Rifle Dynamics and Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch have teamed up to create the AK that meets Clint’s reliability and quality requirements and represents the perfect AK for Thunder Ranch Urban Rifle concept. The Rifle Dynamics Thunder Ranch AK is a base platform that comes with must-have features and can be further customized and accessorized as you develop your skills and understand what you really need to enhance your efficiency with this weapon system.
Here is how RD describes how they started this project:
We are honored to be working with Clint Smith, Founder of Thunder Ranch, one of the most prestigious firearms training institutions in the United States. Clint, in our view, is credited with the development of the Urban Rifle concept. What does the ultimate urban defense carbine look like? More importantly, what do you need to be able to do with that carbine?
Take any rifle class at Thunder Ranch and you’ll hear Clint say to his students time and time again that they all should be students of weapons craft. In his own words, “Every single one of you, right now, need to know how to shoot a AR. Load it, unload it, paper plate at 25 yards . . . Every single one of you need to know how to shoot an AK47. Load it, unload it, hit a paper plate at 25 yards.” These are two of the most prolific weapon systems in the world today, and it would be in any shooter’s best interest to know both.
When Clint approached us about building his ideal AK, we knew of his uncompromising standards, that his guns must work 100%, all of the time. Period. We gladly accepted.
The RD Thunder Ranch AK is chambered in 7.62x39mm. It has a 16″ barrel with 14x1L metric left-hand thread pitch and comes equipped with an RPK pattern flash hider. The action of the rifle (rails, bolt, bolt carrier and trigger mechanism) is tuned. The rifle comes with black polymer stock, handguards and pistol grip. These rifles also feature RD tunable gas block, V2 enhanced rear sight (a.k.a. Fuller rear sight), and new RD safety selector with a cylindrical polymer stud. The metal parts are coated with green Molyresin over parkerized finish. The overall length of the rifle is 35.25 and the weight without the magazine is 6 lbs 12 oz. The rifles come with one 30-round magazine.
The MSRP of the above-described base version of the RD Thunder Ranch AK is $1,595. As per Clint’s requirements, the optional features are kept to a minimum and include an Ultimak railed gas tube (+$110), side scope rail (+$150), suppressor compatible muzzle device pinned and welded on a 14.5″ barrel (+$300), and Clint’s Rifle Essentials Pack that includes two 30 round magazines and Blue Force AK sling (+$100).
For those of you who want to better understand the design of this weapon system and perfect your skills with it, there is an option to take part in an RD build class with Clint Smith and the Thunder Ranch crew, followed by a two-day Thunder Ranch AK Urban Rifle Class that will allow you develop skills with the rifle that you have just built. The Rifle Dynamics and Thunder Ranch Build and Train classes will take place at the end of January 2021. To register for the classes, visit the Rifle Dynamics website.
I think it is safe to say that this is a Cadillac among AKs because when one of the highest quality AK building companies and one of the most renowned and experienced firearm instructors team up, the result must be perfection, an ultimate tool based on the time-proven action perfected by the top tier professionals in the industry.