I'm reaching to those with experience on this platform, as I have none. A good friend of mine really wants a 7.62 magazine fed semi-auto and has asked for some guidance.
This is what I know:
$4,000 budget include rifle, optic, bipod and a few magazines
Can be DI or Piston
Weight doesn't matter
Eventually wants to add a suppressor
Main purpose is target shooting (no competitions)
Wants it to be accurate
Has full access to a 600 yard range
I'm thinking a Harris bipod, that's the easy part. My first thought was the LaRue PredatAR, but again, I have very limited knowledge of this platform.
What rifle and optic combination do you have, or would you recommend?
7.62 x 51 or 7.62 x 39?? Based on what they're looking for, probably .308
I loves me some Knights SR-25 or LMT 308.
I'm a big fan of the LWRC REPR.
Rifles Worth Considering:
GA Precision GAP-10
The two kings of accuracy right now are the LaRue OBR and the GA Precision GAP-10.
The OBR consistently producing sub-MOA groups across the board in all configurations. In fact, on SnipersHide.com, there are several people consistently pulling .3 MOA. LaRue just introduced a brand new chamber (XTRAXN) that makes the barrel chamber super-slick and allows better extraction and reliability.
I would recommend the OBR over the PredatAR for the accuracy advantage. I do think that the extra $500 is worth the accuracy. However, you won't go wrong with the PredatAR either. The difference is just weight and accuracy, not reliability.
The GAP-10 is a DI custom job built off of a POF upper/lower and rail setup. GAPs are insanely accurate, but they take a long time to make due to the backlog in orders. These rifles are also consistently pulling sub-0.5MOA groups. The price is around the same as the LaRue.
The Noveske is a good rifle, and the HEAVY models (18" and 21") are designed as more accurate platforms. I know a guy with a 21" Noveske on his own AR10 build, and the rifle shoots 0.5 MOA all day. This is the only rifle that is of AR-10 design, as opposed to the LR/SR/DPMS .308 platform. This is the only rifle that you cannot run 308 PMAGs in, as they're designed for the LR/SR pattern.
The POF P308 is decent, and accuracy is there too the the Rock Creek barrels. POFs are really heavy guns.
The LWRC REPR is supposed to be good accuracy as well. I hear good and bad things about reliability, but I don't have any additional info to back this up.
The KAC SR25 in carbine form will be slightly less accurate. They claim they've enhanced the accuracy, but I'm skeptical. The Enhanced Match (EM) Rifle platform with the 20" barrel is supposed to be 0.5 MOA accurate, which is cool. However, with prices ranging between $4k-$5k for both SR25 rifles, it is definitely NOT worth the price. Both the GAP-10 and OBR are also DI rifles, and they are over $1k less expensive. Both would also shoot groups inside of the SR25 groups.
The FNH SCAR-17 is around a 1MOA rifle, with some people using match ammo to get into the high sub-MOA area like around the .75-1.0 MOA area. This rifle is easily the king of reliability in the .308 rifle market. It's durable and very strong. There is a match/sniper model of this called the Mk20 SSR, but it is not yet in commercial production- military only. The US Navy SEALs are currently using the Mk20 as a replacement for the Mk11 Mod0. I would suspect that we'll see this rifle pop up at SHOT Show 2012.
The LMT platform is the new SASS platform for the Brits. It's a good platform and is pretty accurate. I hear grumblings regarding zero shift issues, which I hear is related to the modular design of the platform. The cost is on par with the others, but I have heard nothing about the accuracy. I would think subMOA would be par.
There are other options, but these are the best for accuracy and reliability.
You know, I had not even thought about the SCAR. I don't know why, since I've been reading about it quite a bit.
The KAC is a budget buster for him, so that would be out.
Any thoughts on optics?
What do you have in mind for optics? Are you looking at precision tactical scopes? If so, what would be the upper end of your budget?
I think he just likes LaRue. He brought up the PredatAR again, and now seems pretty set on it with the 18" barrel.
As far as optics, the first thing that popped into my head is the Nightforce 2.5-10x32. I've seen it on a few LaRue's and people seem to love them. But honestly, I really don't know. I've never shot at those distances.
Assuming the rifle is $2500, he has $1500 to play with for an optic, bipod, and a few extra magazines. So, I'm thinking somewhere around $1000 is probably best.
If he really wants the PredatAR, then it'd be a fantastic purchase. I personally like the higher degree of accuracy, but to each their own.
For the Optic at $1000, he is limited on some of the higher-end models. Generally for a 600m rifle, 10x is perfectly fine at the top end of the magnification spectrum. However, 10x is nice because it's got a very wide field of view, which is preferred for combat applications. For target, higher magnification would be a good asset.
My scope recommendations at/under $1k would be:
SWFA SS3-9x42 $599
Weaver Tactical 3-15x50 FFP EMDR mil/mil $739
Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50 FFP $849
Sightron SIII 6-24x50 $845
Bushnell Elite Tactical 3-12x44 mil/mil $899
Burris XTR 3-12x50 $949
Burris XTR 4-16x50 $1049
Trijicon AccuPoint TR232 5-20x50 $1082
If your buddy has access to Promotive.com or is .mil or .gov, he can get Leupolds for dirt cheap through their pro deals. Normally, Leupolds are too expensive for what they offer, IMO. However, if you go through Promotive or Leupold's government pricing system, you get good prices that are more commensurate with the scope you're getting. If so, I would recommend the following:
Leupold Mark4 LR/T 4.5-14x50 M1 Illum. $1011
Leupold Mark4 ER/T 4.5-14x50 FFP M5 $1168
If he can swing up to the $1500ish price range, he gets a few more options.
