AR15 and AK47, or M1A?


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Bobson
June 19, 2012, 02:36 AM
I admit to being especially drawn to the "combat rifle" niche. Obviously, an AR15 is particularly appealing to me, because I was trained with one and the platform is familiar. However, the AK47 platform is equally appealing, for all the same reasons, plus the fact that I just enjoy shooting it more, for whatever reason.

I find the M1A at least as appealing as the other two, if not more... but for reasons I can't really explain. Never fired one. Never handled one. No clue how to field strip it, etc.

If I buy an AR15 (it would be the Colt 6920 without question), I must also buy an AK (an Arsenal SGL21-61). However, if I buy the M1A (likely a Springfield SOCOM), I feel I could ignore the AR/AK and be a happy camper, having adequately filled the niche with a powerhouse - in terms of caliber, function (from what I hear), aesthetics, etc, etc.

What would you do if you were me? Buy both an AR15 and AK47 (over time), or buy an M1A and be a happy camper? How's the field-strip process of the M1A? IMO, the AR and AK are both simple, reliable, familiar machines. Is the M1A more of a "high maintenance" rifle?

By the way, the availability of aftermarket "mods" for any of these three rifles is absolutely worthless to me - adding nothing in terms of appeal. The AK would certainly remain bone-stock, and the AR most likely would too. An EOTech, possibly, but nothing more. Same goes for the M1A.

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The-Reaver
June 19, 2012, 02:55 AM
I've owned all three.

Though I like the M1A I do not regret selling it. I shoot and use the AK and AR a lot more.

CGRifleman
June 19, 2012, 06:09 AM
I've owned an AR, a few AKs, a standard M1a and a SOCOM-16. The M1a is fun but is very overpriced in my opinion. So are the magazines. Field stripping is slightly more difficult than an AR (I've been bit by the trigger assembly a few times) but if you know anything about guns which you obviously do it's not a problem.
Have you considered a .308 AR? That would give you the punch of a full-power battle rifle but keep the familiarity and ergonomics of an AR15. If not, the AR and AK would still be a solid choice.

Some words on the SOCOM... it is a blast to shoot, and believe me this thing has some serious bark to it. But remember that the M14 platform was not designed to use a 16" barrel. The muzzle brake on it was put on there to create enough pressure for the gas system to cycle reliably. Never had any malfs with mine, but it's something to be aware of before you spend money on it. Also if you use anything over 150gr bullets you're risking bending your op rod. All in all I liked the gun, but I eventually sold it because given the price of .308 shells I couldn't afford to put as many rounds through it as I could with an AR or AK.
Hope this helps!

meanmrmustard
June 19, 2012, 06:14 AM
Get the SGL. It does not have to be babied, cleaned as often, and fires a cheaper round than does the AR. Colt specifically, in my experience having owned up until last Christmas the same model you're interested in, has poor customer service. I inquired about what looked to me to be shotty staking on the gas key, got "not my problem" out of CS dude on the phone.

I find the AK to be a superior design. Loose tolerances means reliability, gas piston action shoots cleaner than DI. Even with steel cased rounds. Eugene Stoner must've been stoned when he came up with the AR, what with blowing hot, carbon fouling rich gasses back into the chamber of the rifle. If I were you, being that you've decided to spend near or at $1000 on a Colt, I'd suggest a lesser costing model (as there isn't anything a RRA, M&P, or Stag can't do that the Colt can) and save the money on ammo, or convert the platform to gas piston. While heavier, it's cleaner and quite reliable. I do not see the DI AR as simpler, when it must be cleaned soooo much more often. IMHO.

As for AK vs AR, AK is more reliable, AR is gonna trump that in accuracy. This is moot if you find a decently priced gas piston AR. That would be my second choice.

eastbank
June 19, 2012, 06:21 AM
i have a ar and a ak, but i just like walnut in the morning and on my rifles. eastbank.

nathan
June 19, 2012, 10:36 AM
Just get a SGL 21 with lots of Chicom made mags without the backrib which can hurt at times. If you have the phallic syndrome the MIA platform is hard to beat. Also it will cost more to feed and surplus ammo can be hard to find. I already replaced my STG 58 with the M1 Garand for the big bore category. I ve never regretted it.

MIL-DOT
June 19, 2012, 10:43 AM
In my opinion, whether purchasing for some future SHTF scenario, or basic home defense, and just blasting at the range, the AK is the best, most practical bang for the buck, followed by the AR, and then the M1A.

