Summarizing last post, I made the point that the 5.56mm DOES have better terminal performance than what it’s often given credit for provided that the correct combination of barrels and ammunition are made. What can also be understood from this is that with the AR-15 you get to choose from a variety of cartridges to meet different needs. Want something to plink meat with post-TEOTWAWKI? Load some 45 grain bullets in it. Want to puncture steel 500 yards away? Load some M855 in it. Want to vaporize a zombie’s head 700 yards away? Load some 69 grain Sierra Match King in it, 75, 77, whatever. Versatility. My comments may fire some of you up, but whatever. That’s what it’s all about – right?
A few of you old timer “give me an M1 Garand or M1A” guys, and you young “an AK hits so hard” guys . . . I love ya and all, but . . .
Weight – call the AR-15 a “mattel toy” if you’d like, but if you’re saying you want heavy wood and steel in your rifle than you’ve never had to carry it very far (or very fast). Do you think post-SHTF you’ll just hop in the ole F-150 and put your M1 Garand on the gun rack when you need to get some place? No. You’ll be walking, maybe you’ll be riding a bike, maybe you’ll be riding a horse, or maybe you’ll even have a dirt bike. Gonna carry the M1 Garand that way? I wouldn’t. You’d be carrying a pack, too. The AR-15 is what you’d want for SHTF applications such as this. Slap a tactical 3-point sling on it and you could move freely whith the compact 16″ barrel, collapsible stock semi-automatic, high capacity AR-15 and rapid target acquisition optics at the ready.
Size – Oh wait, you’re a “yuppie survivalist” and you said, “Yes, actually. I AM going to drive there in my F-350 diesel. I have more fuel stored than the local gas station. I have a few M1A’s, so I’ll bring my neighbor with me, too.”
Uh huh. You’re cruising down the road in the mighty F-350 when you see a beat up Toyota Tercel parked across the road 300 yards ahead. Some scrawny, sketchy guy sitting in it is surprised by your sudden arrival. He fumbles around in the passenger seat and you make out a rifle barrel. Your neighbor sticks a Colt .45 out the window and gives him a warning shot that goes nowhere near target. Sketchy guy has you in his sights. You guys are fumbling with long, bulky M1A’s inside a truck cab while trying to get out . . . . he sprays you with M855.
Modular – You’re the suburban survivalist with a well fortified suburban keep. Your dad made it to your house before the fallout hit. It’s TEOTWAWKI out there, and your dad has a medical condition. You need to travel to the pharmacy pronto. (Think Jericho hospital trip episode). You know others will be thinking the same thing, so you go at night and take your SKS. You bust in through a side window and quickly scurry through the aisle when you hear someone else. You both stop. You’re both aware of each other’s presence. You have a flashlight in your pack, but you’re not going for it now, and even if you had it would you turn it on? Just then – a momentary, ultra-bright flash of light from a few isles over. You hear more scurrying and ready both hands on your SKS. You change your position and say aloud, “I’m just here for ‘x’ prescription. I have an SKS and I’m not afraid to use it.” You hear close scurrying now, your heart is thumping fast, and you fire a few rounds . . . but the last thing you experienced was the blinding flash of light from a Surefire attached to a quad-rail on an AR-15.
If you don’t have a light on your gun (and know how to use it) you’re virtually useless in dark, close quarter combat. Think it’ll be dark after SHTF? Gonna duct tape a flashlight to your SKS?
Commonality – You’re the urban survivalist and you’ve held out in the city post-SHTF for 5 weeks. There’s mayhem and destruction throughout the city. No place is safe. Small gangs have organized and it’s you and your buddy holed up with a few others in a large apartment. You and your buddy both have AK’s. Word comes that a few remaining National Guard troops have connected with a few of the city’s former police officers. They’re trying to bring a little order and create a green zone. First they need to push a pile of armed thugs out of a grocery store distribution warehouse. There’s A LOT of canned food, bottled water, and everything else there. You have guns and ammo, you’re a good guy, they need you, so you join them.
“Welcome,” they say, eyeing your AK’s. “Perfect. Do you have more?”
“Just these two, but we have A LOT of ammo.”
“. . . . . . no.”
“We need .223. We shot everything we had the first two weeks of chaos. We can’t take the warehouse.”
James “The Man” Dakin in his mattel toy travesty post writes:
The M16 is very accurate. I grant you that. The AK is not. But what is the assault rifle for? 300 yard shots, or for close combat assaults? The M16 will jam when the enemy is close. Oops! I realize I was issued a Vietnam era version of everyone’s favorite little black rifle. They were crap, complete failures from inspection ready to clean 24 hours in the field. My impressions were formed from that. But what has fundamentally changed with the system design since then?
