Most dead-reliable .223 assault rifle?


July 25, 2007, 05:56 PM
Just like the title says.... and are the Arsenal AK's chambered in .223 as reliable as a regular AK? Will they take most any ammo (even wolf?)


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July 25, 2007, 06:02 PM
I do not think you will have reliability issues with any modern 223 design unless you plan on being lost in a Panamanian Rain Forest with out a cleaning kit.

July 25, 2007, 06:03 PM
They are dead reliable and will eat Wolf all day long with no problem.

July 25, 2007, 06:08 PM
I journeyed to in search of the ultimate answer to this question...

And I decided there's really know way to know without extensive side by side testing.

You could easily trust an L85A2, FAMAS, M16/M4, G36, AUG, etc. but I have a hunch that an AK-101 fed with brass would be the best.

Dan Forrester
July 25, 2007, 06:11 PM
I donít think a .223 AK could ever be as reliable as a 7.62X39 AK due to the shape of the cartridge.

Look at a 7.62X39 round. Its shaped like a cone. Much easier to fit into a dirty chamber than the .223 with its cylindrical shaped body and pointy little end.


July 25, 2007, 06:14 PM
He's asking for a gun that is available, not un-available like the G36, styer aug etc. Can you even buy a FAMAS semi auto?

July 25, 2007, 06:20 PM
My Saiga 223 is absolutely reliable just like every AK rifle I own. Unfortunately it is much more expensive to shoot than my Arsenal AK74 in 5.45x39 which is slightly more accurate. Arsenal and Saiga are the only AKs that are actually quality made in factories turning out the "real thing" on the same assembly lines from brand new high quality parts. Saiga made in Russia and Arsenal in Bulgaria I beleive. The rest of them vary from utter junk to nearly as good.

July 25, 2007, 06:27 PM

July 25, 2007, 06:31 PM
Don't forget the mini14 all I have used have been boring in there reliabilty. I do love the AK platform. I just feel it is better in the 7.62x39 & 5.45x39

July 25, 2007, 06:49 PM
My unit arms room has some .mil Bulgarian AKs in 5.56mm (milled receivers, underfolders) and I've tried feeding them a solid diet of solid junk ammo (stuff policed up at the end of a day of shooting M4s and such on the range -- dirty, dusty ammo, possibly slightly dinged up as well). I have never had any FTF/FTE issues with them except when the 5.56mm case was dinged up and out of spec and consequently would not chamber. Based on that, I think I'd be comfortable with the reliability of an Arsenal 5.56mm rifle.

July 25, 2007, 08:20 PM
Brentn, he specified "assault rifle." Not semi-automatic rifle. Therefore FAMAS, AUG et. al. are fair game.

Will Learn
July 25, 2007, 08:30 PM
A reliable .223 "assault rifle" that first came to mind when reading this thread is the gas piston AR. I haven't had any personal experience with one but it would seem to be the best of both worlds; a accurate platform originally built around the .223 but modified to use the Gas-piston system. You won't find any AKs in my safe other than 7.62x39(maybe a 5.45 later down the road). If I had the money it would go to a gas piston upper.

July 25, 2007, 08:56 PM

July 25, 2007, 09:00 PM

July 25, 2007, 09:00 PM
As much as I respect the AKs, I would say that a stainless Mini-14 is a top choice. It also has many other advantages over and AK or AR - being legal whether others are forbidden, or weight and non-threatening appearance and more compact size, especially with stock removed - which takes a few seconds.


July 25, 2007, 09:04 PM
Any good AR-type, provided that it has been well-tested, and the operator is aware of any disagreeable types of ammo. Typically, the chrome-bore models with a generous chamber are the least ammo-sensitive.

There are other highly reliable designs. But the rarity of some designs, and the scarcity of sources for replacement magazines makes me award second-place to all other models.

As long as box-fed semi-autos are legal you will be able to find magazines for AR-type rifles.

July 25, 2007, 09:45 PM
All the good an AK has to offer, while tweaking it's faults and optimizing it for 5.56 nato. I was lucky enough to shoot my cousin's (non assault weapon version), about 1500 wolf rounds with 0 problems of any kind, field strips easier than an AK, and fairly light and accurate, what more can you ask for

July 25, 2007, 10:25 PM
How is a Galil any easier to strip than any other AK? The gas tube doesn't require the lever to be moved (similiar to the Tantal in this respect), but that's all I can think of.

I'd agree that theoritically the 223 would be .0000026% less reliable due to the case shape/taper and have heard that mentioned--but they seem very reliable indeed. Galil is a fine choice for sure.

The gas piston ARs still would seem to suffer from the tiny, delicate extractor that can't stand up to more than a half dozen steel cased rounds (to hear some tell it, anyway) and the multiple dainty lugs don't inspire a lot of confidence in those that appreciate the dual honkin' lugs of an AK.

I can't think of any other 223 that would surpass the Arsenal--some would quite likely equal it, perhaps.

Deer Hunter
July 25, 2007, 10:28 PM
My Saiga .223 AK has been dead-nuts reliable with steel cased wolf.

July 25, 2007, 10:41 PM
I don't think there's much difference in size between the AL 223 extractor and the AR. I do know the AR extractor is strong enough to rip the rim off steel case ammo, as that happened to me recently.

I expect that the AK design is more reliable if for no other reason than the superior primary extraction. The Galil is really nothing more than an AK, via Valmet (the first Galil recivers were made by Valmet) so I don't expect much difference.

I am currently considering a 5.56 AK myself, although the Galil looks interesting. I'm just not sure about the cost and availability of Galil mags.

ERuger Mini-14s are notoriously inaccurate - so much so that Ruger has finally relased a target version that costs a bundle. The lack of aftermarket parts is troubling for me, as is the availability of hi cap magazines.

The Ruger certainly is California friendly, but then so is the keltec SU-16, which uses M16 magazines, and an AK gass system.


July 25, 2007, 10:54 PM
I had a Norinco 84S underfolder that was 100% reliable. Then again, my S&W M&P 15 has been 100% as well.

July 25, 2007, 10:58 PM

AK style gas system on an AR platform with stupidly simple/strudy construction. You could honestly make one of these in a high school metal shop w/o any real trouble. Take down and cleaning is right in line with the rest of it.


July 25, 2007, 11:05 PM
What's an assault rifle?


It's what I do when I miss the 10 ring. :)

July 25, 2007, 11:34 PM
Guntech, the Galil mags are probably cheaper than 223 AK mags--you can find orlites for $20 or less. Metal ones are more, $30ish, I got a 50 rounder for $40 last weekend at the gunshow.

I love the Yugo M95, but those are underfolders...feh (I built mine as a fixed stock--well, two more kits that'll likely be underfolders). I don't have an IMI, just a recent century--but am very happy with it (milled recievers make the air more enjoyable to breath, sunny days nicer, pretty girls prettier...ahhh).

Dave R
July 26, 2007, 12:05 AM
I haven't shot an Arsenal AK, but my Romanian SAR-3 has not misfed since the first month I had it (when I was debugging some converted bakelite mags for it.) And that was more than a few years ago.

The Arsenal AK's have a reputation for being better than Romanians.

So yeah, I think an Arsenal .223 AK would be about as reliable a semi-auto as you are likely to find anywhere.

July 26, 2007, 01:02 AM
Sig551 for $200, Alex.

July 26, 2007, 01:06 PM

Does the century Galil use Galil mags? I'm very interested in a Galil, but century doesn't have the best reputation.

July 26, 2007, 03:16 PM
As much as I respect the AKs, I would say that a stainless Mini-14 is a top choice. It also has many other advantages over and AK or AR - being legal whether others are forbidden, or weight and non-threatening appearance and more compact size, especially with stock removed - which takes a few seconds.
Yeah - well - except he wants reliable and I imagine able to hit a paper plate at a 100 yards or so even after firing 30 or 40 rounds. :evil:

July 26, 2007, 03:24 PM
Yes, Galil Mags--mine came with 2 35rd steel/metal ones. One looked new and one looked like it had been savages. Both work fine. (Do metal galil mags work unmodified in unmodified Saigas? Thought I heard that...but don't know.)

