The sks, like many have said is an excellent sitX rifle. Possibly the most available and least expensive centerfire ammo on a long term basis.
7.62X39mm, rimless bottleneck, 123 grain .31 caliber bullet at about 2400fps. It feels lighter than actual weight of eight pounds or slightly less.
Short "Paratrooper" versions of the SKS is hard to find, but they are out there. The SKS can do a little bit of everything, and if you can only
have one rifle
it might be the best choice. It's greatest weak point is probably the range limit of the 7.62X39mm cartridge, if this is an issue
in your geological location.
I wouldn't rule out the K31 Schmidt-Rubin, Straight pull, six-shot detachable magazine or stripper clip fed rifle maybe a great choice for you. Same
weight as sks but DEADLY, DEADLY accurate. The 7.5 Swiss, rimless bottle neck is rather expensive. Power equal to the 7.62X51mm NATO. Straight pull
action gives this rifle a high rate of fire, kind of a "twilight zone" between bolt action rifles and semi-automatics. Can be fed both with stripper
clips from the top of the action, or by switching magazines. Inexpensive, powerful, very accurate with a higher rate of fire than a turn-bolt, the k31
rifle carries better than a Mauser or SMLE imo.
If you have $1200 to spend, then i would go with the good-ole M1 Garand. Best sitX rifle imo. No other U.S. issued Semi Auto or Selective fire MBR has
seen every weather condition on such a large scale as the M1. It has a Low parts count. While a low parts count alone does not make something more
reliable, it does have a major benefit in regards to Murphy's Law. The only MBR that has fewer parts than the M1's 62 total is the M14's 61 total.
The FAL has 143, the AR has 119, the HK91 has 92.
It is hard to beat an M1 when it comes to combat range & accuracy. The excellent sights coupled with a long sight radius and excellent trigger really
add to the combat accuracy. The 30-06 cartridge lethality stretches past the 7.62X51 a solid 100-150 yards.
The 8rd enbloc clip is always a been a reason for people to bash the M1. That bashing is really unjustified, especially in a homeland defense sense.
Why? In any semi-auto firearm that uses a detachable magazine, the source of most feeding problems stems from the magazine itself. The M1 clip can be
reused indefinately whereas detachable mags wear out and need springs replaced and mag lips recontoured.
For the cost of a high end clone FAL or M1A you can buy 3 service grade M1s or 5 rack Grade M1s from the CMP CIVILIAN
. Are they perfect? of course not, but they are ready for action with some cleaning and they are not clones. If you bought
5 rack grades and picked the best three and sold two for $400-450.00ea that is alot of ammo and spare parts.
There are CMP M1 clinics all over the country and they supply the rifle and ammo FREE
. My idea of possible conflicts involve 400+ yard
harassment and scout/DM situations and the M1 fits that role well. While I love the M-1A I just can't justify the cost (unless I find one below
market). Also if you have to have a .308, you can rebarrel an M1 and still be well under the cost of a DSA FAL or SA M1-A.
[edit on 4-3-2008 by METACOMET]