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M16/AK Bit II

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 2ndChapterofActs, Feb 16, 2006.

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  1. 2ndChapterofActs

    2ndChapterofActs Member

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    Greetings and Salutations!

    For those of you who remember the fun we had a few months ago with a smashing debate spawning from the classic struggle between the M16A2, M4 Rifle/Carbine and the AK47 and all its variants here is some more relivent information about weaponry.

    The whole debate spawned when a fellow posted something his brother aledgidly said from Iraq. The brother made mention in an email of how much better the AK was then the M16. This of course meant that I had to do some follow up questioning of buddies of mine serving in the Iraq and what I found was that the claims made in the persumed email were needless to say less then accurate (the inaccuracies were not all technical but rather dealing with the technical nature of the rifles but rather what our [US] soldiers were doing on the battlefield). I posted a new thread to correct the inaccuracies and low and behold I had a full fledged fight on my hands <snicker, snicker>!

    Where very little was resolved in the way of opinions changing and thus I do not expect a whole lot from this thread I would like to put up some new information not mentioned in the M16/AK Bit.

    First of all, the major beef with the M16 was the same as it has been from the beginning before the M16A2 was around, that issue being cleaning and jamming. There have been claims that M16 users spit more curses then bullets as their weapons are always jamming. This argument is always countered by those vets who have fired the weapon and say that the M16s used in the military are a lot better then the crappy AR's that are there for fun shoot-outs and therefore the weapons do not jam.

    That being said here is some fun stuff...

    1) On a military shooting range jamming is sometimes an issue with people (this was mentioned by a few AK lovers to no end) but not too long ago wile talking with a friend of mine who was just discharged (he served with the 75th Rangers) he mentioned while in basic making the mistake of while shooting prone resting his mag on the ground. This caused a double feed which jammed the weapon. Now that is human error not any malfunction of the weapon.

    2) I read a book entitled From Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper. This book mentioned something that I didn't think of. The AK47 in Vietnam and in humid environments ran into a serious problem. Because it was made of wood it would expand and contract destroying not only accuracy but rifle handling as well. This of course was something the M16 didn't have to deal with. This brings into question the AK's durability (this was also a problem with the wood M14's). The modern shift of weapons has shown that such weapons like the AK are becoming obsolete. The M16 marked a new era of weapons. No longer were people trying to make the old wood rifles but plastic composites. The precision of the AR15 models were adopted by most nations as the new kind of infantry weapon. This was done for good reason. The AK was and is an old weapon. The M16 was the weapon of the future.

    3) The 5.56 NATO round has proven over the years (many years) to be very effective in use. It doesn’t always knock down the target but it does kill. A target doesn’t have to fall to be considered dead. The target is dead when it is dead. 5.56 ammo rips through the body leaving a shock wave behind that is more damaging then the entry and exit. The bullet can pass through a person without bouncing around it is so fast. 5.56 has plenty of penetration power when it is fired at nearly the speed of sound. There have been plenty of stories of people running on though hit with 5.56 ammo but being found dead not long after. They were not knocked down but they were killed. It is also important to note that the size of the round does not detract from power at a long range shot. M16’s can kill over a mile. Effective range is based upon sightlines.

    4) The cleaning of the M16 is not a difficult process. In fact it is one of the easiest things that most vets remember about basic training. It requires little special maintenance only a rag run through the parts used to fire. It has also been brought to my attention that there have been reports during the Iraqi conflict of soldiers having to strip down their weapons during a fight however every soldier I talk too laughs at this as it isn’t true. The M16A2 rifle is performing remarkably.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2006
  2. atblis

    atblis Member

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    One problem with the wood thing

    There are plenty of crappy issue M16s.

    Both rifles are full of compromises. The charging handle on the M16 is an issue. I prefer to have a bolt handle. If I have an issue with the gun, I have some recourse.

    Believe it or not, the military (ours and others) doesn't really care if a cartridge is less than 100% affective (no such thing anyways in the world of small arms). They are considering many things other than one shot drops.

