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AK-47 inventor: U.S. troops in Iraq prefer my rifle to theirs

  1. Apr 20, 2006 #1
    Last update - 13:25 17/04/2006
    AK-47 inventor: U.S. troops in Iraq prefer my rifle to theirs
    By Reuters

    Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the world's most popular assault rifle, says that U.S. soldiers in Iraq are using his invention in
    preference to their own weapons, proving that his gun is still the best.

    "Even after lying in a swamp you can pick up this rifle, aim it and shoot. That's the best job description there is for a gun. Real soldiers know that and understand it," the 86-year-old gunmaker told a weekend news conference in Moscow.

    "In Vietnam, American soldiers threw away their M-16 rifles and used [Kalashnikov] AK-47s from dead Vietnamese soldiers, with bullets they captured. That was because the climate is different to America, where M-16s may work properly," he said.

    "Look what's happening now: every day on television we see that the Americans in Iraq have my machine guns and assault rifles in their armored vehicles. Even there American rifles don't work properly."

    Some U.S. troops in Iraq have reportedly taken to using AK-47s in preference to the standard-issue M-16. The Cold War-era gun, renowned for its durability and easy handling, is plentiful in Iraq.

    Kalashnikov designed his first weapon in 1947 and is still chief constructor at Izhmash arms factory in Izhevsk in the Urals mountains.

    The factory's director Vladimir Grodetsky told the news conference that around a billion rifles had been produced around the world using parts of Kalashnikovs or based on the same design, only 10-12 percent of which were made in Russia.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2006 #2


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    I can see with all the sand over there the AK-47 being more reliable. That thing can take some serious crap and still kill.
  4. Apr 20, 2006 #3


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    If someone uses their enemy's gun, I guess the '`friendly fire statistic drops quite a bit...
  5. Apr 20, 2006 #4
    You'd think that in the last 50 years SOMEONE would be able to invent a better gun.:bugeye:
  6. Apr 20, 2006 #5
    Yeah. I remember my friend who was in the US marines telling me about how the M-16 jams so much, even during training. The AK-47 is a far more durable weapon when it comes to using it in different conditions.
  7. Apr 20, 2006 #6


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    I think the UK guys use AKs - I remember the SA-80s jamming a lot in cold conditions...
  8. Apr 20, 2006 #7
    As long as you keep the M16A* clean it works just fine. A locking bolt, carbon deposits, oil, and sand have been the bane of American Service members since Colt started production. That being said, there are parts of the day where it's just not practical to clean your weapon. As far as using an AK-47 is concerned, pray and spray is your best bet. Like the M16* there are some that in the hands of the right user are extremely accurate. FYI, Mattel only made the handgrips but did have a toy version of the M16* on the market.
  9. Apr 20, 2006 #8
    Hahaha, sounded funny at first. And in the games the M16 is always better than the AK - 47.

    Anyway - russkaya tehnika.
  10. Aug 19, 2010 #9
    There is an old joke that says: NASA spent 50 million Dollars trying to develop an ink pen that worked in Zero gravity for use by astronauts. After many years of testing and some remarkable advances they finally had fulfilled their objective and created a pen that works in space...... The Russians just used a pencil...
  11. Aug 19, 2010 #10


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    To the military industrial complex, better means more economical and/or efficient; not necessarily better quality :P
  12. Aug 19, 2010 #11


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    I always thought for military industrial complex better means "one that makes us more money". Quality & efficiency are not parts of the equation.
  13. Aug 19, 2010 #12
    The M4 is better than the M16. The main problem lies with the round. Nato 5.56 range and power just doesn't compare to the 7.63. Unless Nato switches rounds I seriously doubt we will either.
  14. Aug 19, 2010 #13
    There are better guns. Lots of them. Just not cheaper - to goverments around the world, that's what counts. You have to factor in the power of the weapon too. Guns chambered for more powerful rounds to not lend themselves to easy handling/carrying/round capacity needed in heavy combat.
  15. Aug 19, 2010 #14
    Just for the sake of being pedantic, the Space Pen was developed by a private company (Fisher) and was contracted by NASA after its development. The reason NASA didn't want to use pencils in space is because the leads could break off and float around and do all sorts of damage (electrical shorts, jammed parts, etc.)

    On the original topic, the M16 is far more accurate than the AK. In slow motion videos, you can actually see the AK's barrel flexing as it fires (primarily because of the recoil and the weight of the bolt). So I don't think that the AK is better then the M4/16, just different. They have different purposes.
  16. Aug 19, 2010 #15
    Do you know how deeply the 5.56 round can be made to penetrate?
  17. Aug 19, 2010 #16
    The AK is certainly reliable. It will always throw the lead. Generally somewhere in front of you. Accuracy? That's another matter...
  18. Aug 19, 2010 #17


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    Actually, the 7.62 NATO round (equivalent to a .308) is powerful and accurate and is short enough to be used in automatic rifles without requiring very long bolt-throws. H&K and FN both make fully-automatic assault rifles chambered for 7.62. I am unsure why the US military has settled for the 5.56 NATO in the Mideast. The round is small and rather light so infantrymen can carry about twice as many rounds as the 7.62, BUT (especially in Afghanistan) our troops get into situations in which the ability to place heavier bullets at long range is very valuable. Simply spraying 5.56 bullets around at targets beyond the effective range of that round, doesn't get the job done.
  19. Aug 19, 2010 #18


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    There are lots of different types of rounds, from frangibles that go in only an inch or two before disintegrating up to tungsten penetrators that will go through your front body armour, your body, your back body armour, and two or three guys standing behind you.

    Maybe we should design a gun that fires pencils, for the specific purpose of screwing up the enemy's computers.
  20. Aug 19, 2010 #19
    Just make sure they are >4B--more graphite = more conductivity = more computers being messed up.
  21. Aug 19, 2010 #20


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    Quite right, not to mention better penetration. Those ridiculous HB's are pretty much useless.
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