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#1 Shadow Wolf

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:22 AM

I know this thread is a bit late, but I wanted to say my piece about this larger-than-life man who has influenced the course of world events so greatly.

I've struggled to find words to express what Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov meant to myself and the rest of the world. I'll start by what is readily apparent. We are at the twilight of an era. This man designed (initially at least) the Type-1 AK-47 from his hospital bed while recovering from wounds he suffered in battle. I doubt he knew how much he would change the world from that hospital bed. It is of note that the man never finished high school! He was surely a natural-born engineer.

People don't give his design enough credit. At first glance, the AK appears like a cheap, thrown-together, mass-produced, Russian pile of steaming bull mess to most western eyes that are used to the sleek lines of Stoner's AR platform among others. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every feature he designed into the rifle had one purpose: Work. That's it. It does just that despite mud, sand, snow, water, and pretty much anything else nature can throw at it in battle. Another myth is its accuracy. The AK is NOT an inaccurate weapon. It is designed for battlefield accuracy. Point it at something, you'll hit it somewhere and take it out of the fight. People often blame the short sight radius for its inherent inaccuracy. This too is a feature designed into the rifle on purpose. The short sight radius is made so you can engage targets with both eyes open so as to retain your peripheral vision. As we airsofters know, that is VERY important. Kalashnikov thought of this long before red-dot sights existed. Myriad optics abound to make the AK platform suitable for more accurate fire at greater ranges than the original 300yd effective range. The PSO-1 is an example. Most Russian optics with a degree of magnification allow the user to revert back to iron sights. A nice feature for going in and out of buildings. Even the optics designed far after the AK-47's adoption never strayed from Kalashnikov's original purpose. Simplicity. 

 

Much talk has circulated in Kalashnikov's final years about his regret for designing the weapon. He found faith in his later years and wrote a letter expressing his regret to the Eastern Orthodox church. My personal opinion holds that the weapon was designed with the intent to defend his homeland. It was not Kalashnikov's responsibility to see to it that politicians kept it that way. He died at 94 years of age. A very full life if you ask me. Let him be remembered for his contribution to world history. Let him be remembered for his modesty. Hell, let him be remembered for his contribution (unwittingly) to airsoft. Without the AK platform, I wouldn't be so into the gear that sprang up around it, nevermind the platform itself. So raise a glass of your finest Vodka (only if it's legal for you to do so) and drink a few shots in remembrance of a truly great man!


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#2 StrifeWolfe

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:55 PM

Well spoken, my friend. He was a great man and a great mind. The AK platform is going to live on for hundreds, if not, thousands of years just because of its durability and strength. Just look at the 12, it's a sleek looking rifle, with a sprinkle of AR, but it's still a Kalashnikov. It's a shame that he felt guilty about his design being used by terrorist hands, a man like that deserves much better in life as well as death. But the Russian people will always remember and revere him.


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#3 Dave

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:22 PM

You ought to read "The Gun".  Lot of interesting tidbits surrounding Kalashnikov's involvement with the creation of the AK.

 

The AK is NOT an inaccurate weapon. It is designed for battlefield accuracy.

 

I figure 5 MOA for a shooter, and 8 MOA for a rookie which isn't not too bad.  I can ping a gong at 300 yards (benched) without much guesswork with an AMD-65, which is pretty good.  AK obviously isn't going to outshoot an AR, but definitely not inaccurate.  


Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#4 DocDodge

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:25 PM

Kalishnakov was a tanker and his rifle was built to be as tough as a tank. It was made to be used by uneducated peasants.

Many years ago it was demonstrated to me by a range officer throwing an AK into a deep mud puddle, picking it out and throwing it downrange into the sand, then opening the bolt and pouring a canteen of water through the action until in ran out the muzzle, and then firing 30 rounds full auto into the target berm without a malfunction. That's a damned sight tougher than me. ;)


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#5 Shadow Wolf

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:12 AM

Another cool tidbit about the AK is the Russians were taught to aim at the knees of their foes. They would then count "22" on automatic fire. This was right to put about 3-4 rounds downrange with the first one or two striking the abdomen and the shoulder while the last one flew over the target, striking the man behind him.

