Post Your Smoke

akm47s

The first rifle I ever bought was a Norinco AKM-47S, made in china, with a fold under stock. This is a stock photo of what that entails, though I never owned a huge drum magazine. When I bought it, it came with three 30-round steel magazines, a cheap bayonet, and a cleaning kit. An AKM shoots a relatively large, slow round in 7.62×39.

saigaak74

Within a year, I acquired a Russian Saiga AK-74. It came with two 30-round magazines, and was chambered in tiny, high velocity 5.45×39. Unlike the AKM, this rifle was fully automatic.

Purchase and ownership of either of these weapons was a very serious crime in the area where I lived at the time, so while I shot them relatively frequently, I was very careful not to let anyone see me carrying them around. I figured that if I ever needed to use one in my own defense, I was going to end up in prison, which meant that there was no option to merely flash it and warn someone away. The minute I had to get one out, I was going to start shooting to kill and stacking bodies. Thankfully, I was never in any situation to necessitate such an eventuality.

I acquired the second weapon assuming it would be obviously superior to the first. After it wasn’t, I figured I would keep shooting both of them, and imagined that I would discard one or the other before too much time had elapsed. That never happened. The Chinese rifle shot larger, heavier ammo, which would be an obvious advantage in the sort of close-quarters combat that might erupt in one’s day-to-day life, but it also had a folding stock that was difficult to get a good cheek-weld to. The Russian rifle was far more comfortable and noticeably more accurate at range, but the rounds I had available (7N6 armor penetrating) lacked lethality. The internet is full of stories of soldiers shooting combatants multiple times with no immediate effect.

At about the time I was planning to return to the U.S., I had shot the Russian so often, running it so hot, that I was beginning to keyhole my targets. When this started happening, I was overjoyed, as the ammo I was using suddenly seemed to become much more destructive. In reality, I needed a new barrel. In hindsight, I probably shot 20,000 rounds through this rifle, over the course of my young adulthood.

I debated giving the Chinese rifle away, but didn’t want to be responsible if the recipient got into some sort of trouble with it. One night, I disassembled them, and dumped the parts into Kootenay Lake.

Earlier this year, I decided that I ought to be a good American, and buy a new rifle. My first assumption was that I would buy an AK-74 in semi-auto only. I’m still looking.

I have also learned that the cheap surplus 7N6 and 7N10 ammo I love is unavailable in the U.S., thanks to Donald Trump’s executive order against armor penetrating ammunition. My guess is that I’ll end up buying an AR-15 rifle, but I’m dreading the process. The AR-15 is commonly known to be overly complex, unelegant, and generally far less reliable than the Russian equivalent. On the other hand, M855 ammo (the equivalent of 7N6) is readily available, even if it is more expensive. Apparently, armor penetrating ammunition is cool, if its chambered for an imperialist calibre.

I started thinking about this after reading Snapper’s article on his new Hi-Point Carbine. Do you have a favorite rifle? Tell me all about it.

Author: Boxer

Sinister All-Male Dancer. Secret King of all Gamma Males. Member of Frankfurt School. Your Fave Contrarian!

25 thoughts on “Post Your Smoke”

  1. Boxer ..

    Get an AR15 .. shoot / acquire lots of M193 (55gr) FMJ and have a good defensive load in 55 (ish) gr on tap .. Hornady 55gr SP is a great (and cheap) defensive load. M855 is not something I keep on tap .. many reasons why .. I stopped buying it even for my belt-feed weapons. I use M193 in links now. Heavier ammo has its place .. but it’s a topic I would spend 5000+ pages on .. and no one wants that .. including me.

    I gave all of my AK variants to family .. I miss’em every once and a while .. I’m a huge 7.62×39 fan.

    You can buy AR’s in the soviet 7.62×39 chambering. Two main options .. a lower that takes AK mags and the other is one that has a standard AR lower and runs an AR styled AK variant mag.

    That’s a cheaper option than 300 Blackout or the other 30 Cal AR options.

