AK vs. AR: Why the 7.62x39's Time Has Come
courtesy twitter.com
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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

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  1. .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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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).

        • Roger that, never discount the 7.62×39 cartridge…especially coming out of an SKS in the hands of a decent shooter.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • Your comment made me remember something. My uncle was in the Russian airforces and served in Afganistan. He told me pretty much the same story. They had crates of 5.45s lying around and all soldiers were trying to get their hands on 7.62s as it seemed to be a much more effective round for this terrain

      • 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.

      • ALCON:

        The Soviets are often in awe of US defense equipment, they copy our aircraft designs and sometimes even our small arms as in the instance of the smaller caliber rifle round ehibited in the 5.45 X 39 cartidge, which calmost duplicates the US 5.56 caliber round.

        In small arms and every other manufactured item there are trade-offs in the variables of cost, effaciency,manufacturing, performmance, etc. No arm or armament is perfect and each one is a comeromise for its designed purpose vs a broadd overall purpose. A SMG will never be a good sniper round/firearm, just as a big game hunting rifle will never be adeauate for an urban combat environment. The 5.56 does certain things that the 7.62 round cannott do and vice versa. The rapid firing 5.56 round and the M-16 rifle werre great for the close-in fighting of Vietnam, however, it is not an optmal round for the linger distance desert and mountain fighting envyronments. Remember that the M16 was never designed as the Army or USMCs main battle rifle, yet it became exactly that. The Service makes do with the quipment that it is issued.

      • They went with the 5.45×39 because it was lighter weight (like the .556), and because it could be made to tumble quickly inside a target (same reason as the original .223). But they lost a lot of knockdown power and barrier penetration capability, and the 5.45 is not appreciably more accurate at distance than the 7.62 from a decent barrel.

      • “Even the Soviets wanted something better”???
        I think what you meant was, Even the Soviets wanted something cheaper and lighter, so a barely trained average soldier can carry more rounds like the Americans do. Spray and pray is a real thing for governments, who are always very concerned about the cost of training.
        The cost of training other soldiers to replace the ones killed due to inadequate training, however, is rarely given even a first thought, let alone a second. Humans, particularly those in positions of authority, have never been known for deep thoughts or foresight. Or even for basic knowledge that most five year olds possess…

    • 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.

    • The numbers for .300 Blk look good on paper but it fails in penetration/barrier compared to 7.62×39

    • For me, the issue has been settled by the AR-47. 7.62×39 caliber upper on a standard AR lower. Magazines from Ammo Storage Company (ASC) C-Products Defense, and Stoner all feed flawlessly and the newer uppers fire without flaw. My AR47s are super accurate, and they work great with all types of ammo. The 300 blackout struck me as the bad compromise, especially with what continues as decreased ballistics and the high cost of ammunition. I highly recommend the 7.62×39 AR, which can be put together for around $500-$600, with uppers and lowers from Palmetto State Armory, Bear Creek Armory, Radical Firearms, etc. Milsurp ammo is still about 22c/round, and higher priced hunting offerings from Hornady, Federal, etc. are still cheaper than the 300 blackout.

    • Barnes TTSX 110 grain averages 2380 FPS and runs .7-.8 MOA groups out of my 416R 16″ stainless 300 BLK build.

    • I agree,….this article seems to be biased. Granted many AK platforms are not all that great. The same thing can be said about the AR platforms available on the market. The round isn’t the problem, it’s the shooter’s choice of firearm. As for inexpensive imported ammo, I can tell you that I have no problem consistently hitting a 6″ steel plate at 50 yards. Rapid fire with a Ruger American Rifle chamberd I’m 7.62×39. 5 hits in 8 seconds on a bad day.

  2. 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. 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.

    • 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.

      • The AK 47s 7.62×39 terminal effectiveness at closer range (especially under 200 meters) is NOT the ultimate killer round many tacticool people make it out to be. It is traveling too fast and will not upset as it passes through flesh (not hitting bone). It will leave a slightly bigger ice pick hole and you can get back to work.At distance, when this round slows sufficiently, it will upset and cause more permanent damage than it would at closer ranges. Spray and pray is used at these distance.
        Not my opinion, not anecdotal. It is great at breaking up cinder blocks, but just like any other viable round, PLACEMENT is king! Talking FMJ here. Current variations 5.56 bullet design compensate quite nicely for small size and weight of the round. From bonded, to solid copper rounds, to 77 grain T/SMK rounds, 5.56 is plenty lethal and barrier blind to make it an overall better weapon than the AK. This reliability issue gets old quick.
        Reports from the field are mixed at best. You hear about the failings because it sells magazines and product. Just as the NVA were hopped on drugs when attacking, so are many of the Taliban/ISIS fighters. They even inject themselves with adrenaline prior to attacking US forces. Painkillers anyone? They may not even know they are dead when they get hit. Quit watching Hollywood movies where the bad guy gets hit then falls right over every time. Heck, even bow and arrows have one-shot kill capability, even when striking the actor no where near vital areas. Knives too!
        How many one shot kills has the AK47 achieved against US/coalition forces? Marine corps seems to being fine with the 5.56 (20″ barrel?). I would love to own an AK for the fun of it. But I would prefer to have an AR/M16 for real world use. Weight, effectiveness, ability to lay down suppression fire with increased ammo loads, accuracy, commonality of parts.
        And once you try and hang stuff off the already heavy rifle, it just looks ugly and stupid.

  4. 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.

    • 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

      • 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?

        • ALL:

          MBR is that firearm so designed, manufactured and issed to the military forces as the main rifle for general usage. Thus the M4 is the de facto USA MBR.

    • Well this just may jerk your chain, but you seem to be mired in the past! Because MOST of our current day armies do NOT use the .308 OR 30-06 cartridges or guns! Nor do any rebel forces I am aware of! These were fine weapons and still are, but realistically, relegated to hunting and target shooting now days. As a military weapon they are a blast from the past.

      I am not an AR fan, nor an AK fan, but I would love to own one of each just for fun. Both do what they were designed to do, and quite well. The AR is lightweight, easy to carry and shoot, and allows you to carry a lot of ammo. The AK is more powerful, more reliable in its cheapest form compared to the AR cheapest form, and extremely less expensive! Both have good availability of ammo, though the AR ammor seems to be a bit more expensive. Either will take down a human in combat, which is what both were designed to do! The AR in it’s more expensive iterations is pretty reliable, but still you just are not going to rival the reliability of the AK in an AR, no matter what!

      I do own an SKS. Half the price of an AK when purchased by me and 1/4 the cost of a decent AR. It is heavier than either, but extremely accurate and reliable. It will take down any North American game at ranges of 200 – 350 yards, though I would not want to face a charging grizzly with it! But then again, I would not want to face a charging grizzly with an M-14 or an 03 Springfield either! And the AR is sure as hell NOT a gun I would want to try to take down the biggest North American game at ANY range! Charging or not!

      To me, the AR is under powered for any thing but taking out humans in combat or shooting varmits, aka vermin! Which some humans are also. It is not even a decent deer rifle, yet alone adequate for elk, moose, or grizzly! The AK is a wonderful deer rifle with soft point bullets, and will take down an elk, moose or grizzly, though I would prefer the .308 or larger for that. But still, I am saying if I HAD to, I COULD! Easily! I MIGHT with an AR if I HAD to, but would not bet my life on it!!

