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Old 01-01-2011, 11:20   #1
Restless28
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Talk Me Out Of An AK.

I'm going to buy a centerfire rifle, and I'm still on the fence between the AK and AR.

My intention for this gun, is to assist the 12G in HD, if ever needed (God forbid), fun, possible hunting, and to train my son on a centerfire cartridge.

My dad has a Mini-14, so we could share ammo, and he has a reloader set up for .223.

I'm looking for the best value, in the $1000 budget range. I know that I'll get the "build" response, but, I'm also looking for "buy" suggestions.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:33   #2
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A good AR is equally reliable and far more ergonomic, user configurable, and accurate. No contest IMO.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:42   #3
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Get both!

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverMore1701 View Post
A good AR is equally reliable and far more ergonomic, user configurable, and accurate. No contest IMO.
What he said!



Given I'm not as experienced with AK's as I am AR's, but I not seen an AK that is remotely as accurate as a good AR. Reliability is really a moot point, IMO. No contest between the ergonomics of the guns. The AR has far better iron sight and better/ more options for mounting an optic.


The above is JMO, so take it FWIW.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:59   #5
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Accuracy is important. I read a post today about how a guy had to hold 9 inches off target on his Romanian AK once the barrel got hot. That is unacceptable to me, in a defense/fighting gun, because, if you ever had to use it, every round counts, IMO.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:18   #6
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I have a DPMS A2 style rifle with a 20" barrel. I mounted a cheap scope on it and from 300 yds I could put all shots in a basketball sized group shooting prone. And I'm not much of a shot. I've done "tactical" type shooting where I've put 200 rounds through it in a single outing with a lot of rapid fire. very accurate, never a jam, the CLP stayed on bolt carrier so everything was "wet" and running nice.
In any self-defense/gun battle I can image my AR is going to be clean, lubed, and ready for action. I don't plan on running around in the woods putting 1000s of rounds thorugh it without cleaning.
I agree with above post the reliablity issue is moot. The accuracy and ergonomics are not. And the AR wins hands down. Plus, ARs are as american as apple pie.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:30   #7
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The only "advantage" to going with an AK is the .308, but you can get an AR in .308, so this shouldn't even be in question. AR hands down.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:41   #8
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Most AKs aren't in .308.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:54   #9
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If you're only going to own one, get an AR. It's more adaptable and you'll obviously get better accuracy. The budget number you threw out there is the variable that you don't often see when this question gets posted, and really makes it a no brainer.

My plan for you, with that budget, is to buy the AR, teach your son on it, and then tell him to save up for the AK. They can be had relatively inexpensively and a properly zeroed AK in competent hands can't be beat.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:55   #10
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I like both, but you won't have enough with that budget to build a serious home-defense rifle (IMHO). You can get a quality AR or AK, but you will need to save for the light, optic, sling, training, ammo, etc.
If I were in your shoes, I would by a quality AR with a decent set of irons, then save for the stuff that makes it a true home-defense rifle.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:06   #11
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Originally Posted by KalashniKEV View Post
If you're only going to own one, get an AR. It's more adaptable and you'll obviously get better accuracy. The budget number you threw out there is the variable that you don't often see when this question gets posted, and really makes it a no brainer.

My plan for you, with that budget, is to buy the AR, teach your son on it, and then tell him to save up for the AK. They can be had relatively inexpensively and a properly zeroed AK in competent hands can't be beat.
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I like both, but you won't have enough with that budget to build a serious home-defense rifle (IMHO). You can get a quality AR or AK, but you will need to save for the light, optic, sling, training, ammo, etc.
If I were in your shoes, I would by a quality AR with a decent set of irons, then save for the stuff that makes it a true home-defense rifle.
What these two said. A nice Saiga can be had for well under $400. That shouldnt be to difficult to save up for.

Buy a quality AR and shoot iron sights while saving up for an optic, etc.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:31   #12
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If you want a good AR you can easily find locally and is ready to go right out of the box, look at the S&W M&P15 for under $1K. CDNN has them for about $850. If you don't mind buying uppers and lowers, look at BCM. There are other good ones out there.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:40   #13
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As a fan of both platform's here is my take:

Accuracy:
- AR's are generally more accurate. For 1K you will get a gun that will probably do 1-1.5" depending on ammo.
- AK's inaccuracy is generally overstated. For 700-1k (think quality like Arsenal) you will get a gun that does 2" with dirt cheap ammo. You see many AK detractors that like to take a junk AK that shoots 7" and proclaim all AK's are inaccurate.

Caliber:
- AR's are generally 5.56. This is a flat shooting round that can hit at 500 yards regularly (yes it can reach farther if conditions are right and a trained shooter is behind it). There are lots of ammo choices from cheap russian steel cased (.20) to high quality match ammo. Buy a different upper and you can convert the AR into another caliber.
-AK's are generally 7.62x39. 7.62x39 is more powerful than 5.56 but does not shoot nearly as flat. 300 yards is about its maximum range with accuracy. After 300 yards the drop be comes significant (shoots very similar to 30-30). 7.62x39 is a better choice for hunting. Ammo selection is far more limited than 5.56. There are cheap Russian steel cased (.19), surplus corrosive (.15), and new manufactured target and hunting loads.
- AK's also are frequently seen in 5.45x39 (the Commie bloc's version of 5.56). 5.45 has many of the same shooting properties as 5.56 and can be very accurate. Surplus 5.45 can be had for about .12 a round making it the cheapest shooter. However, there is no (or none that I have seen) US manufactured ammo. All ammo is imported and could potentially dry up if laws change (I wouldn't bet on it but you never know). 5.45 ammo selection is very limited.

