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AR vs AK mud test.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by IronMonster, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    http://www.recoilweb.com/ak-vs-ar-mud-test-82001.html

    You have to click on the link to watch the three videos.



    Home » Guns » AK vs AR Mud Test: Trench Warfare style

    Guns
    AK vs AR Mud Test: Trench Warfare style

    David Reeder
    January 9, 2016

    108 COMMENTS
    AR-over-AK-in-the-WWI-mud-Forgotten-Weapons-01-670x449.jpg
    The guys at In Range TV recently performed a mud-wear-function comparison of the AR15 and AK47, but with a different twist – they discussed it in the context of, “What rifle would you give an infantryman going into combat in trenches of World War I?” Think a battle like Passchendaele (July to November 1917), which was infamous for muddy conditions so bad that men and horses drowned in the quagmire and entire regiments became bogged down.

    The results of the AK vs. AR mud test were surprising to many. The redoubtable AK has always had a reputation utter reliability under even the most improbable of conditions; the AR has of course been accused of timidity in the face of carbon, grit and debris. Neither of those reputations may be entirely deserved. Certainly neither are universally true. In the event, the FW tests results substantially favored the AR 15 over the AK.

    Queue the Butt Hurt
    As you might imagine, this does more than run counter to conventional wisdom, it created a lot of asspain in viewers. As might be expected there were expressions of incredulity and outrage mixed in with some thoughtful and intelligent commentary and occasional trolltastic stupidity (including at least one moron who suggested the entire thing was staged to promote the AR15 industry, for whom the IRTV guys are clearly shills). We’ll leave you to sift through the comments to separate wheat from chaff.

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    AR-over-AK-in-the-WWI-mud-Forgotten-Weapons-04-672x450.jpg
    Why these results?
    So why do you suppose the test ended thusly? Because, as Ian McCollum (you may also recognize him from Forgotten Weapons) explains it,

    “The AR15 is a really well sealed and enclosed design. There isn’t a big open slot for a charging handle, there aren’t big holes elsewhere in the action, there is a very good dust cover and even when the dust cover’s open, the bolt itself really fills the ejection port and seals it, pretty tightly actually.On top of this, the direct impingement, or pseudo-direct impingement (the AR15 bolt itself is a piston in and of itself); the way that thing vents gas is it blows it out the side of the bolt out the ejection port, and that actually I think has a non-trivial effect on blowing dirt away from the ejection port which otherwise might fall into the gun. Now, the AK has this open slot behind it, the safety covers that slot but doesn’t cover it nearly as tightly as the dust cover on the AR. There’s a much larger gap, even on the highest end AKs, there’s a large gap between the receiver dust cover and the bolt itself. Mud can get into that gap. It causes friction on the bolt, which prevents it from cycling properly and it can get backwards into the fire control group, and when you get maybe not soft things (water probably would not do this) but mud, with bits of sticks and rocks and sand and crap in it, that stuff gets into a fire control group and that will lock up a gun and it will cease to function.”

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    AK vs AR Mud Test – the Actual Videos
    There are obviously many variables here, and the test is not (nor does it claim to be) a long term analysis. The fact that they tested just two specific rifles is also a limiting factor, but is certainly not as big as problem as some of the mouthbreathers would have us believe. Watch the videos. They’re interesting. Read the comments or weigh in on their Facebook page.


    Read more: http://www.recoilweb.com/ak-vs-ar-mud-test-82001.html#ixzz44deNGqoI
     
    P7id10T, Mbeef61, Capn Jack and 3 others like this.
  2. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    Best comment so far:
     
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  3. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If push ever comes to shove, I don't care what it is as long as it goes bang.:mad:
     
  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    "trolltastic".. awesome
     
  5. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    So, without first watching the vid, they tested it in the mud with the "dust covers" closed on each rifle?

