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View Full Version : AR-15s and AK-47s


Kodiac
October 14, 1998, 01:36 PM
My brother and I, both former soldiers (he was a marine, but no one is perfect)and when we got out of the service, we both got a battle rifle. I got an AR-15, and he got an AK-47. We argue all the time about which is better. He is wanting to know where he can get a bullpup kit for his AK, by the way (he already looks in Shotgun News - no luck). The AR's .223 has all the juice it needs, and the AKs 7.62X39 (is it?)seems to do little better than a 30-30. Any comments?

.
October 14, 1998, 08:18 PM
Kodiac,

I recall that Clayco Sports (I believe it was a US subsidiary of the PLA's arms industry) offered a kit for the AK/M variants, and for a while offered the assembled rifle. I've seen a couple at the gunshows in the Richmond area, but was thoroughly underwhelmed with the quality of the fit and finish. OTOH, Valmet made the M82, but it was a .223rem version... Check older issues of SWAT and ASG magazines for some of the gun accessory ads. The latter magazine seems to have divested itself of the firearms genre`, or so it would appear from review of the latest issue. If I find one in the tomes piled high on my floor, then I'll post the particulars for you.

JA
October 15, 1998, 02:49 PM
THE .223 IS PRETTY WIMPY. .223 AP VS 7.62X39 STEEL CORE NO CONTEST. WAS AT RANGE WITH FREIND HAD AK ON BENCH ACTION OPEN.(RANGE RULES) FIRED BRASS FROM .32ACP FELL INTO AK SHOT 3 CLIPS IN AK. FREIND CALLED ME OVER TO HIS HOUSE. SHOWED ME CASE LODGED BETWEEN RECIVER AND HAMMER. TRY THAT WITH A AR15. 7.62X39 STEEL CORE WILL GO THROUGH 3+ FEET OF OAK TREE..223 AP STOPS IN TREE. I SAY 2 BILLION CHINESE CANT BE WRONG!!!!!

Kodiac
October 15, 1998, 03:01 PM
JA - Funny... My .223 can do all that as well with FMJ bullets ( I prefer Cor-Bon loads ). And as for .32 cases in my AR-15, I don't think so... I am not that sloppy, and all the ranges I go to, we don't approve of the Oscar Madison life style.

Kodiac
October 15, 1998, 04:18 PM
JA - wait a second, I reread your earlier post here. Three plus feet of OAK with steel core rounds? Hmmm. If I remember right, my brothers AK, when fed special Depleted Urainum machine gun loads (he got a few rounds from an unmentionable source while in Cuba) didn't even do half of what your friends surplus steel did. The rounds my bro had were ment to be a small arms answer for the nasty Wiskey Cobras he and his fellow Marines seem to be so fond of. I have a hard time thinking the Cuban Military would be so soft on us - seeming how they hate us with such a passion. (the Cuban citizens seem to love us however...)

JA
October 15, 1998, 08:37 PM
OK HERES THE WHOLE STORY. BUDDIES DAD(KOREAN VET)SAW US SHOTTING OAK TREE. SKS BULLETS KICKING UP DIRT ON OTHER SIDE OF TREE. BUD SHOT TREE WITH AR15 NOTHING MOVED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TREE. 180 ROUNDS TREE FELL OVER. WE WERE ABOUT 25 FEET FROM TREE. BUDDIES DAD SAID SKS PEICE OF CHINESE ^$%#@^$#@@ BEFORE I SHOT TREE DOWN. NEXT WEEK HE AND HIS DAD BOUGHT 5 SKS 10 CASES OF CHI-COM STEEL CORE. SHOT 90 ROUNDS INTO TREE MOVED 90 DEGREES AROUND TREE SHOT 90 MORE TREE FELL OVER. AK DOESNT HAVE TO BE KEPT IN STERILE LAB TO FUNCTION, UNLIKE ANAL RETENTIVE AR15. HUH FELIX

Kodiac
October 20, 1998, 07:35 PM
I have been thinking about this. The AK is a good peice... but it cannt compair to the AR's flexability... Look at all the options and different conversions ans variations for it! 9MM AK47? I doubt it. There is even a pistol kit for the AR. Flat tops, all kinds... you can even go up a caliber - to 308... Well, kinda... but you can get it chambered for the AK's cartridge. Even .22 subcaliber kits. The point here is that given an hour of gunsmith time - your AR can become any weapon you want, for any mission. Try to get an AK to do that. And by the way... cutting down trees does not prove a weapons worth. It shows the operator is foolish and in need if a fine from the forest service.

JA
October 20, 1998, 08:31 PM
Luckly smokey the bear wasnt standing on the other side of the tree. Tree was in two acre area freind had bulldozed for lake. I have ak pistol its got a folding stock. have ak in .308 vepr russian rifle real nice gun. also have one in 5.45x39. It shoots 80 grain fmj surplus romainan. It may take you a hour of gun smithing to change calibers. All i do is reach in gun safe. Change calibers in 5 seconds. Oh by the way I own 2 ar15 so i guess i cant be all bad.

