Ask Foghorn: Best Rifle to Buy During an AWB Scare

Jeremy writes:

I figure everyone should probably own at least one rifle, shotgun and handgun. I’m hoping you can recommend something for me based off my needs, the current political climate and budget.

In particular, I’d like to get something that I can get now, but maybe can’t get later (esp. ammo) but can also be used for target shooting as well as hunting in case I go someday (and I would eventually like to do so). I like the idea of long-range shooting (maybe even some day up to 1000 yards) but am mostly concerned with sub-500 now. I really like the bolt action stuff but figure that will probably be available for a long time so am looking only at semi-auto stuff at the moment. A friend recommended an FNAR 308 Winchester.

There really isn’t a whole lot on the market right now, but you have options.

The best option is to wait.

In the current political climate, a federal assault weapons ban (or any significant firearms restrictions) is never going to happen. However, the mere specter of an AWB is enough to get people panic buying AR-15s at ridiculous prices. That, combined with the post-election run on guns, has basically sapped every last firearm out of the distribution chain. There are no modern firearms to be had.

At this point, it has been about a month since the scare started and people seem to have run out of money. The manufacturers are kicking their AR-15 production into high gear, and even SIG SAUER has discontinued production of a couple lines (like the Mk25) for the year to focus on semi-auto rifle production instead. So what we will see in the next month is a tidal wave of AR-15s coming on the market, with no one left who has the money to buy them. Supply goes up, demand drops off, and prices tumble. Life is good, and you have your pick of firearm.

But what if you can’t wait? If your state has gone off the gun control deep end, or if you don’t trust Washington to read the tea leaves the same way I do, then getting a rifle now is the only option for you. And for that, the FNAR is a pretty good choice.

FNAR, courtesy FNH USA

The FNAR checks all of your boxes. Guaranteed 1 MoA accuracy, semi-auto, and while technically an “assault rifle” under the definitions of most AWBs I believe that the pistol grip can be removed to turn this into an AWB compliant firearm. And after personally handling a few of these at trade shows, I can say that they actually feel pretty good. The comb is adjustable to suit your face and scope, and the trigger is actually pretty decent. Make sure you get the heavy barrel version though if you’re looking for accuracy beyond one or two shots within a few minutes.

Its a fine choice, but even these guns are out of stock right now at most places I’ve been looking. If you can find one more power to you, but I can’t find a single one.

In short, if you need a rifle right this minute you are pretty much screwed. Even the venerable Mosin Nagant is overpriced and less than available. The best option is to wait, but if you can’t then you should be prepared for some price gouging on Gunbroker.

Shotguns, however, are both plentiful and cheap. Even the ammo is available in bulk. So while you wait for rifle prices to go down, why not pick up a new shotgun? Mossberg’s 930 series shotguns are still around $500 – $600, and even FNH’s SLP Mk I shotgun is available at the usual price just north of a grand.

If you really want to buy a semi-auto long gun, shotguns are where you should be putting your money right now.

[Email your firearms-related questions to “Ask Foghorn” via guntruth@me.com. Click here to browse previous posts]

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

84 Responses to Ask Foghorn: Best Rifle to Buy During an AWB Scare

  1. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Good question, good answer.

    Thanks.

    • avatarrlc says:

      +1 thanks Nick. Another! on the wish list…
      fyi MSRP was $1700 now out of stock at BudsGuns last price $2500…a/o 1/27/12

  2. avatarBLAMMO says:

    The most obvious alternative, to me, is the Mini-14. Reasonably priced to buy and shoot, dead-bang reliable and simple to operate and maintain. The newer ones are better than they’ve ever been. There are downsides, like the cost of Ruger factory mags (stay away from after-market) but you might encounter something like that with any single-source solution; as opposed to an “open source” rifle like the AR.

    • avatarGustheBus says:

      The Mini-14 is a great alternative! I did see that the a specific version of the Mini-14 tactical was named in the Fienstien AWB, but not a “Ranch Rifle”! I digress! It is underrated! If I do my part it is accurate.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Can you find a Ruger Mini 14 anywhere?

