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hkkilla
October 30, 2009, 10:29 PM
So I was having a conversation with a fellow gun loving friend today, and we got on the topic of intermediate-caliber, semi-automatic Homeland Defense rifles... let me also say my friend is a "tacticool" guy, and get 95% of his firearm knowledge and range time with ex-military friends (although he never served). Long story short, outside of GLOCK, M-4s and Remington 870s he knows pretty close to nothing about guns, and does not believe in fun range shooting and hates the .22 LR round.

I on the other hand love all guns and love nothing more than a fun day at the range, although I have taken a couple of Tactical Carbine and Pistol courses, and love them too, not all shooting must be done in a training venue. So we got to talking and eventually arguing about the AR/AK topic. He hates AK47s with a passion, although he has never fired one. They are the weapon of our enemy, a commie piece of inaccurate crap that pales in comparison to the ever-deadly M4. He says if AKs were so great that the US military would use them. I tried the argument that it is the most prolific weapon in history, with over 80 million produced, and while a WASR 10 may not be accurate, in the right hands, a nice, milled Yugo or Vepr or Arsenal is a very combat accurate weapon. No need to mention reliability.

So, all in all, in a modern, urban combat setting, which would you take?

Sasquatch in MN
October 30, 2009, 11:46 PM
AK...Hands down.

Pull trigger, Goes BANG every time.......Heavier round will penetrate cover, maintenance is a breeze, VERY tolerant of rough handling and dirt and dust.

Capable of reasonable accuracy out to 350-450 meters.

Ignition Override
October 30, 2009, 11:55 PM
hkkilla:

A guy with my company was in Special Forces during Desert Storm.

One night chatted very briefly with him when riding on a shuttle to a Newark Airport hotel (M. Courtyard).
My only question was what he thought of Russian-designed rifles.

Rick only said that their issued rifles were too unreliable, and in order to fight back, they picked up the Iraqi's AKs so that they would have reliable guns.

He has friends down here, and I can track down his cell phone number (he is based in Detroit/DTW) if somebody finds this difficult to believe.
It seems that people (especially our young veterans) find this an unpatriotic topic to discuss, but those were his words. When survival is at stake, the words "Commie junk" don't stop people from doing whatever is needed to prepare to protect themselves and their families.
As for civilians, notice how many survivalists have the SKS and/or an 'AK clone". "SKSboards" is just one source.

There appear to have been strong commercial and patriotic pressures, for decades, to only issue US-made rifles to our troops.
Have never owned an "AK clone", but my unmodified Norinco SKS has had only one misfeed during 1,200 rds, and no ftf etc. The misfeed might have been a jhp round.
Although I have limited gun experience and no combat/LEO tng, an SKS has better ergonomics than the AK, and the D or M is designed to use AK mags.

Mini 30, SKS, MN 44, LE #4, #5 "Jungle Carbine", Savage .22.

javven
October 30, 2009, 11:58 PM
The winner depends on the operator and the conditions.

For a close-in anti-zombie gun in a post-apocalyptic horror zone where there are no parts, no cleaning just shooting the AK may very well be the winner. It also makes a fantastic club, a spear and pets love it too.

If you're a precision shooter who must put the first round on target, the AR-15 is the way to go. Just because the AR-15 won't fire after immersion in the La Brea Tar Pits or being eaten by Truck-A-Saurus doesn't mean it isn't reasonably reliable in the field. If you routinely run your weapons over with trucks you may want to stay away from the AR-15.

qwman68
October 30, 2009, 11:59 PM
ak's in my opinion are good,reliable guns.are they gonna win a accuracy contest? no. but they hit the target.if i was gonna buy an ar,i would get a gas piston instead of direct gas.i think you would also have a problem with over penetration with the ak.. even a ruger mini 14 would suffice for home defense.you just want to hit the target all of them will do it.im a big fan of american made myself. my 02..

Crosshair
October 31, 2009, 12:19 AM
If we are going to debate accuracy it is important to point out several things.

An iron sighted AR will be more accurate at long range because the AKs factory sights are not well suited for precision long distance shooting. Add a decent 4x28 POSP to the AK and a similar quality scope to an AR and you find that the AK fares much better against the AR. That being said, I find the AK open sights are superior to the AR for close range shooting.

Ammunition quality. Shooting a rack grade AR with good handloaded or expensive factory ammunition is going to result in tighter groups than an AK fired with cheap commie steel ammo. You ALWAYS see that when people compare accuracy. Bust out the quality brass cased ammo for the AR and use cheap steel ammo in the AK. Yes quality 7.62x39 is not as available in the US. Quality .223 is not as available in the Middle East, what's your point?

When you use either quality ammunition or cheap commie steel in both you find that the AK is either more accurate or the AR is less accurate.

When it comes down to it, both are accurate enough for shooting man sized targets out past 300+ yards, which is what they were both originally intended to do. The AK is hampered by it's open sights, but optics solve this.

Sure the AK doesn't do a very good job at being a target rifle. My car doesn't do a very good job at being a boat either. Using something for a purpose it was not designed for and then using that against it is hardly a valid argument.

5whiskey
October 31, 2009, 12:33 AM
And it never ends.... :facepalm:

KChen986
October 31, 2009, 12:41 AM
Everyone talks about AKs and ARs with a lot of preconceived notions.


http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=26045

Watch both videos. Then reconsider your assumptions.

If you think the video is rigged, I suggest people take an AK and AR and try the same, then report back with results.

NCarolina910
October 31, 2009, 12:49 AM
And it never ends.... :facepalm:
Pretty much what I was thinking when I saw the title...

javven
October 31, 2009, 01:10 AM
The follow - on posts are funny.

I used to hear the same thing about the 11-87 and it's O-Ring gas system vs recoil guns and the AL391. Fact is the 11-87's extremely reliable when given even SOME care. The range guns I used to shoot in AK were 4 11-87s that probably had a million (no kidding) rounds through them with no more than the occasional O Ring failure (A $3, 30 second fix).

The 'mythical' AK is just that - mythical. A small rock in the wrong spot will prevent ANY WEAPON from locking into battery and firing. PERIOD! END OF STORY. There is no but, if, and or however - that's it! I don't care if it's an AR, AK, G3 or a friggin howitzer! Pack either an AK or an AR full of some nice LA "blackjack" (must the consistency of cold bubble gum) and they'll both malfunction. Hose them both out and I bet they both work.

The AK was built for the peasant. The AR for the professional.

Quentin2
October 31, 2009, 01:48 AM
I have an AK and an AR. Love them both and feel well armed with either. They're basically apples vs. oranges, both tasty fruit with lots of advantages.

It would be tough but if I was forced to give one up I'd keep my AR.

chadwick76
October 31, 2009, 02:03 AM
i love and own 4 ar's and 1 ak, and they all perform well. yes i prefer ar, but i highly respect the power and accuracy of the ak-47.:)

RUT
October 31, 2009, 08:06 AM
The obvious answer is BOTH!!! :p

RT
October 31, 2009, 08:23 AM
I would take whichever one I could find a lot of QUALITY magazines for.

168 grain
October 31, 2009, 08:32 AM
Dollar for dollar, probably the AK. I don't know what a stock AR is anymore. And all ARs are not the same. I can't in my right mind compare a base model A2 to a LWRC or Larue set up. But they were produced for different reasons. All my failures associated with ARs were solved with good magazines and extractor replacements. Sights are probably a preference thing. "Stock" sights for distance in my opinion goes to the AR. Anything for tactical courses or CQB a holographic elimnating three planes is a must for speed. And now days you can get an AR upper in any caliber you want from .22 to .30 cal and above even magnums. Dollar for Dollar a .30 cal AK is hard to beat.

Snakum
October 31, 2009, 08:38 AM
AK-47 or AR-15?

Yes. :p





(Actually the very best CQB weapon would be a piston driven Colt/LMT/Noveske AR in 6.8 SPC with an Aimpoint, the flip over magnifier, and a quick-mount gen 2 night sight.)

5whiskey
October 31, 2009, 08:51 AM
Hmm... They are both fine weapon systems. Neither was designed with quiet the same intent. The AK was designed to fit the soviet military doctrine in 1947, which was to throw every man, woman, and child at the enemy and burn everything the enemy could use. It turns out that design obviously gravitated to some of the poorer 3rd world countries to people who did not have access to the same level of training as western (and some com-bloc) countries. It's rugged design made it easier to maintain, and the accuracy really isn't as much of an issue because most end users in many countries just "point, spray, and pray". If you get enough people doing that, superior firepower can be quiet effective.

