InRange TV Gives An AK-47 A Mud Bath – The Results May Surprise You

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OK, so with the clickbait title out of the way, we’ve seen how the M1 Garand and the AK-derived Galil ACE fare in mud, but what about the legendarily reliable AK itself? Well, Ian and Karl’s recent round of mud testing continues, and next in line is Mikhail Kalashnikov’s masterpiece:

My purpose in reposting these videos is not to indulge the InRange TV channel (although I do recommend it to my readers), but because I think it’s important for folks at large to understand that guns are mechanical devices, and that mechanical devices can fail. The AK, with its legendary reputation for reliability, is an excellent example of this, as the mud test above shows. Unlike the Galil ACE test or the M1 test, the AK in the video above doesn’t suffer a major mechanical failure like thatย of the trigger to reset or of the bolt to lock, but there’s just so much sludge and muck in the action that it slows the velocity of the bolt carrier down enough to prevent the action from working. The reason this can happen is the interlinked relationship between the gun’s different moving parts. The gas port on the rifle could be widened, sure, to let more gas into the action, causing to bolt carrier to accelerate to a higher velocity, but doing so would mean the springs for the magazine would need to be strengthened greatly, so that the stack of ammunition rises in time for the next round to be picked up by the bolt and fed into the chamber. At some point, the spring in the magazine, and the rifle’s action spring, both get too heavy to be easily operated by a human being, and the weapon becomes too fatiguing to operate.

It’s what weย don’t see with the AK that shows the value of the improvements made vs. the M1. The AK, although the bolt slows down and fails to complete its cycle, does not experience impediments to locking. With the dust cover up, the gun also resists ingress of debris into the fire control group better than the M1 (although, as the Military Arms Channel’s Galil ACE test showed, the AK pattern is not impervious to debris getting into the fire control group).

As Karl and Ian like to say: Every gun has a failure point, you just have to reach it.


Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Nicks87

    “…but MY rifle works just fine when I drop it in the mud!!!!!!! Wahhh!!!!”

    • My Rolling Block laughs at your shenanigans.

      • gunsandrockets

        Go Remington!

  • nova3930

    Anything made by a man will fail, it’s just a matter of when….

  • 12judges

    There is one reason I love these InRange mud test vids more than any other and that is, I believe, they will show that just about every rifle WILL FAIL

    • I would like to see that stuff, too, but there aren’t that many oceans in Arizona. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • CommonSense23

        If you are going to being immersing your gun in saltwater, thats one of the few times when you want to really make sure you give your gun a good cleaning before hand.

      • Rick5555

        I can give Ian and Karl the proper method and correct ratio to make salt water. Just pick which ocean. The Pacific Ocean, has a higher concentrate of salt compared to the Atlantic Ocean. Simple math and some chemistry. If you prefer I can also post a recent ileostomy surgery I performed. Using the J pouch method. Using the patients intestines, turning them inside out. Making a balloon (of sorts)…hence the internal pouch. It’s quite interesting to see. When my practice slows up. I plan on posting surgeries I conducted over the years. Especially, the surgeries, pertaining to gun shots. Due to working at a University, it’s a teaching hospital. As long as patients identity is preserved and protected. We’re allowed to use these tapes…for educational purposes. I think the firearms community, might find it interesting. In seeing the subsequent damage that occurs. And how it’s repaired per se.

    • CommonSense23

      I have done a lot of over the beaches. Ran my gun multiple times into the 3000+ round count without cleaning, with most of the rounds suppressed. In multiple environments. The biggest indicator of reliability is end user maintenance. Not cleaning, maintenance. If you replace parts when they need to be. Guns run a lot better.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      How dare you suggest a realistic test that could provide useful information?! I want to see more stuff run over, beaten against trees, dropped from helicopters, and filled with high strength epoxy! I especially want it to be the least scientific as possible. I’m talking let’s continually change all the variables. Or, hell, just smash and break things.

  • Zugunder

    Big surprise, huh?

  • wetcorps

    There are indeed a lot of myths within the gun community. We do it for guns and for calibers as well, pretty interesting how we idolize some of them without really realizing.

  • CommonSense23

    The AK at this point has built a mythical status. This test shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has actually spent a large amount of time, and rounds (15,000+) with multiple(100+) rifles. You have US service members who exaggerate the myth, cause they don’t know how to maintain their own rifles, then see a AK that has less than 2000 rounds thru it function. When their rifle with a unknown round count fails, perpetrate this myth. And then we have very little accurate records of Soviet/Russian maintenance standards. Then the civilian side where putting 2000 rounds thru a single gun is considered a durability test, vs a AR from a low quality manufacturer. Then the high profile media stories of M16/M4s failing, without looking at why, you can see who this mythical status grows.

    • Bullphrog855

      ” You have US service members who exaggerate the myth, cause they don’t know how to maintain their own rifles, then see a AK that has less than 2000 rounds thru it function.”

      That is the truth, I have a Marine friend who hates M16 because of how it jam up on him all the time in daring training. But he swears by the M4 which was brand new when he got to the LAR.

      I’ve tried to explain it to him that the Military supplies old, almost ancient at times, guns for training… I’ve seen 1980s A2s hovering around them parts… but he just isn’t willing to understand that a brand new M16 would shoot just as fine as a brand new M4.