    I don't think AK stocks really affect accuracy that much. It's not quite like a classic one piece hunting rifle stock.

    What do you mean by "handling"?

    BTW
    I own neither. I do have a Daewoo though.
     
  3. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    I like them both, before anybody jumps all over me, but to address your points:

    1. So by putting pressure on the mag, it may malfunction. Okay, I use an AK mag as a vertical foregrip or as a monopod, and it works just fine.
    2. Most of the modern AKs out there now use a synthetic stock. Moot point.
    3. Since the modern AKs out there are now chambered in 5.45 or 5.56, also a moot point.
    4. I've cleaned hundreds of guns, thousands of times. As far as military rifles go, the AR is the worst. And I like ARs, but using a cotter pin to hold the bolt in just plain sucks.

    I like AR rifles. I sell lots of AR rifles. But I'm smart enough to admit that they aren't perfect. Both designs have their good points.
     
  4. timothy75

    timothy75 Member

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    Ak's have wood furniture not stocks. AR's are hard to clean I think. I like both and own both but it would be a toss up as to which I would prefer in a gunfight. And I doubt any man has killed enough bad guys with both to clearly say he prfers one over the other. They're both exellent guns.
     
  5. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    Aside from that pin, I don't have an issue with AR cleaning, but I am not a combat soldier. The AK has just as many parts, just no small ones.

    Personally, I think there are far too many wild stories that get thrown around about how different rifles performed in combat. It is entertaining to read, but you have to take it with a grain of salt.
     
  6. Seraph

    Seraph Member

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    IMO, the greatest detriment of the AK is its piss-poor rear sight. AK's will run, certainly, but the shallow notch rear sight sucks by BB gun standards. I don't find the M-16/AR-15 difficult to clean at all, but, even if I did, I would still prefer it, by far, to the AK, if only for its vastly superior ergonomics.
     
  7. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    My brother is in the 101st 2/327th stationed in FOB Warrior right now. I have a handful of letters sent to me from him in basic training and his first duty station and in nearly every one he mentions how much he hates the M16A4 he was issued in basic, and the M4A4 of which he went through two in Fort Campbell. He was praised by his superiors in both places for both his willingness and ability to clean his weapons and between the two of us, he has always been the mechanically minded one, and the one who seemed to get as much pleasure from taking his weapons apart for cleaning and maintence as he did from shooting them. He knows how a rifle should work, and it isn't like the M16 family of weapons. He has told me on multiple occassions he would rather have just about any of his personally owned weapons, including his $320 Romanian WASR. I don't expect you guys to put much faith in his account, but he is one I trust and until I find myself in basic, it is what I have to go on when comparing the two rifles in question.

    So a military weapon is designed so that upwards pressure on the magazine causes the weapon to fail, and this is somehow human error and not a fault of the weapon? Sounds more like an excuse to me. As mentioned before, the hardest part with the Kalashnikov's magazines is getting them in the weapon. Once there you can do pretty much anything to them and it does not adversely affect their function or the function of the rifle.

    This is so much BS crammed into such a small place it's sad. An AK having its handguards swell is not a serious problem, especially when you consider that the rifle was just pulled out of a hole where it had been buried under a rice patty for two months. The weapon will function fine with no handguards at all, and all the user would have to do is grab the magazine to control it. The handguard isn't free floating anyways so having it swell isn't going to adversely affect accuracy to a noticeable degree, esp in an ambush in the jungle where you contract distances are closer than 50 yards. And the durability of the Kalashnikov in any environment is far superior to the M16. History has shown that pretty much the only way to break an AK is to bounce it around in the back of a Datsun in central Africa for two or three decades with little or no maintence. You can complain about an AK's sights or ergonomics, but the two things the weapon has plenty of is reliability and durability, and questioning these as part of your advocacy for the AR only makes you look foolish. And finally, the simple solution to your claim of obsolecence is to take five minutes to install synthetic handguards on your AK, something many of the rifles manufactured today already have.

