The New York Times "Week in Review" section has an article on the AK-47. Knock me over with a feather, but it has little anti-gun snark. The article centers on the weapon’s 60th anniversary of the weapon attended by its maker Mikhail Kalashnikov, now 87 years old.
The article states that Russia celebrated the gun’s “birthday” with pomp, circumstance, and a little chagrin. They praised the gun's world-wide acceptance, but they’re not happy that so many other countries are making and selling the iconic weapon. In many cases, the former Soviet Union established the very factories in those countries that are competing with them now.
The Russians are also unhappy that America has been buying a large number of AK-47s for Iraqi and Afghani police forces but not buying them from Russia. In other words, Russia wants to become the premier seller for AK-47s.
I think that horse has already left the barn, but who knows. Of course, they can’t sell a true AK-47 in America—at least not one made after 1986 (thanks to the execrable Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owner Protection Act). Semi-auto versions are still legal here.
Yosemite Sam has a semi-auto Romanian AK clone, a SAR-1. He enjoys shooting it, but I’ve never developed much liking for the rifle. The gun is all black stamped metal and a particularly unlovely wood with little finish. Not exactly the esthetic I look for in a gun. Still, that’s not the most important reason for my dislike of this one (and so far only) gun.
It beats me up when I shoot it. There must be a strange confluence of the gun’s shape and my body structure. No matter how I hold the gun when I shoot it, the rear of the stock flips up and bashes me in the cheekbone. I guess I could shoot from the hip like the Brady Campaign suggests is so deadly, but there’s no fun in that.
I guess I’ll have to settle watching Yosemite Sam shoot his AK clone while I shoot my AR-15 clone. Thinking of it that way, I’m not settling for anything.