Other stuff:
- AR's can be customized and set up all different ways. The same lower can be used for a short barreled rifle (assuming you have the tax stamp) and a long range gun just by switching uppers.
- Likewise there is more things to attach to an AR than you will ever know. Rails, lights, grips, etc.
- AK's are generally limited in the amount of accessories, but there are more and more options recently
- AK's can relatively take more abuse and still function.
- AK's are ergonomically setup odd. Nothing that can't be learned but ...
- 7.62x39 will penetrate through walls, so be conscious of that if used as home defense
- Both would be great to train your son on centerfire rifles
- 5.56 is a good round for varmints, but not a great choice for deer IMO (many localities will not let you hunt deer with .22 caliber bullets)


That was all stuff I thought of off the top of my head.
If it was me, my budget for an AK would be $750 (Arsenal or something similar in quality) and for and AR $1200 -1500 (Daniel Defense, BCM, Colt, etc.). IMO those are the price points where you get the best quality for the money.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:43   #14
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I'd get the AK
Great for home defense. Great for hunting. Ammo is dirt cheap. Super reliable.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless28 View Post

Talk Me Out Of An AK.

I'm going to buy a centerfire rifle, and I'm still on the fence between the AK and AR.

My intention for this gun, is to assist the 12G in HD, if ever needed (God forbid), fun, possible hunting, and to train my son on a centerfire cartridge.

My dad has a Mini-14, so we could share ammo, and he has a reloader set up for .223.

I'm looking for the best value, in the $1000 budget range. I know that I'll get the "build" response, but, I'm also looking for "buy" suggestions.
I thought about your request & can't do it...

Instead, I'll just say this:

Well under the $1000 mark, and I can hunt actual game with it.

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Ask yourself why an AR has a forward assist. I say this after being issued one & by US Marine Corps standards, became an "Expert Marksman" with one multiple times.
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Old 01-01-2011, 14:06   #16
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Given your situation if your total limit is 1000 bucks I would buy an AK, a case of Wolf Military classic and a one hour rifle course from these guys... Http://www.mast solutions.com.
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Old 01-01-2011, 14:14   #17
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Nobody can talk you out of one if that's what you have your heart set on. Everybody has to decide what works best for him. That said, here are some factors to consider

AK
Accuracy difference probably won't matter much at the distances that most people are likely to use it.
IMHO 7.62X39 is probably a more effective defense round than 5.56
No bolt hold open on last shot, a huge tactical disadvantage
Firer must take his shooting hand off pistol grip to work bolt
Popular with mall ninjas who want to feel they have some sort of kinship with Russian Spetsnaz,

AR
IMHO more comfortable ergos
More accurate and (more importantly) easier to take advantage of its accuracy
Lots of modularity, easy to change out uppers, lowers, etc
Tons of tacticool accessories
Higher variety of ammo and high availability
DI versions run dirty and are a pain to clean
Popular with mall ninjas who want to feel they have some sort of kinship wth Spec Ops troops or SWAT
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Old 01-01-2011, 14:18   #18
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Quote:
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Ask yourself why an AR has a forward assist. I say this after being issued one & by US Marine Corps standards, became an "Expert Marksman" with one multiple times.
The forward assist is like the AWB. It's a knee jerk reaction to something that was caused by something else, way back in the Vietnam era. People still need them to feel good "just in case", since the AR doesn't have a direct, reciprocating connection between the charging handle and the bolt. How many times have you ever know anybody to actually need one? I say this after being issued many varieties of them over 24 years, issued by US Army Special Forces and qualifying expert with them nearly every time.

ETA: BTW, your is ones of the nicest AK's I've seen. I wouldn't mind having that in my safel.

Last edited by Halojumper; 01-01-2011 at 14:19..
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Old 01-01-2011, 14:21   #19
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I like my AK's. They're good guns, reliable, decently accurate, stupid easy to maintain.


But an AR is a better rifle all the way around.
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Old 01-01-2011, 15:34   #20
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Originally Posted by Halojumper View Post
The forward assist is like the AWB. It's a knee jerk reaction to something that was caused by something else, way back in the Vietnam era. People still need them to feel good "just in case", since the AR doesn't have a direct, reciprocating connection between the charging handle and the bolt. How many times have you ever know anybody to actually need one? I say this after being issued many varieties of them over 24 years, issued by US Army Special Forces and qualifying expert with them nearly every time.

ETA: BTW, your is ones of the nicest AK's I've seen. I wouldn't mind having that in my safel.
I've had more than two A2 rifles (properly clean) FTF and FTE in my own personal experience. That combined with the experiences of my friends & fellow Marines was enough to sour me on the rifle.

Thanks for the AK compliment, and I'm sure the AR platform has made some reliability improvments since I last carried one in 1996. I'm actually considering getting one this year. If it can do what I expect it to, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

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