      • avatarBLAMMO says:

        In my safe. You can hardly find any semi-auto anywhere. Default to Nick’s first option: wait.

      • avatarHowdy says:

        Mini 14′s are going for $1000 at gun shows for even used pencil barreled ones. Haven’t seen anything newish for for less than twice MSRP lately. You can find mags for reasonable prices. If you do plan on shooting steel cased ammo, and you should, the metal mags from Ruger shoot steel case and brass just fine. The Tapco second gen 30 round mags shot brass great, jams for the steel case.

        • avatarswhit says:

          I’ve had no problems with steel ProMags in my 580 series Mini…although, for some reason the ProMag 30 rounder does not care for NATO spec 5.56x45mm; gotta use .223.

  3. avatarSixpack70 says:

    Even some people are marking up shotgun like the Mossberg 930 SPX. Stuff like the KSG is going for 4 times its MSRP. The good thing is the shotguns are potentially only slightly higher than they were three months ago so still affordable. The FNAR was around $900 three months ago. Now its around $1500. If someone has to have a semi auto rifle right now, it might not be a bad choice. Or, if you just want anything semi auto, CMP Garands are still in the $400-$625 range. I ordered one during Christmas time myself.

  4. avatarBilly says:

    Auto-Shotguns are getting hard to find around here now…Defensive pumps like Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 are growing scarce too (autos in hunting configurations can still be found though). Ammo still plentiful though, and cheaper pumps like Savage-Stevens, H&R, and double barrels like Stoeger are still easy to find.

    I checked on a CMP Garand last week. What few they have in stock are up to $950. NO M1 Carbines or Carbine accessories.

  5. avatarPeter says:

    Don’t underestimate the lever action rifle. For defensive use, the relatively low power ( compared to bolt guns ) is not an issue. If you live in a state where pistol caliber carbines are an option, you get 8-10 rounds in a light handy package that you can top off easily. The bolt gun reached ascendancy in military use only because of the addiction to 1000 yard plus shooting by the officers.
    In one action, the defenders decimated an attacking force, using bolt guns for the initial stages of the assault and switching to lever action rifles once the enemy was in range of them.
    Top it off with a rail and micro dot and you have a very potent package, my .44 mag Marlin hits the 300 yard gong with a lot more authority than those measly 5.56 rounds (240 gr vs 55 gr ).

    • avatarChaz says:

      Don’t underestimate the lever action rifle. For defensive use, the relatively low power ( compared to bolt guns ) is not an issue.

      There are lever actions in 454 Casull which at defensive ranges should stop a brown bear.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        There’s always the .45-70 Lever gun if you want big power. The problem is, it’s chambered in the “military style weapon of war .45-70 Government” caliber which has no purpose except to kill people and make bison extinct. No one *needs* a .45-70. The caliber itself is so morally reprehensible that I shudder with disgust every time intake it target shooting or hunting.

        • avatarRon says:

          .45-70 Government!?
          I thought that went the way of the buffalo, with the buffalo!
          Just kidding.
          It has been a long, long time since I last heard it mentioned.
          Don’t know anyone who owns one. Or didn’t.

        • avatarshawmutt says:

          Can’t tell if serious, or…

          Hickok45 shoots one, it looks pretty serious:

  6. avatarrangered says:

    Was at the local Wally World checking out ammo stock recently and spoke to a fellow customer who was a little desperate. He had just bought a new AR which came with one mag and he had found neither additional mags or ammo available where ever he looked.

    So, my answer would be if one had to chose to buy a single rifle today, it would have to be one for which ammunition was available today.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Based on my Walmart, that would be something in either .17HMR or .22-250, because those are the only two calibers that never seem to go completely out of stock. Last three times I’ve been there (two different stores), they’ve had those two calibers and some random low-quantity assortment of shotgun shells, and that’s it.

      • avatarrangered says:

        Same here in Georgia. Altho they have been getting in more of a selection this last week, but it doesn’t last long on the shelf. I was at store this morning as they were stocking the shelves and they had gotten in 3 boxes of Tulammo .223. A grand total of 60 rounds. I used my 3 box limit to buy some Winchester 555 .22lr which they sold out of as I was standing there talking to the department manager.

