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Purchasing my first rifle.
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Feb 15, 2013, 02:12 AM
 
Okay, so with all the new legislation being proposed and the odds that my options will diminish severly in the next few years, I've decided I want to invest in a rifle mainly for recreation and secondarily home defense.

Currently, I've had plenty of time at the range and in the woods with my dad's and friends' guns, but never invested in one myself. I currently have a 12 gauge side by side and a woodsman pistol. Both are handmedowns and from pre 1940's - almost antiques. Lots of fun but not exactly practical for my purposes.

I'd like to find a balance between price, reliability, and practicality and my research has led me leaning towards a Ruger Mini 14 tactical. I want to approach this as a complete novice despite my experience shooting, as I've always been the least qualified person in the groups I've gone shooting with. I'm looking into safety and training courses independently, but I'd like to train with my own weapon to become comfortable with using and caring for it.

Ruger« Mini-14« Tactical Rifle Autoloading Rifle Models

Seems to be about in my price range and the newer models have gotten great reviews. The mini 14 is a civilian derivative of the M14, which I think would be a bit much for what I want to do. It can fire .223 or 5.56 nato which is appealing to me.

Anyone have any suggestions or advice for me? I've seen a few threads like this on here before with some great information, but I'd like to solicit advice for my situation.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 11:30 AM
 
Both times I saw this post in the thread list, I thought it said "purchasing my first wife".

I have no advice. Only guns I've used so far have been Glock and Sig handguns.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Okay, so with all the new legislation being proposed and the odds that my options will diminish severly in the next few years,
Your odds calculating sucks.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Both times I saw this post in the thread list, I thought it said "purchasing my first wife".

I have no advice. Only guns I've used so far have been Glock and Sig handguns.
No, Do you think I'm crazy? Do you know how dangerous that would be?! Weapons of mass destruction are banned for sale in Maryland anyways.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Your odds calculating sucks.


Now now Dakar, we have 4 threads in the PWL we can do this in .
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 12:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Now now Dakar, we have 4 threads in the PWL we can do this in .
Then don't bring it up. SMILEY FACE
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
No, Do you think I'm crazy? Do you know how dangerous that would be?! Weapons of mass destruction are banned for sale in Maryland anyways.
Isn't it nearly impossible to get a firearms license in MD unless you're ex-military or police?
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 01:39 PM
 
My buddy has the exact same Ruger you posted, cept it has wood bits.

He, too, bought it fearing Obama would make it impossible to buy guns in the future, this was 3 years ago. If you want a firearm more power to you, but don't buy one in some mad rush to get them before they're gone, that's a false worry my friend.

A .223 Rifle isn't something I'd consider good for home defense, a handgun with hollow-points or a shotgun would be much more effective, not to mention the .223 round will over penetrate like mad if a stray shot should get past your burglar. For recreation is another deal, though it's much more expensive to shoot a .223 at the range than, say, a 9mm or .22.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Your odds calculating sucks.
Not really. Everything "scary" is essentially gone. Stock has dried up and prices have more than doubled for any rifle that looks like it could fire more than 3 shots.

New, Improved and Legal in 50 States
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 04:42 PM
 
Just like with tulips.

On topic: never shot a Mini-14, but they seem like a good time.

I'm with sek though. .22 for fun. Much cheaper. You can shoot it in your back yard with some CBs and a backstop.

Shotgun for home defense.

If you want all-in-one I'd suggest a shotgun and shoot skeet for recreation.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
A .223 Rifle isn't something I'd consider good for home defense, a handgun with hollow-points or a shotgun would be much more effective, not to mention the .223 round will over penetrate like mad if a stray shot should get past your burglar. For recreation is another deal, though it's much more expensive to shoot a .223 at the range than, say, a 9mm or .22.
Get the 10/22. Goto hcmags.com, buy a ridiculously over sized mag. Have fun, and defend your home.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 04:54 PM
 
223/5.56 will way over penetrate, you should look at something like a tactical shotgun (remington 870) or a pistol w/ hollow points.

