AK-47 vs. M16(AK vs. AR), which do you choose? Why?


gunnerbob

PEW Professional
Just to get some opinions going, which platform do you prefer? This includes the most modern modifications to both weapons. It includes the 5.45mm AK and the 6.8mm M16s, as well as the AKS-74U and M4 carbines... all of 'em. The one exception is the new "gas piston" M16s... being that the difference in the gas systems is the largest argument betwwen these two.

Include reasons such as ergonomics, sights, magizines, grips, reliability, weapon toughness, accuracy, price(bang for buck), whatever you think is a deciding factor.

I, like the AK platform. I prefer the the gas piston system over the direct impingement b/c it keeps the reciever group cleaner and cooler, which helps prevent malfunctions under extreme use. I prefer the ergos of the AK over the M16. I prefer the toughness of the AK, I know the M16 is tough but not as tough... I've had many experiances with the M16, not as forgiving as the AK. And, I love the price of the AK over the M16.

Now, some may argue that the magizine system of the AK sucks compared to the M16... you can't just shove it in. With practice, a reload with an AK is just as fast as an M16. Some will argue it's not as easy to charge the weapon after reloading(with no bolt release)... again, with practice charging an AK can be very fast and part of one fluid movement of the reload. And, the sights on the AK don't provide a long sight picture(campared to the 20" A2)... this ofcourse becomes null once compared with the M4.

None of the so called "faults" of the AK platform justify the purchase of an M16 as my go-to rifle. But, the "faults" of the M16 does justify the purchase of the AK.

IMO.
 

Mobuck

New member
In my opinion, it's a matter of whether you're interested in reliability under abuse or precision with adequate reliability. I have both and both are functional but I really prefer the accuracy and adaptability of the AR over the AK. With the tools I have, the AR can be built, rebuilt, adapted, or customized to meet most any situation(including multicaliber capability=5.45x39,223/5.56x45,7.62x39).
 

fudo

New member
The AR is a rifleman's rifle.It's very accurate and reliable if properly maintained. Maintenance in the field is difficult due to the need for tools and skill. The AK is not so accurate, but can be run and maintained by a 12 year old with a can of motor oil and a string. Both platforms have their uses. A thing that I think is revealing about their design philosophies is that on the AR the select switch goes from safe to semi to full. The AK select switch goes from safe to full to semi. Also I'm left handed. The AK platform is right hand only. I own 2 left handed AR's. So it's all AR's for serious shooting and AK's for fun and last ditch efforts.
 

jg1967

New member
Oh boy, are you gonna get an earlful ... :pleasantry:

I have an AK and like it. I have no AR so far simply because they are pricier and I have not seen one that I really had to have. I do however have a Kel Tec SU16B which while technically not an AR pretty much works like one. In fact it has a hybrid bolt/piston system using ideas from both the AR and AK.
 

B2Tall

Stirrer of the Pot
I have both. As a recreational shooter I wouldn't be able to decide. They're both a lot of fun (but that goes for most guns....bang = fun!). Under my present circumstances (a relatively quiet life in suburbia) if I ever needed an assault rifle, I'd probably grab my AR. It's clean, broken-in, pinpoint accurate, and will function every time I squeeze the trigger. Now if I were out in the sticks with my life depending on my rifle, I'd take a pre-ban, numbers-matching AK any day of the week. The utter simplicity and almost indestructible nature of this weapon makes it hard to say "no" to. Unfortunately the same reliability isn't always available in today's hybrid/mutant/Frankenstein-like hodgepodge AKs that are for sale in this country. We can thank the positively ridiculous USC 922r law for that.
 

rifleshooter474

New member
For years I only shot my two AR-15s but when the price of 5.56 Ammo. started inching up, I bought my first AK-47 a SGL-20 7.62x39 well now I have two SGL-20s and a SGL-31-74 5.45x39 also my trusty TGI AMD-65 7.62x39.
I enjoy them all and would not sell any of them.
I sure can clean my AKs a lot faster then my ARs. ;-)
 

Deanimator

New member
I've shot:
  • Chinese AK-47s
  • Romanian AKMs, AKMSes, and RPKs
  • M16A1s
  • Various AR15s, including Colt, Eagle, etc.

The Kalashnikov has it over the M16 and AR15 in pure reliability under adverse conditions. This is due largely to the piston operation and looser tolerances.

The M16/AR15 has it over the Kalashnikov in pure accuracy. This is due largely to tighter tolerances and MUCH better sights.

At one time I was getting some death threats from neo-Nazis and decided I needed a modern long gun. My choice was between a Kalashnikov and an AR15. I chose to assemble an AR15 using a used Eagle lower and 16" and 20" A2 uppers. I chose the AR15 for the following reasons:
  • greater inherent accuracy
  • best user controls of ANY semi-auto long gun
  • wide availability of parts and accessories
  • easy interchangeability of uppers, barrels and caliber
  • long term availability of ammunition and components

My use was primarily in an urban/small town environment.

If I thought that I was going to be in an adverse environment, I would probably pick an Arsenal Kalashnikov (AK-103?) in 5.56x45mm. It's accurate enough, and EXTREMELY reliable.
 

rifleshooter474

New member
I've shot:
  • Chinese AK-47s
  • Romanian AKMs, AKMSes, and RPKs
  • M16A1s
  • Various AR15s, including Colt, Eagle, etc.

The Kalashnikov has it over the M16 and AR15 in pure reliability under adverse conditions. This is due largely to the piston operation and looser tolerances.

The M16/AR15 has it over the Kalashnikov in pure accuracy. This is due largely to tighter tolerances and MUCH better sights.

