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This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

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DarkLord
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This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#1 Post by DarkLord » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:24 pm

All,

Was hoping to open up the debate. I heard rumor that there is supposed to be some "new evidence" that "proves" Schmeisser designed the AK. Anyone know what this "new evidence" is? Because, I'm calling BS. Regardless of any archival "evidence", I personally say the best evidence is the rifle itself. There isn't a single Schmeisser innovation on the entire rifle. I'll give you the general "concept" and general layout clearly shows an STG influence. But to call it a "copy" or to somehow say that the Russians didn't invent the AK is just preposterous to me.

What say you?

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#2 Post by Hammerdown » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:47 pm

The action of the stg44 would be closer to an SKS rifle than an AK with its tilting bolt to lock it in and out of battery.
They look alike so they must be the samething :doh:
Captain Obvious, you have never failed me!

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#3 Post by TNGhost » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:56 pm

No one is saying that the AK is a copy of the STG44 although the concept was certainly laid down with the German gun.

No, what you have, is a historically successful German engineer/arms designer, from a family of arms designers, who was responsible for a number of successful arms designs, and a group of his colleagues, who were interred at the same facility in Russia that gave birth to the AK, at the same time. As opposed to Kalashnikov who's only other successful mechanical design, before or after the AK, was a tank odometer.

Couple that with the Russian propensity for propaganda, and the fact that in no way shape or form was a former NAZI employee going to be able to be given credit for anything as important as the AK by the Russians on the heels of the Great Patriotic War, especially when you have the great "Hero of the Soviet" story, of a wounded in battle tank sergeant, giving the motherland her miracle rifle.

Vodka swilling tank sergeant with a Ministry of Propaganda cover story vs. experienced third generation arms designer and his engineering team. :roll:

You do the math.

Not to mention Schmeisser's mysterious death shortly after being released by the Russians. Something else they are noted for. ;)

Of course Schmeisser and his colleagues being "guests" of the Russians there and then could be just a coincidence... :lol:

I won't even get into how the rifle was designed to be manufactured on a stamped receiver(something developed by the Germans) but the Russians were unable to pull that off successfully until 10 years after the rifle was introduced.

The AK is itself a Schmeisser "innovation".

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#4 Post by DarkLord » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:52 pm

I have done the math, and it doen't add up. Kalashnikov designed much more than the tank odometer. As it turns out (as we saw after the invention of the AK47), Kalashnikov actually WAS a talented firearms designer, as he remained the leading small arms designer in the Soviet Union for decades. Also, consider that Kalashnikov was the leader of a 4 man design team. And the Soviet's process all but guaranteed they would come up with something great. There were 4 competing teams, and those teams all came together at least 4 times during the process where they were each allowed to inspect competing designs, and incorporate anything they found useful. This PROCESS guaranteed they would come up with something pretty great.

As for Schmeisser...He's a bit on the over-rated side. He actually didn't design anywhere near as many guns as are ascribed to him (no, he didn't invent the MP44 or the MP40). He was a gifted amateur who never had any training in engineering.

The Russians found him lacking in imagination, and very difficult to work with. Notes show he was anything but cooperative with his captors...and when he did cooperate, most times he really was no great help.

As for the Russians being "unable" to manufacture stamped guns...I call BS on that one. A few books have said they couldn't pull it off, and it had something to do with welding as well. There are some real problems with that:

1- There is no welding on an AK that could be considered anything but the most basic of welding...No brain surgery there...If you have a welder, know how to turn it on...you can get the job done.
2 - I have seen 4 first model Ak's, and they show absolutely no evidence of any sort of insufficient manufacturing techniques.

Here's my theory on why they went away from stamping...

1 - Stamping technology isn't what most think it is...it is NOT a "simple" way to make a rifle. In fact, it takes HUGE machinery that is not common, and VERY expensive. The dies for stamping have to be made with the absolute utmost in precision, and they wear out from time to time, so you have to keep making these very difficult to make dies.