Youngster
June 19, 2012, 10:59 AM
A Colt AR, and an Arsenal AK, are of much higher quality than Springfield's interpretation of an M-14.

dprice3844444
June 19, 2012, 11:04 AM
too much after tuning required with the socom
http://www.policeproducts.com/images/LE901.pdf best of both worlds same gun

kayak-man
June 19, 2012, 11:08 AM
I'd look into a L1A1/FAL for your 7.62NATO needs, and an AK or AR for something that you can shoot without spending lots of $$$ on ammo.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Sam1911
June 19, 2012, 11:18 AM
For the things I do with a semi-auto carbine, I'd choose the AR and/or AK. The M1A is a fine rifle that certainly has a place in most riflemen's collection, but it isn't a "go-to" rifle for any purpose I can think of.

Rifle marksmanship competition is hands-down AR-15 over the M14 and its clones.

"Practical/Action" competition favors the AR, with the AK coming in second as "sort of" competitive.

If your rifle shooting is limited to simple range plinking, it doesn't make much difference what you choose, all will get the job done. The AKs (especially a -74) will do it a lot cheaper than the M1A, and a little cheaper than an AR.

Unfortunately, the farther you get from a dedicated purpose, the harder it is to answer the question definitively. But aside from aesthetics, if it appeals to you, I can't think of any purpose I'd go out an buy an M1A to fulfill, over the other choices.

henschman
June 19, 2012, 11:38 AM
I'm all for M1A's and other .30 cal battle rifles, but I don't see the purpose behind something like the SOCOM. It's not great for longer range shooting and it's not great for close quarters dynamic shooting. Also, it doesn't have the same reputation for reliability as the standard M1A. I know there are lots of people who like them, and I'm sure they are pretty fun range toys, but if you're talking about combat rifles, a SOCOM would not rank very high on my list of rifles to take into combat, regardless of the situation.

If you want to go .30 cal, I would start with something a little more conventional, like a standard M1A. Or like someone else said, a .308 AR isn't a bad idea either.

The AK and AR are basically two rifles for the same role... shorter ranged, intermediate power carbines. If you don't have a big gun collection, I would suggest diversifying a little more rather than buying both of those. Just pick one of the two, and then save the rest for that .30 cal battle rifle... or better yet, spend it on a couple thousand rounds and some training for that carbine. After that, your gun knowledge will be increased and you will probably have a better idea of what else you want.

If it were me, I'd buy the AR, 10 mags, and a case or two of ammo. For training, I would start by going to an Appleseed to get a really good basis in the fundamentals, and then going to a weekend carbine course of some sort from a reputable instructor.

Skribs
June 19, 2012, 11:44 AM
Personally, I wouldn't get the AK, just the AR. Nothing against the AK, I just prefer the AR platform and only want one platform.

wojownik
June 19, 2012, 11:51 AM
I voted for Colt AR and the SGL AK. Not that big on the Socom configuration particularly. The M1A Standard in walnut, however, is a thing of beauty.

Still, I think you might get more usage out of the AR and AK, whether informal plinking, three gun matches, etc...

tomrkba
June 19, 2012, 12:01 PM
AR-15 is the better choice.

The whole "avoiding accessories" bit comes off as a bit naive or overly optimistic. Add accessories that you need for the purpose of the gun. If the purpose is self-defense, then a minimal rail is required to hold a light. I only use a hand stop and a light on my gun. I use a modular rail since static rails are annoying. I also added sling mount points, which are essential. I use a Viking Tactics sling. I use my training instead of gadgets, but some gadgets are worth having.

Build the gun around the optic. Variable 1.0-1.1x to 8x are very versatile. Plain 1x just doesn't cut it since it makes target location and identification difficult. The EoTech and Aimpoints are good for their purpose, but a variable optic covers far more scenarios. Shooting without a variable optic is like putting a governor on a muscle car. The improvement in shooting performance over an EoTech or Aimpoint is excellent.

AK's just have too much trouble with optics. If you decide to mount an optic on an AK, then look at the Texas Weapon Systems rail on a STAMPED receiver. Upgrade the stock and add a raised cheek rest. Trijicon has their 3x ACOG for 7.62x39mm, but most variable optics can be used.

Ammunition selection for the AK is terrible, while there are many quality choices available for the AR-15. You get your choice of Wolf or Tula in the reasonably priced category. Brass cased defensive ammunition for the AK is very expensive. This is my primary problem with the AK platform and is the reason why I switched to the AR-15.

