Izhmash will launch new AK line in 2009

Vesti.ru did a tour of the Izhmash factory and interviews with various employees and with Kalashnikov himself.

It is all in Russian but still very interesting to see inside the factory. According to a couple of Russian speakers at WAFF they mention that a new line of AKs will be launched next year (2009)! I wonder what they have in store for us? Maybe finally a left-hand side charging handle?

During the interview Kalashnikov says he gets a lot of hate mail asking how he sleeps at night. He says it is politicians not guns that kill people. Well said! I have seen many interview of Kalashnikov over the years.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • jdun1911

    Very impressive setup they have at Izhmash. CNC mills and robotic manufacturing will help them complete with Western firearms companies.

    Can’t wait to see there new product lines.

    Is the Russian military adopting 1913 rails or are those AKs for foreign markets?

    For the AK to complete in a market that is dominated by ARs, it has to redesign the receiver, better iron sight, and improve safety control. Without those three overhaul, the AK will die a slow death.

    They have the technology and the know how to do it. It is the lack of willingness to change that is holding them back.

    You can buy blank 0% AK receiver for $13.00+ without the needs to go through FFL. This is what they looks like.


    Yeah they are unfolded cheap sheet metal.

    People have commented that AK are “Disposable rifles for disposable troops”. Nothing wrong with the disposable rifle part, tho. However, AK needs to change the image or be left behind.

  • Garry

    If the AK needs to become some crappy AR-15 wannabe to be successful then why no just make AR-15s?

    AK needs to change nothing. 100 million customers can’t be all wrong.

  • Dave

    I will probably just buy the currently offered Galil rifle which cost around $625.

  • Nat

    I’m very eager to see what they do with the design. The AK is a fine weapon, with a brilliant design. There’s no way in hell that some Afghani tinsmith could build a working AR-15, but they crank out functional AKs non-stop. They might not be pretty, but they sure kill a lot of people. The Russian approach to engineering is vastly different to our own. We (Americans) like high tech designs that show off our technical prowess. The Russians tend to design things such that any 17 year old farm boy can fix it, from guns to tanks and airplanes. It works for them, they don’t have the money to keep up the maintenance on ultra-high-tech equipment.

  • I dearly love my STG200C, and wish I’d kept my Saiga 308. I think I must try to buy another, and kit it out like I did the first one. I do hope the Russian government can keep them afloat. As do our bankruptcy laws, if they can clear the outstanding debts they can become a truly profitable corporation.

  • The one major improvement I can think of to the AK would be a rear set sight such as the Valmet or the Galil have. A longer sight radius is always good for accuracy.

  • There are a few idiosyncracies in teh original Kalashnikov design that do not sit well with experienced soldiers (I make this distinction because – as Garry rightly states 100 million users ‘can’t be wrong’ – but, of course, the vast majority of these users have the most basic of infantry training and practically no knowledge of firearm mechanics. This can be read as a postive or negative depending on your views).

    Fits of all, as Steve pointed out, there is the right hand cocking lever. Add to this the right hand selector switch and safety.

    There is the diminuative mag release button and, again as stated, theelementary iron sights.

    Finally, but more controvercially, there is the lack of any rail system.

    Many would argue that the Galil ACE or Robinson XCR clearly show the direction a 21 century Kalashnikov should take – but I still think that there is a huge market for the basic non-complicated ‘works whatever’ AK that there has always been…

    As long as there is a Third World there will be a market for the Kalashnikov.