View Full Version : 308 Battle Rifle opinions???

4 June 2010, 15:22
So im thinking that my next big gun purchase is going to be a battle rifle. There doesnt seem to be anything on the market currently that im 100% thrilled about, but that could change. If anyone running a .308 rifle with a barrel no longer than 18'' could post pictures and opinions that would be great. Im leaving towards an AR-10 variant so I can stick with the skills I already know but Im open to other rifles.

What im considering:
FAL- Ive never fired one or had any experience with them.
M1A- The M1A has a special place in my heart, I have fired many, but it would need alot of work to get it where I want it. This rifle does not lend itself to mounting optics, and the safety scares me a bit.
SR-25emc -Very expensive but you get what you pay for. My only worries come from running the M110 in Iraq. Reliability was not the greatest and they get VERY dirty.
Piston driven AR- The POF/LWRC both look great but I have no personal experience.
Noveske AR-10- Again, no experience and Id imagine it is also a very dirty gun.

4 June 2010, 15:45
FAL - I have one, and it's a great rifle. Very high-quality construction. Adjustable gas system, so you can dial the gas down to prevent battering. As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY weakness of the FAL is its sights. They are not easily field-adjustable (a la the M1, M1A, or AR15), and they sit so far back that it's easy to have them hit your glasses on recoil.

M1A - Don't have one, but I do have an M1 and they are very similar. Don't be put off by the safety. It's very easy and somehow "logical". Don't forget the M1 - it's still a heck of a battle rifle, and even though its limited to only 8 rounds, it's very fast to load. Sights on the M1A and M1 are probably the BEST that have ever been put on a rifle - even better than those on the AR15. Also, if you qualify for the CMP program you can send in your order to them and FedEX will deliver the rifle direct to your door. Keep in mind that CMP M1s are real government-made rifles of absolutely highest quality (although they may show considerable wear) with forged receivers. Springfield Armory Inc. rifles - both M1As and M1s - are not built to the same quality, as they use cast receivers and some out-of-spec parts.

I didn't see any HK-pattern rifles listed, such as the HK91/G3 or CETME, but if you think a Stoner-pattern rifle is too dirty, then stay away from the HK-pattern, as they all have fluted chambers to assist in extraction, and they REALLY dump cr@p into the receiver. Also no bolt-hold-open on an empty magazine.

No experience with the rest.

Army Chief
4 June 2010, 17:55
An exceptional reply, tpelle.

I've no useful experience to relate where the FAL or .308 ARs are concerned, but I do own an M1 and an M1A, and I have some experience with the G3. Don't have a lot to add to the above, except to say that I agree that a CMP Garand should be on any serious shooter's short list for acquisition. No, you aren't going to get the unfired National Match M1 for $200 that your uncle picked up the '70s (when the program was administered by DCM), but you will unquestionably get a solid battle rifle in good working order, and it isn't prohibitively expensive to send it off to someone like Deans Gun Restorations (DGR) to get it completely back up to speed in proper fashion. I did just that, and ended up with a rifle that, if not the most practical these days, is nevertheless my sentimental favorite.

The M1A is a dream to shoot, and a pleasure to own, but tpelle is right: it isn't a genuine USGI M1. That isn't to say that they aren't worth owing, but rather, if I could only own one, it would be the Garand. You correctly surmise that owning an M1A is a bit like owning a boat, as there is always something that you're going to want to do to it, and over time, it can get expensive. On the other hand, a nice Match-grade glass-bedded M1A is probably equal parts battle rifle, and shootable art.

The HK system is somewhat crude by comparison with its stampings and welds, but it is unquestionably an effective and reliable platform. I very much like the old 9X-series rifles, even though they are heavy, dirty and not the most straightforward in terms of ergonomics. I don't own one, but likely would if the genuine article were still available commercially. HK "pattern" rifles, however, hold little draw for me personally.

My interest in the .308 ARs has always been tempered by the larger, heavier form factor and the lack of standardization. For me, this led to a renewed interest in the 6.8, as the newer round preserves most of the .308s ballistic prowess, but in a configuration that is more familiar and more innately compatible with conventional 5.56 ARs. The lack of standardization remains an issue here, of course, but I think we've finally reached a point with both ammunition and chamber specs where it finally makes sense to invest in the caliber, and see what it can do. That's effectively where I am today.


5 June 2010, 17:38
It sounds like Army Chief knows what he's talking about. I really think that the U.S. Military would do well to bag the 5.56 NATO cartridge and adopt the 6.8 SPC. It's kind of off your original topic, but worth thinking about. It would fit in the same rifle, as I understand it, with only a bolt, barrel, and magazine change, and would give our troops a capability that they're lacking out at 300 yards and beyond. According to the Ehrhart Monograph, our guys are getting out-ranged by Taliban LMG's quite often on Afghanistan, and the M4's just ain't got the oomph to get out there.