  7. avatarflytyer says:

    My buddy is a manager at gander mountain in Pa and he has told me the FNAR is the only semi rifle they have in stock right now. I read the tea leaves myself back when sandy hook happened so I immediately went down to the local gunstore and picked up a sig 516 and benelli m2 tactical that same day. Went back last week. They still have semi and pump guns but no rifles.

  8. avatarGov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    For the price of an FNAR you could buy a good shotgun AND a good bolt rifle and scope. Go with a pump and save a little more.

  9. avatarBrad says:

    In six months, people who bought magazines for $50, ARs at 2k and ammo at 3x the actual cost will be looking to unload these items as the need for cash overcomes the need to hoard. This, along with the amped up production of all rifles and ammo will combine to bring things down to where they should be, maybe even a little lower. The same people complaining about price gouging will be the same ones low balling private sellers who bought too high and will be in need of getting their money back.

  10. avatarRon says:

    The Ruger Mini14 Ranch Rifle I believe to be a good choice if you like .223.
    Or Mini Thirty in 7.62 x 39.
    They have been in production forever, have a good reputation, Ruger build quality and outstanding customer support, several different finishes and are priced around $900.00-$1000.00 MSRP.

    Also they are not very military in appearance, especially with the five (5) round mag. Twenty (20) round mags also available from Ruger and higher capacity aftermarket.
    They tend to be thought of more as varmit/ pest control guns. Thus the Ranch Rifle nomenclature. Or at least they have been in the past.
    So they MAY fly under the radar.

    • avatarRon says:

      One other thought.
      You can keep a 20-30 round mag in the gun for possible use, then swap for a five (5) rounder after the fight and before the authorities arrive. If it should come to that.
      Just remember to stash the higher capacity mag.

      • avatarjmk says:

        for the love of god – don’t ever alter crime scene evidence or lie to the police (don’t say a word to them, in fact).

        if the shoot was good, the mag in the gun won’t make any difference.
        but you altering evidence will pretty much place the noose around your neck.

        • avatarRon says:

          This comment was in reference to the day just owning a 20-30 round mag gets you five (5) to life.
          That is what the ” If it should come to that.” and the “*****stash the higher capacity mag.” remarks referred to.
          Guess it wasn’t as understood as I thought

  11. I am telling people to look at a 357 Revolver with a lot of speed loaders. A lever gun in 357 and a short barrel double barrel shotgun or a pump gun that does not hold more than 5 in the tube. Revolver and Lever Guns are not mag dependent and can be loaded by hand and fire the same round from mild to full house 357. No not as fast as a semi and won’t hold as many rounds but the four listed guns above will be the last ones banned. Though in some states it will be almost impossible to ban the semi’s some states are banning the semi’s and mags over 10 rounds. A good larger cal bolt gun would also be a good choice to reach out and touch someone.

    I do believe you should have a good semi in what configuration you like best. But don’t overlook the tried and true revolver, lever gun and shotgun.

    • avatarBill F says:

      Simplicity, reliability and the versatility of shooting either .38 or .357 mag. A thing of beauty and a joy to behold. Everyone should own at least one good revolver.

    • avatarRon says:

      Exactly my first thought, along with a Ruger Scout Rifle.
      Then I read “*****looking at only simi-auto stuff******” and went with the Ruger Ranch Rifles.

    • avatarAharon says:

      My primary set-up consists of a .357 lever-action carbine 20″ barrel and two .357 revolvers with one being a 4″ barrel and the other a 2″ snubbie. Yesterday, one of my local stores still had a substantial quantity of .38 special available. Ideally, I want my guns to fire ammo that is common in the marketplace, (usually) available, and can be used in different guns. I plan on learning re-loading this year.

      • avatarSwarf says:

        We talk about this every time, so I won’t bring up that we have a similar setup *yet again*, just want to mention that you are going to be doubly glad of your choice of .357 when you start reloading. I am amazed by what a versatile round it is.

