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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 3/14/2002 4:56:05 PM EST
Hey guys, I need some help formulating a response to a discussion I've been having with someone on another message board. First this guy claims the AK-47 is more a battle rifle because of the 7.62mm round. In response, I automatically assume he knows nothing of ballistics and talk about its weakness compared to the 7.62x51 NATO, etc. etc. He goes on to state that the 7.62x39 can hit well out to 400 yards, while the 5.56x45 has a max of 300 yards.

At that point, I respond with:

I don't know where you're getting this info... even an M4A1, with its short barrel, can do 400 yards easy. An AR15 type with a 16 or 20 inch barrel can do 600+ yards. Your average AK, or any gun using the 7.62x39 for that matter, would be very lucky to be effective at anything above 300 yards. I don't see how you can assume that a 55 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity usually around 3000fps would have a shorter range than a 125 grain bullet that's only moving at 2400fps, at max. At 400 yards, the 7.62x39 will practically be hitting the dirt. As for accuracy, that solely depends on the gun. A Mini-14, a 5.56mm weapon (actually it's made for the non-military .223 Remington, but it's the same cartridge only the mil stuff has a bit more pressure) is looked down upon for usually having about a 4" group at 100 yards. The AK-47, on the other hand, gets about the same, 5" groups. The AR-15, however, can easily get 1" groups, and can easily be tweaked for more.

And no, I never said that cartridge length was the determinant, but rather the power of the round. I figure the 7.62x39 has about the same "power" as the 5.56, but being a bigger, heavier bullet it moves much slower, and therefore, has a lesser range.

Link Posted: 3/14/2002 4:57:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 4:58:47 PM EST by Mr-T]
To which, he responds with:

At 600 yards a 69gr BTHP Match round (infinetly better than the 55gr trash that makes a standard .223 load) drifts 46.7 inches with a 5 MPH cross wind. Thats from a bolt action free floated 20 inch varminting bull barrel. It now only has 425 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Thats from an ideal gun, not a thin barrelled non-accurized opensighted assault rifle. 300 yards is TO&E engagement range. After that you're having to aim up to four feet off target to hope for a hit. A type 49 in 7.62x39mm has a TO&E engagement range of 600 yards. Sure, there are about a half dozen people in this world that can make a .223 work beyond 300 yards in a assault rifle platform. There are also people who can use an M-2 Browning to engage targets in excess of 2500 yards. There just aren't many of them.

The 7.62x39mm has, on the accounts of virtually every military and civilian balistician, better sustained range and accuracy than the 5.56 for one fundamental reason, heavier rounds don't drift as far. So, you can dispell the corn-fed American myth of the .223's supperiority. The only saving grace of the round is its close range terminal ballistics and the fact that it only weighs about a third of other comprable rounds.

One inch groups form a military standard rifle is absurd. One inch groups form an AR-15? I have some sea front property in Nevada I would like to sell you. An AR-15 doesn't manage 1 MOA at fifty yards unless its a modified racer in the hands of an expert. The mini-14 is more accurate. The entire physical dynamic of the AR-15 does not expediate mythic accuracy. The claim becomes even more ludicrous when one considers that scoped precision hunting pieces, which, invariably, are required to stand up to more rigid standards than military weapons, rarely achieve 9/10 MOA groups at one hundred yards fired from a bench rest.

Another issue you so convenietly failed to address in your exhorting of 5.56 hegemony over the 7.62 is the fact that the lowly Russian cartridge has a larger powder load and more momentum than the zippy American catridge. You should stop getting your balistics from hackneyed pseudo-recondo military hacks how now less about the intimate workings of firearms than Brady Bill activists.

To tell you the truth, I don't really know how to respond. He seems to know some of what he's talking about, but a lot of what he says contradicts everything I've observed (especially the part about the Mini-14 being more accurate than the AR, that was... uhhh... interesting) although I can honestly say I don't have much experience with AKs.