If you already own an AR15 in .223, you could have pretty much have your MBR by just popping two pins and swapping uppers.

If you're still interested in an M1A, LRB Industries makes a hammer-forged receiver. It's pretty pricey, at $2700 for a complete rifle, but if you've just gotta have the very best:


Now, if I would only win the lottery..............

6 June 2010, 18:29
I had an opportunity to play with the LMT 308 and the KAC SR25, big money for these 308, as battle rifles goes, that's a lot of weight to lug around. Not to throw this thread off but like Army Chief
said 6.8 is something to consider, I shot a Noveske SBR from Dr Roberts, wow this thing rocks. But back to your original question a worthy 308, DSA FAL, HK G3, LRB M14, and the AR platform from
LMT, LWRC, POF and KAC. I wish I had your money ; )

6 June 2010, 18:39
Any DSA variant or a DSA remaned STG58.

I have one and chose it over an M1A. My reasoning was price, I wasnt shooting match (I have other rifles for that) and overall recommendations from other owners. The M1 is hard to clean easily which was a turn off for me. If you go and ask around for opinions on M1A/M14 vs. FAL you will be locked in a "Ford vs. Chevy" battle. I chose an STG58 18" from DSA. I'm very happy with it. It's hungry though and .308 aint cheap. I'm currently looking at converting to their alloy lowers which have a picatinny rail in place of the old integrated sites. I dont like the original STG58 sites...they are clumsy and dont have dual apertures. Getting accurate through them at distance is difficult. Once I convert to the new allow picatinny lower I'll replace with BIUS and be able to co witness with optics etc.
Battle rifles are HEAVY. My 18" STG58 is 12 pounds with a loaded mag and iron sites.

7 June 2010, 07:10
I also believe the FAL, specifically the DSA new-production versions, to be the best of the .308 battle rifles, including all of the new AR-based models and designs that are setting the interweb aflutter. That said, if you're looking for precision semi-auto platforms I believe the FAL to be one of the worst.

I find the FAL to be both lighter and more ergonomic than either when comparing it to the M1A and AR10. My experience has also been that they are exponentially more reliable, across a greater sampling of ammunition types, as well.

16" Para FAL with fixed stock instead of folding gets my vote, and the 3x compact ACOG in the channel mount is an awesome addition that matches well with the platform.

8 June 2010, 16:40
I also believe the FAL, specifically the DSA new-production versions, to be the best of the .308 battle rifles, including all of the new AR-based models and designs that are setting the interweb aflutter. That said, if you're looking for precision semi-auto platforms I believe the FAL to be one of the worst.

Good point! Not only are the sights on the FAL not conveniently adjustable (compared to, say, those on an M1 or M1A), but could you imagine trying to work the charging handle during the 600 yard slowfire stage while all trussed up in a leather 1907 sling? Probably an advantage to be left-handed, then.

9 June 2010, 13:03
Lots of love for the FAL in here.

I have an FNAR and have had nothing but good times with it. Definitely not a lightweight rifle though.

9 June 2010, 14:56
Being a German, I am very familiar with the G3 line of rifles, quite familiar with the G1/FAL and have shot M1 and M1A on some occasions. Lately I had some hands on time with HK417 and it's civilian cousin, the MR308.

The M1/M1A feature ergonomics designed the 30s with a minor addition in the 50s. The G1/FAL and G3 have the ergonomics originating from experiences during WW 2, being designed in the 50s. Acceptable, but not perfect.

If I should choose a Battle Rifle right now, I'd look into one descending from the AR15 platform. Not only due to parts commonality (stocks, grips, sights) but also due to ergonomics and similarity to the AR in terms of training. If the answer is a SR25 or a 417/MR762 - I don't know...



There is quite a bit of room optimizing the G3 platform, though. Our paratrooper bataillons are upgrading their G3 rifles into DMRs and employ them in this role for a while now.
Some are even used as "genuine" Battle Rifles:


An example of what you can do with a HK41 type of rifle:


Army Chief
10 June 2010, 16:46

I can't help but noticing that every time you hit the POST REPLY button, this site gets just a little bit better.

Vielen dank!


