Re: I'm a young buyer looking into buying a decent semi-automatic rifle.
I have all sorts of semi-auto rifles in my collection of guns and my CMP Garand is a favorite but for home defense it most certainly is not a good choice at all.
30-06 is a powerful caliber and a Garand weighs about 10 pounds. Getting it up and in a ready state for firing in a small room or in a hall or any other close quarters is tough. Then there is the penetration of the walls problem. The police and court would not take kindly to you killing a neighbor in you attempt to kill an intruder.
So it comes down to the fact that there is no one gun that will do it all. A revolver in 38/357 would make an excellent home defense gun. An SKS or AK or a Mini-14 would make a good plinking gun for shooting trips. And a Garand or FN-FAL or any bolt gun would make a good hunting gun. But no one gun meets (perfectly) any of the poster requirements.
The need for a home defense gun is often over rated. Beside the poster can alway pick up a little 38 revolver in the future for home defense since the poster is not even out of the well protected family home yet. No mention was made of hunting only maybe shooting at 300 yds. When hunting becomes a necessity then the poster can buy a good bolt gun. I interpret that the poster wants to do some plinking and target shooting with a rifle bigger than a 22LR. The most gun for the least money is probably a YUGO SKS. It shoots an inexpensive round, is relatively accurate, shoots well out to 200 yds, is relatively compact, is very durable, and is relatively easy to find both from dealers and from private parties for a reasonable price. They are plentiful on the Surplus market with some recent imports.
I love the Garand but any one worth having in "decent" shape is going to start at $500 and go up from there. There is a high probability at the low end of the market that the barrel will be shot out. Replacing the barrel can be several hundred dollars more. The better Garands run closer to $1000. The CMP Garands are the real bargain but you have to meet a whole set of requirement to buy one including belonging to a CMP affiliated gun club, showing results from some amount of competition shooting, and fill out a stack of papers that need to be notarized. The best you could do is buy a CMP Garand off a private party but most start at over $500.
To sum it up, the poster needs to limit his needs, plan for the purchase of future guns for specific tasks, and choose a gun like the SKS for now.
I have all the guns mentioned above (and more) and the YUGO SKS is a good reliable reasonably accurate, inexpensive gun that uses inexpensive ammo that I would recommend for the poster.
Last edited by LDBennett; 11-02-2012 at 09:04 AM..