AK Tactial Reload


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wally
February 21, 2010, 10:06 AM
One of the most common criticisms of the AK ergonomics is the "slowness" of magazine changes.

Last night on the Military Channel was a show "Weaponology, Spetsnaz". Seems we in the west having been doing it wrong. One of the segments showing AK usage was a tactical reload. He hit the mag release with the with the fresh mag, flicked out the old, and inserted the new well before the old had hit the ground, all without moving the muzzle off the target in what appeared to be a single motion.

Its on again Next Saturday, I've set the DVR and will try to post a clip if it here or on youTube.

I also got a kick out of him doing push-ups using his AK-74 as a T-bar with only the orange bakelite mag touching the ground. Anyone willing to try this with an AR?

--wally.

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The Tennessean
February 21, 2010, 10:13 AM
Why would you discard a magazine that isn't empty? Tactical loads are slower than administrative loads by nature because you are retaining the semi-spent magazine for later use, not discarding it on the ground.

Zerodefect
February 21, 2010, 10:20 AM
That sounds like a plain old reload to me.

I don't do tactical reloads, If i leave behind a mag that has a couple rounds left in it I could care less.

Sam1911
February 21, 2010, 10:27 AM
Something like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7hi20TI_jA

Slightly different variant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvZwkv_NUmU
Interesting method of holding the charging handle back throughout. I think that's too risky of fumbling, but if you practice that it could work.

Again, a little different: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S402qofBChI

It does work and it is fast.

-Sam

WNTFW
February 21, 2010, 10:27 AM
There is a "clip" of that type of mag change on you tube already.

_N4Z_
February 21, 2010, 10:28 AM
I've seen that show your talking about.

Was good stuff and interesting. For curiosities sake I tried some of his moves, and they came quite naturally.


Seems common for people that don't understand something, or how it works, to belittle or bad mouth it before admitting ignorance.

pv18463
February 21, 2010, 12:02 PM
Here is a video of several different AK reloads.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TegQiSObPZo

wally
February 21, 2010, 12:54 PM
Something like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7hi20TI_jA

Pretty much.

Here is a video of several different AK reloads.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TegQiSObPZo

This one is really good!


Any videos of doing push-ups off the AR :)

--wally.

MachIVshooter
February 21, 2010, 12:54 PM
While it's certainly possible to do a fast reload with an AK, the design of the weapon is just not nearly as conducive to it as an AR. It's like a heel-catch European pistol vs. a race gun; One has all the conrtrols in the right place and a mag well that behaves like a magnet, the other requires more finess, larger movements and more careful alignment. The man in the video sam 1911 posted was very quick, but even at that, 5 seconds to get the next shot off. That can be done with an AR in less than half the time by an amatuer.

2 shots, reload, 2 more shots in two and a half seconds, by a marine in full combat gear:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx0JzYcwUiY&feature=related

HorseSoldier
February 21, 2010, 10:57 PM
The technique discussed is the quickest way to do an AK mag change. It's also much easier to botch than an AR mag change -- seen good shooters just flub it entirely.

Hatterasguy
February 21, 2010, 11:11 PM
Like anything you need to train to get good at it.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHkQ72XpxCk&feature=related
This guy is good.

sarduy
February 21, 2010, 11:13 PM
2 shots, reload, 2 more shots in two and a half seconds, by a marine in full combat gear: hpw many push-ups can he do with the ar...?

Coronach
February 21, 2010, 11:42 PM
As was stated, the reload done by smacking the first mag out is not what I think of when I hear the term "tactical reload", or reload with retention. It's more what I would think of as an emergency reload, where your magazine is empty (or nearly empty) and you're just dropping it to the deck. It is pretty fast, almost as fast as an AR's reload...but not quite, and with no option for retention. And yes, you can screw it up pretty easily.

Mike

TimboKhan
February 22, 2010, 02:38 AM
the design of the weapon is just not nearly as conducive to it as an AR. It's like a heel-catch European pistol vs. a race gun

This is pretty much the most common-sense answer to the question. Possible, but not particularly easy in comparison.

My buddy and I have argued long into the night about the heel catch on my MkII pistol. He hates it, I like it and what it really boils down to is the simple fact that the heel catch isn't as efficient as a button. I am not particularly worried about fast tactical reloads with my .22 pistol and thus am perfectly happy with the design, he sees it as curmudgeonly that I won't accept that the button is better.