      • displacer

        I knew a guy who took a picture of his rifle from basic in early 1990s, it was stamped XM16A1A2 with the X and A1 crossed out. Some of those guns were ancient and while they were obviously rearsenaled where still incredibly clapped out from decades of service and training use

      • LazyReader

        All this proves is our forces need a new piston driven service rifle…
        I like PWS MK1 series or long stroke piston driven rifles

        • CommonSense23

          No, no it doesn’t. Op Rod driven guns have far more issues than the DI guns.

          • CZFan

            yup A well maintained gun of good design (which covers both AR/M16/4 and AK designs) will run while an old beat up neglected version will have issues.

            And when a well taken care of gun is run hard it will bobble from time to time. Just the nature of mechanical machines

            The biggest problem Ive seen with the Pics of Military M4’s and M16’s is fried gas rings and an armorer buddy with the Army was the one who started documenting it and who showed this to me, a few cents per set on contract would do the tired weapons our troops use a world of good, go on a full tour? your gun got 3 cents of preventative care before you stepped in harms way, Obviously this is overkill but for troops in contact (not armed guards and other armed but relatively no contact positions) thats alot of piece of mind that I am sure the soldier wouldnt even have a problem being billed for at retail costs (7-15$) which they shouldnt have to pay, regardless.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          A piston driven rifle…like the AK in the video?

    • USMC03Vet

      I hope this is a reference is Jessica “Incompetent” Lynch because it needs to be.

      • CommonSense23

        It pretty much is the entire history of the M16/M4 in military service. Go back to Vietnam, even during the worst days of the M16, you didn’t see units like, Seals, Recon, SF, or a some of the higher end conventional units experiencing the same problems. They all had excellent armorer support, and understanding of when to deadline a weapon. On my last deployment to Afghanistan the 11B squad that came to provide forcepro to our VSP. Not a single man had a full set of working mags. One of the guys showed up with a bolt that had two broken lugs. He didn’t know why he was having so many issues. God forbid the military spends time teaching end user maintenance of a weapon.

        • I am just a Millenial who works from his computer and hasn’t done anything important with his life yet, but the distinct impression I get from talking to just about anyone from the regular Army is that service’s armory system is completely broken.

          • nadnerbus

            From what I hear, replacing almost any part in a weapon without authorization and correct sourcing will get you in deep fecal mater too. Even if a grunt does know their rifle well, and that it is FUBAR, there may be very little they can do.

            When a soldier or Marine deploys with defective gear, that is a problem with leadership. Just a question of how far up the chain you go to find the problem.

          • marathag

            knew some guys in Iraq that had a ‘heads up’ that the rifles were going to be inspected and much frantic activity to stuff the GI parts back in before that

          • Mikial

            It’s about the commander and his/her determination to set things right. I worked with a lot of army and USMC units in Iraq, and seldom saw weapons failures because those guys knew their weapons were their lives.

        • n0truscotsman

          Not only US units, but also the SAS of both Brit and ANZAC variety, which have used the M16 as long as the US has had it in service.

          They never ventured away from the Stoner rifle either, despite the introduction of many newer designs since the 60s.

          “One of the guys showed up with a bolt that had two broken lugs”

          For anybody that thinks commonsense is exaggerating, he isn’t.

          There have been many times I have found service weapons in abysmal serviceability once our replacement unit flew into theatre. Locking lugs, springs, and especially magazines. The damned magazines…

          There are many parties to blame, namely, the NCOs and unit armorers. Many become defeated and broken down by the countless other tasks that they somehow rationalize negligence on their part when it comes to small arms. For an infantry unit, this is borderline a flogging offense IMO.

          Its amazing how something that should be so common sense becomes rare and neglected.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            I was an Arms Room Officer in the 80s. We had quarterly maintenance that was supposed to be pulled on all of the weapons, but the end users seldom did any on their end. Of course they also only fired them about once a year. Even without firing them it would take them HOURS to get them clean because they wouldn’t bother to buy the tools to do it and there weren’t enough actual cleaning kits to go around. My M16A1 was clean and in the rack within a few minutes because I didn’t put my trust in Uncle Sam to provide me with the tools to clean it. I brought my own CLP, swabs, pipe cleaners and tooth brushes. For that matter, I had to train battalion staff officers how to disassemble their 1911s and clean them. A Lieutenant having to train Captains how to service their own weapons. What is wrong with that picture?

          • Mikial

            I did a change of command inventory once and found weapons in the arms room that had been caught in the turret ring of an M60A3 and never even turned in to depot for replacement. WTF!?! These are the weapons people are intended to rely on to keep them alive.

            As a young troopie, I once screwed up while digging a fighting position and dumped a spadeful of dirt into the open action of my M16. A quick field strip and cleaning, and it worked like a champ. It’s all about attention to detail and doing your job.

      • Joshua

        But the 507th is proof we need to adopt the AK!!! I’m pretty sure that’s what they said after that fuster cluck.

    • n0truscotsman

      I refuse to accept your facts over my pre-conceived notions based off of popular gunshop-derived opinion. Shame!

      ๐Ÿ˜› I kid, I kid.

      I would say that the two are pretty equal anymore, given the substantial evolution of the Stoner rifle (differing extraction springs, magazines, high quality ammunition, etc) over the past decade.

