Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Scrumbag, Dec 23, 2013.
I offered to take it home and fix it...
Since my visa was running out and the Russian's frown on overstaying, Colonel Alex suggested next time I come back we would do it on the front side of the hitch.
Unfortunately I have not been back since 2000 so now it will not happen.
Russia is a neat country. Very friendly folks once you get out of the big cities. I particularly liked Arkhangelsk. Very scenic city in the winter.
It is really an eye-opener and a fun romp through the Soviet experiment as played out in the world of arms development.
It also explains why all the theories about how the gun was developed are really just theories, as even the Russians don't really know anymore, for true, what role M.K. had in the development, or how much credit he really deserved. As the Soviet official policy was to erase histories and re-write them as cultural education morality plays, they picked certain people to be "heros of the Revolution" complete with hand-crafted life stories as models for young Soviet citizens to emulate.
All that to say, at this point no one will ever know what really happened at the birth of the Avtomat Kalashnikova.
He was no John Browning. Browning single-handedly designed dozens of weapons, including most of the US's WWI small arms, and some that are approaching a century and a half.
Mikhail headed a team that designed one very effective rifle, based on the designs of two others.
But I'll still toast him.
PS. Since the old yarn was raised . . . The Taliban had not yet arrived in Afghanistan during the war with the Russians. They were religious students in Pakistan. The ethnic groups who fought the Russians were later our allies and the enemies of the US were almost exclusively the allies of the Russians (mainly Pashtun).
Jerry Pournelle (or one of the guest writers in his CoDominium 'Future History') has exactly that, about 1500 years into the future.... made by hand by tribal master craftsmen....
There are still MNs and 98Ks in service. I expect the AK will last another century.
No he most certainly was no John Browning. John Browning was a true genius. A prolific innovator. He invented several of the most iconic guns on the planet (various Winchester levers, the 1903, the 1911, the Auto 5...the Ma-Duece!!!). Kalishnikov was a talented machinist and engineer that, as noted above, had his real passion around farm equipment (which in and of itself is a very good thing). The success of Kalishnikov came from the fact that the thing he built (he really didn't invent it technically) worked real well and more importantly, the East Bloc manufactured hundreds of millions of them.
Interesting man, interesting gun. NOT John Moses Browning!!!
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