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By AK I mean AK-47, AKM, or the AK-74.

Obviously there's no dispute that the AR-15 is superior in accuracy, but I've read that the AKs are more durable, and obviously higher caliber. Could durability and higher stopping power be more advantageous in SHTF?

I'm sure this is like preschool talk to the gun experts of the forum but I just want all the opinion I can get before I invest in one of these types of weapons.
 

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This has been debated for over 40 years.

While the AR is the better choice for punching paper at a range the AK is the better choice in the field. The longer a SHTF goes the dirtier things get & that isn't good for an AR.

Some AKs are more accurate then others. A milled receiver & quality barrel & within its intended range the AK is plenty accurate. And you won't see how accurate one can be till you put an optic on it.
 

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Not really, The AK has no range it is a close up weapon. The stopping power of the 7.,62X39 falls off very fast.
The AR stands up well to the elements , I have both but the AR is a far better all around weapon.
If they are 150 meters or less no body armor and I do not need to carry it all day works for me.

Any other time I am going with AR
 

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It all depends on what you want the rifle to do:

Super accurate out to 600 yards and beyond and be able to punch through walls, car doors, other light cover - M1 Garand (2nd choice) or M14 style platform (1st choice)

Super accurate out to 600 yards and be lighter in weight, maybe not need the extra punch of the 7.62 x 51 - AR is a good choice

Human body accurate out to 150 yards with better punch than the 5.56 round - AK

Human body accuratte out to 100 yards - Mini 14

There are many other offerings out there and the biggest portion are in the upper price range.

Overall today's prices, a good AK will be comparably priced to an AR of equivalent value.

For me if I had to choose one or the other for all purposes, the M14 gets the nod, . . . but the OP asked only AK or AR, . . . and I would take the AR as pound for pound, I can carry a lot more rifle and ammunition with the AR than I can with the AK.

A final factor to consider is ammo. Junk ammo from across the pond is quite available for the AK, but good 7.62 x 39 ammo can be expensive. Good quality ammo for the AR is much less expensive.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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The AK is simply another tool, I quickly moved past the either or argument to the conclusion that it's probably a good idea to have one. I like the M1A and yet I can see where there are situations where an AR or AK would be more practical.
 

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Both are generally good weapons and a person who owns either should learn to care for them. A regular DI AR is commonly a much cleaning, lubrication needier weapon. And it has tighter tolerances in the receiver areas which leaves less room for crap that can get in there to go which can cause more jams should crap get in there. This is America though and not Eastern Europe or the Middle East and the AR is the most commonly used defensive/offensive rifle in the US, not the AK. You're going to have the best chances of finding parts and rounds for it should you need them and get lucky enough to come across them when things go south long term. Of course if you're not in the US, things change in that aspect. There are lots of AK's though and it's a tough rifle. I wouldn't feel in too bad a shape with only one in my hands, but I'd prefer a piston AR over one or even better for me an M14.

A piston AR runs much cleaner and cooler than a DI AR and needs far less cleaning overall, is easier on certain parts and needs far less continued lubricating comparatively to a DI which brings it a lot closer to some of the plus points on the AK. You loose some commonality with some parts in a DI AR, but if you choose wisely, it doesn't have to be as much as others and the major, more commonly worn or broken parts are still the same like extractors, ejectors, bolts, barrels, springs and mags. An Ar-15 whether DI or piston is a pretty tough rifle overall though not as tough as an AK for abuse in my experience, but you shouldn't be abusing your rifle purposely anyways unless you're a dumbass and you get what you deserve at that point. Any dumbass's I run into when shtf hard, I'll probably judge as safer to shoot than let live and cause trouble when things are that bad and the law is a memory. Between the AK and AR for weight, the AK has heavier rounds and mags and can be a heavier rifle unloaded in basic (no optics and accessories) form, but is still not that hard to hump. Choose what you like best.
 

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Get an SKS. They're cheap, reasonably reliable, you can leave the stripper clips full without worry of a compressed spring magazine causing mis-feeds, and the full metal jacket rounds tear up railroad ties (as observed by me at the range). While I saw many shelves devoid of 5.56, never once did I see a lack of 7.62 X 39 rounds. I shot one reasonably accurately at 300 yards with open sights--I'm not the best shot in the world.

My opinion is that the 5.56 is just an over-glorified .22 round. I only want to hit the target once and be assured I'm done. For nearly 50 years, the US Army has used the M-16. Totally beyond me.
 

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Every firearm has its good points and bad points.
IMHO I believe you need a tool that gets the job done.
Each person needs to determine what the job is.
Because of my military training, I really like the AR. My wife likes it, too.
Personally I prefer the harder impacting 7.62 x 39 but it does seem to have the accuracy at range.
I've only had a few opportunities to test an AK and didn't like it.
When I save my pennies, I will look at 7.62x51. Maybe the AR's bigger brother.
Again, this is my opinion.
 

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There is no comparison in my book if you actully leave your assault rifle in the mud grim and what have you and you never clean it you deserve what happens. I have used both ak-47's and ak-74's they are a sloppy rifle and both have jammed on me more than a well maintained m16a4 or m4 If you got the money look into the 7.62 SCAR by FN its expensive but in my opinion the best assault rifle available followed by the M14 and other mag fed nato 7.62 rifles.
 

