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G&A Debate: M16 vs. AK47

by Guns & Ammo TV   |  December 12th, 2011 217

It’s a debate as old as time itself: Stoner’s M16 or Kalashnikov’s AK47? Garry James thinks the AK is more reliable, but David Fortier is all about the M16′s accuracy. In this clip from G&A TV, these two firearms experts go head-to-head to declare which gun is better.

What do you think? Is the M16 the better choice, or would you rather have the AK47?

  • Karl

    If I get one for free: either

    My preference for having someone shoot at me with one: neither.

    I would choose based on most readily available ammo supply.

    • John

      I'm with Karl — what ammo is most readily available

    • Karl

      FYI. I have neither. Two mini-14's instead. Only use Ruger magazines and never a failure to function. Chambered for 5.56/.223. That is most widely availble here. I'm no sniper so the whole accuracy dig means nothing to me. I can hit a military silhouette at any relistic range I ever had to.

    • fred

      for me, ive had 3 ar 15s. colt, dpms and olympic. all 3 are very good guns. but i sold all of them, was just never fully satified with them.
      i should say im a .30 fan. i do have a so-called crapy wasser 10 ak varient. i absolutly positivly love this gun, it ALWAYS works. ive even thrown dirt in it, shook it out, and IT WORKS.none of the ARs would do that.
      i hunt coyotes with my AK, ive hit them running from 40 feet, out to 150 yards.
      and it cost pennies compared to the ARs. the ammo is cheep for practice, and i handload for better accuracy, for hunting.
      like i said, im a 30 cal fan, and no way i can afforrd an AR 10.

  • Brian

    The AK is the superior weapon system. And I am a US military service member!

    • Pplaza

      Agree 762 times American GIs feared the sound of an AK in the jungle imagine 20 of them in an ambush

    • Ryan

      I can only speak from the Viet Nam era up to Desert Storm. I am a former Special Forces soldier & I would much prefer the AK any day; over the M-16.

      • Aequitas

        In the days since you've left group a lot has changed.

    • fred

      thank you Brian.

  • Peter Ehlers

    I have fired both and, given the choice, would take the AK47 any day. Its more powerful and more robust than the M16 and less prone to failure, though admittedly less accurate for longer distance. But then, you are not talking about sniper capabilities in either of the two!!!

    • a;ougberl;iga

      Ya, it doesnt matter that the ak's more powerful, BOTH will kill u.

  • Aaron

    If we could get a reliable AK import without all the crazy ban rules maybe this would be a real challenge. As it stands, I'm much more confident that money spent on an AR/M-16 variant will get you a more gun for the buck.

    That's my 2 cents anyway.

    • Don

      Aaron, We build AK rifles here. Built like the originals. With enough money you can have a fully tricked out AK or AR. For civilian US shooters you can build a dream AK. What a soldier can't do is get issued the rifle he wants unless they are our soldiers. Our GIs are limited but most have a trully great rifle with the finest optics. Your average third world soldier gets the cheapest AK his government buys. No good optics, often not zeroed, and well worn. For American shooters you are not limited by anything but money and some state regulations. If you live in a place like CA, NJ, DC, MD or other fascist state vote with your feet. Buy a good rifle.

    • john

      hi aaron do you know where i can buy an m16 fully automatic and how much would it cost .

  • scotlind

    If it is ,"The end of the world, it would depend on 2 things. If it is invasion then the AK. If its a US implosion, the AR. If its the invasion , then there would be alot of ,"never fired and only dropped once guns here in America"..easy. US. meltdown, then you better go with 223 and .40 glock ..Thats what would be most prevelant

    • mactex

      I don't know, there are an awful lot of 9mm rounds on military bases all across the U.S. Long before the 40 they were making 9 ammo left and right and a lot of it is still around, 'cause they never did slow down. Just talkin' availabitly here – not debating which round is better…

      • Don

        The 9mm is a good choice. I doubt if the military would share any. Most local cops are now using .40 and locally .45 ACP. Who is the bigger threat? It isn't the Russians nor the Chinese. The biggest threat comes from within, and it isn't likely to be a rabble. It will probably be an organized unconstitutional federal government. I'd rather trust my local sheriff or police department.

  • Ebbs

    Shoot steel cased garbage through your AR all day and let me know if it's still as reliable as when you started. Then bury it in stand, pour water on it and charge the bolt forward too to see if it will still fire, maybe even dump some beef stew in for good measure. AK all the way baby.

    • Dunderhead

      That proves absolutely nothing. Most people buy Ak's because they can't afford an AR. Figured that would make you mad.

    • Lichtyr

      I know a couple real loose women too

      • Roman I


    • Thomas Acton

      by design, the AK is set for steel cased ammo. Look at the extractor, the huge claw. Notice the 3 lugs on the bolt itself. When using softer brass cased rounds, the main issue is ripping the rim off the fired round and leaving the remnants stuck inside the chamber.
      Stoner's AR was designed for brass cased ammunition. In 223/5.56 with recent upgrades, it works fine and exceeds genuine US mil-spec standards. The real ones, not the phoney ones you think you
      Again, look at the bolt. 6 lugs lock more securely to the barrel extension to enhance accuracy at the cost of room for debris. Steel ammo is harder on its extractor and ive sold many replacements to those trying to save money on the ammo only to spend more on extra parts.
      And who hasnt noticed the gawd awful smell from the wolf/bear/anyrussian ammo.
      AK's are designed for steel cases….. AR's are designed for brass. Change either dynamic and expect certain issues to arise.

      • Don

        Shooting brass in AKs works just fine. I never experienced a torn rim in any AK. In the 70s about the only good ammo available was Lapua brass cased and berdan primed. I reloaded it using special tools and Norma 5.5mm primers. Most Yugo ammo is brass cased. Steel is used not because it is cheaper as it wears out the loading equipment enough to offset the materials costs. Brass is a critical metal for militaries and many nations go with steel just to conserve materials needed in. Never fear brass or steel in AKs. Issues in the AR with brass cases sticking 50 years ago was due to poor of the chamber. Pits form and a fired case flows into the pits, stopping the gun. Ask any gunsmith in rain country if they see this with Remington M740, 742, 7400 hunting rifles. I've seen dozens ruined by people not cleaning the chambers.

    • Don

      /don't buy cheap ammo. The laquer coating can be an issue. Buy brass or plated. I never had issues with any commercial brass cased ammo, including PMC and S&B, With russian low end, you can have more rounds, but they are problematic. I never had troble in AKs with anything.

  • Tanstaafl2

    I might agree with Garry James on the AK-47 except for the sights. I've never been able to hit a dang thing with rear notch iron sights. Put a decent rear aperture sight (say a Mojo sight Microclick model), or mount a red dot or low-magnification telescopic and I'm a happy man.

    • Don

      Galil and Valmet versions have aperture sights.

  • Matt

    I have both. My ar15 plus accessories cost about 5 times what I've got in my ak. If I'm shooting paper it's a toss up. If we are talking shtf gun, it's hard to find an argument against the ak47. Big robust parts equals reliability, and when calling brownells to get a replacement part is not an option, I'll give up a few moa to know my guns going to go bang every time any day.

  • D W

    Wouldn't a piston driven AR (M-16) variant give the best of both worlds? Maybe up the caliber to 6.8mm?

    • WAL

      While piston AR's are theoretically an improvement, they're still pretty new and unproven over the long haul. Many variants of piston systems have their own long-term reliability issue as well – bolt carrier tilt. IMO, piston conversions for the AR may prove to be an expensive Band-Aid.

      There's no questioning a new cartridge, however. 5.56/.223 only works well with non-FMJ ammo. OTM and SP ammo is expensive and banned for many military scenarios. They also often fall short in hard target penetration. The only way our men in uniform can improve the killing power, penetration and effective range of their rifles is to go to a bigger cartridge. 6.8 SPC and similar cartridges are a compromise intended to fit in AR-sized platforms. IMO we need to completely move away from that line of thinking. Develop an entirely new rifle and cartridge. I'd personally like to see something along the lines of an updated M14 action downsized to fit a cartridge giving ballistics like the .280 British we should've adopted in the early 1950's. A 7mm bullet around 135-140 grains with a muzzle velocity of 2500-2600 fps would be a huge improvement over what we currently put into the field.

    • khalid najjar

      google the HK417 really amazing gun and it shoots the .308 and its piston driven and its german what more do you need

      • Lichtyr

        308 is one great cartridge the HK is one nice weapon

      • D W

        This was my point. Why choose between the two when guns like th HK416 exist?

        • marco

          HK417 not the 416 ;) you want the .308 in there

          • D W

            Typo (iPad keyboard)

      • Don

        The HK M416/417 rifles sell for OVER $3,000 without optics.

  • Trent Bohl

    situation dictates firearm selection all choices being equal, I have both of these firearms, I prefer the ar for optics, and trigger. But if I was going to be in jungle, sand box , or where most likely my ( enemy ) would be using the same ammo. Every firearm has its uses, just have to get the right one for the task at hand.

