AK vs. AR: Why the 7.62×39′s Time Has Come

by Josh Wayner

Brace yourselves. Here comes another skirmish in the age-old war between the AK and the AR rifle families. The primary points of contention have always been contrasting ideas of reliability, lethality, and accuracy. The differences have polarized an otherwise likeminded group of individuals. Many of these individuals have even gone so far as to create whole institutions — or churches if you go that far — around their rifle of choice. They claim that their idea is “progressive”, or “constantly evolving”, yet all they end up doing is alienating many of their followers who are then left in an ideological pit because their favorite trainer feels their rifle is not good enough . . .

Division is the device of destruction, and any individual who divides based on selling a propped up product is doomed to fail. That being said, I will take on the issues at hand in a logical and rational manner while attempting to part the vast sea of complete bullshit that surrounds this argument. My breakdown is simple: dispense with the 7.62x39mm round.

The 7.62×39 round is central to all the contentious issues involved with the comparison of these two rifle systems. It’s the reason that the AK has its well deserved reputation for midrange power and barrier penetrating ability. By comparison, the AR, at least in 5.56mm, has gained the reputation of being anemic.

On the contrary, the 7.62×39 is also the reason why the AK is seen as inaccurate compared to the AR. The comparison has always been apples to oranges. A true comparison is seldom put to a real test for fear of showing the supposed weaknesses of each system. 2012 proved to be a year that Americans decided to break with convention and make the 300 AAC Blackout[1] our newest love interest. It has, in a way, made the7.62 x39 superfluous. But more on that later.

There have been many attempts to cram a .30 caliber bullet in the AR. The AR, mechanically speaking, has a difficult time handling the extremely tapered cartridge of the7.62 x39. The direct gas operation common to most ARs combined with the powerful thrust forces imparted onto the bolt by the tapered cartridge, are very hard on the operating system. They also force weaknesses to be built in when chambering an AR in 7.62×39 such as reduced bolt strength, magazines of decreased capacity and odd shape, and increased fouling due to dirtier surplus or imported ammunition.

There have been attempts, some recent, to marry the AR to the 7.62×39[2], but this brings on a whole list of new problems, the first of which is the use of unique and non-standard parts. The AK system, on the other hand, has never seemed to have an issue moving to a smaller caliber.

Because of the decision made by the military during the Vietnam era, the AR has remained in continuous service longer than any other American small arm[3]. Yet, the proponents of the AK have never let the AR crowd forget the jungles it was thrust into. It’s shocking how fresh the problems encountered in Vietnam still are in the minds of some potential AR buyers. It’s truly amazing that these issues have stuck to what is now one of the weapons we know the most about. But you have to keep in mind that the two rifles evolved from completely different design concepts and were intended for different purposes.

The AK system never graduated from its original manufacturing base the way the AR has. It is, and always will be, a child of the Second World War and the product of a society devoid of any reason to advance it. The 7.62×39 has held the AK system back. No matter how many companies make modernization kits or products to enhance the AK’s performance, they are just adding pearls to the pig. ‘

There are certain gun trainers pushing rifles that defy the traditional AK profile, some costing thousands of dollars more than what a standard AK. But at heart, they are just sad imported rifles decorated with the latest in fancy rails and grips. These blinded-up guns don’t offer any advantage. The limits placed upon the AK system are directly related to the American usage of the 7.62×39 round. The low cost of the rifles and ammo, combined with the general inability of the American shooting public to understand the system, have created a culture in which the sole argument for buying an AK is price alone.

The AR family, on the other hand, has evolved by way of an explosion of innovation, where new ideas are constantly introduced and there’s virtually no limit to what a shooter is able to do with their lower receiver. Hunters, competitors, police, soldiers, home defenders and entrepreneurs have all embraced the AR because it can be tailored to meet almost any need.

It fights our wars, kills enemy and game alike, can win national competitions and switch calibers in seconds. It’s truly the arm of the thinking man. Americans have become attached to the AR because it represents the freedom of choice and the kind of non-linear thinking that makes America great.

The AK, however, is trapped by the limits its design have imposed and the fact that the only viable commercial option is the 7.62×39, which in a way is reminiscent of the line of thought used by the rifle’s creators; the AK was intended to limit user choice. The overall lack of inherent accuracy, poor build quality and horrible triggers found on most off-the-shelf AKs extend to almost all makes models. Given its shortcomings, the AK system has lasted longer than it ever had a right to.

The wide availability of the 7.62×39 is another problem that confronts the cartridge. A quick Internet search reveals that a case of 1000 rounds of 123gr FMJs runs $239.00 shipped. This is for foreign steel-cased ammo. American made FMJs run a whopping $700.00 per thousand shipped. Ammunition of comparable quality such as a case of 1000 5.56 62gr green tip round runs $500.00 shipped[4]. The new 300 AAC Blackout retails approximately $550.00 for 1000 rounds of 115gr ammunition[5].

The point is the market for the 7.62×39 — and the AK itself — is reliant on inexpensive imports. This is also a handicap as the ammo tends to be a great deal less consistent than American manufactured rounds and may be subject to, God forbid, future ammunition importation bans.

But the biggest blow to the 7.62×39 came recently in the form of AAC’s 300 Blackout. This round will, over time, eclipse the 7.62×39 in America. One of the primary arguments against the AR has always been the 5.56/223 round. It has a rep for spotty lethality and poor terminal effect. Bullet development in the last decade has largely solved this, at least civilians, whereas the military is still issued ammunition of debatable quality. ‘

The .30 caliber, though, is and will probably always be the favored bullet diameter of American shooters. There’s a mental association with this bullet diameter that dates back more than a century. It has been chosen over other (possibly better) options developed by designers of classics such as Garand[6].

The .30 caliber almost instills confidence in the shooter. Despite its small size, my own 300 AAC Blackout pistol was hailed as a “real gun” by several individuals who fired it. That came after drilling targets at 300 yards out of an 8.5 inch barrel. My own AK-74 was fired alongside it, but only merited a passing “that’s cool, man.”

With the 300 Blackout, Americans now finally have a means to use a standardized, SAAMI-accepted cartridge in their ARs that matches or beats the 7.62×39. Better yet, it does not require extensive modification to the AR platform to use like the 7.62×39 would. The ability to deliver a .30 caliber bullet out of America’s sweetheart in a way that’s backed by a growing number of companies demonstrates the American public’s desire for .30 cal confidence in their weapons.

The 300 Blackout represents a chance for the AR to rise above the persistent belief  of some that it’s a toy or lacks the lethality of the AK. The Blackout has the ability to kill (commercially, of course) the 7.62×39. It’s a death that should be welcomed for the sake of furthering a superior platform.

Overall, the 7.62×39 has been the reason for much strife in the shooting community. The 300 AAC Blackout may be able to rehabilitate the reputation of the AR in the power and lethality departments. The modern AR is every bit reliable as the modern AK, but in a different way.

The combination of mechanical functionality, repeatable intrinsic accuracy and definitive lethality are paramount to a successful weapon design. The AR excels at all of the above, and does so in a way that doesn’t limit the user. The 7.62×39 fired from an AK is a thing of the past; a relic kept alive by widespread distribution, low price and perceived superiority. The Mp3 player surpassed 8-track for lots of very good reasons. There may still be a few who argue that the 8 Track is pretty mean with a good set of speakers, but that doesn’t make them right.

[1] http://300aacblackout.com/, October 4, 2012

[2] http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=558, October 4, 2012

[3] Rose, Alexander. American Rifle-A Biography. 2008; Bantam Dell Publishing.

[4] http://www.ammoman.com/, October 4, 2012

[5] http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/, October 4, 2012

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.276_Pedersen October 4, 2012

171 Responses to AK vs. AR: Why the 7.62×39′s Time Has Come

  1. avatarAnotherMatt says:

    .300 Blackout throws a lighter bullet slower than x39. It’s a crappy compromise at best. Plus since the primary purpose is for suppressed use you have very fast twists that way over stabilize the lighter projectiles and give you hideous accuracy.

    7.62×39 in something like a CZ mini Mauser is easily capable of 1 MOA.

    • avatarAnotherMatt says:

      7.62×39 is also the basis for the PPC line of wildcats which are among the most accurate cartridges in the world. Don’t blame the AK’s inaccuracy (due to intentional design elements) on the 7.62×39.