So while metal stamping makes ASSEMBLY of a weapon a virtual "snap". Having the ability to make stamped weapons requires very serious machinery. Don't believe me, just watch some video's of German G3's being manufactured...Take a look at the equipment...It's HUGE, expensive, and complex. When done right, parts and receivers are made in seconds, and tend to come out dimensionally perfect. Until the advent of CNC machining, stamping was the cheapest way to make small arms; but setting up a stamping factory is massively expensive and complex.

2 - After WWII, the Soviets were on a serious modernization swing, and they desperately needed stamping equipment for more vital things than rifles. However, what they did have was a virtual sea of milling machines, and a shit ton of people who knew how to operate them.

3 - Once they realized that the AK could do the job it was designed for, as well as every job the SKS was designed for; the Soviets wanted a LOT of AK's in a short period of time. This would require much more stamping machinery, as well as training of people to operate them. The Soviets were short of hard currency, and even when they did have money, they needed stamping equipment for much more vital things than rifles.

Therefore, I submit...
It was a conscious decision to switch to milled receivers because they could drastically expand manufacturing (to include other countries, not just the Soviet Union) without impacting other projects that were more important.
This makes sense because the AKM came along shortly after the Soviet Union had well recovered the economics of WWII, had expanded their oil exploration and production (as well as natural gas), and finally had the hard currency to buy western metal stamping equipment.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#5 Post by TNGhost » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:05 pm

Aside from the AK, the only "successful" weapons designs credited Kalashnikov were follow ons to the AK, using the same system of operation, nothing new or of different operating principals.

Yes the Soviet communists had a great "system" for ensuring success, in any engineering endeavor they undertook. The NKVD/KGB/FSB had/has a large section dedicated to it, and "it" is acquiring (stealing) technology from other countries, same as the communists in China do today.

Hugo Schmeisser, is honored in Germany and elsewhere in Europe as "one of the most important technical designers of infantry weapons of the 20th century", and his father Louis was one of the best-known weapon technical designers of Europe. His father was involved in the development and production of the Bergmann machine guns used during the First World War and he was the designer of the the Dreyse 1907 Pistol, used in both WW1 and 2, and Hugo worked on and designed a number of weapons, including the ground breaking STG44, which was the total concept pattern for the AK. Hugo's brother Hans was also a noted weapons designer

As far as Hugo's "drawbacks" the only source citing that is the Russians, the Russians who created the Kalashnikov "Hero of the Soviet" myth and were in no way shape or form going to give anyone outside Russia credit for the design of the AK, much less a former NAZI compatriot. Certainly not that soon after the "Great Patriotic War. To the same point, the Russians are the only ones extolling the "genius" of Kalashnikov. When you have the luxury of living in a closed and closely controlled society, you can pretty much make up any truth you want, because the only available version, is the one you put out.

As far as stamping and the receiver, yep, it takes machinery and technology the Russians didn't have, as stated above. and failures of the stamped receivers of the original early "type I" AKs are well documented. So they did try to make it as Schmeisser and his team designed it, with a stamped receiver, but institutionally and technologically they just were not up to it, until a dozen years later, when they had swiped enough tech and machinery to be able to do the job.

No, the AK is most definitely a design innovation of Hugo Schmeisser and his German colleagues, much the same as the Saturn V rocket that got us to the moon was the innovation of our German engineer Werner Von Braun. Only difference is our German was treated much more fairly and allowed to take credit and profit from his innovations, while theirs only received incarceration and death.

Russians being innovative and technologically on the forefront, vs. Russians stealing technology, and propagandizing about their great successes.

Again, do the math, it is very simple and very self evident.

Some things never change. Just like today with the BS coming out of Russia about the greatest battle tank ever and "hypersonic" missiles that are "guaranteed" to decimate our military. Its the same MO as the development and propaganda story of the AK. If the shoe fits...

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#6 Post by DarkLord » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:46 pm

Well, RESPECTFULLY I guess we'll just disagree.

I'm an historian, and I don't accept someone's opinion about propaganda as historical fact. The propaganda thing does make sense on the surface though, and I thought the same thing for decades. Unfortunately, it doesn't match actual historical facts in my opinion (there I go using that word again).

