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AK-47: Iconic weapon
BBC Online (UK) ^ | 12/05/2005 | Staff

Posted on 12/05/2005 12:25:15 PM PST by 1066AD

AK-47: Iconic weapon All this week, BBC World Service's The World Today programme is looking at the stories behind one of the world's most iconic weapons, the AK-47, and talking to the people who trade in it, the people who carry it, and the people whose lives have been destroyed by it. The global trade in small arms is big business - it involves almost 1,250 companies operating in at least 92 countries producing weapons, parts or ammunition.

The most popular, and perhaps the most iconic, of all these weapons is the AK-47 assault rifle. Its distinctive shape and widespread use made it an icon of violence in the 20th Century.

In the film Jackie Brown, gunrunner Ordell Robbie calls the the AK-47 "the very best there is... accept no substitutes".

AK-47 STORIES MONDAY

But away from the glamour of the big screen, NGOs lament the deadly toll exacted by small arms. The Small Arms Survey 2005 suggested small arms - meaning personal weapons also including pistols, machine guns, grenades, portable anti-tank systems and mortars - were responsible for some 60-90% of direct war deaths, estimated at 100,000 for 2003.

And estimates suggest small arms are implicated in more than 1,000 deaths every day.

"Small arms cause big losses," Louise Frechette, the UN deputy director-general, has said.

Illicit exports

The AK-47 assault rifle is durable, simple to use, and, with only nine parts, easy to dismantle and maintain. It can fire 600 rounds a minute, with each bullet still potentially lethal at distances of more than a kilometre (2/3 mile).

THE AK-47 Stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947 Designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov while wounded in hospital - though he has said he wished he invented the lawnmower instead Produced in greater numbers than any other 20th-Century assault rifle Fires 600 rounds a minute Estimated 70-100m in the world The AK47 has spawned many derivatives, such as the Chinese-manufactured Type 56

It is estimated that 70-100 million Kalashnikov rifles - comprising the AK-47 and AK-74 - have been made worldwide, dwarfing the US-made M-16 at seven million.

The US, UK, France, Russia, and China are responsible for 88% of reported conventional arms exports. In the US alone, the small arms trade accounts for a huge $14bn (£8bn) of exports. The figure in the UK is $4.6bn.

But this trade often ends up being illegally exploited.

These lethal weapons are relatively cheap, highly portable, and easily concealable - characteristics that make small arms particularly susceptible to illicit trafficking. They are often sold illegally in exchange for hard currency or goods such as diamonds, drugs, or other contraband.

In all, estimates of the black market trade in small arms range from $2bn to $10bn a year. The charity Oxfam estimates that between 80% and 90% of all illegal small arms start in the sanctioned trade.

In 2001 the UN launched a Programme of Action to combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms. The programme sets out a series of measures that governments should take internationally, nationally and regionally to control small arms, but it is not legally binding.

In a World Today discussion, defence export consultant Elizabeth Carter commented that there was a lack of awareness about the new measures, and that even weapons manufacturers are confused about the new export controls.

Meanwhile, Paul Eavin, director of the arms-control NGO Saferworld, said one of the biggest sources for the illicit arms trade was theft from state and police armeries.

Developed nations also need to recognise their central role in the trade, he said.

"We would certainly argue that from countries like Britain, there are still too many exports to countries like Colombia, Nepal, Saudi Arabia - and those exports shouldn't be taking place."

AK-47 is broadcast on BBC World Service's World Today programme every day until 8 December at 2300 GMT.

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/4380348.stm


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: ak47; banglist
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Might be fun to listen to the programs.

