Getting precision hits out of an AK and my personal theories

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 30_cal_short, Sep 24, 2022.

Tags:
  1. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,349
    Location:
    Alabama
    I think I missed something in the conversation. My WASR shoots at 100 yards what @trackskippy gets at 200 yards! I am going to claim, the Soviet's expectations for the AK47 were that it could hit someone at 300 yards, and not necessarily a head shot.

    I posted a section on Soviet sub machine guns. The primary sidearm of Soviet troops were sub machine guns, followed by Mosin Nagant rifles of various lengths. Those sub machine guns were at best 300 yard weapons, but at extreme range, the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round was running out of gas.

    Neat stories about a couple of these sub machine guns here:

    Gun Review: The Soviet PPSh-41 Submachine Gun


    PPS-43 Submachine Gun: Budget Soviet Firepower

    With the number of people the Soviets had lost by 1944, and their experience of war, the Soviets did not want, and did not build the AK 47 into a target rifle. You know, 77 years after the end of the war, people today have no conception of the death and destruction that the US had to endure, never mind the orders of magnitude greater slaughter the Soviets under went. The Soviets did not have time to train anyone to any level of marksmanship. I recently finished reading the book Notes of a Russian Sniper: Vassili Zaitsev and the Battle of Stalingrad If Vassili's grandfather had not taught him how to hunt and shoot, he would never had the marksmanship abilities he used in the war.

    Any by the time the requirements for the AK47 were put down, the Soviets were far more interested in reliable, simple to make, easy to maintain, and something that was more effective than a sub machine gun round at 300 yards. Their accuracy expectations of their soldiers at range were minimal.

    The US came out of WW2 still convinced that the American soldier should be a rifleman. I heard the term gravel belly soldier, someone who control a 1000 yard radius around himself, with his rifle. And the M14 was designed with this concept in mind. The M14 kept the target grade iron sights of the M1 Garand, it was long, had a fantastic trigger, and the forend sling swivel was positioned so the rifle could be shot prone with a sling. That is all target shooting stuff. And had the rifle weighed as much as a Garand, it might have made a very accurate service rifle. At it was, the lightening of the M14 that took place to satisfy the user, and the hard recoiling round it fired, took away much of the inherent accuracy that was available with beefy stocks and heavy barrels.

    This is the post War military target. The 5V target. All you had to do to shoot a perfect score was hit the ten inch black at 200 yards and 300 yards.

    FQ7ihau.jpg

    That is not stressing at all with a match rifle. I shot on the 5V target, at the end of the day, the winner was decided by V's. If you dropped a point, you could still win. If you dropped two points you were well out of contention. This target was matched to the accuracy of the M1903/M1 Garand/M14 service rifles. My best rack grade Garand will hold the black at 200 yards, it is a rebuild, and the barrel is new. Only rounds down the tube were during acceptance testing. This is prone with a sling.

    3iCPK59.jpg


    I have a number of new, and new rebuild Garands that I hand picked at the CMP that won't hold the black.

    Can you beat Lee Harvey Oswald with a Garand? This is a page from his shooters book.

    3ZFu7d6.jpg

    The class of 64 considers it took supernatural marksmanship skills to hit JFK in Dealey plaza. I have been there, on the sidewalk, under the window. Pretty easy shots in my opinion. It would be fun to try it with a 1911, don't know if I would have got three hits, but I think I would have got at least one, and a good probability of two.

    Based on my experience, I am very skeptical of all the MOA and sub MOA reports I read of AK47's, SKS's, M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, and issue M14's.