Question: “What is the assault rifle for? 300 yard shots, or for close combat assaults?”
Answer: The AR-15 does both. A Black Hills 75 grain cartridge at 300 yards is devastating, but I think your point is there aren’t many 300 yard shots . . . but there are. TEOTWAWKI situations in the United States won’t look like the jungles of Vietnam. If I look out my house window I see distances well beyond 300 yards. Urban and suburban survivalists, imagine your environments WTSHTF. Look out your windows. Imagine if you need to go in-town or visit the neighbor. When you walk or drive out and about – how many 300 yard distances are there where you could encounter trouble? You can mount optics on the AR with ease. Do you know why you never see scopes on AK-47’s? LOL. What good is seeing 200+ yards if you can’t hit what you see?
Close combat assaults? Perfect. The 5.56 has a better chance of staying inside walls. WTSHTF and you need to take the grocery store distribution warehouse with the National Guard, you’ll be going in as a team. Will you be organized enough to know who is behind which walls? This feature of the 5.56 is precisely why it’s so widely used for urban combat.
Question: “What has fundamentally changed with the system design since then?”
Answer: A LOT. For starters they chrome lined the barrel and chamber to dramatically reduce ejection problems, they improved the powder in the cartridge and they created the forward assist. They made a heavier barrel that performed better in lousy conditions and beefed up the bullet. Lastly, today’s models will easily accept many advanced accessories that greatly improve its performance and capabilities.
That’s my opinion – I welcome yours!
You have a good site with lots of valid opinions and ideas.
Concerning the above:
last paragraph……..any system that was that defective should have been scrapped. The gas system alone is reason enough.
concerning your ideas on the M855, I ask: Is it commonly available now? at what price? If it is not, then it seems to be foolish to pick a system that needs unavailable ammo to perform at optimum. (Remember your example with the NG not having ammo?)
About all the add on goodies………..
We ARE talking about “END OF THE WORLD”
right? NO batteries, bulbs or bullets.
DW, thanks for the comment. M855 is readily available, take a gander here: https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM223-46090-66.html
Also check the Black Hills stuff: https://www.kisermunitions.com/?page=shop/browse&category=ammunition_.223/5.56x45ammunition_69grand77grsmkblackhillsammunition
No ammo is cheap nowadays.
The gas system has been improved with newer versions of the AR-15 (but at an increased cost). Regardless, the little extra cleaning involved is a small price to pay for vastly improved performance . . . in my opinion.
Well I guess someone had to say it. But the AR is the choice for survivalists. All you turkeys who think the AK will never jam and will be sustainable after the crunch are delusional. Once the supply lines from mother russia are no longer operating, your AK’s will be clubs, and poor ones at that.
I have been shooting AR’s before most of you were born, Since the Army issued me one in 1970. Even the Russians dumped the AK after taking notes in ‘Nam. They get rich selling them to third world shitholes to arm 8 year olds. Making money from stupid americans who buy their crappy ammo must give them good belly laughs and lots of vodka.
The myth that AR’s will jam up and AK’s never jam is a real hoot. Keep believing that if you must.
I love reading Dakin’s rants. He is entertaining and makes good points. But wrong on the AR. If you can swing buying one, jump on it.
I find it hard to believe a mere 22 grains of additional bullet weight makes the Black Hills round so effective. In my opinion, the open tip design of the bullet is effectively functioning as a “hollow point”. Causing the bullet to destabilize upon impact and the jacket to fragment.
Just my .02.
First, the hollow point design of a match bullet is not and does not function as a hollow point in a hunting bullet or handgun bullet.
One item that was missed and is quite valuable in this day of EXPENSIVE ball ammo – the 22lr conversion for the ARs. Lotsa trigger time there!
Yes, I’m carrying a Garand. I am what is known as a MAN…baby.
And an informative, well reasoned end to a good article. Thanks.
Dakin’s got a sock puppet shouting down the ‘heretics’ now. Not just me.
If the gas system on an AR is a concern for folks, they do make gas piston uppers.
The ergonomics on AKs suck, as do their sights.
I wonder what the Grand folks will do when they run out of en-blocs? I can’t see most guys being able to find those en-blocs in tall grass, at night, etc. Will the military surplus bolt action guys train to retain their stripper clips?
Everything has got a drawback, some signifigant.
But in the end, the only thing that matters is the ability to put rounds on target before they can do the same to you.