The AR was designed with a completely different military doctrine in mind. It is inherently more accurate. It is a little more finicky to keep running. The ergonomics and modularity of the weapon are world renowned.

Both of them are excellent designs and rifles. If you like guns, pick up the cheapest thing you can at first to have a homeland defense rifle. Then get the other variant as soon as funs allow. You won't be disappointed with either (if you get quality).

TMackey
October 31, 2009, 08:54 AM
If I could only have 1, it would be the AK.

rgates
October 31, 2009, 09:12 AM
I bought a GP-WASR-10 almost 3 years ago for $329.00. Out of the box had problems with jamming up. Everything locked up with spent casing in the chamber and had to go back to the factory. Got it back in about 3 weeks. Flawless ever since. A friend has a Bushmaster M-4.(cost 3 times as much) Along with my son and several other friends we've spent a lot of time out back, 300 yards to the woods where we put targets.
OK, it's not 1200 but it's fun and it's what I've got.
I've not seen one malfunction with either through countless thousands of rounds. The M-4 is obviously more accurate but my son and his friend would shoot 2 liter bottles at 300 yds. with the WASR with just barrell sites. I can hit them but with the older eyes and bi-focals it takes a few more trys.
I think that's plenty accurate for a SHTF rifle.

Bosshoff
October 31, 2009, 09:33 AM
Wouldn't a better side by side torture test be to use an AK in 7.62x39?

RT
October 31, 2009, 10:51 AM
Ask your friend which he would choose between: M4, AK, Para FAL carbine, PTR-91 w/ retractable stock, MSAR STG-E4 or M1A Socom. That should get the conversation started....:D

SR420
October 31, 2009, 12:21 PM
Over the past 25 years I have owned many ARs and AKs... I sold or traded off all of them except one pre ban Norinco Type 56 AKM.

MTT TL
October 31, 2009, 12:25 PM
He hates AK47s with a passion, although he has never fired one.

Pretty much says it all.


So, all in all, in a modern, urban combat setting, which would you take?

M4 about 95% of the time. I have been shooting ARs for 22 years and in no mood to change.

Scorch
October 31, 2009, 12:26 PM
AK-47 or AR-15Where do you guys come up with these questions? I mean, isn't the answer obvious??






:rolleyes::p
Greed has its benefits. I say go for both.

PatriaLibre
October 31, 2009, 03:02 PM
"The AK was built for the peasant. The AR for the professional."

This always come up. Does no one remember that the AR was ALSO designed to be used by a conscript army?

Piper Cub
October 31, 2009, 03:49 PM
I have AK's and AR's ...the AR's are easier to build and interchangeable parts. No rivets or custom fitting required like an AK.

preston897
October 31, 2009, 06:32 PM
i agree with everyone else. get both!

like somone said earlier the ak was not made to be a target rifle. it was made to put out alot of rounds and kill. and that is exatly what it does. the ar is much more accurate and it allows you to put out less rounds to do what it was intended for. killing the enemy. either way the are both good at what they do.

HydrostatiK
November 1, 2009, 06:56 AM
i would prefer a saiga in .223 or .308. I don't know what half the stuff is on an AR it looks confusing.

pinetree
November 1, 2009, 08:01 AM
Both have there merits. I have owned an AK, replaced it with an SKS, replaced it with an M4. Love the M4. The AK is fine if that is all you can afford. I found mine heavy, clunky and good for sending bullets down range. My AR is much more precision built and plenty accurate and come with useful iron sites. I have no grand visions of the 223 being a great bullet but I try to stick to 62g bullets when buying in bulk and also have a supply of soft points (though 55g). I find it much easier to keep the AR on target for follow-up shots.

In a Katrina situation, either would be great, I prefer the AR.

For home security, I pick neither, M1 carbine with 110g softpoints. And if I'm making 200yd+ shots, I'll grab my scoped 30-06AI (which also shots 30-06 just fine.

AutoPistola
November 1, 2009, 10:02 AM
Buy the AR! Support the US economy! Leave that cheap commie crap alone so poor people like me can afford it!

Art Eatman
November 1, 2009, 11:43 AM
Home defense? There's not a nickel's worth of difference between them. Semi-auto, with medium-power cartridges. They're adequately accurate for shooting Bad Guys within a hundred yards and less, as expected in defense. Plenty good for reliability.

FiveForSure
November 1, 2009, 01:03 PM
Why not split the difference and go with Mini-14? :D

crimsondave
November 1, 2009, 09:28 PM
Have both. AR is way more accurate. Contrary to the previous poo pooing posts, the AK is far less likely to jam, especially with cheap ammo. If you don't believe that, ask a Vietnam vet, or some of our own special forces who carry captured AKs around.

If I had to grab one with my life on the line, I'd take the AK without thinking about it.

RockyMtnTactical
November 1, 2009, 10:38 PM
I prefer the AR15 but both weapons are excellent and have proven their worth. They are completely different in so many ways, but both have strengths that cannot be denied or downplayed.

akfedor7
November 1, 2009, 11:46 PM
AK all the way for me.

And like many people have said already, they both have their strong points.

However, I personally think the AK has more strong points and its strong points are more important.

The only strong point I personally give for the AR is SLIGHT accuracy edge. This is pretty insignificant to me since SHTF situations will rarely need extreme accuracy

Another AR strong point that people often use is the modularity and accessories. I personally dont like all the rails, optics, etc. For SHTF that's just more technology to rely on that can fail. Batteries die, and all those slots, wires, protrusions are just something to snag on brush or other obstructions.

The AK's strong points are:

first and foremost - RELIABILITY, in many different ways - Everyone should agree on this. Not only is the piston design more reliable, but the tapered 7.62x39(i know you can get both rifles in either caliber, but im talking of the typical configuration) is inherently more reliable than the straight cased .223. Magazine design is also more reliable on the AK. The mag well on the AR provides more opportunity for debris to cause a mag to not seat properly, or become lodged.

Simplicity - Some poeple may not think this is important, but to me the more parts a gun has the more chance for something to break, wear out, or get lost.

Penetration - heavier bullet

Cost - Ak is usually several hundred dollars cheaper on average

Latex Ducky
November 2, 2009, 12:09 AM
IMO, the AK is the better choice for the majority of people on this earth. Most people aren't going to be trained as spec ops snipers who can shoot a penny at 400 yds so they don't need a gun that can.

Like it was said before, the AK was made simple and reliable so that anybody could shoot it

tirod
November 2, 2009, 12:38 AM
Here's the reasons the AK isn't better: it uses 7.62 inefficiently, and smaller rounds without the fps, it's heavy, uses a bolt and barrel lugged to a receiver, has a short sight radius, a loose rear cover that can't be used to extend it, and a safety that requires the shooter moving his hand off the grip and trigger.

It doesn't take optics, lights, or modifications well, the gas system is in the way. It is built in a wide variety of qualities with each country tweaking the design to its standard instead of adhering to a single TDP.

Much of the ammo available is inexpensive imported military surplus, not hunting, LEO, or target, and finding it during a political panic makes it a negative personal logistical choice. American sport calibers have had much more prevalence on the shelf the last year.

A serious consideration is that the weapon may be an shooting enthusiast's choice, but it also represents opposition to the American way of life it's entire history. Communist, terrorist, or not, it's not used by good guys in the public eye. Those who want to use it when TSHTF will be handicapped by an immediate negative evaluation if seen in public.

In every point listed, the user could be better off with a Winchester lever action rather than an AK. No, the US Army isn't as stupid as some think - they use a weapon proven daily to work regardless of the street talk from bystanders repeating what they've been told to say.

If a straight up test is wanted, find an AK in 6.8 x 43 and shoot it side by side with a AR in 6.8. Oh, right, you can't get the caliber of your choice. There's not enough buyers to make it a paying proposition. But if there were, they'd be calibers developed for the AR first. Why?

