Use US SWAT teams AK 47

Do elite US military units use Kalashnikov weapons?

The subject of the Spiegel article is the AK47 designed in 1947 which, as this article suggests, is now viewed as somewhat out of date and inaccurate.

Caliber: 7.62 vs 5.56

The AK47 uses a 7.62 × 39mm round.

Under US influence, NATO switched from 7.62 x 51 mm to 5.56 x 45 mm to reduce recoil and improve rates of fire.

Recently, this policy has been reversed somewhat as the 7.62 round is seen as more effective in current conflicts.

In other words, some U.S. military units would prefer to revert to the older, heavier caliber, which is effective at greater distances.

However, there are a very large number of assault rifles made in the US and Europe that accept larger caliber ammunition - so this alone is not a reason to use AK47.

The US armed forces include a large number of units that have been referred to as the elite. The mirror's claim is therefore extremely vague.

Navy Seals use a variety of assault weapons, including

  • Colt M4 carbine
  • Fabrique Nationale FN Minimi
  • Fabrique Nationale FN SCAR (Mk 16 / Mk 17)
  • Heckler & Koch HK 416
  • Heckler & Koch HK 417
  • Heckler & Koch HK MP5 (and many variants)


  • Chinese type 56 AR

The last of these is an AK47 clone. There are reports that the seals purchased China-made AK47 clones (but not the Kalashnikov-made units).




The AK 47 is a gas-powered 7.62 × 39mm selective fire assault rifle that was first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The SEALs have the AK 47 in their inventory for a variety of missions. It's one of the most reliable guns ever made and is a great choice when you need to swim a gun across the beach.

It's not too surprising

  • Some special forces can be trained to pick up and use weapons dropped by their enemies. Therefore, they can buy such weapons at least for training purposes.

  • Some special forces have access to an enormous range of weapons to choose from depending on the type of mission. The AK47 may be just one of the dozen (if not hundreds) of different types of rifles available to them and can be used on occasion.


- There are numerous 7.62mm rounds. They mention the full size 7.62 × 51mm NATO, equating it to 7.62 × 39mm in medium size, while the full size Russian Round is 7.62 × 54mm. And, of course, there is a pistol with a size of 7.62 × 25 mm (Tokarev). These are not the same (probably 7.62 × 51 mm and 7.62 × 54 mm are somewhat equivalent).


KAC SR-47 was developed for SOCOM, not because 7.62 × 39 mm are superior, but because of the logistics ability to use captured ammunition.

Robert Columbia

@vartec develops weapons that can use captured ammunition - notable examples from WWII were the British Sten weapon (which not only takes German 9mm ammunition, but also Magazines with the German 9mm MP40 SMG) and the US M3 "grease press" that could be modified to accommodate German ammunition in the field.

Loren Pechtel

Another factor - guns sound different. When conducting a raid, special forces can use enemy weapons as they sound like enemy weapons, thereby denying defenders the ability to identify them by sound.