        • avatarAharon says:

          I’m fine with you bringing it up yet again :) This site goes overboard with again and again covering and discussing ARs and semi-autos. Therefore please DO talk about it every time! Thanks for the word about re-loading the 357.

          A salesman at a lgs showed me a picture of his new Marlin 1894 .357 with a threaded barrel and silencer, and with a red dot scope on top. It was very nice! Cowboy Tactical.

        • avatarSwarf says:

          Yeah, my credit card is telling me to stop looking at all those pictures of the 1894 is stainless, but damn that thing is nice. Maybe in a few months after the panic has (hopefully) died down.

          I am having serious trouble deciding between that and a 336.

          Here is some dide’s recipe for a .357 load that is supposedly an elk killer at 300 yards.

          http://www.scoutrifle.org/index.php?topic=2201.0

          Not sure i buy that, but it still looks mighty impressive.

        • avatarAharon says:

          Swarf,

          Thanks for the link. I’m increasingly checking out used/pre-owned guns. Some of them have seen little use.

          A local gun site to buy/sell/trade/discuss etc currently has someone trying to sell his Browning BLR .308 lever-action (uses a magazine) with a scope for $800. He claims it is 10 years old and has never been fired. Currently, I don’t trust the quality of Marlin. I’d rather buy the Browning than a brand new Marlin 1894 in 357 for $600. If you already have a 357 carbine do you really need a second one?

          We should try to figure out a way to exchange e-mails. I’m not sure if RF will forward addresses.

        • avatarSwarf says:

          I’d like that, Aharon.

          For the most part, I agree with you about Marlin, but mine is a recent model and is fine. I guess it’s hit-and-miss.

          Why have 2? Well, I’ll tell you, a big part of it is not necessarily wanting another caliber in my life (30-30), but wanting both a traditional iron sight cowboy looking rifle and a (more real world practical) scout rifle with forward mounted optics and back up Skinner sights.

          I really like the BLR especially in .308, except for the price tag. Are you stuck with the 4 round mag, or are there other options?

        • avatarAharon says:

          Swarf,

          Good, I’ll send RF an email. It probably is hit or miss with Marlin. An old-timer at a lgs said that he recently worked the lever on a new Marlin in .44 magnum and it was the smoothest lever-action he’s experienced in years. I like your explanation as to why two .357 lever actions. I can relate. I like the traditional look yet also want practical tool use out of my guns. Unfortunately, I believe the Browning BLR in .308 is limited to a four round magazine. It’s a 308, and Browning pushes the traditional sportsman’s look and not the modern sporting rifle genre.

        • avatarSwarf says:

          Sounds good. I could also set up a dummy gmail account to post here in order to exchange real ones. I doubt TTAGLeverRevolver.357@gmail.com is taken. :P

          You probably already have seen this, but for a brief period, Winchester made an 1895 chambered in 7.62x54r. Imsgine that, man!

          Ammo by the spam can and all the power you could ever need.

          An aside: I type all this on my phone, so speelang mistakes don’t necessarily mean I ride the short bus.

          Other stuff may though…

    • avatarBeninMA says:

      Can you buy a new pump shotgun that holds no more than 5? I think both the 870 and the 500 hold 6.

      • avatarDutchinDC says:

        You can get extension mag tubes for most shot guns that easily bring you up to 10 round. Also my 16 inch 357 lever action holds 8+1 and a 20 inch version should easily hold more than 10, unfortunately both we’re hard to find even before this latest round of panic buying.

      • avatarKaliope says:

        870 holds 4 in the tube and one in the pipe, depending on the model, and the 500 holds 5 in the tube and one in the pipe (Again, these are just base models)

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          My 500 (bought as a pistol-grip Cruiser) holds 6+1 with the little dowel thing removed. I took it out the day I bought it, so I don’t recall how many it held with it in. Maybe 3+1?

        • avatarBeninMA says:

          Guys, thanks for the info.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          I misspoke. I counted the shells that came out of my Mossy when I unloaded it. I just found one that flipped under the table. Thus, it holds 7+1, not 6+1.

      • avatarAharon says:

        The Winchester SXP Defender 12g holds 5+1 shells. I believe the law is that if a pump is imported its capacity is more limited than domestically made pumps.

