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M16 vs AK 47 Rifle Comparison


The M-16 and the AK-47, two of the world’s
most iconic firearms. One is the most prolific rifle in history
and a symbol of revolution around the world, the other represents American precision and
lethality. Throughout the latter half of the 20thcentury
both weapons came face to face on battlefields from Asia to the Middle East, but which is
the superior weapon? Hello and welcome to another episode of The
Infographics Show- today we’re taking a look at the M-16 vs the AK-47. During World War II German research showed
that most firefights occur within 400 meters, yet the rifles used by armies around the world
were all engineered for conflicts far outside of this range and ultimately overpowered for
the reality of war. The only other option at the time was the
submachine gun, who’s high rate of fire was devastating in close quarters, but its low
range and accuracy made it impossible to use at ranges past 50 meters. The Germans realized they needed a new weapons,
and thus the assault rifle was born. The Germans would go on to marry the high
rate of fire of the submachine gun with the long-range accuracy of a standard rifle and
create the Sturmgewehr 44. With a lower rate of fire than a traditional
submachine gun, but far greater range and accuracy, the Sturmgewehr gave German soldiers
an unparalleled advantage on the battlefields of World War II. Having learned from very painful lessons inflicted
on them by the Germans, the Soviets would go on to immediately recognize the need for
an assault rifle of their own after the war. Opting for a 7.62mm cartridge, Soviet gunsmiths
developed the vaunted AK-47 which entered production in the early 1950s. The weapon featured both semi-automatic and
fully automatic firing modes, letting Soviet soldiers deliver accurate long-range fire,
or overwhelming suppressing fire when needed. Built upon the Soviet ideology of massing
large numbers of cheaply made weapons, AK-47s were cheap to mass produce, but because of
its stamped-steel design it is not easy to manufacture without specialized equipment-
a potential vulnerability in the case of war against the US as the Soviets would have faced
the threat of having the bulk of their specialized manufacturing infrastructure targeted and
potentially destroyed. The AK-47 was also much more difficult to
repair on the battlefield, featuring parts that were riveted together and would require
special tools to grind an old rivet off and set a new one. It also features many smaller, less durable
springs and other parts that require replacing after every few thousand rounds, and after
disassembly beyond the field stripping stage parts take time to regain their fit, leaving
them vulnerable to shaking loose and falling out when firing the weapon. All these deficiencies however were offset
by the relatively cheap price, costing just a fraction of the M-16 and thus letting them
be mass produced. Working off a ‘battlefield cannibalization’
ideology, troops were not expected to receive resupply on the battlefield, and were instead
taught to simply cannibalize other AK-47s to repair their own. This was largely in line with most of Soviet
military doctrine, who’s poor focus on logistics continues to plague even the modern Russian
army today. It’s cheap cost and ease of manufacturing
has led the AK-47 to become the most prolific weapon ever made, and out of an estimated
500 million firearms around the world, 75 million are AK-47s. By comparison to their Soviet counterparts,
American military planners were much slower to adopt the idea of an assault rifle for
infantry. Having failed to learn the lessons of World
War II, American GIs would go on to fight in the jungles of Vietnam and Korea, where
the AK-47 would be used to devastating effect against inferior equipped American infantry. Equipped with the M-14, a rifle with a 20
round magazine and full-automatic fire capacity, American soldiers found that they could not
compete with the superior AK-47. Completely uncontrollable at full-auto fire,
and without the ability to carry enough ammunition to maintain fire superiority over the AK-47,
the M-14 was a significantly inferior weapon and costing American lives. The US Army quickly drew up requirements for
a new battle rifle and reconsider a 1957 request by General Willard G. Wyman to develop a 5.56
mm select-fire rifle weighing no more than 6 lbs (2.7kg) when loaded with a 20-round
magazine. The rifle had to be able to pierce a standard
US helmet at a range of 500 yards (460 meters) and retain a velocity in excess of the speed
of sound. This request resulted in the development of
the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle, which while overwhelmingly superior to the M14, the Army still opposed
its adoption. It wouldn’t be until 1963 that Secretary of
Defense Robert McNamara personally ordered a halt to M14 production that the AR-15, redesigned
and redesignated as the M16, that the US would finally have a battle rifle to match that
of its foes. Made of steel, aluminum, and composite plastics,
the M-16 was significantly lighter than the AK-47, with a fully loaded M-16 weighing in
at 7.9 lbs (3.6 kg) versus an AK-47 at 10.5 lbs (4.78 kg). The M-16 could also be manufactured from a
variety of alternate materials however, and could even be fitted with wooden furniture,
much like the AK, in an emergency. It required very little specialized equipment,
which allowed small-scale manufacturers to easily produce large numbers- this would have
proven to be critical in a major war against the Soviet Union, as it would have been almost
impossible to disrupt the production of M-16s during war. The M-16 was also very easy to disassemble
and re-assemble on the battlefield, allowing soldiers to carry out quick battlefield repairs
