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AK-47 vs. AR-15

The Small Arms Showdown
The AR-15 has become the best-selling rifle in the U.S., while the AK-47 is one of the most widely recognized assault rifles on Earth. Both controversial weapons might be similar in appearances, but on closer observation, they are truly worlds apart. We go beyond all the tactical gear and accessories to compare the basic functionality and facts of these two popular guns.


AK-47 AR-15
Maximum Effective Range 400 yards 600 yards
Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm 5.56 x 45 NATO
Standard Length 34.3 inches 39.5 inches
Weight (loaded, 30 round magazine) 10.9 pounds 8.8 pounds
Muzzle Energy 1,500 foot-pounds 1,300 foot-pounds
Cyclic Rate of Fire 600 rounds per minute 700-950 rounds per minute
Standard Magazine Capacity 30 rounds 30 rounds
Base Price $350 - $600 $750 - $1,500
Manufacturers (including variants) 30+ manufacturers 150+ manufacturers
Service Life (assuming propper maintenance) 20-40 years 40+ years
Accuracy (16" barrel) 8-12 MOA 6-8 MOA

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