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Military History Reader Poll - September 2013

Originally published on Published Online: July 03, 2013 
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The AK-47 is cheap, reliable and able to withstand punishment in the field. It is also inaccurate and lacks the range of better-made assault rifles. Is it overrated or "good enough" to earn the title "Weapon of the Century"?

2 Responses to “Military History Reader Poll - September 2013”

  1. 1
    Tom Keeton says:

    If you want a weapon which can spray a lot of ammunition and you have no concern about the accuracy of such (as long as the bullets go forward, anyway); that can be put in the hands of a totally untrained soldier and be effective; and it can be made cheaply & quickly, function in the worst of conditions, be replaced easily, and thrown away when worn out; then the AK-47 is an excellent weapon. It's a fire hose for bullets.
    If you want a weapon which can spray a lot of ammunition but you want it to be used for accuracy assignments, then you probably want a variant of the M-14 — probably in a slightly reduced loading of the 270 Winchester, maybe 257 Roberts — and built up with first-class steel and probably carbon fiber stock. You chrome plate the chamber and barrel and you instruct the troops to clean their rifles at the end of each day's firefighting. You also put all cleaning equipment needed in the stock, with a flip-up cover made of the butt plate.
    The German MP-43/44 — from which I'm convinced the AK-47 was copied — was an excellent piece, but even with some late-in-the-war concessions to fast and easy manufacturing it required too much time and precision machining to produce in the huge numbers needed.
    Well, that's my two-cents worth, anyway…

  2. 2

    [...] Kalshnikov, credited with creating the AK-47 rifle, the most widely available firearm in the world, died Dec. 23 at age 94 in Izhevsk, [...]

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