This is photoset from Kalashnikov AK-47 Museum in Izhevsk city, Russia. The Kalashnikov Museum was opened in the city of Izhevsk, Russia on November 4, 2004 – one week prior to the AK-47 designer’s 85th birthday as a gift for his anniversary. The budget of the project exceeded US$8,000,000. You can see the photos made by actual museum visitor here in this post:
This is the entrance into museum
The Kalashnikov Weapons Museum and Exhibition Center was opened in the city of Izhevsk, Russia on November 4, 2004 – one week prior to Mikhail Kalashnikov’s 85th birthday.
The construction of the museum began back in 1996, but was suspended due to insufficient funding. During a visit to Izhevsk in 2003, the CEO of RAO “UES of Russia”, Anatoly Chubais, had meetings with Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Udmurt Republic authorities, and potential investors.
As a result of this visit, a funding schedule was established for the project in order that the museum and exhibition center could be opened before the designer’s birthday.
There are many of exhibits in the first hall of the museum devoted to the biography of M. Kalashnikov, the AK-47 inventor.
Here is an assault rifle AK-47 from the first ever production series.
By Summer of 1948 the pilot batch of AK-47 is manufactured and by the end of 1948 AK-47 successfully went through the field trials. In 1949 the assault rifle, designated “Kalashnikov 7.62mm assault rifle, make 1947 (AK)” was adopted by the Soviet Army and Kalashnikov (turning merely 30) has been honored with the Stalin Prize for Industrial Work.
This showcase features AKM versions: upper model – with folding butt-stock, next one – with wooden stock and different kind of bayonet, and the gun with the silencer.
Down here is a limited edition version: the butt, hand grip, fore grip, hand-guard and magazine are made from glass filled polyamide material of green color.
This modification was produced on special order – the best USSR frontier guard soldiers were awarded with individual AKMs of green color and individually labeled. Mikhail Kalashnikov would often visit frontier posts and personally hand this special AK as an award to the best guard. The soldier wouldn’t take it home though then his draft was over – the gun would be kept at the frontier post’s own museum. The label on this modification of AKM reads: “To the Winner of Socialist Labor Contest”.
Across the museum there are LCD screens and plasma panels offering to the visitors different audio and visual information regarding the life of the inventor and story of his invention.
Overall, there are 17 video and multimedia presentations running in the exposition – on large LCD panels, projected to the walls and featured in information kiosks.
Along with development and improvement of AK-47, Kalashnikov’s Design Bureau had been working on design of general-purpose squad automatic weapon, designated for all kinds of combat troops.
There were modifications for airborne troops, for armored forces and so on, and PK-series (Pulemyot Kalashnikova) for 7.62 x 54 R caliber round was adopted as the standard general-purpose machine gun of the Red Army. Here you can see experimental model and standard PK machine gun.
They illustrate conception of unification – one of these is made for infantry, while another – for mounting on tanks. PKT tank machine gun differs in what electric trigger was incorporated to ensure remotely controlled fire that was attached to the receiver’s end plate instead of a butt. This one is PK machine gun for infantry on a mount developed by Evgeniy Samozhenkov.
Here on the pic the upper model is AK74 with night sight mounted. The next one – AK-74 with the 40-mm GP25 underbarrel grenade launcher, you can see a rubber shock-absorber mounted on the butt-stock to decrease recoil caused by grenade launcher.
Next is AKS-74 – it features folding stock, and the last one is AKS-74U – it sports folding stock, short barrel, altered sight and gas mechanism, odd-looking flash suppressor device on the muzzle. Very popular with Spetznaz (Russian Special Forces) troops as well as Russian law enforcement in Russia’s large cities. Based on AK-74 design, there was light machine gun RPK (with 45 rounds magazine) developed and adopted by the Red Army.
Also, taking the AK as prototype, there was designed a line of hunting rifles:
– Saiga self-loading hunting carbine (1974) (developed from the AKM Kalashnikov assault rifle in 1974) and
– Vepr self-loading hunting carbine (developed from the Pic.6-15 Artifacts of the epoch
RPK-74 light machine gun.
It differs from the RPK-74 in caliber, cartridge, mode of fire, magazine capacity, design and dimensions).
Featured in this showcase, first three guns and the latter black finish gun are produced by Izhmash, while Vepr carbine is made by Vyatsko-Polyansk Factory.
Not only guns were invented by Kalashnikov. Here is the lawnmower made by his project. He loved to take care of the grass at his summer cottage.
There are plenty more exhibits in the museum, one can read even more detailed review at the special websites devoted to AK-47 guns.
Also I want to mention that in Russia there is even a Vodka named after AK-47 and its inventor Kalashnikov. But who might be suprised of such a fact?