Rifle Dynamics Upcoming “Precision AK” with Jim Fuller and Travis Haley

Capture

Not content to make arguably the finest Kalashnikov rifles in both 7.62×39 and the 5.45 rifles has set his sights on creating a true “precision” AK. Taking one of the first models out to a 100 yard range, Jim Fuller and Travis Haley are working to wrench performance from the (by reputation) inaccurate platform.

The rifle is set up using Sharps Brother’s milled AK receiver with built-in AR buffer compatibility, SLR Rifleworks extended rail, SilencerCo Omega suppressor and a 3x ACOG with a custom barrel. Using it, Haley was able to put hits on paper out to 800 yards which according to him is “combat effective” (agreed, especially for suppressive fire). Rounds were consistently in the black at 500 and 600 yards.

As a basis of comparison, the same “combat effective” hits were pulled from iron sight Type 53 rifles out to 500 yards. The iron sight equipped rifles actually have an advantage to shooting distance as their sights graduate out to 1000 yards where the ACOG only has bullet drop compensation out to about 600 yards/meters.

Stretching the round past 500 meters is still quite the feat. With its “weak” ballistic coefficient and relatively low velocity for a 7.62mm bullet, the drop at range is incredible. Further, rounds are going transonic which can cause the rounds to destabilize and lose accuracy.

We’re following Rifle Dynamics on their RD700 and look forward to what Jim and team can come up with.



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.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

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


Advertisement

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Dont Marines qualify at Camp Pendleton qualify at 500 yds with M4’s with iron sights?

    • Nicks87

      Not sure at what distance they qualify at but the M4 series rifles are capable of making consistent hits on target at around 800 yds with irons. I’ve seen it done, to my amazement, on an Army heavy weapons range.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Well I know the original requirement when they were testing the M-16 was that it had to be able to penetrate a helmet at 500 yds.

        • aka_mythos

          That really speaks to different attributes. Many rifles can shoot far but it’s a case of delivering enough energy out to a given range. An M-4 probably won’t penetrate the same helmet at 500yds and its lethality will be diminished at 800yds. While our marines are no less impressive, there ability to shoot accurately out to 500yds is probably a bit wasted on an M-4 when you consider what they might otherwise achieve.

          • CommonSense23

            A 10inch is plenty lethal out to 800 yards. Putting hits on guys at that distance might not kill them quickly but it typically makes them combat ineffective at that range.

          • aka_mythos

            That’s pretty much the definition of “diminished” lethality. Even with adjustments to ammunition to compensate for shortened barrel length that both the Army and Marines have implemented there is a modicum of long range performance trade off. It “might” do something but it’s not going to puncture helmets, which is fine as long as we’re fighting irregular forces.

          • CommonSense23

            You realize modern armor and helmets are currently winning the competition in armor versus projectile. My issued plates can stop burst of PKM fire point blank. And helmets are almost to the same point.

          • aka_mythos

            Even though that’s the case you lower the technological threshold for armor by sacrificing that rifle performance. Even with armor that good, do you want to have to close that much more distance before you fire is as effective as it was? It places a greater dependence on support weapons and all this is fine as long as it’s addressed on the right level with an appropriate number and variety of weapons to address the trade off.

          • AirborneSoldier

            Excellent point

          • AirborneSoldier

            There are few engagements at that distance. We need a killer at 300m and closer. Maybe we should have the ak. I know we need the rpg

          • All the Raindrops

            Termanil ballistics at extended ranges is way less important than just getting rounds there for suppressive fire… they don’t have to have huge “knock down power”…. gotta keep the haji’s behind their berm long enough for the arty, and/or if they do get hits, they won’t say “ha! That round was only going 1500fps, I’ll just walk it off!”

        • AirborneSoldier

          Right. Back then we cared about killing people and winning. Today the officers understand less about combat weapons than any previous generation, so we have chopped down match target rifles. But they look kewl.

      • AirborneSoldier

        With what terminal velocity?

        • Nicks87

          Not sure what you are asking but it was done with an issued rifle and ammunition, I’m guessing M855. The guy was a Army Senior NCO and was talking s**t about Aimpoints and Trijicons so somebody told him to put his money where his mouth is and he proceeded to remove his ACOG and clear the course with iron sights.

