Russian Army Orders AK-74 Upgrade Kits From Kalashnikov Concern

AK Upgrade Kit

During the Army 2015 International Military-Technical Forum in June of this year, Kalashnikov showed off their products, including the AK-12, AK-15, and the new PL-14 pistol. Also present was the new upgrade kit for the AK-74 rifle, but what was missed by almost all Western outlets at the time was that, according to PredatorBDU.com, the Russian Army had already accepted orders of the kits for their rifle fleet:

Concern Kalashnikov has announced their Upgrade Kit for the AK-74M will soon be delivered to Russian Armed Forces and is being presented at the International Military – Technical Forum “Army 2015”, held in Kubinka from June 16-19. The modern rifle equipped with the new Kalashnikov Upgrade Kit can be altered to meet the needs of any tactical problem and expand the potential uses for the firearm.

“We have already completed the first order, and have a contract with the Ministry of Defence for the modernization supply”, said General Director of Concern Aleksey Krivoruchko. “The Upgrade Kit is inherently versatile and can be installed in just 15-20 minutes on any Kalashnikov rifle in service with the army and law enforcement agencies.”

The Upgraded stock and bolt cover, along with modern handguard and forearm with integrated Picatinny rail, as well as an ergonomic fire control can improve handling of the weapons in combat missions for a variety of weather  conditions. Modernization of machines previously issued can be carried out both at industrial enterprises, as well as directly in the armed forces.

For the first time the AK-74M equipped with a new Upgrade Kit, was represented at the parade in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Red Square. The Kit allows a 1.5 times increase in the effectiveness of combat use by the criterion of “the frequency of defeat” at a distance up to 300 meters at any time of day and in different climatic conditions.

Apparently, the AK-12 and possibly also the A545 are to be ordered in small numbers, most likely to incrementally replace the AK-74 as the fleet ages and funding permits, and these upgrade kits will be purchased to modernized the serviceable AK-74s that already exist in inventory.

The upgraded AK-74 was shown off during the Russian Victory Day Parade in May in the hands of Russian troops, but no official word of Army purchase of the kits had yet been announced:



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Kozak Systems

    here is the first sign of sanctions in progress and oil-rubble river drying out. like ak74 in the 90ss never got replaced with AEK or AN same ak74M/100 will not get replaced with AK12/13 or anything else for that matter. upgrades they will have but new gun – unlikely. price to pay for Crimea annexation and spurring the war in eastern Ukraine.

    • Zugunder

      That’s the price not to see mess in Crimea like one in E.Ukraine? So be it.

  • Riot

    Does make the ak12 seem even less attractive an option if they are going to modify existing stocks.

    • One would think so.

    • I think realistically this was always the way it was going to go. I’d expect to see the AK-12 or something like it eventually replace the AK-74, but the process will be slow and we’ll see AK-74s in service for quite some time yet, hence the upgrade kits.

      Russian arms procurement has almost always followed this model in the past.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Russia has no Apple, Ford, McDonald’s, UPS, no good bands and no movies but they have the AK. Very bizarre.
    How can a country that size produce nothing of any value to the rest of the world? Even my vodka is made in Austin now.

    • The Dude

      Nothing of value? No good bands or movies? Perhaps you should step out of your bubble and actually investigate.

      Some of Russia’s exports: Military equipment, heavy machinery, computer programmers, natural gas that fuels Europe. They make lots of stuff with value.

      I’m American but I can’t stand the “Russia is bad” circle-jerk. And BTW, Apple is overpriced marketing hype and McDonald’s aint so healthy.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yes and I’m sure all of those Eastern Europeans are wandering around their homes saying “Hey honey! You feel that heat? It’s the best because it’s Russian!”

        • wolfram

          Eastern Europeans? If you consider Germans and Dutch Eastern European, then yes indeed.

      • KestrelBike

        Politically, Russia is very bad.

        • HenryV

          Politically Russia is Russia.

          • What does this even mean? They have completely changed their governmental structure like 4 times in one lifetime.

          • Paladin

            They’ve changed their entire governmental structure several times over, and it hasn’t fixed the problem, because the problem isn’t just the structure, it’s the people who get in power.

          • HenryV

            That you don’t have the faintest inkling what I am on about and that your comment reveals a high level school of understanding of the topic I think we had better leave it there.

          • Wayne M.

            That apparently proof-reading or American English isn’t your strong point reveals that perhaps you should think twice before berating those whose opinion differs from yours.

            That said, what Russia produces reflects its national culture and priorities, just as what America produces reflects ITS national culture and priorities.

          • HenryV

            It isn’t opinion. Russian power structures have changed in the last 300 years. To simply say the political systems have changed means nothing. Perhaps instead of worrying about Europe should do something about your border with Mexico and do something about the tens of youths who die in your inner cities each week.

            And I said nothing about what Russia makes or doesn’t make.

          • Kivaari

            They make OK rifles, with crude sights and poor fitting optics.

          • crackedlenses

            “Politically Russia is Russia.”

            And considering their recent history that’s not necessarily a good thing, for themselves or for their neighbors.

          • wolfram

            I guess the same can be said about the US. Except instead of the “neighbors” it should be “the world”.

            Different people, different perspectives.

      • They make things of value, and once they have it, they stick to it dammit! The AK? Absolutely. Space rockets? You betcha. Cars? Design is fine!

