Kalashnikov Rebrands

Screen shot 2014-12-03 at 7.12.22 PM

A number of news sources (BBC, The Guardian, Moscow Times, and RT) have reported that arms maker Kalashnikov, Baikal, and Izhmash, sub divisions of Kalashnikov Group, have changed their brand logos as unveiled at an industrial meeting in Moscow. The change seems to be apart of a broader spectrum of changes to reintroduce Kalashnikov firearms as a symbol of peace and stability in the world. This is also the second time in almost a year that the company has changed it’s logo or brand name.

The Guardian says-

Equipped with a shiny new logo, shrugging off US sanctions and claiming its guns are “protecting peace”, the Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov launched a major rebranding drive in Moscow on Tuesday.

Kalashnikov Concern, a new overarching brand that includes the famed assault rifles as well as hunting and sports weaponry, paid a leading Russian agency to design a new brand and renew its worldwide image

Concern-Kalashnikov-logo-400x132

The original Kalashnikov Concern logo  (Although still used on the official website)

Screen shot 2014-12-03 at 7.12.22 PM

The new logo, which is supposed to look like a C over a K, along with representing the receiver with a magazine inserted and the curved lines being the ribs of the magazine.

logo_npo

The most recent Izhmash logo before Izhmash became part of Kalashnikov

Izhmash

The new Izhmash logo.

The Moscow Times reports that the recent sanctions against Russia have hit the company pretty hard-

Inconsistent Russian military orders and greater domestic competition have in recent years forced Kalashnikov Concern to look abroad for customers to keep its production lines running and staff employed.

Eighty percent of Kalashnikov’s civilian weapons are exported, and under a distribution deal signed last year 200,000 rifles were supposed to go to the U.S. — the world’s biggest market. Kalashnikov currently produces around 150,000 civilian weapons annually, showing the scale of its U.S. ambitions.

But these plans were cut short this summer, when the U.S. slapped sanctions on Kalashnikov to punish the Kremlin for its actions in Ukraine. The move killed the company’s U.S. expansion plans, and an EU arms embargo installed in July then froze Kalashnikov out of the European market.

“The U.S. market was very important for us,” Kalashnikov CEO Alexei Krivoruchko said at the press conference, where the struggling arms manufacturer presented a new branding and development strategy through 2020.

5510-kalashnikov-2

Part of the new branding for Baikal, aimed at hunters while the Izhmash brand is focused more on target shooters

This video is all in Russian but shows the development of various influential soviet small arms, culminating in the AK47 and its presence today through Kalashnikov Concern products.

A separate video released by the company without dialogue showing the tactical appeal of the Kalashnikov. As has been mentioned previously on TFB, it is interesting to note the sheer amount of tactical gear and equipment that is Western in origin, from the Mechanix gloves to the Norotos helmet mounts and EOTechs. The end quote is translated as-  Kalashnikov: promoting peace and calm.

Screen shot 2014-12-03 at 7.03.25 PM

The methods of operating the charging handle on AK platforms is up for much debate in the training world in the United States, but it is worthy of note that within the video from the company, the actor goes for the under the stock reach of the handle. Not that this is Russian AK doctrine, but it is from the source of the maker.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


Advertisement

  • Zachary marrs

    I give up.

    What was wrong with izhmash?
    No lets change names every 6 weeks

    • andrey kireev

      Izhmash is still izhmash…. Kalashnikov concern is a coalition of manufacturers, including izhhmash.

    • Ethan

      Kind of like Freedom Group vs Remington vs Remington Military – same main group, different tiers. (I think)

  • noguncontrol

    promoting peace and calm? how about fighting for freedom and defense of Christianity? that sounds better, and suits Russia better.

  • USMC03Vet

    Russia just recently made it legal to own firearms for self defense. They are going to get a domestic market finally.

    • Ethan

      Sort of… I’m no expert but from what I’ve read that only applies to Shotguns and non-lethal ‘pop gun’ pistols. A good step in the right direction though..

  • Zugunder

    I don’t get it, what’s wrong with russians using “tactical gear and equipment that is Western in origin”?

    • Nothing. It’s just interesting given that were alot of Russian pieces of gear in place of the US stuff, but they are preferring to use US stuff.

  • Tim U

    If the sanction targets Kalashnikov concern, does this mean that by rebranding they can subvert it? Or does it follow along anyway?

    • J.T.

      It would still follow.

  • joe schemo

    Wait if Russian aks are banned. Why aren’t we seeing ukarine filling the gap? Are they allow to import arms to the us?

    • Cedar_92

      I think Ukraine uses Russian AK’s from Izhmash

      • MountainKelly

        Well if they can build major aircraft and tanks I’m sure they can handle small arms. Aren’t they due to start production on domestic tavrs soon?

  • MountainKelly

    The tactical aspect makes sense. Russia proper hasn’t had much of a hand in fighting a whole lot of wars since they were in Afghanistan, and the US involvement in low intensity and high intensity conflicts in the last 20 years, plus the huge domestic market, has made huge headway in the design and marketing of products that cater to the tactical needs of military and law enforcement personell (plus, again, civilian market here)

    That being said I’m not surprised at them trying to rebrand themselves. Kalashnikov isn’t just a famous name, it’s infamous. At least in the West, we’ve been bombarded by pictures of Kalashnikovs and the buzzword “AK” in the media for decades.

    • noob

      Russia proper has a doctrine called “secret war” which is intelligence driven and eschews uniforms.

      With the number of secret war going on today (Ukraine being the most visible) I expect they’d have a fair amount of operational experience, but a desire to not talk about it.

      • MountainKelly

        Well to be fair they did have Chechnya I/II and the caucuses.

  • MountainKelly

    also, Baikals are roughly made but they work pretty well. Only side by side rifle to be had for under about $1,500 in the US. Screw regulation