Not quite an hour ago I read about Kalashnikov dieing at age 94. I am not going to go on and on about his life history since so many of you already know the gist and it is going to be repeated beyond count over the next month in news reports and the gun rags, but you can read some of it at this random link and some of his typical propaganda about his very well known gun.
I don’t know what kind of guy he really was, clearly he seems to be a unreconstructed commie or at least socialist, who still loved the USSR. Who wouldn’t if they were him? Due to his invention I’m sure he got it easier than most of his comrades would have during the cold war. But that is neither here nor there.
No one can argue his weapon did not change the world forever. It certainly changed the way armies thought about their rifles. His was not the first of its type. A lot of people were working on something along those lines at the same time or before any other countries not in the Soviet sphere of influence, even really knew what it was or how it worked. But, it was the first one to really matter. The MP44, in my opinion, really was the biggest influence on the AK despite what Kalashnikov may claim. He did not develop the gun under a rock on mars. Take a look at the safety on a remington Model 8 and then look at the AK if you think it was 100 percent original. He did however, make something truly modern, tough , simple and easy to make fast enough to matter. Being born in the 70s and growing up on the 80s, two guns dominated my interest in guns. The M16 and the AK47. It was a while before I was able to get my hands on a semi auto AK , but it certainly became a hit here as well as every hot spot, revolution or terrorist shit hole in the world as well as Hollywood. Those two rifles have really been at the front of my gun life and I could not imagine life with out either one.
Its reported over 100 million AKs are out there and I do not doubt it. The thing has been around and fired a lot of rounds at people ( not always accurately I might add) and it will be around a looong time thanks to its popularity and toughness. It will certainly outlive its creator until we are all gone from this world I am certain. It was a hell of an achievement for sure. The man was rightly proud of his rifle but I often have wondered what it would be life to know that your baby is the 1st choice of every terrorist or dirt bag in this world. No doubt a man is not responsible for how others use a tool, but i personally would be pissed that my country was so free to give away my pet invention and let it gain such a rep in the media. The AK is not evil or good, it just is. The Ak is not a communist or Terrorist even if thats what the ignorant think about when seeing one. Has the AK saved as many lives as it took? I doubt that. But it has saved lives, and that is just as important. It is there for people who need it , to help them in whatever way they ask and it works. What more can be asked from a tool? That is Kalashnikov’s greatest success , he made a tool as timeless and simple as the claw hammer and despite what most of the world thinks, it has probably done as much good in its time as bad, and with more and more people buying the AK, it’s days of working for the good guys has really just begun in the larger picture.
So enough of my rambling thought on the AK and its inventor who truly meant well and did the best for his country. He is a Russian hero and a legend for as long as this world exists. I suppose if there is an afterlife, he and Stoner can argue forever while Mr. Browning laughs at them both.