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Mikhail Kalashnikov Dead: Inventor of AK-47 Dies at 94

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Agence France-Presse reports Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the famed AK-47 rife, has died at the age of 94:

RT reports the Russian hero had been in intensive care since Nov. 17 in Izhevsk, Russia, where his famous weapon is produced. In recent years, Kalashnikov had suffered from heart troubles.

More from the Associated Press:

MOSCOW (AP) — Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose work as a weapons designer for the Soviet Union is immortalized in the name of the world's most popular firearm, died Monday at the age of 94.

Kalashnikov once aspired to design farm equipment. But even though his most famous invention — the AK-47 assault rifle — sowed havoc instead of crops, he often said he felt personally untroubled by his contribution to bloodshed.

"I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence," he said in 2007.

Kalashnikov died in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he lived, said Viktor Chulkov, a spokesman for the republic's president. He did not give a cause of death. Kalashnikov had been hospitalized for the past month with unspecified health problems.

The AK-47 — "Avtomat Kalashnikov" and the year it went into production — is the world's most popular firearm, favored by guerrillas, terrorists and the soldiers of many armies. An estimated 100 million guns are spread worldwide.

Though it isn't especially accurate, its ruggedness and simplicity are exemplary: it performs in sandy or wet conditions that jam more sophisticated weapons such as the U.S. M-16.

"During the Vietnam war, American soldiers would throw away their M-16s to grab AK-47s and bullets for it from dead Vietnamese soldiers," Kalashnikov said in July 2007 at a ceremony marking the rifle's 60th anniversary.

The weapon's suitability for jungle and desert fighting made it nearly ideal for the Third World insurgents backed by the Soviet Union, and Moscow not only distributed the AK-47 widely but also licensed its production in some 30 other countries.

The gun's status among revolutionaries and national-liberation struggles is enshrined on the flag of Mozambique.

Kalashnikov, born into a peasant family in Siberia, began his working life as a railroad clerk. After he joined the Red Army in 1938, he began to show mechanical flair by inventing several modifications for Soviet tanks.

The moment that firmly set his course was in the 1941 battle of Bryansk against Nazi forces, when a shell hit his tank. Recovering from wounds in the hospital, Kalashnikov brooded about the superior automatic rifles he'd seen the Nazis deploy; his rough ideas and revisions bore fruit five years later.

"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer," said Kalashnikov. "I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery."

In 2007, President Vladimir Putin praised him, saying "The Kalashnikov rifle is a symbol of the creative genius of our people."

Over his career, he was decorated with numerous honors, including the Hero of Socialist Labor and Order of Lenin and Stalin Prize. But because his invention was never patented, he didn't get rich off royalties.

"At that time in our country patenting inventions wasn't an issue. We worked for Socialist society, for the good of the people, which I never regret," he once said.

Kalashnikov continued working into his late 80s as chief designer of the Izmash company that first built the AK-47. He also traveled the world helping Russia negotiate new arms deals, and he wrote books on his life, about arms and about youth education.

"After the collapse of the great and mighty Soviet Union so much ####### has been imposed on us, especially on the younger generation," he said. "I wrote six books to help them find their way in life."

He said he was proud of his bronze bust installed in his native village of Kurya in the Siberian region of Altai. He said newlyweds bring flowers to the bust. "They whisper 'Uncle Misha, wish us happiness and healthy kids,'" he said. "What other gun designer can boast of that?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/23/mikhail-kalashnikov-dead_n_4493442.html

Edited by spookyturtle

R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

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My wife says she was taught to use that weapon while in school in the USSR.

Interesting article about his life in the current Mocow Times http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-kalashnikov-photo-essay/492058.html

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My wife says she was taught to use that weapon while in school in the USSR.

Interesting article about his life in the current Mocow Times http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-kalashnikov-photo-essay/492058.html

We have posted this before ... Children in Russia are taught to field strip at school. These Russians understand the future.

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Paramilitary education starting at a very early age was the norm in all totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. The Nazis did it as did the communists under Soviet rule. It is happening in Kim's North Korea today still. It is nothing to be proud of or happy about really - unless you're an American gun aficionado that has absolutely no concept of context. Or any concept of anything at all, for that matter.

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Paramilitary education starting at a very early age was the norm in all totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. The Nazis did it as did the communists under Soviet rule. It is happening in Kim's North Korea today still. It is nothing to be proud of or happy about really - unless you're an American gun aficionado that has absolutely no concept of context. Or any concept of anything at all, for that matter.

Don't come knocking on my door looking for food or ammo when the zombies take over. Just sayin.

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Excellent weapon. Closer in combat I would take the AK but longer distances I want my AR.

I agree with this, having had both. I found the Kalashnikov to be a little disappointing precision-wise for 200 yard + targets. And I lose interest in short range targets at the shooting range rather quickly.

"If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello."

- Paulo Coelho

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We have posted this before ... Children in Russia are taught to field strip at school. These Russians understand the future.

It is sad they have to rely on their nanny government for something that should be their constitutional right...

Perhaps, as you say, they understand the future... It isn't poised to be much different from their Soviet past...

