JC Dodge: My Choice For A Rifle System And Caliber


Let the tooth-gnashing begin.

Next week: Ford versus Chevy.

PS: Go to 100 yards on steel. Spank it with 5.56, then ditto 7.62. YMMV.

39 responses to “JC Dodge: My Choice For A Rifle System And Caliber

  1. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.

  2. G3. Snap off the claw mount w/ long tube 30mm aimpoint and snap on another claw mount w/ factory 4x scope and make hits out to 500 or 600 yds. Repeatable zero. Gets 2-3 moa with nato ball all day long. Reliable like an AK and less finicky than an FAL. Put in a better stock buffer and it kicks less than an AK.

    • SemperFi, 0321

      Just finished a German G3 parts kit into a G3k, have a ARMS claw mount and 1.5-6x mounted, absolutely love it.
      I went thru boot camp with M-14, have had FAL and M-14 for almost 2 decades and need them here due to large dangerous animals I would not attempt to take on with 5.56. Own several of those too, along with AK’s and other misc. mil rifles. My first choice is still .308, but would rather carry my XM-177E2 clone, so it’s a trade off on the mission and target.

      • Lost Patrol

        Roger that Marine. Same same. Though my decision is between my M-14 with an LRB receiver, match grade 1 Douglas barrel and E-2 stock or my LWRC REPR “designated marksman” with 18″ both of course in 7.62 x 51. And you know me, so you know I am ancient, but I pack it anyway. And when I am not dressed in buckskins with my Green River 62 cal barrel percussion I have my interceptor vest with ceramic and 8 spare mags. My ruck has more and I have been experimenting with WW2 BAR belts filled. It makes for a good work out for this white haired old man, considering all my other shit I pack. “Too much shit troop” What ever. What ever. GRIN. See you at the show this weekend.

        • SemperFi, 0321

          I have a mint 1918 BAR bandolier that holds 6 M-14/FAL mags perfectly for grab and go. They do make repros now, due to scarcity of originals.

    • Grenadier1

      Been wanting one for quite some time. Good rifle.

  3. anonymous

    So in the Ford vs. Chevy argument he went with the Mopar.

  4. Shinmen Takezo

    You cannot go wrong with an M1A/M14-ish weapon system.

    Personally I do not like the SOCOM version of the M1A–because it panders to the high-tech, black-rifle crowds.

    The freakin’ 308 round is powerful, accurate, long range–and it kicks the shit out of anything it is fired at. Yeah it’s heavier–but you only need one round (at much longer ranges giving you most of the time a ballistic advantage) to do the job versus the M4-ish platform.

    I am clapping and applauding this guy’s choice.

  5. Interesting. While I’m not a combat vet, I came to a lot of the same conclusions (damage and penetration versus weight). I bought a standard M1A and with a few tweaks got it from 3 MOA down to 1.5 with match ammo, and 2 with NATO surplus ammo. Due to my crappy eyesight, I put a Millett TRS 4-16x scope on it, with a quick-detach scope mount. With optics, I’m good to go for first-round shots out to at least 500 yards, but after that things start getting iffy. The fall-back iron sights, I can hit irons maybe 75% of the time to 300 yards…

    The other reason I went with .308 was because a good bolt-gun in .308 will reach out to ~1000 yards. Of course, I’m still learning on that score, using Sniper 101 videos on youtube to help me get my shit straight. 😉

    The learning never ends, does it?

  6. Mission specific choices, but there’s no doubting .308 superiority. Laws of physics cannot be wished away.

  7. I’m not arguing that the 7.62×51 is very useful. But, just remember that most combat engagements are very much inside 200 yards, and typically those that shoot more/faster/more accurately, and are able to move (faster) have the advantage. 5.56 has its place, as does 7.62. I need to better rig up for 7.62, because it does have its advantages as well.

    • The right weapon for you is the one you can handle best. Big men should be carrying full-size rifles, because the little people can’t.
      More PT to carry the FAL, then the captured FN-MAG.

      • SemperFi, 0321

        Now there’s a good point, who knows how to feed and fire a belt fed?

  8. ProZogbot6mill

    .556 and my new 7.62x54r Vepr for shock and awe

  9. I’m also satisfied with my M1A NatMatch; heavy though, so in addition to frequent dry-firing I use it as a sort of exercise baton during daily PT. In fact, if anyone has an extra Barrett .416 they don’t need, I’ll take that too

  10. Anonymous

    I’d never considered the ‘lead bullets only’ premise before. That makes a lot of sense.

    Jacketed bullets take quite a bit of manufacture processes that require precision machinery. Lead bullets are cast and thats that – done deal.