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#6 Unconquered

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:14 PM

Indeed the gun has changed the world. But don't exalt the creator too highly. He built a gun for a totalitarian state that used the AK-47 to enslave and murder it's own people, among other dubious uses. From someone going into an industry dominated by war machines, engineers must always be responsible for the the monsters they create.


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#7 Dave

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:31 PM

From the Russian standpoint, it helped expand the country and fight off the evil superpower of the USA.  Would seem like a pretty good engineering creation to him.

 

Not everyone has the same ideals as us :)


Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#8 DocDodge

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:04 AM

A gun is just a chunk of engineered metal.

 

Many people look at a Luger as a "NAZI GUN!" Heck, the Luger came out in 1908 before there were Nazis and was almost adopted by the U.S. Army, but Browning's Colt .45 ACP won out.

BTW, the Lugers that competed with the Colts were also chambered in .45 ACP. During WWII the Nazis did not have enough Walther P38 pistols, so many 1911 design .45s captured in Holland and Norway were proof-stamped and issued to German occupation troops. The same thing happened with 9mm Hi-Powers captured in Belgium.


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#9 Unconquered

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:05 AM

I love lugers but they existed before the war. My dad has a parabellum luger (chambered in 30 luger that's very hard to find now).
AK-47's are pretty sweet from an engineering standpoint. But really, the soviet system was very fracking evil. Not just a different lifestyle.
Dave, just 50 years ago, you may have been arrested for suggesting that American imperialism is any kind of threat to anyone.
But at the base of everything, seeing his countrymen executed and subjected should've made him think that that state is not something to expand and protect.
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#10 Dave

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:59 AM

:roll:  :roll:  :roll:  :roll:  :roll:


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Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#11 Shadow Wolf

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:24 AM

Politics aside, I don't think I can exalt the man enough. He designed the AK. They have kept this platform going for 65 years! They have designed a whole system of combat around it. Armed and unarmed. We are just learning what the Russians have known for decades when it comes to employment of the platform. Militarily-speaking, the invention of the AK is second to none. Much more important than even nuclear weapons. Hell in parts of Africa, the term used for a young man is "Kalash." No weapon system ever invented has been so ingrained into world culture as the image of the AK. It's on the Mozambique flag. It means something different to everyone. To me, it represents the single-greatest and most effective weapon system ever devised.

This thread was not started with politics in mind whatsoever. I am extremely liberty-minded when it comes to politics and I realize there were MANY violations of individual rights by the Soviet Union during its existence. There still are since the USSR's disintegration. Their methods of internal "security" are more or less paramilitary. Look at OMON and SOBR. Pretty much the analog of US SWAT. But their employment of OMON and SOBR was more as frontline troops in Chechnya and FAR more brutal than any SWAT team the US can field.. Chechnya is a shining example of Russian politics. Secede and we ruin you. Plain and simple. Of course there are racial and ethnic tensions in that region that I have yet to wrap my brain around (we're talking all the way back to Alexander the Great), but the basic premise is that simple. Read a little about OMON in Chechnya. They really got the short end of the stick most of the time in Grozny. No support from the army most times...they were on their own. I recommend watching the documentaries "The Betrayed" and "Business Trip to Death." OMON and SOBR are my prime area of interest at this time. Right around the period of the assaults on Grozny during the first war. Interesting stuff.

My main objective to saying my piece was to drive home the importance of who Kalashnikov was and what he did. I say single-most effective weapon system because it is responsible for the MOST death and destruction of ANY weapon ever devised by man. This is mainly due to the Soviet politics of "satellite nations." If you were a militia trying to overthrow a government, they would throw AKs at you along with other hardware (all inferior export versions, of course.) Kalashnikov was the designer of it, not the disseminator. Try to remember that.


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#12 Dave

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:07 PM

AK-47's are pretty sweet from an engineering standpoint. But really, the soviet system was very fracking evil. Not just a different lifestyle.

But at the base of everything, seeing his countrymen executed and subjected should've made him think that that state is not something to expand and protect.

 

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Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#13 Ian

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:37 AM

Oh please.  The AK was created by a Soviet design bureau and Kalashnikov was selected as the ideal "peasant" whose name they could attach to their rifle.

 

If you believe anything the Soviets ever said publicly, you're an idiot.



