You can't beat a M1A.
PTR91 Perimeter rifle.HK clone
It depends on your $$$, the FAL is a very good gun. The Hk 91 is more accurate, I love both of them. You can pick up an Hk clone if you shop for $800. PTR's are hard to beat. When you buy a FAL or Hk91 clone make sure that is isn't a cobbled together POS there are lots of those out there. M14/M1A pricey, guns that will still be going strong when your grand children are old, if you got the bucks. Unbelievable design, strength, and most are very accurate. You cant go wrong with one of these.
I've got a DPMS LR308, Cetme sport, STG58-based fAL, M1A. Each has different good and bad things about them. To pack around, the Cetme is easy to haul and handle, the M1A has the easiest parts availability and most support locally, the FAL is has great accuracy for an iron-sighter and great ergonomics, and the DPMS is flat scary at 800 meters, even for this old guy. One thing I can guarentee--whatever you pick you will ridiculed by "experts" who hate your choice. Price and availability will help decide. Whatever you get you'll like-I guarentee. Buy one of each and have the problem of deciding which to take out that day!
I currently own a G3 with all the bells and whistles except the scope.
My buddy had a FAL that we shot often when .308 ammo battle packs were plentiful, but recently traded it in.
Never owned an AR or M14. Either one of these are universally considered top-shelf. Expect to pay more for them.
I would not hesitate to recommend a FAL or Saiga 308. I add Saiga to the list now that there are good aftermarket hicap mags to be found!
I think the G3 is a good platform, and right now the accessories and magazines are incredibly affordable. From an economics point of view, the G3and the Saiga .308 would be my first choice considering today's market.
Again, IMNSHO, there *is* room for improvement on the G3:
- Magazines don't drop free
- No Last-round bolt hold open
- Accessories are spendy
- Resale value has been lower for several years now
- Overall heavy rifle
- Collapsible stock is not very user-friendly
- Ejection is harsh; factory solution is a weld-on deflector
I must agree with the input provided by others - any one you get will be a good MBR and you just need to decide which feature set you prefer:
- Does the last-round BHO seem good enough to rule out the G3?
- Do you want a folding stock vs collapsing stock?
- AR-level accuracy above overall platform features?
- AK-style reliability and parts interchange?
Only you can say. But you won't go wrong no matter what you get!
Here's the G3 rebar face slapper stock, er I mean collapsible stock!
Factory-issue furniture and heavy bipod:
Gunco Member #10
The "original" Boltcutter Rivet Squeezers:
Project Pink - the Pink and Blue AK-74:
I don't like calling it an M1A1. Anything by Fulton is superior.
When Injustice Becomes Law....Rebellion Becomes Duty
The only thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was that it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people."
-- H. L. Mencken
Any of these rifles will suit. All are accurate, reliable, and fun to shoot. Some fit better than others, and each has features the others lack. If you have an opportunity to shoot an example of each, side by side, on the same day and place, it will help you to determine which you like best. Some are more expensive, and dollars are sometimes hard to come by, but I have found over the years that if you buy what you want initially, it is usually less expensive than purchasing something you don't want, and ultimately sell to get what you do want.
For *me*, the G3 clone, the PTR91 is the best choice. It just fits me better than the others. Mine is not exactly stock, as I had Bill Springfield install a paddle magazine release and complete a trigger job, and I installed an ambi safety, which together make this rifle very much more ergonomic than it is out of the box.
It is plenty accurate, stone reliable with ammo it likes, and points perfectly for "point shots" on pepper poppers at 100 meters or less. The recent unloading of parts and accessories by the German Army has really benefitted the US shooter. The magazines are very inexpensive, and are probably the best manufactured and engineered assemblies available for a "battle rifle," not flimsy like the FAL magazines or finicky like the M14 magazines. The 22 long rifle subcaliber kit is a great accessory making practice a bit more inexpensive, and a whole lot of fun in and of itself. Scoping one of these rifles with the excellent Hensholdt 4x scope and claw mount is a simple and repeatable proposition.
One day my friends and I shot examples of each rifle side by side on the same day at the same ranges, using the same ammo, etc. We determined that the recoil impulses were indistinguishable one from the other, in that all seemed to kick the same. The characteristics of the recoil impulse might have differed a bit one from another, but the kick was the same. This surprised us as we had always accepted the internet wisdom that the G3 kick is horrific and the M1a is soft and gentle. However, we also determined that the standard M1a had a bit more muzzle rise than the other examples when shot standing. All agreed that the adjustable gas system of the FAL was not really a feature but rather something else to go wrong with it. All agreed that the M1a was the most accurate.
What was most interesting to me was that each person on the "test panel" had a different favorite, but all agreed that each rifle presented different features and different shortcomings.
In the end it was a very subjective "feel" or performance in one criterion or another that determined which rifle each tester liked best. Oddly, just because a tester was the owner of one of the rifles or not did not determine his favorite!
So. If a prospective purchaser of one of these rifles can wrangle the opportunity to shoot them all side by side, he will likely be able to make a better purchase than if he relies solely on internet expertise.