  11. 5.56×45 for having that rifle power and magazine capacity when you’re on the move, foot or vehicle. I have a 10.5 inch barreled AR for my vehicle, it’s neither pistol nor rifle, it’s a “firearm” under the law.

    7.62×51 to defend a fixed position or, as SemperFi states, against larger animals when required. By the way, a FAL can be rebarreled to either 338 Federal or 358 Winchester, without further modification or different magazines, for when you need really heavy bullets. I do know of a man who hunts bears in Alaska with his FAL-358.

    I own a M-14, Chinese receiver, GI parts. While it’s interesting, it’s really 1930s technology. Without a bore snake, it’s a PITA to clean compared to any FAL or AR platform.

    In my opinion, if someone is looking for something in a 7.62×51, I’d go with either an FAL or an AR-10 type that accepts Magpul magazines. There are several makers of these, at various levels of quality.

    The one thing I don’t do is compare the two calibers as if they’re being chosen for perform the same function. I wouldn’t choose either for a long range tool, there are a number of calibers that perform long range activities much better than both of these, something in either 6.5mm or 7mm.

    • SemperFi, 0321

      Don’t overlook the German G3, I did for decades and kick myself for it. I shot one once in the USMC, didn’t like it at the time since the M-14 was my preferred rifle, but boy was I wrong. Also see ‘Bostons Gun Bible’ for excellent review. It’s the AK of .308, nothing tougher.
      PTR makes a HKG3 clone on original Portuguese HK machinery, prices run around $800-900 if you shop sales wisely at CDNN. G3 mags are still so cheap it’s insane, last year I got 20 new German HK mags for $40, price has now doubled. See MidwayUSA, lot’s of others try to get $10 and up per mag.
      As with many other platforms, it’s love/hate. But the G3 is one of the most rugged, reliable 7.62 NATO platforms out there, and today, with prices under $1,000, a bargain too. Having the green plastic stock, I also put an HK21 (beltfed) buttpad on, really softens the push.



      • The problem with the HK, as with any AK, is parts. We’ll be able to pick up AR parts in lots of places, perfectly good, only dropped once.

        I think most of the moving parts in an AR-10 are the same as an AR-15, though I don’t have one to be sure on this.

        FAL magazines are in production how, lots of parts available, and so on.

        The M-14/M1A has quite a selection of parts, but as with the AK, parts commonality with government arms are dicey.

        Most folks choosing the M1A/M-14 do so because they like how it looks, so do I. I own just one, like my Garand, that’s for historical value only.

        I hope to build so many AR-15s that I need a separate safe for them all.

        • SemperFi, 0321

          Bought a East Euro armorers kit, brand new box full of spare AK parts, and have bags of spare M-14/M-16/FAL parts too. G3’s are known for never breaking down, wear out maybe, but not break. Anyway, we all have lots to choose from.
          But how many of us will really wear out our firearms from actual use? When that time comes, we’ll probably know where to pick up a spare weapon or two, or we won’t need to worry about it anymore.

        • Except for the Op rod, M14 parts that I would need for my M1A (bolt, trigger, receiver, barrel groups) will work fine.

          • SemperFi, 0321

            An M-1A IS AN M-14, same gun, same parts, minus the selector switch. Ours in the USMC didn’t have selectors either, so was my gov’t issued rifle really an M-1A?
            M-1A is a model name from Springfield Armory, (how’s that for stealing a name?), most have always been made with G.I. parts except for the civilian receiver. What if you have one that’s not a Springfield Armory M-1A, then is it a M-1A clone or what?
            Call it an M-14, and if you’re lucky enough to have a real Class 3 registered M-14, that’s even better. But it’s still an M-14. Or does yours only use M-1A magazines?

            • Semper Fi, you’re right, I meant to say (was thinking) connector (rod). and said “Op rod”. I wouldn’t want the auto parts, even if I could get them and modify it to fit. One of the reasons I like the M1A, is how close it is to the original. The auto is a lot quicker to strip though (One of my trainer OpFor is a class 3 guy, and usually initiates the ambush with an M14 with blanks.LOL

              • SemperFi, 0321

                There you go with the M-1A shit again!
                I do remember my old USMC M-14’s coming apart a bit easier than the civilian ones. Of course, they were broken in much better, from all the warm loving care we gave them, constantly.
                I think Springfield changed the op rod notch somewhat, because they hang up a bit there during disassembly. Other than that, there is no reason the full auto should strip quicker, since it has an extra part (disconnector) to disengage and rotate off.

  12. One thing that is interesting watching “Street Outlaws” is that there are not too many Ford guys left in drag racing. I think of the 20 odd cars seen on the show only one is a Ford (there are a couple Mustangs with small-block Chevy motors in them, I’m counting those as Chevy’s too). Saying “Chevy” is slightly misleading: they are “Chevy Pattern”, but the blocks and heads are built by third parties.

