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    Originally posted by mrm1775 View Post
    Now, to confuse you even more, I will break down the pros and cons so you can make an informed choice. This will get long, so I will put a link in my signature so I can reference it in the future.

    Range: Advantage to the AR. The 5.56mm round (and .223, you should look up the difference) has higher velocity and a flatter trajectory than the 7.62x39. As every Marine knows, the M16A4 (20 inch barrel) has a max effective range on a point target of 550m, and can suppress an area target at 800m. A good AK will be accurate to 400m, but for all intents and purposes it is a 200-300m rifle. The sights go further, but this really is for massed volley fire.

    Accuracy: Advantage to the AR. The same attributes that give it longer range also make the round more inherently accurate. Iron sights on the AR are also much finer and are among the most precise of their kind, whereas those on the AK are fast but somewhat crude. The AR also is also much more precisely made, so it is simply more consistent. I can squeeze out respectable accuracy with the optic I have on my AK, but it will never print groups as small as an AR. The AR is also a better platform for mounting optics.

    Recoil: AR, thought the AK is more than manageable, especially with a muzzle brake like the one I have. If you are a skilled shooter, it is not much of a concern.

    Handling: AR by a nose. Most AKs and ARs with 16 inch barrels are about the same length. The magazine releases are a matter of personal taste, but what really does it is the safety. It is just faster, quieter, and more convenient on the AR. The AR also has a bolt hold-open, which the AK lacks.

    Reliability: AK all the way. Get it dirty, run it without lube (not recommended), soak it in muddy water, throw sand in the ejection port, or dish out just about any other type of abuse and it will run like a champ. The AR will sputter and die. The attributes that make it the more accurate of the two make it less resistant to field conditions.

    The AK also experiences less fouling from its cycle of operations as it uses a gas piston operating system. This means that the propellant gasses cycle the action through impingement on the face of a piston at the front of the rifle and are vented there. The AR uses a direct gas impingement system in which the gas is redirected directly in to the bolt carrier group via a tube. In other words, it shits where it eats. This means that all of the particulate matter and hot gas goes to the last place you would want it. This not only makes the rifle dirty but leads to excessive heat build up in the chamber. I have actually seen rounds cook off and gas tubes glow in heavily used M16s. This also leads to parts wear. AKs, on the other hand, are known to have their handguards burst into flame (on full auto after a few hundred round drums), but it won't break the rifle.

    Durability: Edge to the AK, but both rifles will last you a lifetime is you take care of them. Spare parts are abundant for both as are extra magazines, but the latter gives the prize to the AK. Cheap steel AK mags are reliable and incredibly sturdy. You could use one to beat an insurgent to death and then load it up and fire as if nothing had happened. AR mags are universally more expensive but less durable. One dent in the side and you might as well throw it away. Polymer Magpul P-Mags and steel H&K mags hold up very well, but they are expensive.

    Penetration: Depends. The weight of the 7.62x39 gives FMJ an inherent edge over equivalent 5.56, but steel-core M855 (green tips) may actually have an edge over most commonly available 7.62. Armor-piercing rounds are available for the AK, but are uncommon.

    Lethality: Depends, but the AR has an edge. 7.62x39 is well known for its penetration but ironically not for its wounding potential. Most commonly available rounds are either FMJ or simple hollowpoints and, under most conditions, generally just punch a neat hole in the target and keep going. The 5.56mm and .223 ammo, on the other hand, has greater wounding potential due to its high velocity. In fact, this is why the Soviets eventually replaced their AKMs with 5.45mm AK-74s. There is a catch to this, as the M855 ammo designed for military use is designed to achieve maximum velocity from a 20 inch barrel, meaning it will not have as much punch in a 16 inch AR15, especially at long range. The upside to this is that their is a very wide variety of .223 ammo on the market that is designed for shorter barrels and has devastating effect upon a living target. Of course, its still not as cheap as the 7.62.

    Quality: As for consistency, you could probably give the edge to the AK. There are several good manufacturers of AR15s, such as Bushmaster, Stag, LMT, and others, and they can be relied upon to give you a good product. Watch out for cheaper brands, though, especially if the rifle is used. The AR design is very sensitive to the quality of the materials that go into its manufacture. On the other hand, AK quality is largely relative. A cheap Romanian AK will usually work about as well as a high end Bulgarian model. In my experience they don't even seem to vary too much in accuracy. If the parts are decent quality and it works, it passes the test. An AK is an AK.