    So, when you are fighting with an infantry rifle, how often is that dust cover closed on either rifle? I wasn't in the infantry and I didn't lug any rifle around, much less shoot at people (I was in the USCG and I mostly spend time pulling people out of the water and towing boats that broke down), so I can't speak from first hand experience, but if you "shooting and scooting" so to speak, the dust cover on either rifle, will be open I would guess? Given that, is this a valid test?

    I am still going to go with the reputation of both rifles as reported by a much larger sample of real world usage, from around the world, in mud, sand, varying temps and humidity, lots of different users, etc. - even if that is somewhat anecdotal (but OTOH a lot more empirical) and maybe a bit exaggerated one way or the other, rather than some simple tests someone did over a short period of time, in some mud in their backyard.
     
  6. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    The AK failed with the dust cover closed. Kind of relegated the need for further attention The AR passed with the dust cover open...
     
  7. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Also - which AR did they use?

    One that was purely mil-spec? Or was it one with a nicely coated/treated BCG and receiver?

    Part of the bad rep the AR has received over the years has been from early usage and there have been a lot of mods towards reliability since then, with a lot of commercially sold rifles having various metal treatments for the BCG and receiver, while many AKs out there are more or less off the shelf components with few or no special metal treatment.

    Beyond that, I still trust a stamped steel receiver for durability in rough usage over a forged, cast or even milled billet aluminum receiver - pound on one or the other with a hammer and see which one cracks first.

    There is a lot more to reliability testing and real world experience than just failing/passing a mud test.
     
  8. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Agreed... However the internet will tell you that you can dump a mountain on a AK and it will run flawless but any dust present inside an AR will turn it into a useless club. I think the AR used was a good quality one but there was not any performance aspect to it.
     
  9. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I was in the Infantry ( L.R.R.P / L.R.S.D ) and spent some time in the mud , dust and dirt getting shot at .
    I can say that the dust cover was usually open , from me returning fire.
    Also I know of no Infantryman ever , who would let his rifle get that muddy.
    I like the idea of these "tests" , but wish the "testers" would talk to people who actually carried and shot these rifles on a battlefield.
    Andy
     
    Dreams of Steel, Pops1911 and decklin like this.
  10. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I usually ignore the outliers and listen to the general trend, there is some truth in there somewhere.

    I then combine that with what I know as an engineer and my experience with machinery in general.

    Some of the things that I don't like about the AR are the much greater bearing surface of the BCG against the inside of that receiver compared to the BCG of the AK which has much more mass (the better to feed the cartridge into the chamber and close fully), a much stronger spring, no gas dumping into the receiver and a much smaller bearing surface for dust and other contaminants to much up - not to mention that the way the BCG rides in an AK would seem to me to have a scraping/cleaning action compared to that of the AR which just smears it around inside the receiver. There there is the space inside the receiver; the space between the BCG and the receiver cover is very large - the will not touch each other until you get a lot mud crammed in there.

    That isn't even mentioning the heart of any magazine fed firearm; the magazine, especially the mag lip interface with the bolt/slide/et. al.

    AR mag (right side):

    4-R15-Mag-comp-rear.jpg

    AK mags:

    O3eWU.jpg

    I won't even go into the aluminum AR mags (easily dented, etc.)

    Mags have a huge impact on the feeding reliability of a rifle, and AK mags are very stoutly built.

    Where the AR platform shines over the AK is much better ergos and ease of operation, and potential for accuracy. From the consumer POV, it also is a very flexible platform to build a custom rifle on for various different uses, and to swap out different uppers for different chamberings and different uses. The AK doesn't even begin to be anywhere near as easy to do "plug and play", much less accurize it.
     
  11. Ranger90

    Ranger90 Helvetia, Oregon Active Member

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    Yeah lets just ignore the fact that aluminum magazines were made to be inexpensive/disposable, as well as the fact that pmags exist as a viable alternative and have been around for almost 10 years now. Give me a break.
     
