Why is there a myth that the AK-47 is inaccurate when, in reality, the gun is reasonably accurate?
The Army Reserve Marksmanship Program conducted training and shooting competition for First Army at Camp Bullis which included a comparison of the M16 to AKM rifles.
With 145 Soldiers attending and shooting a course conducted at 200 yards on a Known Distance range, the M16 scores averaged 13% higher. It’s worth pointing out that these Soldiers were using their unit-issued M16/M4 series, the same type of rifle they’ve been using their entire career, compared to using a borrowed Kalashnikov rifle they were taught to zero and shoot that same day. For most of them, it was their first experience shooting an AK-47 so this 13% difference was largely due to simple familiarity differences.
Note that Army standard only requires 6 MOA shooting. Any rifle shooter capable of consistently shooting 6 MOA groups from prone will likely score “expert” on most Army, Marine, or other military rifle qualification course; any shooter/rifle combo capable of that much accuracy can shoot an “expert” qualification all day long.
One issue with Kalashnikov “inaccuracy” is zeroing is a bit of a hassle as it lacks click adjustable sights and some owners don’t bother.
For zeroing standard-length Kalashnikovs, moving the front sight slide to the left or right by 1 mm changes the strike of the bullet 26 cm at 100 meters. This works out to about 2.6 mils or roughly 9.5 MOA. There is no click adjustment for windage, just a sight pusher, estimating, and trial and error.
One full revolution of the front sight post moves the elevation of the bullet 20cm when firing at 100 meters. This is just over 7 MOA.
As to qualifying, a well-built AK is more than accurate enough for passing current military qual courses and capable of more mechanical precision than the skill level of many Soldiers or Marines can fully exploit.