    You have other Caliber choices in AR / MSR platforms. My favorite is 277 wlv (aka wolverine). It’s a dandy 6.8mm round. I’m a huge 6mm (all 6mm) fan .. especially in an AR.. I run a 6mm mongoose on coyotes. It is impressive.

    Any-how’z .. my favorite (restricted) firearms are suppressors .. cuz that’s how the stupid USsofA classifies’em.

    It makes coyote and hog hunting so much more pleasure-able.

    Other than that I’d rather be fishing.

  2. Get an AR15 .. shoot / acquire lots of M193 (55gr) FMJ and have a good defensive load in 55 (ish) gr on tap .. Hornady 55gr SP is a great (and cheap) defensive load. M855 is not something I keep on tap .. many reasons why .. I stopped buying it even for my belt-feed weapons. I use M193 in links now. Heavier ammo has its place .. but it’s a topic I would spend 5000+ pages on .. and no one wants that .. including me.

    Do expound, please. I know nothing about the armalite platform.

    The one I’m likely going to get has a 1:7 twist rate. The guy at the gun store told me that M855 was generally better ammo for that, though 50-55 grain ammo would still work. M855 is still available and cheap, so I’ll likely buy 1000 rounds of it to shoot cans and such, if nothing else.

    Incidentally, Black Hills manufactures an open tip match at ~70 grains which is supposedly a great defensive round. Have you ever used these? Problem is finding it. People are buying in bulk and hoarding it, which is somewhat understandable, based upon current events…

  3. I don’t dislike or advocate for not using heavy 5.56 bullets. It’s a dislike for the M855 .. the standard military doesn’t have a choice .. you do.

    So, yes, I do advocate against the M855 and its later siblings. It was designed for a threat you and I will never face. Ask the “Black.Hawk.Down” soldiers about M855 being useless. If your target is wearing body armor and you are shooting from a 20″ platform .. then .. yes it’s the right ammo within 300m. Otherwise .. you are using the wrong ammo. And, you will pay a premium for it compared to M193.

    As for OTM ammo. I shoot a lot of it in AR pistols and 20″ rifles. It works well for me. Each rifle (or pistol) likes different brands / loads .. but that is the case with almost all rifle / ammo combo’s.

    As for twist .. 1 in 9 would be a better match for most user needs.

    That said most rifles today are going to be 1 in 7. My national match service rifles are all now 1 in 7. I shoot different weight projectiles depending on the distance and conditions. But, the 77 OTM bullets get a lot of use in those matches.

    Things on the DO list .. Buy an AR with a Wilde Chamber (and I prefer a Nitride Barrel finish to a chrome lined barrel). Cold Hammer Forged is great .. but .. few need that in a barrel. Also .. get a lightweight profile barrel .. BCM has the ELW and Faxon has the Gunner Barrel Profile. Your other choice in lightweight barrels is a pencil barrel. That was the original barrel profile.

    I shoot a lot of pencil / lightweight barrels with and without a suppressor. I’ve personally done a lot of high volume shooting classes and when they get hot they string a little .. it’s not off target at 300m in any class I’ve shot. Don’t believe the hype about them not being accurate. That’s BS. If you aren’t going to be sticking anyone with a bayonet then you should highly consider a lightweight profile barrel.

    Stock what your gun likes and is cheapest. M193 and a 55gr (ish) soft point will cover 99% of your needs inside 300m. I do have a ton of other 5.56 ammo .. but .. for a new to the caliber shooter .. those would be all I buy unless I couldn’t get anything else.

    One last thing. Get a GOOD OPTIC and trigger (and light if it’s a tactical rifle) .. your eyes will not stay young .. and your rifle (free-floated or non-free-floated) will out shoot you even with a good optic. Everything else is a want and not a need.

  4. Dear Jason:

    Standard 12 guage shotgun, manufactured by Savage Arms, from the 1960’s.

    I have a Mossberg 500 Mariner, that I basically stole from my father several years ago (he has so many firearms that he has never mentioned missing it, and I’m positive he will never notice.) He bought it in the early 1990s. Problem is, I have no ammo, and I have never fired it, so I’m not even sure that its functional.

