Ode to the AK — Because Some Things are Worth Revisiting

Century Arms C39v2 American AK right side profile view

Cheaper Than Dirt! is running a great sale on AKs today, so we thought we would join in the fun with a few of our favorite AK posts from the past. ~Editor

Two years ago, the world lost one of the most legendary firearm designers in the world—Mikhail Kalashnikov. Today, November 10, 2015, he would have turned 96 years old. He is what the Shooter’s Log has deemed one of the Father’s of the Firearms World. Today, we honor his legacy and his rifle—the AK-47.

TimberSmith Red Laminate AK Rifle
A new take on an old classic. This AK-47 is outfitted with Timbersmith’s Russian Red wood stock.

Though we now know the final version of the AK-47 was due in part to a much larger team than just General Kalashnikov, it is still widely believed—as Gen. Kalashnikov never denied the claim—that he began developing the design of the AK while convalescing at a hospital after being injured in the 1941 Battle of Bryansk. Much of the AK’s real development is shrouded in Communist secrecy; however, firearm historians tell us that Mikhail Kalashnikov’s fame was part of a much larger propaganda machine. But in the end, the ‘true story’ doesn’t matter much. The AK-47 is still the “most widespread weapon in the world”—as held by the Guinness World Record. Estimates put between 100 to 500 million AK-47s in use today.

You may not be interested in the AK-47, but the AK-47 may be interested in you. –Shooter’s Log reader pdxr13

Though some firearm owners refuse to use an AK due to its Russian heritage (read Communist), others swear by its reliability and loyally favor Team AK. Perhaps those who refuse to give the AK the respect it deserves will have a change of attitude once more American firearm companies step up since Obama imposed sanctions on the Russian AK manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern.

Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, the AK-47 is undeniably one of the world’s most prolific and recognizable firearms. It’s always included on any top ten lists of rifles—doesn’t really matter what the subject of the list is…and it is also one of all The Shooter’s Log contributors favorite rifles. So, of course we have written plenty about it.

Here are The Shooter’s Log editors’ picks of the top 10 best posts about the AK-47:

Buyer’s Guide to the AK Family of Rifles

Written for the shooter who is considering an AK for the first time, this article describes in depth the AK’s history, functionality, upgrades and accessories, and the difference between a stamped and milled receiver. You won’t be bewildered any longer after reading this explanation about the AK-47 and all its variations. We feel confident there is enough information in this post to help you decide which AK is best for you.

Looking for a ‘Banned’ Russian AK-47, Saiga? Here’s How (Cheaply)

Don’t worry; you didn’t miss out on being able to own an AK-47 after the imposed sanctions on Izhmash or Saiga rifles. Many—and I mean many—other countries make the AK-47—including the U.S.A. Here are tips from gun bloggers, as well as readers on how to build or buy an AK-47.

AK-47 — Made in America? Century Arms C39v2

Speaking of made in America, this article highlights Century Arms’ C39v2 AK-47 that is 100 percent made in American with zero imported parts. No worrying about being 922r compliant with this AK. Built on a 4140 ordnance steel milled receiver with an enhanced trigger group, this particular AK is worth your consideration.

Converting Your Post-Ban AK-47 to be 922(r) Exempt

So, due to some really stupid laws, imported AKs must meet what is called 922(r) compliance. For your non-American made AK-47 to be legal, it must have at least six U.S.-made parts on it. This is not as confusing as it sounds. This article is a step-by-step guide on how to make sure your post-ban AK-47 is 922(r) exempt.

Choices: AK-47, AK-74… or AK-12?

There are many different variations on the AK-47. Two newer models are the AK-74 and the AK-12. If you want something a little bit more modern than the original AK, read this post detailing the similarities and differences between the AK-47, AK-74 and the AK-12. If you are interested in more variations, click here.

13 Frequently Asked Questions about the AK-47

These top FAQs about the AK-47 are a good introduction to those who know nothing about the AK platform. Have questions? We answer them in this basic guide to the AK-47.

10 Stock, Grip and Handguard Upgrades for Your AK

You might like the way the AK-47 operates, but not a huge fan of the traditional fixed wooden stock and furniture. Have no fear. If tradition isn’t your thing and you like the looks of a black rifle better, than you are in luck. There are plenty of options when it comes to modernizing and upgrading your AK-47. And sometimes, it’s not just about looks. There are stocks, grips, handguards and rails that make your AK a better and more comfortable shooter. Check out Robert Sadowski’s top picks for upgrading your AK.

Where’s My AK-47? It’s Hunting Time!

If you doubt the AK’s usefulness, this post will have you reconsidering. Long-time gun writer Bob Campbell discusses the AK-47’s ability to be used successfully on your next hunting trip.

Cartridge of the Week, the 7.62×39, 7.62 Russian Medium, M43 Soviet

No discussion about the AK is complete without knowing the round behind it. Here you get the history of the 7.62x39mm cartridge.

10 Affordable AK-47 Accessories

Compiled from Shooter’s Log writers and editors, as well as Cheaper Than Dirt! product specialists and other team members, this article lists our top 10 favorite affordable accessories and upgrades for your AK.

For more articles written about the AK-47, click here.

What do you love (or hate) about the AK-47? Tell us in the comment section. Have more questions about buying and owning an AK? Contact us!


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (75)

  1. Why the hell does everyone Assume that I am defending that miserable piece of crap Mickey mouse 16 and the 5.56 round.. First of all I believe I stated that I own not one but TWO AKs and a 7.62×39 Windham AR, I also enjoy shooting my weak little useless AR15 with 62 grain green tip 5.56 and I guarantee you do not want me shooting that round at your head at any range. I also have a “modernized” Mosin Nagant in 7.62 and I carried a full auto capable M14 for my entire stay in Vietnam. I more than most of you are very aware that the early M16 is responsible for as many dead Americans as any AK (most VC were relegated to the lowly SKS) and don’t need any more lectures on the finer points of large versus small caliber rounds.. As for the scenario of Russian air power I’m assuming that by that time our entire Air Force and the air wings of Marine Corps and Navy are gone. You live in your world of Russian superiority I will put my faith and confidence in the resolve of the American spirit. Obama may have weakened the military but it’s not the first time and it will be rebuilt again.

