View Full Version : Suppose you have to arm your army....

January 27, 2006, 07:19 PM
Just for fun, suppose you have to arm your army with military surplus rifles. And suppose you had only two choices: AK47 or M1Garand. With which would you arm your army?

January 27, 2006, 07:37 PM
Ive seen rack grade Garands shoot 3-4 inches Moa about the same as Ak's.
The Garand holds less rounds in the internal magazine than the AK which could hold 100 rounds in a drum mag. 8 vs. 100 rounds.
Most infantry soldiers traditionally dont shoot out to 800 yards with an iron sited rifle. Some do and can do well like Charles Hathcock but most soldiers arnt Hathcock. So, long range shots might not be necessary for most soldiers.
A good surplus combination might be AK's for most soldiers and a few accurized surplus .308 M1A's for longer shots.
If available, surplus Valmet Finnish AK's have great accuracy.
Some surplus AK 7.62x39 ammo is way better accuracy wise than than say Wolf. Yugo ammo is often said to be fairly better than russian commercial wolf. Ive never shot any Chinese ammo but I hear people say it really improves accuracy. If I wanted to equipt an army with surplus AK's I would want to get ahold of
the Valmet 78 7.62mm x 39mm is an RPK style squad support weapon.
Still in use by Finnish defense forces.
With well made military spec ammo it easily shoot near Moa.

January 27, 2006, 07:46 PM
Strange vs. Since you say military surplus, ill be assuming these AK47s are fully automatic, since the semis arent military. That said, the AK will beat the Garand hands down, since I would never expect all my soldiers to make careful precise shots in the heat of combat. I do love the Garand but it wouldnt do well here.

January 27, 2006, 07:52 PM
I dearly love my Garand, and take good care of it. It's a terrific rifle, and has been battle proven. I wouldn't give it up, and certainly wouldn't swap it for an AK.

That said, if arming a mass of conscripts that I will also have to train, the AK wins hands down. I've seen both Iraqi and American raw recruits, and I could better train them to shoot and maintain the AK. Due to the simplicity of its design and robustness of the parts, the AK is also more jam resistant and tolerant of poor operating conditions.

January 27, 2006, 09:33 PM
Yep. AK.

January 27, 2006, 11:39 PM
The garand was awesome for it's time, and still competes with most military rifles in durability and accuracy. However, I would go AK:

-7.62X39 weighs less than .30-06, enbaling more rounds to be carried/utilized

-Most firefights happen at ranges less than 400yds., not impossible to get a decent shot using the single shot capability of an AK. At ranges longer than that, I would use specialized rifles (like a 98K or 1903, since we're talking surplus here)

-Lots of after market stuff for the spec op guys

-7.62X39 is cheaper than .30-06, and can be found in greater quantity worldwide

-30rnds vs. 8rnds, also automatic, enabling light machine gun coverage with a big enough magazine

-Cheaper to procure, thus cheaper to maintain

-Smaller, enabling more to be sent to the field (more per truck/boat/plane load), and better suited for assualting urban environments

I could think of more, but I must go refresh my beverage. :)

January 27, 2006, 11:53 PM
I'm going with the Garand.

I want my army to be well trained and to hit targets with a "one shot one kill" attitude.

Every army that I can think of using the AK uses massive amounts of manpower and they simply spray and pray. I have nothing against the AK, but I do recall the Garand being rock solid in everything from sandy beaches to steamin jungles and cold snow covered battle fields. The Garand was and still is very reliable.

I dont care what kind of battle rifle you have, in todays world you still need some type of machine gun crew for fire support...and BTW... I also have a air corps... thank God for my A-10's! :D

January 28, 2006, 12:12 AM
I want my army to be well trained and to hit targets with a "one shot one kill" attitude.

Thats nice in theory but in war it really works out that way. Take Vietnam for instance when an average of 1 million rounds were fired for each enemy kill. In ww2 with mostly bolt actions as the main firearm it was a 100000 rounds per enemy kills. The laying down of supressing fire until they close and destroy makes the ak47 a much more useful firearm. Of course the Garand would be useful as a longer range more punch marksman rifle, but in most combat siturations its going to be outclassed by the ak47.

