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Old 03-27-2007, 05:20 AM   #1
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Best military rifle: M16 or AK47?

Let's say you're starting a military in a new country you've created. Which battle rifle do you equip it with, the M16 or the AK47 (or AK74)? Pick one of the two -- which of them is the better battle rifle?

I'm posting this strictly to read and learn, because, aside from firing my brother in law's semi auto 5.45mm AK47 a few times, I have zero experience with either.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:33 AM   #2
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Not enough information.

What's the terrain in this country? Who are our potential enemies, and what do they use? What's the education/intelligence level of our "draft pool?" What kind of equipment does the rest of our military have (first-rate air force, armor, artillery, etc.)?
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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hands down the AK.........cheap, realiable, operates in every climatic and enviroment condition on the planet without a high maint. factor, and goes bang everytime you squeeze the trigger.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake45
What's the education/intelligence level of our "draft pool?"
Don't overlook this question. I remember when I first visited Russia, less than 3 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. I was with a bunch of tourists visiting Red Square. There was a bunch of Russian conscript soldiers that we were walking past. All of a sudden, all the conscripts started jumping on top of each other into a huge, human pile. Very bizarre behaviour, I thought. I then found out one of the tourists threw a pack of cigarettes to one of the soldiers, and they d@mn near killed each other to get it. Yeah, sometimes something low maintenance that goes "boom" all the time is enough. Other times, something that requires more maintenance but offers higher performance is the way to go.

Don
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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In a combat situation I would take the AK if I had the choice.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:49 PM   #6
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I think the AK wins it in every catergory: cost, reliability, ease of use, firepower, and about even on accuracy. M16 has the edge on weight. No contest in my opinion.
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RenoF250
and about even on accuracy.
I think that one goes well beyond the debatable. In order for the AK to have the reliability you give it, it needs a lot looser tolerances than the AR. An accurized AK might be as accurate as a stock AR. An accurized AR will blow any AK ever made out of the water. Cooper's challenge was just completed for the first time with a highly accurized AR derivative. An AK derivative would never have a prayer.

All the best,


Joe
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fargo
Quote:
Originally Posted by RenoF250
and about even on accuracy.
I think that one goes well beyond the debatable. In order for the AK to have the reliability you give it, it needs a lot looser tolerances than the AR. An accurized AK might be as accurate as a stock AR. An accurized AR will blow any AK ever made out of the water. Cooper's challenge was just completed for the first time with a highly accurized AR derivative. An AK derivative would never have a prayer.

All the best,


Joe
I am talking about military grade not accurized. I believe the weapons given to our troops are required to be better than 4 MOA. That does not sound too difficult for an AK to achieve.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M14jeff
In a combat situation I would take the AK if I had the choice.
Is this the same person that calls AK shooters "wanna'bes"
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:18 AM   #10
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It depends...

How rich and technically advanced is the country? A stamped AKM is easier and cheaper to build than an investment-cast AR. Also, what sort of military? Is it a bunch of lowly motivated conscripts and/or irregulars, or is it a highly-trained professional force? There's a whole lot of variables here.

Its suffice to say that the wealthier western countries enjoy better equipment, but at a cost that is proportionally high~~~all this to counter lower-tech adversaries.

My druthers count for nothing, but for my own use and enjoyment I will take an AR over an AK any day of the week. I have owned lots of ComBloc weapons and have never found any to be the least bit
accurate (except the Dragunov and its clones). When it comes to
rack-grade AK's, AKM's, RPK's, and SKS's none can compare to the AR platform. However, to be fair, the AR won't even work if left laying about in the mud and the snow, whereas the AK will. That is the trade-off...

-BushRat-
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:15 AM   #11
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It comes down to money. Am I a first world country or a third world country. If Iím first world, then I can afford better weapons and better training, so Iíll take the M16. In the third world, I canít afford to train my troops, so Iíll give them an AK. That is essentially the fundamental difference between the two weapons. Everything else is a difference in features.
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:16 AM   #12
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I'm an AR guy, but y'all have talked me into the AK--PROVIDED it can be of the Valmet pattern, with good sights and decent (2-3 MOA) accuracy.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:58 PM   #13
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Valmet M62 is the finest military ever built IMO. The one's I've shot would shoot sub 2MOA with iron sights and Chinese ammo...That's every bit as good as the M16 with a better cartridge and a more reliable rifle.

Unfortunately, when we're talking the M62, we're into some money again. It costs more than the M16, but IMO it's worth it.
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Gibson
Valmet M62 is the finest military ever built IMO. The one's I've shot would shoot sub 2MOA with iron sights and Chinese ammo...That's every bit as good as the M16 with a better cartridge and a more reliable rifle.
I am quickly coming to question my previous statements as far as box stock accuracy, though as Kevin notes this isn't your average AK.

All the best,


Joe
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:10 PM   #15
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At the time Valmets were available. they were only slightly more than AK's on the world market, I was reading an article at the time about why the US was buying AK's to send to El Salvador and to help the contra's and it was that we could be good condition, re arsenaled AK's for 75 bucks with 4 mags, New Ak's were still under 100 and Valmet/Galil/R4's were about 110 vs 390 for a M16.

Another consideration is the size of the people, and the terrain your land is. are you in jungle, open prairie or Veldt, mountains? One could argue that in a wide open terrain like a rodesia, or wyoming type land, that a FN FAL or G3 might be a better option. If the land is mountainous such as Switzerland or sweden, a lighter, more long legged cartridge like a 6.5 swede, or 260 rem. or similar would be a better choice

All that said, a AK made with good QC (ie Valmet/galil/R4) is probably the best option for all around.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:09 PM   #16
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This is a deep question and several things must be considered to make this call.

I was the Test Director at Aberdeen PG for the M16A2 and as soon as I finished that test I was detailed to test the AK74 for the Army Materials Systems Analysis Agency.

In my opinion the AK made by the Russians has the reliability over the 16. It has several superior design characteristics such as the nested hammer spring, angled gas port, short butt stock, ease of cleaning, rugged design and the magazines will last forever and a week if even half way cared for. There are some drawbacks to the AK. The long trigger pull is not conducive to long range accuracy. The short sight radius and sight design is poorly designed. Make that very poorly designed as the shooter is not able to adjust front sight quickly and rear sight is too crude.

I tested the AK74 to 800 Meters as we did the M16A2 and I can tell you a good shooter with AK74 might not hit you the first time at 800 meters but I guarantee you that you wonít stand there and flip him the bird for three or four more shots or he will blow you away. I donít like the long magazine as it requires the firer to expose too much of himself to fire it and have the mag clear the ground.

The worst thing about AK is muzzle flash. With the AK74 at night you might as well fire up a Coleman double mantle gas lantern as you will be just as conspicuous with either day or night. The muzzle flash is absolutely awesome. About a foot in diameter no less. I would redesign the flash suppressor along the lines of the M14 and spec a low flash signature propellant.

We can make far better ammo than the COMBLOC nations. No one makes better ammo than LC and in fact LC did make 7.62X39 for a few million rounds. I have some of the brass. No headstamp on it and boxer primed to boot.

The M16A2 has a superior sight system. Assuming LC made the ammo to the same accuracy requirements I believe an AK would outshoot 16 in a rack grade mode.

I donít like the sling system of the AK on the front it. I would change that to allow prone shooting with sling support.

The new sight systems used on M4 would be the thing to have on AK for sure if a peep rear sight was not used.

I like the brass ejection angle on the AK, put its out at 2:00 (in the next county) no less. Not ideal for reloaders but then again you are not dumping hot brass on the guy to your right.

I like the AK gas system; it puts most of the carbon out in the atmosphere instead of keeping it inside the weapon.

I broke a M16A1 in half(behind lower receiver ring) by dropping it in cold room from four feet and weapon was completely useless. If you somehow manage to break a AK at same location you still have a full functional weapon. A 16 takes a round through the buttstock and damages the buffer tube you are out of the bidding.

