I want to say thank you to everyone who responded to my posting. After much debate I took a trip to my local gun shop to see what was available and ended up purchasing a Saiga 223 rifle.
I reason I went with the Saiga is primarly because the pistols I really wanted were out of stock and the they had a wonderful price on the Saiga. The gun was pre owner but the previous owner came in to hard times and sold the gun when it had never been shot! The total purchase came to $295 after the background check. I am very pleased with this purchase and I look foward to getting out to the range. Also if anyone knows of a good scope to get with an illuminated reticle I would appreciate the advice.