      There you have it. Both the AK and AR are adequate for what they were designed for. Taking down humans in combat. Judging from the number of armies using the AK vs the AR, and the number of rebel forces using the AK vs the AR, I believe the WORLD has judged the AK to be WAY more adequate than the AR! As a bonus, in a pinch, the AK will take down an elk or moose if necessary! Even a grizzly in an extreme emergency situation. Try THAT with you AR!!

      • What an ignorant comment.

        Practically every military in the world uses either 7.62×51 NATO (basically .308) or the Russian closest equivalent 7.62x54R. These are all commonly used in designated marksmen roles, sniper roles, and in machine guns. In any conflict a pretty significant number of the rounds heading down range are from 7.62 full rifle cartridges.

        • Thank you. Saved me from having to post the same.
          Everyone please Consider this.
          For the mid-east conflicts; the US Military, (Beginning with the Navy Seals, and now with both USMC and Army infantry) have resurrected the old M-14 (.308) and brought it back to the squad level as a supporting weapon. It now sports a hi tech stock, a $1000 BDC type scope and bipod.
          When i was infantry (enlisted 83-87, officer 87-95) the infantry platoon had two M-60s (and no SAW until 85ish for active forces, 91 for reserves)
          The infantry platoon was 38 men, but all training was based on the two M-60s being 40% of the platoons firepower.
          Consider that really hard, 32 guys with M-16, six guys with the M203 also, and six other guys, (M-60 gunner, assistant gunner and ammo bearer, times two per platoon) armed with two M-60s, 4 pistols, and two M16, EQUALS 40% the power of the other 32 guys!
          There were the days of the M-16A1 and A2/E2.
          We had many reliability issues with the M-16. but the A2 with its better sights and other features was a big improvement. But we had 20 inch barrel which was better for velocity and increased accuracy with the long sight radius.
          Today i have all three, AR (M-4 style) and AK (with US style tech sights) and an M1A scout.
          The fitted out M1A is heavy at 12lbs with scope, but the ft.lbs of energy per round is DOUBLE 5.56 (2,600 foot pounds vs 1300) and TRIPLE at 500 meters (900 foot pounds vs 300)
          the AK and M4 weight nearly the same a 8.5 lbs
          With tech sights my sight radius is as long as the M1a and far better than the M4.
          I can carry the most ammo with an M4 though.
          So having all three, having been US infantry for 13 years, what would I choose?
          Let me allow others to tell you with two stories:
          1. Vietnam USMC vet- gun shop owner, but small person 5′-7″ and slender- He lived the transition from having the M-14 in Nam to having it taken and given the M16. He Favors the M-1a to this day, and does Three gun shoots with an M1a scout.
          2. Two Tour Afghanistan USMC Designated Marksman, carried the heavy, 14lb SEAL developed M-14 Enhanced Battle Rifle. Works behind the gun counter at the big sporting shop. He was showing a customer some new high zoot $3,600 .308 battle rifle. i asked “Would this be an upgrade form my M1a scout? – His reply “if i could buy any rifle in the store it would be the M1A, i would trust my life to it above any thing else”
          There you have it.
          AK vs AR?
          think again, M1A, PTR91, FAL, all come in a “handy” 16 inch or 18inch barrel configuration, called a scout or paratrooper, or carbine.
          So i get that AR/AK is 4 lbs lighter (or more) plus ammo, much more.

          Sure, my wife is small, so the m-4 is good for her.
          But we are men.
          get stronger, learn to carry and use a man’s rifle if you can.
          if this is an encumbrance, for any reason. put tech sights on any solid AK (I do like bulged trunion yugo’s and saigas) and you have a rifle you can depend on for lethality, have increased accuracy, and good reliability.
          if you are small statured, goo ahead and get the AR, but i recommend the following,
          Get the Ruger SR556, both because of the longer sight radius with the now common length 16″ barrel plus the gas piston system to cure the reliability issue
          if you get a direct impingement gun, improve reliability by replacing the bolt for $79 with eh Sharps Reliabolt, proven to go 5,000 rounds w/o cleaning the weapon.
          (but a Colt 5920 M4 doesn’t need this, its got the bugs worked out from the factory)
          for 5.56 shooters, always load really good ammo, if possible 69 to75 grain Hornady “Superformance” (200fps faster), depending on if your AR has 1:7 or 1:9
          the better ammo helps close the gap compared to 7.62×39.
          As always YMMV; Just an old soldier’s 2 cents.

        • “Infantry Architect” — I know it’s been 3 years, 2 months, and 6 days since your post above, but god dammit it, I hope you and “pcp4me” have settled down in the intervening years… and perhaps even become friends.

          NOTE TO TTAG: See? This is what happens when you top list old articles into current blog content (like TTAG is doing now). Ergo, no one here better complain about “necromancing” old threads.

          BTW, Happy New Year 2018!!!

      • Infantry architect, you are 100% on point and you just helped me make up my mind “NOT” to buy a AR in 7.62 x 39. I have a AK in 7.62 x 39 and 7.62 x 51(.308). Both are very reliable and accurate enough for me. The AR is a nice rifle of which I also have, fun to shoot but not my go to SHTF rifle. Great Post!

    • TDIINVA: Totally right! Was issued the M16, threw it down and found a great M14!
      The civilian M1A is a great rifle to own and shoot!! If they want something light that’ll get ya killed, a sling shot comes to mind. Although that can be deadly too, LOL!!

  5. “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.

    • AK fans calm down and be real! The “most popular weapon/round” is because they were cheap to make, licenses to mfg were given away, and Soviet Unions gave away millions (for free) to foment their brand of government. It is not because they were or are superior to every other weapon then or now available. They were FREE or very cheap to make. Period! To say otherwise is foolish and shows a lack of understanding the thought process of the original design.
      They were built like their aircraft at the time. Cheap to produce and made in mass quantity to survive the slaughter of their troops during a confrontation to NATO forces. And as a side note…why on God’s green earth, would you want to support communist regimes by buying there weapons? You are establishing supply lines to the US by importing communist made ammo. These types of forums constantly preach buy American, boo to cheap Chinese steel, and yet many thousands of people who come to these forums buy foreign made “stuff”. Please let me know which non-American product is okay to buy.
      Finally, “buy once, cry once” mantra is used to justify purchasing over priced equipment. Yet when it comes to ammo, better rounds “are too expensive for me to buy the weapon for SHTF”. That makes no sense.

  6. 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.

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

  7. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

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

        I havent heard that song in a long time

        • 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.

  9. 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

    • Another HUGE clue. How many armies other than ours use the AR? How may rebel forces any where in the world use the AR?

      Seems the opinion of the world as a whole votes heavily in favor of the AK! So how is it some wanna be know it alls think otherwise?

