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Additional resources for AK-47: The Weapon that Changed the Face of War
An engineer watching the test voiced similar concerns. But the gun fired flawlessly. “The sand is flying in all directions, like a dog shaking off water,” a team member shouted. AK PROTOTYPES WERE constantly honed and field-tested, each part altered based on soldier feedback. Unlike with many inventions, there were no Aha! moments in Kalashnikov’s work, only constant incremental improvement until it was soldier-proof. For example, the safety switch, which prevented the gun from accidentally firing, was combined into a single lever that also acts as a dust cover for the ejection port.
Moments in Kalashnikov’s work, only constant incremental improvement until it was soldier-proof. For example, the safety switch, which prevented the gun from accidentally firing, was combined into a single lever that also acts as a dust cover for the ejection port. In other words, a soldier who put his weapon on “safe” to slog through mud without inadvertently firing the weapon, did not also have to remember to close an additional latch to keep dirt out. Again, this was not a new idea—it existed on the Remington Model 8, one of the earliest American semiautomatic rifles, first produced in 1906—but it was Kalashnikov’s cleverness and humbleness that allowed it to be employed in a Soviet weapon.
I invented it for protection of the motherland. ” The utilitarian AK-47, which stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947, the year it was adopted, came along too late to end World War II, but its creation was perfectly timed to spread death and destruction throughout the world, and it will continue to do so well into this century. 1 PROTECTING THE MOTHERLAND IN BOOKS ABOUT THE SECOND WORLD WAR, the battle of Bryansk is a minor conflict, barely deserving of a footnote. But this battle, so inconsequential that most historians skim over it without a second thought, has another place in history.