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Larry Vickers Shows a Federov, SKS and Pre-Production AK-47

In 2015, Larry Vickers had a great chance to visit the Central Armed Forces Museum in northern Moscow.  While there, he had a chance to visit the museum’s archives and see an original Federov rifle, an early SKS and a preproduction AK-47 that was produced in 1946.  He assembled this part of his visit along with a comparison of a German StG 44 and a Type I AK into a video.

The Federov

The Federov Avtomat was arguably the first assault rifle.  It was designed in 1913 and produced at the Kovrov Arms Factory from 1913-1925.  Roughly 3,200 of these forward thinking rifles were built.  Personally, I think the rifle was very novel for its time including the use of the 6.5x50mm SR (Semi-Rimmed) Arisaka cartridge (What we call 6.5 Japanese today).

An overview of the Federov from the video.
Larry steps shows the Federov to viewers and has a lot of great close ups of this rare rifle.

The SKS

The Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonov (SKS) was designed in 1944 and went into production in 1945.  Thus, it became known as the “SKS-45” in the USSR and was widely exported.  In total, the Soviets produced about 2.7 million SKS carbines first at the Tula Arsenal (1949-1958) and also Izhevsk Arsenal (153 and 1954).  The rifle was chambered for the 7.62×39 round that would later on be used the the AK-47.

Larry provides an overview of the SKS carbine
Here, he is holding an early SKS model and gives a quick overview of it.

A Preproduction AK-47

Larry had a chance to review an actual pre-production AK from about 1946 that was used in the Army’s trials of the weapon prior to official adoption in 1947.  This is what I especially wanted to see.  You see, many people assume the AK-47 was one single assault rifle when, really, it evolved over time.  They had the Type I, II, the III/AKM and so forth.

At any rate, Mikhail Kalashnikov and his design team worked on the AK-47 design from 1946-1948.  From 1949 to present, it estimated at least 75 million AK-47s were built.  Like the SKS, it uses the 7.62×39 cartridge.

Larry shows the Army Trial rifle and the viewer gets to see a number of angles of the rifle.

German StG-44 vs. Type I AK-47

Larry then goes on to argue that the StG-44 greatly influenced Kalashnikov and his design team.  Folks, this is a hotly debated topic.  As a point of Russian pride, they minimize any thoughts of influence.  At this point, it’s really hard to say.  If it were me, I’d look at a previous design and get ideas from it to save time, money and reduce the risk of mistakes.

Larry has a German StG-44 on the left and a Type I AK on the right.

The Video

So with no further to do, here’s Larry’s video:


Please note that all images above are extracted from the video and are the copyright of Vickers Tactical.


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RUSSIAN USSR AK-47, SKS, SVD RIFLE CARRYING SLING! ORIGINAL NEW!

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Fitting a Csspecs Steel Magazine To A SDS Lynx 12ga Shotgun

Csspecs makes wicked steel magazines for a variety of niche weapons. They make a well respected magazine for 12 gauge Saiga shotguns. That meant it would fit my SDS Lynx 12ga also.

I placed my order on their website and within a week receive to magazines that were built like a tank. I had a problem with some of the plastic SDS 10 round magazines in terms of the follower going all the way to the top. The Csspecs follower shot up in the top so fast I think you could take off a body part 🙂 just kidding but it is very well done.

You have to love a magazine that is so heavily made it can be used as a defensive weapon all by itself 🙂  Seriously, Csspecs makes some wicked mags and they tell you right up front that you may need to do a bit of fitting and I did.

Fitting The Magazines

The magazines come with a small instruction pamphlet for fitting that makes perfect sense to anybody who’s ever had to fit AK magazines. Step one is to make sure that the magazine fits correctly from front to back. If it does not you trim a little bit off the back tab of the magazine.

In my case it set right in. You can see how the mag stops are coming right against the bottom of the receiver.  This is good!  If I did need to trim it, I would have carefully filed a bit and tested over and over until the mag stops contacted the receiver, polished the surface and applied cold blue per the details in the next step.