      • Who uses the M16? Get a clue already:

        Afghanistan: Standard issue rifle of the Afghan National Army.[110] Colt Canada C7 variants also saw limited service.
        Argentina: Special Forces used M16A1 in the Falklands (Malvinas) War and they currently use the M16A2.[111]
        Australia[112] M16A1 introduced during the Vietnam War and replaced by the F88 Austeyr in 1989.
        Bangladesh: Used by the military, special forces and counter terrorism units.[114]
        Cambodia[116][117] M16A1 is used.
        Canada: C7 and C8 variants made by Colt Canada is used by the Canadian Forces.[118]
        Costa Rica[119]
        Democratic Republic of the Congo[116]
        Denmark:[115] C7 and C8 variants made by Colt Canada are used by all branches of the Danish Defence.
        Dominican Republic[115]
        East Timor[120]
        El Salvador[115] M16A1/A2/A3/A4 is used.
        Estonia[121] Ex-US M16A1s in use.
        Greece[115] M16A2/M4 is used by the Special forces of the Hellenic Army ISAF Forces in Afghanistan and Hellenic Navy
        Guatemala[116] M16A1/M16A2 is used.
        Iraq: Used by Iraqi Army.[123]
        Israel[124] Being replaced by IMI Tavor.[125]
        Republic of Korea: During the Vietnam War, the United States provided 27,000 M16 rifles to the Republic of Korea Armed Forces in Vietnam. Also, 600,000 M16A1s (Colt Model 603K) were manufactured under license by Daewoo Precision Industries. The delivery started in 1974 and ended in 1985.[115] Still KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) soldiers who serve their military service in the United States Army uses M16A2 with the United States Army.
        Lithuania: Lithuanian Armed Forces.[129]
        Malaysia[115] Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and RELA Corps.
        Mexico:[115] Used by Mexican Marines.
        Monaco: Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince.[131]
        Netherlands: C7 and C8 variants are used by the Military of the Netherlands and LSW is used by Netherlands Marine Corps.[118][133]
        New Zealand[115] M16 was used and was replaced in 1988 by Steyr AUG
        Panama[115] M16A1 is used.
        Philippines: Manufactured under license by Elisco Tool and Manufacturing.[115] M16A1s and M653Ps in use. Supplemented in Special Forces by the M4 carbine.
        Rhodesia: M16A1.[134]
        Singapore: Local variant of the M16A1 (M16S1) manufactured under license by ST Kinetics.[116]
        South Africa[115]
        Sri Lanka[116]
        South Vietnam: 6,000 M16 and 938,000 M16A1, 1966–1975[136]
        Sweden A small number of M16A2’s are used by the Swedish Armed Forces for familiarization training[137] (as well as a similar number of AKM’s), but they are not issued to combat units. C8 used by Special Forces
        Thailand[115] M16A1/A2/A4.
        Tunisia[115] M16A2/A4 variants are used.
        Turkey[115] M16A1/A2/A4 variants are used.
        United Arab Emirates[115]
        United Kingdom: C7/C8 (L119A1) variant are used by the Royal Military Police,[138] the Pathfinder Platoon of the Parachute Regiment[139] and the United Kingdom Special Forces[140]
        United States[141]

        Now look up how many countries replaced the AK with an AR in their military.

        • Strictly speaking in terms of pervasiveness the ak out numbers the ar globally by many times. Also, ak platform rifles have proven to be serviceable under the worst conditions for decades with little or no care. There is a video of 18 year old ak’s being dug up and used on YouTube. There will never be more ar rifles in service than ak platform rifles. They were simply produced and exported in such massive numbers they are going to be around in higher per capita numbers for many more years.

  10. 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

  11. 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!

    • Well, I have a real nice arsenal refinished SKS I bought 2 years ago for $219. It came with a scope mount attached, so I scoped it, headed for the range, loaded it up with cheap wolf fmj steel cased ammo and benched it at 100 yards. Five shot groups between 3/4″ and 1.5″ with most around 1″ to 1.25″! That with no modifications, trigger work or any thing! It will also do the same with the wolf hollow points, but about 2″ groups with the 154 gr soft points.

      Good enough for government work. Or deer hunting. Or what ever else it might be needed for! For an inexpensive, semi automatic rifle that is very reliable and accurate, I could not have asked for more.

      So who says the 7.62 X 39 round has poor accuracy or is headed to the trash heap or is obsolete? Send me all you want to trash. I will even pay shipping!

      • Like the old saying goes. “it is not the arrow, but the indian” guns are tools and the operator is the weapon. Counting that the gun is free of any issues and the sights are not off, accuracy rests on the shooter/operator.

  12. Awesome.

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

    And I agree with your findings.

  13. 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.

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

      • 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    • 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.

  20. 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.

    • 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.

  21. 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%

  22. 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.

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

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

  23. 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).

  24. 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

    • 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.

  25. 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.

    • 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.

  26. 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

  27. Ok

    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.

    • I would like to hear about the credentials and experience of the members of this forum. I can definitely tell who are battle tested, which means survived, based on their responses. I once was in a bad way a long time ago and put down many enemy with the m16. I also had an ocassion to wield the ak and it also did the job. Too much arguing about penetration, velocity etc etc. If you need to survive when all around you is in chaos, you will make every attempt to kill that man/woman who most desperately wants to kill you with a spear if need be if that’s all you have. The weapon does not make the soldier, the soldier with the right training and will to survive makes the weapon. Way to many range cowboys on these sights who have no idea what they are talking about. Hell, David took Goliath down with a sling shot, and he was just a Shepard boy.

      • “Hell, David took Goliath down with a sling shot, and he was just a Shepard boy.”

        Roflmao! I wonder what the velocity and energy of that stone was?

        And I bet David would have gladly traded the sling shot for EITHER an AK OR an AR!! Hell, with either he probably would have taken out their whole army!

        But as for THIS David, I will take my trusty SKS over the AR OR the AK any day! And if I need that much more ammo that the 5.56 would afford me to carry over the 7.62 X 39, it probably would not matter in the end any ways. I would just bend over, grab my ankles, and kiss my ass goodby!

  28. >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.


  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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)

    • @ 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!!

      • 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.

        • +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.

        • 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)

          • 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!!

      • 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

        • 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.

      • Well if you shot the pig in the head instead of the ass with the 5.56, it wouldn’t piss him off cause he would be dead! Learn to shoot the gun instead of the shit!

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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…..

    • Have the best of both worlds; I do. I built an AR-K that feeds, discharges and ejects 7.62 x39 Tula ammunition – flawlessly. And mine is even a left-handed version.

      AR-15 accuracy, AK-47 punch. Inexpensive ammunition.

      * Gibbz Arms left-handed, SIDE-CHARGING Upper receiver
      * BRA 7.62 x39 16-inch barrel with enhanced barrel extension
      * Stag Arms L.H. BCG
      * Swap out the bolt for a 7.62 L.H. AR-15 bolt from Red X (I needed a spare L.H. AR-15 bolt anyway)
      * You MUST USE A.S.C. 7.62 x39 magazines built to fit the AR magwell.

      You’re welcome. And happy, safe shooting!

  35. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  36. 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…

  37. 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?

  38. 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.

  39. 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.


    • 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.”

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

    • 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……

    • 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.

    • 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

    • 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

    • 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

    • 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.

    • Actually, .308 bores in 7.62×39 weapons actually result in better accuracy… Now there are a lot of .314 bores and the like out there in the AK world — chrome being not an even plating from spot to spot and not always being the proper thickness throughout either…
      Bottom line, many AKs were built to loose tolerances (all AKs and variants I’m aware of have a loose fit, but that’s another matter).

  55. 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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….

    • I was going to reload for my 7.62 X 39, then I discovered brass cases were horribly expensive, as is powder, bullets, and primers now days! Also brass cased ammo is expensive to buy, shoot, then recover the cases and reload.

      When I saw that cheap Wolf and other brands of ammo give me easily 1.5 moa accuracy in my sks, and are like 20 cents a round, I figured what the heck? Why go to all the trouble? It would easily cost me 30 – 40 cents per round to reload them and then trying to find all the brass strewn over the area. Just not worth the trouble!

