Better Rifle for the Apocalypse? AR-15 vs. AK-47 Pt. 1

After a year like 2020, are you prepared to defend yourself and your family if things, heaven forbid, got worse?! In a year filled with a global pandemic, government-imposed lockdowns and restrictions, tension-fueled riots, and political unrest, the thought of “worse” doesn’t seem so unrealistic.

So, in a “worse” case scenario, what should you opt for in terms of self-defense? Out of all the options available to a civilian, we narrowed it down to the closest someone could get to military-grade weapons, and those would be the AR-15 and the AK-47. We will use some different factors in helping us determine which carbine is better suited for an apocalypse style situation: Weight, stopping power, accuracy, the likelihood of jamming, and reloading.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these weapons.


Weight is a significant factor as you will need to carry your weapon and, if required, wield it for long periods. An original AK-47 with an empty magazine weighs just over 8.5 lbs. A stock AR-15, without any modifications or add-ons equipped, weighs in at 6.5 lbs. A difference of 2 lbs. may not seem like much, but remember, every pound will count if the circumstances require you to carry or wield your weapons for long periods. The weight difference may allow you to equip high-quality handguards or accessories for your gun. The AR-15 takes this score for the best rifle.

Stopping Power

Neutralizing the threat at hand is the next important factor. Comparing the size of the round that goes into each carbine, AK (7.62×39) and AR-15 (5.56/.223), there is no real debate that the larger round will pack a much harder punch. However, one way to compensate for the disparity in firepower would be to load the AR-15 with hollow-point rounds. Nevertheless, AK-47 gets the nod for this one.


Firepower does not do too much without accuracy coupled with it. When a situation is dire, hitting the mark is crucial. When it concerns the AK-47, the ammo that many shooters use and the looser tolerance of the rifle’s design have earned it the unfortunate reputation of being inaccurate, according to some experts. The AK-47, however, does remain a reliably accurate rifle for targets that do not exceed outside of 400 yards, but a good sharpshooter could take push this rifle to its total limits!

As for the AR-15, its tighter tolerance makes it a much more accurate weapon than the AK-47. While boasting an impressive range of 600 yards of effective shooting range, an experienced shooter can again push those limits while hitting the bullseye every time. Chalk another one up to the AR.

Be sure to check out the second part of AR-15 vs. AK-47 to find out which rifle has what it takes to help you survive a post-apocalyptic world.