Mike definintely has a point; every weapons system has a drawback. The Ar-15 family is probably the single most versatile platform in semi automatic rifles. You can have a 24 inch barreled seriosu long distance shooter or a snubby little 16 inch M4 type, with 100% commonality of working parts and mags. This is especially important if you have a “group” of friends with similar interests. Almost everybody can find some configuration of an Ar15 that is satisfactory, if not pleasing.
Even if you are a diehard .308 guy I think for commonality of weapons systems (provided you have the budget) over time it is essential to aquire both an A5-15 and an Ak-47. That will give you the ability to give or get ammo from pretty much anybody with an assualt rifle in the event of trading, getting a new SHTF roomie or stumbling onto a random case of ammo.
Notice Mike that the piston upper you are talking about, in this article it was the HK416, had very few stoppages.
I believe in being MULTI-CULTURAL.
So, I keep an AR, an AK, and until recently several old milsurp bolt-actions. (Problems with neck and shoulders leaves me in a knot for days after shooting one now.)
So, I play the golf bag trick and grab the one that seems most suitable for situation.
Wide open spaces or when I feel the need carry lots of ammo, the nod goes to the AR.
Closed tight spaces where I feel that more penetration may be helpful and carrying a lot ammo is not necessary then the AK(with folding stock) get the nod.
so if you’re concerned about weapon related stoppages, get a piston upper. there are some manufacturers that are happy to upgrade your existing ar-15 upper to a gas piston one… for a price of maybe a very good ak. check around. or just buy a gas piston upper that fits the same way as a regular one. that way you have all the mentioned advantages plus the reliability of a gas piston driven weapon. I think that’s what the military should do. upgrade all their upper receivers to gas piston driven ones. gas piston rifles as you know are easier to maintain, they dont have a lot of parts, they work better with sound suppressors (for all you class 3 license holders) and they stay cleaner and colder than regular setups, for a slightly lower rate of fire. but at 300 yards, a higher rate of fire means less accuracy. also, the 5.56 round is fine. a while back i read a post on another page saying that it is better to shoot through the cover your opponent is behind-incapacitating him-than to keep his head low, but i started thinking, if you keep his head low, doesn’t that give you the opportunity to get closer or flank him? or maybe avoid the conflict in the first place? hhmm… now the only problem is getting good magazines… i foresee a discussion on which ones are better lol. and besides, the ar-15 looks A LOT better than the ak. oh. and when SHTF, and all imports of ammo and food etc stop, that ak that “never jams” is gonna look mighty nice in your gun rack with dust on it since you have not used it in a while because you ran out of ammo. hey, at least you can trade it for something else,
also i read something about not having batteries in a TEOTWAWKI for that surefire flashlight on your ar-15. but the sights of the ar-15 are much easier to see in the dark than the ak sights.
now I’m no combat expert, but getting shot at is pretty scary, but getting shot is worse, if that bullet does not incapacitate the combatant, trust me, there will be some will-to-fight lost. and if just ak bullets fly around you without actually hitting you, you could shoot back with your ar-15 and injure or kill the opponent. hhmm… which one to go with….
now if penetration is REALLY a must for you, they make the ar in different cartridge sizes… even the mighty .50 beowulf. heck, they even make it on the AK cartridge and also the .308 which is what you SHOULD get if you are worried about penetration over the ak.
all this plus less weight, higher rate of fire and cool looking gadgets, make the ar-15 my top choice for the end of the world as we know it.
sorry for the long post. now don’t get me wrong. I like the AK, I just like the ar-15 better hehehe
All this discussion is fine – but remember the old adage – “Beware that man who owns but one rifle.”
Practice, Practice, Practice. Not only on the warm sunny days, but in the rain, wind, snow, mud and at night. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Follow up on the M855 being sold at:
In their product description they state: “So scarce in the commercial market we have not sold any iny 15 years”
When this is gone it could be another 15 years (or never).
If you are counting on the improved performance this round gives your weapon, better stock up HEAVY now. Only 59.5 cents a round before shipping.
At 59.5 cents per round, I can break out my 20 year old stock of reloading components and beat the price!
Without heading into exact details, in “most” cases, buying SS109 is about the same thing.
Cost and simplicity are the two biggest advantages that the AK have over the AR. A high end AK costs about the same as a bottom of the barrel AR. Sure you can keep linking people to the $600 frankenguns whenever they ask for a cheap AR. After shipping and the FFL transfer fee then they’re still not that cheap and you still just have a bottom of the barrel AR. If you want to set them up with the right type of barrel, good magazines, spare parts and good ammo then things start getting expensive really fast. To be honest I hate using your $600 ARs as a benchmark because you absolutely cannot find that kind of deal where I live in gun stores or at gun shows. The cheapest AR that I’ve ever seen off the rack was about $750. Try convincing someone that’s not that serious about guns to go through an FFL to buy a gun mail order.
