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View Full Version : AK-47 vs. AR-15: What I've seen in Tactical "Reality"



ZOID ZODIAN
04-13-2004, 09:06 PM
Okay, I know that the eternal struggle of the AR-15 vs. the AK-47 will not be settled here any more than it has been on hundreds of other posts on other forums.

I'll simply offer what I've seen in tactical "reality." I know that anecdotal evidence cannot be relied on as statistically significant, but I've seen enough to know where my loyalties lie.

My local IDPA club has different matches during the year in between the regulation IDPA matches. We usually have several "tactical rifle" matches during the year.

Inevitably, despite the fact that there are many types of shoulder arms used, the matches usually come down to contests between the AK and the AR. Usually, the AK's range from the bargain basement Romanian SAR's to the expensive Arsenal SA M7's (my favorite). AR's run from home gunsmith builds to expensive Rock River Arms custom rifles and pre-ban Colt variants.

Not surprisingly, the AK's are generally 100% reliable. What IS surprising is the extent to which the AR-15's are NOT. Invariably, the matches are brought to a complete stop several times during the day by one AR-15 or another malfunctioning during the course of the match. I have not seen the above-referenced Rock River Arms ever malfunction, but I am literally stunned by the number of AR-15's out there that cannot fire even one full magazine without a malfunction. I am talking Colts, Olympics, Bushmasters, garage jobs--it doesn't matter.

I don't remember which brand it was, but one jammed so badly during a long-range rifle match that it literally took 3 people to unjam it and remove a live round wedged in the action. Another's fire control group decided to give way during a match, totally reducing that rifle to a club for the rest of the day. I could go on and on, but the point is that I have never finished an entire rifle match without seeing at least one AR-15 malfunction so badly it had to be taken out of the match.

I have only seen one AK jam one time, and that because of a bad magazine.

So, that's my two-cents worth. I know people love their AR-15's, and if you've got a reliable one, more power to ya! I'm just saying that if you're going to rely on that weapon for your very life you better thoroughly test it to make sure it's reliable even under less than ideal conditions.

Personally, I'll stick with my AK.

:cool:

Steve Camp
04-13-2004, 09:39 PM
If we're talking rifles that you would stake your life on... why not skip the poodle shooters and go right to the battle rifles that will put someone down hard, where they will stay?

I'm talking FALs, or M1As, or M1 Garands?

While AKs may be fine for the local "tactical" match on pistol berms... what about a true test of a rifle where you must reach out and touch someone at 300, 400, or 600 yards?

As I understand it, many or most, if not all, AK-47 variants leave a lot to be desired accuracy wise at 300+ yd distances. Or am I all wet?

Yamdog
04-13-2004, 09:40 PM
Which one wins?

ZOID ZODIAN
04-13-2004, 09:53 PM
If we're talking rifles that you would stake your life on... why not skip the poodle shooters and go right to the battle rifles that will put someone down hard, where they will stay?

I'm talking FALs, or M1As, or M1 Garands?

While AKs may be fine for the local "tactical" match on pistol berms... what about a true test of a rifle where you must reach out and touch someone at 300, 400, or 600 yards?

As I understand it, many or most, if not all, AK-47 variants leave a lot to be desired accuracy wise at 300+ yd distances. Or am I all wet?

You are entirely correct. I limited my comparison to AR vs. AK because of my personal experiences. I've never seen battle rifles being used under less-than-ideal conditions, so I can't address the reliability issue there.

I look at it that the AK's and AR's are CQB guns for when you have to defend yourself from multiple assailants at close range; I consider battle rifles to be "offensive" weapons that allow you to choose the time and place you wish to engage the enemy, so to a certain extent this makes it an "apples to oranges" comparison between assault rifles and battle rifles.

Gabriel Suarez
04-13-2004, 10:47 PM
Personally I like the AK. I own a Bulgarian model. Its a battleax not a rapier, but in battle often a battleax is needed.

Also, since there are so many of them in the world, you are just as likely to find one in your hands as anything else. As one student in a Texas rifle class announced to the AR15 wielding fellows in the class ,"100 million ignorant peasants can't wrong".

Liberty or Death
04-14-2004, 12:41 AM
Also, since there are so many of them in the world, you are just as likely to find one in your hands as anything else.


And if we add in the offshoot variants of the Kalashnikovs (i.e. Israeli Galils, South African R4s, Finnish Valmets, Chinese Type-81s....) the sheer numbers is staggering.

GLR40
04-14-2004, 02:44 AM
i have shot my AKM (an egyptian maahdhi) w/the issue iron sights at a 18" gong @ 300 yards with great results, sure not an M1A but its ok for sure.

i must agree the AKM is as reliable as it gets, shot my M4 colt and my AK74 this weekend and its amazing how much more carbon/gunk/etc accumulate in the AR system vs the AKM system, the AK didnt even really need cleaning (300 rnds or so) while the AR was getting to need it (200 rounds or so).

i like 'em both, i think the AR is for more experienced shooters, who will maintain them,while the AKM will work for anybody.

most AR's i have seen that jam are either frankenstien models cobbled together, have a bad mag, or someone has "tuned" it and dont know WTF they are doing. a stock colt w/a good mag /good ammo USUALLY wont jam. very rare in my experience, no jams in mine in quite a while (over 1K rounds i would guess)- still though it will jam while my 2 AK's have never done it.

greg

InTheBlack
04-14-2004, 11:10 PM
If a properly built and rudimentarily maintained AR was as prone to jam as your IDPA experience indicates, then I think we would be hearing from several thousand very pissed off soldiers.

Anybody read any after action reports from the sandbox reporting function problems with the AR _during_ a fight?

We know they need frequent sand removal maintenance, but other than the incident touted by the Militec guy, are there significant reports of failure during use?

Steve Camp
04-14-2004, 11:20 PM
If a properly built and rudimentarily maintained AR was as prone to jam as your IDPA experience indicates, then I think we would be hearing from several thousand very pissed off soldiers.