10 July 2010, 11:15
Hello Guy's,

I'm seeking some opinions regarding an M1A modification I've been thinking about recently. About a year or two ago, I swapped a local dealer for a brand new (NIB) Springfield #9628, SOCOM II. I probably would have chosen the basic SOCOM 16 or perhaps one of the Squad - Scout M1A models if I had the opportunity, but I was limited to just the particular M1A models that the dealer could get from his distributor. Originally, I envisioned it to be my primary 7.62 / .308 rifle, useful from CQB out to perhaps 350 meters or so with the addition of a decent 1 - 5X or 2 - 8X scope. That was then, but over the past year or so I've been thinking the matter over. Do I really need a .30 caliber rifle for CQB usage ? If it was all I had available that's one thing, but I also have a Colt 6520 & 6920 for the close to medium range work, along with a Stag Model 5 in 6.8 x 43mm SPC. I'm fairly certain that the 6.8 will pretty much do all that the .308 will do up to 300 - 400 meters or so ? And using the Colt's with their 1x7 barrels, they handle the heavy 77's just fine, so that's another close to medium range option. With this assessment in mind, it brings us to the reason for wanting to modify my M1A SOCOM into the Squad / Scout 18" bbl configuration. After contacting the folks at SAI, I found that they could convert my 16.25" bbl. SOCOM into the 18" bbl. version for a total of $315.00, postage paid. ( I can also sell off my unfired SOCOM barrel & Vltor CAS-14 Rail Unit to offset some of the cost.) >>> SO, MY QUESTION IS: Should I go this route, or just keep my M1A as it is ? From what I understand, the 18" bbl'd M1A's tend to hold their own up to 600 - 750 meters or so, as opposed to 300 - 350 meters for the 16" SOCOM ? Would a decent scope allows the SOCOM to perform at somewhat extended ranges, or ?? ANY advice, comments & or related data will be very much appreciated.

Regards, dpast32

10 July 2010, 16:05
Dpast, I'd personally set up each one of your rifles for different purposes. Id set up the Colt for home defense/CQB and the .308 for target/long range with the 18" barrel.

14 July 2010, 13:37
Hey! That SR-25 EMC in those photos look oddly familiar... ;)

Interesting that my EMC got brought up in this discussion. I'm a huge proponent of the SR-25 as a battle rifle, especially now that Knight's has built something that's not merely a shortened down Mk11 or SR25K. The results are something that feels refined and purposeful. Basically like if you made a street legal F1 car with proper seats and interior. It's just really well thought out, specifcally with the dimpled barrel, rifle length gas system, URX, ambi lower, and 10-position stock tube.

I've gotten a lot of strange looks when I pull it out of its case and employ it as a big oversized 7.62 SR-15 E3 IWS. However it's a fantastic run and gun carbine.

As the photos point out I normally run it with a T-1, and can easily ring steel at 600yds with a 4 MOA dot if I take my time and don't rush my shots or skip over good trigger pull. Those shots with the CQBSS in them were from Magpul Dynamics Handgun 1. Chris got to demo Leupold's CQBSS, of course that scope was optimized with the SR-25 in mind, so it hitched a ride on my EMC.

It's actually a little dull to switch back to 5.56. There are some drawbacks to the .308 platform. Specifically you're dealing with 33 percent less ammo per mags, with 33 percent more weight for the rounds you ARE carrying. In addition gear selection is VERY limited. .308s are only NOW being thought of as a run and gun carbine, so a lot of gear makers will have to play catchup.

The other thing is fatigue. I find after 300-400 rounds in one day my shoulder gives me a lot of problems. If you're leaning in to the gun, not a problem. But if you're on your side, on the ground, or kneeling behind cover, the recoil really takes its toll. Even with that smoother gas system of the SR-25.

15 July 2010, 07:33
Well I have an M1A and I love it. I have never had issue with the safety at all it is the first Military rifle I was ever issed and it feels the most natural to me. I have many AR pattern rifles and if the funds allowed it I would get the LMT MWS as I have the 5.56 MRP already and its top notch.

11 July 2013, 19:07
I was trying to make the same decision a while back, I went with the M1A. In my case I went with the SOCOM 16 but if I had to do it over again I would go with the Squad Scout for 2 reasons. First you don't lose as much muzzle velocity (although my 16" barrel has a .308 delivering as much force at 200 yards as a 5.56 round leaving the barrel) and the SOCOM front iron sight is too thick for my taste.

That being said the M1A needed a lot of work to be as ergonomic as the AR's I am used to. I went with a Vltor stock and rail system which gave me better optic and accessory mounting options and more importantly shortened what felt like a very long length of pull and best of all allows up and down adjustment for stock height so I can finally get that perfect check weld.

I upgraded the piston and forged bolt group (had the head space and timing checked) as well as the best bang for the buck mod in my opinion which is the Sadlak spring guide rod (this should come stock!). I went with the Micro T-1 so as not to add more weight to an already heavy weapon and it had the lowest mounting profile I could find. Lastly after this picture I went with the MagPul MS3 sling and finished the custom trigger job.

Bottom line I love this baby but probably spent as much in mods as the rifle was to start!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j227/Ultrasport8282/Sadlak2.jpg (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/Ultrasport8282/media/Sadlak2.jpg.html)