The thing is, I have never argued that it is better or worse, I have just said I am happy with it as it is. The same is true with the AK. I am an AR guy to the extent that AR's have better sights and are far more ergonomically pleasant to shoot for me than the AK. I also know there are certain things I am going to do with an AR better than with an AK, speedy mag changes being one of them. I differ from the AR/AK crowd though: I like both rifles. I like one a little bit better, but the AK has it's charms and is undoubtedly a fine rifle in it's own right. What it really comes down to is knowing your weapon. The average AK guy is going to be better at mag changes than I am, simply because he or she knows the weapon better than me on account of a considerably larger amount of trigger time. I feel certain that there are people who can horse a mag into an AK close to as quickly (if not quicker) than I can with my AR, but the simple fact is that the AR has a superior design in this regard.

Coronach
February 22, 2010, 09:17 AM
I like both, too. Both weapons have their advantages and disadvantages. They are what they are. I just can't agree with the people who say that the AK's mag changes are just as fast as the AR's. You can get your times down to a very acceptable level, but if you invested the same work into running an AR, you'd be even faster. It is what it is.

Mike

DMK
February 22, 2010, 10:17 AM
Excellent post TimboKhan

I differ from the AR/AK crowd though: I like both rifles. I like one a little bit better, but the AK has it's charms and is undoubtedly a fine rifle in it's own right. What it really comes down to is knowing your weapon. I also like both rifles, but prefer the AR15. Both rifles have their advantages and disadvantages. In fact all rifles do. Ignoring a weapons weaknesses is foolish.

One needs to decide on the platform they wish to use by balancing the characteristics of each (unless they are assigned a specific weapon). Then they need to learn and practice overcoming the disadvantages and advantage of the rifles strengths. That's what all these people in the videos are trying to do. The Spetnaz technique has been floating around for a long while. It is simply a technique used to overcome a limitation.

The AK has a much better magazine design than that AR15. The the mag latching design in the AK may even be stronger and more robust than the AR15. However, the AR15 mag latching design is clearly more ergonomic and much faster to use.

Myself, I think I will just avoid doing pushups on my AR15 mags. I don't think I'll be giving up much.

BsChoy
February 22, 2010, 11:15 AM
I'm not in the military but we teach tac reloads to the officers in my dept and if time allows to keep the mag that has ammo in it you should scoop it up and stow it in a pouch. In the military where ammo and mags are very readily available and sometimes time matters more than 5,10,12 rounds you have in the magazine, I would think discarding a partial magazine would be ok.

briansmithwins
February 22, 2010, 01:02 PM
First of all, I take a tactical reload to mean that you haven't run the weapon dry, but you want to top off the rifle and retain the partially empty mag.

This would be opposed to a speed reload where the weapon is dry and you don't want to or can't transition to a pistol.

I've been using a AK at our local rifle matches for the past 2 years or so. The method I've been using is pretty close to how I would run a M14 type rifle: right hand removes mag (retaining it if necessary) from rifle, retrieves fresh mag from pouch and inserts it into rifle. If the rifle is dry (or you don't know if it's dry) run the charging handle with the right hand.

I store the full mags in the pouches right-side up and load them using a 'beer-can' grip. I've found they slip out of the pouches easier when you aren't fighting the locking lug on the rear of the mags.

As far as which is better, the AK or AR, they are different: The AR (with USGI mags) is let down by the flimsiness of the aluminum mags. Difficulty in locking in a fully loaded USGI mag is also widely known. USGI mags are also difficult to disassemble routinely for cleaning if used in sandy, dusty, or muddy conditions.

AK mags are excessively overbuilt and don't suffer from any of the above problems. The Sov considered magazines to be part of the weapon and built them to the same toughness as the AK, as opposed to the M16 design where the mags were considered to be disposable.

The commercial market has finely begun manufacturing AR15 mags that are in the same class as the AK mags. I've been using Pmags for the past year or so and they have become very popular with the AR shooters at our local matches. Anecdotal evidence is that I've seen a remarkable decrease in mag related malfunctions in AR15 since Pmags (and some other designs) have become popular. AR malfunctions used to be routine and commonplace. They are now rare enough that each one is noticed and commented on.

BSW

Boats
February 22, 2010, 01:27 PM
All of those AK drills are even faster when done by a southpaw, who is not having to perform reach arounds for the charging handle.:D

The controls on a standard AR are only in the "right place" naturally for right handed shooters. Of course there are after market parts or training work arounds for Mr. Stoner's design decisions, but I personally don't find an AR mag change to be particularly quicker than on an AK unless a ~$90.00 Norgon catch is installed upon the AR.

wally
February 22, 2010, 02:41 PM
I'll have to wait for next weeks re-run to be sure, but I thought the Spetsnaz guy kept the left hand on the fore grip and the rifle on his shoulder and did the mag change and recharge with the right hand.

