5 Reasons Why You Need to Own an AK Rifle

AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with a bayonet fixed resting against a Toyota Tacoma truck

Before we begin, I think perhaps I should ask, “What is an AK?” The original rifle the AK-47 was introduced in 1947. The rifle features gas-piston operation. You pay extra for a gas piston in the AR and a lot for the gas piston M1A. However, AKs were once cheaper than the AR. Today, the situation seems reversed.

AK Background

The AK-47, AKM, AK-74 and others earned a tremendous reputation for reliability. But they are not faultless — particularly with the cheap versions. AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova, or just Kalashnikov’s Automatic. Most AK rifles have stamped steel receivers. The bolt, trunnion, and barrel are manufactured of quality steel forgings. (Although there are cast trunnions.)

AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with a suppressor and Truglo optic mounted
The AK-type rifle may be as modern as you choose.

There are milled and forged variants. Forgings are more robust and more expensive. Most rifles are manufactured well enough for reliability, but also to looser tolerances to enhance reliability.

The history of the AK is interesting. If you own one, you may wish to collect historical pieces. You may also simply wish to own a good/reliable shooter. Avoid pitfalls and understand what you really want before you purchase.

I have seen more AK malfunctions over the years than M1 Garand, AR-15 or M1A1 malfunctions. Then again, I have fired a lot of cheap AKs, well-worn AKs, and used a lot of cheap steel-case loadings. I remember the first wave of $300 AK rifles and Chinese ammunition. Pow! Bang! Pow! Bang! Pow! and an SD all over the place was normal. However, I must admit that the rifle usually ran.

Some military surplus loads were service grade and high quality. Wolf offered a wicked 7.62x39mm hollow point load. In contrast to most foreign ammunition, it functioned, produced good accuracy, and expanded well. Bullets fired into water looked like razors.

My friend Barry killed several deer with clean shots to 75 yards with this load. The AK was a working man’s gun for many years offering affordable protection and a reasonable pig and deer gun. Recreation was a good reason for purchasing the rifle, as ammunition was very cheap.

Cartridge cutaway illustration of a 7.62x39 and 9mm
The 7.62x39mm cartridge (left) is compact and efficient.

Along the way, we learned that rust, dirt, mud, and muck WILL stop an AK. But then it will eventually stop a Jeep or a Tacoma as well. The bottom line… while the AK is a big R and small M gun (reliability and maintenance), maintain, clean, and lubricate the piece, and it will run a long, long time.

The AK rifle is simple to field strip and maintain. There are few small parts, and the rifle is designed to be acclimated to quickly. As far as I can tell, parts interchangeability is excellent.

The AK rifle was used by old Soviet Socialist Republic, China, and practically every nation that fell under Soviet/Communist influence. At one time it was estimated that every fifth firearm in the entire world was an AK! Israel has thousands of captured AK rifles in storage and chances are other nations do as well.

AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with a quad rail and red dot sight
The author’s quad-mount rifle offers excellent combat utility.

Only a few rifles offer pride of ownership, the ability to take game, and a good shot at personal defense. At one time, the Winchester 94 .30-30 was a standard for this type of rifle. Today an AK may fill that niche.

Power is not much, if any, below the .30-30 class. Likewise, if the rifle is not as accurate as the Model 94, it is accurate enough for most chores.  The .30-30 WCF is usually clocked from a 20-inch barrel. If the Trapper carbine with 16-inch barrel is compared to the AK-47 with 16-inch barrel, the power and energy are remarkably similar.

At one time, Cor Bon offered a 150-grain AK load breaking a true 2,450 fps in the AK, outstripping a 20-inch barrel Winchester 94 .30-30 by more than 150 fps. The AK is quite a rifle given sufficient load development.

AR-15 with an adjustable stock and an AK-47 with underfolder stock
An underfolder AK may be chosen for compactness and easy storage.

While beyond the scope of this feature article, handloads really bring out the potential of the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Another advantage — if you choose an under folder rifle — you have an easily stored and carried rifle that makes a good truck gun or bag gun with a large enough bag.