I like the last round hold open device of the 16 but canít really explain why. Guess that is what I got used to. I have seen plenty of experienced shooters try to fire with a open bolt on M16 as they did not realize it was dry and a mag change still takes time.

The AK mags are longer than 16 mags but then again if you happen to drop a AK mag and a Hummer runs over it, it can still be used. The 16 mags are a bit too flimsy for my liking.

All in all I would like to see AK design with Picatinny Rail, laminated wood, US type sling system, ACOG sight, trigger pull like M1/M14, M14 flash suppressor, with US ammo by LC in perhaps 6.5X39 shooting a 107 to 120 grain bullet. No less than a 6MM PPC round. 8Ē twist and 90 grain bullet and no full auto capability. I would prefer milled receiver and a design that allowed the barrel to be replaced easier than current system.

Also an improvement on the cleaning rod system of the AK. Slotted jag threaded for bore brush and issued with muzzle protector designed from fired shell case necked down to go inside muzzle and bottom of case drilled out to slide over cleaning rod. Maybe have a handle/rod extension on buttstock so it would be a two piece rod, not multiple sections. I would make the buttstock with an elongated opening for increased storage in buttstock of cleaning materials.

Might also stiffen up the AK barrel a bit to M4 diameter or thicker. Should be a good rifle to 800 meters and extremely rugged if no other changes are made. I would also get the Russians to make the rifle and the sights made in US and the ammo made at LC.
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:34 PM   #17
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I have to agree with Hummer, He makes some very valid points. In reality it seems to me that the AR/M16 series isn't a Military arm at all. It's fun to pop off a couple rounds at the range, but a serious Military Rifle it is not.

Very few Soldiers are capable of hitting a target at 800 meters and those that are will probably not make any significant outcome in a heated battle. The Germans got it right back in 43 when they came out with the STG43/MP44 "Assult Rifles" They were designed to engage the enemy at 300 meters or less and proved to be very effective. Even though the Russians have always maintained no connection to the German gun, The AK47/74 looks too much like a clone including the ammo. Russians are noted for copying others ideas and putting there spin on it to make you think they came up with an orginal idea. With that said the AK47/74 is the finest Military combat rifle for Modern combat..Hands down.

I'm sure others will gladly disagree with me especially on the AK vs. Mp44 issue as the internal workings are different. IMHO though the Russians had captured more than enough of both ammo and guns by 1943 for the AK to be an orginal idea...They just refined the design and kept it simple.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:38 AM   #18
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Noob here.

I like the AK-47. I had good expierences with the AK-47 and bad ones with the M-16 .

However, the weapon is just a tool. All listed arguments are valid. It becomes a matter of the operators training and experience.

When asked what to buy, I tell them it is a matter of preference. Whatever you buy, train with it often and for "combat" (life and death circumstances).

But what do I know, I'm a noob. :P

Good shooting, stay safe!
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:22 AM   #19
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For bunch of conscripts I'd go with the AK47. If they could teach Vietnamese to use it...anybody can!

Besides, the Israelis thought enough of it to use it greatly in developing the Galil!
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:49 AM   #20
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All they need is a little bit better ballistics and it would easily be dangerous to 800 yards. I was talking with guy at Sierra the other day and asked him if he had heard of anyone using a 6.5X39 and he said he had just spoken with a guy the day before that had done it and was quite pleased with the way it was shooting at longer range. There is a 107 gr. 6.5 Sierra that is quite good.

If I could justify needing it I would maybe get a reamer and give it a go in something.

Just had a hit on a 35 Whelen reamer the other day on ebay. That is going to be made up into a car gun on a 03A3 action and loaded with 222 grain 357 Maximum cast bullet at about 1100 fps for some sure nuff cheap shooting. The Director of the Army Wound Ballistics Lab said at 800 fps a 222 gr 357 bullet would go slam through the biggest guy I could find so at 1100 fps it should be a nice mild recoil cheap shooter.
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