I have guns that shoot all three of the above calibers and I would reach for the shotgun first. It has a lot more scare factor (the sound of the pump action) and it's harder to miss completely. but most importantly you are less likely to over penetrate and injure someone on the other side of a wall.

if you want a hunting rifle, get a larger caliber then the 223, like a 308 or 30-06. If you want something for home defense buy a shotgun (remington 870) or a pistol w/ hollow points.

but more important than all of this is PRACTICE!!! it is statistically proven that gun owners are much more likely to be injured by guns then non-gun owners. Be safe and teach kids about gun safety from a very early age, if they know the danger and gain respect for the firearm they are much less likely to injure themselves.
     
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Feb 15, 2013, 11:44 PM
 
Rifles are useless for home defence. Skeet shooting is a ton of fun, but skeet guns also aren't designed to be used indoors.

Also: If you have a bad guy in your house and he hears the sound of a shotgun pump you've just done the audio equivalent of lighting a cigarette in the trenches.
     
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Feb 16, 2013, 12:05 AM
 
Lucky Strike Means Fine Buckshot.
     
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Feb 16, 2013, 09:11 AM
 
The Mini-14 is a very nice rifle. They are well made and reliable, and they hold up to plenty of range time. You will have to dig deep to buy additional magazines for it, at least right now. While Ruger magazines were already more expensive than AR-15 magazines, anything that holds ammunition is in incredibly short supply at the moment.

I like the Mini-14 much better than the 10-22 for a lot of reasons, mostly because centerfire ammunition is much more consistent than .22, even from the same manufacturer and lot.

When and if sanity returns, you'll find plenty of accessories for either rifle. I like the iron sights Ruger makes, but you can't beat a good scope to make that ragged hole in the target much smaller...

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Feb 22, 2013, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Rifles are useless for home defence. Skeet shooting is a ton of fun, but skeet guns also aren't designed to be used indoors.

Also: If you have a bad guy in your house and he hears the sound of a shotgun pump you've just done the audio equivalent of lighting a cigarette in the trenches.
A 30-30 lever action is probably the best home defense rifle (Ayoob at backwoodshome says so too - but I've heard/thought this for years). A youth model 870 20-gauge would be my next choice (it's short and light with little recoil), but a simple revolver should do just fine.

A .357 with 38 Special is (or used to be) cheap to shoot, and doesn't overpower the shooter or penetrate too much. Hollow-points make penetration less of an issue. Plus, you can load .38 yourself using a hand tool and make it as light as you want to in case someone in the house needs less of a cannon.

Actually, having had to use a pump shotgun to defend myself and others from an intruder, it was the closing of the action (racking of the slide) that got their attention. But that was a Mossberg 12 with a 28" trap barrel, not ideal.

The Mini 14 is a good weapon, but probably not ideal for home defense either. It's the wrong time to be buying any autoloading rifles, by the way. Same with gold - you can't wait until it's at its peak and then suddenly jump in. Buy a simple double-barrel shotgun or 870 or revolver and wait to get a rifle when things have calmed down some. Whenever that will be.

One more thing: the Mini-14 Tactical Rifle is listed in Feinstein's list, so there probably aren't many in the supply chain right now.
( Last edited by finboy; Feb 22, 2013 at 12:27 PM. )
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Feb 22, 2013, 03:25 PM
 
I've been told .38 ammo in a .357 requires extra cleaning vigilance.

No idea if that's true, so take it with a grain of powder.
     
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Feb 24, 2013, 11:47 AM
 
It does take a little extra attention to clean the front part of the chambers in a .357 cylinder after firing the (1/10" shorter) .38 special rounds. Not enough to make it a consideration, really, especially if you have the ghost of a grandfather/drill sergeant/etc. standing over you when you clean the pistol...

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Feb 25, 2013, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I've been told .38 ammo in a .357 requires extra cleaning vigilance.