While the rifle’s sights are crude, they are useful to about 120 yards. Many AK rifles have the option of mounting a red dot or rifle scope. A quad rail is easily adapted to the AK rifle. TecSights and XS sights are an upgrade.

Let’s look at a few reasons to own an AK rifle. I added a Midwest Industries quad rail to my personal Interordnance AK. The result is a rifle well suited to mounting red dot optics and combat lights.

Reason 1

Because you can. Don’t underrate this simplistic reason. They — the liberals, the left, the Socialists, the Bund, the boogey man in Washington, or whatever you choose to call them, don’t want us to have the AK. While they haven’t been on the ban AK bandwagon — a dubious honor for the Armalite rifle — most ‘assault weapon’ bans cover the AK. So, get an AK to exercise your rights and because you can.

About a billion freedom starved downtrodden and horribly mistreated citizens in China, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, and Ireland to name a few wishes they had that right.

iron sights on a AK-47 7.62x39 rifle
AK-47 rifle battle sights are rugged and useful.

Reason 2

Because the AK works. While the AK isn’t as magically reliable and durable as its greatest fans make it out to be, a quality AK rifle is a very reliable workmanlike firearm. The maintenance required is minimal. I clean and lubricate my rifles. Just the same, a quality AK will go a long time between cleaning and lubrication.

Reason 3

The AK is one helluva a defensive firearm. It is a SHTF rifle with few equals. It is overlooked that the AK is a great rifle for animal defense. You don’t need a lot of range. An alligator, feral dog, or bear must get close enough before it can bite. You may put a lot of jacketed bullets into them long before they get that close.

Reason 4

The AK is accurate enough for most chores relating to personal defense and close-range hunting. An economy rifle with the least expensive steel-cased ammunition isn’t very accurate. A four-inch group at 100 yards for three shots is actually good for these rifles, some are worse. A better quality AK may get the groups into the three inch range — if you use quality ammunition. Fiocchi ammunition offers the single most accurate FMJ load I have fired. Hornady offers an SST loading suitable for game animals.

Bob Campbell pointing an AKM rifle with a weapons light while performing a home clearing drill
The AK/AKM rifle is perhaps more formidable as a home defense rifle than many realize.

Reason 5

Firing the AK is affordable. Ammunition is below $10 a box at CheaperThanDirt! Then again, you don’t have to use a 7.62x39mm rifle. The 5.56mm round is also available in the AK platform as well.

There are many reasons to own an AK but aren’t these five enough? Share your vote for or against the AK platform in the comment section.

  • AKM rifle with a quad rail and Inforce light
  • Hornady Black Steel match ammunition
  • AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with a suppressor and Truglo optic mounted
  • AK-47 magazine with loose 7.62x39 ammunition
  • Bob Campbell pointing an AKM rifle with a weapons light while performing a home clearing drill
  • AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with a quad rail and red dot sight
  • AK-47 7.62x39 rifle muzzle with a Truglo weapons light
  • AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with a bayonet fixed resting against a Toyota Tacoma truck
  • Quad rail for a rifle
  • upset 7.62x39mm bullets
  • AR-15 with an adjustable stock and an AK-47 with underfolder stock
  • AK-47 7.62x39 rifle with the underfolder stock inthe open position
  • iron sights on a AK-47 7.62x39 rifle
  • Winchester 7.62x39 Defender ammunition
  • AK-47 7.62x39 rifle receiver
  • safety on a AK-47 7.62x39 rifle
  • Cartridge cutaway illustration of a 7.62x39 and 9mm

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (60)

  1. FYI – The 7.62×39 round, even the mil spec ball ammo, is almost an ideal brush load for Hoggs. If you handload, the 7.62×39 becomes even better, but really, will never equal a modern 30/30 loading ballistically. Issue with using the 7.62×39 is the quality of the AK-47 being used. Seen that many AK-47s shoot something like a shotgun pattern, while a decent rifle (HOWA MINI ACTION), using the same ammo, will be shooting cloverleaf groups. Question becomes – Will you spend the money to get a quality-built AK-47 or not? The real reason for an inexpensive AK-47 is a “Truck Gun” or “Camp Gun” that is used at close range in bad weather or for home defense. FYI – I have a Russian SAIGA AK-47 clone in lieu of a “real” AK-47. Too bad SAIGAs are no longer imported.

