Monthly Archives: September 2011
In the 1940s, Mikhail Kalashnikov was a strapping young lad enlisted in the Soviet Army. While in the hospital after having been wounded in World War II, he started designing guns in his spare time. In 1947, he came forward with a rifle he called the Automat Kalashnikov, which you know as the AK-47.
See, Mikhail and his fellow soldiers were fed up with the rifles in use by the Red Army, agreeing that they all pretty much sucked donkey balls.
The AK-47 turned out to be one of the most awesome things ever to shoot bullets. It can take a mountain of abuse–from getting dropped in a river to having its barrel loaded with sand–and it will still work like a charm. It’s easy to produce and idiot-proof to operate and, in 1949, it became the official rifle of the Soviet Union.
Today, it’s the most popular assault rifle in the world. Between the real ones and the knockoffs manufactured in China and elsewhere, there are thought to be over 100-million AK-47s in circulation in more than 60 countries.
With those and just two magazines of ammo for each, you could shoot every man, woman and child on planet Earth.
So this guy has to be the Bill Gates of the gun world, right? The damned thing has his name on it, even if they just sent him $10 for every one sold (and they sell for as much as $500) the man would be a billionaire.
So how did the venerable genius make out? Broke as hell. Communists have no concept of “intellectual property” or “personal property”. Under Communism, if you invent anything, it was out of the kindness of your own heart, kinda like overpaying on your child support.
The Soviet Union sure as shit wasn’t paying off its inventors. Yes, this is why COMMUNISM SUCKS. Kalashnikov was living in a one-bedroom apartment on the state pension.
The Soviet Union just gave Mikhail a small bonus to thank him for his contribution to the collective and asked him to please build more legendary shit. In 1999, the Izhevsk Machine Shop finally patented the AK-47 after 52 years of heroically ignoring billions of dollars in royalties. Though, we’re pretty sure a patent is basically useless at this point. We doubt China is going to start mailing them royalty checks any time soon.