AR vs. AK vs. Mini 14


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sprice
December 21, 2010, 08:27 PM
What do you feel would be the better combat/survival rifle out of the 5.56 ar-15, the ak-74 5.45 (arsenal quality) and the ruger mini 14 .223? And why?

I prefer the 74, cheap ammo, high quality (reliable, combat accurate) for price, plethora of aftermarket parts, semi light weight. I think it's great, but I love all of them.

Range is up to 400 yards/meters. Ammo is russian mil surp/wolf/brown bear/anything cheap.

BTW I know I like 74's better all ready, I'm just asking your preferences. I'm not asking which one I should get I just like to see/hear what people like. Some of my friends are going through this "dilemma" and I thought I would see what others have to say.

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Kachok
December 21, 2010, 08:33 PM
If you put the AK-47 in the mix it would have got my vote, but AK-74 vs AR-15 I have to go with the AR. Mini-14 is the worst of both worlds, poor accuracy, jamming and other reliability issues it gets a big F-

CZ223
December 21, 2010, 08:34 PM
but I voted for the AR anyway. I have all of the guns listed and they all have their virtues but given a choice I will take the AR. Most accurate cheap to feed and reliable.

crazyivan
December 21, 2010, 10:06 PM
AK-74.
Think about it, if its combat/survival and you are shooting cheap dirty ammo a AR would not be the best.

That and you would have to keep it "lubed". Most if not all vets say the M16 type rifles need a lot of cleaning and lube if used in a lot in less than perfect settings.
Also the ammo would not be your handloads or high cost brass so you would not be getting your sub MOA groups.

I dont think a AR is any more reliable than a Mini.

benEzra
December 21, 2010, 11:04 PM
I'd pick either the AR or the 5.45 AK, personally.

sirgilligan
December 22, 2010, 12:32 AM
If you can go to youtube check out the nutnfancy videos on AK -vs- AR, and Mini-14s.

I was surprised on the praise the Mini 14 gets. Sorry no review on the AK-74.

gunnutery
December 22, 2010, 12:34 AM
The AK74 hands down if you're talking survival stuff. It rarely needs cleaned and lubed and still has decent accuracy at decent ranges.

The mini14 is just as reliable but extremely limited range compared to the AK.

sprice
December 22, 2010, 12:36 AM
Yeah nutn has reviewed the ak74 and 47 from arsenal.

jeepguy
December 22, 2010, 12:37 AM
i have an ar 15 and mini 14 and i just like the mini 14 more, i might even sell my ar 15 and buy a 16" tactical. but i also like m1a's so maybe its just ergonomics for me. if i sold all my rifles but 2 i would keep my mini 14 and my m1a bush rifle.

frankiestoys
December 22, 2010, 01:04 AM
Have them all, they each have their pros and cons, its really down to wich one you like the most. The AR is the most accurate with the most ability to meet all your needs, my 580 series Mini 14 has never failed and eats anything, can't say that for the AR. My AK-74 is about as accurate as the Mini maybe with a slight edge ,yet it cost me alot less. Ammo is about the same for the Russian stuff and its as reliable as the Mini. If the SHTF
just give a couple of 30 round mags and ill take anyone of them.

Dobe
December 22, 2010, 01:25 AM
AR gets my vote. It is the most accurate, the most versitle, extremely easy to find parts and add-ons, and is very reliable. I like the DI system. It works.

RonE
December 22, 2010, 01:04 PM
AK 74 in 5.45X39 because bullets are as cheap as 5.56 used to be and 74's are cheaper to buy than Mini 14's and AR15's.

sprice
December 22, 2010, 01:04 PM
I am selling my ar to get an ak 74 actually. I shot the wolf ammo through it and I like buying the cheap ammo, but unless it's well lubed it won't even feed brass cased ammo. I think ar's are really overpriced for what you get right now. I have about a $1,200 bcm that a gunsmith put together for me. RIP OFF! A fair price would be about $800 (as far as quality vs. price), they are just in to high of demand right now imho.

CoRoMo
December 22, 2010, 01:19 PM
The AR everyday, and twice on Sunday.

sansone
December 22, 2010, 01:25 PM
AR gets first, and the mini 14 or mini 30 would be my choice over the stamped & riveted thing

Justin
December 22, 2010, 01:40 PM
AR15.

Inherently accurate, reliable, customizable as Legos.

Dionysusigma
December 22, 2010, 01:50 PM
Range is up to 400 yards/meters. Ammo is Russian mil surp/Wolf/Brown Bear/anything cheap.
My initial thought was the AR, but with these requirements and your preference for the AK74, I voted for the 74. If it works, and you like it, then what more needs to be said? :)

Silvanus
December 22, 2010, 01:57 PM
I prefer the AR15 family of weapons. But would feel (almost :p) just as comfortable if I could only have an AK74.

Don't like Minis at all though...

henschman
December 22, 2010, 06:47 PM
Hmm, the main concerns for me in a combat/survival scenario are reliability, ammo availability, and parts availability.

Reliability has to go to the AK, but a good-quality AR can be pretty reliable as well if you keep it lubed. You could keep it going for a long time off nothing but a bottle of motor oil.

As far as ammo and parts availability, in a survival scenario, it would be helpful to be able to use the enemy's ammo, mags, and spare parts. Now this kind of depends on who you think the enemy will be in the anticipated nightmare scenario. If you are worried about the same thing the founding fathers were when they wrote the Second Amendment, then you can anticipate that the zombies will be mostly armed with ARs or the select fire M-16/M-4 variants, which all share parts. Even if you have some other type of scenario in mind, it really would not hurt to have the same weapon platform as our police and military. I actually think it is a good idea for all Americans to have a rifle in the standard infantry caliber, which, love it or hate it, is 5.56x45. This rationale would seem to favor the AR... but not necessarily, since you can also get the AK in 5.56x45, and you can get mag well adaptors that make them take AR mags.

The AR has much better iron sights, and even if both rifles are capable of shooting pretty similar groups with surplus ammo, most folks will be able to shoot the AR better just because of this. It is also a little easier to mount optics on the AR if you have a flat top. Of course, you can get a set of Tech Sights for the AK that will give it aperture sights that are click-adjustable in both windage and elevation and the same sight radius as a 20" barreled AR (though they require a tool or bullet tip to adjust).

It is currently pretty easy and cheap to accumulate a set of spare parts for either rifle... though you probably won't need the spare parts for the AK.

It's actually a pretty close call. I voted for the AR because I like having a platform in common with the police and military, and because good iron sights rank very highly on my list of priorities when it comes to a rifle. Ease of optic mounting pushes things in the AR's favor in my mind, too.

That being said, my main SHTF rifle is an M1A in good ol seven six two by five one... but I am building an AR as a backup, for all the reasons listed in this thread.

As for the Mini 14... no, just no.

WVfishguy
December 22, 2010, 07:07 PM
I admit I'm a handgun man, but it still freaks me out when I see the Mini 14 described as inaccurate guns which jam:confused:

I recently traded my ABSOLUTE PIECE OF CRAP Century Arms Golani Sporter (which was a bulky, poorly finished & inaccurate rifle which jammed every 7th round) for a 580 series Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle. I knew from previous experience the Ruger would work, and I was not disappointed.

I shoot Russian steel cased TulAmmo with my current Mini-14, and it works well. I don't expect better than 3" groups at 100 yards with a sporting carbine, especially with a piddly little .223. If it shot any tighter, I'd be worried about how it functioned when dirty.

I had equally good experiences with 180 and 181 series Minis several decades ago. My first Mini (purchased new) had a wooden forearm which actually scorched black underneath when I used 30-round mags! My shooting buddies and I NEVER had issues with Mini-14s!

Given the low quality of the Golani, it's going to be tough for me to buy anything from Century Arms, which precludes most AKs I see for sale.

Rexster
December 22, 2010, 07:32 PM
I will have to answer this one later, as I don't normally shoot at longer distances than 100 yards at this time in my urbanized life, nor own a scope more powerful than 2.5x, to help my rapidly aging eyes sort out true accuracy potential. I don't yet own an AK, and probably won't bother to do so. I am not much of a collector, and see autoloading rifles as tools, not collectible art.

I own a couple of 580-series Mini-14 Ranch Rifles, and an S&W M&P15 lower with two uppers, a Colt HBAR, and a BCM lightweight middy.

I like that the Minis don't require me to take the line-of-sight-over-bore into account at HD/CQB distance, if using iron sights, as does the AR.

I live in Texas. State troopers of my acquaintance liked their state-issued Minis just fine. Yes, certain parts do tend to break, but only after a VERY high round count. My Minis will probably not reach that round count in my lifetime. (I will eventually install a .22 LR conversion kit on a Mini, probably a used one acquired specifically to convert to .22 LR.)

A lefty, I like the Minis' safety lever! Perfect! Yes, I am aware of ambi selectors for the AR: Imperfect!

If I ever find myself in war-like conditions, I will probably go with the AR15, but the Minis would probably be OK, if the AR were not around. My AR is my authorized, personally-owned, police patrol rifle, so it is the most likely to be around if something really goes bad in the foreseeable future.

An AK may potentially be more rugged and reliable under Third World conditions, but unless I do overseas contractor work after I retire from policin', I won't be using weapons in the Third World. I won't be doing such work unless my bad knee can be successfully rebuilt. So, unless a great deal on an AK just happens to come my way, I won't likely own one. So, while I did not answer the poll, I can strike the AK as a potential choice in this poll.

Art Eatman
December 22, 2010, 08:30 PM
Anybody who mocks a Mini's reliability hasn't owned one. They're noted for always going Bang! on request. Sure, some folks buy Brand X mags, but that's not the Mini's fault.

If hunting is the deal, a Mini is as good as anything for the first shot from a cold barrel going where it's wanted to be sent. I've shown that little fact of death to more than one coyote and jackrabbit.

Self defense? "Defense", IMO, is pretty much within a hundred yards. The Mini will hold minute of cranium all day long, at a hundred yards.

Nothing at all wrong with an AR, either. Or an AK or SKS. They all work.

IOW, don't judge a do-all gun by group size. Group size can be pure-dee irrelevant.

NC-Mike
December 22, 2010, 08:47 PM
The AR everyday, and twice on Sunday.

Owned all three

AR- Dead nuts reliable and accurate out to 500 yards

AK- Dead nuts reliable and accurate out to 100 yards

Mini-14 About the same as the AK in a smaller caliber



There is no debate on this. America's Rifle is The Solution. :D

Al LaVodka
December 22, 2010, 09:00 PM
AR
I'm gainfully employed and know something about firearms.
Al

Snubshooter
December 22, 2010, 10:51 PM
Well my first choice would be my M1A Scout, next would be my SS mini then my AR (I built from scratch) I've used several AKs but never fell in love with them. If I were looking at long term bug out I'd have an 870 handy because they are good for multiple purposes with limited maintenance.

X-Rap
December 22, 2010, 11:10 PM
I just bought 10 PMags at the big green warehouse for under $10 each. If they made them for a mini then maybe we could talk but until the price of mags goes down and Brownells sends out a Mini specific catalog I'll take the AR hands down.

Ignition Override
December 23, 2010, 12:53 AM
Have you guys read the thread by "Sturmgewehr", about his experience with a new Polish Tantal AK-74, which was assembled by Century Arms? The really strange timing on their standard warranty is just one issue.

The thread us titled "Century Arms....".

Kurt_D
December 23, 2010, 12:13 PM
First 5.56 vs 5.45: yes, 5.45 is cheaper but it is rarer in the US than 5.56. You are NOT going to pack around that 12K rounds you bought from Century, more than likely it'll be just several mags. 5.56 will be easier to find. Next, 5.56 has more options in loads available; from 45gr varment stuff to 75 & 77gr defensive loads and a dozen bonded rounds in between. Lastly the AR can use a 5.45 upper for cheap practice/plinking proir to.

The AK-74 is a tough system, no doubt. But it's round knocks if off for anything long term and/or mobile. Yes, I own 3 because they are fun and cool to have.

So we have Mini vs AR. Not even close. The Mini loses in every way. No spare parts available, reliable mags (work in all Minis) are only available through Ruger and are expensive and rare. No protection from corrosion, save for their SS models. Then their accuracy, or lack of, comes into play. Then the last nail is price, $600 (non-SS) at wally world, mid $500 used from CDNN; that's budget AR territory and only $100 off or so from new and used quality ARs.

So AR it is. 5.45 upper, or use cheap steel Russian .223, for practice. Even budget models lacking the chrome lined barrel still have an advantage over the Mini in parts availablity, ease of maintenance/replacment of parts, mag reliablity/availablity/price, and lastly adaptablility with optics, rails, and lights available by the 1000's.

With quality chrome lined ARs, such as the S&Ws, currently reaching down into the low $700 range new and parts available to build a high quality/reliable AR from scratch; nothing else beside a 7.62x39 AK makes sense.

Added option: 7.62x39 AK/AKM - it closes the gap on ammo and mag availablity with the AR. Tough as nails best desribes it and reliable, functioning versions are available from $400. Parts are available. So for a budget person who can't get into an AR yet, the AKM is an excellent choice. If you start throwing extras on there then go back to the AR.

lencac
December 23, 2010, 01:15 PM
Here we go again :rolleyes:
AK = junk
Mini = junk
AR = not so much
:scrutiny:

Warhawk83
December 23, 2010, 01:58 PM
Then the last nail is price, $600 (non-SS) at wally world, mid $500 used from CDNN; that's budget AR territory and only $100 off or so from new and used quality ARs.

Kurt,

Mini-14 on the front cover of the new CDNN (used) $399. Ar-style retractable

butt-stock, sling swivels,pistol grip, rear peep sight and a 20 rd mag. I just may get one.

henschman
December 23, 2010, 02:37 PM
Another plus for the AR: it's ability to swap out uppers for different calibers. For a survival situation, you could carry around a .22 LR dedicated upper for gettin some supper out in the field, instead of carrying a whole separate .22 rifle. You could just go with a .22 bolt conversion, but I would trust a dedicated upper to last longer without breaking. And it is good for cheap practice, as well.

Yeah, the AR is definitely sounding like the winner here.

chicharrones
December 23, 2010, 03:10 PM
AR
I'm gainfully employed and know something about firearms.
Al

http://bestsmileys.com/lol/16.gif

Best resume ever.http://bestsmileys.com/thumbs/7.gif

JDMorris
December 23, 2010, 04:34 PM
Accuracy>Volume.. AR.

migkillertwo
December 23, 2010, 05:38 PM
I will admit that i have never shot an AK-74 nor have I shot a mini-14. However, I own and regularly shoot an AK-47 and I have held many mini-14s and m1As.

That said, I prefer the AR-15 over either one mainly because of 3 things
1: Weight. The AR-15, especially a bare-bones AR-15 with just a micro red-dot and a lightweight barrel profile can be much lighter than a stock mini-14 or AK-74
2: accessories. It is much easier to accessorize an AR-15 if you want. examples include easy attachment of optical sights or the attachment of free-floating rails. The latter is actually very easy if you have the right tools
3: ergonomics. For me, it is way easier to engage the safety and insert the magazine in an AR-15 than either the mini-14 or the ak-74.

I can see only 2 advantages to either platform over the AR-15 and those are value and reliability.

Regarding reliability, I'm not exactly sure if this is true. My Spikes AR-15 has been flawless after almost 500 rounds, and I've heard nothing but outstanding reliability for Spikes and Bravo Company upper receivers, which can be had inexpensively.

The Mini and the AK have the advantage for reliability though. Granted, an Arsenal SGL-31 costs as much as a Spikes Tactical ST-15LE, but you can have a just-as-good AK-74 for roughly 500-600$ if it is assembled from a parts-kit by a good gun-smith (which are not uncommon)

Now are the ergos and accessories on the AR-15 worth the extra 200$? In a SHTF situation, Im not sure and will probably never know since said situations aren't exactly known to happen in liberal democracies.

crazyivan
December 23, 2010, 06:09 PM
Remember you just have cheap ammo so I would think a AR would not get much better than 2MOA a Saiga does about as well(at least thats what the Sagia owners claim)

You should have listed the SIG556 as a choice.

Century guns have their problems but a Sagia AK is the choice listed.

migkillertwo
December 23, 2010, 07:07 PM
IDK if the sig556 can be compared to these guns. The sig556 is way more expensive than even the best "mil-spec" AR-15s out there.

M1key
December 23, 2010, 09:40 PM
Owned all of them. Currently, only own the AR-15s.

AK-74 is dependent on continuing imports of cheap ammo and mags. That can change overnight. :eek:

Currently there are no new kits being built with mil spec barrels. Anyone want to take a chance on a Lancaster? :scrutiny:

Mini-14s...naaawww thanks.:rolleyes:


M

happygeek
December 23, 2010, 10:10 PM
Sig 556 could be had for just under a grand last I checked.

I got one of those $370 Bulgarian CAI AK74s [with 3 mags and free shipping] back around Aug. The front sight is slightly off center, but not so much it couldn't be zeroed. Other than that it's been fine and accurate enough, just wished they'd have chrome lined the barrel. What's that cost, another $30 - 50? CAI has a Romanian AK74 for $400 that comes with 1 mag and does have chrome lining, comes with better furniture too; find myself wishing I'd gotten that one instead. Oh well.

ritepath
December 23, 2010, 10:32 PM
Where's the option for all three?

I have a couple of AR's and the Mini, I haven't bought an AK variant yet but that's on the list. Every gun has it's advantages and disadvantages.

For me the AR is pretty useful because it's a little more friendly for mounting optics, and rails. It's also easier to buy a 6.8 upper and deer hunt with.

jeepguy
December 23, 2010, 11:21 PM
i voted mini but if you go ar you could get an upper in 5.45x39 and be able to shoot both. just a thought, but you should really think about 7.62x51 for a survival rifle. espically a 18" with a usgi fiberglass stock.

Pete D.
December 24, 2010, 07:18 AM
AR. Most accurate cheap to feed and reliable.
+1 (or + a few)

I understand the attraction of the AKs. I wonder, though, about ammo availability under the conditions that were implied by the words "combat/survival". Ammo for the AKs is plentiful now but would it be so once the supply is cut off as it surely would be if we were reduced to a large scale survival situation.
It may be that all ammo would be hard to come by; hopefully, the home grown .223 would be a bit easier to find.
Pete

lobo9er
December 24, 2010, 07:33 AM
depends what you want it for

hso
December 24, 2010, 07:36 AM
Not like we haven't had enough "vs" threads on these to fill volumes, but it is going to be challenging to lump combat and survival rifles together. It is even going to be more difficult to pick a "best" in just one category without criteria.

Since any of them will kill game up to and including deer any of them would put meat on the table, but because accuracy is important for subsistence hunting the AR will "win" the survival requirement. If a little maintenance is done the AR is a reliable platform so any issue about reliability goes out the window in any realistic situation.

The Ruger just doesn't have a combat record so it is out of consideration.

While sufficiently accurate within 100 meters the vaunted reliability of the AK isn't any better than a maintained AR. That limitation on accuracy due to those loose tolerances that make it reliable for a primitive who doesn't take care of his weapon make it far less valuable in either category.

The nod then goes to the AR because of the failings of the others.

CSA 357
December 24, 2010, 07:53 AM
hso, you never watched the a team?

Kurt_D
December 24, 2010, 08:08 AM
Kurt,

Mini-14 on the front cover of the new CDNN (used) $399. Ar-style retractable

butt-stock, sling swivels,pistol grip, rear peep sight and a 20 rd mag. I just may get one.