Anybody read any after action reports from the sandbox reporting function problems with the AR _during_ a fight?

We know they need frequent sand removal maintenance, but other than the incident touted by the Militec guy, are there significant reports of failure during use?


Did not the surviving soldiers of Private Jessica Lynch's unit report that their rifles jammed during the firefight that preceded their capture?

I recall numerous threads on multiple boards discussing this jamming problem they reportedly experienced within the few weeks after their capture. Most people seemed to blame the unit's commanders for not ensuring that their people were properly maintaining their weapons; the gist of the comments were that the ARs jammed because they had not been properly maintained / cleaned daily etc.

Other than that, I have not heard any screaming about the unreliability of the AR / M16 / M4 design.

Has anyone come out with a modified AR action or receiver where the gas tube has been replaced by a gas piston?

Rob96
04-15-2004, 12:50 AM
The rifles in Jessica Lynch's unit were not properly taken care of, from what I have read. Odd thing is, I haven't really read negative reports from Marines or SF types with the M-16/M-4.

Crucible
04-15-2004, 05:07 AM
Jessica's Lynch's unit was of (Army) maintenance truck driver types who had no business being anywhere near fighting (with a command structure that ensured thier deaths by concentrating on morale boosting issues like giving berets too all soldiers, coed boot camps and "time out" cards, rather than to train to be capable combat soldiers and riflemen).

While I don't want to pick on my brother Army types, unless they are in the combat specialties.....

Won't find too many dirty weapons in the Corps; every Marine is a skilled rifleman, even the admin types, and they know and care about the consequences of not being so.

After thousands of rounds fired in service M16's, I never experienced any kind of breakdown (I remember a failure to feed once, but that was easily and quickly taken care of with standard immediate actions drills and the qualification course went on smoothly). That's no serious breakdown at all for me in years of shooting them, and I don't remember anyone else having any serious problems either, in practice, qualification or field shooting.

These were standard grade Colt milspec weapons that had not been fooled with (gas mods, ets.), used standard issue ball ammo, again we were Marines of course so they were clean and intimately familiar with them, and therin lies what probably is the issue with zoid's experience: those were likely modified weapons from differring makers using parts of unknown quality, using differring ammo, and who knows the skills/abilities and experience of the shooters, among other things.

I would not hesitate at all to have taken my m16 into war then or now (and if you count the great sandbox war I as war, then I did, though frankly it didn't see much use there). Nor would I hesitate to take one and shoot it competitively.

That said, the AK's are fun, reliable weapons (I own a Egyptian Maadi, and if the "skilled" weapons manufacturing of the Egyptians can't screw it up, well, ya got something there, don't ya? I also carried a "liberated" folding stock AK in my vehicle during the Gulf War-very handy indeed, and still capable despite the 'caring' the Iraqi soldiers gave it.)

Cruc

MTS
04-15-2004, 05:21 AM
Crucible,

Could you be more specific about how you kept your M-16 up and running during GW I?

Especially as far as lubing etc?

Crucible
04-15-2004, 05:49 AM
Mark, I can tell you we didn't like CLP, then the only authorized cleaning *and* lubricating agent. We used it still however, despite the fact that it was/is a dirt particle magnet in those types of environments.

Several things that were defacto standards there that I recall, none of them really enlightening:

1. We kept the chamber cover closed at all times-it'll open when a round is chambered, so no worries.
2. Kept a magazine in the weapon at all times, loaded preferably in any area beyond what was the rear, but even unloaded was preferable to nothing-it's a large hole that will suck up mounds of gritty sand otherwise. (The ability of keeping magazines in weapons all the time was new to us-stateside that simply doesn't happen often, but in a war zone, things are surely different, something I realized the day I got there and was issued a couple hundred rounds to "carry around" before went even went into the field. That was my no-sh*t moment.)
3. Most used rubbers (or something similar) over the barrel compensator-you knew that a round wouldn't be stopped by one, so it could be left on indefinately. This was underrated in it's ability to keep sand and dirt out of the barrel (and chamber too), and was a field expedient solution (not issued..I wonder is something similar is issued today).
4. Clean, clean, clean. Repeated as needed. Checked for proper operation by cycling the weapon often, manually chambering a round and extracting it, ensuring you didn't hear (or feel) any grit in the process.

In many cases, it was a bit overboard, and sounds like that level was needed to make it simply function at all-this wasn't the case (the A2's are much more reliable than the Vietnam era A1's to that end), and I'm sure they could take more than we give them credit for. But Marines being Marines, well, we cleaned weapons for fun :), and when things get serious....so do the standards to be that way.

Cruc

MTS
04-15-2004, 06:11 AM
Crucible,

Did you leave any CLP in the weapon or did you keep it dry?

Crucible
04-15-2004, 08:05 AM
Only the very light coat (what remained after wiping down)that remained from cleaning IIRC. You definately didn't put the same amount you would for messing around on Camp Lejeune or something.

I know some probably did dry only; if any kind of sand made it into the weapon the idea of gritty dry cycling bothered me more than if it had *some* small level of lube. I'd probably make a different arguement for the AK with it's much, for lack of a better term, 'looser', machine tolerances than an A2.

I've since used a few civilian 'dry' gun lubes that I think would have worked well in that kind of environment, but you would have had to experiment some. I don't know what's being used now, or even if anything else has been authorized for use other than CLP.

Cruc

Ike
04-15-2004, 10:35 AM
Go to isayeret.com and see what the Israelis are saying. They like the M16 / AR15 variants best and they are fighting in the same environments. The only thing I remember is that we always cleaned the rifle after shooting it and every morning we cleaned our rifles even if we did not shoot them (and they were FALs and AKs at that time) during my service time.
Itshak

DaveJames
04-15-2004, 12:23 PM
Seems the biggest bitch with the 16 over there, is using a WET lube, most of the guys I talk to are trying a lube that goes dry after applying, say the sand there is almost like baby powder in some areas, and other than doing as Curcible posted thats all they were doing

billcameron
04-15-2004, 04:15 PM
As I understand and was mentioned earlier the AR has undergone a lot of modifications to make it more reliable. Is this also true of the AK or has its design remained essentially the same?