      • avatarWade says:

        Exactly, the reason the AK is so reliable is that it utilizes huge, heavy, and loose-fitting pieces to overcome fouling and inconsistent ammo.
        I consider the 7.62×39 to be no better nor worse than the 5.56, they are just different cartridges for different purposes.

      • avatarCyrano says:

        The PPC is necked down to a 6mm and shot only in a bolt action making it a whole different round into itself. Its also a barrel burner so less likely to become a round the public likes to shoot.

    • avatarGL Kohler says:

      Agreed. This article has nothing to do with the 7.62×39 cartridge. The wild variability in quality among AK type rifles is the only thing on trial here. That said, those who want an accurate AK in 7.62×39 certainly have options.

      There’s nothing interesting or new in this article. It reads like a new gun owner picked up an AR instead of an AK and is trying to justify his purchase by eliminating any other choice–which is exactly what you get in a forum flame war. Perhaps most telling is the author’s complete ignorance of the 5.45×39 cartridge as well as other implementations of 7.62×39 (like the awesome CZ 527 which is also available in 5.56×45).

    • avatarpat says:

      Even the Soviets wanted something better than the 7.62 x39, which is why they went with the AK74 and its round which is even smaller than the 223.

      • avatarfrankgon4 says:

        The article is that that the 7.62X39 time has come. As many active rifles on the world market, the 7.62X39 is not going away.

      • avatarint19h says:

        And a lot of Soviet weapon designers and officers questioned that decision, Kalashnikov himself chief among them, as copycatting Americans for no reason. My stepdad was a Soviet Army officer in Afghanistan back in 80s, and, according to him, while AK-74 was standard issue, they always scrounged AKMs when they could, preferably so that at least a couple of men in a squad – mainly to get that extra mud-brick-punching penetration when necessary.

        • avatarJohn says:

          If I recall correctly, Kalashnikov was firmly against the caliber change

      • avatarLucas says:

        Your ignorance is showing. 7.62×39 still see plenty of use among Russian forces and even Czech forces. The Russians looked into a smaller caliber for the same reason the US did, lighter rounds so each soldier could carry more ammo.

    • avatarthomas abel says:

      Well I guess some people just need to learn how to shoot both the AK and AR are accurate for example 3 yrs. ago a deer tried to hide behind some trees so I shoot it at the base of the skull at a touch over 300yrds. with my sks. Now the AR I pluck ground hogs off at 100-250yrds. all the time.

  2. avatarSD3 says:

    While we’re purifying the ammo gene pool, let us cleanse Mother Earth of the atrocious .22lr, shall we? What a grotesque, disgusting, dirty little round. And don’t get me started on its limitations…

  3. avatarDracon1201 says:

    What is this “lack of inherent accuracy” you speak of in an AK. The AKs of me an my fellow range owners have all been extraordinary. I’ll give up the 7.62×39 when 300 BLK becomes available in alternate rifles. Using the people’s reaction at the range to justify an arguement merits you nothing. If I saw that AR pistol chambered in a 30 I would think that’s cool. The AK 74 that you have isn’t even .30 it’s 5.45. If it is a typo, then I would LOVE the AK. OPINIONS HAVE NO PLACE IN A FACTUAL PAPER. Watch this space for any other issues I see.

    • avatarDracon1201 says:

      Oh, and maybe there’s a reason they have tried to put the 7.62×39 in an AR. ‘Cause it is still useful and relevant.

      Oh, and just because the AR is having issues accepting the 7.62×39 just means the platform isn’t right for it, not the round is a bad choice.

  4. avatartdiinva says:

    An excellent discusion on which cartridge is second best. Since we are not running around all geared up with 75lbs of stuff and probably won’t need to carry 200 rounds of ammo the M-1 or M-1A are the sin quo non of semiautomatic rifles. They have unmatched hitting power and accuracy. Whether you are long range target shooting or hunting large North American game up to.500 yards, a 308 or 30-06 is in the major leagues. 5.56 or 7.62 x 39 is strictly in the minors.

    • avatarLars says:

      This article isn’t about the .308, is it?

    • avatardon says:

      hunting ya battle rifle no 200 yards is the limit 30=06 sniper rifle ya you need a shorter an lighter an less kick gun for battle. i give you m1 was like Paton said its the gun that won the war. but real battle rifle no no

      • avatarmountocean says:

        Premise, ya. Coherence, no. Two months is the limit reviving old posts, ya? You need a timely an understandable response for discussions. I’ll give you carbines shoot faster, and our war fighters use them. But a real “battle rifle” is a defined term, no? (1903, Garand, FAL, M14) No?

  5. avatarAK says:

    “No matter how many companies make modernization kits or products to enhance the AK’s performance, they are just adding pearls to the pig.”

    How is that any different than covering an AR in Magpul furniture? The base platform is still the same, with extra do-dads hung on it.

    An AK can be just as accurate as an AR. Compare a 5.56 SLR to an AR and both will be great shooters.

  6. avatarLars says:

    Who the hell is Josh Wayner and what is he trying to say?

    The Blackout will never be a popular commercial round, it isn’t superior to the 7.62×39 in any way as a matter of fact. Hell, it might be the end of both A rifles as we know them come February.

    And where are these 239 dollar 1,000 rounds? Last I looked all of the online ammo sites were out of everything.

    • avatarduke nukem says:

      due to recents events EVERYTHING went out of stock and price skyrocketd 400%… or were you sleepong this whole time?

  7. avatar6 gunner says:

    Also, Glocks are inherently superior to 1911′s. Say while we’re chatting is that bridge you live under rent controlled? :P

  8. avatarTim McNabb says:

    I like the AK as a cheap, tough, accurate enough CQB rifle. Ammo is cheap, and nasty at ranges in which I would ever want to fight.

    I think ARs are exceptional rifles, but ammo cost matters to me. I am a cheap bastard.

    • avatarjwm says:

      True, Tim. i got a Russian SKS for 99 bucks and picked up a Mosin on the same day for 60 bucks. That has been a few years but the guns are still good to go and the cost of surplus ammo for the pair is much cheaper than any 5.56 or .308 I’m aware of. Even now I can still get a mosin for about a 100 bucks.

      It’s the same reason I shoot 9mm. I’m not aware of a cheaper center fire pistol round to practice with.

      • avatarRalph says:

        i got a Russian SKS for 99 bucks and picked up a Mosin on the same day for 60 bucks. That has been a few years

        jwm, I’ll bet it’s been more than a few years. The cheapest MN91/30s that I see right now are $99, and SKSes for $290 at Centerfire. They’re both great guns. I especially love me those MNs.

        • avatarjwm says:

          Ralph, in the 90′s you could buy an SKS or a MN at gunshows and shops for that or less if you really hunted. And even here in California they were classed as Curios and Relics and under the law then there was no waiting period on a C&R gun. You paid your money and walked out with just one paper filled out.

          I bought both of mine at a gunshow at the Alameda county fairgrounds. Since then they’ve banned gun shows at the fairgrounds and the rifles have a 10 day wait like every thing else.

  9. avatarThomas Paine says:

    this is NO TIME FOR A CALIBER DEBATE. smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

    I have a dream that one day, down in Chicago and New York and DC with its vicious antis, with its governors having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in small town USA, little AR boys and AR girls will be able to join hands with little AK boys and AK girls as sisters and brothers.

    • avatarJames St. John says:

      AMEN Brother Paine!!!!

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      This has to be the funniest but simultaneously the most motivational thing I have read all month

    • avatarRalph says:

      And we’ll be singing, when we’re winning, we’ll be singing, I get knocked, down but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down. . .

      Sorry. I got a little carried away by the spirit of things. Maybe I had a whisky drink, and a vodka drink, and a lager drink, and a cider drink.

      • avatarIn Memphis says:

        Okay, Thomas’ comment was motivational but the funny just got one upped by Ralph.

        I havent heard that song in a long time

        • avatarEldaddyo says:

          Hey guys now dont drink and shoot.Truth is if I’m in harms way I would be glad to have either one.Believe me I would’nt throw either one of them down,a real gun lover loves them all just like a real lover loves them all know matter what they’re called. They all need love and care.If I have a rifle and Im that far away Im more than likely look for a better strategy or wait for the target to get closer for a better shot. Why alert the enemy awhile he is still far away enough to get away.Close range far away they all have their pros and cons.