    • Don

      When inspected in the sand box. Many AKs were found unservicable due to sand in the magazines. All magazine fed guns can be stopped easily with sand. What makes the difference is American soldiers are trained to protect and clean their gear.

    • JRs

      I aggree with you , but you have to do the BEST with what you have in hand. MY choice HK416.

      • Don

        I have yet to see one on a stores shelf.

  • agood

    would I be un-American if I chose the Kalashnikov?

    • Luvguns

      No many choose the Glock over the Smith and Wesson, however wrong that might be. : )

    • Don

      Most AK rifles sold in America are made here. ATF stopped the import of triggers. receivers, barrels, etc. It became a build them here issue.Of the 25 I've had, none gave me any problems, except with optics. Having dealt with many M16A1 and civilian guns the only issue was cheap ammo. In particualr "commercial reloads" failed in Mini-14s and Chicom .223. The life span published in the Chinese literature gas the rifle life span at 2,500 rounds. We could do that on the weekend. Of the contemporary rifles the Arsenal look great. I've given up on them, as they are all so much cruder then an AR15 from a reputable maker. My M4 is OK except for the trigger pull. With a 1.5-6X Konus (30mm tube) in DNZ rings, it is a good gun. A rifle in 20" with the same scope would be a adequate longer range gun. I can tune the trigger, or replace it with a Timney seems needed. I love those clunky AKs, since it is the other guys gun. If the price hasn't climbed to $20,000 a selectfire M16A! would be fine.
      Except in qualificating shoots, I found no real need for full-auto.

  • Lichtyr

    Ok Lets look at the Numbers , the american army that has fought with every comunist supplied faction has a 100 to 1 kill ratio useing the M16/ar15 Now that is damn impressive. the Iraq conflict had an investigation into the unusual number of head shot wounds from M16 they thought we were exicuting people . the finding was the accuracy of the american weapons M16/AR15 was far superior the range was double or tripple.
    Yes the M16/AR 15 is a lighter round . Yes it takes more upkeep No contest none at all. but with 1 M16/ AR15 I will give you all the AKS you want Bar None Pinpoint accurasy or spray and pray. are you a shooter or a wanna be You decide . for me 1 shot game over any day , Luck be a lady I have never had use for .I have both weapons 2 AR15s with scopes and 1 AK I keep around to say I have one come to my game with an AK you wont walk away and I will take your AK home when its done

    • marco

      the 100 to 1 kill ratio is thanks to carpet bombing ;)

      • Lichtyr

        call it what you will straight up or straight down the AR is far superior weapon I hjave a 1945 Remminton Rand 45 acp pistom my dad brought home from WWII shoots bulletts no mater what I do to it never had 1 miss fire as long as I am within 10 feet i can kill a man . but at 25 feet not one gaurantee 1rst shot dead on second 3 feet to the left third shot who knows, I also own a match grade Kimber and utp to 50 plus yards I can guarantee you dont want me shooting at you with it . Much better built weaqpon . No I have to do more maitenace with it but I only have to shot it 1 time to hit what i want not 100. 1 vs 100 I tak the 1 anytime . anyone can get lucky . I dont like luck . if i want to kill someone I want to do it where I have an advantage . 200 Plus yards works for me .

        • marco

          you are amazing but be honest with me are you chuck norris

          in a war zone when you are getting shot at from all directions that one shot one kill crap will do you no good

          • Lichtyr

            In war if you dont put your selfe to an advantage a kid with a slingshot could kill you .
            No Im am not chuck Norris but I have done a bit of fighting ,

          • rs17

            Do I smell a "mall ninja"?

          • marco

            nop it's just chuck testa

      • Don

        We no longer use much carpet bombing. Precision munitions do a better job. In Vietnam, we dropped tons of ordnance from B52s that often just turned the ground over and made plants grow.

        • marco

          i know but the point was to comment on th 100 to 1 kill ratio as it had nothing to do with the m16 or the ak47 :) and looking precision munitions are not doing allot of a better job bagdad anyone ;) i just hate it when ppl use the wrong statistics in the wrong place to try and prove there point of view

      • Thomas Acton

        carpet bombing??? LMAFAO! ….you no read no weel. lol.

      • Charles_Texas

        Capet bombing no longer exists. We use precision bombing and we have TACPs and Air Liaison Officers to insure bombs are on target. Catch up with the times.

        Signed Former (retired) ALO

    • Zeus

      Your accuracy comparison has little to due with the rifles and much to do with an M16 with superior optics and superior trained troops behind them and an AK with a goat hurder with iron sights. Apples to Oranges. A spec ops warrior with an AK in the extreme heat or exteme cold is more dangerous than with an AR. Ask HK about their 416 freeze ups in the cold. They lost a military contract because of it.

    • John

      True, saw it on the military channel; There was an there were a large amount of dead insurgents with gun shots to the head from the Marines. The U.N. came in thinking that these U.S. soldiers were executing capture insurgents but it became quickly apparent that these shots from the marines were taken form several football fields away. Do to the fact that the Marines were only able to see the insurgent’s head.

  • Gruntwork

    I own and extensively shoot both (Colt 5.56 -vs- Arsenal 7.62), and I think the AR wins in these areas = much better sights (radius and visibility), lower recoil, better accuracy, quicker firing, quicker mag changes, and better overall ergonomics. The AK is much simpler, easier to maintain, and would undoubtedly hold up better in a harsh environment. And I also tend to like shooting the AK more because its rough edges and tractor like feel. I think the AR's a better gun, but the AK is good enough and more robust at 30-50% cheaper than the AR. Frankly, our military should probably be equipped with the "tractor" AK versus the "fighter jet" AR. It would save us a few billion.

    • Don

      Our soldiers and Marines do a better job with the better gear. Nearly every service rifle or carbine in US service is fitted with great glass. The only trouble with that is they cost too much for my retirement budget.

  • John Doeqq

    Going by cost you can buy three AKs for the cost of an AR15. Shouldn't that be the choice? A cheap $200 AK vs. a cheap $600 AR? I'll take the three cheap Chi-Com AKs for my wife, son and myself to defend the home. If it's just me, give me a decent AR, I'd rather be able to pick off the AK toters with my AR and it's 200 yard advantage.

    • Don

      Where can you find $200 AKs? Most of the junk AKs cost $400. Good ones are $1,000 or more. I had a collection of around 25 AK variants. Egyptian, Finn (M62 and M76), Israeli (both 5.56 and 7.62 NATO, Romanian, many Chicom, Yugo and Russian. Most were well made though many were crude. The best shooting "traditional" guns were the better Chinese, Israeli and Finn. The best ammo for accuracy was Chinese steel core. All were reliable. All were more awkward handling then the AR-types. The original pattern had issues with burning the hand on metal hardware. The Galil and Valmets were far superior. They were heavy, but accurate compared to all traditional sighted AKs. None were zeroed well. Soviet pattern sights required a special tool for windage (elevation was done with the factory tool kit). The original DMD2 sight tool was excellant and has been copied by Tapco and Red Star (cheap chinese). Finn and Israeli guns are sighted with screw drivers. An AR is a better engineered gun.

      • John Doe

        If it weren't for the Clinton AWB they would still be going for $200, cheap eastern block slave labor and all.

        • Don

          We can blame GHW Bush for stopping the Chicom guns and ammo. Bush was not a friend to American gun owners.

        • Don

          John, Communism failed. East block countries sell us all they want, within the GCA '68. We now build AKs here because the BATFE re-read the GCA '68 stopping import of critical parts. Go buy most AKs and most parts are American made and marked. We can blame LBJ and congress. With the big three assassinations and the US gun makers working against imports shooters lost.

    • mactex

      Unless you are going to be only in the wide open spaces away from cities and wooded areas, there is not always going to be a chance to utilize the '200 yeard' advantage you speak of. The number one thing I look for in any weapon is dependability – if it don't go bang, it don't mean a thang – to para pharse an old rock and roll axe. Accuracy without ignition is useless. However I have to say if I could sit up and ambush all my foes from 300 yards +, I would take the AR.

      • lichtyr

        tell the police swat and all those military guys who break down doors Daily AR and a 12gauge everytime

  • khalid najjar

    i will go for the hk 417 :D but out of the 2 i will go for the AK just for the long run after all guerilla warfare you always need something that will keep shooting as for "accuracy" im willing to give that up for the sake of not having a miss fire and a jam when my gun is most needed after all its a war not a hunting game

    • Don

      Most of us, can't afford the HK rifles. I priced an M416 today. $3,395.00 plus tax, and it did not have optics.
      There is no way a bit of lipstick on an AR15 is worth that.

    • WerkinHard

      Well Khalid najjar, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately the military is stuck with the lowest cost that met the bare minimum requirement: The M16. That is a product of the Defense Acquisition Cycle. I think the quote of Stalin of quantity equals quality now applies to the M16/AR15. Just because there are a lot of them (because they are cheap in both senses of the word), does not mean they are the best.

