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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've always thought the AK type rifles, made in former Com-Bloc nations or the Middle East, were much less accurate than pretty much any other battle rifle / tactical carbine.

I have owned a few, and shot several others owned by friends & relatives.

"Conventional wisdom" says AK's in 7.62 and used with their factory open sights have a "maximum effective range" of 300-400 meters (depending on what source you're citing). A US Army field manual said it's 400 meters, but some online reports say 300 or 350 yards or meters for an AK-47.

I SAY ITS ABOUT 150 YARDS, and that's Using my own very generous definition of what is "effective" accuracy. I say a gun is within its effective range if you can fire two shots at a full sized human silhouette target and expect one of them to be a good hit --not just a grazing wound to the enemy's thigh or cheek, but something near the center of the torso, which would cause death or serious injury.

The other day a friend and I went out shooting at 100 and 200 yards he had a MaK90 (sporterized version of the AK 47). I used to own and regularly shoot one of those myself years ago, and I was always disappointed in the group so I would get shooting it from 25 to 100 yards I never attempted to shoot further than 100.

The other day at 100 yards, my friend and I were barely keeping our shots on the body area of human silhouette targets. His group was a little bit better because I had one wild flyer a foot away from all the other shots. But I think that generally speaking you could say we were both shooting about a 13 inch group at 100 yards.
That's from an improvised field rest position leaning across the shooting bench with elbows on the solid surface, but no sandbags & no bipod.

I think even back in the middle 1990s when I shot my Mac 90 regularly and attempted to get as tight of a group as possible the best I ever got for a five shot group at 100 yards with something like 8 inches.
And 12-16" was a lot more common.

What's YOUR experience with the accuracy level of an AK47 type rifle shooting cheap military surplus or Tula or Wolf ammo, using the standard factory open sights, at 100, 200, 300 or even (optimistically) 400 yards?
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Discussion Starter #2
The photo above shows my best group on paper of the day, but it wasn't a five shot group! for the photo, I zoomed in on the best five shots that all hit the target's torso. I had one flyer to the left and one shot low. So out of seven rounds I fired in that group, 5 were hits. Four "good hits" even! So thats why I think the AK has an effective range that's further than our 100 yard range that day, but less than 200.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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Ammo has a lot to do with it. High quality target ammo generally does about 1moa better than surplus or steel cased ammo.

If you ever watched Robski on Youtube, he regularly shoots AKs out to 300 yds with impressive accuracy. My eyes aren't great anymore, I can't even see the target at 300yds.
 

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I found it very difficult to make with mine what would otherwise be an easy shot, a plastic gallon milk jug full of water at 100 yards. Miss, miss, miss . . .
 

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The AK-47 was designed to be manufactured, operated, and maintained by illiterate peasants. It has been wildly successful according to that criteria.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
The AK-47 was designed to be manufactured, operated, and maintained by illiterate peasants. It has been wildly successful according to that criteria.
That's not the point.
Can The illiterate peasants successfully engage individual enemy combatants at 300 m?
Nearly every internet source and reference book says that the AK-47 has an effective range of at least 300 meters, and some say up to 400 m.

That is not my experience AT ALL,
and while I'm no Carlos Hathcock nor a David Tubb nor a Jerry Michulak,
I'm pretty good with rifles.
 

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It is not a precise gun. It does, however, have a lot of firepower, and, as the first widespread weapon to have a low powered, but effective, cartridge and fully automatic fire, it succeeded in changing circumstances worldwide on many fronts.

I have never heard anybody claim it should be used for its precision at 300-400 meters.

Read The Gun, by C.J. Chivers (basically a biography of the AK-47), and you will get a better sense of what a game changer this weapon was.
 

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I've shot plenty of AK's and never could reliably hit anything with them. I've stuck with my snobby AR's and Gucci Glocks.
 