  10. avatarEnsitu says:

    The AK and it’s ammo were designed to function in the direst circumstances, hence the tapered case. The AK has heavier moving parts hence it’s lower accuracy.
    the AR has light weight parts hence it’s lower reliability
    1000′s of people have been trying to make an AR as good a combat weapon as the AK for decades; I think that’s a huge CLUE

  11. avatar1919a6 says:

    Let me know when you can shoot poor quality ammo in any ar let it sit dirty for a year take it out smack the bolt handle to bust it loose from rust put a mag in and fire it

  12. avatarAccur81 says:

    Sure the 5.56 / 6.5 / 6.8 / 300 BLK / .458 Socom / .50 Beowulf is more accurate and versatile than the 7.62 x 39 / AK platform. The AK is also cheaper, and takes a beating.

    You know what, as long as I have the freedom to buy either, it’s all fine by me!

  13. avatarEsh325 says:

    Poorly written and bias article.

  14. avatarBlehtastic says:


    I want both. With bayonet lugs, an end to the NFA, and the elimination of the ATF.

    And I agree with your findings.

  15. avatarChuckN says:

    It can’t totally the round’s fault or the rifle. Both have some
    serious pro and cons. As a whole the 762×39 especially
    foreign made is rough. Put the same ammo in a higher end
    firearm, like a mini 30, and it becomes a decent carbine
    cartridge. Also look at the AK platform itself. Comparing
    a Yugo stamped AK to a Polish milled AK is almost
    apples and oranges. The AK was made ground up with the
    762×39 to be an indestructible close to mid range combat
    weapon. In that it excels.

    The AR platform was designed to use the pistol cartridge
    556×45. Ballistically speaking through accurate to
    further ranges it really shines at 200m or less. The AR
    platform does have more in the way of customization.
    However, it could be argued that this is because people
    are trying to get the rifle to perform in areas it was not
    designed for.

    I’d also point out that since the 762×39 can uses a .30
    shell there’s a lot more leeway in reloading. The larger
    size also makes reloading a bit easier, in regards to
    calibration anyway. With the 556×45 your pretty much
    limited to buying nato rounds.

    I think the 300AAC may be a wildcat for a while. Some
    conversions in platforms outside ARs would help.
    That said for mid to long ranges everyone will stick to
    308 or 3006. But the battle between the AR and AK
    is still going to come down to preference, not
    necessarily performance.

    • avatarLance says:

      Strange all this have to buy Polish crap. Ive seen Romanian AKMs beat Polytech Legends and Bulgarian and Polish milled AKs.

      • avatarChuckN says:

        I didn’t mean to refer to Polish AKs as a whole
        or that others weren’t better. I was trying to
        illustrate the variance in AKs can be anything
        from crap to ones as high end as a Colt.
        Due to their widespread use, as well as massive
        changes in economic conditions, AK quality
        depends a lot on who, where and when.

  16. avatarg says:

    Insert token AR vs AK flamewar comment here:

    The article does get one thing right: comparisons are apples vs oranges. They’re 2 completely different rifles, the product of different philosophies in engineering and war fighting. Why not love both?

    In any case, I think it would be amusing for someone to build an AK chambered in 300 Blackout. Then we could have the 300 Blackout AK vs 300 Blackout AR shoot-out! (literally)

  17. avatarHasdrubal says:

    Trying to say that one type of gun is better than another, or that one caliber is better than another, is like trying to say that cars are better than trucks, or that one model of car or truck is better than another model. You may be entirely correct in a particular claim about the numbers a cartridge or a car produces, but still miss the point entirely.

    If I need to shoot a deer or defend my home, both rifles and calibers will do the job to my satisfaction. If I need to commute to work or go grocery shopping, both vehicles will do the job to my satisfaction. If I need to do something specialized, like tow a boat or take a shot out past 100m (think hunting or home defense as the common default options), then I may need more specialized equipment, but even then, it’s like arguing Ford trucks vs Chevy. I’ve owned both. And even though in my experience one was completely superior to the other, they both got the job done.

  18. avatarLance says:

    Never was a lover 7.62×39 either. Its inferior to the US 5.56mm And your wrong AK-101 and AK in 5.56mm had many problems with jamming and or too much gas escaping the system which leads to feeding issues. The Polish Army is dumping the Beryle AK-101 for a new rifle.

    However I think the AK-74 in 5.45mm is the best of both worlds and 5.45mm can match 5.56mm in many respects.

    • avatarLolinski says:

      Two things: Yugo M67, and hollow bullets. The first one is 7.62 which is desgned to yaw and tumble(and is effective at that) and the second one is currently used in the 5.45. It means that the bullet is hollow(not like a hollow point) which makes it tumble faster, and more likely to tumble arguably making it a improved 5.56 bLlisticaly speaking.

    • avatarAK says:

      If you’ve personally experienced “AK in 5.56mm had many problems with jamming and or too much gas escaping the system which leads to feeding issues” then you’ve had a poor quality build.

      All the AK’s I’ve built in 5.56 run like champs.

      If any of what you were saying were true, why does 5.45×39 cycle so reliably even though it has less pressure than 5.56?

      • avatarLance says:

        Not really almost all East European nation except Poland dumped 5.56mm AKs some never adopting them due to issues. Bulgaria adopted the AK-103 basically in 7.62×39. Some nation outside Russia in Europe stay with 5.45mm rds. Some of this is 5.56 and 5.45 are two different technology 5.45 uses AK tech and is canted case and allows the AK loose action to reliably use such ammo less so with 5.56 which meant to use the Stoner (M-16) action all tight tolerances. they dont mix to well.

        • avatarAK says:

          Even if any of that were true, the Galil served Israel well for decades without any of those problems.

          I also haven’t been able to find any evidence supporting countries adopting the AK101, then switching back to some other variant.

          Again, I haven’t heard any evidence to support what you’re saying, but the internet is a big place. If you’ve got links to support it please share them.

      • avatarThomasR says:

        Yep, AK, same here, I have a VEPR .556, it shoots as reliably as any other AK and I get inch groups at a hundred yards, plus, I have an adapter that allows me tu use AR mags as a back up.

        The best of both worlds.

    • avatarint19h says:

      The myth of AKs chambered in 5.56 being unreliable is true, but has to do solely with the mags. When they first appeared, the cheaper ones (which most people naturally went for – hey, it’s an AK) had 5.45 mags “converted” to 5.56 by stamping “5.56x45mm” on them. Given that round dimensions are actually different, no surprise that this didn’t work out to well.

      An AK in 5.56 with Bulgarian waffle mags is as reliable as any other AK, and as accurate as your average AR; my own SLR-106 is a testament to that.

  19. avatarMT says:

    Excellent, thoughtful writing. It’s nice to see such a cogent exploration of American shooters’ “mental associations”, as you call them. We’ll look forward to your future contributions.

  20. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    I’m fortunate enough to own examples of both rifles discussed here. Depending on your objective, one’s no better than the other really. Strengths, weaknesses, they can be discussed ad nauseam. What matters to me the most is the huge enjoyment I get from these guns at the range. I wouldn’t give up either type, one doesn’t make me smile more than the other. And although it’s not a scientific test, when I take mine out in public they both get equal attention from spectators.

    Nice essay Josh, thanks for your contribution.

  21. avatarTotenglocke says:

    You know I’m very disappointed in you Dan. I started reading hoping for a fact based and non-biased comparison of the two rifles. Instead all we got was you spewing hatred for the non-American rifle. Poor form, Dan. Poor form.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      My bad, I see after re-reading that it was written by Josh but submitted by Dan. Still, I don’t see how this ever got approved.

  22. avatarHanover Fiste says:

    This has to be one of the most myopic opinion pieces I have yet to read here. I think you get just about everything wrong. The AK is a different rifle built for a differen purpose than the AR and its differences have very little (but some) to do with the 7.62×39.

    This “article” is very weak sauce indeed.

    I am dying for for firearms related content but y’all can do better than this.

    • avatarDryw says:

      Unfortunately, I have to agree. I re-read twice to ensure I wasn’t reading too much into it, but the bias towards/disdain against, was apparent throughout.

      300AAC is interesting from a suppressed and/or SBR standpoint, but is the subject of a metric crap-ton of gun rag hype. It suffers from the same ‘downside’ of the x39… ballistics at great distances. It is however difficult to argue the effectiveness of 7.62×39 in close-medium range engagements.

