Ah, the age old question: Which is better? The M16 or AK47?
It’s a question that’s been raging since the question of whether an AK47 is better than an M14 battle rifle was soundly answered in favour of the Kalashnikov during the Vietnam War.
AK47 were cheaper, quicker, lighter guns that did the job better than the M14. The US Army needed a better, lighter gun for jungle combat.
Battle of the Assault Rifles
In order to compete with the AK47, the USA commissioned a new design for a standard-issue infantry rifle, and the M16 was born. On the face of it, these two rifles couldn’t be more different.
The M16 was a cutting edge piece of hardware in the 1960s, while the AK47 was working with a post-World War 2 design. Low tech and cheap to make, the AK47 had been the Soviet’s standard issue weapon for their military and for export since 1949.
The M16, by contrast, used the latest technology and materials. It had greater range and was more accurate than the AK47.
Sounds like a done deal right? The M16 is newer, lighter, more accurate and has better range. And yet…
For a conscript who has never used a gun before, the AK47 is easy to use and has no bells and whistles. It’s simple build also means its less likely to malfunction in rough terrain and unlike the fibreglass stock of an M16, an AK47’s wooden stock and steel frame makes for a handy cudgel in close quarters.
The battle rages on, but the real answer is: it depends. If you have the time and resources to train rigorously, have to carry your gun around all over the place and prefer to engage from a favourable distance, the M16 is better.
However, if you’re fighting in inhospitable conditions, likely to get up close and person and have no money, the AK47 is the pick.
But that’s the real deal.
What about airsoft replicas?
With airsoft guns, it’s a closer run thing. Most airsoft rifles are pretty interchangeable. The FPS and accuracy are adjustable to suit any needs and this helps bring the comparison closer. When it comes to accessories, both offer similar options. These include:
The limiting factor of weight, which is one of the biggest criticisms of the AK47, is made moot thanks to the airsoft gun’s materials. The best thing to do is to try each one and see which one works best for you. Some airsofters find the AK as reliable in airsoft as it is in real life, while others are big fans of the balance and looks of the M16.
No matter which one your favour, one thing’s for sure: they’re ideal starting AEGs for first time airsofters. They’re so identifiable to the general public that newbies should have little trouble getting used to how to operate them.
This innate familiarity makes the M16 and AK much more accessible than more complex and rarer airsoft guns. They are also infinitely customisable to suit a range of play styles.
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