Gordon
October 20, 1998, 08:31 PM
Interesting use for a few hundred dollars worth of FMJ bullets. I personally prefer a chainsaw when cutting trees. To each his own however. Sounds like ranges should banish the AK's. If they will go through that much tree, then there is no safe place.
By the way, are you sure about the 3 foot tree? Women claim that men cannot measure anyway, you know, with all the stories.

Rob Pincus
October 20, 1998, 09:35 PM
I tend to take everything with a grain of salt, but I HATE ALL CAPITOL POSTS ON FORUMS< OKAY JA ????.

with that said. I have had a few trees go down on me before. But never one with a diameter of over foot, and even the couple that were close were used as target stands for, quite literally, thousands of rounds and years of shooting before they ever got weak enough to get blown over in a storm. If it happened it happened, but I find it really hard to believe that a 3 foot diameter tree went down with less than 200 rounds of .30 cal ammo?
Perhaps it was hollow tree? is this possible?

4V50
October 20, 1998, 11:58 PM
If the topic is caliber, I'll take a .223 anyday over the 7.62x39 since the .223 has greater accuracy potential than the Russian bullet.
Firepower means hitting the target.

MYLK, you may be interested to learn that Norinco still has some bullpup versions of the AK around. Just visit their factory which is north of Beijing. Those commies are "dirty capitalists" and are more than willing to rent guns out. Besides an array of Chinese made weapons, they've even cloned the M16 (different handguard and pistol grip). You can even rent the Steyr Aug rifle and heavy support weapon. Unfortunately, they didn't rent out the mortar, or RPG-7 or 25mm(?) AA gun.

Getting back to the guns, if I had to go through jungles, swamps, deserts, snow, ice, I prefer the AK. Remember, one basic problem with the AR aluminum magazines will never be cured: the lips are vulnerable and if you dent it, good luck in straightening it out. Once the magazine is gone, so is the rifle.

Kodiac
October 21, 1998, 09:01 AM
There is one good thing about the magazines... They are only 10 bucks and they do last a long time. Go to any military base or area that has had a spot of guardsmen trooping about on drill... you can find some more magazines.
Has any one here tried the ORLITE mags for the AR? They are "selflubricating" and are supposedly the best. They are from Austrailia or Isreal or some place? I dont know any thing about them.

.
October 21, 1998, 10:07 AM
4V50 - Thanks for the update on the bull-pups. I seem to recall that both Valmet and Galil marketed bullpup "hunter" rifles in this country about 10 or 15 years ago. They were few and far between.

Regarding comparative accuracy of the .223Rem/5.56Nato vs 7.62x39mm/M43bloc cartridges: Precision is a machine function of the firearm, which is influenced primarily by "fit" of components (including ammo) and the secondary effects of operation (recoil, action cycling, barrel harmonics, etc). Accuracy is a system level function that includes the operator abilities and is also strongly influenced by the immediate environmental conditions. Having now overstated the obvious, it has been my experience that both cartridges can lend themselves to a range from high accuracy to very inaccurate.

The most common precision problem which I've encountered with the Kalashnikov variants is a mismatch between the bullet and bore diameters. I had an early Egyptian Maadi semi-auto AKM that I had difficulty keeping on a paper plate at one-hundred yards. Conversely, my Valmet M62-S would group consistently within 2-1/2 inches at the same distance, with the same Norma ammunition. The degree of separation varied somewhat with various brands of ammo (PMC, Win, US Military, Hanson, NORINCO, etc), but largely reflected the same relative accuracy. Slugging the barrels revealed that the Maadi had a 0.003-inch larger bore diameter than the Valmet. When I changed the ammo in the Maadi to that with an oversized bullet ( I seem to recall a .310-.311 diam.) it shrank the average group to approximately 4-inches at 100-yds. The Valmet shot well with everything. I inferred from the results that the smaller bore diameter, in this instant, provided a better "fit" for the bullets and greater precision. This arguably may not have been the only factor influencing the results, as the Maadi had a stamped sheet-metal receiver (AKM) whereas the Valmet had a milled receiver (AK).

I've heard of similar findings from other shooters, and have been told of SKS rifles capable of very good accuracy with a variety of ammo. I've no significant experience with the SKS, consequently can't address the claim. I'm sure a lot of folks have the SKS in light of it's low prices and availability. If anyone has such experience, please start a new thread on it's accuracy potential.


[This message has been edited by Mykl (edited 10-21-98).]

Rob Pincus
October 21, 1998, 11:49 AM
I bought a couple of SKSs back in college. They were hard to pass up at he price, this was also before the ammunition prices went up. I bouth my first SKS (para) and a case of Norinco Ammo. Know what, If hadn't bought a MAK-90 I would still have half or more of that case! I just hate having a semi auto with detachable mags. I had some of those plastic USA mags that sort wedge into the gaping whole left when you take the standard mag out, but they sucked. I ended up buying anothe SKS, full size, and it has never been fired. That one was super cheap, so I couldn't pass it up. At the time, my collection was still kinda small and an extra, cheap semi-auto battle rifle was better than no battle rifle.

