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Old 02-26-2011, 02:35 PM
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Question AK-74, the ultimate SHTF rifle?



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Here's my argument; AK 74, good reliable, accurate, durable, affordable. I know there are cheaper, more reliable, more accurate rifles but not chambered in 5.4x39. That ammo is why i feel this is the ultimate rifle when the world gets goofy. 5.4x39 is as accurate as 5.56x45 with more knock down power, plus it has more tumbling effect when it enters the body. I know there is ab older thread already comparing these two rounds, I highly suggest checking it out if you have any doubts about it. The major note is on ammo cost and avalability. Right now you can get a case of 2 sardine cans For $279 plus shipping, that's 2160 rounds of sealed waterproof ammo for right around 12 cents a round, and thats one of the best prices out there right now.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:28 PM
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Yep.......
Old 02-26-2011, 07:02 PM
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It's an okay choice, but lacking in power for hunting and scrounging ability.

First let me say that I'm not the greatest fan of the AK platform.
However they generally are fairly accurate, reliable and reasonably inexpensive.

One reason I don't like the AK platform is the inability to rebuild with only a few tools. I can take an AR or FAL apart with a few hand tools and a vise and replace or repair pretty much anything on them and have.

The decision to depend on foreign made ammo in a crisis is not the most healthy. Unless you are able to stack the ammo uncommonly deep, you may find yourself without bullets to defend your beans.

Not living in an urban area, I have to consider food procurement as well as defensive shooting. The 5.45 round is lacking in power when looking at Deer, Elk and other large critters (slow Elk). Talk about bullet tumbling all you want, I can't depend on that happening every time and in every critter (or person).

My personal choices are the .308 (7.62 Nato) and the .30-06.
While there are few good semi-auto's today that are chambered for the .30-06, the .308 is chambered for most. And excellent, durable, long lasting, bolt actions are chambered for both.

They're available basically everywhere, even out here in the sticks. I can go down to any of the hunters/shooters in town and they're all gonna have .308/.30-06, at least a few rounds unlike the 5.45 round.

I've used, owned, built, worked on and carried most of the "AR's" out there.
My personal choice is the FAL platform and the .308 chambering.
The FAL is more ergonomic for me than any other weapon.

Accuracy is one of the factors too many people make too much of.
If you can keep your shots in 4" at 100Y from any position (within reason), you're gonna bring home meat or make it through a shooting.

If you can shoot a 1/2" group from the bench but can't keep it on a sheet of typing paper or paper plate at 100Y (or shorter) you're gonna be kitty litter.

Realistically, any good quality rifle that you can "run and gun" is a better choice than some wonder blaster that you can't use effectively.
Leverguns, bolt actions and such are all good choices, depending on your needs.

There is no perfect, ultimate or best rifle for everyone out there.
Just the best for you.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:30 PM
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Ammo is dirt cheap right now...BUT what happens when the surplus dries up...and it will. You take a look at all ammo that is imported and you will see through the years that it's hit and miss. Unless you are stockpiling 10,000+ rounds...what will you do if you cannot get ammo for your rifle? Keep in mind that the 10K of ammo I refer to will also need to be used to train...if you don't train with your SHTF weapons...how will you know you can rely on it when you need it the most?

I believe only Hornady is offering 5.45 ammo...so other companies need to get on board, if your 74 will withstand the test of time.

I was considering getting some AK74s for the same reasons you mentioned. I just gave up on it because I don't want to have to buy a new mag system and also a new caliber. If you don't have any long arms and you are searching for a longarm...it makes sense to me to load up on the AK74 platform.
Old 02-26-2011, 08:22 PM
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[QUOTE=whirlibird;

I've used, owned, built, worked on and carried most of the "AR's" out there.
My personal choice is the FAL platform and the .308 chambering.
The FAL is more ergonomic for me than any other weapon.
Just the best for you.[/QUOTE]

I definitly agree that the .308 is a better caliber round and the FAL is my fav at platform. But I prefer the durability of an AK and the price point of the 5.45. As far as ammo availablility as long as I can handload I'm all good
Old 02-26-2011, 09:15 PM
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Both the FAL and AK are good rifles. It is a matter of personal choice as to which one you opt to go with for your shooting needs. Having been in combat, I know that whatever rifle I lug about in the next situation is going to be scoped and one that has lighter weight ammo. Humping that XM-21 in combat got to be old because that rifle and all that ammo was HEAVIER than what the other guys lugged. So, I can see myself carrying a scoped AK of some sort.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchtime View Post
I definitly agree that the .308 is a better caliber round and the FAL is my fav at platform. But I prefer the durability of an AK and the price point of the 5.45. As far as ammo availablility as long as I can handload I'm all good
I tend to disagree on the durability of the AK in many forms.
As one who's put enough rounds through a fair number of AK's, (pre-ban) I've actually shot a couple loose. One so bad as to not function anymore.
The hammer and sear pin holes had wallowed out so much the receiver was useless.