    Even so, the issue M14 was a more accurate weapon than the AK47. But survival of the fittest can be very unfair, and there were 100 million AK47's built, and based on the pictures I see, they are still around in massive quantities. The M14, Bill Clinton demilled almost the entire stock of military M14's. I saw an inventory report, something under 10,000 M14's were left in military inventory when George Bush was in office. The rest had been scrapped, and that is how I got so many new M14 parts out of the CMP.

    rCfQB0U.jpg

    When the US went to Afghanistan/Iraq, the military called back the Police loaner M14's, and of all things, the M14's still in the hands of DCM clubs. There were just not enough 7.62 Nato rifles in military inventory to meet the combat needs in that theater.
     
    hps1, someguy2800 and d2wing like this.
  2. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    Thank you for the informative post. Sorry for the earlier misunderstanding. I assure you that what I said about a particular issue M14 did was true perhaps a fluke. I believe that issue M14 had better receivers than the aftermarket but since those rifles no longer exist it is a moot point. My sniper friend was issued an accurized M14 with a Leupold scope. You can see pictures in the book, Black Horse Riders. Also I think in the book Fire Base Ellingson. These are well researched history books
    He was able to pick off NVA in a bunker beyond the accurate range of either AK'S or M16's. There is a movie that may be made that he was consulted for. I don't know if that is of interest to you. Just information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022
    Slamfire likes this.
  3. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    I did not read that book but I did see the movie and so did some research.
    It is shocking how they sent men into battle with a few bullets and no guns. They were expected to pick one from a dead comrade.
    Cannon fodder is the term to describe conscripted soldiers from Eastern countries.
     
  4. David Hoback

    David Hoback member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    873
    I’ve enjoyed reading a bunch of these posts. It is funny reading the AK “enthusiasts” pounding their drums! LOL!:rofl: Ok..ok…, I actually still do like AK47’s. Not like I did when I built them in ‘05-‘07. I loved them back then. But as a shooter, the idea is one is meant to grow. Grow in knowledge, grow in accuracy. Sure, I had a ton of fun with my AKs. My favorite was a Hungarian FEG SA-85 that I built on a 1.6mm Receiver. I’ve posted about it before. (Picture below). It was a beautiful build. And I was so very proud of it, ad a younger man. It shot well.. VERY well! Most accurate AK I ever built anyway. Never properly grouped, but it may have been between an 2-3MOA rifle. It actually stands the ONLY gun I regret getting rid of. But I did sell it to expand on AR’s. Didn’t have much money then. Also, I had grown as a shooter! I was more accurate than my AK. It could not keep up with me. When that happened, it was quite frustrating. Last year I was contemplating building another though, as building firearms is my most loved pass time. Found a decent 80% Receiver, although parts kits are harder & harder to find! Though at that time last year, I could still find FEG under folders. But then I came to my senses & built another Top Tier AR with a Billet Lower. Also, I’m milling yet another AR Billet Lower currently. My last 80% supplier became, untrustworthy, so I set out looking for another supplier. Glad I did. Found the nicest 80% Enhanced Billet I’ve come across yet. So I ordered 1 to see how they are. I love being right about things. :thumbup:

    Anyway, here’s my old home built SA-85. (bottom) On Top is also the FIRST AK I built.. a Romanian.
    634852-A0-BEAE-410-C-BBB3-F9-D9232-A425-F.jpg
     
    someguy2800 and d2wing like this.
  5. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    Cool, I had a Saiga that was a legit 3 MOA at 100 yards. I had several AK variations years ago. Fun guns but not as useful as some others for me.
     
    Slamfire likes this.
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    32,590
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    Tim Mullin said a bayonet was good for keeping POWs in line.

    A friend has a commercialized banified AK that is surprisingly accurate... for an iron sighted military rifle. It doesn't have the range of a "battle rifle" but it is better than the typical .30-30 lever action.
     
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,349
    Location:
    Alabama
    Neither action type is rigid enough to rival a bolt rifle in accuracy. At least the traditional lever actions with the forend and tube hanging off the barrel. Anyone can disassemble an AK and look at how the barrel and receiver are attached. I think my WASR the barrel is held in with a pin, but the whole thing is flexible. And then the huge bolt carrier is moving back and forth causing a lot of vibrations.

