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8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
M-1 Garand, M-1 Carbine, M-16, AR, AK (and others). Discussion

I am one who has been around guns all of my life. I have owned guns of all sorts, handguns, rifles, shotguns, etc. however, I have never owned any of the guns mentioned in the title and really don't know much about them as far as how to distinguish between authentic or otherwise. I do know how to identify, I am not totally oblivious. I guess I would have to say I know more about the AK-47 than any of the others (which is not much). Mainly because they are so readily available at a local gun shop near me. I don't want to just go in and ask questions at a LGS, because, after all, they are sales personnel. I want objective opinions from people who actually own one of these models.

The closest we ever got to anything like this growing up was a Ruger mini-14. I have shot AKs and ARs but never owned them. I would also like to know about value of these different models (generally speaking).

I just hope this will turn into a friendly discussion of these awesome guns of history.

If you own any of these or have done research, I would love to read what y'all have to say on the subject.
 

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8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I found this on the web. I thought it was a pretty cool pic.
Mikhail Kalashnikov and Eugene Stoner each holding the others' weapon. The AK-47 and the M-16.
 

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There's plenty of M1 Carbine rolling around. Super easy to shoot. Ammo costs a bunch though.
M1 Garands, are pretty rare. You can get them through the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them. TTo me it's my "dream gun" as I've had a lifelong fascination with weapons from WW2. I'll own one, someday.

As for M-16/AR vs the AK. it all depends on what you like/what you want to shoot.
I ended up getting an AR and dumping a bunch into it because it's a "kit" gun". You can buy a cheap platform and build off of that or you can get an expensive platform and only do a bit of "building" on top of that. I chose the "go cheap and build" route, but I'm regretting that at the moment. Through the trial and error process, I've calculated that I've spent enough to actually have bought a good "high quality" AR that didn't need as many mods. I guess part of the fun is the build, but if I had it to do all again, I'd go with a higher priced starting base.

For value, the AK is good. You can get a package deal for cheap (like the ones being offered on classicarms.com) for the same price as a base AR with no accessories. The ammo (steel cased) is tons cheaper and well, it's not as temperamental and will truly "eat anything".

I didn't chose to go with an AK for a couple of reasons. The main reason, is I love the AR platform. Second biggest reason, is I shoot in a lot of "backwoods" places and have experienced some pretty ignorant folks. The last thing I need or want is a bunch of ignoramuses yelling at me because I'm Asian and I'm shooting a "commie" gun (my family has a very strong anti-communist history). It's happened to a few of my friends who have AK's and I just don't want that kind of attention.

But, that's just me.

I often use GunsAmerica or GUnbroker to try to determine market values when I'm shopping for a piece. It helps me get an idea of average pricing, etc.

D
 

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8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply. Yes, the Garands are pricy. It would be on my top choice list of old military guns. As far as the M-1, I will have to do some research on how economical it would be to load .30 Carbine.

What, exactly, would you suggest one start off with to build an AR? Or, do you recommend just buying one and skipping the build process altogether? I would like to build one but, like you said, I don't want to end up with more in it than I would had I just went out and bought one ready to go. I've asked a ton of questions at gun shows but I always feel like I am just being sold something instead of given wise advice. I know that can only come from people who have done it, as opposed to salesmen.
 

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M1 Garands are heavy and somewhat awkward in comparison to model tactical rifles, but their reliability and accuracy are top notch. After jumping through a few hoops you can get them from CMP for a much more reasonable price, if you go that route I suggest the service grade, they are IMO by far the best bang for your buck.

The AK is a ton for fun to shoot, insanely reliable, easy to operate, cheap, cheap ammo, but certainly lacking in accuracy in comparison to the AR15 and the M1 Garand.

The AR is the kind of the ultimate of personalization rifle. They can be super accurate, fairly reliable although many suggest against steel cases ammo, and they do get pretty dirty with alot of rounds which can case some jamming issues. With a piston system you arguably pickup reliability almost on par with the AK.

On the AR, I suggest buying the upper assembled, and buy a stripped lower to build up yourself. You can't save much on the upper half unless you are wanting to do something custom that is not an option offered by any of the many good online AR parts dealers. The lower, get a reputable brand mil spec, I really like Spikes Tactical, especially their blemished lowers when you can get them; I've done many of them and have yet to even find what qualified them as blemished.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Yes, the Garands are pricy. It would be on my top choice list of old military guns. As far as the M-1, I will have to do some research on how economical it would be to load .30 Carbine.

What, exactly, would you suggest one start off with to build an AR? Or, do you recommend just buying one and skipping the build process altogether? I would like to build one but, like you said, I don't want to end up with more in it than I would had I just went out and bought one ready to go. I've asked a ton of questions at gun shows but I always feel like I am just being sold something instead of given wise advice. I know that can only come from people who have done it, as opposed to salesmen.
IMHO, the carbine is super fun to shoot with a REALLY light recoil. I like it. If ammo weren't so expensive, I"d consider owning one.