        • Don Ward

          BMWs are fugly and always have been.

          • no

            Say they’re unreliable, say they’re overpriced, say something besides “they’re fugly and always have been”.

            I don’t own a BMW, but everytime I see a M3/4/5/6, I experience a powerful feeling of lust.

          • iksnilol

            They are unreliable. At least they they require more maintenance. That’s at least what I saw from the BMWs my brother had, then he bought an Audi.

          • 5flytyr .

            Everyone I knew who had one called it the Broke My Wallet Cars…

          • Kivaari

            German cars are very over-rated. People get a boost in status by driving BMWs, because to actually drive them you have to spend a bundle on repairing them. Volvo’s are the same. British Land Rovers and Jaguars are junk compared to most common Chevrolets.

          • Rick5555

            I don’t know, my Mercedes CLS, drives incredibly. And it’s very comfortable too.

          • Kivaari

            They drive fine, they usually have repair issues.

          • iksnilol

            I haven’t heard bad about Chevrolets, haven’t heard too much positive about Fords. Volkswagens and Skodas are good from my experience. One of the best cars IMO is the Caravelle with 2.5 L engine, TDI. We have always had one, very practical. Useful for everything.

          • Don Ward

            Meh. They’re boxy little sedans. If I want an over-priced, unreliable Eurocar, I’m going for something British.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            Like what? We’re not exactly world players in the motor industry.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, he said he wanted an unreliable Eurocar. So Skoda, Volkswagen and Audi is out the window. Maybe he could go for a Cooper? I haven’t seen many of those with high mileages.

          • Anything French, Italian, or British should do.

          • iksnilol

            I never really thought about British cars.

        • iksnilol

          Ladas are good cars. Maybe not “pick up women of dubious morals” good, but good as a workhorse should. In Oslo I saw 4×4 Ladas used as snowmobiles.

          • Tassiebush

            Personally I really want a UAZ van with Trekol tyers

          • iksnilol

            They seem nice, though be careful a bit. Russian vehicles use a decent amount of fuel. like 13-15 liters at 90 km/h for 100 kilometers distance. At least the UAZ does that. Ladas also use a decent amount of fuel. Don’t know if they’ve improved. Only have worked with the older oens.

          • Tassiebush

            I have an 80 series diesel land cruiser as my daily drive which gobbles up about 14 litres per 100km so I wouldn’t be too shocked by that. My biggest obstacle to owning one is that they’ve never been sold here and we drive on the left side of road and a bunch of silly safety and environmental regs block them. I reckon they’d be ideal from a fix it yourself perspective. It’s like having the ultimat car for someone who wants to to be able to do things for them self and not pay for silly tech frills.
            Lada Niva did come here but they suffered from really bad spare parts supply. Apparently lots of counterfeit garbage undermined them. The few owners I’ve spoken to love them heaps though. Tough and well designed. I’m peeved we don’t have access to them.

          • iksnilol

            Did not know that. I don’t really do 4×4 or offroad. I am new to the car game. My car uses 5-7 liters, Just a decent sedan.

          • Tassiebush

            Probably a very smart choice car wise. I fantasize about cheap to run cars. I reckon if you’ve got cool places to access or a need to move stuff then 4×4 is awesome but increasingly it’s hard to find cool places to go at least where I live. Boats on the other hand seem increasingly cool 😉 (I feel like toad from Wind in the Willows)

          • iksnilol

            It was, in spite of being in Norway I don’t really need more than 75 horses.

            Sure, I can’t use it to transport goods and whatnot. But for that, I’ll just borrow a Caravelle from my dad or one of my brothers.

        • I have to wonder if maybe Russian consumers value ubiquity, home maintenance, and parts availability much more than Westerners.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Moon rockets, well… the moon’s overrated anyways. Their space shuttles don’t blow up either, especially since they figured out that the entire concept was pointless and just left them on the ground. And the Tundra satellite program will come online anyd… sometime when the time is right.

          • The N-1 program was not exactly Russia’s finest hour. It is a fascinating example of failure, though.

            But I wouldn’t be so quick to tease a Russian about their space program, or they may just point out that the US currently has no way to send men to space at all, except on Russian rockets.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Well, we could send them now. We’d just prefer to have an orderly, scheduled vetting process to make sure no Dragon V2 capsules have any helium bottles coming loose in the LOX tank of the second stage their riding on. Apparently that’s bad.

          • We could very technically send them now, yes, but my point was he’d be able to tease you right back. 😉

    • Russia is a total waste of space because they don’t have The Dollar Menu or Applesexuals. Got it.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        We can debate the value of those products but you didn’t disprove my argument.

        • Yallan

          Technically U.S is better than Russia, but I’m pretty sure your average Russian could kick the ass of your average American. Which is what counts in the end. Enjoy your future becoming part of Mexico.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            What grade are you in?

          • Ruby Rod

            Probably the same one that teaches the line of thought you came from. We have more radical groups and factions here victimizing/killing average everyday Americans yearly than any other foreign body, yet we do nothing but incite and give voice to those cretins.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            What does this reply have to do with Russian products?

          • crackedlenses

            Would you care to name some of these “more radical groups and factions”?