The AR is a superior platform more easily adapted. It wins hands down right there.

akfedor7
November 2, 2009, 12:47 AM
Tirod, I'm thinking just about all of your points relate to accuracy or maybe ballistic performance, which most people will concede is slightly better with the AR. And I dont see the need for optics and accessories as a strong point for the AR. If bells and whistles are required to make a gun better, to me that's a weakness.

But you totally ignore reliability, which is extremely important.

And to say a lever action is better than AK is just ridiculous. lol. I hope you were kidding.

Hank15
November 2, 2009, 01:19 AM
AR rifles are more accurate, AKs are more reliable.

Drop them in mud/sand and see for yourself.

However, I'd like to add that neither the accuracy nor the reliability argument is valid.

You shouldn't ask a mid range combat rifle to shoot 1" groups. Nor should you ask a firearm to cover itself in mud and sand yet still function reliably.

Both are fine rifles if they are used in the appropriate manner.

pvt.Long
November 2, 2009, 07:16 AM
Both are designed for certan purposes,Both do what they are designed for perfectly. A Light weight target rifle made for long range combat agenst a rifle that is the cheapest made, made for cqb.
As the old saying goes Germany makes the best hunting rifles america makes the bst target rifles the UK makes the best battle rifle...well you ask about sweeden that makes the best defence rifle and russia makes the cheapest rifle that does what its designed for.

akfedor7
November 2, 2009, 07:28 AM
Hank - I must say that shooting the 1" group is way less important than the reliability

There is nothing wrong with hoping your gun would function being covered with mud. This is an easily occuring situation in a rainy battlefield or jungle. Imagine how many soldiers over the years have slipped and fell in the mud...

Not only mud, but imagine being in combat in a sandstorm, a rainstorm, extreme cold, extremely thick vegetation, etc. None of these situations would be decided by the extra inch of accuracy, but they could be greatly decided by the ability of your rifle to function

Dannyl
November 2, 2009, 07:35 AM
Hi,
In SA they make a SEMI-Auto version of the short-barreled GALIL.
its marketed as the LM5 and a shorter one - the LM6.

If you can get one, you have the best of both AR15 and AK, combined into one very reliable firearm.

Brgds,
Danny

Skans
November 2, 2009, 08:46 AM
I'm probably one of the few that really doesn't like the AR15. As a semi-automatic, it's practically useless, unless you are hunting small game in the desert. Without full-auto capability, the round is truly inadequate to have any offensive utility. The receivers feel flimsey in my opinion and are made of aluminum. I don't like the way they "fit" together and I don't like the gas system.

There are simply better designed 5.56 guns out there than the AR platform. Both SIG and FN make a better 5.56 than an AR based 5.56. In my opinion the AR, or even the M16 is a typical "good enough" gun that can be mass produced very cheaply. It's really a fairly low quality piece of military hardware.

SR420
November 2, 2009, 08:58 AM
Skans I'm probably one of the few that really doesn't like the AR15.

You are not alone.

I have owned many different AR 15 type rifles over the past 40 years and as much as I try to like them ~ I don't.

On the other hand, I love the one 7.62 AKM that I own.

crimsondave
November 2, 2009, 09:53 AM
Skans, I like my AR for a fun to shoot gun, but I personally do not like the 5.56 round.

If you don't believe the 7.62x39 round is stronger shoot a couple concrete blocks longways with both and you will see. Proof is in the pudding. Look into why the 50 beowulf was designed, and you will see what many professionals think about the 5.56 too.

Skans
November 2, 2009, 10:25 AM
Skans, I like my AR for a fun to shoot gun, but I personally do not like the 5.56 round.

I have two AR's myself - an older SP1 Carbine that I never shoot and a newer Carbon-15 pistol that is fun as heck to shoot. I see no reason to "upgrade" to a more modern/expensive AR, though, because they are really limited as semi-autos in what they can do in the 5.56 caliber.

If someone really thinks they need a rifle for home defense, the AK is a much better choice. A folder is easier to conceal and store than an AR. Since you will only be shooting at an average distance of 20 feet or so, long range accuracy is completely irrelevant. 7.62x39 makes a better hunting round too. So, unless I intend to do some long range paper punching, semi-auto AR's (5.56) just seem kind of marginal, to me, for any particular purpose except accessorizing. Yes, an AR, with fancy rails, is really fun to accessorize, I suppose.

alaskaman94
November 2, 2009, 09:25 PM
"The AK was built for the peasant. The AR for the professional

ima professional peasant! i have both but i like the AK better. my M&P 15 is nice but the ak is just so much all around better

Skans
November 3, 2009, 09:35 AM
"The AK was built for the peasant. The AR for the professional"

Let's get real - the AR was built as a play-toy for Civilians who wanted something that looked like the US Military's cheap all-purpose general standard issue rifle. The M240 is for professionals. http://www.dillonaero.com/uimages/mounts/m240.jpg

KChen986
November 3, 2009, 09:47 AM
Let's get real - the AR was built as a play-toy for Civilians who wanted something that looked like the US Military's cheap all-purpose general standard issue rifle. The M240 is for professionals. http://www.dillonaero.com/uimages/mounts/m240.jpg

Damn, why you gotta call me out like that? :D

Art Eatman
November 3, 2009, 10:44 AM
The OP said "homeland defense". Defense. Okay, how much shooting at any one time do you expect to do? If you can't solve the problem with one or two magazine's worth of ammo, you don't have a reliability concern; you're short on friendly shooters. And how accurate is minute of torso?

Show me a decent, clean, reasonably well-maintained AK, AR or Mini or whatever that wouldn't be reliable in any rational scenario.

If you're solo and attacked by pagan hordes, you were foolish enough to be there in the first place. Shoulda got on your rollerskates and practiced being elsewhere...

hkkilla
November 3, 2009, 01:37 PM
Art, I used the term "Homeland Defense Rifles" because I dont like the term "Assault Rifles". Being that true assault rifles are select fire, it is not an accurate description of civy model semi autos. Yes, I think you are right that a well maintained rifle will do the job in any of the aformentioned models, but of those 3, the AK has the best record of reliable use when cleaning is not on the to-do list...

TrafficTech
November 3, 2009, 03:36 PM
I own an AR,AK and an SKS
In a combat situation I'll stick with my AR but that's me its what I prefer.

Anatomy of a Bullet Wound
saxtech.eu/Zielwirkung/Frog.html


What will I grab in a home defense situation?
Stoeger 12ga.Coach Gun....

benny27
November 3, 2009, 09:44 PM
I own a Bushmaster Ar and a Bulgarian Ak, and it's a really tough choice. If the shtf I would probably grab the AK simply for it's awesome power. I will have to say that I enjoy shooting the AR the best though. You really can't go wrong with either, but having an AK in your hands just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.:) I have literally cut trees down with my AK can't say that about the AR. The Ar's accuracy is also a force to be reckoned as well, so there you have it.

ROGER4314
November 4, 2009, 12:12 AM
We do kick this one around pretty regularly, don't we?

Both rifles have their good and bad points. Neither is perfect and neither is crap. The neat thing about this issue is that there is no issue.

In conflict resolution it is taught that one of the four kinds of fights is a "Taste" fight. You want to have vanilla ice cream and Momma wants chocolate. So you fight. There is plenty of room in the freezer for chocolate AND vanilla! Buy both and enjoy each for their strong points and put up with their bad qualities.

Whew! On to something else!

Flash

Teppo Sensei
November 4, 2009, 12:58 AM
it should be 2 AKs or 1 AR15
you can have 2 or 3 AKs for the price of an AR15
i have 5 AKS 2AR15s $250-350AK $800-900AR
a .223 saiga with good ammo will shoot groups as good as a low end AR
a vepr will shoot even better
the cheapest saiga was $180 cheapest AR15 $650

Homeland Defense Rifles
under 100yds the 7.62x39mm is a better round & punches thru brick and block
when i turn 18 i spent $110 on a norinco SKS have not shot it in 10 years but i know it still works and i can hand it to a family member in a time of need

under 100m my nodak amd65 over 100m my hk91

did some1 say mini14?id rather have a keltec .223 and a saiga shoots better

Bartholomew Roberts
November 5, 2009, 08:07 AM
Another AR strong point that people often use is the modularity and accessories. I personally dont like all the rails, optics, etc. For SHTF that's just more technology to rely on that can fail. Batteries die, and all those slots, wires, protrusions are just something to snag on brush or other obstructions.

