AR47: The Problems Of Filming Overseas

In a not too popular film, Echelon Conspiracy, the actors are using what looks like M16s at a glance. However upon closer inspection they are some form of AK variant dressed up as an M16. According to IMDB the film was shot in Thailand, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Russia. Perhaps they did not have access to M16s? So the props weapon master dressed up some AKs to look like ARs.

I do not know all the different variants of the AK platform. Does anyone recognize what AK variant this is?

AR47 1


Here is a clip of the gun in action.

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


  • Drake

    Looks like a Norincon CQ a Chinese copy of the m16.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Not really.

  • Twilight sparkle

    It’s a type 3 ak, you can tell from the Lightning cut, but I can’t really tell much else.

  • Meathead

    “Sir, I need you to take your thumb off the forward assist button”

    • Anonymoose

      he’s probably holding it like that to keep the props from falling off. πŸ˜€

      • Twilight sparkle

        That’s probably true lol

      • Cal S.

        They probably told him that he had to press the forward assist after every shot because the internet told him that was the only reason the M16 could operate after jamming every shot.

        • Vanns40

          You’ve got it all wrong. They actually flew in M16 expert Gregg Jarrett, firearms guru of Fox News fame, to show them how it’s done. He also pointed out the “full auto/mag release button” that the evil manufacturers put on every rifle so more children and mothers could be killed.

          • Cal S.

            John, that’s right..

    • HollowTs

      Lol exactly!

    • IndyToddrick

      He is just running off the safety πŸ™‚

  • Lew Siffer

    For more fun, if you have “Starz” on-demand, watch Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum in “Five Card Stud.” Halfway through they take target practice at a windmill, and then flip open the swing-out cylinders on their Colt SAAs to reload them. It took me years to figure that one out…

    • Anonymoose
    • Captain obvious

      Pretty common in those old westerns. Watch Jimmy Stewart handle his single actionized double action in the man who shot liberty valence.

    • John

      That has always been one of my favorite westerns and you know I have never noticed that reloading method in that scene. Next time I happened to come across the movie while channel surfer I will have to check that out.

  • Tritro29

    Looks like a milled Arsenal AR-M9 chopped up to look like an M16. Bulgaria…next Best Korea.

  • LazyReader

    OK fake guns….but the ZR-1 was real right?

  • Petto

    Hah nice prop , kinda reminds me those Pakistan AR-AK rifle

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Wow, that looks like its gonna suck.

    • Tassiebush

      If it babysits my kids it’ll be okay πŸ˜‰

  • Austin

    Hmm that’s the wrong angle for the M85 NP Magwell and it’s definitely not an AK magwell

  • Dave D

    Ed Burns needs some serious training. Wow that was bad.

  • toms

    Receiver looks like a RK92 or 95. That would be a travesty if it was.

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    They are modified Arsenal ARs. These exact guns appear in a lot of films made in Bulgaria, to name a few: “Killing Season”, “Infestation”, “The Tournament”, “Universal Soldier: Regeneration”, “Day of the Dead”, “The Shepherd: Border Patrol”, the list goes on.

  • screwthesystempartially

    3:04 – Glock malfunction πŸ˜€

  • Ezra Bristow

    There’s a similar MP5 mockup that can be done with the Romanian Asalt-96.

    The grip thing… in my experience of working on low budget movies, the guy has probably seen that weapon for the first time around 5 minutes before the cameras started rolling. Actors just seem to forget where their hands are and just drop into whatever they think is comfortable. Most of the time I’m happy if they remember to keep their finger off the trigger between takes and don’t muzzle anyone. Proper training costs time and money, both of which are in short supply on those kind of films.

  • Cymond

    Omg, are you kidding us?
    I can literally SEE the AK bolt carrier, magazine catch, milled magwell, selector, and the remains of where the rear sight and the selector detents.

    Dude, it’s an AK.

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    You could just have read the TFB post about this exact subject from three years ago, complete with an update on what they actually are. See ‘If an AR-15 and an AK-47 Had a Frankengun Child …’

  • Joe Schmo

    That was one of the worst movie shootouts I’ve ever seen. One thing popped into my head with each second of viewing:

    “How do you gun?”

    • Lt_Scrounge

      I take it you haven’t seen the original “Dawn of the Dead” where the police SWAT team is carrying what are obviously 22LR knockoffs of M16s. Then when some survivors make it to a shopping mall, they raid a gun shop and the police officer decides to become the new Wyatt Earp and straps on a single action six gun instead of any of the semi autos in the place. He also grabs some type of lever action rifle for use in a shootout with a motorcycle gang that includes guys carrying model 1928 Thompsons with drum magazines.

      I don’t know where George Romero got his armorer from, but the guy was an idiot.

      • Tassiebush

        Leveraction was a savage 99 from memory.

      • Anon. E Maus

        It was a cheap movie and it wasn’t aiming for realism, the Adler JΓ€ger .22LR rifles looked enough like M16s to pass, (though the parts where they mimick recoil and add machinegun sound-effects in post is pretty goofy).

        It’s a matter of making the best with what you have on a low budget.
        Personally, I always thought Day Of The Dead was a much better movie in every way, and that Dawn Of The Dead is pretty overrated.

  • tazman66gt

    Lance, is that you???

  • Allan

    I have seen these vismod kits in several movies on the SYFY channel, I always assumed they were old Soviet Warsaw pact army training aids for opfor use , pressed into movie sevice.

  • Sam

    You do not need be Larry Vickers tell that not real Ar15.

  • Benjamin Goldstein

    ITAR even sucks for the movie industry..

  • Bill

    I was actually digging:
    Ving Rhames: who must’ve needed to make a car payment
    The complete lack of continuity
    The 60’s/70’s vintage Kojak dash lights that no one uses anymore, except for the $12 ones at AutoZone
    Ford Exploders, which are much cheaper to destroy than the Tahoes and ‘Burbans that real bad feds drive

  • shooter2009

    Both those boys needed a better firearm advisor on the set.

  • shooter2009

    At 3:04

    Ummm…you have a double feed.

  • Lumpy Rutherford

    At 4:09 the weapon appears to eject a spent case, so I believe it’s a gun–not an electronic prop. The lightening cut in the receiver suggests a milled or forged receiver, yet the dimples just behind the cut looks like those typical of AKs with stamped receivers.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Those “dimples” are just not he’s cut for the selector positions of full auto and semi, the selector has just been cut down so it looks less like an ak

  • Lumpy Rutherford

    The one in the middle? It was ejecting spent cases, the other seemed not to fire–though I’ve heard the MACs had a real problem with stoppages and jams…

    • Anon. E Maus

      Would mainly depend on magazines.
      Some variants used Sten magazines, which could be notoriously annoying to keep running, some had magazines made from a kind of cheap plastic called “zytel” which would often wear down and sometimes break on earlier ones.

      The ones using Greasegun magazines and other better metal magazines would typically run much better.

  • Lloyd Esp

    Yeah, what everyone else said. Not a shooter….

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Never saw it, Now I want to.

  • Anon. E Maus

    It’s literally an Arsenal AK with a bunch of added parts and modifications to look more like AR15-like. This is done by movie armorers, purely for looks, there is no AK (at least in Europe), being produced and sold like this commercially or on contract.

    You can find them, correctly identified, in some pages on IMFDB.

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    This is starting to happen so friggin’ much on this blog. Between these repost and the “whatcha think” or “how’d you do it” Sesame Street post by poor Katie (who I still really, really want to like), I feel like though the quality has gone up in many areas, it is face palming in others.
    Come on TFB!