  • Spike1point5

    For some reason, I just hate the way the AR sits in my hands. There's no rational explanation for it, but it's always been really uncomfortable for me. So I like the AK. If it weren't for that, it's be hard to choose between them, but I think I'd still give the edge to the AK, just because being a good marksman can make up for a less accurate weapon, but it;s a lot harder to change the inherent reliability of a gun.

    • Gruntwork

      Good point about the importance of reliability versus higher accuracy capability. Besides, a good AK still has accuracy close to an ARs. A man size target is in trouble either way within 100-200 meters. If you're mouse hunting, then you better grab the AR.

      • Don

        There is no way an AK with traditional sights can compete with an AR15/M16. Maybe if you are a 19 year old recruit with 20:10 vision, but those sights are crude. Push out to 200m and the M16 family still groups. An AK has a pattern or beaten zone like a sloppy machine gun. That being said, I had HK 91 rifles that would shoot no better then a common AK. When in jungles, you often have a small visible target. It seems our men were the ones crossing paddy dikes out in the open.

    • Eric

      I have exactly the opposite reaction to these two rifles. I hate how the AK feels but love the AR in my hands.

  • Russ

    I want the one that doesn't break…the one with a big enough bullet to drop an evil-doer.

    • Lichtyr

      .22 will drop an evil doer on in the head , the .223 is one of the nasties rounds you can imagine when it hits you. FMJ tumble and shred huge internal wounds, Dont unerestimate the killing power of one of these . it will kill anything you shoot at. I have seen poorly placed shots with a 300 magnum the animals have goten up and ran away.

      • George

        That's the way I see it. I saw one round go in the top of the chest and zigzag down the gut and almost come out the leg.don't know what it hit to make it stay in but he was dead before he knew it

        • Shrtdrt

          .223 Was Called the "Meat Axe" by the VC in Vietnam.

          • mactex

            Yeah, but that was back when the twist rate was 12 in 1 when they first came out. Once they changed the rate of twist and stablized the bullet more, it wasn't nearly as effective.

          • lichtyr

            they are more accurate and are still a meat ax has to do with 3500 ft per second and small light round

          • Don

            The first AR15 was 1:14 twist. In arctic conditions it lost accuracy. Next versions remained at 1:12 until the A2 at 1:7. In medical environments and testing at the Presidio the extra rotation of the SS109 (our load) the theory of being stable was a myth. If anything the higher rotational speeds caused more damage. The reason for the 1:7 is to stabilize the tracer rounds. A 1:8-9 is fine for ball ammo. In tissue on anesthetized pigs, the current US/NATO load is more effective then 7.62 – PS or 5.45mm. Soviet ammo (mil spec) is heavily constructed and bullets stay together leaving a wound similar to the bullet profile, however it is oriented as it passes through. What people want from rifles is sometimes more then they can deliver. Poking holes without hitting bone, nerves and major blood vessels can leave a man stnding. It has been that way for over a century. Only good hits count. Soldiers hit in the thigh muscles or lungs w/o bone impact on entry can be treated easily in most cases. In Cuba and PI back in the 1898-1907 era men would be wounded with a .30-40 220gr. FMJ-RN and be back in service in 2-3 weeks.
            This was before anti-biotics were understood. Reference the US Army Wound Ballistics Laboratory (Fackler).

  • Fredneck

    AR 15

  • bill

    I found the perfect solution to the ak/ar argument. I got two of each in different calibers and spend my time shooting off the hip instead of off the mouth.

  • J D

    I find it comforting to have at least one firearm of each caliber, two is my preferance. As was stated above you don't know what ammo you might need it may come down to what's laying around. My 7.62 x 39 is in the AR platform, I figure when it comes to parts and accessories I'd be better off with the AR. I guess the versitility of the AR makes it the best shoice for me.

  • Lichtyr

    yea one nice thing about the AK you can use it as a club reload it and it will make a bang noise .

  • jpay

    My Father in Law may he rest in peace…. Served a tour in Korea where he carried a Garrand, He also served two tour in Nam. He was a Master Sargent In the Marines for 20 years active duty. Served as a DI before hostilities broke out in Nam. He hated the M16 with a passion…. Called it a Made by Mattel Poodle killer. My Older brother served two tours in Nam as a Sea Bee. His jammed and got him shot. He too hates the weapon. I personally wouldn't own either. I don't want anything in my collection that you couldn't wipe the ugly off of with a month of rubbing….. I'll stick with My CZ 527 American in .223 Which I can Center punch a dime with @ 300 yards ,,,, topped with a Tru Glo 6 by 24 power Scope…. As far as stopping power goes the CZ complements my Remington 742 BDL in .30-06 with two ten round clips and two four round clips very nicely. You Fella can keep all the Ugly guns cause this fella wouldn't own one….. My brother in law and I role our own so to speak so ammo avaiability isnt an issue……

    • Thomas Acton

      staying on topic is difficult for liberals, huh? LOL.

  • tom

    I own both but I favor the a r15 because I stock up on ammo at gun shows with my buddy's who own ar too. If it was not for friends (with) ar's I would go w/ the AK plus I've invested in a target trigger &red dot sights, etc ( for the AR)

  • Sanjuancb

    The modern AR may in fact be superior, but if we are talking about Stoner's original M-16 then I would rather have an AK any day of the week. 7.62×39 is a better cartridge, it is more reliable, and is plenty accurate for any medium-range application.

    • Don

      In actual shootings the M16 M193 (the old 55 gr. FMJ) is superior to the 7.62 M43-PS loading. The profile of the 123 gr.PS matches the 147 gr. M80. In tissue the M43-PS tends to just punch a clean hole. The 5.56mm does tumble and it soes break apart causing more tissue damage. The M43 has a trajectory like a mortar shell. That coupled with poor sights, and often unregulated sightsmeans the average AK user has a poor chance of hitting at any range over 100m.

  • old vet

    I have seen both used in combat. And will say without a doubt the A. K. is worlds more reliable but as far as better rifle, for what? Neither weapon is what I would call a "battle rifle". The 16 is much more accurate than a A. K., but the Kalash is harder to break than a crowbar in a feather factory. The old m14 was very reliable, very accurate, and you could buttstroke a stubborn prisoner without a buffer system dangling in your face. As far as a good reliable everyday weapon for average folks, how about the Mini14?

    • Don

      The Ruger in its latest version is an excellent rifle. The flash hider is a must have, once you have seen one w/o fired at night. I had GB models with replacement apertures, that shot as well as ARs and better then a normal AK.

  • James

    I can hit a television at three hundred yards with an AK using iron sights. I think that's about accurate enough for any reasonable purpose. Plus you just can't break, jam or otherwise make an AK stop working, not to mention how easy it is to clean. What more do you, or could you want?

    • Lichtyr

      your good with that AK at 300 yards now lets get real a telivition isnt moveing so you can adjust the windage to the proper 21 degrees of angle for the bullett drop or about 5"high I can hit a pop can at 1000 yard with the right scope and enough time . for what it is it will kill you what its not is accurate I have seen some worked over by a great gun smith and be very accurate but not many

    • old vet

      Is that a 42 inch flat screen? Sorry, couldn't resist

  • @Killer7_62x39

    AK ALL DAY!!!

  • Dave

    I like the versatility of the AR platform: Adjustable stock lengths, QD scope mount rail, longer site radius, better BUIS & rail options and a plethora ( yes, I said, "Plethora" ) of cartridge options. I have AR uppers in 7.62X39, 6.8 SPC, and 5.56 NATO. My favorite is the 7.62X39 with the C-Products 30 rnd mag: dependable, robust, accurate, and inexpensive to shoot. Depending on whose ammo is more plentiful on the battlefield, I can swap out uppers. I owned an AK; sold it. Is there anyone out there that really likes the length of pull on an AK? They're great ( if you're a midget ).

  • Retired MSgt

    Trained soldier= AR- highly accurate, as reliable as you need it to be as long as its kept clean, better sights, quicker reloads
    Terrorist Bandit AK- Never needs cleaning, good for spraying fully auto and then dying for your cause or executing helpless captives

    • Lichtyr

      ex seal Ditto 3 specil force against 200 terrorist 150 dead terrorists and 3 tired marines and a whole lot of AKs to choose from

  • Nader Moustafa


  • Retired MSgt

    A rifle is only as good as the troop holding it

    • Lichtyr

      I agree whole Heartedly but your troops that have the superior weapons along with the traing will most always win . get in unsean provide tactical advantage take care of business and leave . Time and distance are a big part of that

  • Eugene Leonard

    I have a few of each and I would take an AK over an AR anytime

  • George

    This is an old argument. caliber to small. That is the same thing my grand father told my dad when they switched from the 45-70 Gov. to the 30. cal. and my great grandpa probably complained about the little 45-70 over the 58 cal. and the 75 cal. It all amounts to how good you can shoot.If you can do it with the AR you can do it, if you cant get something bigger. I never had any problem with an AR. on my AK I had the trigger brake and it left it useless it is not just about which one will not jam but also about which wont brake little parts. A jam I can clear fast A broken trigger is something else, What we need is a deferent bullet not a deferent cartridge. Remember the liquid center bullets we used to use old vets. Not regulation and we would get it if we got caught by big brass if they ever came close ( which they didn't ) them things made a mess of anything we hit.

