The AK and M-4 – Tools of the Trade for Security Contractors
Sure, I know what you are thinking; “we need another AK ‘VS’ the M-4 debate like we need another round of prohibition”. But out of the zillions of articles and YouTube vids out there I have never seen one that specifically addresses the pros and cons of running the AK-47 and M-4 in the unique environment of International non-permissive environment Private Security Contracting. Also, this is NOT a “VS” article; it is more a comparison of both the weapons systems based on my experiences running both as a Security Contractor.
On my first Civilian Contracting gig I carried an old ass M16A2 that was so fucking big if I ran out of ammo I could probably use it as a Bō Staff. It also didn’t come with a sling so I had to make one out of 550 cord, duct tape and a luggage strap (something I did for years until John over at Original S.O.E. was generous enough to shoot me one of his Single Point Slings).
The second gig I ran an AK, third an M-4. Both of these gigs were a bit strange because ‘officially’ we were not authorized to carry firearms (strange contract stuff like that happened back in the day) so we didn’t carry our weapons around with us on base, only out on missions and had zero range or training time.
The Forth gig was unique because I was issued both an AK and an M-4, so it was my choice of what weapons system I wanted to run based on the mission or task. I also spent a lot of time as a Tactical Firearms Instructor to TCN’s (Third Country Nationals), Local Iraqis, Brits, Aussies and Americans. So I spent a substantial amount of time on the range discussing the preferences between the M-4 and AK with Operators from five continents, from peaceful 1st world countries where you can’t even buy firearms, to the world’s shittiest 3rd world war torn hell-holes where you can buy AK magazines and baby wipes at the same store.
On my latest gig running the roads in Iraq I run a Yugoslavian Zastava M92, it is basically a Shorty AK with a 10” barrel and an under-folder stock. This is my favorite AK variant I have used so far.
So after using the AK and/or the M-4 as a security contractor under a variety of operational environments for a bit over a decade I am going to throw together my opinions on the pros, cons and issues I have experienced from both weapons systems.