AK and AR peronsal conflict

This is a discussion on AK and AR peronsal conflict within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I understand that these are two completely different platforms. But this is the cross roads that I'm at and if you guys could help me ...

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Thread: AK and AR peronsal conflict

  1. #1
    Member Array PRSOrator's Avatar
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    AK and AR peronsal conflict

    I understand that these are two completely different platforms. But this is the cross roads that I'm at and if you guys could help me address the choice with some insight, that would be great.

    What I'm looking for is a fun, accurate, and reliable rifle to shoot fairly cheap for recreation and to rely on in a SHTF scenario.

    I cannot decide between an AK and an AR 15, here are my pro's and con's


    PROS
    AR: Platform is really comfortable to shoot
    .223 ammo can be had anywhere for relatively cheap
    Magazines are plentiful and cheap, as well as reliable and made in the USA (say, magpul)
    Very accurate and reliable
    Most Carbines are Optics ready (I'd like to put a red dot on it, no other bells or whistles though)

    AK: Platform is rugged, can handle a beating
    7.62 is a powerful round
    If I ever got careless it would still fire without a regular cleaning (say a SHTF scenario where cleaning isn't always practical)
    Can be had for 350-400 dollars in my area
    Underfolders are fairly compact and I feel It would be more comfortable to carry if I ever had to grab one or two guns and go out for a long haul somewhere. (SHTF)

    CONS

    AR: Expensive, right now I simply cannot afford play 1000+ dollars for an AR

    AK: If an ammo ban ever goes into affect or there are stricter regulartions on imported ammo, 7.62 will be much harder to find and price will increase dramatically (is this correct, I've heard this on many forums but never had a "site your sources" opportunity)
    Not as comfortable to shoot
    Optics are pointless, would stick to iron sights (this saves me money and also upkeep of batteries in a SHTF scenario, so this is kind of a pro but I was still excited for a solid red dot)
    Wouldn't rely on it to hit anything accurately past 100 yards
    Magazines are mostly produced overseas and I feel there is a bit of a quality control with them (does someone suggest otherwise?)



    Clearly I prefer the AR to the AK, but the benefits of the AR don't make sense if I can't even afford to own it right now. I could go buy an AK today, and I'm regularly tempted, but the pro's of the AR over the AK (for my application) keep me waiting (for about 3 months now), saving up money is difficult as a college student, but honestly I feel a solid semi auto, hi mag capacity, reliable gun is a necessity in a household in this day and age. My shotgun will defend my home, my savage 111 will take down a buck, and my pistols are with me every day, but none of my current weapons fit the needs of a SHTF scenario (in my mind, the ability to be light, high mag capacity, reliable, quick to reload, accurate, able to take large amounts of ammo in relatively compact places).

    So what do I do, wait a couple more months with (seriously) it could be a purchase I regret not having made sooner, (like...S actually HTF) or do I compromise and get the AK for the sake of filling my application cheaply and quickly.

    Help?

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  3. #2
    Member Array ItsMyRight2's Avatar
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    I would say if you want a cheap plinker go with the AK. But if you want a NICE rifle go with the AR.
    When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
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  4. #3
    JT
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    I would start with what you can afford. An AK. Later, when you have the money, get an AR.

    That's what I did. In my early 20s I got an AK. In my 30s, I got an AR.

    The AK will do an excellent job of fulfilling your need for a SHTF rifle. As for ammo, put a couple of cases away now, in case there is a ban. Even if you had an AR, you cannot count on re-supplying your ammo supply once the SHTF. Law enforcement and the military are not going to be giving you ammo. See Katrina.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

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    Heck, I thought you were talking about Alaska vs. Arkansas...

    The AR platform is the better platform, much more accurate, and more durable than you might think. Takes a little more maintenance, no doubt, but it is the better weapon platform.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsMyRight2 View Post
    if you want a cheap plinker go with the AK. But if you want a NICE rifle go with the AR.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^
    That about sums it up!
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  6. #5
    Member Array Seraph's Avatar
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    I think CDNN has some Smith & Wesson M&P-15's for $699. If they still have them, it would be a pretty damned good value in a carbine.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRSOrator View Post
    I understand that these are two completely different platforms. But this is the cross roads that I'm at and if you guys could help me address the choice with some insight, that would be great.