If you don't like 5.56x45mm, then take a look at 300 Blackout. You get the modern platform with the upgraded power. Your standard 5.56x45mm magazines will function with 300 Blackout.

The M1A is a whole different problem. Mounting a variable optic on that platform is an expensive challenge. The various rail systems are expensive and heavy. I think the M1A Scout is the way to go with a red dot. Also research receivers. Building a correct M1A with a good receiver is an expensive proposition. Magazines are another issue that require careful consideration.

If you must have a gun in 7.62x51mm, then take a look at LaRue's guns. They are very, very good. I think many manufacturers of AR-10 style rifles have worked out the reliability issues at this point.

Ar180shooter
June 19, 2012, 12:01 PM
I've owned two Norinco M14s rifles, an AR-15, an AR-180b and two VZ-58's. I still have 1 VZ-58 and the AR-15. M14 platform rifles are great, but for my purposes (target shooting, usually 300m or less), they are just too expensive to feed and aren't as accurate as other offerings. So with this said, IMHO go for the AK and AR.

Adam123
June 19, 2012, 12:03 PM
Ar+ak > m1a

ChCx2744
June 19, 2012, 12:44 PM
The 6920 is a top tier AR and the SGL21 is a top tier AK. Get those.

a-sheepdog
June 19, 2012, 05:03 PM
I voted against the M1A simply because of the version that you chose. I would not buy the SOCOM simply because it is noisier with the brake and can not be changed. I would purchase a "Bush" Model if I were looking for another M1A. They are much sturdier than an AR, but you pay for it in weight. I guess if given a choice, I would pick an M1A Bush model and an AR-15 with the M1A being my first purchase.

bri
June 19, 2012, 05:15 PM
Step 1 - Buy an AR and AK now.
Step 2 - Begin saving for M1A for later purchase.

Problem solved!

tomrkba
June 19, 2012, 05:29 PM
Better to buy the AR, a bunch of ammo and mags, and a training class.

Pat M
June 19, 2012, 06:45 PM
Step 1 - Buy an AR and AK now.
Step 2 - Begin saving for M1A for later purchase.

Problem solved!


What bri said. I would go for the M1A Loaded in walnut.

nathan
June 19, 2012, 06:52 PM
I have the AK 74 and i use Russian surplus. I dont feel undergun but can make tight groups within 75 yds. I dont have problem hitting man sized targets up to 200 yds, and thats only open sights. Practice is key.

nyc71
June 19, 2012, 09:27 PM
I guess I'm one of the lucky one with a problem-free SOCOM 16. I also have a Scout but the SOCOM comes out to play more. If you look at my rifle collection you would think I'm an AR junkie but if I had to keep one it would be the M14.

justice06rr
June 19, 2012, 09:31 PM
2 Rifles are better than one.

Unless you really have a particular use for the M1A, i'd opt for the AR and AK combo.

much cheaper ammo too...

ol' scratch
June 19, 2012, 09:48 PM
I would also suggest getting a Rock River over the Colt, but that is my personal opinion. The Colts are over priced. Don't waste time with moding the AR to a gas piston. They are reliable the way they are. AK's are neat, but not as accurate as the AR. I picked up an underfolder and it fits the bill. Really "cool" looking rifle if that matters. The benifit with the Arsenal AK is that it is an honest to God Russian AK.

The SOCOM is a pain with that short barrel. The M1A was never designed for the short barrel and you are limited in bullet selection due to the rifle not caring for heavier bullets (bent op rod). Besides, .308 is becoming more expensive all the time even when reloading. I picked up an FAL, but only after I had the other two.

meanmrmustard
June 19, 2012, 10:02 PM
I would also suggest getting a Rock River over the Colt, but that is my personal opinion. The Colts are over priced. Don't waste time with moding the AR to a gas piston. They are reliable the way they are. AK's are neat, but not as accurate as the AR. I picked up an underfolder and it fits the bill. Really "cool" looking rifle if that matters. The benifit with the Arsenal AK is that it is an honest to God Russian AK.

The SOCOM is a pain with that short barrel. The M1A was never designed for the short barrel and you are limited in bullet selection due to the rifle not caring for heavier bullets (bent op rod). Besides, .308 is becoming more expensive all the time even when reloading. I picked up an FAL, but only after I had the other two.
Only if you care to clean said AR often enough. Most of us do indeed clean regularly, or at least I do. But for ease of use, less fouling in the receiver, more reliable (jams, FTEs, etc) operation, I'm gas piston all the way. It's even easier to clean the AK. Wonder why Nam vets swiped em off fallen Charlie?

