Mikhail Kalashnikov, 1919-2013

December 23rd, 2013

The man credited with designing one of the 20th century's most iconic firearms has passed away at the age of 94.

Kalashnikov is widely acknowledged for designing the AK-47 rifle, but I can't miss the obvious similarities to Schmeisser's StG-44. Given that Schmeisser worked with the Red Army after the war, it's hard to dismiss the possibility that the Soviets simply didn't want to give a German credit for the design.

That said, we may never know.

I find it to be a charmless piece of stamped sheet metal with numerous design flaws, but the AK-47 was cheap to …