    A 12 gauge pump action shotgun is ideal for home defense and close quarters combat, and it was my first choice to steal from my dad for that reason… but there is no buckshot or slugs available anywhere, and there hasn’t been any for over a month. I was able to acquire a couple of boxes of #7 birdshot, but I doubt that will be particularly effective on a clothed human at any sort of distance. Hence my nervousness. I also feel like I need something that is effective at range in case I need to hunt game. In that regard, I don’t trust the typical 7.62×39 AK model, either, as personal experience teaches me that after about 100 metres, accuracy is sorely wanting.

    My idea of getting a rifle was based on something I learned, just after Christmas. Basically, in my state, if you have a background check on file with the state police (such as, for example, a teaching license) you can pick up anything you want and carry it away immediately. I should have bought one then, but I was procrastinating. Fast forward to July… The fact that our great leaders have set up a scenario where we are dealing with a pandemic, hyperinflation, food shortages and race war, means that I’m currently competing with 200 million other Americans to catch up on basic self-sufficiency.

    This is a long response that justifies my need for something other than a shotgun. How often do you shoot yours? Ever hunt with it?

    Boxer

  5. Dear Honeycomb:

    This is great stuff. Thanks for the reply. Please see inside text…

    I don’t dislike or advocate for not using heavy 5.56 bullets. It’s a dislike for the M855 .. the standard military doesn’t have a choice .. you do.

    So, yes, I do advocate against the M855 and its later siblings. It was designed for a threat you and I will never face. Ask the “Black.Hawk.Down” soldiers about M855 being useless. If your target is wearing body armor and you are shooting from a 20″ platform .. then .. yes it’s the right ammo within 300m. Otherwise .. you are using the wrong ammo. And, you will pay a premium for it compared to M193.

    I understand that perfectly. There were those stories of Russian guys shooting Afghans with 7N6 rounds through their AK-74 rifles. They’d hit the target, and the target would get up and keep running. Then they’d hit the same guy, and the guy would get up again, and keep advancing. Basically, these tiny penetrating rounds simply needle right through the human meat sack without imparting much damage. I guess you have to aim for the head.

    As for OTM ammo. I shoot a lot of it in AR pistols and 20″ rifles. It works well for me. Each rifle (or pistol) likes different brands / loads .. but that is the case with almost all rifle / ammo combo’s.

    As for twist .. 1 in 9 would be a better match for most user needs.

    I don’t know if you have seen the market lately… 1:7 is the only thing that’s available, even through mail order. I’m likely going to trade-off with a 16 inch barrel because I don’t want a sniper rifle, but I do want something more substantial than a pistol.

    While 855 is probably more expensive than 193, 855 is available in quantity, and 193 isn’t. (820 rounds in an ammo can go for about 450 dollars at this moment.) I have left this task so late that I just have to take what I can get.

    That said most rifles today are going to be 1 in 7. My national match service rifles are all now 1 in 7. I shoot different weight projectiles depending on the distance and conditions. But, the 77 OTM bullets get a lot of use in those matches.

    Things on the DO list .. Buy an AR with a Wilde Chamber (and I prefer a Nitride Barrel finish to a chrome lined barrel). Cold Hammer Forged is great .. but .. few need that in a barrel. Also .. get a lightweight profile barrel .. BCM has the ELW and Faxon has the Gunner Barrel Profile. Your other choice in lightweight barrels is a pencil barrel. That was the original barrel profile.

    I shoot a lot of pencil / lightweight barrels with and without a suppressor. I’ve personally done a lot of high volume shooting classes and when they get hot they string a little .. it’s not off target at 300m in any class I’ve shot. Don’t believe the hype about them not being accurate. That’s BS. If you aren’t going to be sticking anyone with a bayonet then you should highly consider a lightweight profile barrel.