      Too much good ammo available for it out there cheap!

      • Hi, pcp4me :

        Thanks for your interesting input — it’s always good and educational to read other informed opinions on the subject at hand. I also really enjoyed the slew of comments you just posted in reply ( and in some cases, as a telling riposte ) to several of the other forum members.

        I do own several different versions of the AK platform, the Czech vz.58 rifle and the venerable SKS, all chambered in the 7.62mm x 39 cartridge. And I do generally agree with you how simple, utilitarian, efficient, reliable, hard-hitting, accurate and cost-effective the old SKS still is, by any standards.

        As far as 7.62mm x 39 steel-cased ammunition is concerned, I have found that virtually any name-brand production ammunition works well, although I will add that my all-time favorite is still Vympel 124-grain Golden Tiger FMJ, with Barnaul Golden Bear 123-grain FMJ and Ulyanovsk 122-grain FMJ close seconds.

  56. 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.

  57. 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…

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

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

  60. 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. 🙂

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

  61. 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.

  62. 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…

  63. 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!

  64. 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

  65. 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?

  66. 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.

  67. 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!

  68. 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.

    • I may have missed it, but the thing I see left out most on this subject is the shooter. It has been said that the AK was designed to be 100% reliable in the hands of alcoholic, illiterate conscripts. Which, in most urban environments, would be the average Joe like myself. Over 60, declining vision. What good is 400 yd accuracy with my AR? What’s better is 20 second field strips with solid reliability and *durability* that doesn’t require the back up infrastructure that a professional solder has. At 50 to 100 yards, my accuracy in a high stress situation will be the same with either.

  69. 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.

  70. 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!

  71. 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?

  72. Why is this even being argued? I have a BCM mid length and a reconverted saiga (IZ132 in 7.62 x39) . Tired of the “ARs aren’t reliable BS, and equally tired of folks trying to push the AK as a long range shooter.

    Both have different design purposes- a heavy intermediate rd for med. to close combat is the former com bloc tactic( people FORGET that the Russians fought on the open battle field as well as urban combat with the ppshk sub machine gun- a weapon that shot a PISTOL ROUND!

    The AR/ M16 was an Air Force backed design first- a LIGHTWEIGHT, accurate firearm that could be used by downed aircrews and security forces to put out rapid volumes of fire power with little recoil. The Army and Marines picked it up when they saw that combat at that time was within several hundred feet or less and a soldier or marine could carry more fire power

    Neither round is designed to go long range like a big caliber bolt action or semi auto gun( the M16a4 can be lethal and accurate out to 500 m, while the AK47 can still drop a target out to roughly 400m)

    The simple stupidity in trying to make one like the other seems a waste of time. If I need potent shots especially against medium sized game animals or 100 to 200m, then the AK 47 fits the bill. For 100 to 350m and 2-4moa accuracy and moderate lethality, the AR 15/ M16 fits the bill

    Since NONE of us CIVILIAN shooters are “going to war” in our communities( quite frankly tired of hearing doomsday/ Teowawki talk) shooting through walls and barriers is stupid( you can’t see the target, you don’t shoot- chance of hitting innocents is high) nor are we going to be able to justify home or self defense past 50 to 75 m, so both weapon systems and their originally designed rounds are both PERFECT AND LETHAL for what they are intended for.

    As for AK accuracy? My 20″ saiga benched with an attached Bushnell 3-9 x 40 can make 3-4.5 moa groups based on my patience, and weather conditions, even with wolf 122 gr.The test fire document from the Izhmash factory in the original box indicated approx 3 moa( metric equivalent)- well within combat carbine mil spec. My previous Norinco MAK 90 did 4-5 moa at 100m. Both my BCM and Spikes tactical carbines can shoot 2-3 moa benched on iron sights .

    To expect these civilian versions of combat fire arms to be sniper level , one shot stoppers when the respective militaries that deploy the “real thing” don’t , smacks of ignorance of each firearm at best, and “mall ninja ” lack of real world experience at its worst . I have seen what both rifles and their rounds can do to people, and homes( defensive shoot while working for a contractor with an AKM in 2006- easily disabled a 1 ton truck), and have also seen them used on small game( killed a feral 200 lb pig with 69 gr .223 with 2 head shots at 90 yds ) ; the experience with both showed me that these debates are the usual waste of time- neither 5.45×39 or .300 AAC or 6.8 spc will knock the 5.56 or 7.62×39 out of their respective niches……

  73. First, if you don’t like the 7.62×39, don’t get one!! You can still get AKs in either 5.45×39, .223 (nato or civilian spec do not matter unlike ARs) .308, 30-06, 7.62x54r, and even 8mm mauser!! Here’s a partial list. .308: Valmet M76, Zastava M76, Vepr, Galil. 30-06: Zastava M76, Vepr, Saiga??? 7.62x54r: Dragonuv, PSL, Vepr & of course the mighty 8mm Mauser reigns supreme over any .223 in the Zastava M76 which is its original caliber.

    The 8mm mauser itself has ended the debate between the .223 vs 7.62×39 vs .300 AAC since 1905. The Zastava M76 offers it in a gun that is built like a tank, thus concluding the debate once and for all since 1976 for all time!!

    The AK-74 used with HIGH quality ammo not surplus junk (usually handloads) will give any AR-15 a run for the money in terms of accuracy if a HIGH quality AK or RPK is used with a good trigger. Of course, you can just get a Beryl in .223 and be happy with both the accuracy and excellent reliability. For both platforms, using decent magazines is important.

    Any of the 30 calibers here from .308 up are far more accurate, have greater range, and are far more powerful against larger critters then any .223 or any .300 AAC round bar none. To add insult to injury, they are also cheaper to buy in most cases than the .300 AAC!!

    The 31 caliber 7.62x54r and 7.92×57 (8mm mauser) leave both the .223 and 300 AAC even further behind especially if quality ammo or handloads are used.

    BTW: Armalite offers AR-15s in 7.62×39. So does Ruger with the mini-30. So does savage and CZ with bolt action rifles. I guess these companies are wasting money and have no profits said no one ever!! Arsenal and possibly Selleir & Bellot make reasonably accurate ammo in 7.62×39

    Conclusion: My Zastava M76 8mm fires 1.25-1.5 moa with Greek surplus and about 2 moa with M75 Yugo surplus. Sellier & Bellot also fires at 1.5 moa. With Turkish junk and a hot barrel, one has to settle for 3 moa. AR-15 owners never fail to be impressed by my tight groups at 200 yards.

  74. I have a CZ 527, bolt action carbine. I hunt whitetail with it and it is a tack driver. Rarely do deer get more than a few yards before they drop from the 154 grain soft point. I can’t see trading it it for a lighter round at a lower velocity just so I can have the same AR every other Joe in America has….