  2. I used both AKs and M4s while doing private security work in Iraq. I had an AK fail in a big way one day – once cocked it would shoot without touching the trigger unless the “safety” was on. But I also had a Bushmaster SBR at one point that was essentially a single-shot rifle. I guess that sort of makes them tied as far as their usefulness in a firefight.

    The M4s I used were more ergonomic and much nicer to shoot, but the AKs got the job done. Overall, I prefer the M4 but I’ve owned AKs and like I said, they get the job done.

  3. @DL
    There’s a method to the madness… spray and pray. Might as well use Tec9 or Thompsons in .45ACP. Sure, fun, but not practical. I’m in no way advocating for or against firearms. Nor arguing the effectiveness of the 7.62×39.

  4. We can argue about this forever. A person likes what they like. However, there are some indisputable points. First, even Eugene Stoner advised against the AR-15 and recommended the AR-10. Second, the “reasons” for adopting the 5.56 were always nonsense. “You can carry more rounds”? Yes, but what good does it do you if the rounds you have lack knock down or penetration power? Third, wood stocks will not stand up to the moisture and heat of SE Asia? I guess you will have to explain that to all the Marines and soldiers who fought their way across the pacific in the same jungle climate. You will also have to explain that to the Brits, Indians and AMericans who were in the Burma-India Theater. And, oh yes, the Japanese need the same explanation.

    I always believed and still do that, someone had a vest financial interest in adopting the 5.56 and possibly the AR-15. There were always suspicions that someone “made sure” that the AR-10 failed.

    Buy what you will but, know the facts.

  5. Reason #6 point blank to 100yards the AK polish hellpup version is the the most effortless, deadliest,and loveable firearm and that is what it boils down to in the end , a match made in heaven no disrespect to the AR platforms

  6. Reason #6 point blank to 100yards the AK polish hellpup version is the the most effortless, deadliest,and loveable firearm and that is what it boils down to in the end , a match made in heaven no disrespect to the AR platforms

  7. @James… yeah… PSA might be doing it better now but about 10 years ago my brother got two PSA Feedom “kits”. Whomever did the barrels with front sight post was drilled wrong. It was a mess. They claimed it wasn’t their fault. The lower parts kits were out of spec as well. Sent the thing in to full auto. They made it right after pics showing their supplier was out of spec.
    So… meh.

  8. I’ve got the PSAK, which is is made by Palmetto State Armory. It has a Magpul folding stock, and foregrip. The folder is rock solid, and everything fits perfectly. The only thing that I don’t like about it, is that the AK is a mid 20th century rifle, which was not designed to be modular like an AR-15, with a solid top rail for mounting optics. However, I was really impressed with the quality and workmanship of PSA, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quality firearm. Their AR-15’s are also highly rated, even when compared to high end brands! And their Glock clone pistols are more ergonomic than Glock, completely interchangeable, almost half the price, and most importantly, they’ve addressed the issues like triggers and sights that everyone complains about.

