How Familiar Are You With The AK?


January 3, 2003, 02:01 PM
A friend of mine recently attended a briefing conducted by John Holschen on the Al Quada Training Tapes. I've posted a bit more info and a link to John's origional analysis in the General Discussion forum. Anyway, the tangos are utilizing stockless AKs in most of the scenarios on the tape. If you were present and got access to one of them, how quickly could you bring it into action? How familiar are you with switches, levers, sights, etc on the AK family of weapons?

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January 3, 2003, 02:49 PM
#1. Real quick.
#2. As familiar as anyone can be I suppose.

4v50 Gary
January 3, 2003, 02:53 PM
Insert magazine, set safety to fire, pull bolt back and you're ready to go.

Of course, you can set the safety to fire, insert magazine, pull bolt back and still be ready to go.

January 3, 2003, 02:54 PM
Made to be simple and mass produced. You gave a hard time killing these things!

Al Thompson
January 3, 2003, 02:57 PM
Sounds like good news to me. Maybe we can influence them to get pistol grips for their shotguns and hold their handguns sideways.

January 3, 2003, 03:19 PM
I have an airsoft AK47. Does that count? :D

Really, the only thing new (to the AK) people will have to get used to is inserting the magazine (front end first, then pivot back) and the selector switch.

Politically Incorrect
January 3, 2003, 03:28 PM
I'm sure familiar with them. When my brother's friend's AK wasn't cycling on occasion, I knew was was wrong.

Seems that when it was put back together, the bolt assembly wasn't aligned in the rails right. I popped off the top, pulled the spring off and inserted the bolt and made sure it slid along the rails smoothly. No problems after that. Took me a matter of seconds. And it looked like I knew what I was doing.

I have an urge to take all my guns apart just to be amazed at the simplicity and mechanics that these engineers designed. Of course, sometimes foul language :cuss: is necessary when reassembly of doesn't go the way as planned. :banghead:

Then, once I figured out how, then I could cuss at myself for not noticing how simple it is.

stockless AK? I guess there are no riflemen in the Al Quada.

January 3, 2003, 03:34 PM
Yep, stockless. They are holding the guns sideways, with the ejection port up, mag to your right, gun more or less on the body centerline.

No one seems to have a very good idea of where they came up with that method of employment.

January 3, 2003, 03:51 PM
I've seen those tapes. I think they're AKS paratrooper models with underfolding stocks folded and not used. In any case, these guys are a bunch of freaking jokers when it comes to basic combat. They don't aim, they just spray ammuniton all over the place. They don't even shoulder their weapons.

Hard to imagine a bunch of jackasses like that could actually do so much damage. :fire:

January 3, 2003, 03:53 PM
That sounds like the way certain subguns used to be employed before they hit on the idea of equipping them with wire or other shoulder stocks. The theory is that the muzzle will move horizontally, spraying an enclosed area with bullets instead of wasting the AK's excessive muzzle climb in a vertical direction.
Still, this sounds as if they need better tactical instructors.
I can easily strip and reassemble my SAR-1 in the dark. Is that familiar enough? :)

January 3, 2003, 03:54 PM
I have an AK (a VEPR II) and it is the easiest gun that I own to use in an ugly situation. It is extremely easy to take down, load and rack, clear jams (if that EVER happens to an AK), sight and fire. Very handy gun. Utterly reliable. Simple design. With no stock, and the inherent AK capabilities, they muct be training for encounters under 40 yards, because using the sights and getting an accurate shot will be nearly impossible with no stock and it's inherent inaccuracy. They must be training for urban fighting in close quarters.

One advantage that the grip they are using might have (holding the rifle and pistol grip so that the back of your hand and the ejection port are pointing straight up), is precisely that the magazine is turned sideways. An AK 30-round magazine is really long, and can get in the way if you are in a prone position firing, or if you have anything underneath the rifle that will hit the mag. That's why shorter 20 round AK mags are so popular. By turning the rifle and mag sideways, you can lay on the ground and be almost flat, hugging the ground. Or you can ride in the back seat of an attacking car, roll the window down, climb halfway out the window so that you are sitting on the window sill, face back towards the middle of the car, and spray the AK sideways without the mag hitting the roof of the car. You can get a flatter shot and don't have to hold the AK up as high over the roof of the car.

January 3, 2003, 04:59 PM
What's an AK?


4v50 Gary
January 3, 2003, 09:11 PM
We're going to have to get John Woo make some flicks with people holding shotguns & real assault rifles sideways and blasting everything in sight. When our opponents see it, they'll think it's the most advanced technique from America and hopefully they'll adopt it. It may just make it safer for our troops.