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      The heavy triggers on revolvers is what keeps me away. I severely cut my finger as a kid, and while surgery was able to save the finger and it functions normally for most things, it’s been permanently reduced in strength ever since. The ten to twelve pound triggers in a double action revolver are just way too heavy.

      • avatarAharon says:

        Yikes, sorry to read about your bad experiences with a revolver. I plan on changing the springs in my SP101 to reduce the heavy weighted trigger.

  12. avatarborekfk says:

    Local gun show here in Philadelphia had ammo for double or triple the normal prices, and even basic Remington 870s were going for $200 more than usual. I lucked out and got a Mosin 91/30 PU sniper for a decent price however. Hopefully the AR-15 market does get overcrowded and prices fall in Feb. and March.

  13. avatarMark says:

    Range red and Peter are both right. Need ammo to shoot that semi. I can’t even find hunting style 308 right now. Good thing I have a reloading setup for it. If I were to do it over again, I would have stuck with the 30-06. Or just go with the lever action in 44 mag. Large pistol primers are the only kind I can get locally. Always think of how you are going to get more ammo after you finish what you were able to afford to grab with the new rifle.

    • avatarrangered says:

      Its been a while since I have seen any primers available.

      Its almost enough to make some one who might be conspiracy oriented to wonder if the Federal Government has decided to purchase billions and billions of rounds of ammunition to keep it out of the hands of civilians…..ah, that’s just crazy talk, I know. Its confusing the coincidence of every Federal Agency now having a SWAT team and buying millions of round per department with the intent to cause the shortage….but it does feel warm in here with my tin foil hat on.

  14. avatarAharon says:

    I’m thinking about buying the Winchester SXP Field/Camp Combo 12 gauge Pump (28″ or 26″ field and an 18″ camp/defense barrel) with a street price of $400. I’m also considering the CZ 455 Lux .22 LR bolt-action with iron sights and a street price of about $380. Total for both less than $800. Excluding a SHTF social-collapse followed by combat combat combat, I think the 12 gauge and .22 LR cover most needs.

    Owning a top of the line Wilson Combat AR is not going to keep a 12 year old with a Ruger 10/22 from placing a bullet into your neck in the event of a Mad Max scenario.

  15. avatarAccur81 says:

    Ammo is a massive consideration. Personally, I would go with the Mossberg 930 SPX. From that platform, you can shot 00 buck, tactical slugs, full power slugs, and even birdshot. Birdshot barrels are also a available. The only thing I’ve seen that will choke a 930 are the very lightweight bird shot rounds. My 930 still functions with those (I disassembled and thoroughly cleaned it prior to use), but my buddies will occasionally jam with birdshot. He did not disassemble and clean his prior to use. Actually, he’s never cleaned his, but it still works reliably with birdshot 1 1/8 ounce and heavier.

    It is extremely difficult to find 5.56 ammo right now, and affordable .308 ammo is also difficult to find. 12 gauge ammo is everywhere, and at relatively low prices. Heck, even Joe Biden “approves” of the twelve gauge as long as it only holds 2 rounds, and he has “tons” of tactical experience. Each and every 12 gauge round has a considerable effect down range, provided down range is inside of 150-200 yards with slugs. Inside of 50 yards, the semi auto 12 gauge is one of the most formidable firearms you can hold in your hands. And you can actually still buy and feed one.

    • avatarjwm says:

      Aharon and Accur81, good points. My LGS had a Mossberg 930 short barrel in stock for less than 500. I prefer a pump myself but for people who want a semi auto self defense long gun I can’t see a downside to this.

      I would put peep sights on that cz .22 and call it good. That’s what my 10-22 wears.

      • avatarAharon says:

        jwm,

        Thanks. Funny that you suggested putting peep sights on the CZ. Last night, I watched a vid that focused on suggesting doing the same for a CZ .22 LR to be used for hunting in the current environment or post collapse.

        Below is a link to a different vid than the one I referred to above using a customized 10/22. I think the .22 LR is an under-estimated caliber.

