Disassemble the cogs: what is the American AR rifle better than the Russian AK?

This post was published in Warhead by Russian author Yuri Muller. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.


PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – AKM is the Russian symbol! And anyway – the Americans are “dropping their M-16s and grabbing Russian assault rifles.” Yes, no doubt, the AK is strong, but the AR rifle has its own huge advantage. Why is this weapon worth paying attention to?

No panic

Just do not be nervous. We will not compare the effort on the trigger, the accuracy of the stock barrel, dip it in the mud, shoot it with the cheapest ammunition, beat in long bursts until the forend fires – no trash.

There is one parameter by which the Arch (that is, the rifle based on the AR-15 / M16) obviously wins the AKMoids beloved by the people. The key word is “modularity”.

Of course, simple and quite working brand new AR-15 can be purchased in the United States for less than 600 bucks, but these models do not always suit users: someone does not like sights, someone has a barrel length or body kit, but someone doesn’t arranges a stock trigger (trigger mechanism).

Therefore, many rugged American citizens strive to assemble their own rifle with their own hands. Let me remind you that dozens (if not hundreds) of companies all over the world produce components for AR – the USA, Canada, China, the Philippines, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey, etc. Even Russia is noted in this list.

We buy spare parts

In the American market, prices for divine trunks are from any manufacturer, any desired length, diameter and caliber. And this detail is not considered “the main part of firearms”, there is no overly reverent attitude towards it. This is just a consumable. Shot – bought a new one.

It is clear that the trunks for high-precision models from a well-known manufacturer can cost an order of magnitude more expensive, but why such a waste? A rifle for entertaining shooting, even with an inexpensive barrel, will merrily make holes in the bears for a hundred yards, and more is not required from him.

The shutter frame with the shutter is also a consumable, they are not even numbered. It is advisable, of course, to buy chrome or stainless steel, but you can get by with the simplest blued option – to clean, however, will have to be more frequent.

The next step is to purchase the complete receiver. Actually, this term is wrong, the Arch does not have this detail in the domestic sense.

The upper part (to which the barrel is attached) is colloquially referred to as “upper” (upper), and the lower (where the trigger is located) – “lower” (lower). Here, by the way, you can also save. The so-called “eighty percent” are in stable demand – lover made only 80 percent.

He doesn’t have a sample for the trigger, there are no holes for the axis of the trigger and trigger — these are the last 20 percent of the locksmith’s work that the buyer is asked to complete.

Ideally, such a work requires a milling machine, but you can get by with a drilling machine, and some craftsmen are completely content with a conventional electric drill.

Since a license to purchase firearms is not required for self-assembly (an incomplete lover is not legally a part of firearms), “80% lower” is in steady demand. The price for such a “shortage” starts at $ 50 (and if you run into a sale, it’s even cheaper).

Another plus is the ability to create weapons for a non-standard cartridge (for example, for a pistol 9 × 19 mm Luger) or certain stores (for example, from Glock).

It got to the point that “80% lower” could be bought in completely “unarmed” online stores like “Amazon” – in the “art objects” section. Advanced designers got used to creating nice floor lamps and other fashionable household utensils from spare parts.

At the same time, self-made people who didn’t have access to weapons shops but passionately wanted to assemble the legendary “black rifle” with their own hands were also able to take advantage of it.

It remains only to purchase a butt pipe, a plastic body kit (at least the simplest one that is sold on “aliexpress”), a bunch of springs and pins – and you can proceed to assembly.

At the same time on video hosting you can easily find a lot of detailed and very professional recommendations on this process.

Such a weapon, not listed in the sales bases, the press calls ghost rifle (“ghost rifle”). Some states in the USA require the registration of such weapons with the police, others do not, but prohibit resale – in general, the attitude is quite calm.

In addition, “the consumer is voting with his pocket” – the price of a “self-assembled Arch” can come out one and a half times lower than the exact same from the store.

In general, if your hands grow from the right place, there is a very real topic to collect a decent rifle for sane money.

Why so few of them in Russia?

And now, when we roughly understand about AR-modularity, the question arises. Why are there so few of them in Russia – and why in the foreseeable future the AR platform will not be able to compete with AK?

After all, experience in the production of this platform in the Russian Federation is available. VPO-140 carbine (also known as Vepr-15) was manufactured for several years in Vyatskiye Polyany from Schmeisser components; while the barrel on the weapon was domestic, chrome.

With quite acceptable accuracy, the “pig”, as the arrows affectionately called it, had increased survivability and allowed it to calmly shoot cheap domestic ammunition with a bimetallic bullet shell.

Also, ORSIS, better known for its bolt-action rifles, made a very good-looking variant called the AS-15. Finally, to date, the St. Petersburg company ADAR has taken up the arches, and the manufacturer promises that all structural elements will be domestic. For aesthetes, Petersburgers made an option not only in a plastic body kit, but also in a tree.

Alas, the legend “Americans threw their M-16s and grabbed the AKM”, tucked into their heads, is still playing against. But most importantly, the cost of the AR platform is still too high.

The Smith & Wesson M & P15 Sport II carbine in the United States can be found for $ 500, and in Russia prices for the most affordable Chinese clones CQ-A M4 from NORINCO start at about 90-100 thousand rubles.

But any “home-made” according to the laws of the Russian Federation is criminally punishable. Therefore, the very plus that works so well in the overseas civilian market does not matter in our country.

However, I still want to hope for the liberalization of domestic legislation and that over time, the arches will become a much more familiar and popular weapon – not only among athletes, but also among ordinary amateur shooters.

In general, comrades, boldly master the weapons of a potential enemy!


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