Archive for AK47
The debate between AR and AK lovers has been going on for years and will likely go on for many more, after all these are the two most popular rifles on the planet. But lets compare a few key aspects of these two rifle platforms and see if we can come up with a clear winner in this decades long debate.
Before we start this comparison, I’d like to point out a couple of things. First off for the sake of comparison, we’ll be sticking to specific calibers, the 5.56×45 or .223 for the AR platform and the 7.62×39 caliber for the AK. We’ll stick to these calibers since they are the most popular and most common and they are the calibers the rifles were designed to fire. Also for the sake of comparison we’ll be assuming that the AR platform is a direct impingement system as it is again the most popular and most common and what the rifle was designed to operate with.
Appearance – This is a draw as this is a personal preferance issue although in my opinion I believe the AR is a better looking rifle. DRAW
Accessories – The AR wins in this catagory. While the AK platform has many accessories on the market available for it, the AR has far more and its modular design lends itself to adding accessories much more than the AK design. EDGE AR15
Controls/Features – These two rifles are very different in this catagory and for many that makes it a clear choice for a winner but honestly to me this is a draw. The reason is that some will look at the AR platform and say that because it has more controls and features built into the design, thus creating more ways to manipulate the weapon, that this makes it the better rifle. However others will argue that the simplicity in design of the AK platform lends itself to being the easier rifle to operate and manipulate. In my opinion both points of view are correct and it really boils down to knowning your rifle and training with whatever rifle you choose. DRAW
Action – By action I mean comparing the AR’s Direct Impingement gas system to the AK’s Piston gas system. In this catagory I have to call it a draw. Even though some will say that the AK piston gas system has been around longer and the AR gas system got off to a rocky start, by modern standards both gas systems have a good reputation and function very well for their given platforms. DRAW
Accuracy – This one has to go to the AR15 as it has been consistantly more accurate through different types and rates of fire, than the AK47. Now part of this has to do with the overall design of the rifle and part of it is the caliber it shoots. EDGE AR15
Range – Again this one has to go to the AR15 platform. The reasons for this are simply that the 5.56×45 has and effective range of about 600 meters compared to the 7.62×39’s effective range of about 500 meters. Add to that the fact that the 5.56 round has far less bullet drop out past 300 yards than the 7.62 does and you understand why the AR wins in this catagory. EDGE AR15
Durability – This one should be a no brainer, even AR fans should know that the durability of the AK in any number of conditions and circumstances is better than that of the AR. Simplicity of design, fewer moving parts and tougher building materials all add up to the AK winning this one.
Reliability – This one may be a little harder for the AR folks to swallow but just like with durability, the AK wins this one. The reliability of the AK has been proven time and again for a couple of decades longer than the AR has been around. In addition to that, the simplistic design and piston system lends itself to less potential problems than the AR platforms due to issues like a gas system that without cleaning has the potential to foul up the action and cause failures. EDGE AK47
Supported vs Unsupported – This category is a litte more complicated and honestly something that alot of AR and AK lovers don’t always think about. The basics of it are that the AR15 platform has never served in an unsupported capacity, and by that I mean that the AR platform has always served with a standing military, repair technicians, spare parts and an armory standing behind it. The AK on the other hand has served for decades in an unsupported capacity in many conflicts from Asia to the Middle East and Africa to South America and has continued to prove itself even in the toughest conditions without support from any of the earlier mentioned support the AR has benefitted from. Now this doesn’t mean that the AR couldn’t hold its own in an unsupported capacity, simply that as of yet it hasn’t served successfully in one. EDGE AK47
So there you have it, nine categories. Three categories are a draw, three going to the AR platform and three going to the AK platform. So what does this prove, well it proves that there’s a reason why these two rifles are the most popular on the planet. You’d be well served with either of these rifles, in fact why not have one of each!
A milled receiver is a receiver that is cut out of one solid block of steel and milled out to get the shape and design of the receiver.
A stamped receiver is one that is made from a sheet of steel thats pressed in a machine to the shape of the receiver.
Now most AK’s are stamped, the reason is that its quicker and easier to produce, but keep in mind that this is also the way the Russians make their AK rifles because thats how it was designed.
Milled is technically stronger as it has no give or flex so for accuracy its a bit better (but only a very slight bit, probably so slight you’l never notice it)
But keep something in mind ……. watch a slow-mo vid of an AK firing sometime, what you’ll see is the barrel and receiver “Flexing” everytime it shoots. This flexing is a side effect of how the AK is designed.
Because of this flex a stamped receiver can have a longer lifespan as far as round count than a milled receiver especially for an active shooter, because under the stress of firing a milled receiver it is more likely to crack then a stamped receiver, whereas a stamped receiver will not because it flexes with the gun.
Some people will still try to say that a milled receiver is better but remember, the only reason there are any AK’s with milled receivers is because in the 40’s when the AK was designed (to have a stamped receiver) the technology of welding the bolt rails to the stamped receiver had not been perfected yet and they had failures.
So they moved to a milled receiver to where the bolt rails are just cut into the receiver which solved this problem. But as soon as the technology exsisted that they could reliably weld the rails, they moved back to the stamped receiver in 1959 and it was called the AKM (which is what most of the rifles on the market today are).
So to sum up, a stamped receiver is the way to go, it’s what the AK was designed to use.
The first type is the older model I.O. AK47’s that were Romanian parts kit builds with some U.S. made parts installed, these parts being the muzzle nut, muzzle brake, barrel, gas piston, trigger group, receiver & the furniture. Now this is what I consider a “Hybrid” made I.O. AK and is basically an upgraded WASR. These models sold for a variety of prices depending on where you purchased them and ranged from $550 to $650 when they first hit the market more than 5 years ago, but can be found now for around $450. Basically they were good solid AK’s that took a WASR and added enuff parts for 922r compliance and fixed some of the WASR’s more common issues like mag wobble and feeding problems. These models are no longer offered by I.O. but there are still plenty of them out there on the market for sale.
The second type of I.O. AK47 is the 100% U.S. made AK47-c with all parts manufactured here in the U.S. and assembled at I.O. headquarters. These are the current models that I.O. offers. They have various models all bascially the same AK with different furniture and accessories. These models are fairly well built and affordable, ranging in price from $400 to $550 depending on where u buy, but value wise I say stick to $450 or less. Now in fairness I have heard of some issues with people complaining about canted sights and loose handguards but nothing too serious and nothing any worse than any other manufacturer out there.
I personally perfer the older “Hybrid” models as I have a fondness for it being built with original eastern block parts, but can recommend the newer models as well.
Another thing to mention is that I.O. has a lifetime warranty that they are known for honoring quite well without any headaches.
All in all I think the I.O. is a good value in an AK47 platform. Definitely worth checking out, it’s a good solid AK that would make either a great shooter or even a great start to a tactical AK.