  • spycialost9999

    FYI When Eugene Stoner designed the first M16 IT WAS called an AR10. It was 308 caliber and only two were made. Gov't wanted smaller caliber so he downsized it to 223. The M16 originally had a 1:14 rifle twist and used DUPONT IMR(IMPROVED MILITARY ROUND-LESS CARBON) POWDER. Gov't switched powder from IMR to BALL POWDER(PRODUCES ALOT OF CARBON) WITHOUT telling ANYONE.

    • Don

      There were thousands of AR10 rifles made and issued in two other countries. The issue with the first AR15 is as you say. The twist was too slow. The switch to ball powder was an error, because of high port pressure and calcium carbonate fouling. And with the Army saying it didn't need cleaning, soldiers did not clean it.

    • Thomas Acton

      it was no secret. Bids were taken, Winchester was awarded. One batch had the high calcium (chalk!) and made it to vietnam where it was spread across the theater. bad stuff and people died because of it.

  • al S

    ar all the way. I don't mind maintaininng the tool of my trade in exhange for stopping the buggers before they can get a decent shot at me.

  • Roman I

    I am Russian(so its hard to be objective) especially having AK in my dna but I would definetly choose AK74 over 47. The AR/M platform is a great rifle and has had many great improvements over the years. I guess we could go back and forth on pros and cons(not too many) for both rifles but if we go by history I would have to choose the Kalashnikov. I agree that the US should start looking at adopting a new round and possibly building a rifle around it, kind of like H&K did with MP5 to MP7

  • spycialost9999

    As far as accuracy you can buy AK47 variants that are accurate, so what you are buying is an accurate rifle based on the AK47. There used to be Galil. Valmet(spelling). And don't forget the AK47 Sniper Rifle! IMo the AK47 for close encounters & the M16 for far. The AK47 is given more Respect than the M16. Ak47 variants being made today produce 2 1/2" to 3" groups at 100 yards prone position.

  • Richard

    100% AK! I never liked the .223, might be more precise, but the round is by far too anemic.

    • Tommy

      Try the "Green tip" light armor piercing ammo in 5.56 NATO and tell me it's anemic then. Ballastic tests show it penetrating 3/8" steel at 200 yards, try that with your AK.

      • Don

        Good point. Not only will the 5.56mm penetrate steel better it will wound better then the 7.62mm M43. When one sees a big difference is when real rifle cartridges are used. The 7.62 Russian and 7.62 NATO are significantly better then any small carbine. What is the trade off? Those rounds are heavy, the guns for them are heavier. If every engagement were a long distance quasi sniping situation everyone would have a"real rifle". But close combat, fire and maneuver tactics demand more ammo consumption.
        Keep the M4 with good optics. NO AK can match the M4 for safety, adaptability, and handling.

  • Corporal Jones

    I carried a m16 for 6 years in the marine Corp 1 year in Iraq, ive fired thousands of rounds through my rifle and I don't remember a single malfunction that "tap rack bang" didn't take care of. And ive seen several men fall to a single shot from a 556. Good rifle, good bullet, if there was 100 aks at my feet I would go find an m16

  • Don

    I take th M16 AR-15 over the Soviet style AK/AKM. There is no getting past the terrible sights on AKs. Accuracy is poor compared to an M16. The AK is prone to snagging on your gear. I often brought the gun up to the shoulder only having the sight flipped up. Selectors on AK stink. Magazine changes are slower and noisier. If you are going to use an AK-type rifle the Galil or Valmet RK62 is better. The Valmets have issues with flipping-snagging sights and clumsy selctor. Galils have corrected the selector and sight issue. My unit had 125 M16A1 (120 H&R and 5 Colts) They all worked very well. The A1 had weak stock furniture. That was corrected on the A2. With good ammo both guns run reliably. AR's are a better designed rifle.

  • Corporal Jones

    Why do all the competitive shooters use Ar's if the an is so "superior"

    • mactex

      There is a big difference between competition and combat. It is not to often tht you can 'walk through' combat, gauging the shots, knowing the distance and, most importantly, having someone shooting back.

    • Don

      The AR works. The AR handles better. The performance is better. Magazine changes are easier. A bolt hold open device helps. The selector is better. ARs take optics easier. Magazines and ammo weigh less.
      Iron sights are better. Well, there are a lot of reasons why the AR is chosen over the AK.

  • Breeze

    I showed a few AR guys that an AK can hit the target at 300 yds. If they would just learn to shoot the rifle they have, instead of relying on all their accuracy jobs and $600.00 scopes, they could do it too.

    • Don

      The Soviets went for the 5.45mm over the 7.62mm for a couple of reasons. The 7.62mm has a trajectory like a mortar round. It climbs more on FA. The AK74 with its better muzzle break and flat trajectory is said to have given the soldier 2 and 1/2 times imporved effective range. All of the power people claim for the 7.62X39 isn't there. It really isn't there if you can't hit the target. The AK74 has one advantage, it has an optics rail. But in typical Russian fashion the optics are crude and awkward to use. Many times an issue scope will not have an ability to be zeroed without moving pins, redrilling and adjusting. Not an easy job without shop tools. Put a $300 scope in a $100 mount and an AR will shoot very well. Use commonly available scope mounts for the AK and it still needs work. Put a high quality red dot on either gun and they become better matched. The AR is a superior rifle out of the box.

  • spycialost9999

    Troops were trained with the M14 and then given the M16(with no training/use & care etc.). Special Forces were trained on the M16 & they never had the issues regular troops had. As far as WHY POW's or soldiers trying to get back to American Bases, they would choose a AK47-because when fired it would not draw attention. When a M16 was fired everyone(friend or foe) knew that you were an American. Back to ball powder it made the M16 shoot more rounds(wasn't designed to shoot so many) per minute, the carbon fouled everything(that's why we HAD TO ADD THE FORWARD ASSIST & because it caused more pressure-spent shell casings would not extract! The rifling of the M16 started ar 1:14, then 1:12, Now 1:9. The 1:14 was to destabilize the bullet/the 1:9 is to stabilize because of armor piercing rounds. You can get uppers in .223, 9mm, 40sw, 45acp, 7.62x39mm, 410 gauge, .50 beowulf to name a few!

    • Thomas Acton

      1 in14 to destabilize?? 1 in 9 to stabilize??
      first, the 1/14 allowed the 55gr to yaw and tumble (upset) w. great effect… except under artic conditions. then came the 1/12… still using 55g FMJ.
      It's now 1/7 (not 1/9) for use w. 62 gr XM855 green tip. The faster twist is to stabilize the heavier bullet going down range so it can then UPSET (yaw, tumble, fragment) inside soft tissue.
      correct on the ball powder pressures and increased RPM issues.

      • Don

        The 1:7 twist is to stabalize the TRACER bullet. A 1:8 or 9 works well for ball ammo. The RPM increase did increase the wounding. This was a clever "plot" by the Swedes to make the US look bad. The Swedes were on the PAVN side during the war (neutral?). They pushed the increased rate of twist to diminish the wounds and found out it DIDN'T decrease the wounding. The Swedes then adopted the terrible caliber. Typical Swedes. The 5.56mm in any issue form is stable in flight and still upsets in medium denser than air.

  • Frank Mosna

    When I was in Vietnam in 1968 we captured several AK's and I kept one. I stored it in the corner of my hootch until I found ammo for it which was not very often. In between it always got rusty. I always had to kick open the bolt but it functioned flawlessly every time. I was very impressed. The AR would never function like that.

    • Don

      It was dangerous to use ammo found in VC bunkers. The US forces used to substitute HE rounds. It is one reason when an SKS war trophie was brought home, ammo could not be brought with it.

    • old vet

      I was also in Nam 68 69 we took hundreds of AK's SKS,s etc. Yes they would function after horrid amounts of exposure. Ammo was everywhere Chicom, Soviet, and even lovely Lake City stuff loaded for Arvin and Mont. troops that used Com. weaponry. Had two SKS set in storage to take home, but some REMF got them.

      • old vet

        STILL hate those REMFS!

        • Don

          I had a war trophy SKS that never worked. The chamber had been neglected, pitted, and a fired case expanded into the pits. Result was a locked up single shot. I was a REMF did I get one of your rifles?

          • old vet

            HOPE SO! Welcome back anyway Brother! Those chambers and bores were supposed to be chromed, However the ammo was steel, so there you are.

          • old vet

            P.S. I do know that without he remfs we didn't get our chow, mail, BEER, ammo, etc. Bless all of them.

