LMS Defense; AK 101, Paul Gomez (Day 1)

The AK 101 course is a two day block of instruction which focuses on developing consistent, non diagnostic, combative gun handling skills for the Kalashnikov weapons platform. This course is designed to instill robust gun handling to enable the student to efficiently manipulate and utilize the most common military small arm on the planet. A heavy emphasis is placed on recognizing and understanding the concepts that drive the combative use of the carbine. Topics covered will include Design Orientation, The Combative Platform, Loading/Unloading/Reloading, Status Check, Wound Ballistics, Sighting Concepts, Triggering Concepts, Ready Positions, Transition to Pistol, Gear Selection & Set up, Non diagnostic Stoppage Reductions, Alternate Firing Positions and Firing While Moving. This class is taught by two of the top AK47 experts in the country, Paul Gomez and Yancey Harrington.
Last Man Standing; AK 101 (March, 2007)

Last Man Standing AK 101 – Day One

An Introduction to the Combative Kalashnikov

The AK 101 course is a two day block of instruction which focuses on developing consistent, non diagnostic, combative gun handling skills for the Kalashnikov weapons platform. This course is designed to instill robust gun handling to enable the student to efficiently manipulate and utilize the most common military small arm on the planet. A heavy emphasis is placed on recognizing and understanding the concepts that drive the combative use of the carbine. Topics covered will include Design Orientation, The Combative Platform, Loading/Unloading/Reloading, Status Check, Wound Ballistics, Sighting Concepts, Triggering Concepts, Ready Positions, Transition to Pistol, Gear Selection & Set up, Non diagnostic Stoppage Reductions, Alternate Firing Positions and Firing While Moving. This class is taught by two of the top AK experts in the country, Paul Gomez and Yancey Harrington.

This is a limited enrollment course. We suggest registering as soon as the class appears on our schedule.

Each student brought at least one AK so we had many types to use as examples during the lecture on AK variants

This two day class was developed to fill a need for in depth instruction on the AK series rifle platform.

Many years of non stop production has resulted in estimates of 80 to 120 million AK47 series rifles all over the world. Estimates for the M-16 (the second most common rifle) are around 10 million, the HK, also 10 million as are the next most common rifles the FN/FAL and Uzi at 10 million each.

So just using basic math all the next most common rifles added together equal less than half of the low estimate of the number of Ak47s out there.

Knowing the rifle in your hands is important, and chances are at some point an AK will end up in your hands.

Students shot between 900 – 1200 rounds during the two days. However the course is not all shooting drills. Live fire practice was broken up with breaks in the shade to reload, rehydrate and listen to lectures

Equipment needed:

  • AK-pattern rifle (7.62x39mm, 5.45×39, .223)
  • Rifle sling
  • Minimum of three AK rifle magazines
  • 1,000 rds of rifle ammunition
  • Chest rig or similar to hold the AK Rifle magazines
  • Pistol & carry gear (belt, holster, and magazine pouch)
  • Three pistol magazines
  • 100 rds of pistol ammunition
  • Pen and notebook
  • Hat or other head covering
  • Gloves
  • Knee and elbow pads
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Sunscreen or raingear (as applicable)
  • Adequate personal water supply
  • Sack lunch and snack food (We do not leave the range for lunch)

Click on pictures for larger view
Prerequisites: None
The LMS AK-101 course is open to anyone interested in the AK47 and / or firearms training. A working knowledge of firearms, and shooting commands are a good idea before any shooting class of course.

Paul Gomez is a 13 year veteran and has been in the private training industry for 10 years. his knowledge of the AK47 series rifle and it operation is evident. And it allows him to effortlessly relay the course information to his students.

Yancey Harrington is another well known name in the firearms industry. During his 4 years with the 82nd Airborne Yancey was first introduced to the AK47 and was intrigued, now 20 something years later he is an expert in the field.

This is a fighting course as well as a familiarization to the AK47. Students shoot, move, transition to a sidearm and learn the malfunctions and maintenance of the AK rifle system in these two full days of instruction.

The course starts out quick on day one. Intros, safety, paperwork, and out to the range.

Typical to a shooting course the course starts with the basics. Operation, manipulations, clearing malfunctions, reloading, etc. Drills designed to enforce these procedures worked. As an observer it’s always interesting to see how clumsy and awkward students start out on day one, then how quickly they start to learn the most efficient movements.

A lot of lead went down range on day one, This was a shooting class as advertised. It was HOT for a March in Arizona but the students mostly from here seemed to deal with the early heat just fine

AKs are sharp, all the student wore gloves

Various targets were used to help students minds working while running through drills

Holding on to the heavy AK magazine is not usually worth the effort so most students allowed their mags to drop for later retrieval. Although heavy the AK mag is strong, and I didn’t hear of any magazine issues or damage.

