by Robert Kay
Jim Fuller has established himself over the last several years as one of the most sought after AK gunsmiths in the nation. His Las Vegas-based company, Rifle Dynamics, was founded in 2007 with 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. His AK to M-4 stock adapter comes highly recommended by AK aficionados such as Chase Sisgold and Rob Ski.
Mr. Fuller also offers AK-building classes both in his Las Vegas shop and at venues around the nation. He has a number of excellent YouTube videos that range from how to buy an AK to gunsmithing tips. In this first of a two-part interview series, Jim talks about his background and makes some suggestions on purchasing an off the shelf AK.
Q: Jim, you have a great name as an AK innovator and builder. Tell us a little about your background. Where did you grow up and how did your interest in firearms begin?
A: I grew up in California, in the 60’s. My Uncle first exposed me to firearms at the age of 11. My interest grew and I got my first AK in the early 80’s, the Chinese Ak’s were cheap and easy to find back then. My intent was to try to destroy it, after many years of neglect and torture I finally decided it was a worthy fighting gun and begin to train and work with it.
I noticed early on that there were improvements that could be done to make it better for its purpose. I took it to several Gunsmith shops only to be ran out and yelled at for bringing “the enemies gun” into their shop, so I figured that if I wanted something done I was going to have to do it myself so I began screwing things up until I got it right. Fortunately AK’s were cheap back then. Having been trained as an airframe mechanic riveting was an easy chore for me, some to this day still don’t truly understand the principles behind it. Over the years I work in different professions learning most of the processes in the construction of the AK. It’s actually more like blacksmithing than gunsmithing.
Q: Tell me a little about Rifle Dynamics. You mentioned that most of your customers are professionals. Do you sell much to civilians too?
A: Because I knew a lot of people in the Contracting Industry they were my first customers when I started out. There were also many civilians that were training around in the firearms industry where I had been actively teaching for several firearms training schools. We have always sold to Mil/LE/Contractors but we have a pretty big following with hard core training junkies that shoot a thousand rounds a week or more between training and practice. All of these customers have one thing in common: They need heavy use guns that will handle high round counts and extreme abuse and that is our specialty.
Q: There is a lot of hype on the Internet about the AK. Is there a particular myth or inaccuracy that you would like to dispel?
A: There are many myths but let’s address the most obvious one: The AK is not accurate. Wrong. Most people saying this are comparing a high end M-4 with quality US ammo against a WASR with old surplus ammo, Apples and Oranges. If you take a properly build AK 74 chambered in 5.45×39 you can make combat effective hits out to 600 yards and beyond. Most properly built AK’s in 7.62 x 39 will hold a 2-3” group or better @ 100 yards. A service grade M-4 issued to the military is only required to shoot 4 MOA. Bottom line is most people if they ever shoot a rifle in self-defense, it will be less than 50 yards where accuracy is purely in the hands of the trigger puller.
Q: The builders I’ve spoken to, Krebs and Sisgold, prefer Russian guns above all else. I note that there is a lot of other gear available from Serbia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, etc. Is there anything else of decent quality out there that you recommend for an entry level rifle that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?
A: In my opinion Arsenal (Bulgarian) guns are the best “off the shelf gun” you can get but not the cheapest. The Serbian guns are decent but a bit heavier and some of them have questionable things that may or may not work well for the shooter. The WASR if you shop carefully you can find one that will work. I have several YouTube videos explaining what to look for when buying a budget priced gun. If you’re a weekend casual shooter that only puts a few hundred rounds through your gun a year and you’re not counting your life on it then the budget priced guns will serve you well.
Q: You got a nice plug from journalists on your muzzle break and on your butt stock adapter. Do you have any other products you are particularly proud of?
A: As of now nothing I can speak about but there is stuff coming.
Q: Anything new you are working on?
A: We have just released our new 710 and 510 model Krinks, with Krink specific parts getting hard to get we have designed our own version built with many new US parts along with foreign parts that are more readily available. These guns are small, dependable and very accurate.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview series which we will post in a few days.
Photos courtesy of Rifle Dynamics and Arsenal.
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