AK-47 is broadcast on BBC World Service's World Today programme every day from 4 to 8 December, 2005, at 0205 GMT.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4499478.stm

1 posted on 12/05/2005 12:25:15 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: 1066AD
"The AK-47, the preferred weapon of your enemy. It has a distinctive sound. Get to know it." Gunny Highway in Heartbreak Ridge.
2 posted on 12/05/2005 12:30:08 PM PST by RetiredArmy (I have no faith in any politician or political party any more. They all lie for their agendas.)
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To: 1066AD
Here's a "deluxe" model that used to belong to Saddam:

And then there's Mozambique's flag:


3 posted on 12/05/2005 12:31:04 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: 1066AD

"The best there is" would be the Finnish Valmet copy. AK is a paint sprayer, and the Finns somehow managed to tighten it up without sacrificing reliability.


4 posted on 12/05/2005 12:37:44 PM PST by GSlob
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To: 1066AD
I've fired an AK-47 once, and it was like the crack cocaine of assault weapons. I loved it. No wonder Che got all the babes.

All joking aside, the AK-47 was a brilliant design. If you have an unskilled militia with no O&S structure whatsoever, you want a weapon that pisses lead, is impossible to break, can be operated by an illiterate and will fire anything you care to load into it other than roofing nails or chewing gum. That pretty much is what an AK-47 provided our enemy for about 50 years.
5 posted on 12/05/2005 12:37:57 PM PST by .cnI redruM (Murtha - What happens when patriots turn into Democrats.)
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To: 1066AD

"...and, with only nine parts, easy to dismantle..."

NINE parts? Who proofreads this stuff for the BBC?


6 posted on 12/05/2005 12:39:26 PM PST by 04-Bravo
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To: 1066AD

Speaking of AK-47s, this was on local news today...
Local Man Robbed at Gunpoint with AK-47


http://www.localnews8.com/home/2056027.html


7 posted on 12/05/2005 12:39:29 PM PST by EastIdaho (Warning to tourists, do not laugh at the natives)
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To: GSlob

In the film Jackie Brown, gunrunner Ordell Robbie calls the the AK-47 "the very best there is... accept no substitutes".

"The best there is" would be the Finnish Valmet copy. AK is a paint sprayer, and the Finns somehow managed to tighten it up without sacrificing reliability.

i'd prefer an HK PSG1 or a 91/G3.


8 posted on 12/05/2005 12:40:44 PM PST by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: 1066AD
...talking to the people who trade in it, the people who carry it, and the people whose lives have been destroyed by it.

I was unaware that the BBC had a necromancy desk.

9 posted on 12/05/2005 12:40:44 PM PST by Redcloak (We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singin' "whiskey for my men and beer for my horses!")
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To: 1066AD

The AK-47... The third worlds answer to the condom. Retroactive population control.


10 posted on 12/05/2005 12:42:57 PM PST by PsyOp (Men easily believe what they want to. Caesar, De Bello Gallico, III, 18.)
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To: 1066AD
"..perhaps the most iconic..",

Amazing to hear constantly, but the average numb-skull reporter who would not know a rifle from a shotgun knows "AK-47" by rote - even without knowing what the initials and number stand for.

Iconic, isn't it?

11 posted on 12/05/2005 12:44:30 PM PST by Designer (Just a nit-pick'n and chagrin'n)
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To: Redcloak
I was unaware that the BBC had a necromancy desk.

What's so strange about that? The DNC has one.


12 posted on 12/05/2005 12:45:05 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Designer

"Iconic, isn't it?"

You meant "Ironic", didn't you?


13 posted on 12/05/2005 12:45:44 PM PST by PsyOp (Men easily believe what they want to. Caesar, De Bello Gallico, III, 18.)
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To: GSlob

Got one of those. It is a work of art. Rosewood stock and the reciever is machined from a billet and not stamped out. I is the semi-auto in 5.56 and is one of my "life keepers" in the gun safe. My daughters fight over which one gets it when I dead.


14 posted on 12/05/2005 12:45:52 PM PST by WilliamWallace1999
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To: absolootezer0

De gustibus... And $$$, too. IIRC, PSG was about 10K.


15 posted on 12/05/2005 12:48:12 PM PST by GSlob
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To: 1066AD

It is a peasant's weapon with poor accuracy good only for close in fighting. Ask the AK-47 armed Iraqis who charged the soldier of the 507th who died after killing numerous Iraqis at 200 yards.