  75. Well the sks and ak47 where heavier riffles but both of them you could pack rocks sand and drop into water and pick them up and still fire. As i own a Russian sks from Vietnam era and also was in the u.s. army and have much experience with the m16a1 and m16a2 which you had to keep clean no rocks or sand or drop into water and pick up and shot they was the most jamming pos I ever shot. Now as for the sks never had a jam and as for hunting up to 250 meters it will cause more damage after that range not so accurate. Now as for the 308x51mm rounds it’s a good round for large game hunting and if you want accuracy in long range with a punch it’s great. Now why did the u.s. go from the me grand to the mini 14. Natoma as we are not a hostile country then why did we go from the mini 14 to the m16a1 and a2. Weight reduction is one reason the m16a1/a2 weighted much less then the mini 14 or the m1 grand. And why did russia go from the 7.62×39 and 5102 to the 5.56mm nate round. That’s was simple once russia was in the Warsaw pact and when then became apart of the nato they change to the same round as all natural members did. But I can tell you this many of our special forces still want the 7.62 rounds it does more damage and packs a punch over the 5.56 rounds. Almost the United states was able to reduce the cost by going to the small round which Congress is alway cutting corners on their cost as well. The very same reason the m16a1 which was fully auto went to the m16a2 it shoots three round burst saving one bullet then repeats. Another savings in rounds plus less heat and stress on the weapon itself and created less jams making it more reliable in the long run. Talk to the Vietnam vets they will tell you the sks was more dependable and they would have preferred the m1 over the m16a1 and also the m1 grand. I have shot all i have mentioned and over all the m1 and the m1 grand as well as the sks and the ak47 is a much better reliable rifle than the m16a1/a2 or the ar15. But again this is a personal experience and preference of each no different than a ford and chevy over on vechicles. And comes down to what you have the least trouble out of is what you try to own. Then it comes down to the person’s skills of how each feels and the pros and cons of all. Some like no kick or 4 cylinder motors and others like medium to small block type power and others like the big kicks like big block power. All will do the job some may take more shots to achieve the goal while others want the one shot one kill. Each designed to achieve the goal of design. As for me I like the sks 7.62×39 and the 308 7.62x51mm rounds best and the design and functionality. It does the job and I don’t have to shoot three round to do the same job that one does. But then again I make each round count. I use the one shot one kill method. This being said all rounds will do the job if the person shooting whatever weapon they choose knows how to maximize the effectiveness of one their skills and know the pros and cons of the tools of their choice. So a 22 or a 5.56 for over the 300 mm shooting is useless or if you have a person on drugs again not a choice I would want. 7.62×39 will take down a person on drugs and is affective in doing so. 7.62x51mm will do so and make sure they don’t get up. Making the goal achieved in my opinion. Then so will a crossbow or a compound bow if one hits the target where it needs to be. As for the 7.62×39 or the 7.62x51mm leaving it will never happen. To good of a round.

    • I’m sure you meant to say M14 not Mini 14. The m16’s and ar’s/m16’s have come a long way as far as reliability but still not as reliable as it’s Russian counterparts. Personally I’d never use 5.56 on anything bigger than a raccoon I prefer either the 300 blackout or 7.62xeither but the point is they are both different and good for different things. You can’t “compare” them with ought first establishing a set of variables to do so. Until you do that this conversation is pointless. For the most part I agree with your points though.

  76. Are you kidding me!?!?!
    Ok first I’d like to say I’m not saying any of this to offend you
    (Who am I kidding… Yeah I am! At least I can admit it)
    You just bought a 300 blackout and now your having buyers remorse right?
    Blackout is just as anemic as the 5.56. The only difference? More drop.
    6.8 was supposed to match the terminal effectiveness of what?
    Oh yeah the 7.62×39(letting you in on a lil secret…. It actually outperforms 6.8 as you decrease barrel length.
    If you don’t know about 7.62×39 ar15s that accept ak mags then you haven’t lived
    Look up MGI Hydra
    Best gun I’ve ever shot
    With modern loadings the 7.62 is just as accurate deadly and reliable than any other round. Usually more so.
    Your like the kid that didn’t do his homework on show and tell day! Another kid brings a picture of their cat fluffy. You make a sign that says fluffy sucks!
    You’re a childish gun snob that is backing the wrong horse.

    Ps. Don’t bother to reply til you can top this with any other intermediate caliber in 20% ballistic gel!


  77. I have a few questions. Everyone goes on and on about how speed is what penetrates. If that is the case why does everyone say that the 7.62×39 travels further into obstacles than 5.56? Also, people say that 7.62×39 is much more powerful than 5.56. I went onto various websites and found the various data…the average 7.62×39 round has around 1500 ft/lbs of energy. The average 5.56 has 1200 ft/lbs of energy. Now, the most powerful 5.56 I could find had 1600 ft/lbs of energy. Why do people say the 7.62×39 is more powerful?

    • Energy is mass times velocity squared. So velocity is multiplied by itself, meaning weighted significantly more than projectile weight.
      Where velocity and the smaller diameter of 5.56 matters is against armor and metal plates. Speed defeats these, unless armor is too thick…

      Otherwise, against typical intermediate type barriers, be it branches, trees, etc, the mass of the projectile allows it to stay on a truer course and not deflect like 5.56 does. So for auto windshields, concrete walls, etc, 7.62×39’s greater mass results in it maintaining its momentum better.
      Momentum = mass • velocity

      So you can see that velocity matters less for momentum than for energy… Energy is more the potential of a given cartridge while the momentum is about actual projectile behavior. And energy is transferred throughout bullet’s path — as air friction slows bullet down, energy lessens, etc.

      Actual impact — performance of a given cartridge at a given range with a given hardness against a given target is a more complex equation regarding “force” — but both energy and momentum speak to that…

  78. This article is full of bovine feces. The author clearly contradicted himself many times and in a variety of ways. The main example i see is where he writes that comparing the AR and AK is comparing apples and oranges, yet he clearly says the AR is better. He also stated the two platforms are both very reliable, “but in different ways”…wtf does that even mean??? A rifle platform is either reliable or it is not. Don’t get me wrong, i completely agree with the two platforms being like apples and oranges but give me a friggin break dude. I love both varieties. I own both varieties. This guy is obsessing over the AR because it is “america’s sweetheart”. Well good for him, but at the very least try and be honest with your discernment. He stated the AK and 7.62×39 is only still around because they are cheap/the ammo is cheap…clearly this guy has no idea or even a slight inclining as to why the AK is so prolific and has been produced in numbers that are a full order of magnitude over the AR platform. This does not mean the AK is better, but it also does not make it any worse. The author listed the prices of 1,000 rounds of ammo for various calibers…and the AKs chambered in 7.62×39 (or even 5.45×39) are clearly the winner from an economical standpoint, and even from a power standpoint as well. 7.63×39 is more powerful than the 300 blackout and the 5.45×39 is flatter shooting and more lethal than the 5.56×45/.223. Not to mention, they are literally half the price too! Don’t believe me about the performance? Well look it up for yourselves. As far as accuracy goes, the shooter comes first, then the rifle, then the ammo. AKs are plenty accuracte for battle ranges of 0 to 300 yards (the distance that the vast majority of ALL firefights take place). Not to mention the 7.62×39 has superior barrier penetration. This guy is just trying to justify himself not liking the AK platform. He says that 300 blackout will “eclipse” sales of 7.62×39…yea, i’m willing to bet all my life savings this will not happen EVER! If i’m wrong then oh well. This article really perturbed me because he ardently stated that separate “schools or churches” were made centering themselves around a specific platform, and that they alienate some of their members…will this guy is 100% guilty of that righteous indignation. Effin A man… effin A. Whatever though, my rant is almost complete. If you have a preference of one rifle over the other that is fine, but trying to win a dick measuring contest just to justify your purchase is juvenile. By both an AK and an AR. Preferably, buy both of good quality. Anyone with even a modicum of honesty and integrity will hastily realize the merits of both platforms. Both have strengths, both have weaknesses, but lastly, having either one is better than having none at all. If someone is in trouble and needs help then i’ll be ready with my AR. If i am in trouble and need to gtfo of town then i’ll be takin my “antiquated” AK…just my 2 pennies for whomever is willing to hear them.