    What I'm looking for is a fun, accurate, and reliable rifle to shoot fairly cheap for recreation and to rely on in a SHTF scenario.

    I cannot decide between an AK and an AR 15, here are my pro's and con's


    PROS
    AR: Platform is really comfortable to shoot
    .223 ammo can be had anywhere for relatively cheap
    Magazines are plentiful and cheap, as well as reliable and made in the USA (say, magpul)
    Very accurate and reliable
    Most Carbines are Optics ready (I'd like to put a red dot on it, no other bells or whistles though)

    AK: Platform is rugged, can handle a beating
    7.62 is a powerful round
    If I ever got careless it would still fire without a regular cleaning (say a SHTF scenario where cleaning isn't always practical)
    Can be had for 350-400 dollars in my area
    Underfolders are fairly compact and I feel It would be more comfortable to carry if I ever had to grab one or two guns and go out for a long haul somewhere. (SHTF)

    CONS

    AR: Expensive, right now I simply cannot afford play 1000+ dollars for an AR

    AK: If an ammo ban ever goes into affect or there are stricter regulartions on imported ammo, 7.62 will be much harder to find and price will increase dramatically (is this correct, I've heard this on many forums but never had a "site your sources" opportunity)
    Not as comfortable to shoot
    Optics are pointless, would stick to iron sights (this saves me money and also upkeep of batteries in a SHTF scenario, so this is kind of a pro but I was still excited for a solid red dot)
    Wouldn't rely on it to hit anything accurately past 100 yards
    Magazines are mostly produced overseas and I feel there is a bit of a quality control with them (does someone suggest otherwise?)



    Clearly I prefer the AR to the AK, but the benefits of the AR don't make sense if I can't even afford to own it right now. I could go buy an AK today, and I'm regularly tempted, but the pro's of the AR over the AK (for my application) keep me waiting (for about 3 months now), saving up money is difficult as a college student, but honestly I feel a solid semi auto, hi mag capacity, reliable gun is a necessity in a household in this day and age. My shotgun will defend my home, my savage 111 will take down a buck, and my pistols are with me every day, but none of my current weapons fit the needs of a SHTF scenario (in my mind, the ability to be light, high mag capacity, reliable, quick to reload, accurate, able to take large amounts of ammo in relatively compact places).

    So what do I do, wait a couple more months with (seriously) it could be a purchase I regret not having made sooner, (like...S actually HTF) or do I compromise and get the AK for the sake of filling my application cheaply and quickly.

    Help?
    I'm going to attempt simplifying things for you in this case, not knowing your long term implications for the weapon of choice. SHTF scenario, or varmint hunting in Colorado? More modular, or more meaningful? .22 caliber or .30? A quality AK will cost you as much as a current production AR these days. A surplus rifle may cost you less up front, but it's a gamble IMO as to what you'll get because the market has played out and folks are grasping for straws. Thinking about the tactical reasons you might want one over the other AK or AR.........what you can get and afford right now while leaving reserve for ammo and spare magazines....the AK is probably your best bet (if it's a good one). I'm not sure how you arrived at the conclusion of the 7.62x39 becoming obsolete or unavailable in the future or harder to obtain compared to the 5.56x45. I tend to think of it the opposite. If I were to go afield (BUG out and survive right now and could only take one (I have the AR and AK), the AK is going with me even if the load is heavier. Best reason? I won't need to maintain it as much as the AR. We all make our own decisions based upon what we know. Best of luck to you in your dilemma.
    I honestly understand your enigma.

  8. #7
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    You could opt for an AK format with a .223/5.56 Conversion.

    There are always a few on gunbroker.





  9. #8
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Buy a Saiga rifle and convert it, that will keep your cost around $500 and leaves you money for ammo and magazines. Is the AK a better platform or is the AR, well you have to decide that yourself. They will both serve you well regardless of which you choose for a SHTF rifle.