          • Kivaari

            They are all over the left. BP, NBP, Fierycons group, SDS, SLA, GJB, WU, SDA, NEA, EPA, ATF and on the right (wrong) All the White Power pukes, the KKK, Church of Jesus Christ-Christian and all the remnants from all those groups. Throw in the Puerto Rican bombers, La Raza and other Spanish speaking hoodlums. America is full of ignorant savages on all sides.

          • crackedlenses

            Good list, though I will point out that many of these groups have a relatively low kill count, and the Spanish-speaking hoodlums tend to be imports one cannot blame on American culture.

            How do this make Russia somehow better than us? Do they get to ignore their history while taking potshots at ours? Do they get to rationalize their present trajectory even as we grapple (and kick and scream) with ours? Do they think we are completely ignorant of our problems, or that the solutions to those problems would make them like us any better?

            Just wondering out loud.

          • Kivaari

            I never had said Russians goods are superior to ours. They do deliver us to space, since we chose not to build adequate spacecraft. Russians are not as primitive as many feel. Why do so many people like AKs? Spanish speaking terrorists are US citizens. You do know that Puerto Rican terrorist have shot up congress, killed military men, blown up aircraft and set off more bombs in America (mainland) than almost all the other left wingers.

          • Gabriel Owens

            the US is well known for producing mass murders and rogue policeman. might wanna back down from that statement. ‘MERICA!!!

          • Bal256

            Why? Is it better to just outsource those jobs to foreigners?

          • Kivaari

            Excellent. The dead French police officer voluntarily did not carry a gun. What cop in his right mind would do the job without a pistol?

          • Lets not go there. This website is about mutual interest in firearms and the international audience that shares that interest. We don’t need arguments about who the toughest kid on the block is. Lets drop this line of talk.

          • Kivaari

            I would like to know why Russia has never adopted good sights for combat rifles. Using US Civil War sighting systems seems like they do not want improved performance. Over the last 30 years I saw prototype rifles using them, but none that make it to adoption. Just adding better sights would be the biggest and cheapest way to make a product improved AK. Certainly the receiver cover could be anchored down like the Finns and Israelis.

          • Kivaari

            Remember had the USA not supplied all the weapons and FOOD to the Soviets, they would be speaking German today. We sent billions of dollars worth of aircraft, tanks, and Spam. Read the Soviet era book, “Sentinels of Peace”, where nearly no mention of such aid helped the Soviets “Win the war in the West and East”.

        • Mark

          Frosty did indeed disprove your argument.

          In just a few words, he showed that your puerile argument is based on your slavish and foolish valuation of planned obsolescence, greedy corporatocracy, and culture-destroying media.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Right it’s the medias fault that nobody wants the crappy stuff they make.
            And I can think of a few ten dollar words to describe the Russian leadership. How does corrupt oligarchy sound?

    • PK

      What are you talking about? I’ve been to a McDonald’s in Volgograd. Ford/Sollers sells Fords in Russia, as well.

      And, of course, Apple has sold iPhones and such in Russia for years and years.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I think you missed the point.

    • bsnighteye

      Sorry, pal, but you seem to be misinformed. Yeah, maybe we do not have production of comfortable cars, but we sell reliable helicopters, civilian planes, heavy trucks. Maybe we do not sell smartphones like hot cakes, but we make good space rockets so any country who pays for it could have sattelites and people in space. Maybe we don’t have worldwide cafe brands but (imagine that!) we FEED PEOPLE in many countries, we produce tonns of grain, vegetables, meat and milk and it’s not overpriced. If we do not succeed in something, we succeed in something else. Recently we created our first 28nm 64x Elbrus-8C 8-core processor for servers, it’s not as good as Intel, but IT’S OURS!

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I’m actually not misinformed at all. There is no Russian consumer product that is worth a damn unless you can’t afford the western or Japanese equivalent. Tanks and missiles and grain don’t count.

        • iksnilol

          Psst, industrial optics. LOMO, it’s pretty decent. 😉

    • R-7, Ka-27, RD-170, RD-180, Moscow Subway, T-55, etc, etc.

      Nothing of value? Hmmm… That’s a downright ironic choice of words when the only way US astronauts can get to space is on a 60-year old Russian rocket design, when one of the primary US heavy lift launch vehicles uses a Russian engine, and its successor will use a derivative of that engine…

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        A T-55 battle tank isn’t a consumer item but I’m pretty sure you already know that.

        • Giolli Joker

          That’s a shame and I think we can all agree.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            True, I need one of those to deal with traffic.

      • Joshua

        The issue with the rockets is not that we can’t make them. It’s that no one will approve the funds to make them

        • The funds are already approved, look at CCDev.

        • jcl

          They’re going to change the RD-180 engine with US made engine, possibly Aerojet AR-1 engine.

          • I think that’s unlikely; I think Atlas V will live and die with RD-180. Also, I am given to understand that the rudiments of domestic production for RD-180 have already been set up, but that a US RD-180 would not be anywhere near as cost-effective as a Russian one.

          • jcl

            You might be right about Atlas V keeping the RD-180, but the succesor to Atlas V (possibly Vulcan rocket) will use new engine being developed by Blue Origin, with AR-1 and locally produced RD-180 as possible back up.

