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Posted: 9/22/2004 6:31:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 6:31:48 PM EST by N3rday]
I've been a long time member of the AR side of the house, and I'd figure I'd migrate over here for a while. I don't own any guns (yet), and the AR is the only one I am internally familiar with. The only thing I know about the AK is that it doesn't require the buffer tube and spring to extend into the buttstock, which is obvious due to the side-folding and under-folding stocks I always hear about.

Anyway, how is the AK system different from the AR? And what the hell is a piston?? I recall something about it being in or near the gas tube, but I can't quite remember.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:34:27 PM EST
the piston is what pushes the bolt carrier back. In an AR the gas goes directly back into the reciever/bolt carrier to cycle the weapon, in an AK teh gas pushes a piston which pushes the bolt back.

Thats why ARs run dirty and require more maintnance... but it also contributes to their accuracy.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:35:23 PM EST
Gas go down the barrel, through the gas port (in the barrel), through the gas block and forces the piston rearward which in turn unlocks the bolt and send it rearward and ejects the empty casing. Spring pressure gets it moving forward again, picking up a new round from the magazine and chambering it.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:06:39 PM EST
I have never actually torn into a AR but AK's appear to be MUCH simplier.

In all seriousness I think a trained monkey could field strip an AK47 and replace about anything.

You can remove a lot from a AK47 without any tools. Its crazy.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 8:02:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 8:14:18 PM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By N3rday:
I've been a long time member of the AR side of the house, and I'd figure I'd migrate over here for a while. I don't own any guns (yet), and the AR is the only one I am internally familiar with. The only thing I know about the AK is that it doesn't require the buffer tube and spring to extend into the buttstock, which is obvious due to the side-folding and under-folding stocks I always hear about.

Anyway, how is the AK system different from the AR? And what the hell is a piston?? I recall something about it being in or near the gas tube, but I can't quite remember.



Basically, the AK has a large metal piston extending forward into the gas block, over the top of the barrel...

When it fires, the gas pushes the piston out of the block (at which time gas pressure is released, and the remaining gas vents), compressing the recoil spring and cycling the action using the inertia of the bolt-carrier)...

The end result is a tad worse accuracy and a bit more felt recoil, but it allows a simpler design...

The AR gas system is alot more refined & complex: when the rifle fires, gas is directed back into the bolt carrier. The gas-impulse first unlocks the bolt, then pushes the carrier off of the gas tube, cycling the action.... Unlike the AK, all AR components are in line with eachother (spring, buffer, carrier, barrel), resulting in less felt recoil and more accuracy. Disadvantage: ARs are harder to clean, as the gas vents into the reciever instead of into the air...

Both designs use a rotating bolt, as opposed to the FAL or M14 style...

And the stuff about the AR jamming from carbon fouling is (now) an urban legend, which had it's roots in the early deployment of the AR system to Vietnam, where it was issued with poor-quality ammunition, non-chromed barrels (a problem in the Vietnamese environment) and no cleaning kits (the Army took 'Self Cleaning Gas System' to mean 'Self Cleaning Rifle', and told everyone you didn't need to clean your AR in the field).... As of now, all of that has been corrected, but the 'legend' remains...

In the end, both rifles are pretty well perfect for the tactics they were designed for.

The AK was designed for close support of armor formations, and to that end, it works... Accuracy to 500m is a non issue, as the tanks take care of taht, and the troops with AKs keep enemy infantry off the tanks... Use of full auto fire was the 'primary' mode, which is why the order on a FA AK goes 'Safe, Full, Semi'.

The AR, on the other hand, was designed based on US military infantry tactics, whch emphasized long-range accuracy. So we end up with a base design effective to 300m 'point' or 600m 'area', and 'improved' versions that reach to 1000.m

To each his own: the AK was designed as more of a close quarters weapon, the AR as a 'reduced' long-range weapon ('reduced' means 300m from 800m, the prior expected 'point target' range)...
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 1:54:46 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 1:58:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Both designs use a rotating bolt, as opposed to the FAL or M14 style...



The M14s bolt rotates also.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:06:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By SickMAK90:
I have never actually torn into a AR but AK's appear to be MUCH simplier.

In all seriousness I think a trained monkey could field strip an AK47 and replace about anything.

You can remove a lot from a AK47 without any tools. Its crazy.



You do not need any tools to strip an AR down to mostly piece-parts.

Without any tools, you can strip an AR down to where only the barrel assembly, gas tube, fire control system, and stock had not been removed from the upper and lower receivers. You also need no tools to strip the bolt group down to where the firing pin, bolt, bolt carrier, and extractor are all separated. I actually think it's easier to strip than an AK.

The fire control group in an AR is a whole lot easier to install than that of an AK. YMMV.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:14:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
a texan...without a gun?!?!?!




I saw that too.


I think he's a

j/k
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 1:38:20 PM EST
Hey, I'm a minor. Not much I can do about it...

Thanks for the responses so far. Internally, the AR isn't very complex to me. I WAS going to build an AR, but my parents, after previously telling me I could, reversed their decision. Unfortunately, I had already bought $400 worth of AR parts, including a couple of mags and a nice free float tube.
Anyway, breaking down the bolt and bolt carrier is a piece of cake, except for the extractor which is still pretty easy but just a tad annoying.

Anyway, now that I have no rifle and no parts (parents bought them from me, arg), I have nothing to do but learn and I am pretty much at the peak of anything I can learn about the AR simply by casual internet discussion, so of course the AK is next to learn on the list. For ballistic reasons, any AK I get will be in 5.56, and the modified Saigas are looking VERY nice...
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 2:26:40 PM EST
See...I said I was ignorant lol.

I think my next gun is gonna be a 5.45x39...or one of those modded .223 aks...
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