At one time I was getting some death threats from neo-Nazis and decided I needed a modern long gun. My choice was between a Kalashnikov and an AR15. I chose to assemble an AR15 using a used Eagle lower and 16" and 20" A2 uppers. I chose the AR15 for the following reasons:
  • greater inherent accuracy
  • best user controls of ANY semi-auto long gun
  • wide availability of parts and accessories
  • easy interchangeability of uppers, barrels and caliber
  • long term availability of ammunition and components

My use was primarily in an urban/small town environment.

If I thought that I was going to be in an adverse environment, I would probably pick an Arsenal Kalashnikov (AK-103?) in 5.56x45mm. It's accurate enough, and EXTREMELY reliable.

I don't find any real problem with accuracy with my AKs against my ARs, but again I am not into .1 MOA type shooting.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
rifleshooter474:218976 said:
I've shot:
  • Chinese AK-47s
  • Romanian AKMs, AKMSes, and RPKs
  • M16A1s
  • Various AR15s, including Colt, Eagle, etc.

The Kalashnikov has it over the M16 and AR15 in pure reliability under adverse conditions. This is due largely to the piston operation and looser tolerances.

The M16/AR15 has it over the Kalashnikov in pure accuracy. This is due largely to tighter tolerances and MUCH better sights.

At one time I was getting some death threats from neo-Nazis and decided I needed a modern long gun. My choice was between a Kalashnikov and an AR15. I chose to assemble an AR15 using a used Eagle lower and 16" and 20" A2 uppers. I chose the AR15 for the following reasons:
  • greater inherent accuracy
  • best user controls of ANY semi-auto long gun
  • wide availability of parts and accessories
  • easy interchangeability of uppers, barrels and caliber
  • long term availability of ammunition and components

My use was primarily in an urban/small town environment.

If I thought that I was going to be in an adverse environment, I would probably pick an Arsenal Kalashnikov (AK-103?) in 5.56x45mm. It's accurate enough, and EXTREMELY reliable.

I don't find any real problem with accuracy with my AKs against my ARs, but again I am not into .1 MOA type shooting.

Yeah, that's my queston. I do not own either yet :-(. I have a friend with an ak in .223 and an ar he built (do not know which manufacturer of each part). His ak seemed accurate enough to me.

When you guys say the AR is more accurate...is it such a difference that its a main deciding factor? Maybe I'm just not good enough with a rifle to feel the difference.
 

rifleshooter474

New member
Yeah, that's my queston. I do not own either yet :-(. I have a friend with an ak in .223 and an ar he built (do not know which manufacturer of each part). His ak seemed accurate enough to me.

When you guys say the AR is more accurate...is it such a difference that its a main deciding factor? Maybe I'm just not good enough with a rifle to feel the difference.

I stuck a Russian PSOP 4-24 Scope on the side rail on my SGLs and I can tell you I get tight groups, tight enough to hit where I want.
Not all AKs shoot the same but my three Arsnels shoot very good. I have yet to read of a poor shooting Arsnel AK.
 
J

JSDinTexas

Guest
I went through the same AR vs AK decision myself just recently. Started looking at Romanian AK first for under $500 but heard a lot of bad things about quality like mag problems and canted front sights. So I went to AKs over $800 but by the time I saw what I wanted, it was the price of a good AR.
I also considered the 7.62 vs the 5.56 for skinny whitetail in my neck of the woods and decided the 5.56 was fine.
I handled some AKs and while I could put up with the tolerances (I have Glocks that you can see thru), I really wasn't comfortable with the overall quality I saw.
Bottom line: Colt LE 6920 and I couldn't be happier.
 

B2Tall

Stirrer of the Pot
Yeah, that's my queston. I do not own either yet :-(. I have a friend with an ak in .223 and an ar he built (do not know which manufacturer of each part). His ak seemed accurate enough to me.

When you guys say the AR is more accurate...is it such a difference that its a main deciding factor? Maybe I'm just not good enough with a rifle to feel the difference.

With my AR (16" barrel) I can put most of the rounds in a 2-3" group at 100m using iron sights. I've got it dialed in just the way I like it. On the other hand, with either of my 16" AKs the group is more like 8-10". Big difference. I've worked on those AKs quite a bit and come to the conclusion that they're not gonna get any more accurate. They're as good as they're going to get. I do have an AK with a 21" barrel and it's accuracy is comparable to my AR. I have serious doubts as to my ability to consistently hit a man-sized target at 300-400m with a 16" AK but I know I can do it all day long with my 16" AR. The Russians realized this accuracy issue and developed the Dragunov as sort of a "marksman's rifle" to bridge the gap in between the AK and their purpose-built sniper rifles (we've kept the M-14 in service for the same reason).

A good friend of mine has quite a bit of experience doing civilian security work in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says that while he and his co-workers carry M4s as their primary weapon, each Chevy Suburban that they drive usually has an AK in it just in case they need to totally hose-down a target. Those heavy 7.62x39 slugs smash through walls, cars, etc. with a bit more gusto than the 5.56.

Again, if the SHTF and I'm on my own, I'm grabbing an AK. Otherwise I'd choose the AR.
 

gunnerbob

PEW Professional
I've already made my choices about the subject as stated in the first post... it's interesting to see that a lot of people will choose the AK in a SHTF scenario... that's an important trend.


Interesting thread, keep it up.
 

patsfan11762

New member
I guess this means I have to get an AK somehow.I have not shot an Ak yet so I have no comparison. Sound slike a good excuse to get another gun!
 

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