Kalashnikov dies at 94

You say there's a genie in here?

You say there’s a genie in here?

Invented the AK-47.

“Whenever I look at TV and I see the weapon I invented to defend my motherland in the hands of these bin Ladens, I ask myself the same question: ‘How did it get into their hands?’ ” Kalashnikov said in 2006. “I didn’t put it in the hands of bandits and terrorists, and it’s not my fault that it has mushroomed uncontrollably across the globe. Can I be blamed that they consider it the most reliable weapon?”

No he can’t (most of the AK-47s in terrorists hands are counterfeit, anyway). The best biography of the man and his invention is “The Gun”, by  C.J. Chivers. At 498 pages, it provided more information than I needed, but it’s an interesting history of automatic military guns, with a focus on the AK.

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5 responses to “Kalashnikov dies at 94

  1. Anonymous

    BTW, there’s also a book available entitled “Glock”, about (guess who), and I swear it reads as fascinating as any biography I’ve ever read. I’ll check out The Gun as well.

  2. Gun historian

    The Gun is a very interesting book (and so is its author, a former marine who now works for the New York Times but is no liberal), but the best part (and the most infuriating) is the detailed discussion of the ill-considered, imperious decision by Robert McNamara to force the U.S. Army to adopt the AR-15 (M-16) without field testing, and the cost of that in the lives of American troops when the rifles did not work (and commonly jammed) in combat in Vietnam and rusted because their barrels were not chrome lined.

    The AK-47 was a far more reliable weapon, and much simpler to manufacture. That still is true today.

  3. Cobra

    August 3, 2011
    “Attention, Cobra
    “I dropped off my copy of the history of the AK-47 at what I think is your address, with a note asking the recipient, if I had the address wrong, to either deliver it to you or to set the book and himself on fire. I haven’t heard of any self-immolation stories today so if you didn’t get the book, lock and load and go interview your neighbors. The bastard!”

    Once I retrieved the book from the poor neighbor you scared shitless with your note, and after reading it, I loaned the book to my son. He hasn’t returned it yet, so if you want to pass it along to another FWIW reader, let me know and I’ll return it to you. By the way, the neighbor runs inside his house in a blind panic every time I drive by. Wonder why.

  4. Esfandyar: You ask if there is a Jinn in the pipe. Yes there is, but you are holding it all wrong. Would you like me to explain how to call it out?