January 28, 2006, 12:30 AM
That statement is a little misleading. The huge numbers of rounds includes rounds not even fired at the enemy. You also need to factor in the heavy use of machineguns and mini-guns, as well as the fact that there weren't too many battles in which the enemy wasn't very well concealed.

January 28, 2006, 12:35 AM
Nam' was the reason the M-16 went from full auto to "burst". Soldiers that were less than "well trained" were dumping mags instead of aiming. Keeping heads down can be done with a slow rate of well placed rounds. A gun crew provides most of the cover fire, not the rifleman.

You take a good platoon of soldiers and replace the M-16 with the Garand, and I doubt you will see much of a loss. Keep in mind I'm keeping my M240 or 60 gunners and SAWs along with some type of grenade launches...heck I'll take the M79!

The only drawback I see with the Garand is the ability to change out half empty mags, not so much the amount of rounds the weapon holds.

Even though this thread is just for fun and I'm jokin' with ya, I do know a tad about this stuff. I spent a few years humpin a M203 as alpha team leader in my squad. But it's been a while. I think I would have been just fine with a Garand as long as I had the other weapons in support.

January 28, 2006, 12:49 AM
While I'm at it, I'm bringing back the flame thrower too!

January 28, 2006, 11:25 PM
AK hands down. It may not reach out as far as the M1, but the fire power is overwhelming compared to the M1. Now, if you were trench fighting like in WWI, where the shots were 300, 400 and 500 yards, I'd consider the M1. But for combat like WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and our present fighting in Iraq, the AK would be my choice. AK-30 and 40 round mags,and I believe 100 round drums. :p M1- 8 shots! :o
I once had this discussion with a WWII veteran. His comments were that if the American soldier had the AK in WWII, less of our men would have died. He attributed it to the 30 and 40 round mags, and also that it could fire full auto. He said that most of the fighting was done in towns, clearing buildings to push the Germans out, and the soldiers in the jungles were fighting close in as well trying to get at the Japs. Very few times he said, did he ever have to take a shot further than 100 yards.

January 28, 2006, 11:39 PM
The tool you choose depends on the job at hand. Are these battles taking place over plains where you need to engage at long ranges? Are you shooting through cover? Are you fighting in a jungle? Will there be urban house cleaning tasks?

The M1 Garand is a much longer range weapon..more suitable for longer distances.

The AK47 fires the 7.62x39 an intermediate range round

If I was in the jungle or engaging large groups at close range..ak hands down

If I wanted long range ballistics and extra penetration...give me the garand

January 28, 2006, 11:56 PM
With which would you arm your army?

Do I get to pick my battlefield, too?

Urban environment - AK.
Open plains - AK loses some of its advantages.
Mountains - AK.
Forests or jungles - AK.


January 29, 2006, 09:33 AM
For me, the M1. For my half trained army (because I'm kinda lazy) the AK.

January 29, 2006, 10:09 PM
I have seen two different interviews with WWII veterans. Both spoke of how they had to get new guy's heads on straight about how they fired the Garand. They had been taught to aim and fire. What they needed was volumes of firepower.

Crews got together and fired rapidly in succesion using the Garand's 8 shot semi-auto capability to good effect. Gave them a big advantage over the bolt actioned opposition unless they had one of those machine gun crews with them.

Apparently the beach scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" are fairly accurate. Where you see several guys firing off Garands to suppress the enemy until something could be done. As the guys with Garands who used them in the war thought this the best use of them it is odd how whenver it is brought up people imagine the Garand being used with slow, careful, deadly fire. I imagine had the AK47 been around in WWII, our guys would have gleefully used them to good effect.

January 30, 2006, 01:54 AM
Even before WW2, a now famous American saw the need ahead to develope a short range fully automatic weapon. It served well in WW2. Quoted from http://www.auto-ordnance.com/vg_thompson.html

General John T. Thompson, a graduate of West Point, began his research in 1915 for an automatic weapon to supply the American military. World War I was dragging on and casualties were mounting. Having served in the Army's ordnance supplies and logistics, General Thompson understood that greater firepower was needed to end the war.

