AK47 or Ar15 / M4???


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JLStorm
November 13, 2006, 07:46 AM
I have been debating picking up either an ar15 or M4, but I keep getting suggestions about the AK47's. I want something that is not expensive to shoot, but also a good defense rifle. The ar's and m4's in .223 are cheap to shoot, but dont quite have the stopping power of the AK47's. The M4 is great for home defense because of the shortened barrel as well. A few people have mentioned a company called "Saiga", but their stuff is so inexpensive I would be afraid to touch it, althought it is made in russia, so that may account for the cost.

Any suggestions on which model and the company to look at?

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sgphoto
November 13, 2006, 08:15 AM
Saigas are actually some of the best AK types you could own.

I have several and could not be more pleased.

Excellent value for the money.

http://www.forum.saiga-12.com/ has good information.

TIMC
November 13, 2006, 08:44 AM
Pick one and go for it. I have all three but if I had to make he choice I would grab my AK but then again I did a lot of work customizing my AK to make it a really good entry rifle. It is all a matter of what you prefer. I don't have any good pics of my Colt AR but here is my AK and M-4.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/SAR1withlaser.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/m4pic.jpg

JLStorm
November 13, 2006, 08:50 AM
Tim,

Those are both great looking weapons. What about the AK would make you pick it first?

TIMC
November 13, 2006, 09:07 AM
I have always been a fan of anything .30 caliber and not particulary excited about defending my home with something in .22 caliber even if it is a really fast bullet. You don't need a fast bullet in C/Q situations. With the set up I have on my AK even with moving targets I can shoot very fast and accurately from 5 feet to 100 yards. As always shot placement is very important but it never hurts to make a bigger hole.

Siaga does make good AK style guns. Mine is a Romanian SAR1, the M-4 pictured is a Bushmaster M-4. Get the 16" barrel if you get one. I have the 14.5 with the mini Y compensator on it and it is way too loud.

JLStorm
November 13, 2006, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the info. The saiga's are so ionexpensive, I cant believe it. Are the AK47s close enough to spec to use interchangable parts?

jason10mm
November 13, 2006, 09:37 AM
Use a hunting round or TAP bullets with the AR-15 and you are GTG. All the problems with the 5.56 are related to lower muzzle velocity of the rifle and the thicker bullet jackets in use now preventing fragmentation. Close range and an expanding bullet solve those problems. If our guys overseas could use a soft tip round, the bad guys would not be getting back up.

Same goes for the 7.62x39 AK round. Unless you forsee a need to defeat body armor, use a soft tip round.

I personally would not swap AK parts around, even with rifles made by the same company. Those things are made by companies from all over the world, with various style parts, and on different types of receivers. I do not think there is a "mil-spec" standard like for AR-15s. Well, maybe stock sets and some minor parts and springs are interchangable, but stuff like bolts, op-rods, and trigger groups I would keep in the same rifle if at all possible.

Either one can be suitable for home defense, so long as YOU are trained to defend your home. If you plan on doing a lot of range work punching paper, you may find the AR to offer a much wider range of options, particularly since you can swap uppers to get different calibers and barrel lengths.

JLStorm
November 13, 2006, 09:43 AM
This would be a more if the SHTF weapon than a range gun. Training will be taken care of, so its a non issue for either weapon. I do like the ability to interchange parts incase of failure incase there is another gun ban around the way. That way I can do rebuild after rebuild without violating any laws.

whm1974
November 13, 2006, 10:31 AM
Same goes for the 7.62x39 AK round. Unless you forsee a need to defeat body armor, use a soft tip round.

I think that even soft tips will go though anything short of a level IV vest.

-Bill

Correia
November 13, 2006, 11:15 AM
I would recommend you use the search. There's probably a couple of days worth of reading on this subject.

Same with Saiga. They're only cheap because they're made in Russia. We use them as the base for our fancy Tromix conversions, which performance wise I would put up against any AK in existence.

JLStorm
November 13, 2006, 11:30 AM
I have read a bit about saiga models being sold and one thing I dont understand that keeps coming up is models that have been professionally converted to accept 30 round mags. Is this BS? I cant imagine what type of conversion they are talking about??

Correia
November 13, 2006, 12:04 PM
I'm telling you man, use the search. :)

We take the base Saiga and convert them to take standard magazines. We do all sorts of tricked out stuff to them. Also read on www.saiga12.com's forums.

We use Tromix for all of our custom conversions, and they absolutely rock.

robbyfarside
February 8, 2007, 11:03 PM
First off ARs JAM. Work on it all you want and it will STILL JAM. AK's will NEVER JAM. .223 is just a .22 with some extra speed. x39 will stop you. Com'on 55 grain vs 124 grain, speaks for it's self. muzzlejet can accurize both. less then 2 inches at 100 yds. I am as american as they come but this country is based on choice. AK all the way. It makes me sick sometimes to think of the casualties caused by a weapon that can leave you defenseless.

