What do Miley Cyrus and the AK-47 have in common?

The answer? They are both victims of piracy, or at least that is what the Russian media would have you believe. The issue, from the Russian perspective, is the reverse of the allofmp3.com controversy. Russia accuses the United States and other governments of being complicit in the piracy that costs them $2 billion per year. The issue caused a minor diplomatic incident with Pakistan at a Turkish defense expo last month.

Ak Pirate

Historical Context

To understand the legal history of the AK-47 you need to understand the intellectual property history of the Soviet Union. Contra to popular belief the communists did not oppose intellectual property (IP). Our Soviet comrades were encouraged to think up inventions, they just has to give the invention to the state! After the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution private ownership in general was abolished but IP was overlooked. This oversight was corrected in 1931 when private ownership of IP was banned and the state automatically inherited all rights to inventions. The inventor received some small remuneration in return, presumably only if the invention was used by the state in some capacity.

Picture 10-22
AK-47 / AKM clone made in Las Vegas by Arsenal Inc.

The Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947

Fast forward about a decade and a young sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov starts designing weapons for the Red Army. In 1946 his rifle wins a competition for the next standard issue rifle of the Soviet Union. During the following year the military began adopting the rifle and it was given the infamous designation AK-47, now a household name worldwide.

The Soviet Union was quite happy to allow other communist states to produce the rifle, with many other state and non-state entities around the world producing clones.

800Px-Flag Of Mozambique.Svg
The flag of Mozambique featuring the AK-47 alongside a hoe and a book.

The AK-47 patent. Better late than never.

After the fall of communism the Russian Federation and eight other former Soviet Republics formed the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPC). Izhmash, manufacturer of the AK-74 and AK-10x rifles (AK-47 successors), filed a patent with the EAPC. From the Google Translation of the patent (emphasis added):

Title of invention:
Automatic weapons “Kalashnikov”

Patentovlalelets (ltsy):
Open Joint Stock Company “Izhmash” (RU)

Inventor (s):

Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, Yuri Alexandrov K.,
Bezborodov Nikolai, Viktor Kalashnikov.
Azariah I. Nesterov, Paranin Valery Nikolaevich (RU)

The Eurasian application N: 970145
Priority of invention:

Date of filing of the Eurasian application: July 24, 1997
Date of registration of the Eurasian Patent
in the Register of Eurasian patents: October 10, 1997

The patent was filed over 50 years after the invention! The patent does not mention when the rifle was actually invented. Under United States law patents expire after 20 years. It seems ridiculous that a company can expect to patent an invention half a century after its invention especially at a time when it is so common that people build it by hand in caves!

Ironically the AK-47 is also the weapon of choice for the modern sea pirate.

US Government purchases of AK-47 rifle

Prior to the recent decision to switch the Iraqi Army over over to the M16 and M4, the US Government was purchasing a lot of AK-47 rifles to supply the fledging Iraqi Army. Russia was not happy about the US purchasing AK-47 clones from manufactures who were significantly under cutting Izhmash. From Novinite.com:

The Americans have allowed Bulgaria to built a plant producing the Kalashnikov sub-machine gun to be sold in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Director for Special Assignments of the Russian Rosoboronexport State Corporation Nikolay Demedyuk stated on Wednesday cited by ITAR-TASS.

The Russians stated that the “Arsenal” production was undercutting the gun prices on international tenders citing as example a 2003 tender for the supply of 40,000 sub-machine guns for the Iraqi army for USD 65 each won by Arsenal and lost by the Russian “Kalashnikov” manufacturer.

Russia has claimed it loses $2 billion per year from counterfeit production with only 10% of AK-47 rifles being produced under license.

Picture 12-24
Iraqi Military Policeman Training with AK-47 rifle.

Last Month in Turkey

There was a minor diplomatic incident last month at the IDEF ’09 defense expo when the Russian delegation discovered that Pakistan Ordnance Factories had AK-47 clones on display. When confronted the Pakistan stated owned defense manufacture refused to remove the display.