Standardization of caliber is also a lot easier with 7.62×39. Let’s face it. It’s a lot easier to convince someone to spend $200 or less on an SKS or a $350 WASR-10 than it is to convince them to go out and get an AR that costs 3x as much. Unfortunately not all of us have gun nut friends and family that make purchases with the possibility of the end of the world in mind. Even the “cheap” AR ammo costs about $100 more per case than most brands of bulk AK ammo. For the stuff that you’re basically claiming is necessary if you want to depend on an AR for self defense you’re talking twice as much per case. You can convince your buddies to pick up an AK or an SKS, take them shooting regularly while supplying most of the ammo and have a small group of guys that you know and can depend on that can hit a target minute of man at 100 yards in no time and you won’t have to spend a lot.
If you come to websites like this all the time it’s easy to convince yourself that most of the people that you run into after TEOTWAWKI are all going to be ex-SF special operators with top of the line gear and the very best weapons. If you run into a group like that and they want you dead then you’re probably screwed, anyway, because 99% of the time they’re going to be military or law enforcement that can call for support. I’d rather have a 5 man team armed with SKSs than be alone with my top of the line AR. Sure one guy with an AR could surprise and take out that entire 5 man team but 1 guy with an SKS could do the same thing to a 5 man team armed with ARs.
Vaild points, Urban. When I used that $600 comparison at another site I was also using a $300-something AK comparison. BOTH are on the very low-end. AK prices have risen dramatically, however (for good ones). Personally, if I was buying an AR-15, I wouldn’t buy anything for under $950.
But you know what? I didn’t select the BEST guns for TEOTWAWKI based on price. You’re right, if your objective is to outfit a group with limited funds, a pile of SKS’s is the way to go, but that’s not what my original post was about.
The SKS/AK-47 was specifically designed for ease of operation so that communist countries could outfit average citizens with limited skills and training. The AR-15 was designed for a trained soldier.
These debates are circular and never end. Everyone has his/her own opinion, and those opinions vary (as they should) depending on the exact context of the discussion/situation.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. The fact that the SKS and the AK-47 were designed to outfit average citizens with limited skills and training is precisely what makes them the best guns for TEOTWAWKI. Most people aren’t trained soldiers. Even most “trained soldiers” don’t have to deal with real soldier skills after basic training. Do you think that someone who’s been a clerk in the air force for 20 years is going to know how to operate an M-16 effectively? If things get so bad that normal people are carrying around rifles then there won’t be much time or opportunity for intensive training. One of my basic rules for SHTF survival is that what you have before the SHTF is all that you can count on having. That applies to everything from training to who you know to what you have in your pantry.
In a perfect world where all of my friends are highly trained ex soldier gun nut survivalists that keep their skills honed to a T so that when TEOTWAKI comes they’ll be ready to handle everything I would love to have an AR. Unfortunately in the real world most people just don’t take it that seriously. A world where we’re all patrolling our streets and fighting off gangs of psycho bikers just isn’t conceivable for them. If it does happen then they’re probably a lot better off with an SKS and a case of wolf ammo than they are a cheap AR and the cheap ammo that they’d without a doubt buy for it. In my case I can have a high end AK that performs just as well as most ARs while my buddies get what they can afford. Even if they didn’t stockpile much ammo I’ll have enough to go around.
Don’t underestimate a clerk in the Air Force.
Ranger Man is right. The AK was built for peasants. Your average American gun owner would have no troubles operating an M-16/AR-15. Put the magazine in, charge it, aim and pull the trigger. Gun go bang.
That’s funny. You just described how easy it is to operate an AK. The man behind the gun is a heck of a lot more important than the gun itself. If you had taken those 3 SF guys in Ranger Man’s example, given them AKs and given those Iraqis a bunch of M-16s it probably wouldn’t have turned out any differently. Attaching a stigma to a weapon is pretty silly. AK=peasant! AR=mean lean fighting machine! yeah right
I own an AK-47 and an M4 carbine with quadrail Knight’s fore grip and Aimpoint. I like them both, but for anyone that practices, it doesn’t take long for your skills to exceed the abilities of the AK.I took my girlfriend to the range a few months ago. She has little experience with firearms. I gave her a brief introduction to both and let her try them. She was able to hit targets alot better with the M4. The sights on the AK-47 are crude and the ergonomics are poor. They’re fine for the spray and pray approach, but if accuracy is your goal, the AR rifle is better. There’s just no question. They’re more expensive, but different people have different income levels.