RockyMtnTactical
February 8, 2007, 11:15 PM
First off ARs JAM. Work on it all you want and it will STILL JAM. AK's will NEVER JAM. .223 is just a .22 with some extra speed. x39 will stop you. Com'on 55 grain vs 124 grain, speaks for it's self. muzzlejet can accurize both. less then 2 inches at 100 yds. I am as american as they come but this country is based on choice. AK all the way. It makes me sick sometimes to think of the casualties caused by a weapon that can leave you defenseless.

Please stop with this annoying internet myth spreading. It's tiresome, it's false, and more than misleading.

You are obviously just regurgitating bad information that was given to you and you do a disservice to others by spreading it. If you're going to make such outlandish claims, at least back them up with some proof.

AK's are slightly more reliable than AR's in general, but quality modern AR's with a little maintenance are exceptionally reliable. I got news for you, if you've never seen an AK jam, you need to get out more.

5.56 is very deadly. The only ballistic advantage that 7.62x39 has over 5.56 is penetration, and that can be seen as a negative in urban environments.

You need some real experience with both platforms before you badmouth one of the best rifles around.

I like the AK, but I love the AR. Maybe that's why I own both... but I only have one AK.

soul_rapier
February 8, 2007, 11:20 PM
At one time i would agree with the saying AK's never jam until i got 1000 rounds of wolf hollow points after about 500 rounds the flat tip of the HP would jam on the chamber easy fix tho make a feed ramp on it like a 1911 and it will want jam again . just in case one of you all run into this same problem (this problem was thru a polytech , 2 norinco , and arsenal ak's but its fixed now)

Shipwreck
February 9, 2007, 10:59 AM
I have shot an AK before, but I much prefer the Ar's. Butm your milage will vary :)

romma
February 9, 2007, 11:25 AM
AR,, Baby!

MD_Willington
February 9, 2007, 11:42 AM
I have read a bit about saiga models being sold and one thing I dont understand that keeps coming up is models that have been professionally converted to accept 30 round mags. Is this BS? I cant imagine what type of conversion they are talking about??

Not really "converted" more like finished with appropriate and compliant parts. The Saiga is like an AK mechano set, a very good quality mechano set or a 80% finished semi-automatic AKM. The russians send the basic "feel good" configuration which works as intended, quite well too, and then we get to do the finishing work and make an HTG AKM pattern rifle.

I think they're great rifles... and I'm always bugging the retailers here and elswhere for prices on them. Correia has been gracious enough to put up with me bugging him :neener:

MD

benEzra
February 9, 2007, 11:48 AM
I think that even soft tips will go though anything short of a level IV vest.
Level III (not IIIA) is rated to stop 7.62x39mm FMJ (actually, it's rated to stop 7.62x51mm non-AP, which kicks 7.62x39mm's butt). Level IV is rated to stop one round of .30-06 tungsten core AP, so you know 7.62x39mm isn't getting through.

Inside 100 yards, pretty much any centerfire rifle will penetrate anything up through IIIA with softpoints, or even frangibles, at close range. I'm not sure that bullet tip construction makes much of a difference at rifle velocities. IIIA will stop 7.62x39mm at range, though. The Internets sez the ballistic coefficient of the 123-gr 7.62x39mm bullet is .252 (very draggy), so you're down to 1860 fps after only 150 yards and down into the 1420's at 300 yards. Somewhere between 100 and 300 yards, 7.62x39 loses the ability to penetrate IIIA, and FMJ vs. softpoint might make a difference of a few yards.

Here are the numbers my lil' Palm ballistic calculator gives me:

muzzle - 2350 fps
50 yards - 2179 fps
100 yards - 2015 fps
150 yards - 1857 fps
200 yards - 1706 fps
250 yards - 1561 fps
300 yards - 1422 fps
350 yards - 1292 fps
...
500 yards - 1017 fps

DogBonz
February 9, 2007, 12:20 PM
This would be a more if the SHTF weapon than a range gun.

Even more of a reason. You will always be able to get .223/5.56 ammo. If the SHTF for realz I'm not too sure about 7.62x39.

AR's are very adaptable Pull to pins, swap on another upper, ans presto, a whole new gun.

If you want a great round the 6.5 Grendel is awesome. Close reang with light bullets it is devastating. After 500 yards with heavy bullets, it beats the 308. The only drawback is ammo availability. But Wolf Gold is about $10 a box and wolf will soon be introducing steel cased stuff, which should be pretty ceap. If you reload, it is a great cartridge because of the great selection of bullets. They range from 85-150 grains, and most have awesome BC's and SD's.

