If I was to ever buy another of the type, I'd probably buy TWO Ruger Mini-30s and 10 magazines...and a thousand rounds of Wolf hollow-point 7.62x39, 110grain.
All that for the price of an AR-15.
You would think a guy who had been in the Navy would be more careful around boats. Geez. ;-)
For cheap, reliable, and did I mention Cheap! - consider an SKS.
Don’t bother with the SKS-M. Had one, and while it did feed reliably from AK-47 mags, just a simple part exchange on the regular SKS will give it 20 round capacity without the long mag hanging out the bottom.
And, where else can you get UGLY for so little outlay.
Also, it is more accurate than most any Mini-30.