No idea if that's true, so take it with a grain of powder.
I've never had any trouble, and I've put thousands and thousands of .38 rounds (usually CHEAP lead rounds, reloads) through several different .357s. And I've trained a few dozen other people (family, friends) over the years to do the same thing - no complaints. Also, not only have I never had any trouble, but I've never heard that or read it anywhere, either. I can understand the issues with leading up the forcing cone or the front of the cylinder, but I've never seen it. Even if it does lead it up, a wire-brush to the cylinder is a regular part of my cleaning ritual. That, and some good powder solvent after every 300-500 rounds. And... you always want to clean your guns while they are still warm, it makes a huge difference. If you ever come across a .357 that won't seat a .357 bullet all the way in every chamber, soak it good with WD-40 and then use a wire brush on the ends of the chambers after it's had time to loosen things up a bit.
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Feb 25, 2013, 05:53 PM
 
One more thing:

I just looked at semi-auto rifle prices today, and they're ridiculous. I wouldn't buy ANYTHING now - wait until the semi-auto ban doesn't pass the Senate again and prices will go back down.
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Feb 27, 2013, 07:57 AM
 
I agree that waiting is a good idea. The fuss in Congress will die down, and later, when the panicky sheep stop paying way too much for way too little, market prices will settle down, back to near what we saw at the end of 2012. Until then, it's hard to justify paying 300% of the "sane" market price for anything...

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Feb 27, 2013, 08:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
One more thing:

I just looked at semi-auto rifle prices today, and they're ridiculous. I wouldn't buy ANYTHING now - wait until the semi-auto ban doesn't pass the Senate again and prices will go back down.
I bet a lot more firearms have been stolen since the prices have skyrocketed (and address lists of weapons have been posted). I hear nothing but good things about the mini 14...a coworker has two and loves them. If you buy one now waddya get with it, a 3 round magazine or is it bolt-action now?
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Mar 22, 2013, 02:55 PM
 
I found one today from a shop in louisville. It ships out to my local FFL holder today. It has a folding stock (model 5846, I wanted 5847 but they are too hard to find and way overpriced). This means its regulated and I have to wait 5-7 weeks for the MD state police to return my application in order to take possession of the rifle. The shop will receive it next week.

I'm excited about this purchase and have made plans to go shooting with my father, his childhood friend, and his kids who are about my age.

I also found it for a pretty reasonable price. I'm paying about $100 more then pre-scare prices and still below MSRP. It's 3-400 dollars less than other Mini 14s from different dealers. It's factory new and they had just received them from Ruger. They sold through their entire inventory in less than 4 hours. I was lucky enough to see it and call right away.

If the stock didn't fold or was detached from the rifle, I wouldn't have to go through the red tape. Same gun, but the "evil" feature makes it worthy of the same scrutiny as handguns. I could ask the shop to detach the stock and ship it seperately (100% legal), but it's factory sealed and I'm in no hurry to receive it.
     
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Mar 22, 2013, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
I hear nothing but good things about the mini 14...a coworker has two and loves them. If you buy one now waddya get with it, a 3 round magazine or is it bolt-action now?
Semi-auto 20 round mag (max legal to buy in my state....For now).

I can buy 10 or 20 round mags for it, or I can buy a 30 round mag in VA and bring it home legally. You aren't allowed to sell, buy, or otherwise transfer 21+ round mags in MD but you are allowed to possess them.

Maryland's governor introduced extremely restrictive legislation that passed the senate Feb 28th, but has yet to clear the house. It's pointing towards passing which would make my purchase illegal, but since I've already paid for it I should be in the clear.
     
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Mar 23, 2013, 08:58 PM
 
Ah, the wonders of cosmetic bans...

I hope you enjoy your new rifle.

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Mar 24, 2013, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Ah, the wonders of cosmetic bans...