Anatoly Aksenov, a senior advisor to the director general of Rosoboronexport (Russia’s sole export intermediary), said in a press release “Russia will ask IDEF-2009โ€™s administration to impose sanctions on Pakistanโ€™s delegation if the counterfeit weapon is not removed from the booth by tomorrow … is piracy and we will struggle against it.”. The Turkish Ministry of Defense, who organized the expo, acted swiftly and the following day the rifles were removed from display.

According to Mr. Aksenov Turkey is looking to purchase Russian short and medium range anti-aircraft systems, which no doubt gave the Russians much leverage with the Turkish Ministry officials.

The Russian media was quick to point out that the World Trade Organization worries itself with Western music, firms and clothing, but not Russian weaponry. From Lenta.ru (Google Translated):

Piracy in the music and film industry, protection of brand clothing manufacturers, food, tobacco and alcohol have long been one of the nabivshih oskominu so when discussing the economy nowadays. Combating concerned authoritative international organizations such as WTO, and thousands of bureaucrats. The trials against the creators of file-networks follow one after another and stable outside the top list of hot news. And the weapons you can not only forge in the huge quantities, but also opened it to show, without fear of any sanctions or condemnation, or loss of reputation.

Will this be resolved?

Russia wants to join the World Trade Organization. Prior to joining the diplomats will have to define the parameters for recognition of patents. It is unlikely the WTO members will want to open themselves to lawsuits from Russian firms over 50+ year old inventions.

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.


  • Lee

    It is funny that they are griping about lost sales. It was an arms race. Let it go. I was reading about the development of the sidewinder missile, a air to air rocket. The thing is, the Russians got a hold of one when it failed to explode and then basically copied the design. Should the States or China sue on account of loosing Vietnam?

  • jdun1911

    The Russian are stupid. Whatever rights on the AK they had is long gone. No nations will honor the AK patents at this late of the game.

    If the Russian somehow is successful. You can bet that the marketshare of the AK will shrink down further.

    The Russian economy is gone. Destroyed. Their hatred for the USA and freedom in general undermined their own prosperity. You reap what you sow.

  • The country that copied the B-29 is whining about non-russian AK-47’s?

    Now that’s funny.

  • jdun1911

    One last thing. The buyers always has the leverage because he/she has the money. The sellers has leverage if their products is the only game in town.

    Turkey can give the Russian the finger and buy the American version. The Russian will learn really fast what free market economy is all about.

    • jdun1911, in major arms deals of high tech technology there is usually a lot of diplomacy behind the scenes and often the seller who has the power. American gear may well to to expensive or to politically sensitive to be sold.

  • Sean

    in all fairness, isn’t the AK basically a knock-off of the MP44? so, if we’re following the russian logic, shouldn’t the germans be asking for some royalty checks as well?

    • Sean, you could extrapolate that even further. Why not pay royalties to the inventor of the first smokeless powder, first centerfire primer firing pin and first brass cartridge ๐Ÿ˜‰

      If they want to go back 50 years, why not 75, 100 or 150 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Freiheit

    I just think the whole thing is patently ridiculous.

  • Vitor

    The insidemechanism of the AK are different from the inside mechanism of the MP44.

  • higs

    Russia, (on Behalf of the USSR) has forfeited the right to complain when they flooded the world with the rifles, and the means to make these rifles.

  • Ken

    Will the Russians share the “money” with Mr. Kalashnikov?Ha!! Think not! Not that they will get anything this late in the game….
    The MP44 uses a wedge lock to lock up the bolt and the AK uses a rotating bolt system.They both use gas to function.

    • Ken, nope, I don’t think he ever got much money out of it directly, although he did get a Hero of Socialist Labor and Order of St. Andrew, as well as a good career. Stoner got money but no recognition.

      Personally I don’t know which I would prefer.

      Since the reintroduction of capitalism he has started cashing in on his name, even lending it to an AK clone! ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/16/gsg-22-kalashnikov-ak/ scroll down for a photo of him)

  • Ken

    I read several articles and books on Kalashnikov.His design basically was the “states” and he got very little money. Kalashnikov got a pension and that was about that. He did get jealous of Mr Stoner slightly because he got royalties and even had his own plane due to his wealth. Kalashnikovs son on the other hand was irate at the Soviet government because of the lack of compensation. His son ended up being a gun designer himself and if memory serves me correct,he made the bizon submachinegun.
    I would take both money and fame myself…lol

  • Carl

    A patent is an artificial monopoly. It goes against the very idea of the free market, where anyone should be allowed to build and sell any product or service, competing with others in performance and/or price.

    So yes, this is a ridiculous claim. And so are all other patent claims.

  • gee, US$65/rifle?

    • Baylorhenry, yep, it you buy then by the ton ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tony

    “The country that copied the B-29 is whining about non-russian AK-47โ€™s?”

    That’s a good point but I have a more recent one. Has anyone seen the Russian reusable spacecraft? It’s a clone of the Space shuttle in every way. If they had the money it would still be flying. They steal a lot and now want everyone to stop making a 50+ year old rifle. Yeah right!

  • Matt Groom

    Don’t forget the Soviets blatant copy of the Concord. Just about every single piece of technology “developed” by the Soviets was an illegal copy of something designed somewhere in the west, as it is with Chinese forgeries today. This is definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    It’s highly probable that if Kalashnikov had been living in the occident when he designed his rifle, which is really just a copy of a Garand when you get down to it, he probably wouldn’t have been able to sell it, much less get a major military power to adopt it. The thing that drove western arms innovation was superior range and power, and the thing that drove Soviet arms innovation was economy and firepower. Most western military officials scoffed at the AK when they first encountered it, and continued to deride it for a long time. It’s reputation has been built up over decades and decades worth of encounters with it, all over the world. Even if it had been adopted in the west, it would have been abandoned as obsolete decades ago. Witness the Galil/R5, the Valmet 76, etc.

    People who spent the better part of their youths trying to destroy private property in all its forms have some nerve complaining that their intellectual property rights aren’t being respected. Kalashnikov should continue to try to make a buck off of his name, and not his design. That ship has sailed, been attacked by pirates, and sank.

    @ Carl:
    You’re completely wrong about patents. Why would someone try to start a business based on an inventive idea if larger, better financed companies could simply take that idea and flood the market with it before the inventor got a chance to produce it or make a profit? Patents protect inventors, but only for a certain amount of time. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a free market, because there’d be no property rights for individuals, just large corporations who would never be challenged by small businesses and new innovations. That’s why the Soviets fell behind, a lack of innovation through competition. Patents protect innovation and invention and create competition. A lack of competition leads to the the death of free markets, not their growth. Read “Atlas Shrugged”.

    I’m not even gonna try to explain why free market monopolies are a good thing. That’s advanced economics. Only state-sponsored monopolies are bad, like the Post Office.

  • Where the hell can I get one of those $65 Turk AKs?!?

    Last one I bought was closing in on $400 and was a cheap Romanian SAR1

  • Carl

    Matt: A patent is a state-sponsored artificial monopoly. As opposed to natural monopolies such as that of physical property. Patents are completely arbitrary (scope, duration, required “unobviousness” etc), and spawns hordes of lawyers, government bureaucrats and mountains of red tape. All this costs money and effort that is virtually free for big corporations but very costly for the lone inventor.

    How can an inventor succed without patents? How about just doing it? Just manufacture and sell your product without asking for favors from the government. Given the fact that you are the inventor you will always be a step ahead of the competition. They might produce copies, but with the deep knowledge of the fundamentals of the product the inventor will always produce the superior product and always be the first with improvements.

    And what if the competition should manage to produce a better product? Well, if they do, why shouldn’t they be allowed? Why should the government use force against he who makes the best product? That makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Matt Groom

    @ Carl:
    So, what you’re saying is that someone can have an idea, but not have any capital to put that idea into effect. Then they’re supposed to go out and tell the world about it so that they can get investors to help finance the facilities, equipment, labor, transportation, and materials to produce that idea, but there’s no risk that one of the already wealthy, already established firms or individuals will not steal his idea and copy it wholesale even though he has NO LEGAL CLAIM to that idea? How preposterous!