You know, I found the rest of your post well-reasoned, although I probably would not have reached the same conclusion. The quoted part above has me puzzled though...

You want to give up the advantage offered by modularity and optics because there is a remote possibility that the device may fail and then you'll be right back to where you already are (i.e. iron sights and no modularity)?

That doesn't make any sense to me... it is like saying, I don't want to take a car, it could get a flat tire and then I'll have to walk, so I'll just walk everywhere.

akfedor7
November 6, 2009, 01:25 AM
lol. Good point Bart. You kinda got me there. Its probably just my old fashioned tendencies. I think even an AR without all the "goodies" on it looks so much better than an accessorized one. Kinda like a car/truck with chrome accents on every inch, curb feelers, etc.

But honestly I shouldn't let looks sway my decision on a rifle for SHTF situations.

Another reason I shy away from optics and such is that they aren't as sturdy as iron sights... can be knocked out of zero, more moving parts, possibly batteries, and fragile glass. Which like you say, with your flat tire scenario, wouldn't be the end of the world if it failed, but this is only if the iron sights are kept too. Often iron sights are removed to add optics, which would put you in trouble. And it would still be a detriment if you were practiced and familiar with optics and you were forced to transition back to iron sights in the heat of the moment.

Also, I dont know what the terrain is like in your area, but around here we often have cutovers with thick underbrush. Anytime I look at an AR(or even an AK as the trend seems to be turning to) with all the tactical foregrips, rails, lights, lasers, wires, optics, etc I see a nightmare of snagging on vines, briars, and other vegetation. This is the very reason I switched from compound bowhunting to traditional bowhunting.

I guess I'm just geared towards simplicity too much:o

qwman68
November 6, 2009, 01:45 AM
i bet my mini will out shoot your saiga,any day... dont underestimate the ole mini.teppo

Art Eatman
November 6, 2009, 10:02 AM
After about eight years of being mostly gunless, I got back into shooting in 1961. Since then, I've yet to pick up any of my firearms which didn't reliably go Bang when I pulled the trigger. I've yet to own any firearm which would not shoot better than minute of head or torso at 100 yards and more. I don't think I've even SEEN such a horrible piece of garbage, including an old French Lebel carbine bring-back.

So that's why it seems to me that all this worry about ARs and AKs and all that is mostly mental masturbation, signifying danged little. And too many little old ladies with break-open single-shot 20-gauges have done pretty good at home defense for me to be unduly concerned.

Me, I'd focus more on scenario and tactics for my personal situation and work on the assumption that my choice of go-bang will go bang--as they always have. I'd rather be skilled with whatever I have instead of worrying about what I have.

akfedor7
November 6, 2009, 11:08 AM
The main scenario I think of with the AK/AR arguement is for the longevity of the rifle for futuristic type scenarios such as if a ban on firearms ever happenend, or some type of apocolytic scenario, or a homeland invasion scenario.

Its fine if you say the AR works perfectly as long as its clean and maintained. I'll totally agree. But in the type situations I mentioned above, these luxuries may not be possible. If guns were ever totally banned, it might not be easy to get replacement parts... so the AR having more parts is a detriment because there would be more to break or wear out. Also, I think the ak would handle more rounds before wearing out, which again is very important in this situation

Also, in an apocalyptic or homeland invasion scenario you could be displaced from your home, on the run, hiding out, etc. This may not afford you access to all the right lubes, cleaners, tools, etc needed to keep the AR fully reliable. I think the AK is a lot less dependant on maintenance and cleaning.

So I'm basically saying that in MOST cases the AR is just as good as the AK, or perhaps even slightly better if depending on how much you value the accuracy difference. But I think the AK would be far superior in the WORST cases, that admitedly may never occur, but I'd much rather be safe than sorry.

collector rob
November 6, 2009, 12:02 PM
I can't believe nobody has posted this. :D

"Humorous Comparison of an AK47, an AR15 and a Mosin"

http://www.mouseguns.com/compare.htm

bapfreak
November 6, 2009, 01:43 PM
Age old question.

Depends on where you are and what you want to do.

Let me tell you that it is much easier to shoot an AR15 accurately than an AK47; especially with follow up shots.

FYI - AR15s can be bought in 7.62x39 and AK47 can be bought in .223 so the caliber argument is really moot.

AK47s function perfectly all the time.

BTY - How are suppose to practice marksmanship this day and age when ammo is at an all time high without 22LR. I really hate the centerfire snobs.

rdmallory
November 6, 2009, 02:01 PM
Just shooting

AR15 Cheep ammo easy to take apart and work on.

Home defense.

Rather have my MAC10

More knock down power. Don't need to be making holes in neighbors front door.

Doug

jammin1237
November 6, 2009, 06:27 PM
i have had experience with the sks, the ak, and the ar... currently reload and shoot the bushmaster .450 AR15 (a jaw dropping awesome weapon)...
the AR15 is a shooting system that is available in many calibers...if you want to play tag with a single caliber "flex barreled" piece of junk that "might shoot" the third world ammo that was produced for it, go forth young man!:)

JohnH1963
November 6, 2009, 06:49 PM
A video is worth a thousand words.

Here is a video that compares the two directly. The conclusion was the M-16was more accurate however the the AK-47 has greater penetration.

In a close-quarters battle, I would like the weapon with greater penetration. If the enemy is hiding behind a wall, then I know with the AK47 its likely to go through the wall. The enemy can't hide behind the wall if bullets are going through it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6BpI3xD6h0

In regards to the M4/M16 jamming here is a good video of two soldiers in Iraq apparently test firing their weapon. Look how it jams up good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBGwZHHq18o

Here is another video of the M4/M16 jamming several times on a range:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WVVXZtrxIs

akfedor7
November 7, 2009, 01:30 AM
interesting videos...

Question... Has anyone ever tested AK vs AR head to head, in a reasonably scientific way? I would personally like to take several of each rifle and test them in some of the following ways:

Shoot rounds through them until one fails, with no cleaning.

Do the same as above with allowed cleaning, until one of them had a parts failure/breakage

Shoot both in various extreme situations such as heavy precipitation, extreme cold, after dropping in sand or mud, in a rust prone area such as near saltwater, etc

drop them both from a high distance onto a hard surface and see if any breakages occur

Scratch4x4
December 7, 2009, 04:24 AM
http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/98/l_ca4456dd31934786ab3e2cafa0c1cce9.jpg

Why not have both?

http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/73/l_a78ce80e19124a9ea8cb4cbfd71ef566.jpg

Theyre both great rifles. The AR is more accurate and much more pleasant to shoot. The AK (WASR) blatantly has attitude, and it throws a chunk of lead with WAY more power, about double the impact of the 5.556 if im not mistaken. I use em both for pig hunting. Which one i take along depends on my mood. I love em both.

gotigers
December 7, 2009, 08:29 AM
by Art Eatman: So that's why it seems to me that all this worry about ARs and AKs and all that is mostly mental masturbation

you said it all. They all go bang. It is all about personal taste and budget. I have an S&W AR15. Love it. When funds are right i will get an AK. To me they are both works of art and worth appreciating. Like a 1911, M1 Garand, Win mod 94, Browning Auto-5, etc, etc.

I love the low recoil and shot repeatability of the AR. a full clip in a few seconds all in a nice tight group. Shoot all day (if you can afford it) as far as you can see without any fatigue. I have read the stories of soldiers complaining about knock down power and i believe them, but the round has won many battles.

For target shooting the AK and SKS is difficult for me to shoot due to muzzle lift and recoil. I must admit, i havent shot them alot at a range. But as someone mentioned early. i love shooting the AK for display of power. Any old computer monitors or cinder blocks within 50 yards better beware. I love seeing those cinder blocks explode when that 7.62 destroys it.

$.02

Rigo
December 7, 2009, 10:04 AM
well in my opinion if the bo bo hits the fan then i wouldent care wich rifle is around as long as i have something to shoot back whit i dont care! but many people say over an over the ak shots more bullets per second and the ar is more acurate. honestly in my opinion i like both rifles but i will sure buy the AR-15.

but still i am out of luck i live in california so i cant own neither of these rifles! :mad:
:cool:

stubbicatt
December 7, 2009, 10:22 AM
Not again... How many times?

horatioo
December 7, 2009, 10:37 AM
so how much would a good AK cost? If a lot of people cant agree which is better, is it pretty much believed that the AK is a better value?