DaveJames
04-15-2004, 09:35 PM
bill, I would bet there have been more changes to the ole AK, just not out in public yet, I would like to see the new one that has the recpocating bbl..

THe Chinese have done alot of testing with the AK and its round, and have supposedly come up with a 5.56 round that far outclasses ours

billcameron
04-15-2004, 10:48 PM
bill, I would bet there have been more changes to the ole AK, just not out in public yet, I would like to see the new one that has the recpocating bbl..

THe Chinese have done alot of testing with the AK and its round, and have supposedly come up with a 5.56 round that far outclasses ours

Dave,

You suggest there may be some changes in the works. But isn't the basic AK of today like the ones first brought out when?- the very late 1940's? I am not talking about stock changes, flash hiders, bayonet lugs and that kind of stuff, but rather the basic action, gas piston, etc. What I find amazing about AK is the lack of significant changes and fact that as other mention it seems to work regardless of the manufacturer or marginal quality control. Rather like the 1911, which has had an even longer run.

V42
04-15-2004, 11:38 PM
Personally I like the AK. I own a Bulgarian model.

Is your Bulgarian a pre-ban or post ban? If a post ban does it have the thumbhole stock?

Is it an SA85M?

Reason I ask all of these questions is that I am considering acquiring one.

thanks,

vfortytwoATyahoo.com

Sam Spade
04-16-2004, 12:09 AM
You suggest there may be some changes in the works. But isn't the basic AK of today like the ones first brought out when?- the very late 1940's?
1947, to be exact. Guess when they introduced the AK74. :)

They went from a milled to a stamped receiver to save time, weight and cost. Introduced some synthetics for some parts. There're minor country of origin differences, but that's it.

Yup. Mikhail pretty well got it right.

DaveJames
04-16-2004, 12:15 AM
bill, yep the ones we can have and play with are basicly the same ole same ole AK, the new one the Chinese have and the Russians are playing with , are useing some new change on the gas system along with the recoiling of the bbl to help,in stablizing the rifle for more controled full auto fire

MTS
04-16-2004, 06:19 AM
THe Chinese have done alot of testing with the AK and its round, and have supposedly come up with a 5.56 round that far outclasses ours

The Chinese are using a 5.8MM round in a bullpup rifle. I am not sure how much of an "AK" it is or a new design.

http://world.guns.ru/assault/qbz-95.jpg

http://world.guns.ru/assault/as39-e.htm

7677
04-16-2004, 07:25 AM
The biggest problem I've seen with military M16s is the magazines. The Army is the biggest packrat on this earth excluding the Russians. When I was stationed in Germany in the late 80's, we would goto Graf for training and our howitzer battery shot 155mm ammo that was dated in the 1950's. In the Army average soldier carries his 6 magazines in his LBE and never uses them and while the magazine are in the LBE they are banged around soldier after soldier. Qualifications in the Army were also a joke. They were held once a year and we fired less then 100 rounds. When my unit deployed to the sand box in 91, we were behind the learning curve. The sand over there is magic as it can get into places that you would never think it could. We found that we had to replace 90% of the issued magazines with new ones. After the magazine problems and the few lemon M16 were taken care of we found the same thing as Crucible did CLP equals sand magnet. We used a rag to apply CLP to our M16s and cleaned them at least twice a day. This caused malfunctions with our M16s to be minimal. However, sand is not the only problem in the desert. The extreme change in temperature causes moisture and rust.

In the debate between the AK vs the M16 I have always preferred the M16. The M16 is an accurate rifle and I can hit targets with it a lot further out then I can with the AK. I have to give the AK credit it is a reliable weapon. We seized some never shot and only dropped once AK's off some Iraqis that wouldn't need them with Allah. We found that one of the AK's bolt was frozen in place and after we broke the bolt loose we loaded it and it fired the whole magazine without a malfunction. Forget doing that with a M16. The AK is hard to beat as 0 to 150 meter weapon.

bill clancy
04-16-2004, 11:13 PM
Any thoughts to the SKS in this discussion. I'm a recent kalifornia refugee and AKs were a no-no there so I setteled on a SKS. I've had great reliability with it, shot several pacific coast black tailed deer, and several small russian boar, all with good result, as long as I did my part.
I found the SKS to be a great "truck gun"...nothing fancy, takes a beating, is inexpensive, and reliable.

DaveJames
04-17-2004, 01:04 PM
bill, the SKS, may not be new or even fancy, but I saw the results it put out, one of the best upgrades I have seen done is the attachment of the Chinese 20 round fixed box, that a bandoler of stripper clips, and its read to go, I know of one Sheriff's department that issues them as patrol carbines, so far its worked on every thing from pit bull's to a 280lb black bear that like the garden better than the woods

7677
04-17-2004, 06:57 PM
Bill I have a SKS-M. It has a 16 inch barrel and takes AK magazines. I Like it and haven't had any problems with it. I have a 4X scope on it and it makes a prefect truck gun. I usually keep a 10 round magazine in the gun and have two spare 20 round magazines. My SKS is no light weight so I'm looking at getting a poly stock and at the next gun show I'm going to pick up some of the poly AK magazines and see how they work.

morpheus32
04-18-2004, 02:51 PM
My experience in Somali and Afghanistan with the AR series has been excellent. I have trusted and would trust an AR with my life. They are a proven design and does exactly what we want them to do. Note that the other service personnel who posted feel the same.

I also shoot a couple of civilian ARs with no problems. In competition matches, the ARs do excellent and I don't recall any major problems.

One of the factors I see alot that cause problems in matches is ammunition selection. One of them is people shooting 5.56 surplus in a tight 223 target chamber. All my ARs have 5.56 chambers and work flawlessly. Also some of the surplus stuff out there in 223 is just short of crap. The same can be said for 7.62 by 39.

The problem with incredibly worn magazines is a good one as well. We found the same. Years of being empty and being bashed around on every exercise.

