In the spirit of endless and pointless Internet blithering and debate on "the best" weapon you can have, we have gathered together for you to compare the hot skinny on the three main contenders as evidenced by numbers produced and sold...
The Kalashnikov AK47 series...
The AR15/M16 series...
The Model 1891 Mosin-Nagant series...
AK: It works even though you have never cleaned it. You lubricate it with used motor oil.
AR: It works if you strip, clean and properly lubricate it daily, more often in inclimate weather.
M-N: It works under any conditions if you’re strong enough to work the bolt.
AK: Cheap mags are fun to buy.
AR: Cheap mags melt.
M-N: What’s a mag?
AK: Your safety can be heard from 300 meters away.
AR: You can silently flip off the safety with your finger on the trigger.
M-N: What’s a safety?
AK: Your rifle comes with a cheap nylon sling.
AR: Your rifle has a 9 point stealth tactical suspension system.
M-N: Your rifle has a leather dog collar suitable for restraining a pit bull.
AK: Your bayonet makes a good wire cutter.
AR: Your bayonet makes a pretty good field knife.
M-N: Your bayonet makes an excellent javelin.
AK: When out of ammo your rifle will nominally pass as a club.
AR: When out of ammo, your rifle makes a great wiffle bat.
M-N: When out of ammo, your rifle makes a supreme war club, pike, bludgeon, spear, boat anchor, pry bar, hammer, or post hole digger.
AK: Recoil is manageable, even fun.
AR: What’s recoil?
M-N: Recoil is often used to relocate shoulders thrown out by the previous shot.
AK: Your sight adjustment goes to 1000 meters but you’ve never bothered moving it.
AR: Your sight adjustment is incremented in fractions of minute of angle.
M-N: Your sight adjustment goes to 2 miles and you’ve actually tried it.
AK: Your rifle can be used by any two bit nation’s most illiterate conscripts to fight U.S. forces.
AR: Your rifle is used by U.S. forces to fight every two bit nations’ most illiterate conscripts.
M-N: Your rifle can be used to overthrow the Czar.
AK: Your rifle won some revolutions.
AR: Your rifle won the Cold War.
M-N: Your rifle won a pole vault event.
AK: You paid $350.
AR: You paid $1000.
M-N: You paid $59.95 for two.
AK: You buy cheap ammo by the case.
AR: You lovingly reload precision crafted rounds one by one.
M-N: You dig your ammo out of a farmer’s field in Ukraine and it works just fine.
AK: You can repair your rifle with a hammer and duct tape.
AR: You can repair your rifle by taking it to a certified gunsmith, it’s under warranty!
M-N: You can buy a new one for less money than a trip to the gunsmith.
AK: After a long day the range you relax by watching “Red Dawn”.
AR: After a long day at the range you relax by watching “Blackhawk Down”.
M-N: After a long day at the range you relax by visiting the chiropractor.
AK: You can accessorize your rifle with a new muzzle brake or a nice stock set.
AR: Your rifle’s accessories number in the thousands and collectively cost ten times more than the rifle itself.
M-N: Your rifle’s accessory is a small tin can with a funny lid, but it’s buried under an apartment building somewhere in Budapest.
AK: Your rifle’s finish is varnish and paint.
AR: Your rifle’s finish is Teflon and high tech polymers.
M-N: Your rifle’s finish still has tree bark.
AK: Your rifle has only eight moving parts; all have sloppy tolerances.
AR: Your rifle is a finely-tuned precision machine with lots of tiny, easy-to-lose parts.
M-N: Your rifle makes the 98 Mauser seem needlessly complicated.
AK: Your wife tolerates your autographed framed picture of Mikhail Kalashnikov.
AR: Your wife tolerates your autographed framed picture of Eugene Stoner.
M-N: You’re not sure there WERE cameras at the time to photograph Sergei Mosin.
And the winner is...
After painstakingly going through this list over and over and carefully considering all points, good, bad or indifferent, I have come to the conclusion that the best weapon I can recommend you buy for your go-to rifle should be from, in order of preference:
1. The FN/FAL/SLR series
2. The M1/M14 series
3. The HK91/CETME series.
For further information: