Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 1 decade ago

How come I get different answers about the M16/M4/AR-15 and AK-47/SKS?

Some people say the AK-47 is louder, others say the M16/M4/AR-15 is louder while others say their both about the same. So which is it? And why do different people say different things?

So how does the noise of the AK-47 and M16 really compare to each other?

And what do they sound like off in the distance?


chrisneedsrideln: What exactly are you saying, your post did not make a whole lot of sense.

Update 2:

beedsarefunak: I would go to the range but I don't have the money or the time. I would though if I could but I can't. :(

11 Answers

    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Maybe because everyone hears things a bit different. Also some just guess and haven’t actually heard them before.

    Also how are we supposed to explain a sound?

    Unless you hear it, you won’t have a clue. They all sound pretty quiet to me but I have a 60% hearing loss. I didn’t wear hearing protection when I was young.

    On a cold morning you can hear the report of any of those rifles over a mile away in open areas. At 100 yards you will hear the bullet break the sound barrier as well as the report.

    Why don’t you just visit a shooting range and hear the real deal?

    The 7.62x39 is more powerful than the .223 but slower than the .223. Both have different sounds. To me the 7.62x39 is more of a boom and the .223 a crack high pitched boom. But that’s just me and I own both calibers in some rifles I have. Also the shorter the barrel or some of the added muzzle breaks can make them louder.

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  • 1 decade ago


    The 3 different rifles have 3 different reports for 3 very different reasons. The rifles you are trying to compare are like comparing apples, oranges and kiwi.

    Lets start with the M-16/AR-15. The only difference between the AR-15 and the M-16 is the fact that one is Semi-Automatic the other has a fully Automatic selection on the fire selector. Other than that the rifles are the same

    The AR-15/M-16 both fire the 5.56 NATO, (.223 Remington) cartridge. Despite its .22 Caliber projectile, this is actually quite a powerful cartridge, and a very accurate one. This cartridge also operates at near twice the pressure that the 7.62x39 cartridge does. Because of this, there is more of a "Snap" or high pitched pop that your ear hears than that of the 7.62x39 Cartridge.

    The other two folks that mentioned the flash hider and or a recoil suppressor are incorrect as to increasing the noise the rifle makes. The job of those devices is to as their names imply control recoil and muzzle flash, then direct the gasses away from the shooter. This makes the rifles easier so shoot and control, additionally since these are designed for combat, it makes follow-up shots easier for the soldier, with the respect of being able to get the weapon back on its intended target. Just as a note this applies to all of the rifles you are seeking an answer for.

    Now on to the AK-47. The SKS is NOT a relative of this rifle dispite what you may have been told. They are two completely different rifles, with two completely different design patterns to fire the same bullet. They fire the same bullet, and that is where the similarities end. The gas operation systems are different, as are many of the internal mechanical parts.

    To the eye the rifles may look like relatives only because they share some design similarities in their stock design toward the front end of the rifle. But again, that is where the similarities end.

    The 7.62x39 cartridge when fired makes more of a thud than a snap. This is because it is a low pressure cartridge, has a larger diameter bullet, and a lower powder charge.

    For lack of better terms the sounds are like comparing .357 Magnum and .38 Special. Two different cartridges operating at two completely different pressure zones.

    The projectile for the 7.62x39 is nearly double the weight of the .223 Remington, and is traveling nearly 1100 Feet Per Second slower than the .223. Being that the projectile is also twice the weight, this also means the recoil the shooter must absorb is more significant.

    The all of the rifles do share one similarity, in the respect that they are all gas operated actions. This means there is a port either in the barrel or the action that collects a portion of the gasses and cycles the action through an actuating piston to eject and chamber the next cartridge for firing. But even having said this, the three systems are different, with respect to the AR-15/M16, the SKS and the AK-47.

    It should be noted the Gas System in an AR-15 shares the same system with the M-16, because they are the same rifle.

    Now having given you this information, if you seek a more indepth examination, I would suggest getting a book or two from your local library or any one of a million sources on the web.

    Good Luck and Happy Shooting.

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  • DJ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The flaw is not in the answers, but in the question.

    All AKs and all M16s and AR rifles are not the same. Some have long barrels, some short. Some have different types of muzzle brakes or flash supressors, which can dramatically alter the sound produced. Some 7.62x39 ammo is much louder than others of the same caliber; the same is true for .223.

    A good part of the sound a gun produces is actually made by the projectile breaking the sound barrier after it leaves the gun barrel, so the velocity of the ammo is what is important there, not the gun at all.

    So you are asking a very general question trying to compare "apples to apples" when no realistic comparison exists due to there being so many other influential factors.

    Look, to use an automobile comparison, you are asking us "Which is louder, a Ford or a Chevy" and the answers you get are variable because some Fords are louder than some Chevys and vice-versa depending on so many other factors.

    It's also a criteria that when it comes down to it is completely useless information. Tell us what difference it makes and why you want to know which one is louder, and we can maybe help you understand.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have fired both and have heard both on a range. To me, the m16/ar 15 style rifles sound louder. I guess it is the tighter tolerances which make is seem that it is louder even though it fires with less than half the gunpowder of an ak round. Maybe you could watch some video on youtube if you can't make it to a range.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Zach..... Just buy both an AR15 and an AK47... I did -- several as a matter of fact....

    Both have there finer point... One isn't necessarily better than the other....

    If you cant afford both then just buy an AK --- They are generally less expensive and the ammunition is cheaper.....

    This question you are asking has been debated to death for over 40 years... The AR15 / M4 / M16 platform has served the USA well and the AK format has served the old Eastern block countries well also....

    If you are on a tight budget but want a rifle then surely look at an SKS rifle... They are semi-auto, have a history, are reliable, use cheap ammo and are inexpensive.....

    Don't debate --- Just get out there and buy a rifle....

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not a lot of people at the range are toting around a db meter, nor does anyone really care which is louder. It is pretty safe to say that although I have shot both, I do no know which is louder as they are not significantly different.

    Seriously, why is this so important to you?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Every gun is going to be loud. It's a full scale explosion inside of a metal tube. Most of the time the volume is an opinion on how the sound hits you BUT when we shoot 50 cals it completely blows your eardrums out even with a headset on. So its more which one you think is louder

    Source(s): Atlanta S.W.A.T. sniper trainer
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Just because the AK is in 7.62 does not make it louder.

    Noise is caused by mostly gas pressure, length of barrel, muzzle brake and/or flash suppressor, case capacity(which is this case their about the same) and barrel thickness and barrel properties.

    Most people like to assume the AK is louder than the M16 because its 7.62 but that is not the case, but correct me if I'm wrong.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well when answering your AR-15 question, they are all louder... Simple enough higher caliber = greater noise. Unless you shell out the cash for a suppressor. If that was the case, you wouldn't be buying an AK-47.

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  • 1 decade ago

    there are soo many variables when looking at guns and loudness...a few factors are barrel length...amount of powder in the cartridge, and just whoever is listening to it.. but barrel lenght is a huge my 10/22 and my 22 pistol the pistol is hella loud when compared to my 10/22 and the more amount of powder you have the more gas/and bigger explosion there is going to be..and then i may hear it different then someone that has shot all there lives and is used to the noise..

    Source(s): IMO
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