  9. Okay… before this turns into some debate on AR type vs AK type and this is seriously going that way quickly… guys that gripe about the AR type being made by Mattel and they the remember Mattel is for kids slogan… yeah… Mattel did make plastics… they got recruited for furniture production for the AR type during the Veitnam War… whoopdie doo… quit complaining, it didn’t involve wood. Cry about it. No one said the AR type was perfect.
    The AK type… fine, if you like it you like it. It’s kinda like do you dig redheads, blondes, brunettes… blue eyes, what? And as was mentioned by JRKMT1… yup… at least someone pointed that out.
    Damn big difference between the 7.62x54R and the 7.62×39. Just because it’s “Russian” doesn’t mean it’s all the same commie stuff.
    Ever use a bolt action Mosin-Nagant? Original WW2 with folding bayonette, steel butt plate, original battle sights… that thing will thump your shoulder. Weighs about a metric s*** ton and the recoil is something. It’s a beast. Like the WW2 German 8mm Mauser… proof marked 1943… heavy and harsh… they were built to function. The AK was a product of it’s time. Just as the AR was. The AR is pretty much ubiqutous nowadays… sure according to some in the “shit” it was some play “plastic plaything”. Okay… so you had a new weapon, during the draft, half assed trained kids with gov’t cost cutting compared to the old M14.
    Now toss in where someone mentioned the Ruger Mini… the Mini30… yeah well it is what is is with chambering the 7.62×39.
    Want some real fun is the issued Ruger Mini14 chambered in .223 Rem.
    Issued patrol weapons for certain guard details. It was stupid reliable for what it is but accurate… well let’s put it this way…if off hand at 100yds you could send 10 rounds into a 10″ target in 5 sceonds fu**erd iron sights you were concidered a badass. Yeah… real world law enforcement expericence as an instructor. 🤦🏼‍♂️
    I failed a few senior officers and rookies because of not neccessarily their failure to understand firearms but that they had no clue how to hit a target or operate the weapon. I was NOT a popular instructor with certain brass.

  10. I like my Mak 90 and my SKS rifles. I purchased lots of ammo for them when it was $79.95 per 1,000 rds. I just sold a NHM 91 and I hope that I don’t regret it.

  11. Never really wanted an AK. I did purchase an SKS for testing vehicle armor. I have never been a fan of the M-16 or AR. I carried one in the Air Force and the Army. The one I had in the Air Force had “Made by MATTEL” all over it. Maybe it was just the plastic stock made by Mattel. I found that the M-16 and the AR were hard to carry on your shoulder by the sling. It was easier to carry muzzle down than muzzle up. Another reason to not own one is that it is black which now has a bad rap. George Leanard Herter called it the “Pentagon Pansy”. I do own a Ruger Mini 14. I have used it and the SKS against marauding packs of dogs after my chickens. Both have proven very useful. D.C.

  12. I have the VSKA and my wife has the Zastava. Love them. Many different mags. I found that my wife’s Zastava does not lock composit mags well. All the KCI steel mags are our favorites. Promags work well in my VSKA. Accuracy is ok with both. Bought a sight adjustment tool to correct the center. Used 7 different brands of ammo both steel and brass. No issues……so fun to shoot…

  13. I have the VSKA and my wife has the Zastava. Love them. Many different mags. I found that my wife’s Zastava does not lock composit mags well. All the KCI steel mags are our favorites. Promags work well in my VSKA. Accuracy is ok with both. Bought a sight adjustment tool to correct the center. Used 7 different brands of ammo both steel and brass. No issues……so fun to shoot.

  14. I have a Century Arms RAS47. Picked it up right around the Sandy Hook fiasco.
    With iron sights, 3-round shot groups will come in a smidge under the diameter of a nickel at 25 yards.
    At 100 yards, using a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 scope, I will achieve 3-round shot groups right around the size of a nickel or a little larger, as well.
    I use Barnaul ammunition almost exclusively. It gives the best performance and groupings of any 7.62×39 I have tried. (The next most accurate was the East German military surplus. Good luck finding any, though, as it was only available in the early ’90s.)
    I came across Barnaul back in the early ’90s. Its performance and accuracy out of my SKSs was superlative. Availability was spotty until about 12 years ago or so.

    @BO – The 7.62 Russian is the 7.62x54R (rimmed) and was developed during the time of the tzars. The 7.62×39 is 7.62 Soviet. It was developed during the Soviet era.

