Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947

MSNBC is decrying the growing numbers of AK-47s being used in crimes:

The reasons criminals are selecting AK-47s is because they are excellent weapons and a great value. 7.62-39 rounds can still be purchased in bulk for twenty cents each.

Mikhail Kalashnikov was a Russian tank Sargent laid up in the hospital when he designed the AK-47. It is a brilliant design. A portion of the barrel pressure is vented back against a very large action that includes a cam-operated mechanism. This mechanism kicks out the spent cartridge and cocks the trigger on the backswing and chambers a fresh round, rotating it to lock in place on the upswing. The firing mechanism is an elegantly simple spring activated hammer, that contacts a freely floating pin that sets of the primer.

I’ve been unable to find ballistic information on the 7.62-39 rounds. But the AK-47 comes with iron sights graduated between 100 and 800 meters, although the effective range for the weapon is around 400 yards. You can buy a Romanian AK-47 for around $350 or a Yugoslavian AK-47 for around $550. The Yugoslavian model seems to be better made.

There will come a time in the not too distant future when it becomes illegal to purchase assault rifles like the AK-47. It’s probably best to have some of them in the hands of law-abiding Citizens too.

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