    I remembered a story. I know a gentleman who is the last surviving member of General Curtis LeMay's rifle procurement test team. As Chief of Staff of the USAF, Gen LeMay had the budget and the authority to send his guys off to find an alternative airbase perimeter security rifle that was not an M1 Carbine, a Garand or a M14. Gentleman was a member of this team and I remember he said the M1 Carbine, the M14 (maybe the Garand), the early AR15, and the AK were all run through various suitability tests. One of the tests that I remember was holding the weapon out with one hand and shooting it full auto into a berm! I don't think the M14 would have been controllable full auto. Anyway the USAF had a bunch of tests they thought represented what the weapon of a perimeter security guard ought to pass. And the AK47 was the best overall weapon, even though the AK's the USAF had, were combat capture weapons. The Soviets and Chi-Coms were being churlish about selling us advanced firearms, so we had to get test AK's by killing people and taking their side arms. But that was justifiable because we are the good guys.

    As the gentleman said "it was not politically feasible to adopt a Communist designed weapon" I suspect it still isn't, and I remember the times, Communists were all things evil, and anything a Communist did, and anything a Communist said, and anything a Communist had, was evil, so even though the evil weapon would have made an outstanding USAF small arm, the USAF purchased early AR15 rifles.
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,349
    Location:
    Alabama
    Our last living WW2 veteran called the American boys he was with in boot camp, "Cannon fodder". Nations forget their own failures. One of these days I will copy a section from Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II a book written by a WW2 Ordnance Officer in Europe. He ran the maintenance for an Armored Division. The attrition rate was such, they reduced the four man crew in a Sherman to three, and months after the invasion, they ran out of trained tankers. The maintenance groups received men who had zero training on tanks. The maintenance guys would give these men rudimentary explanations in how the tanks worked, put them in the tanks, and off they went their merry way to meet the Germans. He mentioned time and again groups of 20 tanks assembled and sent off into battle, and everyone of those tanks would be knocked out within days. Sometimes in an afternoon. The maintenance crews would then recover the busted up tanks, salvage what they could, wash out the brains, bone bits, and blood from the interiors, paint everything, and give everything a fresh smell as new tankers did not like being in a death tank. And the new guys would be all dead within days. It was murder.

    This has been forgotten and instead Americans focus on the failures of our enemies and allies and ignore that in a war of attrition, the bad is everywhere.

    It has been so long, we have forgotten the horrors of war. These things always end badly. Fools foam at the mouth for conflicts which they have no concept of the horrors, and no control over the endings. This has happened before, and it will happen again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
    hps1 and d2wing like this.
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    32,590
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    Stuart Slade, in his SAC fantasies around 'The Big One' had a USGI "product improved" PPSh. More accurate and more powerful than the USSR's.
    And that one of his lesser alternate history divarications.
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,349
    Location:
    Alabama
    If fantasies can win wars, our video game playing youth will sweep the battlefields of enemies!

    How many times have you heard that a video game player thinks he is a good shot because of his shooting skills in video games?

    He that liveth in hope dances to an ill tune.
     
    d2wing likes this.
  11. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    7,124
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I went through the same progression of chasing accuracy down the rabbit hole. A few years ago though I came to the conclusion that shooting a half moa bolt action from the bench doesn’t really make me happy. I’d rather shoot some old milsurp or a 444 marlin that shoots 2 moa than a bench rifle that cuts one hole groups. I’ve kind of come full circle.
     
    trackskippy likes this.
  12. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    While not as gruesome, in Vietnam I had to train Infantry guys to drive 5 ton tractor trailers. Some were easy but one was a skinny little guy from New York that had drove an automatic car once. It was hard but I eventually succeeded.
     
  13. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    Training with the M14 included bayonet training and martial arts. The M16 training I had did not include bayonets. Our transportation group was not issued bayonets, but some others were. I don't know anything about the use of them in Nam but some guys might. I do know that the NVA had them and used them.
     
