What Russian Guns Can Legally Be Imported?

As I am sure you are aware, the latest round of US sanctions targeting the Russian defense industry included Concern Kalashnikov and any companies Concern Kalashnikov has business interests in. In 2010 civilian exports to the USA accounted for approximately 30% of Kalashnikov’s sales. I would not be surprised if, as of last week, the number was above 50% of total sales. These sanctions are going to hurt the already struggling company.

Before the sanctions, back in November 1997, Russia and the USA had come to a trade agreement where Soviet-era defense-related sanctions were lifted but only certain civilians firearms were allowed to be imported.

The allowed firearm list (part of the amendments to 27 CFR 47.52) included historic weapons, such as the Mosin Nagant, and guns manufactured by Izhmash, Molot, Tula (Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod / TOZ) and Baikal (Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod / IZH). Since then Izhmash took control of Molot through legal action and later merged with Baikal/IZH and became Concern Kalashnikov.

Here is the list, excluding historical firearms, showing which are still allowed into the USA and which are not …

[xyz-ihs snippet=”SanctionStyle”]

Firearm Legal to import Manufacturer
(I) TOZ 35, .22 caliber Target Pistol. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(X) TOZ 18, .22 caliber Bolt Action Rifle. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(Y) TOZ 55. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(Z) TOZ 78. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(C) IZH 35M, .22 caliber Target Pistol. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (Through IZH)
(A) BARS-4 Bolt Action Carbine. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(B) Biathlon Target Rifle, .22LR caliber. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(D) CM2/SM2, .22 caliber Target Rifle No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(H) IZH-94. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (through IZH)
(I) LOS-7 Bolt Action Rifle. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (Through IZH)
(AA) Ural Target Rifle, .22LR caliber. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(BB) VEPR rifles No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (Through Molot)
(T) Saiga rifles No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov

Parts kits or other creative ways around the ban will not be legal. If Concern Kalashnikov manufactured the part it cannot legally be imported.

I do not expect these sanctions to be lifted anytime soon. There will be no political pressure from the NRA or NSSF. Decades after the Chinese import-ban, Norinco products are still not allowed into the USA.

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.


  • This is a whole bunch of crap.

    • John

      I know, TFB was hyped for months about the new company, and now its all down the drain…. even in the unlikely chance the sanction is lifted, Concern Kalash would probably be long bankrupt and gone =/

      • ALTAC6

        If Concern Kalashnikov goes bankrupt, then the sanction wouldn’t need to be lifted. Concern Kalashnikov is sanctioned specifically by name (along with other companies that are part of Russia’s state owned industry), not a blanket ban on Russian made firearms like the Norinco ban was.

        It’s also comprehensive on anything Concern Kalashnikov makes, not just guns. Automotive components, tooling, cable television devices and services, all of these are other things that Kalashnikov (through subsidiaries) are involved in, and all of these are prohibited from being purchased and brought into the USA as well.

      • Zach

        Just because US has a sanction on them doesn’t mean they will go bankrupt… we are not the only country they import weapons to, that and I would bet most of their profits come from military contracts

        • Michael Bergeron

          The US was the bulk of their company sales, and that would be almost entirely civilian.

    • James Young

      Could the next president lift the ban? Hopefully the company lasts that long.

    • Brandon Cord Bradshaw

      So was invading another country, sealing part of it. Shooting down an airliner.

      • Yep.

      • Max Glazer

        Ummmm no. Russians didn’t shoot it down. Watch less CNN/Fox/MSNBC

        Its long ago been proven that “intercepts” are a manufactured lie that was made a day prior to downing of MH17.
        TO learn how to operate Buk-M missile system takes months and requires people with a degree to use.
        Ukrainian Buk-M were stationed in the area.
        Ukrainian fighter was seen flying within 5km away of MH-17 and only 500 meters below.

        Do you have factual irrefutable proof that it was Russian forces that did it or do you rely on US media and Jen Psaki together with John Kerry? Biggest liars in the world. If not then you are little more then yet another mislead person.

        Russians didn’t invade Crimea. They merely made sure that the same neo-nazi revolutionaries didn’t create another Maidan in Sebastopol. And it was mostly people themselves who drove those “Right Sector” and “Svoboda” militants away.

