Rifle-of-All-Trades

We have a legend in this edition of “Weapons” — a rifle which gives the SKS a run for its money as one of the most versatile firearms in the whole game. The AKM is the wildly successful second act to a household name, deserving of its place in the lineup and right at home in the post-Soviet nation of Chernarus.

Dropping in for the 0.45 update, this wood-clad classic has definitely made its mark on players and continues to enjoy popularity today. Join me as I take a closer look at its finer qualities and find out what makes it the perfect weapon for nearly any situation.

AKM

This proper successor to the legendary AK-47 was introduced in 1959, and actually accounts for the majority of the AK series weapons that have been put into service over the years. Originating in the Soviet Union, it has been utilized in armed conflict all over the world by dozens of countries, rebel groups, political/religious movements, etc. and continues to see use today in many roles where cheap, effective weaponry is an absolute requirement.

Firing the same 7.62x39mm rounds as its forebear, the AKM is a modernized version of the previous rifle designed to fix many of that gun’s shortcomings while retaining its simple, rugged, and reliable design. Improvements were made to increase accuracy and reduce weight when compared with the AK-47, in addition to making it cheaper and easier to manufacture.

What we get in DayZ is a fairly accurate representation of the world’s most ubiquitous assault rifle. Ditto for the attachments, which do a good job of approximating the best but don’t even begin to cover the full breadth of what’s available. That being said, we have the ability to recreate many different variants of this gun with ease thanks to what we can find in the game.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

A Legend Re-imagined

As the oldest member of the AK family available in the game and the closest thing we’ve got to the original, using the AKM is like having a piece of history in your hands. That doesn’t mean that this rifle is an antique by any means — there’s obviously a reason we’re still using it. Besides, in comparison to the Mosin this assault weapon is young.

As with other AKs, this rifle is known for its great rate of fire, ease of use, and readily available parts. This particular model is perhaps the most adaptable of all however thanks to the relatively powerful 7.62x39mm rounds that fires. Not only will it get the job done, but that job can be just about anything.

Clean-Up Crew

While it could realistically be used for just about any purpose, the AKM does have its inherent strengths and as a result often becomes the weapon of choice for certain roles. One of those jobs is that of support, meaning someone who provides covering fire and would be laying down a lot of lead. The unparalleled 75 round drum magazine gives it automatic supremacy there.

The ability to put out a steady stream of bullets over a longer period of time can also make it ideal for use against vehicles in the hands of a skilled player. While higher caliber weapons might seem better suited for their sheer power, the AKM exchanges precision for a hail of gunfire that’s got better chances of landing on a moving target.

I've Been Ev-er-y-where, Man

The flexibility allowed by its combination of automatic fire and powerful rounds in addition to an excellent set of optics means that the AKM thrives in all environments. Admittedly its long range capabilities are definitely not its strong suit, but that is really the only area where it doesn’t excel and that’s because it was never intended to.

Automatic fire at close range from this gun can be difficult to beat, since not only is it delivering many rounds but they aren’t something small like 9mm or .380 Auto either. Medium range talent is a direct result of the power behind its ammunition, and requires more deliberate marksmanship than it does up close but still gets the kill if you exercise some patience.

Enforcer's Choice

The AKM can be found in the hands of people who have a job to do. Simply put, few other guns adapt to their situation better than this one, and those who need to be ready for anything choose this gun for a reason.

This isn’t a gun for the new guys, however. Without discipline, the kick of recoil can ruin good aim. Perhaps more importantly, it has a big thirst for ammunition and is not as easily supplied as its 5.45 counterparts. It’s something that should be worked up to, or its likely that you’ll find it ineffective for its stubbornness.

Attachments for Every Occasion

One of the most customizable guns in the game, and as a result one of its most personal, the AKM has eight categories of attachments for you to make it your own. Dominating the picture above is a ghillie wrap, perfect for stealthy operations but potentially time consuming to assemble.

PSO and Kasthan optics give it much-needed range flexibility. Barrel attachments consist of suppressors and a bayonet, the latter of which isn’t available at this time but should eventually make the gun even more formidable at close range. Suppressor choices include the homemade plastic bottle suppressor we all know and love, the real deal Suppressor East which can be found at Russian heli crash sites.

Provided you have a handguard rail, further individualization can be done as well, like a flashlight to make night operations easier. There’s also a bipod to increase accuracy while prone.

Personal Touch

Buttstocks and handguards can be used interchangeably from other AKs to give your gun a different look, and spraypaint can be used to make further visual changes to the rifle including camouflage for the wooden buttstock and individually painted black and green hardware.

The handguard rail pictured on the lower left is necessary for the use of certain other attachments, but otherwise all of these parts serve the same purpose and mainly act as visual variety. Eventually, there may be an advantage in the form of weight savings for the lighter pieces.

Clockwork Gunfire

Be it from 30 or 75 round magazines, the AKM will spit bullets all day long if you’ve got the supply. It will ask little of you and give a whole lot in return if you can manage to rein it in and control its power. It will almost certainly require regular trips to military areas for more ammo, though.

One thing it won’t do is disappoint you. If you’re disappointed, it should be with yourself for not being patient with this weapon and taking the time to learn how to handle it. It may be tough to wrangle, but it’s at least predictable in its nature and you’ll be glad you got to know it even if you decide it isn’t for you.

Shared by Tatanko on February 29, 2016

The twelfth in a many-part series covering the different weapons found in DayZ Standalone.

Many thanks to official forum user Dudester100 for assisting with the album. Special thank you to twitch.tv/Pegetsu for providing the ghillie wrap!

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