As the slogan goes, guns donâ€™t kill people â€“ people kill people. While, depending on your politics, that may or may not be true, the sum of the guns plus people equation is often enough death, especially when it comes to the worldâ€™s most popular automatic rifle, the legendary AK-47. Sometimes, however, in the right hands, the sum of that equation is not death, but fun, pure and simple. One such story is shared here by an anonymous GUTFIRE! contributor and AK owner, a man intimately familiar with the weaponâ€™s bloody potential, but definitely glad to employ his rifle in far greener fields. Literally. â€“GUTFIRE!
Mine is Egyptian made, so sometimes I call her Cleopatra. Sometimes I just call it my â€śfun rifle.â€ť It has been just that: a hell of a lot of fun. A true, simple joy. My AK-47. And because itâ€™s been so for me â€“ thankfully â€“ I think seriously about its life.
Iâ€™ve made it my business to know its history. First developed by a certain Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union around 1947 (hence the surname), the weapon we know as the AK-47 was innovative, to be sure, but itâ€™s really a fairly simple design. And versatile. The middle part of the gun is the base, and the Soviets could appropriate it for whatever use they needed: long range snipers, paratroopers, anything. And do you know itâ€™s the most widely produced assault rifle in the history of armory? It is. This means something. This means people value it. It also means there are a hell of a lot of them out there. And so this humble servant of the Soviets was born, shot, transported to untold locales worldwide, probably misused by guerillas, transported some more, and somehow dropped into the hands of a Dallas area gun dealer, from whom it was purchased at a gun show by yours truly in 1998.
One thing thatâ€™s nice: if you buy ammo for a .30-06, for example, the rounds are expensive â€“ maybe three dollars a shell. But AK rounds are cheap â€“ call them a quarter a piece, tops. Another thing thatâ€™s nice is how incredibly f-ing powerful it is.
Of course I didnâ€™t purchase it for any of its original intended uses: furnishing large-scale armies, innovative defense in close-range combat, even top-line home protection. In fact, its work for me has had nothing to do with its heritage. Instead, it found its purpose shooting an abandoned 1976 Ford pickup truck, painted a mid-century-modern green, whose brakes never worked right, in a field on our ranch in West Texas. We drive around the ranch hanging out of my Explorer and peel off rounds A-Team style. We also make bonfires and put propane tanks underneath and shoot at those. God, for a first-timer to see those… Those go off like bombs. Sometimes weâ€™ve filled up piĂ±atas, shaped like tropical fruits, with razorblades and aerosol cans and shot the hell out of those too. They can be fun, but theyâ€™re not quite the same as the propane tanks.
In fact the only bloodshed my AK has seen while in my possession has been in taking out a few wild Russian boars on the ranch. These have been a problem in Texas, so much so that the government has actually hired men to contain them (one memorable incident involved a hired gun killing about 125 boars in one day, patrolling from a Huey helicopter packed to the gills with automatic weapons). Aside from the boars, however, my AK has found a fairly peaceful home, all things considered. And Iâ€™d like to think she prefers it that way.
Now weâ€™ve toyed around with a few ideas, one of which is speed loading, whereby weâ€™d flip the banana clip guerilla style to reload faster. Weâ€™ve even practiced this out the door of the Explorer, but we need to improve. Although I suppose we donâ€™t really need to, per se. Itâ€™s not imperative. Because weâ€™re keeping this one on safe ground, where itâ€™s found a home. Where its only enemies have been made of papier-mĂ˘chĂ©, and are never moving too quickly.