AR, AK or M-21

This is a discussion on AR, AK or M-21 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Assuming money is not an issue (OK, it always is, but make believe it isn't for a moment) which would you rather have for a ...

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Thread: AR, AK or M-21

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array DaveJay's Avatar
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    AR, AK or M-21

    Assuming money is not an issue (OK, it always is, but make believe it isn't for a moment) which would you rather have for a SHTF rifle???

    I've been checking out an M-21 recently, and while they are EXPENSIVE, I'm willing to save and spend the $$$ if its the right tool...

    Right now my only SHTF rifle is an M-1 Garand...

    So, do I spend less and get an AR or AK....or spend the $$$ on an M-21...

    Your inputs are welcomed...
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    What's your definition of "SHTF?" Riots? Looting? An invasion by a foreign army?

    What distances do you realistically expect to engage in a defensive shot? Where do you live (homes around you? Or are you in the middle of nowhere?) Are you going to hunker down, or go foot mobile?

    I think your Garand is just fine for most scenarios, unless you want to hump on foot with lots of ammo. Then, the nod goes to the 5.56 in your choice of platform.

    Me? My realistic scenario is riots, looting, civil disorder. I have a family, so we will hunker down if possible. I live in suburbia - homes all around, so a scope is a must for accuracy. I cannot see further than 200 yards. A Marlin 336 lever gun with a scope in .30-30 is my answer - total cost less than $500. If we need to bug out, I have a Ruger Mini 14 Ranch rifle, also with a scope.

    Of your choices, an AR is easier to mount a scope, if that is a concern for you - compared to the AK. Not sure what an M-21 is?

    Hope this helps - good luck!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    I dont think there is a need to go to extremes with 1000 yard capability. Nor spend thousands. SHTF rifle should be able to reach out to 300 yards easily, be light and easy to maintain. You have a garand which can shoot 600-800 yards fairly easy. I would go with the AR with a red dot and backup sights. If you shop around you can do that for 1000bucks or less. Spend the other 1000 on ammo.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array DaveJay's Avatar
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    10th....last question first...

    The M-21 is a modified M14...the top rifle in this picture



    M21 Sniper Weapon System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Now, my definition is SHTF is not entirely clear, but I'll know it when I see it...

    I have a evacuation plan that has me getting out of the general DC area where I currently live, to a place with about 40 acres where the family can hunker down, and I plan to help defend with some other like-minded folks who will be there...

    I agree with you on the weight of ammo for the M1, as I have about 700 rounds and would not want to carry it far...

    I'm just interested in anyone with experience with the M-21 and AR/AK providing me with their feedback on the three systems...

    Your questions are good one, though....
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    Member Array Pyrochad's Avatar
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    My nod goes to the AR every time for almost every situation, but also keep in mind that the mini-14 is also a good platform in which to start with

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    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrochad View Post
    My nod goes to the AR every time for almost every situation, but also keep in mind that the mini-14 is also a good platform in which to start with
    I almost went with a mini 14, there was just to many things you need to do to it so it would shoot well at 300 yards. So in the long run an AR is cheaper. I have a total of 735 bucks into my AR, a S&W flat top with troy fixed sights and a primary arms red dot.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

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    Member Array Pyrochad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itschuck View Post
    I almost went with a mini 14, there was just to many things you need to do to it so it would shoot well at 300 yards. So in the long run an AR is cheaper. I have a total of 735 bucks into my AR, a S&W flat top with troy fixed sights and a primary arms red dot.
    Yes I agree I own both I have a C-AR and it will outshoot the mini every day of the week, but if I'm doing some fine tune shooting I grab my savage 110 223 now that thing has put down a lot of coyotes out past 300 yards maybe something else to consider an excellent weapon

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    Senior Member Array MJK's Avatar
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    AK. There's a zillion of them wordwide and for good reason.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    There is also the AR10 in 308 if your looking for a 30 calibre,downside is the gun and ammo is heavier than the AR15 so if your on foot I would opt for lighter and more ammo
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    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    I only have an AK, because at the time it was half the price of an AR. Still can't afford an AR so this is my GTG. I have been contemplating a good bolt action for long distance communication.
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    I've determined that the M1 will be the rifle of choice for me. I have others including the AR 15, M1A, SKS, and M1 Carbine. My choice isn't necessarily right for anyone else but I'm very comfortable with the M1 rifle. It's the rifle I want to have along above all others.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Ak in 5.56 caliber with a mag adapter for using AR mags.

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    AK, I would leave it stock, no mods to accept AR mags or ammo, why mess with a good system thats being used worldwide
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Ah...that M-21. I was thinking civilian rifles...brain fart on my part.

    Be aware that not all 7.62 x 39 ammo has good terminal performance. This is especially true of the cheap stuff. See this post:

    Russian rifle caliber wounding effects

    If you're thinking of the M-21, it sounds like you want a scope. To me, that eliminates the AK - it can be done, but it's not easy.

    The newer Mini 14s (have a tapered barrel) are as accurate as anything else I've ever fired. If you like the Garand/M-14 platform, give them a look. Mounting a scope is easy with the Mini 14 Ranch Rifle. I personally detest the direct gas system of the AR, and would take a Mini or an M1A any day of the week.

    That said, unless you want to engage beyond 300 yards (is that still self defense?) or expect to engage in a prolonged high-intensity fire fight, I think you would be perfectly well served with a much less expensive lever gun. A pump or bolt rifle can also be had for less, and would serve you well in all but the most extreme combat conditions.

    It all depends upon what you are thinking you will need.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Money is an issue. Preparing for a SHTF type scenario involves spending on more than just the gun. I would take that heavy, expensive clunker of an M-21 and push it right out of your brain. An AR, a Mini or an AK will work out to 300 yds. Heck, an AR will work out to 500 yards. Have you ever trained out past 500? Me neither. I can't really think of any defensive scenario that involves a gunfight past 500 yards.

    For the price of the M-21 you can buy a nice AR, an optic, mags and ammo. The AR will weigh about half as much as the M-21 and you can carry more ammo on your person in the event that you need to bug out. You already have a Garand if you are bunkering in and want to reach the 1000 yard line.
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    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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