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Thread: Best battle rifle under 1800$

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Trukinjp13's Avatar
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    Best battle rifle under 1800$

    Ideally I would want a Scar. But that is not in my budget. I am looking to spend around 2800$ with glass. Want either bushy tactical or trijicon 1-8x. Here is a few I am looking at. Will be used for hunting and to have a legit 308 in the stable. My savage 99 is not a gtw and I really do not like the idea of taking her out in the winters anymore. ( was a hand me down and is in perfect condition)

    M&p 10 sport, uses sr25 stuff and s&w warranty (needs stock/grip/mlok)

    Dsa fal (heavy/heard a few parts breakages)

    M1a scout (heavy/not ar accurate)

    Build a larue with their upper kit (not a keymod fan)


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  2. #2
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    I am a huge FAL lover.

    I am not a lover of dealing with the issues revolving around optics on a FAL, in particular magnified tube optics.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter LOKNLOD's Avatar
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    You say battle rifle and hunting.

    Is it more important that it's a battle rifle, or for hunting? Not that they can't be lumped together, but I think I would prioritize different feature sets depending.
    --Josh

  4. #4
    The M1A and FAL do not have good scope mounting options.

    Here is an old thread on the M&P 10 and hunting.

    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....go-to-Long-Gun

    I think the Larue or M&P 10 would be the better options.
    Last edited by DamonL; 07-01-2018 at 11:37 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trukinjp13 View Post
    Ideally I would want a Scar. But that is not in my budget. I am looking to spend around 2800$ with glass. Want either bushy tactical or trijicon 1-8x. Here is a few I am looking at. Will be used for hunting and to have a legit 308 in the stable. My savage 99 is not a gtw and I really do not like the idea of taking her out in the winters anymore. ( was a hand me down and is in perfect condition)

    M&p 10 sport, uses sr25 stuff and s&w warranty (needs stock/grip/mlok)

    Dsa fal (heavy/heard a few parts breakages)

    M1a scout (heavy/not ar accurate)

    Build a larue with their upper kit (not a keymod fan)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    M1A and FAL have issues mounting optics and other issues, the M1A more that the FAL.

    Best two options for a pure battle rifle are an AR-10 or a good quality G3 clone with a welded on optics rail. Of those two an AR-10 wins out due to it ability to be more of a precise / hunting type rifle.

    The negative to the M&P 10 is it is even more proprietary than other AR-10s and S&W won’t sell the parts.

    The Larue kit would be my pick of your four options.

    Some other options-

    Buy and Armalite DEF -10 for about $1k, add a free float rail from Troy, centurion or Wilson and an upgraded trigger of you choice for another $400 to $500.

    Build an AR-10 (DPMS pattern) using an Aero M5 upper and Lower set. I’m leery of Aero’s complete rifles because the small parts they buy are not of commensurate quality with the items the produce themselves like receivers.

    If this is more hunting rifle than battle rifle check out the DPMS GII , hunter model.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Jay585's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOKNLOD View Post
    You say battle rifle and hunting.

    Is it more important that it's a battle rifle, or for hunting? Not that they can't be lumped together, but I think I would prioritize different feature sets depending.
    Agreed. However, the Ruger Gunsite rifle does a pretty good job of blending the two, IMO.

    I have a left handed one in .308 and I'm quite fond of it. Took off the scope rail (with true 1x scopes, I believe that the forward scope concept isn't as relevant as it once was), running irons for now. Since the LH version doesn't come with a synthetic stock variant, I may someday get a McMillan HTG stock to throw on it. If you're a righty, they have the OEM Ruger synthetic stock which should be G2G.

    The only thing that could really improve the GSR is a Tikka Arctic-style rear sight for it. The OEM rear requires an allen key and adjusting sights is more guesswork than anything. No "clicks" or anything like that, just a 1/8th to 1/4 turn of the key and hoping that's correct.

    I also have a SCAR and owned an FAL. I'm not sure on the value of the SCAR yet. I've had 1100 rounds through it, and while it's light and never malfunctioned (except for once, when I had my thumb over the ejection port) I'm not sure it's worth the $3k + price. edit: is it me, or has the SCAR 17 actually gone up in retail price?

    If I were doing this again, I'd get a Springfield Armory imported paratrooper FAL (I think the model is SA 48 or SAR 4800) slap on some BLO-refinished wooden handguards and grips (in an effort to make it "softer" looking to the non-gun folks) and call it good. Grab a bunch of mags (I'd ask over on FALFiles for mag reccomendations), paint the front sight florescent red, and go run it. No optics, just irons. Similar to this guy here:

    Last edited by Jay585; 07-01-2018 at 11:51 AM.
    "Well you know, it's a toolbox. You put the tools in for the job." Sam

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay585 View Post
    Agreed. However, the Ruger Gunsite rifle does a pretty good job of blending the two, IMO.