In my case, the magazine locking lever would not engage the mag’s tab at all. That means that little tab was too thick and needed to be filed down. This is really a situation where you want to use a fine hand file and take off a little bit at a time and test – don’t rush this. Take care to maintain the slight angle. This helps with the lock up.  Do not make it flat and try to keep it as straight across as possible.

I can’t stress enough, take your time.  The above was done with a single-cut file where one edge was ground down so I can make cuts like this with out damaging the surface.  You can sometimes buy files like I show below with one or both edges left plain.  In my case, I used my belt sander to remove the teeth on that side.

This is not a situation where you want to rush. Take a little bit off at an angle and test over and over. It probably took me about 5 minutes per magazine. You want the magazine to lock into place firmly. If it is really loose I would recommend welding some material back on and fixing it.

After the filing, I did use a fine rubber abrasive polishing but in my Dremel to smooth the surface out so the lock up process would be smoother.

After I had the fitting correct, I use the little bit of Brownells Oxpho blue liquid on Long dobbers and blued the surface followed by some oil.

That is all there was to it. I hope this helps you out. Kudos to CS specs for making some very nice magazines. These things are rock solid and I may very well pick a couple more up at some point.


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Old Glory – I Am The Star Spangled Banner…

My parents are buried in the Battle Creek Memorial Park cemetary. During our last visit, we stopped by the veterans memorial. On a boulder by the American flag is this plaque:



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Video: Forgotten Weapons: British Submachine Gun Overview: Lanchester, Sten, Sterling, and More!

I have lately become very interested in sub machine gun class weapons, or SMGs.  I’ve built a number of 9mm ARs over the years and while they are interesting and fun to shoot, there’s not much history to dig into.  So, I have been researching British Stens for a while now and the history that led up to them and the thinking behind “good enough” to get the job done vs. perfection is fascinating.  It’s really intriguing when you see what folks can create when expediency is the name of the game.

To launch the series, I am posting this awesome video from Ian over at Forgotten Weapons.  He always does an excellent job researching what he is going to cover and then walking the viewer through what he is presenting.  In this video he provides an overview about the British Lanchester, Sten and Sterling.

Assembling an AR Lower – Step 11 of 11: Other Resources To Leverage & Learn From

The cool thing about ARs is that there are a ton of them out there and people are sharing ideas on how to build, use and maintain them every day.  This series of blog posts I just wrote shows my current take on how to assemble lowers.  I will continue to improve my techniques over time and I do this both through trial and error as well as researching what others do.  In this post, I want to share some links with you that might just give you an “ah-ha” moment because of what these folks are sharing.

Please note that when you click on the below links other than the Youtube videos, a new tab or window will open and you may need to manually switch to that tab or window in your browser to see it.

Lower-Receiver Assembly Resources

Upper-Receiver Assembly Resources

Cleaning and Lubrication Resources


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  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.


Are you looking for a family friendly kitchen knife sharpener?

  

I seriously like my Ken Onion Work Sharp knife sharpener to put any kind of edge on just about any kind of knife – folder, fixed, kitchen or even a giant khukuri.  However, that is not exactly family friendly.  To make it easier on my wife, daughters and even me in the kitchen, I bought a nice Smith’s 5009 sharpener that has a coarse carbide side and a fine ceramic side.  This is about as simple as you get.

The unit is rubberized and easy to hold.  I set the unit on the edge of the table so I don’t hit anything when I pull the knife backwards and down and do 10 strokes on coarse and 10 on fine.  This puts a great edge on kitchen knives.  You can actually see the metal shavings on the coarse carbide side pile up.

We use it on all kinds of kitchen knifes other than serrated.  So if you are looking for a sharpener that is simple and effective for the kitchen, pick up one of these Smith units.


