Arguably the two best known weapons throughout the world are the AR-15 and the AK-47. The AR-15 is of course a semi-automatic civilian version of the United States military’s M-16, and the Soviet-made AK-47 is used by most countries outside of NATO throughout the world for military and civilian purposes. In the American market, a semi-automatic version of the rifle is available, and is a wonderful weapon for home defense or hunting if modified to meet local laws concerning magazine capacity.
But, there’s one question that has plagued the gun community in America for far too long: which rifle is better?
Power, Range, and Accuracy
When comparing two weapons, their power, range, and accuracy are the first aspects to consider. The AR-15 is a .22 caliber rifle, or 0.223 (5.56 x 45mm) to be more specific as it uses the standard NAATO military round. The AK-47 is a thirty caliber rifle, technically speaking, it fires a 7.62 x 39 millimeter bullet which is a metric version comparable to the .30-30 ammunition. Either ammunition is going to provide plenty of stopping power whether used for defensive purposes or against an animal in North America, although the 7.62 would be better suited for larger game such as moose or bear.
The range and accuracy of each gun is where the real debate comes to fruition. Technically speaking, the AR-15 is rated for 500-600 meters whereas the AK-47 is only rated for 400 meters. The distance in range is less important than it may sound, simply because not many people without formal sniper training are going to be able to effectively use the extra 100 meters. Another consideration which doesn’t apply to everywhere in the United States, but a good portion of where the weapon can be responsibly used is forested, and trees or hills prevent a line of sight at 500 meters.
Reliability and Usage
The reliability of each rifle is another great debate topic. The AK-47 will nearly always fire. It may lose some accuracy, require manually operating the bolt instead of functioning properly as a semi-automatic weapon, but it will fire even if it hasn’t been cleaned or properly, maintained and dragged through the mud. The AR-15, on the other hand, has to be cleaned after every shooting session, and ideally every day in order to function properly without jamming. The discipline of the American soldier makes such a routine job, but someone who isn’t paid to clean the weapon daily may not always find the time (or discipline).
Practicality and Conclusion
The fact of the matter is, each rifle is a great weapon, the better one is the one your personal preference makes you feel more comfortable with. Soldiers and Marines have been known to choose either of the weapons for personal use after leaving the service. Whichever one you prefer, you’ll have a lot of fun shooting it and as always, follow all the standard safety rules and whatever local laws apply to your weapon so you can have an enjoyable outing at the range.
For more information on this hot debate, as well as an entertaining demonstration of each rifle, be sure to check out the video below.
~ Ready to Fire News