The Suarez Method
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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Basic Kalashnikov Skill Set

    To answer many questions that have come in during the past few months.

    First of all repeat after me -

    THE KALASHNIKOV IS NOT AN AR-15, DON'T RUN IT LIKE ONE.
    THE KALASHNIKOV IS NOT AN AR-15, DON'T RUN IT LIKE ONE.
    THE KALASHNIKOV IS NOT AN AR-15, DON'T RUN IT LIKE ONE.

    Ok, now that we have that out of the way......

    1). Learn to mount the rifle quickly, smoothly and uniformly so the gun always points where you want it to. Think of a sporting clays shooter who takes great pains to make sure his shotgun fits right. Your mount of the weapon should fit your upper body to the gun so it fits right.

    2). Learn to disengage the selector lever OFF SAFE as you mount the rifle. Use the middle and index finger of the firing hand to do this. Simple is better.

    3). Learn to keep the trigger finger at the Natural Limit Of Extension. Monkeying with the safety on the AK like it was an M4 or a 1911 is ill-advised. Take the safety off and leave it off 'til you are done.

    4). Learn to change magazines. Take the on board one out, stow it and replace it with a new one. We have discussed the problem with dropping magazines in the field and we won't rehash that here. The ability change magazines is a staple that will allow you to keep the weapon loaded and reduce malfunctions in one maneuver.

    5). Learn to run the bolt. Train to go over the top of the receiver as well as underneath the receiver. This maneuver should be apart of any reload or magazine change process. It also serves as a hasty chamber check when you grab and go the rifle.

    6). Learn trigger reset. Do this dry at first and then make a habitual live fire method. Press the trigger, hold it back while you run the bolt (in dry fire mode), then slowly release it forward until you feel and hear the rifle reset, then press again. Continue with this until it is reflexive. Repeat it live fire.

    These basic skills will serve you well when you take the step forward to advanced training.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Often times the rifle doctrine is heavily influenced by pistol doctrine. If you look at much of the rifle material being taught at "shooting schools" today, you can see IPSC fingerprints all over it.

    Take the issue of the Tactical and Speed Loads. The tactical reload was first writtena bout by McBride in "A Rifleman Went To War". It was later publicized more by Chuck Taylor who prescribed it for a lull in the fight. If point of fact, while Taylor taught a "Speed Load" that jettisoned an empty magazine for pistol, he was dead against it for rifle, teaching instead to retain empty OR partial magazines for later use.

    I queried the guys at WT and the 16K subscribers to Warrior News about instances they were aware of where an actual "speed load" saved anyone in a fight. While there were many instances where people had reloaded after the fight, or relaoded behind cover, no one was aware of any event where the good guy was saved by being able to pull off an IPSC reload. Hmmm.

    When I began revising my rifle program, I scraped everything off the table and began afresh. I did not want to drag-over AR-centric, Police-centric, or Pistol-centric thinking. I discussed the needs with plenty of combat veterans from SWAT events, civilian events, as well as military events. This included contacts from several armies, both US and foreign (Russian Spetsnaz, Spanish Legion, British Marines, French Foreign legion, Swiss, German, Serbian, as well as militia groups from various wars in Lebanon and other places).

    The picture we ended up with did not look anything at all like a typical American Urban Rifle Class.

    Here is what I do for weapon manipulation with an AK. It is sort of a flow chart or a decission ladder.

    WEAPON STOPS WORKING AS EVIDENCED BY DEAD TRIGGER

    ARE YOU INSIDE PISTOL RANGE?

    YES - THEN TRANSITION TO PISTOL

    NO - ARE YOU BEHIND COVER?

    NO - GET BEHIND COVER

    YES - RELOAD THE GUN (OLD MAGAZINE OUT AND STOWED - NEW MAGAZINE IN - RUN THE BOLT)

    DID THAT FIX THE GUN?

    YES - CONTINUE KILLING BAD GUYS

    NO - TAKE MAGAZINE OUT - RUN BOLT 3 TIMES - REPLACE MAGAZINE - RUN THE BOLT

    DID THAT FIX IT?

    YES - CONTINUE KILLING BAD GUYS

    NO - FIX BAYONETS

    The rifle is not a pistol and a fight is not an IPSC match.

    BTW, I have sold all of my M4s excpet for one to loan to travelling students. I run a Kalashnikov as my primary choice rifle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    8,560
    Having run both my M4 and my AK at the class in SC, I have to say I still like my AR but I LOVE my AK. It is simple and brutally effective. I know which one I will grab when the time comes.
    AKA G30Jack

    See My Schedule

    "Most people find change in their dryer, I find bullets"- My wife

    I will remember that if the monsterous creature is within clubbing range, it is a tight situation, and start clubbing. This is true even if my firearm still works. No reason not to club and shoot at the same time.

    Whacking: The redistribution or impairment of biological functions intended to eliminate intercellular cooperation within a sentient organism.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,422
    Gabe: excellent post, as usual.

    Unfortunately, your flow chart is too simple. It will never sell.

    I highly recommend you "Power Point-ize" it, add some color and throw in a few spiffy statements about how great AR-15s and 1911's are.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,422

    Default Homework Assignment

    Combo drill:

    Gear:

    AK-47, 2 empty magazines, magazine holder, pistol in holster, 2 empty pistol magazines with one in a magazine holder.

    All steps are done while moving except #1. If you run into something, move in a different direction.

    1) Hold rifle in Sul position, safety engaged, empty magazine inserted. Pistol is holstered. Finger is on the AK-47 safety.
    2) Move to the 11, 1, 3, or 9 o'clock direction. (start slowly and increase speed as you improve).
    3) Raise rifle and disengage the safety.
    4) Dry fire at a target when your foot is in the air. Keep the trigger fully back.
    5) While continuing to move, operate the bolt by reaching under the AK-47 (and behind the magazine). Require your support handhold.
    6) Dry fire again.
    7) Remove the magazine and stow it. Keep moving.
    8) Insert a new magazine WHILE moving
    9) Operate the bolt and require a solid grip on the gun.
    10) Dry fire again
    11) Operate the bolt 3 times
    12) Dry fire
    13) Transition to pistol.
    14) Dry fire pistol.
    15) Do post engagement scan, as described in Close Range Gunfighting.

    I would mix up the order a bit so you don't get into any habits. Put the transition after the second or subsequent dry fire. You also may want to mix things up after #14 and move to cover, etc. Try not to turn it into a kata.

    This would be a good drill to try with an Airsoft AK and Airsoft pistol.
    Last edited by crebralfix; 12-26-2006 at 11:21 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,422
    Another idea:

    15) Holster handgun using reverse sequence for draw (extra draw rep)
    16) Acquire hold on folding knife
    17) Deploy folding knife with proper grip.
    18) Do post engagement scan, as described in Close Range Gunfighting.

  7. #7
    This makes sense and works for more than just AKs.... Added another step in Red. My thinking is a tap rack takes minimal time and is worth trying before reloading. Thoughts?

    WEAPON STOPS WORKING AS EVIDENCED BY DEAD TRIGGER
    ARE YOU INSIDE PISTOL RANGE?
    YES - THEN TRANSITION TO PISTOL
    NO - ARE YOU BEHIND COVER?
    NO - GET BEHIND COVER
    YES- TAP + RACK (Can be done while moving to cover or behind cover)
    DID THAT FIX THE GUN?
    YES- KEEP SHOOTING
    NO - RELOAD THE GUN (OLD MAGAZINE OUT AND STOWED - NEW MAGAZINE IN - RUN THE BOLT)
    DID THAT FIX THE GUN?
    YES - CONTINUE KILLING BAD GUYS
    NO - TAKE MAGAZINE OUT - RUN BOLT 3 TIMES - REPLACE MAGAZINE - RUN THE BOLT
    DID THAT FIX IT?
    YES - CONTINUE KILLING BAD GUYS
    NO - FIX BAYONETS
    Flowchart.zip

    PS - Attached a power point style flow chart for the more visually orientated people. Feel free to do whatever you want with it.
    Probably should consider at every step: "Are they within pistol range?" and if "Yes - Transition to pistol and start blasting." But that'd make the chart too clunky.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    YES- TAP + RACK (Can be done while moving to cover or behind cover)
    DID THAT FIX THE GUN?

    YES- KEEP SHOOTING


    With the AK, there is no need to Tap Rack

  9. #9
    I'll go further: With the AK (or M1A, or anything that has a rock-in magazine) the tap rack is a bad drill.

  10. #10
    AKs don't ever get a Type 1 malfucntion? I seem to remember watching a History Channel documentary on the North Hollywood guys and they explained one of the shooters switched to a handgun when his AK stovepiped some brass and he couldn't clear it for some reason.

    Maybe I'm getting my terminology confused....

    Edited: IIRC, for the lock and rock type mags, isn't the tap + rack replaced by pull + rack?

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