AK 47

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, Oct 21, 2005.

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  1. Gents recently on the board, perhaps the SA 80 debate someone made a comment that th AK 47 was not as reliable a weapon as HISTORY tends to indicate.
    When I was in Brunei back in 79 we had the Gurkha Battalion's armourer in the Sgts Mess.
    His previous posting had been helping disarm the 'Rebels' in Zimbabwae.
    He would tell tales of native 'troops' handing AKs that had never recieved any form of maintanance/cleaning in it's recent history or ever.
    He would lose his temper and Bollack the Freedom Fighters who basically just grined and shrugger their shoulders.
    Finally one day an exceptionally bad weapon was handed in and as he was a conciensious person he decided the demonstrat to it's owner and 'Troops' presant how dangerous the weapon was.
    The Rifle was tied to a tree and full mag loaded. The trigger was operated by a long length of cord and single round was set.
    The armourer expected the rifle to explode or at least jam solid on first shot.
    Bang and rifle reloads, bang reload Bang untill mag is empty. He admitted being gobsmacked and fired off a second and then third mag all with no misfires.
    Then Full auto and second and third mag. No stopages, rifle performed flawless.
    I only handled an AK 47 after I left the army. In Oman up at he field fireing range on the jebel at what had been Manston (Presant name slips my mind) during the rebelion, the guys from Zeke and Morris who ran the electronic range used to lay on Range day for the workers from Salalah. The Pro's from Zeke where all for the AK heavy but solid. I never had a misfire and niether did anyone eles with our well maintained weapons.
    So AK 47 good, solid, unbeleiveably reliable rifle or ?
  2. Its true, basic to the extent a monkey (primate) could use it, case in point in the 60's, the soviet model (with the end of muzzle sliced off) was changed to that design because they had one issue, when firing bursts, the wpn was being forced back and right and not very accurate, so...some smart ass says..as some of gas is escaping out the end of the muzzle, if we slice the end of it..that will force the gas out to the right hence keeping the barrel sort of straight....so..slice..and instant fix to a problem.


    Hungarian version (with pistol grip forward on hand guard) designed to give troops added stability when firing bursts


    ....so..back to SA80...spend £££££££££ and still isnt working that well..so...are western weapons really just too good?
  3. Involved in same African country early ninties all the Ak's where in the same sort of state as described by Jonwilly. It was hard work trying to get the locals to clean them, no armourer available to fix broken bits so it was mend and make do. the only stopages were all down to bad drills (forgetting to put on a new mag when first one empty/cock the weapon etc!!) it was a good basic weapon

  4. for ******* sake the PC brigade got me C O C K is not swearing!! :twisted: :twisted:
  5. yeah got me too..one should say...made the weapon ready for firing...
  6. I will agree wholeheartedly that the AK47 is a brilliantly simple and robust rifle. Great for giving covering fire and and gereally getting rounds fired, and big ones at that! However I will stand up for the SA80 in some respects. You do have to look after the SA80 but i found that if you do then it is a lot more accurate than the AK (and the M16). So the question is whats most useful, having a weapon that can put lots of big lumps of metal in and around the area of the enemy or something that is a smaller lump of metal but more in the location of where we point it! I guess that generally we are just putting metal down so really the AK wins, but i do still like the SA80, I just don't think it complements our drills!

    On a complemetory note - I left just before the HK conversions were put on tot he SA80, and i hear its improved it no end, whats the opinion on here?
  7. Being breast fed on SLR's with SUIT sights, I had nothing but contempt for the 'new' SA80 when it came in, since changed my mind though.
    What the SLR was lacking was the ability to fire bursts, fired and FN and jessus, it went well on automatic, but having fired more than a few weapons over the years..hard to say whats best right now...do you want/need maximum firepower or do you want a few well aimed shots (where have I read that before)
  8. The AK-47 and SA-80 are products of entirely different doctrines. The Soviets considered infantry personal weapons as nothing more than a tool for keeping the enemy's head down while support weapons (traditionally available at much lower levels in greater quantities than the UK) and artillery (ditto) did the killing. In the UK we saw support weapons as pinning and neutralising the enemy while infantry personal weapons do the killing.

    Hence the AK series emphasise reliability with accuracy almost an afterthought, while the original SA-80 did the opposite.

    Interestingly enough we now seem to be moving towards the Soviet model with far more firepower available at section and platoon level than ever before.
  9. You have to understand the Warsaw Pact practice at the time and in particualr, the Meeting engagement:

    If the advance guard encounters enemy it will attack immediately. The aim is to eliminate opposition that might block the advance of the main body.
    If the advance guard can break through then the main body will not deploy. If more serious opposition is encountered, the advance guard will attempt to pin the enemy to allow the main body to deploy and/or outflank the enemy. Failing that the advance guard will will fight until reinforced by the main body, where upon both groups will assault together.

    If information on the enemy is scarce, the advance guard may launch a probing attack. The aim is to either infiltrate the enemy, or to launch a hasty company assault. One platoon, along with the artillery and mortars will be on over-watch. The remainder of the company will attack on a 400m frontage making maximum use of cover. The tanks will lead the APCs/BMPs by 100m; the latter will advance in pairs. If opposition is too strong the company will retire.

    So it throws up the need to fire long distances and what with?

    In an attack from march the troops are deployed along the line of departure before assaulting. It takes 25-60 min from the moment of contact for a battalion to prepare an attack. This can be supported by a 10-20 min artillery offensive.
    So we have many troops firing a load of rounds your way and quickly, do you have the confidence in your weapon to sit back in defence and take out troops one by one, or is it maximum firepower...7.62mm short round coming your way..you have 5.56mm going thier way with maybe GPMG in the SF role
    Aruge for lots of rounds but, accurate fire might defeat the attack plan..maybe
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Accurate fire might defeat the attack, if you have the nerve to take cafeful aim when a lot of metal flying your way.
    AK is a good weapon, but it probably won't fit into our peacekeeping, peace support ops where no. of shots have to keep to min. (i.e one shot one kill). Also how our soldier going to spend their spare time without all the weapon cleaning?
  11. Here's a question for you then: What about the 5.56 mm AK derivatives? (Galil, Valmet, R4 - all more or less the same thing, I believe). Do they retain the AK's reliability with the 5.56mm's potential for accuracy? If any Isreali or South African chaps are kicking about, perhaps they can tell us.

    Some SA guys I met were full of praise for the R4 and said we could have re-equipped the entire British armed forces with them for less than the cost of the A2 upgrade on the L85.
  12. If given the choice, i'd go for the AKM over an SA80. (Saying that, I'd quite happily go for an SLR over an SA80.) With our current choice of deployments, I'd much rather have 7.62. It isnt a case of removing troops from the battlefield, more a case of removing targets off the face of the earth.

    I miss my old SLR *sobs*
  13. I took an SLR to Op Granby and Op Haven, when most people had SA8os. The rest of the army thought I was a STAB, but the Spams thought I was a sniper. Seriously: "Gee, is that a deer rifle?".
  14. The AK47 (and its derivatives) is an excellent peasant's rifle where firepower and durability are more important than range and accuracy. If you want a rifle that will work in all conditions, you want an AK. If you want to hit something beyond 250m, get something else, in fact get an L85A2 with SUSAT. Say what you like about the tinny green and black shooter, at least it's accurate. This lack of range is due to the 7.62x39 ammunition, as the bullet drops off alarmingly beyond 200m.

    And another thing, with that bloody great banana for a mag, you can't get a decent fire position in the prone unless you're built like a Guards Sergeant. But when all's said and done the AK is good for chucking bullets in the general direction of your foe.

    The 5.56mm GALIL is a good bit of kit, and is pretty accurate. I heard that there are quality control issues with the Sarfefrikaan R4 (brittle bolts), or was that the R3? The Finnish Valmet series also have a good reputation, although I've never come across them myself.

    I was quite impressed with the 5.45mm AK74 - although I've only had a blat at 100m, and couldn't say if it was any cop over longer ranges.
  15. On exercise with finnish army they seemed to get their weapons cleaned in minutes compared to sa80 but then they weren't
    allowed to drink so swings and roudabouts :) .