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Hunting Society Approved
This is the story of the gun that defeated Hitler and his armies in Russia. It was developed by an obscure gunsmith who somehow after years of disparagement, managed to convince the Army hierarchy that the simple, rugged, easy to maintain rapidfire submachinegun he had designed was what they needed to fend off the Germans.
He didn’t get immediate acceptance the first time he submitted it; nor the second time, nor the third. It was only because of his persistence and the USSR’s terrible need that it happened at all. But it did happen and the world received a true masterpiece – the most famous and revered gun of the 20th Century. It is highly probable that without the Kalashnikov the Russians would never have been able to hold on the Eastern Front and that Hitler would have been able to throw the full weight of the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe against the Allied landings in Normandy.
Modernization of the Kalashnikov Submachine Gun
1947 Base model for all AK’s entered service. This submachine gun has been manufactured up to 1959. In several countries it is still being manufactured and modernized to some extent today. In 1959 there was a modernization of the submachine gun aimed to increase its technical and operating characteristics. At the same time there were developed the light machine guns with a fixed and folding butt on the basis of the submachine gun “RPK-47”.
In 1961 the complex of Kalashnikov machine guns was adopted in Army:
- PKS – a heavy machine gun
- PKB – an armored carrier machine gun
- PKT – a tank machine gun.
At the end of his 60th and the beginning of his 70th years the works on creation of the submachine guns for cartridges of reduced caliber began. It was aimed to increase the battle efficiency and operational characteristics of the weapon. After a number of experiments the cartridge 5.45×39 with a steel bullet slug was chosen.
In 1974 the complex of submachine guns and light machine guns for such type of cartridge was developed and adopted in armament.
In 1990 the Army was equipped with the modernized Kalashnikov submachine gun AK-74M, having folding plastic butt with the accessory placed in it and a plate for mounting optical and night sights.
In 1991 the same modernization was carried out with a light machine gun. And so the modernized Kalashnikov light machine guns RPK-74M (5.45 mm) was addopted in armament. It replaced four modification of light machine guns.
Nowadays Kalashnikov submachine guns, the series 100, are developed with the purpose of expansion of their nomenclature for various types of cartridges and export.
- AK101 – the 5,56 mm Kalashnikov submachine gun for cartridge 5,56×45 NATO
- AK102 – the same but with a short barrel
- AK103 – the 7,62 mm Kalashnikov submachine gun for cartridge 7,62×39
- AK104 – the same but with a short barrel
- AK105 – 5,45 mm Kalashnikov submachine gun with a short barrel for cartridge 5,45×39.
In 1993 within the framework of conversion of a defensive industry of “IZHMASH” Open Joint Stock Company developed the self-loading hunting carbine “Saiga” on the basis of the Kalashnikov submachine guns.