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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found this video, any truth to that? It's in foreign lingo, but Nick will be able to give us a condensed version since he is fluent in this dialect and has the latest Chumak's book on this somewhat controversial subject.
 

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The Soviets always ran development programs at several design bureaus, the various groups feeding ideas back and forth to arrive at the best design.

As was standard Soviet policy, the head of the bureau got the credit for the design.
This is why Soviet aircraft and weapons were named for the head of the design team, even when the head had little to do with the design.

As usual, there were a number of rifle design teams working on a rifle, and when one came up with a good idea, it was shared with the other teams.
Kalashnikov was the head of the Izhmash factory design team, and his composite design was the winner, so it has his name on it.
Kalashnikov was the primary designer at Izhmash, but he was not the only designer.

Hugo Schmeisser was held at the city were Izhmash is located, but it's thought that the Soviets were more interested in his knowledge of modern metal stamping and manufacture techniques.
He probably had no input on the AK-47
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, that's been more or less an official version for a while, but this guy goes a lot deeper into the details, names and internal politics involved and it does not look good for the old boy Kalashnikov. Is there any way to translate this to English? I am not really computer-savvy.
 

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Funny video, but it has a lot of, say, unsubstantiated claims that do not sit well with actual declassified documents
1. yes, Schmeisser had nothing to do with the AK

2. Video claims that AK-47 was designe dby Zaitsev... key it, in 1947 Zaitsev was noticeably less experienced designer, with zero designs under his belt; Kalashnikov already has at least three different gun designs (SML, LMG and carbine) that were tested with some degree of success, and also designed certain upgrades to Goryunov MG, which were adopted in the SGM machine gun

3. yes, Kalashnikov received a lot of help from the NIPSMVO team in the form of recommendations for changes for AK-46Also, during 1946 trials test team issued similar recommendations to two other contenders, Bulking and Dementyev, and it was up to designers to embrace or reject those. And both of these, being more experienced designers than Kalashnikov, decided that they knew better than ordnance officers who tested their 1946 prototypes. Which led to spectacular failures of their 1947 prototype, while Kalashnikov's design performed rather well
 

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Likely a lot of hands in the AK pie.

Considering the problems and somewhat ineffective first models of the AK., and the subsequent changes and improvements that involved metallurgists and manufacturing experts as the follow-up to the design and prototype stages.
 

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Likely a lot of hands in the AK pie.

Considering the problems and somewhat ineffective first models of the AK., and the subsequent changes and imptovements that involved metallurgists and manufacturing experts as the follow-up to the design and proyotype stages.
yes of cause. Same can be said about the M16 for example. Usually only Gene Stoner gets the credit, although there were many other engineers working on the gun. Or, when talking about Browning pistols, everybody remembers John Browning himself but hardly anyone can remember Carl Ehbets, and a few also cam mention Dieudonne Saive.
And in the case of the ongoing "AK" project, Kalashnikov eventually became the team leader and program manager in modern parlance, and bore final responsibilities for decisions taken or rejected.
 

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The idea that one designer alone is responsible for the AK is somewhat laughable. It’s like saying “who invited the modern car?” The answer: everyone who made cars in the past. The bolt, safety, under folding stock and gas system are fairly obviously clones of other systems.

What makes the AK great - in my opinion - is that it distilled a lot of great ideas into one gun. Rather than having a single chief designer who built the gun from the ground up - like John Browning - the AK plagiarized a number of guns into one. The result was a more well rounded and effective design.

Any effort to claim “this person alone designed the AK” is just tedious dick waiving. Kalashnikov likely had a bigger hand in the gun than most others, but the man would be lying if he claimed that he “invented” it.
 

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Any effort to claim “this person alone designed the AK” is just tedious dick waiving. Kalashnikov likely had a bigger hand in the gun than most others, but the man would be lying if he claimed that he “invented” it.
I read quite a bit of his interviews and memoirs and I cannot remember that he said anything to that effect
Unlike John Browning, who mostly broke new grounds and invented new systems, Kalashnikov, like Garand and many others, primarily solved engineering problems, trying to assemble known ideas into yet another most efficient package, according to the existing user requirements, state of technology art and their own vision
By the way, I doubt that Hugo Schmeisser, being the director of the Haenel factory, actually did a lot (if any) inventing and engineering in regard to Stg.44.
 

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Funny video, but it has a lot of, say, unsubstantiated claims that do not sit well with actual declassified documents
1. yes, Schmeisser had nothing to do with the AK

2. Video claims that AK-47 was designe dby Zaitsev... key it, in 1947 Zaitsev was noticeably less experienced designer, with zero designs under his belt; Kalashnikov already has at least three different gun designs (SML, LMG and carbine) that were tested with some degree of success, and also designed certain upgrades to Goryunov MG, which were adopted in the SGM machine gun

3. yes, Kalashnikov received a lot of help from the NIPSMVO team in the form of recommendations for changes for AK-46Also, during 1946 trials test team issued similar recommendations to two other contenders, Bulking and Dementyev, and it was up to designers to embrace or reject those. And both of these, being more experienced designers than Kalashnikov, decided that they knew better than ordnance officers who tested their 1946 prototypes. Which led to spectacular failures of their 1947 prototype, while Kalashnikov's design performed rather well
I agree with Max here on every point.
People who are pushing "Hugo Schmeisser" story are desperate. All you have to do is to look into the Schmeisser designs to understand that he had nothing to do with AK. If Hugo Schmeisser would design AK, trigger alone would have at least 1000 little parts...
Did Kalashnikov alone designed whole AK? No, but he had a vision and pushed that vision forward, just like Garand and Stoner did with help from their teams.
 

