which has seen a great deal of use inAsia where most soldiers are muchsmaller than in the West. In fact, theexport Poly Tech and Norinco AK-47swith which we're familiar have a speciallonger stock than those used domestical-ly. I have used some of the Chinese AKswith the "Asian" stock and that one is,indeed, too short. I don't mind the oneon most I've used, however, and it doeswork well with body armor. Most realshooters prefer the fixed stock to thefolding stock on the AK-47. The underfolder, especially, is not very comfortableand after some use gets rather loose. Theside folder is better, though it is still notespecially comfortable.One of the greatest ergonomic weak-nesses of the AK is the safety. This safetynot only has a distinctive and loudsound as it operates, but is also poorlydesigned for operation with the shootinghand. It is not particularly well located,either, for operation with the weak hand.Usually, one just lets the trigger guardrest on the hand and wipes it off withthe thumb before moving the finger tothe trigger. On the other hand, consider-ing how often the AK-47 is issued to con-script troops or marginally trained thirdworld soldiers, the fact the safety cannot be readily flicked off for a fast shot may be a good thing!One other weakness is the triggerguard which does not lend itself well totrigger operation wearing heavy gloves.Considering that the Russians, Chinese,and North Koreans, all of whom mayoperate in very cold conditions, haveissued the rifle it seems odd that ahinged trigger guard was never devel-oped.There is one very good ergonomic fea-ture—the magazine release. The AK'smag release is easily operated witheither hand, though one does have to getused to the method of loading the maga-zine into the mag well by rocking it in.I normally do not do well with the AK-47's sights, the rear "V" not allowing veryprecise work. I think this is one reasonthe Soviets issued a lot of Dragunovs—sothat units had some long-range capabili-ty. I have had friends who could shootwell at 300 yards with the AK-47, but forme it's a 200-yard rifle. Past that, I justdon't shoot it well. I do, however, like thesight adjustment system which allowsone to zero the rifle by adjusting the frontpost for both elevation and windage.This is a system consistent with the AK'stoughness and with preventing troopsfrom tampering with it.