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Thread: Which to buy - AR or AK

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    With all of the hype, real and imagined; I think that there may be no better time to take the plung - it is likely that prices will only increase.

    Seeking recommendations and reasons, right down to particular model/varient if pertanient.

    Parameters - not top of the line, loaded tactical. Price being a major consideration but don't want mismatched junk. I'm leaning towards the AK side because of generally lower cost, effective range is acceptable & IMO better short range round.

    In the case of the AR - I don't mind assembling my own but do not have hands on experience. + is that the AR is better looking, of American design as to accesories if I ever want to upgrade.

    Will probably come up with other ideas as I get more into the quest.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grape,

    If you want both, you can easily buy a lower for the lower $1xx range and buy your AK. Then the AR you then can finish out at any time.

    You can build the AR with simple tools, hammer, punch, pliers, no real special skills are necessary. Hell I didn't even have a vice and I managed! The tutorials are spot on from ARFCOM and there are plenty on here that can assist.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    hsmith wrote:
    Grape,

    If you want both, you can easily buy a lower for the lower $1xx range and buy your AK. Then the AR you then can finish out at any time.

    You can build the AR with simple tools, hammer, punch, pliers, no real special skills are necessary. Hell I didn't even have a vice and I managed! The tutorials are spot on from ARFCOM and there are plenty on here that can assist.
    Interesting thought - still haven't a clue as to where to begin yet. I'm at the extreme left on the learning curve.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Del-Ton.com has some cheap $100 lowers ( i don't know what is in stock )

    you really can't go wrong with any lower, the more you pay you are paying for 1) a name 2) either forged of machined aluminum. There isn't a whole lot of difference between a $100 lower and a $250. better to spend $100 now and have it than not have it ever!

    As far as AK's, no idea here - I'd be interested in anyones suggestions!

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    I have a Saiga that I converted to the AK configuration. I am currently looking for an AR rifle. I have wanted one for a long time and the current political climate is telling me to buy now or never buy. So I say buy both!

    One big thing to consider is ammo availability. The Wolf 7.62x39 is roughly half the price of the Federal .223 that most people like to shoot. So in the short term it may be more affordable to stock up on AK rounds. But the thing that is really making me nervous is that almost all of the 7.62 comes from Russia. It wouldn't take more than a stroke of the pen for Obama to sign an executive order banning all weapon imports from Russia just like Clinton did with China. Most .223 is made here stateside. Just something to think about.

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    I personally was considering one or the other a while back - the AR for its commonality with after-market parts, and the AK series for is reliability and price. Just by chance, I was browsing around Sig's site one day and ran into this little gem, the Sig 556.

    It has a similar gas system to the AK, but with the compatibility that the AR offers. Its also VERY clean, something to do with the gas system, again. AR's, I've been told, get very gunky and dirty easily because of theirs. Its also a little bit heavier than the average AR, with more of the weight being in the front end. There is also something special in the way it ejects brass; about 90% of my brass is ejected forward and on to the range, with only a few bouncing around inside the booth.

    Don't let the price on Sig's site fool you in regards to expense - the model I got, I bought off of Gunbroker.com for about $1099 US. Also, remember that in buying any rifle you are more than likely going to be getting several hundred more in accessories, whether it be sights, magazines (most only come with 1-2), bipods, etc. That being said, if you are looking to stay several hundred under $1k, there are a lot of folks on Gunbroker.com selling HUGE packages of items with their AK's, all for under $1k. (I recall a guy a few months back from Ill. who was selling his CZ made AK 74 with 10 bananna mags, original cleaning kit in rucksack, 2-3 100 round drum mags, and a sling & bipod to go with it, only 4-500 rounds through it, all for only $959 buyout)

    In summary, AK for price & reliability, AR for commonality, SIG556 for both (imo). Happy Hunting!

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    hsmith wrote:
    Grape,

    If you want both, you can easily buy a lower for the lower $1xx range and buy your AK. Then the AR you then can finish out at any time.

    You can build the AR with simple tools, hammer, punch, pliers, no real special skills are necessary. Hell I didn't even have a vice and I managed! The tutorials are spot on from ARFCOM and there are plenty on here that can assist.
    Interesting thought - still haven't a clue as to where to begin yet. I'm at the extreme left on the learning curve.

    Yata hey
    Put my first AR together using the instructions on arfcom only. Only tools required was a screwdriver and vicegrips.
    Oh yeah, and in the arfcom spirit, "GET BOTH!"

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    I've had 2 SKS and a AK for about 8 years and they are fun to shoot. Wolf ammo shoots fine and is cheap. The AK is very hard to beat as far as reliability. You cant dress it up as easily as the AR, but what do you want to do with the gun? If its just a plinking gun get the AK. If you want to dress a gun up or use it for match or varmit get the AR.

    If you just want a plain-Janecheap-to-shoot rifle just to play with consider a SKS.

    Just bought a AR last week from a guy there in Richmond who bought it new and never took it out the box. A Colt A3. Got it for $1100. I bought 1000 rounds of Wolf .223 yesterday for $289.

    ARs can be found in 7.62x39.

    After shooting my new AR sunday my friend had to have one and and dished out $1400 for a new S&W AR yesterday at Dances. They still had a few.

    But my best advise is to go to www.AR15.com and read up on the forum there, they have a AK47 and AR15 section there.



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    sorry...website kept freezing up

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    Hey we had a similar conversation at the OC dinner last night.

    As mentioned before, there is no reason not to get both... an inexpensive AK and an AR lower.