Shooting drills were designed to keep the shooters mind on task while their muscles did their job. Learning to operate the rifles in multiple positions, SAFELY was the number one goal

Did I mention there was a lot of shooting on Saturday? A few drills were designed to simulate real life, and in real life you need to lay down some sustained fire. The photos of the dust rising off the berm don’t do justice to the thunder that created the view. Hearing protection is a must at an AK course, these are not quiet guns.

The facilities are a real asset to Arizona. I am sure I speak for the entire class when I thank the Casa Grande Police for the use of their range for this course. The facilities are a perfect environment for a course like this. Great range, sturdy target stands, seating, shade and garbage cans so we could clean up.
The Arizona blue sky, and mountains are the backdrop to a course in Casa Grande.

Don’t train yourself to pick up a mag this way
Instruction included aspects such as retrieving magazines. Keeping good habits in training will help ensure good habits in real life. So being aware of the potential trouble downrange while retrieving your mags is an easy way to ensure you’ll keep your head while picking up mags in the field.

Train yourself to pick up mags this way on the range

It’s easier to load ammo from a loose pile than from a box so most students opened boxes into a larger box or bag. Each break students loaded mags for later drills. I only noticed one Lula loader. These items cost under $30 and really speed up loading while saving your thumbs

And there was more shooting. Gomez had a quick transition to pistol that was new to me. Students seemed to pick it up quickly, so they may have been aware of it from other training

During Lunch break we got onto the subject of First Aid. Kit’s carry items and what to include in them. An benefit of having the Cav Arms guys at the class was they brought their toys along. We had a good time going through their big medic kit discussing why they have the items they included.

They also had some supplies along for sale (not that they were pushing it)

The Cav Arms guys also had a box of first aid stuff they had already opened so we could see what was inside some of the packaging. Very Cool, thanks guys

We discussed tourniquets. Gomez is a fan of the NATO Tourniquet

Here’s another type from one of the kits on Yancey

The Gear, I am sure some of you reading this will be interested in the gear at the class.

 

Pistols: One Khar, One Kimber Desert Warrior, were the only two Non-Glocks. Everyone else carried a Glock as far as I could tell, including myself.

AKs: Two students used Veprs, one was also the only .223.

Six students used drop holsters, A few had IWB, the rest were OWB kydex. Many BladeTec and Safariland. Most of the students used US made chest rigs for the AK mags.

An improvised side sling mount made out of two zip ties worked well

Only 3 or 4 of the AKs were built by the students, I counted at least five WASR10s. I saw only one US mag on the first day and didn’t see it again after that.

Seven of the guns on the table were 5.45×39. Most of the students were shooting military surplus ammo in these rifles.

I counted three left handed students in this class. Most of the students carried some sort of first aid kit. So did the instructors and myself.


A few of the students used the long slide Glocks. Two Yugo’s one from Century was used (it broke) and only three underfolders. One was the other Yugo, a Krink. (not pictured)

The one 1911, a Kimber Desert Warrior, operated flawlessly and was used at the end of day two for a demo.

Two of the AKs were built by Krebs with Vltor Stocks, and Champion sights. These two worked well, but the sights had some issues

The Chinese chest rig holds mags easily, but can be easily modified to allow much easier access to the mags by cutting along the indicated stitching.

I did this mod to one of my chest rigs and it really does make a difference

Warlord v3 Chest Rig

The zippered compartment opens to reveal a complete “admin” area, with room for maps, pens, compass, GPS or other similarly-sized items.

Just a reminder that this is the desert, bugs, bees scorpions and snakes are all out here, keep an eye out for them.

We stayed at the range until after dark to get in some low light drills and night shooting demos. While these were very impressive, my camera wasn’t able to capture the display. We compared muzzle breaks and their effectiveness.

Students attempted low light drills to see how the flash of the muzzle would affect their shooting. as well as the normal effects of low light we all have to deal with

The course was a very full two days, with lots of information and trigger time. The reviews seemed positive overall from students new to training and those who’ve been to countless other classes. The instructors know their stuff. The AK series rifle is very comfortable to both of them and they effortlessly get their information across to the students. Questions are answered quickly and knowledgely with no time wasted with pats on the back or selling their gear (as some classes I’ve attended)

The course costs $350 and you’ll need a case of ammo at least so figure another $200 or so to attend. It seems well worth the time. I didn’t get any feedback on the price, so I’ll assume the student agree it was worth the time spent and price paid to attend.

You can read feedback from some of the students here ArizonaShooting.com

Training for Tomorrow’s Fight
LMS Defense is a full service defensive training and consulting firm specializing in providing instruction and specialized experience for citizens, law enforcement, corporations and the United States military. Our mission at LMS Defense is to provide world class defensive skills training and consulting services to our clients, while always adhering to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.

LMS stands for Last Man Standing; expressing our belief that we owe it to ourselves, our families, our partners, our peers, our friends and our nation to develop and maintain the mental and physical skills we must possess if we seek to prevail in any fight. These fights happen on the street, in the subway, in dusty third-world alleys, in corporate board-rooms and in our homes.