DEBATE THIS: What Makes The Best Battle Rifle: The M16 Or AK-47?

Debates

THE FACTS: Among combat rifles, two weapons stand out: the M16 with its modern variant, the M4 carbine; and the AK-47. The M16 and M4 model of rifles are the standard-issue combat weapons in the American military. This generation of rifle has seen action from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iraq and the valleys of Afghanistan. It's known for being deadly accurate, though perhaps prone to jamming. On the other end lies the AK-47, a rifle of Russian design that has changed little over the better part of a century, and has spread to every corner of the world. It is known for remarkable durability and ease of use. But what makes the better battle rifle, the M16 or the AK-47?

Billy BirdzellHost, Remington Country TVU.S. Marine Corps, 2001–2008

A rifle is useless if it does not enable the operator to hit his target. The AK-47, with standard 123 grain ammunition, only holds a 5.9-inch group at 100 yards. The M4 on the other hand, the modern carbine variant of the M16, with currently issued ammunition, is capable of making head shots at ranges in which the AK-47 can barely keep 10 rounds on a E-Silhouette. Go U.S.A.

Lethality is the second most important point of comparison between rifles, and for all that is written about 7.62 x 39mm ammunition, the Russians replaced it in 1974 because diameter cannot compensate for shot placement and small, high-velocity projectiles enable higher volumes of fire with more favorable ballistics. Advantage, U.S.A.
AK-47 advocates usually place reliability above all else and most people concur that Kalashnikov designed a beast. However, is the spread enough to favor the AK-47? The 2006 U.S. Small Arms Study concluded that 89% of American soldiers are satisfied with reliability of the M4 and only 3% of soldiers reported a stoppage that took them out of a fight. Given that only 66% of surveyed personnel were issued cleaning kits and clearing stoppages quickly is a function of training, M4 reliability for trained personnel is incredibly high.
Ergonomics and modularity are the final point of comparison because in close quarters and on a modern battlefield, shooting quickly, reloading rapidly, and being able to use optics and lasers creates advantages. The M4 is hands down the most ergonomically sound battle rifle ever made and its superiority with respect to accessory attachment and manipulations is so much better than an AK-47 as to be beyond further discussion.
The M4A1 the most accurate and reliable modern rifle ever fielded to the military; it is a performance tool for professionals.


 Christian Beekman@tacbeekman

The AK-47 is the most iconic infantry fighting rifle ever produced. Millions have been produced, and AK-series weapons have been present in conflicts on every continent since the rifle was introduced in 1947. The AK-47 has a legendary reputation for reliability and durability due to several factors. First, the AK uses a gas piston system as its operating mechanism, which eliminates leftover gases from entering the chamber. On most AR-style rifles, such the M16 and M4, a direct gas system cycles the bolt carrier group. Excess gases can build up over time, fouling the chamber and inducing malfunctions.

The AK-47's bolt has plenty of mass, with more than enough energy to push through any debris or dirt inside the gun without jamming. The loose tolerances of all the AK-47''s moving parts allow space for sand, ice, mud, and other junk to settle without freezing the operating mechanism of the firearm. The design ensures that the AK-47 needs less preventive maintenance than an M16 or M4.
Not that maintaining the AK is really that difficult. Pop off the receiver cover, pull out the six basic components of the operating system, and the AK-47 is field stripped.
Variants of the AK-47 differ in construction and configuration, but most stick to the design of the most common version, the AKM. The stamped steel receiver is durable, as are the standard sheet-metal magazines. The standard general-issue magazine for the M16 is generally regarded as a disposable item, and its feed lips can bend easily if dropped.
The ubiquity of the AK platform worldwide means than ammunition and spare parts will never be hard to come by. If it really can't be fixed, well there's a hundred million replacements available. The AK's elegant simplicity demonstrates why it has endured for over a half century.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks during a joint news conference with Japan's Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2020. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper suggested on Thursday he could be ready to start a highly anticipated global force repositioning this year as part of an effort to refocus the Pentagon on challenges from China and Russia.

Esper said he did not want to put a firm timeline on the completion of his so-called "defense-wide review," which is expected to trigger those troop movements.

"If I had to put an end-date (on the review), I want to make sure we are in some type of better posture by the beginning of the next fiscal year," Esper told reporters, referring to the government's calendar year for spending, which begins on Oct. 1. "So I want to move fairly quickly."

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

A trial for a German-Afghan national suspected of spying for Iranian intelligence is set to commence on January 20 in the city of Koblenz in Germany.

Identified as Abdul Hamid S. according to Germany privacy laws, the 51-year-old former interpreter and adviser for the German armed forces, or Bundeswehr, was arrested a year ago in the Rhineland region of western Germany and accused of providing information to Iranian intelligence for many years.

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Supporters of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr carry placards depicting U.S. President Donald Trump at a protest against what they say is U.S. presence and violations in Iraq, duri in Baghdad, Iraq January 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani)

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Iraqis rallied in central Baghdad on Friday calling for the expulsion of U.S. troops, but the protest mostly dissipated after a few hours despite fears of violence following a cleric's call for a "million strong" turnout.

Populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr convened the march after the U.S. killing of an Iranian general and an Iraqi paramilitary chief in Baghdad this month. His eventual decision to hold it away from a separate anti-government protest camp, and away from the U.S. embassy, looked pivotal in keeping the march peaceful.

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World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Maj. Bill White, who at 104 is believed to be the oldest living Marine, has received a remarkable outpouring of cards and support from around the world after asking the public for Valentine's Day cards. "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I still can't get over it," he said. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)

STOCKTON — Diane Wright opened the door of an apartment at The Oaks at Inglewood, the assisted care facility in Stockton where she is the executive director. Inside, three people busily went through postal trays crammed with envelopes near a table heaped with handmade gifts, military memorabilia, blankets, quilts, candy and the like.

Operation Valentine has generated a remarkable outpouring of support from around the world for retired United States Marine, Maj. Bill White. Earlier this month, a resident at The Oaks, Tony Walker, posted a request on social media to send Valentine's Day cards to the 104-year-old World War II veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart.

Walker believed Maj. White would enjoy adding the cards to his collection of memorabilia. The response has been greater than anyone ever thought possible.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

A spokesman for the Taliban has told a Pakistani newspaper that the militant group is hoping to reach an Afghan peace deal with U.S negotiators by the end of January.

The comments by Suhail Shaheen on January 18 to the Dawn newspaper come after negotiators from the Taliban and the United States met for two days of talks in Qatar.

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