We spoke last week with Chris Chivers of the New York Times about his new book titled "The Gun," which chronicles the history and legacy of the AK-47 assault rifle.
So it was somewhat ironic when, during a scan of Australian SOF pics for our post on their government's embrace of MultiCam, the Kit Up! IMINT team spotted an operator armed with what many readers feel is the world's best all-round assault rifle ever. We've done forensics on literally hundreds of images over the last five years and never before have we run across a pic of a special operator carrying an AK-47 unless it was within the context of a training mission for indigenous troops.
The interesting thing here is that the Aussie commando's AK is totally tricked out with the latest Picatinny rail-equipped forearm, combat sites and vertical grips. I remember back in '08 during the Military.com embed to Iraq when I covered some training with Iraqi SWAT near Tikrit. I didn't even recognize the weapon one of the Iraqi SWAT bubbas was carrying with all the modern whistles and bells it had. The only things that made me recognize it as an AK were the muzzle and the magazine.
So cool deal for the Aussie door kicker carrying the AK on combat missions. We're surprised to see it, but understand his motivation for sure...