    A patent IS an artificial monopoly that PROTECTS THE INVENTOR from unfair competition. What is unfair competition? How about if you invent a new kind of internal combustion engine that runs on air by buring the oxygen. You don’t have access to Forges, CNC Milling Machines, squads of experience machinists, Engineers, Marketing, or anything else necessary to produce a major product like an engine. You pitch your idea to a wealthy industrialist, who unbeknowst to you, owns a major percentage of Ford Motor Company. He decides not to invest in your idea, but hands it to his friends at Ford, and they have a working model in production before you have enough investors to buy your first CNC machine AND they owe you NOTHING.

    So you protest, but nothing comes of it, because you have no legal claim to your idea. But eventually, you actually get the finances to build a nearly identical, but slightly superior version of that engine. You have no vehicles to put it in, and Ford begins a multi-million dollar advertising campaign claiming theirs is the original, and that the proof is that they’ve been producing this design for YEARS. Next year, they incorporate all of your improved features into their design, and because of economies of scale, they are able to produce more engines faster, cheaper, and in larger quantities. Know what happens then? You die in poverty trying to keep the doors of your company from closing, or you sell your business to Ford to keep from starving. THAT’S unfair competition.

    Oh, but you will have to hire a lawyer to protect your patent, but the best lawyers on Earth and hundereds of them cannot protect your property if you do not have proof of ownership, and that proof of ownership is called a PATENT. Lawyers cost money? So does theft. It takes money to make money, but you can’t make money if you don’t have something to offer. A product, a service, an idea. A product you can display, a service you can perform, but an idea requires PROOF.

    There is no such thing as a “Natural Monopoly” on physical property. You have ownership over that which you can prove by law, and that which you can maintain by force from those who do not accept the law. There is no way to maintain complete and total ownership over a physical entity. Monopolies can only exist in theory. The Communists attempted a monopoly on all physical property, didn’t work out, did it?

    Competition DOES produce better products, but only because patents do not allow a blatant copy to be made for at least 20 years. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be any kind of competition at all. You’d either be an already establish firm, let’s call them “The Winner”, or you’d be a nobody with a really good idea, let’s call them “The Loser”. The purpose of government is to provide a level playing field for competitor, and sometimes that requires force. The best product will never get built if companies with long histories of corruption, inefficiency, poor quality, and high prices like GM are allowed to simply steal the best ideas and best designs from individuals and start producing it. “Coming soon from Government Motors: The Aptera! The vehicle which will change the way we move.”

    By advocating the dissolution of patents and intellectual property rights, you’re advocating for the same thing the Soviets did, the dissolution of private property in all its forms in order to produce the best products for “the people”. Not for profit, but for “the greater good”. Free Market competition cannot exist without the rule of law. Without the rule of law, there are no rules, and the Free Market dissolves into anarchy and turf wars without that level playing field.

    • Patents should not be confused with the ridiculous state of copyright law which extends much further than it should. Nor should patents in general be confused with software patents which are being heavily abused.

      Patents exist for society, not the inventor. If the inventor is not protected then he won’t invent stuff and society loses out. Without patents most of at least many modern medication would not exist.

      But it is a balancing act. A rifle should not be protected for 50 years. It would hold back innovation and society would lose out. Heck, if rifles were patented for 50+ years, the AK-47 would probably never have been invented.

  • Matt Groom

    Agreed. Copyright law is in need of reform, and software patents are goofy, which is why I use mostly open source stuff. I only pay for software that I’ve used for free for an extended period of time that I know works.

    But the best way to better society is to protect the individual and not the collective. Nobody is advocating patents exist indefinitely, but they do need to exist for a long enough period that a productive inventor can benefit. 20 years seems fine to me.

    I don’t understand why I can’t download a copy of The True Believer, published 1951, by Eric Hoffer, because there is still a copyright on it, 25 years after his death. Ownership of intellectual property should end when the inventor dies if that property has been held for at least 20 years. Otherwise it should be passed on to the family, but nobody should be able to maintain control over a work of the mind indefinitely.

  • Steve

    Acutally, the Bulgarians built their AK plants back when they were under the Soviet thumb. Funny how the Russians are trying to rewrite history.

  • Isaac

    it’s not that hard to establish that you are the inventor, all you need to do is stick all the details into an envelope and address it to yourself and drop it in the mail, and do not open that envelope until you are in a court of law defending your claim of invention (if someone markets your idea, it’s still slander if they claim to be the inventor). The postmark will serve to establish that you invented it before anyone else did. Otherwise, as long as society values invention useful inventions will be rewarded. If society doesn’t value invention, it won’t be rewarded and invention will wane (or the testing and publication that goes with invention will…. people will still invent, but they won’t bother telling anyone)… if society values invention and fails to reward it, then the consequences are it’s damn problem. The simple fact is that once an idea leaves your mouth and enters my ear it’s as much mine as it is your’s, you have no right to request that “forget” what you said and if you wish to keep your ideas secret, you should of shut up while you where ahead.

    “If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

  • John Callahan

    well its not like the AK-47 was a copy of the Mp-44 or anything…

  • tahDeetz

    The Makarov is basically a ‘pedestrian’ Walther PPK design. The Soviets completely horked the design, just as they did, or are doing, with countless American weapon systems.

    Considering the amount of wonton 3rd world death Russia has propagated with the AK. . .

    . . . don’t color me all broken up over their pissin & scratchin’

    . . . especially considering 9 of 10 times, it’s the U.S. GI that cleans up the mess made w/ the AK.


  • GarryB

    It seems the Russians are evil because they don’t do things like we do, but when they start talking about intellectual property rights they are being silly now too.
    Mention is made of the Concorde and yet they were not the same. I don’t remember canard foreplanes on the Concorde.
    The B-29 and the Tu-4 were very similar… a small price to pay for the Soviets fighting the land war in Europe for you.
    The Sidewinder missile was a gift delivered illegally by the lackeys of the US.
    The Spaceshuttle… well any modicum of understanding about the Buran and the US shuttle will show they are fundamentally different in design and operation. NASA spent 2 billion dollars working with all sorts of external shapes… the Soviets would be idiots to waste money to change it.
    What they did change was that their shuttle was a glider that was launched on a rocket. If need be their shuttle could be taken off and a 100 ton structure could be launched into space on their rocket… that is Mir could have been launched almost in one go.
    In comparison the US space shuttle is an aircraft with 10 tons of engine that is dead weight after lift off. It has an enormous fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters to get it airborne.
    You can’t take the shuttle off because the shuttle is the aircraft.
    But then of course it goes both ways, did the conservative western militaries adopt modern assault rifles because of the MP44 or because of the AK-47? It was clearly the latter.
    The modern IFV is based on the BMP, the F-15 is based on the Mig-25, or what they thought the Mig-25 was. Even the F-22 clearly has the same basic aerodynamic layout as the Mig-25 today.
    The British adopted a LMG based on their standard Assault rifle, much like the Soviets did with their RPK. There is a heavy barrel M16 for the same purpose but it never entered US service. The US went with a 5.56mm calibre FN Minimi… a new concept in LMGs where a weapon with a removable barrel that could use standard mags and belt feed revolutionised small arms design… except it is only good for short range because the 5.56mm round is a little pathetic compared to a real round.
    The RP-46 was 7.62 x 54mm calibre and had a removable barrel and could use a pan magazine or belt feed. It was replaced by the RPD and then the RPK.
    Even the Mk-19 40mm grenade launcher the US invented is a bit like the 40.6mm Taubin grenade launcher the Soviets were experimenting with just before WWII to replace their 50mm mortars.
    The French German ANS was going to be a 600kg air launched missile that use combined rocket ramjet propulsion to fly at mach 2 to a range of about 90km. Never got off the drawing board, but the Soviets already had in service the Kh-31, a 600kg air launched missile with combined rocket ramjet propulsion with a range of about 110km against radars and a flight speed of mach 3.
    Damn those commies copy everything.
    Of course the real reason the commies copy everything is because Soviet stuff is secret and by the time it is revealed it seems new while the western equivelent has been in service for some time so it looks like they copied.
    Ignorance is bliss.