    I have a left handed one in .308 and I'm quite fond of it. Took off the scope rail (with true 1x scopes, I believe that the forward scope concept isn't as relevant as it once was), running irons for now. Since the LH version doesn't come with a synthetic stock variant, I may someday get a McMillan HTG stock to throw on it. If you're a righty, they have the OEM Ruger synthetic stock which should be G2G.

    The only thing that could really improve the GSR is a Tikka Arctic-style rear sight for it. The OEM rear requires an allen key and adjusting sights is more guesswork than anything. No "clicks" or anything like that, just a 1/8th to 1/4 turn of the key and hoping that's correct.

    I also have a SCAR and owned an FAL. I'm not sure on the value of the SCAR yet. I've had 1100 rounds through it, and while it's light and never malfunctioned (except for once, when I had my thumb over the ejection port) I'm not sure it's worth the $3k + price. edit: is it me, or has the SCAR 17 actually gone up in retail price?

    If I were doing this again, I'd get a Springfield Armory imported paratrooper FAL (I think the model is SA 48 or SAR 4800) slap on some BLO-refinished wooden handguards and grips (in an effort to make it "softer" looking to the non-gun folks) and call it good. Grab a bunch of mags (I'd ask over on FALFiles for mag reccomendations), paint the front sight florescent red, and go run it. No optics, just irons. Similar to this guy here:

    The Ruger Gunsite is a nice rifle, particularly in the synthetic stock but no matter how much Jeff Cooper wanted to re-fight the Boer War in his head, bolt guns are obsolescent as “battle rifles.”

    While not obsolescent, irons sights are a disadvantage vs optics on the battle rifle side and even more so on the hunting side. Positive ID is a real issue in hunting and magnified optics are a great help in that regard if you are hunting anywhere shots over 100 yards are an option.

    Having tried both a Styer scout and vintage bolt guns in practical competition I agree 100% with the Intange TV guys on this subject.

    Last edited by HCM; 07-01-2018 at 12:08 PM.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Trukinjp13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOKNLOD View Post
    You say battle rifle and hunting.

    Is it more important that it's a battle rifle, or for hunting? Not that they can't be lumped together, but I think I would prioritize different feature sets depending.
    My hunting is inside 250 yards max for most everywhere I hunt. In my eyes a 16-18” rifle with 1-8 glass would work well enough for killing critters. I would rather it be setup more towards defensive purposes.


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  9. #9
    Site Supporter Trukinjp13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    M1A and FAL have issues mounting optics and other issues, the M1A more that the FAL.

    Best two options for a pure battle rifle are an AR-10 or a good quality G3 clone with a welded on optics rail. Of those two an AR-10 wins out due to it ability to be more of a precise / hunting type rifle.

    The negative to the M&P 10 is it is even more proprietary than other AR-10s and S&W won’t sell the parts.

    The Larue kit would be my pick of your four options.

    Some other options-

    Buy and Armalite DEF -10 for about $1k, add a free float rail from Troy, centurion or Wilson and an upgraded trigger of you choice for another $400 to $500.

    Build an AR-10 (DPMS pattern) using an Aero M5 upper and Lower set. I’m leery of Aero’s complete rifles because the small parts they buy are not of commensurate quality with the items the produce themselves like receivers.

    If this is more hunting rifle than battle rifle check out the DPMS GII , hunter model.
    Thank you, the m&p price point was attractive. I and accuracy seems pretty good. I do understand the lower being proprietary. Is the bcg also m&p proprietary?

    My ar is a aero based rifle. I agree on their small parts and full builds. I used their upper and lower. I had thought about building a 308 ar from them as well. Their machining is awesome for the price point and often come on sale.

    I will look into the armalite. I want a reliable, fairly accurate rifle. The fal and the m1a have too many faults for what I am looking to get into. Thanks guys.




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  10. #10
    Site Supporter Jay585's Avatar
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    @HCM, I agree 100%. I'm thinking of the OP as more of a civilian who is unlikely to be in a situation requiring the use of an semi-auto battle rifle. And if Michigan is as I picture (thickly wooded) iron sights may not be as huge a disadvantage like it could be in say... eastern Montana. In my case a deer hunting rifle in southern Idaho would need a good optic, however a iron-sighted deer rifle in the panhandle would do quite well.

    GSR is cheaper than the alternatives (especially if you find one used on gunbroker - I got mine for about $675) so there's more more money for optics, ammo, training, etc. It'd do a fine job as a ranch rifle and hunting rifle and I would not be "embarrassed" to use it at a shooting competition. All in all, it's another option to consider more than a recommendation.
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