          • jcl

            You might be right about Atlas V keeping the RD-180, but they decided it’s succesor (possibly Vulcan rocket) will use new engine being developed by Blue Origin with AR-1 and locally produced RD-180 as back up options.

          • Oh yeah, that’s what I expect will happen, but it’s not because RD-180 is a bad engine, far from it.

          • jcl

            Back in May 2015 Aerojet Rocketdyne and a consortium of companies were seeking license production or rights to the Atlas V to manufacture their own version using the AR-1 engine in place of the RD-180. There haven’t been new whether ULA accepted it.

    • Greg

      The music of Tchaikovsky is still beyond popular. Russian literature is some of the best in the world. Dostoyevsky is without question one of the greatest writers ever. The satellite is a russian invention. Tang is delicious. Vodka even the television is a russian invention. Ya I didn’t believe it at first either but do some research. It’s development was almost all due to russians like Nipkow, Boris Rosing and Zworykin. Your ignorance is the result of an old propaganda war. One that seems to be gaining new life. It is sad really.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Many people here seem to be missing the point.
        Let’s try something different: Make me a list of the items in your house that were made in Russia that are not weapons or literature.
        I’m going to assume you are not a Russian citizen living in Russia.

        • A similar list of items made in the USA would be pretty short for most people, too.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Jeez man, now I think you’re being purposely obtuse.
            Do you own any Russian watches, tv’s, microwaves, furniture or clothes? Or do you only buy their tanks and rocket engines?
            You guys can keep at it if you want but nobody here can or will make an argument for Russian superiority in consumer goods.

          • Do you own any American watches, TVs, microwaves, furniture, or clothes?

            It’s an honest question. I suspect the vast majority of our watches, TVs, microwaves, furniture, and clothes are all foreign-made and American-branded. So all that says is that American companies are better at branding for American consumers. Du-doyee, of course they are. Not only do they share cultural touchstones with Americans, but they’re also just better at branding in general.

            Thing is, have you ever even used any Russian consumer goods? If the answer is “no”, why is that? If the answer is “yes”, what did you think of them?

            I’m not saying their stuff is great (some of their stuff is great, but I don’t have that much experience with their consumer goods for probably much the same reason you don’t, if you don’t), but the Russian-bashing for the sake of it gets old.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            First, saying that a country makes inferior consumer goods when it’s the truth isn’t bashing.
            I don’t own any Russian goods and wouldn’t know where to buy a Russian microwave if I wanted to. Now is that because of some vast conspiracy? Or is it because they suck?
            Whether anyone likes it or not American products, clothes, music and culture in general are sought after world wide.
            I’m actually planning a trip to St. Petersburg next year and I’m sure I will see many amazing works of art and beautiful scenery and will not be returning with any watches or cameras.

          • Mark

            How sad. Will Pharaoh build a pyramid to house his shiny toys for the after-life?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yep and I’ll be buried in my Dallas Cowboys helmet with a Big Mac in one hand and an M-16 in the other.

          • Mark

            Ahhhh… all the best that the USA has to offer. Okaaaaay. Have a nice life.

          • crackedlenses

            As if the Russians have much more to offer….

          • I spent a few minutes googling and was unable to turn up any US made microwaves. Ditto for TV’s.

            Additionally, all of the US brands (other than Zippo, bless them) that are widely sought after abroad are made abroad:

            Nike, Converse, Levis, Apple, Abbercrombie, Addidas, being the first that come to mind as coveted abroad, all made in China.

            As for watches, there are a few boutique US models, but nothing on a global scale comparable to Cassio, Timex, Swatch, etc.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The problem with that premise is that workers salaries keep going up in China, making it less & less attractive for keeping production there. The only other real candidate for factory nation status, India, is a hopelessly disorganized mess. Many international companies are beginning to move production of consumer goods like appliances & electronics back to the U.S. because it’s simply more profitable to do so. Cheap textiles are going to stay a developing world product for the foreseeable future though.

          • So you don’t have any experience with Russian goods, but you’re sure the country produces nothing of value (your words). Got it.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Again, if you or anyone else can tell me about a Russian product that you own and find superior to western offerings let me know.

          • I just told you about a bunch. Sorry you can’t afford a helicopter.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I’m sorry too but we both know I’m not talking about helicopters, dude.

          • OK, so here’s my current understanding of your point:

            You acknowledge that Russia can make good tanks, helicopters, rockets, aircraft, etc, etc, but you’re sure their consumer goods are garbage and that they “produce nothing of value to the rest of the world”. You also admit you’ve never owned any Russian products nor have even heard of any Russian consumer brands.

            Do I have that right?

            So if Russia can make a good, oh, I dunno, gearbox for a coaxial helicopter, and given that you have exactly zilch experience or even awareness of Russian consumer products, what makes you think their consumer products are crap?

            Now, I don’t know what their consumer products are like, and I’m leaving it at that; “I don’t know”. My point is that you’re reflexively bashing Russia when you have no reason to do so, just because you can. See: “Russia produces nothing of value to the rest of the world”.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Ok maybe I should have worded that differently but I know of nothing outside of military and some industrial applications that any average American or Brit or German would prefer to buy Russian and it’s telling that neither you nor anyone else here can either.

          • Did you perhaps think that maybe that’s because Western brands understand the needs and wants of Westerners better?