    In the short term, in combat, I don't really care if the round kills the enemy as much as I am concerned with whether it quickly knocks the fight out of them. As long as they are not shooting at me, I don't care if they are alive or dead. There is mixed reports of the round's ability to do this in combat. Some say it is the cat's pajamas and simply devestating, others say it is absolutely worthless. I would be inclined to believe the truth is somewhere in between, but regardless, it is still a short range cartridge in a weapon touted for its accuracy as a long range rifle. Beyond the range where either can be depended on to reliably fragment or yaw in a dramatic fasion, about 150 yards in ballistic geletin, the 7.62x39 will be more effective than the 5.56 by virtue of its frontal diameter and mass.

    The cleaning process on a Kalashnikov is even easier. The weapon works with a handful of sand in the reciever but should you decide to clean it, just about anything will work. Douse it in desiel or motor oil. Hell I've cleaned mine by throwing it a river and shooting it until it is dry. Mine has over 2000 rounds through it and I've only ever wiped down the receiver three or four times and cleaned the bore once. And this is with a steady diet of steel cased Russian rounds that cause most AR owners to just grimse. A thorough cleaning on an AK includes removing the dust cover and pulling the bolt carrier assembly out, spraying the receiver, bolt carrier assembly and bolt, and inside of the gas tube with Gunk Out, scrubbing it with a toothbrush, spraying it again, dropping a couple drops of Hoppes Lubricating Oil on the receiver rails, bolt carrier, trigger pin, and hammer pin, making sure the bolt face and gas piston is dry, then putting the thing back together again. Total ellapsed time, about 90 seconds, and your rifle feels spoiled because of it. Wipe down the bore every couple of cases if it suits you. Not difficult, and also not nearly as necessary as it is with Stoner's contraption.
     
  8. 2ndChapterofActs

    2ndChapterofActs Member

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    As much as everybody would like to go all out on the AR vs. AK debate I would like to say that if possible we should keep this in the realm of the military and warfare, not so much casual shooting. I understand that most modern AK’s use composite stocks; however, I also understand that most AK’s in the region of the world where the US is currently heavily militarily involved are not your modern AK’s. In fact there would be a place to say that many of them are not really AK’s at all but rather AK copies created by third world manufacturers. I would be the first to admit that the contest isn’t exactly fair and more then likely heavily biased to the M16A2 with regards to current conflicts. I would also think that your conversion from 7.62 to 5.45 or 5.56 isn’t the case in this conflict either. 7.62 ammo is very popular especially in the third world or developing nations for all the reasons AK lovers mention about that ammo. It is durable and is the perfect round for the AK that isn’t going to be cleaned for months.
     
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Resting your magazine on the ground will not cause a double-feed in any AR with any decent USGI magazine. The problem there was likely the magazine, not resting it on the ground. If anybody doubts this, I will be more than happy to take them out and give them a demonstration.

    Wooden furniture may be obsolete. I don't think the AK is. You could stop making AKs tomorrow and simply on the basis of sheer numbers they would be prevalent into the middle of the 21st century.

    I don't think you have a good understanding of terminal ballistics. Try giving this site a read: http://www.ammo-oracle.com/

    The March 2006 issue of SWAT magazine has an excellent article on cleaning and maintenance of the AR series of weapons in Iraq. As much as I like the AR though, there is no question the AK has the edge here.

    The difference caused in accuracy and reliability by swelling of wood furniture is so small that casual shooting is about the only place you would notice it.

    I'd also add that at the end of the day, 20 guys with AKs vs. 20 guys with ARs, the difference in who wins won't be the rifle, it will be the training of the men behind the rifle.
     
  10. 2ndChapterofActs

    2ndChapterofActs Member

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    I think you mentioned this before in the M16/AK Bit and I do respect that opinion. Not everybody likes the M16, but I would say that your brother probably makes it function and function well, which is the important part about this not personal preference.