I've no experience with the M1A, but the other two I'm schooled in. Want an accurate gun? AR. Want a gun that will go bang in nearly every climate or environment on the planet, CAN be somewhat accurate (2 MOA), and spend less on doodads and gizmos? AK.

I do agree that the 6920 is overpriced, and I think Colt is resting on laurels. Give RRA, BCM, or CMMG a gander if the AR is what you want. You got my vote: SGL all the way. Hell, I'd take a modded Saiga to war over most ARs.

proven
June 19, 2012, 10:24 PM
meanmrmustard, have you ever heard of the filthy 14? give it a quick google and put your myths about the ar to rest.

the last time my 6920 was cleaned was probably just shy of 1k rounds ago, and i haven't had a single failure. you call it overpriced, i call it piece of mind. to each his own.

meanmrmustard
June 19, 2012, 10:37 PM
meanmrmustard, have you ever heard of the filthy 14? give it a quick google and put your myths about the ar to rest.

the last time my 6920 was cleaned was probably just shy of 1k rounds ago, and i haven't had a single failure. you call it overpriced, i call it piece of mind. to each his own.
Sure haven't, and not interested.

MCgunner
June 19, 2012, 10:44 PM
I admit to being especially drawn to the "combat rifle" niche.

To each his own. I'll keep my Remchesters. :D For me, if I got another (I own mil surps that are just as much "battle rifles" as any AR) such rifle, I'd get the M1A for the traditional stock. If they weren't so much, I'd probably get one to play with, but I have SKSs and a Hakim if I wanna shoot autos. I don't need anything else along those lines and don't even WANT one.

Tell ya the truth, with prices on mil surps the way they are now days, the only thing I might get is a Mosin, about the only bargain left out there, and when I was buying those SKSs, the Mosins were under 40 bucks. I bought a 88 commission rifle for 27.50, a SKS for 75 bucks, a SKS paratrooper for 115, the Hakim for 80, a Spanish 7x57 Mauser for 60. I can't see spending more on a mil surp than I would on a Weatherby Vangaurd or Savage 110 or equally good hunting rifle that I would actually USE for something. :rolleyes: Hell, even SKSs are 400 bucks now days! Friggin' ridiculous.

proven
June 19, 2012, 10:47 PM
meanmrmustard.......typical. spout a bunch of nonsense about the ar not being reliable and needing to be cleaned constantly, then when someone offers eveidence to the contrary you bury your head in the sand.

how exaclty are you "schooled" with the ar platform? what are your experiences? what do you know about nam vets pciking up aks? there have been very reliable sources that have even posted here on this forum to dispute this.

please elaborate.

JR24
June 19, 2012, 11:11 PM
My money would say M1A, though I'd go for a Scout Squad or Standard over the SOCOM due to better iron sights and balance.

I like my AR, but I have little use for AKs and don't care for shooting them. I'd rather just go up for the bigger 7.62x51 if I want bigger than a 5.45x39.

Just my $0.02

Welding Rod
June 20, 2012, 12:03 AM
Here is my SOCOM. I think t is a great gun. Never a malf. However it isn't too accurate at about 4 MOA. I intend to try bedding it and seeing if that helps.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2db27b3127ccef058065f2d1200000030O00CZs2LFoxcsQe3nwU/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

-v-
June 20, 2012, 02:19 AM
I think you will get more mileage and more trigger time out of the AR and the AK. As others have pointed out the 5.45 AK round is even cheaper then the 7.62x39, even for new manufacture.

A good AR-15 will also reach out to 500 yards without a sweat provided your software is up to the task.

For me, the biggest down side to a .308 is the cost of feeding it, that and the SOCOM seems to usually come in after both the AR and the AK in the accuracy department. Sure they can be bedded and tweaked to shoot well, and if its worth it to you then its only a slight hassle. An out of the box '74 will shoot 2-2.5MOA versus the 4 MOA of a socom.

meanmrmustard
June 20, 2012, 05:23 AM
meanmrmustard, have you ever heard of the filthy 14? give it a quick google and put your myths about the ar to rest.

the last time my 6920 was cleaned was probably just shy of 1k rounds ago, and i haven't had a single failure. you call it overpriced, i call it piece of mind. to each his own.
Ive used em, and they just get plum dirty quick. Not saying that that's any reason the OP shouldnt get one, but for me personally, when my AR has been shot around the 1000 mark, bolt tends to be gritty. That is no myth, my friend. Nor is Stoners design.

