AR-15 vs AK-47, Which Makes Sense for a Greenhorn?

Yes, yes, yes… We know the eternal debate between the two most popular platforms rages daily and we do try not to fan the flames, but The Wound Channel has an interesting video comparing the two from a completely unique perspective: a complete 100% new to the platform shooter with no experience shooting, at all. The two test platforms are a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 and a standard pattern AKM.

Now, the shooter does understand the absolute basics of weapons, meaning magazines need to be loaded, inserted, charged, and fired. Outside of that, the shooter has no experience with either platform.

So, really the test is about common sense and the basic layout of a weapons controls. Which makes more sense? Which one puts controls in a better/more obvious position, or at the least labels them such that they make sense?

At the end, the shooter compares ease of use and recoil from a very subjective perspective (as the shooting stance is…. sub par). But, its an interesting look into the platforms if someone were to just pick one up.

Hit the video up below. Its highly entertaining and for veteran shooters I am sure will ring a bell for the first time a newbie went to the range with you.

*Note this is a sample size of ONE. It is not representative of populations or the whole world. Watch for entertainment purposes only (if possible). 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Thou surely jests

    Its one thing to recycle an article, its another thing to recycle it one month later.

    • USMC03Vet

      As a pleb, I don’t get it. Pls explain 14th century depiction of repost painting.

      • The Meme’s Flowth Not From Me

        An simple inquire on meaning shalt ne’er suffice, for one must be born in the Latin rite, molded by it and thus consumed. For till one dies to his plebeian flesh, he can’t arise the stalk of wheat.

        tl;dr “Its the current year of Our Lord, why are you not a catholic meme painter”

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Ye shall incite hope and, potentially, a revolution unto the peasants by giving away such noble information on a trite inquiry.

    • hey man, I’ve sent the editors of TFB an email about this post.

    • I usually catch duplicates like this before they are posted. This was anything but intentional. When you have writers posting as much content as we do this can occasionally happen.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    This looks oddly familiar…

    • hey man, just like I said in the other post, I’ve emailed the editors on both of these.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Thats cool.

  • Lt M

    I have a strange sense of déjà vu…

    • nova3930


  • Comrade Misfit

    “Greehorn”? I think you’re missing a “n”.

  • Hank

    I thought sure my wife would prefer the AR, but when she shot them back to back, she much prefered the AK. Guess I need to use that as an excuse to add another rifle to the collection.

  • nova3930

    Are you imperialist scum or brave comrade of mother Russia!

  • Ed

    Depends if your “Greenhorn” is educated and mechanical inclined. If so a AR is better band its modularity and accuracy will pay off. If you got just goat Shepard’s than a AK will do.

  • Bullphrog855

    I’m trying to read the TFB article “BREAKING: Army Chief Seeks Purchase of Glock Handguns Instead of MHS, but Is There an Alternative?” but it refuses to connect:

    This has been happening for about 2 months now, maybe more.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Delete system32

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Alt-F4 anytime you see an ad you want to get rid of.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Why? what’s tha

          • Marco Antonio Gonzalez


      • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

        old joke, not funny anymore

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Thanks for taking the time to post that.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Disabling ads restores functionality to the site. It’s a rouge ad that redirects to localhost. I didn’t know it was still an issue.

      • KestrelBike

        But same pages get 127.0 redirects on my iphone which aren’t running any adblock software.

      • Bullphrog855

        Turning on adblock for this site doesn’t seem to prevent it.

  • Drew Coleman

    Uh… Wasn’t this already posted a while back?

  • lol

    this isnt even a discussion. entry cost for both platforms is basically the same. ar15 is the superior weapon in every conceivable aspect, undeniably.

    noob buys ak. wants to put a scope on it LOL STOP THE PRESS!

    noob buys an ar15. 6 months later he has 4 of them and has become a professional gun smith….

    just stop ak fan boys, your time is over. no one cares if you can fit a whole ham sandwich in your action.

    • Pranqster

      and its a terrible waste of a ham samich!



  • Will P.

