The Kalashnikov in America

Featured Guest Author: Mr. Jim Fuller, Founder of Rifle Dynamics. 

I have been working/training with the Kalashnikov platform since the early 80’s. In those days, there wasn’t much of a market for the AK, we had Chinese and Hungarian imports that were very inexpensive which made them perfect as a practice tool to learn the system. I realized quickly that things needed to be improved for the gun to be more useful and effective so I went to the local gunsmith shop to get a few things done to my Chinese Type 56.

Well that was a mistake, the first shop I walked into as soon as they seen what was in the case I was cussed at and ran out of the shop.

The next shop I went to was the same experience. Then I realized that gunsmiths in those days were mostly Vietnam vets and were not too happy to see the enemies gun in their shops. It was at that point I knew if anything was going to get done to my Kalashnikov it would have to be me doing it. Good thing those guns were cheap back then because I screwed a lot of them up figuring out what made these guns’ work so well.

We went into business in 2007 to build and upgrade Kalashnikov’s for anybody that needed it. We found a lot of Security Contractors interested in getting a new Kalashnikov, something that was better quality (or less worn out really) than what they had previously been given to use. This set us on a path to grow the AK industry in America, before long we were backlogged and it’s been that way ever since.

Bringing the Kalashnikov into the 20th century was our goal, we experimented with different barrels lengths, furniture and accessories until we found what would make the AK a more combat effective modern fighting rifle.

Fast forward to 2017;
Today the Kalashnikov is much more established in our American gun industry, it has a way to go but every day it gains more and more acceptance. I credit this to many Vets and Contractors coming back after seeing the Kalashnikov in a different light, particularly a lot of Security Contractors who were not given a choice and handed one to use when they got in theater. What drove the desire for the Kalashnikov from the Civilian community was seeing guys running the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan with AK’s everybody had to have one.

Additionally, when Veteran Force Recon Marine and Blackwater Contractor Travis Haley adopted the Kalashnikov the gun industry exploded. The power of suggestion is very real and a “high-speed” American using an AK as a primary weapon in a war zone is a symbol that can’t be ignored by the public. While I love the M-4 and have several in my armory my first love will always be the Kalashnikov. It is a valid fighting rifle that has been produced in numbers 5 times that of any other well know fighting rifle in history.

Why? Because it works!

Today we offer Kalashnikov rifles and services, armorer and build classes and basic manual of arms training. We will constantly be working on improvements for the Kalashnikov Rifle because we believe it has value in the hands of the war-fighter or the civilian protecting his home sand family.

The Kalashnikov has arrived in Americ. It is here to stay.

Red Dawn, 1984, Photo Credit MGM.

Jim Fuller
Rifle Dynamics

Mr. Fuller has established himself over the last several years as one of the most sought after AK gunsmiths in the nation. He founded the now world-renowned Rifle Dynamics in Las Vegas in 2007 for the purpose of providing “fighting weapons and training for the fighting professionals”. In addition to offering gunsmithing and training, Rifle Dynamics sells a line of custom AKs and parts. 



Eric graduated with honors in 2004 from the The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. He was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps the same year, completed multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Counterintelligence / Human Source Intelligence Officer and later as a Case Officer and Active Duty Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Eric honorably discharged as a Captain after 8 years’ service in 2012.


  1. great article Sir,I can’t afford a RD Rifle yet.. I would like your opinion as to whats the best AK in .39 thats not RD or Krebs. Thank You for your time
    Mark G

  2. A Bulgarian import from KVAR/Arsenal would be an option if unable to access a anything from Jim Fuller, or from Mark Krebs. Also if your wanting a US built AK there’s also M.O.D Outfitters In Range, Dead Goose Society, Schreyer Systems.

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