By Blaise Uriarte
The legendary AK 47 assault rifle was designed by Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov a Russian tank crewman turned weapons designer in World War II. The rifle was designed around the new (at the time) 7.62x39mm intermediate rifle cartridge. Kalashnikov took elements from the American M1 and several German weapons (most notably the Sturmgewehr 44) in designing his masterpiece. The AK 47 was adopted by the Russians in 1947 thus giving it the name Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. Since then the rifle has gained a reputation for its rugged dependability and ease of use.
AK pattern rifles are built by most Eastern European countries and China. This is a result of the former Soviet Union’s influence on the world. The test subject is a civilian legal semi-automatic only WASR10. This specimen is of Romanian origin and in my experience with several AK rifles I would highly recommend the Romanian models due to their quality and price point. Among the features of this rifle are a chrome lined barrel, threaded on slant muzzle break and bayonet lug. While one could live without a muzzle break or bayonet, a chrome lined barrel is necessary for this type of rifle.
Just like the AR pattern rifles there are a multitude of aftermarket parts and accessories that can be had. This test subject features a modified Tapco double hook trigger, UTG Aluminum Quad rail fore end, Mako group grip, Tapco side folding stock, and a Mepro M21 tritium reflex sight mounted on a UTG Quick detach side mount.
This rifle fires the 7.62x39mm Russian cartridge. These round fires projectiles from 100 grains up to about 155 grains with velocities ranging from 1700 feet-per-second up to around 3000 feet-per-second, depending on bullet weight and load of course. The test Ammo was Wolf Brand “Military Classic” steel cased, steel core 124 grain FMJ rounds. These rounds are dirty, but the AK rifles are designed for far worse loads. The one benefit is that this ammo is cheap in bulk, making both training and stocking up for a fight against the undead more achievable.
The Range Test
For the sake of this review this rifle was fired at two distances. The first test was done at 25 yards with iron sights.
The rifle showed admirable reliability. Through the entire range trip there was one failure to feed, due to a damaged magazine. The recoil is completely manageable, but the spring operation is a bit jarring for follow up shots. I most definitely prefer this rifle with a vertical fore grip, as it allows you to control the muzzle flip with greater ease, and hold it steadier.
At 25 yards accuracy was acceptable. All shots of the first volley of 20 shots were in a seven inch circle, all of which would be a head shot. When one takes there time, tight groups are achievable, but this is with attempting strings of rapid fire.
This rifle was also fired at 50 yards with a Mepro M21 reflex sight.
The first shots were to the right of the desired point of impact; however this was during the process of zeroing the new reflex sight. While shooting the rifle from a rested position, decent accuracy is achievable as you can see from the shots in and around the bull’s eye.
This target is after the rifle and sight were zeroed. As you can see, head shots are easy to achieve at 50 yards with this rifle and sight combination.
This rifle is designed for optimal reliability. I have put a total of about 4000 rounds through this same gun, and I have only had four malfunctions. Ammunition is cheap and plentiful, giving one the ability to practice frequently. The rifle is compact enough with the folding stock to be utilized daily. The trigger pull has been customized, allowing for both higher accuracy, and for faster follow up shots. The reflex sight is designed to give you quick target acquisition which is a plus in close quarters combat, and as an added bonus this model sight does not take batteries. Magazine capacity for this weapon varies from 10 to 75 rounds, with magazines being cheap and easily acquired. These rounds are accurate to about 600 yards and deadly up to a mile away. This cartridge is renowned for its destructive power, and could even be used to hunt medium sized game. Additionally the rifle is equipped with a bayonet lug, making it useful even without ammunition.
The rifle is heavy, and can weigh on you if you are carrying it all day with a pack. Ammunition tends to be dirty, and can cause issues with feeding. With the quad rail fore end, it is difficult to handle without a vertical fore grip, undoubtedly the lack of a vertical fore grip made my patterns slightly wider. But these issues are minimal, and I would not hesitate to choose this weapon against the undead.
This rifle is my chosen weapon against the hoard of the undead. I find very few issues with this type of rifle, and the cons are far outweighed by the pros. This rifle has proven itself in less than ideal situations, and I imagine the AK 47 type rifle will continue to see action for years to come. But one must train with whatever weapons they choose, or the weapon is useless, no matter how good the weapon is. As always, stay vigilant and be prepared.