        96% of population voted to join Russia and not stay with a bunch of neo-nazis whom Washington supports. That in contrast to less then 50% coming to Ukrainian and also US elections

        • Tangodown

          Are YOU serious? Watch less of ANY major news organization in this country..? I would agree, DON’T watch CNN. A bogus/faux “news” channel ‘wishing’ it was credible. But to say “don’t watch” any news in this country…geez, that’s why people ARE as apathetic as they are. Either they don’t care OR they watch the wrong hogwash/make-it-up-as-you-go B.S.spewed as news. Having to do with the actual topic though, IF Russia didn’t shoot down that MH 17 flight, WHO did? Certainly not someone with Russia’s interest at heart right? Nobody else has an interest in KILLING anybody else IN THAT REGION except Russian forces OR Russian-BACKED forces. MY gosh, Putin didn’t invade Crimea either I guess?

          • Max Glazer

            Of course I’m serious. Considering that they are are a bunch of arrogant liars that twisted facts so badly that even Goebbels would be proud on ALL wars USA was involved in I’d say they should be shut down and thrown in jail for deliberate public misinformation. Russia was the LAST country interested in shooting down a plane full of civilians over Ukrainian territory. And it is also a last country that wants even less stability at its borders. It has NOTHING to win by doing so. Do you really think that he would want to kill a whole lot of people that are totally unrelated to the Ukrainian conflict? Putin, former clandestine operative and a former vice-chief of KGB station in East Berlin, is WAY smarter then you guys give him credit for.

            Who shot it down? Either one of the Ukrainian military or the anti-East-Ukrainian militias that are controlled by Igor Kolomoyskiy a neo-nazi oligarkh that holds an own private army. Russian military has produced satellite images that show a number of Ukrainian Buk-M1 SAM sites, satellite images of Lugansk and Donetsk regions where no SAM TELAR/TELs were present, provided ESM telemetry that detected BUK-M1 radar systems work in the region and also provided radar telemetry that shows that a Ukrainian fighter/attack plane less then 3 miles away from MH-17. For R-60 missile this is a Guaranteed Interception range.

            Where are the indisputable evidence that A) Russia indeed supplies the anti-Kiev militia with equipment, B) trains them, C) has had a direct hand in this disaster? We all have 100% proof that USA were instrumental in the violent revolution in Kiev when Yanukovich was overthrown. Nuland and McCain are proof. So is CIA chief sitting in Ukrainian presidents chair during a meeting and so is Ukrainian Security Service chief being a US citizen.

          • James Young

            Probably just an accident. Likely no one “meant” to down the plane unless they want to blame it on the other side which is difficult to do with modern technology and spy satellites. No country has provided serious proof of who shot down the plane which is unusual since you’d think Russia, the US, and others should have overwhelming evidence of what happened.

            My guess is that the rebels shot it down thinking it was a Ukrainian military transport/bomber which makes sense considering the place is a war zone and was reportedly escorted by Ukrainian fighter jets coming from the western part of the country. No one is talking about the responsibility that Malaysian Airlines bares for flying their planes over war zones to save a few bucks. Do they fly over Syria? Iraq?

            Does TFB talk about tanks, rocket trucks, artillery, and other vehicle mounted guns that would be interesting now that wars are breaking out in modern countries instead of the middle east.

  • Vhyrus

    Oh well, so much for that Vepr 12 I was gonna buy. Guess I’ll pick up a mossberg 930 instead.

    • Rey

      Anything in inventory that is fully paid for and in stock should be still for sale, right?

      • John Kelly

        Yes as I understand it. But the prices will be ridiculous.

    • Catamount fury is still available and I look for aftermarket companies to start supporting it.

  • Carvey

    Sooo, if a company make a copy of the banned weapon will it be legal to sell it? And i don’t think america is a freedom country anymore with this law.

    • Tim U

      Yes, as long as the parts themselves were not made in Russia. If you set up a plant and made 100% US made parts (or even imported some parts from countries other than Russia), you could produce exact copies of these.

      • J.T.

        There is probably a party going on at Arsenal right now.

      • -V-

        More specifically, as long as the parts were not made by a Russian company named in this trade embargo. If say a non-name Russian company pops up and starts making parts kits, they are A-OK, as long as Kalashnikov Concern has no ownership in said company.

        • Dan

          And if said no name company doesn’t have any business with the Russian Military and isn’t state owned it should be fine as well

  • Dan

    “There will be no political pressure from the NRA or NSSF.” Why not?

    • Tim U

      Because the most they will do is report it, and say “see, give us money because Obama is trying to take the rest of your guns.”

    • allannon

      Because the media would crucify them over it. “NRA supports Russian military industry”, or something to that effect.

    • aweds1

      Because this is part of a larger Executive Order leveling sanctions on Russian oil, gas, and financial companies. “Russia” as an economy is the target. Russia doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot to offer the world in exports except petroleum and guns. I don’t like it, but I also don’t see this as specifically targeting just Concern Kalashnikov. Given that a civilian airliner just got shot down over Ukraine, having the NRA or NSSF start politicking for AKs would be politically dumb.

    • T

      Because, IMO, the NRA is primarily concerned with helping it’s corporate partners / benefactors sell guns. If the demand for guns stays level then consumers could buy similar products from an American company instead of a Russian company. But since the banning of guns or banning of import of guns creates uncertainty and sometimes panic the demand rises. In the long run this is going to help the NRA sell more American guns so I see no reason why they would be against it.

    • bucherm

      (1)It’s part of a larger set of Sanctions against Russia, and after their lackeys shot down that airliner yesterdya, good luck convincing people it’s a bad idea not to have levied the sanctions.

      (2)The NRA and NSSF have strong symbiotic relationships with domestic gun makers. No one is going to shed too many tears over a cheaper quality competitor suddenly being locked out of the US market.

    • Because it falls under neither of their mandate. The NSSF looks out for interests of the US industry (and only a few domestic companies are affected) and since its geo-politics, not domestic gun control per se, the NRA go anywhere near it.

  • Doops

    Oh god even the Veprs are out? I’m glad I got one before this hit. Sad I won’t be able to get more though.

    • MrTorben

      All Vepr 12 on the US market sold within 24 hours, if they were at or below MSRP.

      It took me hours to find one, so I could feel better about a Saiga panic buy ;p

  • nick

    I guess it is time to buy a vz58

    • Cymond

      Why? They’re not manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern.

      • SM

        They won’t be priced at scalping levels.

        • Cymond

          Ok, that makes sense. I took it like “Time to buy one while I still can”. To me, the time to buy a Saiga was before this news went viral. The time to buy a vz58 will be next week when Saigas are unobtainable without a 300% markup (or buy a vz58 now, just because they’re arguably superior and should have been your first choice to begin with).

  • aweds1

    Arsenal and Century Arms will be happy.

    • asdf

      About as happy as the next guys in line for the showers at Auschwitz.

  • allannon

    If another manufacturer licensed a prohibited design, would the licensed items be legal to import, I wonder?

  • 9milliliter

    Can you please provide a source where it specifically states weapons banned?

  • J.T.

    Fuck. I didn’t realize Molot had been taken over by Izhmash.

    • Izhmash sued them, claiming they were making AKs without licensing the technology … it was a BS case. Both were state owned Soviet organizations. Izhmash won and Molot could not pay what the judge ordered, so Izhmash took control of Molot.

  • P161911

    Anybody know if Wolf or Tulammo are part of this?

    • Mike

      Wolf is an american company that imports Russian ammunition. I wouldn’t think so given the fact that the US contracts Wolf to send Ak ammo to the Afghanistan Police/Military. Dunno who owns TulAmmo though

  • GR
  • Muaddib

    time to transition to czechnology then.

    • FourString

      *crosses fingers for a Czech AK-107 clone*
      one can wish right T-T

  • Will work for AK’s

    At least we got Romania, Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic, and some others feeding my AK addiction. Thanks allies!

    • Yellow Devil

      Even though I bought a Zastava AKM (mainly for a really good deal), I think I still prefer a Czech vz 58.

  • john huscio

    Would it be possible for them to just form a new company to make aks and ship them in?

    • dan

      They would have to be a completely seperate entity I would think since it affects Concern and all their financial investments. They could however “License” their product under a new name made in a different country but they would have to be completely unrelated on paper.

  • MclarenF1Forever

    Are any of the companies that make/export Russian vodka included? It would be mighty curious if they somehow didn’t make the cut.

  • Kyle

    If Concern Kalashnikov soon to be concerned profits is concerned about profits they should set up a US subsidiary like IWI did. That way they could get around the import laws.

    • -V-

      The problem being that the sanctions ban any business transactions with Kalashnikov concern or any company they have an interest in. Hence by this law it would be illegal for anyone to even sell them the land to build a plant here, never mind buy anything made by them.

      • Kyle

        Well that is unfortunate especially since we could use more jobs in the US. However this is the nature of the current government in the US which is to regulate business out of existence. Even though it hurts them as much as it hurts Kalashnikov Concern and the consumers because that means less tax revenue, Which means no new less lavish vacations for congress and the senate as well as the white house.

        However you are right unfortunately even though technically the government owns the land that is why if you own a house you have to pay property tax on something post purchase that you own…….

        • Sulaco

          Oh as we have seen the thug in the WH and congress will get anything they want and get it first. They are always at the head of the line and can and do just take what they want.

