AR and AK questions!


PDA






Lvl21nerd
August 21, 2010, 07:50 PM
alright i will try to make this as concise as i can

I want a semi-auto rifle, either in AR or AK config, but i dont even know where to begin

i know i want reliability first and foremost, then good sight radius, then widely available mags

i'm leaning toward a lower-end AR in 5.56 (or .223; or are they the same?)

whats a good company to go with? BudsGunShop.com has Doublestar rifles right now for just under $700...seems like the sweet spot for price, but are they ok quality?

local funstore has Rock River rifles (dont know the prices though)
should i look into those instead?

also, whats the best way to get .223/5.56 on the cheap?

If you enjoyed reading about "AR and AK questions!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Zerodefect
August 21, 2010, 08:03 PM
Reliability. Both the AK and AR have plenty, but how much do you need.

I can't speak for AK's. But for Ar's look towards BCM, Colt, LMT, Larue, KAC, Noveske for combat grade reliability.

Lower price point, but most likely still very dependable Ar's: Stag, DD, M&P.

What do you need your AR/AK to do? What preferences do you have?

Reece? (AR with rifle length rails capable of CQB defense and longer ranges or 3 gun)
http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/zzzar.jpg



M4, Kiss? (classic relic, but still respectable, light)
http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/ZZZcolt6920lmt2.jpg



SPR? (precision)
http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/zzzSPR_1_2008.jpg

RuAk
August 21, 2010, 08:12 PM
If you get an AK i think you would be happy. They're definitely more reliable than an AR, fun to shoot, plenty mags and ammo.

If you want a bit more accuracy then go for the AR but the AK is plenty much accurate.

Good AKs: Arsenal, Chinese AK variants, Bulgarians, Polish, Russian Saiga, Lancaster.

All AK's work the same. Some are higher quality than others and you will find some priced high. What your paying for in those high prices is fit and finish and/or collectors value.

Lvl21nerd
August 21, 2010, 08:13 PM
primary use? probably some occasional plinking, and maybe some hunting in the future

primary reason i want to purchase? would be nice to have when SHTF

philpost
August 21, 2010, 08:38 PM
They're both going to be reliable, but an AK will often work when dirtier/less lubricated than an AR; HOWEVER, I'm not saying AR's are all delicate and tempramental like some AK lovers will. Sight radius is better on an AR, and mags are widely available for both. I went through a lot of research and soul-searching, and opted for an Arsenal SGL-20 AK. I like it a lot, and something about it just grabbed me when I picked it up. If I was doing more longer-range shooting (2-300 yds), I might have gone for the AR, but I'm really happy with what I got. Plus, you can get a top of the line AK for the same price as a bottom of the line AR. You used to hear a lot of "If the SHTF, you want your ammo/mags to be interchangeable with Nat. Guard/Police", but after Katrina that all went out the window- best case you got nothing, worst case you got disarmed. One other factor is that Russian ammo is cheap - as low as $3.59 a box.

BigDeesul
August 21, 2010, 08:56 PM
Rather than an AR, or an AK, I'd recommend an SKS. The feel, operation, and reliability are similar to the AK, but the SKS is more accurate and is a much better design IMHO. It's made of steel, not stamped sheetmetal like the AK's. You can pick up and un-fired SKS for around $300, and accessorize it with ATI furniture, and have a very tough, reliable and accurate weapon for under $500. If you're dead-set on an AR, I'd recommend building your own. Check out http://www.ar15-kits.com. They've got some great stuff at great prices. You could build a custom AR exactly the way you want it for way cheaper, and most likely much better parts, than a factory gun. I think everyone should own an AK, but unless you spend the money on a custom one with a milled receiver and high quality parts (which would be in the AR price range anyway), they're really only really good for a fun or SHTF gun, in my opinion. We don't live in a third world country where you'll be pissing your gun clean, so I'd recommend a more accurate weapon with tighter tolerances. If you've got the money, get a gas piston AR. Otherwise get an SKS.

Justin
August 21, 2010, 09:05 PM
Many, many people have run AR15s much harder than just "occasional plinking and maybe some hunting..." with no reliability issues.

The AR is, on balance, a much more robust platform than the AK, and in the long run, the better design to choose.

Girodin
August 21, 2010, 09:11 PM
know i want reliability first and foremost,

i'm leaning toward a lower-end AR in 5.56 (or .223; or are they the same?)

Some people may take exception to what I am going to say but it is merely my opinion based on what I have seen so take it for what it is. If reliability is your highest priority a lower end AR is not the best place to look. ARs are much more reliable than many poorly informed sources would have you believe but it does require that the design be executed properly. The purchase price of the firearm is a one time expense and given the price of 5.56 ammo sweating a few hundred dollars in the purchase price is silly if spending it will genuinely get you a better product and ultimately some what of false economy if you wind up with something you are unhappy with.

I'd look a little higher on the AR spectrum something like a Noveske or a BCM.

A Noveske while not super cheap is reliable, durable, and more accurate than most people can make use of. It may well be over kill for plinking but if your highest priority truly is reliability (particularly under hard use) it is IMHO a better choice than a low end AR.

primary use? probably some occasional plinking, and maybe some hunting in the future

What specifically will you be hunting. That might be an outcome determinative factor alone. Varmints call for some accuracy. In some states .223 is not legal to use on larger game.

For plinking either an AR or and AK is fun IMO. I can find 7.62x39 cheaper and an AK for plinking duty can be had much cheaper than an AR. For plinking my Noveske doesn't really out preform a Wasr 10. For me when I hear plinking I think going out and shooting just for fun so if one would be more fun then go that way.

If the gun is mostly just to have for comfort on the off chance social order breaks down then either will do as well. The AK is cheaper and what ever quantity of ammo makes you feel safe will come cheaper as well.

Mags for ARs, 7.62x39 Aks, and 5.45 AKs are very widely available. Not enough of a difference to sway things one way or another IMO.

Given your stated requirements there are AR and AK rifles that will do what you ask.

Honestly, if it is just for plinking and having it around just in case a WASR10 will do that and for $700 you can have the rifle a stack of mags and 1K+ rounds.

If carbine courses or serious varmint hunting, or other specific tasks that mandates requirements above reliability and accuracy to make com shots out to 200 meters are in your future or you want to have cooler toy than a WASR then save up and get a nicer AR.

cbrgator
August 21, 2010, 09:21 PM
If you want a reliable AR that won't break the bank, look into a Stag Model 2. It's a good, simple, optics ready rifle. If you want assured quality/reliability for a few extra hundred bucks, get the Colt 6920.

Girodin
August 21, 2010, 09:46 PM
, but unless you spend the money on a custom one with a milled receiver and high quality parts (which would be in the AR price range anyway), they're really only really good for a fun or SHTF gun,

What exactly will a milled receiver gun do that a converted stamped saiga (or similar gun) wont?

mini14gb
August 21, 2010, 09:49 PM
I have a Smith and Wesson M&P-15 which is their version of an AR-15 (M4-A3) and it has been flawless. No reason to spend Noveske kind of money IMO. I paid $899.99 for my Smith and Wesson.

Here is a link to a video on YouTube of a guy shooting hogs from a helicopter using a Smith and Wesson M&P-15.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiHmYsyVniE

Guns and more
August 21, 2010, 09:54 PM
AR. It's America's rifle.

I would recommend a web site. I learned more common sense here than everywhere combined.

http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?81462-So-you-want-to-buy-an-AR-15-huh

It's aimed at cops, but it's good reading.
AR-15 forum has too much technical information for the first time shopper.
I ended up with a Colt, but that isn't the gun the cop recommended. But I know why I did it.
..........and I'm very happy with it.

noyes
August 21, 2010, 10:19 PM
Cheap Wasr
230 yard shots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwMmhSWRu3Q

AR's are barely o.k. i.m.o.
tiny little parts , not the best design for a rifle i.m.o.

Girodin
August 21, 2010, 10:26 PM
No reason to spend Noveske kind of money IMO. I paid $899.99 for my Smith and Wesson.

For many users I agree. If you are after maximum reliability under harsh conditions, say shooting a carbine course with a suppressor attached or if you are after maximum accuracy from a fighting gun then there probably is. FWIW I paid a little over $1k for my Noveske upper and the complete lower I put it on. Granted I was able to get good prices but we aren't talking very much price difference at all. Although it should be noted that S&W ARs were selling for much less than $899 recently as well.

In sum, for many people the price difference gets them little more than a name. But if one is after ultimate hard use reliability then the extra money might be well spent.

As an aside I have to smile when people state that their weapon has been "flawless" without stating in anyway how they have used it. There is a big difference between, "I shot 75 rounds of slow fire at the indoor range and I completed a three day 2K round count carbine course with my suppressor attached. When people tout a weapon as flawless it is nice to know how they use it.

