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  • Ak-47 & Co really that inaccurate?

    Just a short thread (I hope) about something I read somewhere:
    the Ak-47, the 74 and the other variants have a reputation for ruggedness and inaccuracy. I read however, that the later wasn't entirely justified. The claim was that these inaccurate Kalashnikovs were usually produced by rather unsophisticated gunsmiths and that a "properly" made AK wasn't really that much more inaccurate than a contemporary western rifle.
    Can anyone verify or refute this? Who has personal experience with AKs here, and from what source were they and how was the quality of their maintenance?
    Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
    Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
    USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

  • #2
    If you make an AK with the fit and finish (emphasis on fit) that you see in a modern Western Assault rifle, you end up taking away some of the ruggedness and reliability. One of the reasons the AK is so reliable is that loose tolerances in the right places allow it to function with more grit and grime than would be possible with a contemporary Western Arm. It is plenty accurate out to 300m, which combined with its reliability makes it perfect for inexperienced conscript armies, or tribesmen in poor conditions. However, there are better weapons for use by well trained professional soldiers.

    IMHO, I would say that an AK by design will not be as accurate as an AR 15, because if you make a match-grade AK, you'd have to shoot it against a match-grade AR. Therefore the match barrel, tightened tolerances, and optical sights on the AK would be matched against the same done to a base AR.

    Of course that is in the pure accuracy department. Battle accuracy closes the gap somewhat because skill of the shooter under stress matters more than perfect point-of-aim-point-of-impact.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #3
      AK-47 vs. M-16 Video...

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      • #4
        Also, the open sights of the AK, along with its shorter sight radius are inferior to the aperture (peep) sight of the AR.

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        • #5
          The Galil, a version of the AK, is supposedly more accurate simply because of its peep sight.



          Of course, the Galil was probably also manufactured to closer tolerances than the AK-47.

          And if you consider the SiG SG 550 assault rifle a descendent of the AK, well, that is a darn accurate weapon.

          To offer my two cents' worth, I don't think the AK is inherently inaccurate as a result of its design. I think rather than the inaccuracy came from the manufacturing. I'm pretty sure that if you hand the design to the Swiss, and ask them to build it, they would end up with a superbly accurate weapon, but one that is ten times as expensive!

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          • #6
            To be fair, on single shot, it isn't too bad at the ranges for which it was designed.

            All bets are off on auto, of course. Like any other assault rifle.
            Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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            • #7
              So, the ruggedness and the inaccuracy go hand in hand? Interesting, thanks for the IMHO.
              When I saw in the first video just how inaccurate the AK is, I thought "screw it, useless piece of junk". But when I saw the penetrating power... okay M-16 for outdoor and long distance shooting, but urban environment, definitely the AK-47.
              Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
              Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
              USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

              Comment


              • #8
                While in the USMC I had a few chances to spend time and fire AK's. Yes you can throw it in mud and so-on, but for me (a qualified rifeman with many Expert rifle and pistol badges) I was lucky to hit the target over 200 meters. Forget any kind of grouping over 100 (and loose groups at that).

                I was spoiled by the M-16 attaining 6 to 8 inch groups at 500 meters, and so I kept trying to no avail. So I guess it was consistantly inconsistant. None of that crap like Full Metal Jacket. No to answer the question, yes I HAVE been on the receiving end of AK fire. As long as it was an AK and fired over 100 meters, only a lucky shot will get you (well that's how me and some of my buds thought about it).

                Maybe that was false bravado, but it worked for us.

                Now to give the devil it's due, under say 100 meters, than the thought process changes. It is accurate enought at that range to make you think before you act.
                In Vino Veritas

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
                  While in the USMC I had a few chances to spend time and fire AK's. Yes you can throw it in mud and so-on, but for me (a qualified rifeman with many Expert rifle and pistol badges) I was lucky to hit the target over 200 meters. Forget any kind of grouping over 100 (and loose groups at that).
                  Puts the ruggedness into perspective. Doesn't matter so much whether you throw a M-16 into the mud and cannot hit anything with it afterwards because it jams, or do the same with an AK-47 and hit nothing with it because it is so inaccurate...

