Skip to comments.Alaska: Hiker Kills Bear with AK-74
Posted on 07/31/2013 5:41:45 PM PDT by Kip Russell
Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. Failing that caliber. Failing that lots of shots on target. To wit: The hiker, who has not been identified by Alaska State Troopers, had set out from the Rainbow trail head at Milepost 108 of the highway Sunday morning, said Tom Crockett, a park ranger. He was near the first Turnagain Arm viewpoint, about a half-mile up the trail toward McHugh Creek, when he spotted the bear . . . The man called, Hey, bear, hoping not to startle the animal, he said. The bear turned and charged, the hiker later told rangers. The man fired the AK-74 he was carrying . . .
The bear stopped after the first volley of shots, and then charged again. The man fired once more. That time the bear folded into a ball, rolling and running downhill and thudding to a stop in a clump of birch trees about 100 yards from the trail.
newsminer.com reckons the hiker needed 13 shots to take down the 500 600 pound bear. Like I said.
Eventually. If you have a fully loaded magazine.
There are many stories of bears taking multiple .30 caliber hits and still coming.
The AK-74 clone is probably in 5.45X39, approximately the same power as a 5.56X45 or .223 that is most common in AR-15 type rifles.
Bloomberg says you only need 10 shots.
I never got the purpose of an AK-74. They don’t have the accuracy of an AR15 nor the knockdown of an AK47.
Isn’t that a kinda small round for taking bear?
I think I had rather have an FN-FAL but it did the job which is all you can ask in the grand scheme.
It appears the bear made a tactical error by retreating and coming back. If he'd kept right on going through the volley, he might have bagged the hiker.
You mean SEVEN.
I once killed a bear with a picture of Hillary Clinton I kept in my backpack for scaring off snakes, sharks, alligators, kudzu, etc. Poor bear vomited himself to death and all the surrounding plant life died too. I burned the picture and bought a Sherman tank for hiking.
My husband took his FN deer hunting ONCE. It's a heavy sucker. I can't see a hiker setting out to go any sort of distance with that load on his back.
I think I'd carry a lever action in something like .348 Win or .45-70 Govt. Got some knockdown but not so heavy to carry as an FN (which after all is just .308 Win/7.62 NATO. A little light for bear, though not so light as an AK-74).
I thought it was 7.
“I never got the purpose of an AK-74. They dont have the accuracy of an AR15 nor the knockdown of an AK47.”
Much lighter ammunition and flatter trajectory, I suppose.
Also remember that the Soviets considered the West to be extremely clever. This is sort of their copy of the M-16.
Another example: The market “sets” prices by supply and demand. In the Soviet Union, they did not allow the market, so how did they “set” prices? They read the London papers and set their prices from them.
Lighter than the AK47 by a couple of pounds, soldier can carry more ammo.
I think that falls into the "hey" boo-boo category.
I always wondered if they were just trying to piggyback on American R&D on the cheap.
That is one tough hiker! Killing a bear is impressive enough, let alone a bear with an AK-74!
Finns with Mosin-Nagant rifles?
I have never owned an FAL tho I do have an FN bayonet.
I have always wanted one but somehow never bought one. I do love the look and feel. I have on the other hand owned a bunch of HK-91s. I would feel completely safe with one in bear country.
As for weight. When I was young it never bothered me but as I got older I got to where I would carry a very light Remington Nylon 66. In case I ran into a deer I also had a holstered 4 inch model 29. I eventually got to where I carried a .22 auto pistol. (one of the Ruger, Hi-Standard, Woodsman etc. type), and a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt with hot loads.
For the last few years, all I carry is a Walther PP in .22 or a Hungarian copy which is just as accurate. That is all I have. I would not shoot a deer even if he stood right in front of me. Just too much trouble to dress out.
Quantity has a quality all its own.
Mine was 5.45X39 ... jammed a lot.
I have heard stories about .44 magnum rounds at point black range ricocheting off the skull of a grizzly bear too. I have a 500 magnum which I think is capable of cutting down a hardened utility pole but I hate to think about only having 5 shots in a pistol to deal with an enraged grizzly bear at full charge-especially if that handgun is of the short barreled variety.
... for a deer
... He never said nutin’ ‘bout bears
I don't really like field dressing deer either, but I have it down to a pretty quick procedure (dental floss, a folding 3" Buck and a plastic garbage bag . . . ) But once it's field dressed I have 2-3 friends who would help me butcher it for a small percentage . . .
I can remember when the Soviets used to design American vacuum tubes into their radar equipment. The tube identifications were right there in the specifications.
In a lot of ways, the AK-74 is a nice weapon.