I see it now, blued model with fugly stock. It's also the older carbine not the ranch model so optics options are even worse.

I actually had that model (wood stock, bought new for $430 before I knew any better, ~`98), gas nipple/whatever it's called would rust inside the "piston" and you had to slam the gun, buttstock first, to dislodge it. Jam-o-matic with every magazine I tried except for the stock 5 rounder, factory 20-30 round mags were not available/retardedly expensive at the time. Don't get me wrong, the little gun had some potential, but had I known better I'd picked up a SAR-1, mags, and a case or 2 of ammo.

Still stands despite price, the AR and AK are better in every way.

Tirod
December 24, 2010, 10:32 AM
The legendary reliability of the AK doesn't exist when you include ALL the guns sold as one in America today. Overall, they have earned the reputation they get, cheap, with glitches.

Durable, yes, don't mistake that with reliable. Junk AK's pop up in posts every month, there is a long trail of tears where the word of mouth reputation of the AK was gutted by the cheap junk imports. There's NO common blueprint for them, you CAN'T indiscriminately swap parts and keep it running.

Beyond that, some have hand picked cherry AK's, primarily from well industrialized nations like Yugoslavia. They are the exception, not the rule. Will all the parts interchange into a Chinese made AK? No. And you better have a serious assortment of tools in that go bag to do it.

The AK operator controls are no great asset, either. The charging handle is on the wrong side, better for parading miles down Moscow Square. The top cover is useless for mounting optics, and most of the accessories now on the market came because of the dynamic aftermarket built on a competitor's design. AK's are improving because they adopt AR parts. Very little new on their own.

In terms of ease of use, who cares if the AK is uber durable when it won't help the user in actual combat? The wrong side reciprocating charging handle can hang up in doorways and openings, it has no bolt hold back which forces the user to 1) notice they ran out of ammo in a firefight because it went "click!" 2) load the mag against a closed bolt, and 3) wrong hand cycle the bolt against the fully loaded mag spring tension.

It's not how good some youtube warrior does it, how fast is the average AK reload compared to the AR? Face up to it, a MODERN combat weapon doesn't screw with the operator and force them to do things in an arbitrary manner. It HELPS them.

You want a real combat weapon, the only one on the list is the AR. Frankly, a good case could be made AK vs. Winchester 94 Lever gun. The .30-30 won't lose much ground to an AK, if anything, the only difference is speed of shooting. The lever gun is more user friendly, something people who can pay money appreciate to the tune of over 5 million sold.

People who had no choice about their service to their country, eh, they get AK's. I feel sorry for them, they are obviously handicapped by the choice. They have generally lost most tactical confrontations when they come up against free world weapons. It's why the AK is symbolic of terrorism - they can't win a fair fight.

Love the underdog all you want, choosing a loser gun is a bit naive. It's not reliable, it's harder to operate, when it breaks, it's stays that way, few owners have the skill to cut welds or remove rivets and repair one. In the last ammo panic, it dried up. .30-30 was still on the shelf, and more likely to be found everywhere.

And some poor guy will get one under the tree in less than a day, and be overjoyed. Me? I'd be asking when the gunstore opened to get money down for a real combat carbine.

bshnt2015
December 24, 2010, 10:49 AM
IMHO, AR system is the hands down winner, ammo, mags and parts are everywhere. AR offers the user good ergonomics. The AR system is battle tested and can stay in the fight.
I've own all of them and have seen all of them put bad folks down. Overall cost of the rifle goes to the mini-14, they work, seen plenty of them around socal and norcal. Mini-14 and AR share 223 ammo source. AK maybe a bit tougher to get when chips are down.

I can easily mount a RDS or scope on my AR and then switch out to 6.8 to do more if needed. So IMHO, the AR.

FMJMIKE
December 24, 2010, 12:32 PM
I have owned them all in the past and now own 2 AR-15's and 1 Mini-14. I believe the versatility and accuracy of the AR-15 makes it a better survival/defense/hunting rifle. You just can't buy a cheap AR-15 and expect it to run as reliably as a quality built rifle. If money is a problem buy a Ruger 580 Series Mini-14. If you can afford a quality AR-15 then that is a better route to go IMHO........:D

sprice
December 24, 2010, 01:12 PM
I'm pretty sure the ruger has a combat record. It's been used by australia, honduras, the uk and has been used with police and bad guys all over the us. Like in the fbi/miami shootout.

Waterfowler
December 24, 2010, 01:18 PM
AR gets first, and the mini 14 or mini 30 would be my choice over the stamped & riveted thing


I'd take an AR too but I'd take any of my stamped and riveted things over a Mini any day. They are both super reliable but the mini shoots horribly, even with a scope, and the AKs have better built, more reliable magazines. Maybe that's why my Mini-14 Ranch Rifle is one firearm I don't have an ounce of regret selling.

Why can't an American designed and built rifle be as accurate as a sloppily and cheaply built eastern bloc rifle I don't know, but that's the reality.

sprice
December 24, 2010, 01:23 PM
If we are counting ALL the ak's variants in the us then I think we need to include ALL the ar types too. Then it makes the ar's look more like junk also.

I am really comparing ar's and ak's of arsenal/other professionally converted saiga's and BCM/Colt/mil spec ar's.

Art Eatman
December 24, 2010, 01:41 PM
As I said before, any of the options will work just fine. I've no hands-on experience with the AK/SKS critters, but I've watched and read. I've had four ARs before the present one, and four Minis. Several thousand rounds of .223...

Since I've found that the Mini is very reliable on one-shot kills for coyotes and jackrabbits, I figure that it's as useful as any .223 for putting meat on the table.

There was a huge jackrabbit population explosion in northern Nevada and southwestern Idaho back around 1980 or 1981. Time magazine even had an article about it. A buddy of mine and I stood around his truck looking out over a marshy area not far from Winnemucca. In a little over an hour, we killed over a hundred jackrabbits with our Minis. That's one of the main reasons I defend the Mini as I do. Results count more than theory and woulda/coulda/shouda.

That a Mini won't give tight groups from a benchrest is about as irrelevant as anything I can imagine, for the parameters of the OP.

CarbineKid
December 29, 2010, 09:54 PM
My buddy and I were at the range last Sunday. We brought 250 rounds of wolf ammo to shoot. His AR jammed every 5 to 10 rounds?!?!?!?. Someone else tried the ammo in their Colt AR, and the same thing happened. My mini was FLAWLESS. I shot my 125 rounds without a problem, and then what was left of his. In a self defense situation I want to gun that goes bang every time. If I plan on going to war Red Dawn style, any civilian rifle is inferior to the semi/full autos our military uses. I guess you would use your rifle to a real one shows up....Then again thats just my opinion....

killchain
December 29, 2010, 10:01 PM
In my hands, the AR-15 would be the only choice.

I know... that sounds condescending. But my bestest Uncle taught me everything I know about it. That was right after he gave me some food, a place to stay, and some shoes to wear, some money to spend... taught me how to fight... :)

killchain
December 29, 2010, 10:03 PM
My buddy and I were at the range last Sunday. We brought 250 rounds of wolf ammo to shoot. His AR jammed every 5 to 10 rounds?!?!?!?. Someone else tried the ammo in their Colt AR, and the same thing happened. My mini was FLAWLESS. I shot my 125 rounds without a problem, and then what was left of his. In a self defense situation I want to gun that goes bang every time. If I plan on going to war Red Dawn style, any civilian rifle is inferior to the semi/full autos our military uses. I guess you would use your rifle to a real one shows up....Then again thats just my opinion....
Did you clean the star chamber before you swapped from brass to steel ammo?

My spidey sense tells me no, you didn't. That is the most common reason why those steel cases stick. :P

Art Eatman
December 29, 2010, 10:11 PM
"...any civilian rifle is inferior to the semi/full autos our military uses."

Nope. Sorry. And there are danged few of both types that I haven't messed with, these last sixty years. All US military rifles from Krag through M-16. Rem, Win, Sako, Ruger; bolt, lever, semi. They all function equally well, on average.

The only advantage to some military rifles is the full-auto capability. Absent being solo and dealing with an armed crowd, full-auto is not really all that necessary.

And unless you're well-trained with a full-auto critter, you'll find that in lifelike "fun house" shooting exercises, a skilled semi-auto guy will outscore your full-auto efforts, every time. Thompsons are the most easily controlled, along with the M-16s. Fun toys. :)

Ignition Override
December 29, 2010, 10:21 PM
Are most people not aware thar Ruger produces factory 20-rd. mags for the Mini 14s?
According to "Perfectunion", they seem to be perfectly reliable, even those produced fro the Mini 30,

crazyivan
December 29, 2010, 10:31 PM
So much for a "reliable" gun. So you shoot a mag of steel case ammo and you need to reload but WAIT! Get out your cleaning kit and open the gun before you shoot that brass! Of course someone is shooting at you still but dont worry they have a AK and they can only get head shots at 200yds (5 shot groups with my WASR and brown brear)

It is reliable they say....but when it jams or whatever for you they say you did not keep it super clean and you did not baby it enough. The way I see it that is what unreliable is.


Still think SIG beats all 3.

Justin
December 29, 2010, 11:57 PM
If we are counting ALL the ak's variants in the us then I think we need to include ALL the ar types too. Then it makes the ar's look more like junk also.


You stipulated a rifle capable of hitting a target at 400 yards, presumably under field conditions.

You should consider taking your rifle out and actually shooting at a target at 400 yards to see how you do.

If possible, look up local rifle or 3 gun matches and attend those. They will really help you learn the best way to run your rifle.

So much for a "reliable" gun. So you shoot a mag of steel case ammo and you need to reload but WAIT! Get out your cleaning kit and open the gun before you shoot that brass! Of course someone is shooting at you still but dont worry they have a AK and they can only get head shots at 200yds (5 shot groups with my WASR and brown brear)

I'm hard pressed to think of an even remotely realistic situation in which these circumstances would actually occur.

