- 04Chris Skahill, a SureFire Institute instructor, demonstrates the standing, off-hand firing position. Note how the feet are positioned, the body is squared to the target and the shoulders are forward of the hips to control recoil.
- 05This is the kneeling position, which is fast to assume and recover from.
- 06The squatting position, or “rice-paddy prone” as some call it, is not as stable as some other positions but can be used to take advantage of cover or concealment.
- 07The sitting position is actually fairly quick to get into and very stable.
- 13To insert an AK-47 mag, the front is placed into the mag well, and then the mag is rocked to the rear until it locks.
SureFire Institute, the tactical development and training arm of SureFire, recently opened a new facility near Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s within easy commuting distance of the Strip, but there are plenty of hotels nearby if the non-stop action of Las Vegas is not your cup of tea. There are paved roads all the way into the facility, so it’s very convenient to make the daily drive in for training. However, this place wasn’t built for entertainment purposes: It’s a real-deal, top-tier training facility used by elite military and law enforcement personnel for learning the skills needed to do their jobs. It’s also open to private citizens who want to learn and develop the skills needed to protect themselves, their homes and their loved ones.
I was fortunate to attend the first SureFire Institute AK-47/74 Operator course. It isn’t a “get acquainted with the gun and fire a few rounds for familiarity” affair. Rather, it’s a serious course designed for people who use what they learn in the real world to defend our country. In fact, the class included two U.S. Air Force Pararescue Jumpers—the guys who jump out of airplanes into hostile territory to rescue injured and downed flyers.
You might ask why our military would need to know how to operate an AK-47. The reasons are that war is very unpredictable, and a warfighter may need to use an AK-47 found on the battlefield if his or her issue weapon is lost or damaged. Furthermore, certain military units that operate in obscurity actually do use foreign weapons from time to time.
The SureFire Institute is owned and operated by Bill Murphy. He’s a long-time police officer and trainer with a long list of accomplishments. And he actually uses what he teaches in the field—very effectively. SureFire Institute employs other top-rated instructors with real-world experience in applying the tactics, techniques and procedures they teach. While some have grey hair, others are younger and bring proven and effective new techniques into the curriculum.