Elena Kalashnikova “Bewildered” By American-Made AKs

AK-47 Rated E for Everyone

Before President Obama imposed sanctions on Kalashnikov Concern — the Russian manufacturer of AK-47s, Izmash and Saiga rifles and shotguns — RWC Group won a contract to be the sole distributor of Kalashnikov AK-47s. In January 2014, the company signed an agreement with the Russian manufacturer to import 200,000 semiautomatic rifles. However, RWC only received about half that many before the sanctions ceased importation of the AK-47, Izhmash and Saiga firearms.

RWC, forced to stop communicating with Kalashnikov Concern, decided to make its own American-made AK-47s. In an announcement that rocked SHOT Show 2015, RWC made it official. In a bold move its booth, Kalashnikov USA, had signs reading, “Russian Heritage” and “Made in the USA.” RWC’s CEO, Thomas McCrossin, told CNN that the new company will start making these U.S.-built AKs by the second quarter of 2015. “What I’m manufacturing are our own AK-47s and shotguns under the Kalashnikov brand,” said McCrossin. Company representatives said that RWC/Kalashnikov USA is currently in discussions with three states in search of the perfect place to open a new factory.

During SHOT Show 2015, RWC Group showcased a 3-gun competition shotgun along with new USA-built Saigas.

Since the story broke, many speculated Kalashnikov Concern’s role in the decision. The Moscow Times cleared up the rumors shortly after the story of RWC’s intention broke. A representative for Kalashnikov Concern said that despite not objecting to the new Kalashnikov USA, the Russian company is not “working with them.” In the same report, Mikhail Kalashnikov’s daughter, Elena, president of the Kalashnikov Foundation said she was bewildered by the news and stated that RWC is violating the rights of Kalashnikov Concern. Elena said, “On the one hand, this is to some degree an acknowledgment: Why would anybody take something nobody needs? This looks like a confirmation that the AK-47 is still needed by someone. But on the other hand, it’s clear that our weapons should remain ours.” Perhaps Elena isn’t aware that a handful of U.S. companies already produce 100-percent made in the USA AK-47s… along with China, Afghanistan, Hungary, Poland, India, and Pakistan—just to name a few. The AK-47 is the most used military rifle in the world, with over 50 countries using it since the 1940s.

What do you think about RWC’s news? Will you buy an American-made AK from Kalashnikov USA? Tell us in the comment section.

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Comments (40)

  1. My great-grandfather was blind from communism. The way I see things, my family should be collecting royalties in every country they are produced. Buying a knockoff Gucci wallet is illegal but a knockoff ak isn’t? Get fucking real. My family is hated everywhere. I designed all kinds of variants in childhood and people are going to just steal them? I’m going to seek reparations in all corners of the globe they are produced. I wouldn’t suggest anyone manufacture Kalashnikov’s unless you want to be sued.

  2. Well, we still don’t know what an American made Russian rifle is??
    Saiga receiver with US barrel or what?
    If Russian parts are not importable, what are we getting?
    Tom Prince

  3. I would definitely buy an American made AK no prob! I’m just curious, how many times are we gonna receive the “bewildered” email? It seems like everyday I open my email I get the same one talking about the shot show and her reaction! Move on! Start building and selling them and let’s show this short timer obama we can still own AKs even WITH his bs orders! Don’t even get me started on this green tip ammo ban! My God what is wrong with these frickin libs?!

  4. What do I think about RWC’s news?
    Good for them.

    Will you buy an American-made AK from Kalashnikov USA?
    Nope, but I will be building my own AK-47 Bullpup!

  5. Any patent protection on the AK47 (assuming they even filed here) expired decades ago. The only issue that might be relevant is whether or not the “Kalashnikov” name is a registered trademark in the USA. As an analogy, there are a LOT of companies producing “1911” pistols – many of them better than anything that ever came out of the original maker’s factory – but only ONE manufacturer can legally call theirs a COLT. Now . . . would I buy one if I were in the market? That depends entirely on the rifle’s quality and price, both of which are yet to be determined.

  6. It’s curious that the Russian concern is bewildered by the need for an American-made AK. They certainly study the various international markets for sales potential, and have to be aware of how the Obama administration has tried to disarm Americans.

    That being said, if the American AK is true to its Russian roots, it would be a fine addition to any collection…

  7. I’m always glad to see to see a new gun company but I doubt I’ll be buying one … it’s not that I don’t like AK’s it’s just that with 4 Hungarians, 2 Yugo’s, a Norinco and a Valmet I just don’t have room for another!

