This article originally appeared on American Partisan and is even more relevant today than when I wrote it back in June. -NCS
The world is looking pretty rough. And with it, many are waking up to the reality of their situation. There’s gonna be a lot more time spent on the shooting range than the driving range. AntiFa, John Brown Gun Club and other spoiled, drug-addled, self loathing white kids are threatening to hit the suburbs in the next volley of civil unrest and the summer is young. All signs point to this getting worse before it gets better. This could be one of those times the old-time survivalists may be saying “shouldn’t be living there in the first place” and while I agree, there’s always going to be those coming to the party late. That part is not important; what is more important however is understanding some of the realities of a community defense plan now versus learning the hard way later.
As much as we’d all love to have an army of battle hardened trigger pullers behind us, the reality is that there’s going to be a lot of minimally trained, scared, and in many cases over-motivated folks popping out of the woodwork. Its good to know they’re there, but without a feasible plan for implementing them, much of it is going to be for naught. Further, what about people who aren’t armed? How do you arm them? And this is why the Kalashnikov begins to make a lot of sense.
Reality #1. Simple Controls and Manual of Arms
The AK is a very simple weapon to master. The safety lever is large, the charging handle is large, and the magazine release can be operated either right or left handed. In my own experience, the learning curve is much shallower for people to learn in a short period of time than with other platforms, namely the AR. When you couple that with the fact that the AK is less prone to malfunctions and has a higher tolerance for neglect, it starts to shine.
Reality #2. The 7.62×39 is a Proven Man Killer.
The old AKM round was designed from the realities of combat on the Eastern Front. While many have derided the round for its poor ballistic coefficient and relatively short range when compared to newer intermediate cartridges, no one I know who’s ever shot anyone with it complained about its effectiveness. I saw first hand what the standard M43 FMJ load is capable of doing to both humans and civilian vehicles alike. And since Geneva is a place in Switzerland and not a set of rules I have to follow, the other AK loads out there begin to really showcase what it can do. Judging by the damage even soft points have done on deer and hogs, its a show stopper in short order and the wounds alone are a shock factor to any would-be leftist street shit coming to steal what you’ve worked your whole life for. You see a man’s thoracic cavity disintegrate from three rounds of 8M3 you tend to stop doing whatever it was you were doing with him…or her…or it.
Reality #3. Ammo is Cheap To Stack Deep.
7.62×39 is cheap and plentiful- even in the current unrest and run on ammo that’s going on, you can find 1k round cases of it for under $400. The reality behind ammo is this- if I’m running a patrol with a team of bubbas and we get into trouble, we’re going to burn through a lot of ammo in a hurry. Inexperienced fighters, especially guerrillas, tend to shoot a lot more under duress. That 1k round case is going to go fast. And then where’s your ammo coming from?
Further, what about a training budget? You should never, ever put a weapon in the hands of someone you haven’t shot with in the past. This should be common sense, but it certainly is not debatable. You have to have a certain number of rounds for training both for initial familiarization, intermediate range marksmanship, and for continuous training to keep your skills sharp. In short, your ammo stash should be measured in the tens of thousands, not just buying a case a calling it good.
Reality #4. AK Irons Are Effective For Close Quarters Battle.
In this day and age, optics make marksmanship training quick and effective. With the plethora of good optics out there even on the inexpensive end, there’s no reason not to be running them. But that said, the AK’s design lends itself well to running without them, and for that matter, it may even be preferential for those with limited training to keep their weapons simple. Batteries in red dots die, optic mounts can break, etc, and the AK’s front sight-and-rear blade is plenty effective for making quick center-of-mass shots even to 100m.
A solid training exercise for using them is to staple paper plates on a target at 100m and have your people get used to engaging them. Ten rounds, 15 seconds. Get as many in the plate as possible. Add in another magazine with ten rounds, bump the time up to 30 seconds, do the same. Once they understand that the trigger reset is the key to a consistent trigger pull, which in turn creates consistency across the board, they’ll become much more accurate in a short amount of time. Accuracy equates effectiveness.
Bottom line? While the AR-15 is, without a doubt, the top selling weapon in the US, and for a good reason, the AK is nipping at its heels in a lot of categories and has some advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. I don’t really favor one over the other- for me they’re different tools for different roles, and much of my own weapon selection depends on what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with. For a hasty community defense, that’s normally going to be the AK. Its definitely not perfect, but it makes sense for a lot of reasons.