I’m now thinking about buying a 2nd AR so that my girlfriend can use the M4 with Aimpoint if SHTF. I may keep the AK or I may trade it in. Don’t know.
Great points Urbansurvivalist, and well thought out.
As for prices, I did a bit of comparison shopping over the holidays. Largest gun store in the area, in stock rack shopping, found me an AK (Romanian) for $295 (with bayonet, cleaning kit, and 1 mag) and an AR model for $760 (with 1 mag).
Depending in the situation and where you live and or will operated will be the gun that you will use.
My favorite weapons for 90% of my operations were and are a 22 (rifle or pistol) with a suppressor and a knife……. in the Cuban revolution I was the first one to use a sound suppressor a la Maxin model.
Here in the woods my Remington 700 30-06 won’t do me much good so that my shoot gun and minie 14 will do.
I have owned several AK’s and AR’s and there are pros and cons to both systems. AR require constant care / cleaning however they can be tricked out with everything imaginable and they are accurate as hell.
The AK is not as accurate but they take a beating and keep on firing.
I think it comes down to whatever works for you the individual. If you are a reserve or former military you will go for the AR b/ that is what you know. If you grew up with SKS and AK’s etc or if that is all you can afford you will go with the them.
The primary focus should be the following:
GUN REPAIR KNOWLEDGE
No matter what you have if you have those 4 categories covered you are set. A lever action 30-30 in the hands of someone who knows how to use it can be just as deadly as the best AR or AK.
Forget the heavy grain bullets. As a Colt M16 armory the bullets are a problem. The are overloading the powder to keep up the bullet FPS. This is blowing out primers. Do not use anything above 62g because of the primer issue, but with that said the military is having problems with over penetration on human targets in Iraq. The 55g in a 1/9 twist barrel appears to still offer the best all around results. Rememeber with want that round to stay inside our target and cause secondary damage. Just my 2 cents.
3rd man: No disrespect, but your comments on ballistics are erroneous. Twist rate is relevant to bullet LENGTH, not weight. It has zero effect on oscillation. All bullets will oscillate upon hitting flesh, and all rifle bullets in question will plow through a person and keep going. The bullet design is what matters, and 5.56 bullets have been proven for 40 years to create nastier, more incapacitating wounds than 7.62X39.
I agree that standardizing on ammo is important. 5.56 is standard for NATO, most of Asia, the Aussies, South Africans, Israelis, most South Americans except Bolivia (one of the few remaining users of .308. Perhaps we should take lessons from the military geniuses of Bolivia?).
Who uses 7.62X39 anymore? Africa (not a significant ammo producer), Iraq and Asscrackistan (who buy theirs from Russia). The rest of the former Soviet Bloc has gone to 5.45mm, or some are joining NATO and switching to 5.56mm.
What are you going to find in the US WTSHTF?
I recently started to gradually work on preparing for SHTF. Much as I love my 12 bore, I know it’s limited in range, ammo capacity, ammo cost, ammo weight… I knew I needed a rifle or carbine but as a non-gun-nut, I wasn’t interested in blowing a grand on a rifle and $500 on a minimum amount of ammo stock.
I got a Saiga 7.62×39 for $250 from my local gunshop. Pretty much all it *needs* is a bullet guide conversion so I can use regular AK mags. As time goes on I might do a PG conversion, maybe a low-or-no magnification optic.
Can buy 1000 rounds of surplus ammo for less than $200.
Besides the price, I figure I’m more likely to have to use the rifle to take a deer for the table than to storm some rebel stronghold, and I figure the 7.62 is a better proposition (not saying a .223 won’t do it, but I’m too lazy to do a lot of tracking…)
Anyways that’s the choice I made. Besides the Saiga, my 12, and my .22 I’ll be getting at least a bolt gun or two, possibly a .308 and who knows, I might pick up a .223 at some point for ammo commonality purposes. Bummer, I bought a .17hmr a while back which I like, but probably could have put a similar amount of money into a bolt .223 and had a much more useful weapon…
No problem Williamson but your wrong while length may or may not be a factor it is well documented by the military, manufactures, and others that it is the bullet weight that is the determining factor concerning twist. The heavier bullets (above 55g) requires a tighter twist to keep the bullet stable during flight over longer distances. A 1/12 barrel will not stablize a bullet above 55g over long distances. Check your facts before you post. But don’t believe me, I have attach three different links to support my position. Also my background is LE firearm instructor, NRA patrol rifle instructor, and Colt M16 platform armor to name a few. With that said I’m also a life time student in the field of firearms training. For what its worth I do agree with you after your first two sentences.