      The AK gets dinged for its ammunition (which is one of the biggest factors of reliability besides mags I suppose), which is often of inferior quality compared to US 5.56. That is huge.

      For crying out loud, just get both.

      • Mikial

        Agree completely. We have two M4s, a standard stock AR (my wife likes that the best), and a WASR. Add a Garand, a Moisin, a Marlin lever action, and a few oddball guns like a SUB2000 and a .45ACP AR pattern, and we have a LOT of fun on shooting days!

    • Daniel Evans

      US service members don’t know how the rifle is maintained wow. Were can I even start with a comment that ridiculous. Mall Ninja, if your so awesome go join the military. This is the reason mod military people just don’t say anything because of this level of stupid comments.

      • CommonSense23

        Well considering the military trained me as a armorer. I feel pretty confident with my statements. The majority of the people in the military don’t know much about firearms. Their operation or maintenance.

        • Daniel Evans

          Everything you know about the firearm you learned from a book or online forum. I know what the marine friend was talking about and likely was some sort of POG 30 carbine probable passed right threw the chinese so in a way they were right. I doubt your armorer, and yes you can clean the inside of a m16 with steel tools to take off hard caked on carbon, wether you like that or not. You can also use sand to clean gas pistons and stuff i bet you’ll get super butt hurt over that.

          • CommonSense23

            Are you drunk? And have you even been in the military?

          • MichaelZWilliamson

            No, but you’re definitely butthurt over your precious internet AK binding up. Going to have to find new stroke material?

          • Mikial

            Dude, what are you even talking about? Your comment makes about zero sense.

      • displacer

        There are so many bad practices and such rampant misinformation I’ve heard from ex-military that I believe it too. I had a Marine infantryman who spent four years in Afghanistan tell me that the proper way to maintain an AR was to run it almost completely dry (contrary to the findings of Aberdeen’s dust chamber trials and every single other independent reliability test I’ve read) and religiously clean the inside of the receiver with steel brushes and scraping tools it to the point “it was shiny” (ie you wore through the hard low-friction anodizing into the soft high-friction aluminum below.) He also told me that the AK and M240 fired the same rounds because they were both 7.62, and that the myth of the .50 BMG shockwave ripping people in half if it passed within 10 feet was the lord’s gospel. It’s pretty obvious that, even with people in the thick of combat, a lot of the things they preach are just oft-repeating urban myths and other BS they hear in an organization where questioning dogma is… let’s call it strongly discouraged. I’m 100% sure they guy knew how to efficiently maneuver to put a bunch of bullets into the bad guys, but that doesn’t mean he was particularly skilled or knowledgeable at anything beyond that

        Remember how many Korean War veterans swore up and down that a cotton Chinese military jacket could stop .30 Carbine if it got cold and the outer shell froze, but a Thompson or M3 could punch right through? Icy fabric stopping a 110gr .30 bullet (G1 ballistic coefficient of .178) @1990 fps but not a 230gr .45 bullet (G1 BC of .162) @830 fps is obviously absurd on every level, but god forbid you try to argue that with the soldiers who claimed it or the people who think there’s no way they could be wrong

        • MFee

          My dad was in Korea. The .30 carbine issue was started in WW II. The bullet had trouble penetrating MULTIPLE LAYERS OF PADDED WOOL. Not cotton. If you notice all the stories were during winter where the germans, Chinese, and noko’s wore really thick padded clothing to fight the cold.
          Never heard the 45 stories but I know my dad prefered the M1 garand as nothing stopped that round

          • displacer

            And here we have the perfect example of what I was talking about at the end there. A soldier claiming something that is patently absurd as the absolute truth, and someone else telling me I’m the idiot because there’s no way no how that someone could be wrong because they once wore fatigues.

            Problem with that is empirical data shows there is literally no way that any sort of natural fiber, be it cotton or wool, stopped or really even came close to impeding .30 Carbine ball inside of several hundred yards. If I try to post a youtube link the spam filter here will flag my post and delay it until a mod approves, so instead just search google for “Speer Gold Dot, 110gr, GDSP, .30 Carbine (#24465) VS Level IIIA Body Armor, 6.5″ Barrel” and you’ll find the perfect example as to why the frozen jacket claims are bunk.

            The cliff notes version is that video shows a 110gr soft point bullet from an Automag pistol zipping entirely through a layer of cloth, modern level IIIA Kevlar armor, a large block of ballistics clay, and the full-size phone book between the clay and armor. Out of an M1 Carbine the penetration effect would have been even more drastic as it has a barrel that’s 10″ longer than the pistol, and FMJ ball ammo penetrates far better than the JSP used here that expanded decreasing its cross-sectional density in the process.

          • displacer

            To follow up on the last post, if you don’t trust .30 Carbine’s ability to penetrate modern body armor as proof that the magical jacket story is impossible I found someone’s test of frozen cloth. Specifically, they fired surplus ball out of an M1 Carbine at 4 layers of denim over a 2″ thick layer of towels all frozen into a single solid block. If a person was wearing clothing that thick and frozen that solid they’d be rendered immobile and left waiting to die of hypothermia, so it’s far beyond the worst-case scenario for any frosty Chicom jacket.

            End result? A shot from the carbine at 75 yards penetrated the solid frozen block of denim and towels, entered a jug filled with water and newspaper behind the block, and fully penetrated its length blowing straight out the other side. Google “M1 Carbine Myths Shooting Debunked!” to find the full version of this.