    1. @stephen ,
      Because you are lol you typed it we just answered .And as i said before after 400 meters that round is utterly useless even on head shots c mon man did you realy ever serve? And if we put wrong person in WH we will not get the rebuild you want of our armed forces .

  2. Just got a Zastava Arms M76 in 7.92×57, Not exactly an “AK” or a “Sniper Rifle”. Calling it a “Marksmanship Rifle”, It Shoots Well and I Like It. A .30-06 model also available, maybe by Christmas…

    1. @Secundius:

      It’s sure looks like an AK on Google Images.

      Actually it looks pretty cool!! So it’s 8mm Mauser, correct? How many rounds does the magazine hold?

      On an unrelated topic, since I know you’re passionate about the DP-12, what is your opinion on the Ket-Tec KSG Bullpup shotgun? I have a comment but I’m holding it back.

    2. @ ss1.

      Only 10-rounds! My 98k with Trench Magazine’s has a 25-round Capacity, But Unfortunately the Magazines are Not Interchangeable…

    3. @ ss1.

      Really Can’t Say! I’ve Never Fired the DP-12. The Kel-Tec KSG Standard is Nice, but it’s Not a Bullpup and It has Too Much Plastic on It. Both the KSG Patrol and Tactical are Smaller and Probably Easier to Fire and Control while being is a Wheelchair. But BOTH Still has a Lot of Plastic On Them. There’s a Nice K&M M17S308 Bullpup Rifle I’d Like to Try Out Too…

    4. @Secundius:

      I totally agree with too much plastic on the KSG!! I would rather buy a DP-12, but cannot afford it right now. If you search for “the gun writer ksg”, you’ll find at least 2 stories of guys shooting their hand when the plastic breaks while cocking and not keeping their finger off the trigger.

      I called it a bullpup because I was watching a Hickok45 video, and I think he called it a bullpup. But I agree with you now, in that it isn’t one.

    5. @ss1 ,
      I myself am not a fan of kel -tec weapons but that is just me i want steel n wood for a battle rifle or weapon of any kind even self defense i do not mind the extra weight if i know it will work when i need it to kel-tecs have never been for me i have fired them i never cared for them . Will never buy 1

    6. @Damian:

      After I saw the extreme injury photos on the internet, from the Kel-Tec KSG, I also will never buy one. This shotgun came to my attention at a recent gun show. There’s a Gun Writer in Florida who alerted the public, and I thanked him in his blog for helping all of us.

      Regarding the Kel-Tec 9mm carbines, I know that many people on this blog love them, but a man who works at Phoenix’s most well known sporting goods store (a huge national store I’m not sure I can mention here) told me they dropped Kel-Tec carbines from their store because of quality issues.

      I will comment on your larger reply to me later on. I’m glad you’re still around here on CTD Damian.

    7. Those injuries are the result of people shooting themselves in the hand, not the gun blowing up.

    8. @Matt:

      As I stated previously, it’s from guys shooting their hand when the plastic breaks while cocking and not keeping their finger off the trigger. It’s bad design, bad quality.

      But I’m not going to reply to more Kel-Tec fans because it’s an AK forum here. I was only interested in Secundius’ opinion because I know he is fascinated with the DP-12, a higher quality shotgun in the same category as the KSG.

    9. @ SS1 ,
      how ya doing bro ever get the m77 .308 ak ?Dude i love mine with all the changes i have made to it it is damn near sniper grade and will dump the 25 rounder i modified to fit as fast as i can pull trigger only got to fire it at 500 meters so far it did very well with my handloaded match ammo and i can deff hit man size targets at much farther with the scope installed on the side mount rail. I just love these zastava made rifles very rugged and very reliable .I would not want an m76 in 8mm mauser damn near obselete round anymore and corrosve mil-sure is a pain to clean in a semi auto platform with corrosive primers . but in 30.06 bet it would do well at long range .

  3. own 2 AKs and three ARs and I have found the Windham AR in 7.62×39 to be just as reliable as the AK and a lot more accurate at longer ranges not to mention a bit lighter and more comfortable to shoot… In response to Damiens conjecture that the AK was so successful in Vietnam I can only say that I served in the United States Marine Corps in the Republic of South Vietnam from March 1968 with the 5th Marine Regiment through 1971 finishing with the 7th Marines and my experiences were that the NVA and Viet Cong body count was considerably higher than ours and should your Spetnaz bring the fight to us they will find themselves facing one of the best armed and most well trained “civilian” forces in the world, I dare say their experiences will not be nearly as pleasurable and trouble free as you would suggest.. I like my AKs and have gotten to the point where I can somewhat control the burst of adrenaline that I experience every time I hear that distinct “crack” when I fire one of them.

    1. ‘the burst of adrenaline that I experience every time I hear that distinct “crack” ‘

      That made me smile. There is a big difference when you’ve been on the receiving, isn’t there.

    2. yes sir i agree having been on other side of AK armed insurgents and repuclican guard units i have seen the terrible wounds caused by the 5.45 round as well as the 30 cal AK’S take a solid cinder block and a 7.62 ak round and that 5.56 AR shoot the block with the AR first it will still be there now shoot it with the 7.62×39 it is turned to dust and gone the 5.56 will not do that, A bad round for a worse design for battle just too much maintenece in deserts or jungle combat zones when you can run over an ak drag it through mud or never clean it and pick it up and empty the clip no AR made can do that .

