47 How Kalashnikov Guns Are Made

How Kalashnikov Guns Are Made

Posted on April 22, 2012 by team


Let us see how lives and what air breathes the legendary producer of Kalashnikov guns! While they write about inevitable death of the plant we can see that “Izmash” is alive indeed! It’s been working for two centuries, and will be working even longer!

They often tell about decay in Udmurtia, though we can see a new church here. The previous building was destroyed in 1937 but in 2004 they started construction of the new cathedral at the same place.

Monument of military and labor glory devoted to the deeds of Udmurt citizens in the war time.

Closer to Izhevsk industry

Back in 1941 the production centre of guns was placed in the east of Izhevsk outskirts, on the territory 96 hectares large – it’s twice as large as Vatican! Or a half of a European princedom Monaco!

Probably some of you will be surprised to know that Kalashnikov guns are assembled manually. Though this fact hasn’t prevented “Izhmash” from production of 50 million guns for the last 60 years!

They take their time. In its best years “Izhmash” produced 95 guns an hour! With these very hands!

A barrel is connected with a rod. There are special tools to do this, but some specialists use only a hammer.

That day the plant tested two types of nano-coating: the first is anticorrosion one and the second is one decreasing tension in movable mechanisms.

Assembling a barrel extension and inserting a bolt carrier into it.

When a mechanism is already adjusted manually by a specialist this lady draws screws up tight. Currently 15 students work in “Izhmash” construction centre.

Attaching a butt to an almost finished gun. Women can perform the task!

Though some processes are automated, of course.

And here is the ready gun.

Today their average salary is 16 thousand rubles (530 USD).

The final check. This woman is to decide if a gun should be worked further on. Collegues are waiting for a verdict heart aflutter.

It may seem strange but this young guy is already a boss. Alexander is 21 and he’s a chief foreman. Higher education gives good chances to be promoted.

The final stage: the barrels have been polished.

Export contracts have always helped “Izhmash” to survive, even in the hardest times. The products are exported to 27 countries of the world. Now a big amount of AK guns is awaited in India. Though they want them to have interchangeable barrels and shoot with cartridges of different calibres. “Izhmash” is ready to meet these requirements!

Director of the plant

Proceeds have increased for 40% compared to 2010, earnings of employees – for 21%, some specialists also get bonuses amounting to a half of their salary. Does the plant looks to be dying?

This cute young lady is responsile for engraving on the guns.

If she practices much she may be able to do such things one day!

Americans show much interest in “Saiga-12″ guns. In 2011 “Izhmash” earned 15 millions dollars for sales of sports and hunting guns in the USA.

Before selling the guns they have to be tested. This man will never miss any defective gun!

“Kalashnikov” doesn’t burn or rust.  Checking the gun under the artificial rain.

Freezing the guns in utterly severe conditions

heating the guns in a stove

Though it’s not the end of the AK suffering. In the end it will be smashed against the concrete plate for 3-5 times.

And it continues to perfectly shoot! If 2012 will bring Apocalypse, and in some centuries our descendants will dig out Izhevsk Kalashnikovs, they will have to be careful, the guns will be still in a working condition.

That’s it!

Location: Izhevsk

via vsirin

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47 Responses to “How Kalashnikov Guns Are Made”

  1. ayaa says:

    Niiice.

  2. rostit says:

    fantastic

  3. Tim Dennison says:

    They freeze, heat, and beat each gun? Doesn’t that affect the heat treated steel? Lose the temper? Anyways, that was very impressive.

    • Vlad says:

      To loose the temper on a heat treated piece you need to take it above a few hundred degrees(for example to anneal steel, that is making it soft, you need to reach around 800-900 degrees Celsius). My guess is that they test in a limited range simulating different temperatures the gun might be used in spanning from Siberia to Sahara :)

  4. wing says:

    Helping people to kill each other all over the world! Bravo, Kalashnikov!!

    • jose says:

      humans don’t need kalashnikovs to kill each other haha

    • ayaa says:

      Lol. Its not Kalashnikov or his guns that kill people, its people that kill people. A gun, if just left alone, won’t kill anyone. It’s when someone picks it up and fires it, that someone dies or suffers from a severe case of lead poisoning.

  5. pradeep says:

    Splendid!!

  6. jj says:

    AK-47 is an extremely reliable gun. No matter if it’s winter in Siberia on summer in Sahara, the Gun will work. I have used a licensed AK variant in army and it was very easy to handle and fire.

  7. Osip says:

    The Ak is exceedingly simple firearm. To see it being assembled using hand files makes me wince.
    BTW, I own one and can assemble with my eyes shut in only seconds.

  8. (r)evolutionist says:

    Guns or butter? It’s our choice.