Art Eatman
December 7, 2009, 11:00 AM
If by "better value" you maybe mean equally useful performance for less money, then, okay, yeah, the AK might be the better value. But I see any semi-auto with a medium-power cartridge as being equally useful in meeting probable needs for defense.

howwie
December 7, 2009, 12:44 PM
In my experience, wich isn't anything to brag on. In THIS thread I'll choose AK. i own an AK (but i will have the AR when $$ is more plentiful) a few friends have AR's one colt another bushmaster. both friends take care of there weapons the bushmaster man is a Iraq Vet. 2 tours. Colt guy is just a gun freak like me. We all went shooting about a year ago. we didnt shoot over 100 yds, just having good multiple target fun. The AR in everyones hands was the best at first. But after about 5 mags the bushmaster jammed and he couldn't get it fixed without breaking it down and toying with it for 10 or 15 minutes. AK rolled all day without slowing down. But the Colt did to. It had one ftf but we were shooting wolf and I let him slide;) Still cant wait to grab me an AR though

chow chow
December 7, 2009, 01:20 PM
AK bec that s the only one i rely in a SHTF scenario.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VmExQq2gWs

RT
December 7, 2009, 08:41 PM
Get both.
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n443/thorm001/Arsenal/IMG_0021.jpg
Saiga SGL-21 and Noveske N4 light

Beentown71
December 7, 2009, 09:49 PM
RT,

Which AK is that?

Beentown

sdj
December 7, 2009, 09:57 PM
Автомат Калашникова. :D

dondavis3
December 7, 2009, 09:59 PM
Got them both.
Shoot them both.
Like them both.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/DSC_0136.jpg?t=1260240945

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/DSC_0018.jpg?t=1260241075


My AR-15 is much more accurate :eek:

:cool:

Tucker 1371
December 7, 2009, 10:04 PM
Which would I take?

If given the choice of any military weapon currently in service I'd take an M14 in an EBR or 16" bbl config. If given the choice of any weapon ever developed I'd take an ACR in 6.8 SPC, might be a risk trying a non battle proven system but I've seen it function well enough in bad conditions in Magpul's promotional videos that I'm sold.

If I am limited to the Big Two it's a tough decision. I've heard WAY too many stories about the 5.56x45 from a 16" bbl failing to stop threats quickly to trust it completely but the 7.62x39 is the flying brick of rifle rounds, from a 16" bbl it just drops like a rock past 150yds, like taking a full auto 30-30 into combat. I know most engagements occur within that range but I wouldn't like to be handicapped like that.

I guess if pressed on the issue I would take an M4/M16 for one simple reason: it's shortcomings can be solved or compensated for easily.

Reliability?: Clean and lube your freaking weapon properly, problem solved.

Power?: Take head shots, nobody takes a 5.56x46 to the head and keeps tickin. Another possible remedy is the Mk262 77gr SMK round, it has terminal ballistic properties approaching those of the 120gr range 6.8 SPCs.

JerseyDrez
December 7, 2009, 10:10 PM
http://thumb2.webshots.net/t/75/175/5/59/83/2803559830105765582WeZVqD_th.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2803559830105765582WeZVqD)

I only have an AK, but Id say get one of each. This AR vs. AK debate can be endless.

BarryHalls
December 8, 2009, 08:03 AM
Here's the bottom line. What do you want this rifle to do? Both AK's and AR's have their strong points and they are quit different form one another.

With the AK and it's 7.62x39 you get unrivaled reliability (for a semi or full auto available to the US public) great armor penetration, and the ability to hunt medium sized game out to 2-300 yards, all for under $1,000 for some of the best semi autos. The downsides are that, in most rounds, the damage to flesh is relatively low, and the bullets, and indeed the rifle, are heavy compared to an AR, but in truth most shooters won't notice or care. The AK sacrifices accuracy for reliability. Even AK's in 5.56 or 5.54 won't have the range or accuracy of an AR in the same round because of the heavy bolt and quantity gas used to move it. Those things make the AK almost impossible to jamb, but decrease muzzle velocity and increase vibration. In the worst imaginable conditions where the best M4's will start to jam frequently, the AK's won't bat an eye.

The AR with it's 5.56 you get better accuracy, range, and flesh damage compared to the AK. AR's are also very versatile, accepting many kits to convert them to different rounds, or tactical load outs. AR's are much more accurate than AK's but, only noticeably (by most standards acceptably), less reliable. The AR's are lighter, as are the traditional 5.56 rounds, compared to the AK. They also will awlays be more accurate in the same round (in rifles of comparable quality) If you need this rifle to make shots past 400m, you need an AR.

I wanted a rifle that would work, no matter what, first and foremost. I wanted a rifle that, if conditions became dire, I could live off the land with, killing deer which the region I live in is rich with, with no fancy maintenance. So, the first rifle I bought was a MAK-90 (Chinese stamped AK-47).

Of course, neither an AK nor an AR will cover all the bases, not even if you have 5 AK's in 5 different rounds, or 5 AR's in 5 different rounds. The rifles have different qualities, not just the rounds, so to be ready for anything, whether you need a rifle to defend your home with one shot stops without penetrating the walls that surround your loved ones (5.56/.223) or one to penetrate car doors for your S.W.A.T. team (7.62x39 or 7.62x51 or [you get the idea]), or you need a rifle that's going to do one of those under harsh conditions (AK), or at long ranges with precision (AR), you have to have multiple rifles, of multiple designs to cope with "anything". Decide what quality matters to you MOST, accuracy, or reliability, and that will tell you AR or AK. The rest is just 'what round?'


edit:

I know people will say 'AR's can be cleaned, AK's can't be made more accurate' and you are right but what counts is when you are in a fire fight, or even a hunt, and you just fell into a mud puddle, or a swamp, or a dust storm, or etc and there is no way you can clean your weapon before you have to use it. Trained marines can clean it in, what is it, two minutes? Can you? How long does it take your assailant to realize you've jammed? The difference in the rifles are pretty stark and simple, the rest is just 'what round?' and yes, both rifles come in almost every round you could need to hunt or defend yourself or country.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 8, 2009, 09:40 AM
what counts is when you are in a fire fight, or even a hunt, and you just fell into a mud puddle, or a swamp, or a dust storm, or etc and there is no way you can clean your weapon before you have to use it.

Here is a picture of the M4 during the most recent dust tests. This is after a 2.5 hour simulated sandstorm. The rifles in question each fired 6,000 rounds in these conditions with a stoppage rate of 1.4% - even though these rifles are now so worn that all of them have excessive headspace and are no longer safe for use by military standards.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=54625&d=1260282482

All an M4 needs to run forever is periodic parts inspection and replacement and ample lubrication. Like all machines (including AKs, XM8s, HK416s, etc.), it has a finite lifespan and using it past that lifespan will result in increasing frustration.

The unreliability of the M4 and the inaccuracy of the AK are both overstated dramatically in most discussions like these. I would be really hard pressed to think of a scenario where having an M4 or AK was more important than the level of training the person possessed.

Tucker 1371
December 8, 2009, 01:40 PM
Even AK's in 5.56 or 5.54 won't have the range or accuracy of an AR in the same round because of the heavy bolt and quantity gas used to move it. Those things make the AK almost impossible to jamb, but decrease muzzle velocity and increase vibration.

Actually, with 5.45x39 52gr Commie Surp a 16.6" bbl AK will hurl a round at about 2900fps, a 5.56x45 M4 will do around 2800fps. Not a huge difference but it is notable. Not going to argue you on the accuracy though. Now where the .223/5.56 does beat the Combloc round is with higher bullet weights, the velocity of the 5.45x39 drops off sharply with 60-70gr rounds whereas the 5.56 retains it a little better.

kraigwy
December 8, 2009, 02:32 PM
I've shot both extensively, I've shot both in Combat. If I ever had to go back into combat (which I seriously doubt I would) I'd pick the AR.

I dont buy that crap the 7.62 X 39 out penitrates the 223, I've done my own testing, (and posted the results on TFL, a couple times). The 223 out penitrated the 7.62X39 in both soft points and fmj. The flaw in my test was I used the 55 grn military ball, I believe the heavier 223 stuff used now will out penitrate both.

