Happy Birthday Mr Kalashnikov

 Posted by on November 11, 2009  Add comments
Nov 112009
 

UPDATE: 23rd December 2013.  Kalashnikov has died.

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Today, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov is 90.

As he accepts his awards from President Medvedev, the designer of the world’s most famous assault rifle looks back on a life well-lived, with about 100 million of his rapid-fire babies on the face of the planet.

Mikhail_KalashnikovHe has no regrets about producing the AK-47.  If the Germans hadn’t started the war, I’d have made lawnmowers, he said, conjuring up the weirdest of images.  Afghan tribesmen driving away the invaders of their land with improvised cylinder mowers and strimmers.

Be off, infidels, or we’ll destroy you with a neat chequerboard pattern that looks great in the floodlights!

Mikhail Timofeyevich’s design wasn’t unique.  He combined elements of two American rifles and the German StG44 to produce a weapon that could be stripped down and rebuilt by a freezing Russian soldier inside the Arctic circle, while wearing fur gloves and, one presumes, other clothes as well.  Of course, the soldier didn’t have to be freezing.  It could be done by a warm soldier as well, without gloves, as was proven by the millions of Afghan and Pakistani tribesmen using replicas constructed in backstreet workshops — a testament to the elegance and simplicity of Kalashnikov’s design.

In Russia, the AK is a symbol of freedom, and yet it’s been a Western spin-doctor’s dream, hitting all the evil-empire Darth Vader buttons.  As Robert Fisk pointed out in Pity The Nation, language is everything.  While we have a government, our enemy has a regime.  And in the heavily pro-Israeli western press, it was normal to describe the PLO as being armed with Soviet-made Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, while the Israeli army had friendly little M16 carbines.

Whatever.  Let’s not get political about a weapon that’s been produced 100 million times and used to oppress entire nations.

KalashnikovAK47The AK is cool.  A cool killer.  No self-respecting evil movie super-genius would arm his henchmen with anything else and who could blame him?  It has a timeless retro-murder-chic.  An assault rifle among assault rifles, it’s lean, menacing and purposeful.  It makes its western competitors look bloated and banal.

It isn’t just a killing machine, an instrument of oppression or the weapon of choice for generations of brigands, though it is all those things as well.

No.  The AK-47 is more than that.  It’s an accessory.  It’s the rifle you’d choose to sling over your Armani battle-fatigues in your air-conditioned tent as you hammer out the final details of your enemy’s surrender.

It’s a classic.  Happy birthday Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov!

  28 Responses to “Happy Birthday Mr Kalashnikov”

Comments (28)
  1.  

    I was talking to a cop one night and he told me they were patrolling across Thomond bridge and
    they spotted a scobe with what they initially believed was a folded up fishing rod.On closer inspection they found it was a Kalashnikov, for hunting rabbits no doubt.The most perfect firearm known to man, virtually indestructible. Mr Kalashnikov has played central role in every war, mini war, coup, basic insurrection and general mayhem known to man for the last 50 years.Its killed an estimated three million and maimed another ten and still it marches on.And there’s everyone protesting about nuclear weapons.

  2.  

    It’s a bollix though, a Countdown conundrum travesty, that the first two naming letters picked might be an A and a K. Where’s the wartime romance in a K? In AK , aka, acha , achey , ash , agh, argh? Dice loaded from the start comrade. They were never, ever, going to win any real wars with these arghk awfully lettered rifles. Should have read the Hotspur or Victor first

  3.  

    Superb as ever BOCK. Only you could have written this.
    I was having one of my ‘small-bit-pissed-off-moments’ and with the internet on in front of me decided a tonic would be just the cure. So on to bocktherobber for some of the best stuff for that condition.
    Sure enough, no complaints.

    So, regarding the kalashnikov and everything it’s achieved, not least being copied excellently by the Chinese, do you realise that the ‘Kill Bill’ trilogy didn’t have any AKs deployed in the killing of all those foreign nationals?

    Instead Tarantino gave us a real insight into his psyche by having only the samurai swords, with the odd pistol of course, but maybe you get my drift? Tarantino perhaps longs for a time when things like ‘death’ was simpler. Could be he lost family members to bullets from a kalashnikov! Weird shit.

  4.  

    Very cute… “World’s most successful celebrity rifle builder hits 90″

    A subtle, but very devious mini-play on words Mr Bock.

  5.  

    Accept no substitutes!!

    Jacke Brown

  6.  

    As somebody who has fired both the Kalashnikov and the M16 (not in Ireland I hasten to add) the AK is not the wonder gun that it is portrayed as being.Rather it is a rough piece of engineering and quite difficult to control.Its strength lies in its ability to keep functioning in bad conditions and with little maintenance.As top guns go the M16 is light years ahead of it.The M16 is superbly designed and precision engineeered the Ak is just a rough workhorse.

  7.  

    William — Nobody is saying it’s sophisticated, but you have to admit it’s sexier.

  8.  

    agreed its certainly got the looks

  9.  

    @ William, makes the same kind of brain goo though

  10.  

    Sniffle…yeah but majority of AKs will just about hold on a six inch mark at 200 metres whereas the Mi16 can hold on a two inch.So as you can see a head shot with the AK at that range or beyond gets a bit iffy

  11.  

    Fuck Me Pink!
    What is this?
    A celebration of a gun and its maker?
    A gun that is hawked by every arms dealer in Africa and used to kill innocent people.
    So celebrating this monstrosity is supposed to be entertainment?

