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View Full Version : Happy Birthday Mr. Kalashnikov...


BlackReef
07-06-2007, 3:08 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288456,00.html

http://www.foxnews.com/images/299145/0_62_070607_gun2.jpg

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?"



On a personal note, do you think he got along with Eugene Stoner? Just curious....

proraptor
07-06-2007, 3:17 PM
Happy B-day! I love my AK!!!!

PsychoTrucker
07-06-2007, 3:19 PM
On a personal note, do you think he got along with Eugene Stoner? Just curious....
the history channel had a special on the ak and him and stoner were sitting there talking about each others guns they were talking about how they were good friends

blue+p+
07-06-2007, 3:31 PM
:happybday: Avtomat Kalashnikov your old lol

thefurball
07-06-2007, 3:56 PM
Excuse me?

"After the collapse of the great and mighty Soviet Union..."

Sorry, I spent way too much time in 60s worrying about the 'great' and 'mighty' USSR dropping a nuke down my chimney to get any warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling about their eventual implosion.

I'm sure I'll catch a rath for this, but I've always thought of his guns a bit like a beat up old Chevy: It will most likely run forever if you don't mind the crappy fit and finish.

Just my 2 rubles worth.

USMC_2651_E5
07-06-2007, 3:57 PM
On a personal note, do you think he got along with Eugene Stoner? Just curious....

Idont know, but they seem to be enjoying each other in my avatar.

Spiggy
07-06-2007, 4:01 PM
"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."
:mad: and I blame the first caveman that invented the idea of the pointed object! THINK OF HOW MANY PEOPLE THAT DIED OVER THE YEARS AT THE WRONG SIDE OF THE POINTY OBJECT!

Happy Birthday Mr. K!

Technical Ted
07-06-2007, 4:09 PM
Actually, Kalashnikov is a little older than 60 ;) It's the rifle that's been in production for 60 years.

BTW beat you by less than an hour.

VAHEVAHE
07-06-2007, 7:29 PM
Excuse me?

"After the collapse of the great and mighty Soviet Union..."

Sorry, I spent way too much time in 60s worrying about the 'great' and 'mighty' USSR dropping a nuke down my chimney to get any warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling about their eventual implosion.

I'm sure I'll catch a rath for this, but I've always thought of his guns a bit like a beat up old Chevy: It will most likely run forever if you don't mind the crappy fit and finish.

Just my 2 rubles worth.

Id rather have a crappy chevy that runs forever then a ferrari that periodically breaks down, especially when your life depends on it

Diablo
07-06-2007, 7:33 PM
Id rather have a crappy chevy that runs forever then a ferrari that periodically breaks down, especially when your life depends on it

Oh hell no....my AR is the best rifle I ever had. Don't take me wrong, I love my AK but you can't compare the quality to an AR...:patriot:

ghost
07-06-2007, 10:04 PM
ak47:party:

jumbopanda
07-06-2007, 10:26 PM
I don't like the title of the article; it implies that he's supposed to feel bad about it for some reason.

VAHEVAHE
07-07-2007, 12:11 AM
I don't like the title of the article; it implies that he's supposed to feel bad about it for some reason.

He ISNT supposed to feel bad about it, you dont build a rifle for target shooting , you build a rifle to KILL quickly accurately and efficiently , with fame comes a price. Just look at Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero the wrestler , they were a legend. Chris killed his family then himself on a steriod rage and eddie died of heart failure because of steriod usage. I never envy someone like that because i rather live a calm life then be famous and have the idea on my head that the rifle i created killed a BAZILLIONNNNN PEOPLE and will probibly kill another Bazillion after im dead. ok now im rambling....... thats my .02

Technical Ted
07-07-2007, 12:22 AM
I don't like the title of the article; it implies that he's supposed to feel bad about it for some reason.
Alfred Nobel, invented dynamite and owned the arms firm Bofors. Apparently he felt some regret. In his will he left a large part of his fortune to establish the Nobel Prize.

Spiggy
07-07-2007, 9:40 AM
yea, he could've delt with it the way the winchesters did and make a crazy house

WINGEDSWORD
07-07-2007, 12:35 PM
I have no argument with you who like them, that's your right as free Americans. As for me, I hate the damn things! As well as SKS's, Type 44's etc. I still carry the scar from an AK round, given to me by "Little brown brother". My personal choices in Most long arms, especially military class arms,
is American manufactured. The two exceptions to that, is an FAL/L1A1, and black powder military reproductions. We simply don't make any.