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Book Review: AK-47 The Grim Reaper (Second Edition)

By Small Arms Review Editorial Staff

AK-47 The Grim Reaper (Second Edition)
By Frank Iannamico
Chipotle Publishing
www.smallarmsreview.com
1,085 pages
ISBN 978-0-9823918-5-3
$69.95 USD

This is a very large and thorough book on the history of the AK-47 and all its facets. It is the best resource currently available. There are 1,086 pages of information and a large number of high quality detailed photographs of various weapons and military photographs. This is the second edition of the AK-47 The Grim Reaper.

The first edition was published in 2008 and takes the reader through the development of the assault rifle, manufacturers in Russia, detailed looks at the 1st-3rd generation AK-47 rifles, AKM update, AK-74 family of weapons, AK-100 series, other Kalashnikov designs, Warsaw Pact countries manufacturing AK-type rifles, AK-derivatives, AK comes to America, made in USA AK-47 rifles, magazine and ammunition variations. The second edition greatly enhances the reader’s knowledge by the addition of many detailed photographs of various models, additional information and updated information of the current status of this family of weapons.

The book begins with Chapter 1 on the development of the modern day assault rifle with discussion of the U.S. Army Weapons Command Research & Engineering Directorate Small Arms System Laboratory testing on the AK-47 rifle from experience in Vietnam. It also parallels the development of the AK-47 with parallel to U.S. small arms development and ammunition development. Included are detailed historical descriptions of the German Sturmgewehr and its 7.92x33mm intermediate round and its influence on Kalashnikov’s design as well as the introduction to Kalashnikov’s story of his development of the rifle and its trail to the hands of the Soviet soldier.

Chapter 2 gives an introduction to the numerous Russian weapons factories spread out over the vast lands of the former Soviet Union. The arsenal marks are shown and how to identify the weapon with the factory that produced it. The second edition adds photographs of current manufacturing of the rifle.

Chapter 3 begins the analysis of the developmental history of the AK47. There are thorough descriptions and photographs of the first, second and...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N6 (July 2017)
and was posted online on May 19, 2017

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