Category Archives: History

Learn About The Type 2 Soviet AK-47 – Forgotten Weapons Video

It’s interesting that we hold the AK-47 in near mythic regard when it comes to reliability.  It took almost 12 years from 1947 to the release of the AKM (Avtomát Kaláshnikova modernizírovanny or  “Modernized Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle”) in 1959.  The journey the design team made over the years is quite interesting.

I did a post on the Type 1 previously (click here to open it) and that first iteration had problems with the stamped sheet metal receiver that affected reliability.  In response, Valeriy Kharkov lead a design team who created a milled receiver from a forging to address the reliability problems and it was ready by 1949.

The Soviets had plenty of labor, that wasn’t a problem so in a manually intensive manner, they machined a six pound block of steel that required 120 steps into a finished 1.4 pound receiver.  That means they wasted almost 3.6 pounds of quality steel and used a ton of consumables and machine time.  To be honest, it boggles my mind but they accomplished their mission – the QC problems with the receiver were addressed.

In the following video, Ian McCollum does a great job showing a type 2  and describing the differences between it, the type 1 and the following type 3.   For example, he points out the rear receiver extension that is made from sheet metal that is an instant identifier of a Type 2 fixed stock rifle (sometimes referred to as the “2A”).  Note, they made the type 2 with an underfolder stock also (the “2B”).

Another tell is that the lightening cuts are parallel to the top of the receiver in the type 2 and in the type 3 they are parallel to the bottom.

There are quite a few other changes such as the grip now being a single piece, the selector lever having an additional clearance added above the pins, gas vent holes moved to 10 and 2 o-clock and more.

By the way, one thing Ian does is refer to it as the AK-49 and I have never read anything that supports that nomenclature.  If you Google AK-49, nothing turns up.  I would recommend you refer to it as an AK-47 Type 2.  Other than that, I think it is a great video and you can actually see the many details as Ian points them out:

If you want to read a book that does a great job detailing the Type 2 and its history, I would recommend The Grim Reaper by Frank Iannamico.  Poyer’s book has details but not as much history.


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AK-47: The Grim Reaper


By (author): Frank Iannamico

It’s back…but this time with more pages, more information and more photographs. The most definitive study on Kalashnikov pattern rifles to date boasts over 1,100 printed pages covering the AK rifle, as well as its variants manufactured in over 19 countries.
List Price: $69.95
New From: $69.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $95.01 USD In Stock

Learn About The Original Type 1 Soviet AK-47 – Forgotten Weapons Video

Ian McCollum does a great job showing an actual Soviet Type 1 sheet metal AK-47.   I’ve read about the Type and seen a few photos but nothing as detailed as this.  We so often focus on the AKM but Mikhail Kalashnikov and his design team at Izhevsk had to go through a lot of learning and evolution of the design.

For me this was absolutely fascinating as Ian talks about the Type 1’s history and QC problems this early design had and then actually opens the rifle up to show the many differences.

  • Grip plates vs a true grip
  • No center support to keep the receiver from getting crushed
  • A selector lever that was only on the operating side that did not go all the way through
  • Longer trunnion
  • Ejector was part of the trunnion
  • Different rivet pattern
  • Fluted gas piston
  • and more

If you like AK’s, be sure to watch this video:

Also, consider donating to Ian.  He puts a ton of time into his videos and the research required.  Here’s a link to his Patreon page.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 


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The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations


Features: This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author): Joe Poyer

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $16.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.79 USD In Stock

Videos: Two Good Documentaries on The History of the Israeli Uzi

As part of my research into the iconic Israeli Uzi, I found these two videos that do a very nice job providing background on the political climate driving the need for the Uzi.  These videos also then provide insight into the design and operation of the weapon.  By the way, these days I have signed up for Youtube Red so I can download videos and watch them even when I do not have an Internet connection.

 

 


If you want to learn more about the Uzi, the following book by David Gaboury is exceptional.  I highly recommend it:

The UZI Submachine Gun Examined


By (author): David Gaboury

Although universally recognized, the history of this iconic weapon has gone largely undocumented — until now. Originally designed for the Israeli military by Uziel Gal, the UZI submachine gun has a colorful history that has reached around the globe. Using approximately 1,000 photos, this book examines the history and technical details of all the UZI variations, both military and civilian, from its initial design to the current models. Also included are original factory documents, model-by-model features, part variations, accessories and manuals.
List Price: $49.95 USD
New From: $44.96 USD In Stock

The Best Book on the Israeli Uzi SMG and its Many Variants

I recently wrapped up building a semi-auto Israeli Uzi in 9mm.  At the start, I researched about this iconic submachine gun and guys kept mentioning that I should get the book “The Uzi Submachine Gun Examined” by David Gaboury.  I ordered a copy from Amazon and must say I was very impressed.

Mr. Gaboury does an exceptional job giving the reader the historical context of what was going on in Israel with its fight for independence, the plethora of firearms they were using and then search for a new submachine gun.  Of course, this culminated in the creation and evolution of the Uzi design by Uzi Gal.

From there he covers the evolution of the weapon with the Mini Uzi, the Uzi Carbine, Uzi Pistol/Micro Uzi, Ruger MP9 and the Uzi Pro.  The book was published in 2017 and its coverage is very current.

One thing I did not know was how widespread the adoption of the Uzi was and Mr. Gaboury provides coverage of its use in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, South Africa, China and other countries.

He then covers a number of other topics in the book that I’ll skip for the sake of brevity.  For me, the last section of the book was very, very helpful where he provides significant detail on the weapon including:

  • Operation, Disassembly and Specifications
  • Parts Identification
  • Magazines
  • Accessories

Being new to Uzis, his coverage of the firing cycle, fire control group and how it all comes together in the grip frame (what some call the “grip stick”) was worth the price of the book all by itself.  For me, it was really the history and this last section the detailing of the operation and assembly that were hugely worthwhile.  I’d recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about the iconic Uzi.

 

The UZI Submachine Gun Examined


Although universally recognized, the history of this iconic weapon has gone largely undocumented — until now. Originally designed for the Israeli military by Uziel Gal, the UZI submachine gun has a colorful history that has reached around the globe. Using approximately 1,000 photos, this book examines the history and technical details of all the UZI variations, both military and civilian, from its initial design to the current models. Also included are original factory documents, model-by-model features, part variations, accessories and manuals.
List Price: $49.95 USD
New From: $44.96 USD In Stock

Video: Процесс производства оружия на ВПМЗ Молот // Production process at the VPMZ MOLOT factory March 2017

     

Molot published this walk through of their production facility in March 2017.  It’s in Russian but with English subtitles.  It’s only 5:31 long and worth your time.  Yeah, I drooled when I saw the injection molding.

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements.  EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.  Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 


See larger image

Additional Images:

The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations


Features: This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author): Joe Poyer

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $16.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.79 USD In Stock

Video: Rare Weapons of Saddam’s Iraq 1979 to 2003 by jmantime

       

I like jmantime’s videos – lots of photos, organized and set to music.  He assemble this video around the weapons found in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s reign between 1979 and 2003.  The video ranges from Tariq handguns and Tabuk rifles all the way up through through tanks, the Babylon Gun, rocket launchers and so forth.  This video is only 14:39 video and worth the time given all that he has assembled.

I mainly focus on firearms:

  • Tariq 1, Semi-automatic pistol, 7.65x17mm
  • Tariq II, Semi-automatic pistol, 9x19mm
  • Tabuk, Assault RIfle, 7.62x39mm  [Their licensed version of the Yugo M70]
  • The Golden Tabuks they found in palaces
  • Tabuk, Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), 7.62x39mm
  • Al-Kadesih, Semi-automatic Marksman Rifle, 7.62x54R [Their version of the Dragunov]
  • AI-Quds, Light Machine Gun, 7.62x39mm [Their licensed version of the Yugo M72B1]

From there it covers tanks, self-propelled guns and so forth.  All in all, it’s a neat video with lots of photos that jmantime collected.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements.  EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.  Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

We Got Him!: A Memoir of the Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein


By (author): Steve Russell

When U.S. forces exterminated Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 1, 2011, the world cheered not only the death of the 9/11 terrorist mastermind but the unmatched might, skill, and perseverance of America’s military elite. It was a brilliant example of history repeating itself in the most positive way; less than a decade earlier, the capture of Saddam Hussein, a triumph of military strategy in and of itself, opened the door for the most recent and essential victory in the War on Terror. Here is the riveting account of a grand human saga that tested every element of character and fortitude: the six-month manhunt that ended at a hole on the bank of the Tigris River, and the blow-by-blow plays of the actual raids that netted Saddam, culminating in the electrifying quote heard around the globe, “We Got Him!”