  79. Thia article is very biased against the AK. Yugo npap AK’s imported from century arms are very gorgeous rifles especially with a restain job of the furniture.

    Add tech sights and you have a carry rifle that nutnfancy PROVED to be 1MOA WORTHY at 100 yards.

    The guns shoot better than we can for sure.

    • You nailed it–The Yugo Zastava made N-Paps are among the BEST available. I picked up their underfolder model and it is a magnificent AK. However, I did my homework and expected nothing less…moreover, I have a few Zastava pistols like the SIG P226 clone, namely, the CZ999 and it too is of 1) High-End Quality and 2) Remarkably LOW price.

  80. To this day I am an “AK 47” guy…It’s just what I prefer in the “combat/survival” rifle…That said I do not rant on “AR Guys” and probably would buy one if money were no factor but I can not see any compelling reason to compile the components required to duplicates my current 7.62 x 39 environment…If guys can collect multiple calibers (I’m talking about a setup that equates to a “crisis-ready” environment which is costly to be sure). Not that it’s completely analogous but I was at the range earlier in the year with a few Serbian buddies and they were kind of comparing the Americans evident dismay at the 9mm round in favor of the .45acp as analogous, ironically enough though as it’s the utter inverse to the .223.5.56 vs. 7.62 x 39

  81. I might be beating a dead horse here (this is about 3 years old) but saying that the 7.62×39 is an inaccurate round because AK’s and most its cheap variants are inaccurate is a bit of a stretch. The finnish AK variant RK uses the 7.62×39 (even today), and it’s one of the most accurate assault rifles out right now, using a round that has superiour penetration when compared to the 5.56 NATO. Reason why the finns still favor the 7.62 over, for example, the 5.56 is that most of Finland is forest and lakes, and fighting in a forest means there’s tons of branches, trees, stumps, etc. etc., things that would affect the 5.56mm bullets trajectory (it is quite light and small after all) where as the 7.62×39 is less affected, if at all. Also the reason why finnish troops are trained to conserve ammunition, avoid full auto and bursts and concentrate in firing accurate single shots at a distance and picking their targets, thus not needing to carry around 50 tons of ammo just to spray it at every bush around that happens to shake a little.

    • Never heard of the RK 62, but now I want one 🙂

      You do bring up a good point though, and that is that 7.62×39 in and of itself is not inaccurate, but rather the guns traditionally used to fire them (with the exception of guns like the RK or Galil). Since a lot of folks can’t afford a more accurate version of an AK variant, the cheap ones get purchased more often, thus leading to the conclusion that AK rifles are inaccurate, and by association, 7.62×39.

      I made myself an AKM clone from a Saiga sporter, and I’ve honestly never even bothered trying to sight it in properly, but next time I bring the AR’s to the range, this one will come too just to see what it can do. I love the rifle, and part of me wants to use it on a Run ‘N Gun I’m going to just to prove it can be done, but I don’t have faith it can. Guess I’ll need to put it through its paces and verify.

      Just curious though what, besides the increased sight radius and hammer forged barrel, makes the RK so much more accurate than a standard AK?

  82. Three years later and 7.629 is still here, still cheaper, still far more prevalent than 300blkout. Yes, 300 blackout is available at Walmart but it’s 78 cents a round and 7.62×39 ar platform rifles have never been more available than they are now. So much for the death of the 7.62×39. So much for the world domination of the 300 blackout.

  83. pff 2000 words to say you like the ar because its american.
    your “explosive innovation” is nothing else than a half cooked product getting patched along the way. as for the ak system, you find it in the dragunov, pkp, saiga, and vintorez rifles. its so similar that many pieces are interchangeable. that much over the flexibility of the ar15. im talking 70’s-80’s since today you could change a ruger 1022 into an assault weapon. ps. you put a scope on your modern ak and you got 600 m practical range. so much about its lack of accuracy.
    then you got the issue 5.56 haven’t got enough stopping power. that’s why spec forces favor 7.62. and regardles if its in x39 or x45 format. but obviously you missed that one. go back to playing cs, kiddo. you know sh*t and only from hearing

  84. This article reeks of bias against the scary evil ‘commie rifle’ ; The AK47. It presents more by emotion than it does hard facts. The AK47 (the oldest iteration of the platform I am aware of) vs. the AR15/M16/M4 is a worn out beat to death argument. Neither one is better than the other. Within the effective range of the AK47, I would be more afraid of being hit by the 7.62 than the 5.56, but that’s like comparing shades of grey really. I’d rather not get hit by either if I could help it. My AK I bought with my own hard earned money is as accurate as I realistically need it to be. It has a mossberg supposedly match grade barrel and it hits the target fine. The groupings being what they are is more to do with my capability as a shooter than the capability of the gun and cartridge I’m using. I’ve seen people hit a target out a few hundred yards with relative ease with a bushmaster AR15 and then set it down and pick up an arsenal AK and nail the same target without problems. By the time you’re reaching out to ranges that the 7.62×39 has lost too much steam, the 5.56mm has lost much of it’s effectiveness too. If you REALLY need to reach out and touch someone the fact is that neither of the cartridges are really ideal. I’d prefer the extra punch of the 7.62x54R, or 7.62×51 or .50BMG :). But seriously, neither cartridge is better across the board at everything. Each has their specific limitations as well as advantages and will be useful for you as long as you use it the way it was intended to be used. The 7.62×39 has been in production by many different factories for over 70 years and it’s far from dead.

  85. there are a lot of real “physics” dynamics of terminal ballistics, but no one really does the math. Cartridges are designed to perform within a constrained set of ballistic parameters, the 556 was designed to maintain supersonic velocity at 500 yards. so what does that mean? does it imply that the 55gr projectile moving at 1050 fps at 500 yards is effective? define effective.

    As shooters, we understand, nothing is better than a well placed shot. but that is not the art of war, for which each of these cartridges was designed. both were designed for closer combat that their precedent cartridges.
    no arms manufacturer sets out to design a bad gun or poor ammunition. guns are design to survive the environments in which they are deployed. cartridges are design to meet a military’s operational requirements.

    My AR platform is capable of utilizing either the 5.56 or the x39 cartridge, with a change of the upper receiver and magazine. both are capable of 1.5 MOA at 100yrd off the bench. both can be shot point blank from 100 to 300 yards.

    We all shoot for various reasons, and sometimes that is constraint by the cost per round. I can shoot 1400 rounds of x30 for the same cost as 1000 rounds of 5.56. that’s 7000 x39 rounds for the cost of 5000 5.56 rounds.

    As much as i respect the 300AAC, for a .30 caliber round, the x39 simply out performs in range, energy, period. perhaps the 300AAC outranks the x39 in suppressed, subsonic only, until we get cheap subsonic x39 ammo.

  86. I’m really old (74) and have been shot with both an AK (VC) and an AR (friendly fire) in 2 separate tours in SE Asia. Both hits were from a little over 200 yards. Both put me out of action for a while…which is what the guns and rounds were designed to do.
    I don’t think that the country has the stomach for SHTF ; but if it happens i have a couple of examples of each, with soft point ammo for both types. Which is more effective ?? A moot point. With no medical help available If that time comes, it won’t matter ……..
    Hope this helps to put things in perspective ……..

