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AK-47: Strong Tactical Carbine Option 2020

AK-47: Strong Tactical Carbine Option 2020

Why The AK-47?

As 2020 comes to a close, the usual suspects at the ammo counter are still moving at outrageous prices and that’s if we are lucky enough to find them in stock. This will likely continue until the current primer shortage is sorted out. Even at that point, it will take time for the market to stabilize.

7.62x39 Availability

Throughout the year I noticed that 7.62x39 ammunition has been consistently available in case quantities for far less than .223 and 5.56 rounds. The 7.62x39 also comes in FMJ, HP and SP varieties which gives the platform more versatility.

This availability of ammo makes having an AK-47 in the safe viable.

The AR-15 is still America’s rife and is my first choice for tactical carbines. However, when range FMJ ammo in .223 is $650 a case plus shipping the AK-47 begins to look much more appealing. Check out my setup video here.


The AK-47 is one of the most reliable tactical carbines in the world. They are designed to work with cheap steel cased ammo and they function reliably in filthy conditions. 

Shawn Ryan AK 47 Woods


Can you say the same about your budget AR-15 that you’ve loaded with aftermarket parts that were sold to you by Instagram influencers?

When’s the last time you tested your AR in a class or in less than ideal range conditions?

These questions are worth answering for a defensive carbine. 

Iron Sights

The sights on an AK are not the best but they work. There is also one huge advantage that is often overlooked in the current market. AK-47s usually come with iron sights installed and zeroed from the factory (might not be the zero you want but better than nothing).

Shawn Ryan AK47 Sights


If you bought an AR-15 during the pandemic, did you also buy an optic? If so, how much ammo did it take to zero it? An AK-47 with iron sights is more useful than an AR-15 with no sights.

Don’t be the guy with an optic only setup and an unconfirmed zero.

I personally like guns that come with iron sights because I might not put an optic on every model. I end up having to add irons aftermarket and it brings the overall cost of each weapon up significantly. If you’ve seen my AR-15 Setup video, you know that I like having co-witness back up irons in case my optic shits the bed.


The AK-47 has a good amount of aftermarket support. 

Magazines are cheap and available.

Most modern AK options have weapon light mounting capability. Adding a light is probably more important than adding an optic if it is one or the other.

Optics mounts are more difficult than the AR-15 but there are some solid designs on the market that will host most of today's modern optics.


Right now at the close of 2020. The AK-47 is a viable tactical carbine choice. It is battle proven and damn near bombproof. In the coming month, I will be doing an AK-47 Setup and updating my current gear.

Don’t fall in love with the configuration pictured. It's changing!

Comments on this post (8)

  • Feb 26, 2021

    What is your perspective on domestic AK platform vs. mutant style hybrids with AR controls like CMMG’s MK47 / Banshee and Maxim Defense’s 7.62 PDW? Thanks for the awesome content and platform!

    — Brian Oswald

  • Dec 12, 2020

    Purchased my first few AKs this year as well. For all the reasons you pointed out, and the fact that a lot of manufacturers are making quality aftermarket products for AK platforms today to the point where you have as many options as AR platforms. Cheaper to build a high quality AK, and very fulfilling.

    Def want to see that AK setup video asap!

    — Todd B

  • Nov 04, 2020


    — Ethan

  • Nov 04, 2020


    — Ethan

  • Nov 02, 2020

    Having a good day. Will provide the proper street cred next time I click on one of those “100s of Russian beauties in your area” ads

    — Aaron Ross

  • Nov 02, 2020

    Those are some damn good points man. I honestly never considered owning an AK but this article may have sold me on one.

    — Philip Vazsonyi

  • Nov 02, 2020

    Short, sweet, and to the point. Excellent advice as usual.

    — Dan

  • Nov 02, 2020

    Great advice! Thx Shawn. Love these posts! Keep them coming.

    — Jonah AuHoy

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