Meet the New Kalashnikov AK12

For nearly the past 70-years, the Avtomat guns of Mikhail Kalashnikov have been the standard rifle of the other half of the world. With a new improvement on this classic design, the Russians have a new AK on the market.

Back in the late 1940s, Soviet weapons engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov (with a good bit of assistance from guest worker Hugo Schmeisser), came up with a neat rifle. His gun, one of the first successful assault rifles, was made from a simple sheet of stamped steel, coupled to a trunnion and a collection of parts. Made with loose tolerances, it was almost dummy-proof and very accepting of dirt, grime, mud, and sand. This gun, the AK-47 (for “Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1947”) was made in greater numbers than just about any firearm in modern history, with some 75-million of these 7.62x39mm rifles coming off the lines in a dozen countries over the past several decades.

By the 1970s, this design was dated and seen as a throwback to WWII, (based on the German StG44). It was improved with plastic bodied magazine and chambered in a smaller intermediate cartridge, the 5.45-39mm. The gun itself however still used a bunch of good old-fashioned wood in the stocks. Since then, more than 5-million of these AK-74s have been used first by the Soviet then the Russian/Ukrainian militaries.

The thing is, it’s not 1974 anymore, and another update is in order.
Read the rest in my column at Firearms


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