Guns

U.S. Sanctions on Russia Cause Kalashnikov Rifle Price Surge

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Here's an interesting result of America's economic sanctions on Russia: The demand for Kalashnikov rifles (of AK-47 fame) has skyrocketed and average price for one has more than doubled since an import ban on one major producer took effect earlier this year.

The Moscow Times reported earlier this week:

Kalashnikov Concern, the company that produces the most popular line of civilian-use Kalashnikov rifles, the Saiga, was blacklisted by the U.S. in July. By September, U.S. distributors reported that their stocks of genuine Russian-made Kalashnikovs had been cleared.

"As a result, an active resale market for Kalashnikovs has arisen," Russia's new trade representative to the U.S., Alexander Stadnik, said in an interview published Tuesday by news agency TASS, Though there are several non-Russian Kalashnikovs still available in the U.S., American gun owners want the real thing, he added.

Stadnik said the average price of a Kalashnikov rifle in the U.S. on the resale market has already hit $1,500, compared to its previous off-the-shelf price of $600.

Even before the U.S. imposed sanctions against the Kalashnikov Concern, the largest Russian manufacturer of the iconic weapons, consumer demand in the U.S. for Kalashnikov rifles exceeded supply by almost 200 percent.

Sales of civilian Kalashnikov rifles made up about 50 percent of Kalashnikov Concern's sales before sanctions.

The ban, which took effect July 17, is part President Barack Obama's Executive Order 13662, which was issued in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Later in July, the U.S. and E.U. shifted their policy from narrow, targeted sanctions against Vladimir Putin's cronies to broader, industry-wide ones after the shooting down a passenger plane carrying nearly 300 civilians, a crime Russian-backed forces are believed to be responsible for. Obama continues to pile more sanctions on Russia, and recently lauded his actions as the "only reason" there's a ceasefire in Ukraine.  

But, what are you to do if you want an authentic Russian weapon these days? The Times notes that another Kalashnikov manufacturer, Molot, has not been hit by sanctions, so their guns are still available. And, the Kalashnikov Concern weapons already in the U.S. before the ban are safe. Alternatively, courtesy of none other than Mother Jones, you can learn how to build your own legal, untraceable AK-47. 

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  1. Zenon, you’re out of your element. you have no frame of reference here, Zenon. You’re like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know… oh, and also, “AK”, please.

    1. I am the walrus?

      1. I think he’s pointing out that you are, in fact, not a bear on a unicycle. A walrus is kind of like an oceanbear though…so I guess you’re not far off!

        1. Please. It’s “goo goo ga-joob”.

          1. Hmmmm!

            But…

            They must both be true, as they are on the internet.

            1. I got my version from the liner notes of the original US release of the album. I think that beats the internet.

              1. You actually own Beatles albums?

                And you paid money for them?

                1. No, I inherited them. But I do like them. Well, some of them.

      2. I thought you were the Egg Man.

        i haz a confyooz

        1. Awwwwwww

        2. Now my coworkers are looking over, wondering why I am laughing…

  2. Hah! Now you Rooskies now how we ‘murcan gunners had it until recently! i’m just now about to get 9mm and .357 Mag without lurking on MidwayUSA at 1:00 in the morning to score a shipment.

    Comrades, unite!

    1. Wait – I said this exceptionally poorly.

      Do over: “Now our government’s actions have utterly fucked up the US market for RUSSIAN guns, too. Thanks, Obama!

      There. Better.

  3. Alternatively, courtesy of none other than Mother Jones, you can learn how to build your own legal, untraceable AK-47.

    Their intentions were good. Their stupidity was delicious.

    1. i forgot about this – nice reset.

  4. But, what are you to do if you want an authentic Russian weapon these days?

    *glances rapidly left and right*

    I know people…people in the Panjshir and Salang Valleys. There were some stashes of old Soviet stuff that could probably outfit a couple of divisions…

    1. Hypothetically speaking…of course.

      1. Heh heh. My brother had an AK when he got back from the Old Skool Iraq Invasion in 1992. Has a bayonet and everything.

