Every gun enthusiast is aware of the debate about which classic rifle is better: the AR-15 or the AK-47.
There is plenty of information online which says either one is better, most of which comes down to opinion and personal preference. Nobody who is honest about the two weapons says either rifle is poorly designed. Most people agree they are both great weapons. Which leaves a third argument which isn’t mentioned as often — why not own one of each?
Pro’s and Cons of Each
One of the common advantages cited for the AR-15 is the effective range of 450 meters compared to 350 for the AK-47. The fact is, outside of military use, that isn’t really as big of a difference as it sounds like. The ability of the shooter is going to have more effect on the range they can accurately shoot at, along with the distance of a sight line based on the terrain.
Reliability is another consideration. The AR-15 is considered more reliable if it is cleaned everyday, which isn’t an issue for an active soldier whose job it is to maintain a weapon. For the civilian who may not be so dedicated, the AK-47 is generally going to be reliable if it hasn’t been shot and cleaned for several months. Again, such a topic relies more on the shooter and perhaps the specific gun than the actual design.
The reliability comes into play when considering the use of the weapon for defense. Assuming they are in good working order, either rifle will effectively stop an intruder. If, on the other hand, your gun has been in the closet unused for the past year, the AK-47 is going to be more likely to function without a misfire or jam occurring. For hunting, presumably you will clean and prepare your weapon before the trip, so that won’t be a factor. However, some states might require a modified magazine that only holds a certain amount of rounds, and some areas don’t allow hunting large game with the smaller AR-15 .223 bullet even though with proper shot placement it will take down a deer as efficiently as any other rifle.
Preppers often like to discuss which gun would be best during a collapse of society. If you like zombie movies, that’s great, enjoy them. However, forget such ridiculous fantasy when preparing for real world disasters, such as fire or storms which destroy roads, power, and communication in an area. In those situations, you’re either going to flee the area or wait a few weeks until order is restored. You might need defense against looters, and you might need to hunt. The AR-15 is arguably going to outperform the AK-47, as the range gives you an advantage in a battle scenario, the lighter weight is easier to travel with, while the accuracy and lower caliber gives you more options for small and large game.
Both guns are fun at the range and great weapons in general. Remember, there’s a reason the best trained military in the world uses a version of the AR-15 — but there’s also a reason why the AK-47 is still the most popular combat rifle in the world. With that said, whichever one you’re more familiar with is going to be the best for your needs.
~ Firearm Daily