RPK 7.62x39 accuracy claims


January 6, 2011, 10:11 PM
I know the RPK is a light machine gun but I have heard of places like Iraq useing semi-auto versions of it for a DMR role.

So I have been wondering how much more accurate are they to a short light barrel AK-47.

So maybe you guys with semi RPKs in 7.62 can help me out.
What do you guys get at 100yds with them? and is that groups with a scope, open sights or a peep like the tech sights?
What ammo did you use?


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January 6, 2011, 10:20 PM
The iraqi's don't go to the range and test their guns, they probably know a guy who knows a guy and has the guns already set up.
It's probably pretty bad accuracy wise, but sure good enough to land pot shots on our troops from the back of cars at 100 yards.
It's still a clunky AK that can't shoot groups..
Just my thoughts..

January 6, 2011, 10:41 PM
The heavy barrel and trunion probably improve accuracy "somewhat" relative to an AK made to the same level of quality. Which is to say that a Saiga will probably shoot better than a Romanian RPK, for whatever that's worth. Most combloc/third world ammo is not loaded to a level that makes for much accuracy.

For what it's worth, the Soviet Dragunov, specifically intended as a DMR (though often labeled a sniper rifle in the west), is only a 4-5 MOA gun with the intended ammo. In comparison, an M16 must shoot under 4 MOA to be accepted by the government, most shoot 2-3 MOA, and many civilian AR-15s shoot 1.5-2 MOA with decent (not necessarily match) ammo.

January 6, 2011, 10:55 PM
Z-Michigan, I would be interested to see your sources. Most of the discussion of the SVD that I've heard place it in the 1.25-2 MOA range, or around 30-50mm dispersion at 100m range. The AK-74 with 7N6 ammo that was flooding the US a few months ago is capable of 75mm at 100 meters or so dispersion (~2.5 MOA), with a competent operator. That said I find it difficult to believe that a DMR would have twice the dispersion of a service rifle, although I could believe that it would be about equal in dispersion.

For what its worth, the Krebs Custom 6.5x43 AK was able to hammer 11.5x20" steel plates out to 800 yards. (Link (http://www.ak47.net/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=64&t=132831))

January 6, 2011, 11:33 PM
I'm going just from memory, memory of statements in Maj. John Plaster's book on sniping, and an article in the American Rifleman sometime in the last two years. I'll see if I can check against the Plaster book if/when I get around to it.

I'm not in any way arguing that an AK or RPK design cannot be accurate. The Saigas shoot well, and so do the VEPR rifles (imported by Robinson Arms) that were based on RPK receivers. I'm simply talking about a typical RPK, whether in military service or an american market semiauto RPK-style rifle like the "AES-10B" that Century imported (and which I own an example).

January 7, 2011, 12:00 AM
This rifle---


This target, 35 rounds in a 40 round magazine, 100 yards, rapid, bi-pod, bench, issue sights and with no particular care---


This is a rifle which I use strictly for fun and recently I have been having fun shooting at 50 yards with the East German sintered iron practice rounds. It will chop blue rocks into tiny pieces that way, as it will at 100 yards with the regular 7.62x39.
This is no prima donna DMR, but rather a nice buxom peasant girl with an easy going attitude and no pretense.

January 7, 2011, 12:02 AM
The one and only time I've taken my Yugo RPK to the range, it seemed to group about the same as any other AK I have in 7.62. Not MOA by any means, but not bad for a very used and well-worn barrel. It is a home-build on a coldsteel solutions RPK blank receiver, with a dark-bore barrel with a decent crown.

I will have to take it out to the range again and actually spend some time with it sometime soon...

I can verify the accuracy of the 7n6 or whatever it is ammo for the AK-74. At 100 yards, using a 6x24 POSP optic, it falls easily within the 1.5"-2.5" mark, and can hold its own against any AR I have.

fireman 9731
January 7, 2011, 12:09 AM
As with most guns, and what terribly plagues AK's accuracy wise, is poor quality ammo.

It isn't the steel case, powder, or berdan primer. Its the bullet. Steel core bullets are terribly hard to make accurate and the swagging process for regular FMJ ammo often leaves uneven bases on bullets which is horrible for accuracy.