I played with this a bit at the range today and what I remember as the Spetsnaz method using my right hand worked better than reaching under and around with the left hand to charge it as the guy in the youTube video does. OTOH I've always been recharging with my right hand, but the knocking out the old mag with the new never occurred to me and it really seems to be the best way to do it, either right or left handed -- much easier on the thumb too :)

I don't want to debate what a Tactical reload is beyond trying to be as smooth and fast as possible.

The AR mag release is great in theory, but I can't reach it without shifting my grip so most of its "ergonomic" advantage is lost for me, YMMV. But the AR safety is no contest superior in all regards. But, IMHO the AR recharge is much inferior to the AK, especially with an optic and the M4 stock closed were I usually like it best.

The commercial market has finely begun manufacturing AR15 mags that are in the same class as the AK mags. I'm waiting for the video of the 200 lb guy doing push ups off his AR with one of these mags as the only ground contact :)

--wally.

benEzra
February 22, 2010, 03:24 PM
I shoot USPSA with mine, and change magazines and work the action with the left (support) hand.

Reloads with retention aren't really any slower than AR reloads with retention; with either platform, you grab the spent mag with the left hand (on the AK, hit the release with your thumb as you do), put the mag away, insert a fresh mag, run the bolt with the same hand. For an emergency reload on an AK, I hit the mag release with the front of the mag body, insert the new mag, run the bolt with the same hand.

Yes, you can bungle it if you don't practice (believe me, I've done it), but it is almost as easy to bungle an AR reload if you don't practice; twice in the same match, I watched guys shooting AR's have their mags fall out of the magwell after shooting the first shot because they didn't insert it forcefully enoug). With either platform, you do have to practice.

The AR does have a a speed edge in the emergency reload as long as you don't have to run the bolt. If you have to run the bolt, that's a little easier (to me) on the AK platform, as the AR charging handle latch is a little awkwardly placed to me.

I'm waiting for the video of the 200 lb guy doing push ups off his AR with one of these mags as the only ground contact
The only downside of that is that 4 loaded AK magazines weigh significantly more than the rifle. Although you can use one as a Norse war hammer if the rifle goes down. :D

MachIVshooter
February 22, 2010, 03:27 PM
The AK has a much better magazine design than that AR15. The the mag latching design in the AK may even be stronger and more robust than the AR15.

I think not. The AR mag is shrouded on the top 2 inches; You'd damage the magazine before dislodging it, especially by twisting or lateral force.

briansmithwins
February 22, 2010, 04:12 PM
The AR offers more support to its flimsy mag than the AK, and with the weaker latching it needs it. The AK's magazine has reinforcements welded onto the top and is actually pretty well locked into the receiver when inserted.

BSW

Coronach
February 22, 2010, 06:14 PM
Reloads with retention aren't really any slower than AR reloads with retention; with either platform, you grab the spent mag with the left hand (on the AK, hit the release with your thumb as you do), put the mag away, insert a fresh mag, run the bolt with the same hand. For an emergency reload on an AK, I hit the mag release with the front of the mag body, insert the new mag, run the bolt with the same hand.Try the Magpul technique for a tac reload/reload with retention:

1. Pull fresh magazine from its pouch.

2. Place it against the seated magazine so that the two mags form an "L". Basically, it will be oriented with the open end forward, bullets facing downwards. Your hands will be holding both mags, close to the base.

3. Hit the mag release, and withdraw the ejected magazine.

4. Rotate the pair of mags 90*.

5. Insert the fresh magazine.

6. Push-pull.

7. Store the used magazine at a predetermined location.

This can be done easily with an AR, not easily at all with a stock AK. It may be do-able with an extended mag release that you can operate with your dominant trigger finger, I'm not sure.

I dunno if the whole routine may be slower than the technique you described, and therefor might be less good for a gun game, but it really minimizes the time you spend without a magazine in the gun, which is much better for real life.

Mike

RobMoore
February 22, 2010, 06:25 PM
If you haven't run the weapon dry, and find yourself wishing to "top off", you should have time to do the magazine exchange.

