Kalashnikov assault rifles are considered all over the world primarily as massive and inexpensive weapons. Therefore, few people know that at Izhmash quite rare Kalashnikov award guns were made. Moreover, exclusively for the border troops of the KGB of the USSR.
AKM and AK-74 award Kalashnikov assault rifles for the KGB of the USSR KGB, overview.
From time to time, Kalashnikov assault rifles were decorated at the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant, decorated with gift plates with warm words and wishes from Mikhail Timofeevich. In most cases, such copies directly from the conveyor were transferred to state museums for eternal storage. And only the Border troops of the KGB of the USSR were honored to have such weapons in their weapons rooms.
The very first award items were AKM Kalashnikov assault rifles manufactured at Izhmash in 1973. They had a figure plate with the words “To the winner in socialist competition. Constructor M. Kalashnikov “.
5.45 mm prototype A-3 assault rifle (1973, Izhmash). The plastic parts of this product served as the basis for the creation of one of the variants of the “green body kit” for AKM award-winning machines.
In addition to the plate, a special set of plastic parts based on the AG-4V press material, made in a characteristic green color, was installed on Kalashnikov assault rifles. Emphasizing the belonging of weapons to the border troops, with caps, epaulets, buttonholes and other elements of the form in green tones.
The basis for the shape of the forend and the barrel lining of the early “border” AKM assault rifles was the experimental fittings project, which at that time was being developed, but in the usual orange color for thermosetting plastics of the time. Initially, such kits in the familiar red color scheme were planned to be mass-produced with installation on AK-74 Kalashnikov assault rifles. But this did not come to this, and the survey data remained in the category of experienced.
Set of parts from PA6 polyamide of a sample of 1986 for award automatic machines AK-74.
In 1974, Izhmash continued the limited production of weapons for excellent border guards. But these were already several other Kalashnikov assault rifles. Their green plastic handguards have been changed. The plate on the receiver has acquired a new shape and the inscription: “To an excellent border guard winner in socialist competition. Constructor M. Kalashnikov. ” There were three types of planks of the same type with a single inscription, but with different types of coating of the plank itself. Black, brown and uncoated metal.
Plastic butts to the “border” AKM assault rifles had several varieties. The first option had a smooth surface, a rubber butt plate and a swivel located at the bottom of the butt. In the second version of the stock, oval-shaped longitudinal recesses were introduced on both sides. The swivel was moved to the left side of the stock. The recoil pad was made of reinforced rubber and received ribbing.
Inside all the stocks there was a spring pushing out a pencil case with accessories. There was a variety of stock of the second option with a double-sided print in the area of the sling.
Award Kalashnikov assault rifles for the Border troops of the KGB of the USSR. AKM 1973 release, AKM 1974 release and AK-74 1986 release.
An interesting feature of the “frontier” AKM stocks from AG-4 was the design of their mount in the receiver. It was carried out at the expense of a special plastic cassette in which two steel plates with internal thread were laid. In which, in turn, two screws were screwed. Tightening butt and receiver of the machine.
In the future, this method of fastening the butt on Kalashnikov assault rifles was no longer used, and remained a characteristic feature of the butt of the “border” AKM assault rifles. The pistol grip of AKM award-winning machines did not differ in form from serial samples, only the green color of the dye was notable, which was added to the press material AG-4 in the manufacture of the handle.
A set of parts from the press material AG-4 of the 1974 model for AKM award machines.
The first version of the forends for premium AKM had a characteristic vertical ribbing on the side surfaces. A leaf spring was located in front of the forend, and a special heat-removing screen was placed inside. The second version of the “green” forend had a shape different from the first variety, and had no fins. It was installed on Kalashnikov assault rifles released in 1974..
This forend also had a heat sink and a leaf spring, which this time was located in the back of it. The design of the barrel linings for these forends was borrowed from experimental products.
A set of parts from the AG-4 press material of the 1973 sample for AKM award machines.
AKM award-winning shops in 1974 had the following markings. “CT34” on the left side of the case and a large logo of the IzhMash factory on the right. This time period is characterized by experiments with the use in the production of shops for automatic machines made of reactive plastic AG-4V. It differed from the analogue of AG-4C with a short fiber, which was expressed in the original heterogeneity of the structure of the “pattern” on the surface of the store’s case.
