Kalashnikov’s designs faced stiff competition, and had to ultimately win out on merit alone against competing designs from established designers with chests full of Al Capp-style Russian Hero Ribbons awarded for past arms designs. Once the M43 cartridge was adopted for the SKS rifle (then 7.62×41, later 7.62×39), the search began for a selective fire, high capacity assault rifle.
Many designs were submitted during many trials from 1943-1947. As they are essentially unknown in the West, we will briefly illustrate some of the designs submitted by otherwise-famous Russian arms designers, which ultimately lost out to the Kalashnikov.
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