I'm not an ostrich, I just don't like getting involved in the AR vs AK thing, we will never come to an agreement. My uncle Michael, who I find reputable where you may not as you don't know him, regaled me of fellow soldiers picking up enemy rifles in Vietnam. The Government, he says, didnt like it and many carrying them were reprimanded for it (he says he never grabbed an AK or SKS) even though the M16 was a flawed design (more so then than now) and used a cartridge underpowered compared to the 7.62x39. According to him, and feel free to bash my firsthand talk with a vet I happen to love quite alot being my uncle, you will not hear alot about this subject or hear adverse info as the M16/AR platform, to many he fought with over there it was a failure.

I'll admit, I've only owned three, still have but one. It is very accurate. I do not, however, let it go the same amount of rounds as I do my AK. Am I timid? Maybe. But, if 1000 rounds of Federal brass make that AR dirtier and visibly hindered by fouling and the same round count of steel cased Tulammo in the AK is no where near as fouled, that to me says something to the extent of superiority of the gas piston.

Your mileage, as well as sources may vary. I know my source personally, I've shot my guns quite alot, and have argued for no reason on here before, coming to the same conclusions. Talk ill of the AR and fur flies!

I don't think I've ever heard the words "my AK just jammed". Oh, and mags and ammo are cheaper.

proven
June 20, 2012, 07:01 AM
just because it's dirty doesn't mean it won't run. that's why i mentioned "filthy 14". and what is "visibly hindered"?

your the one who started ar vs. ak in this thread with your first post, claiming that ars need to be "babied" and cleaned more often. so much for not wanting to get into that.

comparing the quality built ars of today to vietnam era ars is silly.

like i said, to each his own. but ignoring what a properly built ar is capable of in terms of reliability, and then claiming that the platform on a whole need to be "babied" is just plain foolish.

Sam1911
June 20, 2012, 07:06 AM
[Mod Talk: I think the capabilities of the AR are more than established for MOST people at this point. Let's cease the AR-vs.-AK argument here as we've got 1,274 threads on that already and that's not the question Bobson asked AT ALL. Thx.]

PBR Streetgang
June 20, 2012, 08:04 AM
When I was younger,I was a competitive highpower rifle shooter,I shot a sub MOA M1a. Great rifle but there were certain maintenance procedures that I had a gunsmith perform because they were past the scope of my abilities.

Ammo was more available and in some circumstances almost free when shooting in military leg matches.

Today I'm a bit older ( ok,a lot older)and due to a motor vehicle accident where I was busted up I don't have the same strength and motor control I once had. I now shoot a AR-15 in a carbine configuration. Do I miss my M1a? yes! Is it practical for me? no! My Ar does 90% of what my M1a did. The practical part of my AR-15 is I can service my rifle 100% and all the parts are available at reasonable prices.
Being able to swap out lowers and uppers for different uses makes the AR a practical rifle platform for todays questionable times.

BTW, I'm only giving my own opinion and what works for me.

ChisumTK
June 21, 2012, 02:50 AM
I would go with ONE rifle if it is your first combat rifle and either a good AR or AK will fill the role and I am more than happy to explain this view. I am a little bit AK biased but I will try to stay impartial here. Also I am a very foresight orientated gun buyer and by that I mean, before I think about a purchase I ask, ďhow will this gun fill a role for me in the next few years and is that role worth what Iíll spend on it?Ē So with that said, Iíll go through how Iíd run down those options in my mind if I were in your scenario. (mag weights not calculated, just what Iím using for sake of comparison, no need to rip me a new one over it loaded 30 ar mag~ loaded 30 ak mag ~ loaded 20 M1A mag)

The M1A SOCOM: Since this is my first ďbattle rifle,Ē It is most likely what I will have to take with me if I have to bug out due to zombies/government collapse/red dawn style invasion. With a dry weight of about 10.5 pounds, and loaded mags weighing maybe a pound a piece, carrying a 180 round load out will mean 20 pounds of my carried weigh devoted to my primary weapon. Not to mention this load out is likely to cost me $2000 or more. This combined with the idea that I may pay $.50-$1.00 a round to practice with this rifle, I may spend another $1000 training to get proficient with this rifle. Yet another point is a large fast bullet like that is used rather inefficiently if I can only get 4 MOA out of the box with this rifle. With all that weight and work, plus the possibility that ball ammo is going to drill thirty cal holes in soft targets up close, I donít think this will fill my need effectively.