      6.8SPC actually does have the potential to be a paradigm shift for the AR platform, but that potential doesn’t automatically negate the usefulness of the x39 either.

  23. avatarduke nukem says:

    who cares. i have both and i love them like my own children. you just cant decide which one to love more. they both perform and do their duty 100%

  24. avatarfrankgon4 says:

    Did not see much of anything in this article that actually backed up the statement that “the 7.62X39′s time has come” other than opinion. Article is a bit weak on presenting facts backed with data and appears based mainly on speculation and opinion. 7.62X39 and 300 blackout are equal because the writer says so. Pretty much leaves it up to the reader to go investigate this as well as other opinions presented.
    1) Present your argument. 2) Provide factual data. 3) Provide Examples.
    Pretty much did not get past step 1.

    • avatarEnsitu says:

      And while we are at it the title is completely mis-worded. The appropriate title would have stated “Time Has Past”.
      Truly poor editing

      • avatarHanover Fiste says:

        I keep hearing Inigo Montoya in my head. “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. “

  25. avatarrossi says:

    this reads like a commercial

  26. avatarTom jones says:

    Who shoots guns with out shoes on?

  27. avatarJ says:

    This “article” reads more like a forum-rant than something I’d see on TTAG. Disappointing.

  28. Move along, no bias here.

  29. avatarPaul W. says:

    Can we post the ASCII image of Picard facepalming? Of all the guns and cartridges that I wouldn’t mind seeing go away (seriously, the market for cartridges is nuts, I’d love some culling) those two are nowhere near the list. They’re excellent at what they’re meant to do. And what they’re meant to do needs doing–these aren’t solutions in search of a problem like some cartridges (cough 22 TC cough).

  30. avatarCasey T says:

    For 100 yards or less, any Marine will tell you he would rather have the knock down power of the AK than a 5.56, at least if he’s knowledgeable and honest. However, I think I’d rather have a 6.5 Grendel than either. It looks like it is better than both

    • avatarjosh says:

      The Grendel is an awesome round but it doesn’t belong in a short to mid range discussion imo. It has way too much velocity and it’s penetration is insane.
      kalashnikov was an engineer who invented more than just the AK. True he didn’t attend a conventional University but neither did Carroll Shelby.
      AK accuracy
      My Ak is very accurate but have only tested it out to 100 yards due to inferior sights.
      Love my 300, shoots real smooth with almost no kick and its accurate. Love that I can use all 5.56 parts and accessories but I’m not lobbing a .22 downrange. Also love that I use 5 different types of brass to reload my 300. (.222, .223, 5.56, .221, forgot) I’ve used the .222, .223, and 5.56 so far.

  31. I think .308 is the best option for either an AR or AK.

    The point of 7.62×39 was that is was lighter then the 7.62x54R so that soldiers could carry more ammo. Same motivation for moving from 30-06 to 5.56.

    I think something has to be said by the Russians moving from 7.62×39 to 5.45×39. They moved in the smaller caliber for a reason…. even more ammo and capacity.

    That all said… I love shooting 7.62×39 out of AK’s the most regardless.

    • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

      Having shot 1,000′s of rounds of 5.56 and 7.62×39 my personal choice at distances less than 300 meters is always going to be the AK in 7.62×39.
      The 5.56 may be fast but it will not rip through brush/scrub like the 7.62×39 does and still maintain a modicum of accuracy.
      Anything over 300 meters then I am going with my Nagant 7.62x54R or a .308Win or even my M1 Carbine with hand loads.
      The 5.56 just doesn’t have the ass to cut brush, stay somewhat accurate and still take out close or medium range targets.
      7.62×39 will, and the round itself is still cheaper to reload overall.
      Just the opinion of someone who has fired a heck of a lot of these rounds for rifle quals for many years.

  32. avatarBadger 8-3 says:

    Damn. Had me all excited reading the title…”7.62x39mm’s time has come”. I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that the AKM in 7.62x39mm flavor is the preferred weapon of rebels the world over (yes, yes, I know availability drives most of that) and America was about to return to it’s proud history of being revolutionaries. Turns out, this was just another article about someone trying to turn their M4 into an AK.
    Hey, here’s an idea; stop trying to force every rifle into an M4/M16 platform. Good weapons, but not the holy grail of small arms. Honestly, most of the issues I’ve seen surrounding the AK and shooters complaints about the system come from trying to run the AK like an M4…two different systems, two different styles. Both lethal in trained hands (for what it’s worth, I narrowly outshot my Lieutenant the other week, me on my AK, he on his M4).

    Now I have to go extinguish my torch and put the pitchfork away…don’t toy with my emotions again…

    Badger 8-3

  33. avatarPuskin says:


    If you want losers to come up to you at the range and validate you as a “real man” then you are a childish kook. Don’t forget that the main purpose of that AK74 and .300 BLK rifle is to hunt and kill men; if you aren’t already a real man then put down the tools.

    I am sickened by the irony of this post; you offer up your ridiculous opinions but then go to great lengths to cite your sources? It seems like you are pandering to 15 year old kids arguing about their favorite gun in Call of Duty. Drop us both in the jungle, I’ll take my WASR and you can choose the gun that the other guys tell you is the most badass.

  34. avatarokto says:

    >300 AAC Blackout…It has, in a way, made the 7.62×39 superfluous.
    Paper tiger.
    I can shoot FOUR TIMES as much 7.62×39 as 300 BLK for a given amount of dollars.
    A better shot with 7.62×39 is going to have a greater effect than a worse one with 300BLK. And the 300BLK shooter is never going to be able to run into Wally World or Academy or whatever and expect to find his ammo available.


  35. avatarrusse says:

    This article is terrible.
    Here’s x39 VS 300 bk cliff’s notes minus the author’s baloney:

    1) The AR-15 is a great platform that has come a long way.
    2) The 300 blackout will fill the role that many people would normally purchase an AK for.
    3) The 300 blackout is an OK round. It is a decent substitution, not a replacement for, the 7.62×39. It is ideal for suppressed SBRs.
    4) The AK is a good platform. It is typically not great beyond 200 yards, but it can be made to work out to 600 and beyond. I don’t see it dying out any time soon, even if only because of the unfounded and persistent rumor of AR unreliability.
    5) 7.62×39 ammo will continue to effectively put deer in our freezers, and put people in the morgue the world over, as long as it exists.

  36. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Any rifleman worth his salt should be able to load, shoot within minute-of-bad-guy, clear jams and basic malfunctions, and perform basic field maintenance on both AR and AK platform rifles. Having at least basic proficiency with those two platforms nearly guarantees you’ll be ready to pick up a locally available rifle and defend yourself pretty any much anywhere in the world.

    Also, economics trumps other considerations 99 times out of 100. Good luck declaring 7.62×39 irrelevant as long as we have Russian factories pumping out cheap export -grade ammo for the Western markets, especially the US.

  37. avatarLolinski says:

    I prefer AK and Dragunov SVD rifles , reason being is that you cant smuggle an AR or M110 SASS in flour bags. 300 BLK is a good round no denying but like everything else it has its purpose( to replace silenced submachine guns, while getting parts commonality) and while AR has 556>300BLK the AK has 7.62×39>9×39 which is also designed for suppressed use(only difference is that it is more powerfull than 300BLK)

    • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

      @ lolinski
      I love the Dragunov platform with one change, a good Schmidt and Bender Optic over the issued scopes.
      The 7.62x54r in the Dragunov’s are a very lethal round for most any game animal. Hell I hunt hogs with my Nagant and open sights!! Wouldn’t try that with 5.56 in any weapons platform, just pisses the pig off!!

      • avatarLolinski says:

        I also like high end scopes but I like the reticle on the issued scopes, a dream would be a 4-10x scope with fine ZRAK reticle(like svd just calibrated for 1.8 metres instrad of 1.7) but with quality of Schmidt & Bender or Swarowski.

        • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

          +100 on the Swarowski scopes, if the cash is available Swarowski is the way to go. Have used their scopes and spotter scopes before and are top of the line in my opinion.
          I liked the reticles on the issue scopes but the older ones we qualified with in the 1980′s seemed to be poorer built in regards to durability than newer versions.
          Wish I could find a good Dragunov at an affordable price nowadays. It was one of the few high powered rifles I could shoot left or right handed without havin to change or adjust anything, just swap sides and keep firing.

