Which is a Better Gun, AK-47 or AR-15? And Why?

Here we have two heavy-duty firearms that have been in a constant battle to possess the throne. It is one of the historic debates circulating for centuries with no conclusion whatsoever. Both rifles hold immense promise. However, only one can rule the kingdom.

The military and the police extensively use the AK-47 and AR-15 all over the world. These two guns perform phenomenally at whatever the situation may be. During the cold war, these weapons were forged into existence and played a prominent role in fabricating our civilization.

Sooner or later, it all comes down to which one is better. Both the weapon's differences must be compared and discussed. To assess the two rifles properly, a bunch of aspects must be evaluated before setting the decision in motion.

Key Differences

Most rifle enthusiast tends to indulge in the fiasco of citing differences that distinguish both weapons, although some remain oblivious to the significant dissimilarities. Here are a few of the key differences which will help reach the result sooner.


The AK-47 and the AR-15 are considered to be semi-automatic rifles, although both of the weapons can be modified into assault rifles. Keep in mind, owning an assault rifle is illegal around the globe without legal authorization.

Moreover, the term semi-automatic indicates the weapon being not automatic; it consists of an automated reload course of action but requires force while operating.


As we have already established that both weapons were made during the onset of World War II. The AK-47 was designed by Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov during 1947, keeping simplicity in mind.

Moreover, the AK has a trademark style of having a wooden stock made from birch wood laminate along with added stamped and welded receiver. This overall adds to the cheap and durable structure of the firearm.

The AR-15 was manufactured in 1956, keeping complexity in mind. Eugene Stoner designed it. This weapon yields aluminum and plastic in its composition. Mostly due to its unique design, it is effortless to detach and reattach parts to the AR-15. Also, the loose pieces are broadly available around the world.


As for the Kalashnikov's automatic device, the rifle fires about the system based on long-stroke gas piston. This system involves high-pressure gas advancing from the bottom of the barrel to provide energy to unbolt the breech to achieve an automated reload technique.

In contrast to the mechanism used by AR-15, this procedure is cleaner but less accurate due to high recoil. Consecutively, the AR-15 operates on a method named direct impingement. It involves the mechanism of gas being blasted off from the cartridge straight into the bolt carrier.

This attribute inhibits power to the weapon and navigates it towards the shooting process regardless of how this mechanism tends to be slightly messier in comparison to the gas piston but garners greater accuracy.

Maximum Effective Range

This term refers to the weapon functioning adequately with utmost accuracy and precision at a maximum distance. It simply means the highest target shooting range at which a gun operates to ensure optimal reliability.

The AK-47 consists of a maximum effective range of 400 meters. On the other hand, the AR-15 holds its ground with a variety of 600 meters. In the hands of a skilled gunman, target hitting is a piece of cake.


It simply implies the diameter of the barrel, which is also equal to the projectile at which the gun fires. For instance, a 22 caliber firearm suggests the diameter of a barrel is equivalent to 0.22 of an inch.

A caliber of 7.62x39mm goes into the magazine of AK-47. Meanwhile, 5.56x45 NATO is found for the AR-15. The 5.56 bullets are lightweight compared to 7.62. This factor results in the increased capacity to carry rounds for soldiers. In contrast with 5.56 calibers, 7.62 are significantly powerful with a more extended range.

Standard Length & Weight

The AK-47 weighs about 4.3 kilograms, excluding the magazine, along with an overall length of 34.3 inches. On the contrary, the AR-15 exists with approximately 3.0 kilograms of weight and a height of 39.5 inches. AR-15 is considerably lighter than AK-47 while being slightly longer than the latter.

Muzzle Energy & Velocity

When you press the trigger of a weapon, the bullet acquires a notable amount of kinetic energy to burst through the firearm at high velocity. This process gave rise to the term muzzle energy and speed, which allows us to estimate the approximate potential of destruction done by the firearm.

A standard AK-47 is capable of obtaining muzzle energy of 1,990 joules along with a velocity of 715 m/s. By comparison, an AR-15 holds substantial muzzle energy of 1,797 joules and a muzzle velocity of 975 m/s.

In this context, you can observe the AK-47 having slightly increased kinetic energy and slightly decreased velocity compared to the AR-15.

Rounds Per Minute

While assessing both firearms, the question that looms over your head is how many shots can be fired in a minute? You first need to grasp the idea of round per minute before diving into the answer. Rounds per minute refer to the capacity of a weapon to fire a fixed amount of bullets per unit time.

An AK-47 can fire 600 rounds per minute while an AR-15 is capable of shooting a variable range of 700-950 rounds per minute. Regarding these criteria, the AR-15 consists of a higher figure than the AK-47.


If you are entirely new to the scene of weapons, you still should have a moderate idea about magazines. Ever since the dawn of civilization, most gun-blazing heroes reload their weapon by clicking a “banana-shaped" equipment into their firearm. The material is known as the magazine, which is a bullet storage device.

A standard magazine of AK-47 can hold 30 bullets. Accordingly, the AR-15 is the same as AK-47 in this circumstance. However, both the magazine of the gun can be altered into higher storing capacity.

Service Life

As far as the lifespan of AK is concerned, you should not worry since, with proper care and maintenance, it can last from 20 to 40 years. Its simplicity adds to the free and unfastening bullet firing technique.

Considering the weapon is appropriately maintained, an AR-15 can have a life expectancy of more than 40 years. Almost half a lifetime!


Accuracy of a weapon is measured by a minute of angle (MOA). It is the ability of a rifle to make consistent shots that hits your target accurately at a particular distance. Just attach a lightweight bipod for rifle and practice target shooting at your convenience.

The AK-47's MOA ranges from 8 to 12, considering the barrel is 16 inches whilst the AR-15's MOA is 6 to 8. To put this into perspective, MOA determines the accuracy of the weapon, and the AR-15 is 30% more accurate than the AK-47.


It is possible to obtain an AK-47 in a price range of $350 to $600, which is sufficiently cheaper compared to the AR-15. The latter is a slightly expensive alternative than the former since it can be found at $750 to $1500.

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Each weapon consists of their unique attributes, which helps them function exceptionally well. There is no going wrong with either of these weapons since both offer distinguishing features along with minor drawbacks.

However, it must be determined which firearm wins the race. If you rummage through the significant differences, you will figure out that the AR-15 has the upper hand.

Before indulging into the technical details, understand the AR-15 is significantly lighter in comparison to the Ak-47. Not only the structure of AR-15 is lightweight, but also the bullet weighs very little.

Moreover, the accuracy of the AR is approximately 30% more error-free. And let’s not forget, AR-15 offers room for crucial modification. Get yourself the best AR 15 bipod, and enjoy your leisure time by practice hunting.

On the contrary, there are many benefits to choosing an AK-47. Being cost-effective is the first of many advantages. Ultimately, it is up to the user to decide which minor liability they are willing to withstand.

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