The Tactical Hunter Project (Part 3: Why Not An AK?)

In the last installment I outlined my solution to the Tactical Hunter Project; an AR in 7.62×39. Some would ask, why not skip the challenges of an AR in this caliber and go with the tactical rifle designed around this cartridge, the AK?

Good question.

Nyet! AK is fine!
Nyet! AK is fine!

First, one of the primary goals of this project was to be a do everything rifle. I needed to be able to use if for self-defense and hunting. I needed to be able to quickly and easily reconfigure it for each of these roles as well as the variations within each role. For self-defense I would want a red dot optic and a powerful white light. For hunting out of a blind I would need a magnified optic. At night I would need to attach a green light (green doesn’t seem to disturb the hogs nearly as much as a white light). The ability to mount a camera would be cool for hunting but not a requirement. At some point, when I can afford them, I might even want to be able to attach night vision optics. For stalking through thick brush I would need to be able to strip the rifle down to its lightest possible configuration. This doable with the AK but it is a piece of cake with the AR.

Weight, was the second factor in this. following pig trails through heavy brush is tough work of an old guy like me. Keep in mind that most of the brush around here comes with some sort of anti-personnel defenses like thorns, stickers, poisons, ticks…these go unnoticed by thick skinned feral hogs but are tough on thin skinned humans. Even an extra pound or two of weight on the rifle adds up when climbing/walking/crawling over/through/under this mess. This is another advantage for the AR.

The third, and probably the most important area of concern, with the AK platform is accuracy. Yes, there are AKs that are very accurate but let’s be honest most suffer from some degree of sloppy manufacture/assembly.

Can a buy an AK that is more accurate? Sure, but it will add to the cost. Lighter weight AK? Sure, but it will cost. More attachment options? Sure, but again it will cost. I was able to build the AR for this project for somewhere around $500. An AK with the required accuracy and features would run closer to $1,500 at the time. Today the price of the AR would be a bit less than what I paid a couple of years ago. The AK would be a lot less but still up around $900.

I really like AKs. My initial reaction was to start with that as the platform of choice and I could have done it but it would have cost more to accomplish the same thing.

That is why I didn’t go with an AK.

God Bless

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11 thoughts on “The Tactical Hunter Project (Part 3: Why Not An AK?)

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I have never been a fan of the AK-47. Saw a couple of them over the years that were police recoveries, and I noticed that two, had cracks in the frame. No clue of how they cracked, but it always stuck with me. The AK-47, from what was throwing lead in my direction, were not exactly accurate fire instruments. I would opt for an AK-74 with synthetic stock, if I had to chose in the AK lineage. Why not just go with a Ruger Mini-14 chambered in 5.56 and synthetic stock [Model 5855]?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An AK is OK for “area denial” was what one person told me when I picked one up for the first time.
      Yet the usual range I was using it was less than 200 yrds and 2-3 MOA meant about a 8 to 10″ hit diameter. That’s center mass most of the time provided you were schooled in using iron sights correctly and shot aimed semi auto and not wildly in full auto.

      Adding optics doesn’t make MOA any better, just easier to aim (but unbalances it).

      Designed as an assault rifle it was never a long distance nail driver.
      That came about with the Dragonov.
      Yet that came with a 4X scope which some would argue isn’t powerful enough for modern weaponry.
      Only why isn’t that enough?
      There was never a need for me to count the hairs in a persons nose, only to range and aim accurately.

      Still it too did what was advertised.

      Sometimes I think people expect too much.
      The reliability, ease of operation, and the simple fluid change of high capacity mags, is what I loved about the AK. Russian engineering at it’s finest. A true grunts weapon.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 Funny how the sound of someone elses weapons causes a feeling of hate isn’t it? For me it’s the Famas, and the M1 carbine in the hands of a bogbrained Irishman.
        Yet both are just tools to me.
        Some sharp, others won’t cut butter.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. AKs can be accurate but it costs more to get good barrels and proper assembly than most are willing to pay.
      For an AK to be accurate it also needs decent ammo and an operator who knows how to shoot. Most are employed as spray and pray tools and with the way most are assembled that’s probably not too far off.
      Cracked receivers!?!?!? Wow, that takes some doing.
      God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a big fan of the AK, but I picked one up at a really great price and take it to the range once in awhile. With cheap Wolf Classic ammo it does about what I expect it to do. 3″-5″ at 100 yards. Not my favorite rifle, but I’ll keep it around.
    7.62 x 39 in the AR platform is interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

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