ThePunisher'sArmory
August 21, 2010, 10:28 PM
"local funstore has Rock River rifles (dont know the prices though)"

I'm just guessing but by your location, the lack of prices, and mainly RRA rifles are you refering to Belleville Shooting Range? If so stay away they are way overpriced and "know everything.":rolleyes: As for your question I would go with the AR platform I bought my first, two years ago and I am now addicted!!! I'm on my second that I just pieced together. LEGOs FOR BIG BOYS!! :D

BigDeesul
August 21, 2010, 10:37 PM
What exactly will a milled receiver gun do that a converted stamped saiga (or similar gun) wont?
Stamped are cheap. It's not what a milled receiver will do, it's what they won't do, which is warp, bend, loosen, etc. You can build a custom AK with much tighter tolerances with a milled receiver than a stamped one. AK's obviously are a great weapon due to simplicity, reliability and price, but they're also crappy, flimsy, and cheap. Do you own one? I'd rather have an SKS than an AK.

mini14gb
August 21, 2010, 10:38 PM
As an aside I have to smile when people state that their weapon has been "flawless" without stating in anyway how they have used it. There is a big difference between, "I shot 75 rounds of slow fire at the indoor range and I completed a three day 2K round count carbine course with my suppressor attached. When people tout a weapon as flawless it is nice to know how they use it.

I've shot a local carbine course at Western Montana Shooting Sports and it did just fine. I'm sure Smith and Wesson is producing a Mil-Spec weapon unlike some others who claim to be Mil-Spec but are anything but.

Although it should be noted that S&W ARs were selling for much less than $899 recently as well.

It depends on what you order with you rifle. Your writing has a note of sensitivity in it as if your pissed. As though I got screwed by paying to much or that I'm not a "real" weapons user so I'm not qualified to comment. I'm didn't mean to offend you if I somehow did.

taliv
August 21, 2010, 10:52 PM
the forums.officer.com advice has improved since the last time i read it a few years ago. it seems he updated it to provide mostly similar info to rob_s' infamous chart discussion, but he also expands the scope considerably past the chart which is limited to M4. many sections are pretty much in line with what you hear from carbine class instructors, but other sections are dismal. e.g. calling MPI and shotpeening 'voodoo', and saying he doesn't know of a bolt that failed the test. where exactly does he think gunshows, bushamster and RRA get all their bolts?

he's also wrong about staking castle nuts and the color of extractor inserts. but overall, it's not a bad writeup.

95cougar
August 21, 2010, 10:52 PM
A lot of good things have already been stated.

Ultimately, you need to pick what will work best for you. Before you jump on one bandwagon or the other based on internet advice, you should probably handle both weapons to get a good idea of what fits you best/feels right. I would even go so far as to try and find a local range that rents a variety of rifles to try both types. If you have a friend/relative willing to let you shoot his/her rifle, even better.

What type of ammo do you plan to buy/have available? If you plan to shoot only cheap steel case, you may want to factor this into your decision as some platforms work better with this ammo type than others. Do you want caliber flexibility? If so, the AR offers different options (.22LR, 5.45x39, etc.), albeit at additional cost.

One final bit of unwanted advice- there are a lot of alternative .223/5.56 rifles out there under $700 (used or new) that may better fit your needs than strictly an AR or AK (Mini 14, Daewoo DR200, AR180B, Golani, Century C93, etc.)

Good luck in your decision.

Tirod
August 21, 2010, 11:11 PM
The major reason the AK has a reputation for reliability is the magazines. The major reason the AR has a reputation for unreliability is the magazines.

Kalashnikov designed the magazine to be a highly reliable feeder of ammunition. It's curved to match the taper of the case, has machined steel feed lips, and a robust construction that can survive vehicles driving over them. Stoner's team accepted the concept of a disposable 20 round stamped aluminum magazine that could be shipped loaded direct to the soldier. The AR has a straight mag well as a result, and 30 round magazines have to be doglegged in the follower travel to feed, and can be damaged if dropped on the feed lips when fully loaded.

The rest of the AK design is third world, and based on 1940's technology and ergonomics. A fixed bolt handle on the right forces the trigger hand to be used, the safety has to be off to charge the weapon, and there's no bolt hold open, which forces the user to not only load the magazine against the bolt, but then charge it against the pressure of the fully loaded magazine spring.

The AR has an ambidextrous charging handle, but that still requires the users trigger hand. The safety can be placed on next, securing the trigger from accidental discharge, the magazine loaded without the bolt in the way, the bolt dropped to charge the chamber without struggling to pull it back over a fully loaded magazine.

The barrel on the AK has a gas mounted piston, which stresses it when charged and bends it, but in normal operation, it's not significant. During the action cycle, as the case is extracted, gas flows into the action in minor amounts. The barrel on the AR has a gas block which directs gas into the chamber of the bolt carrier group, which expands and directs gas out the two holds in the side, where it escapes through the ejection port - because after the first shot, the cover is open. As the gas tube is exposed from the rearward moving BCG, it has residual discharge which strikes the upper part of the action. . Once the case begins extraction - just like the AK- gas is pushed out the barrel and coats the lower part of the action.

Both actions release gas from the chamber, and both actions eject dirty brass. Don't let the less informed spout old wive's tales about it.

The AK was made with a removable cover over the bolt, which prevents mounting optics at the rear of the receiver. The AR is made with a rail that extends to within an inch of the users nose, when placed on the charging handle. Getting appropriate eye relief or using a red dot with a co witness iron sight is only possible with the AR.

As for the rest, if an option exists for the AK, it was likely designed for the AR first, and used first, in combat. Reliability is good for either, but using either means choosing one that an user can operate reliably - without charging with the safety off against a fully loaded magazine.

We haven't even got to caliber - .30-30 looper, or high speed flat shooting.

Better off with the rifle pro's use.

Zerodefect
August 21, 2010, 11:15 PM
If you want a reliable AR that won't break the bank, look into a Stag Model 2. It's a good, simple, optics ready rifle. If you want assured quality/reliability for a few extra hundred bucks, get the Colt 6920.

This.

AK103K
August 21, 2010, 11:18 PM
As an aside I have to smile when people state that their weapon has been "flawless" without stating in anyway how they have used it. There is a big difference between, "I shot 75 rounds of slow fire at the indoor range and I completed a three day 2K round count carbine course with my suppressor attached. When people tout a weapon as flawless it is nice to know how they use it.
Very good point.

I've got an old SP1 I bought back in '74 that has who knows how many tens of thousands of rounds through it at this point, might even be in the hundreds, who knows, and I cant ever remembering it having a stoppage, though I'm sure it has. At least none were memorable. It has often been shot by a number of people, to the point of being so hot you could not touch bare metal on the barrel and other parts of the upper, and was uncomfortable to hold. It would only be allowed to cool enough that it was somewhat comfortable again, and it was back to blasting. Many times it had more than a case through it at an outing, and sometimes two. Its been maintained and cleaned after every outing, and it just keeps on chugging along. At this point, so far, nothing has broken, and nothing has been replaced.

I have (well, my kid has it now) a Bushy Dissapator that is nothing like the Colt. Its had lots of troubles and is also the least accurate AR I've ever owned. For quite awhile, it was a great "stoppage drill" gun, but I think we have most of the quirks worn out of it now. Still, its not all that accurate, or at least as AR's usually go. Its also had a number of small parts replaced.

My Armalites have always run like my Colt, and I think they are right up there with it in quality and workmanship.

Other than the Bushy, the only problems I've really had with the AR's has been with "home built" guns, and they, like the home built AK's, are something I stay away from now. Just not worth the aggravation to me. Personally, if I were to buy another, I'd stick to the Colts and Armalites, but thats just whats worked best for me up til now. Not saying others are not as good, but I think you tend to go with what works best for you. At this point, I dont want to waste any more time and money "experimenting".



What exactly will a milled receiver gun do that a converted stamped saiga (or similar gun) wont?
Nothing.

They only made "real" AK's with milled receivers for a short time. If they were really that much better, they'd still be making them that way.

The stamped guns work and shoot just fine.

AK's obviously are a great weapon due to simplicity, reliability and price, but they're also crappy, flimsy, and cheap. Do you own one? I'd rather have an SKS than an AK.
You obviously dont own an AK by your comments, or have much experience with one.

I have both AK's and SKS's, and the AK is by far the better choice, no matter what you do to "try" and improve the SKS.



Oh, and since were talking about both, two of the biggest internet myths that continue to be perpetuated are...."The AK's are inaccurate, and the AR's are unreliable". Of course, NEVER, is the operator ever at fault, in any case. :)

nalioth
August 21, 2010, 11:21 PM
What exactly will a milled receiver gun do that a converted stamped saiga (or similar gun) wont?
Stamped are cheap. It's not what a milled receiver will do, it's what they won't do, which is warp, bend, loosen, etc. You can build a custom AK with much tighter tolerances with a milled receiver than a stamped one. AK's obviously are a great weapon due to simplicity, reliability and price, but they're also crappy, flimsy, and cheap. Do you own one? I'd rather have an SKS than an AK.Ah, my friend, how misled you are (The kool-aid is tasty, isn't it?).

