The Universal Gun—The AK-47
January 27, 2008
Romanian WASR AK-47
The AK-47 is the most prolific gun on the planet. It’s used by good guys and bad alike. Most people are familiar with the history of this gun but here’s a short history. Back in the later years of WWII a Soviet army sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov designed this weapon which was adopted by the soviet army in 1947 thus the designation Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947. To date there are over 30 million of these weapons in service with many countries; allies and foes alike. Some believe the AK-47 was the product of borrowing design features of the German STG44. The STG44 does have a striking resemblance to the AK. This is an issue that will be long debated. My personal opinion is that Mikhail Kalashnikov designed this weapon on his own and is a bonafied genius in firearms design. Over the years this design has spawned many variations in both caliber and use. Most any Russian rifle/squad automatic now in use has it’s basis on the AK-47 design. The original guns were forged models soon after were stamped when that technology was perfected. This reduced cost as well as allowing for greater production numbers. Some countries are so enamored with this weapon they have it on the nations flag. Mozambique being the most well known. While many liberal types look at the AK-47 as the poster child for the evil of guns. Those of us who’s main hobby is shooting know better. There’s no such thing as an evil gun the person or persons that use it determines whether it’s a tool for freedom from oppression or used to oppress.
There are more types of AK’s made than I have room to name. This particular AK-47 is from Romania and is the most common in the USA. Prices are very reasonable. This rifle was $379 at Cott Firearms in Marshall, Mo. Ammunition is increasing in price as we all know but the 7.62×39 round at Midway Usa is priced at $109 for a case of 500 rounds. Not to bad at all for a rifle round. Certainly the least expensive large caliber rifle to shoot. Whether for just a fun time at the range, hunting or home defense the AK-47 fills the need nicely. This Romanian model has a chrome lined barrel for longevity. As AK’s go I found this one well made. The rifle also comes with a magazine pouch, a cleaning kit that fits in the butt of the rifle. It also comes with two 30 round magazines and a bayonet.
When I brought this AK home the first thing I did was take it down to remove all the cosmoline that’s used to pack guns for long term storage. You certainly should do this as well before firing yours. After cleaning and lubing I loaded up and headed for the range. Of course I always use Militec to lube all my guns and I highly recommend it.
I setup a standard police silhouette target up and decided to fire from the 25, 50 and 100 yard line. Firing from the 25 yard line was what I expected. I was able to maintain groups of 1 inch kneeling. From the 50 yard line I fired from a kneeling position and achieved the below group firing three rounds.
From the 100 yard line the group opened up. The AK-47 is not known for great accuracy at distance. I do believe it is more accurate than many people give it credit for. This is the 100 yard group.
The black area of the target is a 5 inch circle. For an AK-47 or any rifle with iron sights I consider this pretty darn good and much better than I expected considering what I have heard about poor accuracy. I completely enjoyed shooting this rifle! It’s just plain fun and handles well. If you’re used to an AR15 you do have some getting used to with the different manual of arms. I shot a total of 160 rounds with no malfunctions of any type. I expected no less considering the reputation the AK-47 has for reliability. I also emptied a 30 round mag as fast as I could pull the trigger and still no malfunctions. It was a blast to, literally:-)
To disassemble the rifle is simplicity itself. At the rear of the receiver cover is a button that is pushed in then lift off the cover. Then grasp the recoil spring at the rear, lift it up and pull it out. After that just pull the bolt and one piece gas piston to the rear where there is a notch at the rear of the receiver allowing the assembly to be pulled up and out. That’s all there is to it. From this point just clean as usual and assemble in reverse of the take down procedure. It takes about 3 minutes to disassemble!
I’ve also been in contact with some soldiers in Iraq who in addition to the issue M16/M4 they carry an AK-47 especially when riding in a vehicle. They refer to the fact that many of the hiding places for insurgents is behind a very common building material over there which are cinder blocks(commonly referred to as concrete blocks). From what they tell me the AK-47 round will go right through a cinder block wall providing more effective fire than the issue AR15 5.56 round.
If you want an inexpensive gun that’s a load of fun to shoot I can certainly recommend the AK-47!
My AK with a Troy single point sling
http://www.ak-47.us/ A great website with tons of AK info.
The AK-47 and US Soldiers
Middle East – AP
>U.S. Troops Use Confiscated Iraqi AK-47s
>Sun Aug 24, 2:15 PM ET
>By ANDREW ENGLAND, Associated Press Writer
>BAQOUBA, Iraq – An American soldier stands at the side of an Iraqi highway,
>puts his AK-47 on fully automatic and pulls the trigger.
>Within seconds the assault rifle has blasted out 30 rounds. Puffs of dust
>dance in the air as the bullets smack into the scrubland dirt. Test fire
>U.S. troops in Iraq (news – web sites) may not have found weapons of mass
>destruction, but they’re certainly getting their hands on the country’s
>stock of Kalashnikovs – and, they say, they need them.
>”We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in
>certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to
>demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon … demonstrate an ability to
>use it,” said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th
>Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.
>In Humvees, on tanks – but never openly on base – U.S. soldiers are
>carrying the Cold War-era weapon, first developed in the Soviet Union but
>now mass produced around the world.