    1. LMAO. Thank you. May I add that there is little difference between the hypocrisy of the communists and the hypocrisy of Barak Obeyme.

  8. I own a Century VZ2008 which is a milled receiver rifle in the AK47 style. It shoots great, so I see few quality control problems if the AK’s are assembled like the VZ’s.

  9. Ms. Kalashnikova has a basic human right to PROFIT from her labor or her cleverness, AS WELL as from her forebears labor or cleverness.

    All her father ever received for designing the best mass-producible battle rifle in the world was a crappy medal. He deserved to be made wealthy, and his heirs be made wealthy, by that accomplishment.

    An American company producing the AK-47, and it’s traditional variants, which is currently illegally and wrongfully prevented by the criminal traitor obama and his ilk from contracting or licensing with the Kalishnakov Concern should voluntarily set aside a fair market value royalty and hold it, by hook or by crook, until such time as normal and decent business can be conducted with the KC, at which point such funds should be made available to the rightful party or parties.

    To HELL with obama the criminal.

    1. Good grief, I dislike Obama as much as you do, but there’s no patent protection on the AK-47 design, just like there’s no patent protection on the Colt 1911 anymore either. Anyone can make one and not owe the original designer a penny. There are a lot of reasons to dislike Obama, but let’s pick a legitimate one.

    2. Absolutely Chuck — you are correct. There are no Royalties required, nor could any be claimed, on AKs… I don’t know if there will be issues regarding the use of the name, but any licensed manufacturer can produce an AK with their name on the side and do so without fear of any infringement issues.

      That said, I have no idea what international patent law is like regarding newer derivative AK (or AK-like) designs like the AN-94 (2-shot or select fire — an NFA rifle any way you slice it) and “Century-Series” AKs (107/108) with balanced recoil systems. Either of the latter 100-series could be built and sold as a semi-automatic in the states, so long as patent issues (if any) could be ironed out.

  10. Will definitely purchase an American made AK 47. While I love my American made AR 15; I prefer to buy American and will purchase to demonstrate the Obama administration’s anti constitutional behavior has consistently had the opposite effect it intended to accomplish. A well armed militia is essential to ensure freedom.

  11. Yes, we will purchase a new AK manufactured here. It represents a classic design, and will be a useful teaching tool for my kids to learn with before they ship out to other worlds, courtesy of Uncle Sam. We purchased an Arsenal milled receiver AK last year, and have been pleased with the result. I believe that every young person in high school should be given a class in safe handling of firearms, marksmanship, practical application, and foreign weapons, in addition to instruction in current and past Unites States military small arms and tactics.

  12. I’ve owned Chinese and Romanian AKs (and even a Chinese SKS), and I carried an AK in Iraq sometimes, depending on what my employer issued me, although I prefer an M4. After having been shot at by a few, I have to agree with Gunny Highway, “It makes a distinctive sound when fired at you . . ”

    I have a WASR now and like it. An iconic rifle and worthy of having in any shooter’s collection. I’m glad there’s now an option to get a true Kalashnikov made in America.

  13. American Made, Made in USA, yes I would certainly buy an AK-47/49 built here. Chinese AK’s rule the roost and are the cheapest quality (Chinese crap) Romanian, Yugoslavian, Russian, Ukraine all make quality rifles and I’m sure American Made will measure up…

    1. @topdrifter: Just to correct you statement, Chinese AKs were not crap, in fact, they were the better made with 1.5mm receivers vs. 1mm and smoother functioning then the majority of other manufactures. (and the front sights were not tilted).

  14. Personally I think you should be able to buy any weapon in any configuration you want. Single, semi, burst, or full auto. Nothing says get your a$$ off my lawn quite like a belt fed mg – 42.

    1. You can own these already, legally and privately — but all fully transferrable NFA weapons like this must be pre-86 registered to be owned by a private citizen. Registration takes time and the ATF wants to know where every one of these weapons are at all times.

      People who make comments about hosing down someone on their front lawn with an MG-42 bring just the sort of negative attention that could help bring about the end of even transferable NFA weapons.

      If you were just trying to make an outrageous statement about an MG-42 — mission accomplished. If you were intending to be serious in any way, you will run into a few problems — not the least of which will be Darwin winning again as you die while attempting to make the MG-42 ready to fire during your front yard ninja attack scenario.

  15. I own/shoot ARs, AKs n’em all. Why so much hate, responsible gun owners should be united to buy whatever they like, duh!?! I own/collect n shoot Saiga 74 n 47 n Arsenal SA M73SF, SW AR MnP15. Some people work hard so they can get EXACTLY
    what they want!! I love to shoot, don’t you!?!