            I mean, Russian consumer products may be crap. I don’t know, and because I don’t know I’m not going to say “Russian products must be crap”. The Russian products I have interacted with, such as ammunition, firearms, optics, etc, I have a very high opinion of, and I would consider them some of the best in the world (I adore my PK-01VS). Now, based on what I know of Russian history, I could maybe make some educated guesses as to what limitations or challenges face Russian companies both with respect to producing a quality product and branding and marketing, and those will tend towards the moderately negative, but A.) I wouldn’t base on that alone a thesis of “Russian consumer products are crap” and B.) I recognize that as a Westerner I may have different needs than Russian consumers, and here’s an extreme example of that.

            I’m especially reticent to say something like “Russian consumer products are crap” because I know that many Russian industrial products are excellent and world class. If they can design and manufacture the RD-180, they can design and produce excellent consumer products, the questions are “do they?”, “are they marketed right?”, and “if not on either account, why not?”

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I can’t answer those questions either and we could go round and around trying but I think the why is beside my point. If there were superior products being made there people would want them. That’s how things usually work even without massive marketing efforts. Especially now with instant worldwide communications. Maybe I’m full of it and Russia is full of top quality stuff but I doubt it. I stand by my original argument that their only real cultural exports are vodka and the AK. That may sound insulting but it’s not my intention. I find Russian culture very interesting.

          • Um, there are loads of reasons why competitive products might not be finding a market half a world away, such as export restrictions.

            Now, maybe you’re right and Russian products don’t find an international market just because they’re substandard garbage, but neither you nor I know for a fact that is the case, so stop acting like you do.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I have that opinion because I’ve seen no evidence of it so I’m not just blowing smoke. Neither has anyone else apparently here. I’ve yet to hear anyone name a single thing they would prefer to buy from Russia besides guns and vodka.

          • Well, my friend, I’ve seen no evidence that you aren’t a male pole dancer, and based on that, and the fact that no one else here has seen any evidence either, I am forced to conclude that you are one.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Funny, get back to me when you have something resembling a real argument for the quality of Russian consumer products.

          • That’s your argument, though, thrown back at you, so are you saying you don’t have an argument?

            I’m not trying to be difficult, this is an accurate description of our exchange.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            My position is that I have no evidence of superior Russian products. And I believe that if they existed I would be aware of them. They aren’t behind the Iron Curtain anymore. And the few Russian ex pats I know have never expressed any fondness for anything Russian besides the food. Your only argument seems to be that mine is invalid without offering much to counter it.

          • That would be because your argument is invalid. I have gone on at length as to why, and I don’t see any reason why I should repeat myself.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            It’s not actually.
            Russia does not have any cultural exports that are sought after. Except guns.
            And you can’t name one.

          • I named loads of them. You declared they didn’t count.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            They don’t.
            Do I need to explain what a cultural export is?

          • Apparently it’s a phone brand for hipsters made in China.

            Yeah, you know what, you’re right. I don’t think those rocket engines are very impressive in comparison either.

            Here’s an argument I haven’t made before that you’ll find some reason to ignore. Since I mentioned China, there are loads of brands in China that make products probably of decent quality (see: How much of “American” cultural products are made in China) that Americans have exactly zip brand recognition of, because, guess what, Americans can’t read Chinese.

            Oh look, a certain other country we were just talking about has the exact same problem.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            You’re right to a certain extent.
            A cultural export is something that has significance beyond its function.
            People don’t simply buy iPhones or Levi’s or bmw’s because they are the best. They buy them to be connected to a certain culture that they admire for whatever reason that’s beyond utility. Russia does not have that to any real degree except in the field of weapons.

          • It doesn’t have that in countries that don’t speak Russian. Why conclude from this that it must be because Russian products are just trash?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Well most of the planet doesn’t speak Russian. Or German but that doesn’t stop people from wanting their cars or clothes from Italy. People in Russia may be more than happy with their stuff. That’s fine but it’s not what I’m arguing. I’m simply saying nobody ever says that about anything Russian.

          • Did you miss the bit about Russian and Chinese being written in entirely different writing systems? I may not be able to speak German, but I can do a reasonable attempt at sounding out “Volkswagen”, and because of that I can tell my friends how much I love/hate Volkswagens.

            Now, without using the Internet, if you wanted to tell somebody face-to-face, about this great new brand of juice you found called

            http://i.imgur.com/HFyUR8o.png

            could you?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I think that’s a thin argument but it may have something to do with it. I don’t think so.
            Answer this: have you ever heard an American or European or anyone else express any admiration for any Russian export besides the AK? I haven’t and I’ve been to a lot of places.i know, your argument is that maybe there’s a ton of cool stuff nobody knows about but you don’t know that so if my argument is invalid so is yours.

          • So, that’s a “no”, then, right?

            And you don’t think this may be a major factor in why Russian brands have a hard time achieving brand recognition in countries using the Latin alphabet?

            Not to be mean, but you’ve been floundering in this since we started. Your original point you yourself admitted was stupid, and now you’re all on about brand recognition as if that’s the final arbiter of quality (and as if there’s no possibility of other factors in why Russian brand recognition may be poor). Now you’ve made the puzzling mistake of saying “if my argument is invalid so is yours”, when we’ve previously established that my argument is and has always been that you don’t have any basis for what you’re saying… So if your argument is invalid, I win. That has been my point all along.