      • MichaelZWilliamson

        Considering I served 25 years in the Army and AF, worked as armorer, range safety, ammo distro, weapons courier, and PMI, I’m pretty confident in saying marksmanship training is frequently rudimentary and very few shooters meet the standards I’d require.

  • Frank Martin

    I watch these videos and find myself laughing at times.. other times I am seeing the amount of mud as being much more typical than what you would find the average soldier slugging through.

    Still its entertaining and educational at the same time. Proving that you have to be careful no matter what terrain your going through, you take care of your weapon, keeping it out of debri as you travel, it will take care of you!

    There is a video on YouTube of a documentary of South African police forces finding a cache of arms in the bush.. picking up a rusted AK-47 that looks to be pitted and rust damaged to the point where it would not operate.. officer takes a can of 30 weight motor oil and pouring it over the rifle.. shoves a old magazine with what looks like rust covered ammunition into the rifle and puts it to his shoulder, and fires the rifle that was in the ground for 20 plus years. So who is right? the policeman in Africa or InRange TV?

    I still enjoy the InRange TV videos.. its like watching Mythbusters.. sometimes the science and facts show things that debunks common sense or science..

    • CommonSense23

      Its the fact that rifle probably doesn’t have 300 rounds thru it. You could do the same with a lot rifles. Its looks impressive but its really not.

      • tts

        Yup. Plus dumping tons of oil over a mechanical device will tend to resurrect it anyways so long as it isn’t “rust welded” together. You could probably do the same with any M16.

    • John

      I’ve seen that video. It’s titled “You can’t kill an AK-47: Works after 18 years of being buried in ground”

      Two things:
      1) It wasn’t as rusted as it appeared. Once they poured motor oil on it, the metal turned black and the gun was pristine

      2) They show the guy pouring the oil, then they cut away to him firing it. They never show him stuffing “rust covered ammunition” in

  • Vitsaus

    This just in, mud getting inside guns is bad.

    • Joshua

      It had the safety on so the dust cover was closed. If they did it dust cover closed on an AR everyone would cry foul and how its no fair, yet the AK fails with its dust cover closed and oh its normal.

      • tts

        This plus lots of people still go around saying AK’s can’t ever jam and super reliable and chanting “clear every muthafuka in the room”.

        The AK is a good gun but its far from perfect or jam proof. As near as I can tell the difference in terms of reliability isn’t much better than a M16 or M4 at all despite the hype of AK enthusiasts.

        • Mcameron

          lets be fair, the AK is pretty jam proof if you arent a complete moron.

          • tts

            Your comment is pretty much the epitome of a “no true scotsman” which is a logical fallacy.

          • Mcameron

            will people quit using the term “logical fallacy”….it doesnt make you sound smart, it make you sound like a douche who googled a new word.

            if you keep your gun reasonably clean, and dont go wading through wet cement with it….your gun will run just fine.

            these “torture tests” are stupid, no one is wallowing around in mud when using a firearm……if your gun gets that dirty in the course of normal, or even abnormal operation, you are doing something wrong.

            unless of course you are being chased by predators and you need to cloak yourself in mud to cloak your thermal signature…

          • CommonSense23

            In my career I have found myself multiple times being covered head to toe in thick mud. Looking like Dutch in predator. I know plenty of guys who have fell/jumped into wadis of human crap and mud and have had to keep fighting. Been cought multiple sandstorm that have blacked out the sky for hours, and your couldn’t see your own hands. These extreme conditions do happen in the field.

          • Joshua

            Mmmm Afghan irrigation ditches. Some guys just cannot jump over them…myself being one of those who always fell in.

          • CommonSense23

            My personal favorite is a old instructor of mine fell 30 yards into a well, due to one of his ANASF kicking the chemlite marking the well into the well in January. Surprised he didnt kill the guy after he got out.

          • tts

            You’re basically just name calling and saying I’m a guy who is trying to sound smart while doubling down on your previous comment.

            That is crappy posting dude. Over a gun of all things.

            You’re also totally misunderstanding the purpose of such testing too: its a worst case scenario meant to show that if a gun can survive that it can survive most anything while also identifying failure modes if it doesn’t.

          • Joshua

            Really. So stop using words that have been around for ages because it makes someone sound smart….

          • Joshua

            Or you know have to cross one of the many irrigation ditches in Afghanistan only to be ambushed as your crossing them.

          • Cal S.

            Or, you know, it’s the proper term because it accurately describes your logical gap in your original post. Don’t ask me what that means, it came up as a terminology synonym on Bing. Google is for kiddies.

            However, unless it’s just plain built poorly (like a certain picatinny rail .22lr ‘zip’ gun we all know and love) then any weapon that’s kept clean and lubed properly will function without flaws (A.K.A. not being a complete moron with weapons maintenance). Therefore, your statement that only the AK will function properly “If you arent a complete moron (sic)” is non sequitur because it does not apply only to that rifle in the case which you seemingly put forth.

            Yes, that came from Bing too.

          • CommonSense23

            And so is the AR.

        • n0truscotsman

          I’ve always argued that one of the AR’s significant strengths is how its bolt components are excellently ‘sealed off’ from the outside world full of mud, debris, etc.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          The actual advantage an AK has is the large and open lug raceways. The AR bolt and barrel extension are an ultra-precision system for lockup. The AK is made so the bolt’s rotation can clear debris away during locking and unlocking. The AR doesn’t really have anywhere for debris to go once it’s in the extension and this is why you’ll see the action seize easier.

          Solution for everyone to quit acting like these rifles are the same. There’s a reason Stoner made the AR tight and closed and also added a dust cover. Debris is very bad for an AR. AK’s were designed with this stuff in mind and built accordingly, but they are not impervious to jamming over foreign material in the action.

          • tts

            Debris in the action is very bad for both rifles though which was a major point of the video. Yes the AK will tolerate dirt a little better for the reasons you mentioned but not enough to really matter much for overall reliability.

            Why?

            Because once dirt gets into the trigger mech/sear area of the AK, or gets pushed into the magazine by the bolt action, it locks up just as badly as any AR15, M16 or M4 with dirt in it and then must be cleaned before it’ll work reliably again.

            The AK has a dust cover built into it too and for a good reason. As far as I know the Russians recommend you carry it closed at all times until you need to use the rifle because its a known issue that dirt getting into the action from the open cover will cause jams quite frequently.

            That you failed to note this while bringing up the AR15/M16’s dust cover, while also hinting that Stoner added a dust cover because AR15/M16’s are extra sensitive to dirt, smacks of extreme bias which is probably warping your perception of reality.

            Its just a gun dude. Its great if you like it or things about it but it aint’ worth being in denial over.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            I’m not really sure how or why I chapped your a**, but you seem to have not actually read what I wrote? I quite understand the benefits of both guns. My point is that each was designed with different ideas and users in mind, so we shouldn’t act like each would be the end all be all small arms.

            The article pretty well covered how debris in the fcg is detrimental in general to firearms, so I didn’t really feel the need to bring that up. The point was the actual lockup clears debris easier in an AK, but the AR design is made to reduce the chance for it to enter the firearm in the first place. Yes, the selector does act as a secondary dust cover on an AK and obviously the idea is to keep crap out of the operating system.

            I’m not in denial about anything and in general I appreciate all firearms. I do favor the AK, but not because of it’s exaggerated and mythical never jamming status. I still appreciate the brilliant design of most of the AR as well and believe it to be an equally viable firearm. What I am more or less trying to say is misusing a mechanical device and getting upset with it, is stupid and that’s why the AK vs AR stuff is so dumb. People jam stuff in the AR action and whine that is is a jam-o-matic and then they’ll use cheap, poorly made ammo in an AK and cry foul at it’s inaccuracies. We seem to be in agreement, so I’m not sure why you’re upset…

  • Joshua

    Best part is they used a Russian rifle, so it rules out that argument of a crappy AK.

    Also had the dust cover closed(safety on I know, still a dust cover). If they did that with the AR it would be nothing but people saying the test was rigged…smh

    • M

      He misspoke, in the captions below it said (Romanian, not Russian).

      • tts

        He did misspeak but the Romanian AK’s aren’t at all bad examples of the AK design yet some people will still say “not Russian, don’t count” as if that is a legit counter to the video. Which is nonsense.

        • Joshua

          Same people who will say and AR is an AR and brands don’t matter.

          • tts

            Yup. They’re full of it and can’t admit so they act like a kid who has been caught doing something wrong.

            Which if they were a kid wouldn’t be an issue but its grown adults pulling that crap.

    • CommonSense23

      It will be interesting seeing a AR go thru this. The DI is going to definitely help. But I can see a dead trigger being one of the major issues.

      • Ian McCollum

        Next week we are posting an AR test video.

        • CommonSense23

          I wish I could volunteer a select fire upper for you. Its about the only thing I find it useful for. Seen multiple instances of a dead trigger in single work in auto for some reason.

          • Joshua

            Probably due to the auto sear interacting with the disconnector fixing some issues that may pop up without that ability.

        • I realize that some people feel my reposting all these mud test videos is gratuitous, but I actually feel like each one is individually interesting, because you often see new problems.

          The thing about debris testing like this is that each test is going to be different. I guarantee you, it is possible to dunk an M1 into mud and have it come out working just fine… It’s just not likely. So the more data points we have, the more failures we find, the more we can say “this is a sensitive area, if crap gets in here the gun will stop working right”. If the data’s REALLY good, we can even talk about probabilities that crap will get into a given area on a rifle, too. The M1 is a good example of a rifle we have great data on.

          There’s a certain amount of editorializing I do with each of these posts, where I say something like “the AK should be more resistant to mud for these reasons than an M1”, which is true, but not because Ian or Tim proved it to be true with their tests. It’s not their fault! They’re giving us a sample of one, and that’s all they really can do; you’d need a full-scale government funded test to figure out what was going on, and sometimes not even that gives you good information. For those introductory audiences, I want to tell them “The AK has some advantages over the M1 with regards to debris ingress”, and I’ll use a mud test like this to illustrate that, but it’s the same kind of statement as saying “M855 has a muzzle velocity of 2,920 ft/s” and then showing you a homemade chronograph video as an example. We know, in general, under standard conditions, M855 has a muzzle velocity of 2,920 ft/s give or take 30 ft/s from an M4 Carbine with a good condition barrel, but that’s an established fact. Anyway, I’m rambling at this point, just trying to give people a chance to get inside my head.

