavier, is as reliable as a battle rifle, but is sniper rifle accurate. It is more muzzle heavy, but will hit to over 1000, all day. At 100 yards, both will group under an inch, (OBR between .5 and .75, AR between .5 and 1") but the OBR will do it all day, where the AR will open up a little when warm.
I have been training and hunting with the OBR, and though I prefer the weight and balance of the AR, it is hard not to appreciate the accuracy of the OBR. I took a coyote at 500 yards the other day, and a coyote sized rock at 1100. A pair of coyotes at 110 lasted just as long as it took to break the shot and swing to the next one. I really like this gun. If I had to buy a personal one, I'd get the OBR and then get an AR upper for it, the best of both worlds:-)

YVK
10-18-2012, 11:13 AM
Sounds like you would be the person to explain some of those nuances of running the H.

Hearing your philosophy on beta testing, I would respectfully add to your list, to not ride in the first 100 serial numbers of any new helicopter model.

I can add "try not to get operated on by a doc within his first...".

Seriously, Sean, if you have time a desire, I'd appreciate any insights on running SCAR. I've run my 16 through a number of training classes, and I ran my 17 through one class just like I ran the 16. I didn't do anything special with 17 other than trying to make it choke by putting a gas selector on suppressed setting. Once I realized it, it ran 100%. I think that stock trigger sucks for precision work, but that was pretty much my only complaint.

TGS
10-18-2012, 12:00 PM
I can add "try not to get operated on by a doc within his first..."

Don't be the first person a new Hospitalman learns how to draw blood on...........when he wasn't even given previous directions.

I thought my arm was going to need to be amputated afterwards.

SteveB
10-18-2012, 12:54 PM
I'm the guy GJM mentioned with the faulty PredatAR, a 16" .308 that exhibited FTF malfunctions reliably out of half a dozen different magazines from 4 quality manufacturers, including Larue. I emailed them data, mags, loads etc along with photos of the various gnarly malfs, but had to call them twice weekly for a month to talk to someone who had the authority to take the rifle back. The gunsmith, Alfred, told me the rifle had been fixed, sorry about that, etc. Imagine my surprise when it locked up hard shooting Federal GM 168 match out of a new Larue magazine on my first trip to the range. Sold it with disclosure. My SCAR 17 shoots everything I feed it reliably, is accurate and has a hard-to-believe recoil impulse for a light .308 rifle. Sounds like Larue solved their rifle problem, and I still buy mounts from them, but no more Larue guns for me.

Sean M
10-18-2012, 05:23 PM
My SCAR 17 shoots everything I feed it reliably

Things were not always like this. I understand frustration of getting caught up in a shitty product, but still in this thread, SCAR reliability is touted as though they have always run like this out of the box. Not at all he case. Not even close. Fortunately, the domestic gun crowd had Uncle Sam foot the bill for the several YEARS of SCAR testing.

There is a big reason folks are still reluctant to carry them downrange. They sucked. Bad. For a long time.

TGS
10-18-2012, 05:30 PM
and I am really trying not to break the bank.

Given that statement from the OP, does anyone have any experiences to add about 308's that don't cost an arm and a leg?

Not that the conversation so far hasn't been excellent, and I'm not doubting that a LaRue or SCAR are awesome guns, but I'm sort of wondering about the cheaper options as well. Are they completely unserviceable pieces of crap? What's so bad about them?

nyeti
10-18-2012, 10:05 PM
The ones that work are costly or older "classic" rifles. For a less expensive way to go, I think a 6.8 SPC build would be a better bet.

codisimo
10-19-2012, 12:21 AM
I guess I should chime in again at this point. I have a 6.8 "in the family" so to speak. So that base is covered. Shooting it isn't bad, but the reason for the .308 is because I want something that would be more reliable as far as taking down larger game animals like an elk. When Hornady first came out with 6.8 hunting loads, I remember someone posing the question to the company about using 6.8 on an elk and the response was pretty much "Well, it would at least do as much damage as a broad head."

As far the SCAR's and Larue's go, I understand why the expense is there, and if need be, I can save up a bit longer and get one of those. My only complaint about doing so is that I could get a decent complete three gun outfit for the price of one of those guns. The other issue I struggle with is the fact that I have been nursing a semi since reading the article on SSD about the Larue's that were being built for Texas DPS. Those guns were running half moa at 500 yards, and that is smoking hot mechanical accuracy.

Ultimately, I want my cake and the ability to eat it too. The input about the rifles has been extremely informative and thanks to everyone who has and will chime in. The chances are small that I would ever get the chance to shoot all of these rifles and make an informed decision.

Also, assuming what I have read is true, the best value as far as accuracy\cost is concerned is probably the FN AR. The biggest problems I have with that rifle are the proprietary magazines and the totally new\foreign manual of arms.

GJM
10-19-2012, 09:58 AM
Sean, as regards optics -- I have a H with a T1 and 3.5 ACOG, and another with a T1 and NF 1-4 (not both on, but use one optic at a time). Any sense how those optics will hold up on the H?

DocGKR
10-19-2012, 10:14 AM
codisimo: You have been given bad info, as 16" 6.8 mm with a 110 gr TSX, 110 ngr Accubond, 120 gr SST, etc... is perfectly fine on elk out to 300 or so.

GJM
10-19-2012, 10:46 AM
Or said another way, while I would pick neither a 6.8 nor a .308 as my first choice elk hunting, I don't see a big difference between 6.8 and .308 hunting, and might prefer the 6.8 as it can be made up into a lighter, handier package than the .308.

codisimo
10-19-2012, 12:20 PM
I recognize that while neither the 6.8 or .308 is "optimal" I would like a versatile rifle/cartridge combination that is primarily for general use/self defense but with option to use it to hunt whatever I might draw for here. Elk, bear and ibex are our largest animals here and I would not feel under gunned with a .308 with the right bullet. Most elk shots here are taken under 300 yards, so the 6.8, particularly with the spec 2 or noveske chambers might not be a bad option. I think part of my hang up is thinking about how accurate those Larue rifles are. It just boggles my mind how accurate those rifles are.

Thanks for the continued input.

Alaskapopo
10-19-2012, 07:20 PM
Sean,

Thanks for this info. I really appreciate it and am looking forward to your SCAR observations whenever you get a chance to do it.

I'd considered selling some guns that I don't shoot much to get a SCAR 17 but I can't really get excited enough about it or justify it--especially since almost all of my longarms shooting is done at a nearby 50 yard indoor range.

I'd also considered selling my Belgian 50.63 FN para to fund a SCAR 17 because that gun is too long for me and the SCAR's collapsable stock would make sense as well as the SCAR's easy ability to accept modern optics. But again, I can't get excited enough.

If I got the 17 I would probably replace the factory muzzle break with a flash hider, which might exacerbate recoil and optic issues. I remember firing a friend's civi SCAR 16 at an indoor range and the blast was obnoxious despite earplugs inside of earmuffs.

The muzzle brake is a lot of what makes the gun as easy to shoot as it is. What I would like to do is get a Surefire brake and then a mini can to go over it when needed. I have not had an issue with the loudness but in three gun I compete with the SJC titan a very loud comp.
Pat

Al T.
10-19-2012, 08:44 PM
The hard to find and expensive magazines bother me about the SCAR-H. I'm in FN's hometown and can't readily find the things.

As for the muzzle blast, I'd get a battle Comp and see if the 7.62 version works like the 5.56.

ed l
10-19-2012, 09:51 PM
The muzzle brake is a lot of what makes the gun as easy to shoot as it is. What I would like to do is get a Surefire brake and then a mini can to go over it when needed. I have not had an issue with the loudness but in three gun I compete with the SJC titan a very loud comp.
Pat

Ahh, and that is the issue. We here stories of Military SCAR 17s having problems with optics. The civi SCAR comes with a muzzle brake that reduces recoil impulse. So my question is will replacing the factory civilian SCAR 17 muzzle brake with a military style one also increase the probability of optics problems?

thanks,

SteveB
10-19-2012, 10:02 PM
I have the BattleComp BABC on my 17s; replaced the PWS brake that came with the rifle. I like the BC's I have on a few 5.56 rifles and was hoping the big unit would work as well on the 17s. Subjectively, both units reduce muzzle rise and increase muzzle blast. Maybe the BC is not quite as loud, but can't say there's a big difference.

Sean M
10-19-2012, 10:35 PM
I will attempt to address those issues as well. In fairness to the OP, we really should break the SCAR questions off this thread.

YVK
10-20-2012, 09:52 AM
The hard to find and expensive magazines bother me about the SCAR-H. I'm in FN's hometown and can't readily find the things.

Seems like gates are starting to open on this. I recently received my almost 18 months backorder from Midway, at 36 bucks apiece. Compare this with 80-90 for Larue and KAC mags. The only economic option here is magpul 308 mags, but ive heard some OBRs didnt like them.

John Ralston
10-20-2012, 11:58 AM
I took a coyote at 500 yards the other day, and a coyote sized rock at 1100. A pair of coyotes at 110 lasted just as long as it took to break the shot and swing to the next one. I really like this gun. If I had to buy a personal one, I'd get the OBR and then get an AR upper for it, the best of both worlds:-)

Send me the pic : )

LittleLebowski
10-20-2012, 12:44 PM
I will attempt to address those issues as well. In fairness to the OP, we really should break the SCAR questions off this thread.

All done.

http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?5709-SCAR-17-discussion

codisimo
12-01-2012, 05:06 PM
I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone for their input on this thread. I decided to go with the Colt LE-901, pretty much because it is a Colt. That, and it is convertible to milspec AR-15 uppers. The early review samples seemed to be behaving well for the people who were shooting them and if I don't like it I have a Colt I can trade something else on the list. As soon as I pick it up and have a chance to start putting some round through it I will start a new thread with pics and what not.