The OP says Home Land Secuirity. I dont know what you are defending your home against, but for me, my HomeLand Security weapon of choice is my little 642 38 pocket gun.

firespectrum
December 8, 2009, 06:26 PM
OP specified semi-automatic. The M16 is meant to be a semi-automatic rifle with a full auto (or burst) option. The AK was unquestionably designed to be a fully automatic weapon with a semi-auto option. If I have to have semi-auto only, I want accuracy and quick follow-up shots. AKs are plenty accurate enough for any justifiable defense use and with practice you can get pretty quick follow-up shots in semi-auto, but if this is the old "you HAVE to pick one" scenario I'll go with the one that was more closely designed for the intended use - the AR-15.

I'm more than a little biased because of my military training, but I don't apologize. A gun is a tool and if you aren't proficient in its use, it won't matter what tool it is. My training makes the shortcomings of the AR-15 moot.

Maybe a 5.56 won't instantly kill if you don't hit a vital, but because I'm trained I'm more likely to hit vitals. And it DOES penetrate most cover like cars, drywall, and furniture.
The AR-15 requires maintenance. I am disciplined enough to maintain it. If you don't have some lube and a rag, you're unprepared and your own incompetence and lack of preparation will get you killed long before you put enough rounds through an AR-15 to foul it into malfunction.
If you aren't disciplined enough to maintain the tool that your life depends on, you're probably not disciplined enough to haul around the same amount of ammo as I can (cause 7.62 is heavier). A full combat load of 5.56 sucks indescribably, the same amount of 7.62 is going to suck even harder!

That being said, I keep an AK handy. If SHTF, one of the first things I'm going to do is try to arm my family and neighbors. If I have to give a firearm to someone who has never held one before and I have limited time to train them, I'm tossing them an AK. It's an easier weapon for inexperienced users to understand and operate, and it requires little (not "no") maintenance.

The weapon is only part of the equation, and it's the smaller part at that - the bigger factor is the person behind it and the type of mission it is being employed in. If all you train with is the AK and you're fast and accurate with it within its range, you need to be holding an AK. The same goes for the AR-15.

What's better, needle-nosed pliers or vice grips? Um...depends on the job!

No matter how many times I tell myself to ignore the AR vs AK discussions I never can!! I try to get out, but it keeps pulling me back in! I swear, this is the last one!

BarryHalls
December 8, 2009, 06:30 PM
The unreliability of the M4 and the inaccuracy of the AK are both overstated dramatically in most discussions like these. I would be really hard pressed to think of a scenario where having an M4 or AK was more important than the level of training the person possessed.

indeed you are right

i'm familiar with the military's dust tests for the M4, but that's with the dust cover closed (yes, as it should be). In a fire fight it's open, and mud and such can enter much much much more easily. And 1.4% is acceptable but it's still about one jam every 4 full magazines, or every-other good fire fight. Where the gas piston weapons, like the AK which was not tested, had jam rates closer to .2% which is 2 rounds out of ever 1,000. Yes The 1.4% is acceptable but I like the .2% better. Yes, I have to admit, conditions are very rarely that harsh, but I think in terms of 'worst case scenario' so to my mind, reliability is supreme. So the worst case scenario is, you fire you first shot or so, and have to dive for cover or stumble and wind up in mud, or sand, or something undesirable to get in you rifle. We know which rifle I want then.

And again, I intend to collect many AR's and AK's because they both have their qualities, and both have their place in my 'worst case scenarios.'

Actually, with 5.45x39 52gr Commie Surp a 16.6" bbl AK will hurl a round at about 2900fps, a 5.56x45 M4 will do around 2800fps.

As I mentioned those velocities are attributed to the round, not the rifle.

An AR type will always be a LITTLE more accurate and a little lighter than a COMPARABLE AK, and an AK will always be a little more rugged and a little more reliable, but as previously mentioned by other posters, those differences aren't HUGE, and either rifle is acceptable for most tasks. It's the round that really makes the difference in the end.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragunov_sniper_rifle
800m
http://www.dpmsinc.com/firearms/firearm.aspx?id=19
900m


Roughly 9% difference in accepted range, and 1% difference in reliability, in the same round. Not an enormous difference in performance or price, but a noteworthy one.

It comes down to ONE question, "what do you MOST want this weapon to do?"


What's better, needle-nosed pliers or vice grips? Um...depends on the job!

Very well said, sir. Thus is the situation for any tool [weapon].

BarryHalls
December 8, 2009, 09:53 PM
DOUBLE POST! ***gasp!***

I've seen several 'home defense' comments on this thread. Let's all face it. WHY would you want to spend a minimum of $400 on one of these rifles, which rely PRIMARILY on volume of fire to stop a target, when you can have the best pump 12 gauge for under $300?


In the space of a house (40 feet), nothing comes close to the cold hard stopping power of a shotgun. You can even scale back to #6 or #4 light loads and not worry about hurting your loved ones through 2 layers of sheet rock and insulation.

If someone ever breaks into my house, mama's gaurding the baby with the AK, but daddy's clearing the house with the scatter gun.


These rifles are designed for the battle field, not the home. They can defend your home, but if that is your primary concern for a weapon, get a shotgun first.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 9, 2009, 07:57 AM
I've seen several 'home defense' comments on this thread. Let's all face it. WHY would you want to spend a minimum of $400 on one of these rifles, which rely PRIMARILY on volume of fire to stop a target, when you can have the best pump 12 gauge for under $300?

These rifles rely PRIMARILY on placing the permanent crush cavity over a large blood bearing organ or the central nervous system in order to cause an immediate stop. This is pretty much the same mechanism used by everything from pistols to shotguns.

A couple of reasons why rifles might be preferred for home defense include:

1. Rifles chambered in intermediate calibers are very easy for novice shooters to use accurately. In my own tests, people invariably shoot the best combination of time and accuracy with a rifle (compared to a shotgun and handgun)

2. A shotgun has six rounds in the magazine. The rifles we are discussing here have 30 rounds in the magazine. Statistically, both of those are adequate for the average home defense situation; but the rifle is less likely to need to be reloaded and faster to reload.

In the space of a house (40 feet), nothing comes close to the cold hard stopping power of a shotgun.

A shotgun relies on the same method as a rifle to stop people. At household differences, the pattern is going to be several inches wide at most. Compare that to the wound cavity created by a rifle as shown in the attached gel photos.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=46485&d=1241438984

You can even scale back to #6 or #4 light loads and not worry about hurting your loved ones through 2 layers of sheet rock and insulation.

One of the reasons the vital organs of the human body are wrapped in fat, muscle and bone is that it protects them from being damaged. Anything that will not penetrate a common interior house wall is highly unlikely to cause the kind of damage necessary to make someone physiologically stop what they are doing. Birdshot often fails to stop people even at contact distances - as a quick search of this forum or Google will reveal.

stellite
December 9, 2009, 08:38 AM
The eternal question, kinda like the 45 vs 9mm one except better.

How many n here have actually used or carried either in a combat/survival situation to really know? I have had to work with M4's and have had several AR's for personal use. One brother in law used both in Vietnam (AK, M16). He prefered the M14 to either, but liked the AK more than the M16, because they did not keep their rifles clean. My other brother in law was part of a 4 man marine unit in vietnam and he carried an M14, while two of the other soldiers carried M16's. He could shoot through trees, but they could lay lead down range better than him, so it was a tradeoff.

Both of these guns had a purpose and a design theology which followed their country of origin.

The AK was never designed as an accurate weapon. I have owned many, and none shot better than 3 inch groups and usually they shot 5-7 inch groups at 100 yards. However, these guns were meant to spray lead down range INDISCRIMINATELY, which means accuracy was not as important as the need for the weapon to keep firing, which it did. The AK will fire under nearly any condition, why? look how loose and sloppy it is. It was designed that way.

The M16 and all newer variations was designed like a scalpel. It was designed to have the ability for lots of lead down range and one shot one kill, type of work. where ever you point is where that bullet goes. The light super fast round helps n that as well. But for all that accuracy you pay for reliability if you can't keep it clean. If kept clean the AR is a great rifle. As a counter sniper or light sniper mode it is much better than the AK. The AK in general combat is the better weapon. So each is suited to it's own purpose.

