Skip to comments.AK-47 inventor: I don't lose sleep
Posted on 07/06/2007 2:24:48 PM PDT by Eurotwit
MOSCOW - Sixty years after the AK-47 went into production, Mikhail Kalashnikov says he does not stay awake at night worrying about the bloodshed wrought by the world's most popular assault rifle.
"I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence," Kalashnikov said Friday at a ceremony marking the birth of the rifle, whose initials stand for "Avtomat Kalashnikov."
It was before he started designing the gun that he slept badly, worried about the superior weapons that Nazi soldiers were using with grisly effectiveness against the Red Army in World War II. He saw them at close range himself, while fighting on the front lines.
While hospitalized with wounds after a Nazi shell hit his tank in the 1941 battle of Bryansk, Kalashnikov decided to design an automatic rifle combining the best features of the American M1 and the German StG44.
"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer," said Kalashnikov, frail but sharp at age 87. "I always wanted to construct agriculture machinery."
Since production began, more than 100 million AK-47s have been made either at the home factory in the central Russian city of Izhevsk, under license in dozens of other countries, or illegally. Sergei Chemezov, director of the Russian arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport, said nearly a million a year are produced without license.
The AK-47 has been a mainstay in wars, coups, terrorist attacks, robberies and other mayhem. Its popularity comes from being rugged and easy to maintain, though its accuracy is not high.
It proved ideal and extremely reliable for warfare in jungle or desert easily assembled and able to keep firing in sandy or wet conditions that would jam a U.S-made M-16.
"During the Vietnam war, American soldiers would throw away their M-16s to grab AK-47s and bullets for it from dead Vietnamese soldiers," he said. "I hear American soldiers in Iraq use it quite often."
The simplicity and reliability of the AK-47 made it a favorite of rebel movements worldwide it even features on the Mozambique flag. Keen to support anti-colonial movements in Asia and Africa, the Soviets proliferated the rifle, sometimes for free, to pro-Soviet regimes or insurgents.
In 2005, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who styles himself as a leader of the fighting against imperialism, ordered 100,000 for his army.
"The Kalashnikov rifle is a symbol of the creative genius of our people," President Vladimir Putin said in a statement read to Kalashnikov at the ceremony in the Central Russian Army Museum.
"It's a huge and splendid celebration," said Nikolai Shvets of Rosoboronexport. "For another 20 years, the AK-47 will remain unsurpassed by any other automatic rifle in the world."
Kalashnikov is still active and prolific he tours the world as a Rosoboronexport consultant helping strike new arms deals, and has written several books on his life, about arms and about youth education.
"After the collapse of the great and mighty Soviet Union so much crap has been imposed on us, especially on the younger generation," he said. "I wrote six books to help them find their way in life."
He said he is proud of his bronze bust installed in his native village of Kurya in the Siberian region of Altai. He said newlyweds bring flowers to the bust.
"They whisper 'Uncle Misha, wish us happiness and healthy kids,'" he said. "What other gun designer can boast of that?"
Good post but one small correction. Each mm roughly equals .04” (caliber), therefore the 10mm equates to a 40 caliber, not 45 caliber. Caliber can easily be estimated by multiplying mmx .04. So 5.5 is .22 caliber, 7mm is .280 caliber, etc. However not all cartridges are really the caliber indicated in their name, the most common being the 38 Special, which is really a .36 caliber, (or to be more accurate, a .357 caliber). The 9mm is a true .36 caliber and is slightly larger than a 38/357. Some guns are made to fire both, but generally you can’t shoot a 9mm bullet in a 38/357 barrel.
My point is that a few nominal barrel diameters continue to be the norm...
17 cal is for BB guns although it keeps coming back as a new and improved military or sporting round...
22 remains the world's most popular caliber...independent from the M-16 it became famous with.
??? Who is that?
The guy on the right in the picture.
Because from your posts, I can tell you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Great rifle....he deserves all the accolades he gets.
wonderful choice for the cache
I have an AutoMag III in .30 carbine. The grip is such as to require extremely large hands. The muzzle blast is spectacular (slow powder in a short barrel, it looks like WWII newsreels of a main battery broadside from a 16 inch gun!) and ferocious enough to require both ear plugs and ear muff hearing protectors. It's kind of like sticking your head in a two gallon bucket and having someone hit it with a shovel. The recoil is stout but not unpleasantly so as the Automag III is a long slide and fairly hefty. Not exactly concealable, but fun to shoot and it always gathers attention after you touch off a couple of rounds.
The weapon of choice for our enemies....of course he doesnt lose sleep.
It's doubtful that you could have made a lamer comment.
Sure I could have, but you beat me to it!
RasterMaster: The weapon of choice for our enemies....of course he doesnt lose sleep. 8
Zon: It's doubtful that you could have made a lamer comment. 110
Sure I could have, but you beat me to it!
You proved me wrong.
I was going to ping you on this one, but you are always a step ahead of me on these gun posts.
Hmm, I've been considering another .223 semi-auto, ever since the wife took a liking to my M4 carbine. Perhaps something like a converted Saiga would fill the bill. It's been a while since I did the parts-count compliance thing - time for a WECSOG refresher course!
Im also looking at getting some 20 or 30 round magazines for it. The magazines have the bullet guide built onto them on the front lip of the magazine, this is done to make the rifle a little different so that a regular AKM magazine cant be used without modification, helps to get them imported as a sporting arm...
IIRC, there have been attempts to adapt Mini-14 and Galil mags to work in the Saiga. Or maybe it was the Galil M-16 mag adapter that was fitted to the Saiga, can't recall at the moment. Have you explored any of those options?
Yeah, eventually that's how they got one. But when the B29 was under development, before there actually was a production model, the Soviets got wind of the project & they actually tried to order one. The B29 was developed under the cover that it was simply an advanced model B17. Didn't fool the Russians though.
I’ve been in contact with these guys: http://www.redstick-firearms.com/
They can install a Galil M-16 magazine adaptor, they work well with the Saiga, then you can pick up a pile of M-16 magazines.
Galil polymer will work with minimal work, Bulgarians pretty much pop right in, but you do need to add a bullet guide, which is pretty simple too... simple gun, simple gunsmithing.
I converted mine with a cordless drill and a few files... easy stuff.
For now, I’m hanging onto the 10 rounders, I contatcted the BATFE firearms branch and they said if I imported just the Saiga magazine bodies for .223 that you get with a Saiga-M rifle, then as long as they are used for my own purpose, i.e NO RESALE, then I can import and use them in my 922r compliant Saiga.
I’d rather spend $14 on a .223 promag and give it a quick JB weld-up and that though...
Every time I hear that phrase I think it's coming from upChuckie Schemer, Teddy the Fat or Diane Feinswine or Sara Brady or some other jerk who tries to blame the tool for its use.
Nope...just it’s maker for putting it in the hands of our enemies.
Russia (USSR) is not our friend.