    The trouble is finding them at the moment.

    As far as AK's, don't be turned off just because they are cheap. They are AK's, designed to be made on crude machinery and operated by untrained conscripts in harsh conditions... and go bang every time.

    I picked up a Romanian WASR-10/63 + some extras for $400 a few years ago. This is considered the bottom of the basement AK. However with a little bit of work you can make them quite nice.

    Before:




    After:


    I since replaced the ergo grip in the picture with a $7 bakelite grip from brownell's to make it a better copy of the original russian.

    Check if the Front Sight Block is canted. If it is, ask for a discount, because its a relatively easy fix. If they won't give you one, keep shopping.

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    I'd go with the AK, based on what I've seen at practical rifle matches, and:

    - reliability - you can shoot an AK forever without cleaning it

    - cost of the rifle

    - cost of the ammo



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    Stories about the poor accuracy of AK's are overrated. Mine shoots MOA of pie plate at 100 yds all day long.

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    woah now, are you guys really saying buy only one gun when he is rationalizing TWO!!

    talk him into it!

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    hsmith wrote:
    woah now, are you guys really saying buy only one gun when he is rationalizing TWO!!

    talk him into it!
    Oh, right, sorry!

    If ONE rifle is GOOD, MORE are definitely BETTER!

    Carpe catapultaem!

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    FreedomJoyAdventure wrote:
    hsmith wrote:
    woah now, are you guys really saying buy only one gun when he is rationalizing TWO!!

    talk him into it
    Oh, right, sorry!

    If ONE rifle is GOOD, MORE are definitely BETTER!

    Carpe catapultaem!
    Hey, I like the way you think! Since I did not buy anything last month, I am below the minimum standard of one gun a month as required of CHP holders in Virginia.
    Guess maybe I should try harder to do my part.

    The idea of acquiring an AK47 now and starting a AR15 build by purchasing a lower all adds up to less than a finished package AR. See I'm good at math and it provides some measure of self-defense against the "You did what"s = Gee honey, look at the money I'm saving!

    Is anybody familiar with the Arizona Respose Systems AKs? First varient at $695.

    http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.co...estoreguns.htm

    I've looked around just a little bit in town today and found very low end AKs priced from 595. to 795. so there price doesn't look too bad - sure higher that just a few years ago though.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I don't have any personal experience with arizona response systems, but I've read nothing but good things about them over at THR.org

    Aimsurplus.com is out of about everything right now, but you might want to check in a few weeks, they have good prices.

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    Wow, those are some very pretty toys on the ARS website.

    Here's Classic Arms: http://www.classicarms.us/


    http://www.ak-47rifles.com/index.asp

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    I have owned and shot both ARs and AKs for over two decades - they are both fine rifles in their own right. Please allow me to suggest a far different line of thinking.

    Camouflage

    If you are seen by police or military from a distance wearing tactical trousers and a black parka...would they think any differently of you if you were carrying an AR or AK? I bet they would!

    They all shoot ARs - they are used to seeing ARs - a "professional" looking man carrying an AR would not draw the same attention as one carrying an AK.

    If there were police or military patrols in your neighborhood and for whatever reason you were forced to fire your weapon - we can assume that the shot would be heard. ARs and AKs have distinctive sounds. I can only guess if shots were being fired by "good guys" an AR would not draw the same attention as the sound signature of the AK would.

    You are in a situation again where you are required to shoot and run - empty shells are all over. If I were a LEO or military and I found 5.56 brass I would not necessarily know if they were from another officer, or you. If I found AK brass I would know it was not from one of my guys.

    If things really get bad and how much AK ammo would you expect to find in a police armory or maybe WalMart? There may be some...but I am guessing law enforcement and military stock much more 5.56 comapred to 7.62x39.

    In about ten seconds I can swap my ARs 16" CQB upper for a precision 24" upper complete with Krieger barrel, chambered for 80 grain match rounds, and high $$$ optics package - if you are within 600 yards I will share pain and frustration with you in less than a second.

    Parts are a dime a dozen - everyone has spare AR parts.

    Don't get me wrong - the AR is a mouse gun - chambered in 5.56x45 it is quite weak - but I still have no desire to soak up a round from it regardless of range. Yes, it has a terrible direct impingement gas system - but it has proven itself and issues have been worked out decades age.

    Yes, I feel the AR is the best choice for many reasons.

    And stepping up to a .308 bolt gun after that - don't waste your time - you will only gain a few hundred yards, if that, over the 5.56x45. Step up to a .338 Lapua Magnum bolt gun and as the song goes..."let's get physical, physical..."







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    vt357 wrote:
    I have a Saiga that I converted to the AK configuration. I am currently looking for an AR rifle. I have wanted one for a long time and the current political climate is telling me to buy now or never buy. So I say buy both!

    One big thing to consider is ammo availability. The Wolf 7.62x39 is roughly half the price of the Federal .223 that most people like to shoot. So in the short term it may be more affordable to stock up on AK rounds. But the thing that is really making me nervous is that almost all of the 7.62 comes from Russia. It wouldn't take more than a stroke of the pen for Obama to sign an executive order banning all weapon imports from Russia just like Clinton did with China. Most .223 is made here stateside. Just something to think about.
    I have a saiga and plan on doing the same thing. How knowledgable are you about the conversion?

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    Word of advice: If you DO get an SKS, stay away from the Yugoslavian models. I had a lot of problems with one a while back, and many others have expressed the same problems, usually failures to cycle.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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