            The only way “if your argument is invalid mine is too” works is if you’re under the impression that I’m saying Russian products/branding/whatever-other-aspect-of-the-Russian-consumer-market-you’ve-latched-onto-this-post are good, but I’ve made it clear that is not my position. If you think that, it’s your own human tendency toward polarization in an argument at work, not anything I’ve said.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Give it a rest dude you haven’t proven anything. Nobody wants anything Russian. Period.
            You don’t and neither does anyone you know so give it up. Your desire to have the last word in a losing argument is getting tiresome.

          • Yeah, OK, you go tell ULA they don’t want anything Russian.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Your basic misunderstanding of the framework of this conversation must be what’s irritating you,

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Looks about right.

          • Giolli Joker

            Caviar and Vodka.
            Better than BigMac and Coke.
            😛

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Caviar is not for me but I would like some borscht.

          • Kivaari

            Don’t discount Russian goods. It is no longer the Soviet Union where only white shirts and black shoes were made. We buy Russian helicopters for the economy of use and the high altitude performance.
            Russian export tanks are not how to judge tanks they give their own army. Like the Mig 25, it is crude up close, but when viewed for its mission it was great. It wasn’t a fighter, it was one of the fastest interceptors. The USAF even adopted a Russian “0-0 ejection seat” that was superior to ours at the time.

          • Hell, American export tanks are not how you should judge a proper M1 Abrams. The export tanks have all-steel armor, fer crissakes!

          • Kivaari

            I did not know that. Thanks. I wondered why we sold them to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Putting “real” M1A1+ tanks to Arab nations seemed counter intuitive. I knew the aircraft were lesser equipped. The sighting systems and such are SOOOO good on our stuff.

          • Having said all that, here’s an article that maybe sheds some light, quotes below:

            “Retail is the driving force of the economy and is three times larger than the raw materials sector in terms of value.1 According to the Russian state statistics agency Rosstat,2 Russia is already among the top three European markets by value for almost all consumer products3 and is number one, as of 2013, in categories such as mobile telecom, dairy, clothing, footwear, and apparel.4 ”

            “Our results show that there is a potent “product nationalism” in the world of Russian retail. Customers generally prefer to buy Russian if they have a choice.”

            “Almost half of those surveyed believe that Russian brands understand their needs better than Western brands do, while a third say Western brands aren’t appropriate for Russia at all. Consumers show a preference for domestic brands in over half of the sectors surveyed, with domestic dairy, grocery, telecom, vodka, banking, and social networking brands preferred by a whopping 80 percent of Russian consumers.

            “Nevertheless, international brands continue to outperform Russian brands on every key metric in our survey except tradition. Russian brands need to invest heavily in building a holistic brand experience to promote not only more positive image drivers (like style and prestige), but also improved products and services.

            “Meanwhile, Western brands should carefully determine when they should capitalize on their provenance and when they should Russify themselves.”

            “Our study found that over half of Russians (54 percent) think that service is improving in the country, but they still think that it fails to meet the high standards that increasingly well-traveled consumers have come to expect. The message is clear: Russian service brands need to continue to invest in service design and customer service training to satisfy changing demands.”

          • Kivaari

            Unlike my youth growing up in the 50s, where everything Russian was bad, they really turn out some good stuff. Hell, we have to ride into space on Russian spacecraft. It must be pretty good.

          • Giolli Joker

            Russian watches have a pretty strong following, I’m not into that but you can easily find info and discussion groups about it online.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Fair enough I’ve not heard that.

      • Kivaari

        Satellites were not a Russian invention. They just had a better rocket at the time. What Russia was demonstrating to the world was if they could launch a satellite, they could deliver a nuke warhead. During the Cuban missile crisis, nearly every Soviet nuclear missile was in Cuba. Soviets kept bomber and torpedo nukes, but had a small missile fleet.

    • HenryV

      I thought Austin was a socialist enclave? 🙂

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Pretty much but in Austin even the hippies are armed to the teeth.

        • HenryV

          🙂

    • Hey now, they have cheap military equipment, natural gas, and uhhh… foodstuffs probably?
      But yes, in the way of brand recognition they have a lot of catching up to do with the West.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        They even have to get France to build ships for their navy.

      • Gabriel Owens

        they used to make very good tractors and farming implements in Belarus. Not sure what happened, don’t see them around anymore.

      • Gee, they’re a country that went from 70 years of an isolationist closed society against the idea of enterprise for personal gain to a robber-baron dark age to now, and they don’t have much in the way of brand recognition? Yathink, Alex?

        • Of course I understand the dynamics of their unusual situation (I should have tried to make that clear I suppose). But of course discussing international brand recognition has nothing to do with producing things of value. I just needed to get my daily jab at Russia in and I was too lazy to google “dash cam”.

          • mosinman

            what’s your deal with Russia?

        • Mark

          Russia is a country that was attacked and subjugated by a 1-2% minority (including foreign accomplices, even from New York City) that despised their Christian culture. Russian Christians were murdered by the millions—about 61 million. Then, after perpetrating decades of genocide and gulags, the same minority pretended they were suddenly capitalists and looted Russia a second time.

          I’d say the Russians are in the process of making a fine comeback from oblivion.

