AK vs AR. Part I
Comparison of Russian and American assault rifles through the eyes of an American soldier:
Joe Montenya (Joe Mantegna), host of the TV channel "OUTDOR", about the M16 rifle:
According to the degree of abuse of those around the Kalashnikov assault rifle, the second place after the myth about the involvement of Hugo Schmeisser in its development is the theme of opposing the American M16 rifle. More precisely, AR-15 and all its subsequent clones. As with Schmeisser, in this matter there is a bunch of conjectures, made-up "facts", as well as many eyewitnesses and witnesses, independent and famous experts. The main point in this opposition is reliability. But what is it?
When we talk about reliability, we usually rely on the experience of using samples that have already been manufactured and tested, as a result of which flaws in the design are revealed, the technical process is improved, the weapon becomes more reliable. This is the norm. But when designing from scratch, if you do not take into account the advantages and disadvantages of prototype designs, do not know the basics of the reliability of the mechanisms of the engineering industry to which the development applies - this is not the norm. American aviation designer Eugene Stoner, it seems, can be easily written in the category of "non-normalized". Otherwise, there is no way to explain the birth of such a weapon misunderstanding as the American M16 rifle.
In technogenesis, as well as in biogenesis, the laws that were formulated by Darwin work at the stage of evolution. The species is improved by the natural selection of the best mutations of individuals. The more individuals and more mutations, the more likely the emergence of the most enduring species. In the history of the development of an automaton for an intermediate cartridge, a variety of individuals (constructions) and mutations (models and their modifications) were provided. Of the fifteen samples won the best. At the same time, informational openness was ensured by competition, when participants could study the designs of competitors, members of the commission, by test results, developed technical proposals for implementation in various samples. The result of the work of this collective brain was the selection of the truly most advanced design. It remains only to state that in the present conditions it is no longer possible to repeat this.
So the emergence of such highly reliable weapons as a Kalashnikov assault rifle is, first of all, the work of natural law, and such personalities as Kalashnikov, Zaitsev, Bulkin, Deikin and many others did everything possible to not violate this law.
In the history of M16, there was no diversity of mutations. There was a complete lobbying and protectionism of individual individuals and generals. In one of the propaganda American films on the creation of M16, it is explicitly said that when the question arose of developing weapons for a new small-caliber cartridge, the old and respected American gunsmiths from Springfield Armory directly answered that they would need four years to do so.
But there was one comrade who requested six months to finalize his unsuccessful AR-10 design. They said to him: "Come on." So when redesigning the hunting cartridge appeared SS109 (5.56x45), from AR-10 turned AR-15, adopted under the brand name M16, and the center for the development and production of firearms “Springfield Armory” closed in 1968 year.
Even more ancient history
When the neophytes say that Herr Schmeisser laid some foundations somewhere, which all advanced weapon thought still uses, they are not so far from the truth. Sturmgever is a direct prototype for M16. And not only by constructive heritage. Assault rifle is a translation of German Sturmgewer, which in the language of the native aspens means “assault rifle”. Constructive Teutonic heritage, if digging thoroughly, is found much earlier, even in MP-18. This is a transverse latch design of the store, which locks it with its protrusion in the recess of the side wall. In the American rifle, it has changed slightly.
Along with the latch and passed the method of installing the store in the mine.
The next prototype was the MP-38 / 40. From the point of view of evolution, it was a revolutionary model, although it was slightly spoiled by Schmeisser’s buggy store. The stamped body of the receiver and the functional division of the weapon into two parts: the upper one, containing the barrel and the bolt group, and the lower one with the USM, connected by means of a sliding pin or on a hinge.
The method of installation of the bolt group in the tubular casing (installed from the end) was transferred to the sturmgever, and from it to M16. Directly by the Sturmgevev decision, which was transferred to the American rifle, there was a return spring in the butt and a protective curtain opposite the window of the liner extraction.
Thus, from the totality of all the signs, it is obvious which designer was influenced by what designer when he created his rifle. German Stg-44 is a direct prototype of M16.
This obvious fact is not noted by anyone, but it is full of statements that Kalashnikov was impressed by the design of the Teutonic genius, or even Schmeisser himself had a hand in the creation of AK.
It seems a bit strange that an attempt to prove the inconsistency of these allegations based on the use of different ways of locking the bolt in AK and Shturmgever, when there are enough facts and documents refuting this. General V. G. Fedorov, in his work “On the tendencies of change of small arms models of foreign armies according to the experience of the Second World War” in 1944, wrote: “From the point of view of design qualities, the German automatic rifle doesn’t deserve special attention”.
Indeed, there are enough flaws in the stormtrooper. One of them is a stamped receiver cover. The point here is not in technology, but in the design itself. If you strike a cap on the AK, and it is deformed in such a way that it will impede the movement of the slide frame, you can simply remove it. What happens if the same happens with the body of the Sturgevever or M16? The same as with the ingress of a sufficient amount of dirt between the slide frame and the housing. In the best case, the energy of the reel of the frame will be lost, followed by a whole chain of probabilities from missing a cartridge to a shutter not closing. At worst - her wedge.
Gruner, Sudayev and Kalashnikov perfectly showed how to make reliable stamped designs in the weapon.
The first thing that the production faces after the sample has been tested and transferred to the series is the development of technological processes. Not always the part cut by the file can be reproduced in a cheap and massive way. On the choice of production technology, materials, creation of a quality control system, the reliability of weapons depends not less, if not more, but to an absolute majority this topic is incomprehensible and uninteresting. Therefore, we’ll dwell on what you can see and touch with your hands, on the design features of AR and AK.
There is such a thing - entropy. These are all possible system states that may occur during its operation. They, in turn, depend on the number of elements of the system and the variety of their interactions with each other.
Failure is one of these conditions. The greater the entropy of the system, the higher the likelihood that sooner or later it will come such a state when it can not fully or partially perform its functions.
The main suppliers of entropy to the system are dirt, garbage, weather conditions and fools. For the latter, a whole scientific section has been created, which is called “Foolproof”. But no matter how perfect the defense, it will always lose, because a fool is perfect by definition. A striking example is the crash of the 2 Proton-M launch vehicle on July 2013, when the connectors of sensors with protection against incorrect connection were simply hammered with a sledgehammer. As for dirt and debris, this is the first thing that a gunsmith imagines at the point of contact between two parts.
The task of the designer is to create a system with the least entropy. This was superbly understood by Soviet Army Sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov and poorly imagined by an American graduate engineer Eugene Stoner.
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