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I read quite a bit of his interviews and memoirs and I cannot remember that he said anything to that effect
Unlike John Browning, who mostly broke new grounds and invented new systems, Kalashnikov, like Garand and many others, primarily solved engineering problems, trying to assemble known ideas into yet another most efficient package, according to the existing user requirements, state of technology art and their own vision
By the way, I doubt that Hugo Schmeisser, being the director of the Haenel factory, actually did a lot (if any) inventing and engineering in regard to Stg.44.
I don’t recall Kalashnikov ever making such a claim either. Im just saying that if he did it wouldn’t be an honest claim.

Well put on the engineering solution. That’s what I was trying to say in a clumsy manner. He combined ideas into something that worked for the required purpose.

I’ve read that the most controversial design claims relate to Victor Kalashnikov’s involvement in the guns that he supposedly worked on. These were all English language sources, so they could be outdated or simply wrong, but that’s what I recall.
 

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The OP title invented is just wrong. The gun developed and evolved due to a team of engineers headed up by its team leader. There were evolutionary iterations that exposed to the selective directives of higher up committees and changes made in response to this environment.
This was not John Browning in his head making a new gun and making a model with cutouts and with his fingers telling the machinists such what the dimensions of the parts were to be. Manufacture was to be mostly by machining bar stock that meant molds of aluminum extrusion or dies for sheet metal stamping were not needed to also be designed. Guns made the way that browning designed to be made are way more expensive than are many modern designs. Since now perhaps in the USA starting with Ruger et al. that the design of the gun was built upon on how the factory could be make it cheaper. Glocks, AKs, and ARs were so designed.
In WWII is where we started to see a lot of this with german designs and then brits with the stengun and the USA grease gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I intentionally used the word "lnvented", just like Al Gore invented them Internets, you know... I found this video to be a little harsh on Kalashnikov himself, but my favorite part was when the guy was saying that a Soviet soldiers were given 9 rounds each in order to qualify with the firearm and given some kind of a badge. I recall we were given only 3 out of which 2 were taken by the "grandfathers" right away and no badge of any kind. That was for the SKS though. Another thing, his claim of an AK being unreliable is total BS, just based on my personal experience alone I have to say that Kalashmat is one of the most reliable firearms I've ever used.
 

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I intentionally used the word "lnvented", just like Al Gore invented them Internets, you know... I found this video to be a little harsh on Kalashnikov himself, but my favorite part was when the guy was saying that a Soviet soldiers were given 9 rounds each in order to qualify with the firearm and given some kind of a badge. I recall we were given only 3 out of which 2 were taken by the "grandfathers" right away and no badge of any kind. That was for the SKS though. Another thing, his claim of an AK being unreliable is total BS, just based on my personal experience alone I have to say that Kalashmat is on of the most reliable firearms I've ever used.
There is a lot of BS on the AK out there. I was watching a Russian Youtube and they were claiming the Chinese made AKs were not well made for example.
I believe that Russian issued AK47s are very reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have no experience with the Russian AKs or AKMs, but we never had any problems with the Soviet issued '74s. I've had a few Chinese Poly and Norincos, all were good firearms. A little heavier due to the thicker receiver, but as the Russian saying goes "Tyazholoe znachit nadezhnoe" ( Heavy means reliable). The only thing I don't like about Chinese AKs is the full globe smallish front sight, I much prefer the Russian half-open version.
 

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I agree with Max here on every point.
People who are pushing "Hugo Schmeisser" story are desperate. All you have to do is to look into the Schmeisser designs to understand that he had nothing to do with AK. If Hugo Schmeisser would design AK, trigger alone would have at least 1000 little parts...
Did Kalashnikov alone designed whole AK? No, but he had a vision and pushed that vision forward, just like Garand and Stoner did with help from their teams.

Machine gun Air gun Trigger Shotgun Gun barrel
 

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I have no experience with the Russian AKs or AKMs, but we never had any problems with the Soviet issued '74s. I've had a few Chinese Poly and Norincos, all were good firearms. A little heavier due to the thicker receiver, but as the Russian saying goes "Tyazholoe znachit nadezhnoe" ( Heavy means reliable). The only thing I don't like about Chinese AKs is the full globe smallish front sight, I much prefer the Russian half-open version.
I cut the top off my MAK 90 rounded sight protector. Anyway it has an aim point these days
 
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