16 posted on 12/05/2005 12:48:26 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: GSlob

actually, they started about $5,000... before they got banned. there were very few of them, and there really wasn't much difference between them and the 91. bolt close assist, adjustable cheek piece and hand grip, a $1,500 scope, and a much nicer trigger group.

what's "De gustibus"?


17 posted on 12/05/2005 12:54:26 PM PST by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: absolootezer0
In the film Jackie Brown, gunrunner Ordell Robbie calls the the AK-47 "the very best there is... accept no substitutes".
He had a qualifying statement during those 3 dots, but we can't repeat it here.
18 posted on 12/05/2005 12:56:02 PM PST by wolfpat (Your, you're, yore: Learn the difference.)
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To: absolootezer0

"De gustibus non disputandum est" - Latin proverb = "There is no arguing about one's tastes [or preferences]"


19 posted on 12/05/2005 1:00:26 PM PST by GSlob
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To: 1066AD
The 'civilized' Western nations wont allow their honest citizens to own firearms or to become proficient with them
and keep up their skills...while their enemies nations
are swimming with such weapons...

Brilliant!

Luckily the AK family is still crap compared to the AR family...

Of course an AK is still infinitely better than no weapon
at all....

imo
20 posted on 12/05/2005 1:00:31 PM PST by joesnuffy (A camel once bit my sister-we knew just what to do- gather large rocks and squash her-Mullet Ho'mar)
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To: joesnuffy

What does the "AR" in AR-15 stand for? Are those made by Colt here in the States?


21 posted on 12/05/2005 1:03:36 PM PST by GOP_Party_Animal
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To: Redcloak

ROFL.


22 posted on 12/05/2005 1:03:52 PM PST by farlander
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To: absolootezer0

SIG 550-series, boys ;)


23 posted on 12/05/2005 1:05:37 PM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: Blood of Tyrants

"It is a peasant's weapon with poor accuracy good only for close in fighting" which is what it was designed for as first the Germans then everyone else realised that 200yd+ accuracy was of less importance in a mobile war like that at the end of WW2. It's a great example of the "KISS" principle as well.


24 posted on 12/05/2005 1:06:01 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: absolootezer0

Arnold Arms [now out of business] used to make beautiful precision bolt rifles. Expensive, too - 6-7K.


25 posted on 12/05/2005 1:06:33 PM PST by GSlob
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To: 1066AD
In the film Jackie Brown,

Yeah ... the definitive authority on military hardware is a fictitious character concocted by a movie director noted primarily for his profuse use of profanity and sadism.

26 posted on 12/05/2005 1:10:13 PM PST by ctdonath2
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

Can't remember exactly = Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle.

Armalite (a division of Fairchild industries, maker of the wonderful A-10 Warthog) had the design from Stoner and later sold it to Colt.

Colt originally made the weapon for the US military, as did divisions of GM (my first M-16 was a Hydramatic). But, patents run out.

Now, the design is a "pattern gun" made by nearly everybody.
But, the top three are ABC:
Armalite
Bushmaster (highest civilian sales)
Colt

Many others (Rock River Arms, Wilson, Knights, et al) are also making the same rifle, but with much lower sales. Knights makes the high-end, specialized versions costing big $$$. Parts are very standardized and interchangeable.

FN currently makes the M-16 (M-16A2 and M-16A4) series under contract.
Colt makes the M-4 under contract, because they exclusively own the TDP (Technical Data Package) for the M-4.


27 posted on 12/05/2005 1:11:29 PM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

AR stands for Armalite - the original firm that designed the AR-15. Armalite sold the manufacturing rights to Colt.


28 posted on 12/05/2005 1:14:03 PM PST by Radio_Silence
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To: GOP_Party_Animal

The "AR" stands for Armalite, the company that invented the AR-15. The inventor was the late Eugene Stoner, a man who was simply a genius.


29 posted on 12/05/2005 1:15:39 PM PST by LaYardDog
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To: WilliamWallace1999

How do you get one of those Valmets?