As discussed in 223 vs 308 thread, there is no ultimate rifle that will do everything for everyone all the time. I will not argue the politics of the selection of the M16 but today the design is battle proven and reliable. If you want to draw a hundred of conclusions on what happened with Lynch and friends be my guest. Many of the people who have served overseas including myself would take an AR type to war. I think that says alot. If the AK does everything for you...great...practice and enjoy. I am personally completely happy with the M16/M4/C7/C8 series and have complete confidence it in.

To each their own, but these threads always degrade into a chevy vs ford.

Jeff

billcameron
04-18-2004, 03:36 PM
I certainly agree there is no right or wrong choice between the two rifles. However, most of these type of threads revolve around "urban disaster preparation". In this context I think there is a lot to be said for the AK. If this type of situation ever occurred I think most of us, even the confirmed gun nuts, would have a lot on our minds and yes may neglect maintanence of our rifle a bit. And in the excitement we may even forget our favorite lube. Horror of horrors I know, but I believe true.

Low Drag
04-18-2004, 04:24 PM
Every stoppage I've had with an M16/AR15 was due to mags.

The weak point of the system is the mag catch on the side. There is no solid lock in front/back like on the AK or M14. Mag change is faster but at the cost of funtion.

I've also had double feeds where one rd gets wedged in top of upper in front of gas key and another rd getting stripped off the top of the mag. That is due to bent/loose mag lips.

You to prone hard with the M16, hit the ground with mag etc which is likely, you will begin to bend/damage the mag.

Sat_Cong
04-19-2004, 07:26 AM
Like a lot of you, I shoot both--Bushy a3-ak and a SAR 1. Both are enjoyable and satisfying and either will do the job for which they are intended. I guess I classify the Bushy as a worderful machine, and the SAR as a wonderful tool. The ability of the bushy to put those neat little holes, repeatedly in the target and the little boink of the spring is a great experience -- refined, even.
The Sar, on the other hand, is a clunky mass of metal and wood that pushes me around and lets me know it's there with no small degree of feedback. The hickey on my shoulder from the recoil, let's me know it loves me!
I've never known either to fail in the field when a loving operator gives them what they need in the form of proper maintainance.
Sat_Cong

countymountie
04-20-2004, 04:20 PM
Having been in the USAF as a SP I carried an M16A2 quite a bit(primary duty weapon was an M9 9mm). I will agree with most vets that with proper maintenance the M16 is a fine combat weapon with excellent accuaracy and ergonomics. The magazines for this weapon however leave a lot to be desired. We, here in the US view magazines as a disposable piece of equipment and therefore don't build them like a T-72. Just look at the difference between US mags and the British SA-80 mags...The Brit mags are definately built to take more bumps and bangs.

Having said that I sold my AR carbine I built and bought a clunky Romanian SAR1. I use the 20rnd tanker mags for it so I can still use my USGI LBV. The shorter mags make the AK handle and balance much better. I know the AK has limitations in the accuarcy dep't but it's utter reliability has me sold!! :D

BTW Gabe, "100 million ignorant peasants can't be wrong" I LMAO at that one!!

Jcord
04-29-2004, 10:41 AM
I was in the 82d for GW1. In 20 years of service I never had
a single jam with the M16.

I am pretty religious about keeping my weapon clean and I personally made sure My troops did too.

We did not use rubbers as we had issue muzzle caps that are designed to help keep sand out of the weapon. They blew off
as soon as you pulled the trigger.

We had some white grease (experimental) that was given to us to try. It actually repelled dust. If you dropped a glob of in in the sand you could pick it up and blown the sand off it.

I still have a can of it.

commoguy
05-01-2004, 11:25 AM
In advance ill say that when used by a professional the m-4/m-16 design is far superior to the ak. and ill talk about this on a few different levels.
however, if i was going to be equipping some less-trained/disciplined people with rifles it would be the AK. because it DOES require less maintenence.

But as with all tools you HAVE to know what its capabilities and limitations are. Yes Jessica Lynch had problems with her m-16, but she is not a combat arms soldier, her idea of maintenence was dousing the moving parts with CLP which is a HUGE no-no in the desert. its better to run with nothing at all, just bone dry or a VERY light coat of oil(and by very light I mean putting some on and then wiping it off). I havent heard about the Infantry or Marines having probelms.

ALSO, I would NOT put a lot of credibility on what some dude sees at the shooting range by thrown together home gunsmithing rifles for the purpose of drawing conclusions on what his better.

The human engineering on the m-4 design far surpasses the AK, or any other rifle for that matter. The rifle can be carried on safe and quickly taken of safe to engage targets, wheras the AK is a fumble at best, which would lead people to manuever with the weopon off safe which is not good.

The ammunition for the 7.62x39 is heavier and far less effective that the 5.56. In fact I think the ballistics of the 7.62x39 is worse than that of a 30-30. If your talking about the 5.45 russian there isnt much difference I dont think.

The m-16/m-4 is effective out to the 500 meter range, the AK is good out to about 300 and then accuracy is horrible, half because of the loose action and half because of the half-a$$ed sights.

One only needs to look at what the professionals of the world are carrying(that have a choice) and see what is favored. Everybody thinks the Galil is so good, but Israeli specil ops carry m-4 style rifles. Same for British SAS, Australian SAS, ETC.

As far as the M1A, FN-FAL? these are OUTDATED designs. They are good for certain things, and were good whan they were introduced, but the age of the battle rifle is gone, and for good reason.THERE ARE VERY FEW ENGAGEMENTS PAST 50- 100 METERS ON THE MODERN BATTLEFIELD. That is why every country in the world was went to an assault rifle. IT is superior in every aspect except one. It cant engage well in the 500- 800 meter range well. And if people are that far away they are not that serious of a threat Especially if the are armed with AKs.

