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AK74 thoughts?

scooterdriverscooterdriver Member Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭✭
edited June 2014 in Ask the Experts
It's been a while since we had a thread on the AK74. Intent would be to shoot it often...using cheap ammo...and keep it clean. Arsenal "makes" a nice looking rifle, but it seems pricey. Anyone have one that they regularly shoot?

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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think that the "cheap ammo" part could be a problem.

    5.45x39 is not that popular, so there's not a lot made in the US. Reading the wind, I see that anti-gun presidents (non-stop since 1991) have choked off imports of anything related to modern military guns, one by one. First it was M1 rifles & carbines, then AK's, then AK barrels, then AP ammo, then.....you get the picture.

    Even though Arsenal assembles really nice stuff, I would think that the similar 5.56mm NATO ammo has a better chance of being cheap in the future. Unless, you reload & have a lot of components.....

    Neal
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    armilitearmilite Member Posts: 35,483 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nmyers
    I think that the "cheap ammo" part could be a problem.

    5.45x39 is not that popular, so there's not a lot made in the US. Reading the wind, I see that anti-gun presidents (non-stop since 1991) have choked off imports of anything related to modern military guns, one by one. First it was M1 rifles & carbines, then AK's, then AK barrels, then AP ammo, then.....you get the picture.

    Even though Arsenal assembles really nice stuff, I would think that the similar 5.56mm NATO ammo has a better chance of being cheap in the future. Unless, you reload & have a lot of components.....

    Neal



    I whole heartedly agree with the ammo part. I have an Arsenal AK47 and they do make a nice gun. I basically stole the one I have. I don't think I would have paid the kind of money that they demand. Back to the ammo part at one time it was plentiful. But the U.S. government put the kaput on almost all the importation of it as they considered it armor piercing.
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    scooterdriverscooterdriver Member Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks gents. Appreciate the educated thoughts.

    I am generally happy with the ARs I (may...boating accident) own, but would like to capitalize on the reliability of the AK platform. Would an AK74 chambered in 5.56 be worth considering? Or is the reliability difference between AR & AK not enough to justify buying more guns?
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    donut77donutdonut77donut Member Posts: 560 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by scooterdriver
    Thanks gents. Appreciate the educated thoughts.

    I am generally happy with the ARs I (may...boating accident) own, but would like to capitalize on the reliability of the AK platform. Would an AK74 chambered in 5.56 be worth considering? Or is the reliability difference between AR & AK not enough to justify buying more guns?


    Or perhaps a piston type Ar?
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    MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,855 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have one and I suppose it has it's place in my menagerie of firearms. I laid in a supply of milsurp ammo and an assortment of commercial ammo while it was cheap so really have no worries about ammo. I figure at some point ammo supply may get lean. By that time, ANY working rifle will be worth considerable trade goods. I'll swap the AK74, the mags, and 200-300 rounds for some salt, sugar, or coffee.
    I also have an AR in 5.45 that is much more accurate and my preference.
    Keep in mind that foreign troops dispatched to the USA won't likely be equipped with 5.56x45 or 7.62x39 since rifles in those calibers are so common here. You gotta look at the big picture-diversity in firearms may be the savior.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As already mentioned, the biggest problem with AK74 is that importation of milsurp 5.45x39 has just been stopped, so the once really cheap ammo has already gone up dramatically in price, and is probably going to entirely dry up before too long.

    That won't make 5.45x39 unavailable. . .non milsurp ammo can still be obtained. . .it just will be price comparable to other commercial centerfire calibers, not super-cheap.


    Edit: Checking the tape, so to speak, the steel core *corrosive* Russian made surplus steel case 5.45x39 can be had as little as $0.20/round in bulk. New manufacture (non-corrosive) 5.45 is as little as $0.24/round. Current manufacture steel case .223 is as little as $0.27/round right now. So while the CORROSIVE ammo is still a good bit cheaper than .223, the non-corrosive ammo isn't by much. Once the milsurp 5.45 entirely dries up, the price difference between these two might get even lower. In fact, I wouldn't entirely be surprised if 5.45x39 were MORE expensive than .223 in 5-10 years, just due to lower demand for it.

    If the goal is to "shoot lots of ammo cheap and keep the gun clean" you probably want to avoid corrosive ammo. If you are avoiding it, then price advantage of 5.45 compared to .223 really isn't very much anymore.