This “pattern” was nicknamed “Karelian birch.” Shops made of green AG-4, issued before 1974, were not marked “CT”, and also featured an angular protrusion on the front wall of the store.
The set of premium AKM automatic machines manufactured by IzhMash included 6X4 bayonet-knives, in which the handle was made of the same AG-4 press material of green color. They were paired with matching color sheaths of the same material. On the right side of the handle there was a large brand of the manufacturer in the form of an arrow enclosed in a triangle. The scabbard had a similar stigma at the base in the area of the barbed wire bite device.
6×4 bayonet-knife from a set of the AKM award automatic machine, 1973-74, Izhmash.
The next type of machine for excellent pupils of the border service was the 5.45 mm AK-74 machine. A batch of such machines was released in 1986. The plate mounted on them looked like a rectangle with truncated corners, located on the right side of the receiver of the machine diagonally. The inscription on the tablet had the following contents: “TO THE WINNER OF SOCIAL COMPETITION from the chief designer M.T. Kalashnikov”.
Shops, stocks, forends, receiver pads and pistol grip of AK-74 award automatic machines were made of green PA6 polyamide. They didn’t differ in form from standard products manufactured at that time at Izhmash. In addition to the manufacturer’s hallmarks, store cases had mold numbers “19” or “23”. At the same time, the feeders and locking strips of these “green” stores were made of ordinary dark brown polyamide.
In the manufacture of AK-74 award submachine guns for the border troops of the KGB of the USSR, a batch of bayonet-knives was made, repeating the design of 6×4. But in which the tip had a narrowed back, and the handle with a sheath made of green polyamide.
The shape of the handle of the 6×4 bayonet-knives for AK-74 award submachine guns was developed in TsNIITOCHMASH (Klimovsk). A crosshair with a ring and a tip are taken from the standard 6×4. Changes affected the design of the shank of the blade and the handle. The shank began to have a fundamentally different method of fixing the handle. The handle seemed to be fused to the shank. The shank itself received angular ledges on two sides for a more secure grip.
This method allowed us to exclude from the design the transverse rod, which fixed the handle on most 6×4 variants. Thus, the bayonet-knife was impossible to disassemble even during repair.
Bayonet 6×4 from the set of the award AK-74 automatic machine, 1986, Izhmash.
Another innovation on these varieties of 6X4 bayonet knives was the use of green PA6 polyamide in the manufacture of the handle, instead of the AG-4 press material on previous versions of the bayonet knife. The shape of the handle had left and right sides in the form of point surfaces for better contact with the palm while holding.
The handle did not reach the crosshair by 4 mm. This is not considered a manufacturing defect, but was most likely a constructive refinement. The number of the machine, for which the bayonet-knife was fixed, was applied on the left side of the handle. The handle also had a slight asymmetry of shape in the neck area.
A very important and interesting feature of this bayonet-knife model was that it included polyamide sheaths in the color of the bayonet-knife handle 10 mm longer than conventional sheaths from the AG-4 press material. Such sheaths will subsequently be used with bayonet-knives model 6X5. They had a stamp in the form of the logo of the Izhmash plant and the last three digits of the machine number to which it was assigned.
AKM and AK-74 award Kalashnikovs from the museum exposition.
Kalashnikov award guns were stored at the outposts of various border districts of the Soviet Union and were a kind of symbol. Like a rolling pennant “Winner of socialist competition” in the civilian environment. There is no reliable information by which to judge the combat use of these machine guns and the total number of copies produced.
Most likely, they were used for various ceremonies and demonstrations. There are a number of photographs in which the designer M.T. Kalashnikov takes part in the delivery of these machine guns to soldiers.
After the collapse of the USSR, part of the “border” machine guns remained in the former Soviet republics. Most of them were apparently destroyed during the mass disposal of small arms in 1990-2000. The same Kalashnikov assault rifles with a gift plate from M.T. The Kalashnikovs that have survived to this day are very rare and are of particular cultural value..
Based on the materials of the magazine Arms.