The End of a Very Long Era

I always believed that Russia and the AK-47 were tied at the hip; never did I imagine that I’d see the day when one would exist without the other. Sadly the era of the AK appears to be coming to an end as the Russian army has stated they will no longer be purchasing AK rifles:

The Russian army says it is halting orders of the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle until a newer model is developed by its manufacturer.

The AK-47 became the most recognizable firearm in the world and stood against the test of time. Even today AK type rifles are very effective at what they do, and that’s kill capitalist pigs dead (or whatever else they’re pointed at). Although the ergonomics could use some updating and the platform could certainly use a longer site radius, I’m not really sure what needs to be fixed on the AK. Firearms are the very definition of a mature technology and no major advancements have been made around World War II (I’m considering the proliferation of automatic and semi-automatic rifles becoming reliable enough to be primary battle rifles a major advancement).

It also seems people are underestimating the badassery of the AK-47’s designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov:

News of the army’s decision is reportedly being kept from the rifle’s designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov, now 91.

“We do not want to take it upon ourselves to tell him,” an unnamed member of his family told Russia’s Izvestia newspaper.

“It might kill him.”

I don’t think you can kill him. Perhaps he plans to fade away with his rifle but no mere mortal on this planet could actually kill the man. Honestly if I were him I’d be happy my designed lasted so long; the AK probably enjoys the record for longest platform design to continuously serve in a major military. With out quickly militaries like to swap out equipment these days I’m doubting the AK’s record will ever be broken.

While I’m excited to see what Izhmash’s new rifle looks like I’m betting it’s going to be heavily influenced by the AK-47.