AK: Reliable, By Design

Shawn over at the Loose Rounds blog posted a really good analysis on the reasons for the AK’s legendary reliability.

He starts off with the reasons that were not behind that level of reliability:

It’s not because of blind luck.

It’s not because the weapon is orders of magnitude better than its worldwide competitors…

It’s not because Kalashnikov the man had genius that was lacking in other men.

It’s not because of breakthroughs. Almost every feature of the AK is recycled from somewhere else.

Then goes into what he sees as the actual reasons for that level of reliability:

Simplicity

Environmental protection

Lack of small, dainty (and fragile) parts

Minimal use of tight tolerances

Use of very loose tolerances everywhere else

I have to admit the article rekindled my appreciation of the AK patterned rifle. I have one, a cheap one, and I like it a lot. I had a couple of minor issues with it when it was new and the advice to fix them from my AK-buddies was simple, shoot it. Put a few hundred rounds through it and it will be fine…and it was.

With iron sights I am more accurate with it than any other rifle I own (yes, I know that’s weird).   It’s probably due to the simple fact that AK sights are basically the same as pistol sights and I have a lot more time running pistols than rifles. I am just more used to them than traditional rifles sights.

As much as I appreciate my AK, I have to say I don’t think she likes me much. I can’t think of a time when I was running the gun hard that I didn’t end up bleeding from somewhere. Stamped sheet metal on the receiver, magazines or (usually) the safety lever all seem to find any bit of unprotected skin and slice it in some new way I never thought of…

What are your thoughts on the AK?

God Bless

Putting The Revolvers Down For A Bit

In the last range report I posted, I mentioned how poor my performance was with both the Smith & Wesson 442 and the Ruger LCR. My accuracy was definitely not what it should be and I feel that deficiency could cost me or a loved one our life in a self-defense situation.

The issue is not related to the firearms themselves or the ammunition. It is either that I haven’t spent as much time practicing as I should (most likely) or the trouble I have been having with my shoulder and elbow are impacting accuracy. I am hoping that with a little more range time I can get back to where I think I need to be but

In the meantime I have put my snubbie’s away and will carry my Glocks instead. The lighter trigger, better sights and reduced recoil of the Glocks will help my accuracy and the extra couple of rounds provide a little insurance for my (temporarily) reduced skill set. The G42 is almost as light as the snubbies and will take over as my daily carry while I am working from my home office. I am not a big fan of .380 for self-defense but the G43 is a very soft shooter and should get the job done with seven rounds on tap. It will ride in my pocket when working from home where I am literally within arms reach of my gun safe.

I have also been known to carry a snubbie when heading out on quick trips around the neighborhood but until I sort out my accuracy issues with the snubbies the G43 will get the nod on all trips out of the house for a while.

God Bless

Range Report

I finally had a chance to make it out for a much needed trip to the range last weekend. I wanted to sight in the new Ruger American Predator .308 my home defense AR and get some practice time with my handguns. For the most part I accomplished my goals although not quite in the way I had hoped. First, a lesson learned.

Test Your Gear

I say this all the time and try and live by it as much as possible but received a refresher in the lesson this weekend. Working with my home defense AR, the one that sits in the safe next to my desk all day was one of my top two priorities. I had used a laser bore sight on it to set up the red dot optic a month or so ago but had not had a chance to verify the zero on the range. I bore sight rifles all the time but never have I been this far off. At only 25 yards, the point of impact was almost two feet off to the right! Within my house I don’t have many shooting angles at this distance but the point still remains that had I needed this rifle in the last few weeks I would have been in real trouble…to say the least.

I typically have a light mounted on all my home defense weapons, both pistols and rifles. I have had a habit of removing them when I go to the range. Doing so make it easier to pack them into their cases for travel and I feel kid of silly with a light on my gun in the bright sunlight of an open range. Most of the lights mount straight onto the picatinny rail but this new rifle has MLOK attachments on and I used the MLOK to attack a small rail and then mounted the light  to the rail.  Three shots into the range session the rail piece dropped off the rifle. Either the MLOK wasn’t properly secured (likely since this is my first experience with it) or the mounting hardware is flawed. I won’t know until I make it back out to the range and test it…again.

In the meantime I am a little wary of using this rifle for self-defense.

Other Observations

I purchased a “lead sled’ from Caldwell to make sighting in rifles easier (and cheaper but consuming less ammo). Maybe I am doing something wrong but so far I am not all that impressed. I don’t think it saved me more than a couple of rounds in the whole process. I can do just as well with sandbags…

On the other hand I am pretty dawn happy with the little Ruger .308 bolt gun. It took me about four rounds to get it dialed in at the twenty five yard line and then I was able to put two rounds into the same hole in the bullseye. Even at only 25 yards that’s pretty good shooting for me (I am not much of a rifleman).

I prefer to work a bit more methodically and go from 25 to 50 to 100 yards when sighting in a new rifle but the 50 yard line was under construction so I went straight out to 100.Using the lead sled I was all over the paper. It appeared to be more of a pattern than a group. Finally I dropped the lead sled and went with plan old sandbags. I still wasn’t getting a consistent grouping but at least the pattern tightened up. The four shots 2 inches down and one to the left were all off sandbags. I adjusted the scope a bit and put the last one in the bullseye. It was a hot day and getting hotter and my blood sugar was starting to tank so at that point I called it a day with the Ruger.

As I said, my initial observations on the Ruger American Predator in .308 are pretty good. From what I can tell this rifle is probably more accurate than I am. It is lightweight, about 6 lbs without the scope, and handy with an 18 inch barrel and an overall length of 38 inches. So, it should be an easy gun to drag through the brush but still more than accurate enough to reach out from a stand well beyond my typical shooting distances.

Being so light the 150 grain rounds I was using and will probably hunt with pack a punch and my shoulder was complaining a bit the next day. I also tested a 180 grain rounds and I could feel the difference in recoil. Shooting one or two when the adrenaline is pumping shouldn’t be an issue but a long range day would be a bit of a challenge. This is definitely a fun gun to shoot though I wouldn’t hand it off to Wonderful Wife or my grandson.

Next, I walked over to the pistol range for a few minutes.

One of the nicest things about carrying a revolver is the reloads (on speed strips) are very thin and light. One bad thing is that they are so thin and light I have, on occasion, forgotten them in a pocket and they ended up going through the washer. While I would not rely on them for self-defense I was curious if these rounds would still fire…yes, they all fired with no issue.

Unfortunately, my shooting was not as reliable as the ammunition. Using two different revolvers I was consistently shooting to the right by almost six inches. I tried changing my grip and changing the positioning of my finger on the trigger all to no avail. As I mentioned it was getting pretty hot and my blood sugar was getting a bit low so I didn’t spend any more time trying to fix the problem and packed my stuff and headed out.

All in all, it was a productive and much needed trip to the range. Now, to get back out there…

God bless!

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God/Fitness/Health

This was not a particularly good week. In fact, it was a pretty bad week in terms of what is most important to me. I only spent time in serious prayer twice this week and my efforts to get in better shape were about the same, not much activity. My energy levels have been very low this week but I don’t know if that is the cause or the effect.

Towards the end of the week this started ot turn around for me, a little. Hopefully, this will carry over into next week.

Self Defense/Hunting

I did make it to the range this week, finally. I’ll post a report a bit later in the week.

I bought quite a bit of ammo this week including .308 and 5.56 to replace most of what I shot on the range as well as more .38 Special self-defense ammo.

I also purchased a new optic for my self-defense AR. Once I have a chance to test it out I will write a post on it.

Supplies/Gear

Bought another first aid kit. I probably won’t use the kit itself but will use some of the components to top off my supplies and the kits I carry.

I have been meaning to purchase a safe for my car to store my firearm in when I enter non-permissive environments. It has been a worry for some time that if my car was broken into I would be arming a criminal and I finally did something about it. In fact, I purchased two car safes and installed one in my car and one in Wonderful Wife’s care too.

Finances

Nothing accomplished financially this week either.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

I am still not where I want to be but I did a little better this week in my walk with God. I only missed two days of Bible study and prayer time this week. I feel better and like I am moving in the right direction.

Self Defense/Hunting

I have been looking for .38 Special shot shells for quite a while. For whatever reason they always seemed to be out of stock or back-ordered. Although I haven’t tested them out on live critters yet, I like these for snakes and small varmints. Typically, I take the approach of leaving snakes alone as long as they leave me alone but, on occasion, you get one with a mean streak. Water moccasins, in particular, tend to be on the more aggressive side around here. A big old moccasin can move pretty fast and having a shot-shell to dispatch him/her with seems like a pretty good idea.

I also picked up two new speed strips. These are orange so they are more visible in the range bag and less likely to disappear on me. I also picked up another HKS speed-loader. All for my .38/.357 snubbies.

Supplies

We cleared out a good bit of freezer space by sending a good supply of groceries home with my youngest daughter. They can use the help with their budget and it helped us make some space and rotate some things out.

Fitness/Health

The same days I skipped quiet time with God and Bible study I skipped exercising too. So, on the positive I only missed a couple of days. On the negative, I missed a couple of days…

I will say that the exercise program is paying off a bit. I haven’t lost any weight but my balance is better and I can feel the strength coming back in my upper body. I still get winded pretty easily but that will come too.

Finances

Instead of putting money in savings we donated to charity and went ahead and purchased some silver coins for the grand kids for Christmas. By the time Christmas rolls around (good Lord willing) we’ll have another grandchild. My oldest daughter is due in November. To make sure I was able to get an American Eagle (Silver, not Gold) with the new addition’s birth year I went ahead and purchased that as well. Those should be delivered in the next week or maybe two.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless