Top 3 Cheapest (Reliable) Semi Autos

Discussion in 'Survival Gear' started by animalspooker, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. animalspooker

    animalspooker G&G Evangelist

    I'd like a list of recommendations of three cheapest, yet reliable, semi-autos. Only stipulations are that they are reliable and that they use an easily accessible ammo! I'd like something that is easy on the weight and lenght and very portable as this is THE SURVIVAL FORUM.
  2. Brandhard

    Brandhard G&G Evangelist

    SKS is probably the cheapest semi-auto, and based on my experience is VERY reliable, ammo is widely available and fairly cheap. Another one that comes to mind is the AK. I don't have any experience with that arm, so I'll let someone who does talk about it. I leave it at the fact that it has the reputation of possibly being the most reliable automatic rifle ever made. Of course we don't have the autos though.

  3. BudW

    BudW G&G Evangelist

    Hi Point Carbine 9mm
  4. nightmare905

    nightmare905 G&G Newbie

    Top 3 cheapest (reliable) in my book:

    3. AK47

    These are in no particular order by the way. Great thing about the SKS and AKs is that they are both time tested designs, both use the same caliber too. The great thing about the Saiga is that you pretty much get a brand new rifle that uses the AKs rugged action and pretty much the most popular cartridges (.223,.308,7.62x39,and even 12ga). Great thing about all three is that you can pretty much find them all for under $350. Price wise the SKS would be the lowest one, then followed buy the Saiga, and the AK would probably be the most expensive out of the 3 but all of them EASILY affordable.
  5. BarryHalls

    BarryHalls G&G Evangelist

    The cheapest, acceptably reliable (for survival equipment), semi-auto is an SKS.

    An AK is a little more expensive, but worth it for the reliablity upgrade IMO.

    After that. . .

    IMO, there is nothing in that price range that's as reliable.
  6. thoricuncle

    thoricuncle G&G Newbie

    1. Marlin 60 22LR
    2. Saiga 7.62x39
    3. Hi Point 995 9 mm

    Based on your criteria, the Marlin wins hands down. You can pick them up around $100 and 500 rounds can fit in an oversized pants pocket.
  7. CAV88

    CAV88 G&G Newbie

    i agree with the sks and the AK as the top 2 rifles for shtf but i would have to throw in a solid pump action 12 gauge like a mossberg 500 or rem 870 all 3 rifles are very affordable you can walk out the door with a romanian AK-47 with 2 mags oil can and bayonet for 473 out the door (ive had mine for awhile but my brother JUST bought one and thats what he paid

    so id say

    12 gauge pump
  8. ....

    Ok so when you say survival, are we talking taking small game or taking game and self defence? For just taking small game I would have to say a Henry .22lr I love my little Model 60 and it is a very accurate gun BUT you do have to keep them clean and from what I have heard the henry sounds to be alot less maintenence than the Model 60.

    If we are talking Self Defence and taking game I would go with Either an SKS or a 12 guage. the SKS you can get for pretty cheep but so can you get a shot gun for cheep. The sks will have more range than the Shotgun too. you can get Sabots for the shotgun and with a rifled barrel you are looking at 100 yards pretty easy. Plus with a Shotgun you can also use birdshot for small game and take all sizes of game iff need be. But at the same time the rounds from the SKS are going to be smaller, easier to carry then 12 guage rounds. Also even if you shorten your shotgun down the sks will problubly be easier to pack than the shotgun and hold more rounds in the clip if you get a larger clip. Also When I say SKS I should Also Mention the AK47 if you can afford it, I just no from what I have seen the SKS seems to be a little cheeper around here.

    Also another good rifle would be a lever action 30-30 you can carry a decent amount of ammo plus take most game in north america. How ever You might as well forget taking small game with it or the sks lol. But in my opinion a .22 would be a good one to pack if your going on a long hike, you can fit ALOT of ammo in your pack and take all kinds of small game.

    Any way, thats my .02
  9. .22guy

    .22guy G&G Enthusiast

    SKS or Saiga.
  10. BarryHalls

    BarryHalls G&G Evangelist

    This brings up a good point.

    If I could only have ONE GUN, it would be a 12 gauge pump, 20-24" barrel, set of chokes, ammo, etc.

    Why? It can do a wider range of tasks, better, than any other weapon on the planet. Everything from squirrels, to elephants, breaching doors, to tasering. Yeah, they REALLY do that much and so much more, legally, lol.

  11. Those are all very good points.
  12. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    I think it depends on what you define as a cheap semi-auto. There's also the clause, "a semi-auto WHAT?" Are we including shotguns and pistols as well as rifle and carbines? How about used versus new? As stated, the OP has left a lot of leeway regarding an answer.

    In the New category, I have to agree with the folks who say the Hi-Point Model 995 carbine. Those wholesale for $160 and are about $270 in the stores. There's also a folding 9mm Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that takes Glock 17 magazines, but at around $400 I don't know if you'd classify that as cheap. Romanian AKs in 7.62 ComBloc are at around $400 as well. Cobray makes a really ugly 9mm carbine called the CM-11 that's essentially an old Cobray M-11 pistol to which a stock, barrel shroud and 16 inch barrel have been added that's in the same price range. I gather the thing is so simple as to be reliable, but I've never shot one and have no desire to. If you are running in luck you might find a Beretta CX-4 Storm in 9mm or .45 ACP (that's new) in that price range, but they are usually at least $150 more. I think that pretty well covers the new longarms in one of the universal calibers that is not a .22 LR.

    I've seen 20 gauge Saiga shotguns that fall into that price range, but the 12 gauges are always more; usually around $600, which ain't cheap in anybody's book. Plus which, 20 gauge is not a universal caliber, though it's reasonably easy to get because trapshooters and some wingshooters use it. Also, there are some Charles Daly 12-gauge semi-autos that fall into our price range, but just barely.

    Used, you have a little more choice, but not much. You can as has already been noted, get SKS rifles still in the cosmoline for under $400. You can sometimes do better than that with private party sales. I've seen a number of used 12-gauge semi-autos in that price range, too.

    But when you're talking about military caliber rifles new or used, there's nothing at in that price range; and I mean nothing. I've seen beat-up Garands for under $500, but you'd better detail-strip them and make sure all the parts are present and accounted for at that price! A beaten-half-to-death M-1 Carbine will run you $650 dollars, and one in NRA Good or better would put a mortal wound into a Grover, for sure. (Grover Cleveland was on the $1,000 bill. They are no longer in circulation.) The same can be said for any Poodle Shooter in either 5.56 NATO or 7.62 NATO, any FN-FAL, the Galil, the CETME, the G3, the PSL, the Auto-Ordnance semi-auto Thompson in M1927A1 configuration (the "Commando" version, a semi-auto M1928 type, is a couple of hundred dollars more) and the semi-auto HK C93. None of these even remotely meet our standard for inexpensive rifles.

    So I guess the conclusion I reach from researching this is that if you want a semi-automatic longarm that qualifies as affordable (at least on layaway), your choices are limited to the SKS, the AK-47 in 7.62x39 only, the 9mm Hi-Point Model 995 (which you can accessorize with a muzzle brake and a laser or a red dot sight and still come in under $400), the 9mm Kel-Tec 2000 Sub and if you're lucky, the Beretta CX-4 Storm in 9mm. Unless you get lucky with a private party sale, there isn't anything in centerfire cartridge rifles that is both cheap and reliable.
  13. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    Though a fair question, it made me chuckle thinking of the time someone may have posted;"I want the cheapest, but reasonably reliable parachute." If you are going to have your life depend on something, don't necessarily think the cheapest.
  14. larmus

    larmus G&G Enthusiast


    Reliable, holds ten rounds 7.62x39 reloads quickly if you master stripper clips, can take shots out to 300+ yards and can be used close in, very easy to field strip and clean, carries attached bayo on the front and a cleaning kit in the buttstock, not a spray and pray rifle ten rounds make you learn to hit your target not hope to hit your target, meets the requirement for a semi-auto-reliable-battle-proven-rifle.
  15. Ninja Piper

    Ninja Piper G&G Evangelist

    Anyone think of the M1 Garand? At $500 for a field grade I would rate that as still fairly inexpensive for the quality of rifle. Granted, 8 round clips aren't the greatest for capacity, but it is a proven weapon. Not to mention much more accurate than an AK or SKS could even dream of being!
  16. BarryHalls

    BarryHalls G&G Evangelist

    This is true, but where guns and a budget a concerned, money saved may be money put into ammo or other equipment that will help you survive. So, I like to get the cheapest weapon of acceptable function. Now, my standards of acceptability are quite high, but the price is often quite low.
  17. BarryHalls

    BarryHalls G&G Evangelist

    Don't confuse accuracy with range, an SKS can compare to the might Garand within 300 yards, but still, the Garand has killed me at 900 yards and beyond. It is also AWESOME for deer hunting.

    For a survival weapon, I would sooner purchase a $250 Saiga AK in .308, as it is lighter, detatchable magazine fed, and half the price, BUT, it will never live up to the accuracy of the Garand.
  18. BarryHalls

    BarryHalls G&G Evangelist


    My choices on rifles are quite simple, but pistols become more complex, and shotguns, I'm almost strictly a pump man, especially where price is concerned.
  19. Dragunov

    Dragunov G&G Evangelist

    Not necessarily true. I have a Norinco SKS that has yet to be outdone by a Garand within 200 yards. True for the AK though. What's his chances of getting a Garand cheap? (I consider "cheap" as under $450). Almost zero, not one worth having anyway.

    SKS, if you can get one in VG+ condition.

    Saiga, Some places even in the PRK have them in 5.56 or 5.45 for around that price.

    You can pick up a lower end AK for around $400. Not the most accurate rifle, but minute of man at 150 yds. You can get one in 5.45X39 (AK74) and it'll be more accurate and REALLY cheap to shoot.

    Maverick 12g. Not semi auto, but a great deal at around $225-250. A friend of mine bought one and he loves it. You can get a longer barrel from Mossberg for around $100.

    I would recommend an SU16 by Kel Tec, but they are around $550.

    Marlin model 60 around $120, Marlin model 795 $120 or a Ruger 10/22 for around $200. You MUST have a .22 in your arsenal.

    ALL of the above mentioned are good, quality weapons at a reasonable price. Not "cheap" weapons by any standard.

    Personally, I'd save my $$$ and get a good AR.
    As far as I'm concerned, there are only two upper mid range carbines.
    AR15 and SKS.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  20. Where can you buy a Saiga .308 for $250? In my area they run from $500-$700!