As for the AR. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the SHOOTING is more enjoyable or the build process? If it's the build process, go with the built. You can go as cheap or as expensive as you like with the base platform. BUT. you do often get what you pay for. You could start with stuff from Palmetto, Surplus Ammo Arms, CMMG, Spikes, LRB, etc.

If you just want to throw lead downrange, then go with a "built" gun. Something like an M&P, Daniel Defense, Stag, JP, etc. and add an optic or a foregrip or "minor" stuff.

Like I said before, for the price of a "cheap" base AR platform, you can get a Full AK, with multiple mags, case, bayonet, etc. The AR, is just the AR. You have to add all that other stuff.

I"m sure others who have done their own AR builds will chime in here as to what they have experience. For me, my next AR will be "pre-built". One of the competition guns from JP.

D
 

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Load Bearing Wall
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It's a good subject. How we all regard these weapons is affected by our age, same with calibers of ammunition.

When I was born, WWII had only been over for 8 years. My first awareness of weapons as a kid came from people that still remembered with vivid clarity what their role was in that war. And they were young, still in their 20's and early 30's. The only 9mm's I ever saw as a kid, were in glass display boxes, hanging on a wall in someones den, along with a Nazi flag, & maybe a coal scuttle helmet if it was a more complete collection. They didn't get shot very often, and no one ever carried them. Just War trophy's.

German Mausers were parted out for their fine actions & made into deer rifles, most commonly chambered for 30-06, a very American cartridge. My first deer rifle was a Japanese Type 38 Arisaka 6.5mm, but rechambered for .257 Roberts. And sporterized of course, custom stock & shortened barrel. It was a very fine shooter. The only thing I didn't like about it was the Japanese lettering I couldn't read, that bothered me for some reason, and I sold the weapon in my early twenties.

1903 Springfield's were very common. Restocked, & Scoped, they made excellent hunting rifles that were revered. M1 Garand's & M1 Carbines were around, but mostly left intact, & kept well oiled & put up, treated with respect like old friends. The M14 was the line weapon of the services at the time, soon to be replaced by the M16-A1. You didn't see them that much till the late 60's when The Springfield Armory put them out for sale. The M14 was pretty popular for a few years into the early to mid 70's.

There were no AK's or SKS's. Guys were still recovering from wounds caused by those weapons in Korea. They were the weapon of the enemy, and pretty much hated by everyone that had encountered them. It would stay that way for a long time. They were fired at us during ITR by NCO's that seemed to enjoy their jobs just a little too much. The point of the exercise was to let you know what they sounded like when you encountered them for real in the future. It worked, they sound exactly the same, no matter who is shooting at you with them.

Revolvers were as popular then, as automatics are today. The standard police sidearm was the .38 Special, and the F.B.I. carried the .357 Magnum. The Colt .45 was the most common auto, and held in high regard by vets who had carried it. The movies used it as a "Bad Boy Gangster Gun", but it really didn't matter, big revolvers were the gun of choice, and that was that.

For a long time no one would buy much of anything from overseas. To boost the sale of imports, most everything had "Made In Occupied Japan" or "Made In Occupied Germany" embossed on it. That's about the only way people would buy it.

I bought an AR15 in the late 70's, being schooled on the M16-A1 in the Marine Corps, it felt like the natural thing to do. I still like the Stoner weapons better than anything else. Although it's unsupported, I still have a bias against Russian, or Chinese made weapons, it's just too deeply pounded into me to shake off. They still are "The Weapon of The Enemy" to me. Old habits die hard.

And the .45 is my favorite cartridge of course, if for no other reason than it makes nice big holes in my paper targets, which naturally make my groups look tighter. Works for me anyway.

Wearing your pants pulled up was more stylish too.
 

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I think that the fn fal & g3 ( hk91/ptr91 ) should be in this grouping of military weapons. .308 is a great caliber & these are both on my "one day" list ...

( Yeah I know ... it's not in the title so discard my post if you want )
 

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I think that the fn fal & g3 ( hk91/ptr91 ) should be in this grouping of military weapons. .308 is a great caliber & these are both on my "one day" list ...

( Yeah I know ... it's not in the title so discard my post if you want )
That is a fine like for firearms, marred somewhat by the crappy clones out there, but still a fine firearm design.

PTR makes a top notch clone, and if you are willing to pay a bit more for used you can get the HK91 and have a top notch 'original'

I would avoid the century clones unless you get to shoot it before you buy it. Many folks get ones that look nice, but jam to no end without replacing a ton of parts and end up spending more than a PTR would have cost.
 

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That is a fine like for firearms, marred somewhat by the crappy clones out there, but still a fine firearm design.