    Another issue here is that I don't think there are any domestic manufacturers of 5.45 ammo. While that "could" change, in practice it probably won't. If a gun-hostile administration decides to further restrict ammo importation, that could lead to significant shortages, or price spikes of this ammo.



    I would like to respond to one comment.

    quote:Originally posted by Mobuck

    Keep in mind that foreign troops dispatched to the USA won't likely be equipped with 5.56x45 or 7.62x39 since rifles in those calibers are so common here. You gotta look at the big picture-diversity in firearms may be the savior.

    I have to disagree with some of this.

    First of all, the US is the most heavily armed society on the planet. Not only do we have more guns in private hands than anywhere else on the planet, we also have more ammo, and more expertise in using both.

    No foreign invading army intending to occupy would stand a chance. (EG there are probably more guns and ammo in private hands in just the State of Texas, then many countries entire military forces stock). Realistically, we probably have more to fear from our own military, law enforcement, or domestic insurgency than any foreign invader. (And no, I don't think that's all that likely right now, either).

    Next, stipulating the highly implausible scenario that some foreign army was going to try and invade the US mainland, they're not going to suddenly re-arm and retrain their entire forces just because of which calibers may or may not be prevalent in civilian hands in the USA!

    That would just cost too much, and take too long. Like every other army (and paraphrasing Dick Cheney), they're going to come to the fight with what they've got. . .not with what they wish they've got. So realistically their #1, #2, #3, and #4 concerns are going to be arms and ammo supplies for weapons they have in inventory, have parts and tech for, and have trained with, rather than what calibers may or may not be prevalent amongst potential domestic resistance. Remember, whatever "they" use, resistance will eventually capture and use too, right?

    Also, realistically EVERY popular military caliber in use on the planet is fairly prevalent within the USA: 5.56, 5.45x39, 7.62x39, 7.62x54, 7.62x51, 8mm Mauser, 30'06, .303 British, etc. In fact, I'd wager that there are more military calibers in active use in civilian hands then anywhere else on the planet. Meanwhile most militaries have standardized with a relatively small number of cartridges now. So I don't think there is really ANYTHING "they" CAN bring that we don't already have in quantity. Edit: Exception is Chinese army, which is now fielding some proprietary small Chinese caliber similar to 5.56/5.45. But this is neither here nor there. . .you can't get this ammo even if you wanted to. . .which you wouldn't because you also can't get any guns that shoot it.

    Bottom line, pick a caliber because you like it, because it does what you want it to do ballistically, and otherwise, and because its available, and/or inexpensive. If you're really worried about SHTF doom scenarios where ammo isn't available, you should lay in a stock of your own ammo, and (perhaps) a variety of arms that use different ammos. You can always barter later, should you need to.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by scooterdriver
    Thanks gents. Appreciate the educated thoughts.

    I am generally happy with the ARs I (may...boating accident) own, but would like to capitalize on the reliability of the AK platform. Would an AK74 chambered in 5.56 be worth considering? Or is the reliability difference between AR & AK not enough to justify buying more guns?

    Worth considering FOR WHAT PURPOSE? Only you can decide what is "worth it" TO YOU, but I'd say if you are after an AK-74 in .223, you might want to look at an Israeli built Galil rifle (or well built clone), instead. .223 AK74 pattern guns are out there, but they're not really standardized, and they vary a bit in terms of parts content and mags they'll run with.

    In my personal opinion, if the goal is to have some sort of "SHTF" rifle, "less is more". Instead of worrying about which gun/guns are "the best" and adding more, you're better off getting more ammo and range time with the one(s) you already have. Find one you like, and stick with it.

    In terms of reliability, yeah, on paper AK platform guns are "more reliable" and ARs are "more accurate", but the reality is ARs are "reliable enough" for most real world combat use, and AKs are "accurate enough" for most real world combat too.

    Ultimately, your training and skill with the platform are **A LOT** more important than which exact one it is.

    Put differently, despite the internet perception of AR platform guns as "unreliable", the reality is that they're the go-to guns for almost every military and peacekeeping force in North America, and many other places across the globe, they're one of the most combat tested platforms on the planet, and plenty reliable.