  • Mike

    AR style platform or M14 in 6.5 Creedmore

  • Chong Wei Shen

    i would rather choose AK as it has longer lifetime in long term, simple build, heavier punch with 7.62mm bullet compared with accurate m16's build and need much to be taken care of. although bullet's power does not make much concern to achieve 'kill shots', when it comes to penetration power it does. in reality, people would rather depend on 'SPRAY n PRAY' which is more on smg's way (not to mention in target practice way as dummy target won't return fire)

    • Don

      Some AKs are built so lightly and sloppy that they may still shoot, but they are not able to perform accurately. When people say they see 50 year old AKs in the filed, are they used by modern soldiers?
      There are 50 year old M16's out there as well. If properly taken care of the M16 will still be sorking as well.
      What wears out on both is the bore, many AKs did not have chromed bores and Soviet style ammo is often corrosive. On the AR only one item really wears out, the gas rings.

  • walid

    having grew up on the streets of beirut in the 80's and the previlege of using both during actual street to street close combat i will give the adventage to the AK for being low maitenance alwas ready no matter how many round you just shut and the availability of the amo(and cheap)not to mention the damage the round make

  • StreetCruiser

    I really like my AR and I stake my life on it everyday when I load up and go to work. I think that the AR is very reliable, accurate and easy to shoot. But there is one inescapable fact: the DOD is looking for the next generation assault rifle and the AR platform may very well be obsolete. Is it because they want a new rifle on the playing field or a better more reliable light infantry system?

    • old vet

      If the past is any indicator, dollars and politics will play. With the current "wind down", I figure we will cope with what we have.

  • Simon Munslow

    The only circumstance I would want an M16 is if I was fighting with or near Americans- so that they would not think I am an enemy because of the shape of my mag in the confusion of battle, and can borrow ammo if necessary.

    Other than that, I would not touch one.

  • Adam Sorum

    If you compare the original Ak 47 to the original Stone M-16, which has been needed to be updated more? The M-16. I would take an AR-10 if we are talking current design. If we are talking original design, I would take the AK 47 over the original M 16.

  • Steve

    The #1 requirement for any gun is that it go bang when you pull the trigger. No firearm embodies that sentiment better than the AK.

    • Thomas Acton

      There's the Quick and….. there's the Dead.
      Going BANG and missing can cost you.

  • Ray Marchetta

    The AK is much better. I don't buy the " can't afford the M16 arguement". You want an AK and a Glock .40 or .357 sig.

  • Old Grunt

    It ain't the rifle it is the shooter. Been shooting both at people since '67 and repeatedly find that almost no one has the right stuff when faced with the reality of a fire fight. The accuracy is in the shooter who knows his or her weapon and nothing else. They both shoot well, both have their pros and cons, and both will kill. I like the AK because it becomes a better club when you run out of ammo.

  • Chris P Bacon

    It's not a fair comparison between an $1100 AR with $1300 worth of accessories on it to a $300 WASR10. If people would put the same amount of money into an AK as their AR they'd see that it's a much better starting platform to build an urban assault rifle. Like usual, Garry James is right!

    • Don

      But a $1000 AK is still an AK. Put a good AK v. AR and for the same $1000 an AR wins. What we now see are $3,000 ARs and they have no comparison for the best AK. Even the scarce Valmets and real Galils don't have the flexibility of an AR.

  • Thomas Acton

    My AR's all the way. In one or two rounds, long range(preferred) or short, i will quickly find my mark. Not so with most AK's.

  • mart

    In the us or NATO country at15 any third world joint AK47.just for logistics sake. If I had my choice make mine a m14.

  • Michael

    The question was, "Which gun is better?" Neither is overall superior to the other; rather, they are each better than the other in various categories. So, the question that should be posed is, "In the following combat situation/environment, and with ammo supplies being adequate for either weapon, which would you choose to defend yourself?" With the necessary criteria provided, a better decision could be reached. I entered the Marines in 1971. At that time the rifle we used/trained with was the M-14. I thought it was an excellent rifle, easy to use, very accurate at 500 meters with open sights. When we were introduced to the new M-16, what a disappointment. It didn't feel like a "real" rifle. However, over the next twenty+ years and numerous improvements, the M-16 A1, now the M-16 A2, has proven to be an accurate, reliable battle rifle in the hands of a trained individual. I must have been fortunate because I never had my rifle misfire, fail to extract or eject a round, etc. It is hard to believe that it has been the primary infantry weapon of the United States for over 50 years! (and the most improved, modified, accessorized battle rifle ever!). Now, if the 5.56 mm caliber isn't to your liking, change the upper receiver to a different caliber (I suggest the 6.8 mm SPC (a caliber Special Ops personnel suggested as a logical and excellent upgrade from the 5.56 mm round, or the 7.62 x 51 mm (the original round the M-16 was designed for) and voila – the caliber issue is eliminated. Now, if the SHTF you will be able to find lots of weapons to choose from. If the location of the sh@t storm you find yourself in happens to be Africa, Eastern Europe, or the Middle/Far East, the AK-47 may be a logical selection (and you can simply spray and hope!). However, if you are in the USA, you may want to consider the AR-15/M-16 A2 (or its latest version) and take the time to properly maintain the rifle. One shot, one kill should be your mantra. You won't be disappointed.

  • old vet

    I believe as far as tech. goes, The 16 is unbeaten however, I have seen where the 16's get into trouble just by the design of the selector. In a sudden, highly charged event such as an ambush, When one hits the safety on a 16, adrenaline causes one to rock it 180degrees to full rock and roll. Pooping out 20 rounds at once. You say training will avoid this? Nope! I know the newer guns have burst cap. this is why.

    • Don

      More users are NOT opting for the burst feature. You can leave out a handful of parts and training does work. I carried an MP5 for over 10 years. We trained heavily, and could fire the semi-auto portions of the qualifications while set to FA. A big problem for military and police is the failure to train. Only special ops and SWAT-type groups get enough trigger time. From what I have seen, maybe we would all be better off with simple semi-auto rifles and carbines. Athough on night shoots it is fun to see a cluster of copper enroute to the target. Just set you lighting over your shoulder.

      • old vet

        What I was referring to was 1st gen. 16's and basic trained line co types who stumbled on NVA in triple canopy. You cold sit on a forward L.Z. and hear it happen. The 16's would open in a crescendo and pause then came the A.K.s. with an rpd and sks thrown in.

  • Mike

    Given I own 12 Aks and 10 Ars do you think just possibly both have their advantages and pitfalls?
    AR is more accurate for sure but the AK is more reliable ( mainly due to loose tolerences to make it reliable).
    A lot has to do with training as well in terms of accuracy. People that shoot Aks usually dont have a hope in hell of hitting anything as pointing and pulling the trigger doesn't work well on any system.

    Love them both.

    • Don

      Most people never zero their rifles. Especially the AK. For that matter, most people never read the manual and know how to zero their rifles. ARs are easy. The AK needs a special tool. The original DMD2 windage tool worked great 30 years ago. It has been copied by Tapco and Chicoms. The Chinese tool is inferior.

      • WerkinHard

        And the front post of a AR does not require a special tool (too use easily)? Like using the tip of a bullet is easy?

        • Don

          Yes, zeroing the AR is easy. It never was a problem for us in the Army or police department, or for that matter privately. In fact when we went to Ft. Lewis for qualifications we gave each soldier a NAIL. Yep, a NAIL so they wouldn't be playing with ammo, and scratching the ogive. I prefer the original sight as found on the M16A1. NO special tools needed. Nothing to get bumped or turned.
          Men in AK equiped armies don't have a tool for zeroing. They go back to battalion level where an armorer makes the changes. At least in our armed forces a trooper can adjust his personal zero.

          • WerkinHard

            I know of a bunch of Hungarian army regulars who would beg to differ with you.

  • Fernando Tejero

    Neither of them can replace the 7.62 NATO as a military round, But for short to medium range ( the real role of an assault rifle-hence the name) my vote goes for the AK47.

  • Tom

    There is NO better battle weapon than the M-14.
    As a Marine I carried an M-14 until they tried to shove the M-16 down our throats. In 67 we were handed the 16 & told to go kill zips. They were lousy pieces of crap. Jamming, fouling etc. I managed to keep a M-14 & there was no comparison. The M-14 was so far superior to the 16 & AK that it was criminal that we had to use the "Lady Bird Johnson" retirement fund gun.
    That being said, in my 26yrs, a lot of them as a small arms instructor, the later M-16/ARs are really pretty good rifles.

  • Tom

    (they made me do this in 2 installments)
    I currently have 7 ARs, 2 match, 1 sniper, 2 entry & 1 sporter. My sniper shoots under 5" at 600yds with 80 bergers & all are reliable with hardly any malfunctions of any kind.
    I have 4 M14s. 2 match, 1 standard & an entry gun & 2 AR10s. a standard & an entry gun, all work well. Match M14s shoot 8" at 500 w/iron sites with 168 bergers.
    If I had to have 1 gun, I would still go with the M14 in .308 with removable scope & see thru mts. This is a "battle" weapon, sniper gun & good for hunting.
    So, having used both M14s & M16s & seen AKs in VN etc, hands down, M14 for anything or any environment in the world, from desert, jungle or arctic. Drop it in the mud, water or just drop it, it works, the sites are good & none of the others delivers a vertical butt stroke like a M14!

