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Newbie here...need opinions on a purchase

4520 Views 32 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  AvengersAssembled
Heading to the gun show. Need to know which is best to purchase....AK-47 or AR-15?

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Since you are new to assault rifles, you need to take some time to learn about them, and you need to handle and shoulder each type to see how each one feels, as each has different characteristics.

A little help for you on lingo - the M16 is the fully-automatic machine gun variant used by the military (sometimes called "select-fire") that are not sold commercially to civilians (although you can find "transferable" M-16s that a civilian can legally purchase, these cost over $15,000 if you can find one for sale). So don't say you are looking to buy an M-16. The civilian equivalent to the M-16 is the commercially available AR-15, semi-automatic only (one bullet is fired each time you pull the trigger). You will be looking at semi-auto AR-15s in that type of assault rifle.

AR-15s are generally lighter in weight and have better machined parts than an AK-47 or its variants, which are (generally) stamped steel rather than milled receivers. ARs are usually more accurate due to differences in design, machining, construction and barrel length. AKs are more robust in terms of needing less maintenance to keep running in the field - AKs handle exposure to mud, dirt, sand, muck, and water much better because the operating system is different, and it has looser tolerances so that mud, sand, etc., are less likely to cause the gun to jam or malfunction.

Bushmaster makes AR-15s, which is probably what you shot when you got "scoped" in the eye.

All of the above is written in generalities, which is why I qualified the remarks.

Since you are (obviously, I hate to tell you) a newbie, you are likely to get fleeced at a gun show. I would limit your gun show visit to browsing and not buying until you have a better idea of what you want and what you like.

The advice given here, by Fuzzee and Smitty and Ricky especially, among others, is good advice. A gas piston operated AR runs cleaner and cooler than a direct gas impingement AR, and thus offers the key advantage of the AK - less maintenance and cleaning is necessary in the field to keep the gun up and running. This is important if you have to shoot a lot of rounds (I am talking in the thousands, BTW) or if you have no tools or supplies to clean your weapons.

AKs are surprisingly accurate for combat purposes (hitting a human-sized torso center mass) so AK inaccuracy is a bit of a myth in a firefight or gun fight. ARs are definitely more accurate (which is why Aghani and Iraqi fighters want an AR/M4/M16 instead of their AKs, usually) but AKs have killed a lot of people all over the world, so its accuracy is adequate to say the least. A trained shooter with an AK can kill a lot of adversaries in combat....

Since you are female, you should look at the AR platform first, and look for the more modern gas piston design - unless you like scraping baked on carbon and gunpowder residue for hours after you run a few hundred rounds through a direct gas impingement AR.

I would recommend you look at the gas piston ARs as you decide on what to buy, which mirrors the advice the other members here have given you, for the reasons above.

Good luck with your purchase and your research!
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