Don't listen to those people who say AR jam all the time... BS. Unless you are in a desert of rain forest, the AR is fine.

The AR is generally more accurate that Ak's... Yea I know guys, your brother in law's uncle's sister's boss's friend's dog has a .25 MOA AK... Whatever. The AR is a more accurate platform.

Essex County
February 9, 2007, 12:40 PM
Having owned examples of each, My prefrence is the AR platform. Reliability has not been an issue with either.........Essex

RoxboroRedneck
February 9, 2007, 12:53 PM
You will probably be happy with either one, both are great rifles and when properlay maintained the AR wont fail you. After I broke in my AR I have only had 1 jam, and that was cause i was shooting cheap ammo and the casing broke. I have both and shoot both often and I wouldnt sell either one.

Lobotomy Boy
February 9, 2007, 09:57 PM
I've run maybe 5000 rounds through my AR without a jam, but I have bought nothing but quality magazines. All my buddies shoot ARs and we always have at one or two with us at the range, which adds up to at least another 5000 rounds that I've personally witnessed, over the years. In all that time I've seen one failure to feed, and that was because of a bad magazine that wouldn't feed in any of our guns. The owner repaired the magazine and it has been trouble free since.

But we keep our guns well-oiled and, as noted above, we don't shoot in rough desert conditions or spend weeks in jungle rain forests. Neither, most likely, do the cellar dwellers who spread misinformation like "ARs jam," and neither will you.

Spend enough time on lists like this and you'll be able to sort the BS from the keyboard cowboys with little actual shooting experience from the information provided by folks who actually use their guns.

10-Ring
February 9, 2007, 10:18 PM
I like the M4 for its pointability, shootabity & reliabity :D

Slvr Surfr
February 10, 2007, 07:12 AM
Own both and Love both.

If I had to make a choice for a SHTF rifle I will go with the AK.
#1 reason being that no matter what IT WILL GO OFF, just like my glocks. I think no matter how bad I treat it the thing will still shoot. There is a video someone posted of a guy shooting a full auto AK till it catches on fire. The guy keeps shooting the AK while its on fire! The thing never hiccuped through the entire ordeal! In the worst case scenario I may not have time to give my AR the TLC it needs to run flawlessly.
Reason #2 is the 7.62X39 round seems more devastating. Ive never shot anything but paper with either rifle but to me its like the 9mm VS .45 debate. The bigger bullet cant be a bad thing, and I would want deep wound penetration capable of smashing through bones and hitting vital areas. It seems like its easier to accomplish this with the 7.62X39 round. Ammo can still be found pretty cheap, and AKs are generally not picky about what you put in them.

Just so you dont think ARs suck, My Bushmaster AR has been flawless. It is my work rifle and I trust it to save my life while on patrol. As long as I take care of it, it will take care of me! It is extremely accurate, and has been VERY reliable. To date the only malfunctions Ive had were ones I induced.

Both rifles are highly modifiable. Both can accept scopes, tac rails, lights, and lasers. I think parts for AKs are going to be a tad bit cheaper. If your on a limited budget and want to be able to accessorize get an AK. The rifles are generaly cheaper and will leave you with cash in hand for extras be it ammo or accessories. There are many AK manufacturers so be sure to shop around. www.atlanticfirearms.com has a very good selection to choose from.

boomstik45
February 10, 2007, 04:44 PM
Gee that's funny. I posted a very similar question with a poll included, due to stop on the 11th of this month. Somehow, the post mysteriously disappeared days ago. :confused: Hmmmm.

lamazza
February 10, 2007, 08:23 PM
I have never had a problem with my Bushmaster and IMHO my AK is a junkyard special in comparison. I have heard alot of bravado about AKs and maybe only half of it is true.
If you want a rifle for close and long distance get the AR. Ak is a reliable weapon for close quarters only.

DogBonz
February 10, 2007, 08:49 PM
Ive never shot anything but paper with either rifle but to me its like the 9mm VS .45 debate.

The 9mm and 45 are separated by 200-300 fps, the 7.62x39 and 5.56 are separated by almost 1000 fps.

This I agree with 100%:

The bigger bullet cant be a bad thing,

High Planes Drifter
February 10, 2007, 09:10 PM
AK's are slightly more reliable than AR's in general, but quality modern AR's with a little maintenance are exceptionally reliable. I got news for you, if you've never seen an AK jam, you need to get out more.

------------------------

Yep. I've seen AK's lock up at the range also. Most of the time its due to a faulty mag, especially those 75 rd. drums, but every firearm is capable of locking up. Trying to convice oneself otherwise is simply foolish. That being said, I keep seeing Norinco's on sale at gun shows for $335.00, I think I might have to grab one. Of course I will never get rid of my Oly 20" A2, mind you ;)

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