Please review the available slo-mo videos showing the milled receiver guns in action, and tell us they don't "flex, warp or bend" during firing.

While you're there, let us know about all those "crappy, flimsy and cheap" stamped AKs that have been in constant use since 1959 in many third-world countries (If they're so bad, why are they still functional?).

As far as "an AK with tighter tolerances", you've missed the point of it's design entirely. The beauty of the AK is it's loose tolerances. it's not a precision rifle, nor was it designed to be.

bri
August 21, 2010, 11:22 PM
For a quality AR at a good price, check out the spikes mid-length (longer sight radius than carbine length). $800.

For a quality AK, check out the offerings from Arsenal (new, Russian builds) or just go for a WASR 10 if you can look it over in person. $700 and $400, respectively...

BigDeesul
August 21, 2010, 11:33 PM
Very good point.

I've got an old SP1 I bought back in '74 that has who knows how many tens of thousands of rounds through it at this point, might even be in the hundreds, who knows, and I cant ever remembering it having a stoppage, though I'm sure it has. At least none were memorable. It has often been shot by a number of people, to the point of being so hot you could not touch bare metal on the barrel and other parts of the upper, and was uncomfortable to hold. It would only be allowed to cool enough that it was somewhat comfortable again, and it was back to blasting. Many times it had more than a case through it at an outing, and sometimes two. Its been maintained and cleaned after every outing, and it just keeps on chugging along. At this point, so far, nothing has broken, and nothing has been replaced.

I have (well, my kid has it now) a Bushy Dissapator that is nothing like the Colt. Its had lots of troubles and is also the least accurate AR I've ever owned. For quite awhile, it was a great "stoppage drill" gun, but I think we have most of the quirks worn out of it now. Still, its not all that accurate, or at least as AR's usually go. Its also had a number of small parts replaced.

My Armalites have always run like my Colt, and I think they are right up there with it in quality and workmanship.

Other than the Bushy, the only problems I've really had with the AR's has been with "home built" guns, and they, like the home built AK's, are something I stay away from now. Just not worth the aggravation to me. Personally, if I were to buy another, I'd stick to the Colts and Armalites, but thats just whats worked best for me up til now. Not saying others are not as good, but I think you tend to go with what works best for you. At this point, I dont want to waste any more time and money "experimenting".




Nothing.

They only made "real" AK's with milled receivers for a short time. If they were really that much better, they'd still be making them that way.

The stamped guns work and shoot just fine.


You obviously dont own an AK by your comments, or have much experience with one.

I have both AK's and SKS's, and the AK is by far the better choice, no matter what you do to "try" and improve the SKS.



Oh, and since were talking about both, two of the biggest internet myths that continue to be perpetuated are...."The AK's are inaccurate, and the AR's are unreliable". Of course, NEVER, is the operator ever at fault, in any case. :)
I do own both, and the AK is in NO WAY the better choice, unless you do not plan on EVER cleaning your weapon. Please don't tell me what I do or do not own, as you do not know what you are talking about.

There's nothing you have to do to improve the SKS. The SKS is by far a superior weapon and design. Unfortunately the SKS costs a lot more to manufacture.

Obviously the only reason they switched to the stamped receivers is ease and cost of manufacture. Compare the materials and labor that goes into milling a receiver as compared to stamping and bending a peice of sheet metal with some holes drilled in it. The stamped guns do work and shoot just fine. Like I said the AK is a great fun or SHTF gun, and everyone should have one.

You obviously don't own an SKS by your comments, or have much experience with one. If you did, you'd know the obvious advantages of the SKS over the AK. The only reason the AK is more popular is ease and price of manufacture.

Just why do you think the AK is so much better?

BigDeesul
August 21, 2010, 11:40 PM
Ah, my friend, how misled you are (The kool-aid is tasty, isn't it?).

Please review the available slo-mo videos showing the milled receiver guns in action, and tell us they don't "flex, warp or bend" during firing.

While you're there, let us know about all those "crappy, flimsy and cheap" stamped AKs that have been in constant use since 1959 in many third-world countries (If they're so bad, why are they still functional?).

As far as "an AK with tighter tolerances", you've missed the point of it's design entirely. The beauty of the AK is it's loose tolerances. it's not a precision rifle, nor was it designed to be.
I like how you added in the "during firing" at the end of the sentence. I never said anything about during firing. All guns flex during firing. I mean the loose stamped AK's can be bent and tossed, and hammered back, and the accuracy is still just as crappy. Great for fun or plinking, or spray and pray, but not much else.

They're still in use because of their looseness and reliabilty. If you remember what this thread is about, and the reasons the OP will use the weapon, I don't think he lives in the desert and going to piss the weapon clean and Use animal fat to lube it.

It's funny how everyone gets soooo defensive about their beloved AK's.

I'm just stating the facts people.

BigDeesul
August 21, 2010, 11:45 PM
For a quality AR at a good price, check out the spikes mid-length (longer sight radius than carbine length). $800.

For a quality AK, check out the offerings from Arsenal (new, Russian builds) or just go for a WASR 10 if you can look it over in person. $700 and $400, respectively...
It's very good to see someone knows what a quality weapon is!!

Bri, you hit it on the head. The Arsenal AK's are very high quality. Thought about picking one up myself, but decided to build a custom one on my own.

migkillertwo
August 22, 2010, 12:15 AM
Good AK? Saiga conversion, WASR-10/WASR-2, or an Arsenal.

Good "low-end" AR? I've heard great things about CMMG's Bargain bin rifles. The ones with nitrided barrels are 599, and the Chrome-lined barrels are 650$

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 01:01 AM
It depends on what you order with you rifle. Your writing has a note of sensitivity in it as if your pissed. As though I got screwed by paying to much or that I'm not a "real" weapons user so I'm not qualified to comment. I'm didn't mean to offend you if I somehow did.

No sensitivity on my end. Your response might be projecting some onto me, I'm not sure. My post was merely pointing out that it is useful to know how one uses their weapon when they claim its been flawless. Sans such info it is a next to worthless comment. I was also simply trying to be as forthright as possible about the price difference. Like I say for many a SW might just be fine. For me and my uses e.g. shooting high round counts with a suppressor and my desires extreme reliability, durability and accuracy I believe their are better choices. That is not a value judgment of me or anyone else. Its selecting equipment to meet my needs nothing more. If that offends your or makes you feel like I'm putting down your stuff then I'm sorry.

It's not what a milled receiver will do, it's what they won't do, which is warp, bend, loosen, etc. You can build a custom AK with much tighter tolerances with a milled receiver than a stamped one. AK's obviously are a great weapon due to simplicity, reliability and price, but they're also crappy, flimsy, and cheap.

Lets prented that milled receivers didn't flex (they do). So what? My original question stands. In terms of function what does that allow a milled gun to do that a stamped wont? People say a milled is more durable. I've never seen compelling evidence that this is really true but for the sake of argument lets say it is. Have you ever known anyone to destroy their stamped receiver through use? Have you known stamped receivers to have durability problems?

Some say that milled are more accurate. This claim is probably mostly theory. I've never seen any real evidence to bear it out, particularly anything that attempts to isolate that factor. Even if it were taken as true that a milled receiver is more accurate most people shoot cheap ammo through their AKs which, along with the shooter, is most likely the limiting factor. With open sights and shooting from field positions I can not take full advantage of the accuracy of a number of my AKs (or my AR although the sights are less of a limiting factor). I cannot think of a task that I would imagine a milled gun would better than a newly produced Russian stamped gun like a converted saiga. A milled gun in practical terms really only offers more weight IMO. You will notice that if you have to carry it much.

They only made "real" AK's with milled receivers for a short time. If they were really that much better, they'd still be making them that way.

Stamped receivers are cheaper and much more efficient to make. That is the major reason to stamp them.

Obviously the only reason they switched to the stamped receivers is ease and cost of manufacture. Compare the materials and labor that goes into milling a receiver as compared to stamping and bending a peice of sheet metal with some holes drilled in it. The stamped guns do work and shoot just fine. Like I said the AK is a great fun or SHTF gun, and everyone should have one.

It might be more accurate to say switched back to stamping them.

Do you own one? [referring to AKs?]

I currently own 7, mostly saigas at this point. I've had others in the past that I no longer own as well.


There's nothing you have to do to improve the SKS. The SKS is by far a superior weapon and design.

Yes that is why so many modern weapons have integrated stripper clips into the design and limited their capacity to ten rounds. As to SKS with removable mags I've been less than impressed with the reliability I've seen from them. I like an SKS but as a combat weapon I would much rather have an AK. Interestingly I haven't seen a single contractor over seas with a SKS in their hands. I've seen a bunch with AKs. Interesting that these people who are actually in harms way went with the AK not an SKS.

Just why do you think the AK is so much better?

Both can make COM shots out to 200 yard without much trouble so there is no practical accuracy advantage to either.

Both are pretty reliable guns in my experience. Although I have seen slam fire issues in SKS several times.

Where the AK would offer real advantages to me is:

1) Magazine capacity: ten rounds in a stripper clip is not as good as 30+ in a box mag IMHO. Again I've seen reliability issues with removable mag SKSs maybe a mag issue I'm not sure but I've seen it on multiple guns.

2) Weight: An AKM is apox 2 lbs lighter. That is not an insignificant amount of weight.

3) Simplicity of design.

4) Available in calibers that might be preferable to x39 for a given task

5) Parts and accessories


Great for fun or plinking, or spray and pray, but not much else.


I'll ask the same question again that you have never really answered. What task does the milled gun do, what is it good for, that a stamped isn't?

I'm just stating the facts people.

I'd call them gross generalizations asserted without evidence more than I'd call them facts. Statements like stamped AKs have "crappy" accuracy are not universal facts.

The Arsenal AK's are very high quality.

But I thought you said:

loose stamped AK's can be bent and tossed, and hammered back, and the accuracy is still just as crappy. Great for fun or plinking, or spray and pray, but not much else.

The Arsenal AK's are very high quality.

In what way is an Arsenal functionally superior to a basic home conversion Saiga? Since they are "very high quality" this should be a simple question.

AK103K
August 22, 2010, 01:31 AM
Just why do you think the AK is so much better?
For all the same reasons the AK's replaced the SKS.

For a couple, 30 round detachable mags, no strippers to deal with, a selector switch, a handier, more usable configuration, the availability of a zero repeatable mount, and the ability to put various optics on the gun, including a red dot. Should I go on?

There's nothing you have to do to improve the SKS.
Really? And who pray tell typed this? (hint? Post #6 )

".....You can pick up and un-fired SKS for around $300, and accessorize it with ATI furniture, and have a very tough, reliable and accurate weapon for under $500."

If it needs no improvement, why are you advocating doing so?


You obviously don't own an SKS by your comments, or have much experience with one.
Actually, as I stated earlier, I have a couple, a nice Russian Tula, and a plain Jane Norinco. I have a real good idea as to what and what not they are capable of, and from a realistic use standpoint too, not just from leisurely shooting them off a bench at bullseye targets at the range, which more often than not, seems to be the depth of experience of many, with any of them.

If anything, from your comments, I have to question just how much real time experience you really have with either, if you really think the SKS is so superior.

Perhaps in your case, the fact that your AK is a "home built", just makes my previous point as to why I wont own another, and why you might think the SKS is better.


I always love it when someone comes up with the argument that the "old" guns were always SO much more superior than what replaced them, when the countries that issued them, ours included, have moved on to bigger and better things, and usually with multiple decades of time passed since the changes. Even though time and technology have moved on, some people just cant, or wont.

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 01:53 AM
Some people like cheap crap, others like precision machined, well built weapons. I think there's been enough thread-jacking tonight.

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 02:12 AM
Some people like cheap crap, others like precision machined, well built weapons.

Its kind of funny calling an AK cheap crap copared to an SKS since the SKS is currently the cheaper weapon.

Seriously, why can't you answer any of the legitimate question posed to you above instead of ducking them and falling back to just saying something is crap? As articulate and convincing of an argument as that is I'd really like to hear something more concrete.

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 03:09 AM
I didn't mean the AK is cheap crap as compared to the SKS, I was simply referring to the stamped/milled argument. SKS being a better weapon is my personal preference, and is based on the heavy rigid design, longer barrel and greater accuracy. Also used with detatchable mags, I beleive it is a better weapon. Coming from me, who likes to simply shoot, rapidly, slowly, accurately, spraying the plinking pit, all around shooting.

This is why AK's with a milled receiver are better than the stamped variants. Even more so with the modern CNC milled receivers made in the US. I don't understand what the problem is? I've never had anyone disagree with the fact that a milled AK is better than a stamped one. Weird, I tells ya.

The trunion is riveted into the sheet metal receivers, and the barrel is installed in the trunion. The barrel goes right into the milled receiver, there's no transition part, which tends to allow movement where the trunion is attached to the receiver, causing the barrel to move.

Milled receivers are more solid, without the rivets and welds, etc. Stamped receivers are weaker. They can twist and warp with stress. Rivets, welds and screws can work loose.

advantages of milled receivers over stamped:

1. Rigidity.

2. Strength. Considerably more tensile, shear, cross stress strength. Milled, forged steel is just plain stronger and more durable than any stamped assembly (regardless of how “thick” the stamping is).

3. Part/action alignment. The part and action alignment is consistent throughout the life cycle of the rifle. Being milled from one piece, there is nothing in the frame to loosen or shift out of alignment.

4. Much more stable platform. Fixed mating surfaces ensure alignment and function.

5. Longer service life. Stronger, more rigid, consistently aligned frame retards part wear and extends service life of action parts.

I've stated that the milled receivers are tighter, more rigid, and more accurate, you just for some reason fail to beleive it. If you like stamped receivers, please stick with them and leave me alone. If you cannot understand the facts it's not my problem.

rd2007
August 22, 2010, 03:24 AM
I would start with an affordable AK. That is the lowest amount of funds up front and will give you an idea as to whether or not you want to continue the addiction. I'm still deciding whether or not I want to get an AR and if I do, it'll probably be a SIG 556, which isn't actually an AR.
If you go the AR route, I would look at the starter S&W M&P 15s. They still have the $100 rebate going and are pretty sweet. My son has the optics ready version and it is nice. However, if the SHTF, I'm reaching for my AK and G19...

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 03:33 AM
I want you to back up your claim that there is a task that a milled receiver gun is god for that a stamped receiver gun is unsuitable for. You made/insinuated that claim repeatedly. Please tell me what it is.

Thus, I'll ask the same question again that you have never really answered. What task does the milled gun do, what is it good for, that a stamped isn't?

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 03:35 AM
I didn't mean the AK is cheap crap as compared to the SKS, I was simply referring to the stamped/milled argument

Oh so you were calling the Arsenal guns that you previously praised cheap crap. Sorry I can't keep up with your logic.

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 03:44 AM
It is good for accuracy and reliability, for fit and finish. I answered the question in the first place. It's not what the Milled receiver does, it's what it doesn't do. I don't think that a particular task matters. How about the task of the barrel staying tight and not moving? The task of being a forged, machined weapon. Extra weight makes for less recoil, making it easier to stay on target for faster follow up shots.

I never made a "claim that there is a task that a milled receiver gun is good for that a stamped receiver gun is unsuitable for." I simply stated that the milled receiver AK is a better, more solid and well made weapon. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth. I've proven my point. It's all common sense.

You keep bringing up moot points. Please stop badgering me. Enjoy your stamped AK and stop hijacking the OP's thread. It's disrespectful.

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 03:47 AM
Oh so you were calling the Arsenal guns that you previously praised cheap crap. Sorry I can't keep up with your logic.
No, I obviously meant the arsenal Milled receiver variants. The stamped Arsenals are also a quality gun. You're obviously trying very hard to keep up with any logic that's not your own. Would you like me to explain anything else?

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 03:52 AM
My apologies to the OP. In no way did I want my post to turn into a pissing match about receivers.

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 04:30 AM
I've stated that the milled receivers are tighter, more rigid, and more accurate, you just for some reason fail to beleive it.
If you read what I wrote you would know that what I do not believe is that any of that translates into any practical advantage. Perhaps you can plagiarize something addressing that point.

advantages of milled receivers over stamped:

1. Rigidity.

2. Strength. Considerably more tensile, shear, cross stress strength. Milled, forged steel is just plain stronger and more durable than any stamped assembly (regardless of how “thick” the stamping is).

3. Part/action alignment. The part and action alignment is consistent throughout the life cycle of the rifle. Being milled from one piece, there is nothing in the frame to loosen or shift out of alignment.

4. Much more stable platform. Fixed mating surfaces ensure alignment and function.

You are describing attributes and then making an a priori assumption that said attributes are better with out really speaking to why they are better. I guess it shouldn't suprise me that your response is not tailored to address that point since you plagerized the above lol.

If one were to try to summarize why those attributes are superior they might simply say that a milled gun offers a longer service life (point 5 of your copy and pasted reply) and is more accurate. I asked about what practical advantage existed. So lets treat those two points in turn and see if there genuinely is a practical advantage, ok?