    3. @ stephen ,
      First of all was not the AR rifles beat a guerrilla army in jungles was the overwhelming airpower we had and they had 0 air power . The us forces would have been overun and destroyed many times over they had haD AN airforce or airpower as well.And the cong or even the NVA are not the spetnaz lol not even close and they still managed to take out 58 k of our boy’s and hold out over 10 yrs till we gave in and they now haVE the 5.45 round in the much much better AK74 platform now .I hope to god we never face the spetnaz in open battle we may lose that fight and russia has airpower lots of it we would take 5 times the losses or more of nam . And how many nam vets will tell you their AR rifles let them down?I know of a lot of them. we ever see the day the spetnaz drops onto us soil our so called civilian army would be done in days against the spetnaz no chance in hell lol and may i take us back to stalingrad where prolly the best trained army ever were not able to defeat a city full of conscripts and starving peasants they are 100 times less than a div of spetnaZ troops they have now .As i said before i was in first gulf and i still hated the AR and always will spent way more time cleaning and greasing it than using it and open battle with the spetnaz is a day i hope never comes and add their 1 bil screaming chinese allies armed with AK rifles we are not goin g to win that fight these are facts my man but we do NOT want to face the spetnaz in open battle it is like comparing an army of apes n monkeys in nam days compared to a real hardened enemy well armed and trained with better service rifles and very brutal tactics they learned in WW2 from the SS troops of Adolph hitler i will keep my ak it will work every time i pull trigger and send a big .30 cal bullet instead of a fast moving gnat lol.Which i may add our troops in iraq in op enduring freedom started pulling out the old M14 why i will tell you why, they were shooting them 5, 6 even 7 or 8 times and they were still in the fight but 1 .30 cal ak round end of it down you go .Without our airpower you and most of ya fellow marines prolly would have died over there in nam and you would not be typing the dumb things you just typed above . You keep that hi maintanence AR i will take the new AK’S.

    4. @Damian:

      I totally agree with the things you say about Russians, AK’s, 30 caliber, and American air power. I really like your paragraph. To make things even worse for us, 8 years of Obama has weakened our armed forces.

      In defense of AR-15’s, the one thing they do better than 30 caliber is that they stay on target easier. My April 8, 2016 at 10:48 pm post discusses what I’m currently experiencing.

    5. burst fire man @ss1 ,
      My issued m4 never had full auto was in burst mode 3 rounds or semi with a trigger reset after 3 round burst .I fire my ak same way short bursts of about 4 to 5 rounds after useing that m4 so long i just never got used to sending just 1 round downrange unless it was in a sniping type scenario and everything i typed to that guy is facts in that paragraph making me think did he even serve ? But his story let him tell it the ak is not for sniping use it can be made to be but takes a bit and will never have the dead center on paper accuracy the AR does but was never intended to be practice helps that along with trigger change etc. etc. but for busting through cover or block it is the better weapon in trained hands and was designed to be used in mass on opposing forces in other words overwhelm them with firepower while the rest advance which is the duty of a good rpk or pkm gunner .The thought of a company of russian spetnaz advancing on you with ak’s rocking is a threat i hope to never face or we have to face but i am afraid the war has allready begun we just have not started shooting at each other quite yet China has militarized the south china sea, Russia has aligned itself with iran ,syria ,and NK behind the scenes and taken the Crimea and has unmarked spetnaz in the Ukraine right now who are very brutal they took lessons from the nazi ss man and they will move more in future they are praying we are stupid enough to put the wrong person in WH again which it looks to be what they plan to do no matter how we vote in my opinon we are at war at home for our rights and with half the world over resources or jihad either way may have very troubled times ahead .I myself have great respect for our fighting men n women as i am a vet but when you get the ridiculous ROE’S they get today we just piss them off more and the recent gutting of our military has us at a great disadvantage . It is not the spirit or bravery of the fighting men of the USA i doubt it is the people in wash making the calls that will be our downfall if we do not wake up and wake up fast .Hillary clinton is to me the death of america obama started she just finishes it when they put her in and seems she will get in no matter how we vote or what she has done .Sad day for many vets who fought for our freedoms watching them erode away slowly and countries like russia and iran laughing at us as we do it . Just plotting away while we infight over stupid crap . And you may be able to add a few more countries to that list of enemies we may soon face in all out war that will make Iraq and the afghan theatre look like fun day in the park .

    6. @ steven , The 5.56 is virtually useless pass 350 to 400 meters unless you can make a head shot and even then may not penetrate the skull and todays conflicts take place at very short range most always the firepower of either soviet round is far superior especially behind cover the ak round busts concrete and sand blocks apart and the 5.56 does little against hard targets such as block walls and when you see US niper teams on overwatch they are NOT using 5.56 AR’S lol.They are using the 7.62 nato round or 50 cal make shots at over 1500 meters .Not a 5.56 AR on planet will shoot 1400 meters

    7. @ Damian.

      So is the 7.62×39, even More So. At Least the 7.92×33 kurz is STILL effective to ~700-meters. The Longest Range that I’m aware of, for 5.56×45 was ~733-meters. And that was with a 20-inch barrel. CHEAT, us a 32-inch barrel and use NIIN: 1305-01-507-7511 Ammo…

    8. @secondus ,
      When did i say the AK round was effective at over 400 meters lol but i will say coming out of my hvy barrelled RPK i can hit targets over 500 meters away and the RPK is effective to 1000 meters with my 5 power magnifier and halo sights if i can see it i can hit it with the rpk i have. and has still got more energy than any 5.56 does at any range and again you are speaking of another obsolete round in the 7.92 kurz lol get into 21st century man and the rounds used now not a cartridge from WW2 i will say it again i have used both in Iraq 5.56 does nothing against cover at all , the ak busts right through block walls and i never once saw an american trooper get hit 5 6 or 7 times with an AK round and still be in the fight .I have seen haji’s take multiple hits center mass and still in the fight from the 5.56 if the haji’s had been better shots which they were not lot more casulties would have been taken on our side you are talking about haji nutcases screaming allah akbar and just spraying targets when we placed directed fire center mass and they did not go down many times after taking many rounds from the 5.56 in fact we were called into battalion HQ and scolded for too many head shots our responses were give our troopers enough gun please we will not have to take so many head shots that is just fact .and the energy of a 5.56 at 733 meters is like a 22 lr round at best .You may hit it but it will not do much to more than paper punching at that range .

    9. @Secundius and @Damian:

      Many months ago Sec got me excited about the 7.92 Kurz. But it soon faded because my research found that the people making guns in that caliber were in crude shops in Pakistan. I don’t think anyone with a 21st century quality factory is making a Kurz gun.

      @Damian: You and I are both strong believers in the 7.62×39 and AK’s. But I have had a dilemma recently in deciding what to primarily stock my mags with, hollow points or FMJ’s? Some I have stagger-stocked, like 1 HP, 1 FMJ, etc., etc. What is your opinion on the usage of HP’s versus FMJ’s for AK’s? What did you see in Vietnam?

    10. @ss1,
      Against hard targets or shooting through cover FMJ.’S if used against flesh hollow points or soft points depending on which you,re rifle will function with .
      I myself have a mag coupler and keep a full mag of FMJ and a full mag of HP’S connectted together i need to go through a car ,wood ,block ,stop a vehicle fmj’s are used i am shooting at a breathing living target in open I prefer the hollow points over any they feed much the same as a fmj will.and at the velocity it is moving you get enough expansion and energy to knock the wind out of them or drop them at least and finish the target off if need be .You can also tape two mags togeter if needed but i keep 1 of each coupled in my SBR,RPK and M77 or close by so i can have w/e one i may need. far as nam way before my time i was in Iraq and hollow points are against the geneva convention far as i know in the miltary we only had fmj bullets unless you were using a specialty round for sniping type work or AP incendiary .along with every 3rd round being a tracer for directing fire mdst time or every other 5th round but having it in 3 round burst mode i prefer 1 for every 3 .in a combat scenario so i can direct that fire especially in low light . Not saying the 7.92 kurz was not a great round for a great platform but it is pretty obselete now and most is collecter ammo .it was made by Germans man they seem to always get it right it was way ahead of its time as was the STG fired it.In fact without the STG-44 we would not be having this debate on AK rifles or the 7.62×39 round it was the forefather of the AK and the forerunner of medium powered bullets in battle compared to full power 7.62 or w/e high calliber .

    11. @Damian:

      Thanks for all your analysis and viewpoints….very informative!! Also, I never thought about tracer usage before.

      Even though I have a 6-pack AK mag holder that I can throw around my neck, with 3 mags FMJ, and 3 mags HP, I still have this idea in my head about having a mag with staggered HP’s and FMJ’s. I figure if I ever have to bypass my pistols and use an AK to defend myself, at that point it’s gonna be balls to the wall, and I may need and want both types of bullets. So I do have those types of mags in a back pack.

    12. @ Damian.

      There’s NO such thing as a “Obsolete” Round? Old or Archaic Maybe, But Certainly NOT OBSOLETE. A 68-Caliber Lead Ball Black Powder Muzzle Loading Smooth-Bore Flintlock, will KILL you Just as DEAD at 250-Yards Today. As it Did in the 18th Century…

    13. @seconduis,
      Well you got me pn that one lol gotta admit .But i myself have a 42 dated rebarreled k98 in 8MM.06 and it is a great long range shooter and 1 of my faves it is handloader only wildcatted round no one sell’s or makes it .You neck the 30.06 case up to 8MM to make the brass.So i love older rounds as well i hunt with it and 45.70 H&R rifle .I was speaking about what is offered in the ak design on today’s market .

  4. The author wrote, “Though some firearm owners refuse to use an AK due to its Russian heritage (read Communist), others swear by its reliability…” truer words were never spoken. Such was the case between my son and I. So proud I was of my son for joining the military at the same time I continue to serve, so I knew I raised him up right. That is, until he revealed his ownership and passion for the commie AK.

    How could this be? My early days in the military were spent being taught to kill Russian forces. Heck, later I had a hard enough time accepting Russians that came on U.S. soil to do their nuclear facility inspections as part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II). I often had to pull security duty to watch over those Ruskies as they inspected our nuclear weapons reduction activities while we did the same to theirs.

    But things had changed by the time my son joined up. Tactics and enemies had changed, so he wasn’t required to be indoctrinated with the hate they used to teach us to become effective warfighters. So year after year my son would invite me to fire his AK-47, but I still refused on principle. That is until one day he stored his gun safe at my home while between moves.

    That AK kept calling to me. And I so badly needed to know what my Russian adversaries of so many years saw in this inferior weapon. So I finally broke down and included it with the lot of weapons I’d selected for the range that weekend.

    I have qualified expert with every firearm I have ever fired – both in the military and law enforcement (I have duel careers), so I know my way around several weapons platforms, but I have to say I fell immediately in love with my son’s AK-47. I so hated to admit that to myself and eventually my son, but it is true.

    It pains me to this day that I will yearn more for getting my AKs (I own several now) out to the range more-so than my ARs. It’s hard to describe, but once I get behind that AK we just seem to get along in every aspect far better than I do with my ARs.

    So having depended on my military issued M-16s and later the M-4s for so long and that they represent the epitome of us – the American Warfighter, I have to admit there is a bit of shame for me deep down inside.

    But on a lighter note, I am so glad I finally took the plunge, because later as theaters of operation changed to the Middle-East some of my subsequent military pre-deployment preparations involved mandatory foreign weapons training, which included the AK-47, and in full-auto. Needless to say, I did quite well compared to most others in my unit.

    So all I can say is give the AK a chance. It will never be for everyone, but it sure is for me. I’ve even dared say that in a SHTF situation where I had to choose only one rifle, it would be an AK over an AR. And that comes from a tried and true AR expert marksman.

    1. @G-Man:

      Since you have experience with AK’s in full auto, what is your opinion on the effectiveness and control in full auto?

      I have a WASR-10 with a slide-fire stock. I can simulate full auto, yet I have a hard time staying exactly on target. I don’t get to practice it too often since I must go to the desert instead of the shooting range, so I feel there’s a chance I can get better with more practice. Yet the other side of the coin is the slide-fire stock is short and awkward at shooting like a regular rifle. I can do it, but I miss having a standard, cool looking dark wood AK stock (my WASR-10 came new with the slide-fire stock). So I do have a dilemma with this gun.

      The GOOD NEWS is that I recently got back into AR-15’s, and I bought the finest aluminum bump-fire stock, and put the finest 3 pound trigger on it, and I’m shooting full auto and staying on target. I’m even doing drills in the desert with firing 3 bursts at 3 targets 20 yards apart.

      But I would appreciate your analysis of AK full auto.

    2. I used selective fire AKs in Iraq, and they are great at laying down a lot of spray and pray, but not so good at accuracy on full auto. But, put them on semi, and they aren’t too bad at all. Not as accurate as an AR, but not bad.

    3. Thanks for your input Mikial.

      Yes, I agree with your spray and pray viewpoint. That’s what I experience when testing the slide-fire stock. But at least it’s something I can work on and have fun trying to improve. Honestly, I would much rather be in the desert shooting area, unloading a magazine at old paint cans or an old TV set (things left behind by other people sometimes) than sitting on a bench at the shooting range with a rifle all locked down and clamped into a sophisticated shooting rest (I will NEVER buy one), LOL!!

      Going forward with my AK, other options are to buy a 2nd AK rifle with traditional wood and hopefully fully original Yugoslavian or Romanian. Or I could improve my WASR-10 by buying the higher quality aluminum Fostech stock (they made my Defendar-15 bump-fire stock), specially made for the AK, which they call the “Bumpski”. There goes another $450 though.

      I’ll keep working with my slide-fire and see how I evolve with it.

    4. @ ss1,

      To answer your question I must first establish the proper context from which I feel I can best provide you a good answer. This context is from a warfighting military perspective towards the goal of achieving the most effective fire to neutralize the enemy.

      Therefore I must reference my primary weapon, the M4, and then compare it to the AK. I know you know most of this, but other readers may not, so please bear with me.

      There is no full-auto on the standard issue M4. The M4 selector has 3 position modes: Safe, Simi-auto, and Burst. The Burst mode is limited to 3 rounds per trigger reset (squeeze and release). The design idea here is that limited 3-round bursts are more effective in controlling the muzzle rise of the weapon back down to the intended target between pulls.

      The reason is that past experience, particularly garnered from Vietnam, revealed the older M16’s full-auto mode was actually less effective. The ability to empty an entire magazine in one squeeze led to poor fire control that was all over the place and often missed the intended target. Unseasoned troops under great stress had a tendency to expend their ammo rapidly and with minimal effect against the enemy.

      My point here is to carry over the same logic when firing an AK in full-auto mode. Your goal should be to establish the most effective fire in short bursts in order to maintain the most control over muzzle rise in order to more rapidly re-acquire your target between bursts.

      Given that AKs do not have a limited burst mode this will take some practice, but it can be achieved. It is all about finding the burst rhythm for your AK. Not everyone finds a 3-round burst to be the best rhythm. Some prefer 2-round bursts while others do better at 4-rounds.

      Those familiar with the M4 may think they could slip right into controlling an AK’s burst based on their M4 muscle memory, but they will be surprised to find the rhythm is different because the cyclic rate of fire is slightly slower on an AK as compared to the M4. However, a disciplined operator that is aware of this difference through training should be able to adjust for effective fire in just a few bursts.

      Even though you simulate a full-auto experience using slide-fire (bump-fire) stocks on both AKs and ARs, all of the above methods should still apply to you. You’ve stated that you have achieved effective 3-round bursts with your AR, but not your AK – so I recommend you focus closer attention towards honing in on the differences in your AK’s cyclic rhythm while also trying out different burst amounts which could range anywhere from 2-rounds to 4-rounds (maybe even 5). Focus on this and see if you find improvement. I hope this has been a help.

    5. @G-Man:

      I actually didn’t know the history of the M4, and I didn’t know there was a 3 round burst selector. By you explaining that history, it tells me that I was already going down the right track of starting to practice bursts with my AR-15.

      But the bursts I was practicing were more like 10 round bursts. I will try to dial that down to 6 rounds.

      As far as my AK goes, yes you are giving me excellent advice. I was not even thinking bursts with the AK. I was only thinking control. But you cannot control them if the burst is 20 rounds!! So because of your advice, I have a definite project to work on. And I’ll see how the slide-fire performs with short bursts. This may be the ingredient for success. But if it doesn’t work well with short bursts (I’m guessing it will work), my other option is to switch to the more precisely constructed aluminum billet Bumpski bump-fire stock.

      I think you and I are really educating a lot of people on this topic. What got me going on all this was maybe 8 weeks ago when I was in a well known desert practice area, and a truck load of guys pulled up, and one of them (the leader/expert) emptied a 60 round AR-15 mag with no hiccups while standing like a statue and not moving himself or the rifle. This changed everything for me, and I immediately bought an AR-15 and stock and custom trigger. I had a gunsmith put them all together.

      Thanks very much for your reply. You’re very intelligent!!

  5. How good is the AK platform? When you see U.S. Combat Troops carrying AKs into battle instead of their U.S. issued rifle, you know something is not completely right with the AR platform.
    Saw it some in Vietnam, too. U.S. forces carrying captured AKs. More dependable, more accurate at close range and just like now, where U.S. troops carry them, ammunition is abundant and not affected by the heat and humidity like most U.S. ammo that made its way over there.

