AKs in Emergency Mode

The AK Operators Union, Local 47-74 has posted a video on the capabilities of operating AK-47 weapon systems in “emergency situations”. In short, they show that the AK weapon system can be operated without the dust cover and more interestingly, without the recoil spring (with some risk that the bolt will come off the rails and hit you).

I would not recommend you fire an AR without the recoil spring. You will damage your receiver and/or extension.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    The more you know. Now I wonder. I wonder if AR-Based firearms could do the same thing…….Let the discussion begins!

    • gunslinger

      i’m pretty sure you can run the gun w/o a dust cover


      • Fred Johnson

        I always wondered if an M&P Sport would function out of the box without a dust cover. 😮

    • Phil Hsueh

      You should be able to run an AR without the buffer in it, it would be just like the AK and end up being single action.

      • Steve Truffer

        I’d be concerned about the gas key shearing. I remember that being a hazard of some folding stock system mentioned a couple months back.

  • iksnilol

    Removing the dustcover allows the weapon to cool down faster due to increased airflow.

    This means the AK has a tactical feature that an AR can’t have (+ folding stocks).

    • Zachary marrs

      Well, you can get a folder ar, but if its the standard di or piston, its not a good idea to fire it

      • iksnilol

        You can fire one shot with most models. They have a sacrificial pin that prevents the bolt from being launched into your gut (I presume you are going to fire folded from the hip).

    • Joshua

      Not sure if serious……..

      • iksnilol

        I am serious, back in Russia we did that all the time with the RPKs. Can somebody do a scientific test? Take an AK and check the temperature after 120 rounds rapid fire, do that twice; once without dust cover and once with dust cover.

  • echelon

    This does go to show the versatility or maybe raw utility of the AK, but in this case I don’t think any direct AR vs. AK comparisons are valid here. The designs of the basic components of the guns are so different that it’s completely apples vs oranges here.

    My piston driven AR will also run without the recoil spring if needed in a pinch…

    • Nicks87

      Yeah I wont be taking any of my ARs to the pawn shop anytime soon.

    • john

      The AR has no risk of the dust cover or recoil spring falling out… Its a closed system. Worst case scenario is being caught with your pants down (weapon field stripped)…

      On a side note, I kind wish he addressed headspace in aks… They’re not like ARs where the barrel extension is attached with a certain spec. AKs are individually fitted to it’s bolt and so it may be dangerous to swap them. Compound that with the fact that AKs have different bolt specs as well depending on country (some, like China, reversed engineered the AKM inserted of adopting a standard) whereas the 5.56 AR bolt is (dimensionally) relatively constant.

      That being said the risk is still low and in a pinch you do what you must…

    • Grindstone50k

      No, it’s a good comparison. You can totally fire an AR without the dust cover on…

      • echelon

        No, still apples and oranges. The “dustcover” in AK parlance and AR parlance is not the same.

  • Cymond

    You might want to edit that link a little bit. Replace the “https” with a simple “http” (not critical), and remove the “#t=171” part completely (it makes the video start playing at 2:51, when it’s basically already over).

    Personally, I prefer links to imbedded youtube videos. The imbedded videos never seem to have the ‘fullscreen’ button anymore. I have to watch the video on youtube if I want to watch fullscreen for some reason.

  • BryanS

    And if you have a yugo, you can flip the grenade sight, and not worry so much about the bolt carrier flying back.

  • Paul J

    That’s just stupid.
    But what you can do is blocking the bolt carrier. You can do this with a finger, it’s surprisingly easy.

    • Robert Thorne

      I was thinking the same, don’t want to try it though. I’ve seen Polenar’s video with the Glock and that’s what gave me the idea.