    Yes such a misfire is human error. Where one would say that a military weapon shouldn’t do that there is also a place for saying (more importantly I may add) knowing your weapon is extremely important. And my buddy who told me this story put it bluntly. Resting the mag on the ground is poor shooting style anyway and he was being lazy. He laughed it off as being a schmuck at the start but as far as he was concerned laziness leads to carelessness and people get hurt. So yes it is human error.

    As far as swelling; this isn’t BS. The butt swelling was more the issue then the hand guard. This changed the weight of the weapon and the way it recoiled not just playing with accuracy but how the rifle shot. I don’t think you can really call this BS, it is pretty well documented and this isn’t some idle story for arguments sake (I doubt this swelling thing is as much an issue in Iraq then in jungles). You do however point out that the weapon still fired despite abuse. And that is remarkable. You also point out that most firefights are over rather small distances but even back in 1968 when the M16 fired well close engagements tended to go with the M16. The reason being even though the AK is an effective CQB weapon it still wasn’t as accurate. Firing from the hip the M16 would hit its target more then the AK would. And now the M4 tops both in CQB.

    And as far as cleaning; the only trap I would like to avoid is the stereotypical “M16 must be cleaned all the time or it will jam, jam, jam and cleaning is bad when it comes to a combat weapon because you shouldn’t have to”. Cleaning isn’t hard, it doesn’t take a lot of time, it isn’t a drawback. Most vets that posted before agreed with this. AKers would claim cleaning was a drawback and the vets would say from experience that it isn’t and the result would be the equivalent of telling a vet he didn’t know what he was talking about. Vets that didn’t like the M16 didn’t usually debate the cleaning aspect, only the knock down and such.
     
  11. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    This is very true. I remember reading something long ago that the M16 was first used by SEALS before it became GI. And THEY had no problems with it.

    -Bill
     
  12. 2ndChapterofActs

    2ndChapterofActs Member

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    The swelling,

    Yeah I just thought of something reading your post BR. I was reading a book about sniping and I would suppose in the world of sniping such swelling would also be important. So perhaps you would be right in the general order of things. But the expanding and contracting of wood wouldn't just play with accuracy but rot and such (less of a problem in this tussle I would imagine) and I know that was important. It was a big plus of the early M16's. Problem ridden as they were they were suited for the wetness in a way the M14's and AK's were not thanks to plasic.
     
  13. 2ndChapterofActs

    2ndChapterofActs Member

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    I understand this enough, note I said can pass through not will pass through. Having the ability to and doing so are two different things. Also the point I am trying to get accross is that 5.56 can kill without only a head shot which seems to be another popular complaint. Also in Blackhawk Down: A Tale of Modern War DELTA Sfc. Paul Howe mentions making kills with his M4, knowing he was hitting his targets but also knowing that the bullets were just going right through them.

    I also know that the shock wave an M16 round carries can kill without touching. While going through basic training a number of soldiers of mentioned to me that their instructors told them if a bullet got close enough to their head the shockwave would do the killing.
     
  14. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    The "shockwave" on a 5.56 can't kill a ground squirrel, much less a human. Likewise you originally stated the 5.56 was traveling, how did you put it;

    Considering the speed of sound at sea level is about 750 mph or about 1100 fps and change, the 5.56 is going close to 3x the speed of sound when it leaves the muzzle. Heck even the 7.62x39 bests the speed of sound considerably, with an average muzzle velocity of between 2000 and 2400 fps depending on bullet weight and barrel length.

    Also, you mentioned shooting from the hip...are we talking actual combat here or Chuck Norris?
     
  15. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    It's SOP to use the mag as a monopod in 3Gun action style competition. I have never seen one fail because of that.
     
  16. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    The 5.56 is a fast round out of a 20" barrel, but it is not much faster than a .308 if at all. You can forget about shock waves when dealing with wounds. A faster bullet will wound more than a slower bullet all things being equal, but the 5.56 is not a super bullet. A 50 cal won't kill without a hit either.

