It’s no surprise that American shooters gravitate toward the AR-15 when choosing a semiautomatic sporting rifle, but Jim Fuller of Fuller Phoenix isn’t your average American shooter. An internationally recognized authority on the Kalishnikov rifle platform, Fuller provides an insightful introduction into the world of the AK in SureFire Field Notes episode 61.

Like the AR and its variants, there are plenty of AKs available to suit various budgets. You can spend as little as $500-600, or you can go hog wild and spend $5000+. Fuller says that finding the correct AK is a simple matter of assessing your needs. A $500 rifle is more than adequate for those who want an AK but aren’t necessarily planning to put rounds through it regularly. Fuller also shows some relatively inexpensive mods you can make to increase any budget model’s performance and utility. SureFire’s WARCOMP-762-AK47 improves the AK’s shootability and provides a rock-solid attachment point for SureFire SOCOM Fast-Attach® suppressors such as the SOCOM762-RC2 and the SOCOM762-MINI2.

SureFire Field Notes Episode 61 AK-47Fuller also points out that many AK owners with prior AR experience try to make their AK perform like an AR, and that’s a mistake. The two are very different, and what works on one doesn’t necessarily work on the other. He also stresses the value of attending AK-specific training courses. The AK is available in various calibers, but Fuller recommends sticking with the most common 7.62 mm chambering because magazines and ammunition are more readily available for it.

Used in over 80 countries, the AK is the most prolific fighting rifle on the planet. Adding a sporting version to your firearms collection might make sense. Check out SureFire Field Notes episode 61 and see if the AK is right for you.

Jim Fuller is an internationally recognized expert with the Kalashnikov rifle. The founder of Rifle Dynamics, he sold the company in 2017 and stayed on as a consultant until 2019. Jim has been one of the main contributors to the AK’s growth and popularity in America. He founded Fuller Phoenix to get back to his roots of building/designing durable fighting rifles. For more information on Jim Fuller and Fuller Phoenix, visit

Located in Fountain Valley, California, SureFire, LLC is the leading manufacturer of suppressors, high-performance flashlights, weapon-mounted lights, and other tactical equipment for those who go in harm’s way or anyone who demands the ultimate in quality, innovation, and performance. More SWAT teams and elite special operations forces use SureFire illumination tools than any other brand. SureFire is an ISO 9001:2015-certified company. For more information on SureFire’s complete line of tactical illumination tools and equipment, visit To view more episodes of SureFire Field Notes, visit the SureFire Channel on YouTube.