Before one can advance such a theory, you have to flatly disprove the other "theory" (that Kalashnikov and the Soviets did it themselves). It's arrogant to think the Soviets couldn't do it...Firearms are pretty simple machines when compared to all the other truly excellent feats of engineering the Soviets did (on their own) building military hardware. Their approach to making the AK was VERY practical, and straight forward. They made no bones about copying other designs; and Kalashnikov readily admits this. He gave proper credit to Garand and Browning in the AK design, as well as credit to the competing AK designs. What the didn't give credit to was Schmeisser. And that's because Schmeisser's expertise clearly wasn't used (as can be seen by the fact that there isn't ONE single Schmeisser design in the AK).

The Soviets have a LONG history of small arms development, and has at times lead the world. If you look at all the designs that were never adopted, you can see they were doing VERY well on their own without any help from anyone else.

There isn't ONE...Not ONE single design innovation on the AK47 that you can trace to ANY German design, other than the overall appearance of the AK. Gas system is a merging of the Soviet AVS-36 and the Garand. Bolt is clearly Garand, as is the trigger mechanism. Magazine clearly traces back to earlier Russian designs (and is VASTLY superior to anything the Germans made...or anyone else for that matter). Stock and handguard design are completely different.

As for stamping...Not only were the Soviets using stamping technology at the same time as Germany was working out the MP44 (MKB-42...), but the type of stamping they were doing (PPSh-43), is VERY similar to what ended up being used on the AK-47. And if you're honest with yourself, it's obvious that the stamping of the MP44 is WORLDS more complex and advanced than the Soviet's did on the AK.

Now, I'll readily admit that the whole "concept" has to go to the Germans; of that there can be no doubt. However, if you follow Soviet small arms design, it's clear they were heading the same direction as the Germans.

What we can give the Soviets credit for is...They clearly saw the brilliance of the MP44, and chose to go in that direction. Which is much more than we can say for the US...Who looked at the MP44 and clearly didn't "get it"; because we went a completely different direction (and were wrong in doing so)...which delayed the US having a true assault rifle for 20+ years.

As to your "some things never change" comment. Come on...What does that have to do with anything? I'm just talking the history...has nothing to do with hypersonic missiles or any sort of politics.

In fact, what I'm trying to do is get down to FACTS, and leave the politics in the dumpster where it belongs. Unfortunately it seems that all of your views regarding Soviet small arms are completely encapsulated in the politics. As an historian, I go with facts and let others (like yourself) debate the politics.

Respectfully sir

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#7 Post by DaleH » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:57 pm

Wow ... pissing contest and no idea whom to believe. But I myself don’t believe the Ruskies did it. And sorry, but I see zero commonality between an AK bolt and a Garand bolt, other than they rotate.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#8 Post by DarkLord » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:48 am

First - TNGhost makes a very good case. I believe as he did for a few decades...

Kalashnikov thought the rotating bolt was superior to the tilting bolt. The Tokarev Rifle used the tilting bolt (which was later used in the FN FAL), but Kalashnikov felt the Garand rifle was superior to the Tokarev (in some ways it was, and some ways it wasn't. But it clearly was THE rifle of WWII). So Kalashnikov went with the tilting bolt of the Garand. How do we know it came from the Garand? Well, Kalashnikov said it was the isnpiration, but notice the degree of rotation...nearly identical. But Kalashnikow (quite cleverly) recognized the Garand bolt had some real weaknesses; and he was right. Those weaknesses found their way into the M14 as well. So he (or someone on his team) took the concept, and re-designed the bolt to be much easier to manufacture, and as indestructable as they could make it.

The "Garand" part of the AK gas system is the long stroke gas system driving a rotating bolt. Kalashnikov changed the bolt carrier and gas piston to more closely resemble the AVS-36 so the gas piston wouldn't have a crooked leg like the Garand (a constant problem on the Garand and M14); keeping everything in line, making for a gas piston design the pretty much never wears out.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#9 Post by TNGhost » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:42 pm

Politics?

They are the only reason Kalashnikov was credited with the design of the AK.

Looking at it from a logical, non political viewpoint, based on the evidence available, the only intelligent, non emotionally attached conclusion that can be drawn, is that the AK was an innovative design, of Hugo Schmeisser. Any evidence to the contrary is solely provided by the Russian government and therefore inherently politically tainted.

