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Hi there,

I am a newbie to guns in general...but I have been thinking of picking up a semi-auto rifle of some sorts...Since I live in California I know my options are limited, I have been researching the following modles...Browning BAR stalker .243 or Remington 7400 .243, also Ruger mini 14 .223(is this Ruger legal in california?).

At this point I want something fun to shoot,but useful for self defense, hunting and just general target shooting.

I would appreciate any opinions or info on these rifles or other suggestions. Thanks in advanced.

Johnny
 

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Johnny, first off, hello from a fellow subject of the DPRK. I am currently in the process of purchasing a M1A Scout :grin:, on the payment plan. I don't know if the Mini-14 is still legal here, but your decision will depend on what exactly you want from the rifle. What will be your primary use for it, home defense, or hunting? The reason I ask is because that will dictate what caliber weapon you should choose. The M1A, the .243, an M1 Garand or M1903, and similar caliber weapons, are all excellent weapons for large-game hunting, and long-range target shooting. They can be used for home-defense, but in that situation, they are like the Energizer Bunny, they keep going, and going, and going. You risk not only taking out your intended target, but also anybody in the next room(s) that happens to be in the way. The Mini-14, or some other weapon in .223, has a significantly lower risk of over-penetration, but you can't use for large game, only for plinking, because of the small caliber. One option that you might consider, if you have the funds available, is two weapons. I have a M1 Carbine, that I use for around the house in addition to my pistols, and I can also use it for plinking. The M1 Carbine round is a good deal hotter than any pistol round, the weapon is very easy to handle around the house, but the bullet is light enough that I don't have to worry too much about over-penetration. Once I get my Scout, I can use that for the big-game, longe-range shooting, etc. Thems my ideas. Good hunting.
 

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there are very few military style semi-auto rifle still approved in CA

the mini 14/30 is still available, also the m1 garrand, m1 carbine, m1a and the sks

the browning bar and reminton 740/7400 are nice hunting rifles but IMO not as much fun for just having fun

if cost is a factor, i would suggest you take a look at the romanian sks in 7.62x39mm (a bit under $300 last i checked, but it's been awhile) which is reliable, more accurate than many think, comes with a 10rd mag which is reloaded with stripper clips, has an interesting history and is legal with an attached bayonet (if nothing else, conversation starter). ammo is also the least expensive with 1K round going for <$100

my next choice would be an m1 carbine, a bit less power than i'd like for hunting, but how often and what do you hunt.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 9mmepiphany on 2001-10-19 19:00 ]</font>
 

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Buy a Norinco (Chinese) SKS.

I actually like it better than my Mini-14, plus ammo is very cheap, you can find 1k rounds for around $80 or less...

 

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Y'know, I never thought I'd be saying this but, "A big 10-4 to the SKS suggestion!"

Let me tell you one reason why (in addition to cheap ammo, reliability, availability, spare and 'upgrade' parts, quite often admirable accuracy, and -- did I mention cheap ammo? :wink:

That reason is: Confiscation! Look, I live in the U.S.S. of Maryland, you live in Kalifornia (... we're like two guys in the same hospital room wearing full body casts!).

Despite owning plenty of 'slick & sought after' guns --one or two of which cost as much as ten SKS rifles-- I'm considering an SKS because it won't hurt if I lose it --- whether 'losing it' means a canoe capsize or zealous Attorney General if I were ever to use the gun in self-defense . . .

All that plus, I just spent an afternoon shooting my nephew's and they really are good enough guns -- for the money involved!

Happy Hunting.
 

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I recommend..........

Moving to the FREE parts of the United States as soon as humanly possible. Then you can buy what you like :smile:
 

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I know it's not exactly what you wanted to hear, but here's my couple of
suggestions:

1) Marlin 1894 in 44 mag. These are great lever guns. I've got a 336 in 30/30,
but sometimes wish I would have looked around for the 44 mag version. The
44 mag is fun, under six pounds, and plenty accurate once you install a
lyman tang aperture sight. Great for any hunting you'd want to do in CA. I
saw a pig shot with one near Sonoma a while back. Don't discount this sort
of arm for self defense. It holds 10 beans and you can get a slip on
butt-cuff that will hold 6+ more. Are you going to be able to get magazines larger than 10 rounds in CA? AND, they're cheap. You can find them used
all over the place. In fact, you could probably get two of these and a
cheap reloading set up for less than a good 'battle rifle.' Damn, I wish
the economy was a bit brighter, I just talked myself into wanting one.

2) Ok, you really want a semi-auto. How about one of the new Ruger 44 mag
carbines? I don't have any personal experience shooting one, but they look
pretty nice to me. They come with a serviceable looking aperture sight.

The 44 mag has a wonderful assortment of bullet types. For a kind of all
around gun, it's going to be more interesting than a .223 or 7.62x39.

Both of these rifles look friendly. If you like to go camping, and you
go somewhere where firearms aren't prohibited (increasingly rare in CA), the
lever gun in particular isn't going to raise any eyebrows.

The SKS isn't a bad choice, and I had one for a short time. I just never
really warmed up to it. It's not much fun at the range, nor is it a good
hunting arm. It's not much fun to handload for either. I don't anticipate
having to clear a drug house, the two guns I suggest would work fine for any
realistic self defense situation (even for TEOTWAWKI), and it would be good
for a lot more (Not that I want to hunt a bear, but I really wouldn't want to
hunt a bear with an sks!).