SWFA SS 5-20x50 $1499
IOR Valdada 3-18x42 35mm FFP Sniper's Hide Edition GEN 4 $1549
NightForce NXS Compact 2.5-10x32 $1291-$1549
NightForce NXS 3.5-15x50/56 $1527-$1792
Additionally, There is the Bushnell HDMR 3.5-21x50 w/ Horus reticle that is $1599.
There is a non-Horus model that may be around $1k coming out later this summer to early fall. It has a GA Precision designed mil reticle. According to what I've been hearing, the HDMR is rewriting a lot of books in the tactical scope world. This isn't your typical Bushnell. This a scope that is supposed to be on par with the top end of the Japanese market, in touch with the SWFA SS 5-20x and Vortex Razor HD, or likely surpassing them. This glass is supposed to be almost to the level of March Tactical, which says something. Keep an eye out for this one.
If I had to pick one scope right now out of the sub-$1k group, I would take the Weaver. The glass is from Light Optical in Japan, and it is better than Leupold Mark4 LR/T glass. It's also more consistent than the Vortex Viper PST in clarity and resolution. I have yet to read a negative review of this scope.
Thanks Reed. I'll pass along the info. He's not military or leo, but he does own a business and has partners that can get deep discounts on a lot of these items.
Let's see / / /
for me . . . It's an M1 Garand rifle re-rigged to NATO .308
And . . . An STG-58 FN/FAL in NATO .308
That's about it! The AR-10 is too much money. And the semi-auto make believe commercially made M14 rifle (so-called) is mostly a yahoo gun. The 20-round tin box magazines are clumsy and too bothersome.
And . . . there is always the CETME rifles with the left hand side bolt charger. Those can be picked up for reasonable money.
I've suddenly got a hankerin' for something in .308 like this. I know I want a bolt gun, but for now, that doesn't seem to be threatened.
Reedo, I know you've been debating this heavily recently. Have you come to any conclusion at all yet?
I know the SR25 is really good, but its pretty expensive. Is it really superior to the others? I kinda like the idea of a Larue...
I know its a matter of availability too. There was a Sig patrol rifle in .308 available in my local shop the other day for somewhere around the $2xxx range. Don't know too much about it though.
I'm waiting on a return email from Knights right now. I wouldn't mind a LaRue OBR, but their wait list was already insanely long before the election, let alone after, and especially after the Sandy Hook incident. LaRue also doesn't do LE/GOV/MIL order front-loading. They fill contract and agency orders first, but everything after that for individual orders is based on first-come, first serve. I heard they are backed up between 4-6 months.
KAC/KMC operates like FN, Springfield and several other companies, where they have a separate LE/GOV/MIL build queue that supercedes normal commercial purchases. Individuals buying the rifles are still added to the "restricted" queue, so I would get front-loaded over the normal commercial purchases. Given what I want out of the rifle, being a more combat/battle rifle oriented weapon, the SR25 makes more sense. The barrel is chrome lined, so the barrel life of it will be significantly longer than either of the LaRue stainless barrels.
If the purpose is for target shooting, something like the OBR, LMT MWS w/ stainless barrel, or a Noveske Gen2 N6 (if it comes out at SHOT Show next weeks :excited: ) would likely be the best option. They are the ones punching the tight accuracy numbers. KAC rifles are still printing sub-MOA, so they're a contender too. That, or the Les Baer monolith .308, which is guaranteed to be 0.5MOA w/ a 10-shot group. There is also talk of the SCAR Mk20 SSR being released commercially this year.
Now, do I think that the SR25s are worth it? Meh...
I can say yes and no. I understand why they're so expensive, but that doesn't soften the blow at all. When you can get an LMT for significantly less with a chrome-lined combat barrel, it loses some appeal. I think that other models have better value for money spent, but having had detailed conversations recently with Knights, I'm very impressed with what they have done and how they've progressed.
Clearly am going to have to do some serious research of my own on these...I am not at all familiar with the .308/ar10 platform. I just looked up the Les Baer for the hell of it, since It was the one I was least familiar with. Helluva awesome looking rifle, but I know their 1911 pricing is pretty high. Couldn't find one for sale, aside from on Gunbroker. There was only one up there and it was over $8000 and used. So that's definitely not happening. Any idea what they retail for? I saw some of the groups and was drooling...that is some serious accuracy for sure.
Honestly, the platform might be beyond what I'm willing to spend. It's more of a passing fancy and if I'm going to be in $6000-$7000+ range with optics on one of these, I'd rather go all out on a fully built AI bolt gun.
I think the SR25 is a fantastic platform, but it is pricey. I've always kinda wanted a Larue, which is why I mentioned it. The Noveske definitely sounds interesting, but if it's not out yet (and considering how long I've been waiting to an upper), I won't ever see the thing. I've never really had a "thing" for LMTs or LWRCs. They're very fine rifles, but I don't get excited about them for some reason.
I just don't know...
I believe the Les Baer rifles are in the $4000-$5000 range brand new. The are made individually though, IIRC. You don't see them produced regularly like you do with the occassional 1911. $8000 for a used one is a joke, even in this frenzied time.
There are less expensive options. The Colt 901 for example. I have been hearing that it's pulling sub-MOA to 1MOA groups with match ammo.
The cool thing about the LMT MWS is the barrel change feature. You can swap out between a chrome-lined combat barrel and a stainless match/precision barrel in minutes. You can also put on different calibers, like the .260Rem and .243. Pretty cool feature to have for great versatility.
Realistically, for just bench target shooting, a bolt rifle will be far more cost effective.
What rifle is this? I can't read the caption, but this is basically what I want
Whats the difference between the OBR, the PredatOBR, and the PredatAR?
What about an AK? It is proven. Most would probably argue that it is an outdated platform. Love mine and it was cheap...no idea what that stuff is going for now.
Haley also has an awesome video on the AK.
^Already have one...and a damn good one
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