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Clarifying What Happened With US Dept of Treasury and KALASHNIKOV

Rumors can generate some real stress so I want to recap what just happened factually.  Yesterday, the US Department of Treasury added certain Russian Firms to the “Specially Designated Nationals” list, which means US firms and individuals are prohibited from doing business with the named people or entities (such as corporations).  Here is the list of military industrial-related corporations they added:

  • Bazalt
  • Sozvezdie
  • NPO Mashinostroyenia
  • Almaz-Antey
  • Kalashnikov
  • KBP Instrument Design Bureau
  • Uralvagonzavod

For those of us into Russian firearms, the kicker is the addition of the holding company known as KALASHNIKOV  and here’s the actual SDN entry:

“SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION IZHMASH JOINT STOCK COMPANY (a.k.a. CONCERN KALASHNIKOV; a.k.a. IZHEVSKIY MASHINOSTROITEL’NYI ZAVOD OAO; f.k.a. IZHMASH R&D CENTER; f.k.a. JSC NPO
IZHMASH; a.k.a. KALASHNIKOV CONCERN; f.k.a. NPO IZHMASH OAO; a.k.a. OJSC CONCERN KALASHNIKOV; f.k.a. OJSC IZHMASH), 3, Derjabin Pr., Izhevsk , Udmurt Republic 426006, Russia; Registration ID 1111832003018 [UKRAINE2].”  — This is from the Treasury’s SDN update page 90 of the PDF:  http://www.treasury.gov/ofac/downloads/t11sdnew.pdf

Now, some people thought this just meant the Saiga line would be banned but the problem is that KALASHNIKOV is a holding company made up of both the Izhmash (Saiga) and Molot (Vepr).  To prove this, the following report is from Rostec who owns KALASHNIKOV, regarding the companies KALASHNIKOV owns:

  • JSC ‘NPO ‘IZHMASH’, Udmurt Republic
  • JSC ‘Izhevski mashzavod’, Udmurt Republic
  • ‘Koshkin Automatic line design bureau’ JSC, Moscow Region
  • ‘Klimov Special Ammunition Plant’, Moscow Region
  • JSC ‘NITI Progress’, Udmurt Republic
  • JSC ‘Molot’, Udmurt Republic
  • JSC ‘Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod’, Udmurt Republic

The source page is:  http://rostec.ru/en/about/company/165

Given my research, it is clear both Saiga and Molot lines of rifles and shotguns will be blocked but the bad news does not end there.

The actual executive order passed by President Obama is far broader and states:

    Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that 
are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United 
States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or 
control of any United States person (including any foreign 
branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be 
transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
          (i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; 
        and
          (ii) persons determined by the Secretary of the 
        Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
                  (A) to be an official of the Government of 
                the Russian Federation;
                  (B) to operate in the arms or related 
                materiel sector in the Russian Federation;
                  (C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have 
                acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, 
                directly or indirectly:
                          (1) a senior official of the 
                        Government of the Russian Federation; 
                        or
                          (2) a person whose property and 
                        interests in property are blocked 
                        pursuant to this order; or
                  (D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, 
                or provided financial, material, or 
                technological support for, or goods or services 
                to or in support of:
                          (1) a senior official of the 
                        Government of the Russian Federation; 
                        or
                          (2) a person whose property and 
                        interests in property are blocked 
                        pursuant to this order.
    (b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section 
apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in 
regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued 
pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract 
entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the 
effective date of this order.

Source:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-113hdoc98/html/CDOC-113hdoc98.htm

It would appear that existing contracts will be/should be honored.  Given the broad wording, this executive order could be used to block *new* contracts for the importation of Russian ammo as well.  In looking around so far this morning (6:30-7am Eastern), there didn’t appear to be price gouging by the big suppliers yet.  For example, SGAmmo still has fair prices for 7.62×39.  I must admit I am a bit nervous only for the reason that Golden Tiger is made in Russia by Vympel, also known as “Federal State Enterprise Production’s Amursk Cartridge Plant Vympel”.  I can only imagine that as word gets out there will be a run on Russian firearms and ammo that will only increase as time goes on until the word is fully spread.  Again, bear in mind that existing contracts should be honored given the above.

In short, Saiga and Vepr are blocked by name due to the KALASHNIKOV reference and the executive order could be used to block any *new* requests to import firearms or ammunition in general from Russia.  Not good news but with that said, there are many other countries with arms and ammunition production capabilities that will clearly exploit this opportunity.  People would be well served to start researching alternatives from Serbia, Romania, Poland and so forth.

Ultimately, only time will tell but I hope this gives people a better understanding of what was signed into law on July 16th.