Osama Bin Laden’s AKMS Rifle

NBC published this photo of Osama Bin Laden’s AK that is housed in the CIA museum. The rifle is completely unremarkable. It is no different to the millions of other AKMS specimens in use all over the world and, at least to my eye, reveals nothing about its owner. It lacks any (visible) inscriptions, engravings or gold/chrome coatings. It is in good condition but the gun was sure to have been cleaned by USSOCOM armorers.

It was probably not the only gun belonging to Osama found in the compound where he was killed. He may have had a stash of golden guns a la. Saddam Hussein, or some interesting inscribed guns given to him by other fanatics. The government has done a good job of suppressing information about him that could be used as propaganda by any terrorist groups. Maybe in a decade or two we will see the rest of Bin Laden’s stash (his gun stash, not his porn stash), or maybe he simply did not care for guns and was happy for his bodyguards to do any necessary trigger work.

Many thanks to Harter for the tip.

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.


  • Ben Franklin

    have seen many photos over the years w/ bin laden & several different AK variants who knows if this is the real deal or just another AK from holders fast & furious

  • Charles Joseph Maly


    • Asdf

      So why is wishing for his mortal soul to burn in hell acceptable, when mentioning that the US funneled millions into the mujahideen back in the 80’s isn’t?

      • Steve (TFB Editor)

        This is not a “political history of the world” blog.

    • It’s about the gun not so much him. Nothing special about it but you might expect something changed or blinged

  • David Sharpe

    I thought Osama’s famous rifle was an AKS-74U?

    • Zxcv

      I thought he was too. Google his name and the second picture is him with an AKS-74U in the back ground.

      I alo thought the only country to field a short barrel 7.62×39 was the Yugoslavs. I am probably wrong though.

      • David Sharpe

        I have a gun buyers digest mag that did a review on it (Not on his exact gun but similar) and yeah it was an AKS-74U with an RPK-74 mag (That’s what he normally had locked in)

        Could be custom.

      • So did the old Soviet Union

      • P161911

        AKS-74U is 5.45X39 not 7.62X39. You might be right on the short Yugos.

      • Louis

        AKMSU, not the AKS-74U, is 7.62×39. Not sure if they fielded it, but Zastava did produce the short barreled M92 in 7.62×39.

    • Mr. Scratch

      He had one for a time, yes. It would have been long gone by the time he got to Abbottabad, He does not appear to have been a man taken by material possessions, nor into guns in particular as anything more than instruments with whihc to further his aims. Also, as the Suchka rifle has so much identified with him, it would probably be best he not have one around if he was trying to keep a low profile. It is logical and appropriate that Bin laden’s rifle be a common gun, indistinguishable from any other.

  • Samuel Suggs

    Is it confirmed by any evidence other than, a statement made by a source, other than a media outlet that wants to believe that it’s from the famous “final raid” and in fact not a gun recovered after a different raid on a different vermin nest that used to contain the titular shame of the bearded community? Also I can’t think of any non-asinine reasons for the CIA museum to be closed to the public. I mean they let anyone they don’t consider to be a useless mere civilian in there and we pay for their little well archived self-congratulatory trophy room so why do they continue to maintain a level of secret squirrel exclusivity? Also Steve I am exercising restraint in not making a demo poster about Osama Bin Laden being a shame to the bearded community, do you wish me to continue exercising this restraint or can I once again exercise comedic freedom?

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      I am not sure why it is not open to the public, but one possible reason is that they could not get funding to open it elsewhere and they are not going to let random people anywhere near the HQ. Stuff like this should really be in the Smithsonian so everyone can enjoy it.

    • The reason it’s not open to the public is simple. There are classified items there. Not only the items but possible disclosure of the missions they were taken from. It’s not a huge place anyway.

      • Samuel Suggs

        they let Stephen Hunter inn not to mention everyone else who asked they should open an exibit in the smithsonian taking into account classied matrial and keep the rest in their own museuem

        • After they sign an agreement they may get special access.

        • Samuel Steve and I both tried emailing you directly instead of posting the request ion the blog. There was no answer so there was no choice left.

          I will be brutally honest with you public or not.I’ve never ever in these last years done this but—— You have pissed me off bad. Those two posters you made up of Steve are disgusting, disrespectful and uncalled for. If you want to get banned I’m just the guy to do it if you pull one more stunt like that.

          It’s Steve’s blog and he’s well within his rights to delete whatever he wishes that crosses the line by the written rules or in his judgement.

  • Drink Water

    Osama was not a flashy guy he gave up the life of a billionaire to fight in caves.

    The Black Banners
    The Osama Bin Laden I know

    The guy didn’t even like drinking soda he would not waste his time on a Gold Ak. The AK-74u he was photographed with was supposedly taken off a Russian Army Major. (Maybe) It was not in his character to be flashy he spent his whole life fighting people who thought that took wealth from Arabs.

    • Drink Water

      It was not in his character to be flashy he spent his whole life fighting people who he thought took wealth from other Arabs.

      • tincankilla

        if you read his speeches, many of his complaints are about economic issues and the plight of Arabs/Muslims under colonialism and neocolonialism. While I wouldn’t call him a freedom fighter, gold AKs are trademarks of secular, corrupt oppressors.

  • Lance

    What no Golden AK like Hussein??? Wounder if Assad has a silver AK-47????

  • Sam

    well, he was known to also posses an ak74u when in Afghanistan, a weapon that projected alot of status there due to folks knowing it as a “spetsnaz weapon”…

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Do you think he ever fired a shot in anger in his life? He seems to have been an organizer for the 80s mujahideen, and a Daddy Warbucks for a loose group of jihadists in the 2000s. Not exactly “action” roles.

    • Samuel Suggs

      Ern, thats not really the point, its just a nice war trophy that the CIA took from its rightful owners USSOCOM

  • Joseph B Campbell

    I am still not convinced the man they killed was bin Laden. As for the rifle, its just a rifle.

  • Denys

    I thought he always carried a 74 U Krink, not this.

  • Ralph

    I guess he didnt know this is no match against two dozen HK416’s 🙂

  • Will

    As an aside. Some of the other photos of this weapon indicate that it’s a Khyber (or similar gun market build). The receiver has Chinese markings, yet has the standard Russian front sight set-up (no hood). It’s a pretty weapon. =)

  • gunslinger

    i wouldn’t think OBL would have a gold chrome diamond blinged with spinners AK or something. something about terrorist doesn’t scream massive funding for “useless” items. if their goal is to cause terror, it doesn’t make sense to waste money on anything that doesn’t get to their end goal.

    just my thoughts.

  • Dubya

    That’s like Darth Vader’s light saber, we all wanna whack something with it but don’t wanna say it.

  • Bob

    It has its cleaning rod. That’s tricked out compared to most of the AKs I see in pictures of the various militiamen.

  • Cuban Pete

    The AKS-74U can be found at the SEAL 6 HQ in Dam Neck, VA. No way were the good lads of SEAL 6 going to turn that over to the Democrats in power. NO. F…ING WAY.

  • PatriotFL

    The AK should be on public display!! Sign the petition to force Obama to show it to the public: http://wh.gov/l1WtV