Thompson was driven to create a lightweight, fully automatic firearm that would be effective against the contemporary machine gun. His idea was "a one-man, hand held machine gun. A trench broom!" The first shipment of Thompson prototypes arrived on the dock in New York for shipment to Europe on November 11, 1918, the day that the War ended.

This fills a similar role as the AK, but the AK has more range and better armor piercing capability. Had Thompson developed the AK instead of the submachine gun it might have changed American Military weapon history.

Conclusion: A great weapons designer perceived a function to fill with a weapon design. Another designer in Russia did the same with a different cartridge.

At close range, I would rather have a Thompson Sub-machine-gun than a Garand. At extended ranges out to 200 yards, I would rather have a well made AK than a Garand. At 200 yards on I would want a well made FAL in
.308 win. At, ranges beyond 400 yards a scoped USMC M40 (remington 700action) would serve well for increased accuracy.
All of these choices are military surplus related, including USMC M40 bolt-action sniper rifle used in Vietnam.

January 30, 2006, 07:19 AM
In all seriousness, are there that many M1's left?

Not Saving Private Ryan but in The Longest Day, I noticed that some German soldier in the main Omaha beach assault pounding on the bolt of his rifle. I wonder why? Anyone else ever notice it?

And about the AK and all it's variations, there must be enough around for everyone to have one by now and I would imagine they are still in production-as is the AR series.

January 30, 2006, 08:57 AM
That is not much of a choice. Since I won't be able to pick my battlefields I would have to go with the rifle close to an all around tool. AK. josh

January 30, 2006, 12:44 PM
This is a no brainer.

A fully auto 30 round mag gun, or an 8 round semi auto clip fed gun? While the Garand is a fine rifle, if all else were equal, the army equipped with the AK 47 would devastate an army equipped with Garands.

It's like asking if you were back in the old West, and you were equipping an Indian fighting regiment, would you equip them with muzzle loaders or lever actions if you have the choice...

Optical Serenity
January 30, 2006, 12:51 PM
Seems like its way easier to find AKs in the world's stockpiles... Also, its easier to train people to use it, its lighter, and VERY reliable...

January 30, 2006, 01:25 PM
M1A......but between the garand and the ak...AK wins hands down

Red Tornado
January 31, 2006, 10:22 AM
If it depends on cost, (say I've got to pay for it and I'm not a third world dictator printing my own money) and number of troops.

For instance, one guy gets a Mosin, next get a stripper clip of ammo, etc. :D Low cost, high mortality.

Seriously, I'd have to go with the AK, as much as I love the M1. The AK's more modern, but I'd prefer the M14 (Modern Garand successor) over either of them.

January 31, 2006, 06:09 PM
That's an easy one. AK. I don't even like em, but if you have enough personnel to mass your fire, it doesnt matter how accurate the thing is. Esp. full auto, as mentioned previously. And how bout the price? It's so much cheaper than a Garand per unit, you can afford to equip your army and have enough left over for tons of ammo, and maybe even some grenades and night vision and cool stuff like that. :cool:

January 31, 2006, 06:16 PM
How about a mixture of the two?

The squad designated and trained marksman(s) gets a Garand and the rest get AK-47s.

January 31, 2006, 09:06 PM
I think I may have your solution. A semiauto AK in .308 that is accurate to under MOA which is much better than most Garands, and could potentially use factory drums.

Accuracy, major ammo capacity, long range reach, and much better potential for sites (side optics rail) than a Garand.
Theres no wood to rot in humid conditions, and a chrome lined barrel for added protection bore protection.
Russian factories would supply these for less than $200.
Much less than they retail here in America.
I dont know if you could even get an old Garand for $200.
Cost wise alone it might not be worth getting old surplus.



January 31, 2006, 10:27 PM
Single shots only. That'll REALLY cause 'em to take careful aim and make their shots count! In fact, I think a rifle that only shoots randomly about 1 out of 3 trigger pulls will make those troopers make their hits count, because then they'd know that if they didn't hit while the enemy was at distance, then they might be right up on them before the gun would actually fire again. :p