From its inception, the AK-47 has become one of the most common and rugged rifles for home defense and military application around the world. With more than 105 nations using this firearm in their militaries, and 33 countries manufacturing some sort of AK-47 variant, it's a well known rifle. The AK-47, full name Avtomat Kalashnikova Model 1947”, meaning “Kalashnikov Machine” was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, a russian patriot. The Russian military adopted this gas piston-driven firearm as its official rifle soon after its creation. It's only contestant has been the US made M16 and its counterpart the AR15 (Armalite Model 15).
In the 1990’s, the U.S. began creating shorter-barreled versions of the M4A1 carbine rifle and classified them as Short Barrel Rifles, or SBR. These became known for their use in US Special Operations. Jumping forward to the 2000’s. The SBR hit the public market and everyone wanted one for their compact nature, firepower, and rifle platform that is able to accurately shoot 300+ yards. If you want to own an SBR today, you’ll need to get a tax stamp from the ATF, which will cost you and extra $200 on top of the cost of the firearm itself.
So to get around the bureaucracy, some believe, the gun gods created the AR-Pistol. Much like an SBR but not… It has an arm brace instead of a buttstock, which is a technicality in design difference. This detail allows every good American to get a shorter-barreled “rifle like” firearm, that’s technically classified as a pistol, without spending extra money or putting your name on a list of owners of said firearms. After this development, it wasn’t long until someone in the USA said, “I want an AK Pistol!”
The U.S. lays claim to creating the very first AK pistol. This design has all the ak-47 attributes but no buttstock, and a 10.5” barrel instead of the 16” rifle length barrel. The round that the AK pistol uses is the same as its big brother, the 7.62x39. This packs a harder punch than the .223 round or 5.56 round from a firearm like the Ruger 556 ar pistol. And the 7.62x39 is a globally common round. So it makes sense to have an AK pistol, right? Maybe! Let's sort through/explore/consider/some pros and cons of the AK pistol vs. the AR pistol.
AK Pistol Pros and Cons
Pros Great firepower, 20, 30, 60 round magazines Better Stopping power than .223/5.56 Globally a Common Round Inexpensive round (when it’s not 2021)
Cons Slightly Heavier than an AR Pistol Shorter sight ratio than AR Pistol 7.62 x 39 is less accurate than .223 / 5.56 AK Pistol parts are NOT interchangeable with full AK 47 platform parts Some come with No Arm brace, but can be added aftermarket
Pros Great firepower, 20, 30, 60, round magazines (belt fed if you’re an overachiever) Uses buffer tube to hold the arm brace so you gain more stability. .223 / 5.56 is a More Accurate Round than 7.62x39 Parts are interchangeable with full size AR 15 platforms. Longer sight ratio for better accuracy Most 5.56 brass is…. Brass. And Ak Pistol ammo is steel cased, if that matters to you
Cons Gas system issues for cycling rounds if your barrel is to short .223 / 5.56 has less stopping power than the AK Pistol Though a common round its not everywhere like 7.62 x 39 In 2021, it's hard to find ammo at a fair price(except with us at Ammo Planet)
So is it worth getting an AK pistol? Well, that depends on you. Are they cool weapons to have? Yes! If you’re looking for a reliable AK pistol, you may end up having to make adjustments to fine-tune it more than you would if you went with the AR pistol. If you want something that is iconic and fun to shoot, then the AK pistol is for you. IF you just want the ability to chamber the 7.62x39 but don’t care about the firearm platform, then I would consider an AR pistol platform chambered in 7.62x39 that can/so you can utilize the versatility of the AR system. No matter what you choose, both are a good time. And if you’re honest with yourself, you probably want both anyway. So just do that.