Service life. Let take as our starting point that milled receivers have a longer service life and are generally more durable. Does that offer a practical advantage? Do you know of stamped receivers failing? Do stamped receivers exhibit an unacceptably short service life? The fact is one can put tens of thousands of rounds through a stamped receiver. Most users will never wear one out. Even if they did there is another consideration. The cost of a stamped receiver versus a milled one. A stamped is much less expensive. Given the cost to manufacture or buy each one could replace the stamped receiver multiple times. Thus where is the real practical advantage? There really isn't one. Thing A being more durable than thing B doesn't matter if you are never going to wear either one out. It matters even less when the cost of thing B and a couple replacements is less than thing A.

Accuracy
Some say that milled are more accurate. This claim is probably mostly theory. I've never seen any real evidence to bear it out, particularly anything that attempts to isolate receivers as the variable. Even if it were taken as true that a milled receiver is more accurate we are wanting to know if there is a practical advantage held by the milled receiver. The first question is how much more accurate is the milled gun? Most people who claim they are more accurate only try to claim that it is slight. We are not talking about the milled gun being sub MOA or even 1 MOA and the stamped gun being 4 MOA. I am not aware of any data that can reasonably show what difference can be attributed to a milled receiver. The state of the bore/crown on an individual gun is likely to account for much more. A stamped gun can be a 2 MOA gun fairly easily and I have seen stamped guns with hand loads, scopes, and a bench do better than that. What kind of accuracy do you think can reasonably be expected from a milled gun? They aren’t MOA guns. Further most people shoot cheap ammo through their AKs which, along with the shooter, is most likely the limiting factor. All the surplus ammo I have shot (i.e. what militaries are feeding AKs) is far from match grade ammo. It doesn’t matter if you have a custom bolt gun with a Krieger barrel if you are putting crappy inconsistent ammo through it. The mechanical accuracy of the rifle is only one factor.
Further with an AKs open sights and/or shooting from field positions most shooters cannot take full advantage of the accuracy of a stamped AK. If the mechanical accuracy of the weapon is not the limiting factor what practical advantage is gained by an increase in the weapons mechanical accuracy, particularly a relatively slight one? So if you are going to shoot hand loaded ammo, with a scope, from a bench a milled gun might offer a slight advantage in accuracy that would show up one paper with nice inch marked squares on it. If you are going to use it as the OP states in the one thread or as weapon (the topic in the other) there is no practical accuracy advantage to a milled gun. A milled gun in practical terms really only offers more weight IMO.

Thus the question that I asked remains unanswered. What practical advantage does a milled gun have? I’ll also repete the other question you do not want to or cannot answer; what task does the milled gun do, what is it good for, that a stamped gun isn't?

Maybe you can find something else to plagiarize in order to answer those questions.

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 04:34 AM
The stamped Arsenals are also a quality gun.

Doesn't that contradict your previous statements e.g. "Some people like cheap crap". That receiver is nothing more or less than what you were bashing before.

Would you like me to explain anything else?

In addition to all the questions you haven't answered? Why yes, please explain why an arsenal stamped gun is a nice gun but the others mentioned in this thread qualify as cheap crap. If it is fit and finish I suggest you examine more Arsenals. Further, is pretty really the measure of whether an AK weapon is crap or not? If so it is a pretty poor measure. Its accuracy? On average an arsenal is not any more accurate than a saiga.

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 04:45 AM
How about the below from post 26. This seemed to insinuate that the milled gun could do more? Is that not what you were getting at?

I mean the loose stamped AK's can be bent and tossed, and hammered back, and the accuracy is still just as crappy. Great for fun or plinking, or spray and pray, but not much else.


How about the task of the barrel staying tight and not moving? The task of being a forged, machined weapon. Extra weight makes for less recoil, making it easier to stay on target for faster follow up shots.

If those things do not result in some noticeable difference in the operation of the weapon then why do they matter in the least? And to think that you say I am bringing up moot points that is rather ironic. I'd like to see evidence supported by a shot timer that a milled gun offers faster follow ups. But if theory is adequate then more weight makes it slower to get to target, harder to stay steady on target and slower to transition to target. Oh and you have to carry it around.

If I understand your latest comments they can be summerized as follows. The milled receiver AK is a better, more solid and well made weapon, just not in anyway that really makes a difference. Common sense indeed and an interesting definition of better.

Alex45ACP
August 22, 2010, 06:04 AM
I prefer the AK platform over the AR. I bought and tried both, and made the decision by asking myself this question: "Armed men are coming to kill you, they will be here in 30 seconds and you can choose between an AR or an AK to defend yourself, which do you pick?". I'd pick the AK in 7.62x39 every time. I believe most people would too if they were really honest with themselves.

The AK is more reliable, it is accurate enough inside the ranges I'll ever use it in combat (inside 100 meters, probably within 5 meters, but can be used out to ~300 meters if necessary, not that it ever will be), and since people tend to hide behind things when you shoot at them, I prefer the larger round for punching through walls, car doors, etc if I need to.

I think the ergonomics issue is overblown, and actually prefer some things about the ergonomics of the AK. Yes, you can flip the safety off on the AR without moving your firing hand, but I've never been sure why that's an issue. I don't plan to be running around switching the safety on and off constantly. In fact I carry a Glock that has no safety at all. If I need to use the rifle in self defense I'll leave the safety off until I'm done using it.

I prefer the right side charging handle location on the AK to the awkward location on the AR. I also prefer rocking the magazines into an AK rather than slapping them into the AR because that way I'm sure the magazine is locked in place.

ARs can be reliable... if you use the right ammo, the right magazines, the right lube, etc. Too many things to go wrong. The last thing I want is to be trying to clear a jam while bullets are flying at me or someone is bearing down on me with a knife. AKs rarely jam, and when they do the procedure for clearing them is much simpler and faster than with an AR.

(Anecdote: After reading on here and other sites about how ARs are reliable, the reliability thing is overblown, etc. I went ahead and bought one from a reputable company. Got good magazines, lubed it up, went to the range, and the thing jams on the very first round, with the extractor tearing the rim off the case and leaving it jammed in the chamber, requiring a cleaning rod to get it out. Had the same problem with different ammo, etc. I feel like I was burned by buying into the AR apologists rhetoric... I'll stick with my AK (which has never had a single jam after thousands of rounds) and probably sell the AR after I get it back from the company).

I can put a side folding stock on my AK and make it very small, ideal for discreet transportation during a disaster situation (riots, etc). Can't do that with an AR. I'm not interested in hanging a ton of stuff on my rifle except a red dot and a light, and with an Ultimak gas tube both can be mounted on an AK as easily as on an AR.

Having the same cartridges/magazines as your government is not an issue because you're not going to be resupplying from them anyway, it's more likely they'll be resupplying from you. Finding parts/ammo/mags on the black market will be easy after guns are banned in the US (I believe they will be within our lifetimes) since the AK is the most prolific rifle in the world. The stuff will be coming in from Mexico and etc.

Overall I believe the AK is the superior rifle.

Walter W.
August 22, 2010, 06:36 AM
So the ar is an m4 that is semi auto only, right? and doesn't fire 5.56 reliably

WaywardAce
August 22, 2010, 08:41 AM
I just picked up a GP 1975 AK from BudsGunshop for $451 out the door. No complaints so far.

noyes
August 22, 2010, 09:43 AM
Tantal AK74

5.45x39 Wicked

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 01:13 PM
If you read what I wrote you would know that what I do not believe is that any of that translates into any practical advantage

It is good for accuracy and reliability, for fit and finish. I answered the question in the first place. It's not what the Milled receiver does, it's what it doesn't do. I don't think that a particular task matters. How about the task of the barrel staying tight and not moving? The task of being a forged, machined weapon. Extra weight makes for less recoil, making it easier to stay on target for faster follow up shots.

And just because I used information from another post does not mean I plagerized anything. I have much more important things to do that take an hour to write 900 character posts like some people, so cutting and pasting and changing a few words is much easier than wasting my time to explain a simple concept to someone who obviously takes it personally and gets defensive.

Your questions have been answered multiple times, yet you keep asking the same thing.

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 01:16 PM
There's been another thread started on the subject, maybe we can continue this pointless discussion elsewhere and keep the posts on topic with the OP's thread?

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 02:34 PM
It is good for accuracy and reliability, for fit and finish. I answered the question in the first place. It's not what the Milled receiver does, it's what it doesn't do. I don't think that a particular task matters. How about the task of the barrel staying tight and not moving? The task of being a forged, machined weapon. Extra weight makes for less recoil, making it easier to stay on target for faster follow up shots.

Re read post 40 and 42 where I addressed that exact passage from when you posted it before. Again you are just listing attributes and then claiming that they are a priori (which the world English dictionary defines as "known to be true independently of or in advance of experience of the subject matter; requiring no evidence for its validation or support." I'm thinking that maybe that term isn't something you followed) an advantage or make the gun better. As I addressed above those things you have listed translate to zero practical advantage.