The SKS para shot great and it was extremely reliable, I just hated the stripper clips. I almost bought one of those SKS Sporters, that were legally converted to take AK mags, but passed it up.

I bought a bullpup conversion thing at the SHOT show in 96 for my MAK, but I've never bothered to install it...

I'll take an AR anyday.

Kodiac
October 21, 1998, 12:02 PM
I remember SKSs for 65 bucks out in Idaho a few years back. You could buy them by the case if you liked. Would have been a great investment as they are now about 120 bucks here in the east. As ugly and cheap as they are. They are frightfully effective. In caroline 2 Officers were killed by a couple thug-kids armed with an SKS at a traffic stop. Compared to other rifles, it may be a lesser gun. Compaired to the normal thug gun around here like a Hi-Point or Lorcin... it brings to the street some ferocious firepower. SKS rounds are armour piercing... when your talking about body armour. Several shooting have occured in the last 2 years with these ugly rifles. To keep every thing on an even playing field - I think every one should have at least one.

4V50
October 21, 1998, 10:29 PM
The first Orlites in this country were allegedly from Israel. Sarco (of NJ?) was selling them pretty cheap back then and I bought a few. While they fed, they really had to be slapped into the magazine well to ensure that the mat catch engaged the notch.

Thanks for the tip on the Nasty Guard (our derogatory nickname for them - no, I don't hate or dislike them - we clown everyone). Unfortunately, thanks to our anti-military congresspeople, many of our bases have closed so that source of supply isn't very viable right now. I've enough magazines (what does that mean?) for now but freebies are hard to pass up.

Mykl - you're right about precision and I should qualify my statement.

My general experience with Eastern-bloc or Chicom firearms are that they are built for robustness and abuse. They were designed for combat and reliability is paramont to them. While our firearms are rugged, they enjoy better amenities like target style rear aperture sights (M16A2) and excellant barrels (witness H&K or Steyr-Aug). Mind you, the Russians are not without their own sharp lads and they gave us the 5R twist we now use in our M24 Sniper rifles. Remington, a leading barrel maker, admits that they are years behind in data and research. Again, thank you for your response and I stand corrected.

JA
October 21, 1998, 10:38 PM
At the time 1100 rds on stripper clips=$99.00 So it was less than $20. The tree was solid. I placed my shots in a stright line moving from left to right. 90 rds then moved 90 degrees around the base of tree shot 90 more. that chinese steel core is banned from importation now. This is because olympic arms spent one hour gunsmithing a ar-15 into a pistol in 7.62x39. Armor pericing handgun ammo is aganist the law. Therefore 7.62x39 ammo went to $300.00 per case. Also you couldnt find any for months. Notice this is not all capital letters. I was unaware that all caps was rude, but I know better now.

Kodiac
October 22, 1998, 09:08 AM
No problem JA.
I have seen the AR-Russian conversion by a couple differnt Smiths... It struck me as being very useful if your a big fan of the AK and wanted your guns the share ammo. .223 is a bit more money since you can find great deals on cans of the 7.62Xnot308 ammo all over the place.
I must admit I cut a tree in half as well. This was using a M-249, which is in .223. the 249 is called the SAW. the older versions had a selective fire ability where you good put it up to the 1100 RPM mark. The same as a german MG-42 for WWII. We called it the SAW for a good reason - not just because it was designated as the Squad Automatic Weapon! With the standard combat mix, you have a tracer in the belt every fifth shot. (was it 5 or 4? I forget) Any ways, on high RPM the gun was almost self cleaning. I hosed a sign with it... and the tree the sign was attached to. Well, the tracers did a good job of burning out the hole while the rest of the rounds sawed the tree down. Id didnt fall right then... not till after we had all stopped shooting and were leaving. We hear a creeking and snapping sound. We looked and the tree was falling over... right at us!
It was a about the diameter of a basketball and tall enough to make is run. So, I am guilty of wood murder too. Oh, and the time our Blazer got stuck in a ditch, it was all muddy and we descided to tie off to a tree and fall the tree to pull it out. It worked. But the tree fell into the trail and we had to clear that... Ooops.

.
October 22, 1998, 10:22 AM
4V50: My apologies, I did not intend to come across as refuting your perspective. I merely wished to add another data point (my experiences) FWIW, to the search for ground truth. Point taken, I'll be more careful to qualify my responses in the future.

JA: Congratulations. You've just made a quantum leap in communication skills. I was guilty of the very same things not too long ago, and was fortunate enough to have Rich tutor me in the finer aspects of Internet Etiquette. Some of us old horses are more used to braying then neighing...

Rob Pincus
October 22, 1998, 10:47 AM
I hope that was one of those damn red-headed-wood-pecker no noise zone signs down at Fort Bragg, Kodiac. I'd buy you a six pack for that.