As I am sitting here thinking about buying another rifle, my thoughts keep turning back to the AR-15. Even though the AK-47 is a little cheaper, its the reliability, cheap ammo, light weight of the weapon, availability of the ammo, shootability,,,,, that keeps me coming back to the AR.
In a SHTF situation, and I had to hand a rifle to my wife, son or daughter, how well would they be able to handle the rifle? That is just one of the many questions I have to ask myself.
In this article we are going to be looking at 3 of the most popular SHTF rifles and battle rifles in the world: the AK-47, AR-15 and the FN/FAL. The AK shoots the 7.62×39, the AR shoots the 223/5.56mm and the FN/FAL shoots the 308 Winchester / 7.62NATO round. These rifles were picked because they have a reputation of being reliable in just about all combat situations and they have been battle proven in several conflicts.
Lets start from the very beginning:
Inserting a magazine
AK-47 uses a cam style magazine, where the magazine has to be cammed into position
FN/FAL uses the same type of cam action, but seems to be a better design then the AK
AR-15 magazine goes straight in
In a stressful situation, its going to be easier for someone to insert an AR magazine then any of the others.
After inserting the magazine, its going to be easier for the FN/FAL or the AR-15 to charge the weapon then the AK-47.
People may argue that with proper training the AK magazine is just as easy to insert as the AR or the FN/FAL magazines. The thing is, not everyone has time or money to take the whole family to the range on a regular basis and fire off thousands of rounds in training exercises. For someone that gets to shoot a few times a year, the AR is going to be easier to load then any of the other rifles.
Charge the weapon
DS Arms SA58 FN-FAL, surefire G2X Pro and Maxpedition Noatak
AK charging handle is on the right hand side of the weapon. After the magazine is inserted with the left hand, the shooter has to either reach over the receiver to charge the weapon, or switch hands that is holding the weapon and use the right hand to cycle the bolt.
FN/FAL charging handle is on the left side of the weapon. After the magazine is inserted with the left hand, the left hand stays on the left side of the rifle and cycles the bolt.
AR-15 charging handle is on the rear of the receiver, making is easy to charge for right or left handed shooters.