For this to happen, the following events would need to transpire:

You would need to be in possession of an AR that doesn't run lacquered ammo.
You would have loaded the aforementioned rifle with lacquered ammo.
You then would have to find yourself engaged in a firefight of some sort.
And in the midst of this firefight, you suddenly decide to switch ammunition.
And somehow, switching ammunition type causes your rifle to not function.
And you're somehow not able to quickly clear a jam in an AR15, which can be done quickly in most circumstances.
Did I mention that you find yourself (improbably) in a firefight with someone who's shooting at you with an AK?


Some guns don't run lacquered ammo. The solution is fairly simple: if it causes your gun to choke, don't shoot it.

lucky-gunner
December 30, 2010, 12:21 AM
I don't think there is a correct answer. It comes down to personal preference. Since I got a lot of training with the AR platform I would lean towards it. Any machine can malfunction and with the AR I know how to fix any issues. Maybe it's just my Marine brainwashing working overtime but accuracy is king to me. I'll do my part to keep the rifle clean and functioning. I just ask the rifle to be true to where I aim it.

While I don't have as much trigger time with the Mini or AK. I own a version of both and would feel comfortable with either. I would just have to adjust how I use my rifles if I had either of them.

jad0110
December 30, 2010, 12:25 AM
Of the 3 listed, I'd have to go with the AR. Nothing wrong with the other 2, if that is what works for you. The AR is what works for me. Simple as that.

I have zero experience with the Mini-14, so I really can't comment. The ergos of the AK platform have never worked well for me. I am 6'7", and my neck is freakishly long :o . As a result, I have a darned hard time craning my neck down to see the sights on an AK. I really wish that wasn't the case, but it is what it is. OTH, the SKS does fit me fairly well. And in a way, I always thought the SKS would make a better SHTF TEOTWAWKI gun, what with it's fixed magazine (no mags to loose or break).

Justin
December 30, 2010, 12:58 AM
In his first post, Sprice posted that he wanted a rifle accurate to 400 yards.

Frankly, I'm not sure that you can expect repeatable 400 yard accuracy out of any rifle if your stated intention is to shoot the cheapest crap ammunition you can find through it.

straitnate14
December 30, 2010, 01:07 AM
Love my AK but the I would take my AR over it if it came down to it. It seems like it is easier to upgrade than the AK and I like to reload so loading 5.56 is a lot easier to find components for. As far as the mini goes.. I hate them and that is my reason...

Dreamcast270mhz
December 30, 2010, 02:12 AM
In order from best to worst:

AK
Mini14
AR

The AK is available in SF versions for much less, the mini 14 has no SF version and ARs are well, ARs. Direct impingement sucks, face the fact it is an inferior design. The only DI rifles used widely are the AR platform, every other Mil-Spec rifle either has a piston or a short recoil system. The case on AK accuracy is BS, nine times out of ten, in FA fire, an AK will be easier to control due to less recoil (heavier body means less recoil, plus MB is there) and the 5.45 has better ballistics. The AK also does not need cleaning to fire, the ARs most definitely do or you will get jams. Sorry, but as I say, Stoner was a stoner.

The Ruger Mini has a better gas system than the AR, it also is more accurate due to generally longer barrels and better QC.

Sorry AR fellas, I like the AR but Stoner IMHO was an awful gun designer. He is in my books with the SVt-40 rifle creator, a bad design replacing an excellent one (m16 and m14, avs-36 and svt-40)

Spec ops Grunt
December 30, 2010, 02:22 AM
In order from best to worst:

AK
Mini14
AR

The AK is available in SF versions for much less, the mini 14 has no SF version and ARs are well, ARs. Direct impingement sucks, face the fact it is an inferior design. The only DI rifles used widely are the AR platform, every other Mil-Spec rifle either has a piston or a short recoil system. The case on AK accuracy is BS, nine times out of ten, in FA fire, an AK will be easier to control due to less recoil (heavier body means less recoil, plus MB is there) and the 5.45 has better ballistics. The AK also does not need cleaning to fire, the ARs most definitely do or you will get jams. Sorry, but as I say, Stoner was a stoner.

The Ruger Mini has a better gas system than the AR, it also is more accurate due to generally longer barrels and better QC.

Sorry AR fellas, I like the AR but Stoner IMHO was an awful gun designer. He is in my books with the SVt-40 rifle creator, a bad design replacing an excellent one (m16 and m14, avs-36 and svt-40)


Oh lawdy.

goon
December 30, 2010, 04:49 AM
Oh lawdy.


Agreed.
Just.... yeah. Agreed!

I've owned I think seven AK's now, one AR and was issued two M-16A2's, and have shot the Mini but never owned one.

The Mini I shot didn't work with the high-caps the owner had, but that's not the fault of the gun. Reliable hi-caps weren't available during the ban for anything less than your first-born child. They are available now and I think the Mini would run fine, especially the 16" version they're selling - because something about the harmonics of the Mini's standard barrel length was suspected of causing the accuracy issues. A shorter barrel should be less vulnerable to that. However, magazines are too expensive. It's not competitive for my uses. I rule it out, but based on economics, not on function. In a few years when reliable 20 and 30 round magazines are $11.99 each, I may reconsider.

The AK's I've owned and shot... some worked well and were reasonably accurate, one was perfectly reliable and very accurate, and a couple have neither worked reliably nor shot well. Sorry to the AK fan boys, but if the gun has something wrong with it, it's not going to run whether it's an AK or not. They're just rifles.

The AR I owned was an Olympic 16" carbine. I bought it before I knew Olympic was a lower quality AR and before I knew carbines lost so much velocity and how hard the 5.56 is on moving parts in a carbine length gun. Having said that, that freakin little rifle just plain worked. It needed a better fitting charging handle - sometimes I'd get a puff of gas in the face when shooting. But it did work.
The two M-16's I used in the Army also worked. One had a bad extractor spring when I got it. I complained, got that fixed, and it ran perfectly after that. The other worked fine from day one.

Of the choices, I'd take an AR. Why? Because I can hit stuff with them and when they're in good working order, they're not significantly less reliable than anything else.

Tirod
December 30, 2010, 11:03 AM
If you want to determine which gun will be reliable, then shoot the ammo that is supposed to go in it. Complaining about cheap steel fodder not working well is like complaining no lead gas in a NASCAR stocker means the car is crap. Really?

GUNS ARE DESIGNED TO WORK WITH AMMO THAT IS DESIGNED AND LOADED FOR THE GUN. That goes double for semi automatics. The general public is clueless, but take a closer look and learn something. Semi auto gas operated shotguns are largely equipped with regulating valves to work with both light bird loads and magnum goose. The extreme variance in gas available to make the action function, and the intolerance of shooters who refuse to consider their ammo the problem, have forced shotgun makers into coming up with all sorts of contrived mechanisms.

The M16/M4 uses a few issued rounds in combat, and they are loaded to make the action work FIRST, not save a dime a round blasting dirt berms. If cheap loads are what someone wants, get a gross of Black Cats. It amounts to about the same entertainment.

If the choice is a SHTF survival rifle built to the highest standard of durability to shoot no matter what, it's pretty lame to then expect great performance from import discount ammo never loaded to specs in the first place. We've got legions of posters claiming milspec is absolutely the minimum standard, but when it comes to ammo, get all squirmy about paying the price for it.

Hypocrites, or too lazy to reload - a entry level reloading kit is less than a good optic and will save 40-60% on ammo. What ARE they thinking?

Really, it's not so much the gun in a bad situation, like fishing, the prey could care less what rod and reel you have. What counts is the quality of the hook. Shooting crap malfunctioning ammo is it's own punishment.

Retitle the thread: AMMO for TEOTWAWKI: MILSPEC VS. THIRD WORLD VS. COMMERCIAL, Which do you trust your life with?

Justin
December 30, 2010, 12:59 PM
Dreamcast, with all due respect, you haven't the slightest understanding of what you're talking about.



Direct impingement sucks, face the fact it is an inferior design.

If by "has fewer moving parts, is a lighter overall system, and results in a rifle that is more inherently accurate" then yes, DI clearly sucks.

The only DI rifles used widely are the AR platform, every other Mil-Spec rifle either has a piston or a short recoil system.

Ah, an appeal to popularity. More people do it one way, so that must be correct.

Most computers in this world run Windows, so clearly it must be a much better and more stable operating system than Linux or MacOS.



The case on AK accuracy is BS,

Only if you're engaging targets out to about 150-200 yards. Much beyond that, and it becomes pretty clearly obvious which rifle system is more suited to engaging targets at distance.

nine times out of ten, in FA fire, an AK will be easier to control due to less recoil (heavier body means less recoil, plus MB is there)

Really? Would you care to enlighten us with your experiences firing fully-automatic assault rifles in side-by-side comparisons?

and the 5.45 has better ballistics.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=29698&d=1128794076

The AK also does not need cleaning to fire, the ARs most definitely do or you will get jams.

Ah yes. AKs never jam. Ever. And ARs are clearly unreliable and won't run dirty. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZAHAr-GmJg) Nevermind that I own multiple ARs that generally go around 1,000-2,000 rounds between cleanings, and even a cursory search of this forum will show you many posts from many AR owners who report similar results.

Sorry, but as I say, Stoner was a stoner.

Herp derp derp

The Ruger Mini has a better gas system than the AR, it also is more accurate due to generally longer barrels and better QC.

If so, then explain to me why the Mini 14 design generally is a 2 moa or worse rifle out of the box, and the groups tend to open up under sustained rapid fire. (The same can be said for the AK as well.)


Sorry AR fellas, I like the AR but Stoner IMHO was an awful gun designer.

Perhaps you'd care to show us your mechanical engineering credentials? Demonstrate your knowledge of firearms design by showing us a rifle of your own conception that you've built, that runs under adverse conditions, and is 1moa accurate out of the box.