PTR makes a top notch clone, and if you are willing to pay a bit more for used you can get the HK91 and have a top notch 'original'

I would avoid the century clones unless you get to shoot it before you buy it. Many folks get ones that look nice, but jam to no end without replacing a ton of parts and end up spending more than a PTR would have cost.
yeah, I'm thinking ptr if I go in the hk direction
... bet a legit fn fal is $$ ... what are the good sources for this?? ( are there any decent hybrid - orig/ US made copies) ??
 

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Load Bearing Wall
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I think that the fn fal & g3 ( hk91/ptr91 ) should be in this grouping of military weapons. .308 is a great caliber & these are both on my "one day" list ...

( Yeah I know ... it's not in the title so discard my post if you want )
No problem with the post, the HK91/93's are right in there. I looked at them the same day I bought my AR. I really liked the design, especially the rear drum sight. But at the time I was rotating in & out of Reserve status to Active Duty frequently, and wanted an AR in .223 to practice with in my spare time. We hardly ever got any range time, other than to requalify, so any way you could get in some more shooting was nice. The AR was about $400, and the H&K was selling for a bit over $500, so price was an issue, and I just couldn't afford both.
 

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yeah, I'm thinking ptr if I go in the hk direction
... bet a legit fn fal is $$ ... what are the good sources for this?? ( are there any decent hybrid - orig/ US made copies) ??
DSA makes a great FN FAL. The SA58s come in a big variety of configurations and start at about $1500

An old import, very good condition FN FAL would cost you about $3000
 

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No problem with the post, the HK91/93's are right in there. I looked at them the same day I bought my AR. I really liked the design, especially the rear drum sight. But at the time I was rotating in & out of Reserve status to Active Duty frequently, and wanted an AR in .223 to practice with in my spare time. We hardly ever got any range time, other than to requalify, so any way you could get in some more shooting was nice. The AR was about $400, and the H&K was selling for a bit over $500, so price was an issue, and I just couldn't afford both.
HK93s are great, and there are a few good clones of them like Vector, but the clones will run you $1000+ and real ones will run you about $3000
 

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HK93s are great, and there are a few good clones of them like Vector, but the clones will run you $1000+ and real ones will run you about $3000
I've seen the cetme version going for approx. $600 ( but I'm sure there's a fit/finish / accuracy difference )
 

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I've seen the cetme version going for approx. $600 ( but I'm sure there's a fit/finish / accuracy difference )
yea, you can get a century cetme for that, but you are lucky to get what you pay for with them. If you're lucky you will get one that looks good and for several hundred more in parts you can get it to run good. Just my opinion, but I would absolutely avoid them just based on the countless bad reviews I've heard.
 

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I'm going to have to raise a red flag here on the comments that a Garand is "pricey" ... in fact ... you can get a very nice one for around $600 from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. That will give you a Service Grade Garand, in nice shape. When the Garands do get pricey is when you purchase "Collector Grade" or one step down a "Correct Grade" and of course, if you go completely insane for Garands, you'll be hankering after WWII unissued Garands, which are VERY rare and crazy expensive, I'm talking 10,000 and up.

A Collector Grade is generally a Korean era Garand that is virtually unissued, with all correct parts, unissued to troops, but kept combat ready. I've got four of them.

I've got a nice Service Grade and another nice Correct Grade.

The Service Grade is my "Every day carry" Garand...kidding, it's my range gun.
 

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Personally, if I'd have designed the M1 Garand I'd have designed it with an internal box magazine(kind of like the SKS has) and set it up to use the 5 round stripper clips that the '03a3 Springfield was using at the time. That would have stopped the need for a special 8 round clip for the M1 AND you'd be able to top it off a lot easier. Other then that I think it's a pretty decent rifle.
 

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Load Bearing Wall
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Personally, if I'd have designed the M1 Garand I'd have designed it with an internal box magazine(kind of like the SKS has) and set it up to use the 5 round stripper clips that the '03a3 Springfield was using at the time. That would have stopped the need for a special 8 round clip for the M1 AND you'd be able to top it off a lot easier. Other then that I think it's a pretty decent rifle.
Pretty much describes the M14, except the mag is removable of course. The M14's had a stripper clip guide on the receiver, so if you wanted to, you could leave the mag in, & load clip after clip. But after 10 or 15 rounds it's pretty tough to push the rest in, so nobody ever used it, just preloaded as many mags as you could carry.

Topping of the M1 from an 8 round clip is always fun to watch, 'cause sooner or later the bolt release is gonna get bumped. Having your thumb in the way is equal to slamming a Buick door on your thumb. Usually only happens once.

The M1's have their little issues, but I sure do like them still.
 

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8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Whoa! I've got some catching up to do. Thanks for getting this discussion going. I like it!
 
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