    Stock what your gun likes and is cheapest. M193 and a 55gr (ish) soft point will cover 99% of your needs inside 300m. I do have a ton of other 5.56 ammo .. but .. for a new to the caliber shooter .. those would be all I buy unless I couldn’t get anything else.

    One last thing. Get a GOOD OPTIC and trigger (and light if it’s a tactical rifle) .. your eyes will not stay young .. and your rifle (free-floated or non-free-floated) will out shoot you even with a good optic. Everything else is a want and not a need.

    I’ve already ordered a Sig Romeo red dot. I’ll see how I manage and report back…

    Boxer

  6. While 855 is probably more expensive than 193, 855 is available in quantity, and 193 isn’t. (820 rounds in an ammo can go for about 450 dollars at this moment.) I have left this task so late that I just have to take what I can get.

    I understand brother .. you’re not alone though (re: taking what you can get) ..

    I’ve had the last 10 years to get ready (re: purposeful stockpiling). And I feel like I didn’t do enough .. So I feel your pain.

  7. Boxer, I am sorry to hear about your boating accident at Kooteney. A similar event happened to me as well for an undisclosed amount of firepower a given ambiguous time ago. Very tragic.

    The only thing I claim publicly is a standard handgun, registered with the county in the socialist state in which I am presently located. While it is fun to discuss details (honeycomb, I have a man-crush), I would only ever do it over end-user-to-end-user encrypted comms or in person.

  8. hc- can you start a blog (make it private even) with all your in-depth knowledge on platforms and munitions? Alternatively, are you open to PMs via email (do you use encrypted?)- if so, Boxer can you put us in touch?

  9. hc- can you start a blog (make it private even) with all your in-depth knowledge on platforms and munitions? Alternatively, are you open to PMs via email (do you use encrypted?)- if so, Boxer can you put us in touch?

    If it’s OK, I’ll send the email address you used to post with to Honeycomb. I won’t do this until or unless you reply here.

    BTW: I don’t know where you are located, but if you’re in America, you can openly post about firearms. Laws in Canada and U.K. are much less liberal about owning military type weapons, but people there still hunt game and shoot for sport.

    Americans who are just starting out ought to research getting a .38 calibre revolver for a weapon to carry around, and/or a pump action, 12 gauge shotgun for home defense. These are the totally reliable go-to weapons that constitute a very effective platform to negotiate of the uncertain world we are now entering.

    One can find very good training at low rates through the National Rifle Association. I paid less than 200 dollars for an 8 hour class that was taught by police marksmen, and completion allowed me to get a concealed carry license.

  10. Boxer- thank you, please proceed. Helpful response as well.

    I am in the USsA. It is not posting about firearms that is an issue, it is that it is unwise to advertise (simply, you just never know who is watching, and it is too simple to obtain local-level warrants for IP taps).

    My firearm history is on file with Uncle Sam, and it is impossible to hide completely being a firearm owner, so I ‘advertise’ only that I own a basic handgun by having it on file with the county. For the counterintelligence sleuths, it would be a red flag to not have any sort of active firearm involvement at my age with my training: “be the grey man”.

    But as much as I know, and the types I surround myself with, I recognize greatness when I see it: Hc is the real deal.

    ‘Military-type’ weapons is a misnomer, this is media-speak. The comment about a 12g shotgun for basic home defense is spot-on, but worth highlighting the single biggest benefit is the cost effectiveness of it: 200USD out the door in some cases.

  11. Bro:

    Your details are sent to hc.

    I am in the USsA. It is not posting about firearms that is an issue, it is that it is unwise to advertise (simply, you just never know who is watching, and it is too simple to obtain local-level warrants for IP taps).

    Related…

    When I first returned to the U.S., I went down to the store and bought a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun. When I got home and opened the box, I noticed that it came with several stickers and decals, in varying styles, sizes and colors, advertising the brand.

    I still wonder why anyone would be dumb enough to use one. It seems like a marker, to everyone in the grocery store parking lot, that in my vehicle is an easily concealed, 1000 dollar weapon that can be instantly resold on the street or used in any criminal venture. At best, I’d be paying for broken windows and meddled locks on the regular.

