Thursday, March 29, 2018

AR-15 vs. AK-47: Which Is King?


It’s a discussion that has preoccupied some gun enthusiasts for decades. Which is better between the civilian-legal versions of the two primary military weapons of the Cold War superpowers: the AR-15 or the AK-47? I’ve owned both, so I figured that was as good a reason as any to pretend my opinion counts for anything and get to work.

As time has marched on, the positions have shifted a bit as economic realities changed. That’s why some older discussions on the internet might give you some bad information that’s not relevant in this day and age. What was true seven or eight years ago may or may not be true today.


  1. With my AR-15 I am tickled when I can dump a magazine and touch/cover all 30 holes with a half-dollar coin. With my AK I am tickled when I can dump a magazine and get all of the bullets on the target.

    1. when I can dump a magazine and get all of the bullets on the target.

      If the target is a human, that's good enough. :)

  2. With a surgically clean AR-15 I can shoot on the range until it jams. With an AKM I can sleep in a muddy hole. Crawl 40 yards in a swamp in a blinding monsoon. Lay in an ambush all night, Pull my trigger and be confident that my weapon will fire without being field stripped and cleaned. AR-15's are safe queens and range queens. AK's are combat weapons. If it shoots Min. of bad guy chest at 300 meters or less after all that. It has done everything I need done.--Ray

    1. More mythology.
      1. AR rifles don't need surgical cleaning. They do need oil, just like every machine that has moving parts.
      2. AK rifles are not immune to basic function or physics. Two things cannot exist in the same place at the same time. Dirt cannot exist where you want your cartridge to go. The bolt needs to close or the rifle doesn't fire.
      3. This isn't even a contest. We have over 4 decades of data on both of those rifles.


    2. Having carried and used both weapons the way they were intended to be used for over 30 years. You can keep your AR. Stoners suck in the bush. Stoners suck in general. But they really suck in the bush. The AKM and later AK-74 are better combat weapons in every way than anything Stoner ever came up with. AND my Russian built AKM will hit 2MOA all day, every day, with ball ammo. I shoot. You can keep the AR-15 propaganda. The AR-15 of 2018 is the same worthless POS that Stoner designed in the 1950's. --Ray

  3. I'm kinda partial to my M-14. It's a tad heavier and with a 20 round magazine it may not match the good qualities of either the Armalite Rifle-15 or the Automatic (misnomer in the legal version) Kalashnikov, but the combo of the heavy 7.62 x 51 ammo over the AR 5.56 x 45 and superior accuracy over the AK spray and pray machine makes it my choice for combat self defense. Close up in the house wins out to my Remington 870, of course.

    1. I own an M1 Garand for any "step up" from My AKM. BTW My AKM shoots a very consistent 2 MOA out to the MAX effective 300 meters for the round. Not "spray and pray" in any way. IMO the 870 IS a damn fine house gun.--Ray

  4. army infantry vet here. have also carried and used both weapons as they were intended to be used. both are good for doing what they were intended to do.
    from my experience, the max effective range of the AK Is about 200 yards. after that, it gets iffy. the longer the range the more iffy it gets. the ar is good to go to at least 350 yards. if you are trench/urban street fighting, the ak is better. if you are in desert/open field, I prefer the ar.
    the ar is easier to weild/maneuver, so if you are house to house clearing, it's the way to go.
    any infantryman will tell you pounds is pain. that means the more you have to lug, the harder it is to get where you are going, and still be able to do your job when you get there. the ak not only weighs more in your arms, the basic combat load (in my day it was 210 rounds) of 7.62 on your belt weighs considerably more than the 5.56.
    if you want to feel just how much difference there is, this weekend take a 10 mile hike with a 1 liter bottle on each side of your belt. then next weekend take the same hike with a half gallon on each hip and see which one you would rather hump around every day.

  5. Brock, you sure know how to stir the pot!!

    While my experience is limited I have fired both and much prefer the 30 cal AK BUT...

    All things considered the AR seems a much more versatile platform offering many advantages. Ergonomics certainly would seem to favor the AR. The picatinny rail system offer great flexibility in dot sights, night vision attachments, laser attachments etc.. Then then is the ability to carry much more 223 ammo than 30 cal offering what, in my humble opinion, is another advantage.

    While never carrying either into hostile situations I can attest to being on a course, in the field, where there were 11 people carried an AR and 1 carried an AK. The ONLY malfunction from any weapon turned out to be mine which was an M&P variant which blew out part of the chamber and jammed a cartridge so badly it had to be beat out with a metal rod. Smith and Wesson fixed it for free but my confidence in S&W was a bit shaken.

    Thankfully I had a 2nd AR, Rock River, which functioned flawlessly for roughly 700 rounds without a hitch. Total round count for the weekend was roughly 1000 rounds and no one else suffered a single malfunction.

    One thing that was quite noticeable was the time it took to reload the AK. The guy seemed competent but reloading the ARs was much faster.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Y'all have a nice day.