    Any AR in good shape that's kept lubed should go at least a few thousand rounds without cleaning. In practice, that's more ammo then most individual shooters even have access to. . .let alone are going to expend in their fantasy-land "SHTF" scenarios.

    quote:Or perhaps a piston type Ar?
    Personally, I'm of the opinion that piston-type ARs offer no real world advantage to 95%+ of shooters.

    In *theory* they're more reliable, but in practice very few people ever stress their AR platform guns to the point where they fail. Do you anticipate participating in a prolonged gunfight in a desert or other hostile environment? Have you ever actually jammed your AR during regular use, and if so, what caused the problem?

    Piston guns offer several DISadvantages over conventional direct-impingement ("gas") guns: They cost more for one thing, and the reciprocating piston offers a more pronounced recoil snap compared to gas guns.

    The biggest problem with piston type ARs is that they aren't standardized. If you have one and breaks or has issues, you may have difficulty finding parts or service for it. In contrast, gas ARs are the most popular centerfire rifles in North America. Parts and accessories are cheap and readily available, and in some disaster situation you'll have a much easier time finding replacement parts should you need them.
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    MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,855 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "First of all, the US is the most heavily armed society on the planet. Not only do we have more guns in private hands than anywhere else on the planet, we also have more ammo, and more expertise in using both"
    This is NOT the USA of 1940. I'll admit the present administration has gone far to re-arming the country but the "rifle behind every blade of grass" comparison is no longer viable. You're talking "invasion" but a more likely scenario would be an "invitation" by an administration which may have already disarmed a large portion of the country and cut off ammo resupply.

    "Next, stipulating the highly implausible scenario that some foreign army was going to try and invade the US mainland, they're not going to suddenly re-arm and retrain their entire forces just because of which calibers may or may not be prevalent in civilian hands in the USA"
    How much difference is there between an AK47 and A74(other than bore diameter). The change in weapons would be a non-issue for many 3rd world troops. Also, keep in mind that US troops were issued new weapons "in theater" and the changeover was made literally in the field.

    "Also, realistically EVERY popular military caliber in use on the planet is fairly prevalent within the USA: 5.56, 5.45x39, 7.62x39, 7.62x54, 7.62x51, 8mm Mauser, 30'06, .303 British, etc. In fact, I'd wager that there are more military calibers in active use in civilian hands then anywhere else on the planet"
    This is what the troops faced in Afghanistan BUT those obsolete, heavy, hard recoiling rifles are not the best choice for a mobile individual possibly facing multiple adversaries at close to medium range. I'm referring to modern, magazine fed military type firearms.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't know why I even bothered writing that long diatribe (which I just deleted), since I effectively agree with all parts relating to the actual question. I say don't worry about what the "bad guys" have because you can't affect that. Worry about what YOU have, need, and can get.

    Bottom line with AK-74 is that 5.45 ammo isn't much cheaper than .223 anymore and before long might even become more expensive. So if the idea is to get one purely to take advantage of cheaper ammo, that probably makes sense only if you're going to stockpile a huge amount of ammo now or in the near future. Assuming you can even get reloadable brass, reloading for this isn't going to be any cheaper than .223.

    Other than that, I don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with AK-74 as a combat/defense platform if you otherwise like it. I'm not remotely interested in rehashing all the AK vs AR arguments that have been done to death in this forum and every other gun-related one for the last 40+ years.

    I'll just say empirically that both platforms work perfectly fine, and there are reasons why these two are the two most dominant combat rifle platforms on the planet right now. At a functional level both AR and AK74 also effectively do the exact same thing: They have similar capacity and fire similar bullets at similar velocities. Everything else is secondary and basically just involves various tradeoffs of cost, weight, reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, ease of accessorizing, and other factors.

    In the proverbial "end of world" scenario, having the ability to use 5.45 ammo certainly couldn't hurt, but personally, I don't know if that's enough of an advantage by itself to take on a new platform. Ultimately, there are only so much guns/ammo you can lug around with you, train with, and store.

    Edit: quote:comments rescinded, I'm done. The posts are no longer furthering the discussion.I completely agree, and again, I apologize for taking this already off topic further off topic. I actually meant to delete this before you made this response; got called away for lunch and just got back now.
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    MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,855 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    comments rescinded, I'm done. The posts are no longer furthering the discussion.
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