    That being said, 5.56 is an effective round and the BS people spew about needed 47 rounds to kill someone is just that. Some cartridges are better some are worse. Shot placement is important just like any other rifle round (even 30.06).
     
  17. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    The shockwave may very well make them deaf but I doupt that it will kill a human being.

    There is so much BS about the 5.56x45 round it isn't funny.

    -Bill
    -Bill
     
  18. NineseveN

    NineseveN member

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    Lol, where do you get this stuff? This is physically, 100% impossible.
     
  19. georgeduz

    georgeduz Member

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    ONLY HITS COUNT

    accuracy m16.peep sights will help the ak.i will not buy an ak but if i had to...it would be 5.56 or with any othe bullet over 3000 fps.and i would use the mojo peep sights,i must must tell you the iraq army was unable to hit targets and make kills,there where many fire fights with rifles and the m16 ruled the day.ONLY HITS COUNT
     
  20. clange

    clange Member

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    Wow. :uhoh:

    Ok, I'm going to try and say this in the nicest way possible..

    You should stop posting for awhile, or at least stop posting what some friends brother told you, and READ some threads here. Give it a few weeks, you'll learn a lot.
     
  21. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Mojos can help and are a drastic improvement over the standard sights, but they do nothing to improve the AK's short sight radius. That said, the Iraqi Army's inability to make hits is the indian, not the arrow. The AK is plenty accurate for its intended role, and if the operator is capable of hitting at the range with anything, will be able to put rounds COM out to at least 200 yards. In fact, my limited experience with the AK beyond that range seems to indicate anyone who knows what they are doing can put them COM out to 300 yards with a little practice. That said, I whole-heartedly agree that the sights are the weak point of the Kalashnikov and the best thing you can do for one is probably put a red dot or reflex style sight on it. Luckily, there are a host of options available and several very good Russian optics that are comparible to Western optics but at half the cost, so doing this is relatively easy.
     
  22. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Given some of the statements you have made, I would politely disagree. The thread I gave you is good reading.

    As others have already noted, this is completely untrue.
     
  23. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Seriously though

    Take a look at the Daewoo K2
    It has the accuracy
    Excellent sights
    AK reliability
    etc. etc.
     
  24. Shane333

    Shane333 Member

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    2ndChapterofActs,

    I'm sorry to be so harsh, but this thread comes accross as a desperate (and largely ill informed) attempt to justify your prejudice against the AK platform.

    If AK's don't do it for you, that's your preference and you're entitled to it.

    I personally like the AK platform and don't feel any need for an AR. That's just my style.

    As for the 5.56 vs 7.62 cartridge capabilities, my baby brother's best friend was part of a fire team in Iraq. His team's job was to clear buildings once the enemy was confirmed to be inside. A lot of close quarters combat, if you can imagine.

    He loves the M4 and sees it as an ideal platform, but recognizes the difference in the performance of different cartridges.

    His words:
    "...I do know from experience that it takes at least 3 rounds to take a guy down, on average. Thats not taking into account the ocassional headshot or centermass vital organs. But if i had to choose, i go with a 7.62 anyday. They stay down, which is what really matters in the end."
     
  25. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Member

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    I love AK/AR threads, kinda funny when the whole "my brother, cousin, freind, buddy, net pal, some show I watched" crowd shows up and state what they know as fact.

    Hereis FACT, I was in the Army for 8 years, My first M16 was an A1, I didn't get my first A2 untill 92. I have fired many thousands of rounds through an M16 both in range work and FTX (I was lucky and never deployed into combat) and I have never, not once had a jam in an M16. Some were 20 year old rattle traps, some were NIB issue rifles. When people tell me an M16 is a jam-o-matic I tell them they are full of it.

    As for the AK, I choose not to pick sides, both are good guns and perform to thier designs.
     
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