AK’s Aren’t Accurate

Why does this myth persist?

Brandon Herrara AKa The AK Guy (see what I did there?) takes on the 4 reasons the myth of AK inaccuracy is among us, still… seriously why? Anyway, if you cannot or don’t want to watch the highly entertaining 15 minutes with him. Here is some of the info a nutshell.

1. Vietnam/GWOT

The AK legends out of Vietnam established its reputation of legendary reliability. Not a hard bar when US Troops were being supplied with ammo filled with gunpowder that completely screwed the pooch on their early variant M16s or were lugging the obsolescent M14 around in a warped wood stock.

The AK’s legend grew, but honestly Americans didn’t understand a hell of a lot about the rifle so we just kind of made stuff up from limited experience. Those made up best guess details got repeated until they were the gospel of the AK.

Enter the GWOT era. Now a bunch of US and NATO service members have fresh experiences with the AK. They’re terribly maintained AKs held by people ranging from poorly trained to untrained conscripts, but its AK experience. This led to the inaccurate reports of extreme inaccuracy because of course… these were AKs. It couldn’t be the folks using them didn’t know how… could it? Nah.

So mythical accuracy factoid #1 was from limited military experiences filling in the blanks with assumption.

2. 7.62x39mm

The traditional AK caliber also fed the fires of the inaccuracy myth. Why? Everyone KNOWS 7.62×39 isn’t an “accurate” round.

True on the grand scale of ballistics and accurate rounds, yes, the 7.62×39 is meh. The short OAL and slowish velocity in the 2300-2400 fps don’t make it one for the precision rifle series. But that is a far cry from an “inaccurate” rifle, it just put realistic limits on what a rifle can do. A 9mm isn’t a great ballistic round but those carbines aren’t rumored to miss buildings at close distances.

3. “Loose Tolerances”

In the same way the the 7.62×39 got the “inaccurate” moniker by overblowing a physical limitation into a myth, the loose tolerances of an AK rifle’s operational parts spiraled into ‘common knowledge’ as well. Those tolerances in certain parts of the rifle are necessary to allow the rifle to function and it can function, in a technical sense, with a great degree of variation. But if items like bolt headspacing aren’t taken care of properly the AK will run just as poorly as anything else done equally poorly.

4. Sh*t Tier Quality AKs

Consumers can be a miserly bunch. When poor quality, inexperienced, and could care less about final product builders want to make the least expensive variant of a rifle to cash in on a demand… they do. Putting together a bunch of sub-standard AK parts in a substandard way makes a bunch of sub-standard AKs.

There’s very good reason that Arsenal, Krebs, and Rifle Dynamics are the quality names in this space and that the selling point of many others is literally just price.

Anyway, Brandon does an excellent job explaining this so circle on back to the video!

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.