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Getting illiterate peasants to point their guns in the same (correct!) direction is the real challenge. Anything past that is a bonus. I think it was Uncle Joe (not to be confused with Gropy Joe) that said; "Quantity has a quality all its own."
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Craftsman , this is your second off-topic post. :-?

Do you have anything to contribute about the accuracy of our AK-47s in the hands of armed American citizens like us?

If all you want to talk about the theory & history of conscripted peasants in warfare,

or the experiences of combatants in The Great Patriotic War,
Вели́кая Оте́чественная война́, that inspired Kalashnikov's design of the AK-47...

... I'll start another thread.
 

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This is with good ammo that he uses. With the good ammo at 300 yards it seems effective. I guess that surplus stuff is real bad
 

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Well, on topic, what goes into determining a maximum effective range? I do not think precision is part of it. Rather, maximum effective range is determined by the military's determination of lethality at a given distance.

So your question is kind of off topic.

I would not use a semi-auto AK-47 for a battle anticipated to be at even 100 yards.

I would, however, defend a fixed position using several persons with full auto AK-47 rifles and plenty of ammunition, or assault a building with several persons with full auto AK-47s. The real rifle would be good-to-ideal for both of those roles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
...I have never heard anybody claim it should be used for its precision at 300-400 meters...
Yet, pretty much all the experts online say it CAN be effectively used that far out, because it is EFFECTIVE in that application.
(Even if its not ideally suited for such long aimed shots).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, on topic, what goes into determining a maximum effective range? I do not think precision is part of it. Rather, maximum effective range is determined by the military's determination of lethality at a given distance...
Hmmm... that's interesting and does lethality factor-in a gun's accuracy and the probability of a hit on an enemy soldier?

Or is it just about a bullets's ability to penetrate flesh shatter bone maybe even after defeating some type of body armor the enemy wears?

I may have to look up this term and see how it is used, or more importantly how it was used when the AK 47 was first reviewed and evaluated by the US military and training manuals and field manuals started teaching our soldiers about its characteristics.
 

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It may be that I am wrong, and the military uses precision. Note the two different maximum effective ranges of the M240L, depending upon maximum effective "area" target or maximum effective "point" target. Obviously the only difference between the two is going to be how precisely you are placing the rounds (area fire on a mass or point fire on a small group or individual).

https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN3182_TC 3-22x240 FINAL WEB 1.pdf

Although I sincerely doubt that weapon is making precision hits at 800 meters.

See page 2-3 for the pertinent data.
 

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Lighten up, Francis.

The weapon works as designed. The design was for poorly trained conscript armies to all have working weapons they could point at an enemy they could see right in front of them. Together, they may have been effective to 300-400 yards under ideal conditions, but only as a group. That does not mean an individual weapon is effective at that distance. Slow, aimed fire at longer ranges or even quick semi-automatic fire just isn't in the playbook, so no, an AK47 does not do well at that because it is not intended to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
On 1962, the U.S. Army obtained an AK 47 and "a limited amount" of Russian made FMJ ammunition for it,
and conducted a series of tests of that gun side-by-side with a standard Military M14, a modified M14, and the then-new AR15 rifle being considered as a replacement for both the M1 Garand and the M14.

The tests involved shooting from sandbags with emphasis on maximum accuracy, as well as firing from the standing position firing bursts of automatic fire at various ranges out to 400 meters.

I only glanced through the 80 page report, which was declassified in 1978. But it appears that the term "effective range" means that it is capable of meeting it's expectations as to all anticipated types of shooting one might see in combat. Both for flinging lead at a group of enemy soldiers in automatic mode, and taking carefully aimed shots at individual soldiers out to 400 m in the semi automatic mode.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a050268.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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This screen shot from one page of the report shows that the Army considers both semi automatic and fire and fully automatic fire at massed troops to be components of a gun's effective range.

The M 14 and M1 Garand were considered effective to at least 400 meters, therefore the Army would demand that any replacement weapon (be it based on the AR-15 design or AK-47 design) also be "effective" as a rifle out to at least 400 meters.
 
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