The argument of the Garand bolt is an old one, and even if it was "borrowed"(which is a stretch), it was borrowed by Schmeisser, and not Kalashnikov.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#10 Post by DarkLord » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:39 pm

Using that logic, the Soviet actually accomplished none of the things they said they did. It has always been assumed the Germans created Russia's best rockets, but we now know that is false. But according to your logic, because they were a communist country, and therefore everything is subject to propaganda, Russians couldn't have designed any of their missiles. Somehow the German's must have designed all their aircraft, missiles, and tanks...I mean, they were 3rd world backwards communists.

The thing is, there is MOUNDS of Soviet documents spanning several years that shows Kalashnikov was the leader of his design team. His prototypes are in Russian museums, so you can see his progression. You can also see the competing designs, and where some of the AK's innovations came from. Yet you still say it wasn't a Russian design (never mind the FACT, the Russians designed weapons systems that were 1,000 times more complex).

Sounds like you believe Schmeisser designed 100% of the AK. I don't see ANY features that can be traced to Schmeisser. So exactly what is your evidence?

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#11 Post by TNGhost » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:50 pm

So those prototypes, what independent evidence is there that they are not simply the work of Schmeisser's team with Kalashnikov's name on them?

They came out of the same facility where Schmeisser's team was located, at the same time, and we know full well that the Russians would never admit a foreigner, formerly in the employ of the Third Reich, would be given any public credit.

Frankly, I don't see any features of the AK that can be verifiably traced to Kalashnikov. Actually he has no track record, to speak of, to compare the AK to. (Schmeisser does).

A lot of seemingly unnecessary mystery and secrecy still surround the development of the AK, quite unlike that involving the development of any other major small arms of the period, like the M14, M16, the FAL, the G3.... Almost all of the developments of those designs, (and many others) can be quite accurately attributed to specific individuals, with little controversy or argument.

Not so with the AK. Why is that?

That is a big clue, right there, as to what really took place, how, and most importantly, why.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#12 Post by DarkLord » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:00 am

I'm asking for evidence, you're giving me speculation. And I'm not saying your speculation is completely without merit. But in order for it to be accepted, there needs to be much more evidence.

I'm not asserting Kalashnikov himself did everything. I'm asserting (because all the ACTUAL evidence points that way), that the Soviet program to create a new assault rifle ended in the AK47, and there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary.
Just like Garand didn't invent 100% of the Garand rifle that was used in WWII. Stoner didn't invent 100% of the M16 (or AR10). Saive didn't invent 100% of the FAL. ALL were the leaders of their design team. But as leaders of the teams, the designs are credited to them. We state that "Stoner" was the designer of the M16, when in fact it was Stoner, Johnson, Sullivan, J. Sullivan, Bob Fremont, etc...

1- Kalashnikov gave credit to Browning, Tokarev, and Garand (all of who's influence you can trace to the design). Now why did he give credit to them and not Schmeisser?
2 - Kalashnikov specifically said Schmeisser did inspect various designs, but didn't offer anything of substance to any of them. This is backed up by documentation from Schmeisser's handlers who said he was not very cooperative, and was actually repatriated to Germany a year early. Let's not forget, that's part of the reason he was considered a hero by the Germans...He didn't collaborate.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#13 Post by TNGhost » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:26 am

What evidence do you have that Kalashnikov and his Russian team designed the AK and even have any "credit" to give to others?

The say so of the Soviets? :lol:

Oh, and Schmeisser was actually held longer than his fellow Germans by the Russians.

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#14 Post by DarkLord » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:00 pm

Well, the evidence is the Russian records and most books written on the subject.
German POW's were returned in 1954, Schmeisser was returned in 1953

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Re: This "Schmeisser designed the AK" nonsense...

#15 Post by TNGhost » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm

Schmeisser worked in Izhevsk until 1952 when he and other German specialists returned home to Germany. With short notice, his stay in the Soviet Union was extended beyond that of the other weapon specialists by a half year. He finally returned home on 9 June 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Schmeisser

Believe what you want, however Russian propaganda has never been renowned for its veracity.

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