    Mbeef61 likes this.
  12. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

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    to end this easy,,,, have a FTE in an AR vs AK I mean a jammed in there real good FTE you have no cleaning rod how easy is it to cycle the AR to eject the case vs the AK?
    easy the AK you can act like it has a kick start try that on the AR {pokes the bear and runs}
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  13. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've had to do that to an AR with loaded rounds that failed to fully chamber. The cases were not properly sized, but enough for the bolt to rotate almost closed. :( It's a hairy process, but it can be done.:eek: It's called "Mortaring". Not my favorite thing.:p
     
  14. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Ive got a number of both, plenty of magazines and ammo for both.

    If I had to set out on foot and could only take one for my personal defense come the end of the world It would be an AR, None of the reasons would make any of the internet arguers happy.

    I would take it because I understand it, I like it, I have shot it a lot.

    Added benefit that its lighter, I can carry more ammo and its likely any good guys I come across will be shooting the same caliber

    My preference for the AR comes purely from the enjoyment factor. I currently have three AK's They are reliable and I feel the need to have a few. However they are not what i drag out of the safe when I go to shoot. I could not even tell you how many AR's I have but it borders on ridiculous. I am sure its over 20 with enough spares and parts to mostly put together a considerable pile. I believe all your points about the Ak's, but none of them really matter when it comes down to it. In all honestly the thought that my firearms could be used as defensive weapons plays no part in decisions to buy or keep them. They surely could but I buy them because I enjoy them and I just enjoy AR's more than pretty anything else when it comes to things that go bang.
     
  15. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I am well aware of what they were designed for, they exist.

    A lot of people use the original steel mags.

    I was speaking to the design, not the fact that there are a lot of things you can do to make an AR more reliable. The AK is more reliable out of the box - you don't need to mod it to make it reliable and durable. You don't need to get different mags, treated BCGs or other parts, anti-walk pins/etc. to keep it held together, it didn't need a forward assist to be added (built in).

    As I said, the AK and AR each have their pros and cons, but for reliability and durability - I will choose an AK. Like a Glock, it has a higher tolerance for abuse, neglect and it is more likely to go BANG! when you pull the bang switch, regardless of type of ammo or environmental conditions. Of all of the AKs I have owned or operated over the decades, Chinese, Finnish, ex-Soviet bloc, only one has given me problems in the reliability dept.; the CAI Golani (trust Century Arms to even be able to screw up an AK design).

    YMMV
     
    Koda likes this.
  16. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    These sorts of tests are interesting in a way, but not very relevant to the real world. People don't really ding the AR for reliability any more, do they? Who is going to dump any gun in a tub of mud?
     
    AndyinEverson likes this.
  17. Mbeef61

    Mbeef61 SW PDX Active Member

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    Not really a fair comparison. Ak has a forward assist, it is just the charging handle. You cannot use an AR charging handle to forward assist so it needed one separate. Just because an AK doesn't have a separate one doesnt mean it doesnt ever need a forward assist, you just use the charging handle.
     
  18. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    The story about how the original M16s/Ar15s failed in Nam without the whole story that were sent to a humid environment with out chrome lining and without a cleaning kit and faulty mags led all the crap talk about how it poops where it feeds and how the AK is more reliable led to a lot of people believing they were troublesome rifles who never even had problems with them who felt they needed to prevent a problem that was not really there.

    because of the mentioned tighter tolerances the parts manufacturing needs to be more precise and being a little out of spec can cause issues how ever if you have a properly built ar15 you will probably never have a problem with it and will be able to run it in some extreme conditions

    I have owned a lot of different ar15 uppers over the past 16-18 years to know that problems are very rare and when there is a problem its usually due to sub par parts. fix the out spec part and they run like a pony.
     
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  19. Cameron72

    Cameron72 Harrington, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I took my niece and her daughter out shooting today. They liked both the AR pistol in 5.56 and my AMD 65. I don't know which one makes me smile more and that's not the same as a mud immersion test.
     
  20. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Coastal range hunting - dirtiest I've ever gotten. Lost my footing once on a steep slope in the Siuslaw, don't know how far I slid down, but I was covered with mud, head to toe, and my rifle was filthy too.
     
    Joe13 likes this.