Origins of Myth: M-16 VS AK

November 13th, 2006  

Topic: Origins of Myth: M-16 VS AK

The M-16 controversy was not over, however. Although Congress cited the change in powder as the reason for jamming, not everyone was satisfied. Some ballistics experts contended that the jamming was due to barrel corrosion from humid jungle conditions. This may well have been true, and would have indicted the Ordnance Department even more, because they understood the detrimental affects of barrel corrosion on M-1 rifles from fighting in the Pacific during World War II. They knew that the cure was to chrome plate the barrel, standard procedure for the AK.

Another contributing factor to jamming was that the Army did not issue gun-cleaning kits to troops, which gave the impression that the weapon never needed cleaning. Why the kits were not issued also was never made clear. Only speculation exists. One explanation was that McNamara’s Whiz Kids wanted to save money; another is that the Ordnance Department wanted the M-16 to fail; other speculation hinged on an overconfidence in the weapon itself.

Perhaps all three reasons played a role, but the reputation of the M-16 was irrevocably sullied. Even after these issues were addressed, and the M-16 proved itself a formidable weapon, it was too late. It’s main rival the AK was perceived by many as the world’s best infantry weapon, and the one that could beat the West’s best offering. It was low tech Soviet style vs. high tech US style, and the Communists won the war of perception especially among third world nations whose leaders were carefully watching the conflict.

Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese troops in 1975 as the last Americans evacuated the country. Stunning television shots of desperate people clinging to helicopters taking off from Saigon building roofs only served to raise the stock of Communist fighters and their AKs.

To this day, one of the most contentious arguments in military circles is: ‘which is the better weapon, the M-16 or AK?’ The argument will never be resolved, and it is moot. The AK’s reputation as the underdog’s weapon was born in the rice paddies of Vietnam, given a boost by an unwitting US military.

The above is just a snippet but if you're interested in the facts its a damn good read.
November 13th, 2006  
major liability
They're different weapons with different characteristics, there are situations where I'd rather have either one depending on the environment and what was going down.
November 13th, 2006  
Have you read the links? You might be surprised.
November 13th, 2006  
The M-16 is only effective in the hands of a professional, the AK is for the amateurs.

There you have it, a dumbed down explanation of their differences.
November 14th, 2006  
AK-47 - Designed for an Army of mass conscripted peasants. Soviet Steam Roller Tactics.

AR-15/M16 - Designed for an Army of Riflemen. Accuracy over quantity.
November 14th, 2006  
awesome post bulldog i was just going to search for some info on those two guns! thanks heaps
November 14th, 2006  
No worries. The myth that a lot of people had was that the AK was more reliable in less than pristine conditions. What these sources have proven is that it wasn't the gun but the powder and round used. Its still a prevalent myth that the M-16 is inherently less reliable in sandy dirty muddy conditions... when in fact its about the quality of the ammo not the armament.
November 14th, 2006  
Venom PL
Great find bulldog

Here is an interesting movie about AK-47 -

At the end (3:50) they are testing AK reliability - Awesome.
November 14th, 2006  
There are many types of M 16s, each with a different mission to be accomplished.

And I dont know about you, but there are dozens of different types of "AKs"

The myth most likely started out when some Army planners got the First M 16 A1 off the line , and test fired the first horrible test version and fired it in front of the top brass.

I dont know about you, but, the M 16 Has changed big time since then, so has the family of Kalashinova weaponry.

The "AK" is a family of weapons, witch the M 16, is a more specific weapon, in witch many weapons have been spawned off of, such as the CAR 15, M 4, and the A3 , A4, as well as the most common 3 round burst A2 model.

Its hard to compare a whole weapon range, such as the "Ak" family, is hard to compare to a very smaller weapon range, such as the M 16 and M 16 varients.

I dont know, but by today's standards, thats a hard to read myth. But then it was most likely applied to the release of the 3 generation of the Ak 47 , the most common "Ak" of all. And I bet Vietnam had something to do with it, and the horrid orginal M 16 A1s service record.

Both groups are fearsom weapons, and it really comes down to how well you are comfortable to kill, and how well you clean your rifle. Both are weapons, with the capacity to kill. So theres one similarity.
November 15th, 2006  
Venom PL
Personally I think that this “which one is better” war is stupid.
The truth is that in professional soldier hands both weapons are deadly toys.

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