I tried a .223 Yugo mag, but it doesn't appear to work--seems to loose, up front in the trunnion where there's nothing you can really do about it.

I want to get some orlites--they're a lot cheaper than metal mags and lots of folks say they're just as good/better anyway. A century uses IMI parts and seems to be interchangeable across the board.

I've heard of a couple of complaints with the Century assembly (and their rep is spotty, at beast) but I guess I got lucky--It's definitely one of my favorites (and I have a few! :) )

July 26, 2007, 03:33 PM
I haven't shot everything in the world but: My HK 93 (preban) has NEVER missed a beat with any ammo,any amount, EVER. The NUMEROUS ARs I've used over the years (67-2007)cannot say that! I really don't think the AKs other than the Galil or possibly the Valmet are that great with .223 format, from what I've seen.

July 26, 2007, 04:24 PM
IIRC The metal Galil mags in a Saiga need some tweaking as do the plastic ones.

Doug Kennedy
July 26, 2007, 10:35 PM
What about a Les Bear gun?

July 27, 2007, 03:51 AM
well you will never get your hands on an L85A2, I tried looking out of interest and couldnt find any for sale! that said, I'd have one

oh and dont take world guns as gospel, i tried to contact the guy to correct some extreme errors on his brit weapons, no response

July 27, 2007, 07:47 AM
Just like the title says.... and are the Arsenal AK's chambered in .223 as reliable as a regular AK? Will they take most any ammo (even wolf?)


Assault rifle? Are you planning to buy a select fire, fully automatic capable carbine?

If not, we should stop throwing around that term where it doesn't need to be used ;) The news already does that enough for us.

July 27, 2007, 11:20 AM
We should refrain from posting about 'assault rifles'. Let Hillary and Schumer call them that but we should know better.

July 27, 2007, 11:23 AM
I'll vote for either a Daewoo K2/DR200 or a Valmet/Galil.

It is interesting to note that both the Daewoo and Galil/Valmet are two of the best folding stocks put on a rifle ever.

Nice things about the Daewoo
Uses M16/AR mags
Good Sights
Setup to have an optic rail mounted directly to the receiver
Gas Piston with adjustable gas valve
Excellent folding stock (DR200 has a thumbhole). When locked up is indistinguishable from a fixed stock.
And yes they are very reliable and don't seem to care about being clean

You think of Daewoo and craptastical cars and TVs come to mind, but their guns are top notch.

I think it would be easier and less expensive to find a decent Daewoo than a Galil. No special mags required. Buy a K2 and then get a DR200 to have for spare parts (if you ever need them).

July 27, 2007, 11:41 AM
Daewoo DR200

only $1,300 (set up with red dot) on Gunbroker.....


July 27, 2007, 11:47 AM
Any bids? That sound "wishful" on the sellers part! :)

July 27, 2007, 12:16 PM
most of those fine sport utility rifles based on the GALIL are going for around $700-$900 around here, yugo AKs are running $600-$700. I went the 7.62 AK and 5.56 20" AR route, my cousin bought a GALIL but if I had it to do over again I would probably have gone for the galil and spent the rest on all that cheap 5.56 ammo 5 years ago. The Daewoo does sound tempting though, havent seen any locally though, and only 1 GALIL presently for sale locally that I am aware of, but they pop up every so often.

July 27, 2007, 12:24 PM
I wouldn't buy any rifle that didn't have a good availability for spare parts. The Daewoo is just a version of the Colt piston rifle they developed in the 1970s. Try to find any parts for one though.

I like the Galil, but if I were shopping for a non-AR STHF rifle, I'd pick an AK. Parts, magazines, proven in combat. What's not to like?

July 27, 2007, 09:16 PM
Truthfully the DR200 is about a $600ish rifle. I bought one for $400 a couple years ago, and have passed up a few right around $600.

I don't understand the high optic rails. I made myself a low one, and a red dot co-witnesses the irons just perfectly.

I put 3000 rounds of mixed headstamp crap through mine with zero cleanings on the lowest gas setting. Not a single issue of any kind.

