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Discussion Starter #1
by Larry Kahaner

OK, my friends, I maybe did not give it much of a chance, but had to put it down after page 6.

The author's background is in business not combat, but his comparisons got a little too much for me.

As an example, and why I had to put it down was this paragraph on Page 6

..." These countries used fighters who possessed little or no training but were armed with cheap, durable, and easy-to-obtain AKs. Hot little wars started quicker, and lasted longer, fueled by these indestructable weapons that anyone - trained or untrained - could fire immediately and become as deadly as a highly trained soldier."

I have faced all manner of weapons in my three years as a contractor and almost to a man the people I faced with AKs were of the spay & pray type. We had FALs & it was no contest. The ranges involved did not matter. It was like they were trying to kill us with noise rather than effective fire, and it did not matter what continent or people we were on or facing.

NOTHING replaces sight alignment and trigger control. They used neither.

I have all the respect in the world for the AK but it is NOT the great equalizer this guy seems to think it is. YES, they got lucky sometimes, but that last statement he made, made me put his book down and write this.

Maybe I will pick it up in a week or so, but right now my blood pressure is up a bit. I am sure it has some really good parts to it, and some actual real world anectdotes, but right now I have to walk away.

I will NEVER disrespect any of you other guys by asking for details. Those belong where they are....but in general what have you guys seen in broad generalities.

One of my instructors told me he was in Rhodesia with the SELOUS SCOUTS and a lot of the guys they took weapons from had the rear sight bridge maxed out to max elevation. The said they thought that would make the gun hit harder. Third world ballistics?

RNS

(sipping my sweet tea & counting to ten)
 
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The AK in the right hands is a very effective weapon. There is a reason they are still using it in all these countries.


Afghanistan
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Belarus
Benin
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
People's Republic of China: Type 56 variant was used.
Comoros
Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cuba
Djibouti
Egypt
Eritrea
Ethiopia
El Salvador
Finland: Rk 62, Rk 95 Tp.
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia: Replaced by the M4 carbine in 2008.
East Germany
Ghana
Greece: EKAM counter-terrorist unit of the Hellenic Police.
Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Hungary
India: Used by Force One.
Iran
Iraq
Ivory Coas
Kazakhstan
Kenya
North Korea: Type 56 and Type 58 variants were used.
Laos
Kuwait
Lebanon
Liberia
Libya
Macedonia
Madagascar
Mali
Malta: Type 56 variant.
Mauritania
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar: Used by the Myanmar Police Force (include the Chinese Type 56).
Namibia
Netherlands
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan: Type 56 and AK-103 used.
Palestine
Peru
Philippines: Used by the Santiago City PNP.
Poland:[2] Replaced by AKM and kbs wz. 1996 Beryl.
Qatar
Rhodesia
Romania
Russia:[2] Replaced by the AK-74M since 1974.
Rwanda
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Slovenia
Somalia
South Africa: Used by the Special Forces Brigade.
Soviet Union: Adopted in 1949.
Sri Lanka: Type 56 variant.
Sudan
South Sudan
Suriname
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Togo
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Ukraine
UAE
Uzbekistan
Vietnam: Type 56 variant was used extensively by the Viet Cong.
Yemen
Yugoslavia
Zambia
Zimbabwe[
 

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The author could have made the exact same sentence but talking about the m16, the M14, or the FAL and it still would have been considered an incorrect statement.

I think the issue is not with the AK47 but with the statement itself
 

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...and the FAL was adopted by over 90 counties.

I guess I did not make my point, brycom1. I apologize.

I am NOT CUSSING THE AK.

What I was trying to say is that while the weapon itself is just fine. The way I have seen it used in the real world does NOT make its user equal to a well trained soldier.

I am sure had I faced SPETSNAZ using AKs to might have been a different story. We would have still kicked their ass, but a 30 round mag on full auto does NOT replace sight alignment and trigger control. Trained soldiers know this.

I could take the most accurate M1A in the world, and give it to a Somali pirate and it will not make any difference at all as to the capabilities of the weapon. I am talking about the trigger pullers capabilities NOT the weapon's.

I take issue with the author is saying a whole bunch of low recoil ammo in a reliable rifle makes a superman out of a peasant. It does not. They just die with an empty rifle.

I hope this clarifies what I was trying to say.

(nice list BTW...real cool. I copied it)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The author could have made the exact same sentence but talking about the m16, the M14, or the FAL and it still would have been considered an incorrect statement.

I think the issue is not with the AK47 but with the statement itself
That is my point. He IS talking about the AK and only the AK as being some kind of super weapon that turns untrained peasants into super soldiers.

