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Kalashnikov USA & an Overview of AK Evolution

 

EuroOptic is proud to announce our latest product line: Kalashnikov USA firearms and accessories! All of the rifles, pistols, and shotguns made by Kalashnikov USA are in the AK-family, with each weapon meticulously designed using the original Russian specifications. While their 9mm and 12-gauge firearms deserve an article of their own, for now we will focus on one of KUSA’s most popular models, the KR-103, as well as a little bit of history on the world’s most popular assault rifle.  

In 1941, the AK-47’s designer Mikhail Kalashnikov was recovering from a wartime injury in a military hospital. While in recovery, he overheard a few of his comrades complaining about being outgunned by German soldiers, many of whom carried automatic weapons, as well as the reliability issues of the Russian Army’s weapons. He began his career as a weapons designer as soon as he was released from the hospital, developing a submachinegun and a gas-operated carbine, but both were rejected by the Russian Military. As the war progressed, the Russian Military and Mikhail Kalashnikov recognized the potential of an intermediate rifle cartridge, largely inspired from the legendary German Sturmgewhr 44. Following the war, and after years design and testing, Mikhail Kalashnikov produced a rifle that combined features of the American M1 Garand, the Russian SKS, and the German StG 44: the AK-47.

Since its adoption by the Russian Army in 1948, over 100 million AK-pattern rifles have been used by armed forces around the world and will continue to see service well into the foreseeable future. The AK family of weapons themselves could best be summed up by a quote from Nick Cage in the movie Lord of War: “It's the world's most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine-pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn't break, jam or overheat, it will shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand.” This perfectly encapsulates the sheer reliability of the AK platform and is one of the main reasons for their popularity.

 

Kalashnivok USA’s KR-103 is largely based on the Russian AK-103 – an enhanced version of the AK-47. The AK-103 was one of the last rifles that Mikhail Kalashnikov himself worked on and made the already excellent AK-platform even better with modern augmentations. One of the most notable upgrades is the stock: instead of the traditional wooden stock, both the AK-103 and KR-103 use an ultra-durable polymer stock. The use of synthetics rather than wood seriously cuts down on the weight of the rifle, and the stock can be folded to the side for enhanced CQC capabilities or as a handy storage/transportation option.

 

 

Another prominent feature of the KR-103 is its forged trunnion, which undergoes an advanced manufacturing process that aligns the grain structure of the metal with the shape of the part for remarkable density, strength, and a long service life. Its also worth noting that the KR-103 can be outfitted with an optic thanks to a rail on the left side of the receiver. The rail itself isn’t an optics mount, rather, it can be used to attach an optics mount. The KR-103 is compatible with standard AKM style optics mounts, but Kalashnikov USA offers picatinny mounts as well.

 

The combination of an improved stock, forged trunnion, optics compatibility, and a dedication to original specifications makes the KR-103 an outstanding choice for virtually any application. Like all weapons in the AK-family, it also offers the legendary Kalashnikov reliability.

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