View Full Version : FN FAL vs AK47

February 2, 2000, 04:22 AM
Which is a better select-fire battle rifle in terms of things like reliability, durability, accuracy, etc? just curious.
any answers appreciated.

February 2, 2000, 10:01 AM
Well, you're talking two different classes of weapons. The FAL series was a battle rifle firing a full-power cartridge (most produced in 7.62 NATO) whilst the AK47 is actually a true assault rifle in the true meaning of the term. It fires an intermediate cartridge (7.62x39).
The FAL is bigger in every respect; weight, physical size, ammunition fired, longer useful range etc. The AK is lighter, smaller, easier to carry, can carry more ammo for the same given weight etc.
Both are very popluar weapons; the FAL was the main battle rifle for over 90 countries and it has been estimated that over 70 million AKs (including 47, 74, SKSU and other variants) have been produced by many countries.
For more information on the FN FAL rifles look for The FAL Rifle by Blake Stevens from Collector Grade Publications. It's not cheap but well worth the price. For information on the AK series see Kalashnikov; Machine Pistols, Assault Rifles and Machine-guns, 1945 to the present by John Walter from Greenhill Military Manuals.

Edmund Rowe
February 2, 2000, 07:57 PM
Concur with what fal308 said.

The AK design is an example of Eastern military theory: Make it cheap and simple, easy to mass produce, and reliable. Soviet troops weren't trained in semi-auto marksmanship. Their battle theory was

-artillery keeps their heads down
-tanks take out their tanks
-armored personnel carriers roll up a few hundred yards distant
-infantry unloads and keeps their heads down in final assault fire (basically spraying full-auto at them in the final rush) until they are close enough where they can't miss. I mean like jump in the same foxhole range.

If you hadn't guessed, Eastern thought emphasizes mass and the whole rather than the individual.

Also, the AK is an example of an assault, or intermediate power cartridge. More powerful than a handgun round (used in submachineguns in WW2) but less powerful than a full power rifle round. In the Russian example the 7.62x39 and 5.45xsomething are less powerful than the 7.62x54 in their Mosin-Nagant WW1 design rifle and more powerful than whatever they shot in their PPsh-41 burp guns.

The FAL is a perfect example of a Western military thought battle rifle:

-powerful enough to nail any enemy soldier you can see and then some
-more expensive to manufacture
-designed for soldiers trained in individual semi-auto marksmanship.

So, battle rifle vs. assault rifle?
Eastern vs. Western?

I personally prefer Western rifles. I can't help it. I think like an individual. :D

As to Battle rifle vs. Assault Rifle:
If you fight at ranges under 25 yards, the assault rifle has an edge. Between 25 and maybe 100 they're about equal. (I'm guessing here) At extended ranges or through hard cover, the battle rifle has an edge.

There are other factors: If you have to carry 500 rounds of assault rifle ammo and 500 of battle rifle ammo, guess which weighs more???

Hope that helps.


George Hill
February 3, 2000, 08:09 AM
Yeah - but with a Battle Rifle - used as described, you dont blow through as much ammo as your likely to do with an assault rifle.

I like both. A mix of each.

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 3, 2000, 09:37 AM
Yeah George... that's why I have three FALs as opposed to only two ARs. :D

Another point I didn't bring up in my first post was that the majority of FN FALs and contract FALs were semi-auto function only whereas I don't think any original military AKs were anything except full-auto. This is what Edmund Rowe was speaking of about the human wave attacks of the Eastern Bloc countries as opposed to the marksmanship tactics of the West.

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited February 03, 2000).]

George Hill
February 4, 2000, 06:43 AM
I have a very good change of joining the ranks of FAL owners this saturday.
I am looking forward to it. The FAL is not a rifle I have much knowledge on. I have fired one a few times, but thats about it.
New gun to Learn! YeeeHaw!

Is there a web page regarding the care and feeding of FALs?

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

[This message has been edited by George Hill (edited February 04, 2000).]

February 4, 2000, 07:08 AM
One slight correction. In the Russian way of war, artillery isn't for suppression. Their firing norms for effects invlove a volume of fire many, many time greater than western military standards. If a Russian manuever commander wants suppression he wants the artillery to create over 30% casualties, that equates to our "destruction" If they want "destruction" they want over 50 percent casualties. The Russian never grew up with the myth of the "riflemen" they have rightfully title artillery the "Red God of War." The expect their riflemen to be able to get so close to enemy positions after they have been crushed by the weight of flying steel, that marksmenship is not an issue.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

February 4, 2000, 08:58 AM

I think the best FAL site is www.fnfal.com/falfiles (http://www.fnfal.com/falfiles) The discussion board is a great place to ask FAL questions.

They are a lot of fun.


February 4, 2000, 10:08 AM
I concur with tankertom about falfiles. However a new board has recently come up using ubb software at www.charles-m.com/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro (http://www.charles-m.com/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro) . This will take you to The Gathering Point. There is a link to the FAL forums there. I can't get the direct link to work here on my 'puter.

George Hill
February 7, 2000, 09:32 AM
Hey thanks guys...
I went to FAL Files and printed out a ton of text data... thicker than Jeff Cooper's Biography! :)

I got a lot to learn now.
My impression of the FAL is that is a serious weapon. Like the Thompson. It is solidly built with the purpose of shooting an awful lot.
I like it.
Now if I can get my hands on one of those 10 inch barrel kits for it... Get that NFA stamp... and a folding stock...

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 7, 2000, 10:58 AM
Good luck on the folding stock. That has become the proverbial Holy Grail of the FAL world. DSA had them a couple of years ago but the supply dried up REAL quick. I went to Knob Creek that year on Saturday and first thing went to DSA to get one and they had already sold out. :(
IIRC the trunion and the dedicated bolt carrier are the hard parts to come by though I've seen the carrier at the Creek.

George Hill
February 8, 2000, 05:34 AM
Thats what I figured. I already did some checking around and can't find a folder anyways.
I'll just settle for a 2 piece stock - you know - without that little plastic bar that makes it a thumb hole.

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 8, 2000, 10:14 AM
There was a Dragunov-style stock being sold before the USA parts kits became readily available. Have heard good and bad about them. Didn't care for it too much myself. Would make for a different look.

February 8, 2000, 04:53 PM
I have one
It might be for sale? ;)

[This message has been edited by PEA SHOOTER (edited February 08, 2000).]

George Hill
February 9, 2000, 08:12 AM
You have a dragonov style stock or a folder w/parts kit?

George Hill
February 14, 2000, 06:57 AM
One thing the FAL had going for it...
I got the FAL clean in about 1/4th the time it takes to clean an AR.
Striping can be done in about 2 seconds if yor slow. From that point of opened action and bolt carrier removed you can clean it out and be back in action in no time.
Cleaning the gas system is easy to - but a little more involved. The FAL isnt blowing carbon laden gasses back into the action like the AR does. So it isnt pissing in its own pool water. After a certain number of rounds, the FAL was remarkably CLEAN. The AR would have been a blackened mess at that point.

At this point - of leaving the AR family... I have no regrets or doubts. The FAL is AWESOME.

You cant get a better battle rifle.

No, I wont trade back! :D

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 14, 2000, 08:38 AM
The problem is, you cant't settle for just one. I currently have three and want..no need.. several more. :cool:

February 14, 2000, 10:57 PM
I have a dragonov