          Meanwhile the USA descends to the pit of hell worshipping their genitals and material things while pretending the nation is the paragon of virtue, excusing crimes against humanity with pilpul.

      • iksnilol

        OPTICS! Don’t forget the friggin optics. I don’t like Russians by default, but I will admit they make good optics.

        • Their GDP is lower than Italy’s, and they have 2.5 times the friggin population.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, these downtimes are pretty bad. I mean, compared to Italy? That’s enough to make an athiest proclaim “good God, y’all!”.

            last year they were doing pretty well though. They were 10# in nominal GDP, and by PPP they were 6#. Problem is ,this was all before their little Crimea field trip. That has messed up things.

    • Southpaw89

      The Ural motorcycle actually has a pretty good following, and many nations are using Russian made aircraft, armor and other weapons. So while their aren’t so many Russian companies marketing phones made in China, and they seem to have missed the fast food market all together, they do produce things that people value. Also, the movie Stalingrad isn’t bad, and is at least on par with many US war movies. If they could resolve their political issues they could certainly be competitive economically.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I’m actually not insulting all of Russian culture. I’ve read several books on Russian history including biographies on Lenin and Stalin and would love to visit someday but the fact remains their products, outside of military applications, suck.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Titos handmade Vodka. Born in Texas.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        It’s my new favorite.
        In the summer I mix it with Topo Chico and a wedge of lime.

    • Mark

      Russia was long considered “the Third Rome,” a center of Christian decency until it was targeted for subversion, largely because the Czarist regime was one of the few in the world that had resisted takeover by private central banks—so capitalists like Schiff and Kuhn Loeb funded communists like Apelbaum (“Trotsky”). After they murdered 60+ million Christians in planned starvations, the Lubyanka, and the gulag, Russia fought back. Though not perfect, certainly better than the USA, Russia has made great strides in throwing off the yoke of tribal banksters, warmongers, oligarchs, and genocidal maniacs. Russia is once again having a resurgence of Christian decency, a fact that likely explains why, in Syria and Iran, Russia has restrained the murderous global empire from starting a third world war. Preventing war is a GREAT value to the rest of the world—maybe not a value to the banksters, but PEACE, though tenuous it may be, is certainly a value to decent people in the rest of the world.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yes, Vladimir Putin is truly a saintly angel of peace to whom we should all be thankful to for saving us from oblivion.
        Look I can inhale freon too!

        • Mark

          Apparently your position is so weak that you must rave with a straw man argument.

          Though Putin is not perfect, his interventions have aborted Anglo-Israeli efforts to provoke another world war AND the nation he leads, though under serious economic attack by the usual suspects, is making a come-back from oblivion.

          He and his nation deserve recognition for moving in the right direction—unlike the USA that is moving in the wrong direction.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I see, it’s us and the Israelis preventing Russia from making a decent toaster.

          • Mark

            No, you don’t see. As if the USA makes any toasters? There is no “Made in the USA” on any of the necessities of life in our family’s home.

            And let’s take an accounting after 70 years of Goldman Sachs and “Federal” Reserve occupying the US government.

            Let’s count how many fewer USA toasters there are after that.

          • MrEllis

            Deflection doesn’t really address the issue. For all I care Russia can rehang the Iron Curtain. Notorious is making an oblique point, but you’re in serious business internet mode. The fact is the world would be the same without Russian products, the same can’t be said for Russia.

            But that really doesn’t have to do much with guns. Maybe you’re looking for Politico, it’s that way. —>

          • Mark

            What deflection? One poster claims American manufacturing prowess. I point out there is no American manufacturing prowess. Then you claim this points are not connected? Go figure.

          • MrEllis

            I’m seeing that come from you. You’re that poster…

          • crackedlenses

            Only if the right direction includes a resurgent Soviet Union.

    • iksnilol

      They make good optics. Telescopes, microscopes, optics for space equipment. They have the only facility that alone can make the lenses needed for space telescopes (or something similar, memory is hazy). Rest of the world needs the cooperation between France and Germany.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I didn’t know that, thanks.
        But those are all commercial products.

        • iksnilol

          what do you mean with commercial products? Private persons buy also telescopes and microscopes. I know, telescopes aren’t as consumable as phones. But to be honest, only reason I have an Apple phone is because it is cheap to fix… Know why? Because the parts are all made in China and are made to be easily replaced (at least on the Iphone 4).

          Bottom line, Russia ain’t as bad as the Cold War taught us. At least not in regards to engineering and whatnot. Politically and as a person from Bosnia: They can go [multiple expletives] themselves and their [long list of relatives]

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I almost feel bad for opening this can of worms. I realize that Russia does produce some quality products but I have yet to hear anyone tell me about one that they own or prefer over western or Japanese offerings.

          • mosinman

            i’d rather have a Lada Niva over a Smart car does that count?

          • I’mma beat this dead horse: Email ULA.

    • RICH

      Russia is what it is because their government takes everything they need from the people. The government doesn’t need Apple, Ford, McDonald’s, UPS so nobody in their country cah have them ! ( I think they might have McDonalds) They have the same type of tyranical government that the POTUS has been trying to implement on the U.S……. !

    • Kivaari

      I recommend a Soviet-Japanese film Dersu the Trapper.

      • iksnilol

        Is based on good book.