July 27, 2007, 11:28 PM
I only know what I'm told and my California law makers say anything with a pistol grip is the most deadliest
hope it helped

whoops deadliest reliable sorry

Dave R
July 28, 2007, 03:33 AM
Two pages of posts, and only one person is recommending ARs.


July 28, 2007, 05:30 AM
Going by the definitions of assault and aggravated assault wouldn't it be an aggravated assault rifle. Sorry, I had to go there.

A weapon is only an assault weapon if used for that purpose, so going with that, a sling shot can be an assault weapon or even a straw with spit balls. Can't tell the gun grabbers that though. In my opinion the assault needs to be dropped from weapon descriptions.

OK, back on subject, I believe some of the AR style rifles are very good. Can't say about the arsenal ak in .223 though no experience with them.

July 28, 2007, 09:17 AM
Wrong - it's only an asault rifle if it's a select fire carbine capable of sustaining fully automatic fire.

August 6, 2007, 10:00 AM
BTW, I'm not sure who suggested the FAMAS, but I was not impressed. I'm told the delayed blowback system is barely adequate for 223 pressures as well. Come on guys, this was designed by the same country that gave us the Chauchat.

As soon as I get my web server back online, I'll post some pictures.

As far as the AR, or lack thereof, while most consider the AR15/M16 a fairly reliable system in it's present form, it in no way make the list of 'most reliable' - particularly under difficult conditions.

Deer Hunter
August 6, 2007, 10:16 AM
I converted my saiga for around 375 dollars, and that's including the rifle price. It takes Galil magazines quite easily. The only thing I have to do to the Orlites is dremel off a little bit of shoulder and they fit snug.

The saiga is worth it, and I've never had a problem with it.

Sir Aardvark
August 6, 2007, 07:40 PM
Valmet made AK-47 clones in 5.62

August 6, 2007, 11:54 PM
The sweet spot of reliability, accuracy, durability, and price has got to be the Saiga.

August 6, 2007, 11:57 PM
reliability is pronounced: av-to-MAT kal-ASH-na-kova

August 7, 2007, 05:37 PM
The Mini 14's are accurate enough. I can get 2" to 3" groups with M193 at 100 yards and tighter using Hornady or Sierra handloads. They are not match rifles. I think we have so accepted the fact that bolt actions are so accurate that we hold that standard to Mini's. Byron

August 8, 2007, 01:23 PM
I like the Valmet's and Galil's but dang are they ridiculously spendy. As most reliable and also for bang for the buck I kinda lean to the Daewoo's and the Saiga's myself...heck even if paying substantially more. (I actually do have a couple of the Saigas and a DR-200 with ACE folder.) Many folks make mention about the issue of getting parts for the Daewoo's. Well there are a few AM parts available now and some of the lowers parts are readily adaptable from an AR (FCG ect.) Additionally, I have to say I have NEVER EVER heard of a failure not related to abuse in nearly 15 years. Now obviously they are mechanical and anything mechanical can break down; I'm just saying, that I have never heard of it thus far. If it was for GB Sr...we would still have one one of the best 5.56's built being imported of our closest allies. And...most likely more accessories to go with it.



I don't understand the high optic rails. I made myself a low one, and a red dot co-witnesses the irons just perfectly.

Could you elaborate and or post photo's. Thx,

August 8, 2007, 01:37 PM
I have a Valmet M-71S in .223, it has never given me any problems, it has performed in N. Dakota winters and dusty Arizona summers. And I have run all kinds of ammo through it, from match reloads to "where the *%#@^? did you get these". I've had no FTF or FTE. Additionally I do have the bayonet for it.

August 13, 2007, 08:01 PM
I case you missed my post on the subject, the Century Golani (Galil copy) is not the rifle if you want reliability - at least mine isn't. Bought one on 8/11 and took it out for a test drive 8/12. Could not get through one magaine without multiple stoppages. With one magazine, only the last 3 round fired without having to clear the action. Stove pipes or other stoppage in 30 out 0f 35 rounds.

Field stripped and thotoughly cleaned everything. Oiled everything thoroughly. Tried another magazine. Totally unreliable.

I am disgusted.

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