    • politicsbyothermeans

      Camp Pendleton and elsewhere but, yes, the Marines definitely have their guys shoot at 500yds. I’m sure one of the resident Marines can correct me if I am wrong but I think they have ten shot in ten minutes on a “Dog” type silhouette. It is regarded as one of the easier targets to hit since you have all freaking day to do it.

      • Squirreltakular

        Right, but it’s more of a full body target. IIRC, the dog targets are only used for the rapid fire strings at the 2 and 300 yard lines.

    • BabyWookie

      Russian marines (MorPekh) and paratroopers (VDV) qualify with AK-74Ms at 500 m.

    • AirborneSoldier

      Its not all about range.

  • Schnee

    No disrespect to these guys, but it seems to me that the Swiss/New Hampsherites and the Finns (and maybe the Isrealis) have already done this. Why not just get a Gen 2 Sig 556R and be done with it?

    • BabyWookie

      So have the Russians. The AK-74M/100 series of weapons have tighter tolerances, better materials and improved barrel tech, which make them rather accurate. I was reminded of this recently when shooting Hornady 5.45 mm out of my SGL31 and getting consistent ~1″ groups from 100 yards.

    • 360_AD

      So Jim Fuller can pay his bills. And as an owner of a Gen2 556R, it is scary accurate… with steel cased Wolf. Haven’t even tried Hornady brass, don’t see any need to. It may not be built like a tank, but it’s pretty damn good in just about every other way.

      • datimes

        Very pleased with mine too.

  • Nicks87

    Notice Travis said “combat effective hits” not “combat accuracy” the latter being a totally made up term used by people who cant shoot and/or people who just want to blame their (or somebody else’s) equipment.

  • Bear The Grizzly

    Yes lets make a stupid heavy rifle at a stupid expensive price to force a platform into a role that others do better in practically every way.

    • manBear

      Exactly! Not only are there much better platforms – there are MUCH better cartridges! x39 doesn’t seem like the right choice for this application IMO

    • Nicks87

      That’s not the point of this video, I don’t think they are trying to sell people this rifle. I think they are just trying to see what an AK47 type rifle is capable of when made with high quality components.

      • Captain Obvious

        Which still begs the question….why bother?

        • aka_mythos

          To understand its limits.

          • Bill

            If the limits aren’t understood by now, what’s the point?

          • Dracon1201

            We don’t know everything, Bill. That’s why it is worth checking out.

          • Bill

            It’s a freaking AK. Should we test the limits of a Sako TRG precision rifle by trying to do a dynamic entry and clear a building with it? AKs excel at being AKs, why force it into a role it wasn’t designed for?

          • Dracon1201

            Right, because Tabuk AKs haven’t already been proven DMRs, so we shouldn’t see if we can make a better one… Your TRG is invalid, while that is made to fill a niche role, the AK has been developed into many forms covering a wide range of uses, and can be pushed to more. I don’t know if it’s because you don’t think the system is accurate or something, but it can always be improved upon. We cannot afford to live within the short sighted limits you provide, because it is by pushing boundaries that we make progress in engineering.

          • Bill

            Um, OK.

          • All the Raindrops

            For much of the world, 7.62×39 will be the round of choice for many decades to come.

            Is that ideal? No, bit it is what it is.

          • Nicks87

            … and to show people that no matter how much money you dump into an AK (or who builds it) it’s still an AK. It’s not going to magically turn into a 1000 yard precision rifle.

        • Tinklebell

          Sometimes people do stuff just because they can…

        • All the Raindrops

          Why bother with anything?

    • AirborneSoldier

      These men are combat vets and plenty will tell you the 5.56 is still inadequate in many ways. Why did 300 AAC come about?

      • Frank

        To make a 9×39 type subsonic round in an AR.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Don’t like? Don’t buy. They aren’t hurting anyone. They aren’t misleading anyone, just presenting what they’ve done, and what it can do. People sure are offended here, over absolutely nothing.

  • Dave Y

    I wonder if they would be better off with a .303 / 150 grain bullet. I wonder because you lose about 150 FPS at the muzzle, but it should hold on longer. There are 175/180 grain pills that will also work, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin to push these to and that’s not why I was looking at them; I was chasing subsonic loads for suppressor use.

    The Lapua bullets are quite accurate, so I’d bet some decent reloads would have some accuracy potential in them.