The AR-15: With the same scenario in mind, this weapon has some distinct advantages over my other two choices. Over the M1A SOCOM, it has the advantage of being more accurate (on average), a more comfortable mag capacity, and a swift yaw-happy round that is much cheaper to train with. Over the AK, it has accuracy. Itís potential performance allows me to engage targets at ranges like 500 meters. Over both of them, it stands out in weight with itís puny average of 6 pounds. That means a 180 round load out will only cost me 14 pounds meaning I could carry six extra pintís of water over the M1A! Itís adaptability and track record also add to the allure. Itís only drawbacks maybe itís tendency to not eat dirt as well as itís soviet counterpart but hey, Iíll clean it religiously! Or maybe when I get timeÖ

The AK-47: With all the same factors in mind, I think itís time to disqualify the AK-47 completelyÖ and replace it with the AK-74! Hey, the Russians updated it, why should I buy the old model? With itís distinct improvement in recoil over its older brother and that wicked nasty bullet that likes to turn, twist, rip, fragment, tear, rupture and downright obliterate flesh all in just a few centimeters, I like it. And at $319 for 2000+ rounds, how can I say no? Okay, It may not be a tack driver at 500 meters but I could probably hit an approaching zombie/marauder/commie paratrooper at that range with a few shotsÖ probablyÖ that being said, I can afford to take those extra shots because the ammo is so cheap. Also, I can fill the action full of zombie guts, sand, or mud and a few thousand youtube videos says it will shoot! Sounds like a plan! I just hope minute of torso accuracy is good enoughÖ

And there you have it, my rant! And the reason I say get one rifle is, you are better off to spend that extra money on mags and ammo to get proficient with the weapon. Besides, you only need to carry one at a time!

I hope this gives you a different perspective to look through because this is all strictly my opinion, not necessarily scientific fact. Just some thoughts...

meanmrmustard
June 21, 2012, 06:38 AM
I would go with ONE rifle if it is your first combat rifle and either a good AR or AK will fill the role and I am more than happy to explain this view. I am a little bit AK biased but I will try to stay impartial here. Also I am a very foresight orientated gun buyer and by that I mean, before I think about a purchase I ask, “how will this gun fill a role for me in the next few years and is that role worth what I’ll spend on it?” So with that said, I’ll go through how I’d run down those options in my mind if I were in your scenario. (mag weights not calculated, just what I’m using for sake of comparison, no need to rip me a new one over it loaded 30 ar mag~ loaded 30 ak mag ~ loaded 20 M1A mag)

The M1A SOCOM: Since this is my first “battle rifle,” It is most likely what I will have to take with me if I have to bug out due to zombies/government collapse/red dawn style invasion. With a dry weight of about 10.5 pounds, and loaded mags weighing maybe a pound a piece, carrying a 180 round load out will mean 20 pounds of my carried weigh devoted to my primary weapon. Not to mention this load out is likely to cost me $2000 or more. This combined with the idea that I may pay $.50-$1.00 a round to practice with this rifle, I may spend another $1000 training to get proficient with this rifle. Yet another point is a large fast bullet like that is used rather inefficiently if I can only get 4 MOA out of the box with this rifle. With all that weight and work, plus the possibility that ball ammo is going to drill thirty cal holes in soft targets up close, I don’t think this will fill my need effectively.

The AR-15: With the same scenario in mind, this weapon has some distinct advantages over my other two choices. Over the M1A SOCOM, it has the advantage of being more accurate (on average), a more comfortable mag capacity, and a swift yaw-happy round that is much cheaper to train with. Over the AK, it has accuracy. It’s potential performance allows me to engage targets at ranges like 500 meters. Over both of them, it stands out in weight with it’s puny average of 6 pounds. That means a 180 round load out will only cost me 14 pounds meaning I could carry six extra pint’s of water over the M1A! It’s adaptability and track record also add to the allure. It’s only drawbacks maybe it’s tendency to not eat dirt as well as it’s soviet counterpart but hey, I’ll clean it religiously! Or maybe when I get time…

