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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am new on this Board and I have got a question. I will buy soon an classic m1a or an socom 16 for target/fun shooting and in case of emergency for self defense. But I am not sure if these rifle are sutable for that task? Would it be possible to use some light hunting loads which are suitable for sd? Sorry for the silly questions but i am new to semi auto rifle world. I have only experience with bolt action guns.

Thanks for the help an advance

Greetings from austria.
 

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Imo, it depends on where you live, and what you mean by self defense.

If youre defending against bad guys coming over a hill at range then 308 is fine. If youre defending yourself within your home, its still fine if you live in a rural area. If homes are close by, you might hurt a neighbor. For more populated areas I would have a shotgun on hand. Anything in front of it is done, and the shot should be contained by your walls(or at least slowed to be non lethal)

Know your target and whats behind it
 

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Like POK33 said.
I'd be using a 12 ga./00 buck for self defense, wouldn't even consider a .308. If you would need a rifle for sd I would think the yardage would be short, less than 200 yards, anything longer and you would be sniping. At this distance a SOCOM or M1a shoot equally as well, for a sd target.

I have a SOCOM II and a M1a, (SA Loaded) I like them both but always seam to grab the M1a when I go to the range, but that's just me.
 

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I agree with other posters...not suitable for "home" defense in a general sense. Shotgun or handgun for that...but even the handgun shouldn't be more (or less) than a .38.
 

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The police might find self defense hard to believe at 800 meters GI1
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I see. Thx for the answers. I know that than m1a or an socom rifle wouldn't be the best sd gun, but it is besser than nothing Using an handgun sounds good, but jhps (with lead core) are prohibited here in austria. Full copper or lead hps would be allowed but they such speciality loads are very hard to get in my country. And FMJ is not the best choice for sd. I think I will get an cheap coachgun for sd, and I will use my m1a only at the range. Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, using semi auto rifles is not probibited here in austria. I have to check first if it is possible to import one, but in general owning an m1a wouldn't be iligal. If i can't get one, I have to get oberland arms ar 10, an ar clone, made in germany.
 

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I believe the M1a is a great self defense weapon. It was designed to engage targets at various ranges you can shoot the bad guy and for close in work you can attach a bayonet or butt stroke them.
 

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I believe the M1a is a great self defense weapon. It was designed to engage targets at various ranges you can shoot the bad guy and for close in work you can attach a bayonet or butt stroke them.
You are definitely right that an M1A will do the job...but what about the bullet going through stuff...like walls...or houses...or other people? I think that is more the point.

Will a 14 save your life? No question. But at what other possible costs?
 

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Self-defense may well include more than home defense. There are still areas of Austria that are undeveloped. Self-defense in such an area, against large mammals, or human mammals, would be well served with an M1A. In America, as pointed out, we have access to many more niche weapons than other places. Lacking this access, one uses whatever is allowable.

Ammunition for a semi-automatic rifle requires specific weights and pressure curves for best performance. DO NOT use any bolt-action loads that are listed as extra-power or plus-power. These were developed to increase the performance of bolt-action rifles, and will not function reliably in a semi-automatic. The Hornady "light Magnum" is a current example.

Down-loading the cartridge may also result in poor function in ejection.

If you have access to surplus 7.62x51 ammunition, use it. Polymer tipped hunting loads of proper weight will usually function well in the M1A.

The M1A is the civilian counterpart to the older M14 rifle. It, the HK G3 series, the FN-FAL, and similar rifles WERE the self-defense weapons of generations of soldiers.DI5
 

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I think the 308 is excellent for rural defense, but still, perhaps not inside a house. Close quarters youd be better off with a shotgun or a handgun(if reasonably trained).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thx again for the answers. I know that that the 308 win is not an ideal sd caliber, but if it is possible to use 150 grain hunting load, then the m1a would get the job done. Overpenetration is not a big problem as I live alone in an rural area.

@JR it would be no problem to get some good surplus ammo in 7,62x51, this will be my plinking load. And for sd I will buy some 150 grain nosler balistic tipps.
 

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I think the 308 is excellent for rural defense, but still, perhaps not inside a house. Close quarters youd be better off with a shotgun or a handgun(if reasonably trained).
Pretty much THIS.

For a Condo: No
For a Farm: Yes

In between you really need to consider over-penetration (influencing your round selection) and ease of maneuvering.
 

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I keep an M1A scout and pretend like it's a defensive weapon as a justification for having it.....it's mostly just a range toy (although I do want to take a deer with mine this year). I have an 18" 870 12 gauge which is lighter and more effective at home defense ranges that I'd reach for first in an emergency. I'd probably reach for my .40 smith m&p pistol before the M1A in that scenario as well. I live in a condo.

A small bit of the .308's over penetration risk can be mitigated by using very light loads like the 110gr hornady TAP .308. This round usually fragements before it penetrates too many barriers, although I certainly still wouldn't want to be in the next apartment over after someone fired it off.
 

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So what are youse guys trying to tell me? Using armor piercing in an apartment might not be a good thing... dagnabit, back for more ammo now...GI2
 

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Ok hypothetically,

Say you do have your M1A for self defense, in a condo/house/townhouse or what have you. You have typical Nato rounds for it and plink at the range every other weekend so your weapon's sights are set for that ammo type and you are used to it shooting that way.
But you also have (for example) some hornady tap for SHTF. That's not ammo the typical person would shoot everyday (atleast me) because it's pretty expensive.

So a perp breaks into your house and you throw in a mag of Defensive loads and take aim at your target, is your rifle's point of impact going to be where you want it to be or is this close range scenario insignificant?

I've read on here that guys have had significant point of impact changes (up to 8") at 100 yards if i remember correctly, with certain defensive rounds as opposed to their range rounds. My rifle's Irons are set for 100yards but if I aim Off-hand at 25 yards they basically hit the center of the target.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LoneStarWings Yes I have allready read only good things about the tap ammo., but I still think that using an 308 win round for sd isn't the best choice. It would work but a shotgun or an handgun would be better. But pump action shotguns are outlawed here in austria and semi auto shotguns are way too expensiv for budget. The only viable option would be an double barreled 12 gauge coach gun. I think it would be no problem to get some speciality rounds suitable for defense, but they are very epensive.. I will stick with m1a to range and buy an double barreld coach gun for sd, or mabyby an used 9mm pistol.
 

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I've read on here that guys have had significant point of impact changes (up to 8") at 100 yards if i remember correctly, with certain defensive rounds as opposed to their range rounds. My rifle's Irons are set for 100yards but if I aim Off-hand at 25 yards they basically hit the center of the target.
Well you'd have to have a pretty big house to have any lines of sight in there longer than 25 yards. 8" at 100 yards is only going to be about 2" at 25 yards, not really enough of a shift in POI to make a difference. In my experience, there's only 3-4 MOA at most change in POI when going from M80 ball (147gr FMJ) to 155-170gr match or ballistic tip loads. When you get into the heavier 175gr loads the POI tends to change a little more. Insignificant, in my view.

LoneStarWings Yes I have allready read only good things about the tap ammo., but I still think that using an 308 win round for sd isn't the best choice. It would work but a shotgun or an handgun would be better. But pump action shotguns are outlawed here in austria and semi auto shotguns are way too expensiv for budget.
Sorry, I did not notice your location until now. Nothing wrong with a coach gun! I'd get a shell holder for the butt stock and call it good. I find them alot faster to reload than pumps or semi-automatics anyway, and a double barrelled shotgun with 3 reloads is, in all liklihood, more than enough for a home defense scenario. A 9mm pistol is a must have for most firearms enthusiasts anyway, so nothing wrong with having one of those on hand either.
 
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