Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Gambler X

    A beard and a PKM. Do you really need much more in life?

    • Riot

      Ammo by the crate load.

      • You mean truckload.

        Trucks upon trucks of truckload.

        • Phillip Cooper

          Nah, cubic metric f***ton…

          • jcitizen

            Train loads for sure! But 7.62x54R is mega cheap!

    • Bill

      If the US starts to loose parity in the beard wars, we’re doomed. We need to initiate the MAS principle; Mutually Assured Shaving, or develop a collateral disbeardment program, with UN inspectors and satellite surveillance.

      • Martin M

        We must not allow there to be a Beard Gap!

        • iksnilol

          Good God, this is gonna be worse than the Mineshaft Gap.

    • SLi-Fox

      Don’t forget the ultra dramatic music of the first video. Got to have that. It should automatically come on whenever you pull the trigger.

  • datimes

    That looked like more fun than Disneyland.

  • Matt

    I want one.

  • Mr Silly

    Wonder which place in the world he will be sent to… SYR_ _. who wants to buy a vowel?

    • Paul Joly

      All long stoke gas piston firearms aren’t ak.

      • Mr Silly

        True. But most animals that quack are ducks.

        • Paul Joly

          Most long stoke gas piston firearms aren’t ak.
          Even the sig 540/550 famillies aren’t ak (galil and valmet are ak), and a lot of rifles created before the ak47 are long stroke gas piston with a rotating bolt.

  • Tritro29

    Chechen “Federales”…

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    For cold weather fighters you dont see a lot of Russian soldiers with beards.

    • Core

      It’s because the Russians don’t need to blend in when they come to blow terrorists up.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yeah but it seems like they would have beards because they fight in cold a-s weather.

        • Core

          They all have short beards in the videos now that I think of it.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Is it just me, or do the Russians appear to have just been copying our loadout for the last 15 years or so? Everything from helmets to ITVs…

    • Well we’re the only country who has been continuously at war for the last 15 years, so why not profit from our unprofitable experience?

      • Phillip Cooper

        True enough I suppose. I’m glad to see the military is finally taking notice of electronic earmuffs and noise-cancelling technology. I still have issues with tinitis from my days as a grunt.

        ……Will someone PLEASE answer that dam phone???!!?

    • Bill

      They stole the design for my range barricades, which I stole from somebody else.

      I’m kind of surprised by the number of optics, which supports the theory that this is a private training facility. While they may have been copying our gear, I’d be really interested in knowing if they are pirating our uniform technology, to upgrade their cold and adverse weather clothing. My understanding of both the Afghan and Chechen conflicts is that their .mil was severely hampered by outdated, ineffective clothing. Can’t fight well if you’re hypothermic.

      • Cmex

        If adopting electronic gunsights and k-pots is theft, then we have to answer for stealing their DMR, SAW, APC, and accessory rail concepts.

      • n0truscotsman

        That was only part of the issue.

        The Soviet, and, subsequently, Russian, Armed Forces have always had issues with logistics, even predating the Great Patriotic War. These issues weren’t remedied by the time the Afghan War began and certainly didn’t cease by the two Chechen Wars.

        Field hygiene and access to amenities like extra uniforms, purified water, showering equipment, and anything else in between that lowers disease and hospitalization rates, was seriously lacking in the Soviet Army. Strict enforcement of hygiene, forced hydration/consumption of nutritious foodstuffs, and access to clean uniforms was something that was dangerously deficient.

        http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/afgmed/afgmed.htm

        And these issues weren’t isolated occurrances in Afghanistan. They were persistent among Red Army garrisons in East Germany.

        Little conveniences western soldiers enjoy, such as more dynamic/evolved footwear, socks, multi-layered clothing, etc, aren’t just luxuries. They’re absolutely essential to maintaining manpower availability rates, i.e. maintaining enough capable riflemen to shoot the enemy.

        Russia seems to be heeding these lessons, at least, from an outsider’s limited viewpoint with what limited information is available.

    • USMC03Vet

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

      • Tritro29

        I don’t think you should be flattered by thugs cosplaying HSLD “operators”. These are personal police for Ramzi K. Our beloved Star Rapper and coincidentally Chechen republic leader/overlord.

    • n0truscotsman

      Not a bad idea doing that. The US applies the lessons learned, makes developments, and they imitate.

      Its certainly a step up from portyanki, primeval body armor designs, and side mounted rifle optics that are bulky and heavy with battery lives measured in hours.

