I am a dedicated AR Platform disciple!
THAT SAID, I had the opportunity to do a one day training last month with Paladin Professional Training Resources, in Fernely NV. Since I had never fired an AK and believed them inferior, I had to give it a try. Now my goal was to orient myself with the AR platform and see if I liked it, I achieved both.
Let me first say that the instructors, Yancey and Tony are great instructors. They had a great demeanor, serious about helping you be better and poking fun at everything out there, including themselves. It was a great atmosphere to just shoot and learn. The training area was just outside Fernley NV at a range area they use for all classes in NV. Coming from CA, my AR’s got a rework to throw away the CA mod’s needed to stay out of prison in the socialist state of CA. Slapping 30rd mags and no Bullet Button were a thrill for once and the way the AR and AK’s were meant to be shot. You can finally run the gun and not look around to see who’s watching…..
Having my AR with me, no AK to my inventory, the guys were nice enough to loan me one. Check with them to see if you can get a loaner and YES, take ammo. I was an idiot and forgot to grab some AK ammo and bought their stock from them. No problem with them but it does limit how much ammo is on the range for EVERYBODY, so my advice is go loaded with rounds.
With timed drills and some target scenarios, this was a hell of a lot of fun. Shooting from the standing, kneeling and prone gave us good use of holds and trigger control that you would want, it really helped work out some bad habits I seem to have picked up, like closing your dustcover after each shot sequence. Corrections were given well, no yelling or screaming needed, just good directions. So I did OK with my AR, did have one issue with my red dot sight not being dialed in, that I will get corrected.
The first half of the day was for the AR’s, then we put them away, had some lunch, good conversations and reset with all the AK gear for the afternoon run.
So now have a weapon that I could not tell you the first thing about field stripping, how to load and unload (correctly), and just how to run the gun. I was relieved when Yancey gave us a full orientation on the AK including lot’s of history and good handling techniques. With that, we practiced some great techniques for mag insertion and removal, the AK is different than the AR on this one. With that Banana style mag, handing is different. I also had iron sights since my “loaner” did not have add on’s for optics.
The one thing I can truly say is that this weapon seemed harder to shoot, maybe because I am an AR guy but things like the safety for one thing, would take time for me to truly master. There did seem to be some real differences in what you can do with the AR aftermarket, the AK is limited unlike the AR. But hell, I see so many AR’s with everything but a Cappuccino make on them, maybe the lack of options is a good thing.
Now one thing that happened with the AK, is that my groups got larger. I did not like that, like any shooter would but I was there to learn handling and just stopped worrying about tightening up the groups. This weapon has a much different trigger feel and just running it was a little foreign to me, but I expected that. The one thing that I came wanted from the AK portion was just to see what this thing, the AK was. Mission accomplished!!
At the end of each session, AK and AR, we did some timed drills with scoring. I held my own on the AR but was dead last in the AK. I will get over that touch of ego bruising (nobody wants to be last) and end this with one thought for all of you.
Don’t worry about the outcome, take yourself a little less seriously and get to a class and learn!