    Aside from the just agonizing over the question of "AR vs. AK," there are other options you might want to investigate.

    1. Get a decent quality AK and a stripped AR receiver. That way you can have an AK now and build an AR at some time in the future. The receiver will run you less than $200 and is the part that has to be registered, everything else you can buy off the shelf.

    2. If you prefer the handling of the AR but want better durability, check out the gas piston uppers being offered by Patriot Ordnance Factory, LWRC, Bushmaster, and a few others. They solve the problems inherent in the original operating system, particularly in short barreled rifles, and so far have proven very reliable (though maybe not AK reliable yet). The downside is cost. Expect a new gas piston upper to cost you more than a complete standard rifle.

    3. Buy neither. There are other scary black rifles on the market that you are not considering. Hegs and I are both quite happy with our Sig 556s. That rifle gives you all of the advantages of the AR with much of the reliability of the AK. It is a little heavier up front, but I'm sure you're a strong guy. Owners of the Robinson XCR also seem to be very happy with it, and the best part of that rifle is that it is easily convertible to other calibers. The FN SCAR and Bushmaster ACR also look promising, and should be on the market before a ban goes into effect, though I wouldn't risk waiting around if you currently don't have an EBR.
    Yesterday, I stopped by American Shooters and saw an off-brand CETME knockoff for around 700 dollars in 7.62 NATO. I was tempted to spring for it but restrained myself.

    Any thoughts on the strengths/weaknesses versus an AR in 5.56?
    Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

    Comment


      In news related to the OP, someone claiming to be from the Democratic Party (with a Boston area code) called me in order to solicit a donation in order to push more aggressive gun control.

      Comment


        Originally posted by Phrost View Post
        In news related to the OP, someone claiming to be from the Democratic Party (with a Boston area code) called me in order to solicit a donation in order to push more aggressive gun control.
        So skip ahead to the real entertainment. What did you tell him?
        Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

        Comment


          Originally posted by Phrost View Post
          In news related to the OP, someone claiming to be from the Democratic Party (with a Boston area code) called me in order to solicit a donation in order to push more aggressive gun control.
          Are you sure about that? Because I'm pretty sure the area code was a Kentucky one.
          "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal

          Comment


            You sonofabitch haha.

            Comment


              It wasn't him.

              Comment


                Originally posted by DerAuslander108 View Post
                It wasn't him.
                Here's the text of our chat session about it (edited to keep you creeps from calling or IMing us):

                Phrost: Listening to the message it sounded like an actual call center
                Cassius: I know, huh
                Cassius: That was DerAuslander. I thought he knocked it out of the park.
                Phrost: It was convincing
                Cassius: I'm glad to know you were incensed.
                Cassius: I figured that would make you pretty mad.
                Phrost: Haha it did actually
                Cassius: Oh man. You just made my day.
                Phrost: Haha yeah, I was already pissed that someone was calling that late, but to hear it was someone from the DNC for gun control...
                "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal

                Comment


                  Come on...I gave you the name Jack Bronson...

                  JACK BRONSON!

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Wounded Ronin View Post
                    Yesterday, I stopped by American Shooters and saw an off-brand CETME knockoff for around 700 dollars in 7.62 NATO. I was tempted to spring for it but restrained myself.

                    Any thoughts on the strengths/weaknesses versus an AR in 5.56?
                    Meh.

                    I have a PTR91, which is an American made G3 clone (internally, basically the same as a CETME). Its a good rifle, but I hardly ever shoot it. The ammo is twice as expensive as .223 and it is very hard on brass, so reloading isn't much of a solution. Its also relatively heavy and very long, so its not as handy for fighting off zombies or communists. Some people really like them though. I don't hate it, but if I had to do it over again, I would have gotten an M14/M1A when I was looking for a .308.

                    Regardless, if the rifle is made by Century, don't bother even looking at it.
                    I'm not giving you my opinion, I'm telling you how it is.
                    Can't decide which evil black rifle to buy? My thoughts.

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