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kenneth Bowen on 2001-11-16 02:05 ]</font>
 

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Yup, I have thought of this often, but then that would almost be desertion, at least until we retire :smile:.....


On 2001-11-13 22:31, JLM wrote:
I recommend..........

Moving to the FREE parts of the United States as soon as humanly possible. Then you can buy what you like :smile:
 

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There is a big shipment of Yugoslav SKSs that are just starting to show up at the distributors and dealers. They are C&R eligible, and are supposed to be of very good quality. They are retailing for under $300. Also, if you can find one there were some very nice Russian SKSs available also.
 

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That's easy - check these out. I'm sure these are still legal in the "Golden State"

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewIt ... em=2656955
A M-16 FULL-AUTO soft air gun. This is powered by 4-AA batteries, so there is no expensive co2 to buy ! Not only will you be environmentally good (runs on batteries!) - but this little gun has the orange barrel Kalif. made so popular. If you don't like the look of the M16 - how about an AK-47

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewIt ... em=2657290
But wait - this one is evil. No orange barrel. You'd have to paint the barrel to make this puppy Kalif. legal - and saving the best for last, a HK-94 with the orange barrel.
http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewIt ... em=2656957

All of the above guns appear to sell for around $25 - and since they can't damage wall board I'm sure "Red" Davis wouldn't have a problem with them being in HIS state.
 

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If I was in your shoes I would run and not walk to a nice M-1 Garand. I think you can own one of those but I don't live in California so I am not sure. Doesn't Springfield Armory make an M-1A that you can own in Ca? Also, if I could afford it I would look into a steyr scout rifle, although that is a bolt gun, but a darn handy one at that. Let us know what you decide on. I was born in and grew up in California, no interest in going back though. I feel for you brother. Do what I did and move out to Virginia, good folks out here.

Good luck. Jake
 

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You can still own a "registered" Galil, but cannot sell it except through a licensed AW dealer to go out of state.

None can be brought or transferred.
 

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I have to second Jake's idea. My Garand is just less than twice my age, and almost 10% of my weight, but I love it!

<brag>
I competed in a John C. Garand Match sponsored by a nearby club with it, and placed 4th of about 20 shooters, right in the middle of the Army and Navy shooters, despite it being my first shooting competition of any kind.
</brag>

The rifle has a good barrel, but no "work" has been done to it; it's just a typical service-grade rifle. It's rugged as a log, fires .30-06 ammo (or .308 if converted by a gunsmith), and hits what it's aimed at to the limit of your eyesight (mounting a scope is difficult and expensive, and wrought with compromises), and recoil is comparable to a 20 gauge field load, IMO. It doesn't require expensive magazines, either.

Summary: good sights, rugged, reliable, classic, universally available ammo, controllable are most of the positives; weight, limited to 8 shots, not designed to accomodate a scope, and out of production (for the most part) for ~50 years (though new parts are still available readily) are the only negatives that come to mind as I type. Or, as is popular today:

1 Garand = $500
1000 rounds of ammo = $200
The feeling that you get from shooting your historic weapon = priceless

Sorry for the ramble, but Jake's post made me feel like evangelizing the M1 rifle. It just feels right, and it's a great "big brother" to a 1911...

George
 

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On 2001-12-12 19:39, georgek wrote:
1 Garand = $500
1000 rounds of ammo = $200
The feeling that you get from shooting your historic weapon = priceless
George, is the price you list for 1,000 rounds (of 30-06, I presume) correct or a typo?

I'm being sincere, if you can let me know where I might get '06 that cheap you WILL have solved a LOT of X-mas shoppimng challenges for my fiance, family, and friends!!! :smile:

Man! I will be able to get some serious
"M-1 time" in for those prices!

Thanks in advance, /s/ "THOR"
 

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Sorry thor, I was thinking of 7.62, and just working from (tired) memory.

I just checked Shotgun News, and J&G has some for $110/500 if you buy at least 1000 rounds. I don't know if it's in stock, though, as my Dad got roughly a truckload of M2 Ball before it became scarce.

George
 

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I recommend purchasing a "loaded" Kalifonia (sic) legal M1-A with a s/s match barrel and NM sights. Use it in NRA Competititon (you Are a member, right?) and then go buy a DCM M-1 Garand to keep it company in the safe.

This shooting and competiton stuff will probably make you want to buy other firearms. You should then run out and buy an Kal.-legal and PC SKS and a bunch of cheap Chinese or Russian ammo. The 7.62x39 is the ballistic equivalent of a 30-30 with light bullets. Very effective on Kalifonia's feral pigs with sof-point ammo. The SKS makes a great campground security rifle, too.

Enjoy your guns and become a political activist in your state.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy on 2001-12-12 22:49 ]</font>
 

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Living in CA, I would look at Garands while they are still legal to buy. Fulton Armory is one of several shops that can set you up. Check out the tanker style in .308. I also believe in the levers. A 16" 30-30 or .44 is nothing to laugh at.
 

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I think if you have to mention what state you live in when deciding on purchasing a rifle, it's time to move!
 
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