So what do you think I should say? Personally I think I should just ignore it, as some of what he says seems... ludicrous to me. My numbers are probably off as far as the AK is concerned, but I know the AR-15 is far better than he gives it credit for.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:17:31 PM EST
My OLY AR will go into 1/2 inch at 100 yards with a 3-9 scope and into 2 inches with the carry handle site and M193 off a bench and sand bags.
I have a friend who has had 3 Mini-14s and accuracy sucked with all of them he says.
My son has a EAA Saiga (sporterized AK in 7.62x39) and it wont hit the broad side of a barn. He wishes he had saved his money for an AR which he will eventually do.
I have no military or combat practical experince to go on so all I know I have learned here.
Sounds like a waste of your time to convince him otherwise, although you could tell him to stand at 600 yards and let you go at him with your puny, ineffective and inaccurate AR.
If he loves his Russian rattle gun so well, more runny Rhino dung to him!
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:23:44 PM EST
The guy sounds like the kind of guy you run into at the range near the start of deer season.

"Hey, what you need that there thing for? Ya planning on robbin' a bank or sumthin'?"

He's a moron. Just forget about him.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:24:20 PM EST
Haven't you heard the saying, "never argue with women, idiots and children?"

If he believes that a Mini-14 is more accurate than an Ar15, then he seems to follow the idiot part of that saying. Why bother continuing the conversation?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:49:04 PM EST
Ask him why, if the 7.62 round is so great, why did they switch to the AK 74 with a 5.45 round?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 7:13:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 7:18:19 PM EST by Forest]
I wasn't going to respond to this - but people this ignorant need to be educated.

First off the FACTS

The US Army qualifies to 300Meters - there is nothing in the TO&E. However they list the effective (range which you can reasonably be expected to HIT a man sized target with issue ammo & rifle) range of the M16A1 at 460M (500 yards). The Effective ranges for the M4 is 500 METERS (550 yards) and the M16A2 is 550 Meters (600 yards) [consult FM23-9]. The US Marines qualify annually with their M16A2s at 600 yards using stock rifles and ammo (M855). This past year top score went to a Marine using an M4!

So much for it 'takes an expert' with a 'match rifle'.

For the last 4 years I've participated in tactical competitions. These target range from 25M to 500Meters. Most popular rifle is the standard type AR15 or M4gery. Match rifles generally can't take the abuse on this range. Top shooter ALWAYS has an AR type and most of the time is using M193 (55gr). The 7.62x39 rifles (AK & SKS) just can't compete - they have problems on the 300M targets let alone on the 400-500 meter targets. The Mini-14s are just as bad. I've yet to see a mini match an issue grade AR/M16 let alone surpass the accuracy of said rifles.

My personal rifles are 'issue' quality - chome lined with M16 chambers and govt profile barels (M4 & A2) the 3 year old M4 (after 6-7K rounds )will do 2moa from a bench using a $40 Leapers Scope and decent quality 55gr ammo (like American Eagle or Federal). My 20" A2 barreled rifle will beat that handily - this is fairly typical.

The only time I've heard of bad group M16A1s (i.e. just meet the spec) were severly worn out rifles in Basic Training companies that get abused often. That is not representative of issued rifles.

If you need more info you can contact me off
list and I can direct you to more (and better) sources.

Edited to Add:
BTW the 5.56mm round causes far more dammage at typical combat distance than either of the .30 caliber rounds (7.6239 or 7.62 NATO). Consult the works of Dr. Fackler at www.firearmstactical.com for more info. Energy is irrevalent - dammage is what counts. As I've been remined by one wiser than me; a .22 short and a broadhead arrow have the same 'energy' - yet the broadhead is capable of taking most any game animal on the continent. beyond 'typical' distances the .30 cal will do more dammage - but not that much more and you are more likely to hit with the lower recoil .22 cal round (U.S. Army study in the 1950s).
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 7:16:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mr-T:
Hey guys, I need some help formulating a response to a discussion I've been having with someone on another message board. First this guy claims the AK-47 is more a battle rifle because of the 7.62mm round. In response, I automatically assume he knows nothing of ballistics and talk about its weakness compared to the 7.62x51 NATO, etc. etc. He goes on to state that the 7.62x39 can hit well out to 400 yards, while the 5.56x45 has a max of 300 yards.