    • Cmex

      Sorta to some degree. They more often come up with something reminiscent rather than a genuine ripoff, unlike the Chinese. K-pots, optics, and MOLLE are sweeping the globe; no surprise they’re in Russia. Interestingly, if you went back to the late 1950’s and worked forward from there, you’d see we’ve actually been copying them in a lot of ways. Off the top of the head…

      1. We adopted the assault rifle based on experiences with the AK-47.
      2. We adopted APC and IFV based off the BMP and BTR.
      3. We copied rigorous camouflage development from them.
      4. We followed them in mag camouflaged uniforms widespread.
      5. The RPD was the world’s first SAW.
      6. The SVD was the first Designated Marksman Rifle.
      7. We adopted much of our doctrine for mechanized infantry from them.
      8. We start issuing modular armored vests based off their designs.
      9. The side mount used on the AK, SVD, and PK predates our accessory rails.

      • Mr Silly

        Didn’t the US have designated rifleman in WW2?

        • Cmex

          Not really. Occasionally some guy would just happen to get a scope on their rifle, but the basic guy back then was just the rifleman.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    These people look capable as hell.
    What possible reason could we have to go to war? We both have plenty of land and resources. Seems inevitable though at some point.

    • Jay

      Ask Mc Cain, George Soros and their handlers….or maybe ask yourselves, because all this bull$hit is done on your tax dollars, while you are too busy watching “walking dead”.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I dont watch that show.
        And I dont have those guys numbers.

        • Jay

          then you have nothing to worry about….Just wait for the flash….

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I got my dollar store sunglasses ready.

          • Hankmeister77

            And your one million sunblock, too, I hope.

    • Bill

      I dunno. Going to war with a First-World power would still be a zero-sum game for all involved. They’ll still do the proxy war thing with advisors, trainers and specialized support units, which sounds awfully familiar.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        It will be over the last few drops of dinosaur juice.

        • Bill

          Fury Road!

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Im building a car that runs on my useless internet comments.

          • SP mclaughlin

            MEDIOCRE!

          • lapkonium

            You can’t build a perpetual motion machine, sorry.

      • iHAL

        Second world power. First, second, and third world refer to alliances, not economic status.

  • MPWS

    Международный Учебный Центр Cил Специального Назначения; meaning “International Educational Centre Forces of Special Use/purpose”. It does not make lots of sense to me. If it is “international”, how it can be ‘Russian’ in true sense of the word; therefor not Spetznaz. One or the other but not both. Sounds like Russian version of Academi to me.
    I believe I read something in that sense beforehand.

    • Bill

      Russian curent events is sort of a hobby of mine. I’m under the impression that there are still a lot of Soviet-era proletariat and government staffers who haven’t come to grips with the break-up of the USSR and the Russian Federation, so “international” in this context likely refers to the former Soviet nation-states.

    • SP mclaughlin

      I think some of those flag patches are Belarussian, too.

    • This is a vanity project by the Chechen president Kadyrov (a really ostentatious guy who gets to continue his antics as long as he is totally loyal to Moscow). Kadyrov uses every opportunity to make some flashy gesture or statement praising the gov’t and its decisions, with incredibly overdone gung-ho, presenting Chechnya as the most patriotic and the most anti-terrorist part of the federation.

      Not surprisingly for his project, the center is said to be semi-private and is invested in by unnamed persons — but at the same time is curated directly by Chechen government. It is intended to be a training ground for any special forces teams from over the world (implying their cooperation in war on terrorism), as well as any domestic special forces teams. It is said to contain full-size mockups of differnet buildings and vehicles.

      • MPWS

        Makes sense what you say Ayur. Kadyrov’s days are counted anyway; he will have to remain a first class warrior or he is gone. I do not believe Chechnya is stable in long term. Thanks for information!

        • Why do you think so? Who does he even have to fight, in your opinion?

          • KestrelBike

            The IED under his limo?

      • Martin Frank

        Isnt kadyrov himself a severe badass and ex solider? look at how limp all our candidates look compared to putin and this guy.

        • God forbid Kadyrov ever gets to actually rule anything. The guy’s a butcher in his former life (fought on insurgent side) and a subservient, angry buffoon in the present one.

        • Cmex

          Kadyrov is technically a militia brat who grew up during the civil war. He doesn’t talk about his childhood. He’s a strongman with a pet tiger and a prison he doesn’t let journalists get near.

  • me

    The C clamp looks appropriate in this application. On AR’s not so much.

  • Bill

    I’m just a lightweight AR-carrying pantywaist – how much can those guys bench, flinging around PKMs like that?

    • iksnilol

      Eh, PKMs are lightweight as far as MGs go. I mean, loaded PKM with 100 rounds is still lighter than unloaded M240.

    • Cmex

      No idea. A PKM is just 16 pounds.

      • Bill

        I did not know that. They look heavy, and I thought everything in Russia was heavy, like the food and any woman over 35.

