Are Americans Carrying AK's in Iraq?


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SlamFire1
April 25, 2007, 08:12 AM
I keep on seeing pictures of Soldiers in American helmets, in American camouflage and gear, and the men are carrying AK47 type rifles. I suspect that most are Iraqi troops. Just recently saw in a segment of last Sunday’s 60 minutes newshow, two men in US gear shooting AK’s out a window, but it was impossible to tell their ethnicity from the insert. Which makes me wonder if Americans are dumping the M16 and using locally available AK’s.

Can anyone confirm?

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TheDisturbed1
April 25, 2007, 08:22 AM
well, not to dawg ya, but there are at least 5 other threads on this same subject that I have caught glance to :D

So, yes and no.

They dont dump their standard issue equipment, but they do use an AK at times for the few advantages it has over the M16/M4/M249 that most squads are well equiped with.

^and thats all from what I gather out of former discussions... Makes sense to me, saves up on the 5.56 ammo in case ya get caught in an all-nighter.

NM234
April 25, 2007, 08:25 AM
They might, on occassion. For example I've heard stories from one american soldier about picking up weapons on the battlefield on rare occassions (for example your gun jams up, and there is an AK on the ground from a downed combatent or friendly Iraqi troop; or your fighting for your life and feel its the better gun for the situation (I've heard AKs are better at close range)). I have heard one rumor of them sometimes being given them, but don't really believe them; to my knowledge the M-16 is still the standard issue along with someone with the squad automatic weapon (although, if I had to make a decision based on the knowledge I have now I might pick the AK considering most of the fighting is within 100 yards and there is all that sand kicking around, but I'm not an expert.)

But, I'm no expert on this topic, im sure someone w/more info will answer your question.

peyton
April 25, 2007, 09:04 AM
Hop into your sedan or pickup pointing your rifle out in a safe direction. Visualize your car door window measuring 12 inches by 12 inches. Then imagine trying to shoot back with a rifle that is 1 meter (39 inches long). The folding stock AK can do that easily. It is called suppressive fire or what I call Pray and Spray.

armoredman
April 25, 2007, 09:25 AM
If it's three color desert camo, it's Iraqui troops.

JWarren
April 25, 2007, 10:38 AM
More often than not, any AK's used in Iraq by non-insurgents or Iraqi nationals are being used by US private contrators, I think-- but I have no idea.

-- John

SlamFire1
April 25, 2007, 10:57 AM
Well maybe I should have done a search for threads, on the second search found a thread where this has been discussed.

Still the images from the Sunday show were such that I could not tell from the gear or the faces whether the soldiers shooting AKs, one a folding stock, were US or not. And I keep on seeing pictures in news papers, such as US Today, where there are guys with slung AK's and in full US looking battle gear.

When we first went into Iraq, talking to troops who went, we were so short of ammunition and weapons that Americans had to pick up local weapons. I talked to a Marine Reservist who went first wave into Iraq, he had 80 rounds of .223 and the unit 50 caliber had 200 rounds to fight the entire Iraqi army. That was it. A Vietnam vet I mentioned this to, said he would not have deployed under those conditions. The Vet told me he had days where he had fired his full combat load of 400 rounds, and had to bum bullets to stay in the fight!

There were still ammunition shortages much later, per returning vets. There were guys issued M92's without ammo, and 308 was hard to find, at one time.

Anyway this is 2007 and I suspect that if US GI's are carrying an AK, it would be a preference instead of a supply issue.

Biker
April 25, 2007, 11:12 AM
IIRC, the standard combat infantryman's combat load was 200 rounds in Nam.
I could be wrong.

Biker

plexreticle
April 25, 2007, 11:15 AM
AK folders are good for a backup while in a vehicle.

DMK
April 25, 2007, 11:25 AM
I suspect the media tends to recycle old images too.

When we first got involved over there (four years ago!), most US troops were issued the longer M16A2s and M16A4s. The soldiers were doing a lot of mounted patrols in vehicles and the longer rifles were cumbersome to get up and into action. There were quite a few reports and even newspaper articles that documented certain commands allowing the temporary use of AKs.

Due to those issues however, the deployment of the M4 carbine has ramped up. Presently it seems that most units are issued the Colt carbines, so any excuse to use the AK would be harder to justify to superior officers and NCOs. While I'm sure AKs do get used occasionally by US forces, those uses are probably the rare and special cases.

The fact that the US is equipping the new Iraqi army with uniforms and gear similar to what our troops use, further confuses the casual observer.

USMC Tanker
April 25, 2007, 12:32 PM
Short answer: No

You will see images of American troops firing AK type weapons on a regular basis. These are almost always images of familiarization fires performed by US troops whose duties are to train Iraqi military/police in tactics and how to most efficiently use their weapons.

You will also see Iraqi troops wearing old American helmets, flaks, goggles, 3 color desert utilities, and the old Gulf War chocolate chip utilities.

In the earliers stages of the war, you could get away with keeping an AK in your vehicle as a backup. Nowadays however, everything is so highly regulated it's insane.

RockyMtnTactical
April 25, 2007, 01:05 PM
Short answer: No

You will see images of American troops firing AK type weapons on a regular basis. These are almost always images of familiarization fires performed by US troops whose duties are to train Iraqi military/police in tactics and how to most efficiently use their weapons.

You will also see Iraqi troops wearing old American helmets, flaks, goggles, 3 color desert utilities, and the old Gulf War chocolate chip utilities.