        He died in 1993 so I got it. I’ve never shot it – looks like he never did, either. Still full of grease.

        thinking I need to pick up some 7.62 and try out that bad boy…

        1. Yes you do. Is it a real military one with selective fire?

          1. Good question. You should also reply with your full name and address.

            /BATF federale

        2. Is it a real military one with selective fire?

          If it is, remember the selector switch goes from “Safe” to “Auto” to “Semi,” not “Safe” to “Semi” to “Auto” like western rifles.

  5. Get a NORINCO. Problem solved. I have one.

    1. Or Robinson XCR-L. Much better than an AK.

  6. Personally, I think this is great news! I don’t trust a bunch of bears on unicycles with AKs.

    1. Some days you get the bear…

      1. Some days you get the …. unicycle?

  7. I don’t understand. I don’t look at Russian manufacturing and think, “these guys are really kicking the shit out of the Czechs and the Chinese on quality.”

    1. And the Ural motorcycle simply reinforces that perception.

      And yet…I still want one…two-wheel drive, please.

      1. Three wheel drive can’t be beat in snow.

        1. Custom Rokon. It was AMAZING!

    2. The great thing about an AK is that you can fill it with glue and bury it underground for three decades, then an Al-Qaeda can dig it up and still kill infidels with it with no modifications.

      1. Oh, I agree, given the Soviet manufacturing and soldiering abilities and goals, Gen. Kalishnikov rivaled John Moses Browning’s ability to build the right weapon for the requirement. The workmanship of a Russian manufactured rifle versus a Bulgarian or Chinese manufactured rifle made on the same equipment is not significantly better — if at all.

        1. Ya! well I don’t see any Al-Qaedas shootin infidels with a ching chang-47! Do you?

  8. Just make one out of an old shovel.
    http://thebrigade.thechive.com…..50-photos/

  9. Unless you are a poorly trained guerrilla who needs a weapon that is both simple and so reliable that it will work even after you forget to clean it and leave it laying in the mud for three days, there really isn’t much point in owning an AK other than for collector purposes of having the most famous rifle of the 20th Century. They are not particularly well made. They are not accurate at long range. So unlike an AR-15, they make poor hunting or target shooting rifles. They are not even very nice to look at. Ultimately, who really wants a commie rifle anyway? A fascist rifle sure. But not a commie one.

    1. I still want one. But not for anywhere near what I’d have to pay.

      1. Sure. I would too. But it would only be just to have one not because I would have any real use for it.

    2. Yes – Heavy, inaccurate, shitty, but reliable. No thanks.

    3. A fascist rifle sure. But not a commie one.

      +1 fallschirmj?gergewehr 42

    4. “Ultimately, who really wants a commie rifle anyway? “

      Cheap Commie Ammo.

      People who like shooting russkie guns shoot all day at 1/2 the cost of NATO rounds.

      this is what i’ve heard. prices have risen since 2012 and are probably getting closer to par.

    5. The couple I have shot seemed pretty accurate although I was only at 100 yards but shooting offhand. Thought they were fun. Don’t really want a 7.62×39 though. Checked out a SIG 716 the other week at the gun store. I so want that gun. I may have to break down next year.

  10. $600? I thought they were supposed to be cheap as dirt. Why do a bunch of terrorists get to buy them for $50, but I can’t?

    1. The NRA. Don’t ask.

    2. AKs were available for $2-300 before the original Clinton era ban. SKSs could be had for $90.

      SKSs are going for GT $300 now. AKs are pushing $700 for MAK-90s which Chinese civilianized versions.

      Just like the ammo scare we went through, lack of availability drive up costs. THe post Soviet drawdown made the guns exceptionally available for a while, but they had to be semi auto to come here. They have continued to be very available since the USSR collapsed, if you have no restriction on the full auto versions.