    Wow Bock, ……..No Bock, seriously, you really are some brand of a fucking Eejit, and this so proves it.
    Thank you for this. I always knew it though. you really are a fucking reptile.

  12.  

    I’ll leave this half-witted comment here for others to educate you if they feel like it.

  13.  

    zenon lights..the gun exists and is a part of military history now.So what is your problem with that.Do you think that people should only write about things that you like!!.You arrogant fuckin eejit

  14.  

    William, thats right,,,,defend Bock who can’t or won’t deal with this and chooses to set you up like a right little Fuck tool. I doubt you have EVER let a round fly from the barrel of an AK. Fucking Never! And you have never been in a fire fight either have you ya fucking anorak. Well I have, a few in fact in active service and it is not fun. I hate those who mouth off about stuff they nothing about.
    Dont be so fucking eager to display your ignorance. Of course the gun is a part of military history you thick cunt. It is also a part of civilian history you stupid fuck. Does that mean that an asshole like Bock has to celebrate the existance of them.? Yes write about them, but dont celebrate them. God.. stupidity abounds.

    And Bock,, What are you, a part time arms dealer? An Adnan Kashogi flea? If you think it is half witted to comment freely about the negative aspects of machines that are designed to kill well then fair enough. Proves my point on the double, . What the fuck is this site? Seems it is simply your own sounding board Bock, for use by you and the other twisted cunts who think you are something. Bock you are an asshole, a real full time stupid prick, an empty head and I am going for a beer now to “celebrate that.” . God preserve us from rotten minded fuckers like you.

  15.  

    Hello to all,
    I think “seconds out and zenon” have made some rational comments on this subject. The others are just nut jobs. I would call into question the views of the editor and some contributors. Killing is not a good thing and should not be praised in any form. Tell us Bock, are you a Gila Monster or a Komodo Dragon?
    Guess you need a sense of humour running this site, especially if you are into self deprecation.

  16.  

    Bock.
    Do what you like with my comment. You ridiculous cunt. Like I fucking care or something? After two tours in Vietnam, I hardly give a shit what you think, say or do. You dont count man. it is so simple. Were you pissed or hungover when you published my comment? Because it does make a roaring fool of you. You know nothing about guns, the military or those who must use them to defend others and themselves. You are comfortable at your computer and you never tasted war or battles or seen the damage up close otherwise you would know better to keep your fat trap shut.
    A well placed round wil literally split a head in two halves.
    You have never had to clean that up, I have and I dont need an education from a bullshitting idot such as you or these clowns, or the bock clones. You are just another empty headed cunt with a keyboard.

    Horse shit has better uses and has more to offer than you! You are a scumbag Bock. A real piece of shit.

  17.  

    Heatseeker and Zenon are the same idiot posting under different names.

    For someone who doesn’t care, it seems to put in a lot of effort.

    In one way this is kind of gratifying. When you annoy somebody this much, you have to be doing something right, even if it’s only a thundering gobshite you’re pissing off.

    It won’t be posting here again though.

  18.  

    very strange that he condems a simple article about an historical firearm and then claims to have taken part in immoral criminal aggression against the Vietnamese people himself.Well no dickhead I have never shot at anybody with an AK or any other gun unlike you I have no desire to go to poor peoples countries to slaughter them.However I do spend every Sunday afternoon on shooting ranges in the Philippines when I am there,thats my hobby.You get it I am a target shooter so I see guns as sporting implements.Anyhow I will be kind to you and assume that all those tours in Vietnam and cleaning up all those heads etc have turned you into a poor shell shocked fucking lunatic.

  19.  

    We’ve had trouble with this creature before. It’s just using a new persona.

  20.  

    Hmmm, Charming troll you have there, Bock. Did somebody forget to feed it?

  21.  

    We’ve been studying it fairly carefully over the last few months, though obviously not all of its comments are permitted to appear. This troll is a Walter Mitty character that seems to go along with its own fantasies. I’m not a mental health specialist, but my guess would be that it’s slightly psychotic and in need of professional help. It continues to provide clues with each abusive message and quite a lot of details are now known about it.

  22.  

    Funnily enough, I share a birthday with Richard Gatling and was going to write an article about him and his gun in a similar vein to your own. However I thought better of it in case I attracted unwanted commentary. Anyway I enjoyed your post, Thanks!

  23.  

    So do you line things up in neat order and make lists?

  24.  

    Errrr….yes, actually!

  25.  

    Couldn’t have put it better myself.
    I had to jettison a soak of a friend who in a fit of wannabe moralistic pique jettisoned the one I had just bought in Kerry by throwing it in the sea.
    My plan was to disembowel it and frame it.
    Curiously having refused to buy one in Cambodia for 20 bucks and being the only foreign correspondent in town without one under the bed, I had to relent when offered one in the Blind Piper in Caherdaniel – a pub not renowned for arms dealing.

  26.  

    Gun’s dont kills peoples.
    Peoples kills peoples.

  27.  

    Jesus, I never heard that before.

  28.  

    i have to disagree with the m16 here are five reasons
    1. the m16 jams alot and ak47 does not
    2. the m16a4 has 3 round brust ak is fully auto
    3. it’s rounds suck
    4. it looks like a toy gun from the 50s
    5. lastly it suck ass while the ak is god of guns

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