Mikhail Kalashnikov died today of old age. The iconic designer of the AK-47 style rifle, the PKM, the RPK, and other Russian weapons. I remember an interview with him many years ago where he said he wished he would be remembered as an inventor and tinkerer as well as his weapons designs.
I called Tim from the Military Arms Channel and was chatting with him about how this was really the end of an era. There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in firearms technology since World War 2. Many designs are based on the Kalashnikov or Stoner Designs. Other technologies, such as projectiles, haven’t really been improved on either.
While it is sad that such a great designer as Mikhail Kalashnikov is dead, I hope this ushers in a new era of firearms technology. A lot of things have been tried from rocket bullets to cartridgeless projectiles, but I think the future is in energy based weapons. There is a long way to go to figure out powering them and making them lethal, but our next great gun designers might come from the science geeks instead of machinists.
So I’ll raise a glass tonight for one of the greatest weapons designers the world has ever seen, I look hopefully into the future for exciting and innovative times.