So in my opinion there is no one winner, it is what purpose you are looking to fill. if you need precision like in a swat type mode or light sniper mode, then the M16 can do it all. If you need extreme reliability and accuracy is not so important, the AK is the better choice. I am not sure why there has to always be one winner. It all depends on the use. How many of you will keep from cleaning either.

There are better designs than either, but not as common or as economical to own as either.

My MAK-90 has never failed to fire. Not a fan of this gun, but it is all I have left in that caliber.

noyes
December 9, 2009, 10:25 AM
A shotgun has six rounds in the magazine.

Mossberg 590 , 8 in tube 1 in chamber total 9

Baretta xtrema 2 with 26" barrel plus mag extension 10 in tube 1 in chamber total 11

Holds a few less with 3 1/2 shells


Fast loading shotgun with tube :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3E5wtmWCk4&feature=player_embedded

Bartholomew Roberts
December 9, 2009, 11:04 AM
Mossberg 590 , 8 in tube 1 in chamber total 9

Baretta xtrema 2 with 26" barrel plus mag extension 10 in tube 1 in chamber total 11

;) Yes, I am sure a 26" shotgun is just the ticket for home defense. For the record, I was referring to your typical 18" barrel with a mag extension; though it is nice to know that by adding another 8" to the barrel I can get 1/3 the capacity of a 16" carbine.

Also, my point wasn't that a shotgun doesn't make a fine home defense weapon; but rather just pointing out several factors that might cause someone to prefer an intermediate caliber, semi-auto rifle instead.

Naturally, I left out a major reason: familiarity

Many people are familiar with intermediate caliber semi-autos from military and police training. With us at war for the ladt eight years, they may even have used them to fight with and prefer a firearm they are comfortable with in those conditions.

BarryHalls
December 9, 2009, 10:45 PM
1. Rifles chambered in intermediate calibers are very easy for novice shooters to use accurately. In my own tests, people invariably shoot the best combination of time and accuracy with a rifle (compared to a shotgun and handgun)

2. A shotgun has six rounds in the magazine. The rifles we are discussing here have 30 rounds in the magazine. Statistically, both of those are adequate for the average home defense situation; but the rifle is less likely to need to be reloaded and faster to reload.


Good points, but I stand by statements. As I said, these rifles can defend your home, and indeed quite well, but I much more highly recommend a shotgun. I disagree that, in a home, a shotgun is more likely to need to be reloaded. In real world situations, the most likely scenario is that the instant a homeowner racks in the first round the invaders are already running. If they are ballsy enough to stay, after the first one gets his chest liquefied the others tend to run and not stop until they reach the next county. A 12 gauge is as much a shock and awe psychological weapon as it is a destructive one. In a body they will give you an equivalent shock radius with more energy deposited deeper and shallower. I have a Mossberg 500, 20", 9 round. LOVE IT. I've done a little shooting at drywall with it at a distance of about 45 feet, at which distance it held a pattern of roughly 10" with any load. My shotgun has a straight choke but most home defense (sawed-off) types are available with a spreader choke. I believe a spreader increases spread by roughly 30-35%.

Of course, if detachable magazines are still an issue (and yes, I tend to agree they make a huge difference, in a real fire-fight) I reccomend Saiga 12 (http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=149666870), for around $500. (one of my favorite weapons of all time).

Don't think for a second that if something won't penetrate 2 layers of drywall that it won't kill a person. That's the whole point of Hornady TAP (http://www.hornady.com/store/TAP-FPD-Bullets/). Which is designed for situations where you want to stop an assailant, with one shot, every time, AND you are worried about bystanders behind walls or cover you may not even know are there. In fact, in 7.62x39, TAP is much more effective against unarmored targets than traditional FMJ's, and are considered 'less than lethal' after passing through conventional drywall. The same is true of many popular .223 or 5.56 rounds. This is because They expand and distort and 'dump' most of their energy the instant they contact a target, the round then lands broadside to the second layer of sheet rock, giving the already lessened blow more surface area to spread out. Yes, #6, #4, or even 7.62 TAP, and .223/5.56 hollow points may penetrate the second layer but it will have a hard time penetrating normal clothing and skin, so I'm told by my friends in law enforcement and my own tests on drywall with my 12 gauge. #4 in particular is very popular in combat and with swat as it is considered to do the 'most' damage to human flesh penetrating a usual maximum of about 20" (more than enough to completely exit the body from any angle). #6 is a second best, considered safer for bystanders and has been documented to be stopped by a human body as it contacts the final layer of skin. Point being these two loads, in a 2 3/4" shell are depositing 80-100% of their energy into a human being. That's what stops someone.

OF COURSE assault rifles get the job done for home defense! But, if all you want, or if the FIRST thing you want, is to defend your home, get a shotgun.

If anyone wishes to continue to hijack this thread with me (sorry!) make a new thread, link it here, and we'll pick this discussion up there.

I love gun debates. They never end.


EDIT:

I should clarify ONCE MORE. That a good 5.56/.223 is damn good for home defense. If you hit the center of mass the target will crumple like a marionette with cut strings. I should have chosen my words more carefully. I just like (and recommend) the comfort of being able to hit the right shoulder with the same effect.

I've seen several 'home defense' comments on this thread. Let's all face it. WHY would you want to spend a minimum of $400 on one of these rifles, which rely PRIMARILY on volume of fire to stop a target, when you can have the best pump 12 gauge for under $300?

My real point is that, purely for home defense, a cheaper weapon would work better. (of course for most users! If you happen to be a marine or a green beret or WTFE, use whatever you've killed the most men with!)


EDIT AGAIN:
So in my opinion there is no one winner, it is what purpose you are looking to fill. if you need precision like in a swat type mode or light sniper mode, then the M16 can do it all. If you need extreme reliability and accuracy is not so important, the AK is the better choice. I am not sure why there has to always be one winner. It all depends on the use. How many of you will keep from cleaning either.


You made the point that I should have.

I feel, for myself, that reliability is a must to the EXTREME. I love AR types and really enjoy precision shooting, and that's a necessity in many situations, but if I could only have ONE, I would have the one that I KNOW will never fail me. This is my logic for all types of weapons first and why my first two firearm purchases were a Mossberg 500 and an AK.


WHY, oh WHY don't you LOVE your MAK-90?? As an AK goes, I feel it is the best.

jamiejaf
December 9, 2009, 10:55 PM
For speed of handling and accuarcy the AR is has been proven a million times over an AK no matter the cartridge. I've never seen anyone win a rifle competition with an AK (or a quality variants). Mainly because they're junk.

Heem
December 10, 2009, 12:20 AM
For speed of handling and accuarcy the AR is has been proven a million times over an AK no matter the cartridge. I've never seen anyone win a rifle competition with an AK (or a quality variants). Mainly because they're junk.

jamiejaf ..... Uh, huh??? The thread isn't about range competition, and that "junk" is the best kick ass weapon for urban combat. Period. The AR is the better rifle hands down, but I choose the AK-47 in ANY 100 yard encounter in today's urban environment. I've read way too many reports of failed AR rifles in heavy urban fire fights to trust my life to one.

"If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared." -Machiavelli (1469-1527)

noyes
December 10, 2009, 01:10 AM
..

ronl
December 10, 2009, 01:39 AM
I Have an AK and an AR and both are goood weapons, but my go to weapon is a Robinson Armament XCR, the best of both worlds and then some.

BarryHalls
December 10, 2009, 08:14 AM
If you could possibly conceive an AK-47 (a military issue one) as junk, then you completely misunderstand the rifle. It's meant to take a beating, under adverse conditions and keep fighting. An AR is meant to give you fast, precision shots and follow up shots. Different tools for different jobs.

I've talked to some boys from Iraq. They are picking up underfolder and other lightweight AK's to keep as back ups for quarters too close for their M4's and M16's or when their issued rifles jam.

The designs had different war machines in mind. The AK is THE weapon of guerrilla warfare, functioning perfectly on a low budget. The AR is more of a precision instrument.

Both designs are excellent.

I suppose I should finally address the original question.
For modern, urban combat I would want an SA80 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SA80). Size and handling of a sub machine gun with the range, accuracy, and knock-down power of an M-16.