30 posted on 12/05/2005 1:15:41 PM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: 1066AD

And as the Iraqis found out, when the enemy can see you from 2 miles away, accuracy IS important.


31 posted on 12/05/2005 1:17:11 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: Radio_Silence

That's right, how could I forget - ARmalite.
Duh.


32 posted on 12/05/2005 1:19:03 PM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: 1066AD
And estimates suggest small arms are implicated in more than 1,000 deaths every day.

Oh my god, 1,000 a day! That's horrible! That's a 0.006% mortality rate per year worldwide, and probably includes wars. That's nowhere near the deaths from, say, heart disease.

33 posted on 12/05/2005 1:19:14 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: GSlob

"The best there is" would be the Finnish Valmet copy. AK is a paint sprayer, and the Finns somehow managed to tighten it up without sacrificing reliability.


I agree, I love my select-fire Valmet M-76 in 5.56 NATO.


34 posted on 12/05/2005 1:20:26 PM PST by TEXASPROUD
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To: Gordongekko909
Gaad. How tacky!!

Just like his gold plated toilet fixtures.
35 posted on 12/05/2005 1:20:50 PM PST by RedMonqey
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To: TEXASPROUD
I agree, I love my select-fire Valmet M-76 in 5.56 NATO.

Select-fire? Meaning, you can go auto?

36 posted on 12/05/2005 1:21:56 PM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: RedMonqey
Just like his gold plated toilet fixtures.

My cousin, a Marine, "took care of his business" on one of Saddamned's toilets. He said it was pretty cool.

37 posted on 12/05/2005 1:24:56 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: 1066AD

Man, this article is full of tripe... Only 9 parts in an AK-47? Let's see... we have the receiver, barrel, barrel trunnion, rear trunnion, hammer, trigger, disconnector, disconnector spring, auto sear, appropriate pins for all (total 3), bolt carrier and gas piston assembly, bolt, firing pin, extractor, retention pin and spring... then we have the front sight, with the two pins holding it, the muzzle brake, the accessory retention pin and spring, the gas tube and upper handguard, the lower handguard and the rear sight. Let's also not forget the stock and stock components as well as the trigger guard, the magazine catch and the pistol grip. I think we've established the BBC's credibility if they claim the AK-47 has 9 parts.

Also, Kalishnakov never felt bad about the design. He was honored to have been able to assist his homeland in such a great way.

I think I'll skip the obviously misleading and unresearched program on the BBC...

Mike


38 posted on 12/05/2005 1:25:10 PM PST by BCR #226
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To: 1066AD
In the film Jackie Brown, gunrunner Ordell Robbie calls the the AK-47 "the very best there is... accept no substitutes".

Actually, he said, "When you positively, absolutely, have to kill every [expletive deleted] in the room. The very best there is...accept no [expletive deleted] substitutes."


39 posted on 12/05/2005 1:25:16 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (JOE WILSON IS A MUTHAFAKING LIAR)
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To: SJSAMPLE

Of the manufacturers of AR 15, how do they rank in quality?


40 posted on 12/05/2005 1:27:31 PM PST by School of Rational Thought (Republican - The thinking people's party)
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To: BCR #226

They probably counted field strip, not detail strip. Bolt cover, bolt, piston, recoil spring, gas cylinder, forend, magazine, cleaning rod, and then the rest of it counted as one piece.


41 posted on 12/05/2005 1:31:02 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Gordongekko909

"My cousin, a Marine, "took care of his business" on one of Saddamned's toilets. He said it was pretty cool."



One of the perks of being an marine.


42 posted on 12/05/2005 1:33:24 PM PST by RedMonqey
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To: GSlob
"The best there is" would be the Finnish Valmet copy. AK is a paint sprayer, and the Finns somehow managed to tighten it up without sacrificing reliability.

The Finns definitely get top marks for fit and finish. The various Valmets I owned could hold 1.5 MOA all day with decent ammo and a competent shooter. Probably the nicest AK actions made.