It has less recoil than the AK-47, probably similar reliability. The bullet turns sideways (nearly all rifle bullets pitch or yaw on hitting flesh) but doesn’t usually fragment.
It doesn’t have the accuracy of the M-16 in rapid fire. Moving pistons jostle the line of sight, so to compensate, Russia teaches soldiers to shoot two or three bullets. That isn’t a half bad approach, especially with an enemy that uses camouflage to disguise exact position.
The bottleneck 39mm case is a bit more efficient than the straighter 45mm case of the 5.56x45 M-16, but that doesnit matter much because powder is cheap and light. The difference between them doesn’t drive either flash or recoil.
The point of the smaller bullet is you don’t just shoot at your known enemy, you shoot at where he is, or where he might be. That can suppress him even if he is hidden, and give your side fire superiority (many going his way, fewer going yours). Then your side can maneuver to his flanks and rear, and when he realizes it, the enemy can psychologically break: freeze or try to run away. Either way you will big.
Combine that with thermal goggles so you can see him very well and you have a big advantage. The Soviet Union was very very effective in 1945, and would have been a tough adversary up until its final days. Russia would still be a very tough adversary, though their best units are far smaller than they used to be. (so are ours!)
But, but, but . . . an AK-74 is an ASSAULT WEAPON, and everybody knows that an assault weapon will blow an elephant into tiny little pieces, shattering bone and punching through both sides, showering blood, hide and brain everywhere.
Maybe the journalist is dyslexic?
Are you suggesting that a journalist got their facts wrong about a weapons identity? Is that what you think might have happened? Well, I guess it is possible.
The 47’s round has long been considered obsolete by the Russian army. Their 5.45 is lighter, uses same good feed casing tapper and it’s more accurate, as it also does not drop at 300 yards like the 7.62.
The last deer I killed was with the gun I happened to have on me. It was a Glock 17 loaded with some of those old nylon clad HPs. Not a very hot load but I hit him exactly right between the eyes.
I had to go to my parents house (I was visiting) and got Daddy’s Honda 4 wheeler. When I got back to the deer, to my surprise it was still moving. I had to shoot him again. It was a spike but really large. In fact so heavy I could not get the gambrel up without help.
My parents who both grew up on a farm did most of the dressing and cleaning. It turned out not to be very good and they turned it into sausage.
I determined then I was not going to kill anything else except for snakes etc. I am not opposed to hunting, I support it as it is good for the game to have pressure on it. I just no longer enjoy it.
I do still enjoy walking through the woods tho and want to have something in my pocket just in case. That is usually one of the little Hungarian copies of the Walther in .22 LR. The little thing is very, very accurate.
I also believe it is partly hollowed bullet breaking inside and stopping enemies more effectively than the 7.62 making clean holes.
If the hiker had stayed in his car this would not have happened. /Trayvon
She is right.
The FN/FAL is a heavy beastie.
One shot, maybe, but the news today said it took 13 rounds.
Turnagain Arm trail closed after hiker kills charging bear
A man hiking on a popular Turnagain Arm trail near the Seward Highway killed a charging brown bear with a semi-automatic AK-74 rifle Sunday, prompting Chugach State Park rangers to close a section of the trail.
The hiker, who has not been identified by Alaska State Troopers, had set out from the Rainbow trail head at Milepost 108 of the highway Sunday morning, said Tom Crockett, a park ranger. He was near the first Turnagain Arm viewpoint, about a half-mile up the trail toward McHugh Creek, when he spotted the bear. It was on the edge of a birch and spruce forest with abundant blueberries and serviceberries.
The bear presented its rear end to him, Crockett said.
The man called, Hey, bear, hoping not to startle the animal, he said.
The bear turned and charged, the hiker later told rangers.
The man fired the AK-74 he was carrying, Crockett said. The bear stopped after the first volley of shots, and then charged again.
The man fired once more, Crockett said.
That time the bear folded into a ball, rolling and running downhill and thudding to a stop in a clump of birch trees about 100 yards from the trail.
There it expired, Crockett said.
The man called 911 and asked for help.
Crockett and an Alaska State Trooper who responded found the man in the same spot on the trail where he encountered the bear. He wasnt willing to walk out alone.
He told me hes never been so scared in his life, he said.
Crockett estimated the bear weighed 500 to 600 pounds. The animal bore marks of an eventful life: He had a big hulking scar running over the top of his head, likely from a tussle with another bear.
It was sad to see him go because he was a beautiful specimen, he said.
Its not unusual for people recreating in the Chugach to arm themselves with guns for bear encounters, Crockett said. But the gun used in Sundays encounter isnt a typical choice for bear defense.