    • old vet

      Amen Bro. and welcome home!

  • duane wood

    If any of you urban commandos want an inexpensive, dependable, no-frills, self-loading, combat-type rifle, buy an AK. The ammo is cheap and the arm is very user freindly and rugged. If you want an upper-end, accurate, self-loading rifle buy an AR platform. I call it the "leggo" rifle. You can add so many goodies to it, and customize it to your own needs, or leave it plane-Jane. Also, change the uppers and/or barrels and vary the caliber. Nifty. I doubt anyone reading this needs to consider how well it works in the sh!t. None of you will be fighting in the sh!t. Keep it clean it will do. I like what I carried in '68, in country. M-14. It was a little longer and heavier, but it knocked the bad guys down, first time, EVERY time. No ups, no extras and nobody left on. Big problem with the M16, was reducing the spin rate on the bullets. They were more accurate when bullets spun slower, but they were much less lethal, because the bullets would not deflect and tumble when they hit the bad guys, when spinning slower.

    • Don

      Duane, The increase in rate of twist did not do much to reduce wounding effect. The 1:14 AR15 (USAF) initial trials did cause big wounds, but the gun was inaccurate in arctic conditions. The 1:12 did just as much damage in tissue. Those guns shot well in all temperatures. In actual tests in pigs and real combat wounds, it was found the new 1:7 twist is more destructive. Initially the Swedes were trying to show how more humane they were then us heathens. They pushed the SS109, only to have the wounds actually prove to be worse. In the end, they adopted a cartridge that was more destructive then us evil Americans.
      The 5.56mm rifles with fast twists and heavy bullets (70-78gr.) have beat all 600 yards records, displacing the 7.62mm NATO.

  • The Rifleman

    I have fired both extensively, and the AK gets my vote. The AK is definately more relaiable than the AR, and it is more than accurate enough for any situation it would be used in.

  • Don

    Every Daewoo I ever sold, came back with broken hammer and trigger pins. All the owners reported less reliability in the Daewoo, compared to the AR15. The "old" Olympic Arms guns were horrible. It seems that if the parts are not properly gaged, and theirs were not, all you got was trouble. I bought parts and found almost all of them to be our of spec. There were or are too many cheap "parts guns" on the market.

  • Don

    I have to wonder why the Israelis use M16 and M4s over the Galil? Is it because the Galil is heavy and costly. The Galil also fails at the locking lug recesses where it cracks. Here you have an army that went from 7.62MM NATO and 9mm Uzi to the 5.56mm in the M16 platform. They tested AKMs, Galils, and M16s and selected the M16. The AKM is a crude weapon. The Galil is a real improvement. But the M16 works exceptionaly well. Very few nations use improved AKs (Finland and Columbia). The AK is cheap, and third world countries buy them since they are cheap. Developing nations are buying more M16s. Why? They work.

    • Ben

      If you think the companies that own the gun manufacturers (as in underhanded, no bid contracts) had nothing to do with the final selection, you are smoking crack.

      • Don

        So you are saying the government of Israel, bought guns from Colt, Olympic Arms and FN because some one over here engaged in bid rigging? That no gun company in Israel, IWI (formerly IMI) could come up with a gun that worked? Israel could buy a gun from anyone they wanted, they wanted M16s.

      • WerkinHard

        right you are! Cannot have our only ally in the Mid-East whom we support with all kinds of mil contracts, using anything but a US rifle.

  • TheKentuckian

    Having owned and/or fired pretty nearly every type of AR and AK variant, I'd say for the purpose of a fully automatic firefight under unpredictable conditions; My vote goes to Comrade Kalashnikov's little toy.

  • G-rant

    A few things I'd like to point out…

    1. The Kalashnikov's reputation for poor accuracy is largely due to two things- untrained users in the third world, and its inferior sight radius. If you are accustomed to aiming and you mount a red-dot on an AK, you will find yourself surprised by the amount of accuracy that you can squeeze out of a weapon many will claim to be completely inaccurate. True, the tolerances are looser, but it's not as if the barrel has no rifling!

    2. The aftermarket availability of rail systems, stocks, etc has largely made arguments regarding the crappy furniture and lack of mod-ability of the AK obsolete.

    3. Something I've not heard discussed is weight. On paper, the weight difference between the AK and AR doesn't look that large. But if you run 6 miles with either and then have to use it, you will appreciate how light the AR is compared to the AK, including the weight difference in the ammo.

    4. All the accuracy in the world is useless when either A) you are shaking from physical exertion and/or adrenaline, or B) the weapon refuses to fire because it managed to collect some dust in the time-span between firing it and closing the ejection port. Both A and B are highly likely in a combat/ SHTF environment.

    • WerkinHard


      1. Agreed!

      2. Lots of people like to argue of the virtues of the AR over the AK, comparing a tricked out aftermarket AR with a stock AK. Stock M16A2 with a stock AK, the M16 might be better (subjective to the shooter preference to grips, length of pull). The Hungarians Improved AK has an adjustable stock, improved fore ends with rails, better grips, and top rails for optics. There are some internal improvements, but his english was not very good. We just smiled and nodded a lot at each other.

      3. Beg to differ on weight. People rave about the light weight of the M16/M4, then add 2-3lbs of grip pods, lights, lasers and other crap. When we go outside the wire, got 45lbs of body armor, ammo, first aid kit, hydration bladder. No one is running 6 miles with all that crap on! Once upon a time long ago, I carried a 240G. She was big and heavy, but when SHTF, I appreciated that extra weight into firepower.

      4. Agreed!

    • SSG Psyop

      1st off the reason why people say the m-16 is more accurate is because it is!! it fires a smaller round that flys alot quicker. the speed of the round gets it from point A to point B quicker as to not subject the round to nature (wind, glare ect…) 2nd Have you ever been in combat? your not shaking in fact your adrenaline is off the hook everything you do is presise. Trust me i never had my m-16 fail to fire in 3 tours if i thought she was gettin tight id throw a little CLP on the bolt and shed be happy as a whistle.

  • marlinlever

    The AR is one awesome PLATFORM! The AK is one awesome WONT LET YOU DOWN RIFLE! If you want, why not dress the AK up like an AR? I've seen AR's jam if not MAINTAINED properly. You do regularly clean your firearms as soon as your finished at the range? Right? Hey, there are some pretty crappy AK's out there, if you hate them fine, but maybe you shoud find one that is built RIGHT! Then again your getting closer to an AR's cost!!! Man….those Kalashnikov's just keep chuggin' away though!

    • justin sc

      The worst AK is still better than the m16 .

      • Don

        Justin, I guess you have not been involved in the industry nor studied those that have. Your idea about wet cement is odd. Do you know that an AK action will allow more dirt or mud into it then a M16 with the dust cover closed? An AR can withstand more side crush force. The AK is a great design. The cartridges are good for short range engagements. I have quite a bit of hands on with both systems. I love AK rifles having had 25 variants. I've had nearly as many ARs and had an armory with 125 M16A1 rifles.The AKs are fun, reliable, short range rifles. Adding optics is using issue devices is a crude affair.

  • Sovereign

    One more vote for the AK system. I have owned several over the years that I have scoped and I can attest to their accuracy. I had one Saiga in particular that would print just under one inch groups at 100 yards all day, and that was with the steel cased Russian made junk ammo. If I had to choose one gun to do everything with, no matter the situation, I would choose that Russian made Saiga chambered for 7.62×39.

  • WerkinHard

    Humping around AFG with a M4. It sucks. Everyone talks about "pinpoint" accuracy. Not so much with ball (green tip) ammo. A service grade M16A2/M4 with ball ammo, 1.5-2.0 MOA realistically. Yes, I have a Expert rating with the M16A2 and Sharpshooter with a NMM1A, been reloading for 10yrs now. Out here in AFG winds (full value) reeks havoc on POA,POI. Most engagements are 500m. Odds of one shot one kill shooting from over the hood of a Hummer, in full gear is slim at best. The odds of one shot one kill falls off a cliff past 300m anyways, even worse with a M4.
    Any weapon that injects hot carbon fouling directly into the receiver is a flaw. Remember, the M16 was selected not because it was the BEST candidate, but it met the most requirements at the lowest cost. And by using a DI gas tube rather than a piston and linkage reduced production costs lower than the competition. Feels cheap too.
    Welcome to the world of the Defense Acquisition Cycle.
    The AK, feed it good ammo, probably get about 2.0MOA and that is good enough for an assault rifle. These are not sniper rifles (i.e. neither the AK or the M16/AR). The AK has probably caught up with the AR in aftermarket products making it just as customizable. The Hungarian army Improved AKs are exactly that, adjustable stocks, better grips, forearm grips, optics.
    M16/AR requires aftermarket magazines for reliable operation. And I consider that a flaw of the rifle if I drop the GI in the bottom of my sea bag and have to use aftermarket mags I had to spend my own money on.
    Rather have a M14 or one of those Fulton Armory M14s. Weight you say? Man up and get to the gym! Carry more rounds of 5.56 than 7.67 you say? What good does that me if that itty bitty 62gr round can barely get out to 500m with 200ftlbs or less energy and buffeting full value winds? All that ammo does you no good if you cannot get into the fight.