    Manipulating the BCG – AK
    Manipulating the safety – AR
    Changing mags – AR
    Takedown and maintenance – Tie
    Recoil and shootability – Tie
    Ease of customization/fitment – AR
    I love both my AR and my AK equally I do not get into the whole which is better blah blah but these are just my thoughts, and also what I’ve gathered from watching new(er) shooters handling the platforms. So as far as a new shooter is concerned I wouldn’t have a problem recommending either of these platforms, but if I had to help them choose I’d prob say an AR first…then get an AK too because everyone needs both 😉

    • ChierDuChien

      AKs will do a much faster mag dump than stock ARs. Just wiggle the trigger a tiny amount in the right place and it will empty almost like a full-auto. The reset on an AR is longer.

      Mag dumps are not necessarily a good practice though – expensive and potentially dangerous.

  • Tyler McCommon

    Two reposts in one day. Good job TFB.

  • john huscio

    ARs……I dumped my slr106 because it was always a pain in the ass getting the dustcover back on after cleaning……. Well that and it was heavy and the mag prices/availability weren’t what I’d like them to be…… such problems with my franken AR.

  • Mike

    Either work fine. Just use what all around you are using.

  • Blake

    Neither. Get a 10/22 or a Henry.

  • Bob

    A Wasr10 was my second ever firearm, and I don’t regret it. Shot an AR after and found it less fun, though I have to admit some of that lay in the owner having adjusted the scope to his eye relief and my inability to get it to a good position despite the adjustable stock, go figure. I like the classic wood and steel look, the AK charging handle over the AR’s, the feel of it… I just prefer AK.



  • Ray Goodrich

    I think u should compare apples to apples use the at and a ak that are both chambered in .223 the recoil will not make the shooter get shy

  • Dave Y

    I suppose I have higher standards of training before I hand over a firearm to someone. If they tell me “I don’t know what this does”, we find a place where we can speak so that they can get a few comments and some basic guidance.

    As a n00b, this woman has a lot of patience and courage to go on camera — without any instruction– and, without any on site help or assistance before picking up the gun. Hell, even Russian conscripts get basic gun handling training before being handed an AK.

    • Max Glazer

      “even”? Anyone that has never seen a weapon before will be given basic instruction. What good is an untrained person that doesn’t know a side-rail from safety? You’d NEVER give a rifle to a person totally unfamiliar with weapons. Give Russians some credit there: they taught people how to be a soldier when they were from different countries of origin, with different languages, education levels, different cultures etc.

  • rharry

    Rule # 2 is always bone the guy who told you about rule #1. I only used boned to be political correct!!

  • L. Roger Rich

    The Military has been training greenhorns since the Vietnam war on the M-16. Really a non issue IMHO

  • Guido FL

    It should be the AK74 against the AR15 both of almost the same caliber.

  • Scott

    The video was fun. I do have one suggestion. Since she was a completely new shooter I would have either set up a camera or had her husband do the camera work because no one was close enough to the shooter to “stop” any life threatening situations. Do you remember the young girl that accidentally shot her instructor when he was letting her try an Uzi…he made many mistakes but he was actually very close to her although he was on the wrong side. Other than that…great fun.

  • I actually thing Amber did well. She did remember the safety rules. And on her second try with the AK she showed real improvement. Granted, the sighting lesson helped, but I also think she was a bit less nervous.

    It’s not one of the four rules, but I’d emphasize at some point the number of rounds put into the mag and the number of shots fired should be kept track of.

    It would also be good to ask if she had fun!

  • Zebra Dun

    The AR-15/M-16 platform is the best.
    Reliable under adverse conditions and accurate to a fine degree, lethality inside their envelope is great.
    An AK-47/74 will work as well but they are not quite as good as the AR platforms.
    Mud tends to choke them down to manual fire single shot, the accuracy is not as good and though the 7.62 x 39/5.45 x 39 is lethal it is not as lethal as the 5.56 x 45 on humans.
    Just my opinion, don’t get your big boy/girl panties in a wad and no I don’t care who or what you are.
    I am not an expert nor a professional gunfighter.
    I shovel horse manure.

  • Jamie Clemons

    There are so many variations. Its not enough simply to pick Ar or AK you also have to decide which variant. Its all a matter of personal opinion. Try them both at a range and see which you like best.

  • Cmex

    Honestly, the AK does. If she’d just pushed harder on the selector, she’d’ve had the AK up and running.