The AK-74 rifle is an updated version of its cousin, the better-known AK-47 assault weapon. It fires a smaller caliber round than the AK-47 and remains popular in the countries of the former Soviet Union, where it was produced in the 1970s.
Most people carry something larger caliber, he said.
Its legal to carry a gun in Chugach State Park, but guns can only be discharged in defense of life and property or legal hunting.
Crockett says he believes Sundays incident met the defense criteria.
The bears head and hide were removed and turned in to Alaska Department of Fish and Game for sealing and confiscation, said area wildlife biologist Jessy Coltrane. Thats legally required in incidents of defense of life and property.
The rest of the carcass is still at the spot where the bear was killed, Crockett said. It would have been impractical to remove because of the terrain.
Its a heck of a lot of bear to haul out, he said.
Crockett said he has been fielding calls from residents of Rainbow Valley, who heard the semi-automatic gunfire coming from the trail. Some have raised concerns about the carcass remaining near the trail. Bears protecting a food cache like the carcass can be especially defensive and dangerous.
Bear sightings are reported each summer all over the Turnagain Arm trail.
Crockett said hed heard a report of a sow and cubs a few miles away on a section of the trail near Windy Corner Monday.
People should hike in groups, make noise and be aware of their surroundings, Coltrane said. Surprising a bear is usually the worst thing you can do.
Bear spray can be an effective deterrent.
This is the second time a brown bear has been killed in defense of life and property in the Anchorage area this summer, Coltrane said. A brown bear was killed in Chugiak earlier.
The trail remained closed Monday afternoon. A yellow sign warning of hikers of the presence of a bear carcass was posted near the trail head.
The carcass near the trail will attract other bears, Crockett said.
This guy is going to get recycled by nature, he said.
People should stay away.
My fingers are going to be crossed that a trail runner doesnt just blow through the warning signs, thinking, ‘Oh, itll be OK this time, he said.
Geez, this guy is lucky, I think. I would be carrying a 45-70 and a .44 Magnum sidearm MINIMUM.
“I have heard stories about .44 magnum rounds at point black range ricocheting off the skull of a grizzly bear too.”
If you have ever had the opportunity to examine a bear skull up close and from all angles, (my brother has several) it is clear why there is a reputation of bullets ricocheting off of the skull. If you from dead on between the eyes and up, it is a very oblique angle on the skull, and pretty tough bone as well. Shooting them up the nose follows a channel directly to the brain. Front on to the eye has a good chance of missing the brain to either side.
Sig 556 in 7.62x39 is basically an Ak47 action and bolt with accuracy equal or better than AR. I wonder if they are going to come up with the 5.45. AKs are expensive lately, better off with the Sig for $100 more or so.
I understand fire and maneuver, and the advantages of being able to carry and shoot more ammo, but one of the consistent post-Vietnam complaints about the M-16 was the lack of knock-down power of the 5.56 round compared to the 7.62 round of the AK-47. I'm sure the soviets had plenty of direct battlefield intel about the performance of the M-16; so I'm just surprised that they switched to a similarly-sized round after seeing the results of the American weapon for nearly 10 years. Either their analysis of the effectiveness of the 5.56 round was very different from the loud American criticisms, or they just ignored 10 years of direct observation. It's a puzzlement to me.
I don’t even know what an FAL weighs but it always struck me as a trim little rifle. The HK-91 looks like it would weigh more to me but like I said, I don’t know for sure.
I owned an FN M-1949 in 7mm Mauser for a few years. I actually ordered it through the mail from J.C. Penney. Imagine that! It was pretty stocky looking and very similar in operation to the FAL except it had a wood stock and stripped differently.
I don’t recall the weight bothering me at all.
The 7.62x54r of the Mosin is a notorious “disemboweler”.
Now that sweet Sig is close enough to be called AK47 variant. More in common with it than the Vz58 for sure. It is what an AK should be.
I have a latter-day Browning Model 1886 in 45-70 and ammo with the plastic tip safe for tubular magazines.
I don’t live in bear country but would that be adequate if I did?
I was told that NVA and VC officers carried the M-16 when they could get one.
Most of the problems with the M-16 wasn't its ballistic performance, but the problems with reliablility caused by the army switching to ball powder from IMR, as directly required by the inventor. The ball powder had significant amounts of calcium that deposited in gas tube, just about impossible to get out, causing the jamming problems.
The fact is, the felt recoil with the M-16 is so low compared to the Garand or M-14, you could probably get two aimed shots into a target in the same amount of time as for the larger calibers. I wonder if that had an effect on perception of “knockdown” power.
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