MachIVshooter
February 22, 2010, 07:05 PM
with the weaker latching it needs it

:confused:

A crossbolt that engages a hole cut in the mag is weak? I don't debate the durability of a steel AK mag vs. an aluminum GI mag for an AR (P-mags are another story), but I don't see any problem with the retention system. Same as virtually any other Western designed battle/assault rifle, save the M-14.

sarduy
February 22, 2010, 07:14 PM
i'll play...


is not the gun but the user... if you have used an AR for a long time you may load/reload it very fast.. 2 sec or less... but lets remember if you play with an AK long enough, you'll find yourself loading/reloading it very very fast... remember that mind-set is better than tool-set.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvhtKUf7ffM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kqfsukN6CE&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEzuyU8Oksc

Coronach
February 22, 2010, 07:26 PM
If you haven't run the weapon dry, and find yourself wishing to "top off", you should have time to do the magazine exchange.Make sure your opponent gets the memo. Minimizing the amount of time you have a mag out of the rifle is always a good idea.It is not the gun but the user... if you have used an AR for a long time you may load/reload it very fast.. 2 sec or less... but lets remember if you play with an AK long enough, you'll find yourself loading/reloading it very very fast... remember that mind-set is better than tool-set.I don't disagree. But this is different from saying that one is just as fast as the other. Both can be run acceptably fast, given. One is easier to run acceptably fast, though, and that one will be faster for a given amount of training, for the vast majority of people.

But yes, a guy who knows how to run an AK will smoke someone who doesn't know how to run an AR, hands down.

Mike

sarduy
February 22, 2010, 07:39 PM
good point coronach

i'm sure they are faster than this... hehehe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJMbxZ1k9NQ&NR=1

DMK
February 22, 2010, 07:50 PM
Quote:
with the weaker latching it needs it


A crossbolt that engages a hole cut in the mag is weak? I don't debate the durability of a steel AK mag vs. an aluminum GI mag for an AR (P-mags are another story), but I don't see any problem with the retention system. Same as virtually any other Western designed battle/assault rifle, save the M-14. The AR15 mag latches at one point on the side via a hole cut in the mag.

The AK latches at the front and rear with tabs, one fits a notch cut into the front trunion, the other tab lays against the receiver and is held in place by a lever folded in the shape of a 'U'.

I wouldn't say the AR15 mag could be ripped out, but it is certainly more likely to be damaged than the AK if the rifle were to drop straight down on the mag.

RobMoore
February 22, 2010, 10:39 PM
Minimizing the amount of time you have a mag out of the rifle is always a good idea. Yes, I know that. I meant "you should have the time" to mean that if you don't have it, don't do the tac-load.

Coronach
February 22, 2010, 11:16 PM
And my point is that sometimes you don't have the time you think you have.

You can't know how much time you're going to have to get your rifle topped off. By definition, you're still under threat, since you're so keen to get a full 30 rounds back into the weapon. You don't- can't- know how much time you're going to have. Sure, you do everything you can to do this during a lull in the fesivities, but you cannot possibly know how long that lull will last. Even if YOU are under cover and safe as houses(you hope), your partner/teammate/buddy might suddenly need help right now. Because of this, anything that keeps the interval between magazine out to magazine in as small as possible is a good thing.

Mike

JLtZD
February 23, 2010, 04:50 AM
Coronach, I think this guy is doing essentially what you describe in your earlier post on tactical reloads at around the 2min mark with an AK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TegQiSObPZo

I found videos of the AR 90degree version of this reload and this might be the one time that they are about even in speed.

Naturally, my .223 is a bullpup design...want to talk slow reloads, sometimes I think I can reload my mauser faster.

RobMoore
February 23, 2010, 06:21 AM
Surprises are why we wear sidearms, but I know what you mean.

I'd personally rather keep any mag I want to potentially use again out of the dirt and add a couple seconds to the mag exchange. If I didn't plan on keeping it, this technique would be of use.
(which is probably a part of my position I should have alluded to earlier)

Coronach
February 23, 2010, 06:22 PM
Well, a tactical reload takes longer to execute from start to finish, as measured from when you decide to start it to when your support hand returns to position, but the really critical time- defined as the amount of time the gun has only one round on board- is comparatively short. It's shorter on an AR than on an AK, assuming equally skilled operators. This is not the end of the world for the AK user, of course, but it is an advantage for the AR.

If something bad happens in mid tac reload, you can always drop what you're doing (literally and figuratively), address the issue with whatever happens to be in the gun at the time (the partially depleted mag or the fresh one), and then gather up what you dropped IF you can. To me, the time the gun spends with no mag inserted is the crucial time. Assuming you're doing a tactical reload (reload with retention), the AR spends less time in that condition.

Mike

Coronach
February 23, 2010, 06:34 PM
JltZD-

I did watch that link, and I think the AR reload is quicker. Not "OMG THAT AK IS SO SLLLLLOOOOWWWWWW" faster, but still faster.

To reiterate an earlier point, if you know what you're doing, either gun can be run with acceptable speed. The AR is just slightly faster, all else being equal, and is also easier to get to that level of competence. I am, in no way, saying the AK is unable to be run quickly.

Mike

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