The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39 mm rifle developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. Design and development began in 1945 and in 1948, the rifle entered service with select units of the Soviet Army. In early 1949, it was fully adopted by all Soviet Armed Forces as well as most members of the Warsaw Pact. Even after almost 70 years, the AK and its many variants are still the most prolific rifles in the world. Their fame is due in part to their unwavering reliability in virtually any conditions, low manufacturing cost and ease of operation. It is estimated that one fifth of all firearms in use in the world today belong to the Kalashnikov family.

The AR-15 and its family began life as a prototype that was designed by ArmaLite for military use in the 1960s. This selective-fire, direct impingement gas-operated 5.56×45mm rifle was designed to be a lightweight weapon utilizing a high-velocity, small caliber cartridge which would allow soldiers to field more ammunition. Eventually, it became the M16 rifle of the US Army, while the civilian versions loosely retained the ‘AR’ designation across the countless clones and variants of the platform.

So, if you had to pick one of these two rifles for yourself, which should it be? There is no simple answer, as a good part of this decision would depend on its intended application along with many other variables. Let’s look at some baseline facts about the baseline versions of these rifles (not tricked out, not different calibers, not custom firearms etc):

The AR typically costs more, and depending on what brand you want to get, a LOT more

  • The AR is more accurate and has a longer effective range than the AK
  • The AR weighs about 2 pounds less than the AK (comparing stock weapons without numerous add-ons)
  • The AK fires a larger, heavier round
  • The availability of ammunitions is, at least for now, not a major issue with either platform
  • Although a properly maintained weapon is not generally prone to failure, the AK has earned a formidable reputation for operating in the most adverse conditions imaginable

We know that the subject of AK vs AR can fuel endless debate, countless supporting arguments in favor of one or the other, and fervent passions for devout users of either platform. We also know that both are fantastic rifles – and Metro Pawn & Gun carries them both! Thus, in the interest of conciliation, we recommend getting one of each!

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