Why Are Russian Special Forces Training With American Assault Rifles?

One of the most unusual stories to start the week is coming from VladTime, a Russian news agency, who reported Russian Special Forces have been exercising with American M4 carbines this month, with additional reports of how some of these soldiers are currently buying western weapons.

Military officers of the 45th Spetsnaz Airborne Brigade, a special reconnaissance and special operations military unit of the Russian Airborne Troops, said soldiers practiced shooting targets, reloading, and assembly and disassembly of the M4 last week.

Officers said NATO Response Forces have been familiarizing and training with Russian weapons for some time. The latest move to train forces with western carbines is a direct result of NATO testing Russian assault rifles.

According to one officer, special forces units were surprised by the accuracy of the M4 and even said, it's more comfortable to shoot than the AK-74M, the main service rifle in use in the Russian Army. These elite soldiers said the ergonomics and compactness of the American assault rifle were appealing.

"It should be noted here that it was precisely such courses on familiarizing with foreign weapons that preceded the mass appearance of American and German rifles with FSB special forces. The special forces officers who appreciated the advantages of modern Western weapons, with the permission of the leadership, began to purchase them with their own money," VladTime said (translated via Google).

Another officer of the special forces told the publication that upper command has been speaking with local gunsmiths to make the Kalashnikov rifles more like western carbines. The report goes on to say special forces are already acquiring modern Western rifles and carbines, ahead of the possibility that upper command approves the use of these weapons.

The main reason Russian Special Forces like the M4 firing a 5.56 X 45 NATO round, versus the Kalashnikov AK-47 firing a 7.62X39, is that the weapon is more lightweight, ergonomic, and more accurate.