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“Actually, there’s basically no reason in this modern age to select a Kalashnikov style rifle over an AR other than wanting to be contrary. The developments that have been made in 5.56 bullet technology, and the understanding we have now of the AR weapons system has effectively rendered the old reasoning for buying an AK completely moot.” – Caleb Giddings

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  1. Yes, but improvements in the AR platform are no reason not to buy an AK. If you have the interest and the money, there’s no good reason not to have a few of each!

  2. Military grade firearms that cannot be killed sometimes for less than the price of a case of rounds for an AR. Yeah, no reason. Not to mention that the 5.45 round has better wound potential. Never mind that this guy must think that the 5.45 round has not been revised. Every other country using the gun can’t be wrong. Many of our own servicemen too!

  3. How about Caleb STFU’s and lets me spend my money how *I* want to spend my own d@mn money? (Which will be for a .308w/7.62NATO, not a poxy .223, thanks!)

  4. The quote needs some context. Here’s what Caleb stated just before the snippet:

    I’m not the biggest fan of AR pattern rifles; I’d rather have an M1 Carbine because it’s just cooler or an AK because uh, I like AKs.

  5. Caleb’s all about competition. If it doesn’t happen there, it doesn’t exist. No competition involves shooting at targets through cover, so that’s not a factor that enters his head.

  6. I think Caleb has missed one rather obvious reason, price. For many people the AK-47 is a better option for home defense or SHTF.

    • The price is…right. Surplus 7.62 ammo is much cheaper than, say, new or reloaded 5.56, and I keep my AK bone stock. I don’t really have a need for some super duper tactical stuff, so a basic AK and cheap ammo is more than sufficient for any SHTF scenario. Parts are cheap too.

  7. I just love AKs because it’s the first rifle I learned how to field strip. And it’s the first semi-auto I ever shot. Nostalgia counts for something too.

  8. i think with the range of “ak type rifles” from cheapo Romy’s to Arsenal saiga conversions there is a range of quality out there. therefore sweeping generalities of “the ak cannot be accurate” is untrue and a lazy analysis of the most prevalent gun IN THE WORLD.

    regardless of type of gun you like, saying “one is better than the other” is a stupid argument. ak’s were intended to be simple, machine gun like weapons for peasant conscripts, while AR15/ M16/M4’s are at their heart more like a rifle with a selective fire capability.

    i would like to show detractors the type of accuracy an Arsenal gun can get compared to a kit build, century arms piece of crap. btw i have both.

  9. Um… have you guys not seen the price of AKs recently? Yeah, AKs were a better buy when AR-15s were $800+ and WASRs were $350 or so. that’s really not the case anymore. Just going on Gunbroker, crappy WASRS are going for $550-$600, not including tax/ffl/shipping. Last I checked, the M&P 15 Sport goes for not much more than that, and is definitely not built by drunken monkeys. On the other hand, AR-15 parts have gotten cheap enough that depending on the source, you can put a rifle kit together for under $600 (possibly under $550 if you wait for a Black Friday sale or something).

    As for ammo, the gap between their prices has also narrowed substantially. steel cased .223 is the same cost as steel cased 7.62, so thats not even a factor for me to consider. Last time I priced Yugo surplus, it was $250 per 1k. I bought a thousand rounds of remanufactured .223 for $250. I priced out Federal XM193, and it was around $289 per 1k, more expensive than the Yugo stuff, but not substantially. I’m more worried about the surplus situation, as I think the yugo 7.62 is drying up. The most recent headstamps are from the 90s, so I expect the surplus to dry up in the near future.

    Dont get me wrong, I like AKs. But if you’re trying to argue cost factor, that’s a nonissue, considering how the price gap between the two platforms has narrowed.

    • Well the cheapest AK variant is $450 at my local gun store, the cheapest AR-15 is around $800 or more. Building your own AR-15 is a great option(I’m putting together my second one right now). But I’m willing to bet most people don’t have the desire or knowledge to do so. If they did then I’m sure prices for assembled guns would have come down by now.

      • That’s about how much an AK variant sold for about 2 years ago in my area. They’ve been steadily climbing. They’ve been going for $500-600 used on the local forums, while my LGS sells them for $550. I’m a little shocked that the cheapest AR in your area is $800 though, My LGS sells entry level ARs for $650, and I’ve seen them just as cheap elsewhere on the internet.

      • Saigas in neutered configuration don’t count in the the comparison between an AK and an AR. To bring it up to a state in which it can compare against an AR-15 (standard capacity mags, trigger group moved forward, pistol grip, etc) requires an additional $150-275 in additional parts (depending on the quality, and/or if you want to restore the sporter forearm to milspec status), both to bring it up to proper functionality and to meet legal 922r requirements. Kinda negates the price advantage right there. And if you’re willing to convert a Saiga, there’s no reason why you couldn’t build an AR. A Sarco $400 AR kit +$60-80 for a Surplus Ammo and Arms lower gets you at just around $500 for a kit build.

        The cheapest fully converted Saiga that I could find on the net was Classic Arms’ converted Saigas for $499, and with shipping +FFL and tax (depending on your state), would probably bring it close to approx $550 or so.