that were impossible with the AK-47. Its sights were also easily adjusted by individual
soldiers with just the tip of a rifle bullet, while the AK’s front sight required adjustment
by armory personnel. Ultimately, the M-16 may have been a more
expensive weapon to produce, but its battlefield durability and ease of repair gave it many
critical advantages over the AK-47. But what do the numbers tell us? How does the AK-47 stack up to the M-16 on
the range, and which is the better weapon? With its larger caliber, the AK-47’s 7.62
mm round enjoys greater penetration power at close to medium ranges than the M-16’s
5.56 mm round. At ten meters an AK can penetrate 29 inches
(74 cm) through ballistic gelatin with no fragmentation of its bullet. The M-16 on the other hand can only penetrate
14 inches (36 cm) and its bullet will almost certainly fragment. Against sandbags at 100 meters, an AK can
penetrate 13 inches (33cm) without fragmentation, while an M-16 round can only penetrate 4 inches
with complete disintegration. However, with its far lower muzzle velocity
of only 2,350 ft/s (715 m/s) versus the M16’s 3,150 ft/s (960 m/s), the M16 enjoys far greater
penetration power at longer ranges than the AK-47, able to penetrate both sides of a steel
helmet at 300 meters and one side up to 500 meters away, and the AK only able to penetrate
both sides of a steel helmet at 200 meters, and one side at 400 meters. A higher muzzle velocity means greater range,
something the M-16 trumps the AK-47 in, with a maximum effective range of 460 meters versus
350 meters. Designed to be “good enough” to hit an
adult male in the torso at a range of 300 meters, accuracy is not the AK-47’s strong
suite, and expert operators still have difficulty placing ten consecutive rounds on target at
these ranges. The M-16 on the other hand has been called
one of the most accurate rifles ever created, and with its light recoil, high velocity and
flat bullet trajectory, US soldiers in Fallujah during the second Iraq war were routinely
landing so many headshots on insurgent forces with such incredible accuracy that it wasn’t
until wounds were closely examined that observers realized the enemy fighters had not been executed. At 100 meters an M-16 can place a 10 shot
group with an accuracy of 4.3 inch dispersion, while an AK-47 manages a far greater dispersion
of 5.9 inches. Accuracy further falls for the AK at greater
ranges, with an AK-47 managing a dispersion rate of 17.5 inches for a 10 shot group at
300 meters versus the M-16’s 12.6 inches at the same distance. Hit probabilities for an AK-47 are also far
lower than an M-16, with an AK having a hit probability of 94% at 300 meters versus the
M-16’s 100%, 82% at 400 meters versus 96%, and 67% at 500 meters versus 87%. Both weapons feature a selective firing lever
which allows the weapon to be used in various firing modes. However the AK-47’s firing lever is large
and difficult to manipulate, requiring a right-handed shooter to take his hand off the pistol grip
and thus remove his finger from the trigger in order to remove the safety. The M-16 on the other hand features an easy
to manipulate flip lever that is easily operated by a shooter’s thumb, which means the M-16
user never has to remove his finger from the trigger or re-establish a sight picture the
way an AK-47 shooter would. This allows the M-16 operator to engage targets
faster with much more accurate fire than the AK shooter. At full auto the AK-47 can deliver 600 rounds
per minute versus the M-16’s 700-950 rounds per minute. At practical firing rates though which won’t
result in almost immediate barrel overheating and warping, an AK manages a rate of fire
of 100 rpm versus the M-16’s 150 rpm. Later variants of the M-16 however would do
away with its ability to be fired at full auto, the US military believing it to be an
impractical and largely inaccurate waste of ammunition, and instead opt for 3-round burst
firing rate which greatly increased lethality in close quarters combat. The AK-47 has no such feature, but with its
larger round, has always enjoyed a far greater capacity for carnage at close quarters anyways. So which is the better weapon? Ultimately it depends on your overall philosophy-
do you prefer greater stopping and penetration power at short ranges, or far greater accuracy
and the ability to engage targets at extreme ranges? The AK-47 was cheap and easy to mass produce,
even if the need for special steel-stamping equipment put Soviet manufacturing in dire
risk during war, yet it suited the needs of the Soviet army perfectly and has become the
most iconic and prolific firearm of all time. Yet the M-16 featured the superior machining
and emphasis on accuracy and versatility that is so iconic of the US military, making it
a symbol of US technological sophistication. For us though, declaring a clear winner is
difficult. For a close-quarters combat expert, the AK-47’s
larger round and increased lethality in close ranges helps ensure a first-hit incapacitation
that is so critical in CQB scenarios. While the M-16’s burst fire mode helps bridge
the gap between the two weapons, the AK’s far greater armor penetration at these ranges
gives it an indisputable advantage. Yet it’s the M-16’s far greater accuracy and
effective ranges that make it so appealing for the average soldier, who must be ready
to meet threats both at close, intermediate, and long ranges in the modern urban environment. The AK’s deficiencies in these areas, along
with the difficulty of battlefield repairs, inevitably forces us to declare the M-16 a
slightly superior firearm over the AK-47. What do you think is the better weapon? Which would you prefer to be armed with? Why? Also, be sure to check out our other video
USA vs North Korea – Who Would Win?. Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