Oh I forgot over all good article Ranger man. I have one question for all those of you on the fence about the AR platform. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE WORTH? My 1st choice is clear, its my AR. I also have 2 AKs in my personal armory. Also just as important get training.
3rd man, you do realize that heavier bullets of the same calibre are longer, right?
Take a wooden dowel that’s a 1/4 an inch thick. Let’s say it’s made out of some space-wood and the 1/4 inch thick 10 inch piece of wood weighs 50 grains. If you keep the thickness at a 1/4 of an inch and want to make it weigh 100 grains, you’ll have to double the length of the space-dowel.
If you don’t understand me or Williamson, then go look at a 77 grain .224 bullet and a 55 grain .224 bullet. Which one is longer?
The lenght of a bullet is not in question, while yes the bullet will be longer because of the weight this I understand. It is the relationship of the barrel twist to the weight of the bullet that is required to stablize the bullet in flight. If you put a 62g bullet 5.56 or higher in a 1/12 barrel (older M16A1) it will not be stable during flight. This why the military has gone to the 1/7 twist barrel. My disagreement with Williamson is over the fact that he appears to disagree with the fact that I stated the heavier the bullet the faster it must spin to stay stable during flight and he said that it only has to do with bullet lenght not weight. The weight will determine lenght. Can we all agree on that.
Go grab yourself some 70 grn Barnes Triple Shocks and some 69 OTM loads. Weigh them on your scale to convince yourself that they are only 1 grain difference. Load them both up, and watch the results out of a 1/9 twist barrel. Then come back and tell us, the rest of the educated world, and your girlfriend/wife that “length does matter!”
Boss your an idiot like most of the other internet trained preppers. Stop playing your video war games. I have more time under my belt in the real world use of firearms and I’m not talking about the firing range, than all the hours you have playing paintball and video games. You reading other people post do not make you educated. A person once said the most dangerous person is someone who thinks he knows everything. I think they were talking about you. As I have stated in other post I’m a life time student because I never stop learning. Do not offend those of us who have education with real world experience. Also read the first sentence of my last post idiot. Also my wife and girlfriend are very pleased. What about your man is he? You had that one coming hahaha.
Ok now that I have unloaded on Boss Man let clear something up once and for all.
While the increased weight of a bullet will increase the lenght is still not in question. The standard worldwide is we use the bullet weight to the barrel twist to determine the correct match of bullet to barrel for stability during flight. Someone please show me somewhere, someone who advertises the lenght of the bullet in place of the grain weight. The do not for good reason, because it is the natural outcome of increasing the bullet weight. Most people do not need to know all the tech data behind the bullet just will it work with their rifle. Now Boss Man take those round of yours (70 grn Barnes Triple Shocks and some 69 OTM) shoot them through an AR with a 1/12 twist and come back and report what happens. Also read my earlier post about the secondary primer issue with loading the 556 casing with larger grain bullets has caused. My intent was to help those who may have little or no experince with the AR platform from wasting money on ammo that would give them no added advantage over the 55g or 62g. I know its a CDI thing with you to say you shoot a big 70g bullets while the other guy is shooting little wimpy 55g bullets or 62g bullets, but mine will still be shooting while your digging primers out jammed up above your bolt carrier. So yes size does matter and it may get you killed in the real world. The idea here is to share info and yes some time we do disagree. So good luck and keep your head down as its appears to be starting.
I hear people talk about how the AK is better for untrained citizens, but that’s just nonsense. The AK’s ergos SUCK. The safety/selector is on the right side of the gun (most peoples’s strong hand) and can’t be operated without removing the hand from the grip. Thus, to be “ready” the gun has to have teh safety off. Feel good about that with an inexperienced shooter? On the contrary, the AR’s safety can be quickly operated by the strong hand’s thumb and it can remain safe until ready to fire.
Changing an AK’s mag is a bit of a goat-f&*$, requiring the user to remove his hand from the grip. On the contrary, changing an AR’s mag is MUCH easier with the magazine release in easy reach of the trigger finger and the bolt release on the left side. With the AK, you must operate the bolt handle on the right side of the gun, either with the strong hand or by reaching over the gun with the left hand.
Not to mention the fact that the AK’s sights are just awful..
And contrary to arm-chair myths, the AR need not be kept meticulously clean. It can go hundreds of rounds without a cleaning. Just keep that bad boy lubed up with a quality lube and it’ll keep running.