    1. Didn’t see too much of that in Iraq or Afghanistan. Did see a lot of situations of the other side carrying M4s. What does that mean?

  6. While we are honoring the “great man” Kalashnikov, let us not forget whose rifle was the first “assault weapon”. The Sturmgehwer ’44 was the first of this type and to me the AK47 is the Concordski of rifles. Hugo Schmeisser and his design team were the real geniuses here, and in fact he was captured by the Soviets and made to work with Kalashnikov.

  7. I own 3 variations of the original AK-47, a Hungarian AMD-65 and a Romanian Draco “pistol”. They all go “BOOM” when you pull the trigger. The simplicity, reliability and availability of this weapons platform is legendary. They are relatively inexpensive and parts are plentiful. Much like an SkS…feed it, clean it and pull the trigger when you need it.

    1. Let us not forget us older guys anyhow born in 60’s the old cold war propaganda films in school of the biggest fear We and our new (post ww2 allies) biggest fear being a mass hoard of the red army storming across europe armed with AK 47’S that was a scary thought the AK was then and still is the most feared weapon in the hands of a very large opposing force .The rifle was designed for just that purpose hoards of troops being led by suppresing fire from thousands of AK’S across europe as well as china .Imagine china had the ak in korea we would have lost 1000’s more in that war and sth korea may be communist now and the world look totally diff .Then add the 58.000 plus faced off against the ak in vietnam and did not come home how effective that very weapon was in the jungle enviroment and how we got pummeled by them on many occasions in the se asian conflict of the 60’s and 70’s . Well it has progressed to the AK74 and even better now still soldiering on all over the world in both configurations and to me is still by far the best assault type weapon ever made. we ever go to war with russia and the ak platform it will not be poorly trained guerilla’s and insurgents it will be the red army led by the spetnaz armed with of course ak rifles and i assure you their accuraccy will be just fine as they mow people down opposing them The AK is the best all around do it all battlefield weapon ever devised and that is just fact when all others fail or quit it will keep on shooting with great effect add to that the rpk as a suppressing weapon you got a problem defeating that army any day of the week and there is no wonder the soviets are never looking to replace it but just improve it where we have looked for 50 yrs for a better rifle to replace the M16 and AR’S we now use . There is no better platform for what it was designed to do .Kill with impunity and great effect.and instill fear into the enemy that it is very good at .

  8. I own both ar and ak. But my favorite is the ak 47. I like the fact of easy to clean and maintain, ammo is cheap. Also it will shoot corrosive, steel, brass ammo too.

  9. actually, the ak47 is a remake of the sks so it could fire full auto, and be manufactured cheaper. AK was not a brain surgeon.

  10. Alright, so where’s the ode?

    Sheet metal and Plywood, cheap enough to own,
    An AK47 should be in each home.
    A hundred dollars should be enough spent,
    To secure this land against terrorists bent,
    On taking sheep from pastures, the liberals will,
    Thank the NRA that we have our rights still.
    Put am AK in every law abiding hand.
    Strength and security will reign in the land.

  11. For me a better choice was a rifle that chambers the AK47 round but is an improvement from stem to stern. From the muzzle brake to the long stroke piston to the milled rather than stamped receiver to the fire control and trigger groups the VZ58 i9s just better built and a better rifle. Oh And it’s striker fired rather than hammer fired. Never mind that when I bought mine it was a couple hundred dollars less than an AK 47 of any flavor. The Czech army adopted it in 1958 and since those were the days of the Warsaw Pact the change had to be approved by the Soviet design bureaus which included General Kalashnikov. Only downside is it has a slightly different magazine so AK mags will not fit but back at that time I got 5 magazines with the gun and a surplus leather mag pouch. It has last shot hod open standard too

  12. @ CTD, Suzanne Wiley.

    I can SEE “ss1” frustration with Posting Comments and you New Judicial Review Policies. I posted a THE ONLY COMMENT on the New First Aid Site, And your New Boy “Daniel Scott” decided upon himself to REMOVE IT. There WAS NO Inflammatory Subject Matter IN IT. So MY Question to you is WHY WAS IT REMOVED…

    1. Sec,
      Individual writers and contributors do not moderate comments on their blog posts.
      The comment you are referring to was not deleted—it wasn’t approved (yet.)
      While we enjoy our time off work with our families, comments will back up over the weekend. Please have patience while we catch up on Mondays.

    2. @Suzanne

      I understand what you are saying, but please consider this. Most of us do most of our commenting in the evening and on weekends. We used to be able to enjoy discussing, agreeing and disagreeing with each other on an almost real-time basis because our comments would be posted very quickly, so we could each other’s and then make a reply.

      We can no longer do that. Now, a comment sent in the evening or on a weekend may not be posted for hours, or in some cases possibly days. Also, many comments are redundant now because someone else already answered a question or made a point we were going to make, but since it is stuck in moderation we don’t know that so we try to post the same information that has already been provided. Then, when the moderation backlog is caught up, we feel stupid because one or more people ahead of us had already posted it but we had no way of knowing it.

      I am sorry to say that TSL has lost a lot of its appeal because of this issue.

    3. Mikial,
      I am sorry for your frustration; however, the Shooter’s Log does have a policy:
      Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

      Unfortunately, after finding some repeat offenders, we realized that not all comments were being held for moderation.
      The Shooter’s Log stands by its original policy.

    4. Suzanne,

      Yeah, sadly, that is generally the case. A few immature and downright rude people create situations where everyone else has to pay the price.

      Thanks for your quick response.

  13. Sorry but the Russian wasn’t a designer, he was a copier. He copied the German MP-44. Designer? Maybe an improver but not a designer. Please give credit where credit is due.

    1. @ca nagel
      Afraid i have to disagree .He took features from the sturmgewher design and the simonov design(sks,svt) and made the best assault type mid range battle weapon ever made of his own . Y ou cannot beat an ak in the field over any platform out there right now in my honest opinion of. i know it will work and fire a lot of .3o cal bullets downrange at accuracy in the hands of most anyone big enough to carry it will suffice .in a real firefight in accuracy to get the job done at respected ranges of 300 yrds or less .Requires almost 0 maintenence and will fire most any 7.62×39 you feed it all day long .

  14. urban combat ak47 . wide open countryside combat m4 . “the ak47 , when you positively, absolutely gotta kill every mother fu@ker in the building !” samuel jackson from the movie jackie brown .classic .

  15. The AK-47 is not designed specifically for accuracy. It was designed for rough use, and to keep on going under terrible conditions, without failing.
    And it’s done that marvelously for more than half-century.

    It’s the world’s most used and favorite weapon because of it’s being so dependable, and reliable.

    1. @onederer

      While I don’t dispute the AK’s utility for untrained troops and militia, you have to also consider that it has been manufactured and exported in huge numbers, which is another factor making it so popular.

    1. Cool vid.

      I’ve worked with a lot of South Africans in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and other place. They are top notch.

      And yes, AKs will survive a lot. They are designed to be durable.

  16. I like my WASR-10 and my Zastava M92, and I have more AK ammo and mags by far than any other gun or caliber.

    Bu I was a little disappointed last week at the WASR-10’s performance at 200 yards, compared to my AR-10 which surprised me with it’s accuracy. I figured with a scope mounted on my WASR-10, and it being sighted in pretty well at 100 yards, that I would have decent results at 200 yards. Maybe I need to go back with a bigger target and focus exclusively on the WASR-10 instead of firing 3 guns at 200 yards like last time.

    1. @ss1

      The WASR, or any other AK, is just not a precision rifle. It is a shooter for the masses, plain and simple. We like our WASR-10, and although it still has the typical rough WASR wooden stock, we have a new pistol grip and a quad rail forearm on it.

      It shoots great, but it will never be as accurate as any of our ARs.

    2. I myself have the m92 made into a legal sbr and the M77 308 ak from zastava botth are two of my fav weapons in my collection they are reliable and my M77 is super accurate with the chi-com scope i mounted on it and the iron sights .If you do not own an M77 308 ak from zastava i suggest you buy 1 they are very good weapon platforms and accurate out to way past 500 meters.. And as SS1 said i have more mags for them and ammo than anything i own . I hated my M4 in army and will never own another ar rifle ever i have a .308 ak will shoot 5 times farther with great accuracy with its 20 inch barrel.good to see you again SS1. Classic firearms is where i got both of my ak,s.i love them both especilly the M77 ak

    3. BTW i modified 3 m1A mags 25 rounders to use in my M77 they work great and classic now sells 20 round mags for them as well imi are the best for modifying for the ak as far as mags go the cheaper ones dont work as well but my 3 25 rounders work great from imi with a little dremeling and filing i now have 25 rd mags for my M77.308 ak

    4. @Damian:

      Hey buddy you may have come through for me again, just like you did with the DE44. I had NO IDEA that a Zastava M77 existed, because they are not on Cheaper Than Dirt. I went to Classic Firearms just now and looked it over, and I love the low price for a .308 AK style rifle that can shoot any type of ammo, steel or brass. I mean THIS IS A HUGE DISCOVERY FOR ME TODAY…..SO THANKS!!

      Right now they are out of stock at Classic Firearms, but I’m going to be checking on it weekly. This weapon just jumped to the top of my priority list.

    5. @SS1
      WELL i been dealing with weapons all my life if you buy the M77 get the AR style buttstock adapter as well the thumbhole grip is kinda bulky to me and is not adjustable like the ar adapter is for replacing the thumbhole stock .These are great rifles my man i have shot out to 600 meters with mine with the slide on russian style chinese issue sniper scope kinda like a draganov and the bullet drop if you use 150 grain is less than the 54r at long range better bce. It has an adjustable gas system for shooting any load you want and with my handloads i can put 5 bullets in a 50cent sized hole at over 300 meters with the 20 inch barrel and twist rate if i have a good day lol. Money well spent very rugged rifle with superior accurracy at ranges the 7.62×39 could never dream of just as the 44 mag over the .50 DE lol.HAGD SS1 and get an M77 from zastava you wont regret it .

    6. @Damian:

      Thanks for all the technical details. I’m really glad it has a side scope mount.

      I’m watching for it to get back in stock at Classic Firearms or at Cheaper Than Dirt.

      Regarding .308 ammo, I was testing PPU 145gr FMJ BT ammo this weekend. This boat tail style bullet shot a little better at 200 yards than the Federal Lake City XM80C that I’ve been using.

    1. Not arguing with you, Brother, but having shot M3s back when they were issued to tank crews, I have to say that you are going just a wee bit overboard with that assertion. AKs are not precision rifles, but they can be reasonably accurate out to a couple of hundred yards.

      M3s, on the other hand, didn’t even have a qualification criteria. All you did was shoot them for “familiarity” at 25 yards or so. Our preferred technique was to simply point the muzzle to the 5 o-clock position on the target and hold the trigger down. The weapon would walk its way in a diagonal from 5 to 2 o-clock on the target pretty much assuring you that you would hit it at least a few times.

      Now, having said that, when I was working contracts in Iraq with Kurdish shooters on our vehicles, the standing order to the Kurds (who had AKs) was that if they couldn’t hit a target (person) shooting at us they were to get one of the expats (Americans and Lebanese Christian former militiamen who were armed with ARs that were not even selective fire) and they would shoot the guy for them.

      So, I completely agree that AKs will never be as accurate as the Ar series, or FNs, HK, and a whole lot of other guns, but they have a place in the world. And that place is arming the masses, which was after all the Soviet solution to everything in war.