  15. I have never been a fan of AK47s, But I give them a lot of credit. They seem to work pretty well and it is the most plentiful rile on the planet (At least that is what I am told). Most evil people and governments seem to like them pretty well. The author’s 5 reasons to own one are pretty compelling. Makes me wonder if there is room in my safe for one. Would also add another caliber ammo to stock. Currently I have to stock: .22LR, .223/5.5.56..308/7.62, 300 BLKOUT, .450BM, .50 Beowulf, .38, .38 Special, 9mm. 10mm, and finally .45 A.C.P. I have at least one firearm in each category, in some calibers multiple weapons.

  16. I own an ak 74 in 5.45 x 39. My ammo is military surplus, so inexpensive enough. Like my AR15, very light recoil. I also own an SKS in 7.62 x 39. I’ve acquired a mini14, an AR10 in 308, an AR15 300 blk, and an as yet unfired AR12. I like them all. They all have pro and con attributes. I have no intention to giving any of them up.

  17. I have a Romanian AK, a Chinese SK, a Mini-30, a Mini 1500 and a couple of 7.62×39 AR uppers. They all shoot equally bad (3″-4″ groups). I have had a lot of Russian ammo misfires with the Mini-30 and those uppers. I put a Wolfe hammer spring in a lower which made a huge difference but ruined the trigger pull. There is an “enhanced” firing pin available for the Mini-30 ($40). I think the design of that round is without equal for compactness and stopping power. It’s a cut above the 300 Whisper group and the .223 for power but not accuracy. My fave is the SKS for its compactness and the built-in bayonet. The 10 round stripper-clips are a very compact way to carry ammo and I find very quick loading. I have never been able to find a detachable mag for the SKS that I was satisfied with. Stay safe.

  18. when they first became available, i bought several of them, packed in wooden crates from my local dealer, price at the time was 88 dollars. Traded them over 30 years for other shooters and now down to only a few, they were lost in a fishing accident at the lake two years ago. but if times get rough, i know where to dive,,,never had a problem two had stocks, the others were side folders and bottom folders, i like the side folder best. Bottom folders, two had grenade sight attachment and two were pistol models, one side folder and one pistol were 223 caliber but magazines are not as available for the 223…thanks for the great article,,,i think every home should own at least one,,hope i never need one

  19. I like my AK’s. I like throwing a .30 cal down range at a reasonable price. I have used the Wolf hollow point to take deer and also the Winchester Deer season in 7.62×39, devastating and also expensive.
    Bought the AK’s because I could when they were cheaper that AR’s and ammo too. SHITF, BRING IT ON

  20. I have a 556 Ak rifle don’t know much about it . Been told it’s a Russian assault rifle can please tell me more about it ?

    1. Several companies currently make AK versions in 5.56. I would need more information about it to give you anything more. ~Dave

  21. I served with a Ranger company in Viet Nam and luckily got an AK on my second mission from a vc that no longer needed it. It was German made and a great close contact weapon. The AR’s were known for misfiring, firing too fast and we could not get 30 round mags for them, 30 round mags for AK’s were plentiful as was ammo. The army frowned on the use of any weapons made by chicom countries but german made were great. The only drawback was the wood was subject to severe ‘charcoaling’ during heavy firefights from overheating. Also an AR was very recognizable by the Vietnamese as belonging to an American, carrying an AK allowed a few precious couple seconds advantage when confronted.

  22. Got the AK because I could. Fun to shoot. Ammo cheap. Zero recoil which is why I got my wife trained up on one for the zombies or the Chinese invasion. (Sorry, no AR’s in this house as we want weapons that can kill something bigger than a coyote or a rabbit.) Wife can load mag, insert, rack, fire all rounds with a general hint of accuracy, pop mag out and repeat. She’s not a big gun person so this was an accomplishment. When the Chinks come pouring over the hill I will be standing beside her feeding the little b@$+@rd$ steady doses of .308 from the favored M1-A. So the point is that another reason to buy an AK is so your wife can mow down Chinese at your side. See, it’s a marriage-building purchase.

  23. When i was in the Army, I knew several guys who procured AK’s and carried them to use in surprise parties (AKA ambush) as the signature sound of that weapon would confuse the guests of honor as to who was inviting them to this particular surprise gala. That practice was frowned upon by those who would never really set foot into areas that we frequented which was why there was zero chance that they could prove it ever took place.

