In the past several years, AK-103 builds have popped up in small batches, aiming to produce a clone of the current 7.62x39mm generation of Kalashnikovs. A big problem with that is that the correct parts kits were not available in the U.S., meaning much of the gun had to be made here.
Now, Kalashnikov USA has gone the distance and made an all U.S.-produced semi-auto AK-103 variant, the KR-103, which is top to bottom a domestically produced firearm down to the muzzle brake, screws and cleaning rod.
More in my column at Guns.com
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.
Designed to be the Russian military’s new light machine gun, the 5.45x39mm RPK (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova)-16 sprouted from the Rostec state-owned Kalashnikov Group last year and is expected to be placed in service with the Rosgvardiya (think National Guard), internal affairs troops and Army to replace older RPKs.
It draws from the AK-12 program and comes in a few different barrel lengths while including a folding stock that, when swung shut, drops the overall length to just 25-inches. Weight without the detachable bipod and mag is 8.8-pounds.
A classic Molot VEPR in .308 with the long 22-inch barrel and Counter Sniper Mil-Dot 4-16x44mm optic with illuminated reticle. Now more expensive than ever!
Back in January, I spoke at length with people over at Molot who were working hard on extending their exports of VEPR rifles and shotguns to the U.S. They were hopeful that the new Trump administration would be friendly to lifting some sanctions on Russian-based companies. Russian-made firearms were popular export items to the states until the conflict in the Ukraine and the resulting international backlash triggered a host of official embargos.
Per figures from the International Trade Commission, 204,788 firearms of all kinds were imported from Russia in 2013.
This figure plunged to just 9,556 in 2015 — mainly from Molot, the only large firearms maker not named in sanctions.
Well, it looks like that figure is going to be a lot lower in 2018…
Some are hopeful the new management in Washington will be able to lift barriers to overseas firearm imports erected over the years, though the going could be slow.
President Donald Trump on Friday said it was “very early” to tell if the United States should lift sanctions on Russia, but that he seeks a “great relationship” with Putin and Russia.
On the campaign trail, Trump’s platform on trade concentrated on American jobs while floating the possibility of a tariff on all imported goods to help ease the current trade deficit. However, the Republican’s position on gun rights promised to curtail federal gun bans and limits. The two concepts, when balanced against one another, leaves open the possibility of action on foreign-made guns currently off-limits to buyers in the U.S.
I talked to industry insiders on both sides of the pond, the ATF, and the International Trade Commission to get the scoop on if bans going back to the 1960s could be reshaped.
More in my column at Guns.com
Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov got a chance recently to visit the Kalashnikov Concern in the Ural Mountain town of Izhevsk to take a tour of the Motherland’s great arms works. Founded originally in 1807 by Tsar Alexander I to build muskets for his immense army gearing up to fight Napoleon, the plant has remained in production for over two centuries, with minor upgrades.
Besides the traditional AK-series rifles (in their most modern AK-103 and AK-12 variants shown below, hold your horses), the plant also makes Saiga-branded rifles and shotguns for export and Molot “animal farm” rifles for civilian sales in Russia.
Oh yeah, you know what I like….
I wonder how many of these are California legal
The AK-12. Test firing these must be a hard job, but Ivan has to do it.
We hear nothing feels better than a Vityaz-SN sub machine gun right off the line
Can we please get these in the U.S., complete with EoTechs. And yes, that is a Saiga 12 sp.340– dig that muzzy brakejob, but Ivan has to do it.
More at Guns.com