Here is my take on the 7.62 v. 5.56 argument.

Really it comes down to big and slow v. small and fast.

I would ask this question: What percentage of infantry engagements are outside of 200 yards? The answer is, very few. Back to the United States Civil war the average range of engagements was under 70 yards. Modern conflicts spread average infantry engagements out as far as 200 yards (in WWII), or more like 150 yards in post 1950s conflicts (much of which might be skewed by Vietnam's many close range engagements because of jungle fighting) but certainly were are no where near 300 - 400 yards. Granted, a weapon must be able to perform at that range, but that is certainly not the primary purpose of a battle rifle anymore. (Regardless, as we all know, an AR15 will deliver rounds without too much problem at 600 yards or more).

Strictly speaking, and with the exception of West German 7.62 ammo, the wounding mechanism of 7.62 is high energy transfer, and penetration. The rounds are too sturdy to fragment and their other tissue disruption mechanism is tumbling (which they do at sufficient velocity after about 25 cm in tissue). West German 7.62 had a copper plated steel jacket which, unlike other 7.62 NATO ammo which was copper (gilding metal alloy actually), was of insufficient strength at the cannelure (which was only .6mm v. .8mm) to resist the stresses after yawing in tissue and would fragment violently with devastating results- the only real 7.62 rounds to approximate the wounds of 5.56 inside of 200 yards.

Aside from this- 7.62 rounds punch big holes. Period.

5.56 rounds produce far more devastating wounds inside of 150 to 200 meters. Though both are high-powered rifle rounds and do quite a bit of damage, 7.62 just doesn't do the same damage as 5.56 inside those ranges. (Ask your friend to look at pictures of ballistic gelatin if he doesn't find that compelling).
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 7:17:57 PM EST
Also, it's interesting to note that 5.56 rounds yaw after 4-5 inches or so- 7.62 rounds generally take 7-8 meaning they may pass through tissue before even yawing. They may not yaw at all through, e.g., legs, or with a full on frontal shot.

At the very best these wounds will leave a big ouchie, but won't yaw until after they have passed most of the real blood vessels in tissue in torso shots. Our lovely 5.56 does quite a bit of vessel damage, by contrast.

Now, turning to your friends favorite round- 7.62x39- copper plated jacket, lead and steel core and boat tailed (the ex-soviet version in any event), these rounds yaw after about 26cm in tissue. Generally they do a full 540 degree rotation (1.5 tumbles) and end up tail forward in around 75cm. Lots of overpenetration. Not very impressive.

Consider one author's view of this round:

This author observed, on many occasions, the damage pattern [of the round] while treating battle casualties in Da Nang, Vietnam (1968). The typical path through the abdomen caused minimal disruption; holes in organs were similar to those caused by a non-hollow-point handgun bullet. The average uncomplicated thigh wound was about what one would expect from a low-powered handgun: a small, punctuate entrance and exit wound with minimal intervening muscle disruption.

No thanks. I'll stick with 5.56.

In addition, consider the difference in weight between 1000 rounds of 5.56 and 1000 rounds of 7.62. Modern militaries don't want to lug around less effective, heavier rounds that do lots of damage over 300 yards, where it really doesn't much matter anymore. (A target would have to be standing in an open field holding still and smoking a cigarette to realistically be hit at 300 yards by anything other than a very well trained sniper- and these units carry specialized weapons. (USMC's M40 for example).

The only advantage 7.62 might have is with respect to penetration and defeating heavy to medium cover. But that's what the SAW, LAW and the M203 are for.

As for accuracy? That's just noise. Most AR15s can do 1MOA without much issue provided a little effort is applied. The AK-47s I have fired are crude, strong, and reliable. (Big and Simple tech- hallmark of the Soviet era). They are not particularly accurate but are easy to manufacture in bulk and the factories are easy to pick up and move to Siberia quickly (in case the Germans invade again).

Rifles are tools. A sledgehammer is fine, as long as you're not installing drywall.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 3:20:54 AM EST
I have an AR that shoots sugically at 300 yards. I have an EAA Saiga Sporter that shoots great though not perfect at 300 yards.

AR-fantastic groups
AK-pretty good groups

AR vs AK- the AR has greater long range accuracy potential than the AK. Though I like em both.

AK vs Potato gun-AK wins hands down

Potato gun vs water ballon-potato gun has the edge

Water balloon vs-.....

ah nevermind....basically, like Nailbender said,

more Rhino poo to him. Outshoot him and prove yourself right.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 4:02:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/19/2002 4:04:42 AM EST by bjames]
The AK47 round will pass right through a sandbag at 100yds.
The .223 Remington will not, as pointed out, it "yaws" some. SS109 "yaws" more than XM193.
I have had many AKs and sold off all of them,
except an SAR2 5.45 AK74, which shoots like a .223 but operates like an old washing machine that refused to break along time ago!
Still, in a pinch, I know I would grab the AK74 first, along with (3)30rnd bakalite mags!
It can be run over by a M113, picked up and still fires!
Talking about "yawing" The steel core 5.45 Russian does a big jig once it enters tissue!
Much more than the 7.62 and .223, if you are looking to eliminate your enemy, that 5.45 is nasty!
my 2 c only!
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 4:49:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By bjames:
Talking about "yawing" The steel core 5.45 Russian does a big jig once it enters tissue!
Much more than the 7.62 and .223, if you are looking to eliminate your enemy, that 5.45 is nasty!

Not according to Dr. Fackler. The 5.45's wound profile is minimal. The 5.56 creates a FAR bigger hole in the person (up to a 6" internal cavity). 5.45 leavs a small hole that is elongagtes when the round rotates.

See the ariticles at www.firearmstactical.com

Scientific proof, not 'old war stories'.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 5:01:42 AM EST

Now where is the picture about arguing on the Internet and running a race in the Special Olympics?

It sounds like you are arguing with a moron.

Link Posted: 3/19/2002 5:11:12 AM EST
maybe you should just get a rifle in 308.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 6:00:03 AM EST


Link Posted: 3/19/2002 6:11:38 AM EST
Send him this link


1/4 at 100yds out of the box plus a scope ofcourse.

Link Posted: 3/19/2002 7:43:47 AM EST
just aslong long as we dont start turning into a bunch of "Jello Shooters" ie well damn look how well it does in geletan

personaly i think to each his own

anyway if i recall correctly 7.62x39 is designed to severly wound hence taking 3 men out of combat
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 8:22:57 AM EST
so what were they complaining about in "blackhawk down"?
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 9:06:27 AM EST
Anyone who has ever been in the military (well, in the last 20 yrs or so) has qualified with their M16 out to 300M both prone and in the fox hole. As stated above, Marines qualify much farther out. I guess I must just be smoking crack or something everytime I "think" I've just shot a 1" or better group at 100yds...

This person is obviously the type who would come up with a reason why your wrong even if you handed him an AR and he shot his own 1" group.

Pitty the poor fellow, its our compassion that sets us apart from the animals...
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 9:27:12 AM EST
Well since the USSR was known for fine mechanical devices of all type I see no reason why the AK should be any different.

Heavy bullets drift less?? It's a function of BC, wind speed, and time of flight. So a big heavy slow bullet spends more time in the wind than a light fast bullet.

Same thing with range gravity is a constant 32 ft per second. Again the slower a bullet is the longer it takes to get to a target. The longer it is in flight the more of an effect gravity has on it's trajectory.

And as someone else said if 7.62 X 39 is so good why did the Russians switch to 5.45 X 39?
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 11:07:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By jd123:
so what were they complaining about in "blackhawk down"?

I only saw 1 persone (Howe) complain in Blackhawk Down. Nobody else was complaining about the M16A2s perfomance with M855. BTW the other 'complaint' in the book was with the M60 (7.62x51) shooting 'SLAP' rounds (and I thought they only made SLAPs for .50 BMGs).
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