        • Bob

          Well, that’s about twice the weight of my AK, even with the extra scope mount, scope, sling, muzzle brake, etc I put on. So, not light compared to an assault rifle, but light compared to other machine guns.

        • Tritro29

          You seem to have a brain tumor when “Russia” is concerned. Because that’s my exact experience with America. With the slight difference than it’s not only any woman over 35 in the US. It’s every damn living creature.

          • Bill

            You are exactly right, which is why I live on celery stalks and only date Victoria’s Secret models.

            I’ve tried mail-ordering a wife from Russia, but they didn’t show up. Six times.

          • Tritro29

            Usually it works when you write down your mail address. Given the propensity for US people to actually be illiterates when all foreign things are concerned, I wouldn’t be too quick to point at a scam. Especially given the aforementioned blind spot when Russia is concerned. Maybe you should get out the Cold War and the Naughties from your brain, maybe that “tumah” will go away.

          • Bill

            IT’S NOT A TUMAH!

            I’ve traveled outside the States quite a few times. Ironic that you mention the Cold War the same week that Russian jets have been playing tag with a US warship in the Baltic. Reminiscent of playing chicken with nuclear submarines and intercepting Bear bombers off the Eastern Seaboard.

          • Tritro29

            Yeah…in the Baltic. Russian Jets. American Ship. Guess we shouldn’t put our territory so close to NATO…right? Also this has nothing to do with the Cold war. While then it was serious business now it’s just the sad reality of US foreign policy Schizophrenia. We’re not pretending to fight some elusive Iranian menace and Jihadist threat by arming them…to fight some other elusive threats like the Syrian Armed forces or ISIS. But yeah, if it’s not a Tumah, then it has to be any other form of debility…

          • Core

            I used to carry a M60 on 12 hour roving watches. 400 extra rounds, with body armor and said pounds of useless mandatory equipment. You guys arguing over Russo-American stereotypes is hilarious.

        • Cmex

          LOL! The food isn’t too heavy, but it’s rich. Russian women come in two breeds. There are the dainty pale ones with all the elegant features who’re like porcelain dolls and never seem to gain any weight, and there are the blocky ones with dark hair who tend to have a bit more T’n’A until they hit their mid thirties when they suddenly balloon outwards. Likewise, there are two main phenotypes for Russian guys. The guys are either really narrow-faced and noodly but don’t store fat, or they’re squat, broad and square with crazy muscles and a guaranteed gut once they’re out of their teens, balding starting from their 20’s, but only seem to get stronger with age.

  • mechamaster

    The Second video has PKP-Pecheneg. rare creature indeed.

    • May

      With good reason, for whatever reason the design team on the PKP thought that the issue they needed to be most concerned with was precision shots (like you’re ever going to be decent at those with an open bolt gun) so they beefed up the reciever and barrel profile and permanently affixed the barrel, compared to the PKM the thing is heavier, more expensive, and less useful. It’s not a big surprise those are few and far between, even if you ignore what a logistical disaster the Russian military is.

      • Tritro29

        You actually didn’t get the point behind the PKP, which is excellent for the intended role. It’s not going to replace the PKM as a GPMG, just overwatch the RPK as a “SAW”. Yeah…Also few and far in between? Lol? For a such a system the damn thing has been overproduced. And is currently being undergoing a diet in order to justify its existence given that other options are being designed (Tokar/RPK SN etc).

      • iksnilol

        Eh, MGs have always been better at precision than people think. I mean, heavy barrel with heavy receiver is a good starting point.

        • DL

          There was testing at Camp Robinson in the early eighties that had “improved” M60 LMG’s shooting as accurate as NM14’s. The issued barrels were “squeezed” at the muzzle to insure the “cone of fire”. By the time you fired enough ammo through to tighten your groups the liner gap was usually too wide. I heard that some organizations were able to purchase barrels that hadn’t been crimped. Still, the open bolt problem. I like the PKM. Especially when you have “coolies” to haul it and everything else.

          • jcitizen

            The problem was not the M60 barrel trunnion, but the over all light weight receiver, and bolt cam system. They were never going to get a reliable LMG out if it, let alone a tight cone of fire! The only reason I can see that GWOT soldiers want that POS, is that it does fairly well on reliable fire, as long as you squirt a LOT of grease into it, and use a properly hardened operating rod. Otherwise you can practically build a bird’s nest in the receiver and still get reliable operation!

          • DL

            We had bolts chipping and wear because of the two-shot bursts for accuracy. Everyone hated the 16 and look what it became. They needed something that wasn’t the 30cal or the 14E1. Haste made waste. The unions were easily angered by the requests for the MAG. Now we have it. You carry it.