    Kinda like a Shovelhead chopper with and S&S motor. Looks like a Harley, Harley parts can be bolted right on, but no Harley parts in it.

    It’s interesting what objects make it to “iconic standard” level. In the world of cars various Chevy V8s have. In the world of guns the AR-15, AR-10, AK, G3 and FN-FAL all have.

  13. GS:
    Never owned a G3 but I’ve had an original Belgian FN since 1980s when I bought it new. I’ve found it to be the furthest thing ever from “finicky”. I’ve put thousands of rounds through it, many on dry lakes out West that raise hell with AR pattern weapons due to silt jamming them, without a hitch.

    Clearly the most reliable semi-auto I’ve had.

    (You also learn first hand about the downsides to revolvers in this environment. Once grit gets into a revolver action it take a gunsmith level disassembly to clean it out. 1911’s can be fully cleaned by the operator.)

    • +1 on FAL reliability, esp. imported arsenal guns. Tunable gas into a piston is great. Ergonomics is “just right” if you are Medium-Regular European size.
      There is some poorly assembled FAL junk out there, from the era of really-cheap part-kits and not-so-good US receivers.

  14. Good article…Thanks!

  15. 7.62 for the shooters who need to reach out a little further with some authority. 5.56 for when long distances aren’t an issue or for commo, medic, et. al. whose weapon needs are more defensive and need close-in firepower to get hostiles off their back.

    Or just ignore the whole thing and go with what you want because so-and-so said something different and so-and-so is an expert gunsel with the fighting 42nd heavy foot and provision protection secret squirrel squad of the urban militia posse.

  16. Virtually any gun will do for me, because I can remember when I had nothing. Any rifle, pistol, shotgun or whatever will do because it ain’t the gun, it’s the man or woman behind it. And let’s not be forgetting what happened to the 24th Foot, in a little place called Iswallindana.

    • specifically, the men on the front line of the camp ran out of ammo, the ammo boxes had been placed too far away, and were hell to open: Horace Smith-Dorrien, MEMORIES OF 48 YEARS SERVICE, pp. 8-21

  17. outlawpatriot

    Meh. I’m not gonna get into any circular arguments about which gun/round is best. I’ve been in and seen way too many now to care anymore. I’m with Sean. It’s the dude that pulls the trigger that is the only valid factor. Ergo, learn as many weapons platforms as you can. Be proficient with rifle, pistol and shotgun.

    For what it’s worth, if I gotta choice I want a pistol at close range. Just me. I know it’s not preferable in the vast majority of circumstances. I’m just best with a pistol. I’m no slouch with a rifle, but it just entails so much other stuff. I can work a shotgun, but not to any great degree. I don’t care because all of it is heavy.

    All that said, I think it important for any team or militia to be standardized. When we set out way back I remember being asked, Outlaw, what weapons platform should we standardize on? I replied with a question. There’s a rifle round on the ground. With no other information than that, what are the odds as to what it is? Be honest. Set aside any prejudices. Hard I know, but do it. It’s a .223/5.56. While I know there will still be those who disagree, it is what it is. Consequently, that AR platform seems the logical choice to standardize on. Pretty prevalent they are. So, everybody gets one. Get whichever one you want, trick it out however you want. The only requirement is that it take standard GI 30 round mags. If we gotta consolidate, my mags can be used in your gun and yours in mine. Important for life and death encounters I should think. And just plain common sense.

    Ask the same question with regard to a pistol round. 9mm. Again, kick and scream, but what are the odds? Now, what is the most common 9mm pistol? Probably a Glock of some sort. That’s changing rapidly because everybody is copying them, but a Glock 17 is pretty damn common. So, we chose that one. But you can have a 19 or a 34 if you want. Again, it’s the mags we’re concerned about. Mine has to go in yours and yours in mine. Only requirement.

    So, .223/5.56 AR and Glock 17 are standard for the Swamp Dogs. Variances are allowed as long mags can be passed among troops and used in every weapon in the unit.

    Staying in the fight is more important than petty opinions with regard to the endless debate about this or that weapon or caliber. Pick one for Christ’s sake. Then make sure every swinging Richard in the unit can use the mags and ammo. That ability far supercedes any of the endless gum flapping concerning any given opinion. 🙂

  18. I agree Sean. I am not weapon myopic, If given a choice, I will take the M1A system, but I use different long gun and handguns in my courses, simply to stay well versed. I run AK’s, AR’s, and my M1A’s interchangeably, just like I carry an M9 or a G21. Who knows what you might have to use.