Mythbusting: Is the AK *REALLY* inaccurate compared to an AR15?

    After seeing another blog claim that the AK47 shot 10 MOA (or 10″ groups at 100 yards), James became fed up with the BS and decided to test the prevalent belief that the AK is an inaccurate combat rifle. In this episode of TFBTV, James compares an American made AR15 to a Russian and Serbian/Yugoslavian AK to answer this question (and perhaps bust this myth?) once and for all.

    Transcript …

    – So, you got cat people, you got dog people.

    You got Chevy guys, you got Ford guys, and you have AK guys and you have AR guys.

    And I just don’t get it.

    Can’t we just all get along? It’s James again for TFB TV and I’m here to say that I love the AR platform and I love the AK platform.

    I’ve got several of both.

    I think they’re both great guns in their own right and I guess, what I’m trying to tell you is, I’m not biased.

    I’m not biased.

    I don’t prefer one over the other.

    I think they’re both fantastic, and I’ve got one of my favorites.

    This is a Saiga SGL-21, a Russian AK.

    I’ve also got a Serbian or Yugoslavian OPAP.

    And the reason I’ve got both of these guns actually here today is I wanted to do a little myth busting.

    I, at least, wanted to see if there’s any truth to the widely, widely held belief that an AK is an inaccurate gun.

    So, check it out.

    You look at Google, AK-47 accuracy.

    First result, the AK’s not the most accurate weapon when compared to other assault rifles such as the M4.

    AKs are not accurate.

    AK’s accuracy is considered good enough.

    Accuracy at 100 meters, six inches, six MOA.

    I even saw a really slick-looking infograph on another gun blog last week, where it said, I think, the AK was 10 MOA.

    Now, that may or may not be the case, but I just refuse to believe it.

    So, I wanted to bring these two AKs out here today.

    I wanted to bring some nice quality brass 7.62×39 ammo, but all I had was some shitty Wolf steel garbage.

    So, I’m gonna run that through it but because I’m using garbage ammo, what I also did, is I brought out a 16-inch, PSA, Palmetto State Armory, AR with a stainless steel barrel.

    16-inch stainless steel barrel and one-in-eight twist, and I also brought shitty steel Wolf ammunition to shoot through it.

    So, we can kinda compare apples to apples, at least to the extent you can do that with the AR and the AK.

    So, in any case, I’ve got a 3-9x optic.

    I’m gonna use the same optic on all the guns.

    I’m gonna use roughly the same brand of ammunition.

    I’m gonna use that on all the guns today.

    Let’s see what kind of accuracy we get.

    Alright guys, we’re gonna kick it off with what many people consider to be the gold standard for combat rifle accuracy, and that is the AR-15.

    It’s just standard DI AR-15.

    It’s got a stainless steel 1/8 inch twist barrel and I’m shooting 62 grain Wolf.

    Let’s see how it does with this shitty Wolf ammo as compared to what the AKs will do.

    (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) Alright, let’s have a look at this target.

    Alright guys, now we got the Yugo M70 on deck.

    Let’s see how it does, shooting Wolf steel, a 100 meters.

    (gun shot) (groans) God, bugs’ are (bleep) biting me and I cannot get enough eye relief on this optic.

    (groans) (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) God.


    That was awful.

    Let’s see how this Yugo did.

    Alright, now we’re gonna switch it up to the Saiga SGL-21, the Russian AK.

    And let’s see how it stacks up, not only against the AR, but against its Serbian slash Yugoslavian cousin.

    (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) (gun shot) So, I think many of you are going to be as surprised by the results as I was.

    I shot a series for the past hour, hour and a half.

    I shot a series of five-round groups of Wolf, of 124 grain out of the AKs, and 62 grain out of the AR, and I gotta tell you, the AR was consistently more accurate in that it was easier to shoot two-inch, sub two-inch groups repetitively.

    I think my worst group with the AR and Wolf ammo was two and three quarters of an inch.

    Now, on the other hand, the AKs, they kept up with AR at a 100 meters, shooting five-round groups.

    The best group that I shot with the AR was one and three quarters of an inch.

    The best five-round group I shot with the AK was one and three quarters on an inch with the SGL-21, that’s the Russian gun, that I’m holding here.

    But the Yugoslavian was no slouch either because I think the worst group was three or three and a half inches.

    But I also managed to put down a few two, two and a half inch groups with the Yugo.

    So, I mean, I guess to conclude this episode, what I would say is that these informal results today, I mean, five-round group shooting Wolf from a 100 meters, I don’t want to draw too broad of a conclusion, but what I will say is, I think that’s pretty much proof-positive that these guns are not as inaccurate as widely believed.

    I think that’s now a myth.

    The point is I’m not sure where the AK got its reputation for poor accuracy.

    I’m sure you commenters are gonna have just as many theories as I do about the origin of that reputation for inaccuracy.

    But I think that this result today matches my experience with modern AK-47s and that’s that they’re not really that much less accurate than an AR.

    Now, speaking pragmatically, the sights on the AK aren’t as good as the AR.

    You’re more likely to get a bad AK, I would think, than a bad modern AR.

    The AR’s much more forgiving, much less recoil.

    So, maybe when it’s in somebody’s hands, when it’s in a shooters hands, yeah, they’re probably going to do better with the AR versus the AK.

    Anyways, I’m surprised by the results.

    I’m sure you guys are too.

    But when you step back and really think about it, is it that surprising, with modern production AK-47s from reputable companies? That, I’m gonna conclude that this myth is busted, you know, if I can put five shots, within two inches with a gun with crap ammo.

    I’m not gonna say it’s inaccurate.

    I may not say it’s accurate.

    But I’m not gonna say it’s inaccurate, and certainly, the modern production AK-47s like this Saiga SGL-21, or even that Century, that Yugo I was shooting, that M70, even it shot very well.

    And, well, never say that an AK is going to be inherently more accurate than an AR.

    Certainly, these modern production AKs are keeping up with the ARs.

    If you’re interested in the gear that I’m using, like I said earlier, this is a Saiga SGL-21.

    This is an Arsenal SM-13 side rail mount and I’m using a cheap Bushnell banner, I think it was a $90, 3-9x optic.

    This one’s got the Magpul Zhukov stock, US palm pistol grip, Bulgarian circle tin magazines.

    This one’s also got the Automag gas tube cover but that wasn’t really used today.

    This AK is the Yugoslavian, it’s a Century arms OPAP.

    It’s got nothing on it, other than Magpul MOE grip and the Magpul Zhukov stock.

    Other than that, it’s stock out of the box.

    It does have a tap code G2 trigger which, to me, is one of the best upgrades I think you can get for an AK.

    It’s inexpensive and it really enhances the performance.

    It’s a great trigger by any measure.

    Finally, the AR I used today is a Palmetto State Armory upper using a 16-inch, 1/8 twist stainless steel barrel.

    It’s got a Rock River lower, with the Rock River, the two-stage tournament trigger in here.

    So, it had a really nice trigger.

    It’s got the Magpul MOE pistol grip, and then the Rogers Ultralight Super-Stoc.

    Anyways guys, thanks for watching.

    I’m gonna put my flame suit on for the comments.

    I’m telling you, I am not biased in any way.

    I love ARs, I love AKs.

    I do think the AK gets a bad rep, but I wasn’t out to prove anything today.

    I really just wanted to see for myself and to show you guys too.

    So, anyways, I hope you liked it.

    Thanks for watching and I’ll see you guys next week.

    James Reeves

    • NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
    • Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
    • GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
    • Lawyer
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