BUT, out of the BIG TWO, for modern urban combat in a modern military, give me an M4 but I've heard over and over from enlisted men, that they want AK's up close and personal and M4's everywhere else. Which seems illogical to me since the M4 is more damaging, shorter, and lighter. But maybe they know something I don't and are taking into account the 7.62x39's ability to penetrate thick cover.

If I have to pick one for a more guerrilla type war, where my base camp is probably a cave or swamp, give me an AK-74. Range and flesh damage of 5.56, energy and armor penetration of 7.62.

Again, different tools for different tasks.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 10, 2009, 10:25 AM
Don't think for a second that if something won't penetrate 2 layers of drywall that it won't kill a person.

A small child with a toy can penetrate the first 1/2" layer of drywall. I can put my fist or a baseball through two layers of drywall. I suppose both could technically kill somebody; but I wouldn't bet on either one to be adequate to immediately stop someone who is trying to kill or seriously injure me.

That's the whole point of Hornady TAP. Which is designed for situations where you want to stop an assailant, with one shot, every time, AND you are worried about bystanders behind walls or cover you may not even know are there.

TAP is just Hornady's brand name for their law enforcement/self-defense ammo (Tactical Application Police) and it covers a wide range of ammo types that all behave differently in terms of penetration and design. The 55gr TAP acts like a Nosler Ballistic Tip. The 75gr TAP uses a BTHP match bullet and the 60gr TAP uses a bonded Nosler Partition that will zip right through drywall and a person.

Assuming you meant the fast expanding/fragmenting rounds like the 55gr TAP, here is the same sequence of Federal ammunition through drywall from the FBI tests for ammo:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=47821&d=1243964762

Note that even the fast expanding bullets, like the 55gr SP, 40gr JHP, and 55gr Ballistic Tip still penetrate a good 7.25"-8" of ballistic gel after passing through the interior wall mockup. Contrary to popular belief, TAP rounds of any flavor will not stop in an interior wall like a Nerf bullet. They are less likely to be lethal than a pistol round; but you still need to be aware and cautious of your background.

In fact, in 7.62x39, TAP is much more effective against unarmored targets than traditional FMJ's, and are considered 'less than lethal' after passing through conventional drywall.

You either do not understand this subject or you are not using "less than lethal" in the way it is commonly understood. A 7.62x39 TAP round is going to be considered lethal force and it will possess a considerable ability to kill or seriously injure somebody even after passing through an interior wall.

"Less than lethal" or "less lethal" is typically terminology used to describe things like CS gas, bean bag guns, Tasers, etc. A 7.62x39 TAP round may be less likely to kill someone than other types of ammo after passing through a wall than a 7.62x39 FMJ; but it is still quite lethal.

The same is true of many popular .223 or 5.56 rounds. This is because They expand and distort and 'dump' most of their energy the instant they contact a target, the round then lands broadside to the second layer of sheet rock, giving the already lessened blow more surface area to spread out.

You've got an understanding of how the process works to reduce the wounding ability of these rounds. You just do not appreciate how little energy it takes to penetrate a modern interior wall. Opening a door rapidly, the doorknob can put a hole in drywall. If a bullet cannot do it, then it is not going to be very useful in a scenario where you are facing death or serious injury.

Yes, #6, #4, or even 7.62 TAP, and .223/5.56 hollow points may penetrate the second layer but it will have a hard time penetrating normal clothing and skin, so I'm told by my friends in law enforcement and my own tests on drywall with my 12 gauge.

#6 and #4 birdshot may show that behavior after penetrating an interior wall (two 1/2" pieces of drywall). This is not true of ANY .223, 7.62x39, or 7.62x51 round or most 12ga rounds that are suitable for self-defense. As noted above, even the light fast expanding hollow points still penetrate 7" of gel after passing through the FBI wallboard test.

#4 in particular is very popular in combat and with swat as it is considered to do the 'most' damage to human flesh penetrating a usual maximum of about 20" (more than enough to completely exit the body from any angle).

There is no way in hell that any round that will penetrate 20" of ballistic gel or tissue is going to stop in two layers of drywall and not pose a lethal threat to someone on the opposite side.

Also, I have no idea where you are getting these numbers, #4 buckshot Federal Power-Shock 2 3/4" (http://www.brassfetcher.com/12%20gauge%20number%20four%20buckshot.pdf) penetrates 12.5" to 13" of ballistic gel. This is within the recommended FBI standards of penetration (12"-18") but nowhere near the 20" you are discussing. And like everything else that penetrates 12" of gel consistently, it will go right through an interior wall and still possess the ability to kill or seriously injure someone on the other side.

#6 is a second best, considered safer for bystanders and has been documented to be stopped by a human body as it contacts the final layer of skin.

#6 birdshot doesn't penetrate very well, even at contact distances. The small pellets lose momentum fast and in the past it has generally shown poor performance at making 150lb-200lb mammals stop what they are doing.

There are numerous threads (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=384257&highlight=birdshot+for+home+defense) on this subject here if you want to search around.

Some other good threads:
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=375625
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=358242
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=302070

Point being these two loads, in a 2 3/4" shell are depositing 80-100% of their energy into a human being. That's what stops someone.

No, energy transfer doesn't stop someone. An NFL football player can produce 1,600 ft/lbs of force (http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/sports/4212171.html) during a tackle. That is in the same neighborhood as some of the hottest 240gr .44 Magnum factory loads (http://www.shootingtimes.com/handgun_reviews/monster_1103/). Even better, the NFL player transfers 100% of his energy, unlike the .44 Magnum.

However, unlike the .44 Magnum, the opposing football player is still quite capable of carrying out a variety of activities immediately after the hit and for some time afterwards. What is important in firearms self-defense scenarios is not energy transfer; but how that energy is used to crush tissue - and what kind of tissue is crushed.

Physiologically, the only way to stop a determined attacker is to disrupt his central nervous system. The two most common ways to do this are:

1. Stopping oxygen from reaching the brain via blood loss (destruction of major, blood bearing organs)
2. Physical destruction of the central nervous system (spine or brain)

So unless the pellets from your 12ga penetrate deeply enough to accomplish these goals, the attacker is still physically capable of continuing his actions. He may choose to run away; but he may not.

In order to reliably do this in a variety of possible scenarios, the FBI recommends 12" of penetration in ballistics gel. The energy needed to penetrate 12" of gel pretty much guarantees that any round that meets that standard will zip right through an interior wall and still have enough energy to kill or seriously injure someone. This is something that everyone needs to understand because the consequences of not understanding it means:

1. You choose a round that will not be very effective at all at stopping someone who presents an immediate threat of death or serious injury to you or your loved ones.
2. You have a false sense of confidence regarding the safety of loved ones in other rooms of the house.

BarryHalls
December 10, 2009, 06:37 PM
No, energy transfer doesn't stop someone. An NFL football player can produce 1,600 ft/lbs of force during a tackle.

that energy is transfered over a period of roughly one second. A firearm completes it's passage through the body in a few 1/1000's of a second. HUGE difference.

wish you had made a new thread.

other than that, hats off.

I can only know what I have learned.

noyes
December 11, 2009, 07:45 AM
Movie friday

Basic Urban skills training - Ballistic Penetration tests

http://video.google.com/videosearch?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS352US352&q=Basic+Urban+Skills+Training+-+Ballistic+Penetration+Tests&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=rTsiS4j_FI6ENqKT1fMJ&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQqwQwAA#sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS352US352&q=Basic+Urban+Skills+Training+-+Ballistic+Penetration+Tests&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=rTsiS4j_FI6ENqKT1fMJ&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQqwQwAA&qvid=Basic+Urban+Skills+Training+-+Ballistic+Penetration+Tests&vid=-6464268208010199091

cubesmoothie
December 11, 2009, 11:58 AM
both. But i'd get AK first , a cheap saiga. You could get one in .223 if you desire the same ammo for your ak and AR

BarryHalls
December 19, 2009, 08:59 PM
I make it a point to have as few guns in the same round as possible.

1. You want the guns to have different capabilities for different situations.

2. The more different rounds you can use the easier it is to find ammo that's useful to you in SHTF situations or even if you spot a great deal on 'ammo X' you can say 'hey, that'll be great for my 4th favorite pistol/rifle.' Inversly, when a particular type of ammo goes up in price you can still plink, hunt, or hone your skills with something that uses cheaper ammo.