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Thread: AK47: the open-source weapon that took the world by storm

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    Council Member Chris Albon's Avatar
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    Default AK47: the open-source weapon that took the world by storm

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/03/ak_47_60_years/

    Sixty years ago, a former tank sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov submitted an assault-rifle design to the Red Army for trials. It was selected as the new personal weapon for most Soviet soldiers, and designated Automat Kalashnikova 1947 – AK47 for short. That designation went out of official use in 1959, but to this day “AK47” is probably the world's most widely-known gun name. Just as open-source Linux - the "communist" software, according to Steve Ballmer - has made Linus Torvalds famous, the genuinely communist open-source AK has given Mikhail Kalashnikov a profile at least as high. The AK47 and its successor designs are the most widely-used firearms on the face of the planet.
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    Chris Albon,
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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    I saw a documentary once that had the inventor of the M16 and the inventor of the AK47 sitting together discussing their different designs. Each have their own strengths and flaws that sort of balance out the differences. Except for couple of things without going into details. The average moron with an AK47 shoots too high. The average highly skilled warrior with an AK47 can ruin your day. To stick to the topic, the AK47 armed the rest of the world. These weapons can sit around forever just waiting to be used with little or no maintenance whatsoever. Though not as accurate, the caliber used in conjunction with the loose machining and stamping of the weapon make it ideal for the long term headache of the West.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    "Noisy" safety catch though.

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    http://www.amazon.com/AK-47-Weapon-t...6284869&sr=8-1

    Solid book, quick read, on the AK-47 from its origins to the present. The guy's not a fantastic writer, but it gives some good insights into the scope of the weapon's impact, militarily, politically and culturally. Worth a weekend read I felt. Has a brief bit on Stoner and the M-16 controversy too, which I hadn't known much about before.
    Last edited by Granite_State; 08-05-2007 at 03:38 AM. Reason: Forgot something

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    Council Member Chris Albon's Avatar
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    These weapons can sit around forever just waiting to be used with little or no maintenance whatsoever.
    Hence why the it is the bane of anti small arms proliferation.
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    Chris Albon,
    Ph.D. Student / UC Davis
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    Council Member Dominique R. Poirier's Avatar
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    Sixty years ago, a former tank sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov submitted an assault-rifle design to the Red Army for trials. It was selected as the new personal weapon for most Soviet soldiers, and designated Automat Kalashnikova 1947 – AK47 for short. That designation went out of official use in 1959, but to this day “AK47” is probably the world's most widely-known gun name. Just as open-source Linux - the "communist" software, according to Steve Ballmer - has made Linus Torvalds famous, the genuinely communist open-source AK has given Mikhail Kalashnikov a profile at least as high. The AK47 and its successor designs are the most widely-used firearms on the face of the planet.
    By the way; if Mikhail Kalashnikov couldn’t but be perfectly aware that he worked for the communists, in his time, then I wouldn’t be surprised if I learned some day that Linus Torvalds didn’t know he did too!

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    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Quote:
    These weapons can sit around forever just waiting to be used with little or no maintenance whatsoever.
    Hence why the it is the bane of anti small arms proliferation.
    The relative ease of manufacture is at least as big an issue as the minimal maintenance needs. Anti small arms proliferation is a noble thought, but the effort and resources would be better spent in addressing the causes of conflicts rather than the tools. You are correct, but I would have said 'nemisis' rather than 'bane'

    Mikhail Kalashnikov couldn’t but be perfectly aware that he worked for the communists, in his time, then I wouldn’t be surprised if I learned some day that Linus Torvalds didn’t know he did too!
    Kalashnikov is always credited with having created the AK for the Great Soviet Cause and Mother Russia, but my experiences with engineers would make him the exception. Every compentent engineer I have ever meet has first and foremost been "technology driven", creating gadgets for the sake of their facination with the given class of gadget, rather than idealistic motives (although several tried to rationalize, later statements and actions contradicted their claims). His experiences in the war may have started him down that path, but what Scott Adams ("Dilbert" creator) refers to as 'The Knack' took over.

    Re: AK accuracy; the design is not necessarily inaccurate, note the Finnish Valmet or the Israeli Galil. The big factors in assault rifle range accuracy are quality of ammunition (consistancy in performance), quality of the crown of the barrel (the edges of the muzzle), and quality of the rest of the barrel, pretty much in that order. The breach locking mechanism, the style of front hand guard (for a floating barrel), the type of sights (esp. the size of the front sight), and other design features will impact accuracy, but for the intended ranges of assault rifles (out to 400m) these are the big three. Non-design issues like cleanliness of the weapon, weather, operator training are important, but seperate from the point I'm addressing.

    I was always interested in what the AK design said about Russian psychology. Note that the safety goes "SAFE - FULL AUTO - SEMI AUTO" rather than "SAFE - SEMI - FULL/3 RND BURST" like an M-16 series weapon or other NATO weapon. There may have been mechanical reasons for this, but I would argue that it is a microcosm of the "quantity has a quality of its own" mindset.
    Last edited by Van; 08-06-2007 at 01:42 AM.

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    Council Member Dominique R. Poirier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Kalashnikov is always credited with having created the AK for the Great Soviet Cause and Mother Russia, but my experiences with engineers would make him the exception. Every compentent engineer I have ever meet has first and foremost been "technology driven", creating gadgets for the sake of their facination with the given class of gadget, rather than idealistic motives (although several tried to rationalize, later statements and actions contradicted their claims). His experiences in the war may have started him down that path, but what Scott Adams ("Dilbert" creator) refers to as 'The Knack' took over.
    You said it so better than I.

    I reach to the same conclusion. Authentic exceptions exist, but they remain exceptions.

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    Van said:
    AK accuracy; the design is not necessarily inaccurate, note the Finnish Valmet or the Israeli Galil.
    I have seen myself 800m "5 shots - 5 hits" hits with M80 ammo with Galil sniper rifle. This made me wonder do I need quality Lapua ammo

    What is the biggest problem for me? Poor attatchement system - no rails for night/day optics, handgrips, lamps etc! I just red form ar15.com forum that just now (2007) LaRue is making survey that is there demand for AK side attatchements.

    ... and Galil SWS stock is like heritage form 16th century

    http://world.guns.ru/sniper/sn32-e.htm
    Last edited by kaur; 08-08-2007 at 10:14 AM.

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    I must eat my last post's words. IMI is making efforts to modernize Galil SWS.

    http://img213.imageshack.us/my.php?i...cpsizedwg6.jpg

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Why has the AK-47 become the jihadi terrorist weapon of choice?

    More of an update on the question, post-Paris attacks and with a focus on Europe:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...shnikov-ak-47s

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