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My wife says she was taught to use that weapon while in school in the USSR.

Interesting article about his life in the current Mocow Times http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-kalashnikov-photo-essay/492058.html

Of course she was! They all were. Though Alla had to use the older SKS rifle in her training...she was in Ukraine, they got 2nd string rifles. rofl.gif Later, in college she used the AK and also was trained with RPGs. These women are not for beginners!

The AK has many times been ranked as the best battle rifle ever made. I am partial to the M14 and M16 myself but the AK is definietly rugged, reliable and easy to teach someone with.

Kalashnikov was a tanker in the Great Patriotic War and learned the value of simplicity, speed, ease of training and massive volumes when the Soviets kicked the German's @ss right out with "inferior" T34 tanks. I think most of those tanks are still in existance...they seem to be in every park and in front of every government building along with 100mm anti-tank gunsrofl.gif

The Ak was sort of a T-34 concept in a rifle.

He ranks with the great gun designers of all time.

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I agree with this, having had both. I found the Kalashnikov to be a little disappointing precision-wise for 200 yard + targets. And I lose interest in short range targets at the shooting range rather quickly.

But when the short range targets shoot back at you...the AK is an excellent choice. I see NONE of them on the line for National Match shooting at 200, 300 and 600 yds. The US M1, M14 and M16 are better target rifles to be sure.

For combat, in the hands on conscripts, the AK is hard to beat.

The background Kalashnikov came from was forced conscription, training amounted to giving them a partial uniform and packing them in a train and handing a rifle to every third man when they got off the train. They were told to collect other uniofrm parts and additional ammunition from their dead comrades. Later in the war the Soviets developed the PPSh submachine gun...a crude thing that spit rounds at a relatively low rate of fire, so low that there was no "semi auto" feature, if you wanted semi auto you just released the trigger after one shot fired. Try that with an M16. But with that crude piece of stamped sheet metal...now an icon of "freedom" in the FSU... they killed enough Germans to run them right out.

Surrounded by the proof of mediocre quality in high quantity in the hands of peasant soldiers overwhelming precision trained and armed soldiers of the Reich, the Ak was designed as it was...simple, cheap reliable and easy to learn how to use. Not a good target rifle, I concede.

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I don't think the paramilitary education that totalitarian regimes expose their young to is driven by the fear of zombies taking over.

It was driven by exactly that experience.

More than 275,000 people were killed in my wife's CITY, ONE CITY, during the Great Patriotic War. That is MORE than all the Americans killed in the European Theatre...in ONE CITY. 22 million in the country. 1/6 of the population of Ukraine. 1/2 the men between the ages of 17-45. The population of St Petersburg when the siege began was 2.5 million, when it ended...less than 500,000. There are 300,000 people buried in ONE mass grave in Kiev. 1/2 of all people killed worldwide in the 2nd war were killed in the USSR. Every city, every village, every farm, building, railroad, factory was systematically destroyed and burned.

They WERE overrun by the "zombies" and millions of them were killed and the purpose of the training AND regional arsenals with millions of rifles and RPGs was to prevent EXACTLY that from happening again Each city and region has a stock of rifles, ammunition and RPGs. Each citizen, boys and girls, is trained in their use starting in 8th grade and contiuing through college. Alla's transcripts list "military preparedness" in each year. All males have to serve two years in the military (Ukraine has reduced this to one year of training and may change to volunteer soon) Females are, and always have been, welcome in the military and serve in combat roles

Your statement is very ignorant of the facts. It shows very little knowledge about guns...or anything related to them. I invite you one day to visit the FSU and take a walk in their parks and see how you feel when you realize you are walking on the grave of hundreds of thousands of women and children. The plaques in Ukrainian parks do not read the same as ours. Eat dinner with, and look into the eyes of someone whose childhood friends were gruesomely murdered because they were "dirty slavic pigs" I would highly recommend attending a "day of the City" ceremony each year commenorating that city's liberation from the zombies. I invite you to walk in the memorial parks on a Saturday and see the young married couples come to thank the soldiers for their freedom and put flowers there. I invite you to see that there are fresh flowers every day...70 years after the zombies were all killed and run off. At a sculpture of Marshall Zhukov in a dirty city subway platform in Kharkov...there are fresh flowers at his feet every day...70 years after he lead the fight against the zombies. I suggest you hurry because there are not may of the heroes whofought the zombies left...but when one of them comes onto the bus or subway, still wearing their medals, the entire bus will stand and argue for the honor of giving the zombie killer their seat.

You really think they are not being trained to fight zombies?blink.png

Mikhail Kalshnikov was awared the highest medal "Hero of the Soviet Union" for developing a rifle that the people could use to defend their country from exactly ANOTHER attack by "zombies"

Obama gives the Medal of Freedom to Oprah Winfrey. rolleyes.gif YAY Oprah!

Edited by Gary and Alla

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Something else interesting...any average 6 year old in Ukraine can tell you what an AK47 is, who designed it, what a T-34 is, what an IL-2 is, what a PPSh is....they can tell you who Marshall Georgi Zhukov was. Oh, just any little kid can tell you all about the zombie killers.

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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