        • Kyle

          I look forward to it. ARs are my preferred rifle platform.

  • Mcameron

    why does this surprise anyone?……fill a gun with mud, its going to jam!……fill a gun with sand, its going to jam!…

    these “torture” tests are stupid and only serve to garner youtube views.

    you want to do a real torture test, clean it once and then run it out in the field until it fails.

    enough of this “oh if i fall in a mud pit” crap…..how many random mudpits are people falling in that this is a problem?

    • May

      They filled an AR with mud and sand. It didn’t jam.

      • Mcameron

        no, they dipped the AR into muddy water…..they didnt cover it in what is practically wet cement……

        • tts

          Uh no. They slathered in mud. It worked fine and they detailed why.

        • Joshua

          Did you miss the part where they shoved it and scraped it into mud? Enough so there was a huge clump completely blocking the ejection port that he had to remove?

        • M

          “Dipped”

          • Ian McCollum

            It was done in a dainty manner, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

            For people who want it, we are posting another AR test next week using the same mud and methodology as this AK test.

          • Joshua

            What type of AR Ian? I would like to see something not hodgepodgey.

          • Joshua

            Clearly there is no mud there. Just ignore those 2 giant clumbs that completely block and cover the ejection port….Those don’t exist and are just imagination.

          • Joe

            A picture is worth a million words.

        • Joe

          Boom!

    • KestrelBike

      Poor dudes in Iraq/afghanistan falling into village latrine pits/canals on patrol at night.

    • John

      Well, this is a combat rifle, do you remember Vietnam? WW2? WW1? All had large amount of filth on the battlefield. The point is to show which rifle can take all that garbage and not leave you defenseless in the heat of battle.

  • scruball

    Romanian AKs are crap.

  • John

    I am not a fan of the Romanian AKs. They are the cheapest of the bunch and often have poor materials such as thin metal along with canted sights. I know they don’t want to ruin a $700 AK but let’s not use the bottom of the barrel for torture tests.

    • M

      He said it was a parts kit build. The thickness of the receiver and whether the gun has canted sights will therefore be contingent on the builder and where he sourced his receiver

      • John

        True, but you don’t usually find Arsenal parts on a Romanian build.

        • Are you under the impression that Romanian rifle parts were somehow not up to snuff? Just because they’re cheaper?

          • Joshua

            I told you they would be out. Any time the AK does poorly in videos or some such it’s always well it’s not Russian so it doesn’t count.

            If only Russia can make good AK’s it sounds like the AK needs some better designing done to it.

          • Hmmm, I feel like you’re telling a seasoned fisherman that they’ll be biting at his favorite Sunday watering hole this weekend. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Joshua

      And there it is! I knew someone would be along to say if it isn’t Russian it doesn’t count.

      Which is it? Are AKs so easy to make anyone can do it and make them amazing, or do we have to have $1,000 AKs for them to be reliable?

      • John

        ANY gun can be made poorly enough to barely function. It is just MORE likely to happen when you use cheap parts.

        Not that this gun used cheap parts, I am just making a point.

    • Ian McCollum

      The “worst” type of gun is always the one most recently the cheapest. For a long time Norinco was the “worst”, despite being excellent. Now Romanian is “worst”, despite being better than commercial Saiga production.

      Anyway, what exactly would have caused a $2000 super-custom AK to perform differently? The clearances on the receiver rails and between bolt and dust cover are the same…

      • John

        Not necessarily true, tolerances on cheap models are often all over the board. The springs and rails are rarely smooth and uniform causing small issues when in good conditions and big issues in bad conditions. You can’t tell me just because a gun is of a certain design, the cheaper model performs just as well as the expensive one. Otherwise there would be no $3000 ARs, you could just buy a $500 one and get the same exact results. JMHO

        • It was built on a parts kit. It’s not an el-cheapo Century fAKe, it’s a Romanian military gun with a new receiver.

    • If I’m not mistaken, they said they were using a Romanian kit built gun. Which means a factory Romanian front end and a flat they or someone else bent and riveted to the gun.

      I’m not sure how you can criticize that for not being a viable test subject, when the only unknown is the flat. So it’s not really a “bottom of the barrel” rifle, is it?

      • John

        WOW! Lots of people on here have Romanian AKs! Look, I can only comment on things I have seen or researched well enough. I have been around AKs for 20+ years and have seen a LOT of poorly built ones. That being said, the main thing that suffers is usually accuracy, fit and finish. You CAN build an AK so crappy it does not function well under stress or at all for that matter. Yes, I am jumping to some conclusions by bashing the “Romanian build” but it is only because the majority I have seen that hail from Romainia have terrible fit and finish to them. If the bolt hangs up when there’s no mud, how will it handle mud??? I admit I have not handled a Romanian for a few years now and their quality could be much better. I admit, I am an AK fanboy and this article pushed some buttons so I to want to see an absolutely level playing field.

        • John

          One more thing, since, as you said, we don’t know don’t know where the flat came from, who bent it and if it was crafted to perfect specs, we can’t say where it sits in the barrel, can we?