    I do not own an AK, but I do own a Romanian SKS, which is also chambered in .30 Russian (also known as 7.62 Russian or 7.62 ×39) That caliber has proven to be a more than adequate deer cartridge at close range as it has taken several deer with a single shot.

    I also was able to acquire a sizable amount of FMJ and HP ammo for it which is stored in a number of rather full .30 cal ammo cans. And if the zombie apocalypse ever occurs, I am well stocked for the event (or any other apocalypse for that matter.)

    I put a red dot sight on it and it is a fun rifle to shoot and at distances up to 150 yards does a more than adequate job of taking down coyotes, deer and any number of other critters that might need ventilation.

  24. many years ago a friend bought a Chinese AK. We took it out with my AR and a deputy sheriff and his AR. With the AR’s we were shooting the target at 70 yards with about normal 3 and 4 inch groups from the shoulder. We could not get the AK on target. With the sight at full stop , shooting 2feet to the right and 3 feet high, we got a shot into the lower left corner of the target. Absolutely the worst firearm I have ever fired. I would have to have proof of accuracy before I would spend money on one. The owner of the rifle we fired, sold it the following week and purchased a WW2 30-06 semi auto Garand. It hits what you aim at.

  25. I’ve had a .223 Chinese AK since the 80’s, when 7.62×39 was not very plentiful. Cost me $365. Very reliable. Should’ve bought 2.

  26. In the Nam we captured AKs from every Communist country. Russia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary and probably the USSR. But, nothing from China, even though while on an op, we saw bodies in unusual field uniforms, and a lot larger than the NVA. We did not use them, although we did not pose with them, because of the firing signature. All I can say is that the one’s the VC used had about 0% blueing, they seemed to work just fine when fired at us. But all that was a long time ago and my memory is not what it was 50+ years ago.

  27. To Kenny above—AKs were not the only guns used by the VC. They had German made, they had AR15s, they had many brands. Point is, though AKs killed many US soldiers, if you are being shot at and its the only thing available, will you just use your fingers and yell BANG? Look at the guns parented by Germany, Belgium, etc. They killed millions of people. How bout Winchesters that killed native Americans? etc etc etc

    On subject though, there are other reasons to own these. AMMO AVAILABILITY. Bet there are more Russian short rounds in the world than most others. Easy to fix. Easy to clean. Easy to modify. Unless you are going to play sniper, its MOA isnt that important. Its a battle gun. How about self defense?? I differ with many about what ‘self defense’ guns are. This is America. Self defense is almost totally in the home or on the streets in certain areas, and not that common. Ya cant carry a long gun around the streets, and ya cant keep an AK under your pillow. To say guns like these, and especially SHOTGUNS are ‘self defense weapons’ is just silly, but then we all know that game is to try and keep Democrats from saying what I just did to use for tighter restrictions.
    Ive had one AK but it was in .223!! Chinese made, bought it in the 80s. It shot pretty darned tight, I must say.

  28. Although the question always rises “why should you own an AK-47?” I believe the question the is
    what we do with it!! As a retire Marine and more than an average shooter, I accept the responsibility of owning any type of weapon that may enter or stay in my home. What I get tired of, is individuals that use any weapon, (Gun, Knife, CO2 propelled, Bow ect…), irresponsibly and because I have one or are thinking of buying one I’M told “You are just like them”. Well to those of you that have no common sense I say this, the manufacture is not the one who is commenting these crimes, an individual is! and when you say they were troubled in some way, it takes planning to commit most of these acts, they are not random. When you allow these individuals to commit such violent acts, and then pat them on the back and say “well it really wasn’t your fault” tens to make me wonder who you are really sorry for ?, it sure isn’t the victims!

  29. I have a Century Arms Ak and an AK pistol. I chose those over any kind of an AR due to my dislike of the 5.56 round for any military purpose. I always believed and still do that, the 5.56/223 was designed for and should have stayed a varmint (4 legged) hunting round.