    • SSG Psyop

      Im not sure what war you were in. But i rarely ever engaged a target past 150 meters(spent most my time kickin in doors in the wee hours of the mourning) 2 tours in Iraq 1 in the stan. I do agree with you as far as the m-14. Although i wouldnt mind a 6.8 upper either.

  • Don

    What has held the AK back is the governments that buy them, buy the cheapest one they could. There was little incentive for a government to demand a better rifle with more features. Only Finland and Israel really pushed the gun part way. A soldier gets to pack the rifle he is issued. He wont be able to buy a Krebs conversion. The AR has been pushed by both military and civilian users to become a great platform. If you could b uy an AK as well laid out as the AR you would have a good gun. The AK has crude sights. Scope mounting is crude on issue guns. The sights are not easy to zero for the average soldier. Needing a windage tool (Like the DMD2-Tapco) fixes that, but in most armies they never see a tool in the field. All the defects can be eliminated, but AKs need better stocks, better sights, better optics mounts, better selectors, stronger receiver (over Soviet pattern), bolt hold open device (not a mag follower-Yugo). If the military demanded those features there is no doubt the AK would be a better gun then it is. The M43 cartridge is inferior to the 5.56 or 5.45 for tragectory and wind drift. It takes that slow bullet longer to get to the target and gravity and wind have more time to do its thing.

    • justin sc

      An AK has a better history than the m16 plus you can throw an AK wet cement and it will work and by the way an AK is a 5.56 or a 7.62 which has accuracy plus knock down power .

      • Don

        Justin, Your comment leaves me wondering what you mean. Yes there are AK pattern rifles in either 5.56mm, 5.45mm, 7.62x39mm, 7.9x57mm, 7.62x54mm. The 7.62x39mm M43 round is inferior to the 5.56mm NATO. The M43 round is very slow when fired from the 16" AK barrel. The 2350 fps figure is taken from the SKS 20.5" barrel. The M43-PS has a well designed low drag design. When started at under 2300 fps, it has more wind drift and gravity working on it. The M43 is avery stable bullet and iIS accurate. But, being well shaped and stable means it leaves a small wound unless bone is struck. The issue becomes, it is a poor wounding round and is hard to hit with at range. If you want knock down power the 7.62mm NATO or its Soviet counter the 7.62x54mmR. The SVD rifle is not a target rifle.
        The 5.45mm flies flatter then the M43. It doesn't leave significant wounds in tissue except liver, fluid filled organs or if bone is struck.

  • Mickey

    I completely agree. People are stuck in the old Vietnam story mode about the non-chrome lined, no training, no cleaning kit issued, wrong powder M16, which hasn't been the case in ages. Then people always make absolutely absurd assertions about things you can do to a Kalashnikov and still have it work. None of these folks has ever put soup in their gun, or if they have they don't get to be anywhere near my house, let alone my gun collection.
    I have seen a sufficient number of failures with Kalashnikovs to know they are not indestructible, not close. I have also seen direct impingement M16s just heavily lubed and never cleaned and trucking right along after thousands of rounds just spewing out inky black oil.
    The real question is not about semi-auto civilian variants of both, but what happens in the event you put the weapon on full auto. The AK74 is a great improvement over the 47 with its lighter cartridge and better break, but still not close to the M16s and M4s with their inline operation.

    • Don

      Mickey, Great observations. I've seen the crushed AK actions that people tell me never happen.

  • Sings-With-Spirits

    When all is said and done, even low-grade rebuilt AKs will be more accurate than the average shooter is capable of shooting. The AK is a very forgiving gun for the average user, who might toss the gun into a closet and take it out once a month or so with little or no maintenance between uses. The average AR is not so tolerant of such treatment.
    Training is a major issue; I recall one time when I was at the range when local LEOs were practicing for their yearly quals with a variety of ARs, while I outshot them (by a significant margin) with an old, beat-up AK that had been through the ringer and had just been cleaned up and put back together.

    • Don

      Training is a big issue. MOST police do not fire enough ammo in any of their weapons to be good shooters. In police circles the real trigger pullers are looked down upon as being "gun nuts". Your average cop can't afford the ammo on his own to train well. Most departments wont supply enough. My agency supplied thousands of rounds for use in our handguns, SMG, AR15 and minimal in the shotgun. We only used shotguns for less lethal rubber batons. We used .22LR rifles for animal control. Knowing how to use the primary long guns allowed use of the 12 and .22 easy.

    • SSG Psyop

      I highly dought you were able to outshoot a m-16 with an AK. I have carried both into battle and the difference in accuracy is huge. My m-16 will group 1 to 2 inches all day long at a hundred yards my ak 5-7 inches. And if you did outshoot them imagine how much better you would have done if you had traded them guns.

    • Charles_Texas

      You are right about the average shooter. I grew up hunting and shooting. If I can't hit what I want at 200 yrds with iron sights then the weapon isn't worth my time. The ARs can do that, M-16 or M-4. Not sure about standard AKs since I have never owned one or used one. But the round itself, leaves a lot to be desired when you are shooting at those ranges. Just look at the ballistics.

  • John Wilson

    AK47…………….there is no substitute!

  • atm

    AK. Superior reliability in weapon and caliber.

    ARs jam without regular cleaning and maintenance. And since I don't have a 1.5 million man army to support me, I'll stick with the more reliable weapon.

    • Don

      When the US Army tested the performance of the 5.56mm, 7.62x39mm and the 5.45mm they found that the 5.56mm out performed the two Soviet rounds. I find it odd that when our military surgeons and ballistics researchers test these rounds we see the NATO round a top performer. When the surgeons work on the wounds of our people, and do controlled testing on pigs that they report more serious wounds with the NATO round. So far all of the official studies I have read confirm the performance of the NATO ammo. When the 7.62x51mm of German or FN mfg. are used next to the US M80, the European loads cause greater wounding. It is due to the Euro loads having a 0.005mm v. 0.008mm thick bullet jacket. When the Yugoslavs (when they were a country) tested the common loads in use they supported the use of their ammo, because it caused lesser wounds, and was "more humane".

  • Pops

    I have one of each but couldn't decide so I bought a 3rd gun that had the best of both! The Robinson Arms XCR. Available in both calibers, uses all the AR accessories, same 3 lug piston driven system.

  • justin sc

    I love America but I would take an AK over an m16 .You may be able to put a bunch of stuff on an m16 but who has the money to get the stuff.

    • Don

      Same with an AK. Buy an entry level AK at $500 and it might work, but it still is a crude firearm. A $600 entry level AR is good to go. You can spend extra money as you like for each. The AR has better ergonomics.

      • WerkinHard

        The AR does not have better ergonomics. It has more after market products to improve ergonomics. The same can now be said about the AK.
        Keep an AK trained on target and manipulate the charging handle using strong hand. Try the same on a M16A2 and I will jab myself in the eye with my own thumb, or have to break my cheek weld or unshoulder the weapon.
        That is NOT better ergonomics.

        • Don

          I guess that is like your taste in cars and women. I prefer the AR. I can charge either rifle with my strong hand on the grip, I find trying to keep a sight picture while doing so isn't practical. It is one reason the Galil with its upturned charging handle is more convenient. I can drop an AR mag by hitting the button. and have another one ready to insert without the rattle and clumsiness of an AK.
          Only the Galil has a selector as good as the AR. Keep both hands on the rifle in the shooting position and disengage the AK selector, oh that's right it doesn't work that way. I am fortunate I never needed to use the M16 charging handle while keeping the rifle aimed at the target. If empty after firing, I drop a magazine, insert a fresh one, hit the release and am firing again. If it is so fast moving at short distances I can drop the rifle on its sling, an go for my handgun. Fortunately for me my fellow officers were on scene. I never needed to fire more then 18 rounds before "things" settled down. Hey it is what REMFs do.

  • GlovesQ

    If i want a Long-distance & accurate round, I have an upper for 5.56
    If i want a hard-hitting round I have an upper for .458 socom.
    If i want a combo of both I can get an upper for for 6.8 spec.
    Each one is pinned into place in less than 30 seconds. (3 guns, 1 FFL reg)

    I don't think the AK has that versatility. (I could be wrong)
    When I shoot an AK (on semi) the forgrip heats up rather fast. (just sayin')

    I pick the AR for accuracy, versatility and availability of aftermarket parts.

  • Thomas

    Most Vietnam Vets I talked to like the lightness of the M16 and the robustness of the M14.
    I always thought it was sort of funny that Randy Wakeman Outdoors stated the M16 eats where it poops.
    I still think the gas impingement feature was a design flaw.
    I thought the Valmet version of the AK47 was a high quality weapon.
    The Mini 14 was dependable and kept itself fairly clean, accuracy on early models could have been better.
    I suppose if SHTF, I would rather have the M14 or Mini 14.