NOTHING DOES.
 

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I don't think anyone will disagree with you RNS.

The AK is a fantastic weapon.

But it is hard to replace the effectiveness of a well trained soldier and his aimed, deliberate shots.
 

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UPDATE: OK, the book DOES get better. It is a good read on the politics and deployemnt of both the M16, M14, AK-47 & AK-74. I am on page 70 now and it gets much better. It is ISBN 13978-0-471-72641-8 & ISBN 100-471-72641-9

I still stand by my original statement though. He is 100% wrong in saying that. Anyone that has ever fired a shot in anger can testify to how dumb that is.

It goes into the US Army Ordnance Dept politics, McNamara's whiz kid bean counters, AR/m16 politics & technical screw ups, the Vietnam war against the AK, the Afghan war against the soviet invasion & the AK-74. Plus a lot of other good historical, political, and gun technical stuff.

He certainly does not think the M14 is worth a damn though, and says it needed replacing ONLY because Vietnamese troops could not use it well because they were smaller. He says the AK also had the M14 beat hands down because in the battle of Ap Bac the Vietnamese troops got their asses handed to them by the NVA using AKs & the ARVNs were all using M14s. I ask anyone...anyone...when did the Vietnamese troops NOT get their asses handed to them no matter what weapon they were using. The NVA could have had Mosin Nagants and still would have beat the ARNVs from what I understand.

He seems to worship the AK as a lot of people do, so OK. He is entitled to his THEORETICAL opinion.

It is starting to become a good read now. After I read that blurb on page 6 I was ready to chuck it out the window.

SOMETHING I DID NOT KNOW: Did you know during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the CIA bought thousands of rifles from CHINA and sent them to kill the Russians with. Did you also know the Chinese knew this and had no problem with it? They also later supplied the CIA with the type 81 AK. The one that chambers the 5.45X39 round?

He even mentions Robert Brown the owner of Soldier Of Fortune magazine as being the very first to supply the US Govt with samples of the 5.45X39 round. I remember reading those two issues.
 

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I think the AK "romance" started with Viet Nam. Our troops were not beaten by the AK in that war, they were beaten by our politicians who tied our troops up so badly they couldn't be effective.

If the AK was any reason at all for the North's victory in Viet Nam, what happened in the Middle East in the last couple/three wars? When our troops are allowed to fight without dragging around the ridiculous chains/rocks attached by stupid politicians, the troops with AKs don't last long on the battle field. Yeah, I know, its not rifle/soldier against rifle/soldier, but my point is how many people would be in love with a rifle that was used by armies that are always getting beaten in battle?
 
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I think the AK "romance" started with Viet Nam. Our troops were not beaten by the AK in that war, they were beaten by our politicians who tied our troops up so badly they couldn't be effective.

If the AK was any reason at all for the North's victory in Viet Nam, what happened in the Middle East in the last couple/three wars? When our troops are allowed to fight without dragging around the ridiculous chains/rocks attached by stupid politicians, the troops with AKs don't last long on the battle field. Yeah, I know, its not rifle/soldier against rifle/soldier, but my point is how many people would be in love with a rifle that was used by armies that are always getting beaten in battle?
Exactly...

If we were actually allowed to fight that war I am sure the AK might still have a few devotees, but not like now.
 

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I think the statement could have been worded a little better to make it more clear but the over all sentiment is basically true. Often times better trained and better equipped troops can be defeated by numbers and simplicity. The Russians drove the Germans back to Berlin with that concept and largely haven't strayed from that doctrine since. The U.S. also used the same basic concept when using clearly inferior Sherman tanks against superior German armor.
 

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I think the statement could have been worded a little better to make it more clear but the over all sentiment is basically true. Often times better trained and better equipped troops can be defeated by numbers and simplicity. The Russians drove the Germans back to Berlin with that concept and largely haven't strayed from that doctrine since. The U.S. also used the same basic concept when using clearly inferior Sherman tanks against superior German armor.
I agree with that. If you look at Soviet weapon design even going back to the Czars , they were designed so that the most illiterate peasant could be given one and go fight with little to no training. On the Eastern front German troops would fire their MG42'S until the barrels were red hot and still be unable to stop the Soviet hordes from overrunning them. The casualty rates of the Red army was horrendous but due to sheer numbers they pushed on. It wasn't until the very last part of the war 45 that the German army was getting worse than what it gave. This is with them armed with new STG44 and MP40, MG42 and K98 as there standard infantry weapons.
This influenced Russian design of weapons and is why the AK 47 selector is set up SAFE, AUTO, SEMI. They encourage full auto fire as the hoard keeps coming at you. The battle of WANAT in the stan is a good example of this tactic. 400 Talbian attacking a US paratrooper company. The US troops couldn't break the amount of firepower the Taliban was putting out and actually had a number of M4 fail as they are not set up to fire full auto for any length of time. The AK can tho. The paratroopers would have been better off with a 1917 Browning water cooled MG as you can't overheat it as long as it has water and can continusly fire on full auto. Mogidishu is another example of the hoard mentality. This is all a numbers game. Now I can give 500 guys a AK47 take 2 hours to show them how it works and send them to fight. Now if I lose 350 of them but kill 10 of you that's a good trade. Because it takes you 5-6 months to train your soldier. It only takes me 2 hours.
That's why the AK changed the world. It took these post colonial third world countries and gave them a weapon that needs almost no maintance, is easily trainable to use and puts out an incrediable amount of rounds. And all I have to do is get people to use it which I have plenty of.
 