    The 7.62 x 39 is a more effect round at combat ranges. It has more recoil but, so what? The ARs still seem toy-like in my hands which, is why they were called “Matty Matels” back when.

  30. The citizens of China, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, and Ireland to name a few DO have the right to own guns. Their governments currently do not protect that right.

    All people in all nations in all times have the right to keep and bear arms. Unjust governments infringe those rights, but the people still hold the rights. Period.

  31. Emrique

    Well said!

    After all our ancestors quickly adopted the Tomahawk from aboriginals who did quite a bit of damage with it!


  32. Paul

    Really focused on AK not comparing to the Mini 30

    However- good quality mini 30 magazine are difficult to come by unless you are content with five and ten round magazines. Also, due to Ruger’s chamber design, Ruger’s Mini 30 is less accurate than the average AK and that is very poor! Still the Mini 30 is always reliable. It is a fine 50 to 75 yard rifle for many uses.

  33. Kenny, I understand your feelings. However, we can use the same gun to a different purpose now: to defend our life, to take down a terrorist or a mass killer, not to mention game or practice. US made and US type weapons have also been used by lunatics, human trash and fanatics to kill children in our schools. AR-15, an all-American rifle seems to be the favorite of that social scum to kill innocents. Regardless the made, a gun could be used for opposite purposes.
    We appreciate your service.

  34. I have a Wasr-10, AK variant, and wouldn’t trade it for anything. When compared to the AR, it’s like defining the difference between a machete and a scalpel. The AK is my bushwhacking machete that is reliable and effective. I highly recommend Manticore Arms Nightbrake instead of the factory slant muzzle device. Literally reduced the muzzle rise to nearly nothing. A long eye relief scope just forward of the rear sight gives great results with no need for a battery powered optic. I routinely shot 150-200 yards and got 2.5-3 in. groups with Tula ammo, but that’s no longer available. Compared to the AR, I shoot 5 shot groups at silver dollar size coins at 400 yards, average 4 out of 5, with a S&W AR. The AK is a great rifle, it has it’s limitations, but probably one of my favorites for an all purpose rifle.

  35. Maybe teflon tape could cover the area where it rubs so bad! Might be better to protect the metal than worry about aesthetics on the range. At least it might help to protect the gun so as to not destroy it’s value, and looks!

  36. I like the AK-47! It’s a terrific shooter. I shot it while in Vietnam, along with the AR-15, and while I don’t like the sighting system on the AR-15, raised to high off the barrel!, I was still able to shoot it pretty accurately. The AK-47 never gave me a problem, which is weird.
    I grew up shooting a .22 rifle. It was a model 28 semi-auto, short. long, or long rifle, had the Pronghorn rear sight, which I still think today is the best sight ever! I shot instinctively! Starting when I was eight years old. I didn’t need the sights, just aimed down along the barrel and hit what I shot at! Funny thing was, the same sighting method worked just fine with the AK-47! The gun range that was available at Kom Tum in late 1967 was only 250 meters long, had short two foot high steel post set at 50 meters apart out to the end of the range. With the M-1 Carbine and the AK both, I could knock soda cans off the steel post all the way out to the 250 meter range with the gun sights taped off! My friends I went shooting with did the taping because they didn’t believe I could shoot like that! I liked the AK! Never experienced any problem with it until the damn thing was pointed at me during the TET Offensive in Jan 68! Make too good a target at night, flying a “Charlie Model Huey (Uh-1C) with nav lights on trying to, hopefully, draw enemy fire so your wingman can shoot the S### out of them! Got me. Right leg and right elbow! AK will put a hole in you! And your bird! 58 plus!
    Anyway, I thought the AK was pretty accurate. Shot well for me, and at me!

  37. I currently own a Century Arms VSKA. I had an earlier model which experienced a trunion failure, and Century arms replaced it with the VSKA at no charge. The rifle fires cheap Russian steel case ammo with absolutely no problems. It is as you say in the article accurate enough for self defense out to at least 100 yards. The VSKA shares home defense duty with my Mossberg shotgun.