        How far will a .22 LR Kill? Up to 450 yard shot penetrates ½” pine board.

        • avatarBilly says:

          Sure a .22LR will kill…but will it STOP? If someone is rushing you, you want to STOP them and a .22 will not stop someone dead in their tracks like a .357 mag or a .45ACP will. I’ve even heard some misguided people say “oh well, I’ll aim for the head”…Ok… underpressure with someone rushing at you with a knife, just try and place a well-aimed shot to the cranium…Instinct is to shoot center mass.

        • avatarAharon says:

          Billy,

          My thoughts were not so much to use the .22 LR for self-defense as I was thinking survival hunting for myself. For closer range self-defense, I would personally turn to my 357/38 or a 12 gauge. Another possibility is to use a .22 LR rifle with or without a silencer to ‘warn’ someone away. In the event of a social collapse and lack of access to emergency care many injuries to a hand or leg will later result in death to a bad guy.

        • avatarjwm says:

          Aharon, the longest shot I’ve made with a .22 is 110 yards with iron sights on a ground hog. That was a ruger 10-22. I was a much younger man then with better eyes. The animal was raiding a cornfield on a friends farm and I just happened to spot him and made a quick shot.

          Also, from Dads side of the family, i knew a bunch of less than scrupulous folks back in the day. The poachers favorite tool was the .22. A lot of deer were killed with it.

          Also from my farm days I’ve seen a 700 pound cow dropped with 1 shot from a .22 and a 250 pound hog also with 1 shot.

          In so many different ways the .22 is probably the most important single gun for people to have. Followed closely by the shotgun. Everything beyond that is gravy.

        • avatarAharon says:

          jwm,

          Thank you! You confirming my thoughts on guns and ammo. I’m also considering (instead of the CZ) the Savage MK II FSS. It’s a bolt-action .22LR with a 21″ barrel, a 5 or 10 round magazine, fiber stock and stainless barrel. Unlike the one pictured on their website without iron sights, the one I’ve seen at Whole Sports includes fiber optic front and rear sights.

          What are your thoughts about the CZ 455 Lux vs. the Savage model I described?

        • avatarjwm says:

          Aharon, I’ve used Savages in the past. They are good rifles. I’ve never shot the cz but I like the way they feel. I don’t doubt the quality of either.

          I have a Winchester Wildcat bolt .22 rifle as well as my 10-22. The Winchester is made in Russia by TOZ. It is a tack driver and even with a cheap Big 5 scope on it it would do quite well as a foraging rifle after SHTF.

        • avatarAharon says:

          jwm,

          Price wise, th CZ is about $110 more than the Savage so it isn’t an issue of money. I do like the Savages fiber optic sights and in terms of durability the fiberglass stock is good. Yet the wood stock on the CZ is classic elegance.

          I think it is interesting that some shooters are hitting targets with their .22LR guns way beyond 200 yards yet realistically I doubt I’ll ever need to do that type of shooting with a .22LR. I think either manufacturer’s model will work for me.

          Thanks again for your thoughts.

  16. avatarST says:

    IMO,I agree that the letter writer should just wait. Honestly none of us have much of a choice right now. Even if Santa fired up his slegh again and made the rounds dropping ARs from the sky, the ammo shortage has turned everything chambered in 5.56 into a wall ornament for the foreseeable future.

    I don’t wish to incite another panic with this statement, but in the event of a legal meltdown I’d focus on buying handguns over rifles. Easier to hide, they can all be carried and transported anonymously without nosy neighbors or Officer Antigun seeing and are effective with careful aim past 50 yards, which for most of us is well beyond the probable self defense distance were likely to see.

  17. avatarI'm confused says:

    The Ruger mini 14 has one issue. You can’t repair a broken firing pin, has to go back to the factory. Has to do with “head spacing” – don’t know what that is. Ruger will not sell you a spare bolt with firing pin. On the other hand I’ve put thousands of rounds through the mini 14 with no problems and the mags feed every time, even the 30 rounders. Very rare for the mini 14 to get a broken firing pin and Ruger is very good at customer service. I’ve driven their customer service folks crazy with questions, they are patient and give good answers. The mini 30 has more firing pin problems but many folks think it’ s the use of foreign ammo.