“any system that was that defective should have been scrapped. The gas system alone is reason enough.”
The reason the AR15 had so many teething problems is because it was rushed into service without being fully developed and tested. Any rifle… ANY rifle will have problems without proper development. The DI gas system isn’t unique to the AR15, heck, it wasn’t even the first. Other than being a bit more of a pain to clean, teh DI system really doesn’t offer any serious disadvantages. And despite popular myth, the AR15 need not be kept pristine to operate well. … it just needs to be kept well lubed.
But the basic systems success can be confirmed by the fact that the vaunted HK416 is basically a gas piston AR15, with a few other smallish improvements. The SCAR is more of a “group up” design, but even IT borrows a lot from the AR’s basic configuration (if not internals).
I think it’s hard to argue against the AR15 family as being the most versitile and successful military rifle in the world.
There’s a classroom full of soldiers that just left for chow who were reading these posts over my shoulder. They got a real good laugh at some of the posters here. Consensus here is that if you choose an AK over an AR/M4, you either don’t know what you’re doin, or you’re out of your mind. Some of their replies are:
“Do these knuckleheads understand it’s about shot placement (laughing)??
“Go ahead and use your AK, I’ll stick with my M4”
“The AK offers ZERO advantages over the M4 platform, some of these guys don’t know what they’re talking about”
“Only a fool would chase after me with an AK if I’m armed with an AR”
“You have an AK? You’re shooting at me? I’ll just set back 400 meters and put a round through your forehead (Using the M4)”
“I don’t know where these guys have been, I haven’t had any problem with my M4 over there (Iraq), I think they’re dreaming”
Straight from the horses mouth guys. These soldiers are just back (two weeks ago) from Iraq, they’re attending BNCOC here.
Ranger Man, you’re (not your) right about the AR. Let’s start. 11 years AD, 38 total years, 34 for pay, E-8, short unconventional combat tour SEA, tour in sandbox, tour in rockpile, just retired 4 mos ago, 59 yo. First, for all of you expert Vietnam vets that got stuck with the M16s (not A1s, M16s), that should never have happened but it did and while I respect your service, your bad experience does not make you an expert forever more. The reason behind the initial failures of the M16 Mod zero was two fold. First there was a misunderstanding of the function of the rifle by the upper echelons (REMFs) that thought that the firearm didn’t need to be cleaned. This myth was also perpetuated by the fact that during the trials the ammo was loaded with ball type powder which is extremely clean burning (ask a reloader) and was tested in the U.S.. When the rifle went into production the ammo made to mil-spec was made using stick type powder, which leaves a significant residue when burned coupled with the fact that the rifle was used in the high humidity of SEA which made the fouling even worse. This left a lot of Marines and Dogfaces VERY unhappy, and rightfully so. HOWEVER, by the late 60’s this had all been rectified by spec’ing the barrels be chrome lined and cleaning kits issued along with upgrading to the M16A1. Later on, some rifles used chrome plated bolts to further reduce fouling. I had an issue M-4 since 2001 and in thousands of rounds I have never had it fail. I also own 4 personal ARs and have never had a failure. My son is an Army Ranger and he has never had a failure, in 6 years with 7 OCONUS tours, all to the sandbox and the rockpile. Plus he has the unfortunate experience of getting an “enemy marksmanship medal”(purple heart) where he was shot at 30 meters in the leg with 2 AK rounds. They aren’t that devastating. At that range the first was a clean through and through (ice pick wound) and the second ricocheted off something and left a very nasty hole in the back of his calf after exiting. The point being that it was upset prior to entering his leg, other wise it would have been an ice pick wound too. Oh, the guy that shot him got a thirty tap to the head from my son, kind of a red mist deal. The AK is made for the KISS principle so that conscripts and third world illiterates can fight with something that even they can maintain. It serves it’s purpose but in a pick your gun situation the AR beats it hands down. All of the ammo performs best at different ranges, The old 55 gr will upset in 2-3 inches of penetration out to 200 yards but not past that. The 62 gr green tip will upset in 3-5 inches of penetration from about 150 to 300 yards but makes ice pick wounds before and after. This is according to analysis by the Army of test firings as well as battlefield assessments. The 77gr MK262 which is a 77gr Sierra HPBT with cannelure, performs quite well out to 400 yards and makes 600 yard hits highly probable. The 1 in 7 twist will stabilize these heavy bullets much better than the old 1 in 12, although I have found that if you don’t go too high in weight the 1 in 9 twist is a happy medium for all three of these, although you will get more accuracy from the faster twist for the heavier weights. As far as the “just 22 grains more” comment, you have to put it in perspective. If the 55 grain was functional, then 22 more grains is 40% more muzzle energy on target. That’s quite an increase. I don’t spend over $800 for my ARs. I build the lowers myself (you just put parts together) with DPMS receivers and use Model 1 uppers that are already head spaced and test fired and have never had a problem. If you want a piston for better reliability (?) go for it, but that just adds more parts to the rifle. You want a larger caliber, go 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel. Better ballistics but you lose commonality. The AR is the most adaptable, option oriented and customizable rifle in history, period. Does it have it’s faults, sure but the alternative is a niche weapon of some sort that will not fill the roles that the AR can. 2cents
“Gonna duct tape a flashlight to your SKS?”
