Tag Archives: Soviet

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.


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.


AK 74 bayonet Tula "Double star" matching numbers RARE

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USSR Soviet AK47 AK74 AK 3 Magazines Ammo Pouch Canvas Bag for Kalashnikov Mags

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Soviet bayonet scabbard and hanger USSR Russia model 6x4 bakelite

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Russian AK Sling OTK21 Stamped

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Soviet AK-74 Strap Carrying Scabbard USSR bayonet canvas belt loop Russia

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Cool New Soviet KGB Vodka Flasks – Awesome Conversation Starters

So I was surfing one day and stumbled across these cool souvenir personal liquor flasks from Russia that hark back to the Soviet era.  They looked really cool in the photos and were brand new so I figured why not get one and check it out.  Thus, out came the credit card and I got one from worldgifts1 on eBay.  I should point out that a number of vendors are selling these and they all look the same.

The below are photos of my exact flask.  I actually bought two – one for myself and one for my buddy Scott.  They really are nicely done – the chrome plate is good and what really caught my eye is the coat of arms – the CCCP is the abbreviation of the Cyrllic words “Союз Советских Социалистических Республик” that translate as the Union of Soviety Socialist Republics.  The КГБ is the Cyrllic abbreviation for Комите́т госуда́рственной безопа́сности which translates as the Committee for State Security, which we better know as the KGB.

I bought this strictly as a novelty plus as a place to keep either vodka or, gasp, my beloved tequila.  I think I am in big trouble for the tequila comment 🙂  It’s definitely a cool conversation starter and you could put whatever drink you want in there of course.

At any rate, it arrived as you see above and is water tight.  I sloshed some soapy water around inside, rinsed it out several times and then let it dry and it was good to go.

In my opinion it is a good deal – sure you can get cheaper generic flasks but they scream “boozer” vs. being a conversation starter.  I’d recommend these and they do make flasks with other insignia too – I opted for the KGB one due to growing up during the Cold War and tons of spy movies.

World Gifts is not the only seller and while I suspect they are all being made at the factory, I can’t speak to the quality of other sellers’ products.  Below are flasks from eBay including stuff from a number of sellers and at the bottom I have a link to the KGB Flask as sold by World Gifts on Amazon.

Vintage Russian Military Stainless Flask Enamel USSR Crest & Lenin Bust Rare

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Russian Drinking Flask STAINLESS STEEL 6oz OLD BATTLE EMBLEM/ RED ARMY STATUE

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6oz Russian Stainless Steel Drinking Flask KGB & CCCP Flag Emblem Made in Russia

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Russian Pin Up Girls D10 Flask 8oz Stainless Steel Hip Drinking Whiskey Brandi

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Russian Flask 9oz

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VINTAGE RUSSIAN SAILOR AD SIGN STAINLESS STEEL 8oz FLASK D 273 USSR RUSSIA

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Russian Standard Vodka Flask 6 oz New Without Box - Rare

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2008 Collectible RUSSIAN Film Symposium HIP FLASK Stainless Steel

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Russian Pin Up Girls D7 Flask 8oz Stainless Steel Hip Drinking Whiskey Brandi

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RUSSIAN STANDARD VODKA BRANDY WHISKEY FLASK 6OZ BRUSHED STAINLESS BRAND NEW RARE

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8 oz Russian Stainless Steel Drinking FLASK RUSSIAN FLAG AND IMPERIAL EAGLE

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RUSSIAN 8 OZ STAINLESS FLASK-USSR SOVIET MILITARY BADGE-GUARDIA LENIN BUST

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Russian Military Stainless Flask - NEW - Enamel USSR Crest & Lenin Bust - Rare

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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.