This is a discussion on AR-15 versus AK-74 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Bad Bob You win. I do want a 450 bushmaster pistol though. N-frame AirLite?...
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These threads always seem to hurt feelings but I'll tell you my general thoughts on AR vs AK system rifles. Keep in mind that this is a very general statement which paints the rifles broadly. Ok, here it goes.. if you want a maintenance intensive , reasonably reliable (if properly maintained) but highly accurate rifle for 1-750ish yards, get a AR. If you want a nearly ZERO maintenance rifle that is highly reliable in almost any conceivable conditions but only moderately precise for targets 1-400ish... get a AK.
There are guys who will tout the ARs reliability and most of them are the same guys who will sit around all day long telling you to get nickel boron coated BCG's, this follower or that, staked gas keys, 38oz buffer, a forward assist or no forward assist, this mag body or that.. this many weld marks or that many weld marks, straight 20rnd mags, curved mags, hybrid mags, reinforced feed lip or no yadda yadda yadda. I mean come on! The AR is not a bad rifle but it is notorious for being finicky. I am not bashing the AR, I have owned several and had a good experience with them. If we must compare the AR to the AK, I would choose the AK without hesitation.
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I could use a quad rail for my AR also but I'm having trouble finding one specific to the model that I have. This is what I have: https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-15-ts
Another drawback is that it can't accept a suppressor without modification - something I hadn't considered at the time of purchase. Not sure if I'd want to pay for the $200 stamp on top of the cost of the suppressor anyway.
As for adding a suppressor, you certainly can, just need to choose which one you want, and if you want QD capability, get the associated muzzle device (usually proprietary, unless you get a suppressor designed to work with the standard A2 birdcage flash hider) and then youíre off to the races.
For instance, my rifle is a 14.5Ē barrel and had a pinned and welded BCM compensator from the factory to bring it to 16.1Ē. I had it cut off and had a Silencerco brake installed, re-pinned and welded to reach the overall 16.1Ē, and now I use it as the QD interface for my Omega 300. With your barrel being 16Ē, there is no pinning and welding. Just use a wrench and your muzzle device should come off and be able to be swapped.
As for other saying ARs are finnicky, they can be when not built to spec. But then again, so can AKs. Look at the RAS47s. Junk. The I.O.s. Junk. Itís not about the design, but the quality of the build.
The AK has an open action, which can operate better if junk is inside the receiver. If there is any drag, it is so ridiculously overgassed, that it will pretty much work. While the AK will work better with junk on the action, where the AR come in is that it is basically a sealed system. If you dunked both guns in wet, goopy mud, youíre going to have a better time with the AR. Not because it works with more mud inside, but because under the same conditions, it wonít have any mud inside in the first place. If youíre walking with your rifle through a sandstorm, or fall and drop it in mud, since you would have the dust cover closed while walking, itís going to get through it just fine. I can say that on my AK, even with the safety engaged, thereís still a gap and plenty of holes for gunk and debris to enter. Personally, Iíd gladly bet my life on either system operating properly under the worst conditions, as long as itís a well built rifle.
When you ask the question: Whatís more reliable, an AK or AR? The answer should be ďyes.Ē
I want both a light and a laser on mine and maybe a vertical hand grip. So a quad rail would be a good upgrade. I found one that'll work at Midway - right length and same manufacturer. Anyway, thanks for the info on the AR's reliability. Hopefully I won't have to find out how reliable it is if I drop it in mud. I plan to go shooting tomorrow with the AR - low 60's but with a forecasted wind speed up to 15 MPH.
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I prefer AR's to AK's due to simple ergonomics for me. That being said the AK's tend to have a LOT of sharp edges and corners that is hard on my RA hands! OTOH, if it came down to sheer durability in CQC battle conditions ie. a butt stroke type manuever the AK wins hands down over a typical M-4 carbine! Just my .02 worth!
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Just finished a 3 day carbine class yesterday.....
Majority of the guns present were ARs, 1 Tavor. Zero issues over 3 days with any of the guns there. Conditions were lows in the 29 degree range to highs of 50+. Most notable condition was the winds over the 3 days which averaged in the 20+ MPH with gusts on Tuesday to 50+ MPH. Impossible to keep the crap (grass- dust- debris) out of the guns, again...no issues. Every evening I wiped my BCG down and added oil. For something like this, multiple if not hundreds of presentations, movement, sprints to and from cover, there's just no freakin way I'd carry an AK. I shot my lightweight gun, pencil barrel (16" Larue Tactical PredatAR), Titanium gas block, and SLR Rifleworks 13.7" Helix "F" (9.4oz) and on a couple of the drills I was spent.
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With a quality red dot sight and set of back up sights, there isnít any need for another aiming method, especially on something like a rifle. Within 25 yards you should have no problem hitting a target with no sights at all. And beyond that distance, a laser wonít do, and you need to actually aim.
To be honest, red visible lasers are just crap that companies sell to new shooters. No professionals bolt lasers to their guns (besides IR lasers, which some come with a visible laser as a 4th sighting system just in case their night vision goes down, optic goes down, backup sights break, and all they are left with is a visible laser).
Some people like vertical grips, personally Iím not a fan. Youíre trying to control recoil and drive the gun, and itís much easier to do if you just grab the front of the gun and do what you need to do, instead of grabbing a long stick that hangs off of it. Iíve found they make me less stable, slower to transition targets, and worse at controlling recoil.
Really the only thing a general purpose rifle needs is a quality flashlight, like a Surefire, and some sort of backup sights, and preferably an optic.
When you have a gun with visible lasers and giant vertical grips, it honestly just screams new gun owner.
And I am one who touts the reliability of BOTH platforms, and I have never advocated all the stupid fancy bells and whistles add-on garbage designed to suck up the kiddies' money. Both rifles are effective - given the limitations of the designs. Those limitations are partly the mechanical design differences, partly engineering and manufacturing technology differences, and especially ammunition differences. (And just because somebody will say it: no my ARs won't outshoot my larger caliber bolt guns at that distance.)
I have shot ARs with 20 inch barrels and achieved good scores at 1,000 yards with heavy bullet match ammo and iron sights. I have shot expensive, American made AKs at the same range and can't keep my shots on the paper. Part of that is because of the limitations I listed above. Both guns perform the function for which they were designed. Everything else is fluff.
And no, I'm never offended about "my" favorites. I like both. I use them as they were designed: to fulfill specific tasks they are good at. By the way, this is one of my favorites: