Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ballseye's Gun Shots 110 - The Russians Are Coming - Well, Maybe The AK-47s Are Coming

As per this article, it has been reported that there are calls within the Russian government to replace its standard military rifle, the Avtomat Kalashnikova-47, more commonly known as the AK-47. What would be the replacement? No one knows, in fact no one knows if the push for a replacement will even be taken seriously. The thing is though, if the Russians do replace the AK-47 with something else, one can only hope there will be an influx of them into the U.S. markets - at least a good number reworked to 'semi-auto only' for those of us who cannot legally purchase full auto.

When reading the linked article, please remember that FoxNews, just like most other of the MS, often gets things wrong (or at least reports on incorrect info) when it comes to firearms. In the article, it is reported that the AK-47 is often credited as the first modern assault rifle. Sorry to those of you who would believe that but there was a modern assault rifle, or two that came out before that. Leave it to Germany to be the first to develop the technology for the first modern and successful automatic assault rifle, the
Sturmgewehr 44 (Stg44, or MP 43 or MP 44). This rifle, developed in 1942 and deployed in 1944, it beat the AK-47 by at least a couple of years. It was a true assault rifle because it fired a true intermediate rifle round, the 7.92x33mm Kurz which was developed specifically with an eye toward a lightweight assault rifle. There also was another modern automatic assault rifle, firing a true intermediate range cartridge, developed many years before and you might be surprised the hear by what country. That would be Italy! Yes indeed, the developed in 1890 (wow, get that in the 1800s) Cei-Rigotti was supposedly a gas operated, selective fire, assault rifle. Although deployed, the Cei-Rigotti though was not considered a success. The first successful one, to see deployment to troops and use in a major war was the Stg44. But I digress so back to the AK.

Besides being the standard rifle of the Russian military, the A-47 is utilized by many other armies throughout the world. It was the mainstay weapon of the European Communist Bloc, was copied and used by the Chinese, is issued to the armies of many African nations, is issued to some armies of Asian nations, is issued to other armies across the globe and is the rifle of choice of drug traffickers and terrorists throughout the world. Its widespread popularity goes to say a lot about the effectiveness of its design, especially toward its simplicity, reliability and durability.

The Russians, in my opinion will not likely toss out an old workhorse like the AK-47 any time soon. It is simple in its mechanics, inexpensive to produce, durable and reliable beyond compare, easy to maintain, easy to operate and uses an effective cartridge - the
7.62x39mm. It was and remains a well designed rifle and credit is due to its designer Mikhail Kalashnikov. It does have one problem, it is not as inherently accurate as it could or should be. So, I think, they may redesign it, if possible to get it to shoot more accurately but I would think that would be about it for a redesign. That is, of course, unless they come up with a new Russian designed assault rifle. I just cannot see them going foreign for a new rifle, they have too much to lose by depending on an outside source of supply for something like that. Stranger things have happened though and if they decide on a new rifle we may see an invasion of AK-47s hitting our shores. That could be a good thing as long as they are in the hands of dealers and not invaders.

All the best,
Glenn B


Kansas Scout said...

There IS a new design they came up with back in the nineties that had great promise. It was on track to be the replacement but the money was not there and it never happened.
It was the AN-94

Glenn B said...

Must not have been cost effective to change over. Of course, Russia probably is better off financially now than in the 90s. Maybe it will be resurrected.

All the best,