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I'll stick to the AR, thanks. As far as I'm concerned, the issue of caliber was decided by extensive studies by the US Army after the Korean war. Most notably:

S.L.A. Marshall's 1951 report for the Operations Research Office, which concluded... "The average effective infantry fire with weapons lighter than the machine gun was consistently less than 200 yards. In no instance was it established, in the operations brought under survey, that any significant move by enemy forces had been stopped and turned by rifle and carbine fire alone at ranges in excess of that figure."

Donald L. Hall's 1952 ODO study found that the percentage of hits at 100 yards was about 43%, about 10% at 200 yards, and by 500 yards was down to almost zero. He saw 3 factors important to rifle selection: the chance to hit the target at typical combat ranges, the ability to wound at those ranges, and the weight of the rifle and ammo.

Norman A. Hitchman's 1952 ODO report showed that the quest for improved hit probability would be best served with, "... a small caliber lightweight weapon with controlled dispersion."

The 5.56 mm NATO round is lethal at those ranges for which it is intended. Upon impact, the front slows down while the rear keeps pushing, causing it to "tumble." When this happens, shear forces break the round into multiple pieces, with each typically going in a different direction. Also, rounds such as the M855 "green tip" can punch through 1/2" of steel at 200 yards... more than adequate obstacle defeating power for me.

The AR platform is lighter than the AK, and the ammo is lighter too, so you can carry more of it at the same loadout weight.

The AR is a proven design and more than reliable enough for my intended use.

But, to me, the main reason that the AR is the only real choice is that parts, magazines and ammunition are more common and easier to obtain. In a long term "rainy day" scenario, this would be a critical difference.
 

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I too have both. My S&W M&P 15 has sat in the safe since November when all the craziness started. I have been hoarding my stock of .223/5.56 not wanting to use a $1.00 per round for practice. The AK on the other hand has been used a lot due to having a good stash of ammo. Both do the job very well and love both, but the check book still wins.
 

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My son and I just had this discussion a couple of days ago. This is a Ford Vs. Chevy kind of argument. But I'm game.

I like the AR's. A lot. I've owned two of them and it's one of the two long guns we carry in our patrol cars and the last time it came out was during our run and gun qualifications. I am no tactical maniac with one, but I guarantee I can hit you with it. No need to get fancy with it or try and look cool.

As a prepper and looking at the pluses, there are lot's of them out there as in, "They're Really Common". My new prepper buddy next door has two. Military, Police, private citizens, they're everywhere.
Odds of running across another one in somebody's cold hands; Excellent.
Ammo/Magazines; Plentiful.
Parts; Interchangeable. God bless Mil-Spec.
Accuracy; Really good.
Accessories; Too many to name.
Overall Scroungeability and the likelihood you'll come across one in a SHTF/EOTWAWKI/WROL situation; Highly likely and you're blind or the unluckiest person in the world if you don't.

AK Platform as an operating system; UNSTOPPABLE. I however prefer the AK-74 over the Ak-47.
Rifle; Inexpensive or at least comparable to bottom shelf plain jane AR's.
Ammo; Cheap and plentiful. About half the cost of .223/5.56
Magazines; Industry leaders now produce high quality mags for them
Reliability; Can't be touched. It goes bang when you pull the trigger unless it's empty.

I personally prefer the AK operating systems based on two things; Reliability and price. I'm not into mounting a ton of expensive accessories. I could literally hear my AR's late at night calling me, whispering "Buy those rails, get that forward grip and an EOTech, install the flip up sights, don't forget the light...". Financial collapse loomed in the horizon to make it look cool. Can't do it.

I don't think anyone out there can dispute that an AK platform can take far more abuse and neglect than an AR and continue to run. As for price, I can buy a standard Century Arms Saiga AK-74 and 1080 rounds of ammo for around the same price as a standard AR that might have a couple of minor frills. Or I can get one of the even less expensive Bulgarian models, or I can buy a fully loaded tricked out one for the same price as a mid-level AR and still come out ahead on the ammo.

The ballistic difference between the two rounds, really, is insignificant. Yes the 5.56 is a little faster and creates a little more energy. But it's performance is not so significant that it warrants paying double.

I liken the AR to Sugar Ray Leonard in the boxing ring. Smooth, lot's of finesse, calculated.

The AK is the Mike Tyson of the gun world. An undisciplined, back alley brawler with a hint of criminality that will take your ear off and leave you stunned. That's the kind of rifle I want with me.
 
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The is a reason we were happy they had AK's and we had AR's. It is referred to as stand off range.
We could hit them with ease they could not even come close.
 

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I have only two guns in my collection that will eat anything thrown at it. They are my AK SLR106-21 and H&K 93. They are like little piggy’s, they will eat anything. The AR is like a finicky cat. Only be best will do.
 

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I guess I see it from a different point of view . I carried every version of the M16 at one time of another from A1 to A4. Yes there is an M16A4
Then the M4 .
I would take the current m4 any day AK hype is way over blown fueled by miss information and legend.
Yes it is a simple tough weapon. It lacks accuracy, it loses any real take down power quickly .
The other side the BS over m16/M4 short comings have been way over played and again fueled by a lot of miss information and stories that just grew and grew.
Will take any of my current M4's out back and shoot along side any AK47 all day long.
It will work just fine and put a lot more holes in the target faster.
 
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