  87. The author of this article is full of bull. He is just trying to sell people on the 300BO. I have a Romanian WASR 10. I have owned many AKM and AR variations. I will choose an AKM veriation all day over an AR. The AKM is so simple a child can operate and maintain it. The AKM has as many applications as the AR without changing caliber. It is an inexpensive one size fits all platform. Furniture is as easily customized as the AR, actually easier. Once you get a quality sight system set on it you can humanely dispatch game at greater ranges than with any AR 15 caliber. You have to step up to the AR 10 in a 308 to match the 7.62×39. I personally love both weapon systems, but if I have to choose I will take the AKM.

  88. The taper on the 7.62x39mm round greatly contributes to its feed and extraction reliability, while a well made AK like the Finnish Rk 62 is very accurate.

  89. The article while long is flawed, it assumes and continues to assume the 7.62×39 is an inaccurate round.
    False the 7.62×39 is very close in ballistics to other more well know 6.5mm yet because the 7.62×39 is used in a semi auto which are not know inheritable for their accuracy the the writer presume the fault is the round not the gun.
    In a CZ 527 in 7.62×39, would run circles around and AR and rightfully so. But it does so because of the rifles build not the ammunition used. And AK is not built nor was it built for long ranger accurate placement it was made for close medium contact with maximum damage. Which is does well with the 7.62×39, it not old out of style no more then a 30.06 would be. They do what they do well. Now the Ar is a wonder design and platform. And why it was designed to be used in war time it is not the same firearm we see in the states if one were to compare a military AR with a military AK you would find they are near equal accept in very rare unique circumstances. That said the 7.62×39 has the ability to penetrate that the AR rounds do not and in a combat situation where persons are behind vehicles, walls and other dense material being able to get 1-2 MOA at 300 yards with and AR may not be as well served as the 7.62×39 in and AK at 75yards. But what do I know.

    • I took a class once, “Bolt action rifle for self defense”. I had the same CZ rifle in .223, and another guy had it 7.62x 39. He was the best shooter in the class. Running spam can ammo. Everyone else was using expensive factory .308. I did well with cheap ammo as well.
      It was weird how everyone looked down on us for shooting cheaper rifles with cheap ammo.

  90. This was an attention whore article. ‘Woooo look at me, I’m sayin’ “Shizit-can the 7.62×39!!” I have two news flashes for you.

    1. The x39 ain’t going anywhere. Tula 122 FMJ will keep 5 shots in 3″ from our CZ-527, from 200 yards. My WASR will not quite double that, 5 shots from a cool barrel. I just ordered 1000 rounds for $248 shipped.

    2. The 300 BLK ain’t replacing anything. Considering #1 above, why the hell would I want one? Answer: So I can get almost x39 performance from an AR.

    No thanks, I like what I got. But it’s a free country and I won’t be dogmatic and suggest that the effort put into the 300 BLK would have been better spent improving x39 loads.

    • RIGHT! I made the mistake of trying to read and reread it for vital data points which only resulted in me throwing up in my mouth a little.

  91. I’ve got a Zastava M85, an AK that fires 5.56 from regular STANAG magazines. Best of both worlds IMO

  92. This complexly worded article has no fewer than 25 grammatical errors. This alone should be offensive enough yet it is secondary to the fact the author has obviously tried to use a complex linguistic fashion to show his or her expertise on the subject matter as superior. A truly offensive faux pas.
    Good Day Sir!
    PS Next time just form a piece the reader can enjoy and grasp what the hell it is you mean to convey and forget putting on airs….

    Ughhhh, I feel so confused after reading, no better yet, tyring to read this fable of mixed stories mixed with fact of matter and a ton of bullsh*&. AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A WRITTER SIR!

    Haha, Just kidding but really this peice sucks. It gave me a real headach….

  93. I own neither an AR nor and AK, so I have no horse in this race, but this article was absolutely beyond idiotic. Apparently someone shooting your brand new pistol in .300 was more impressed than your AK, which has been around for 60 years and is nothing new. Is that supposed to be surprising? Nothing in this article was helpful or informative, just some shill piece, probably for your sponsor.

  94. Arguments about which firearm/cartridge is best is, quite frankly, bull crap! Who sets the standard, who gets to determine for all involved which one is THE best?! All firearms and ammunition have inherent capabilities and shortcomings. A prospective arms owner purchases his/her weapon based on what they want to do with it after analyzing the aforementioned attributes…for hunting, target shooting or defense.

    My wife and I own four carbines chambered in 7.62X39mm, not because we think it to be a better round than some others. We bought the two ARs from Palmetto State Armory in this caliber over a year ago because we already had the Russian & Chinese SKS carbines and over 5K rounds of ammo. It was a simple question of logistics for us and we have never regretted that decision.

    We use 20 round ASC magazines and from day 1 both ARs have run flawlessly. The longest range available to us is 200 yards…firing Wolf, Red Army Standard and Barnaul and we consistently get an average of 9-10 inch groups at that range off the bench. The RAS cartridges strike at a different point than the Wolf or Barnaul. The 3½ inch difference in barrel lengths (SKS 20″, AR 16½”) is negligible.

    We have had the SKS carbines for over three years now and they have proven to be very dependable and capable of “minute of bad guy” accuracy. Frankly that is all we are interested in as far as these carbines are concerned! We have commercial rifles with scopes for hunting.

    Whatever firearm one has, whether it is used for hunting, defense or whatever…we should be proficient with it or it might as well be left at home.

  95. Why not own both an AR and an AK? I do. It’s like having a tool bag with both a hammer and a wrench in it. Sometimes it’s nice to have the perfect tool for the job.

    Application is everything.

  96. It seems to me that the best reason to avoid the AK is that it’s an antique. I particularly dislike the awkward scope mounts and lack of a free-float barrel. We hear a lot about its legendary durability, but CTRL-F “AK-47 legendary accuracy” produces zero hits (and the author gives some good reasons for this). At this point I think re-designing the thing is just beating a dead horse.

    Regarding the AR platform: I don’t particularly like the 5.56X45 round. It got its “Poodle Popper” moniker for good reasons. But that’s not the end of the story.

    Yeah, I’m an AR-10 fanboy. It’s modern down to its bones just like the AR-15, and a number of companies make knock-offs (some good, some not so good), but the real thing is an excellent piece of equipment! The AR-10 is heir to all the issues of the AR-15, but we know how to deal with them, and it has a heck of a lot more knockdown power. And that’s what the game is about. If I’m going after deer, or even hogs, I want to knock the crap out of them with one round and move on.


  97. This article is about five years old so it would be interesting for the author to update it in light of the 6.5 Grendel and .224 Valkyrie. Ther Serbian military has adopted a 6.5 Grendel AK manufactured by Zastava.

  98. 5.56, 7.62×39, 5.45×39, 300 blk, 7.62×51?
    Oh hell they all work, Get one (at least) of each.
    In my experience of seeing GSWs, mainly handguns, there is not much difference between calibers.

  99. It’s not about the cartridge. It’s about reliability of the platform.
    That’s why I have an AK in 3 different calibers: Original (7.62×39), Modernized (5.45×39) and NATO (5.56×45).
    I like my ARs too.

