AR-15 or AK47? Which is a better rifle for reliability?

A question I get asked often is which is a better rifle for reliability the Ar-15 or the AK 47

Let’s look at the pros and cons for both today:

As much as I love a good AR I am going to have to veer towards a AK 47 as far as reliability is concerned. You can literally leave them out in the snow, not use them for 10 years and come back to it and an AK is going to work for you.

There is a very good reason why the Ak47 is the rifle of choice for poor people living in the third world. The system can take a fair bit of environmental abuse and with minimal care and maintenance it will shoot. Of course like all things in life there is a trade off and that one being you lose accuracy on an Ak vs an AR

AR’s, M16 and M4’s require much more maintenance to keep them functioning properly especially if they use a direct impingement system (rather than a gas piston) Of course if you keep them in good condition they will perform excellently

If you are looking to purchase a good quality AK try to get an original with a milled steel receiver and not one of the later versions which used stamped steel.

Some specs that differentiate an original AK versus a modern one are:
* Original AKs have a larger and sloped Front Sight versus the slimmer one of a modern AK
* Barrels for the modern AK are much more lightweight approx 2mm thinner
* Original AKs have a more solid and thicker Gas block than the vented gas blocks of modern Aks
* The modern AK has larger and smoother cleaning rod retainers
* In original AKs the front sling loop wraps around the gas block and the bayonet lug and in modern AKs the front sling loop is integral to the Lower hand-guard retainer.

Some champions of the AR platform claim they see more misfires using an AK47. However, I personally believe that it is not so much the rifle but the quality of ammo out there for the AK, which can vary greatly. Installing a sharper firing pin in your AK usually helps with hard primers.

To sum up if reliability and very low maintenance is your only criteria then definitely go for an AK 47 but do try and get an original, keep in mind that you will be sacrificing accuracy for reliability,. Forget about hitting anything over 300 meters with your AK.

Like I said above I do love a good AR15 and they are not as finicky as people think they are.

Thanks for reading – I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback – leave a comment below!

Leave a Comment