AR vs AK Pistol Ballistics

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May 16, 2004
I am in the market for an ar or ak style pistol and I am curious about the velocities/ballistics of the 223 and 7.62x39 rounds out of these short barrels. Could some one post data on the 7.62 round out of an 8' barrel along with data on the 223 out of a 9' barrel. Any discussion of wounding capabilities would also be helpful. Thanks.

Well, i can't back it up. But i noted in my 'Notebook of cool gun info" that the 8" bbl lets go the 7.62x39 122gr at about 1950fps.
If you're thinking about using one of those for home defense, that's not such a good idea. AR/AK pistols are very very loud and will damage your ears (and your family's ears if they're next to you) if you shoot them indoors with no hearing protection.
As the .223 relies much more on speed than the 7.62, using the AK cartridge is the better idea.
I've got both.
Bushmaster=7 inch barrel
AK=11 inch barrel

Strictly from a power stand point the AK is far ahead of the AR.

The bullet velocity is close in both, 2,200 to 2,300 fps but the AK uses a much heavier 30 cal bullet compared to the AR's 22 cal bullet.

As a practical test the AK pistol will drill through 1/4 inch steel plate with no problem. The AR pistol puts a good crater in the same 1/4 inch plate but won't nearly go through it. (the .223 from a rifle will easily go through the same steel at over 100 yards)

Both have a lot of muzzle blast, fireball and noise. My Bushmaster is worse than the AK.

The Bushmaster can easily be fired one handed. The AK is too heavy to hold out one handed like a pistol unless you are the Terminator.:D

BTW, Kel Tec is just coming out with a .223 pistol. Looks good and the price is hundreds less than the Bushmaster.
Thank you for the info. That little Kel-tec has caught my eye. I was thinking about getting a Krink but now I am debating.
The AK is large, heavy and powerful.
I look at it as more of a short barrel rifle without a stock.

The .223 is more of a paint ball gun size interesting pistol.
I like the looks of the new Kel Tec.

BTW, I've seen some poor quality looking AK pistols.

The kel-tec with a Noveskie krink brake, compact forearm, weapon light, single point sling and OTAL laser would make a great home defence weapon. The krink brake will lesson the concussion. You'll hurt your ears some with anything that isn't suppressed though. .223 penetrates less than buckshot or pistol rounds, so you won't have as much of a chance of killing a neighbor. The laser allows shooting without exposing your whole head and seeing the laser on them will deter some attackers. Much more handy than a rifle or shotgun. I will be owning one of these. -Ian :evil:
Please post what you get, how the beast barks and bites and how you like it. Great coolness potential here. A picture in your best cheap sci-fi post apocalyptic movie pose is optional, but would delight the assembled multitudes.
5x5 said:
.223 penetrates less than buckshot or pistol rounds, so you won't have as much of a chance of killing a neighbor. Ian :evil:

Have you tried this comparison or seen any write ups where it's been done or you taking an educated guess?

First chance I get I'll see what I've got around here, 2x4's or whatever and try to do a real world test. Nothing scientific but I'll see if I can get an idea of the penetration of the .223 from a short (7 inch) barrel.
The only thing I've paid any attention to as far as penetration is the steel
sorry to resurect this thread from the dead. but......

does anyone know at what distance the sonic boom catches up with the bullet? i ask because im trying to figure out what distance the bullet will lose accuracy due to the sonic boom catching up.

im working with a 9 inch ak pistol. bolt action so there is no loss of pressure thru the gas system. from the above info im guessing i have approx 2000 fps at the muzzle. so, i assume that if i can find a chart that shows velocites out far enough that the bullet slows down to speed of sound then i could figure out the distance between the 2000fps mark and soundbarrier and that should be my approx effective distance( as far as accuracy goes).

my old charts i have in the back of a magazine say that the bullet is at 100 yards when it hits the 2000 fps range. at the 500 yard range its still going around 1200 to 1100 fps.

would it be safe to assume that at distances shorter than 400 yards i wont have to worry about sonic boom disruption?

You've piqued my interest.

The speed of sound in air is 1130fps, given average temperature etc.

The bullet slows to 1129fps at a distance of 390 yds= 1170 feet, if muzzle velocity is 2000fps and BC of .256.

it takes sound 1.035 sec to go 1170 feet; however, in 1.035 sec the bullet (because it was starting out faster) will travel just over 475 yds, or 1425 feet.

the sound wave will continue to close the distance on the bullet

(gotta go! but, we're already talking about MORE THAN 475 yds before the sound wave hits the bullet. if you can hit a 20" circle with an AK-pistol at 475 yds; you dont need my help!)

I promise i will finish up later.)

what i mean is the sound of the bullet. it begins its flight supersonic. it slows down due to air resistance. when the bullet velocity drops below the speed of sound its own sonic boom catches up with it and disrupts its flight. how much of a disruption i dont know.

true, its awful hard to shoot accurately at 400 yards with a pistol. i built it myself and gave it a 11 deg target crown. ive only taken it out once and it was quite a bit more accurate than i expected.

i know how dumb i sound asking about long distance pistol shooting with an ak. i still would like to know.
Since this thread started I've bought two Kel Tec .223 PLRs and because of what looks like will be the future President I'm buying one or two more.

The pistol has a 9 inch barrel, which gives 2,514 fps muzzle velocity and will penetrate 1/4 inch steel.

It's light, fairly small, and very accurate (2 inch groups at 100 yards).

i have a question, using the ak pistol in self defense situation, would you be charged with excessive force. many people including LEO was telling me that. if this is true, then why do they sell this type of weapon if it is to powerful to use for self defense?
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