The Reckoner!

AK-47 or AR-15? Which assault rifle do you prefer for the Zombie Apocalypse?

It hit the fan.  The zombies are out there.  You wake up in the morning, and yes, the zombpocalypse has happened.

Fortunately, you came prepared.  Sitting in your special zombie-proof safe where you keep your zombie bug-out bag is an assault rifle with a 250-round case of ammo.  The question is, which assault rifle are you keeping in there?

The AR-15: the rifle design of choice of our US military.  It is extremely accurate and can be easily customized with a myrid selection of assesories.  Due to the gas system design, the rifle must use high quality ammo and be cleaned regularly to function. 


The AK-47: the most common rifle in the world.  It is known for it ruggedness and reliability.  It will fire every time in the worst conditions with cheap dirty ammo although accuracy is not one of its strong points.

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Reckoning Comments!

Given the circumstances, I'd say there are three key factors to the decision, in descending order of importance:

  1. Ability to find supplemental ammo.
  2. Ability to maintain the gun.
  3. Accuracy.

(1) and (2) are pretty close, and I could be convinced to swap them.  (3) I'd consider a distant third.  If you're shooting a zombie from long distance, chances are you're doing it for sport.  At close distances, either the differences between the AR-15 carbine and the AK-47 are too small to make an impact, or you're on the run and it's time to spray n' pray anyway.

For (2), the AK-47 has a clear advantage.  For (1), you've got the benefit of starting with a decent stockpile, but it won't last forever.  In my limited experience, I've seen more 7.62mm rounds floating around than the 5.56mm NATO stuff the AR-15 uses, so I think the AK-47 has the advantage there as well.

In other words, I'll be fighting those zombies exactly as I imagined -- like a Russian.

Unless you picked "gun fixer guy" out of the hat when your office assigned roles for who was doing what in the zombie apocalypse (Is it just my office that did that?), then I want the one I think isn't going to break down mid-zombie attack.

I got 'early casualty' in the ReckonLabs office pool.

Gotta go AK.  It's dead reliable, requires no maintenance, has a bigger bullet and is plenty accurate at 100 yards.  Beyond that range it's more difficult to be sure it's a zombie. It might just be somebody with a funny walk.

In the United States, a rifle chambered in 5.56 will fire military 5.56 AND civilian .223.  Those are easily the second most common rifle rounds in the country after .22lr.  This would be the gun I'd choose, also, as for reliability, a moron can strip and clean an AR-15 and since it's easily the most popular higher powered rifle in the United States, there will be plenty of parts... not that it's an issue as it's a super reliable gun as well.  

Basically, in the US, choose a 5.56 rifle, anywhere else in the world, I'd go with the AK.

The Reckoner!