*JLD PTR 91 After Action Report*
In the last several months I have decided that its time to purchase Main Battle Rifles (MBR) for the family arsenal. The idea that I needed one came about by reading Boston T. Party's book on guns. I realized that I was inadequately prepared with just my Remington 742 in 30-06 with about 35 rounds on hand. Also since the sunset of the senseless clinton crime bill there is no restriction on gun features and limited magazine capacity. My wife also finished school and started working, we suddenly had a nice cash infusion to move forward with our preps. Since all of these stars aligned it was time to go shopping!
As you probably know there are basically three MBR's to choose from the tried and true M1A, "The Right Arm of the Free World" the FAL, and the German G3 in Semi-automatic commonly known as an HK-91 or HK variant. I knew an MBR wasn't gonna be cheap but I soon found out that a new M1a was around $1500 and a New FAL was easily $1300-$1400, and HK-91 where a mind boggling $2500 ! And to buy it new I would also get to pay all those FFL checks and dealer fee's. So I started scouring Gun shows and Gunboards looking for a Face to Face Deal. I never found an M1A for sale that was a FTF deal, I would like to own one someday I really like the sights and would enjoy owning a gun descendant from the M14, the last great MBR carried by U.S. troops (the M16 is not an MBR its an assault rifle). The FAL's that I found all seemed worn out. The finish was missing and the actions just seemed loose, or some guy would have played bubba gunsmith and built a charging handle that looked like it came of a ruger 10-22........"I was tryin to up my US made parts count " he says ! Again too bad because I really think the ergonomics of the FAL, along with its adjustable gas tube, make it an exceptional weapon. I had just about given up when I found a posting on a national Website for a JLD PTR -91 for just $700 with a claim of only 100 rounds or so through it. On top of that the seller was a private individual living about 45 minutes away !
Now a little about the JLD PTR-91. Its essentially a new production American made G3 variant in semi-auto. The G3 was originally adopted by Germany in the 50's. As the story goes a Germany recovering from WW2 went to Belgium seeking to arm the new NATO friendly German Army with the FAL, The Belgians politely told Germany to pound sand as they where not interested in arming a nation that continually invaded them. Smart fellas them Belgians. Germany then turned to Spain and adopted a hopped up CETME as their new battle rifle and called it the G3. (the CETME was designed in Spain by German engineers from the great German arms manufacturer Mauser who had fled Germany after WW2 some of the designs from the old German Sturmgewehr, but I'm getting off topic). Some off the great things all the G3 style Rifle's including the JLD PTR-91 share
An easily field stripped modular design.
A robust charging system.
IMHO excellent sights that are rear adjustable for both windage and elevation (does require tools though), the drum is adjustable form 100 - 400 meters.
The gun is built like a bank vault.....its seriously tough. Boston rated it as his favorite end of the world rifle, because he claims it just doesn't break.
The JLD's are built in Unionville Conecticut. THe Rifle's receiver is built on HK spec equipment that if I recall right was imported from Portugal. Most components for the Rifle's are US made and are generally considered as good or better than parts manufactured anywhere else. Right now there are a lot of surplus parts from just about any HK or G3 that fit right on the JLD PTR 91 and mil spec 20 round mags can be had for $1-$5 dollars......beat that !!!!
The JLD PTR-91 is chambered for 308 which is basically the civilian equivalent of the NATO 7.62 X 51 cartridge. Folks should understand that the two cartridges are NOT exactly the same and it may not be safe to shoot the higher pressure 308 in a gun chambered for 7.62 X 51. Going the other way and shooting military surplus in a Rifle chambered for 308 is generally OK so long as the chamber tolerance is such that fired shell cases don't get stuck. JLD reportedly had some problems with this early on but have since remedied the problem. I know that my Rifle fires surplus from a couple different sources with no problem as well as cheap (relative) new US made 308 ammo.
Now back to the particular PTR-91 that I found. I met the guy at a rest stop roughly halfway between our homes. A funny, well odd funny, side note is that this guy had actually had to bug out of his home for a few days the previous week due to wildfire. Anyway we met and for $700 I got a practically new PTR-91, 10 or 12 20 round mags, a box of 20 commercial 308 bullets, and a plastic hard case. WOW !
I came home and ordered 50 used mags from Tapco for $50.....that's right a buck a mag ! All but a couple where serviceable, maybe 10 looked pristine, another 15-20 looked good and the rest got dumped into mineral spirits then scrubbed and lightly oiled. And these where HK mags, not aftermarket or Chinese knock offs but real McCoy military mags ! Compared that to $8-$10 for serviceable FAL mags and $25 and up for M1A mags.
I then got a $7 sling from Wal-mart and ordered 980 rounds of South African Surplus ammo to feed it then promptly signed up for the nearest Appleseed shoot to get some MBR training.
The Rifle did fantastic at the Appleseed shoot. For anyone that doesn't know the Appleseed Shoots are held around the country and have the stated goal of re-creating America as a nation of RIFLEMEN! (RIFLEWOMEN too) ! If you go to one, and you should, you will learn to use your Rifle to engage targets out to 500 yards accurately and consistently. The training centers on lots of shooting at the Army Qualification Target (AQT) at various ranges both real and simulated. My PTR-91 fired approximately 400 rounds in 2 days with only two feeding hiccups, neither of which where the fault of the gun. My first failure to feed was because I loaded a bullet into the gun twice following ejecting the non-fired round in Ball and Dummy drills. The chamber had a lot of fouling and the case stuck when I fired it the third time I fed it. I manually forced the bolt back a little and the spent case ejected and I was ready to go again. On the second day I I tried another of those $1 Tapco mags and immediately had feeding trouble. turns out that particular mag was bent just a bit to much on the front lip and didn't lock up tight. I changed mags out and was 100% again. Accuracy was very good once I got zeroed I stayed on paper even at actual distance of 400 yards. The gun shoots better than I can. I got a hold of 40 rounds of Hirtenberger ammo (Austrian) and I did notice that she seemed to tighten up a little but I would be comfortable with the South African, it was plenty good enough.
So a $700 Rifle, $200 for 980 rounds of SA ammo (I still have 620 rounds), $50 for more mags than I need, and $70 for two days of Appleseed instruction and I'm feeling pretty squared away for $1020.00
If you don't mind all the FFl stuff Sarco has these rifles new in the box starting at $695 http://www.sarcoinc.com/ptr91.html of course you will have to pay them to ship it to a local FFL dealer and then pay the dealer to transfer but I'm sure you would still be under $775 or so.Or be patient and find a local one for a good price.
I strongly recommend the JLD PTR-91, I'm looking for another used one right now !
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