    • Devil_Doc

      Why .303/.310 and not .308?

      • Dave Y

        YMMV, but I’ve only tried one .308 projectile and it would not stabilize. it was lighter than the 200 gn .310 Lapuas I was using which stabilize perfectly so I don’t have a lot of time put in on .308 projectiles form the AK.

        The 200 grain Lapua can be taken subsonic, and still cycles the action unsuppressed in my AK. My AK running the 200 Lapua is every bit as quiet as my buddy’s 10” .300 blackout, right down to the 10th of a db. using the same can; a form1 maglight tube model.

        Maybe I could implement some .308’s but the heavier .308 have a different profile and some won’t seat in the AK case. the 208 grain Hornady, for example.

        There may be .308’s out there that work, I simply haven’t stumbled across them yet.

        • Devil_Doc

          Oh, gotcha. I misunderstood what you were saying. I’ve tried loading the 150gr SGK into a 7.62×39 (hard to find any .310 locally), and the accuracy was meh..

  • gusto

    didn’t he who should not be mentioned do this on the “nevah been dunne befoh” show?

    • forrest1985

      Hahahahaha comment of the day!

  • Patriot Gunner

    Milled receiver, optics with side mount, slr hand guards, bi-pod and suppressor…Probably pushing 10 to 12 lbs…for a 7.62×39 rifle. I don’t know but that seems a little silly, you can get an AR10 pattern rifle with the same setup for the same weight, if not a little lighter and in a much more capable round. Yes I know this was an “engineering” exercise to see how capable the rifle can be, but I can’t help think that we wouldn’t be having this discussion if their weren’t stupid laws preventing us from getting new Dragunovs.

    • No

      Dragunovs are not that accurate though… According to the interwebs…

      • iksnilol

        Cause many people shoot bad ammo (IE MG ammo) through them.

        They hold around MOA with good ammo, just like they were made to. Just like the American DMRs, M1A and whatnot.

        Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a “precision” tool but it is fantastic in regards to practicality. It is very lightweight for the performance you get.

        • Patriot Gunner

          Precisely (pun intended)…It’s a 1 MOA gun with good ammo and someone who knows what they are doing behind the trigger. It’s rugged and reliable as well. It would make a fantastic hog gun…damn import bans.

          • iksnilol

            I intend to get one in .308, convert it to more common mags, then chop the barrel to 45-47 cm. Living outside the US I have some perks 😛

      • Patriot Gunner

        It’ll do what this rifle does but cheaper and lighter with a much more capable round. I get your sarc though, the internetz is lying.

  • Tim Pearce

    What, exactly does “in the black” mean? The confines of a man sized and shaped silhouette? The 1″ black spot at the center of some paper targets? 10 foot by 10 foot piece of plywood painted black (at 1000 yards, that’s still nothing to scoff at)?

  • Right-wing Realist✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    I would love to have a 5.45 SPR type ak with an 18″ or 20″ barrel. Flatter trajectory and higher velocity is easier to work with even though it won’t go as far as the high grain bullets.

    • Squirreltakular

      This. Exactly this.

  • sean

    Jim Fuller = AK God….I would do horrible things to my person pride for his personal Krink

  • n0truscotsman

    They’ll probably start with the vepr as a baseline for these rifles.

    Vepr’s are capable of MOA accuracy, provided they have proper optics and ammunition.

    You can arguably build a AK with that level of accuracy, although it requires significantly higher attention to detail and finesse when assembling it. Since there are now free float MLOK options for hand guards and scope mounts that are actually *good* (RS Regulate), accuracy will probably be easier to improve for AK.

    • iksnilol

      What are these freefloat AK handguards you speak of?

    • HollowTs

      They are building their own milled receivers for this weapon which has threads for an m4 extension integrated.

  • Bob

    Hmmmm… Can’t watch video from my phone right now, but I recall Rob Ski of AK Operators Union demonstrated that with sufficient care and attention to the basics of shooting, 400 meter hits on a man sized target can be done with the iron sights on a stock NPAP, with cheap Wolf ammo as I recall, then more recently achieved a close to one MOA (excluding a flyer) group with a Wasr at 100 yards. So… I am not surprised these guys are able to make good hits at hundreds of yards with an AK tricked out for the task.

    • fmike15

      What’s sad is that they had to trick it out to do it! Go Rob Ski!

