AR vs. AK vs. Mini 14

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sprice, Dec 21, 2010.


Which an' Why?

  1. AR-15

    213 vote(s)
  2. Ak-74

    68 vote(s)
  3. Ruger Mini-14

    63 vote(s)
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  1. sprice

    sprice Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  2. Kachok

    Kachok Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Palestine TX
    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-
  3. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Dead horse alert

    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.
  4. crazyivan

    crazyivan Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    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.
  5. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    I'd pick either the AR or the 5.45 AK, personally.
  6. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    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.
  7. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    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.
  8. sprice

    sprice Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Yeah nutn has reviewed the ak74 and 47 from arsenal.
  9. jeepguy

    jeepguy Member

    Apr 24, 2009
    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.
  10. frankiestoys

    frankiestoys Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    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.
  11. Dobe

    Dobe member

    Jan 4, 2003
    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.
  12. RonE

    RonE Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    Rockport, Texas
    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.
  13. sprice

    sprice Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    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.
  14. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    Californicated Colorado
    The AR everyday, and twice on Sunday.
  15. sansone

    sansone Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    north florida USA
    AR gets first, and the mini 14 or mini 30 would be my choice over the stamped & riveted thing
  16. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 29, 2002

    Inherently accurate, reliable, customizable as Legos.
  17. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Okay City
    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? :)
  18. Silvanus

    Silvanus Member

    Mar 12, 2006
    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...
  19. henschman

    henschman Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    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.
  20. WVfishguy

    WVfishguy Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    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.
  21. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    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.
  22. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    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.
  23. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    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
  24. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

    Sep 9, 2009
    I'm gainfully employed and know something about firearms.
  25. Snubshooter

    Snubshooter Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    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.
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