Comment: Now, on to the rifles themselves.

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Now, on to the rifles themselves.

This also depends on your budget. I'd suggest a rifle in the $600 range - they're less expensive than the fancy guns, but much better in quality than the cheap-o guns like WASRs.

If you go the 5.56 route, I cannot recommend Smith & Wesson or Ruger highly enough. S&W makes a fantastic rifle called the M&P 15 Sport for roughly $630. It's only missing the (mostly useless) forward assist and the dust cover; people have torture-tested this thing, and it runs just as well as any other AR-15. Ruger makes the Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, which has the benefit of two things. First, it has the excellent M-14 operating system, making it more reliable than the already-reliable AR-15 system. Second, it doesn't look "evil" and gets ignored by most "assault weapon" bans. It's somewhat less accurate, and I've heard it doesn't like Russian ammo, but neither of those are very big deals. It's an excellent gun overall.

For 7.62, there's always the ubiquitous and FROM GLORIOUS MOTHER RUSSIA AK-47 (technically the AKM). This is, hands-down, the single most reliable semi-automatic rifle in existence, with the *possible* exception of its little brother, the SKS. The AK looks scary as heck, the ammo is cheap, deadly, and is so common that they sell it at my local Wal-Mart. It will eagerly eat up hollow-point ammo, which makes it a very effective defensive rifle. For the love of all that is holy, however, please DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, buy a WASR-10 - I can say from personal experience that the things are highly likely to be utter crap; if you don't carefully inspect every rifle first, your chances are good of grabbing one with any number of flaws. In the $600 range, you can get the far superior Interarms AKM or the Chinese MAK-90, which has a stupid thumbhole stock but has a thicker barrel, making it more accurate.

If you *must* go below $600, get an SKS, not a WASR-10. There are "paratrooper" SKS models that take AK magazines if you want the capacity, or you can get a normal one with the ten-round, internal top-loading magazine. It's an excellent rifle all around, and the only real weakness is the magazine.

Now, if you go 5.45, there are fewer options. You're basically limited to Ye Olde Kalashnikov, not that it's a problem. Again, Interarms (I swear I don't work for these guys. :P ) makes a good AK-74. Now, with the cost of ammo, you could probably afford to go with a pricier gun - one of the Arsenal AKs. These babies are genuine Russian-made guns, imported to the U.S. and fixed up by Arsenal in Nevada to comply with all the various dumb U.S. laws. They're the gold standard for AKs, by all accounts, and I considered getting one rather than the M&P I went with. These bad boys, however, are in the $800-$900 range, so they're on up there.

Okay, I'm done for now. If you want or need any more info, just message me or reply, and I'll help you as best I can.