Kalashnikov Legal Shenanigans: Baikal may be coming back to the USA

Last week Kalashnikov Concern claimed that US sanctions were not hurting them and production was up. This dubious claim could only be true if government purchases have been increased (as I predicted they would be back when the sanctions were first announced).

Yesterday Rostec, the giant Russian Government arms manufacturing conglomerate which owns a majority stake in Kalashnikov Concern, announced that Kalashnikov is selling the majority stake in Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, known as Baikal in the West, to businessman Andrei Bokarev.

Kalashnikov Concern was originally created as the result of a merger between the Izhmash and Izhevsk Mechanical Plants. Andrei Bokarev already owned 49% of Kalashnikov. He now also owns 74.9% of Izhevsk Mechanical Plant. The transfer of ownership essentially undoes the merger that originally led to the creation of Kalashnikov. Kalashnikov is now just Izhmash by another name.

Why would Rostec be doing this? I can only think the sanctions have something to do with it. The Baikal manufacturing plant and brand is no longer part of the Kalashnikov Concern and therefor no longer the target of US government and Canadian government sanctions. I am not convinced that the government will be happy with them maneuvering around the sanctions, but they are unlikely to target any new Russian business with sanctions while the Ukrainian situation continues to quieten down. If hostilities resume, expect to find Izhevsk/Baikal alongside Kalashnikov on the State Departments import ban list.

Thanks to Tyler for the tip.

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.


  • Russia Is definitely starting to understand the whole capitalism thing.
    Well done gentlemen.

    • SM

      It almost seems that they’re getting better at it than we (the US) are.

  • USMC03Vet

    TFB you keep toying with my emotions.

    And I keep coming back for more.

    • They are toying with our emotions as well. We are big consumers of guns and ammo ourselves 😉

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Would that mean Baikal products only or would it include the Saiga and Vepr lines as well?

  • derfelcadarn

    Baikal definitely needs to reintroduce the SxS 45-70 rifle

    • Shadow

      I really want a Baikal Drozd Blackbird.

    • iksnilol

      They stopped making them?

      Or did importers just stop importing them into the US?

      • Steve Truffer

        It dissapeared around the time of the merger.dunno if that was from the merger or it was truly dropped

  • Don Ward

    So does this mean I get to still buy new Russian-made AK’s while drinking Russian owned PBR beer?

  • Doopington

    What of my friends at MOLOT?! They tasted the sweet fruit of capitalism by building and selling incredible Veprs to the West. Is there no solace to them (and their 6.5 Grendel Veprs that I saw on vepr.org)?

    • Tim U

      Perhaps they too will be sold off at some point?

    • J.T.

      There is a slim possibility that Molot might have already been pushed out of Kalashnikov Concern (which they didn’t want to join to begin with and were forced to by the Russian Government) and it just wasn’t reported. There are currently Veprs in stock on the Molot USA website with a “New Products For September” heading. That means that either Molot is no longer part of Kalashnikov or they just managed to have a butt-load of guns on the way before the sanctions hit.

      Guns currently in stock as I write this are the VEPR 5.45×39 guns and the VEPR PIONEER – 7.62×39. All others are sold out already.

  • Ken

    More Arsenal SGL’s please.

  • big daddy

    Let’s have peace so I can get more guns and ammo please.

  • Alan Hodges

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Nimrod

    Gun control doesn’t work. LOL

  • rdfcggx

    What effect does this have on the ak-12?

  • dp

    Izhevsk plant had been around long time, primarily making sporting arms such as shotguns and even motorcycles; just like Steyr , CZ or FN.

  • Guido FL

    We Americas want Russian AK’s !