The AK-47: With all the same factors in mind, I think it’s time to disqualify the AK-47 completely… and replace it with the AK-74! Hey, the Russians updated it, why should I buy the old model? With it’s distinct improvement in recoil over its older brother and that wicked nasty bullet that likes to turn, twist, rip, fragment, tear, rupture and downright obliterate flesh all in just a few centimeters, I like it. And at $319 for 2000+ rounds, how can I say no? Okay, It may not be a tack driver at 500 meters but I could probably hit an approaching zombie/marauder/commie paratrooper at that range with a few shots… probably… that being said, I can afford to take those extra shots because the ammo is so cheap. Also, I can fill the action full of zombie guts, sand, or mud and a few thousand youtube videos says it will shoot! Sounds like a plan! I just hope minute of torso accuracy is good enough…

And there you have it, my rant! And the reason I say get one rifle is, you are better off to spend that extra money on mags and ammo to get proficient with the weapon. Besides, you only need to carry one at a time!

I hope this gives you a different perspective to look through because this is all strictly my opinion, not necessarily scientific fact. Just some thoughts...
Not that it is too important, but one thing on the 5.45x39 in the 74: tumbles and yaws more and better than its self stabilizing older brother. It's just as cheap if not cheaper the the 7.62, however...

Pray that most of us have stocked up before SHTF, but in the event we had that last minute opportunity, my LGS would most likely be locked up and bugging out themselves, or have already. This leaves retail stores. Not sure about Dicks, and there is no Academy in my state. Local hardware stores don't have jack but .223, 30/06, 30/30, and .22s of various size. This leaves the dreaded Walmart!!! My Walmart does not carry 5.45. It's does however carry the crap outta some 7.62x39, just a lil something to consider if that matters. I know it does for me.

The other note, while the range, flight characteristics, and soft tissue destruction of the AKM round is more impressive, for those of us in say an urban environment those points are moot. The 7.62 being heavier, it has an advantage over its lil bro in knockdown power, especially with lead core. This, and factor in street to street fighting, vehicle to vehicle, or any situation involving close quarters, and the AK-47 round is going to penetrate barriers better, such as car windows, as it will deflect less methinks due to a more stabilized flight than it's lil bro, or it's American nemesis, the 5.56.

sansone
June 21, 2012, 08:55 AM
to answer the op I would say AR/AK but will add AR10 as a consideration ;)

45bthompson
June 21, 2012, 09:06 AM
Get an AR, AK and a CMP M1 Garand. By the time your proficent with all three you should have saved up enough to decide if you want to buy the M1A or just keep feeding its grandpa the garand. I've never met a man that regreted buying one.

The_Armed_Therapist
June 21, 2012, 09:07 AM
If you are less interested in marksmanship and more interested in spraying the area with suppressive fire or more quickly hitting close-range targets, then go with the AK or AR. They are perfect tools for the undisciplined or if The Walking Dead ever comes true.

If you're a rifleman who values disciplined abilities, training, and superior tools, then go with the M1A. I'd go with the M1A.

Sam1911
June 21, 2012, 09:13 AM
If you're a rifleman who values disciplined abilities, training, and superior tools, then go with the M1A.

It is amazing how difficult it is to pick up humorous sarcasm over the 'net. Try using the "smilies" (like this: :) :D ;)) so everyone can tell that you're joking.








(Or, alternately, ask the AMU and Marine Rifle Team why they can't be disciplined enough to go back to using the M14.)

ChisumTK
June 21, 2012, 12:19 PM
The other note, while the range, flight characteristics, and soft tissue destruction of the AKM round is more impressive, for those of us in say an urban environment those points are moot. The 7.62 being heavier, it has an advantage over its lil bro in knockdown power, especially with lead core. This, and factor in street to street fighting, vehicle to vehicle, or any situation involving close quarters, and the AK-47 round is going to penetrate barriers better, such as car windows, as it will deflect less methinks due to a more stabilized flight than it's lil bro, or it's American nemesis, the 5.56.

I'll give you that, in a situation where you were engaging targets on the street where you may be poking holes in car doors or cutting through sheet rock and studs, the 7.62x39 is going to shine. But as far as room clearing, depending on shooter discipline, one could argue the "knockdown power" doesn't mean much. I think of it like this, in a room that is say 20'x20' or smaller, your maximum engagement range is less than seven yards so that 7.62 bullet is still screaming fast meaning it's more likely to just cut through soft targets' leaving a neat little hole and not transferring much of it's energy. The 5.45 with it's hollow cavity in the nose is likely to still yaw and tumble meaning it will transfer the majority of it's energy and not OVER PENETRATING which is something people overlook all too often. Another factor to consider is that in that situation, I wouldn't trust one round to do the job so I'm going give him a hammer pair or maybe even do a triple tap for insurance. So which weapon is going to allow me to get back on target the fastest? Probably that 5.45x39... that is how I justify using it in my mind anyway.