        • avatarLolinski says:

          Well I live in Norway which means I could import one(havent found out the price yet) and then I would have to send it in for review(800-1000$) to get it approved as a hunting rifle(which means I would have to slap on a “civilian” thumbhole stock which I could change later). And then I would have to contact Swarovski and see if they make custom reticles and offer SVD rail mounting option, would be expensive but worth it.(just to see the face of my friends who hunt with bolt action 3006)

        • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

          LOL!! I know what you mean. Being in the US I can get one with just a background check and a heck of a lot of cash or credit cards!!
          The last one I seen around my area was 1100USD and had a reproduction scope and mount, and althought the bore and mechanicals were in great shape the wood finish and condition were in very bad shape and the external finish on the metal was showing a lot of bluing worn completely off and numerous scratches along the barrel and reciever. Someone had really beat it around a lot in the woods it looked like.
          12 years ago I priced a brand new SVD, with tax, & import cost it was going to cost me over 4400USD which is too far out of my price range. Having shot better than 2,000 rounds through various SVD’s I want one very very much. Will just have to be patient I guess!!

      • avatardustin says:

        The Nagant and Dragunov are two awesome rifles. Nagant would be my shtf hunting ridle choice 100%!! AK and AR both as scout, defense weapons

        • avatarEarl Liew says:

          Good choices, Dustin — It’s not difficult to appreciate the logical train of thought resulting in your viewpoint.

          If you haven’t already done so, you might be interested in getting on the http://www.warriortalk.com web site and looking for a thread entitled “The AK At 600 Yards / Frozen Chosin AAR”. The author, Jack A. Sol, is an experienced and highly-respected firearms expert who is not afraid to challenge long-held cherished beliefs and conduct hard proof-testing to support his findings. His article about the AK and the 7.62mm x 39 M1943 round as an accurate, long-range weapon / ammunition combination ( when used correctly ) is a real eye-opener, even for hard-core AK / 7.62mm x 39 enthusiasts. His findings are supported by Gabe Suarez, another well-known firearms technical and operational expert. There are also a lot of interesting comments by site members concerning the subject, if you choose to read that far.

          The direct Internet search connection to this article is http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?33277-The-AK-at-600-Yards-frozen-chosin-AAR. Hope this helps a bit.

  38. avatarCrockett says:

    I know its not really classified as an AK but an arsenal saiga can be super accurate don’t get me wrong I love my ar but I love guns of all types also you don’t have to be in one group that has one gun

  39. avatarAdam says:

    The 7,62×39 is a good, underrated little cartridge, that’s actually ideal for things like predator control on farms. In Canada, the AK-47 is ‘prohibited’ (very highly regulated), but some varieties of the CZ 858 are non-restricted, and there is even a special ‘Canadian’ version. Of course, there is also the good old, cheap SKS.

  40. avatarSilentSecessionist says:

    weird question, but I’d appreciate your honest input, gentlement :

    If THE PRICE WAS THE SAME, would you choose the AK in 7.62×39, the AR in 5.56, the AR in 300blk, or the AK in 300BLK?

    Personally I would, and DID, choose the AR in 300BLK. three times so far, and three more times in the near future, when my next set of 80% lowers comes in.

    Part of the reason, is because if I’m grabbing an AR or an AK, it’s because for some reason, I’ve decided not to grab my M1A or AR10. So a gun in that class is a compromise anyway, a departure from a true “Battle Rifle”.

    I think that the testing has shown (see SWATs “Filthy 14″, and numerous testimonials by Pat Rogers and Larry Vickers, re: Daniel Defense and Bravo Co) that the AR is plenty reliable. I think the testing has shown (see: all of Afghanistan, “The Gun” by C.J. Chivers) that the AK is plenty reliable.

    But I think the 300 black has the game, in every regards EXCEPT PRICE.

    And maybe if you picked up your next AR in 300 instead of 5.56, we’d see that price come down.

    Wouldn;t you like to like in a world with less compromises? I would. SOMEDAY, the AR will be a 30 cal gun instead of a 22 cal gun, and the price won’t be any different. As people who HAD chosen the AK because they liked the 7.62 rounds effect on target switch to the AR in 300, we may see 300blk start to drop BELOW 5.56, so it’s then a simple Platform war, instead of a Caliber war.

    That would make me happy…..

  41. avatarMark says:

    I’ll take a Tavor in 6.8spc.

  42. avatarWill says:

    I dunno, looking at the ballistics of 300 BLK vs the 7.62×39, the 300BLK comes up way short. 675m/s vs 2400m/s?!? I wonder how well the 300blk can penetrate out at 200 meters.

    • avatarDryw says:

      I am the last person you will hear touting the 300AAC as the Second Coming. To be fair though; it appears you are comparing the 220gr subsonic 300AAC to the supersonic 7.62x39mm.

      A more accurate comparison would be against the 123(ish)gr 300AAC supersonic load.

      • avatarWill says:

        I was comparing the 125gr 300blk. I confess I used Wikipedia though. The 220 subsonic appears to be similar to a .45 acp ballistics wise.

    • avatar1donos says:

      2400m/s??? whats that 7500ft/s!!! shooters everywhere wish!! try 718m/s both the 300 blackout and 7.62*39 are aprox 2400ft/s with the 110-120gr bullet.

  43. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    Umm, the current Russian military cartridge is the 5.45×39 in the AK74 and AK100 series platforms and the Nikonov AN94.

    Does this mean the AN94 is more accurate than a M4? Is a M1 Garand less accurate than a SVD? Will a 38 Super bust the block in a Chevy Silverado?

    And more ridiculous thereoms after the latest anti gun commercial from Hollywood…

  44. avatarEnsitu says:

    Is the OP a poorly written, but well placed diversion, from the most important issue since WWII, i.e. Can Obama defeat sacrosanct Constitutional Amendments by fiat decree?
    Or is it just a poorly written, un-researched screed with no ulterior agenda?

  45. avatarfiredsilver.ok says:

    Don’t know about everyone else, but I didn’t buy an AK to go to match shoots. That said, my cheap WASR 10 can hit center mass 30 out 0f 30 on a man-sized target at 200 yards using open sights. I know because I did it. If you want a tack driver get an AR platform. If you want unparalleled lethality and reliability (as in I can’t strip clean the damn thing every day) in SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation get an AK.

  46. avatarGuy22 says:

    I think Dan knows how these AK/AR things go?
    TTAG probabily has stats that say anything AK/AR will get a lot of attention/posts.
    I have not seen a new gun/gear review in a while. (or not much of one).
    So I think Dan threw this out here too give us some relief from all the AG stuff, and give us a chance to talk about something else for awhile.


    • avatarRopingdown says:

      If da clicks don’t come ya gotta dis some gun.
      As Andy Warhol once said, “Somebody’s got to bring home the bacon.”

      OK, here: “Why don’t you guys just admit that an AR or AK-design in any caliber just doesn’t have the home-defense flexibility of a good shotgun.”

  47. avatarA. Ryan Reynolds says:

    After reading the article on Google Reader I grabbed my popcorn and clicked through, because I knew the comments were going to be a gold mine. I was not disappointed.

  48. avatarChris says:

    When the 300 BLK is down to 5 bucks a box for 20 I might consider giving up the 7.62×39…. maybe.

    Since that will never happen I won’t have to worry abiout it.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      No chance of it getting that far. The design has been around for about 20 years and it finally took Wilson and AAC to generate enough interest to sell it. Without a suppressor I don’t see any reason to have it. I remember when the 6.8 SPC was supposed to be the next greatest thing……

  49. avatarHunter57dor says:

    yup, someone is definitely drinking eugene stoner’s kool-aid.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Prolly nitpicky but Stoner originally designed the AR for the 7.62×51. I don’t think he was all that partial to the 5.56×45 other than the fact that that was what the military wanted.

  50. avatarAPBTFan says:

    I wonder how many folks on the receiving end of 7.62×39 fire would agree with this article.

    • avatargyrfalcon says:

      I guess they would be chanting “the 7.62×39 fired from an AK is a thing of the past; a relic kept alive by widespread distribution, low price and perceived superiority.” over and over again.

      The 300 AAC fired from the AR is a thing of disaster, a bad idea kept alive by widespread p$%^s envy, big pocket books, and a sense of superiority.