        • Kivaari

          I have the book as well. The film made two errors. They gave the Russians M1895 Winchesters and they shot the swinging bottle. Dersu saved the bottle to give to another old timer. I enjoyed the film, needing me to turn up the sound, so I could read the subtitles. An odd phenomenon while I watch sub-titled films. Even the Finnish ones.

      • Tassiebush

        Just looked that one up and it sounds cool! The Russian wilds fascinate me!

  • Don Ward

    Maybe if Russkie troops weren’t trained to chunk their AK-74s into the mud and drive over them with tanks, they’d last longer than four decades. Think of the wear and tear guys!

    • John Doe

      That kind testing that Glock fan boy swear to Don Ward make there handguns
      better than rest. LOl

    • Esh325

      All the m4 used certainly aren’t 40 years old

      • ostiariusalpha

        How would that even be possible? There weren’t any M4 carbines in existence 40 years ago.

  • John Doe

    Russia is doing any thing that United States has done M16 if is broke why replace it. All Untied States keep do refine M16 rifle for mission other wise same rifle all been refine to point is today.

    • Henry W

      Yes, but has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

      • iksnilol

        ?? I understood nothing of that.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Damn that epilepsy, it must be hell.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I absolutely love that flash hider, but what the hell is with the apparent partnership with CAA? It’s terrible.

  • Lance

    Told you the Russia’s infantry would use the AK-74 that been upgraded as well as AK-105s. Spetz naz would use the AK-12 instead.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Yep, you’re a goddamn genius Lance.

      • st4

        Considering the rest of where this forum dialog went, this Lance-ism is like a breath of fresh air. And that’s saying… a lot.

  • Squirreltakular

    Definitely interested in seeing how that railed dust cover works.

  • Old Fart

    Firearms, not politics…..
    Now lift that stupid ban already so we can all get our hands on Kalashnikov’s latest and greatest.

    • No kidding——-

      • Mark

        Your staff are among the worst offenders fueling the fire.

        • ostiariusalpha

          I’m sure they’ll take that under advisement.

        • When was the last time any of our staff told anyone in an article or the comments to join an organization, vote a certain way, donate to a certain party, etc? The only time I can think of anything remotely like that happening was Steve’s article on the new ITAR stuff. I for one take “firearms not politics” very seriously, and it seriously irks me when folks who simply feel offended try to use that tagline as a bludgeon to shut us up.

          If you’re offended, that’s one thing, but don’t use our motto as a whip.

    • Hopefully you are talking about the comments section and not the article itself.

      • Old Fart

        How could you ever doubt me? 😉 The former indeed. And ‘ban’ refers to the Russian arms import ban.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    This is getting old.
    Ok genius who’s your favorite Russian band? Or favorite Russian computer company? Which Russian car do you drive?

    • Zugunder

      Stop jumping around, wow. Way to go on with conversation…

    • DJ Oguretz, Neyromonah Theophane, and Mechanical Poet, just for the bands.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Google is a wonderful thing.
        I’m sure you have all their cd’s.

  • ostiariusalpha

    The words “civilian” & “consumer” are no where to be found in that article. Much more the pity.

  • Graham2

    I was going to make a comment about the AK upgrades but I’m not sure if that sort if thing in done round here any more!

  • Uniform223

    Welcome to the 21st century AK…

    In all seriousness I respect the AK but it seems that with all this modernization efforts for the AK seems a bit behind the times when compared to western designs. Also here is an interesting video from Military Arms Channel about modifying an AK.

    I bet all those AK traditionalists are banging their heads against the wall.

  • Tassiebush

    Haha I was going to say t.A.T.u not cos I like them but cos it’d make me seem like a dodgy sleazy dude in his 30s

  • Kivaari

    It is too bad we cannot buy these rifles. Having an AK that is capable of using western optics would be interesting. I have owned ~25 AK variants. With young eyes they were OK. I was never able to buy a Russian sight and mount that was able to be zeroed. The very nicest optic I had, could not even hit a 12 inch diameter target at 25 yards. We were treated to defective products, either the mount was off or the side rail was off. I had my last Russian AK and optic that really “looked good” but was useless. I never had such an issue with any AR pattern rifle or carbine. Wolf’s new scope, the 1x or 4x looks good on paper in SGN, but is over priced. It just wouldn’t be right to mount one on an AR. It’s just morally wrong to use one of those damn Russian scopes on a really American rifle.

    • iksnilol

      “Wolf’s” scope isn’t really expensive, compare the price to the Elcan scopes. Prism scopes aren’t cheap, neither is good glass.

  • Kivaari

    They should have just contracted with Magpul to get superior products. Well, then Obama would have to lift the embargo and let Putin do as he likes in Europe. Oh, that’s right, Obama let’s Putin do as he likes. Yes, it’s too political. But, they should have bought Magpul.

  • guest

    A huge cluster**** of a thread about McD, Ladas, whatever in a gun blog comment section.

    I literally can’t even.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I wasn’t trying to make any judgements about the value of American cultural exports many of which are embarrassing and stupid. And I was not trying to insult Russian scientific and artistic contributions. It was just an observation that Russia for whatever reason has not done the same in certain areas. Travels in Siberia is an excellent book and Leviathan was an excellent recent Russian movie.

  • Guido FL

    Dumb video and a waste of time !