Auf Grosser Fahrt
June 21, 2012, 12:35 PM
A soldier in Afghanistan holding.... what's that I see? :)

http://www.americanrifleman.org/Webcontent/images/2011-2/2011223161635-army-ebr-afgh_m.jpg

That's what I'd want!

MCgunner
June 21, 2012, 12:40 PM
Here is my SOCOM. I think t is a great gun. Never a malf. However it isn't too accurate at about 4 MOA. I intend to try bedding it and seeing if that helps.

See, if I got an M1A, it'd have to be accurized. I couldn't live with 4 MOA. Even my SKS rifle shoots 2.5 MOA with 154 Wolf SP. Nah, too much money, I'll pass on all of the above. :D JMHO, though. If you WANT one, pick the one that speaks to you.

Welding Rod
June 21, 2012, 02:58 PM
BTW, I also have a M1A Super Match, Loaded, and Standard. All will print 10 shot groups around 2 MOA or better.

Bobson
June 21, 2012, 03:25 PM
I really appreciate all the advice I've been given in this thread. I've decided to put aside my interest in the M1A for now. May pick one up at some currently unforeseen point in the future, and I may not.

Now the decision to make is whether I buy the AK47, or AR15 first. It'll likely be the AK, but that's yet to be decided. Bottom line is both will do what I want of them. As far as the AK74 - I think it's a neat concept, and it obviously works for a number of people. I'm no ballistician, but I like 7.62x39. From what I've seen, it does what it was designed to do, and it does it extremely well inside a perfectly suitable range (for my needs). That's what I'm looking for. At this point, I'll take the classic.

Frankly, I find a lot of wisdom in the advice from those who suggested I select just one rifle, and I may very well select just the AK47. It's gonna depend on how my wife feels after shooting it. What I should really do is find a range that rents both the AK and AR, and have her pick the one she likes best... but that subject has been covered time and again in other threads. ;)

Again, thanks a lot for all the advice. It really helped me make up my mind.

HJ857
June 21, 2012, 04:52 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned the Saiga .308 as another option that fits well between the AK and the M1A. Do a search on it, it may be worth a look.

For the poll, AR for me. Lots of interchangeable parts, lots of available ammo.

meanmrmustard
June 21, 2012, 07:28 PM
I'll give you that, in a situation where you were engaging targets on the street where you may be poking holes in car doors or cutting through sheet rock and studs, the 7.62x39 is going to shine. But as far as room clearing, depending on shooter discipline, one could argue the "knockdown power" doesn't mean much. I think of it like this, in a room that is say 20'x20' or smaller, your maximum engagement range is less than seven yards so that 7.62 bullet is still screaming fast meaning it's more likely to just cut through soft targets' leaving a neat little hole and not transferring much of it's energy. The 5.45 with it's hollow cavity in the nose is likely to still yaw and tumble meaning it will transfer the majority of it's energy and not OVER PENETRATING which is something people overlook all too often. Another factor to consider is that in that situation, I wouldn't trust one round to do the job so I'm going give him a hammer pair or maybe even do a triple tap for insurance. So which weapon is going to allow me to get back on target the fastest? Probably that 5.45x39... that is how I justify using it in my mind anyway.
Touchť, Chisum, touchť.

But we can agree that either round has shortcomings, so it then becomes "what niche needs filled?" Triple taps, or putting them down the first time? Hmmm...

But, since the OP has decided AK47 is the way to go, he knows his niche.

To the OP: The AK doesn't have horrible recoil, but if the little miss is recoil adverse, get her the AR.

Dr.Rob
June 21, 2012, 07:41 PM
Barring the Colt 901 showing up anytime soon.. and you still have to buy a 5.56 upper for it, the AR/AK combo is pretty flexible. The MSRP is around 2 grand.

With the Socom you give up the longer barrel, on an AR you can buy a dedicated target/varmint upper for long range.

sansone
June 21, 2012, 07:56 PM
gotta add the M1A as being more "collectable" in terms of history & beauty.
As simple tools the AR/AK combined (2 calibers) would be more "practical"

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