In the earliers stages of the war, you could get away with keeping an AK in your vehicle as a backup. Nowadays however, everything is so highly regulated it's insane.


That's what I am hearing too.

Also, you may be seeing some US contractors overseas with AK's, but most of them tend to carry M4's from what I hear and see too.

selector67
April 25, 2007, 01:13 PM
If there wearing the chocalate chip pattern camoflage, then there Iraqi troops, thats the pattern our troops used in the first gulf war, we probably gave them all our leftovers.

possum
April 25, 2007, 01:36 PM
In the earliers stages of the war, you could get away with keeping an AK in your vehicle as a backup. Nowadays however, everything is so highly regulated it's insane.

my E6 friend was demoted for carrying around an ak. that was back in oif 2 04 to 05 time period. we find them we have to turn the weapons over to the authorites asap.

UsmcTanker, hit it right on the head on the other points he made as well.

there are civilian contractors that you might see with ak's but soliders and enemy weapons is a no/go these days!

slamfire, you just can't "dump" your assigned weapon, it is considered a sensative item and every solider is accountable for thier weapon ammo and equipment, you do not want to be the guy to loose anything especially a "sensative item"!

lathedog
April 25, 2007, 01:53 PM
I haven't seen any Iraqis in 3-color desert. Maybe up in the North. They mostly wear the chocolate chip pattern. They wear the same helmet as we do, as do several Coalition armies.

Several of the eastern European units in Iraq use Kalashnikovs and issue a helmet that looks like the US kevlar (not sure if it is a US helmet or a knock-off). Maybe that is what you saw.

Some US troops were issued Kalashnikov rifles back in 03, maybe 04. Armored units that had one rifle per 4 man crew on their TOE were issued them to supplant until additional M-16/M-4 could be procured & issued.

jjminch
April 25, 2007, 02:02 PM
Back in 03-04 we were authorized to use the Iraqi equipment. We would just throw an AK in the vehicle for a BUG. Maybe the footage you saw was old, but most likely Iraqi forces.

Nomad, 2nd
April 25, 2007, 02:03 PM
04-05 they were used alot. You just had to ditch them/get them out of sight whenever you came back inside the wire.

Zeros and 'Those' types of NCO's are never around when the S*** is flying.

MD_Willington
April 25, 2007, 02:56 PM
Yes, some do, some use the Ultimak on their AKM rifles...

I don't see why they wouldn't if they were in with the Iraqi troops, whats the point of carrying a weapon that is not compliant with the other troops weapons... The Iraqi troops carry 7.62x39...

http://ultimak.com/pic20.htm

MatthewVanitas
April 25, 2007, 03:37 PM
Is a self-quote narcissistic, or just saving time?

We've had this thread quite a few times, and when we cut out all the speculation and "here's what _I_ would so if I were in Iraq", it usually boils down to the following:

--Some folks who only had M9s picked up AKs, primarily during the initial invasion when we had less gear than we needed
--A small minority of troops are in very independent small units with a CO who lets them get away with carrying confiscated gear. I knew _one_ EOD team (Anbar, '04) where their GySgt let some guys carry a Sterling, a few AKs, and jury-rig a PKC onto a Humvee that had no 240 for the ring-mount. GySgt himself carried a G3K. He was a THR-type gun lunatic. [edit:] I did also see one SeaBee petty officer with a underfolder AK in '04.
--Tons, tons of troops have pictures of themselves posing with confiscated gear, or even pretending to be on an op with them. I've posted my way-cool FAMAS pic here, and it's quite likely that someone on some other forum is using it as "evidence" that the FAMAS is a favorite weapon of US Marines.

That's about what we've gotten out of previous threads. The rest of it is just "this one guy said" and other such things. Long, long-running topic...

SoCalShooter
April 25, 2007, 03:48 PM
I have read some stories and seen a whole lot of pictures of our troops usings AK's as backup weapons or picking them up on the field of combat and using them.

SlamFire1
April 25, 2007, 03:59 PM
IIRC, the standard combat infantryman's combat load was 200 rounds in Nam.
I could be wrong. Biker

Biker: I got that number from my friend. I was claiming that the M14 was a better rifle than the M16, and my friend said "You can't carry 400 rounds of 308 ammunition". And I replied, "Did you ever fire 400 rounds of ammunition in a day", and he "yes". And I said, "Oops, bad day".

That's all I know about the combat load of a Vietnam Grunt.

MatthewVanitas
April 25, 2007, 05:06 PM
have read some stories and seen a whole lot of pictures of our troops usings AK's

I hear that G3s and FAMASs are huge with Marines these days *grin*:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=19729&d=1103849580

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=46787&d=1161581634

SNEAKY PETE
April 25, 2007, 05:33 PM
A lot of G/Bs and other SNAKE-EATERS in THE NAM carried AKs. The reason being, when "Charlie" heard an AK going off not much was thought about it. BUT, let an M-16 crank up. then all hell broke loose. Kind of makes sense-doesn't it? also there's always a lot of local ammo avlb.. I"m sure that the same is true now. Special OPs in country didn't pay too much attention to the "Rules & Regs" that apply to the traditional serviceman back then and they shouldn't and probably don't now !

Coronach
April 25, 2007, 05:53 PM
From what I've read and heard from people who have BTDT, some troops use AKs from time to time in VERY limited situations, and the VAST majority of the images we see on TV of troops using AKs are either:

1. Americans doing fam-fire

or

2. Iraqi troops dressed in US-provided uniforms.

...with #2 being the more common of the two.

Mike

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