Monday, June 27, 2011

CAI C91 Sporter Review

The C91 sporter by century arms is a auto-loading rifle that fires the 76.2x51 Nato cartridge. It's known more commonly by .308 Winchester here in the states. Based on the same blow-back design of the world famous Heckler & Koch G3 assault rifle. A G3 in the states will run you a few thousand dollars, but you can have practiclly the same rifle for only about $600 Us. While not made to the same standards, the C91 offers A reliable, accurate Work horse of a rifle that will outlast the owner.

C91 shown with tapco stock and UTG tri-rail.
I picked up my C91 a few years ago. Today you can find them still on the shelf for around $600-$900 depending on the quality and use of it. Over the course of a thousand round, I have only have one FTF from a bad round of ammunition, never a mechanical failure on the behalf of the gun. In many circles, Century is a four letter word. I have heard nightmare stories of rifles that were out of spec and hardly functional,C91 included. My C91 rifle has never given me any trouble, or the three other Century rifles I own. While I’m not disputing these claims, they shouldn't be taken as a accurate description of all CAI rifles.

Being a surplus rifle, many accessories are widely available for the C91. Cheaper then dirt carries magazines, parts, and more all for resoable prices. Those so inclined might find the UTG tri-rail of great interests. It allows the attachment of various after market parts, from bi-pods and vertical fore grips to lights and lasers. It has 30 rail attachment points on each rail allowing for user customization. There are also a number of after market scope mounts available tat attach to the top of the receiver, allowing the use of optics. While the debate on ideal optics can rage on forever, I chose a Nikon 3x-9x variable powered scope with there proprietary bullet drop compensation reticule. It offers a great balance of power and weight, complementing the rifle instead of weighing it down.
NIkon 3-9 variable scope and UTG Bi-pod

The 7.62X51 round is inherently accurate. Shots exceeding 600 meters are common, it is trusted by hunters and militaries alike. Sporting a fluted chamber, the C91 is more the capable of using the cartridge to it's full range. I've personally made shots exceeding 400 meters with confidence, my skills being a larger factor in hitting my mark then the rifle. Ammunition choice is A very important factor in accuracy, and every rifle is different. I have had great successes with Federal's fusion 168grain factory loads as well as Hornaday Superformance 150grain rounds. Both these rounds offer a high degree of accuracy and performance on game.
CETME with wood stock and front end

Overall the C91 and other CETME family rifles offer superior ruggedness and performance for a minimal price. While they are quiet heavy and ungainly, they offer the confidence of long-range accuracy and unyielding reliability. While not on par with higher end PTR-91's, the C91 has exceeded all of my expectations in workmanship and accuracy. Making it great value in it's price range for shooters looking for the performance of a modern auto-loading .308 rifle, without spending more then a G.

Please excuse my delay in posting this, things got a little busy in my neck of the woods. Expect some bargain shooter reviews this week, guides on how to save you pennys and still have a great time.