      But I do recal that many of our South African PSD team guys did a lot of work on their AKs to make them more accurate and modernized. And lets not forget that the Israelis based their Galil on the AK. And anything the Israelis build is usually very good.

    2. @Secondius
      i would say that is more the shooters fault than the weapons an M3 greaser could never have the accuracy of my ak,s that is just ludicrus and crazy have you fired the greaser ? i have no accuracy at all past 20 yrds they have pummpkin sized groups at 25 yrds .I have to laugh at that 1 .

    3. @ Damian.

      The PPSh-41 in (7.62×25) was GREAT at 25-meters, but beyond “Problematical” at best. But even with a cyclic rate of fire of 900pm, even the “Village Idiot” would find it nearly impossible to hit NOTHING…

    4. ppsh is not the weapon we are talking about and shoots a much flatter shooting high velocity round and with a much faster cyclic rate the the M3 greaser there is no way an M3 greaser will outshoot any ak i own no way in hell. I have had experience with the M3 greaser great for tankers and spec ops, support personel etc. but as an infantry weapon not much good till they are right on top of you . The 7.62×25 will do a much better job in a combat role than the M3 all day long. ask the german ss using the ol smizer 9mm .JMHO

  17. I own and like to shoot my AK 47. I call it the Glock of rifles. I am too old and I guess to stupid to maintain an AR or one of the M type of guns. I call it the Glock of rifles. I like the fact that it shoots a round that goes thru trees and other hard targets. I’ve never had a jam but I have never had to use it in a combat situation. The ammo is cheap and I have the scope mount dust cover and like to put an 3 to 8 on it on occasion. I just think it’s a good gun up to about 300 yards for us untrained civilians.

  18. It’s true that the AK-47 is still to this very day the World’s single-most example of a “utilitarian” firearm. We all know the reasoning behind this rather lofty stature the rifle has acclaimed but, namely, “simplicity & reliability.” I personally have not seen a rifle in that “liberal-fearing” category of “assault” that come near the absolute ease of use/maintenance. But here’s the kicker for me, it’s also simultaneously becoming the single-most “customized” assault-rifle in the U.S. and elsewhere in the World today…Have a look at the contemporary AK as sure you will still find that typical classic wood-furniture (only “True AK” to purists) model that looks no different than its original predecessor but also highly customized tactical AK’s now that approach anything we have seen on the AR platform. In essence, the new 21st Century “AK Revolution” has made it more relevant than ever and elevated the AK into the best “Tactical Rifle” conversation.

  19. The AK is not a ‘tack driver’ by any stretch of the imagination, but neither is it the piece of junk that some, who have never used the AK when all bets are off and your life is on the line, would have you believe. I have used several “Com Bloc” weapons, including the AK 47 and 74, as well as the SKS. Even had one that had been rebarreled and chambered for the .223, for a while. All will get the job done with less propensity to failure than some U.S. made weapons I have used. O & G, you’re right about M-16 s, the 1st generation, when I was in S.E. Asia, was so bad our C.O. refused them and we carried M-14 s. If you’ve never had to trust your life to one, please, don’t opine about something you know nothing about.

  20. I carried an AK in Iraq for a few months doing PSD (Personal Security Detail) work for DoD contractors. The AK is fine as far as it goes, but they are not the absolutely reliable super gun literature and people who have no real field experience with them make them out to be. We had plenty of failures, and I had an AK at one point that only shot when you didn’t want it to. Yeah I dumped that pretty quick. I was glad to switch contracts and get issued an M4.

    But, the AK is still a good gun and I own a WASR that I love. Just don’t make it out to be something it’s not. It was a weapon that was designed for use by uneducated and largely untrained potato farmers. And it worked great for that. It still does. After years in the Middle East and Africa, the AK is predominant because they are readily available, but if you look at ISIS today, the high ranking leaders all denote their superiority over the rank and file by carrying the US made guns we gave the useless Iraqi and ended up in terrorist hands.

  21. The only hope of being able to acquire a target with open iron sights, is if the rear aperture hole is small enough to filter out the apparent ghosts. Aging is not on my side. Eyes start to fail, and I’m no exception. If I put on my reading glasses, I can see the front and rear sights. However, those glasses are useless to see the target. So, I remove the glasses, I can see the target, but what can I do, if I only can see triple iron sights?

    My only salvation is using optics to overcome that problem. Either a scope, or red-dot reflex optics. Since the AK47 already has a picatinny rail, mounting the red dot optic was no problem. The curse is that the front sight is no longer needed, and it’s so tall, it blocks my seeing the target. Removing it is no picnic, and I have no intention of attempting the removal. So, with that decision, putting that red dot optic device close to my eyeballs, is not possible.

    I kept on moving it forward along the picatinny rail, until the front sight finally was gone, and unseen. That meant the purchase of the side-mounted adapter for mounting a scope close to the eyes, was now not needed.

    Because of the design of the AK, as compared to other firearms, the AK is not optics friendly, and many steps has to be taken to use optics. With people lucky enough with good eyes, at least won’t have to deal with this for awhile, until their eyes start giving out, or they are fussy shooters who want more accuracy while they are shooting, then, they will have to setup for using optics, pretty much the same way I did.

  22. He started as our ally , Became our enemy. His gun killed Americans and now most including me would LOVE to have a old Eastern Block AK. Why? Because IT JUST WORKS! Toss back a shot of vodka to old Mikhail. Enemies toasting each other.

    When the M16 first came out it had problems. GI’s would leave them in camp and go on patrol with captured AKs.

    GI’s found a dead VC who had fallen on top his AK Weeks before. He rotted over, into and through his AK. Weeks of rain , mud and jungle rot. They rolled him off , racked the AK and BANG!!! it fired.


    1. You need to learn to see through the govt propaganda. Kalashnikov is/was not our enemy. The Russian people and American people have never been enemies, thats just what all oppressive govts want the masses to believe. The true enemy of people of all countries is govt, all govts are bad.

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Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.