    • Other John

      Just putting it out there, PMCs coming back from Iraq have said that Romanian AKs were one of the few that actually worked consistently in the sandbox. Newbies who joined were told to buy and look for Romanian

    • ORIGINAL 100% pre-1983 factory Cugir AK’s rival that of Izhmash, but unfortunately they’ve been un-importable for over 20 yrs. Saddam’s Iraq and Romania’s ROMTEHNICA had a strong business relationship selling all sorts of equipment.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    So, because a WASR built by Century Arms with 50-year-old parts failed a mud test, that means that the AK doesn’t deserve its reputation for amazing reliability? Name an assault rifle that has better reliability than the AK-47. You can’t.

    • CommonSense23

      How much actual experience do you have with Russian made AKs?

      • Joshua

        I told you they would be coming.

        • Ian McCollum

          Yup.

          • Dave

            *Ahem* Model 1903 Springfield bolt action .30-06 *beat* the M1 Garand in *mud tests.* So what? The ability of having 60 percent more shots on tap: 8 shots vs. 5 shots, rapid follow up shots at fleeting targets, aperture sights, etc. entailed that the USMC adopted the M1 Garand after the jungle warfare slug fest at Guadalcanal in the Solomons. *In spite of the mud issue.* Were the officials wrong in that selection, hmmm? A mud test does not a superior battle/combat/whateveryouwannacallit-bullet-launcher make!

    • Oh, A Fascist Corgi. You are quickly becoming my favorite commenter to argue with. I just like to sit back, crack open a 750 of good Canadian beer, and refute you all day long.

      Never change.

      Anyway, it’s clear you didn’t read my article at all. Nowhere do I say that the AK doesn’t deserve its reputation for reliability. Maybe I could see how someone would get that impression if they contorted their face and read the whole thing out loud in a funny cartoon villain voice, but if that’s the case, that’s on you, not me.

      As for your challenge… Name an assault rifle that has better reliability than the AK? Well, it’s a stupid question, for one, because “reliability” is not like muzzle velocity where it’s more or less a fixed value assigned to each individual rifle, “reliability” is a whole system of different things interacting with one another. If I have Rifle A which is sensitive to sand but breaks rarely, and Rifle B which is highly resistant to sand, but has a higher parts breakage rate, and they’re equal in all other respects, which is more reliable? You can’t answer that question because those two things aren’t comparable.

      • @nathaniel_f:disqus I think @AFascistCorgi:disqus might be General Scales’ TFB handle.

    • mosinman

      i’m willing to be that WASR was in better condition than the Average AK that people think will run forever in Afghanistan or Vietnam or Somalia .ect

  • Jay

    That is not mud. That’s sand stew. LOL

  • gunsandrockets

    Like I said before, the moral of the story is — don’t dunk your firearm in mud!

  • Tassiebush

    Thinking back on previous similar tests by Inrange TV I am always surprised by the results. But a clear trend is emerging. The less mud or dust is able to enter the action the better it performs. Direct impingement seems to blow debris out of the way too. AR15 is by far the best performer.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised to see an FS2000 do well in a test like this, either, provided nothing got in the charging handle slot.

      • Tassiebush

        Just read up on it and it looks like a very strong contender. Any gun with a rubber gasket on the mag well is taking the idea of excluding stuff very seriously. The ejection is extremely innovative too.

      • Tassiebush

        Seems like the charging handle slot is sealed too on FS2000!

          • Tassiebush

            Okay there’s no way around it. I read the Wikipedia page for my info on the FS2000 ๐Ÿ™

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ha ha! I don’t have to read about it on Wikipedia, I just look at my actual FS2000. The open charging handle slot is accessible to debris like mud, but this also makes it easier for any debris to be driven out of the same way. The op rod is sealed around where it enters the action to drive the BCG, so there’s not much worry about contaminating the interior from there. The only vulnerable spot is the piston housing when the bolt is locked back, mud could get in and interfere pretty badly with the gun’s operation. I can take & post pictures if anyone is interested.

          • Tassiebush

            I’d be interested.
            Damn it sucks not being able to own such cool stuff. It’s kind of like what having only one nut must feel like.

          • ostiariusalpha

            I’m tremendously grateful that I have access to firearms like this; believe it or not, I simply saw it on the wall of my LGS and had to have it that very day. For all it’s multitude of shortcomings, the FS2000 “Tactical Tuna” is a real hoot to shoot. It’s very compartmentalized to seal the different sections of the rifle from each other. The area that is open from the charging handle slot & barrel vents is very roomy and virtually self-contained, so it can hold an incredible amount of crap before it would cause any problems for the recoil spring. That still leaves the opening from where the piston pushes on the op rod potentially vulnerable to the ingress of contaminants; I hope these pictures can make that clearer.

          • Tassiebush

            Thankyou that definitely makes it easier to understand. Seems like it’d be pretty resistant but would still have it’s limit. Seems great though!

          • ostiariusalpha

            You’re most certainly welcome. You can see in the picture where I’m holding the piston plunger, how long it’s tail is; if any silt were to get in the snug channel that it reciprocates in, it would lock up in short order. The clearances there are very tight, unlike an AK. But I don’t want to oversell it’s vulnerability, the charging handle needs to be in the locked back position to expose the hole and any muck that reaches it will probably have clogged the muzzle already; which isn’t good for any firearm.

            And a few more pictures, because why not?

  • mechamaster

    Not all AK are built equally.

    They Need more AK sample from different country and manufacturer. Lol.

    • So far as I can tell, this was a perfectly fine AK to use.