You have never answered my question which is what is the practical advantage of milled receiver over a stamped one. I though that would be a very simple question for you since earlier in this thread you were so adamant that the stamped guns were inferior and even called them cheap crap. You never answered why an Arsenal stamped gun is "quality" and all the others mentioned in this thread are "cheap crap". You never answered how much of an accuracy difference exists between a milled and stamped gun. I could go on.

I think it has become abundantly clear that you cannot tell us anyway in which a milled gun holds a practical advantage (as opposed to merely having different attributes), nor back up your other overblown assertions. Unless you can then there is nothing to discuss.






And just because I used information from another post does not mean I plagerized anything.

I suggest you learn what the word plagiarize means. What you did is basically the exact definition of the word plagiarize.

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 02:35 PM
(Anecdote: After reading on here and other sites about how ARs are reliable, the reliability thing is overblown, etc. I went ahead and bought one from a reputable company.

What make and model AR was it?

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 02:51 PM
"Armed men are coming to kill you, they will be here in 30 seconds and you can choose between an AR or an AK to defend yourself, which do you pick?". I'd pick the AK in 7.62x39 every time. I believe most people would too if they were really honest with themselves.

I'm not sure that they would or that they should. I would take the rifle I was confident in and could run the best. Many people have a lot more training time in with the AR platform. Many people also have ARs that they have the utmost of confidence in. I know many knowledgeable people who are fairly well versed on both platforms who keep an AR as their go to gun.

I think the ergonomics issue is overblown

To me the best test of this is to get a timer and go out and shoot. Which gun can you run faster. Given equal levels of training most people will be probable be able to run an AR somewhat faster.

Zak Smith has an AR vs AK match. He posted the following about it.

We have an annual "AK vs. AR" 3gun-style Rifle match, in which each shooter shoots the entire match with his AR, and then reshoots the same stages with an AK.

On the CQB stage, scores were real close.

On the medium and long range stages (150-400 yards), the AR had a definite advantage due mainly to: vastly better sights (A2), accuracy, and ergonomics. Mag changes were faster with the AR.

I think the results of that match illustrate much of what you were saying.

Some one who is trained and proficient on an AK will be better of than someone who has an AR but a lower level of proficiency. If money were tight I'd take a WASR 10, a training course, and a bunch of practice ammo over a $1500 AR.

BigDeesul
August 22, 2010, 02:53 PM
Sorry practical advantages stated earlier are not practical because you decided they are not practical. Maybe I can google words and use a thesaurus to make myself seem intelligent too then I'll put the definitions of the words in the post to make myself feel important.

A fact is a fact. I don't care what consider practical.

benEzra
August 22, 2010, 03:09 PM
A fixed bolt handle on the right forces the trigger hand to be used, the safety has to be off to charge the weapon, and there's no bolt hold open, which forces the user to not only load the magazine against the bolt, but then charge it against the pressure of the fully loaded magazine spring.

The AR has an ambidextrous charging handle, but that still requires the users trigger hand. The safety can be placed on next, securing the trigger from accidental discharge, the magazine loaded without the bolt in the way, the bolt dropped to charge the chamber without struggling to pull it back over a fully loaded magazine.
Neither the AK nor the AR require you to use the shooting hand to charge the weapon. Both may have originally been designed with trigger-hand charging in mind, but the preferred method of running both these days is to use the support hand, i.e. the left hand for a right-handed shooter. I've shot both in carbine matches and have always run the bolt with the support hand; it is faster and the rifle stays in the shoulder pocket.

If you use in-spec mags for the AK or PMAG's for the AR, there is no problem whatsoever in loading a magazine under a closed bolt, nor is there any difficulty in cycling the bolt. Some of the old metal AR mags were hard to insert with a closed bolt if loaded to 30 rounds, but much better mags are available now.

As to the milled-AK-vs-stamped-AK debate, I think a lot of the perceived difference comes from the fact that milled receivers only come on expensive guns fitted with high-end barrels and nice finishes, whereas stamped guns run the gamut from industrial-looking (but functional and reliable) SAR's and WASR's to high-end guns comparable in quality to the milled guns.

I'm in the camp that sees little practical difference IF you compare guns with equivalent quality barrels. The AK's receiver is not a highly stressed part; the trunnions bear the stress, and the trunnions of a stamped AK are milled. I have never heard of a stamped AK receiver wearing out, and I believe their design life is several times the life of the barrel. If a milled can outlast (say) five barrels and a stamped receiver can outlast threee 3 barrels, I don't see much difference if the life of either one is limited by the barrel, not the receiver. As far as accuracy, unless you're shooting Lapua with a scope, I don't think you'll see a difference. Bolt lockup is to the front trunnion, not the receiver walls.

The one big downside of a milled receiver, as I see it, is weight. My stamped AK with an optic and loaded 30-round steel magazine weighs nearly ten pounds, which is already in M1 Garand territory; adding extra weight on top of that makes a rifle that may kick a little less but is also harder to carry and a bit slower to swing. So look at your own needs and preferences, and decide accordingly. Neither one is a bad gun.

happygeek
August 22, 2010, 03:16 PM
(Anecdote: After reading on here and other sites about how ARs are reliable, the reliability thing is overblown, etc. I went ahead and bought one from a reputable company. Got good magazines, lubed it up, went to the range, and the thing jams on the very first round, with the extractor tearing the rim off the case and leaving it jammed in the chamber, requiring a cleaning rod to get it out. Had the same problem with different ammo, etc. I feel like I was burned by buying into the AR apologists rhetoric... I'll stick with my AK (which has never had a single jam after thousands of rounds) and probably sell the AR after I get it back from the company).


It sounds like you got the one lemon that came off the assembly line that year, either that or that company isn't so reputable. They should give you your money back. I wouldn't let that one lemon rifle taint my view of the entire M16/M4/AR15 family. I've shot a decent number of different M16A2s, M4A1s, and AR15s and have yet to see that kind of lemon performance. What you got is a new car that broke an axle as soon as you drove it off the lot.

-v-
August 22, 2010, 03:32 PM
Has the OP considered a SIG556 rifle? It offers good accuracy <1.5 MOA, with some of the ergonomics of an AR mated to the reliable long-stroke piston system of the AK. Thus, you get excellent accuracy with excellent reliability. The swiss even copied the AK bolt head almost verbatim for the SIG556 rifle! Its downside, like an AK, is that it is very front-heavy.

Regarding AK ergonomics, the AK has a totally different manual of arms to the AR. I find that all operations on the gun must be done with the right hand. Are mag changes slower in the AK? Yes, by about 1-2 seconds over an AR. Will that 1-2 second faster mag change translate into a practical benefit? I am very skeptical. I would wager that the act of removing a new magazine from a carry pouch is going to take the vast majority of the time vs the actual act of inserting the magazine and charging the rifle.

As far as having competitors run a course with an AK then an AR and comparing times, I think that again leaves a lot of X factor out of it. Are the shooters more familiar with the operation of an AK or an AR? The ballistics of the .223 round are vastly different from that of a 7.62x39, that alone can easily skew the 150-450 meter results. Now, to brass tacks, the 7.62x39 is optimized to stay within the 250-275 meter envelope, the 5.56x45 can reach out to 600 yards easily.

Also were optics involved? My experience is that with a 4x PSOP scope, with a ballistic drop reticle built in, its stupifyingly easy to get fast and accurate hits to 300 meters because I don't have to do any guess work on hold over. The chevrons in the scope do all that math for me already. Place, pull, boom, next.

As far as accessories: using the side-rail on an AK, its fairly easy to mount optics on the rifle, with the added bonus of them being quick-detach with excellent return to zero. My SGL21 right now sports a red-dot sight on a BP-02 side-mount. I can swap it to a PSOP scope in all of 10 seconds, with the scope already being zeroed to its calibrated ranges.

As benEzra said, the downside of it all, is that a stamped AK, with a 30 round mag, and an optic is in the 10lb+ category. Most of that weight is up front as well. That makes your supporting hand the majority load-bearing hand. It doesn't take too long before fatigue makes it difficult to hold the rifle steady (since your basically holding 10lb in your weak hand, and trying to keep it rock steady).

Likewise, I am also unsure what practical advantage a milled offers over a stamped. For bench shooting the milled may be the better choice since it will soak up more recoil. For any field use, a stamped is the clear winner because of weight savings. Service life and accuracy from both seems to be near identical.

As for BigDeesul's advantages:

More durability: Most barrels and guns will outlast the user, and his grandchildren. Is being able to outlast great-great grand children a practical advantage?
More accuracy: is .1 MOA more mechanical accuracy a practical advantage, with ammunition and user are going to be responsible for 99% of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the platform?
More rigid receiver: Barrel lockup is to the machined front trunnion. The receiver houses the moving parts that have little or no part in the accuracy of the platform.

I'm in Giordin's camp though, while the milled receiver offers some technical advantages over the stamped, it seems to offer no PRACTICAL advantages over the stamped, and even a slight disadvantage of greater weight.