      • What -V- said.

        There is no way to do business with them. There are no loops holes. No judge is going to look kindly on anyone trying to circumvent them.

        • Porty1119

          Now I may be wrong here, but one could possibly buy Kalashnikov products through a third-party in, say, Turkey, and import them from there. I don’t know the exact language we’re dealing with.

          • Michael Bergeron

            It has been done with other things in the past but most of the examples I have are the government subverting their own rules so it might not be ok to do it in this case, I’d suspect that is the case given the lack of Noricos for the past decade or two.

  • big daddy

    I more worried about the ammo. Plenty of nice rifles in Russian calibers. The reasons for this ban are necessary, it has to be stopped, they just brought down a civilain plane.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Yea, I’m sure the sanctions on Russian coal and vodka are happening any day now… Oh wait, no they aren’t.

  • uyu

    I really don’t see why it’s a problem to ban imports from a hostile country. Lifting them when/if relations improve is a related but separate issue.

  • ALTAC6

    Only just noticed the reference to Norinco products at the bottom of the article.

    Here’s some perspective on that: If the NSSF and NRA wanted the Norinco ban to be lifted, it probably would have been.

    Here’s the main thing: Norinco doesn’t contribute to gun rights lobbying. They just don’t. Most of the current AR-15 manufacturers in the USA /DO/ contribute.

    What do you think would happen to a lot of our domestic AR-15 makers if there was a sudden influx of under-$500 Norinco AR-15s (here’s a hint, they practically dominate the AR-15 market in Europe).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see under-$500 AR-15s available, but still. Food for thought.

  • Tom

    I’m actually ok with this, which is a first for me actually. Russia is an enemy as long as it is run by Putin. There are plenty of good quality AKS, of arguably better quality, available to us than siagas and veprs. The money we poor into the Russian defense industry through are purchase of arms, ammo, optical equipment is just used to fund better front line equipment which will in all likely hood be used against us and our allies, never mind innocent children flying at 33,000 feet. Sorry guys its time to take one for the team on this. Go buy a Bulgarian, Polish, Serbian, Czech, Romanian AK if you need one.

    • Porty1119

      Russia is less of an enemy of the US than the current administration.

  • Cymond

    “Parts kits or other creative ways around the ban will not be legal. If Concern Kalashnikov manufactured the part it cannot legally be imported.”
    Wait, I’m confused. I thought “the US Department of Commerce has banned all financial transactions with Izhmash & Kalashnikov Concern.” But now you’re saying that American companies cannot import any part manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern, regardless of the supplier?
    Seriously, could a different foreign country buy parts from Kalashnikov and resell them to the US at a mark-up?
    And what does this mean for Baikal air rifles?

    • Tom

      I would speculate that whilst the sanctions target financial transactions they also name specific products or items which can not be imported. So basically no US bank will issue a letter of credit for trade with the sanctioned companies effectively preventing the financial transaction. and even for a cash buyer who can operate outside of a US controlled bank there is no way to clear the Russian made items through Customs.

      Going via a third country could conceivable work but I doubt any one wants to test that in court. And in any case surely which ever Gov dept that authorises imports of arms, parts or duel use items et al would simple refuse to issue the necessary permits.

      • M

        Norinco circumvents their ban by working through IAC and Turkey, two middle men.

        The IAC Regent 1911 is otherwise known as a Norinco 1911
        The IAC 1897, a otherwise known as a norinco 97TW

    • I am not a lawyer, but this is how I interpret it.

      Otherwise a sanction could easily be circumvented by adding one or two middle men.

      • ALTAC6

        In the letter and spirit of the law, your interpretation is correct. In practice, it is much less simple.

        The tricky part is actually proving the parts come from Kalashnikov Concern. It wouldn’t take a genius to see an influx of AK parts from another country and go ‘it’s a Kalashnikov loophole’, but it MUST be demonstrated with empirical as well as circumstantial evidence.

        The only way to do that is to conduct a State Dept. audit, which is easy to do on the importer, but as long as the importer has no knowledge of the parts coming from Kalashnikov Concern (and it is remarkable how easy it is to be willfully ignorant of things like this and still operate as a business), that’s a dead end.

        That just leaves State Dept audit of the items at their source, which can literally be impossible depending on what country they are coming from, and the trade agreements that the USA has with that country.

  • Zachary marrs

    They can block all the imports of .22’s they want. Joke’s on them, I couldn’t shoot them anyways

  • spencer60

    I don’t agree that this ban will be in place forever.