  51. avatargyrfalcon says:

    I really love people who write opinion articles but have a mediocre to armature understanding of the subject they’re addressing.

    Fricken hipster gun writers suck.

  52. avatarGunluvr says:

    I love shooting my AK-47 and the medium range power of the 7.62×39 cartridge. Over the last 5-6 years I have read the reviews of the 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, 300 Blackout, etc. I owned a Rock River Coyote in 6.8 SPC, I didn’t like it and I don’t think I’d be a fan of the 300 Blackout. I stick with cartridges that I’ve used effectively to hunt with in the field, this includes the 308 Winchester, 30’06 Springfield and the 7.62×39(AK-47).

    I use to get caught up reading and sometimes believing the things I saw in gun mags and on the internet, no more. IMO none of the new specialty cartridges are inherently more or less superior than the more traditional ones that preceded them. The ranges that I hunt at are from 30 to 150 yards in southern woods; I have never had the chance to hunt at the extreme ranges found out west but if I ever do I think the 30’06 should be more than enough for my use.

  53. avatarRudedawg says:

    Wish I had an AK 4 sure, but my 2 SKS’s are just fine. If I really want to reach out and touch someone I’ll just grab my old .270win b/a rifle.

    • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

      LOL! My SKS works great, very accurate, no failures of any kind. Same for my M1 .30carbine. And my Marlin XL7 in .270win is very nice and accurate! Especially with a 6x24x50 AOE Red Dot Reticle Scope, a bipod and some good 150gr SJRN’s on board. And as backup my old Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R with handloaded 180gr SJSP’s will take most any critter I need to shoot at!

  54. avatarJason Friesen says:

    Let us examine the intermediate cartridge. Short to mid range (100m-300m max). Under powered rifle cartridge compared to full powered cartridges, MUCH more powerful than non-magnum pistol cartridges. When people become ok with these things, the 7.62×39 becomes a fabulous choice. I believe the real problem is that the average American will spend over $1,000 on an AR, yet is offended when a good AK runs over $500 to $600. I have an Arsenal 101 milled AK that is consistent 2 MOA with the cheapest ammo out there. Just my experience and it is good enough for me. My ARs (Colt, Ruger, Sig, custom build) won’t even think about reliably cycling cheap ammo. All in all, the AK is accurate enough for my purposes and VERY cheap to shoot when chambered in 7.62×39. IMHO.

  55. avatarDave Clarke says:

    I could not bring myself to read thru every reply but had to say the options provided by the 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel and others are a testament to the fact of ongoing innovation and that necessity is still the mother of invention. These are more likely reasons for the authors premise coming to be rather than the idea that the 762′s “time has come”. I do own a 6.8 SPC and it is an incredible round. Also own and use 5.56, 7.62×39 and others just to show I’m not prejudice.

  56. avatarbalin says:

    I like my AR’s, I like my AK47′s, I like my AK 74′s, I like my .308 Mas 49/56′s, I like my Ruger Ranch rifle, I like my Mosin’s, I like my Springfields and Grands, my Mausers in 7&8mm, who did I forget? I like them all like my children, I just need to keep them fed.

  57. avatardouche_mcgee says:

    Having a father that is a Vietnam veteran I may be biased to the AR but the story goes…… “The AK will always fire, you could pick one out of seven day old mud and it will still fire. The problem is their accuracy beyond ~70 yards.
    The AR on the other hand had to be cleaned at least 3 times a day to insure proper function but it accuracy was spot on at well over 150 yards. So, we just made sure to engaged the enemy no less than 100 yards away. They couldn’t hit us, we killed them.”

    He always says, “would you rather be dead with an always functioning rifle in your hands or alive with a rifle you have to clean 3 times a day?”

    I think the answer is pretty simple when it comes to battlefield warfare.

    • avatarEarl Liew says:

      Thanks for the great story and I’m glad to hear your Dad came home alright. The part about accuracy differences at those ranges sounds a lot more like a question of differences in training and marksmanship on the part of the soldiers on both sides rather than a real difference in the weapons, though.

  58. avatarARKILLA says:

    Wow ok 7.62×39 any brand cheap ammo or not I can out shoot any AR with my 60 year old chrome lined barrell Russian SKS out to 300 yards ! Don’t think because ur AR cost alot more that AK or SKS is not a fine round one plus I can deer hunt with mine lol

  59. avatarLance says:

    For combat 5.56 has my vote over 7.62×39 tapered cases are alot more inaccurate and fact is long range accuracy drops the the cartridge. if you want a good AK get a AK-74 in 5.45mm they are very accurate and use the AK action that’s very reliable.

  60. avatarbonobo bobo says:

    did you know that kalashnikov wasnt even an engineer?
    it is uncertain how such a weapon derived from the hands of a person that did like 8th grade and nothing more.

    ak is stg44 rip off. well whole nasa staff talked in german at first and replied to commanders with jawolh mein seniorofficier or something like that :)))

    improve the bullet and you will have better shots. yugo m63 >>>>> m43
    moa 1.

  61. avatarJohninTexas says:

    My CZ 527 in 7.62 X 39 will take down feral hogs all night long at 25–100 yards. With an Aimpoint red dot sight it will keep them in the black easily at 100 yards. My CZ likes cheap ammo and the hogs couldn’t care less what it costs. Using this ammo in the CZ is night and day compared to an AK.

  62. avatarJoe says:

    .270 Win!

  63. avatarchad says:

    The original AR platform designed by Armalite Rifle Co was the AR-10 calibrated in the 308/7.62. (The reason most are in 5.56/223 is because the US military decided better to carry more smaller rounds than less larger rounds. But have heard boots on the ground want bigger rounds with more take down power.) Why am I hearing AR platform cant handle 308/7.62 round.

    A R comes from Armalite Rifle not assault or automatic.. too many people think that..but usually liberal media and others opposed to guns.

    by the by kalashnikov was a tank commander who designed AK-47 while recovering from injury… for whatever thats worth.

  64. avatarchad says:

    My bad…this is what I found on conversion chart at:


    7.62=300 not 308
    5.56=219 not 2.23

  65. avatarmmbsrUSA says:

    The author is TOTALLY correct; the 7.62×39 SUCKS. Period. Especially when run through a VZ58 or any x39 platform with a correctly bored barrel. So everyone, send ME all of your x39 ammo. I’ll even pay the shipping for you :)
    Ignorant bastard. You bought an AR -woohoo. Why? Other than the range, are you ever going to shoot past 300 meters? No. Especially not in a SHTF scenario. Under 300 meters, the x39 is the ONLY way to go. Get you an SKS or VZ58 semiauto with the correct barrel bore of .311, which the x39 was designed for, or, get you a CZ527 bolt gun, then get back to me about accuracy and all the other issues you allege of the x39.
    The .300? Really?
    Get a clue.

    • avatarjosh says:

      I’m also an AK owner, and yes the AK is great. But there are defiantly advantages to the 300 as well. First the AK sucks in 3 guns, many have tried it including myself and it just doesn’t work. Now if you think about it does directly relate to a shtf scenario. My 300 is smoother has pretty much the same ballistics, (actually slightly better) a lot less recoil, more options when attaching sights, and I can use FIVE different types of brass to reload it. In regards to your long range point: not every shtf scenario is cqb and I personally would want something that is capable of grouping at twice the distance I will need to use it at. Also it doesn’t have to be life a life or death scenario in order to shoot your guns.

  66. avatarEldaddyo says:


  67. avatarEarl Liew says:

    While I respect Josh Wayner’s right to analyze and criticize as he sees fit ( and I am sure he has done his sincere level best with this article ), the truth about the venerable 7.62mm x 39 cartridge is a far cry from his published findings. The reality is that the M43 round still has a great deal of unexploited potential in terms of new propellants and projectile loads that has yet to be tapped. The versatile performance, reliability, availability and general cost-effectiveness of the standard rounds has, ironically, actually inhibited such advanced development — after all, why spend extra money and go through all that trouble with no sales guarantees when so much perfectly good ammunition that gets the job done is easily available, and cheaply too? As for the .300 BLK, it is a fine cartridge in its own right, but it is less efficient, more expensive and has less potential than the M43 in spite of how much it has been touted.

