I have owned my AK for over a decade yet never completed formal training on the weapon. Despite intermediate familiarity of the Kalashnikov and expert YouTube AK video watcher status, the need for AK training has been a consistent cloud over my otherwise respectable preparation plan. I had the opportunity to join NC Scout’s Fighting AK course and it did not disappoint.
NC Scout provides the expertise and real world context to hone your rifle combatives while supporting your learning with a relaxed coaching style and learning environment. As the saying goes, you will get out what you put in to your training. Cherish all feedback as an opportunity to improve. Value every interaction to connect and learn. No matter where one is in their warrior journey, NC’s passion for equipping patriots with the skills and knowledge definitely shows in the quality of the student experience.
Below are some of my key learnings from the Fighting AK Course.
AK’s don’t have issues right?
Think again. My rifle experienced failure to fires every 20th round, or so ,starting towards the end of the first day. Additional issues experienced by the class included lose optics mounts and buttstock hardware. While my rifle remained operable despite the failure to fires, this issue highlighted the need for everyone to put their go to boogaloo gun through the wringer before you’re in a situation where your life depends on it. Learn your weapon’s ins and outs, what its subtle yet critical failure points might be. A fighting rifle course with NC Scout is a perfect testing environment to proactively identify and diagnose potential issues. (A worn down firing pin is the suspected culprit in mine, being a Romanian border guard “G-rifle” stamped in 1981. I anxiously await a full diagnosis pending my local gunsmith’s backlog.)
Magazine interchangeability and team interoperability.
As noted on numerous AP podcasts, a key factor of a group’s capability is interoperability of the team’s gear. This extends from you IFAK to your weapons. Many choose the AR as their go to, some of us prefer the AK platform. In either case, if your goal is to enhance team effectiveness, make sure interoperability of your gear is a key consideration. With AR’s, you will experience less issues with magazine compatibility amongst your group. There is however a slight variations of mag well specs on the AK. The group tested a large variety of mags in different rifles. Some mags fit better than others while some do not fit at all. Make sure to test your group’s mag’s in each other’s rifles if interoperability is a capability objective.
Exposure to model types and setup variety enhances proficiency and platform knowledge.
A great benefit of the course was the diversity of setups, from slick budget WASR 10’s to custom rifles with high end optics. The class mates and NC’s eagerness to swap weapons for different drills allowed exposure to a variety of setups. This hands on experience was invaluable to enhance familiarity beyond my setup, allowed testing out of various components and optics which will ultimately will help us all make informed decisions for our next upgrade.
“Ambi” or ambidextrous is not a preferred gender identity pronoun…. yet.
The ability to shoot ambidextrous is essential for effective use of cover. NC will put you through the paces of ambidextrous drills, transitions, reloads and firing from various positions. Common issues experienced in the drill, including nailing thumbs with cycling charging handles and loose unseated mags. These lessons left us right handers with a new focus on improving this competency on this weapon.
“Best in the world”
A fellow classmate and venerable BrushBeater training alumni told me when I arrived that we were hanging with the best people in the world. I may not admit it to my wife, but spending the weekend training with patriots from all over the US was the highlight of my month. The conversations and nuggets of prepper knowledge I took away from this group was in it self a solid ROI making the comradery aspect a key highlight of the course.