Digging up and firing an old rusty AK-47

You often hear stories about ancient AK-47 rifles being dug up and fired. In this video the Special Task Force, an elite paramilitary South African police unit, assist Mozambique authorities in locating and destroying an 18 year old weapons cache left over from the Mozambican Civil War.

One of the policemen takes a rusty AK-47, pours motor oil all over it, then proceeds to empty a magazine.

Skip to 1:50 to see the AK being fired.

UPDATE: It is an AK-47, with bakelite magazines, not a AK-74 as I originally reported. Thanks to those who corrected me. It also makes more sense, as the 74 was not introduced only a few years earlier than the start of the civil war.

Hat Tip: SaysUncle

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • It is normal 7,62-mm AKMS with plastic red magazine not a 5,45 mm AKS-74.


  • James

    They just blow it up?! 🙁 Put it on Gunbroker!!

  • Kind of makes you want to go buy an AK, doesn’t it?

  • Andy

    You know, I’ve always wondered why these sorts of operations destroy the ammunition as opposed to salvaging it for other purposes. Of course, in this particular instance, humping it all out would be a bear.

  • bull

    thats an AKMS 🙂 pretty cool though.

  • higs

    thats no AK74, thats a AKMS with a bakelite mag.

  • Rodolfo

    Is there any way to KEEP an AK from being fired?
    Damn. How badly rusted up does it need to be?

  • Wow

    AK resilience

    Looks more like an AK-47 and not an AK-74 tho

  • SpudGun

    Never mind the AK, what kind of gruelling ass job is that? I’m super paranoid around any type of explosive including fireworks, I can’t imagine humping that kind of stuff through the African bush in the heat and moisture.

    Then having to dig up old mortars and RPGs with nothing but a t-shirt to protect me? They’re certainly madder and braver then me.

  • Matt Groom


  • So would you say that guy falls on the side of brave or just plain stupid for firing that old rifle? I suppose he could have given it a proper inspection off camera before pouring oil on it and firing. I don’t think I would have done it!

    • Heath, I agree with you. I would not have attempted it.

    • guys, thanks for the correction. I have updated the post.

  • viper5552

    i hate to break it to ya but that was a 47 not a 74

  • Mash

    I think risk is relative. The STF handle multiple firearm related calls every single day. Keep in mind the local cops have basically been defeated and just try to stay alive in a country with 18000 murders a year, and one firearm related crime every 4 seconds. The STF guys tend to feed off adrenaline, a firm belief in what they are doing, a firm belief in God and each other. Firing an old AK47 is about as concerning to them as tossing a football around is to most people.

    Now if you want to see just downright cowboy crazy, check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kRa3K3ZqAw

    For those that are interested, the entire STF series is on youtube and makes for some very interesting watching.

  • Heartland Patriot

    If old Kalashnikov himself saw that part of the video, he’d probably have a big grin. Heck of an engineering feat.