The Kalashnikov AK-47 is a gas-operated assault rifle
with a rotating bolt, manufactured by IZHMASH (Izhevsk
Machinebuilding Plant) in 7.62x39 mm. It weighs about 9 pounds with
an empty magazine. The AK employs a 30- and 40-round box magazine or
a 75-round drum magazine. It is capable of cycling 600 rounds per
minute at a muzzle velocity in excess of 2,300 feet per second.
Hands down, the AK-47
is one of the most prolific rifles of our time (@ 90 million units
and counting), which has been manufactured in dozens of countries,
especially those with Soviet influence. It has seen service in wars
and border skirmishes spanning the globe. And it has been said that
if the U.S. had fielded the AK-47 in Vietnam, the outcome of that war
might have been different. American Special Forces used the AK-47 in
Vietnam and loved it. Recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. troops
and loved the AK-74. And our enemies think it's tops.
Kalashnikov's rifle is impervious to inclement
conditions and rough handling. Drop it in the mud, drag it through
sand and the AK keeps on trucking - and killing anyone it's
Recently, the revived
Soviet Union - oil-rich Russia - feared by millions through
the Cold War, is back in all its menacing, saber-rattling vengeance,
threatening conflicts, if not world domination.
And the same small arm that shed so much blood - designed
by Mikhail Kalashnikov, loved by six decades of Russian combatants,
allies and terrorists - the AK, is back better and stealthier.
Meet the AK-9,
Russia's latest and greatest, perhaps deadliest
assault rifle. And that's saying a mouthful. The AK-9 was sorta
unveiled in 2007, well almost. It still remains an enigma. A variant
of the AKS-74, it's chambered for subsonic 9x39mm, it is virtually
silent and it defeats body armor.
It's black, light - at 8 1/2 pounds - and
packs a whisper-quiet silencer. Wow!
The Russians claim
the new and improved AK-9 was designed for their law enforcement and
anti-terror units. Can
you say Russian SWAT?
That may be true. I can see Comrade Boris sneaking up on a Russian
school held hostage, crawling to within shooting range of Chechnyan
I can also see a more sinister mission for the AK-9 - as
the assault weapon of Russia's future.
And what future might that be? Only Putin and the boys
at the Kremlin know.
What better way to
take out your enemy, than in the hands of Spetsnaz - Soviet
Sends shivers down this old grunt's spine. But to
really make your day, Russia has contracted with Chavez of Venezuela
to produce two factories - one for the AK-103 assault rifle and
another to produce the tons of ammo necessary to keep all those AKs
humming. In sleepy South America?
Why? Have the howler
monkeys gone mad? Hmm.