        Now, if you happened to get a fully converted Saiga for $399, ignore what I said and please tell me where you bought it so that I can buy 3 or 4 of them 😀

  10. Cheapest AR’s I have seen are $625-$675 (depending on component costs at the time), These AR’s are reliable, clean, and new. AK’s are slave rifles for illiterate peoples to revolt with when lifes are expendable and they just need to run in spraying and leave their gun where they fall, and never reload since they die moments after the fall.

  11. Ammo prices on 5.56 are going to drop as all the extra mil ammo made for the two wars we are no longer fighting hit the market.

    Again buy what ever gun YOU like not what you are told to buy. If you don’t like the gun you will regret it and not shoot it. Only you can tell what is the right gun for you. For me it’s AR, for you it may be AK or something else.

  12. Like many have said before, AR’s are flippin’ expensive. If you don’t like 5.56, there’s 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, .458 SOCOM, .450 Bushmaster, .50 Beowulf…

    Gas or Piston…

    But if you want to be commie – compatible, the AK 74 and AK 47 are great guns. The 7.62 x 39 is a pretty decent CQB round, and penetrates barriers pretty well, too. Both designs will be with us forever.

  13. I like how you took his comment out of context and left out the bit about how he doesn’t like ARs much and himself wants an AK. That was nice.

    But I have to agree with Caleb, the only reason anymore for AKs Is personal preference. With the rising price of AKs and the plundering price of ARs, there isn’t much of a gap anymore. The steel 7.62 prices are practically the same as steel 5.56 nowadays. 5.45 still has a decided advantage in that department though. They are all ballistically similar and both can be had in all three calibers anyway.

    I love ARs. I like AKs. They aren’t very different.

    • I agree with everyone having their preference but largely what you are saying is just not ringing true with me.

      The prices are not the same. Not the same at all. And the guns are really completely different in performance.

      With the AR you get the geeks version of a rifle. If you want something that looks cool and makes your friends drool. Go for an AR. All those fancy sights and lights and lasers will never be used in most instances but that’s just preference. If you want to constantly clean and baby the thing it will likely last you a long time.

      The AK (even the crappy builds) will stand up to just about anything you throw at them with complete neglect. Put a decent scope on it. Sight it. Toss it in the closet and it is your best friend for hunting or defense. It’s simplicity is it strength.

      Ammo prices are massively cheap. Here in Ohio 1080 rounds of 7.62 or 5.45 for $160 bucks – delivered. Find me 5.56, 6.5, 6.8 or 7.62 for an AR anywhere for that price.

      My on order AK 74 is going to cost me $400. Gun (mil spec with ATF changes for legality), mounts, scope mount, pistol and original under folding stock with two clips (30 and 10) and 1080 rounds of 5.45. Lifetime warranty with exceptions (of course).

      For survivalists there is no better go to gun for stocking, prepping and storage. In my opinion.

      • 7.62×39 prices are definitely not $160 per 1080. That’s about how much 5.45 costs, and is the same number of 5.45 that fits in a spam can, but 5.45 does not equal 7.62×39, their prices are not the same. Cheapest 7.62 you can find will cost you $200 per 1k, about the same price as steel cased .223.

        at $40 difference, and 80 rounds more, that is a definite price advantage, but that’s not significantly more than steel cased .223, and unlike 5.45, you aren’t just constrained to fmj surplus. You have the flexibility of also using other types of ammunition- hollow points, soft point, V-max, match grade rounds in all sorts of weights- 45 grain, 55 grain, 62 grain, 75 grain or whatever grain ammunition you want. Furthermore, brass cased 5.45 is basically nonexistent for reloaders who wants to improve the terminal performance or accuracy of the cartridge, severely limiting it. Yeah, ammunition’s somewhat cheaper at 15 cents a round instead of 20 cents a round, but that’s not a significant amount to me to give up in exchange for the ability to use better performing ammunition.

        I also disagree about the cheap builds though, just because it’s an AK doesn’t mean it’ll be reliable. I’ve used unreliable WASRs before, and the Tantals were known for a whole host of different problems as another example.

        • My apologies on the 7.62. 1400 rounds of Bulgarian run about $278. 5.45 remains the same. There are some good rounds out there that run about $137.50 for (25) thirty round cases (750 rounds per case) ($5.50 a box).

          WASRs and Tantals you’d be right on. Again, my apologies. Those are rediculously crappy rifles though…

  14. I just beileve the AK is the superior weapons system. Give one soldier the others weapon and I am sure they can find things they hate and love about each other’s weapon. Improvements in the AR may have brought it closer to AK reliability, and improvements in the AK may have brought it closer to AR accuracy, but for long term durability the AK will win every time, and that is what is important to me. Maybe if I need a lighter weapon for some reason ill take an AR, but not usually.

    Also to head the argument “the AR is so modular” i disagree, the AR is easier to change parts on, sure, but the AK has important bits that are modular too: stock, handguards, grip, sights. Everything can come off and be replaced, even if some parts are riveted and pinned together that is part of what gives the AK the kind of durability that makes each rifle a life long friend.

    I <3 AK

  15. People discuss the AK as if there were some standard gun out there that takes standard modular parts which fit and work. I have handled a fair number of the things and a few have been decent firearms, while most were cheap junk. But a good Russian AK or SKS is a reliable and durable tool while most of the knock-offs are more dangerous to the shooter than to the object of ballistic fascination.


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