Or perhaps you'd care to regale us with rifle experience that wasn't derived from playing Call of Duty.

Robert
December 30, 2010, 01:15 PM
The AK is available in SF versions for much less, the mini 14 has no SF version and ARs are well, ARs. Direct impingement sucks, face the fact it is an inferior design. The only DI rifles used widely are the AR platform, every other Mil-Spec rifle either has a piston or a short recoil system. The case on AK accuracy is BS, nine times out of ten, in FA fire, an AK will be easier to control due to less recoil (heavier body means less recoil, plus MB is there) and the 5.45 has better ballistics. The AK also does not need cleaning to fire, the ARs most definitely do or you will get jams. Sorry, but as I say, Stoner was a stoner.

You clearly have never fired an AK or an AR on FA... Stop playing COD and go to the range .

okiewita40
December 30, 2010, 01:22 PM
My vote goes to the AR. Because that is what I am familiar with.

benEzra
December 30, 2010, 02:08 PM
The Ruger Mini has a better gas system than the AR, it also is more accurate due to generally longer barrels and better QC.
False. A very good mini shoots as well as an average AR, and the best mini's (the Target model) are not as accurate as an AR set up for precision shooting. The mini's cantilevered gas block and very heavy "piston" work against accuracy, as does the fact that a mini cannot be set up with a truly free-floated barrel.

My own mini (188-series Ranch Rifle) was less accurate with precision loads than my 7.62x39mm Century-import Romanian AK shooting black-box Wolf, which is saying something. That's not to say mini's are all that bad (most aren't), but the AR is far and away the more accurate system. The AR is also far more reliable than Internet myth would suggest.

Dreamcast270mhz
December 30, 2010, 02:35 PM
Wow, a mod being a troll... I do not play Call of Duty, but neither am I an engineer in guns or anything like that. I am just taking into account that in the world of small arms, you can't argue the same principle as in computers. The consumer world runs windows, but the embedded market is primarily unix/linux territory, and they outnumber consumer machines by more than 2:1. Its like looking at the number of M4s in the US military versus the number of FALs then using that statistic for the world, it isn't an accurate statistic because you aren't looking at the big picture.

Plus take into account that the video you sent me had 31 likes, 34 dislikes, I am surprised at you immaturity by even trying to validate such a video's credibility of lack thereof. Most of the comments in the beginning refer to the 47, not the 74 and they obviously rigged it by using a defective magazine or one they put handfuls of crap in. I would have expected more professional behaviour from a moderator too, you don't back up your facts reasonably at all and you resort to attacking my own credibility.

Since we are on the matter of reliability, explain why a DI M4 jammed the most versus the SCAR,416 and XM8? Almost twice as much as the 416 did, so you see, simply adding a gas piston doubled reliability. A gas piston is a much better design because you don't get barrel fouling from recaptured gases, in a combat situation, your gun needs to be able to tolerate even the dirtiest ammunition, something the M16A1 failed to do in 'Nam.

I have shot a 47 in both FA and SA, and I will say it had pretty bad recoil, I have shot a Mini 14 which had no noticeable recoil compared to a 47, but as most ARs are composites and aluminum, so recoil is definitely worse. From this I can say the recoil of a 74 (which I've held) is most likely somewhere between a mini 14 and an AR, so fairly light recoil on a 74 can be expected.

The 5.45 is less velocity dependent and has a heavier bullet, suggesting it can tumble more easily in a person. Both rounds however cannot be used for deer hunting in some places, for obvious reasons, so I say both are unsuitable for military use as how can you expect it to take down a person when it can't take down a deer?

The Mini I shot has an aftermarket barrel, (I was 13 when I shot it) and so we were not judging accuracy, but IIRC I was doing okay with it out to 200 yd, of course my father had sighted the gun before I shot it, so that probably had something to do with it. The rifle looks like the police ac 556, but is shorter and is semi only, it doesn't say ranch rifle so it is pre 2005.

As for which system is better for engaging at a distance, the AR platform relies on high velocity of the bullet and most mil spec rifles are little good beyond 400yds in semi. An AK may have reduced velocity, but in a military setting this is not an issue. Try attaching a 4x scope to your AR and compare it to an M1A with the same power scope. Try shooting a target beyond 450 yd with both, as you will see the AR will have greatly reduced accuracy beyond that range.

Neither system is designed for long range targets, as both are miliatry derived designs from the Cold War, the 74 was designed to give Soviet soldiers the ability to have longer range FA control, where as the AR-15 is a neutered AR-10 designed for a smaller round that should never have been introduced to our military, as we traded an excellent battle rifle for a mediocre varmit gun.


Thats the end of my arguements, take it as you will

Robert
December 30, 2010, 02:49 PM
A gas piston is a much better design because you don't get barrel fouling from recaptured gases, in a combat situation, your gun needs to be able to tolerate even the dirtiest ammunition, something the M16A1 failed to do in 'Nam.
That was nearly 50 years ago at this point. Advances have been made. The issues of the 1960s are no longer a problem. You argument is invalid.
From this I can say the recoil of a 74 (which I've held)
But never fired. Argument invalid.
The 5.45 is less velocity dependent and has a heavier bullet, suggesting it can tumble more easily in a person.
Cite please.
As for which system is better for engaging at a distance, the AR platform relies on high velocity of the bullet and most mil spec rifles are little good beyond 400yds in semi.
Yeah cause I have never hit targets at 600y yards with an AR and an ACOG... oh wait yeah I did.
that should never have been introduced to our military, as we traded an excellent battle rifle for a mediocre varmit gun.
You base this on your many years of service in the armed forces do you? Oh wait...

And as for the HK416 being the do all end all check this link out:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=313249

And just on a whim, does your user name refer to the Sega Dreamcast? Cause that has to be the absolute worst gaming system in history.

Justin
December 30, 2010, 02:59 PM
Dreamcast, would you care to give us an estimate of how many rounds you put through various rifles in any given year?

How much experience do you have with the following platforms:

AK-pattern guns
AR15s
SCAR
HK416
XM-8
Mini-14


Of those rifles which you presumably have experience with, under what circumstances have you used them? Any of the following:


Training classes
Practically-oriented competition
Precision-oriented competition
Military service
Police service
Hunting


Answering the above questions will go a long way to establishing where the conversation goes.

FlyinBryan
December 30, 2010, 03:07 PM
The Ruger Mini has a better gas system than the AR, it also is more accurate due to generally longer barrels and better QC.

Sorry AR fellas, I like the AR but Stoner IMHO was an awful gun designer.

epic fail

SpentCasing
December 30, 2010, 04:06 PM
AK- Dead nuts reliable and accurate out to 100 yards

AK47 cartridge is useful up to 300m.
AK74 is a bit more inherently accurate than a '47. A '74 cart has better trajectory than it's Dad (7.62x39mm) for longer distance shooting and that cartridge is arguably superior to 5.56NATO for soft tissue yaw. Heard has to do with air pocket in tip of bullet but memory maybe mistaken on that.

There are many reasons for opinion for AR>AK74, some quite valid. But to say a '74 is good only for 100m is just silly.

Back on topic, I already own a nice '47 so im thinking about an AR but the '74 is nothing to underestimate and i wouldnt be upset to have one instead [of AR].

Also battlefield pickup compatibility is silly argument too. If the ammo is laying around chances are the firearm for it is laying there too. So buy what you are most comfortable with and run it hard until you would need to adapt to situations.

goon
December 30, 2010, 04:42 PM
Also battlefield pickup compatibility is silly argument too. If the ammo is laying around chances are the firearm for it is laying there too. So buy what you are most comfortable with and run it hard until you would need to adapt to situations.


Valid point.
Nothing against a good AK either.
I've spent enough time on the range and in the woods to know that under less than ideal conditions, it can be pretty damn hard to pick out a man with even the slightest camo at even 100 yards. One time I was putting targets up and when I looked back at the shooting benches, the buddy I was with (wearing an M-65 field jacket and jeans) had freakin' disappeared! He wasn't trying to hide - but even that little bit of antiquated camo was enough to make him very hard to see against the background of trees on a sunny day at the range.
So the 300 yard limitation of the AK's cartridge is not really that big of a deal in most cases. Truth is I've had seven of them because I like them - I just cant find one that suits me for what I want (and some have been straight-up POS's), so I keep selling them and looking for another.
And with prices on AK's creeping up, it's hard to justify not buying the American built rifle that's compatible with the American service rifle and firing ammunition that's widely available and made by virtually every domestic manufacturer, especially when that American rifle is generally more accurate.
And when it comes down to the choice between an $800+ AK and putting a couple hundred more to it for a used M1A or maybe a new FAL, the choice is pretty clear (to me).

And I'm not sure the FA arguments matter at all either.
I fired my M-16 on burst once. For one training exercise... pretty much just to know how it worked. This was with a rifle issued to me by Uncle Sam when I was active Army. ONCE. Furthermore, I know I can run a semi-auto almost as fast as FA fire for a double or triple tap. I've had people look at my semi-auto guns and ask where the selector switch is, only to learn that practice is what gives me my rate of fire. Even that has limited utility for anything other than close range defense.
But for the purpose of this discussion, how many of us are actually going to be using our own privately owned select fire AK's, M-16's, or Mini's? I'd bet a very small number of us have ever even seen FA examples of all these rifles.
So lets stick to the semi-auto clones.

Magog
December 30, 2010, 06:12 PM
For me... And I know you will laugh. I am a novice at this stuff.

All I know is what I play on Call of Duty, and I am deadly with my M16.

600 yard kill zone is hard to get around and it is the most accurate rife I have played with.

I am saving up now to get my M16 in real life, both the A3 223 version for the end of the world, and the 22 lr SPR for practice and plinking.

benEzra
December 30, 2010, 08:57 PM
Since we are on the matter of reliability, explain why a DI M4 jammed the most versus the SCAR,416 and XM8? Almost twice as much as the 416 did, so you see, simply adding a gas piston doubled reliability.
The 416, SCAR, and XM8 were allowed to use improved magazine designs; the M4 was stuck with old USGI magazines, as I recall. Many of the dust failures were magazine related, so using the improved magazines with the M4 would have resulted in less of a difference.

As to the XM8, I believe it melted the polymer barrel trunnion and/or handguards during DoD tests under sustained firing, so not all the bugs were worked out of that design either.

A gas piston is a much better design because you don't get barrel fouling from recaptured gases
Please clarify. DI vs piston doesn't affect barrel fouling at all, to my knowledge.

Also, contrary to popular belief, the AR system vents the excess gas to the atmosphere via the two gas ports in the bolt carrier; it does not pump the gas into the action. You will get a slight amount of fouling from residual gas in the gas tube after the action opens, but I can vouch for the fact that an AK does that too to some extent (the AK gas piston tube is open to the receiver), and most of the residual gas in the receiver during cycling comes from the chamber/barrel anyway.

in a combat situation, your gun needs to be able to tolerate even the dirtiest ammunition, something the M16A1 failed to do in 'Nam.
The dirtiest 5.56x45mm ammunition I know of on the U.S. market is Wolf/Tula, and even a cheap AR can go 15,000 rounds of Wolf without cleaning if it has proper chamber dimensions, is assembled properly, and some oil is squirted in there every thousand rounds or so...

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/06/09/a-clean-wouldnt-hurt/

BTW, note that most of the long-term fouling buildup in that test occurred around the bolt lugs, not the gas tube. A 416 will foul there just as well.

henschman
December 30, 2010, 09:26 PM
I don't think it can really be argued that a DI system runs dirtier and hotter and needs to be cleaned more often than a gas piston system in a similar rifle. The question is whether it runs dirtier enough or hotter enough or has to be cleaned so much more often that it is a significant handicap.

I would say that might depend on the conditions it is used under. For sustained use in the field under dirty conditions with limited tools and limited shelter in which to clean, it might become an issue. Other than that, probably not.

As has been said, a quality AR can run a long time between cleanings... a chrome-lined bore and chamber really helps in this regard. That also helps with running dirty Russian lacquered case ammo, and makes cleaning easier. However, I have still never seen an AR do anything like "Ol' Dirty," the FAL that has fired over 15,000 rounds while still functioning reliably (and is still going strong, apparently). http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=68486

And I'm sure there are AKs in Africa with round counts without cleanings that would put that to shame.

benEzra
December 30, 2010, 09:49 PM
However, I have still never seen an AR do anything like "Ol' Dirty," the FAL that has fired over 15,000 rounds while still functioning reliably (and is still going strong, apparently).
http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/06/09/a-clean-wouldnt-hurt/

That's not a top-tier AR, either; it's a Model 1 Sales BCG, Bushmaster barrel, and a RRA lower with some generic lower parts kit.

Grunt Medic TXARNG
December 30, 2010, 10:14 PM
Also battlefield pickup compatibility is silly argument too. If the ammo is laying around chances are the firearm for it is laying there too. So buy what you are most comfortable with and run it hard until you would need to adapt to situations.
My reason for wanting to have an AR that can run 5.45, 5.56 and 7.62x39 as well as use both AR and AK magazines is for maximum flexibility. And in an emergency situation I expect it is the military calibers that will be most available in any quantity, from a number of sources (what retailers are still up, other shooters, and yesm the possibility of running the opposition's ammo). And while you may very well be correct that if one were to capture ammo in a force on force scenario one would also capure the arms that use that ammo - I'd much rather bet my life on my own arms that I've maintained and trained with than on a pickup with a dubious history.

My opinion only, and your mileage may vary.

Tirod
December 31, 2010, 11:07 AM
An AR that can use an AK mag has to have major surgery on the mag well. The two are almost completely incompatible. An AR that can shoot 7.62x39 requires a special magazine. It's a tapered case getting shoved through a straight mag well. Even the most vocal enthusiasts haven't found mags that work reliably.

There will not be ammo laying around unless it's within arm's reach and the carrier was just rendered helpless. As the ammo panic last year proved, mil calibers dry up within days. Unless you have some, you can't get more, and you can only carry so much. After that - if you are on the move - good luck. Most ammo is located in urban built up areas, exactly where all the survivalists plan not to be.

Give it six months, we'll be carrying staffs and longbows. A good sword will be a prized possession.

RockyMtnTactical
December 31, 2010, 01:51 PM
AR15 all the way. Very reliable, extremely accurate, modular, etc...

rbernie
December 31, 2010, 02:03 PM
Even the most vocal enthusiasts haven't found mags that work reliably. Not an entirely accurate statement, but there is no doubt that the magwell of the AR is not compatible with the case taper of 7.62x39 and the magazines needed to make it work have been long in coming. My current C Products mags, updated with AK springs, have been trouble free.

Addressing the OP, all I can offer is that I have owned all three and have shot thousands of rounds through each. Each has their own virtues and faults (many of which have become overstated into Internet folklore), but in the end the most satisfying platform for any use I can conjure is the AR. It's fastest and easiest to run, easiest to update, and boringly reliable in the climates found in the US and most of the world. It trades off precision of manufacture for ease of support (in diametric opposition to the AK, which is easier to make but not as easy to keep running from a supply of spare parts).

The AK and Mini have their roles and uses, and I will not disrespect them in any way. They serve yeoman duty as lower-cost rifles of adequate accurate, and (in the case of the AK) with the promise of suitability to the harshest of climates.

4v50 Gary
December 31, 2010, 02:05 PM
AR because of parts, magazine and ammunition availability. Also, the AR can be worked on very easily.

wow6599
December 31, 2010, 02:09 PM
For everyone bashing the Mini-14......the new ones are nothing like the old ones. A new Mini is just as accurate as an AR and they have always been more reliable when using factory mags.

X-Rap
December 31, 2010, 02:36 PM
When Brownells makes a separate cataloge of 100 pages selling mini 14 parts and accessories then maybe I will look at the Ruger again to see if it is as accurate and reliable as the AR, until then there is no reason.

1911austin
December 31, 2010, 02:43 PM
AR15 = First Choice
AK47 = Close Second
Ruger = Way down the list...

wow6599
December 31, 2010, 02:43 PM
When Brownells makes a separate cataloge of 100 pages selling mini 14 parts and accessories then maybe I will look at the Ruger again to see if it is as accurate and reliable as the AR, until then there is no reason
I will concede that the Mini-14 is not tacticool enough to be Gecko45 approved, but they work.

Dreamcast270mhz
December 31, 2010, 03:03 PM
On the same hand, I've heard people talk about how a long stroke piston throws you off balance. In all the rounds fired in my friend's SF AK-S, I have not felt any throwing off of balance, and I've put at least 200 rounds on semi, around 500 more on FA myself. So no wonder a DI system is only found in the AR platforms, its advantages are minimal enough that every other 5.56 rifle used as the standard (AUG, G36, SA80, FAMAS) all are either gas piston or recoil operated, probably pretty smart consideringthe rifle's poor desert/jungle performance.

Justin
December 31, 2010, 03:06 PM
The AK and Mini have their roles and uses, and I will not disrespect them in any way.

Ultimately, that's what any of these discussion are about. On a fundamental level, these sorts of discussions generate a lot of heat for two reasons:


They have a personal attachment to a particular platform for purely emotional reasons.
Most people don't have a basic understanding of how to define the role they need a rifle to fill.


If you live in a location where your longest rifle range is only 100-200 yards, then the added expense of a rifle that will reach out further may be a waste of money.

If you live in a place where you can shoot to 400-600 yards, then the added reach of a rifle capable of that sort of accuracy is a wise expenditure, presuming you're willing to practice at those distances.

If the role your rifle needs to play can be described as "field accuracy to 200ish yards" then both the Mini and the AK would be reasonable choices to make.

Justin
December 31, 2010, 03:15 PM
On the same hand, I've heard people talk about how a long stroke piston throws you off balance.

I have never, ever heard anyone say that a piston-driven system "throws you off balance." Piston-driven guns have more mass moving back and forth, and will therefore disturb the site picture more than a DI system, making follow-up shots slower.

In all the rounds fired in my friend's SF AK-S, I have not felt any throwing off of balance, and I've put at least 200 rounds on semi, around 500 more on FA myself.

700 rounds is barely broken in for a rifle. Besides, you never described the circumstances under which you fired those rounds. Nor have you answered the questions I asked of you in my previous post.

So no wonder a DI system is only found in the AR platforms, its advantages are minimal enough that every other 5.56 rifle used as the standard (AUG, G36, SA80, FAMAS) all are either gas piston or recoil operated,


The DI system fundamentally makes for a better rifle for a number of reasons:


Fewer moving parts means less of a disturbed site picture between shots.
Removing the piston means that the operating system of the rifle can be much lighter.
This lighter operating system makes it much easier to build a gun with a floated barrel, which goes a long way to improving the mechanical accuracy of the gun.
Installation of a float tube also improves accuracy when shooting from improvised field positions.


probably pretty smart consideringthe rifle's poor desert/jungle performance.
[Citation Needed]

Justin
December 31, 2010, 03:25 PM
I just realized you put the SA80 in a list of rifles you consider to be superior to the M16/AR15 family.

goon
December 31, 2010, 03:44 PM
I think that would be the first time anyone has placed the SA80 superior to anything (but I say this based only on reading).

I agree that a piston driven system is generally more reliable, but the question... is DI reliable enough?
Based on my experience, it definitely is.

One other thing I'll say for the AR - it's not only accurate, but it's generally easy to shoot well.

Dreamcast270mhz
December 31, 2010, 08:47 PM
As I said, I do not own the AK, so I don't shoot it but like a few times a year. The jungle/desert performance is based on the numerous videos made about it (namely the AK vs m16 video by discovery) and the complaints of three friends who have been shipped to iraq during army service. All three had m16A4s, and all three had more than one occasion where the rifle jammed during enemy contact, all were caused either by sand or sustained fire causing the gun to fail to extract the casing or to feed a new one.