    I have 2 AK74's in 5.45x39 caliber and they serve as my SHTF rifles. One day I will get a AR but for now I would like to get a Saiga in .223, .308 and 7.62x39.

    Converted Saiga


    Century AK74, I have changed the stock set out since this pic.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Katana's Avatar
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    I disagree with quite a few of your assessments.

    1.Optics are not pointless on an AK.
    2. Ammo is cheaper for the AK than it is for the same amount of 5.56 (both 7.62x39 and 5.45x39.)
    3. You can easily rely on an AK out to ranges of 300 yards so long as it's been properly sighted.
    4. Lots of American companies make 7.62x39mm ammo.
    5. There are American made AK magazines out there for cheap, and they're not hard to find.

    Am I saying get the AK over the AR? No, not in the least. I believe each have strong points as well as weak points about them. For instance:

    1. Mag changes. Here the AR shines over the AK. It's much faster to change an AR over an AK.
    2. Safety positioning. To make an AR ready, you flick your thumb. To make an AK ready, you remove your hand from the pistol grip and flip the lever down. (To be fair, Marc Krebs does make a selector you can access with your trigger finger, and it runs around $60 last time I checked.)
    3. The AR is infintely more modular than the AK. You can easily mount, as well as find more things to mount, on an AR.

    Really, it's a matter of personal choice. But I've always recommended that one buy the AK first though, as it is more forgiving when it comes to maintenance as well as ammo cost. Then, when you're more familiar with "evil black rifles", to look into the AR.

    At this time, I'm actually thinking about selling my current AK though. I'd really like an Arsenal SGL, and don't see much point in keeping my WASR 10/63 GP if I get one. I'll be staying with 7.62x39 as well, even though it doesn't produce the wounds that a 5.45 or 5.56 might, I do like the penetration of the round compared to those two.

    (sigh... So much for my plan of not buying any new guns for the next couple of years and only buying ammo, accessories, and training. Now my list includes a Mossberg 590A1 SBS, a Ruger P345 for summertime carry, an Arsenal SGL 21, and I'm still drooling over a PTR-91 AND I still want to find myself a good 5.56 AR. Damn me and my lack of willpower...) Donations are readily accepted.
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  11. #10
    Member Array PRSOrator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katana View Post
    I disagree with quite a few of your assessments.

    1.Optics are not pointless on an AK.
    2. Ammo is cheaper for the AK than it is for the same amount of 5.56 (both 7.62x39 and 5.45x39.)
    3. You can easily rely on an AK out to ranges of 300 yards so long as it's been properly sighted.
    4. Lots of American companies make 7.62x39mm ammo.
    5. There are American made AK magazines out there for cheap, and they're not hard to find.
    To clear up these assessments,

    I've read and heard regularly that optics on an AR require continuous attention due to the larger recoil and awkward way in which they are mounted to the receiver as it changes it's zero from the kick, etc. Which is why I figured sticking to iron sights was more reliable / less maintenance

    A box of Remington UMC at walmart (20) of .223 is about 10 bucks, it's about 14 for 7.62, hence the rise in ammo, not saying it's disgustingly expensive.

    I've never shot an AK past 100 yards, but the general stereotype (and this stereotype is reiterated continuously by friends who have been on the receiving end of AK fire overseas) is that they are woefully inaccurate guns, maybe it's just the shooter?

    When I meant increase in price, I based it off economics, if a large supply of military surplus ammo is no longer available, then those companies producing it will now have the basis to increase the price, and the consumer will have less options in purchasing ammo, creating a snowball effect of simple supply and demand, supply goes down demand goes up, availability goes down price goes up.

    My comments on magazines were just asking the price point and reliability / quality, as I have no experience with them.


    Hope this makes more sense now, you can simply say "you are wrong" if I am, because I really have no experience personally to go off of with an AK, just simply what I've read, heard, and seen.