    Chech out Rugers website for magazines, they are NOT price gouging, just a dollar or two above what they charged a few years ago. Ruger has become a great company for service and help and not price gouging.

    I have a Ranch and love it!
    Stay away from after market mags for the mini 14 and 30.

    Good luck

  18. avatarChuckN says:

    I picked up a FNAR last year. The rifle is amazing.
    Out of the box accuracy is phenomenal. FN
    was guaranteeing 1 moa accuracy. Mine easily
    gets 1/4-1/2 moa. The magazines are pricey.
    MSRP starts at $54. However with prices going
    crazy average is around $100. The mags are super
    high quality. Seriously, it feels like you could pound
    nails with them.

    On the flip side the FNAR is essentially a militarized
    BAR Safari. A good used BAR is quite a bit cheaper
    and can be found in a wide range of calibers. Both
    will last even a more active shooter a lifetime.
    One downside is the lack of a large popularity.
    As Leghorn has stated, finding FNARs and any
    magazines are next to impossible. Conversely, quality
    is high enough so that it would take a massive amount
    of rounds just to wear out a magazine. The lack of
    widespread popularity has pretty much limited aftermarket
    stocks to about 0. FN was considering having
    a tactical sniper stock made by Mcmillan, but I
    gather this is on hold right now.

  19. avatarNazgul says:

    I hope Nick Leghorn is correct about the AR15 market. I would like to get one before they are doomed. The Feds may not be able to get rid of them, but the states under the banner of the progressive left wing political hammer and sickle are going to force their agenda upon the locals.

    • avatarEric S. says:

      Nick is a very optimistic guy. I hope he’s right but from what I’m hearing you won’t see the store inventory or prices come back down until late ’13 or early ’14. That’s assuming that no AWB passes. Don’t forget that the money people are spending now is probably taken care of when they get their tax refunds, so they won’t be as broke as you or I might think.

  20. avatarRob Eide says:

    How about the Winchester SX-AR. Try to find one used. I don’t know if it’s on ban list or not, but I sure like mine! Esensally the same as FN, but not an ebr, and half the price. And yes the same 20 rd mags that fit FN-AR.

  21. avatarNazgul says:

    Help! I’m trapped behind the Progressive Curtain where the needs of the many out-way the needs of the few, and semi auto rifles are considered the tools of the Devil!

  22. avatark4R-15 says:

    I sure hope you’re correct about the likelihood of an AWB Nick– remember a few months ago when everyone was certain that Romney had the election bagged? Or when my favorite writer said how unlikely it was that Obama would go after guns based on his first term actions?

    EMAIL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE ALL GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION- including AWB, Magazine limitations, Ammo restrictions AND a national registry. It will take you less than 15 minutes if you use this link to congress.org

    Next follow up by calling your reps and leaving a voice message- this is even easier (<10 mins) and makes a difference! YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO REPRESENT YOUR INTERESTS-PLEASE DON'T TRUST OTHERS WITH YOUR FREEDOM

  23. avatarTUCO says:

    FNAR: I took one in on a trade but was not sure if I’d keep it or trade/sell it down the line but then I SHOT IT!!!!! I love it & it almost always seems to “sneak” it’s way into one of my gun cases when I go to the range. I concur with all the positive comments above as its a hell of a rifle.

  24. In reply to the .22 caliber being deadly; a 22 LR, will travel, 1.25 mile!…Will Kill, at 1` mile!… Weapon of choice, for Assasins!… [light to no recoil, quiet, and "DEADLY"!... ]. 1 round, many understimate!…

  25. avatarJohn Bergmann says:

    It is funny he mentions shotguns. The Big 5 near my place has a crap ton of them. All sorts too.

  26. avatarJason says:

    I’d go with a lever action in 30-30 or .357 (if you are a revolver man). Capable, powerful and at least around me, haven’t been jumping in price as much as more popular patterns.

  27. avatarMOG says:

    I would like to keep the .22 LR hollow point under the radar. Can still get a good rifle, decent scope, bare bones efficiency. No self respecting miscreant would have one, but, the Shadow do.