No other event in Operation Iraqi Freedom caught the attention of the world like the hunt for and capture of Saddam Hussein. Square in the middle of the search, living in Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, were Lt. Col. Steve Russell and his men of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Packed with rare photos and insider information, We Got Him! chronicles the day-by-day search and the successes and dead ends as regular and special-operations soldiers tore into Saddam’s social networks. This is the definitive account of this major historical event and of the sacrifice that made it happen. It also provides a rare look at the enemy side of the action. With his extensive journal notes, combat reports, and painstaking research, Steve Russell has preserved the story as only someone who lived the experience can do.
List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Video: Chinese Type 56 AK-57 (Shooting and History) by Forgotten Weapons

 

 

This is a cool review of an actual North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Chinese Type 56 AK.  It was a captured rifle and brought back to the US.  Ian of Forgotten Weapons does one of his usual exemplary reviews of the rifle and discusses its history.

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well — we don’t get anything unless you buy something.


See larger image

Additional Images:

The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations


Features: This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author): Joe Poyer

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $16.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.79 USD In Stock

Video: Infantry Weapons of Yugoslavia 1924 – 1999

     

This video covers handguns, rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns and so forth used by Yugoslavia from 1924 to 1999.  It does not have anyone talking, just music.  What it does have that is interesting is tons of photos of various weapons and in some cases even footage showing use.  I watched in interest the parts with the AK-related rifles such as the M70, M72, M85, M92 and so on plus the M93 Black Arrow that I’ve always found interesting.  I got to hold and inspect one at Ohio Rapid Fire years ago.

At any rate, it’s interesting and worth 28 minutes to watch what the author assembled:


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Video: How the SVD Dragunov Works Using 3D Animation. — Pretty cool!!

 

I love computer animations that show how a firearm’s action operates.  This video on the SVD Dagunov is narrated in Russian but you can definitely see how the gasses flow and hit the piston, push the operating rod back, and then operate the bolt and trigger.  I think videos like this provide valuable insight into what all is going on.

This one is very detailed and fascinating.  Definitely worth watching!

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



 

The Official Soviet SVD Manual


By (author): U.S.S.R. Army, U.S. Army Translation by Maj. James F. Gebhardt

Designed by noted firearms designer Evgeniy Fedorovich Dragunov to operate under the most extreme climatic and combat situations, the SVD was the first Russian rifle designed from scratch specifically for sniping. This translation of the official SVD manual contains complete operating instructions.
List Price: $20.00
New From: $184.41 USD In Stock
Used from: $56.78 USD In Stock

Video: SVD Dragunov 7.62×54mmR Sniper Rifle by ArmlistMedia – Great Overview Plus Field Stripping

   

One of my regrets is that I have not had the funds and opportunity (at the same time) to buy a SVD Dragunov.  For those of you who do not know it, the Dragunov was developed as a designated marksman rifle (DMR) by the USSR and has evolved over the years.  Contrary to what some say, it is not an oversize AK – the Drag’s bolt carrier does not have an attached piston and all the mass associated.  Instead, there is a short stroke piston operating under left & right handguards over the barrel.  You get to see all of that and very straight forward field stripping guidance in this video.

I really like this video.  The narration is very straight forward with a touch of humor and the video quality is solid.  Some day, I will own a Drag 🙂

 

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the advertisements.  It will help us fund continued development of the blog.

The Official Soviet SVD Manual


By (author): U.S.S.R. Army, U.S. Army Translation by Maj. James F. Gebhardt

Designed by noted firearms designer Evgeniy Fedorovich Dragunov to operate under the most extreme climatic and combat situations, the SVD was the first Russian rifle designed from scratch specifically for sniping. This translation of the official SVD manual contains complete operating instructions.
List Price: $20.00
New From: $184.41 USD In Stock
Used from: $56.78 USD In Stock