    • marathag

      So instead of ‘No True Scotsman’ you have ‘No True AK’?

      • mechamaster

        Well, the true AK is made by Russian Izmash / Kalasnikov. Others manufacturer can make different quality of AK, more highest or lower quality.

        ( honestly I’m not familiar with this proverb )

        • marathag

          Philosophy professor Bradley Dowden explains the fallacy as an โ€œad hoc rescueโ€ of a refuted generalization attempt. The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:

          Person A: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
          Person B: “But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge.”
          Person A: “Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”

          A: AKs don’t jam in Mud
          B: Well, That WASR AK did jam
          A: Real Russian AKs don’t jam in Mud

          • mechamaster

            Oh wow. alright. ^^

  • Dave

    A. Rose, American Rifle: A Biography (Delacorte, 2008), 315:

    In San Diego, CA in November 1940: “the guns [M1903 Springfield and M1 Garand]
    were tested to their limits in no fewer than thirty-seven shooting and
    abuse tests (timed shots, various ranges up to a thousand yards, firing
    under adverse conditions, differently sized targets, firing under
    fair-to-ideal conditions, prone shots, standing shots, and
    sitting-from-standing shots, among others). In terms of accuracy, it
    turned out, the Garand was (in the words of the testing board)
    ‘comparable to the M1903″ and far outclassed the Springfield in the
    number of shots per minute it fired. When it came to ruggedness,
    however, the Springfield triumphed: it survived a fourteen-hour-long
    test in which, to simulate a long march through rainstorms, the rifles
    were subjected to freshwater sprinklers for two hours off and on (the Garand suffered a 20 percent malfunction rate); it survived submersion in a mud bath (the Garand failed to work);
    and most impressively it survived a test assuming that Marines (as
    these soldiers of the sea do) ‘have landed through heavy surf sufficient
    to break completely over men and equipment, and immediately engage in
    combat on a sandy beach.’ Repeatedly sprayed with salt water and dragged
    through sand, the Springfields could be operated with difficulty, while
    the Garands could not be fired.”

    [emphasis added.]

  • ExMachina1

    I like Ian and Karl. They are both highly knowledgeable and entertaining. However, these mud videos fall flat for me as they take the torture “from 0 to 60” w/o exploring any mud conditions in between. That wheelbarrow is filled with what is essentially quicksand–plenty of (suspended) grit along with a generous dose of water to act as an efficient carrier. No fall into the muddiest of mud holes would likely come close to the repeated pouring of this slurry (which they take care to re-agitate before every pour) over a gun’s action. What gun actually could survive? The M1 choked before it could fire even one round. I’d like to have seen something in-between before they went full bore with the mud christening.

    That said, they’ll probably prove me wrong with their AR test video ๐Ÿ™‚

  • mosinman

    AK fanatics please never change!

  • Druid

    The Remington modle 8 is nothing more than a recoil operated AK. It did start life in 1908 just a few days before the AK.The inventer John Browning has been heard of a few times before.

  • Rick A

    The only service rifle I’ve had jam is an M16A2 fed about a magazine and a half of muddy ammunition. The extractor got packed with mud that then dried, and the rounds chambered quite tightly. It was a real mess. It was good double feed clearing practice as well as forward assist durability testing.

    We used blanks quite a bit that used some nasty powder that would foul the guns up quickly. If they were kept wet they’d keep running. Most people pitched their blanks into the dirt. I’d shoot everybody’s blank ammunition on burst cause it’s fun. I would take a guess that the folks with M4/M16’s jamming in training were using blanks. Using live ammo I have never seen a functioning problem other than a couple rifles blown up by overpressure rounds.

    My Romanian PSL had a couple issues on the first few mags. The guns are rough, but smooth out quickly. I’ve seen a guy despondent because his new AK jammed…as AK’s don’t jam and his must be junk. It was bone dry and gritty as it came out of the box. Silly. Yes, AK’s need maintenance, too.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Well you did definitely muck it up. I love mine and would never do that on purpouse and now that you have sand grinded that one to hell I would be glad to pay shipping so you can sent the carcass to me for parts…..

    I am also wondering if the mud viscosity you have there is anything like or different than the mud test you are comparing to,

    I do know in Georgia the red mud is so slick as to almost be a polishing compound.

  • Mikial

    I spent many years in the army and did private security work in Iraq from 2004 to 2007. In that time I used several different rifles including AKs, M4s, and FNs. Guess what . . . they can all malfunction. I had a lot of problems with AKs ranging from FTF to one that actually went off without pulling the trigger. I also had a Bushmaster SBR for escort work that wouldn’t shoot more than one shot at a time no matter what you did with it. The only one that seemed to always work was the brand new Colt M4 I was eventually issued.

    AKs are not magic, they are a weapon built on very loose tolerances that allowed them to shoot a variety of ammo when operated by marginally trained people. I really get tired of hearing people tell apocryphal stories of AKs found in a foot of mud with the rotting corpse of their previous owner still on top of it, that were then picked up and worked perfectly with no cleaning.

    Give me a break!

  • Daniel Evans

    I realize that 90 percent of all people i meet are dush bags i talked to one of my x military friends so theres a few of you that are ok on here the rest of you are bunch or blabbering fools. But whatever. I didn’t even watch the video lol.

  • Daniel Evans

    This dude should low crawl threw a field in the mud for 100 meters heh