#14 Dave

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 01:46 AM

The AK was created by a Soviet design bureau and Kalashnikov was selected as the ideal "peasant" whose name they could attach to their rifle.

 

That's basically the same story that "The Gun" tells.  I am 100% sure that Kalashnikov was involved with the design, but I don't know to what extent.  Very interesting story, for sure.


Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#15 Shadow Wolf

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 03:36 AM

Of course the state media of the Soviets was censored FAR more than our own. All was quiet at Chernobyl and in Chechnya. Supposedly still is. Sochi is supposed to be safe. I still don't believe the Russian media...or our own for that matter. But I believe the original idea belongs to Kalashnikov. As do I believe the SVD's original designer to be Dragunov, and the AN-94's design to Nikonov. Though I'm sure there were plenty of people who stuck their engineering spoon into Kalashnikov's AK gumbo.

Choose to believe what you want. Whoever or whatever designed the AK, I think we can all agree the world would not be the same without it. I'll track that book down and give it a read though, thanks.

As for the meme you posted Dave, let me elaborate on that a bit. I've seen that before and it looks like the guys in it are from around the Nord-Ost theater siege of 2002. Their K-63 helmets are what I'm basing that on, but it could also be somewhere in Chechnya. Looks too clean in that background to be either Grozny or Gudermes. The operatives and their BMPs aren't very ragged out either. The buildings would be burnt to hell and falling down from the massive arty and air barrage that took place in the 90s. As a result of the Chechen conflict, hostage rescue isn't really the prime focus of OMON or SOBR. Even Alfa, Vityaz, and Vympel are not well versed in hostage rescue. They are good at one thing: wrecking their target. That's what their original purpose was.That's all they ever did in Chechnya, which was still more or less going on at that time. By contrast, you can look at the Beslan school crisis. The professionalism exhibited there by Spetsnaz in all branches was exemplary. As it should be by forces as highly-trained as they are. There's a story of a little girl who everyone thought was dead. She had crawled out of the gymnasium that the terrorists had rigged with explosives and collapsed on the lawn. When she began to stir, a sniper saw her. When she began to make her way back to the gym, said sniper asked for authorization to shoot her in the leg. No one could get close enough to her in enough time to prevent her re-entry. Can't blame her. Her parents were in there and she thought it was safe. To have the presence of mind to know you can save a little girl's life by taking her leg out is to me unbelievable. This is the type of conduct one would expect from the elite forces of any nation. But the pleas of the sniper fell on deaf ears and she crawled back into the gym that subsequently exploded. It is of note that the girl survived, but only by the grace of God.

The Russians' folly was trusting their officer corps, who were not battle-tested like their NCOs. This led to hardcore tactical screw-ups, miscommunication, and overall poor command that got hostages and their own alike killed. The officers in the Russian military are exalted (WAY more than in the West), trusted for things usually delegated to NCOs in other armies, and for the most part, given the "red-carpet" treatment everywhere. This of course, is resented by the rest of the NCOs and soldiers. The "Stroyevoy Smotr" (a type of formal inspection where all the division's equipment was laid out on the parade ground of the FOB and inspected prior to combat) that the officer corps insisted on doing was responsible for getting men killed in Afghanistan. So if you want to blame someone for "42 terrorists, 129 Hostages, and 171 body bags," blame the lack of communication, coordination, and overall poor performance of command staff in the Russian bureaucracy.


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#16 Dave

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 12:10 PM

Yeah I didn't read that wall of text but the 130 hostage deaths were due to an untested opioid-based gas that Russia pumped into the theater.  Absolutely unacceptable.  


Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#17 DocDodge

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 04:27 PM

I have a scar on my left forearm that reminds me not to trust Russians.


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#18 Shadow Wolf

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:30 AM

Someone ordered them to pump the gas in there, Dave. If you had read the "wall of text" I wrote, you would see I place the blame for most of Russia's military blunders squarely on its commanders and the whole structure of the officer corps, much like Nord-Ost. They trust their officers too much. Plain and simple.


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#19 Dave

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:08 PM

So...?  I'm not following where this argument is coming from.


Chrissexton: any one think this is a sine that they done need to make the bat man movies any more the firs one that was made the joker killed him self and now this

 

 

 

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#20 Ian

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:25 PM

This thread is so dumb.