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From what I read on Russian doctrine in Afghanistan, they were not permitted to use full auto unless instructed to.
 

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One of my instructors told me he was in Rhodesia with the SELOUS SCOUTS and a lot of the guys they took weapons from had the rear sight bridge maxed out to max elevation. The said they thought that would make the gun hit harder.
Wouldn't surprise me.

I think the statement could have been worded a little better to make it more clear but the over all sentiment is basically true. Often times better trained and better equipped troops can be defeated by numbers and simplicity. The Russians drove the Germans back to Berlin with that concept and largely haven't strayed from that doctrine since. The U.S. also used the same basic concept when using clearly inferior Sherman tanks against superior German armor.
Good point. If not for sheer numbers and a horrible winter (and poor German logistics), the last 70 years of Europe would likely be very different.

...but my point is how many people would be in love with a rifle that was used by armies that are always getting beaten in battle?
And I'm a big fan of the AK rifles, whether they have been involved in losing conflicts or not. Can't blame the design because they are frequently used (thankfully) by dunderheads that don't use basic marksmanship. Simple, reliable, and accurate enough. No muss no fuss, and my 9 year old can tear one down and put it back together in less than a minute.
 
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The Soviets took their AK and put a .30 cal automatic weapon and a big box ammo in the hands of every third world peasant who wanted one. That's how it changed the world, that and the fact they need little to no maintenance or understanding. When Kalishnikoff died, it came out that he'd contacted the Russian Orthodox Church to ask if the deaths of everyone killed by one of his rifles would be held against him 'upstairs'. He didn't ask me, but I would have told him it was his superiors that had a lot to answer for.
 

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He says the AK also had the M14 beat hands down because in the battle of Ap Bac the Vietnamese troops got their asses handed to them by the NVA using AKs & the ARVNs were all using M14s.
The battle of Ap Bac took place in 1963. From what I understand, most of what we gave the ARVN were M1 Garands, M1/M2 Carbines, BARs, and 1919 .30 cal machine guns.

I've also seen pictures of ARVNs later in the war with M16's and M60 machine guns, but I've never seen a picture of an ARVN with an M14.

I have a couple of friends that were Marines that went to Vietnam, and none of them had anything bad to say about their M14's performance in SE Asia.

Even the US advisors in SE Asia, before the US sent combat troops used M1/M2 carbines, from the pictures I've seen, or from the books I've read have said.. I'd like to know where the author got his information on that.
 

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RNS, I too do not understand the whole "AK Love" here in the States. Yes it's a capable weapon, but it limits a soldiers capabilities. I forget where I read this information, but it's been several years ago, and it could very well have been one of those huge highly expensive Janes manuals that Intel units usually have on hand, but in it, it listed the 'numbers' of when the AK met just about any western designed rifle in battle, and the AK didn't show so well for itself. In a nutshell, the AK only beat other AKs. Even in Vietnam with an experimental and glichy M16 our boys kicked their AK (mostly SKS) armed butts
 

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RNS, I too do not understand the whole "AK Love" here in the States. Yes it's a capable weapon, but it limits a soldiers capabilities. I forget where I read this information, but it's been several years ago, and it could very well have been one of those huge highly expensive Janes manuals that Intel units usually have on hand, but in it, it listed the 'numbers' of when the AK met just about any western designed rifle in battle, and the AK didn't show so well for itself. In a nutshell, the AK only beat other AKs.

Even in Vietnam with an experimental and glichy M16 our boys kicked their AK (mostly SKS) armed butts
Hmm...
Do you think the fact that 'our boy's' having almost unlimited ammo supplies, artillery and air support might have been a factor?

GI2

CAVman in WYoming
 
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