The FAL is it goes out of headspace, can be repaired with the proper sized pin. There's almost nothing on the FAL that one cannot make the appropriate repairs on with minimal effort.

Probably my biggest complaint about the AK is the lack of "rebuildability". The AR's are modular and easy to gut and rebuild, save a cracked receiver, which is still easy enough to swap out. Same goes for the FAL, you can switch parts around with ease and few tools.

The same can't be said for the AK, it requires a barrel press, some fairly complex jigs and tooling to assemble and build/repair.

I'm a bit more into building and rebuilding but after having to rebuild several guns in the field for various reasons, I'm very particular about being able to rebuild an work on guns with as little tooling and tools as possible.

Not trying to sell you on the FAL but just cannot agree with the AK in any form as the ultimate or best SHTF longgun. Too many negatives.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:09 PM
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There aren't too many folks reloading for 5.45x39...the whole reason folks are buying the AK74 is due to the very inexpensive ammo at the current time. Why would you pay more to reload for an "ok" caliber??? You aren't going to get precision groups with any AK and you aren't going to save any more by reloading versus buying the surplus 5.45.

I can respect what whirlibird is saying and he/she is entitled to feel that way about any platform. I've had most of the main battle rifles out there...I just wanted to test and see what works for me and what does not fit my needs.

I don't feel that there is a right or wrong way of thinking when it comes down to what you choose to carry as your rifle. Just make sure you train with it...make sure you have enough ammo/mags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchtime View Post
As far as ammo availablility as long as I can handload I'm all good
Old 02-26-2011, 11:50 PM
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AK's rock, I've been shooting them for 20+ yrs and never an issue, not one. Now the 5.45 is another matter but to each his own.
Old 02-26-2011, 11:58 PM
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I would buy more than 2 cans though if I had one. The likelyhood of getting ammo outside of FedEx delivery is about nil.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchie3409 View Post
There aren't too many folks reloading for 5.45x39...the whole reason folks are buying the AK74 is due to the very inexpensive ammo at the current time. Why would you pay more to reload for an "ok" caliber??? You aren't going to get precision groups with any AK and you aren't going to save any more by reloading versus buying the surplus ammo
I completely agree that reloading surplus ammo isn't a cheaper alternative, but that wasn't my point, the point I was trying to make is that even if the surplus runs out there are still options to use the rifle
Old 02-27-2011, 08:06 AM
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Personally, I don't think so.

My problems with the 5.45 is this...

-The really cheap ammo at $.15 or so per round is corrosive military surplus.
-The new production is extremely limited in selection and its performance is nothing spectacular


The 5.45 will you get you in the game quickly and cheaply when you include cost of rifle and ammo but there is an extremely limited choice in weapons and ammo in this caliber.

I prefer both 5.56X45 and 7.62X39 to the 5.45X39. Not only is there a huge selection in good affordable weapons in these calibers but the new production Russian ammunition is very close in price to the 5.45X39 and both perform MUCH better.

My suggestion, if you like AK's then the AK-47 is the most practical in semi-auto only configuration. If you don't like the 7.62X39 then get a Saiga or WASR in 5.56 and enjoy the large amounts of cheap, new-production Russian ammo.
Old 02-27-2011, 02:17 PM
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There's no "ultimate" rifle. What about the guy who has been in the military and the AR platform is like an extension of his body? We're all different and our needs are all different. As a handloader, I can load cheap soft point or hollowpoint ammo for about the same price as others are paying for FMJ, so tumbling is no big deal to me. Others are in areas where their rifle needs more penetration than the 5.56 or 5.45 can offer.

So, the AK-74 is essentially "another good choice" but it's not the ultimate. There is none.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:21 PM
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I have to go with MikeK here.

There is no "ultimate" rifle.