I hope you enjoy your new rifle.
Yeah, wonderful. 6-7 weeks to rubber stamp a piece of paper because my stock is adjustable. :/


I am hoping too. I'll keep you updated as a receive it and use it
     
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Mar 26, 2013, 04:37 PM
 
Came into the shop today. Did the forms and got to inspect the rifle. Couldn't be happier with my decision. The shop owner was impressed with the price I paid for it, saying I got it for $450 less then he would sell it for. Brand new unopened from Ruger. We opened it together and he checked it for defects and everything looks good.

Now for the fun part while I wait for the MD police to return the paperwork. 5-6 weeks, but if anyone wants to see I'll post pictures when I get it home. I've made arrangements with my father to get out to the range with his friend, an experienced hunter, to learn how to use, clean, and care for it. My father was in the military during vietnam (never deployed over there) and used to have an M1, M14, and M16 during various periods of his service. There were a few hunters in there behind me looking at it and congratulating me on finding one for such a good price.

All and all....
     
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Mar 26, 2013, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
M1, M14, and M16 during various periods of his service.
Always wanted to fire an M14 Battle Rifle.
     
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Mar 26, 2013, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Always wanted to fire an M14 Battle Rifle.
This is the closest thing that isn't $2500. (well, the mini 30, but the thought of cheap russian surplus ammo does not appeal to me).
     
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Mar 26, 2013, 05:03 PM
 
I've fired .223 before, but I can only imagine the extra punch you'd get from the 7.62├Ś51mm
     
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Mar 26, 2013, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I've fired .223 before, but I can only imagine the extra punch you'd get from the 7.62├Ś51mm
Yeah, the mini 30 is actually 7.62x39 so it wouldn't be apples to apples. m14's are a really cool piece of US history.
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 12:21 PM
 
Gramps said the M1 knocked you on your ass.
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 04:47 PM
 
Why did you decide on that calibre when others said that it wasn't the best for home defence?
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 05:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Why did you decide on that calibre when others said that it wasn't the best for home defence?
Home defense is a secondary concern for me. My front line of defense always has and always will be with four legs and a tail. The mini-14 has been said to be a good choice as well because of it's size and ease of handling. Even though there are cheaper alternatives such as a shotgun, the mini-14 will do the job.

The main reason is recreation i.e. target shooting and possibly an occasional hunting trip.

Should the world ever end I think being proficient with a rifle is not a bad thing, but again my main reason is recreation.
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 07:05 PM
 
I have a war poodle.

Can totally knock gramps on his ass.


OT: rifles are a lot more fun than shotguns IMO, so I think you made a good choice.
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 08:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I have a war poodle.

Can totally knock gramps on his ass.


OT: rifles are a lot more fun than shotguns IMO, so I think you made a good choice.
My dog protects women, even against me. Any time I have a girl over it's like he doesn't even know me. I only wish i could have kept his lineage going - I'd love to have a dog like that when I have a family/get married. He was from the SPCA so he was fixed before we adopted him.

I'm really looking forward to getting out on the range with it.
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 08:54 PM
 
One of the reasons we got a girl. Less chance of cock-blocking.
     
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Mar 27, 2013, 10:17 PM
 
If anything he's the best wingman you could ask for.
     
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Apr 4, 2013, 09:51 PM
 
The MD legislature passed the gun law. I can't find info on whether mine is specifically included on the list, but I should be able to escape fingerprinting and anal examination since I applied on the 23rd of March.

The house version allows for me to pick up my already purchased gun.
The senate bill does not...I'll know Monday whether I need to have it transferred to VA to pick up.

Thanks Maryland. All you've done is cost me $30 in gas to pick up my already-purchased personal belonging, while doing nothing to address rampant crime in Baltimore and DC suburbs. Rifles were used in less then 1% of all crime in maryland since 04. Win for the ruling class here. Expect O'malley to become part of the national debate, and run...run far away.
     