>The AK is favored by many of the world’s fighters, from child soldiers in
>Africa to rebel movements around the world, because it is light, durable
>and known to jam less frequently.
>Now U.S. troops who have picked up AKs on raids or confiscated them at
>checkpoints are putting the rifles to use – and they like what they see.
>Some complain that standard U.S. military M16 and M4 rifles jam too easily
>in Iraq’s dusty environment. Many say the AK has better “knockdown” power
>and can kill with fewer shots.
>”The kind of war we are in now … you want to be able to stop the enemy
>quick,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tracy S. McCarson of Newport News, Va., an army
>scout, who carries an AK in his Humvee.
>Some troops say the AK is easier to maintain and a better close-quarters
>weapon. Also, it has “some psychological affect on the enemy when you fire
>back on them with their own weapons,” McCarson said.
>Most U.S. soldiers agree the M16 and the M4 – a newer, shorter version of
>the M16 that has been used by American troops since the 1960s – is better
>for long distance, precision shooting.
>Two weeks ago, Sgt. Sam Bailey of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was in a Humvee when a
>patrol came under rocket-propelled grenade and heavy machine gun fire. It
>was dark, the road narrow. On one side, there was a mud wall and palms
>trees, on the other a canal surrounded by tall grass.
>Bailey, who couldn’t see who was firing, had an AK-47 on his lap and his M4
>up front. The choice was simple.
>”I put the AK on auto and started spraying,” Bailey said.
>Some soldiers also say it’s easier to get ammo for the AK – they can pick
>it up on any raid or from any confiscated weapon.
>”It’s plentiful,” said Sgt. Eric Harmon, a tanker who has a full 75-round
>drum, five 30-round magazines, plus 200-300 rounds in boxes for his AK. He
>has about 120 rounds for his M16.
>Young doesn’t carry an AK but has fired one. He’s considered banning his
troops from carrying AKs, but hasn’t yet because “if I take the AK away
from some of the soldiers, then they will not have a rifle to carry with
Staff Sgt. Michael Perez, a tanker, said he would take anything over his
standard issue 9mm pistol when he’s out of his tank.
And the AK’s durability has impressed him.
“They say you can probably drop this in the water and leave it overnight,
pull it out in the morning, put in a magazine and it will work,” Perez
I’ve wanted to attach a single point sling to this AK like the type I use on my AR15’s. The trouble was in searching the internet I found very little information or hardware to attach this type of sling to the buttstock of an AK. I came up with a simple and inexpensive solution for those who would also like to put a single point sling on their AK.
I found some parts I had to attach a sling to my Savage 10FP. You start with an eyelet screw. Depending on the size of the screw you drill an undersize hole then place the eyelet screw in the location shown in the picture. After that you just attach the sling attachment and your done. I used a Troy Industries single point sling I have never used. It has the H&K type single snap hook. Just snap the hook in and pull the elastic part to cover the parts of the hook to prevent accidental release which is unlikely even without it.
This setup is sturdy and holds the rifle in the vertical high ready position allowing you to bring it to your shoulder very fast. It also allows you to let the rifle hang on either side to use your handgun or just rest awhile. I hope you find this inexpensive solution helpful!
I’ve made some changes to my AK that I have found to be very useful. I changed the wood furniture out with polymer type rear stock and front handguard.
As it looks now
After Refinishing in AK Black
Troy Sling On Polymer Stock
You’ll notice the rubber butt pad I also added. I have since removed this item finding it somewhat cumbersome to use. It’s just to large and catches on your clothing which loosens it. This is one add on I would not advise adding unless it is the same size as the original butt stock and is attached with screws. Another item I put on was the replacement receiver cover that has the optic riser attached. You can use the iron sights with this model. With a red dot scope it’s rather fast getting on target. The only difficulty with this arrangement is every time you remove it to clean your rifle the sight must be adjusted. It will not hold zero. Since I’m an old guy and have used iron sights for many many years I also removed this because I simply don’t want to have to re-zero the rifle after each cleaning. I have to face facts that with the natural pointing attributes of the AK you don’t really need an optic unless you just really enjoy them. They do look kinda cool:-)
The above mount works much better. It’s very solid and in spite of how far forward it is the red dot view is very good making a fast sight picture a snap. This mount is from Ultimak at http://www.ultimak.com/m1-b.htm. I prefer the Aimpoint type red dot on an AK. Rather than spending the money on a real Aimpoint I have chosen to purchase an Aimpoint clone from http://www.1337tactical.com. The prices vary from $75 to $105. The difference is the $105 variety comes with a lever throw mount rather than the hex mount. For $30 I decided that the type that attached by hex screws would work just fine.
The above is the type which attaches with hex screws
This is the one with the throw lever. Both come with mounts rather than having to purchase them separately as you do with the higher priced Aimpoint.
This pretty much covers the additions I’ve made or am in the process of making. One last thing is the attachment of the single point sling on a polymer stock. The process I wrote above for wooden stocks works better on polymer than wood. It holds the sling very securely. I hope this saves you some time and money by revealing those parts which don’t work very well.
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