As for my own gun experience, my father is an avid gun collector who has multiple rifles, shotguns and pistols, including a Mini 14, and has good friend with an Ar-57 and 15 upper. I have shot multiple guns myself, from a SiG Mosquito to a 50 caliber rifled slug gun. I have had no formal training besides a gun safety course, but have witnessed complete disassembles, cleanings after sustained fire and detailed diagrams describing the different stages of firing. I saw AR-57 bump fired with 200 rounds (4 mags), then cleaned, and the chamber and bolt area were pretty dirty, even with handloaded rounds.

And its not as if i think the AR is the worst gun ever, just in an emergency I would rely on an AK or other piston operated gun

jad0110
December 31, 2010, 10:48 PM
Well, I went out to the range today with family - took my AR, my sister and future brother and fiance brought their Bulgarian and Russian AK-74s, and my dad brought his SKS.

And wouldn't you know it, everyone one of them had at least one crap out. Were all the planets in alignment today or something? :uhoh: :confused:

The only guns that didn't mess up were the revolvers. :neener:

Jon Coppenbarger
January 1, 2011, 01:24 AM
I have not shot a mini in quite a few years but never had a problem with it being reliable. acuracy was ok but did not try to make it do something it was not designed to do.

the ak well have not shot the 74 type but I would think somebody who knew what they were doing would do fine with one and if they are as reliable as the 47 its should be a fine weapon. took a 47 to a rifle match one time for kicks and took 3rd out of almost 40 shooters. No match rifles allowed and open sites only. we shot at 100,200 and 300 in standing sitting and prone. IT was the only ak there that day.

Now the ar15 is a ok weapon and I guess most of us are more used to it than the other two listed. I would rate it better than the other two and not because of reliability. just because of the platforms you can chose from. barrels, target, varmit or what ever and the bullet choices are pretty endless. And it certain cases have been know to shoot accuratly even without a scope ha! ha! ha!

do not own a video game and have never been in the military or on a police department or taken any classes to learn to shoot better either. just giving opinions from what I have personally experienced thats all. and we all know what a opinions worth LOL.

-v-
January 1, 2011, 02:57 AM
I own a Arsenal Saiga SGL21, and a DPMS AR-10 (Ok, not an AR-15, but close). My experience with both has been superb. The AR-10 does shoot more accurately then the AK from a bench. So in terms of absolute accuracy the AR wins. I have been able to pair it down to about 1.5 MOA with factory ammunition. A hand-loading set up is down stairs, but lacking powder, primers, and bullets for the 500 or so piece of brass that I have saved up. My Saiga's best has been 3 MOA with brown bear HP, although some quality hand-loads may shrink that down. Russian ammunition seems to be loaded to a 3-4 MOA standard.

However, from field expedient and standing positions, I am getting roughly the same accuracy from the two. About 3 MOA at 100 yards. Firing from a supported position versus a 12oz Coke bottle at 100 yards, I am getting about the same hit-probability from both rifles.

Where I find that the AR shines is in balance. I do think that an AR has a better balance to it than the AK. The AK is slightly nose-heavy, and becomes very nose heavy when I mount optics on it using the side rail. holding up 11-12lb almost exclusively with your weak-hand is not fun. In contrast, my AR balances nicely over my dominant hand with any type of optics mounted. That said, an AR is also dirtier and more difficult to clean because of the more enclosed receiver and the many small spaces for crud to hide in. Ergonomics on the AR are also superior from a sporting perspective.

Now, for a TEOTWAKI gun, I think the AK platform is better. The current Russian 7.62 and 5.45 are both designed to quickly and violently tumble, like the British .303, and induce quite a bit of damage. Accuracy is enough to deliver accurate fire on man-sized targets to 300 yards, and as the Military has pointed out since WW1, 98%+ of engagements happen under 300 yards, and most successful engagements under 100 or 150 yards. By successful, I refer to enemy casualties generated, rather than shooting at each other for a few minutes and parting ways.

As for the OP's question, in terms of wounding the 5.56 and 5.45 are both similar enough. The accuracy of the AR platform is better (But, M193 is loaded to about 2.5 MOA), but at a slight disadvantage to reliability. A good, chrome lined 5.45 AK is more reliable, at the expense of some accuracy (Surplus 5.45 seems to shoot 2.5-3 MOA), and worse ergonomics. From my experience, the AK can be made to run within a fraction of a second of an AR. It does not require any more training then it does to run an AR quickly, contrary to opinion. The main hinderer to AR shooters in running an AK quickly is the training on running an AR quickly and trying to run an AK like an AR. Each has its own manual of arms, and takes about equally long to learn and become proficient in each. The AR manual of arms is simply easier to figure out without anyone showing you. Iron sights and optics options are better on the AR-15, but you can get some extremely durable, good quality military surplus scopes for the AK for a little more then .22lr scopes/entry level center-fire scopes. Picatini rail adapters are available that use the side rail, or after-market options such as the dog-leg rail. Under field conditions, cyclic rate of fire for both firearms is the same.

In the end, I would say that its a personal choice. A top of the line AK made on the same production lines as a mil-spec AK can be had for as little as $500 (with some elbow grease), whereas a AR that meets most/all MIL-STD runs for $900 and waaay up. If you take care of them, both will be nearly equally reliable, and both will be more then accurate enough for practical shooting. Choose what you like, and learn to shoot it well.

Coal Dragger
January 1, 2011, 03:39 AM
AR.

Typically more accurate, easy to find parts for, easy to work on, modular, very reliable (if you purchase a no BS unit with top quality parts). Other considerations to take into account aside from the inherent virtues of the AR platform, are easier mounting of optics, far superior iron sights in stock form, excellent ergonomics and easy to shoot fairly well.

HD Fboy
January 1, 2011, 06:35 AM
AR is my choice.

I have never gotten over the look and feel of the AK. They look like a poorly executed high school shop experiment. They may be reliable but I just don't like the way the gun feels in my hands.

I have owned Mini 14's. They are just ok.

Guns are like shoes you need to find what fits you.

For me, I want US made.

Double Vision
January 1, 2011, 08:15 AM
+1 on USA-made.
I've never fired an AK but I'm not excited by them either.
I love my Mini 14, my AR is excellent. If I could throw my Mini Thirty into the mix it's right next to my 14.

countryrebel
January 1, 2011, 09:06 PM
AR, AK, Mini 14
That is the order I would take them.

KMO
January 8, 2011, 09:50 AM
Because it always fires, and it hits what I aim at...case closed...

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk26/kbmoffitt/Mo-Rod006.jpg

Welding Rod
January 8, 2011, 01:52 PM
Mini for sure.

Mostly because if you plan your shots right, you could get two hits with one cartridge... take out one bad guy with the bullet, a second with the ejected brass.

Not only that, after the heat of 5 or 10 rounds you could use the bend in the barrel to shoot around corners without exposing yourself.

And if you go in the water, a quick field strip and the wood stock could be used as a floatation device.

Just kidding of course, mostly. I actually like the Mini quite a bit for out to 200 yards or so, and the newer models are fine for farther yet.

As much as I like the Mini however, I do like the AR better. There are a few features of the Mini I prefer over the AR though. One is the open top reciever and the charging handle. I also like the look and feel of a wood stock for general shooting, but not SHTF. The ergos of the Mini are nice for carrying. The sight radius is excellent with its irons and vastly greater than a carbine gas length AR.

I prefer the AR for its accuracy, the way the mags go straight in to the reciever during loading, the ability to easily add a light, and due to its superior ergos for shooting (other than the top rear charging handle). The flat top models provide huge flexibility for sight options.

fireside44
January 8, 2011, 02:03 PM
I'll vote AR.

Light ammo, very accurate. Lots of guys saying "they foul to easy" and then are talking of running dirty corrosive through their AK. I wouldn't leave my cleaning kit at home with either of them myself.

To be honest, none of these guns would be my first choice.

.zerocool.
February 5, 2011, 12:22 AM
Well, I have to say, for practical use, the AR based gun with either a blow back non gas system or a piston operated system is my choice. For many reasons. From available features, upgrade parts including trigger kits and mount on's, to performance, accuracy, and insane takedown power. Heck, the AR has over a dozen calibers of ammo that can be used with it.

For collector purposes, or simplicity, I'd take the mini 14 over the ak any day. Sure 7.62 ammo is dirt cheap, and sure ak's take one hell of a beating and still work, but the mini 14 is not only sexy, but accurate, and adaptable. Buuut, the mini 14 will always peak in performance that is less than an AR can be built to. There is absolutely 0 way you can make a mini 14 perform like a built AR can, and there is no way an AK can beat a mini 14 in performance.

To Add, I've owned all 3 and put more than 10k rounds through each, in -f weather all the way to 90+% humidity. I loved my mini 14 to death, but there was no way I could ever make it as capable as an AR based gun no matter how much money and gunsmithing I could have done to it.

Rich223
February 19, 2011, 10:52 AM
Mini 14 - Reliability above AR, on par with AK, more accurate than AK (580 + series) about 2-3 moa.

UnknownGunMan
February 19, 2011, 10:56 AM
For Convenience AR - Parts and Magazines are more readily available...

AR mags DONT work in MINI or vice versa, so it's hard to own both, as you are liable to grab the wrong mags...

If it was a battle situation... I'd grab the AK...

Mini - good truck gun you don't mind getting rusty...

Tonedeaforphan
March 7, 2011, 05:42 PM
Place all three on ground. Run over with truck. Now see which is better the aluminumR-15 , the ak or the rugged garand style mini14

Combatops1911
March 7, 2011, 07:39 PM
Ak ak ak ak ak ak ak

shotgunslinger
March 9, 2011, 12:28 AM
Lets go ak lets go!