  100. I don’t know where the author is buying his ammo from, but he’s getting ripped off whether its 5.56, 300 or 7.62.

    The internet is an amazing place for shopping.

  101. Holy necro, batman.

    Article is has it completely bassackwards, and show us where the bad cartridge touched you, Dave?

    Every problem you describe with the round is rooted in trying to feed it into a system it was never designed for. That’s not the bullet’s fault, nor or can you fault the bullet for the inaccuracy of its platform. Perhaps the only correct thing you touched upon was the round itself being rooted in a system that never evolved out of WW2 and attempts to do so haven’t been overly well received because you are right– they’re trying to polish a turd at that point.

    Let’s all take this as an example of an article that starts with completely the wrong premise and somehow swerves into a serviceable hypothesis like a drunken New Year’s reveler– The 300blk’s ascendancy over 7.62 because it actually works in a system vastly superior to the AK.

  102. I kinda wanna see a good comparison between a ak and a sks… I can not find a good comparison… I am looking at getting a sks and with the availability to convert to 30 round mags… I would like to see a head to head on these…

  103. This argument died 40 years ago. The Soviets agree about 7.62×39 and adopted 5.45×39. Yes 7.62×39 is still in use, but that’s comparing a 1940’s to 5.56×45 which is much younger.

  104. You started with :
    “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…”
    and then proceeded to essentially say:
    “so here’s the gospel as I see it, and if you don’t believe me…”
    proving that opinions are indeed like assholes.
    None of your points were new, nor were they compelling. Guys shilling .300AAC have been saying it ad nauseum, but we keep buying case after case of 7.62×39. I have an “off the shelf” AK that has a fine trigger, shoots quite well to 300 yards(no optics), and doesn’t go “SPROING” in my jawbone every time I shoot. Oh, and it has never, I repeat, NEVER, failed to fire, feed or eject. Furthermore, if has yet to fail to hit what I’m aiming at, if I was doing my part. Plus, I have less $$$ in my kit (including the cheap import ammo) than some have in just the accessories for their AR. Nice try, but your denomination is as prone to misinterpretation extra-canonical injection as is your average mormon.

  105. It’s pretty funny coming back and reading this article, in the Day and Age of the Galil ACE and all that it brings to the table.

      • Ya can get them in 7.62×39 and 5.56 too 😮 I have one in x39

        Though they are kinda hard to get, seems only the NATO versions are floating around atm

        • I shot the nato down at Texas Firearm Festival year before last and it was nice. I love my Tavor and think IWI does good work.

  106. This is a really old and in my mind stupid comparison! First of all, you have to compare apples to apples. The AR represents an entirely different mindset than the AK…. built differently and used differently. Actually there are many Special Forces operators who prefer the AK over the AR. Why? Because it’s more reliable in extreme conditions and because in battlefield conditions barrier penetration becomes an important factor so the 7.62 does the job. Also it is very likely that a US operator working behind enemy lines will sooner find parts and ammo for an AK but not an AR. Last but not least, in the hands of a highly skilled op, the AK will be every bit as accurate as an AR provided both are quality machines. The 300 Blackout won’t make the AR as good as an AK when used for its intended purpose simply because the AR is a less reliable weapon system with more moving parts. So all that doesn’t mean much unless you plan on going to to war. Otherwise every shooter worth his/her salt should own both platforms and enjoy! These are truly fun guns to shoot that will also serve well for self defense with training.

  107. SKS imo is better in ways than the AK that followed. If the SKS had a 30 round mag capacity i think the SKS wouldnt have been so easily replaced and the stamped parts of the AK made it cheaper to make, its my opinion the SKS is also lil more accurate.
    A good round for the AR15/M16M4 is the 6.5 creedmore..

  108. The elephant in the room is that the AK is an antique. It has no last round hold open, poor ergonomics, and poor to no options for a scope mount (for the underfolder carbine in particular). And even if you don’t care about those things the AK still has poor accuracy.

    Nuff said!


  109. I believe moost of you agree that the writer of this article is more full of shit than a Christmas Turkey, period!! Really??? You really expect anyone to believe a hugely accurate pistol at 300 yds??!!! That statement is completely laughable! If you can hit a kill at 300 yds. with a pistol and 8″ barrel then you must be pretty bad with a rifle!
    I built a 7.62×39 on an AR frame! Shots more accurate and deadly than any AR15 5.556×45 unless it is customized for match shooting!!
    BTW: I also own an AR 5.56×45. Love them both! In a combat situation one was for wounding and one for killing!

  110. This is a funny article.

    They went to 5.45×39 back in the 70s. They’ve been using that for RPK and AK designs for 4 decades. They even found they wanted to bring back .30 (762×39) due to penetration issues, but 5.45 is analogous to 5.56 for a reason.

    • It’s 2021 and this article did not age well.
      I’m from the future, 7.62×39 is still the most prolific ammo and weapon produced and used the world over. 300 blackout never took off to any degree. Just another 40 cal fad to come and go. Remember preppers, especially shtf scenario, .22, 9mm, 12ga, .223, 7.62. Maybe .308 or .30-06 for sniping. Period, don’t worry about others. Focus on common weapons and cartridges laying around to scavenge. And the end all guns argument, some guns are just good enough to go get another gun with.

  111. I am sure all of the “556 is lord theologians!” feel really dumb making this argument now….as 6.8 Remington is the new chamber to be utilized by our military…based on 30 cal……..and I am sure that all of you know very little about Russia looking into a new and improved 7.62×39 chamber makes sense or are you just that dumb and biased in your little pew pew zero recoil micro grain chamber ? absolutists with arguments that are now showing to be absolutely false. 556 is now outdated ! HAHA ! Your tiny grained overhyped extreme velocity cult’s predicament has come to a halt. Theres a reason 6.8 remington is an improved 30 cal chamber they have chosen. So this writer and others need to shut up. My AK’s ….and my arsenal Sam7sf and my VZ 58 tactical…..have zero issues down range with 7.62×39 and you know why ? I stopped listening to absolutists a long time ago and I got good with shooting the 7.62×39. Chambers….. all of them have some downsides and 556 lacks in many areas. I apologize for rubbing this in but this article is stupid and now highly outdated. Sounds like hes basing all of it off of AK’s from Khyber Pass, seen 8 wars platforms black bored out with jihadists using surplus egyptian ammo. Like thats indicative of anything but the AK platforms lasting design. Ill keep using my 7.62×39 it will make it cheaper anyways. You keep justifying 55 grain micro loads is Lord. Meanwhile as our gov moves to an improved 30 cal…the jokes ultimately on you.

  112. I just built my last two home defense ARs chambered 7.62×39… I just picked up one of the rifles from my bedroom aim in the general direction of the front door through a few interior walls… and release 30-40 rounds, if I have to actually go to the door I shoot through it, and if the intruder makes it back to a vehicle I shoot through the car or truck doors with another 30-40 rounds… all in all costs about 15-20$ in ammo….I live in rural Texas.. it taking at least an hour or two for any response..

  113. I just built my last two home defense ARs chambered 7.62×39… I just pick up one of the rifles from my bedroom aim in the general direction of the front door through a few interior walls… and release 30-40 rounds, if I have to actually go to the door I shoot through it, and if the intruder makes it back to a vehicle I shoot through the car or truck doors with another 30-40 rounds… all in all costs about 15-20$ in ammo….I live in rural Texas.. its taking at least an hour or two for any law enforcement to respond..

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