However, some of the more obscure Bulgarian variants get top billing for raw precision, around 1.0 MOA if the ammo is up to the task. It probably has something to do with the fact that much of the Bulgarian AK47 tooling, notably for making barrels, were originally Steyr. Still, if I had to choose between a fine Bulgarian and a fine Finnish AK, I'd go with the Finnish product for the superior attention to detail and slightly improved design.

43 posted on 12/05/2005 1:36:44 PM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: 1066AD

The AK-47 varies in quality depending on the model that is used. I would prefer a high quality U.S.A. or Russian made 7.62 x 39 AK-103 over a 5.56 x 45 M-4. 7.62 x 39 from a 16 inch barrel is very deadly out to 250 meters in the hands of a good rifleman.

A bullet from a 5.56 x 45 AR-15 with a sixteen inch barrel loses much of its velocity by 150 meters. Getting hit by 5.56 millimeter round from 150 meters or beyond would be like being stabbed with an ice pick. The M-16 with a 20 inch barrel adds about 50 more meters of really effective range.

Army should upgrade our M-16 to fire the 6.8 x 43 round that way any of our soldiers could give really effective fire out to 300 meters despite having a 14 1/2 inch barrel.

If a new round isn't adopted the Unites States Army should at least adopt the new Mk262 Mod 1 77 grain round over our current 62 grain round. A heavier bullet means that a round will retain a high velocity out to a longer range.

44 posted on 12/05/2005 1:38:52 PM PST by 2nd_Amendment_Defender ("It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains." -- Patrick Henry)
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To: School of Rational Thought

ABC: ArmaLite, Bushmaster and Colt.

Very comparable among these three, but everybody likes their own brand. Armalite is not the same Armalite that originally created the AR-15 (they just use the name) but they're not bad. Some people like Colt, some like Bushmaster.

Colt will not sell post-post-ban Law Enforcement weapons to non-LE. You need a department letterhead to get one from Colt, so Bushmaster sells over 2x the civilian sales as Colt. All "civilians" can get from Colt is the Match Target variants (like the M-16A2 and A4) but not the carbines.

Knights Armament is offering their SR-15, which is a much refined version of the AR-series. You pay big bucks for Knights rifles, but they come with everything. Quality is very high and the price is equally high.

After these, there are lesser brands like Rock River (not bad, but I've seen some troublesome rifles) and others. Nearly everybody is offering an AR these days.

I would recommend Bushmaster because they offer the quality, the models that Colt won't offer and you can actually get their rifles.


45 posted on 12/05/2005 1:41:21 PM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: Pyro7480
Select-fire? Meaning, you can go auto?

There are select-fire Valmets floating around that a person can buy (assuming your State laws permit it). And if you are going to bother buying an AK action in the first place, the Valmet is the variant you want. It is one of the few that looks like it was manufactured on a modern assembly line with the kind of quality control Americans prefer in their firearms.

46 posted on 12/05/2005 1:42:52 PM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: 2nd_Amendment_Defender
Whoops! Posted the AK-103 picture wrong.


47 posted on 12/05/2005 1:45:09 PM PST by 2nd_Amendment_Defender ("It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains." -- Patrick Henry)
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To: LaYardDog

48 posted on 12/05/2005 1:45:38 PM PST by thulldud (The Democratic military vote is the REAL "Army of One".)
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To: Pyro7480

I agree, I love my select-fire Valmet M-76 in 5.56 NATO.

Select-fire? Meaning, you can go auto?

You'd better believe it Pyro. Also got extra Arsenal 5.56 mags adapted for the Valmet. I'm a happy camper.


49 posted on 12/05/2005 1:52:44 PM PST by TEXASPROUD
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To: Pyro7480

www.gunsamerica.com

Look for a Valmet M71/S in .233 caliber.

Resale only. Thank Hillary for no more imports. They run about $1500 now.

WW


50 posted on 12/05/2005 1:55:39 PM PST by WilliamWallace1999
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