The name “Kalashnikov” is well-known in the gun world. After all, that’s the name behind the mighty AK-47 that has served on pretty much every battlefield since it’s debut for the Soviet Union oh-so-many years ago. In fact, it’s hard to think about the communism of the Soviet era without picturing an AK. Then again, that may well be the only thing that came out of the communist country that actually worked.
Even today, the AK is built by a company owned by the Russian government, basically making it still a product of socialism. However, those days are now numbered.
The iconic firearms maker, which is owned by state holding company Rostec, will soon be firmly in the hands of private investors.Rostec said Tuesday that a deal to sell roughly half of its 51% stake in the original maker of the AK-47 has been agreed, and is now ready to be approved by the government.
The buyer is a private company called TransKomplektHolding, which is owned in part by Kalashnikov chief executive Alexey Krivoruchko. The firm already has a 49% stake in Kalashnikov.
The sale is a part of a broader privatization drive, announced by President Vladimir Putin in 2016. Back then, Russia was suffering from a double whammy of collapsing oil prices and sanctions, and needed cash desperately.
So what impact will this have here in the U.S.? Who knows.
Potentially, a private company will seek to expand profits, which may well mean developing products for the American civilian market. After all, there are millions of gun owners here in the states, and that would represent more in potential cash revenue than some third-world nations could muster.
While the standard AK-47 and AK-74 isn’t likely to be imported, variations may well be. I’m thinking something similar to the Siagas that have been so popular through the years. Kalashnikov may well seek out a similar manner of building weapons for export to the U.S. market, or they may follow Glock’s model if importing weapons that mean the import requirements, then reconfigure in American plants into more traditional configurations.
Again, who knows. However, it does seem unlikely that a private company would neglect an entire country of gun buyers if there’s any way to sell to them.
As a result, I won’t be surprised to see new construction, Kalashnikov-built semi-auto only AK’s in American gun stores within the next couple of years. As a result, the prices for AKs may well begin to drop to levels we haven’t seen for quite some time.
After all, once upon a time, you could buy an AK for half the price of an AR. Today, the difference in cost is negligible, and that’s not because of bargain-priced AR’s, either.
Could those days be upon us again? Who knows. It would be nice, but we’ll have to see what plans the new ownership will have for their gun company, but in the meantime, we Americans are still here and will be waiting to see if and when the company will decide its time to tap into this market.