On AR reliability. My experience is limited to the AR-10 platfrom. Mine is just barely past the recommended break-in stage of 200 rounds. So far it has been 100% with anything I feed it. This included Brown Bear Laquered .308, DAG surplus .308 and mildly corroded surplus USMC Machine gun ammo circa 1970's. The advantage of the AK is that with a 2-lug locking system, the chamber area is significantly easier to clean than the more complex locking area of the AR platform.

Hatterasguy
August 22, 2010, 04:54 PM
I'm not a big AR fan but they are pretty decent. I'd save up some more and spend $1,100 on a Colt.

I plan on buying an AR eventually, but I want an LWRC.

If you want an AK I'd buy an Arsenal SGL, they are be best.

AK103K
August 22, 2010, 04:55 PM
I find that all operations on the gun must be done with the right hand.
Reloading and charging should be done with the left hand. Theres no need to remove the right hand from the grip for anything either.

No matter when you reload an AK, if you do a mag swap, you ALWAYS stroke the charging handle. That way, the gun is ALWAYS loaded when youre done. I dont know how many times I've been told that the lack of a hold open device is a bad thing (which its really not), and slows you down (which it doesnt), but at the same time, on a number of occasions, I've had M16's and AR's that were empty after a mag change, because the bolt went home on an empty mag, and it simply appeared the gun was still loaded when the mag was swapped.


One of the few problems with the AK's, that is actually usually generated by using your right hand to do the reload, is a specific mag malfunction that is not at all a good thing. If you've had one, you know exactly what I'm talking about, if you havent, be glad you havent.

What happens is, when rocking the mag into the well, the front of the mag, while somewhat in place, really isnt, and when the mag is rocked to the rear, it will lock up. Problem is, the mag is not positioned properly, and is now sitting to low for the bolt to strip a round off the mag. When you go to remove the mag, you'll find its now jammed in place, and will not come out, no matter how you pull on it. The easiest, simplest, and fastest way to deal with it, is to place the butt on the ground, mag away from you, while holding the rifle by the barrel, and kicking the mag out.

The above rarely happens, but does tend to happen more often, if you hold the rifle with your left hand, and reload using your right, the way the Russians used to instruct their troops to reload. I had this pointed out by someone who was in our military and learned about it back in the 60's in a weapons familiarization course, using Russian guns and manuals. I had never had the problem, as I never used my right hand to do the reload. After I was told about it, I had to actually force it, and I wish I hadnt. Nothing like forcing yourself to learn a bad habit. On the plus side, I do know what to do with it now, now that I know.

As far as accessories: using the side-rail on an AK, its fairly easy to mount optics on the rifle, with the added bonus of them being quick-detach with excellent return to zero.
While the side rails do work, and work well, they are not the best when it comes to mounting the optics in a position that makes for natural shouldering and shooting. Most everything sits WAY to high, and to far back, forcing you to fight the gun to shoot it.

The best thing I've found so far in that respect, has been the Ultimak/Aimpoint combo. The Ultimak replaces the upper handguard with a railed gas tube, which so far, is the only one I've seen or found, that sits low enough to allow a red dot to cowitness with the stock iron sights. With an Aimpoint on a low ring, this is easily done.

Using the above, the rifle shoulders and shoots, just like it does with the iron sights alone, and is very natural to shoot with. You get the same cheek weld you do with your iron sights, with your head down on the stock and forward. You can easily snap shoot targets out beyond 100 yards, and shooting close up, is very fast and natural as well.

As benEzra said, the downside of it all, is that a stamped AK, with a 30 round mag, and an optic is in the 10lb+ category. Most of that weight is up front as well. That makes your supporting hand the majority load-bearing hand. It doesn't take too long before fatigue makes it difficult to hold the rifle steady (since your basically holding 10lb in your weak hand, and trying to keep it rock steady).
Yup, your right on weight wise, but I disagree with the weight being a bad thing. If your reasonably fit and shoot on a regular basis, its all pretty much a non issue. The added weight forward actually "steadies" your aim, just ask anyone who shoots competition. Also, if youve shot competition, you know you "cant" hold anything, "rock steady", and shouldnt try.

If your AK's sling is set up properly, and being used as it should be used, it supports the rifle while being carried, even in a ready position, and helps relieve most of the weight.

Carried this way, you also get two options at employing the selector. The first, is from a more relaxed cradle type carry, using your right thumb,with your fingers wrapped around the front of the mag. The other, is using the middle finger of your right hand while its on the grip, as you would normally do from a ready position. Using the first method, the selector can also be taken off with no sound, so that complaint is also removed.



I have a couple of AK's and AR's. The one thing I've found, especially using guns equipped with red dots is, when shot in the same fashion, realistically, at realistic distances, they both shoot very similarly, and the hits on target look very much the same.

The AR's are for sure, the better target rifle, especially when using the iron sights. While the AK's generally are not all that great at bullseye type "target" shooting, they are still more than capable using only their stock iron sights, if your are capable as well. Its generally not the guns fault if you cant shoot it.

I think a lot of the problems when people compare accuracy is, they are not realistic in their comparisons, nor are they realistic in their own abilities.

Enachos
August 22, 2010, 05:32 PM
I would suggest the AK. I've owned an AR (RRA entry tactical), and I liked it. But I didn't love it. It was an accurate and reliable rifle and had great ergonomics. But I didn't like all the small parts and it was very time consuming to clean.

Then I met the AK! Super reliable, accurate enough for it's intended use, and very simplistic and easy to clean. And the best part was that there were no little parts to lose. Anyone can take apart an AK and clean it because it's just that simple. And you can't argue with the prices they're sold for. I'm also a fan of the 7.62 round. (I like big bullets)

Like I said, I reccomend the AK-47. BUT... if you want AR accuracy out of an AK platform then I recomment the AK-74. I'm actually in the market for a Polish Tantal. The 5.45x39 round IMO is just as good as the 5.56x45. Might wanna take a look at those!

-v-
August 22, 2010, 06:15 PM
In regards to mag changes, I think we may have to agree to disagree. After practicing doign right hand changes, I find it very natural. You take the spare mag, use the front of the mag to engage the mag release and kick out the spent mag, cant the mag 45 degrees, and rock it home. Then move your hand immediately up, hand strait and flat, pull the bolt back, at rearmost travel you move your hand back down to the grip and the bolt slams home. Very quick and efficent movement, I find.

I am aware of the malfunction you are talking of, and I have experienced it. How I've trained to keep that from happening is to keep the mag thats going in at a very high angle, so that there is minimal/no chance of it happening. Likewise, I have seen people induce that same mag malfunction doing weak-hand mag changes at the range. So I think the hand you end up using is not as big a factor as training.

Yup, your right on weight wise, but I disagree with the weight being a bad thing. If your reasonably fit and shoot on a regular basis, its all pretty much a non issue. The added weight forward actually "steadies" your aim, just ask anyone who shoots competition. Also, if youve shot competition, you know you "cant" hold anything, "rock steady", and shouldnt try.

Guilty as charged. I think my complaint is more from my last match, where the last stage was rifle only, clear a house engaging 5 targets, then exit it and engage 8 more targets on the other side. Fatigue from prior stages was weighing in, and steadying the rifle sufficiently to get reliable hits on mini-poper targets became a bit more of a chore than I thought it needed to be.

Girodin
August 22, 2010, 07:36 PM
Sorry practical advantages stated earlier are not practical because you decided they are not practical.

I think there is some serious confusion on your part as to what is meant by practical.

Maybe I can google words and use a thesaurus to make myself seem intelligent too then I'll put the definitions of the words in the post to make myself feel important.

If that will make you happy. I suggest you start with the word practical. That might help you digest the point that I and others have made.

I'm inclined to say that for a difference/advantage to be practical it needs to result in some perceivable difference to the end user. None of the "advantages" you have listed do. If there is no perceivable difference to the user then where is the advantage? Perhaps you should add advantage to the list of words you are going to google.

As far as having competitors run a course with an AK then an AR and comparing times, I think that again leaves a lot of X factor out of it. Are the shooters more familiar with the operation of an AK or an AR? The ballistics of the .223 round are vastly different from that of a 7.62x39, that alone can easily skew the 150-450 meter results. Now, to brass tacks, the 7.62x39 is optimized to stay within the 250-275 meter envelope, the 5.56x45 can reach out to 600 yards easily.

There are definitely some valid points there. I would also submit that if you take people using the platform they are best with the AR will often come out on top anyhow. One rarely sees an AK winning 3 gun courses. Of course three gun is not a perfect analog of fighting either.

As to the caliber I do not know that all the AKs were 7.62x39s. My 5.56 AK is still harder to shoot at longer distances than my AR for the very reasons Zak related, namely sights. Of course AK sights can easily be improved upon.