  9. Matlok says:

    I want a Saiga 12, and yes they are in high demand here in the U.S. Great post ER!!

  10. Galitsin says:

    AK 47 – Connected peoples since 1947!

  11. CZenda says:

    Yeah, it is much easier to manufacture such low-tech product than a decent car.

  12. osobist says:

    AK47 – designed by Hugo Schmeisser, developed by Werner Grüner!

  13. Russiafan says:

    I was surprised by the size of the factory, and how much hand work went into each gun. I had always been told that the AK 47 was “made out of crude stampings”. Although it is a very tough gun, I can see that this isn’t true at all. It’s very precisely made. Both the USA and Russia seem to excel in making good guns. Maybe now they can use some of that skill and both get better at making cars.

    • yojimbo says:

      The “crude” stamping would be the Cold War Western description of Soviet technology in general.To some extent this is actually true many Soviet/Russian firearms a built with much looser tolerances in mind which means a much more “solider proof” weapon it also means that dirt and debris very hot or very cold weather has much less of a negative effect.The trade off is generally a little less precision in in accuracy and in trigger pressure (the amount of pull and the firing point will feel less precise) of course these are very good trade offs when one takes into consideration the fact that for most combat troops the accuracy rate is 33% and the larger benefit of having a weapon that will be much more likely to function when needed and is easier to maintain.

      The AK was designed as a front line combat rifle and WWII made it clear that massed fire pinning your enemy down with fire power until you could get on his flanks and overwhelm him was the way to win battles and the AK was designed to rounds down range and to do it reliably.And the AK is not all that inaccurate either you can still reliably hit a man size target with any AK rifle and in the end that is what is most important in a fire fight that and effectively putting rounds down range.

      Have you ever fired a Mosin Nagant? they have a very hard and sudden trigger not smooth at all but many people love them I have a beautiful 91/30 I love shooting that rifle.There where Soviet and Finish snipers in WWII getting kills with that rifle that are impressive even my modern high precision rifle standards.

  14. JN says:

    Nice. I wonder do they still produce “Yunker” Co2 rifles in Izhmash factory??? I have this Yunker-2 (Ak-74M) model rifle and its fantastic for shooting outdoor for fun. Made 90% of real parts from Ak-74M and for that its illegal to sell in USA.

    • D says:

      they probably just divert from the production line.

      And yeah a lot of CO2 guns are made like that. I got a CP 99 pistol that feels like the real thing.

  15. Apu Gupta says:

    i didn’t notice any modern and computer controlled high precision machinery there, looks like those russian grannies are assembling those AK’s manually, which is maybe not such a good thing for final quality.

  16. Dan says:

    “Today their average salary is 16 thousand rubles (530 USD).” – is this per year or per month or ??

  17. darkknight9 says:

    Very, very cool. And yes, the engraver is quite cute!

  18. schtuka says:

    None of the pictured rifles can be called AK47 or AKM which used 7.62 mm bullet. Most of the rifles are some variations of AK74 with smaller caliber.

    • bobb says:

      Well if you want to be picky, 1st pic is an AK-12, 7,8,9 is SVD, SVDS, SVD (or civilian tiger), 10 is AK-104 or 102 or 105 or civilian version, crap i’m tired …

  19. Gorby says:

    Ahh the ak, the very first weapons Of mass destruction. Make them well comrades.

    • projectiledysfunction says:

      Trite, but actual weapons of mass destruction (ie chemical weapons and atomic bombs) predate the AK-47/AKM by years and decades, respectively

  20. Throckmorton says:

    Can I get the young lass in blue to engrave my MP310?
    My AK is a romanian clone (XYEBO). I’ll trade it in for the real thing someday..

  21. Very interesting.

    The employees have lifetime job security for sure as the world (fortunately/unfortunately) needs guns.

  22. Mercal says:

    They need to produce more AK’s the demand is high and the more the better.

    AK is the best gun in the world bar none.

  23. vorontsevich (f/k/a ayaa) says:

    Yes. That must be why Ak variants have been sold more times than all the other assault rifles in the world.

  24. nmgfhk says:

    Wonderful! How about Hugo Schmeisser and his STG-44? Did he invented it before 1947?!!!

  25. USSR says:

    “The final check. This woman is to decide if a gun should be worked further on. Collegues are waiting for a verdict heart aflutter.” … Dang she checks my semi-automatic “Sayga” which bought at gun shaw for $170 bucks…

  26. SALISU LAWAL H says:

    IT IS DURABLE WEAPON IS NICE

  27. Allen Benge says:

    I thought the AK was designed by a sergeant in the Soviet army, named Kalashnikov.

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