AR vs AK: Let's talk about accuracy

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Thread: AR vs AK: Let's talk about accuracy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    AR vs AK: Let's talk about accuracy

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Well lets start with familiarity of the weapon and the skills of the operator, then we can go into the inherent accuracy or inaccuracy of the weapon.

    To start with on the quality side, the AK is behind the game as it is not subject to the same QC levels that the milspec AR is subjected to. Now if he [you] were to throw up a bottom feeder AR for a side by side, where production was more important than quality, then we might see some more accurate results.

    No argument, the Russians have built a true to life K.I.S.S. weapon that requires 0 maintenance and in the event of a failure, it will not be picky at all about taking parts form an organ donor.

    Admittingly I know little to nothing about ARs, but 10 fold more than I knew last month. Tight tolerances means picky, and sensitive. That is one thing the AK is not.
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    Sticks

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    Member Array NCGunDude's Avatar
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    Awsome video, thanks for posting. I just spent $370 on a NIB Saiga .223 to round out my caliber redundancy and keep the Mini 14 company. Shot both the same weekend after disassembly and lube of the Saiga. The Saiga hit 5" inch shot grouping at 100 yds for me out of the box.

    I've shot AR's in the military and some of my friend's rifles. There's no question the AR is a nice gun. I guess the matter for me boiled down to price.

    I've shot thousands of rounds through the Mini with no malfunctions, or FTF, that I recall. I expect the same reliability out of the Saiga. I anticipate target engagement out to 100 m with either rifle. The deer rifle can handle sniper duty

    Not to say the AR wouldn't make a nice sniper rifle. I just don't shoot deer with one. I use a bolt action that should live longer than I will.

    Like anything else, you're only as good as what you practice. I've got two guns I can reliably field that cost half of what two AR's would have cost, without the maintenance hassle.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    3 shot group VS 5 shot?....

    3" = 3moa @100, so @ 600 that would = 18" groups or more 9"+ at 300

    1.8" = 1.8moa, so 5.4@ 300, 10.8" @ 600

    also, you can find match\hunting grade AR ammo anywhere... no such thing for a AK easily making the AR a 1 MOA gun or less

    so ya.. in a urban environment shooting 30y to 100y it dont make a huge difference... but any place you have open shots, it does

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    AKs are far more accurate than many give them credit for. But, there's no question the AR is more accurate and has better options for ammo. The AK74 as well. Seeing as the 5.45x39 was the answer to our 5.56, it may be the better comparison.

    Leaving ammo options out of it and sticking to issued ammo only, my 14.5" BCM will shoot about 2 MOA with 193 for 10 rounds using an Aimpoint T1 without the magnifier and just a hair over 1 MOA with mk262. My buddy's Arsenal AK47 will hold just under 3 MOA on average firing 10 round groups. Considering the intended use of these rifles, 3 MOA is more than adequate though if I have the option of better accuracy, of course I'll take it.

    This is just a touch under 100 yards, which I realized after the fact.

    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    How far, really, are you going to shoot as a civilian - and legally justify it as "self defense?"

    The farthest I can see in my area is 150 yards. Use Google maps, and take a look at your area from above.

    ANY rifle will be more than accurate enough for civilian self defense needs.

    I had a Saiga in .308 - it was a dog. Groups at 100 yards were huge, it stove-pipe jammed, and had trigger reset issues...so much for the "legendary AK reliability" from AKs "made in Russia." The thing actually had dead bugs in the oil when I first cleaned it out. Ugh.

    I don't like the direct gas system in the AR. My AK experience was poor. My Mini 14, on the other hand, is great. More than accurate enough, reliable, and costs less than most AR rifles. I also like that I can get into the bolt in the event of a malfunction - which is something you cannot do with either the AR or the AK.

    Of course, I like to go even "older school" than the M14/M1-derived Mini 14...and use my Marlin 336 in .30-30. I just trust the 170 gr .30-30 bullet more than the lighter 5.56.

    But again, as far as accuracy goes - the biggest factor will be the user, not the rifle itself.
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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    How far, really, are you going to shoot as a civilian - and legally justify it as "self defense?"

    ...

    But again, as far as accuracy goes - the biggest factor will be the user, not the rifle itself.
    Well, that question might be answered some day in the southern border states with the spillover violence. We've already had one US citizen taken out by a HP rifle on a lake by a suspected boat load of drug runners. How long until some rancher, hunter, or camper is shot at while another pack is crossing and decide they want no witnesses to their crossing or calling Border Patrol. I'd say that in that instance a 100y - 300y return fire would be justified, especially if the state has a "stand your ground" law. Granted, escape and evasion would be the prudent option rather than engage 5-20 armed drug runners, but one never knows how the cards are going to play out.

    Thank you, I'll take surgical precision over MOM any day.

    ...

    Agreed with the shooter skill. No different than shot placement with handgun in any other defensive scenario. Weight and inertia offsets poor accuracy to some extent.
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    Sticks

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    10thmtn,

    Wy no love for the direct impingement? I put a ton of rounds through my rifles and have never had issues due to the gas. The piston rifles I've owned, like the LMT MRP and SCARs, don't do all that much better. The gas block and chamber still get extremely hot, there's just less fouling in the receiver. Proper lube and it's all good.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    I enjoyed the video right up to the editorial on reliability. The argument that an AK is better because an AR will need some maintenance after 1000 rounds is, well, it's just plain silly. My ARs (plural) are reliable enough to shoot every round that I can carry. Do I need to clean them every now and then? Yup, but not nearly as often as people think I do. And you'd better clean your AK too after shooting most of the corrosive milsurp ammo out there.

    For the record I had a WASR for many years and it wasn't nearly as accurate as your Arsenal. That of course is to be expected, you get what you pay for.

    ETA: Hey OP when were you in? East Coast or West?
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I enjoyed the video right up to the editorial on reliability. The argument that an AK is better because an AR will need some maintenance after 1000 rounds is, well, it's just plain silly. My ARs (plural) are reliable enough to shoot every round that I can carry. Do I need to clean them every now and then? Yup, but not nearly as often as people think I do. And you'd better clean your AK too after shooting most of the corrosive milsurp ammo out there.

    For the record I had a WASR for many years and it wasn't nearly as accurate as your arsenal. That of course is to be expected, you get what you pay for.
    It may be apples to oranges, but I had a Norinco SKS (designed to accept AK mags) that I shot 4k Milsupr rounds through it over a 11 year period, and the only time I cleaned it was prior to sale. No bore damage, no rust or corrosion, a fair amount of carbon build up that came right off. I probably should have lubed it a few times during that period, but I never had any problems with reliability. Accuracy...who knows. Never shot it out past 30 yards.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Well, that question might be answered some day in the southern border states with the spillover violence. We've already had one US citizen taken out by a HP rifle on a lake by a suspected boat load of drug runners. How long until some rancher, hunter, or camper is shot at while another pack is crossing and decide they want no witnesses to their crossing or calling Border Patrol. I'd say that in that instance a 100y - 300y return fire would be justified, especially if the state has a "stand your ground" law. Granted, escape and evasion would be the prudent option rather than engage 5-20 armed drug runners, but one never knows how the cards are going to play out.

    Thank you, I'll take surgical precision over MOM any day.

    ...

    Agreed with the shooter skill. No different than shot placement with handgun in any other defensive scenario. Weight and inertia offsets poor accuracy to some extent.
    If you live in a wide open area, then it is possible to perhaps legally justify a long range self defense shot - but it would probably be more tactically prudent to escape and evade, if at all possible.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    10thmtn,

    Wy no love for the direct impingement? I put a ton of rounds through my rifles and have never had issues due to the gas. The piston rifles I've owned, like the LMT MRP and SCARs, don't do all that much better. The gas block and chamber still get extremely hot, there's just less fouling in the receiver. Proper lube and it's all good.
    You answered your own question - "proper lube and it's all good." The direct gas system introduces heat into the operating system, and heat is the enemy of all things mechanical. Heat burns off the lube. The receiver in my Mini 14 stays notably cooler than any AR I've ever used.

    Now, for the average civilian, it isn't going to matter. You'll probably never burn through so much as one full mag in an actual self defense situation. It's more of a philosophical aversion I have to "pooping where you feed." I also like knowing that my weapons will work, even if not "properly lubed." My Glocks, for example, will run all day dry of lube.

    My experience with the M16 in the Army left me with a distinct distaste for guns that need to be babied to work right. I know, I know...you have fired X gazillion rounds through yours with no cleaning nor malfunction, etc etc. Maybe they're better now. I dunno. All I DO know is that my Mini works just fine for me, and I like that operating system a whole lot better.

    Anyway, don't mean to highjack the threat into yet another debate about the AR.

    Back to AK vs AR accuracy...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    I own several of both AR and AK platform rifles so I can speak and comment with some fact based personal experience and relevance here. Without question the AR is more accurate, but in a real world sense it really makes very little if any difference in my ability to hit a man sized target at any distance I would shoot at a human being in almost any scenario I can think of. I do think the AK is more reliable and tougher in some real world conditions but for 99% of people this is really a none issue also. I can shoot both rifles well enough to do the job they are intended to do, and that's what counts IMO. It comes down to training and familiarity with the rifle of choice. A well trained experienced operator will defeat the hobby shooter almost every time regardless of which platform he carries.



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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I enjoyed the video right up to the editorial on reliability. The argument that an AK is better because an AR will need some maintenance after 1000 rounds is, well, it's just plain silly. My ARs (plural) are reliable enough to shoot every round that I can carry. Do I need to clean them every now and then? Yup, but not nearly as often as people think I do. And you'd better clean your AK too after shooting most of the corrosive milsurp ammo out there.

    For the record I had a WASR for many years and it wasn't nearly as accurate as your Arsenal. That of course is to be expected, you get what you pay for.

    ETA: Hey OP when were you in? East Coast or West?
    I doubt those ARs are ok. You should probably just dump one of them real cheap. I am sure you can find someone who is looking.
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    A well trained experienced operator will defeat the hobby shooter almost every time regardless of which platform he carries.

    Well said. I have seen and worked with dozens of gear gurus and it always comes down to the skill of the person behind the trigger. I carry an AK here daily and one it has never let me down and secondly I have never felt outgunned as far as accuracy with my rifle it shoots where I want it to as far as I can see with my eyes.

    In regards to cleaning yes the AK-74's need cleaning more often simply due to the corrosive nature of the ammo not because it affects reliability. Someone now, Hornady?, is making non corrosive 5.45 ammo which if you could afford to shoot it would eliminate most of all the cleaning needed. With that said do I clean my rifle you bet. Do I have to clean it in order for it to work no I do not.

    There have been many advances in AR's over the years to make them more reliable than before. My Rifle Dynamics M4 has the fail zero upper that in testing fired over 5000 rounds of Wolf ammo without lube or cleaning, but that is another topic.

    How accurate do you have to be? It is all up to you. The AK platform will do anything you want it to do. The M4 will do it at longer ranges. With a skilled operator behind the trigger and a decent AK I would not want to be within 5-600 meters of him. That inaccurate AK just might surprise you.

    This is a quote from the RD website from a former member of the NSW Community:

    The AK? Nothing wrong with it,
    Inaccurate? Step out to 300 yards and give me a mag.
    Complicated? I’ve seen 12 year olds on the 2-way range run it.
    This cheap, simple, easy to maintain gun has killed a lot of bad mothers. I have a nice scar on my leg from some amateur who used this “cheap gun” to tattoo my ”professional” ass.
    I prefer the M-4 but I have used the AK in combat. My enemy uses the AK so I have spent a lot of time learning to use it. Some guys far more experienced than I prefer the AK.
    Who makes a good one? Whoever follows Mr Kalashnikov's design, uses the right materials and processes and who won’t allow stuff to bare their name.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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