While I agree with the OP that the AK-74 is a very good choice, I wouldn't go so far as to say it, or any other weapon, is the "ultimate".
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:43 PM
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Like MikeK and FrightenedWolfe said there is no ultimate rifle out there just what you prefer I for one LOVE the 30/06,308 7.62X51 7.62X39,7.62X54R and 5.56X45 so if I couldn't get to my 30/06 or any of my other Bolt guns I'd just fall back to my Saiga 308 or one of my SKSs
Old 02-27-2011, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchtime View Post
Here's my argument; AK 74, good reliable, accurate, durable, affordable. I know there are cheaper, more reliable, more accurate rifles but not chambered in 5.4x39. That ammo is why i feel this is the ultimate rifle when the world gets goofy. 5.4x39 is as accurate as 5.56x45 with more knock down power, plus it has more tumbling effect when it enters the body. I know there is ab older thread already comparing these two rounds, I highly suggest checking it out if you have any doubts about it. The major note is on ammo cost and avalability. Right now you can get a case of 2 sardine cans For $279 plus shipping, that's 2160 rounds of sealed waterproof ammo for right around 12 cents a round, and thats one of the best prices out there right now.
NOPE!! Can't beat an AR for the price and reliablilty!! This 'new AK is unproven, with heavy, expensive ammo to boot. I'll stick with my proven, reliable Colt AR thank you very much......
Old 02-27-2011, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrightenedWolfe View Post
I have to go with MikeK here.

There is no "ultimate" rifle.

While I agree with the OP that the AK-74 is a very good choice, I wouldn't go so far as to say it, or any other weapon, is the "ultimate".
X2!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:15 PM
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It doesn't matter what caliber you have when S.H.T.F. as ammo availibility is concerned. You will only have what you have in the safe no matter what you shoot. There is just as much 5.45 ammo in this country as any other. One things for sure you can fill an AK up with dirt and pull the trigger...it will shoot.
If I want to hunt for food I have rifles for that that, it won't be my AK OR my AR. just sayin
Old 02-27-2011, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herd Sniper View Post
Both the FAL and AK are good rifles. It is a matter of personal choice as to which one you opt to go with for your shooting needs. Having been in combat, I know that whatever rifle I lug about in the next situation is going to be scoped and one that has lighter weight ammo. Humping that XM-21 in combat got to be old because that rifle and all that ammo was HEAVIER than what the other guys lugged. So, I can see myself carrying a scoped AK of some sort.
I have to second that. Personally I am a huge fan of the military ACOG scope. 4x, quick site picture aquisition and a wide field of view is extremely useful.
As far as my rifle choice, that depends hugely on whether I am talking apocolyptic surviving in a chaos world or wilderness survival.
For wilderness, a Ruger 10/22. For end of the world fighting the zombies, an M4 with an ACOG. I don't think its the best rifle around, but after carrying one and fighting and shooting with one for most of my 20s, I have more confidence in my abilites with it.
Old 02-28-2011, 12:20 AM
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OK I wrote a long well thought out reply and in my own opinion piece here and then was told I needed to log in even though I had logged in and it was gone when I got back so let me sum up.
I think the perfect SHTF rifle is one that is big enough to hunt the biggest locally available game, and capable of taking care of multiple bad guys should the need arise, while keeping the weapon and ammunition at the lightest load possible.
I like the AR system cause its what I carried in the military.
I also like that M1a and the rugers in the smaller calibers.
The AK is a very reliable weapon system.
I think the 7.62x51 is more powerful and heavier than generally needed, and I think that 7.62x39, 5.45x39, 5.56x45 are all a bit anemic.
I am leaning towards buying a Ruger Mini in 6.8 and a Ruger AR in 6.8 and a Rossi single with exchangable barrels in the most popular calibers found in my local so i will always have a rifle that will fire the ammo im most likely to scrounge.
As for stockpiling ammo I have always figured two rounds per deer times 12 equals call it 25 to make the math simple times 20 years equals 500or so hunting rounds. For ammo for self defense rifles which is what Ive always considered my ak and ar 500 to 1000 rounds each would be plenty if SHTF. (I think it was ragnar who said if you shoot 100 guys youll probably die of pestilence before burying them all) I generally shoot 100 to 200 rds each range session and buy the rounds to replace before going to the range so im constantly shooting the oldest and restocking my ammo with fresher stuff.
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