Ignition Override
March 9, 2011, 03:57 AM
Is this evaluation based on an AR kept clean and the other two rifles neglected and kept very dirty?

Does it assume that only factory mags are used?

NWCP
March 9, 2011, 04:37 AM
With the choices given I'd have to stick with my AR15's. Accuracy is better with the AR platform IMHO. With proper maintenance reliability of the AR is more than acceptable. The other two rifles have their place and their proponents. I just happen to prefer the AR over both the AK and Mini 14's. I also happen to like the CZ VZ58 and own one with Zahal furniture. While not as accurate as my AR's it is totally reliable and is a huge improvement over the AK.

benEzra
March 9, 2011, 12:44 PM
The jungle/desert performance is based on the numerous videos made about it (namely the AK vs m16 video by discovery)
The Discovery Channel AK vs. M16 piece is one of the worst pieces of firearms hackery I have seen on that channel. As I recall, they chose a couple of popular myths (the M16 will jam if not kept squeaky clean, the AK can't even stay on paper at 200 yards) and then concocted some "tests" to prop up those stereotypes. The trigger-slapping by AK Guy during the accuracy testing was epic.

I saw AR-57 bump fired with 200 rounds (4 mags), then cleaned, and the chamber and bolt area were pretty dirty, even with handloaded rounds.
I believe the AR-57 upper is blowback-operated, not direct-impingement gas operated, so that's not an indictment of the DI system. All of that residue came from the residual gas and debris blowing out of the chamber and case when the action opens and ejects, and and all automatic and semiautomatic firearms (including AK's) do that.

Also, keep in mind that powder residue won't jam a rifle if it's kept oiled; it's dirt and sand you really have to worry about, and DI AR's keep dirt out of the receiver and magazine as well as piston AR's do. I suspect that most of the (relatively few) M16/M4 problems that crop up in-theater are more due to dirty/worn out aluminum magazines, ejection port covers left open, and erroneous keep-it-oil-free dogma than they are due to the DI system.

in an emergency I would rely on an AK or other piston operated gun
I'd rate a properly put together AR (gas key screws properly staked, proper buffer and spring weight) about as reliable as a typical civilian AK, as long as it wasn't run dry. Wet and dirty isn't a problem for the AR, but dry and dirty can be (just as it can be with an M1 Garand, an M1A, or a mini-14). I own both, like both, and would be equally comfortable with either in a pinch.

Justin
March 9, 2011, 12:52 PM
Place all three on ground. Run over with truck. Now see which is better the aluminumR-15 , the ak or the rugged garand style mini14

If you're the sort of person who's in the habit of running guns over with trucks, perhaps you ought not be let near firearms.

Or motor vehicles.

benEzra
March 9, 2011, 01:07 PM
Place all three on ground. Run over with truck. Now see which is better the aluminumR-15 , the ak or the rugged garand style mini14
I'm not sure, not having tried it, but I suspect it would be harder to crush the aluminum receiver of an AR-15 than it would be to break the lightly reinforced wooden walls of the mini-14's magwell or op rod channel. And if you spring the reinforcement away from the stock proper, or bend the sheet-metal arms that connect to the trigger guard, the trigger group will fall out and the rifle will fall apart. I'm not sure the gas block alignment would hold either since it's not flat.

That's not to say that the mini-14 isn't a fairly rugged gun, but it's not made to withstand being run over, any more than the AR or AK are.

Justin
March 9, 2011, 01:37 PM
Is this evaluation based on an AR kept clean and the other two rifles neglected and kept very dirty?

There are plenty of AR-pattern guns with multiple thousands of rounds through them that have received no or minimal cleaning. The finnickyness of the AR platform is vastly overstated.

M.C.
March 9, 2011, 02:08 PM
AR... because it is you can't be a mall ninja without one :D

gotigers
March 9, 2011, 02:39 PM
AR15

why?: (in no particular order)

Accuracy
recoil
options (including calibers)
ergonomics
accessories
availability of parts
better ammo options
ammo is cheap enough
lethal
reliability
ease of maintenance
versatility

dave85620
March 9, 2011, 09:45 PM
What a great thread! I've actually been thinking of getting a mini recently and thought the info in this thread was informative. However, iv'e come to the conclusion that the mini is just too expensive when compared to the ar-15. The ss mini I looked at in turners yesterday was going for $799! The cheapest Iv'e seen, in my area and new, was about $750. This is just too much for such an ancient design IMO. I think they should be no more than $500 considering you can get something like a Spikes tactical mid length for the same price as a new mini. They are badass looking though and love the simple design.

bruzer
March 9, 2011, 11:46 PM
Voted mini 14 because it is what I have. If my money tree would produce fruit the AR would be first in the line-up.
Mike

aklovinguy
March 10, 2011, 01:41 AM
ak 74 .super dependible. cheapest ammo. duh cominality of parts dont mean much when the gun prolly wont break in your lifetime.

aklovinguy
March 10, 2011, 01:44 AM
If you're the sort of person who's in the habit of running guns over with trucks, perhaps you ought not be let near firearms.

Or motor vehicles.
I second this. you can hand over the fire arms right now pall.lol

Ignition Override
March 10, 2011, 03:41 AM
aklovinguy:

As Century seems to always dominate or almost monopolize assembly of most AK and other imported semi-auto rifles, have they stopped using AK-74 barrels with over-sized bores in their Tantals?

"Sturmgewehr" reported that:
1) Century has been well aware of this for a while.
2) Their warranty periods begin when the product leaves the factory (normal consumer laws don't apply), which could be months before a given buyer decides to buy the gun.

merlinfire
March 10, 2011, 08:25 AM
They're all good guns. They have all been used by 1st world militaries to great effect, or in the case of the Mini, are based on a design that has been (Garand).

JustinJ
March 10, 2011, 11:55 AM
If the world ends or zombies masses come I would say and ak74 chambered in 5.56. I luv my ak74 and the 5.45 round but ammo would be scarce in the US post apocalypse. AR15's are great for a large mechanized military with plenty of resources to maintain them but for the guerilla ARs cant compare to the reliability of the ak. On the other hand, due to price, its easy to maintain a large supply of 5.45 ammo if bought in advance of catastrophy.

Tonedeaforphan
March 11, 2011, 12:46 PM
Ar 15 has no place in a survival situation. It gets dirty its over. the mini can be stripped down with zero tools and has a self cleaning action. It is durable and heavy enough to club something to death. Any survival situation I get into would be on American soil. How many rounds would you find in the abandoned hunting cabin for the ak over .223? Most likely none because people don't hunt with ak's mostly because most are utter crap. So an ar15 is more accurate but not more dependable. Look at our troops in the sandbox having to put plastic bags over the pieces of junk to keep them firing. If I was goin for accuracy for my survival trip none of these guns would be on the list.

bri
March 11, 2011, 01:00 PM
+1 AR.

The whole "ARs must be kept squeeky clean" myth is getting old, very old. It's inspired me to NOT clean my Spikes Middy for at least the next 5000 rounds, I may even start a thread.

In a "survival" type situation there will be numerous sources of lubrication (motor oil), which is all you'll need to keep an AR running smooth, right along with the combloc rifles.

I have zero experience with the Mini's, so no opinion there...

benEzra
March 11, 2011, 07:18 PM
Ar 15 has no place in a survival situation. It gets dirty its over.
Not the case, if the AR was assembled right. Here's an AR with a cheap Model 1 Sales upper after 15,000 rounds of Wolf steel-case without any cleaning, just occasional lubrication:

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/06/09/a-clean-wouldnt-hurt/

The mini can be stripped down with zero tools and has a self cleaning action.
All 3 choices (mini, AK, AR) field strip without tools, though a round or a fired case can be helpful in punching the AR's pins or pulling the mini's trigger guard to unlatch it. They're all three designed for easy maintenance.

My main concern with field-stripping the AR in a rough setting would be losing the cam pin or the little cotter key if you disassemble the bolt carrier group.

How many rounds would you find in the abandoned hunting cabin for the ak over .223? Most likely none because people don't hunt with ak's mostly because most are utter crap.
.223 is definitely one of the most common rounds in the United States (it's the #1 selling centerfire rifle caliber in the USA, so there's a lot of it around), but 7.62x39mm is probably #2, and you can find it pretty much anywhere, including Wal-Mart. Around here, it's more common than .30-30, I suspect.

Also, if you think you might need defensive ammunition (or anything else) after a disaster, buy it ahead of time; it will be hard to come by in a crisis, as demonstrated by Katrina. And you'd be plenty upset if you evacuated from a disaster and headed for your cabin in the woods only to discover that thieves had ransacked it and stolen your supplies before you got there.

So an ar15 is more accurate but not more dependable. Look at our troops in the sandbox having to put plastic bags over the pieces of junk to keep them firing.
I'll bet Iraqis wrap their AK's in sandstorms, too. AK's are pretty tolerant of dirt, but sand in the bolt lugs or inside the bolt carrier can certainly lock one up.

Myles
March 11, 2011, 07:50 PM
Mini-14, without a doubt. I own at least one in each platform.

Best combination of reliability, common cailber, ease of maintenance, without looking like a Rambo wanna be, if you need to go to court.

Gorgeous Gun Nut
March 11, 2011, 07:54 PM
Mini 14 hands down! I own one, and I just love the way it shoots, 500 yards every time!

impartial
March 11, 2011, 08:52 PM
my saiga .223 so i guess I'm taking the ak platform with the .223 ammo .. i can put 10 rounds of decent brass case ammo (american eagle tactical) in a 1.5inch circle at 70 to 100 yards .. . I don't really need much more than that.

kalashnikov74
March 11, 2011, 10:23 PM
AK-74 but would prefer AK-47:cool:

Art Eatman
March 11, 2011, 11:14 PM
Six pages is enough for this umpteenth iteration of this exact subject. Re-read the thread, think about it, and offer some different notions next time. :)

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