Ohio Gun Guy
August 22, 2010, 08:30 PM
Disclaimer**** - What follows is my INTERNET Approved, Humble Opinion - My answer is that they both are a solid platform, but with different mindset in their devolopment. (Due to the countries they originate from)

(IN Large SWEEPING GENERALITIES)
The AK - Made to be in-expensive and therefore plentiful. Less accurate, but very reliable. Made from the lessons learned in the Soviet experience of WW2. (Large numbers of men/women combatants, very high casualties & the need for large numbers of in-expensive but more effective weapons, a heavier round needed for urban fighting (Battles of Berlin, Stalingrad, etc.))

The AR - Made to minimize weight & maximize the number of rounds an infantry man could carry. More accurate but can be picky with ammunition and conditions due to being a more precise platform. A lighter bullet, decreased range (Compared to .30-06) A rifle developed due to the accounting and statistics wing of the army / our experiences in WW2. (# of rounds per enemy killed, Average Range of Combat, COST OF SHIPPING MUNITIONS, etc, etc.)

So in general, AR=more accurate and (Although much improved) somewhat more sensitive to conditions and ammunition. AK=Less accurate but much more reliable in poor conditions with poor ammunition (However Not impervious)

The rest is in the proficiency of the operator.

Enachos
August 22, 2010, 09:21 PM
^^^^ I like what he said about the heavier round being more suited for urban fighting. This can be a big desicive factor for when choosing a SHTF weapon. If you live in an urban area you might want to go with the AK, but if you live in a rural area then the AR (in 5.56) might be a more suitable platform. Of course, you have a lot of caliber options when it comes to AR's.

Just something to think about.

Tirod
August 22, 2010, 10:26 PM
BenEzra said: "Neither the AK nor the AR require you to use the shooting hand to charge the weapon. Both may have originally been designed with trigger-hand charging in mind, but the preferred method of running both these days is to use the support hand, i.e. the left hand for a right-handed shooter. I've shot both in carbine matches and have always run the bolt with the support hand; it is faster and the rifle stays in the shoulder pocket."

Precisely why the next part I purchase in my AR build in an ASA left hand charger upper.

It's not that there aren't better ways to do things - I felt a functional comparison of common and uncommon features limited to the AK and AR was more what the OP wanted to know.

It's an interesting observation that the stamped vs. machined receiver argument is based on obsolescent technology, at least for firearms. Cast polymer and extrusion are a large part of the production technology of new weapons, and an argument over lesser, more expensive and costly production techniques isn't realistic or progressive.

The engineers who made the Mauser a cost effective weapon and kept it in ever increasing production until the last days of the wars discovered milled, machined receivers were nothing but a waste of resources. They eliminated most of the high precison operations, left the finish rough in any non contact area, and concentrated exclusively on only the parts that needed good fit to retain accuracy. There are very few, the bolt lockup, and barrel attachment.

Whether stamped, like the G3 and various other European weapons, or simply bent up out of sheet metal, as long as their is sufficient stiffness between the barrel mounting, bolt lugs, and receiver lock up, it makes no difference.

That is one thing the AR does par excellance, the barrel extension engages the locking lugs, leaving the receivers to handle recoil and the human user as it's highest stress factors, not gas pressure from the cartridge. It's part of the reason the M16 weighs less than the AK - it's simply more efficient, mechanically. It doesn't hurt that when the bolt carrier group is pressurized with gas it actually counteracts the cartridge pressure on the bolt and locking lugs, allowing it to rotate with less friction and wear. AS LONG AS THE GAS PORT HAS NOT BEEN OPENED TOO MUCH to use cheap lower powered ammo, the system works quite well.

It's one of the unintended consequences of the AR, it got too popular, and too many shooters want to fire ammo in it that it was never designed to shoot. No such luck for the AK, even it's military loads aren't known for high precision or power.

Avoid white box ammo, cheap GI surplus magazines, and mass marketed barrels, as they are the common factors in getting a problematic AR.

lebowski
August 22, 2010, 10:40 PM
There's been some good advice given so far. My thoughts:

1) I would stay away from the lower end ARs. If you go with an AR, I'd go with a basic BCM carbine or the Daniel Defense XV. Both are a great value for a quality basic starter carbine. Learn to shoot with iron sights to start out with, and maybe add an optic later on.

2) If you go with an AK, I'd recommend the Arsenal SGL.

I don't think you can go wrong going with either an AR or an AK. I have both, and I really like shooting both (FWIW I have a Daniel Defense M4, and an Arsenal SGL20 ... both have been flawless in terms of reliability). I don't really consider one better than the other, they are different guns with different pros/cons. Personally, if the SHTF I'd reach first for the AR, mainly because I have it set up more as a HD gun with a quality red dot and a white light, as well as a couple mags of quality ammo next to it while my SGL is more of a range toy. But if I needed to grab something quick and the AK was there, I'd have no qualms using it for self defense.



Bottom line: Your desire for a longer sight radius favors the AR, while your budget favors the AK. IMO, if you are set with that $700 budget, I'd get the Arsenal SGL over a lower tier AR. Ammo is a bit cheaper, too. Given your budget, I think the best choice for you may be the SGL31 in 5.45x39, it's a bit more expensive than the SGL21 (7.62x39) out of the box, but the 5.45x39 ammo is cheap if you buy military surplus, about $.11/rd, so ultimately it's probably the best "budget" option.

Sky
August 23, 2010, 12:15 AM
CMMG bargain bin $599. Never have I or my friends had problems with the Del-Tons or CMMGs. Both manufactures test fire and check head space before they ship.

It always makes me go Hummmmm when I hear of someone paying big bucks and then having to rework or fix their "best in the history of the world gun" because of poor quality control.

You can buy 2 ARs or maybe 3 Aks, Cks, Sks for the price some of this stuff goes for. One doesn't work use it for spare parts or a club!

Doctor friend has the AR 10 that is deadly with the Optics he has. He is a good shot and his rig fits him. He spent more money on the scope than most spend for their gun and he is very well versed with it's usage. Works for him but most people do not want to get $4000 or $5000 tied up in a gun.

Unless someone has been off world everyone knows the AK is a good gun and has good stopping power. For me, I always liked the looks of the Sks and the way it felt; seemed better workmanship and quality. Both are good guns and in capable hands are deadly to all kinds of critters.

Think you should figure out what kind of range/distance most likely you will want to shoot. Go look and feel some rifles in your own hands; pictures are worth a 1000 words but one in you hand, priceless!.

See if there is a range that rents guns or will let you try them out. You pick the one that fits your eye and budget. If you do not like the feel or looks you prolly never gonna be happy. But if you go and get the chance to shoot...One Will Call Your Name!!!!!

Have over 500 rounds through all my Ars and have had them not go boom twice because I did not chamber a round!! Not easy getting old?

They had a little match last month in Harlingen,Tx. A new guy showed up with a bolt action less than $100 "buy it today" rifle that was made around 1915? He shot against guys with several thousand dollar rigs and out shot them all. I was not there... was told the story from guys who worked the range and were still amazed and talking about it.

Zak Smith
August 23, 2010, 02:15 AM
With regard to my prior post which was quoted earlier in this thread-- the effectiveness can be measured by the accuracy and speed the two rifles can be employed by shooters of various skill levels. That is what the "AR vs. AK" match is about. Theoretical discussions are somewhat limited in application because this is ultimately about how well two different rifle systems facilitate a person to solve problems with a rifle.

This wasn't taken at that match, but relates to an anecdote about AK "reliability."

http://demigodllc.com/photo/CGMG-2007.03/smaller/D101_1722_img.jpg (http://demigodllc.com/photo/CGMG-2007.03/?small=D101_1722_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 23, 2010, 02:21 AM
As far as having competitors run a course with an AK then an AR and comparing times, I think that again leaves a lot of X factor out of it. Are the shooters more familiar with the operation of an AK or an AR? The ballistics of the .223 round are vastly different from that of a 7.62x39, that alone can easily skew the 150-450 meter results. Now, to brass tacks, the 7.62x39 is optimized to stay within the 250-275 meter envelope, the 5.56x45 can reach out to 600 yards easily.
The match is usually limited somewhat in range compared to normal rifle matches at that range as a "concession" to the 7.62. There are certainly some shooters who have trained with an AK and some that have not; however, the point of the match is that you can shoot the stages with your AR and then shoot the same stages with the AK and compare your times with the two systems. And in the results everyone can see the relative rankings of all shooters and the different rifle systems. The conclusions I wrote that were quoted earlier sum both types of relative results. Take a half dozen talented rifle shooters with experience with both systems and that's the result we saw.

By the way, the match is not "mine." It is a match that my friends from Pueblo run.

Girodin
August 23, 2010, 02:49 AM
Thanks for your comments Zak. I was the one who quoted your earlier post and I would like to apologize for anything that I may have unintentionally mischaracterized.

If you enjoyed reading about "AR and AK questions!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!