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Apr 8, 2013, 05:03 PM
 
We'd love to have you in Virginia. In Leesburg their is a Cajun joint that gives yo 10% off on Wednesdays if you come packing heat!
     
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Apr 29, 2013, 02:59 PM
 
Going on 6 weeks for the paperwork to come back. The shop said expect another 3, though they don't really know other than how long others are taking to come back. I wonder how they are going to deal with having the new regulations including fingerprinting. We may be looking at year longs just to pick up something we purchased ages ago.

Ridiculous, Maryland...
     
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Apr 29, 2013, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
We'd love to have you in Virginia. In Leesburg their is a Cajun joint that gives yo 10% off on Wednesdays if you come packing heat!
Badkosh,

I wouldn't be oppose to taking some weekend trips to VA or going one night after working in my office (located in McLean). There is a range less than a mile from me (AAFG) however you need to find a sponsor to gain membership. Working on that through some of my local community contacts.
     
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Apr 29, 2013, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Going on 6 weeks for the paperwork to come back. The shop said expect another 3, though they don't really know other than how long others are taking to come back. I wonder how they are going to deal with having the new regulations including fingerprinting. We may be looking at year longs just to pick up something we purchased ages ago.

Ridiculous, Maryland...
I've had to get fingerprinted twice. Thankfully handcuffs were never involved. You go down to your local police department and they do it. 5min max. Thing is the local police didn't keep a copy.
     
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Apr 29, 2013, 03:29 PM
 
Isn't NH pretty loose?

With all the hassle, it sounds like it may be worth a trip.
     
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Apr 29, 2013, 03:32 PM
 
Tell the shop owner "don't need it. Took so long I just said '**** it' and stabbed the guy."
     
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Apr 29, 2013, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Tell the shop owner "don't need it. Took so long I just said '**** it' and stabbed the guy."
Well I've already paid for the rifle. Legally I own it. Just need the paperwork back so I can take possession of it. looking at locking cases for it as well as a few accessories for my wish list. I want to learn it on Iron sights and in stock form to get a feel for it before I start adding accessories. i think my first one will be a grip/bipod/flashlight.
     
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Apr 30, 2013, 12:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Isn't NH pretty loose?

With all the hassle, it sounds like it may be worth a trip.
You only need a permit for CC I believe. On opening day of deer season the principal checks the parking lot to make sure the trucks with guns in them are across the street. A former coworker from main had to bring them in and 'check' them at the principles office. But you don't hear of any mass shootings.

No, these were work related. Some people have to guess, I know the FBI has a file with my name on it. I also know it's empty
     
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May 1, 2013, 11:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Gramps said the M1 knocked you on your ass.
Nah. The M1 had more of a kick than an AR-15 for sure, but if you hold it right it's just a lot of fun to shoot. And distances beyond 500 meters are no problem with the venerable M1 Garand. General Patton called it "the greatest battle weapon ever devised."

For home defense I'm a big advocate of the 12 Ga. pump shotgun. I have a couple Mossbergs and a Remington 870. What I like about the Remington 870 is that it's the most common shotgun in use so there are plenty of parts and accessories for it. Still, my "go to" weapon for home defense is the Mossberg JIC Cruiser 500.

My second choice for home defense is the Bushmaster AR-15. Mine has a custom built upper for match grade accuracy but is largely unmodified otherwise. I have a Magpul stock that gives it the ideal balance. I'm currently hunting for just the right AR-10 to compliment my Bushmaster. They make .308 version of the AR-15 but the DPMS 3G1 is looking like it might be the one.
     
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May 2, 2013, 02:02 PM
 
Reading the above, you'd think the US were a lawless country. "My choice for home defence is a 12 Ga. pump shotgun"? Really? My choice for home defence is to lock the door at night. And even that we forget to do sometimes.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 2, 2013, 02:15 PM
 
I vote German Shepherd for home defense.

Though I should admit I don't have a gun, sometimes forget to lock my door, and have a poodle.


It's a war poodle though.
     
 
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