In the end, its a TOOL, there isnt one do-eveything design. And if there is ANYTHING which is close to achieving that its the m-16/m-4

Glocku2death
05-01-2004, 01:49 PM
The ammunition for the 7.62x39 is heavier and far less effective that the 5.56. In fact I think the ballistics of the 7.62x39 is worse than that of a 30-30. If your talking about the 5.45 russian there isnt much difference I dont think.


^ The 7.62x39 is just as effective as the 5.56 at 300M or so after that neither cartridge is worth a damn IMO.


The m-16/m-4 is effective out to the 500 meter range

^ No its not. Read the AARs of Marine snipers and you will see that the 5.56Nato round isnt gettin the job done. BGs are taking multiple hits in COM at 300M and NOT going down.
Also if the 5.56 was worth a damn then why are the Spec Ops guys testing the 6.8MM ?


One only needs to look at what the professionals of the world are carrying(that have a choice) and see what is favored.


^ OK Ill do that. My best friend is a JTAC and was assigned to the 3rd ID during the invasion on Iraq. He chose to use one of the many AKs available to him.(He did go back to his M4 after a bit becasue the sound of an AK going of would draw FF his way)




THERE ARE VERY FEW ENGAGEMENTS PAST 50- 100 METERS ON THE MODERN BATTLEFIELD.


^ That Sir in totally inacurate. Once again read AARs or talk to the people that have been there and you will know that there are plenty of engagments past 100M.


In the end, its a TOOL, there isnt one do-eveything design. And if there is ANYTHING which is close to achieving that its the m-16/m-4


^ This I totally agree with.

commoguy
05-01-2004, 03:51 PM
If the 7.62x39 was as effective as the 5.56 the russians would have kept it rather than discarding it.

The 5.56 is getting the job done hence the US Iraq. The AARs I have read is that in the m16 version the marines are very pleased with it.

The 5.56 is effective out to 500 meters. Does it instantly stop guys at that range, probably not, but it will inflict a serious injury and make a bad guy a casualty.

Spec ops is testing the 6.8mm because people are always looking for something better, and spec ops exclusively used the M-4 with a 14.5 inch barrel and has reduced range. ( In this configuration I have witnessed 400 meter casualties ).

I will also say this. Just because one guy picks up an enemy AK-47 to use instead of his issue doesnt mean anything. In my last post I was talking about entire organizations that have adopted them-16 design instead of their own standard issue rifle. If we want to digress into this type of thinking, I can come up with individuals who would carry MP-5s in the desert (because they look cool), even though its not the best choice. Does that in some way mean the MP-5 is better than an M-4? Of course not, people are people and if you give them a choice they will surprise you.

Also I believe the average engagement distance in iraq was under one hundred meters. Once again does that mean there werent engagements past that? NO However the army has special sniper weapons to deal with longer engagement distances

dnater
05-01-2004, 04:11 PM
I have attended a number of law enforcement patrol rifle classes, many courtesy of IALEFI where everybody on the line is a firearms instructor. I don't know if it's the gun, the mag, the ammo, no lube or something else, but I have never seen a relay completed without a malfunction in someone's AR-15 series weapon. I'm not saying that they can't be reliable, but this observed performance worries me. My agency is an HK shop. They work everytime.

Glocku2death
05-01-2004, 06:14 PM
If the 7.62x39 was as effective as the 5.56 the russians would have kept it rather than discarding it.

The 5.56 is getting the job done hence the US Iraq. The AARs I have read is that in the m16 version the marines are very pleased with it.

The 5.56 is effective out to 500 meters. Does it instantly stop guys at that range, probably not, but it will inflict a serious injury and make a bad guy a casualty.

Spec ops is testing the 6.8mm because people are always looking for something better, and spec ops exclusively used the M-4 with a 14.5 inch barrel and has reduced range. ( In this configuration I have witnessed 400 meter casualties ).

I will also say this. Just because one guy picks up an enemy AK-47 to use instead of his issue doesnt mean anything. In my last post I was talking about entire organizations that have adopted them-16 design instead of their own standard issue rifle. If we want to digress into this type of thinking, I can come up with individuals who would carry MP-5s in the desert (because they look cool), even though its not the best choice. Does that in some way mean the MP-5 is better than an M-4? Of course not, people are people and if you give them a choice they will surprise you.

Also I believe the average engagement distance in iraq was under one hundred meters. Once again does that mean there werent engagements past that? NO However the army has special sniper weapons to deal with longer engagement distances
So your saying that the 5.56 is more effective than the 7.62x51? Also some of the AARs Ive read were from Marine Snipers using a M16 with a scope (mostly ACOGs) and they are not pleased with the results at 300M or greater. Instead of arguing over whats better Ill just state my opinion and be done with this. The M16/M4 design is ok for some aplications.SWAT or LEO use I think is fine because it will rarely if ever be used in combat conditions.It is not a battle rifle IMO. The caliber is too small and the rifle is just a pain in the ass to keep clean enough to be reliable. I have owned a Colt AR-15, Bushmaster XM-15 (M4) and a Norinco AK-47. I would take the AK anyday if I was going to use as a combat weapon for long engagements with the OpFor. Now as I stated earlier if I was gonna say Raid a house or something similar then I would choose the AR/M16 type weapons.

On a side note my buddy also says the USAF SOG are begging for Glocks for sidearms instead of the M9/M11s they have now.

ZOID ZODIAN
05-01-2004, 08:47 PM
I would NOT put a lot of credibility on what some dude sees at the shooting range by thrown together home gunsmithing rifles for the purpose of drawing conclusions on what his better.

You make a valid point about "thrown-together gunsmith rifles", but I have seen factory Bushmaster's and Colt's seize up just as fast. Also, the use of Wolf ammo seems to choke some, I repeat SOME, guns. But after two years of shooting in competitive matches, there just isn't any ONE cause of unreliability in the AR's I've seen go down. The ONE AR-15 that I've never seen jam is a custom-made Rock River Arms AR.


The ammunition for the 7.62x39 is heavier and far less effective that the 5.56.

I doubt this because I've seen a filmed comparison of the 7.62x39 vs. 5.56 on a Discovery Channel program, and the 7.62 clearly has more "power", although the 5.56 is more accurate through an AR. People who have actually been in combat may legitimately disagree with this; I don't have any other comparison. Supposedly, the 5.56 was more devastating in a barrel with a 1:14 rifling twist, but as we all know, that barrel has evolved into a 1:12 twist and then a 1:7 twist.



One only needs to look at what the professionals of the world are carrying(that have a choice) and see what is favored. Everybody thinks the Galil is so good, but Israeli specil ops carry m-4 style rifles. Same for British SAS, Australian SAS, ETC.

There are many reasons for a foreign government or agency to adopt a certain weapon. One of them is that a sponsoring nation, such as the US, offers special deals to that agency or foreign power. I believe at one time, and it may still be true, that the front line Israeli army STILL carries Galils because that rifle is more robust. Special ops and rear guards carry M-4's.

Skpotamus
05-02-2004, 11:32 PM
It isn't exactly gospel or anything, but....

a friend of mine just got back from Afghanistan a few months back. He had an interesting job, he spoke Farsi and quite a few dialects of it, so he was sent into villages and towns to talk to people. Talk them into helping to build a new hospital, a road, a school, to stop shooting at him.... He was issued an M4 and an M9, but didn't carry either when he was talking. I remember asking him why he did that job, and he replied that he always felt perfectly safe.
I asked him how he could feel safe in a war zone, his reason: he had a spec ops team who's sole purpose in life was to keep him safe. He sent me a pic of all of them once. They were all in front of the hummer they rode around in. All of them were carrying AK's except Chris. He still had the M4. Two of them I could see had 1911's cocked and locked, I couldn't see sidearms on the others.

I've never beein in combat, and hopefully I won;t. But I have killed things with both the 223, and 7.62x39mm. Using mil surplus ammo in each, the 7.62 did a LOT better job than the 223.

At 200 yards, with my WASR-1 Romanian AK, and wolf FMJ ammo, I could consistantly drop and most times flip, a coyote with a broadside hit.

At 100 yards, out of an Armalite M-15, with federal M193 ball ammo, I put a round in the head of a coyote, only to have it run 65 yards and fall over. I didn't even know I'd hit it until it stopped running.
Other hits in the ribs/lungs areas of coyotes with an AR had similar results, the little bullet punched straight through and the coyotes ran off.

Out of a Savage Bolt action the 223 did a little better, but with FMJ, it did a really poor job of dropping dog sized creatures.


This isn't combat, and dogs/yotes don't wear body armor, but the 7.62 performed reliably for me, while the 223 left me wondering if I'd killed a few coyotes cause they ran over 400 yards to a treeline. If a dog can run 400+ yards after getting hit, what could a 200lb dog with a rifle do? I think I'd prefer the AK myself

Major Pita
05-03-2004, 04:54 PM
I read an issue of Soldier of Fortune several months ago. It had an article about how the M4 and .223 in general just don't have the knockdown power. It seems the shorter barrel does something to the ballistics.

The author of the article speculated that some people in the military were beginning to warm to the idea of using 7.62x39.

commoguy
05-04-2004, 09:12 AM
[QUOTE=Glocku2death]So your saying that the 5.56 is more effective than the 7.62x51?

I wouldnt say its more effective than the 7.62x51, which is VERY different than the 7.62x39.


[QUOTE=Glocku2death]The M16/M4 design is ok for some aplications.SWAT or LEO use I think is fine because it will rarely if ever be used in combat conditions.It is not a battle rifle IMO.

This is a bold comment indeed considering how many m-16s were just involved in the Iraq war with great success, for an extended period of time.
There are a whole lot of quality built AKs in Iraq you can probably pick up cheap if you need one because they were dropped once!! Im sorry, this to me is a funny comment.

But yeah you are right everybody universally hates the beretta/m-9. Id rather carry a glock also, However I did carry a m-9 in a sandy enviroment for extended periods of time and it was reliable enough.

Glocku2death
05-04-2004, 12:26 PM
If the 7.62x39 was as effective as the 5.56 the russians would have kept it rather than discarding it.



This statement is why I made the comparison of the 5.56 to 7.62x51. If your reasoning is correct the US must have switchted for the same reason right? The statement I made about M16/M4 not being a battle rifle isnt bold but just my opinion. I would choose an AK ,M14 ,FAL or lots of other rifles to fight with in combat.

Steve Collins
05-04-2004, 12:58 PM
I'm one of those who came back from Iraq at the end of January. The last five months I was there I was the bodyguard for my brigade commander. Anytime he left camp, I was there in his hip pocket. I carried my M4 and 9 magazines, and felt confident that at the ranges I would be operating in(urban, 100-150 meters), my M4 would serve me well. However, I also trained with my weapon, cleaned it, and never let it out of my sight. Of all the rounds I fired out of it, I never had a jam, even in the desert. Just my two cents. Thanks.

Randy Harris
05-04-2004, 02:14 PM
Just a quick comment here. the only thing that seems to be a sure thing is that NOTHING is EVER a SURE thing. Have there been failures to stop w/ 223? Of course. But then again I think I read somewhere that Charlie Beckwith(father of Delta) was given last rites in Nam after taking a hit from a 50cal(12.7mm). He just wasn't ready to go yet.Which is what I firmly believe is USUALLY the reason for failures to stop(when they don't involve misses or peripheral hits that is).From my own 2nd hand experience(friends on SWAT team and a close friend who had to shoot a guy one night w/ his AR18- and he somehow got a copy of the Xray), the 5.56 is just as effective as the user is. The 2 shootings here in Chattanooga involving SWAT last year were both using 223(one a HK53 and the other an M16a1) and both bad guys are STILL dead. A third incident involving a rifle armed patrol supervisor resulted in another fatality. None of these guys shot back after being hit.ALL were DRT(dead right there). Would a 762x39 have been MORE effective? What do you think? The incident with my AR18 weilding friend happened several years back. He was being shot at by a drunken bozo, grabbed his AR, and shot the guy in the left shoulder. He went down like "a trap door opened up under him". The xray was telling. The left clavacle was disentigrated.(I guess it pays to have friends in hospital radiology dept too!)
What did all of these have in common ? None of the shots were over 35 yards. So up close the 556 will seriously change your outlook on things. In the mountains of "the 'stan" you might be better served with something delivering more energy at longer distance. You can't just make a blanket statement about caliber and effectiveness, as barrel length and loading(55gr, 62gr,77gr and HP vs soft point vs fmj ) all have a very REAL effect on things. Also just because a certain group of spec ops guys are carrying something might not mean anything more than they are going w/ INDIGENOUS weaponry to make supply and logistics easier. (The Rhodesian SAS LRRPs often used AK and RPDs not because they were better stoppers than their FALs, but because they would have a constant supply of ammo and their guns "sounded" like the enemy's guns when fired.)Obviously a good thing when continually outnumbered and surrounded.
Fortunately for me as a civilian I can use my M1a or my semi auto M4 or my AK,or my shotgun (OR my colt subgun, M16 carbine or UZI- even though full auto border repelling doesn't usually sit well with the local constabulary)as the case permits or requires. But the key(In my humble little opinion) is WHERE the projectile(or projectiles) hits, not how big said projectile is. But that's just my opinion. CRUEL HAND LUKE

Major Pita
05-04-2004, 05:49 PM
CRUEL HAND LUKE, you make some excellent points.

I have a question:

Don't law enforcement agencies often issue hollowpoint ammo for their assault rifles in .223, while the military is limited to FMJ's as per the Hague Convention?

This might explain some of the differences in effectiveness, too.

morpheus32
05-04-2004, 06:39 PM
The 5.56 vs 7.62 debate will continue but it has been thoroughly discussed in the 223 vs 308 thread. As I have stated in that post. The M4 is doing exactly what it is suppose to do for the army. Remember it is the 7.62mm machine gun that is the key element in fights. The M4 is small, light weight and is an excellent night fighter with the AN/PEQ 2 or 4 and the AN/PVS 14. It is excellent for urban fighting.

Also as mentioned before. Not everyone expired from hits from 7.62 x 39, 308 or 30/06. If you are by yourself fighting the zombie horde, carry whatever you want but make no mistake, the M4/M16 is performing well overseas. The problems with the M16 are one of proper maintenance and in some cases rifles that were truely worn out from use.

Myself and many other active duty guys here have stated that they have no quams taking an M4 on operations. Maybe that says something.

Jeff

Skpotamus
05-04-2004, 07:57 PM
Isn't the military switching off of the M16/M4 guns becasue they were having a lot of problems with reliability? There was a CNN.com news article I read that had an army spokesman say "Iraq was the final nail in the M16's coffin...." They were going to the OICW XM 29.

Is that incorrect, a misquote? Or just plain wrong?

It is neat to see that they're keeping with the 223 round. Apparantly they like it.

I did hear someone once say the reason they thought the 223 was being used today. Dont know if it's true though.....
Todays armies typically have a lot of gear on them, and they want more penetration in case of hits slamming into say the guys sidearm on his chest, or something else on his tac webbing. The 223 being smaller, and having a higher velocity than the 7.62x39mm, gets that better penetration. While the 7.62x51mm is great at both "knockdown" and penetration, firing full auto from a combat rifle is highly inaccurate. The 223 lets our guys put more of them into people quicker.

Shrug, the caliber debates will never end, it really boils down to what you prefer, and what works best for you.

DaveJames
05-04-2004, 08:47 PM
The Military is looking to change as they always do, they deal in lifespan figures, and a few years ago it was time to start looking at replaceing the 223/5.56 rifle.Civlivan shotings and Military shootings are apples and oranges, Military are restricted to FMJ's in their rifles, for the most part were as civi's are not
When Military guys say they would carry a M-16/M-4, take that for whats its worth, unless their SP Ops they have no choice,
Part and parcile of the problem with the 223 is we have improved it to the point where it is truly nothing more than a very accurate varmit round,with to heavy of a bullet. THe very effectiveness of the round at the very beging was its ability to tumble and bounce around when it hit flesh, it doesn't do that any more, and this is one of the reason the Russians went to their 5.56 round,which has a hollow nose cavity, to help the tumble effect,, As far as I can see it is hard at this time to say how well the M4/16 is doing in the sand box,for every positive comment, there are 2 negative ones coming out

If your happy with it,use it, confidence can make up for a lack of killing power,just due to the thought train one goes through when punching some ones lights out.

"THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET"

morpheus32
05-04-2004, 09:01 PM
Skpotmus,

There are alot of people who would like a new system for totally political reasons and for personal gain. Weapon systems are big business. I served with the 101st and the complaints were with accessories not the system itself. It is a battle proven system and works. People forget that machine guns and fire support do most of the damage in open conflict. As I said before. Notice that the active duty people who are overseas or have been overseas recently have no problem carrying an M16/M4. That says a great deal. There is a great deal of misinformation by gun experts who have stong personal biases that they just can get past. Vietnam was a long time ago and most troops are carrying a different rifle than what was employed in Vietnam. Also everyone is not special forces so they don't have the same needs as them.

By the way don't believe everything you see on CNN.

Jeff

morpheus32
05-04-2004, 09:24 PM
Dave James

I agree with your points on the difference between civilan and military use but I have to disagree on a couple of things. Firstly my comment was that most of the military type have said they had no problems or concerns. I for one have complete confidence in the M4 and so did about 5000 of my peers. So it is not a question of not having any choice so I might as well suck it up. I have complete confidence taking it overseas. Secondly is who is making these complaints about all the problems with the M16? Almost all the after action reports that I have offically seen discuss concerns over optics, accessories such as flashlights and shortages of PEQ-2/4s. Everyone I spoke to on operations with me was very happy with the M4 especially for night fighting and urban ops. I would argue that the "reports" that are on the internet or in magazines come from people with agendas who either long for the old days or it is in their best interest to have this debate. The introduction of the designated marksman ensures that the squad and platoon have lots of options but not everyone requires a 7.62mm. The M4 does what it is suppose to do.