    As for the AK platform, most off-the-shelf AK’s are actually very well-made, with proper fit and finish, so the author’s assertion that the build quality is poor is simply not true. Also, a lot of the medium-level to high-end AK’s exhibit very high levels of craftsmanship by any standard, and have much tighter tolerances than the lower-end models, yet not so tight that the weapon’s legendary reliability is compromised. And this factor includes East European and Russian imports, not just Americanized models.

    Which leads to another hot topic : The ongoing discussion about AK accuracy. The urban myth that the AK is reasonably accurate only within 200 meters, or that it is a “spray-and-pray” gun is errant nonsense. Unfortunately, it has been perpetuated to the point that even AK owners have simply come to accept it almost implicitly and have therefore mostly not taken the step of trying out their guns at longer ranges using a comprehensive fire plan. Even the low-end AK-47′s ( such as the WASR-10 ) can be accurate at ranges up to 500-600 meters if used correctly. The higher-end ones are as accurate at long range as any competing Western-manufactured equivalents, again if used with appropriate ballistic corrections for the round being fired — which applies to any gun firing any cartridge.

    On the issue of triggers, don’t forget the AK originated as, and largely still is, a military rifle intended to function reliably under the harshest battlefield conditions, and is not meant to be a pampered benchrest princess. The trigger is actually more than adequate for such an application, although it could be improved — and so could the triggers of most other rifles, military-grade or otherwise. While original lower-end AK triggers still exhibit the infamous trigger slap, most higher-end weapons don’t have this problem, even without any modifications such as TAPCO’s G2 trigger group ( which often come installed nowadays anyway ). I have several AK-type rifles, some with and some without the G2 trigger groups, and have found all to be perfectly satisfactory whether at the range or in the field.

    Other 7.62mm x 39-chambered rifles of military origin, such as the superb Czech-built vz.58 rifle ( and particularly the CSA / D-Technik product ), are even more of the same. In fact, the stock vz.58 trigger is one of the best around, absolutely crisp once broken in with no creep or over-travel and a medium-light pull of about 5 lbs, perfect for all-around use.

    • avatarEarl Liew says:

      Sorry, I meant to say “Dan Zimmerman” instead of “Josh Wayner” — my sincere apologies to Josh :).

    • avatarcoolhand says:

      Brilliant. I would venture to say that either system is excellent in certain circumstances and which rifle is better debate should really be limited to which rifle is better for what. I shoot both and like both equally for different reasons, the AK for large game hunting in dense woods and personal protection, and the AR for showing to my friends and shooting woodchucks.

      • avatarEarl Liew says:

        Thanks for the input, Coolhand. I respect your choice of rifles and their usage — I think your approach to both types is very sensible. As the old saying goes, “Use the right tool for the right job”. Besides, you also get to continuously improve your proficiency with two different weapons systems while enjoying them — there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!

        • avatarcoolhand says:

          Would you take an LWRC, in 5.56 or a WASR 10 7.62×39 if you knew you where in for a fight? Now that’s a tough one for an AK guy….

  68. avatarGregor says:

    Maybe a bit off topic, but…if you take 7.62×25, 7.62×39, 7.62×54 those calibers pretty much cover ranges from 0 to 1000 meters, anything further, I’d call an airstrike. My point being is in environment where revenue is the driving force behind innovation may also lead to a confusion. I think the presence of so many calibers on the market is just that. 300 black out is no exception, it has no place in the lineup of .45acp, 5.56, 7.62×51.

  69. avatarJohn says:

    The 7.62×39 is not “inherently” inaccurate…the cheap run-of-the-mill stamped WASR-10 is what is inherently inaccurate. Yes, the 7.62×39 does not shoot as flat of a trajectory as 5.56 or even 300 BLK, that doesn’t mean you can’t easily shoot out to 200-300- hell even 500m. The only thing you will have to be mindful of is that the bullet will drop more and your hold-over will be higher due to the arch in the bullet trajectory.

    My 100% reliable AR-15 in 7.62×39 fires 1 to 1.5 MOA @100 yards with brass cased American Eagle or Fiocci and 2-2.5 MOA with the thousands of Wolf and Tula rounds I put through it.

    The AR platform works fine with the round, you just need to be mindful of the necessary modifications needed, i.e. M4 feedramps, extended/enhanced firing pin, stronger extractor, stronger buffer spring and heavier buffer, and RELIABLE properly curved magazines to accomodate for the taper in the round, (ASC mags work best). Nothing crazy, simple components that are pretty easily available, there just aren’t more AR’s in this caliber due to the misinformation spread by articles like this one…

  70. avatarVladimer Stoner says:

    Right tool for the job, is what it comes down to. Look at actual performance in combat. There is a reason that the US soldiers in Iraq were investigated by the UN for the amount of head shots they were making. UN suspected they were killing the captured insurgents. The truth is, a trained US soldier with decent optics on his 5.56 rifle open terrain (desert) is a sniper compared to an insurgent jumping from behind a wall and spraying and praying. Put them in a dense jungle and the 5.56 has problems, while spraying and praying through trees and brush with the AK is more effective. That is why I own both.

    In a SHTF fantasy world, I would use my AK47′s for “bugging In”. AK47 is perfect for urban or dense woods. Home defense, gathering water/food and sweeping abandoned houses and stores for supplies. Places where distance isnt a big factor. If I need to “bug out” I will be taking the 5.56 for every member of my family. It’s light, carry more rounds, less recoil for my sons and wife. In this situation, I will be avoiding populated urban areas and probably hunting small game like squirrels. If I need to engage someone, it will probably be in an open area, because thats where Ill be hunting/gathering. I would rather have the 5.56 if distance is a factor.

    I should mention the 5.56 we will be carrying will also be AK’s, a little less accurate then the AR, but much more reliable. I’m not saying that based on some horse shit I read on-line or from some blow hard, like the one that wrote this article. It is based on real world observation of ar-15′s failing, I have seen it many times, cheap ones, expensive one. I have never seen an AK fail, not once. What my eyes see matter more than anyones opinion. I do believe the piston design is a much better design. The direct Impingement system was originally conceived by the French, Stoner adopted the idea. I think the french make some good food, but weapons engineering, not so much. It is a flawed design.

    For me, they are both great rounds (5.56 and 7.62×39), just have to use the right tool for the right job. I wont touch 330 BO or 6.8. Ammo has to be everywhere for me to consider it.

  71. avatardustin says:

    I saw nothing in this post providing any factual data to support what are nan seemingly biased opinions. The AK 47 and 7.62×39 round is still quite effective and accurate. I’m sure even more accurate than your ability to shoot, or to make a comparison of these weapon systems. An AR will fail before an sks or ak in extreme conditions. Given the ar is much more customizable and quicker to manipulate in stressful environments. Both will always have a place and I recommend a shooter to own one of each.

    • avatarcoolhand says:

      Is it easier to operate during combat? I wonder what thousands of African child soldiers would have to say about that.

  72. avatarcoolhand says:

    If a new ar-15 was produced that had a gas piston system
    That required no gas regulation, had simplified components, was made and designed in America, was cheap to shoot, was chambered in 7.62 aac/.300 whatever, it would be hailed as a huge advance ment in firearms technology. Unfortunately for the biased, it is a Russian designed rifle that has existed since 1947, and while the US rifle is a wonderful one, no rifle has seen more conflict than the AK. It seems interesting that the more advanced the AR gets, the more Ak like it becomes. .300 is only a attempt to do what the 7.62x39mm has been doing for over half a century and for cheaper. If you love your .300 AR that’s wonderful. If you have been running an AK in 7.62 soviet than you and I both knew the AR crowd would catch on eventually. :)

  73. avatarKalashnikov says:

    This guys sounds like a real McDickhead. Like really someone sound the retard alert

    • avatarSouth FL Troy says:

      Amen Bro. This news flash has been entertaining to read but “the truth about guns” WTF???

  74. avatarBryan says:

    Ummm, I always was under the impression that the inaccuracy of the AK in 7.62×39 was a combination of loose tolerances in the platform and shooting 99% cheap ammo. Nothing intrinsic to the round itself. One could make a .223 gun with loose tolerances and use cheapo steel ammo in it and get just as crappy of accuracy results. And one could make a x39 gun with tight tolerances and use well made ammo and get just as good of accuracy as the typical AR does. So how is it the round that’s inherently inaccurate?