100 thoughts on “M16 vs AK 47 Rifle Comparison

  1. So much for the "make love, not war" slogan… 😂 I'm still not completely over our previous demonetized video…

  2. The M16 (or M 4) is the weapon of a professional soldier and far superior rifle….there is a reason clown in jungles and sand dunes use garbage AKs….cheap and requires zero skill to maintain

  3. Ehm… The ak 47 was not "hard to manufacture because of stamped metal and robbers" ak 47 was not manufactured from stamped metal sheets, they were single block milled steel receivers, thus meeting it hard to manufacture without specialized equipment, so they made a stamped metal version, the AKM can be manufactured in domestic workshops. The main advantage of the ak is its high tolerance to poor maintenance and abuse, that and being an extremely easy weapon to fieldstrip and disassembly… I just don't know where the video producer got the idea of "many tiny parts that make it hard to reassemble" maybe he was thinking about some German Uberengineeredwaffen beautiful, accurate and complex, the Russian ak is more like basic, crude and reliable. Severe lack of information on this video, even the ultra biased Lee Emery's video on the ak vs m16 debate is more documented.

  4. What a information you got about two gun🤣🤣🤣reality is still in 2019 m16 latest versions can't compete with old world war AK 47🤣 only us propaganda

  5. The truth about The M-16 is that they had a very big problem whit malfunctions in the field! You had to clean The M-16 alot and IF you dident it jamed!! And I The jungle i Vietnam that is not an easy thing to do. And the AK-47 dident have that kind of problem it is a fact that The AK-47 can take almost any kind of beating and work anyway! And the most importent thing in a batlefield is not accurecy it is that your wepon is working! You can have The moste acurate wepon in the world but IF The wepon has a problem whit jaming and malfunctining its worthless. And that is why The AK-47 is one of The best wepons ever made for combat it allways works. On The shootingrange i ll take The M-16 but in combat The AK-47

  6. I love America and all but the Ak47 is a way more reliable weapon do a mud test drop an AK in mud it will still fire like brand new drop a m16 In mud it'll will jam right up

  7. Unadulterated bullshi* for wannabe weekend operators and basement commandos.Note to above.The akm supercided the ak47 more than 5 decades ago.

  8. A lot of words and arguments, but if someone has to choose among rifles, to go to a real war, 9 among 10 will choose AK-47. The other one is a crazy blind passionate US citzen.

  9. Thay can both punch out to 500 yrds. When you take the AK74 into account there is little difference between the practical application of the AR and AK.
    It just comes down to the shooter and training to know your hold overs.
    This video is comparing 60s technology. Its nkt like that anymore

  10. The conclusion of the comparison depends solely on which part of the world your video was made in… 😉
    Not even gonna watch this… xd

  11. Me at the Range
    Guy: Would you like to shoot a AR15 , shoots 5.56 rounds with a Justible stock very accurate and Fun to shoot
    Me: Im more of a AK47 Guy
    Guy: Alright i actually believe you and i dont Blame you 😂😂😂😂

  12. Should compare the m16 to the ak74. I've had a number of ar15.. Had issues.. Also having a number of aks.. Reliable everytime

  13. It highly depends. An AK47 is superior to many M16 & AR models. Modern M4 Carb. And M16 Rifles surpases them, yet new models like The AK12 or the AN94 prove to be superior in many ways.

  14. And what if it rains… Or snow storm? All realistic battleground situations. There is the AK-47 advantage, not to mention AK-74, 5.54 caliber with the same, if not the better stats than m-16. We call it a Singapore gun, a meat-grinder, cos of bouncing of a bone making a minced meat out of a soldier. Seems like pure propaganda, how much US soldiers dropped theirs M-16s in a favor of an AK-47?

  15. What this video fails to consider is the nature of the forces wielding these rifles – a very well-funded conventional force prefers AR variants over AKs because of precision, but they can easily afford the costs of production and maintenance. Non-conventional forces with fewer resources at their disposal prefer cheaper weapons like the AK platforms because, even though repairs are a pain, the weapons themselves are more reliable and can function in harsh environments for longer periods of time without much maintenance (unlike the AR platforms).

  16. In the war like situation the M16 will lose against AK 47 if there is any jam. AK 47 can fire in dust, water, mud, snow etc.. nothing can stop AK 47. But the M16 cannot survive in these situation.

  17. OOF why use M16 if you
    can use Zastava M70.
    Btw pro fact AK Zastava M70 belongs to the Ak family as AKM, AK 117, Zastava M90,..
    And AK family is greater and bigger than M16, M15,… family.
    And one more thing M16 is WESTERN SPY gun!

  18. Its quite amazing how one guy in history who couldn't shoot an AK47 accurately said "AK47s are so inaccurate". And now everyone who never even shot one says its inaccurate. If you can't hit a man size target at 300 yards your the inaccurate one not the rifel

  19. 0:07that’s an aks-74u NOT AN AK47
    0:18 AND 0:28 that’s an RPK NOT AN AK47!!!!!!
    THEY NEED TO GET SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS ABOUT GUNS TO DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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