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.