Kalashnikov passes

| December 23, 2013 | 11 Comments

My email inbox has been filling up with tips that Mikhail Kalashnikov has died, so I guess you want to talk about it. The story goes that he designed the rifle that bears his name in his head while he lay in the hospital recovering from his wounds as a Soviet tanker in 1939. However, the design which he hijacked from his German enemies didn’t reach the production stage until 1947. From the Washington Post;

Mr. Kalashnikov headed the design team that produced the AK-47 — standing for automatic by Kalashnikov, model of 1947 — as the assault rifle for the newly retitled Soviet Army. It went into service two years later and then was provided to the Soviet Union’s allies and clients, as well as many other countries Moscow was trying to influence during the Cold War and after.

The AK first went into action to put down East Berlin riots in 1953 and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Egyptian soldiers used it to assassinate President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Troops on both sides in the Iran-Iraq war carried it. The al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden used a modernized one as a prop in his recruiting videos.

It was easy to shoot and dependable, making it the weapon of the third world “spray and pray” armies and guerrillas and the symbol of communist insurgencies.

No exact count is possible, but experts believe there are about 100 million AKs, modernizations and derivatives around the world, with as many as 1 million more being made each year.

Kalashnikov, oddly enough, was one of Stalin’s kulaks, the middle class that resisted Stalin’s policies. His father died when the family was exiled to Siberia. Odd that he would eventually design the very symbol of Soviet power.

Category: Historical

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  1. Just An Old Dog says:

    He based it on the Sturmgewehr 44. Like a lot of Russian weapons it was stolen from foreign technology and touted as being a great idea bought forth by communists. It’s a weapon based on having a large number of soldiers with little independent thought or intelligence. Depending on where they were made they are unreliable as shit. Ive seen videos of the “Dirt test” where they are buried in sand and picked up. The frame is fit together so loose that the sand fills it up and it cant fire a shot.

  2. T-Bird Henry says:

    Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of my engineering heroes. Not for what he designed, but the fact that he managed to achieve one of the “holy grails” of engineering: That is to say, he managed to come up with a design that was idiot-proof both to manufacture and to use. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but like a great deal of Russian engineering, it got the job done. Well Done General Kalashnikov, I thank you for your service against the Hitlerites and pray we may be worthy.

  3. ConcernedCitizen says:

    I thought the Mosin-Nagant was the symbol of Soviet power. Or is that more of a symbol of Russian hardiness?

  4. Sparks says:

    I will never forget the rather “metallic”, slamming sound the AK-47 made when I heard it firing. It is a good weapon and the North Vietnamese and their VC counterparts made good use of it.

  5. Eagle Keeper says:

    “He was forever asked if he regretted engineering the weapon that probably killed more than any other in the last fifty years.

    “‘I invented it for the protection of the Motherland. I have no regrets and bear no responsibility for how politicians have used it,’ he told them.”


  6. vietnam war protestor a.k.a. u.s.s. liberty says:

    He helped invent a weapon that helped the world defend itself against amerikkkan corperate imperialism and for that we can all be thankful! We corperate state war protesters tried to stop americans from being sent for cannon fodder by your corperate masters and their neo-con running dogs! We thought we had cleansed the democratic party of this evilness ‘but as syria and now iran proves we must be ever vigilant!

  7. Flagwaver says:

    VWP, if by “defend itself against amerikkkan corperate imperialism” you actually mean invade Afghanistan to subjugate it to Soviet rule, then you are kind of correct. Also, I can pretty much guarantee that AKs have killed a great deal more innocent lives than they have Americans.

    AKs were used to ethnically cleanse other countries and by China to subjugate Tibet. Was America in Tibet when China invaded it? Nope.

    However, you are showing your ignorance with the last comment on Iran. You do realize that, for the Iranian regime, any American (even you, buttercup) is an enemy of Islam, even if they are Muslim.

  8. Andy says:

    A quote I read today supposedly attributed to him “Eugene Stoner has his own airplane and I can’t even afford to buy a airplane ticket.” There being no copyright/intellectual property in the Soviet Union, he was never paid more than his salary. No wonder after the fall of communism he let so many people pay him for the use of his name on things like vodka.
    And war protester, go fuck yourself with a cactus, your trolling still falls flat.

  9. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @6. Stick with the Boone’s Farm Apple wine. Spiked eggnog doesn’t agree with you.

  10. NHSparky says:

    @9–that sounded like the eggnog was made with lighter fluid and he took a few hits of the brown acid to top it off.

    Seriously, vwp–you. Euthanasia. Think about it.

  11. The Other Whitey says:

    I’m a little surprised VWPussy doesn’t hate on Kalashnikov. After all, the guy was a gun designer and fought against the nazis, and we’ve seen how he/she/it hates guns and loves nazis. Then again, Kalashnikov was part of Stalin’s Red Army, even if he himself wasn’t known to be a mass-murdering shitbag, so I guess the mouth-breather has a conflict of interest here. Which explains why VWPindejo sounds even dumber than usual here.

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