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Thread: 7.62 NATO, Semi-Auto, "sniper" rifle

  1. #1
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    7.62 NATO, Semi-Auto, "sniper" rifle

    Here's what I'm looking for:

    - A semi-auto rifle, chambered for 7.62 NATO, that won't choke on .308 Winchester ammo
    - Needs to accept 20 round magazines, & have 5 round magazines available
    - I want to be able to have excellent accuracy out to at least 600 meters
    - It has to be able to take down deer-sized animals at that same distance (assuming I am good enough to hit them, of course )
    - I need to be able to mount a scope that will allow me to be precise out to at least 600 meters
    - Ideally, it will accept a suppressor
    - It can't cost an arm and a leg...

    I'm fairly new to the ins and outs of 7.62 / .308 rifles, so don't assume I know anything about anything. Having said that, I grew up hunting with my Dad, some of which was deer hunting. I used a semi-auto 308 Winchester for the few years that I hunted deer, so while I'm not a complete noob, please feel free to pretend I am...

    Any and all suggestions will be much appreciated!
    Last edited by jgalt; 04-20-08 at 04:44. Reason: added another bullet point...

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    I'm running a DPMS with a 16 inch barrel as my precision rig at work and the department has two as well. Mine started life as an AP4 and if i was to do it over would've done some things a little different. Anyway, the final combination has a JP VTAC forearm, harris bipod, Burris Scope, and a Bill Springfield Trigger. I swapped out the collapsible stock for an A2.

    I would have started with a DPMS with an A2 stock and an 18 inch barrel that I would have then had fluted to reduce weight, increase stiffness and surface area.

    I just got back from MO school with it and was keeping up with the bolt guns in grouping exercises and in tactical exercises with multiple targets or center mass shots, the semi auto was easier to use quickly. There were some guys that could really work a bolt and match speed but they had to work a lot harder.

    Unfortunately I had an issue with it and did not get to use it during the long range session on the last day in which we shot out to 700 yards.

    The best thing I did to the gun was sending the trigger to Bill Springfield for a 3 lb job. His trigger job compared favorably with the Remington trigger with a little more takeup being the only difference. The gun would group before, but the trigger job made it much easier and consistent and all for $45.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgalt View Post
    Here's what I'm looking for:

    - A semi-auto rifle, chambered for 7.62 NATO, that won't choke on .308 Winchester ammo
    - Needs to accept 20 round magazines, & have 5 round magazines available
    - I want to be able to have excellent accuracy out to at least 600 meters
    - It has to be able to take down deer-sized animals at that same distance (assuming I am good enough to hit them, of course )
    - I need to be able to mount a scope that will allow me to be precise out to at least 600 meters
    - Ideally, it will accept a suppressor
    - It can't cost an arm and a leg...

    I'm fairly new to the ins and outs of 7.62 / .308 rifles, so don't assume I know anything about anything. Having said that, I grew up hunting with my Dad, some of which was deer hunting. I used a semi-auto 308 Winchester for the few years that I hunted deer, so while I'm not a complete noob, please feel free to pretend I am...

    Any and all suggestions will be much appreciated!

    Define "arm and a leg" - AR10s/SR25/SASS guns are just expensive...unfortunately

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    I suppose I should have been a bit more descriptive about what "an arm and a leg" means to me...

    I'm considering getting a Springfield "Scout-Squad" or a "Loaded" and would have no problem spending the $1500-1700 it'll take to get one of them. Anything around $2000 is getting to be too much right now, and $2500 and up definitely qualifies as both an arm & a leg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgalt View Post
    I suppose I should have been a bit more descriptive about what "an arm and a leg" means to me...

    I'm considering getting a Springfield "Scout-Squad" or a "Loaded" and would have no problem spending the $1500-1700 it'll take to get one of them. Anything around $2000 is getting to be too much right now, and $2500 and up definitely qualifies as both an arm & a leg.

    With your criterion above, I'd skip the Scout/Loaded all together and get an AR10. If thats too expensive, just save money for a longer period of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek_Connor View Post
    With your criterion above, I'd skip the Scout/Loaded all together and get an AR10. If thats too expensive, just save money for a longer period of time.
    I am starting to think that I may end up with both, with the AR10 filling the bill for the above criteria, and the Springfield doing hunting duty. Do you know if the same magazines would work on both? I remember reading somewhere that some AR10 & M1A / M14 mags are interchangeable, but I've also read that they aren't. I need a definitive answer - anyone know?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    No, mags are not interchangeable between an AR-10 or a M14.

    Your above criteria is going to be extremely hard to fill, especially in that price range.
    Employee of colonialshooting.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Templar View Post
    No, mags are not interchangeable between an AR-10 or a M14.

    Your above criteria is going to be extremely hard to fill, especially in that price range.

    Thanks on the mag info (twice!). I thought my criteria would probably be hard to meet, given what is basically a sub-$2,000 budget, but I really didn't know, so I figured I'd ask.

    Thanks again.

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    I may be a lone wolf on this, but I'd skip the AR10 and go for an M1A Scout. The Loaded will be more accurate at extended ranges, but with what you describe, the Scout will suit your needs. You won;t win, or even compete at Camp Perry with a Scout, but the handiness of the 18" rifle is a bonus. Get good with the irons and you can build up from there. If you want to keep it clean, a Sadlak scope mount will suit you nicely, but if you want to add utility to a great platform, dropping the rifle into a Troy MCS will bring it to a whole new level....USGI mags are cheap and easy to find as they are still in production. i say go M1A and never look back....

  10. #10
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    What do you consider excellent accuracy out to 600 yards? For semi-auto I don't think you can expect much better than 2MOA and have the type of weight/reliability you'd want. 2MOA is plenty accurate though a "sniper" would probably want something more.

    If you accept that as baseline I recommend a DSA SA 58 FN-FAL clone.

    I have one set up kind of how you described. It as a DSA Scope mount/rail system. G1 chrome lined barrel, trijicon ACOG 3x scope. It can shoot under 2MOA. INCLUDING SCOPE, rails, refinishing by Gunplumber and mount it comes in at about $2.2K. A comparable AR/M14 is WAY more. I've taken it hunting and would be perfectly capable of taking deer or elk.

    First it's a top quality military quality rifle, produced on original Steyr machinery/designs. Fully loaded standard FAL comes in at just over 10 lbs. The receiver is milled from a 19lb block of billet steel and is incredibly durable. The commercial Springfield M1A receiver is not adequate for your needs. They look nice, and are adequate for average use, but they're not mil-spec (whatever that means in this day and age) as such.

    (side note - If you want the M-14 variant consider ARMSCORP or Fulton Armory receiver/rifles. Sometimes you can pick a receiver that has double-lugs which makes for a more stable "sniper" platform These are comparable in price to ARs, but you do get what you pay for.)

    Second, replacement parts and spare mags for the FAL are readily available and CHEAP. They do have 5 round hunting magazines as well as 20 round originals. AR .308 mags are lots more expensive. FAL mags can be had for about $8 each.

    Third, it's brutally reliable once tuned. It has an adjustable gas system that is ideal for a suppressor. The AR can be finicky with a suppressor.

    Fourth it's one of the easiest long-arms to maintain. It lends itself perfectly to the amateur gunsmith (WECSOGer). I've built two. You can fix them easily yourself. The FAL is much easier to clean/maintain in the field than either the M1A or the AR.

    Both the M-14 and AR will have better inherent accuracy, but the FAL has other virtues and is perfectly adequate in terms of accuracy.

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