    First of all, the Chinese (Norinco) ban had Congressional support, and at least some of the language was written as law, not an executive order.

    Secondly, this is not specifically just a ban against one company or one product like the Chinese bans were. There are lots of non-defense firms listed, and they will eventually settle all this and the bans against them will be lifted.

    If the ban is only left in place against Kalashnikov, but lifted against the other firms, you may very well see the NRA, GAO, or other groups fight it, since then you are singling out firearms.

    And of course that will depend on who is in the Oval Office when the ban is lifted as well.

    • FourString

      “And of course that will depend on who is in the Oval Office when the ban is lifted as well.”

      Highly doubt that. Russian firearm sales are not in America’s interests, regardless of who POTUS is. Why support Russians when you can support American firearm industries instead? No incentive for any party whatsoever, especially in light of the recent atrocity committed by Russian-backed forces.

  • KansasGunner

    So what happened to “Guns, not politics”?

  • Heroes Tactical

    Be on the lookout for more Executive Orders like this to fly as he nears the end of his presidency. Feinstein already has a bill that will ban imports on everything that could possibly be conceived as a “Military Style” weapon that can be converted to shoot more than 10 rounds. However, he’s not going to need Congress. He’ll do it by himself.


  • Bubba

    Well….as you all whine just accept that your “king” has spoken. This ban on Russian products is another abuse of executive power by the illegal obama. You ain’t seen nothing yet. In case you don’t understand , Made in Russia or Made in USA, they’re still your guns. What will you do when rhe imperial bastard writes an executive order banning ALL firearms in the USA ?

    • Robert Thorne

      As much as a grudgingly admit it, interstate commerce and foreign imports fall right into the respective powers of the executive branch. While I do not think we should give up the fight what Obama did was pretty above board for once.

  • paul

    Thanks a lot comrade obummer! ‘All I can say is we saw this crappla coming and all 310 million of us just sat around and did nothing’ very bad mistake ‘we only have our selves to blame !

  • Thomas Paul Telles II

    New for 2015 the Tula Saiga (crosses fingers).

  • El Duderino

    Looks like Vepr and Saiga need to open up US manufacture. I for one would love to get a Vepr Hunter in .308 or 7.62x54R, made in the USA is a nice bonus.

  • NZlongRange

    This sanction is yet another tightening of the thumb screws to remove more new guns from the hands of legal gun owners in America and has nothing to do with the Ukraine (Please consider carefully what Russia could possibly gain from destroying a civilian aircraft flying over the disputed territories and how quickly the “intercepted phone call” was available)

    As firearms owners we are passionate about our rights and yet no matter how vocal we are these intrinsic rights are constantly being infringed and trampled upon. what this move truly represents is an attack on us and yet somehow the response is to throw up our hands and say “ah well there are other companies to buy from” I am not an American (and thus some of you may automatically disregard my statements) but I am a firearms owner and passionate advocate for the right to own firearms and the basic human right to defend life and liberty.

    For those of you who see this as an attempt to stifle Russian progress or as punishment for a perceived attack you have just played right into the hands of those who want your passion and anger directed everywhere but at those truly responsible. for those of you who blame to man who signed his name on the dotted line you have fallen for another trick. Blaming the public relations front man of a much much larger company.

    I have been reading TFB since its inception and have always been impressed with the quality of commentary and hope this is representative of the men and women whose nation I hope one day to join but please dont fall for the traps that the rest of us are now battling to get out of.

  • /k/ommando

    Does this affect any patent enforcement stuff on the part of Kalashnikov? I’d imagine that since they’re embargoed they wouldn’t be able to sue US gunmakers for blatantly copying their products.

    • cbunix23

      Those are separate issues, theoretically Kalashnikov could still sue for patent infringement, trade dress, and other things. I have no idea if they have any intellectual property on their products.

  • Bryan K

    I’m a bit confused… this is the list of banned firearms from the 90s, where is the updated list?

  • Bill Carson

    How are Chinese SKS and Mosin M44 rifles getting into the country?

    • cbunix23

      The recent Chinese SKSs imported into the US were allowed because they were not in China for many years before importation. They are very old, not new production.

  • cbunix23

    No more Kalashnikov vodka then?

  • zeus234

    The whole let’s ban Kalashnikov’s is a phony way for this administration to further the gun control agenda.Firearms imported from Russia don’t even make the list of the top 10-15 things. Do you think the big shots are going to go without their vodka and caviar? Also if things went back to normal and all sanctions lifted, does anyone really believe the Kalashnikov ban would be lifted? That’s easy. NO! I imagine Putin’s laughing his ass off.