    • Don

      The Valmet and its clone the Galil are the best AK rifles made. The Galil is known to crack at the locking lug area. I have never seen or heard of the failure in the Valmet 7.62mm. The Finns I understand tried out the M76 sheetmetal receiver and went back to the machined.

  • Don

    I think many of you need to do some research. Read Ezell's "The AK47 Story" and "The Great Rifle Controversy". Then find now out of print copies of, "The Wound Ballistics Review" a publication of the International Wound Ballistics Association. You state library should be able to find wound studies done by the US, China, Yugoslavia and Sweden with little trouble. When anyone claims the 7.62x39mm outperforms the 5.56mm NATO, you will get a real lesson in wound treatment. The 5.45x39mm wounds less then 5.56mm NATO or the 7.62x39mm. The need to do vascular repairs and tissue cleanup of wound channels is much higher in the 5.56. It would be valuable for you to study how GSWs are treated. When military surgeons tested performance going back over 100 years you will be surprised at the knowledge they had. You will learn that much of the information floating around now is totally wrong. Keep in mind a citizen can buy what he wants. A soldier carries what he is issued.

  • rdx2109

    Not correct to compare AK47/AKM and M16, because it samples of weapons from different generations and different calibers, made at different technical levels. The closest competitor in M16 is AK-74.AK more robust and reliable with very dirty, M16 is much more accurate. A variety of ammunition .223, is also a plus M16. In Russia, find quality ammo 7.62 * 39 is very difficult, and 5.45 * 39 can be found only for the army, repulsive quality.
    And perhaps this is not patriotic, but I would have chosen exactly the M16, but would establish a gas piston conversion

  • SSG Psyop

    The m-16 is by far the better built of the two. The only downside to the m-16 is the ammo the military issues. The lake city 62 gr 5.56 is not designed to expand so the bullet comes out the same size it goes in. The ammo used by the bad guys with AKs use a 7.62 hollow point (nasty round) but lacks the accuracy of the m-16. After 3 tours in the middle east on a tactical Psyop team with over 150 combat missions and having been in my fair share of firefights. I can tell you i have never had an issue with my m-16. Yes you have to keep them lubed and you need to clean them more often than an AK but the m-16 with the proper ammo will do whatever an AK will, and it will do it accurately. Also the ak is a bear to control in full auto.

  • John

    M-16 without a doubt. I too have fired both, and found the AK-47 (and its varients) to be clunky and inaccurate. The M-16 is an excellent weapon. This business about dropping an AK in mud, never cleaning it, and then firing it until the cows come home is foolishness. Who does that other than undisciplined third world countries? If we're going by that standard, then you might as well say "Give me an axe". it works under all condirtions, or give me a 1960 Ford F-100 rather than a 2012 Ford F-150. Histroy has shown many times that a well trained, disciplined army keeps its weapons clean and ready for use. That is the cirumstance under which this discussion should be viewed.

    • me

      Maybe if you only go to the local firing range. Real combat situations are typically unexpected and last an unknown length of time in whatever conditions you happen to be in or end up in. They are not tennis shoes kept pristine until a scheduled match.

  • chsmith100

    I really do love my ARs but after reading some of these posts realized that I do need an AK too. I bought the Saiga and after a Mako Recoil Absorbing AR style collapsable stock and a rail mount for an optic it will be much like an AR but with bigger holes and its still half the price of a good AR.

    I was surprised by the trigger in the AK – it feels good and I don't feel the need to replace it with something better like I had to with the ARs.

    The tough thing will be choosing which to use when all hell breaks lose. If its zombies the AR is an easy choice – a bit easier for head to head transitions (is my guess). If its not zombies then I think I might be going with the AK. Seriously though, I just have to pick the optic for it and I'm good to go.

    • old vet

      Just be at ease with your choice, any well designed system will serve well. Just be flexible in your choices and use what you got.

  • USASPF2012

    Well I heard from a friend in The Army who told me the M-16 was modified and things were changed for reliability and it is alot better then when they first came out.

  • John

    I have never had an M-16/AR-15 pattern rifle fail to cycle live ammunition, in a variety of field environments, many thousands of rounds. I have been personally asked to remedy an AK-47 pattern rifle whose action was frozen shut due to poor maintenance. I have fired AK-pattern rifles that are nearly as accurate as the AR-pattern rifles. I have never encountered an AR-pattern rifle which could not shoot into a quarter at 50 yards. For impact velocities above 2700 feet per second, the 5.56x45mm cartridge is much more lethal than the 7.62X39mm cartridge. Velocities in that range are difficult to achieve over a significant engagement envelope using carbine-length barrels in the AR platforms.

    These two platforms were designed to completely different specifications. Both met their design objectives very well. I pick the AR because I know it in the dark under duress. YMMV.

  • ramrod

    I hate to say it because I went to war with an m16a4 m203 but I would definately prefer the kalash in a shtf situation

  • Aequitas

    The problems with the AR platform in the early years stemming from the Army's ignorance with regards to ammo selection have been resolved and the slow changes since with the A2,A3 and A4 have made the weapon system a strong competitor. Piston operated platforms such as the HK 416 have made the weapon extremely stable and reliable (getting the big army to pick them up is a different story) . I'd put the 416 against any AK variant any day. This debate is a little ridiculous anyway. The two weapon systems aren't an even comparison, how do we evenly compare 5.56 vs. 7.62? The 7.62×39 round has tremendous stopping power but drops off far short of the 5.56 range. I guess if you wanted a quick summary I'd need a given set of mission variables. Close range hostiles with an expectation that I'm gonna run through my ammo without resupply…I'd probably carry the AK. Standard op with the ability to engage targets from distance and no worries of picking up ammo from enemy combatants…I'd carry the M-16A4 or more realistically the M-4A1. With my choice of carry…neither…This is the same style debate we have over the 1911 and M-9. Initial stopping power or more rounds down range? The true answer, teach the warfighter to be a shooter and to take care of equipment and these debates wouldnt matter.

  • Zeus

    I like some features of both, that's why I own a SIG 556. Accurate, reliable and takes AR mags. It's the cats ass. Haters don't bother.

  • taurusman

    I'll take the AK. My reason is simple. I am a firm believer that bigger is better. So after saying that; the AK uses a
    7.62 round,and the AR uses a 5.56 round. Although I don't want to get shot with either, the 5.56 = .22 and the 7.62 = .30 cal. But that is just me. I own an AK;and have only shot an AR. After shooting 2 mags of 7.62 x 39,the AR felt like a BB gun to me.

  • walther1189

    Why would any one buy a rifle made by the lowest bidder and backed by a Air Force General?

  • old vet

    That was the old first gen. M16, We HAD to use because those much wiser said so. Actually had an AK underfolder I used for a month or so, 'til a Lt. Col. saw me with it and said it was unauthorized and took it, next time I saw him he was carrying it. OH WELL, Today's AR are a different beast, accurate and durable and will function as long as you do your part.

  • SeanKnox

    I do believe it is an unfair comparison because the M-16 is a service rifle, not really an assault rifle. Even though its often categorized thus, its rather large for an assault weapon. that's why the M-4 is used by assault teams.

    Having said that, granted that the AK is much more reliable, especially in dirty, sandy, grimy conditions. But its less accurate. Of course, being an assault weapon its often employed in close quarters, so that hardly matters. But put some distance between me and my query and I'll pick the M-16 any day.

  • jamesinhouston

    Any thoughts or info on AR-10s? (modernized). Seems like nice compromise, "AR" platform and 7.62 power. No bells and whistles, other than a good battle scope. The M-16 in Vietnam soured me on "America's" rifle. I would be embarrassed to call it that.

  • Kustomblack1

    If you can just get both, they both have advantages.

  • Strokerskow 97

    I dont have to choose I have both the reliability of an Arsenal SGL21 AK-47/74 AND the accuracy of the AR!! And the AR is a RRA LAR-8 with 7.62 power to boot!!!

  • charles lund

    This debate sounds like coke vs. pepsi. Both weapons have their pros and cons. The great thing though is that you can build either action into any variation imaginable. Take an AR and switch to 7.62. Add a piston to lose direct gas impingement. Take an AK and switch to 5.56, or just buy an AR 18( AR with AK action). Both weapons will become obselete as bull pups evolve. Putting an 18 inch barrel in a small package covers any environment a soldier will get into. From 500 yard shots to close quarter streat fighting.

  • Daryl

    Are you sure that the primer was enough to detonate the C4? Great idea if it worked…

  • Dan

    You should visit the website called "box o truth", and check out the section where he tested that old wives tale. I think you will be surprised by the results.

    • old vet

      USED the 16 in the freaking jungle, KNOW what tiny little objects did, ANYTHING that intercepted that slug, changed it's course. It was designed to be barely stabilized, and it showed.

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