January 3, 2003, 09:28 PM
More and more every day.

January 4, 2003, 04:13 AM
Insert magazine, set safety to fire, pull bolt back and you're ready to go.

Of course, you can set the safety to fire, insert magazine, pull bolt back and still be ready to go.
Gary's answer is brilliant,yet simple, all rolled into one neat little package.


January 4, 2003, 05:56 AM
Just remember, unlike the M16 in which the selector switch goes from safe to semi and then auto, the AK47 goes from safe to auto and then semi. :D

Speaking of pistol grips, I'm reading 13 Cent Killers: The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam by John J. Culbertson. He talks about a Gunnery Sergeant Roberto Guiierrez of Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion that used a M14 with the stock chopped off to a pistol grip.

Gotta be one tough Marine!

January 4, 2003, 07:37 AM
If you were present and got access to one of them, how quickly could you bring it into action? How familiar are you with switches, levers, sights, etc on the AK family of weapons?

I think its important to be able to do this with evey gun you can get your hands on, not just the AK. The weapon isnt the gun in your hands. You could have the absolute best gun in the world in your hands, and if you cant work it, what good is it? The AK's a good gun, but its not the weapon, nor are any of the other supposed "best guns", the sooner you figure that out the better off you'll be. Learn to work them all. ;)

January 4, 2003, 08:57 AM
Is anybody not familiar with the AK?

I mean, everybody owns one, or has owned one before, right? :confused:

12 Volt Man
January 4, 2003, 01:50 PM
Tamara is right........Get out there and buy one or at least shoot one if you haven't ever done so. Very fun to shoot and the ammo is inexpensive.

January 4, 2003, 02:06 PM
I agree with Tamara. The AK is kinda like a 1911 or a 10/22 in that everyone should know how to get one up and running.

January 4, 2003, 02:24 PM
Well I didn't hump one as a footsoldier under the snapping red flag of freedom, but I'd say I'm pretty handy with one. Admittedly, I could be better with it.

You know I haven't seen all the Al-Qeda tapes, but they look like they are training just like our guys do, only there is no such thing as a no-shoot target.


No matter how you hold it an AK on full auto isn't exactly a precision instrument.

January 4, 2003, 02:39 PM
Ok, from the footage I've seen on the news, I have to say I'm underwhelmed with Al Qaeda's abilities with small arms.

However, I wonder if by hold the weapon sideways they are somehow indexing off of the charging handle to get some sort of flash sight picture?

Just a thought.

Politically Incorrect
January 4, 2003, 03:26 PM
Is the AK a new kind of rifle? :neener:

January 4, 2003, 03:34 PM
If you're talking about the AK-47 type of assault rifles, the answer is:

Been on both sides of these things. and, yes, I can put it into action real fast and even fix it IF , one would ever fail/break.

January 4, 2003, 05:04 PM

I absolutely agree. You (generic, plural, meaning everybody) should be able to bring any gun you happen to encounter into operation. If you don't have particular familiarity with the particular gun, you should be familiar enough with the concepts to bring it online. (find the safety, find the operating handle, mag release,etc). The reason that I asked about AKs, in particular, was because they are featured so prominantly in the Al Quada tapes and because there are so many (AKs) around the world (more than 50 million!).


The footage that you've seen on TV is not footage from the Al Quada training tapes that I'm refering to. John Holschen compared the footage that's been aired on CNN as watching a high school football team as compared to the Super Bowl. To the best of my knowledge, none of the footage from the Al Quada tapes have been aired on TV.

For what it's worth, I knock the safety off (all the way down to Semi) first, then run the bolt, then pull and check the mag and reinsert it. I do this because, if you are not overly familiar with the AK, you can run the bolt to the rear with the gun on Safe (visually see a round in the chamber) and think that the gun is ready to fire. I knock the safety off with my firing hand prior to establishing a firing grip. I run the bolt with my off-hand, then remove the mag with my off-hand. Visually and tactilely verify ammo and reisert the mag. But that's just me.:)

January 4, 2003, 06:08 PM
I knock the safety off with my firing hand prior to establishing a firing grip. I run the bolt with my off-hand, then remove the mag with my off-hand. Visually and tactilely verify ammo and reisert the mag. But that's just me.

I do pretty much the same. I find most people dont understand the AK and havent tried or practiced with one enough to understand it. Most of what is passed on is just whats been heard and not from practical experience. I have three AK's, all work the same as far as safety's and mag changes. I can sweep the safety off with the middle finger of my firing hand while the thumb is hooked behind the grip, more or less in a firing position. This is fast and sure, alibet noisey, but not any louder than a M1/M14 saftey knocked off quick. You can also sweep it off with the thumb of the firing hand while the rest of your fingers are wrapped around the mag, kind of cradling the rifle across your chest. This method can be totally quiet and isnt really all that slow to get into action, but isnt a "ready position" either. As for mag changes, all my AK's will dump a mag without having to pull it out, if necessary. I just depress the muzzle, push the mag release with the middle finger of my hand on the grip and the mag usually will fall clear. If it doesnt readily fall out, a slight jerk will normally drop it. This isnt a tac type mag change, but for those who say it cant be done, it can. This also works with all my AK's. As for recharging after a mag change, you can either turn the rifle on its side, charging handle up and stroke it, or reach under the rifle while vertical and stroke it with your thumb, palm facing the reciever, all with your firing hand on the grip. I do this every time a mag is changed, round in the chamber or not. I personally dont think the lack of a hold open device is that critical an issue, and by charging the gun after each mag change, empty or not, it doesnt matter, its loaded when I'm done. My guns are not select fire, so the mode isnt an issue for me. I know the AK gets a bad rap, but I think is one thats not deserved. Its not a target rifle and never claimed to be. But within its capabilities, you wouldnt want to be in front of someone who knows how to use it.

June 11, 2008, 09:33 PM
I have 2 ,legaly mv dad has 2 as I am olny 17 but in 67 days I'll buy em for a buck $0.50 a pop quite a deal

June 12, 2008, 12:49 AM
if they're underfolders as originally thought, then I'm sure I could become a better shot than them in about five seconds by simply unfolding the stock.

June 12, 2008, 12:54 AM
Night Of The Living Thread!!!!!

June 12, 2008, 01:15 AM
Hard to imagine a bunch of jackasses like that could actually do so much damage.

imagine if they had any well trained army...

June 12, 2008, 02:55 AM
Extremely familiar. I have owned a few AK's and shoot them occasionally.

June 12, 2008, 03:01 AM
Into action from stop to rock and roll in about a nanosecond.

I shoot left handed, and the AK is probably one of the most lefty friendly designs on the planet. I hate to say it, but I can reload, run immediate or remedial action, and stay in the fight with an AK probably nearly as fast as I can with an M16, because even as an 03, I was never more familiar with the M16 than I am with the AK, and never trusted it as much as I trust the AK. Right now, there are only one or two rifles on earth I'd prefer over an AK for dirty jobs, and that is the M1A and the FAL.

As a lefty, I can manipulate all the controls without taking my firing hand off the pistol grip, and do it all while keeping the muzzle level and downrange. If the rifle has a stock, it would be in my firing side (left) shoulder with the firing hand on the pistol grip, trigger finger straight and along the receiver. The fastest way I have found to reload is to get the fresh mag in the support (right) hand, rounds facing forward, then rotate the magazine so the magazine (flat side) is parallel to the deck with the rounds on the left. The leading edge of the magazine is then struck against the mag release and continues forward into the back edge of the empty magazine, knocking it free. The fresh magazine is then merely flipped back up as it was when you got it (perpendicular to the deck, rounds on top and forward), rocked in, and locked. Then support hand then sweeps back along the right side of the receiver, catches the charging handle, palms up with the meaty part of the hand at the base of the pinky and ring finger, pulls it all the way back, releases it, and races it forward to return to the support hand position. As a lefty, I can see the ejection port by merely canting the rifle 10 to 15 degree counter-clockwise. Immediate action is pretty much the same as anything else; tap the magazine, rack the charging handle, and bang. Remedial action is similar as well; remove the magazine, pull back the bolt, tilt the rifle clockwise to allow the jammed cartridges to fall free, reinsert magazine, rack charging handle, and commence firing. If the rounds are stuck in the ejection port and fail to fall free, it may be necessary to cradle the rifle with the buttstock in the crook of the arm near the elbow. Then you can hook the support hand thumb over the receiver cover to hold the charging handle back while the support hand manually clears the ejection port. Or as is often more convenient if you have a red dot sight mounted over the receiver, as I do, you can put the buttstock in the shooting side hip, pull the bolt back and hold it with the thumb of the support hand (with the rest of the hand cupped around the left side of the receiver), and use the firing hand to manually clear the ejection port. Then reinsert magazine, rack charging handle, and you're back in the action. Finally, the safety is easily manipulated with the support hand. I have big enough hands that I barely have to take my support hand off the grip to flip the safety down with my thumb. I pretty much just bring it back as far as the magazine and flip the safety. I've got enough trigger time behind an AK to feel very confident in my ability to use it effective, though I would prefer mine at least had a stock.

I am most definitely familiar with the AK.

June 12, 2008, 12:53 PM
Love those timestamps . . . .

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