AK47 Or AR15: Take Your Pick
Exploring the AR-15 vs the AK-47
When it comes to the world of rifles, there are some debates that will never be solved. While shooters tend to be objective sorts most of the time, the AK-47 vs the AR-15 is one thing that is hotly debated and contested, and normally reasonable shooters will get worked up into a rage over the subject. There is more hostility, and more aggression, about that particular debate than almost any other.
Even firearm instructors dispute which rifle is the better. For a large part of the debate, it comes down to personal preference. Writers, hunters, reviewers and even casual shooters all have their own ideas as to which is best.
To an extent, there are cases that you can argue. For example, why would you compare the AK-47 and the AR-15 when the AK-74 was created as a counter to the AR/M-16? Why compare different weapons? It's true that the AK-47 and the AK-74 have a lot of similarities, even to the extent of having parts that are interchangeable, and only really having a different cartridge -
but the cartridge is a big difference, especially when you consider that the cartridge for the AK-47 was designed back in the World War II era.
The 5.45x39mm cartridge that the 74 uses is similar to a NATO cartridge and has far better performance. So, from a practical point of view, it makes far more sense to use that as the comparison. Otherwise, you are comparing weapons from vastly different eras and with different design limitations.
The AK-74 just feels well made. To be fair so does the AK-47. These are powerful guns with a nice look, a satisfying sound, and a nice clean operating system. They AK-74 is well designed with a good safety that operates as a nice little dust cover too, so even when you're using it out in the field you don't have to worry too much about dust and debris getting into the internals. It's just there and ready to go.
Another positive about this rifle is that you can break it down and clean it in seconds, and reassemble it quickly as well. It's so easy, even children can do it, and it's great for field use because of that. This is the sort of daily use rifle that people come to depend on. It's smooth in use - incredibly smooth, and with near-zero recoil with a muzzle compensator, so it feels like you're just firing a .22. It is incredibly accurate for the type of gun that it is.
When looking for an AR15 on sale, on the other hand, is an iconic rifle made of aircraft-grade aluminum, with machined steel and a beautiful barrel. It is a great rifle, although it is rather particular about ammunition compared to the AK-47. You need to pick good ammunition otherwise you will most likely have problems with the AR-15. It's a more 'precision' piece of machinery in that respect. Is that a bad thing? For some, it might be - but for others, it's just a sign that you need to take care of what you've got - and if you're just after something accurate, rather than something that you can use and abuse at will, then the AR will win. It's more accurate out of the box than the AK - you'd need some nice optics to get equivalent 300-yard accuracy out of an AK. So, what do you want to do? Shoot lots, or shoot precisely? Take it to the range, or sling it around in the field?
For those who are more range shooters, modification nerds, and gun lovers, the AR does have bonuses - you can modify it, a lot. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of adding optics, then a magnifier, then a laser sight, and canted backup sights, and so on, keeping going until the gun is covered in mods and costs almost as much as a car. You could do that with anything if you wanted to, but a greater percentage of AR users seem to be the type that mod because the rifle supports it so well compared to the AK.
The AR is a nice reliable rifle, although it is more reliable if you make a few modifications to it. You will never find something quite as tolerant to abuse as the AK - but you'll be hard-pressed to get the accuracy of the AR out of an AK either, so in that respect, it comes down to what you want out of the gun.
In Conclusion: The AK-74 is far more reliable than the AR-15, but it takes different ammunition which can be hard to find. There is a ban on cheap 7N6 ammunition, which means that a lot of the domestic companies have chosen to stop AK-74 production and focus on the AK-47. This makes it harder to find both the rifle and the ammo - but they are out there if you really want to look for them, and they will last you for years.
The AR-15, on the other hand, is easier to source, and the ammo is readily available too because it is the same ammo that law enforcement and military use - so you're unlikely to see a shortage in the near future. There are more aftermarket parts out there too, and it's just generally easier to shop for. The AR-15 is more accurate, but you will find that it's a little harder to take care of.
Both are great rifles, it all comes down to what your preferences are, and what is available in your area. You want something that you will be able to use, not something that will sit ignored because the ammo is like gold dust or the rifle is too delicate.