AK is louder.
This is a discussion on Question on the 5.56x45/.223 and the 7.62x39. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; AK is louder....
They are approximately equal in the grand scheme of things.
especially without specific load data...
"a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.
I'm only asking this because I ask a guy who was in the US Army until 2008 and he said the following:
"I just got out of the Army at the tail end of 2008 and this is my .02 your ears may be different.
The M4/AR15/M16 family has to my ears a sharp harsher report. The AK has a good report which seems to be milder to the unplugged ear at the shooters end, but when on the receiving end you can defiantly tell the difference between the two.
Having heard both simultaneously (inbound and outbound) I can tell you that the M4 makes a lot of noise without ear protection. (After about 30 rounds it sounds like everyone is talking to you from about 10 feet back and to the side, gets worse as you fire more)
The AK is a good solid crack thud and wasn't quite as harsh as the 5.56. Having not fired a 30 round mag without hearing protection through an AK I can't compare too much as I only fired about 10 rounds through it at at time for familiarity without hearing protection. It hurt, but not as bad as the 5.56mm.
To loosely quote heart break ridge, "This is the preferred weapon of your enemy, it makes a distinctive sound when being fired at you."
You have no clue how true this statement is and I pray that you never have to find out.
That being said to me and my ears the M4/16/15 family is louder from afar. At Ft Campbell we could always tell when the various units were at the range as we could hear it in the housing by gate 6 which was several miles from the range.
To my ears on the firing end, the AK is a solid thud and crack where as the M4 is more of a harsh loud bang and crack. Hope this helps.
And yes a 7.62 nato has a hell of a percussion. Its worse when being the AG on the side of a M240b then being the guy pulling the trigger."