Issue 38 RECOIL Issue #38 Iain Harrison Join the Conversation Ah, the AK. A testament to the ability of a totalitarian military industrial complex to create the most prolific rifle design in history through sheer bureaucratic inertia. Despite the protestations of its most ardent western admirers, Kalashnikov’s baby is adequate at best. Its dire ergonomics, coupled with a short sight radius and indifferent rear sight, result in the user being handicapped when compared to other small arms on the world market. Additionally, its cartridge is ballistically inefficient, with a light-for-caliber projectile that quickly runs out of gas, compounding aiming errors due to a rainbow trajectory. Despite its drawbacks, the Soviets learned early on that quantity has a quality of its own. Making the best of what they had following the destruction wrought during the Second World War, the AK was conceived, designed, trialed, and settled upon as the service rifle for what was then the biggest standing army in the world. From that point on, the industrial might of a command economy was thrown behind it. Were it not for the collapse of the Evil Empire in 1991, it’s likely that abominations such as the Hungarian AMD-65 would still be in production, proving that yes, it’s possible to make a mediocre design worse, so long as you assign enough government employees to the task. There’s only so much you can do to rehash the subject of a 70-year-old rifle, no matter how widely issued it might be. Instead, this issue focuses on some modernized, refined AK variants; we examine the issues involved with suppressing a platform that doesn’t lend itself to silencer use, and take trips to both the streets of Kabul and mother Russia to see the AK in its natural environment. Look for more AK-centric content on RECOILtv later this summer, as we have an exclusive invitation to visit one of the most respected producers in existence, located in a war-torn Soviet satellite state. Stay tuned … Check out RECOIL Issue 38. Explore RECOILweb:Nosler Load Data Site: A Resource for ReloadersKA-BAR Welcomes The Gunny Back HomeSBR: The Arbitrary Infringement on a Short Barreled RifleMolot VEPR-12 Follow Up: Mags and Slug Accuracy NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.You want this. Trust Us.