A "tuned up" RPK with GOOD ammo should be able to shoot well enough to be a DMR.

The longer, heavier barrel and better sights can make a world of difference.

Everybody knocks the AK, SKS, RPK, AKM, ect for bad accuracy when they need to be blaming the ammo.

January 7, 2011, 12:25 AM
I agree with the ammunition comment. That is why I found Z-Michigan's statement so surprising. Although I don't expect an SVD to be a match rifle, with proper ammunition (eg 7N1 sniper ammunition), I would expect it to shoot equal-to-better then a standard issue rifle. Of course, considering it is much more a DMR then a sniper rifle, I would expect it to shoot north of 1 moa, but certainly south of 3 moa.

Although it is a poor example, some of the guys over at Saiga-12 have posted sub-MOA 3 shot groups using the .223 flavor of the AK using tuned hand-loads. It would be welcome if they could post a 10 or 40 shot composite to show the true accuracy of the rifles.

Z-Michigan, any chance they may have been referring to the PSL and the two became crossed in your memory or that they were shooting surplus ball ammunition (for which 4-5 moa sounds about normal) instead of the intended sniper ammunition?

As far as sub-2MOA accuracy from an RPK? It is certainly possible with a good hand-load, although such accuracy is equally possible from a standard length AK.

January 7, 2011, 12:33 AM
The fact that the bypod is integrated int he barrel, the cooling fins, etc...will tell you that the main goal in design to rain lead and not to be accurate.
But the fact is that some of these AKs can be surprisingly accurate. This one for example the barrel has the potential but you need to take the bipod off and possibly cut the barrel.
Then the AK heavy barrel with good loads will become a nice marksman and hunting rifle. You should expect around 1MOA or better. Again the key is to take out the machine-gun/suppressing role and cash on the heavy barrel that by the way they are awesome. Some fighters in the Eastern block use to do this conversion and put dragunov stocks and a nice scope precisely for this marksman role.

Another thing that I do not agree in general in some AK post is that AKs are not accurate. I would say in general they are less accurate than other rifles specially with the junk ammo they send over here but they can be accurate and they are super reliable, everyone knows that.

A good AK 47 Russian you should expect a 2MOA on a good carbine and that's it. A good AK 74 will improve due to the higher density of the barrel and the .223 (for example a saiga) will be even better with the NATO round an awesome rifle for all purpose.

What I found extremely and surprisingly accurate was the .308 in 16". There is a Russian Made Saiga that will leave other carbines priced x5 times in the dust.
I was talking the other day to a fellow marine and member about this and also posted some groups and pictures to dismystify the bad accuracy reputation some put in these nice systems.

Remember that many systems sold in this country come from junk yards in Romania and other places and are not in good shape nor they are always put together to specs. This is not the case with the saiga that comes directly from the Hyzmazat plant in rusia and the conversions are quite simple.

I posted the groups and AK pictures here....


January 7, 2011, 08:59 AM
Z-Michigan, any chance they may have been referring to the PSL and the two became crossed in your memory or that they were shooting surplus ball ammunition (for which 4-5 moa sounds about normal) instead of the intended sniper ammunition?

No chance on the PSL mixup theory. It is possible that the ammo used was suboptimal, probably not because it's the wrong type but because maybe it was procured from new allies, former soviet satellites, and had been sitting for a while in less than ideal storage conditions.

I'll try to look that up tonight and post back.

January 7, 2011, 09:04 AM
You are thinking about the Tabuk DMR.....they can be fairly accurate with good ammo...(which is hard to find in Iraq). It's basically and RPK receiver with a longer AK barrel, no bipod and a scope mount.


Al Thompson
January 7, 2011, 04:41 PM
David Fortier (spelling?) reported several years ago that match grade 7.62x54R was located/exported from Russia and it turned the pigs ear SVD into a silk purse accuracy wise.

January 10, 2011, 10:18 PM
Yeah the Tabuk thats it. They talked about it in the "complete book of the AK-47 v2"
Said it did on average 2" 5 shot 100yds groups with surplus from China. Have no idea if all RPKs do this well or if the Tabuk was just made better.

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