  28. avatarJerryboy says:

    what do you mean “maybe can’t get later”? you will always be able to get any kind of gun you want, even if it means meeting in a darkened alley, or “liberating” one from those who would enslave you. it’s all about how far you’re willing to go to protect your life, liberty, and property.

  29. avatarchris says:

    Mosin-nagants in my area (central NY) are actually pretty reasonable.A local gun store has them for $119.00 with sling, bayonet, cleaning kit and pouches. Funny how a firearm actually used in battle is completely legal. I guess wood and cosmoline is not as scary as black plastic!

    • avatarJustice06RR says:

      As much as I love Mosins (I own 2), just be careful as they do have bayonets. I’m not sure if that falls under the new NY law that states one “scary” feature is considered an assault weapon.

      Otherwise, buy it! Wish I can find one here locally..

  30. avatarWilliam says:

    I had some accuracy issues with my Mini-14. But I actually DO own one handgun, one rifle and one shotgun. Social Security does not bode well for me affording a lot of newer weapons.

    But, in my opinion, humble as it may be, the things people should buy first are the ones the Feds are trying hardest to get rid of.

    Just my centavo.

  31. avatarfrankgon4 says:

    The funny thing is my SKS meets most of the Dem’s gun requirements. Not magazine fed. Only holds 10 rounds. No Pistol Grip. Does not look as scary as a black AR.
    So my SKS must not be dangerous LOL.
    Get an SKS while y0u can. I am still able to get ammo. Although it was 20 rounds for $6.60.
    Side note: A good .357 magnum is a must.

  32. avatarjmk says:

    if you can only have one gun, make it a shot gun. except for your +500-yd jones, you’re covered.

    but i agree with the general advice to wait if you’re specifically looking for an “assault weapon.” you’ll pay too much.

    i actually just sold a sabre defence upper and used the proceeds to bag a benelli m2 tactical for “normal” price.
    also walked out of the store with hundreds (of my choice) of slugs and buck shot – also at normal prices. and there were still hundreds of CASES of 12-ga ammo there, too.

    if you need longer range, and you can’t wait, look for any rifled-barrel semi-auto 12-gauge in the “hunting section” of nearly any firearms store.
    if you can’t find a semi, even Dicks is still carrying rifled-barrel 870′s (some of them are combo’s w/a smooth bore barrel, too).

    w/rifled barrel and complementary ammo, you are in the top ballistic tier for hundreds of yards.

    and you can even shoot shot shells, too, in a pinch.

    did i mention there’s plenty of ammo available?

  33. avatarMatthewD says:

    Enough already with the whole “price gouging” thing.

    The idea that sellers set prices arbitrarily is patently ridiculous! Buyers and sellers set prices together and the transaction takes place at a price at which both parties perceive they are getting a good deal for them.

    Sellers willing to sell at lower prices during a time of elevated demand will immediately have all product swept off their proverbial shelves. Some of it will not return to market, some of it will return at higher prices. As prices continue higher, sellers who simply wouldn’t sell at lower prices become willing to bring their product to market for higher prices. This is what keeps any product available at all for those who really want it!

    Don’t begrudge prices freely agreed to between buyers and sellers. If you don’t like how high prices are, you can bitch about the government sabre rattling that caused the situation, you can abstain from buying, or you can sell your own stuff (at low prices if you wish!). To bitch about the seller’s role in high prices shows an ignorance of economics and the very real benefits of prices that float with supply and demand.

  34. avatarjanklow says:

    the thing is, you have people in states who likely CAN wait and find they’re not affected by federal bans… and people in states who are likely to get fucked by anti-”assault weapon” state laws no matter what the feds do. and the latter can’t really wait.

  35. avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

    I love the name of this weapon…effin’ AR.

  36. avatarboardsnbikes says:

    Aside from AR lowers, I think my next purchase will be a Savage SA-20 Tactical semi-auto 20 gauge with the shorter pull. I’ve seen 20 guage shells available everywhere. It’s also firearm I could hand to just about anyone with it’s moderate recoil.

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