  • Realbigo

    On this very site you can see pics of Russian made AK’s w/ composite furniture and what appears to be ACOG scopes. I’m pretty sure none of that is either, real, legitimately licensed, yet here they are complaining about not getting money for weapons they handed out for decades in an effort to topple the very system that they would take money from. On a side note, i think i remember some Vodka producer Buying the rights to use Mikhail Kalashnikov’s name on his Vodka, so he’s hopefully doing ok now

  • GarryB

    And who should they approach to licence composite furniture?
    And because it appears to be an ACOG sight?
    …Are you a Lawyer?
    What a hypocrite you are to complain that he should have no right to intellectual property rights because of the system he worked under.

    It seems the extreme punishment for losing the cold war is that Russia will have democracy imposed upon it.

    Perhaps a few western experts should look up the difference between communism and democracy and a free market economy… they are not mutually exclusive… and of course are ideals that have never been achieved on this planet. A real free market economy cannot have lobbyists like farmers that get enormous subsidies, or trade tariffs… or perhaps bans of imports of particular firearm types from certain countries…

  • Isaac

    a real free market can’t have something so absurd as intellectual property laws…..

  • GarryB

    There is no such thing as a free market otherwise the western world couldn’t have farmers. How could a western farm that has to pay people decent wages afford to get their fruit picked when people in other countries get less than 50 cents a day in wages.
    When one countries dollar is worth 1,000 dollars in another country how can there be a free and open market?
    A free market is a myth that isn’t even worth having unless you want your children to aspire to get a the low paid menial job in your country… someone has to do that work and who is going to pay enough to make a legal resident want to do it?
    I can understand the reasoning behind intellectual property laws but then you look in places like the pharmaceutical companies making trillions and spending millions to get doctors to prescribe their drug rather than the cheap generic drug that solves the same ailment, and then I look at people like Tom Cruise getting 20 million per movie whining about movie pirating and intellectual property rights and I think perhaps if the people on tv and in the movies actually had to get a real job instead of making enormous sums because they look pretty the real world might be a nicer place.
    Life is a lottery and if you don’t buy a ticket you will definitely lose, but not everyone can even get a ticket. Life is not fair.

  • Lumumba

    Garry B, you are quite incorrect on nearly all of your points. The Soviets have long copied almost everything from Americans or the West; they are not known for technological ability and for good reason. The AK47 would certainly have lost any patent infringement suit filed by Hugo Schmeisser; even the STG cartridge, the 7.92×33 that was a cut-down version of the German infantry Mauser round, was copied by the Soviets. They did take the trigger system from the M1 Carbine, and made other arrangements to simplify it for production, since their production facilities and workers are so primitive.

    No one copied the Mig25; there were always stories about how fearsome Soviet planes, or tanks, or guns are, but any time push comes to shove in actual combat it is the schmucks using Soviet gear that get beat down, by the US, or the Israelis, or by any other Western power.

    I’m not going to bother correcting all your other errors, except for the most egregious of all, the idea that letting the Soviets copy our B-29 was a small price to pay for them “fighting the ground war for us”. They weren’t fighting for us; they are the ones who helped arm the Germans in the first place and let them develop weapons in violation of the Treaty of Versaille. Then they reaped their own reward when Hitler invaded them. We saved their ass with Lend Lease and by taking the pressure off during Kursk by invading Italy, but make no mistake, we were the ones saving them. They didn’t help us at all; had we wanted to end the war in Germany, we could have ended it in Aug ’45 the same we ended the war in Japan, without invading.

    We invented a little thing called the “atomic bomb”, and later on we invented the hydrogen bomb. Such things are far above the ability of commies to invent, commies being possessed of merely a low cunning and such is not good enough for higher scientific endeavors. So they had to steal those bomb designs from the US. That’s just the way it is.

  • GarryB

    Your mistake first of all is to collectivise the west.
    The atomic bomb could not have been created by any one country.
    Without New Zealands Lord Rutherford where would the concept of splitting the atom even come from?
    Without Mendelevs table… called the periodic table in the west, how could scientific progress continue with guesses and individual experiements?

    The first atomic bomb was largely created by the minds of europe with US funds.

    The world has long copied from everyone… the first real machinegun was designed by an American but America didn’t even want it. The British, Russians, Germans, all used it under various names… Maxim or Vickers etc etc.

    The AK-47 used the rotary gas system used on the Tokarev rifle and the whole concept of an assault rifle… ie the combination of moderate range accuracy to battle ranges with the firepower of a submachine gun was pioneered by Federov with his Avtomat of 1916. In fact in recognition of that weapon the word Avtomat in Russia means Assault Rifle.
    What do you think the A in AK-47 or AN-94 or AS stands for?
    The germans adopted Soviet 120mm mortars into service after being on the receiving end of them.
    They copied the use of Rockets for bombardment artillery.
    You say the 7.92 x 33 is a cut down version of the Mauser round… why would the Russians use a cut down version of a Mauser round?
    The 7.62 x 39mm Soviet has no dimensions even similar to the 7.92 x 33mm round.
    Why would they adopt the mechanism of an M1 Carbine when they didn’t have M1 Carbines in production?

    It is a well known fact that the Mig-25 appeared out of the blue for the west and in the rush to beat this superfighter. The fact that they thought the Mig-25 was a superfighter shows their character… Iraq is a threat to the free world, Iran is a threat to the free world, Saddam is a threat to the free world. It seems anything they don’t know much about is a threat to the free world.
    The navy started making the F-111 and if it succeeded as a heavy fighter the airforce was going to get it so the solution was to build a Mig-25 with the best stuff inside it that the US could manage because that must make it superior.
    In the end they found out that the Mig-25 was a specialist interceptor and recon aircraft, but it was too late… they had already copied the idea.

    And you are right in the sense that the use of Soviet gear has been repeatedly tarnished by idiots who don’t know how to use it properly.
    Of course the Serbs in Kosovo showed how an old Soviet air defence system could work for 74 days and remain largely intact. If they had weapons that weren’t from the 1960s like S-300 they would have taken NATO out of the game.

    The German and Soviet cooperation in developing weapons ended in 1933 when hitler took power. The Treaty of Versaille created the perfect conditions for WWII. If the Soviets and Nazis were such mates then why on Earth would they need a NON AGGRESSION Pact?
    Does the US and UK have such an agreement?
    The West was happy to let the Soviets fight 3/4s of the German land forces for most of the war and as a result the casualty figures clearly show who paid most to win the war. At the time America was grateful.
    Now it has fallen to its own propaganda… America invents everything, America won everything, America is perfect. (And they get that impression because America wrote history for Americans via hollywood and TV).

    The Germans were at Moscows gates in December in 1941. The US didn’t even agree to Lend lease till about that date. The Soviets stopped and dealt with the German Army. Lend lease was material sold to the Soviets and is pretty much no different from the US getting small arms ammunition for Iraq and Afghanistan made in Russia. It is trade, bought and paid for.

    The first soviet nuclear bomb largely was based on work in the US by a largely international team of scientists including French and Norwegian scientists and mathematicians from all over the world.
    The Soviet hydrogen bomb was a Soviet design that was actually a compact and very efficient design that could be used as a weapon as it was. The first US hydrogen bomb was a building that was no where near being a weapon.

  • Guys, remember: Firearms Not Politics.

  • Isaac

    “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
    — Albert Einstein

  • Lumumba

    Fedorov tried to make a weapon based on the 6.5 Arisaka around, but it was a failure of course, due in part to the Soviet political system, which, no surprise, they had copied from Karl Marx. Another problem was the lack of skilled workers. The Soviet weapons had to be easily made by slave labor, which was the basis of the communist system, and that is why they copied the simpler American trigger and rotary bolt systems from the M1 carbine and M1 Garand. The Tokarev was far too unreliable to be used as the basis even for a Soviet weapon.

    The M16 was not a response to the AK, or it would have been poorly made and fired a cut-down version of the US main rifle round, the 30-06 or 7.62×51, the way the AK copied the Stg44 by cutting down the Soviet 7.62×54 the way the Stg cut down the Mauser round to the Kurz version. Instead, the M16 went to the high-velocity small caliber 5.56, which, of course, the Soviets later aped when they came out with the AK74 in 5.45. The other major difference is in sights and employment; the US is much more a believer in individual aim and the M16 is employed primarily in semi-auto, and we qualify at 200, 300 and 500 meters with the M16. The AK will not hit targets at 500m. The AK is designed for units that fight with a mob-mentality, like the winged monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.

    You are correct that the history of technology is an aggregate of humanity’s knowledge, but as far as advances, the copying and stealing of ideas between the West and the Soviets has long been running as a one-way street, with the West inventing and the Soviets copying, or trying to copy as much as their limited technological ability allowed. No country on earth could have made the atomic bomb, unless they had the huge amount of money and skilled technicians to do it. There was only one country that managed that, and 70 years later very few countries can do it today, even with all the advances in technology since then. Look at Iran, for example.

    The US developed and used the atomic bomb, and the hydrogen bomb. The USSR stole the design for the atomic bomb from the US, and most of their information for hydrogen bombs was obtained by espionage, not research. The US was the first to detonate a thermonuclear device, and even the one you mentioned that Sakharov designed was not a true thermonuclear. Even when the Soviets finally copied one of ours to make a real one, it was only 1.5 megatons, compared to the 15 megaton the US detonated more than a year prior.

    Rocket launchers were not a Soviet invention. They were in use for centuries before WWII and the British even used them against the US in 1812. Even in WWII, the Germans were the first to use rocket launchers, and employed their Nebelwerfers before the first Katyusha was fired against them.

    The Soviet Socialists were sending their friends the National Socialists food and raw materials for war well after the two socialist dictatorships had partitioned Poland, right up to the start of hostilities. Soviet supply trains passed German armored columns on the border going the other way when the Germans turned on their ally and invaded.

    The Germans got a late start for Moscow, several months late, because they had to deal with the Greeks and British first. This put them in a bad position with regard to weather; had they started on time, they’d have easily taken Moscow before the snow. As it was, they still could have beaten their socialist comrades, were it not for the West. The Soviets were unable to make enough radios or field phones, so they couldn’t even coordinate a modern armored offensive. The Soviets couldn’t even refine aviation gas for high-performance fighters, and had to rely on the West for that. What they did have was a huge supply of peasants and a reckless disregard for expending them, which led to the huge body counts. The US, even when surprised by German offensives, as at Bastogne, was technologically proficient enough to maintain even KIA/POW ratios, despite the fact that untrained, green troops took the brunt of the German assault.

    The Soviets DID NOT pay back any Lend Lease material. That’s the huge difference, not to mention the fact that buying small arms ammo from a vendor is quite different from having another country give you communications gear and advanced airplane fuel that you can not produce yourself.

    The Serbs showed that they could stand up to some of the Western European countries, who made no serious move against them. Then they proved wrong the old adage that a war can not be won by air power alone, as an air attack broke them from the sky in a little more than two months. The MiG’s were crushed, being as they were worthless junk, and only two NATO jets were shot down, both by ground fire, which gave the Serbs a little less than one kill per month average. Hardly impressive. Then again, none of the NATO planes were copies of MiG25’s or 29’s or any of the other backward technology that is feared only by the crowds at international air shows, due to the design’s distressing tendency to drop from the sky on spectators.