    As far as the AR now having equal reliability to the AK, therefore we can dump the AK altogether for the otherwise superior AR and therefore dump x39 for a round that works better in the AR (which would be logical if it were a correct fact)…you are TOTALLY missing what people are talking about when they talk about AK reliability. Yes, a modern AR is basically 100% reliable when maintained…but an AK is that reliable even after being opened up and filled with a fruitcake (yes, I say fruitcake specifically because I’ve seen it done). Don’t even try that with your AR…it won’t be pretty. I’ve made AR mags unusable just at a range day (a rough one, but still…). AK mags, on the other hand, can be used to pound in nails in the absence of a hammer, or used to bludgeon a water buffalo to death, and still go on ticking. An AK can be maintained indefinely with a shoelace, goat fat, and urine (that’s exactly how most of the middle east maintains theirs). Pee in your AR instead of cleaning it properly and then apply fat from your last meal to it instead of lube and see how long you can keep it running that way.

    I have an AR (a medium/nice grade build) and an AK (cheapo romanian). If you told me to pack a bag, grab a gun, and go to war tomorrow, I’d absolutely choose my AR, it wouldn’t even be a question (and a good cleaning/lubing kit would be in the bag). It is superior in so many ways. However, if you told me that I was going to war tomorrow, but screw the bag packing, you get the rifle you’re holding and the clothes on your back and you’re gonna be dropped off in the middle of all of it with nothing else and we’ll come get you in 6 months…I’m gonna be running to that AK. They aren’t 2 rifles vying for a spot in 1 niche. They are 2 rifles for completely different purposes. The AR’s job is to do everything fantastically if treated well. The AK’s job is to do everything OK, even if it’s full of fruitcake and you pee on it every night.

  75. avatarSouth FL Troy says:

    It’s not the 7.62×39 round that is the issue, it’s the crappy AK. I would much rather be shot by a .223 then a 7.62×39. I own both caliber guns and this is not an apples to apples comparison. The .223 round only wins out past 300 yards for accuracy reasons, not even close in one shot stopping power… This author probably thinks American cars are better than German precision beasts too…

  76. avatarJames Hoffman says:

    trying to claim that 7.62X39mm day has come by promoting the AR platform and a very flawed 5.56mm round is nuts! by Contrary the 5.56X45mm day has come! it’s too weak for millitary use and being of similar bullet weight ti the .22Lr it’s only good for small game, and the straight case was always good for a very nasty jam upon the slightest bit of dust or rust in the chamber. the only AR platform gun that can rival an AK is the AR-10, ideally chamber one for 6.5X55mm swede for maximum accuracy with a “Small proven military caliber for low recoil, but packs a 150+gr punch otherwise never expect a .22 cal bullet to do a .30cal job! Funny how all of the good battle rifles were in .30 cal including the FAl, The HK G3 / PTR 91, M1/M1a/M14, Real men Shoot .30 cal, Respect the old 6.5MM, and drool for .50! leave the .22′s for the babies! the only faults with the AK is the ejector size in comparison to forces on the action made running a brass cased ammo a bad idea for case head rip, An AK running Steel doesn’t jam! and with the modern AK sporters being offered in 7.62X39, 5.45X39, 7.62X54R, .308win/7.62 nato, and .223rem/5.56 nato. and with the 7.62X39 being used in the Ruger mini-30 and the CZ-527, among others, both the AK platform and the CIP steel case Ammo are going to be around for a long time!

  77. avatarJoe the Citizen says:

    Apples to oranges, the AK and AR are just different guns, for different purposes. With
    No barriers the AR has better long range accuracy capable of 1 MOA. But the bullet is small, a small game round, for like 80lbs game or less. The AK bullet has twice the mass of a 5.56mm,better reliability, and penetrates a lot of barriers, but 4 MOA is more likely, more effective on midsize game, 400lbs or less. The average man weighs 200 lbs. At 200yds or less, I choose the AK. 200yds +, the AR, or better yet,alot 308! 5.56 wounds men, 30 caliber kills men. Yawing or not, the 30 calibers are big boys! Lol

  78. avatarGary says:

    I’m not sure if this author is trying to be a troll or a fanboy spouting mindless drivel and distorting facts to suit the argument. I came onto this article trying to find out how the .300 BLK compares to the 7.62 x 39 round. Instead it’s a rehash of the ages old argument of AK vs. AR that all of us have heard at least 80 million times already. YAWWWN! And before anybody accuses me of being biased myself, I do own both platforms, and love them both but for different reasons.


    “Division is the device of destruction, and any individual who divides based on selling a propped up product is doomed to fail. … My breakdown is simple: dispense with the 7.62x39mm round.”

    Ummm… considering the obvious bias and the fact that you pretty much spend the rest of the article badmouthing the AK platform, I have to ask you the following question: You DO know what the definition of HYPOCRISY is, don’t you?

  79. avatarJacks Bugsby says:

    So you want to take the shitty cartridge of the AK, and throw it onto the less reliable than AK platform of the AR? That’s completely counter intuitive. There is a gun that does the exact opposite called the AK-74. It takes the reliable AK platform and uses a lightweight, low recoil round similar to the 5.56×45. I love how this guy calls the AR a “superior platform.” Sure, you can put all sorts of gadgets on it, but that doesn’t make it better obviously. Reliability makes it better. And that is where the AK has the edge x1000. Author obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  80. avatarFelix says:

    Two options:
    First: take this article off this website.
    Second: rename this website to http://www.thebrawlabouthowgreatamericangunsare.com

  81. avatarjohn316 says:

    I have been in combat and when it comes to putting the bad guy down who cares if it is an AK or AR, because when you are under fire, scared, adrenaline rushing etc. Either gun is only as good as the man behind it. Be safe all and remember David took down Goliath with a rock!

  82. avatarScoutsout says:

    I’ve been down range with highly motivated soldiers carrying M4′s and AK’s. I have to say when it comes down to it 5.56,7.62×39, 5.45, ak or m4. None of that matters. What matters is that your equipment is taken care of and you take training serious.

    The AR (m4/m16) is a lot more reliable then the internet thinks it is and the Ak is more accurate then internet think it is.

    The man is the weapon and the rifle is the tool.

  83. avatarMike Yoder says:

    Nineteen months after this article was posted, don’t see any sign of 7.62×39 being replaced by 300 Blk. At 1/2 or less the cost of the 300 Blk and less than 1/3 the cost for ammo, the 7.62×39 is too appealing a carbine that will operate under almost any conditions.

    The reason the 7.62×39 AK47 has survived 7 decades is because it’s reliable, cheap to buy and operate, and is nearly indistructable. The reason the 5.56 has survived 5 decades is because the U.S. military requires it.

  84. avatarRay says:

    Haha I don’t see 7.62×39 going anywhere. It’s cheap & does what it’s supposed to. Hell they banned the chinese stuff 20 years ago & it’s still here!

    The 300 Blackout seems to be catching on well. Great idea based on previous wildcats, excellent marketing.

    I have both. An AK in 7.62 & a silenced 300 blackout bolt gun.

    The bolt gun is ridiculously quiet & very accurate, not cheap though! I make my own subsonics so that helps keep costs down & I love it!

    The AK is a bullet hose that resides by the door just in case. Only aftermarket part is a trijicon front sight post so it’s GTG day or night. The AK fits me like a glove & it’s fun as hell, cheap to feed. Guess what, I love it too!

  85. avatarBig Scrappy says:

    This is one of the dumbest articles ever.

    I don’t know where to start and I’m not even gonna really go into it much cause the idiocy of these claims would take up to much time for something that’s not gonna get me anywhere…

    Apparently the author thinks the AK is inaccurate due to its cartridge. Ha.
    You don’t know anything about the AK-47 buddy.

    In all fairness I couldn’t even stand to read much past half of this article.

    People are obsessed with marrying 7.62×39 with the AR platform??? What are you talking about mannnnn????

    You can buy/build an AR chambered in 7.62×39!
    You can buy an ak-47 in 5.56!!

    Death of the 7.62??? and it’s about time????
    WTF are you talking about??? 7.62×39 isn’t going anywhere! You’re delusional!!! Ha!!

    Go take your 5.56/.22 caliber round and try to fight in any environment with brush or anything but open field and you quickly see why it fails.

    Do the same with your blackout round and see why soldiers use the .30 caliber round. It’s called punch my friend.

    This article is on the blackout round’s nuts so hard it’s pathetic.

    What, do you work for a company selling blackouts or something?

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