                  But tell me dongar1, when you had problems hitting a target at 200 meters, were you using single fire or automatic fire? The AK-47 seems pretty much built around the concept of throwing a lot of lead in the general direction of the enemy.
                  Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                  Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                  USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
                    While in the USMC I had a few chances to spend time and fire AK's. Yes you can throw it in mud and so-on, but for me (a qualified rifeman with many Expert rifle and pistol badges) I was lucky to hit the target over 200 meters. Forget any kind of grouping over 100 (and loose groups at that).

                    I was spoiled by the M-16 attaining 6 to 8 inch groups at 500 meters, and so I kept trying to no avail. So I guess it was consistantly inconsistant. None of that crap like Full Metal Jacket. No to answer the question, yes I HAVE been on the receiving end of AK fire. As long as it was an AK and fired over 100 meters, only a lucky shot will get you (well that's how me and some of my buds thought about it).

                    Maybe that was false bravado, but it worked for us.

                    Now to give the devil it's due, under say 100 meters, than the thought process changes. It is accurate enought at that range to make you think before you act.
                    Thanks for recounting your actual experiences. Pretty much matches my opinion of the 2 weapons. Personally, if I had to choose I'd go with the M-16. There's something about being able to effectively engage an enemy at a distance that's comforting.

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                    • #11
                      Given that a high % of all Infantry combat is less than 300 metres, does it matter all that much if one group is 6" or 8" greater than the other?


                      I would trade that for reliability any day.

                      JMNHO

                      John.
                      The PLO claims ALL of Israel!!! There will and can NEVER be a "2 State solution".

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ozjohn39 View Post
                        Given that a high % of all Infantry combat is less than 300 metres, does it matter all that much if one group is 6" or 8" greater than the other?


                        I would trade that for reliability any day.

                        JMNHO

                        John.
                        6-8 inches can equal a miss. The M16 isn't unreliable- it just needs to be kept remotely clean, which a soldier in a western army is taught to do.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                          Puts the ruggedness into perspective. Doesn't matter so much whether you throw a M-16 into the mud and cannot hit anything with it afterwards because it jams, or do the same with an AK-47 and hit nothing with it because it is so inaccurate...

                          But tell me dongar1, when you had problems hitting a target at 200 meters, were you using single fire or automatic fire? The AK-47 seems pretty much built around the concept of throwing a lot of lead in the general direction of the enemy.
                          Well, personally I've had the priviledge of slogging through a muddy swamp in a Bruneian jungle. I've also had the priviledge of being up to my eyeballs in a flooded slit trench dug into red clay - I was redish brown for much of that particular field exercise. Not to mention dropping off an assault bolt into deceptively shallow looking water. Or jungle conditions so humid that the metal barrel started developing a fine layer of rust.

                          My M16 - IIRC, it was made in 1967! - back then did not fail me. It kept on firing. If there was a jam, it was probably the magazines - we weren't given new ones for training, but magazines that were probably a decade old. To top it all off, we were using foul plastic blanks.

                          I think the reliability of the M16 is a relative thing. Yes, it probably won't do as well if you bury it in mud, choke it with sand, or drown it, compared to the AK.

                          But the impression that it will jam at the slightest excuse is really a mistakened one. Bottomline is, if you take care of it, it'll take care of you. Something as simple as keeping the dust cover closed or the muzzle taped , will help to protect an M16 and keep it working.

                          [Speaking of which, small plastic caps - rather like condoms but much smaller - were available in the small convenience stall on base. They are snapped over the muzzle, and kept it nice and clean in the jungle. For some strange reason, the government never issued this practical and useful item. Go figure!]

                          And, I suspect that fine sand in a desert environment is probably more of a challenge for the M16 then mud and jungle humidity.

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                          • #14
                            I haven't shot many AK's but have shot quite a few SKS's. I think quite a bit of the accuracy problems come from some of the garbage military ammo out there. I still have a box of Egyptian ball ammo that is near useless unless you are at bayonet range (and even then you have only a 60% chance of a bang when you pull the trigger).

                            Other than the ammo, sights and trigger are the next culprits.
                            45B10 1986-91

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                            • #15
                              I guess the preference for type of weapon will for the most part be determined by the expected engagement ranges. For close to mid ranges, I'd prefer the AK. For anything beyond that, the m16. Overall? I'd say the m16 is more versatile, though, as it can be used at any ranges, plus the relatively light weight allows the user to bring much more ammo.

                              Personally, though, comparing the iron sights of the AK, m16, and (my favorites) HK and SIG, I prefer the sights of the HK and SIG for any range.
                              "We have no white flag."

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