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Posted: 5/22/2003 7:17:02 AM EDT
I am hearing more comparisons of one firearm type to another. I guess it's a good thing AK's are a typical Russian production, there's really no comparison. I don't care how much you tweak with it, darn few will be the AK that will out-shoot a quality AR-15 or kit right out of the box, given competent shooters on both sides (I'm still getting there).

But some of the other weapons out there? FN/FAL (G3?)? HK-91? M96? Anyone willing to send me one will have a full and accurate report of what they can do, as experienced by someone with quite a bit of experience with military small arms. However, I'd like to point out something I hope shines some light on what might be a more responsible way (at least as far as recommendations, reviews and the ever-reliable 'it just sucks').

The AR-15/M-16 (yes I know they're SLIGHTLY different) has been around quite a while. It's had, what? A dozen or so mainstream mil. spec loadings made for it over that time, given changes in twist, combat requirements, reliability concerns, desired effect? Dunno about you but in my trusty ole Remington bolt-gun I can pretty much fire whatever the heck I want, and it will print pretty reliably, function fine (duh, manual extract with the authority of a lion carrying her cub) and in general result in a shot going where I want.

Automatics and semi's throw a TOTALLY different wrench into this. How many loads have been tested over 10 years in the M96? Does the FN/FAL cycle well with a variety of ammo? Just a few rounds? How about your version vs issue? Do you have an actual HK91, or a variant of it with characteristics all it's own?

I'm not saying they're dramatically different, what I AM saying is that as much as is KNOWN and has been tested with the AR subtype it's MUCH easier to make estimations about what will work and what really won't. Will a 77gr stabilize in an old twist barrel? Will a 40gr fly apart in a 1:7? What will I get in a 16" barrel vs 24" given such-and-such a load? What about accuracy?

I bet you can find a dozen people to answer any of these questions. Try that with ANY other arm here save the AK's (BTW, the commies built their friggin MIGS the same bloody way, hammered together stamped steel all over the place - unreal).

The AR's also give you additional options and the one I really like of going from an A2 battle rifle to a 24" sniper/woodchuck-be-gone by popping two attach points with your fingers.

So better? Nah, maybe not - there's rarely such a thing as truly better except where a product TRULY is worthless (JAM-LINE 10/22 mags anyone?). The AR definately is not that.
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 9:53:24 AM EDT
The AR is a very good platform that has been through the wringer. It is a good design so long as you keep it clean. I am very confident in my Bushy 16" carbine at 150 yards and under. More distance than that I want a 7.62 with a good ACOG on it. My only beef with the AR is the direct gas design that throws a ton of crud back into the chamber. This hinders reliability. An delayed system might make it run cleaner. I don't think any other small arm in the US (maybe anywhere) has been as toughly scrutinized as the AR has been. It is by no means a perfect weapon, but it gets the job done very well. Is there better out there? Maybe... The other designs on the market have not had the huge investment of time and money and combat experience that the AR has had along its over 50 year journey in the US. But the lessons learned on the AR can contribute to making another rifle much better than even the AR is. When that rifle shows up, I want it.
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