      • All the Raindrops

        They were getting hits at 500 with 60+yo type 2’s.

        Haley isn’t a fake. Neither of them are claiming this rifle is handed down from the gods themselves.

  • 360_AD

    Strange that it has the LaRue reciprocating cheek riser. Why? it doesn’t have an AR charging handle.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Why WOULDN’T a cheek riser which was specifically designed to readily attach to an AR stock need this feature?

  • Dracon1201

    Literally any caliber but 7.62×39 would have made me happy. I had an M77 that already would shoot 1.5-2 MOA. I was hoping it would be an improvement on something like that.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Since when does RD produce AK’s? They take AK’s others make and put a spit and shine on it, tacky engraving, and resell it at 3x the cost. I don’t understand this mythical, god-like status Fuller has. He’s really good at marketing and that’s where the good ends. Krebs used to be the real-deal, but even they have slipped into this same sort of deal.

    • Joe Schmoe

      A ton of people who, I would be very willing to wager, are much more qualified than you in regards to the technical specifics of what makes a good AK, would vehemently disagree. And they’re manufacturing a ton of their own parts these days. Do some homework, unless you’re just trolling.

      • BrandonAKsALot

        And here we go. Oh, I’m sorry, they make a stock adapter for AR stocks and from what I understand it’s pretty subpar during heavy use. Please, do not belittle my technical knowledge of the Kalashnikov. I’m no engineer, but I do happen to be pretty well verse in all things AK.

        RD uses those crappy venom tactical bolt-on gas blocks on their “builds” that relies on screw tension alone to keep it in place. Great idea when there’s a heavy carrier smashing into it over and over, right? The piston impacts inside the block every cycle. They are also non-adjustable. Oh well, you can always take a file to your permanent front sight post if you need to adjust the height. Even Century uses a better combo block.

        Don’t get made because I’m pointing out the ridiculous cost of having an AK get a shiny trigger, painted, and engraved. That’s the majority of their tune up. Oh and installing that sub-par combo-block. Fuller insisted that the Tapco G2 FCG is case hardened also. It’s made of 4140 steel alloy. If you konw anything about steel alloys, that’s an absurd statement. You case harden low carbon steel to add carbon to the surface. 4140 is a relatively high carbon steel. Trying to case harden it would be a waste of time. He also has stated that drilling holes in the gas tube will help an over gassed AK, which again, is a ridiculous statement. The Kalashnikov pattern guns get all of their energy from the gas in the block. It works differently than most guns and the gas tube does not retain pressure. It’s a piston guide and that’s about it.

        So if RD is so great, please, please school me on the technical details of why. If you can’t perhaps you should be the one doing your homework.

        • Joe Schmoe

          Ok then. Bolton blocks can now be pinned, and they will, if you like. They can now also be adjusted for elevation with a screwdriver and are compatible with both 45 and 90 degree ports. The overwhelmingly vast majority of AK blocks are not adjustable, so that’s an unfair criticism, in my personal opinion.

          They’re often manufacturing their own trunions these days as well as sourcing quality american made barrels; chambering, profiling and pressing them in house. Working in conjunction with several american companies to source other components such as proper leaded rivets and such. They’ve stamped a ton of recievers off of NODAK sheets.

          In reference to the G2, Jim has stated on multiple occasions that they’ve primarily been used simply because of the lack of diversity in the aftermarket AK trigger market (at the time), and that they just work (albeit with a little tuning), which is good enough for him, he’s not a trigger snob. This situation has changed recently, with the advent of several new entries into the AK trigger market, and they’re considering the inclusion of other triggers such as the Geissele.

          Also, there is a lot more hand fitting (lapping, filing, general man hours) going into their work than you apparently believe, not sure how to prove that to you without wasting a TON of my time, aside from saying “call them and ask” or “compare a WASR and a RD model yourself or take a build class with them”. Is all of it strictly necessary to the function of the rifle? No. Is it pleasing? Yes.

          Gas relief cuts in the tube can really help to prevent gas blowback/back pressure on suppressed AKs (the sort which they recently produced in a brief collaborative partnership with Silencerco), or short barrels rifles.

          I have heard of several issues regarding their AR stock adapter. I don’t prefer AR stocks on AKs personally, but regardless, it’s not a product I personally recommend, given the feedback I’ve observed. That particular point aside, I feel that a lot of your information regarding RD is either outdated, taken out of context, misinterpreted or subject to confirmation bias. Just my opinion.
          For full disclosure, I have taken one of their build classes in the past, and am a gunsmith by trade.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            I haven’t used a bolt-on block in a year or so, but the ones I’ve installed for people had a permanent sight post, which was the adjustability part to which I referred. All factory AK posts are in a drum and can be adjusted.

            Well, good for them on actually manufacturing trunnion etc. I sincerely hope that they can actually do it right because it seems like no US company can/wants to. I mean no sarcasm in this comment. I’d genuinely like to see someone do it at this point.

            My comment on the G2 had less to do with the fcg itself and more to do with the fact that he was making claims that just didn’t make sense. I get companies usually have engineers and then have the faces of the company, and sometimes the ones heading up the companies may make mistakes when speaking.

            I suppose I have some personal bias on the level that I build almost all my AK’s, so the tolerances on them are tighter than a factory AK would be because that’s how I put them together. Headspace is just above minimum and I don’t majorly over gas mine and I thoroughly clean and polish the engagement surfaces. I just feel a lot of it is made to be some magic service that no one could manage, when in reality most of it is easily doable at home, albeit at the expense of a lot of time.

            The gas tube commnet was more that is again, made no sense. Maybe with a supressor, but drilling holes in the gas tube otherwise, serves no purpose.

            A lot of my info may be outdated and fair enough. I don’t keep up with RD too much because I’ve never understood the fuss. I understand not everyone takes the time to hand polish parts until the action is smooth like I do and they are willing to pay. I have just always felt RD is majorly over priced, but I suppose the market will bear with it will and if they are profiting on it, then it’s just capitalism.

  • AirborneSoldier

    My m1a or shorter versions will always shoot the pants off the rifles. This rifle was desigened to be used by the comrades in their last 300 to 100 meters as they poured out of their bmps etc, to assault nato positions in ww3. Never happened, thank God. Ak is great close in weapon if you are only trying to achieve combat accuracy. This will never end. What it really points to is the efforts of real combat vets who still wish for a more potent round in a battle rifle. I admire them.

  • guest

    What is the point? Making an assault rifle chamered in an old ww2 vintage calibre no less (M43, as in 1943 the date it was “coined”) being pushed to absurd ranges it was never intended for. Why? This is like taking a postal delivery van and prepping it for the 1/4 mile. Doable, but complete nonsense.

    • Joe Schmoe

      For funsies. And maybe to piss off the “Nyet, rifle is fine” crowd.

      • guest

        Well that’s the problem right there. If 1/10 the effort being spent on “fun” guns was spent on making really new, innovative, game-changing (using the term loosely) weapons there would actually be some progress.
        Alas, vast majority of gun owners look at firearms the same way they look at sports cars and bikes: “fun”. Sure there is fun, but IMHO there should be a very clear line drawn between the “fun” and “practical” departments, because many don’t even understand the two exist OR that they are completely different by nature.

        And btw: rifle is fine, comrade. I have yet to see an actual aftermarket/small company AK improvement that is not down the alleys of either “fun” or the other way … “pimp my gun” type of stuff, rails, rails, rails… 100 different knick-knacks that never get used.

  • fmike15

    Yeah, let’s take a $600 rifle and make it cost $2000. I’d just like to see some 20″ heavy bbl AK’s you could buy without having to buy an RPK.

  • joedeats

    I still can’t be the only one who sees a huge market for an American made SVD, yes the point was to make the 7.62×39 accurate but the Sig gen 2 556R already is. So for crying out loud could someone build some SVDs that aren’t 5000 dollars. Then we can have our accurate AK.

    • RickOAA .

      But the SVD is not an AK…at all.

  • RickOAA .

    PSL, M76, Vepr .308 or 7.62x54r. With match or “sniper” grade ammunition they are all capable. No need to reinvent the AK.

    • All the Raindrops

      What about ammo/mag commonality?

      A Fireteam equipped with x39 weapons could benefit from a guy or two with this weapon.

  • Richard Lutz

    The Finnish Rk 62 (in service since 1965) has a reputation for superb accuracy. I think more than a few people would like a company like Rifle Dynamics to make a faithful reproduction of this rifle.