  38. I could take it or leave it. Not that those reasons aren’t good ones, mind you, they just aren’t good enough to convince me to get one. Why an AK with almost identical ballistics to the .30-30 when I already own a Model 94 in .30-30? Just saying. A number of years ago a local pawn shop I occasionally frequented had an AK74 for $75. I could’ve gotten it even cheaper. Like song and dance cheap. Wasn’t interested because you couldn’t find the ammo around my locale. They practically were willing to give it to me because no one else wanted it either. Mainly because of the ammo thing. Have to keep in mind that the Internet was barely a thing back then so your local gun shop was your ammo supplier. You weren’t going to find it on the shelf… they’d grudgeningly order you some though. Didn’t need the hassle so I passed. I’m deep in the heart of .30-30, .30/06, .308, .270 type country. The AR or ammo for it was practically unheard of around here back then either. I guess I sorta wished I had gotten it now but it’s not exactly like it’s some huge loss. It’s just an AK.

  39. I carried one briefly over in the giant cat box, and I do own a couple, but I don’t like them. They are crude, heavy and clumsy, always feels like I am aiming and firing a vacuum cleaner. I like Armalites, preferably some variety of Colt 10.25″ or 11.5″ XM177 or Commando pattern short carbine.

  40. At its heart, the AK-47 is the M1 Garand turned upside down. It’s the most American rifle built by a Soviet. 🙂

    It’s not a precision rifle, and it wasn’t designed to be. It was designed to be a grunt-proof, diehard reliable battle rifle, and in that capacity it’s excelled.

    I wish using the safety didn’t mar the finish, though. That semi-circular mark on the side is always a minor eyesore. 😮

  41. Would love to own an AR, but when you live in CA, law-abiding citizens get restricted and punished, and criminals go free because “it wasn’t their fault.” Alas, no hope for changing the law here. 😕 Great article and sound logic. Much appreciated. Especially the insights from real life experience with ARs.

  42. I like my Maddi thumbhole. AK with long barrel but I also like the SKSs have a Russin and Norinco’s all good shooters I use a Norinco pinned barrel for hunting dead on at 100 yds.

  43. I have 3 AK’s. Long barrel, normal and fold up. I like them for all 5 reasons and more. Easy to carry light compared to other similar rifles easy to load and use. I adjusted my sights so they are good at 300′ on the long barrel 250′ regular and fold up is for in close quarters so no sight needed. I love these rifles. Learn how to use them store them where to use and when to use them. Get trained on them as easy as they are they are very deadly if misused.

  44. I have had an AK-47 for about 30 years. Very reliable even after throwing it in mud and water and returning immediatly to firing off a 30 round mag without a missfire.

  45. I have a couple AK they are a good rifle and extremely fun to shoot. Watch Rob Ski shoot they are as accurate as the shooter.

  46. I rented one at a gun club to which I belonged, and I found that this particular rifle had a frog’s-hair trigger — it fired the moment I touched it. Fortunately, I had the sense and training to have it aimed at the target before my finger entered the trigger guard, so no harm, no foul — but it put me off the AK. I will allow that a rented gun is a well-used and well- worn gun, and that the sear was likely in need of replacement, but I’ll pass on the AK just the same.
    Thank you for the forum.

  47. Great platform, reliable, and down right awesome way to have fun with a weapon with multiple uses! If they don’t want you to have one, then a must have!

  48. It is a mystery to me why any American would want to own a weapon that killed so many of my fellow soldiers in Vietnam

  49. Personally I like both the round and the firearm in both AK47 and AR15 platforms. The Ak47 platforms seem to be able to use just about any kind of ammunition while the AR15 platforms using 7.62×39 can be finicky with certain kinds of ammo. Once you get that issue sorted out for your particular firearm you have two very effective and reliable platforms to shoot from.

  50. Thank you very much !
    I’ll keep my piston run AR 15s & AR 10s !!!
    There is no comparison to them versus DI !!!

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