Jeff

DaveJames
05-05-2004, 12:26 AM
morf, I never believe any thing I read in print, untill verified, all the after action reports i havev been given to read have come from my buddies the Jar-heads, I know that their idea and the Army's are different in respect to deadicated riflemen, but not enough to matter, I wouldn't arguee your combat expeirence,as yours and mine are years apart,I'm glad you trust the M4, and it work for you and your bud's, but it still comes down to, its not the weapon it should be, and those who do the up close,are the ones screaming for a change,, as are the Marines, even tho they are reporting that in the 20" standard, its doing fairly well, and as you have to carry it, you mite as well get used to it, I know all about that ,I just believe that the Army once again, has tried to cover to many bases with one platform. You want a short rifle for CCB, then go to the old XM-177 cammando, it was a real shreader up close,out to about 100 meters, and would work better in the Humvess I bet.You want a 300 meter weapon fine go to the standard, I still think we should have stayed with the slower twist, and bullet profile ,as it gave you almost the same wound profile as a hollow point

RedDevil
05-10-2004, 06:13 PM
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=108750

Skpotamus
05-18-2004, 09:08 PM
http://www.jouster.com/articles30m1/index.html

it's more of the history of the M16, and why it got a bad rap.

Eddiewouldclearh0t
07-18-2012, 11:34 PM
I spent 12 months fighting in the Hindu Kush, about austere as it gets. Never saw or heard about any problems with the M4. In Afghanistan, there are plenty of engagements past 150 meters. But that's why the combined arms concept works well. No one system can do it all. Each squad has a Machine gun, and a M14, plus plenty of M4s. I would not hesitate to take an M4 to a gun fight, because I know it will work, because I know I will take care of it. Most fights are won in the preparation. Even if you slog it out for a few days, it only takes a minute to wipe it down and keep it running.

CaptBeach
07-19-2012, 08:53 AM
As a former USMC Armorer 2111 and Primary Marksmanship Instructor having served at both Pendleton and PI as a recruit PMI and as a fleet PMI for annual re-quals I saw literally hundreds of thousands, perhaps into the million+ range of 5.56mm rounds leaving for targets downrange from old school M16A1's and a few old CAR15's the Force Recon boys toted...I can count the FTF/FTE malfunctions on both hands and still have enough fingers left over to pick my nose...in every instance I can think of it was a bad magazine or operator error...the US Marine is a rifleman who takes his deadly art deadly serious, whether he is turning a wrench in a motor pool, inspecting a rotor head on the flight line or updating SRB's in an admin unit and the issue rifle is maintained by exceptional armorers and is always in 100% state of readiness, if not it is repaired or removed from service and forwarded to depot level maintenance.

Like someone mentioned above...with 10+ years of fighting in the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq...do you think for one minute that if there was a problem...we would have heard about it by now? The M16 is NOT the perfect weapon...neither is the AK...although I think the AK comes closer...

I would suspect your experiences at these tactical matches are from people with skill sets not equal to that of Americas fighting soldiers and Marines...I think if front line soldiers or Marines competed in these matches you would NOT SEE these problems.



Capt Beach

immerfrei
07-19-2012, 12:32 PM
Took the family out to the hills last year...all the nephews, cousins et. al. to teach them how to shoot. DSA FAL....no problem. Bravo Company AR15....no problem. I gave my nephew my newish Arsenal AKM 7.62x39 with folding stock ($900) and told them that the AK was the king of reliability. Two mags into shooting the shepards hook popped loose; the trigger assembly went sideways, and a live round was jammed solid in the chamber in front of a bolt that couldn't be brought back due to the trigger being sideways. Hard down.

I had not mucked with anything in the gun.

So, you never know.

BESEPUL
07-19-2012, 12:33 PM
And that's why we change the hook with the Krebbs retainer plate. ;)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2

immerfrei
07-19-2012, 12:37 PM
And that's why we change the hook with the Krebbs retainer plate. ;)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2

Exactly what I did. But how many millions are out there without that mod. You just never know.

Another item. How many weekend AR guys bought an AR for SHTF and then a case of Wolf ammo which they haven't fully tested out yet. Jam city.

BESEPUL
07-19-2012, 12:51 PM
Truth is, it will happen with just about everything. I've been playing guitar since I was 13 and can't remember how many times I dropped serious dough on an higher end axe and when I finally got it the thing would not stay in tune, or the action is horrible or it just sounds like crap. You're right, you just never know.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2

LMarshall73
07-19-2012, 01:47 PM
This thread was dead for 8 years?

Mossyrock
07-20-2012, 08:26 AM
Zombie thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!

azerious85
07-20-2012, 09:48 AM
i noted your words on rock river arms, they are good hobby AR's and rifles for those who put maybe 400-500 rounds a year through them a year, but considered "middle road" of quality. if you want to watch matches with AR's that DONT jam and considered ready to "go to war", observe Daniel Defense, BCM, Colt, LMT, or Larue rifles. Yes the system is not as reliable as an AK for 5,030,000 rounds, however don't judge your the rifle based on your observation with crap rifles fired by fudds. i don't base my opinion on the AK from the WASR...just saying. FWIW i like them both and they have their own strengths and weaknesses...however Gabe is trying REAL hard to make buy a V93....damn him:evil:


EDITED: Hah! just saw this was 8 years old, LOL didn't realize it was recently necro'ed hahaha good times...yes the rifles above weren't really around 8 years ago save for colt... times have improved for quality off the rack AR's

coastalcop
07-20-2012, 11:14 AM
23759

here you go, cause sometimes zombie threads happen

BillyOblivion
07-23-2012, 04:34 AM
Never mind, coastal cop got it.

Seriously though, eight years dead has to be SOME kind of record.

ss58
07-23-2012, 06:11 AM
Old threads never die they just go to the archives to regroup!!!