AR-15 vs AK-47 – All You Need to Know

AR-15 vs. AK-47
Alfred Mendoza

2022 has been a rough year for everyone and because of the long-overdue lockdowns, riots and political unrest created apprehensions. With this, keeping the best weapon for defense is the right choice to protect you and your property. 

The two of the best defense weapons are the AR-15 and the AK-47 and our team dug the rabbit hole for thorough research on the difference.

AR-15 is an Armalite rifle designed by Eugene Stoner for the Vietnam War but went through growing pains, so the Colt produced it. AK-47 is an assault rifle by Mikhail Kalashnikov made for the Soviet Union. It is a lightweight and 30% more precise gun compared to the AK-47. It also has a higher maximum effective range compared to AK-47. In addition to this, it has a very easily managed recoil with a direct impingement system. 

However, AK-47 is more dependable and way cheaper than AR-15. The full-auto by Mikhail Kalashnikov is extremely reliable even after heavy use and minimal maintenance. AK-47 is easier to operate and fieldstrip and comes with great stopping power.

AR15 vs. AK47







A Closer Look At Their Differences

A Closer Look At Their Differences


AK-47 is a full-automatic rifle (assault rifle), while AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle. AKs are easier to operate and to learn compared to ARs. It was designed for easy functions since most Soviet Union troops were uneducated. It is gas-operated with a long-stroke gas piston, while ARs utilize the gas impingement system. 

AR-15 is a gas-operated and complicated weapon, but the ergonomics of this rifle are impressive. The charging handle and bolt catch are more efficient compared to AKs. The operation needs the right technique to be learned through training. In addition to this, the ambidextrous design of this AR allows the rifle to operate efficiently. 


The biggest difference between the two rifles is the ammo. The AK fires 7.62 x 39 ammunition while the AR accommodates 5.56 and 223 Remington. The 7.62 is at 2,350 feet per second, while the 5.56 can reach 3,000 feet per second. 

The round of an AR-15 may be relatively small, but it is three times faster than a handgun bullet [1]. It can do entirely different kinds of violence to the human body, and you don’t want these popular calibers to shoot you.


One of the biggest debates between the two rifles is accuracy, but AR-15 is more precise than AK-47, with 30% based on our team’s research. The direct impingement, barrel, and bolt of ARs give more precise shots. 

The AKs in the 16″ barrel are two to five MOA, while the ARs in the 16″ barrel are one to three MOA, making the latter one more accurate than the other. The tighter tolerances of AR make the rifle more precise than AK.


Effective Range

The effective range of the AR-15 is longer than the AK-47. The semi-auto AR-15 has a 400-600 yards effective range, while the full-automatic AK-47 has a 300-400 yards effective range. The barrel generates more recoil that can affect the accuracy of your shots on direct rapid-fire even at shorter distances.

The couple hundred yards less of the AK-47’s range may not affect the ability of this rifle to defend a shooter, but an assailant that in such distance may engage you over. 

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The reliability of the AK-47 is not questionable because it was designed to do  exactly what they are designed to, specifically to function in extreme conditions. You can bury your AK-47 in mud and dirt for years, and it will still work. They can run dirty, which is why it is known as a legendary rugged firearm. 

AK-47 beats AR-15 for reliability because AR-15 needs more maintenance on the barrel, gas rings, and bolt. Unlike AKs that can choke in mud and dirt and still fire, the ARs may need frequent cleaning to stay reliable and precise.


AR-15 is lighter than AK47. The weight of base models AK with an empty magazine is over 8.5 lbs while a stock AR is 6.5lbs only. The weight of ARs is one factor the civilian market and military consider because it may affect their mobility. 

The 2 pounds difference between these rifles may not sound too long-range. But the thing is, if you carry the ammunition along with other equipment, that 2 pounds cut on an ARs is a good thing.


Stopping Power

Most people and even hardcore AR fans will admit that the AK’s rounds are more powerful than ARs when it comes to stopping power. A bigger round is packed with more punch that gives more knockdown or stopping power when fired. 

The smaller cartridge and rounds of ARs lack good stopping power. But to compensate for that, you can load your AR with hollow-point rounds which are expanding bullets. The expanding bullet can help with the stopping power, but the ammo of standard AK is the winner. 


When it comes to reloading, the breeze of AR is very impressive. Swapping the magazines is fast and easy with a quick press. Reloading AKs, however, is a bit troublesome. You have to grip the empty magazine, thumb the lever to rock free the old magazine then reload the fresh one. 

Preparing the AR is faster compared to AK. The safety selector can be easily manipulated without the sacrifice on sight picture. AK is slower because it requires you to take off the safety by sweeping down a lever then rack the bolt back.

Ergonomics & Design

The ergonomics of AR-15 guns is impressive because it provides a solid cheek weld to easily manipulate the weapons without losing the iron sights. Compared to AK, ARs have minimal recoil on rapid-fire. 

America’s rifle is the most popular long gun with an impressive design. The parts of the caliber are easy to swap out, and it is very customizable. The civilian shooters build their AR-15 according to their liking. It is also designed to mount the optics on the Picatinny rail securely. You may check out our top scope mounts for AKs here



AKs are less expensive compared to ARs. The ammunition of AKs is also affordable. It is because it is cheap and easy to manufacture. The design principle of AKs is to mass-produce, and it is not meant for aimed fire shots but to spray and pray. 

On the other hand, ARs are expensive because the labor and parts are pricey, especially in the US. In addition to this, since the AR-15 is invented to be accessorized, the customization makes it more expensive.


AR-15 is louder than AK-47 when you pull the trigger. When fired, AR produces 163-165 decibels while AK produces 130-142 decibels. Firearms produce a very loud noise, so it is best to use ear protection. Any sounds at 90 decibels above can damage your inner ear.

Both rifles are good for home defense, but the AR-15 is better. The AR caliber is more precise even at a certain distance, and the reloading is much easier. In addition to this, it is legal to own an AR-15 because it is a semi-automatic rifle.

AR-15 is best for beginners. It is easy to use and learn, which makes it a perfect gun for beginners. It is a low recoil, lightweight, and precise gun which best fits new users. It is also good for target shooting, self and property defense, plinking, and hunting.

Our Choice Between AR-15 & AK-47 is…

The AR-15 by Eugene Stoner is a lightweight, accurate, and easy to manipulate rifle. If you are looking for rifles for your home and self-defense that even beginners can easily pull off, our team highly recommends this rifle. It is a durable and very customizable gun. AR’s accuracy, even at long-distance shooting, is very commendable. 

We are not saying that AK-47 cannot secure you and your property because it is a good full-auto gun. But scoring the best rifle is not just worth the price but will give you the utmost security.



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