  12. #11
    Member Array ItsMyRight2's Avatar
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    I think bottom line is....you can't really compare the two.They are just two different beasts.

    And funny because my buddy picked me up tonight and he went and bought a Century AK. I didnt shoot it or anything but from look and feel I wasn't impressed at all. Looked like a very cheaply made rifle.And then we pulled out the AR and then the AK really looked bad.I could see the disappointment on my friends face.lol He paid 550 for the AK which i woulda surely found something more worth while for the money. Just my opinion.
    When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
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    [QUOTE=PRSOrator;1712690]To clear up these assessments,

    I've read and heard regularly that optics on an AR require continuous attention due to the larger recoil and awkward way in which they are mounted to the receiver as it changes it's zero from the kick, etc. Which is why I figured sticking to iron sights was more reliable / less maintenance

    A box of Remington UMC at walmart (20) of .223 is about 10 bucks, it's about 14 for 7.62, hence the rise in ammo, not saying it's disgustingly expensive.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The price of the 7.62 at Wallmart is for brass cased ammo. If you pic up some steel cased ammo somewhere else it will be substantially cheaper. Most manufacturers will void your warrenty if you fire steel cased ammo through an AR. This is where you save, the less picky AK will eat anything.

    I own an AR though.
    Dave

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    Frankly, I think your false assumptions are so numerous as to make your "decision" meaningless. In other word, "You don't know what you don't know".

    A functional AK will run about $700-$800. Unless you buy a Century Arms POS and risk having to spend as much fixing it as you paid to buy it, and STILL end up out $700 to $1000.

    A cheap AR will run you around $550. A super high quality AR will cost about $700-$900. BCM makes a very competent carbine that you can pin together for $850 or Spike's Tactical makes an $800 M4gery that appears to be a great gun.

    As far as the "uber-reliability" of the AK, that is complete and utter crap. Both the AR and AK systems are similarly reliable and the people that emphasize the reliability of the AK I would bet have never carried one in combat conditions. BTW, I have carried both AR and AK platforms in combat.

    The AK is much more accurate than it gets credit for. I find the sights slightly worse for acquisition of targets, though.

    Seriously, if I were you, I'd build an "el cheapo" AR by buying a stripped lower from Spike's tactical, and then getting a complete kit from J&T tactical and putting it together yourself. You may need to tweak it to get it to run right. It should run you around $550, complete. Later, after you have run some rounds through it, and decided what you REALLY want to do with the weapon, you can upgrade to a Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense or the like. Alternatively, I would grab a Spike's M4 complete.

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    Member Array PRSOrator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Frankly, I think your false assumptions are so numerous as to make your "decision" meaningless. In other word, "You don't know what you don't know".

    A functional AK will run about $700-$800. Unless you buy a Century Arms POS and risk having to spend as much fixing it as you paid to buy it, and STILL end up out $700 to $1000.

    A cheap AR will run you around $550. A super high quality AR will cost about $700-$900. BCM makes a very competent carbine that you can pin together for $850 or Spike's Tactical makes an $800 M4gery that appears to be a great gun.
    I've seen Romanian WASR Underfolder's go for 350-400, are these crap?

    A cheap AR for 550? Please link me as I am all about this, all the AR platform's I've looked at (with tax and miscellaneous fees) end's up running me just about a grand.

    Also, you addressed my remarks as "false assumptions" but offered no counter-point or useful information to help me debunk these inaccurate claims, thus leading me to believe that you also "don't know what you don't know". I'd appreciate the help if you do know, as is the point of the thread.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    As mentioned earlier...the AR and the AK are two different platforms (ergonomics, controls, etc). Comparing ammo prices...well, it is a way of determining your platform, but you can get a AR in 5.56mm and switch out the upper and convert to 7.62mm

    In terms of optics...I have an Aimpoint mounted on mine...never been a problem keeping it mounted. When deployed, we had safety wire wrapped around optics/lasers, but that was because of the type of mount we were using (QRP) and the rough handling we were subjecting the rifle to....IMO, you fears of optics on an AR are over-exaggerated.
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