    3. “Why do a bunch of terrorists get to buy them for $50, but I can’t”

      Thats what a real free market looks like

  11. That guy that wrote the Mother Jones article seems like a real asshole:

    I’m left wondering: Seeing how easy this is, are build parties monitored? Do hand-built weapons ever surface in crimes? Are the cops worried? When I call local law enforcement representatives from Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove, they say they’ve never heard of such a thing. “That doesn’t happen here,” says Bruce Borihanh, an LAPD spokesman. But a cursory browse of online gun forums is enough to show that, well, clearly it does. There seems to be one about every month. Plus, I just attended one less than an hour’s drive from his office.

    I’m reminded of what one of the build party hosts said before I left: “Remember that thing I told you about why people do this: These builds can happen only because they aren’t blown out to the public and law enforcement.”

    then:

    Between you, me, and Johnny Law, here’s what happened to my homemade AK. Back in my garage I use a grinding wheel to cut the receiver in half and the other components into pieces. I put the scraps back in the cardboard box the kit came in and leave it for the garbage truck.

    1. Seriously. Someone could have used that. Does he really think he did the world a favor by destroying one crappy rifle?

    2. What a pussy.

    3. Look Max, that AK was unclean. It was evil. It had to be destroyed lest it corrupt the entire household.

    4. What the fuck? Why in the WORLD would criminals build AKs when they can buy and steal them?

      1. Uh, duh, because building unregistered guns is TEH EVUL and criminals want to be TEH SOOPER EVUL so they would do that too.

        1. I think they can just make them “untraceable” by grinding the serial number off the receiver. WAY less work.

          1. Oh I absolutely agree. But in the mind of a proggie, anything the gov’t can’t track (and by extension, control) must be something that only hardened, murderous criminals would want to do – never mind Sig’s excellent point below.

            I mean, fuck, the dude cut up a perfectly good gun. You think he actually thinks any of this shit through or just does it all for TEH FEELZ?

          2. IIRC, grinding off the serial number doesn’t actually foil anything more than eyeballing the serial number – the stamping process leaves stresses in the metal that can be detected even after the visible part is ground off.

            Then again, that may have been your point.

      2. Hell, criminals don’t use AKs to speak of.

        Almost all guns used in crime in the US are pistols, usually crappy ones.

    5. They don’t get it at all. These “build parties” are for people who want to follow the law. Criminals have no interest in this shit.

    6. I frequently notice the “machine-gun-rhetorical-question”-device used by hack journalists these days…

      i.e. Not ‘about machine guns’, duh – but when people string together a burst of 4 or so ‘chin-stroking’ questions in a row… none of which are expected to be addressed in detail, but rather ‘munged together’ into a hazy sense of, “right-thinking people already know the answer to *this*!”

      See how it works in the actual paragraph?

      “are build parties monitored? Do hand-built weapons ever surface in crimes? Are the cops worried?”

      Which question is he actually asking?

      “When I call local law enforcement representatives from Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove, they say they’ve never heard of such a thing”

      What thing? AK ‘building’? or hand-assembled guns used in crimes? or what?

      “That doesn’t happen here,” says Bruce Borihanh, an LAPD spokesman.

      You still don’t know.

      “But a cursory browse of online gun forums is enough to show that, well, clearly it does. There seems to be one about every month.”

      One *what*? Crimes with homebuilt guns?

      “…I just attended one less than an hour’s drive from his office.”

      See how it goes from a question of “Are people building guns leading to any Problems?”

      to

      Are people building guns?”

      It leaves you with the impression that he’s ‘proved his rhetorical question…. merely by suggestion.

  12. Stadnik said the average price of a Kalashnikov rifle in the U.S. on the resale market has already hit $1,500, compared to its previous off-the-shelf price of $600.

    An actual “Kalashnikov” one, maybe.

    Impact Guns (e.g.; my go-to for internet price checks) has plenty of AK rifles in the under-$700 range, and indeed you can get a Century WASR for $539 + transfer and shipping.

    I don’t buy Kalashnikov quality hype; if I cared about “quality” in an AK (I don’t), I’d get an Arsenal.

    1. I was already under the impression that most ak variants sold here were not kalishnikovs.

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