Via MilMag in Poland, here’s a picture of equipment carried by one of the Russian soldiers from the 234th Black Sea Guards Paratrooper Regiment fighting in the Donbass, Ukraine. He participated in the fights over Luhansk International Airport and Krasnodon town in 2014.
-An old-school 5.45mm AK-74 rifle with an RPK-74 45-round magazine, and GP-30 underbarrel grenade launcher.
-8 standard 30-round magazines, 5 VOG 30mm grenades for the launcher, 2 F1 fragmentation hand grenades with fuses.
-2 tourniquets, one pressure bandage.
-On the top: an RPG-18 “Mukha” disposable 64mm anti-tank launcher (the LAW-ski!)
-A flare, a smoke grenade, imported Swedish Morakniv knife, a multitool (Leatherman?), Petzl headlamp and a flashlight.
-Sawing kit, 2 packs of Seven Oceans emergency dry rations, scotch tape, a pen, some misc. papers, a carabiner, safety pins, and the most important item of them all for any infantryman – spare socks.
Russians/Soviets have long been a fan of carrying tourniquets/IFAKs on their Kalash, going back to the old Afghani days:
There, under the Krinkov, is a German StG44 in exploded view, which would probably be OK on any monument except that of Mikhail Kalashnikov
As I covered over at Guns.com, the Russians spent 35 million rubles (about $580K US) on a sprawling monument to the late firearms engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov that was unveiled in Moscow last week. Besides a nearly 30-foot high statue of Kalashnikov, the base of a monument to St. Mikhail, the Orthodox patron of gunsmiths and warriors, contains a representation of several of the engineer’s designs including an AK42 sub gun, AK47, AKM and AK74 rifles, as well as RPK and PK machine guns.
However, as noted by some sharp-eyed firearms enthusiasts and reported by Russian-based Kalashnikov magazine, just under a Krinkov AKS-74U is what appears to be the parts diagram for a German StG-44 Sturmgewehr.
Which some (notably outside of the Motherland) have contended that the AK was based on for decades.
This has caused understandable heartburn in Russia, and, as Russian firearms wonks pile on to disagree with the lineage of the AK– noting it is as Russian as a Florida pirated movie salesman, the offending diagram has been torched out.
So SilencerCo dropped a new collaboration between Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics (perhaps the best AKs made in this Hemisphere) in which they take a RD501 5.45mm AK74 clone (semi, due to the Hughes Amendment, but with a 12.5-inch SBR barrel) and mate it to a Saker 556K suppressor. Of course, it’s $4K and there are tax stamps involved which are most likely not covered by that–but it’s sweet as a diabetic coma.
• Saker 556K with Direct Thread Mount
• 12.5” Barrel Chambered in 5.45×39
• Unique Summit Serial Numbers on Rifle & Silencer
• Matte Black Finish on Rifle & Suppressor
• Ultimak Railed Gas Tube for Optic
• Made in USA Barrel with Black Nitride Finish
• Made in USA Receiver
• Classic Russian Red Handguard
• Triangle Skeleton Side-Folding Stock
• (1) 30-Round Magazine
• Handcrafted, Collector’s Edition Reclaimed Wood Crate
• Only (25) Limited-Edition Packages Available
When I was in jrot-c back in the days, we would do close order drill with dewatted 1903 Springfields, target practice with .22LRs (beat up old Mossberg bolt guns), PT, and two days of Naval Science a week. In the summer you could go to “Leadership Academy” at the nearby Naval base for a couple of weeks and shoot .38s and do more of the former. Of course that was in the 1990s and from what I understand, most of the use of firearms has been replaced with airguns and rubber ducks these days. Well in Russia the junior military training seems to be slightly more advanced. Here is a video of the AK-74 assembly and disassembly stage of the “Patriot” competition held at many schools as part of their voluntary training courses. These kids are pretty good when you consider they are 14-17 year olds. Your typical U.S. kid has trouble plugging in their iPhone.
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 Talk.com
Do bears go (well you know) in the woods? The inevitable answer is always yes. Moreover, sometimes, hikers cross paths with these animals, and that is when things can really go from bad to worse in no time at all. Just as one Alaskan hiker who carried just the right piece of insurance.
Read the rest in my column at firearms talk