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AR vs AK Sight Radius


One of the biggest negatives listing in the AR vs AK debate is the AK-47’s shorter sight radius. Well a member over on Reddit posted an interesting picture comparing the sight radius of an AK variant rifle and a carbine length AR-15.  Looks pretty even to me.

To be fair a mid-length or rifle AR upper would have a longer sight radius so you could still use the AK’s shorter radius vs the AR as a valid argument.  This just goes to show however that it’s not that the AK has such a shorter sight radius than the AR-15 (it’s still a pretty darn short radius in general), it’s the fact that the AK’s rear sight is located so far forward.

Is this a deal breaker for those choosing between the two? Honestly to me it isn’t, there are other pros and cons to both rifles to consider. When it comes down to it, it’s all about which rifle you’re more comfortable with.


  1. The advantage of the AR15’s rear sight proximity to the eye is that a movement in the sight alignment is much easier to perceive.

    Imagine the front sight distance from the eye as 100% on both the AR and AK. The rear sight distance from the eye on the AR, M4 or M16 is right at about 5%. The AK’s rear sight is about 50%.

    This is why we naturally place our eye close to the end of a board to inspect for a bend. The AK is an excellent weapon, but sights loose for PRECISE shot placement

  2. Ive worker with AR15, R5 rifles and AKs for work. I tell you one thing nothing is faster in a fire fight than an AK and its battle sights.

  3. Unless the AK can get a free-float barrel as well, the sight radius of the AK is pretty much ‘maxed out’ regardless of whether you can get it stretched all the way to the back or not.

    With a FF hand-guard, the AR can start as close to the stock and as far as the very end of a 16 inch barrel just before the flash hider. Serious difference in sight radius there.

  4. ergonomics and refinement are the deal breakers for me. I’ve trained at an advanced level with both.
    I don’t often shoot, but when I do, I choose AR’s.

  5. keyword – Carbine length AR. How bout a mid-length or a rifle length?

    They surely do have that advantage over the AK

  6. does the position of the operator’s eye affects the accuracy? for the AR15 platform the operator’s eye is closer to the rear sight, where as in the AK platform the operator’s eye is a bit further from the sight.

    as for iron sights, i’m comfortable and prefer the the AR15 O-ring (rear sight) to the AK V-notch.

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