  12. Yes, you understand. LOL!

    At the small Mennonite school I attended, a few kids would take off school every year for the first week of hunting season. I heard many tales of my classmates’ deer hunting adventures, bagging variously pointed antlered bucks. Now, I won’t own a gun (I’m a terrible shot!), but I have gun owning family and friends. I’ve considered purchasing a bow and doing archery with my boys, one of which is really into it.

    I’ve argued on Twitter against those advocating aggressive gun control and those who don’t understand the 2nd amendment in the historical context in which it was written. I wrote two posts on guns on my blog (and another on mass shootings).

    There are some Anabaptists that are (somewhat) okay with killing in self-defense, but I’m not one of them. So I don’t have a whole lot to add, but I am interested in the discussion.

  13. @ ikr ..

    Thank you for the kind words .. I hate to say that I don’t have secure email comms ..

    I do all such stuff 1v1 .. it’s worked thusfar .. though .. I should pony-up and get secure email ..

    As for a blog .. I can’t spell and my mother dresses me funny 😂

  14. protonmail is free if you’re paranoid about a throwaway google email address. it works well for me, though it destined to always be a secondary address.

  15. Whelp .. for those that don’t know .. “protonmail” was the easiest email registration evva!

  16. ARs had more reliability issues during their introduction to the Vietnam war, I think partly due to design and coordination issues. I would say things are better now. If you go that route, check out gunblue490’s youtube video on their maintenance.

  17. daemon .. I’m not picking on you personally .. specifically .. I’m just using you as a good bad example ..

    If you would care to elucidate on the following .. I’d appreciate it ..

    (Re: Reliability) ..

    I would say things are better now.

    How many “high round count .. and / or .. all weather” rifle classes [or combat] have you been through with an AR? What have been your findings? Specifically .. what problems did you SEE (not hear about) and what was the expierence level of the said user?

    (Re: AR Maint) ..

    If you go that route, check out gunblue490’s youtube video on their maintenance.

    Never heard of the guy. What are his qualifications? How many of his AR’s run flawlessly at “high round count .. all weather .. comat” events?

    PS .. Yes, the M16 had teething issues caused by the USsA government and the end user. Play stupid games .. get stupid prizes. Your Uncle Sam is not your friend.

  18. Hi point 10mm carbine, Remington 870 12 gauge and some older rifles. I don’t have a lot of money and I have a big family to arm (lots of sons) so I’m thinking about AR-Mag accepting bolt guns in 5.56 and maybe a couple of Ruger .22 Mag bolt guns (.22 WMR ammo is cheap and is actually a wicked little round -very underrated.

  19. I’ve been able to find 12 gauge buck at basspro (online – you have to look). You can get 7.62 x 39 for .25 cents per round – for how long I don’t know. 5.56 seems to be about twice as much right now.

  20. Bruce: I ordered some shit from Bass Pro Shops back in March. In May, I finally cancelled my order, because it never showed up, and the projected send date got pushed back continuously.

    The place I’ve been buying ammo is luckygunner dot com. They don’t advertise anything they don’t have, and orders are filled and shipped the next day. Kinda pricey to order small quantities through them, but they work. Unfortunately, they’ve been out of buckshot for six full months.

  21. Boxer, I got Hertzer’s 00 buck at bass pro a few weeks ago, but I also had a separate order of 00 buck cancelled. Bass Pro has Remington #4 buck (or at least had the yesterday) – but it’s $2 a shell. Also, “Grab a Gun” has the 10mm Hi Point in stock (today 7-24-20). I’ve had no problem getting 10mm under 40 cents/round.

    What do you think about a 16″ barrel, 5.56 bolt gun (with AR mags) as a poor man’s option? Curious because I’m a pretty new gunowner (aside from rimfire rifles).

  22. The problem with bolt guns that use AR mags is they have a unique feed system attached to the bolt.

    Otherwise .. nothing wrong with using a common caliber and mag set-up.

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