Russian Troops Familiarization With M4s Surprises Media


I think you all may find this amusing. Apparently the writer at zerohedge is surprised by this information. This is so common that I can’t imagine anyone at a gun website thinking this is some kind of ominous news.

One of the most unusual stories to start the week is coming from VladTime, a Russian news agency, who reported Russian Special Forces have been exercising with American M4 carbines this month, with additional reports of how some of these soldiers are currently buying western weapons. Snicker.. they have been, for years.

Military officers of the 45th Spetsnaz Airborne Brigade, a special reconnaissance and special operations military unit of the Russian Airborne Troops, said soldiers practiced shooting targets, reloading, and assembly and disassembly of the M4 last week.

Officers said NATO Response Forces have been familiarizing and training with Russian weapons for some time. The latest move to train forces with western carbines is a direct result of NATO testing Russian assault rifles.

According to one officer, special forces units were surprised by the accuracy of the M4 and even said, it’s more comfortable to shoot than the AK-74M, the main service rifle in use in the Russian Army. These elite soldiers said the ergonomics and compactness of the American assault rifle were appealing.

You don’t say!? Congrats on learning something the rest of the world already knows.

“It should be noted here that it was precisely such courses on familiarizing with foreign weapons that preceded the mass appearance of American and German rifles with FSB special forces. The special forces officers who appreciated the advantages of modern Western weapons, with the permission of the leadership, began to purchase them with their own money,” VladTime said (translated via Google).

“Another officer of the special forces told the publication that upper command has been speaking with local gunsmiths to make the Kalashnikov rifles more like western carbines. The report goes on to say special forces are already acquiring modern Western rifles and carbines, ahead of the possibility that upper command approves the use of these weapons.

The modification to make AKs more like the M4 is not new by any means. You can find pictures of Russians using AKs with magpul accessories, stocks and all manner of red dot optics all over the web going back several years now

The main reason Russian Special Forces like the M4 firing a 5.56 X 45 NATO round, versus the Kalashnikov AK-47 firing a 7.62X39, is that the weapon is more lightweight, ergonomic, and more accurate.

Hence the AK74 and 5.45mm which has been the Russian service rifle and round since the 70s thanks to the M16.


  1. Wouldn’t current US military technique be to work the charging handle with the left (support) hand while maintaining a firing grip with the strong hand? I wonder if our Russian friend is doing it in reverse because he’s used to working the AK’s charging handle and safety with his right hand? Or am I missing something here?

    And where do these guys get M4s? Do they buy them commercially? I can’t think that Russian forces themselves have gotten many battlefield bring-backs of M4s. Maybe they are buying them from Assad or the Iraqis?

    • I first handled an M16 as a teenaged Australian infantryman in 1979, and we were taught “Master hand on the pistol grip at all times, cock with the non-master hand” way back then.

      The Russian dude is doing it wrong, which is just great I reckon. Please don’t tell him that, in case my son has to shoot him some day.

      • Depends on what the training was based on. USMC training was sometimes still based off the KD rifle range where your left hand is tied up in the loop sling, so all the manipulations are done with the right hand. Much easier with the A2, where you can reach though the carry handle to hit the bolt release. Little more awkward when you are using a flat top.

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