How very, very, Russian

The monument in the heart of Moscow was supposed to be a tribute to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the creator of the AK-47 assault rifle.

Unfortunately, things went wrong, spectacularly so. The etching on the plinth was not of a Kalashnikov but the StG 44 rifle used by the Nazis during WWII.

The mistake was spotted by arms experts, the BBC reported. It left the authorities having to use an angle grinder to remove the offending image.

Big plans and the appalling cock up.

16 thoughts on “How very, very, Russian”

  1. If you run into anyone who really cares about the history of the AK, you should make absolutely sure to point out that it was copied from the ’44 and previous German assault rifle designs. And designed by German engineers held prisoner.

    It was actually based off elements copied from the M1 Garand, but citing the Germans hurts more butts.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I would not go so far as Paul Rain but it is true that the German assault rifle was the original break-through and Kalashnikov’s version of it relied very heavily on the German concept.

    So it is fitting in its own way.

  3. The AK-47 was an expedient design rather than a particularly brilliant one. One clever touch was making the fire selector switch be all the way down for semi-auto and half-way down for full auto. That counteracted the tendency of some illiterate IQ 80 Tatar peasant to squirt his entire magazine downrange at the first sign of something exciting happening.

    The Russians’ current rifles are nothing special. The AK-74 fires a round with even less performance than 5.56×45 and their AK-100 series are just bog-standard.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Costa Rica – “The AK-47 was an expedient design rather than a particularly brilliant one.”

    And yet it has been revolutionary across the world in a way that few products have been. It is so cheap that Armies that cannot afford shoes hand them out to everyone. It is so light that children can – and do – use it. It has killed more people than nuclear weapons. But they have mostly been Africans so no one much cares.

    “One clever touch was making the fire selector switch be all the way down for semi-auto and half-way down for full auto.”

    A pity it is so loud. What is interesting is that they accept the full auto option. The US Army really does not like this one. That is why they have always given soldiers piddling little magazines. That is why they removed the full auto option from their rifles a while back. Western Armies have been reluctant to accept the logic and consequences of industrialisation. The Soviets have not.

    I probably should also mention that the German gun looks cooler. Not sure why but everyone seems to think so. They have been turning up in Syria – where presumably the Soviets gave them as aid and they have been in storage for decades. But then I think someone found a Soviet AK-47 in Afghanistan that was made in the 1950s.

  5. This must have been a piss take. Everyone knows what an AK looks like.

    SMFS – full auto basically just does waste ammunition, and that means carying more ammunition, which means more weight which means slower soldiers which means dead soldiers. You should have SAW/Minimi (and bigger) along for that sort of thing.

  6. “It is so light that children can – and do – use it.”

    Presumably this accounts for the huge grade inflation of recent decades.

  7. Full auto wastes ammunition if the shooter wastes ammunition.
    Control the barrel and it can be useful for shooting, usually at multiple close range targets.
    When not at short range mass targets with control of the barrel its less useful.

    .

  8. There really isn’t much recoil on an automatic rifle. Most of the energy goes into re-cocking the mechanism.

    Many moons ago when I were but a lad I fired a couple of mags on full auto from a Stirling sub-machine gun and the instructor told us to put the butt in the middle of our bellies. The only problem was a tendency to aim a bit high so I aimed a bit low and stitched the kraut target figure from toe to head so to speak.

  9. Yes, full auto is effective for mass targets. And also for suppressive fire.

    The AK-47s bad reputation for accuracy suggests a statistical purpose, multiple shots might result in one actually hitting the target.

  10. The AK-47s bad reputation for accuracy suggests a statistical purpose, multiple shots might result in one actually hitting the target.

    Perhaps, but the AK-47s reputation is based in fact. I spent an afternoon shooting one (that had been converted to semi-auto only) along side a SCAR-16, various AR-15s and a Tavor bullpup (TAR-21). Across all shooters that day the AK couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. We even outshot it with the Tavor, which was designed (badly) for close quarters combat only. Firing an AK-47 in semi-auto mode at anything further anyway than 7 meters is a waste of time, effort and ammo. Actually, shooting at anything further away than 3 meters is a waste.

  11. Control the barrel and it can be useful for shooting, usually at multiple close range targets.

    The whole point of the AK-47’s design is that it was to be manufactured by badly trained workers using substandard materials and then operated and maintained by badly trained troops with substandard operational support under primitive conditions. Mikhail Kalashnikov fully understood that the first Third World Country to use the AK-47 was going to be Russia… It was built under the assumption that 99 of every 100 users would have received (at best) rudimentary training in the use of the AK-47.

  12. AKs are very inaccurate no matter who’s firing them. Newer are better but all are pretty rubbish. It’s an area weapon basically. Not many troops in Afghanistan were shot, and of those that were few were hit by AK.

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