  16. When I want a rifle that feels like someone kicked the washingmachine down the stairs, when I can miss fast enough to win, then I will buy an AK.

  17. If I could get one for what they sell for in Africa ($30) I’d buy two. Otherwise I’ll stick to my American iron.

  18. I do not now nor will I every condone any restrictions on the importation of foreign firearms into this country. I do understand why “O” has done this concerning the Russian made AK…two reasons 1) Satisfy the gun grabbers 2) Sanctions over the Ukraine invasion.
    What Jacks my jaw is “O” not allowing U.S. interests to buy and import “U.S. Made” M1 Garands from South Korea.
    Personally, I have no desire to own nor do I have a use for an AK no matter where it is made. But…I am all for U.S. made firearms.

  19. I owned a Chinese made AK-47. It had issues with several different magazines (no drums, all conventional box mags) and was unacceptably inaccurate. Worse than an old Remington 742 I had and previously, it had been the worst. I thought an 8 or 9 inch group off the bench with sandbags at 100 yards was absolutely as good as it got. Most groups were in the 12 inches to 13 inches range. My FNAR shot several 1.3 inches groups the same day. Of course, the FNAR had different sights but both had American made ammo, not surplus stuff. Sold the rifle but still have 8 or 10 mags I have not got around to selling just yet.
    I would be interested in an American made AK-47 if it took standard mags and if it was more accurate than my Chinese model. I am waiting for some good writer to “shake it out” and hope to see it evaluated in American Rifleman.

  20. By the way….Russian names are usually denoted by their gender. Kalashnikov’s daughter would be called Yelena (Elena) Kalashnikova, unless she happened to be married, and that works like most marriages, except the new last name would be feminized. I seriously doubt that Yelena K didn’t get married. She’s quite an old broad by now.

  21. So first the Obama administration scares American gun owners enough that we buy record numbers of guns including millions of AR’s. All the while crime rates in most cities drops, excluding ones with restrictive gun laws. Then Obama sneakily adds AK’s into a list of Sanctions against Russian imports which results in the Kalashnikov brand being manufactured in the U.S. OK by me. I would buy another one in a second! I hope that this goes down in history as one of the biggest lessons to a president and one of the greatest triumphs of the American people to preserve our heritage, history and respect for our own Constitution.

  22. I have limited funds in order to purchase “fun guns,” and often will purchase one with one or two points of reference: one, can I get rid of it without loosing my arse, and two, will the pistol or rifle have ammunition available if the government gets to the point of restricting ammo sales. That usually makes the .45 ACP, 5.56, .308, 9mm, .22’s and a few others guns that you can hoard ammo now without going broke. The AK is another gun that offers long term ammo availability, but I would rather have a good M14 or Belgium .308 instead, but again cost is a determining factor. Let us wait to see if the AK is cost effective.

    1. I agree with you. One suggestion; if you like the cheaper-to-shoot 7.62×39 round you can always do an AR15 upper in that caliber or simply buy a Mini-30 in 7.62×39 caliber instead.

  23. I’m always glad when I hear of a new company or product being made in the US.

    If they can build AK’s in caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan, I’m sure we can build them better in the US … I’m just surprised that its taken as long as it has to get 100% US made AK’s here!

    1. IWI in North Carolina has been making 100% US made AKs for years. This is not a new idea (as pointed out in the article if you had bothered to continue reading.)

  24. If it’s built well and priced right, I might just buy me one. Hope they have several options, not just one model, you know , all black and synthetic stock. Kind of lean toward an old school AK like the master had intended.

  25. I would absolutely buy an American made AK! That whole banning of the AK’s is ridiculous anyhow and all it is is gun control with out gun control!

  26. I will wait until I can see the AK-47. I want to feel how it fits in my hands. Then see how it shoots and handles in a combat course. I had a AK-47 made for me by two top rated gunsmiths. My AK-47 shoots and handles very,very, well.

  27. Speaking of which, they’ve become so popular that Mossberg came out with .22LR AK-47s at the SHOT Show. President Obama be damned — the people want AKs, so American industry will give them AKs.

  28. I think this is just a hyped bigger deal on a slow news day. If anyone is surprised by this they have been living in a box for at least the last decade.
    If the is a surprise here it’s that it took a US company so long to take this step.
    As far as the Daughter is concerned it seems she being kept in the dark!

  29. One would expect these to be quality AK’s. The AK is not a hard gun to make right really, stamped receiver etc. I would like to have an all American Made AK. I have a Chinese one and it is joy to shoot.

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