          • jcitizen

            The FN M240 being made in the US now, made the unions happy. In fact, you can now buy a semi-auto version in the civilian market here.

          • DL

            I consider the MAG a medium MG. The 60 was excellent door gunner weapon. I always wanted a larger pistol grip. Now I recall using the M14 flash suppressor alignment gauge/rod to look for competition quality barrels. I met an Old Soldier who had been awarded the “Distinguished Automatic Rifle Badge”. Building 4 dismist and rejected our requests for a “Distinguished Machine Gunner Badge”. (probably because it was a lower enlisted competition)

          • jcitizen

            I would loved to have done that, but couldn’t find the team members to do the work, I tried practicing as much as possible on my own though – this was in the days when the M60 was still the main issue LMG. I never had any trouble hitting my targets so my main goal was to perfect the crew served drills, tactics, and range cards. They pushed me wear the badge hanger, but I really didn’t technically rate it, and I don’t think it is in my DD214 either.

          • DL

            I considered refusing E7 just to compete. Like most precision shooting your “Coach” was the key player. Now Building 4 declared the competition wasn’t the pure skills of a machinegun team and required a barrel change and use of the tripod. Justified. I’m waiting to see the release of remote systems where the CiC can fire weapons from his desk. Executive style. Como los Maxim bunkers at Verdun. Heat transferred supprest barrels. Rotators. We are His Story, Brother.

          • jcitizen

            HA! For sure! Thanks for posting!

        • jcitizen

          Even the Ma Deuce has had major barrel and receiver work to both lighten the load, stiffen the receiver, and make the barrel change easier and more precise. I just wished I could get a hold on one of those mods for mine!!

          I’m sure one of the new click in heavy barrels requires some major head space and trunnion modifications!

    • SP mclaughlin

      I’ve seen a few of them during the Crimea crisis, though they were usually mounted on GAZ trucks.

  • Cuvie

    I believe those are Chechen Spetsnaz since they wear the Chechen flag and use ATACs uniforms

  • USMC03Vet

    I like the gun camo.

  • politicsbyothermeans

    Digging those Peltors.

  • Bob

    Don’t want to be downrange of them things…

  • Mr.Volt

    For all of those who has any doubts about the troops being Russians.
    The patch on their forearms are the flag of Chechnya (same as in the upper right corner).
    I am not sure if ethnically but legally we can conclude that those soldiers are Russians.

  • Bill

    I missed a chance to go over and shadow Russian cops during that time – there were a couple exchange programs taking place, none of which focused on organized crime or the investigation of government corruption.

  • Leonidas

    PKM is the best machine gun in the world, I think. It is a proven design and more lightweight than western counterparts. For example FN MAG. Yes, it is extremely reliable but heavy.

    • Mr Silly

      FN MAG is a Belgian re-iteration of the PKM- the entire FNC, FAL etc range are AK based.

  • guest

    If this was any real Russian “special forces” (ie: spetznaz of MVD, GRU, FSB etc) training, then you’d see no faces. Russia is very strict about specops not showing faces.

  • durabo

    That dangling spent ammo belt will certainly trip the infantryman at the worst possible moment. Why not a disintegrating belt?

    • jcitizen

      Ever tried to police up the parts of a disintegrated belt? Have you ever found a belt loader for such belts? I’d take a non-disintegrating belt any day; but then that is a moot point in battle, unless logistics is a problem.

  • whamprod

    I noticed a couple of times where the shooter put rounds into the dirt well short of the target. I’ve never fired any kind of machine gun. Is that common?

    • jcitizen

      When I received LMG training in the Army, we were told to always aim low and walk the rounds into the target area; I say area, because most machine guns rely on a “cone” of fire, that splatters a shotgun pattern of bullets over the target. I’m sure this is probably still the view of small arms doctrine to this day. Very few purpose built LMGs have anywhere near the accuracy of the M16 family of rifles. Actually very few “assault” rifles in the world have comparable accuracy to the M16(**)/M4(**).

      • Core

        The IAR is a different animal and numerous LMG are uber accurate it’s all about trigger control.

        • jcitizen

          Yes development is moving forward, but I’m out of the loop now on modern designs, until I get one in the field to test. Infantry Automatic Rifles is a constantly moving science to this day, which is a good thing in my opinion.

          I would love something like an AR derivative with a removable heavy barrel, and a belt feed system, but I haven’t seen one that was acceptable since the Stoner 63 system, and even it is obsolete!

  • Nate Grogan

    They are using PKP machine guns not the PKM.

    • Cmex

      The PKP is a PKM with an unchangeable heavy barrel.

  • Arnold May II

    Cool, I want to use one