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News Mikhail Kalashnikov, dead at 94

  1. Dec 23, 2013 #1

    nsaspook

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    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/23/22022220-father-of-ak-47-mikhail-kalashnikov-dead-at-94?lite [Broken]

    RIP
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2013 #2
    I wonder if they'll bury him next to Molotov.
     
  4. Dec 23, 2013 #3

    lisab

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    Interesting that he feels a bit bothered by his life's work. Well I think it would take a certain kind of person to feel good about having your name synonymous with a weapon. And making money -- probably a lot of money -- off of said weapon? And feeling OK with it? Yeah it would take a certain kind of person.

    Edit: btw he did not get rich from his work. From spook's link:

     
  5. Dec 23, 2013 #4

    nsaspook

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    A little more background on Mr. Kalashnikov and his design work.

    http://kalashnikov-weapons-museum.ak47-guide.com/ch4.html
     
  6. Dec 23, 2013 #5

    russ_watters

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    Just a bit though. From the wiki:
    Can't say I blame him. The Nazis forced an awful lot of people to focus their talents on them.
     
  7. Dec 23, 2013 #6

    Mark44

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    In my view, a weapon is a tool that can be used for good or for evil. There are other gun designers whose names are synonomous with the weapons they created - Samuel Colt (revolver, M1911 .45 cal semiauto pistol), John Moses Browning (Browning machine gun, Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR), and Eugene Stoner (AR-15), to name just a few.
     
  8. Dec 23, 2013 #7

    turbo

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    Thank you, Mark. Many US citizens do not have such a practical and historical understanding of firearms and that makes for some misunderstandings (some quite heated).

    If I were to get a chance to laud the achievements of a designer/engineer in regard toward advances in engineering, I would choose Whitworth with his unique hexagonal rifle bore and fitting hexagonal bullets. Yeah, it was still a muzzle-loader, but the incredible accuracy of that rifle negated the need for fielding masses of cannon-fodder. Whitworths were quite popular with the confederacy.
     
  9. Dec 23, 2013 #8

    SteamKing

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    Although Colt produced the M1911 for the US Army, Samuel Colt personally had nothing to do with this weapon, having died many years prior to its introduction. However, the M1911 was designed by Browning and its caliber and other features were suggested by Col. J.T. Thompson while he was posted to the Ordnance Dept. of the US Army. Thompson would go on to develop his submachine gun after WW I.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Thompson
     
  10. Dec 24, 2013 #9

    mheslep

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    When Kalashnikov states, "Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer", recall the context. The then Soviet Union lost up to 24 million people to the Nazis, military and civilian (14% of the total population); this compared to less than half a million US fatalities. Who knows, maybe the toll would have a been a million higher if the Soviets had not had such a reliable, easy to make infantry weapon.
     
  11. Dec 24, 2013 #10
    The AK-47 was not developed until 1947 and I don't believe any of the standard issue weapons of WW II were Kalashnikov's doing.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Kalashnikov
     
  12. Dec 25, 2013 #11

    SteamKing

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    The AK-47 was not adopted by the Soviet Army until 1949. During the war, the standard infantry rifle was the Mosin-Nagant model 1891, which was produced until the end of the war and which was replaced by the AK. There were some submachine guns issued, primarily the PPSh-41 and PPS-42, along with the Thompson .45 cal. obtained from the US thru Lend-Lease. Of course, Soviet troops also availed themselves of captured German weapons like the MP-40.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_weapons_of_the_Soviet_Union
     
  13. Dec 26, 2013 #12

    mheslep

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    Apparently he designed did his early rifle designs during the war, in keeping with his stated motivations quoted above ("blame the Nazis"). So I modify my above hypothetical to "if the AK had been adopted during the war, the Soviet losses might have been lower"
     
  14. Jan 14, 2014 #13
    Kalashnikov was apparently quite troubled by his famous weapon in his later years.

    From his letter to the Russian Orthodox Church:


    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ak-47-designer-kalashnikov-wrote-penitent-letter/
     
  15. Jan 14, 2014 #14

    nsaspook

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    Last regrets of the dying.
     
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