Why the heck not? You Ar-15 fans (I like the gun, but I’m not a fan) tend to be too fixated on fancy optics and slick ‘tacticool’ accessories. I’m actually working on a velcro holder for a flashlight for my Marlin 336, parkerization, and a rail for quick-detach optics. I can engage man-sized targets at 200 yards (with iron sights) already, and when my rifle is ‘finished’ I’ll have a scout carbine that is cheaper, more accurate, and more durable than an ar variant.
Tripod: I believe you have the powder problem with the m16 reversed.
The m16 had its problems after the military switched from stick to ball powder. The ball powder they went to increased the cyclic rate, burned dirty and clogged the gas port. The chambers were not chromed and cleaning was an after thought.
I shoot the M1 garand, M1 carbine, car 15 and various bolt action rifles
including three 1903s and a m40A1 clone among others. They all have their role and pros and cons. Being with family and/or friends in any
SHTF situation would give a mix of weapons for defense and survival.
As important as any weapon, be it an AR,AK, 22 rifle etc., is the ammo you have on hand. In any SHTF situation what is available will dry up quickly. Before a SHTF situation clips and/or magazines are easy to get.
After SHTF who knows but will likely be harder or none existent. What is the best SHTF weapon-depends on the situation and your skill at using those weapons.
The .223 Rem shoots a wide range of bullets very effectively, from 35gr flat-based varmint bullets, to ultra-long 90gr VLDs. However, you’ll need the right twist rate for your choice of bullet. For max velocity and accuracy with the lightest bullets, a 1:14″ twist may be ideal. More versatile is a 1:12″ twist that will allow you to shoot the popular 60-64 grain match bullets. (However, a 1:9″ twist is needed for the steel-core 62gr bullet used in the M855 military loads, because that bullet is as long as most 70-grainers.) For normal lead-core jacketed bullets, a 1:9″ twist will let you shoot up to 73gr bullets. Since most .223 Rem shooters prefer bullets in the 50-73gr range, a good “do-it-all” solution is a 9-twist, unless you’re a Highpower competitor.
For long-range match purposes, long, high-BC bullets are favored for their ability to buck the wind. You’ll want at least a 1:8″ twist to shoot the 77gr and 80gr MatchKings and 80gr Bergers. To shoot the new 90gr pills, a 1:6.5″ is recommended, though a true 1:7″ will work in most conditions.
Overall, what twist rate is best? For varminting we like a 12-twist. The slower twist will give you a bit more velocity, and minimize the risk of jacket failure at high rpms. For general use, an 8-twist barrel will let you shoot the excellent 77gr and 80gr Sierra MatchKings and nearly all varieties of non-tracer milsurp ammo. We’d only select a 1:7″ or faster twist barrel if we had a need to shoot the 90gr VLDs.
Acknowledgements: Big thanks to Andy (“Graymist”) for his load data
I just bought a S&W M&P 15 Sport. It was $580 total. Not too much more than an old SKS I was looking at and it came with a lifetime warranty. Being able to use the military’s ammo was a consideration. If I had the extra money I’d have got an M1 from Springfield Armory and lots of .308 ammo. U.S. troops got shot at through walls and floors in Iraq and couldn’t return fire effectively. One rifle shot, especially from a military rifle, ought to put somebody down, if necessary through some drywall.
The 882 stoppages were after 60,000 RDS expended during that testing, it was from OLD , well used M-4s in the Army inventory, compared to the NEW weapons “pre selected” by HK and FN, Remington and others who participated( the new guns had stoppage and jam rates of 300-400 per 60,000 RDS )
On a subsequent follow up test where dirty and dusty conditions were present, a NEW Colt M-4 was used in comparison and the stoppage and jam rate dropped by 1/2, matching or close to their overpriced competition
If you are gonna talk crap about the M-4 , tell the WHOLE TRUTH.
By the way, the competition all fired 5.56 m855a1 ammo