PERSONAL SECURITY: Is the AK-47 All That Great?

With many concerned people purchasing guns there has been huge quantities of Kalashnikovs sold.  Yet, the frenzy toward the Kalashnikov may not be as pertinent as many people think it is.  It could be useful for the buyers to keep in mind the design concept of the ubiquitous gun.

No one will ever question the AK reliability; there is overwhelming evidence of it.  This thing will work in about any circumstance no matter how bad the environment or the maintenance skills of the operator.  Anyone who has to face a group armed with this effective weapon should be seriously concerned.

This being said it could be of interest to put it back in context to discover its limitations.  This gun was developed as an infantry weapon; what is often overlooked is the Russian infantry concept when it was designed (1947) was to put a lot of man power on the line and equip this man power with as much firepower as possible.  Quantity for both man power and firepower was the deciding factor, quality was secondary.  The AK consistently proved itself in this role; it will reliably spray lead down range and with many people shooting at the same time and in the same direction; it simply creates hell down range.  This is why it is used so much by armies, rebels groups, gangs and other large bands.

Now it just happens that the very concept of security is to prepare against such an onslaught; it is about the happy few band of brothers facing the many foes.  And while it may make sense for the attacking gang to come with AKs, it makes much less sense to oppose 15 or more AKs with a handful of similar weapons.  One has only to look at the AK’s mark in Reynosa (Mexico) to have an idea of what a trigger happy gang can do with full auto Kalashnikovs.

The great weakness of the AK is that it just cannot shoot precisely at 100 yards and beyond; this is inherent to its barrel and gas operation design.  At 200 yards it is impossible to get any group; this is inherent to the weapon concept and construction.  To this great flaw it is important to add the important detail that most civilians will in fact buy a self reloading rifle that only looks like an assault rifle.  The fact that beyond utterly lacking precision it will only operate in semi automatic mode reduces to nothing the AK advantage compared to other weapons.

About the author: Patrick Estebe

Patrick Estebe offers an unconventional approach to security issues. He has created a Multidimensional Security System based on insight and creativity, which allows him to organize individuals and teams capable of handling a wide range of acute situations. These situations include crucial VIP security, critical defense of airports, seaports and megayachts. As a Captain in the French Marines then Inspector in the Intelligence Service (in charge of counter-terrorism units), Patrick Estebe had the opportunity to experience the power and limitations of a linear approach to security.

View all articles by Patrick Estebe

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