AK47 vs. AR15 - Difference in actions?

AK47 vs. AR15 - Difference in actions?

This is a discussion on AK47 vs. AR15 - Difference in actions? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Since I have an AK, and am looking at AR's.. what is the real difference between the two actions. Why do the AR's have that ...

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Thread: AK47 vs. AR15 - Difference in actions?

  1. #1
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    AK47 vs. AR15 - Difference in actions?

    Since I have an AK, and am looking at AR's.. what is the real difference between the two actions.

    Why do the AR's have that tube that fits in the stock?
    Why doesnt an AK have it?

    I have had my AK apart and I see that it stops at the back of the receiver..where i have a recoil buffer/damper. (Its a soft peice of pliable plastic or rubber that the bolt travels back against and hits)

    Why does the AR have to go that far back when the AK contains it all in the receiver?
    I assume that the protrusion on the AR is for the bolt during recoil.. but why?
    Why isnt it contained in the receiver?

    Just looking for answers.... why why why.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    yep the tube in the buttstock (buffer tube) holds a buffer and recoil spring. One of the big differences between the two of course is that the AK has a gas piston and the AR (most ARs anyway) has no such piston. In the AR there is a smaller gas tube than in the AK and it vents the gasses directly back into the bolt carrier (direct impingement) to push the BC back.

    as to why the bolt carier has to go that far back...well it doesn't go all the way back there...the big answer to "why" is because that's just the way it was designed. There have been other AR uppers that don't even involve the use of the buffer tube and have the recoil spring set up in much the same was as an AK so it doesn't have to be that way....they are just different guns.

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    To add, the buffer and spring seem to absorb alot of recoil too. I notice alot less recoil from an aR, compared to other .223/5.56 caliber guns.
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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    The AK action has a recoil spring in the tube, with the gas piston. It pushes the bolt back forward by pushing on the piston.

    An AR does not have a piston... therefore can't use this particular method. Stoner used a spring and buffer directly behind the bolt to accomplish the same thing that Kalashnikov did with the piston and spring.

    As Raysheen mentioned, there have been AR 'style' receivers built that use a gas piston instead of the direct gas system used by most AR type rifles. The reasoning is that a gas piston action doesn't blow hot gases and carbon from the barrel directly into the bolt. Hence the saying that an AR 'defecates where it eats' while an AK doesn't.

    In my experience, either action, if implemented properly, makes for a reliable firearm.

    Recoil is a very personal thing... I don't think that an AK style rifle chambered in 5.56 recoils any more or less than a typical AR does.

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