  14. robin banks

    robin banks Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2022
    Messages:
    283
    by saying that slamfires real experience means nothing makes you look like a fool. that guy has tons of knowledge. you seem to think that a 5.56 rd is more lethal then the 39 rd is silly. so I guess you would feel totally comfortable standing at 200 yds while a young guy shot at you with an SKS. if after 200 rds a lucky shot hit you it would bounce off anyway
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    32,590
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    "A soldier can hit his man at 80 yards, perhaps at 100 if his musket is not ill-bored as many are. At 200 yards I should be as safe as though I were standing on the Moon."

    An officer's opinion during the 18th century, American Revolution or Napoleonic Wars.
     
  16. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    I was in error and apologized. It was a misunderstanding on my part. But yes 5.56 NATO is well known to be more lethal and have more range.I have already been shot at by people trying to kill me with AK. I am very grateful that they failed to hit me and I was much better armed.
     
    robin banks likes this.
  17. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,510
    Also a soft point. 223 is more lethal than a soft point 7.62x39 if you happen to miss the heart as it does much more soft tissue damage.
     
    robin banks likes this.
  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    12,052
    3 days of bickering over a drive-by post… guess the mods must be taking summer holiday, eh?
     
    Swampman likes this.
  19. hps1

    hps1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    2,222
    Location:
    Texas
    Ya think? :rofl:
    I shot the Garand on a post AMU before the M14 was standard issue with one opportunity to give a service grade M14 a (very brief) trial run @ 200. No comparison to my issued NM Garand, of course. Never shot a mouse gun in competition, but was my go to coyote calling rifle. An accurized AR will print bug hole groups, but the wind sure plays hob @ 600.

    The Garand ain't no slouch by any means. My son's favorite match rifle was the M1A but the Garand will do anything the M14 will in the accuracy department.

    When I had to give up iron sights, and eventually competition due to age/arthritis, I hung up the Garand....until I mounted an optic on my Garand. It was a DCM service grade M1 which I accurized per the NRA pamphlet, all standard issue parts. Found out just how accurate the Garand actually can be! Not too much on looks, but shoots where ya point it.:D
    46865227375_1991219886_o.jpg 33965454328_eb95482782_w.jpg
    Shot a couple of AK's but was not attracted to them.

    Regards,
    hps
     
    d2wing and Slamfire like this.
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,349
    Location:
    Alabama
    I shot with a USMC who trained on the Garand prior to going over to Vietnam. Very few Garands were on the firing line, though one year at Camp Perry, a WW2 veteran, in his 70's, was shooting a match Garand he built. He was either on my target or one over, we all cheered for him, his rifle was 30-06.

    I agree about accuracy, a well tuned match M1 Garand would shoot as well as a match M1a. But, the M14 was a product improved Garand, and the improvements were real. Even though my Garand gas cylinder was peened on, it got loose on the barrel. I re peened and epoxied, and so far it is tight. Garand operating rods would in time bend with enough cycles. The Garand trigger guard has little lugs that lock into the receiver, but they are soft and deform. Which reduces the clamping power

    NooR9Fb.jpg

    the M14 trigger guard had "fingers" that never bent when latched into the receiver, so my M1a receiver was always clamped tight

    CmLncSG.jpg

    Of course the upper handguard on the Garand was screwed and glued into place, basically floating around the barrel. That arrangement was delicate and if the glue or screws failed, accuracy went to heck quickly.

    The basic thing was, a NM Garand in tune was as accurate as a NM M1a. But the Garand got out of tune sooner and required more maintenance.
     
    d2wing and hps1 like this.
  21. hps1

    hps1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    2,222
    Location:
    Texas
    I always hated to hammer on a barrel and was lucky my splines were quite snug as issued. My son's DCM rifle was a sloppy fit and I tried something a bit different. I drilled and tapped the cylinder under the front sight and put an allen set screw in which drew the cylinder up tight against the two lower splines. Everything is great until someone tries to remove the gas cylinder in the normal manner. His rifle shot as well as mine w/irons after that alteration.:)
    True, the hand quards are rather fragile.

    Regards,
    hps
     
    d2wing and Slamfire like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice