Book Review: Vickers Guide to the Kalashnikov, Volume II


Fair disclaimer: I may be biased, as I am a co-author of this work…

Vickers Guide is back with the second volume on the AK, specifically on 5.45mm and 5.56mm Kalashnikovs. If you like the first volume, you will definitely like this one – it was led by Larry Vickers with myself and Rob Stott co-authoring, and addition contributions from Maxim Popenker, Miles Vining, Nic Jenzen-Jones, Jack Dutschke, Kevin Greggory, Lyndon Schooler, Vladimir Onokoy, Zoltan Szoros, Jonathan Ferguson, and more!

This volume is 350 pages, with almost the first half dedicated to Russian rifles. These includes a whole bunch of the high-tech interesting developments like balanced-recoil designs along with trials and prototype guns, LMGs, grenade launchers, and a wide variety of standard production guns. The second half of the book covers the rest of the world, including Bulgaria, Burma, China, the Czech Republic, East Germany, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Romania, and South Africa.

As before, this is intended as a coffee table book and not a detailed reference book, but we have all done our best to ensure that the commentary is technical and as good as we can make it. Coupled with James Rupley’s outstanding photography, I think it’s an even better book than Volume I…

Only available direct from Vickers Guide.


  1. At this point of time, the AK subject is almost… boring. But “I can be wrong” to borrow Cherndog’s favored phase.

    The book look lavish though. Hoping the next one is on sa58 🙂

    • “(…) But “I can be wrong” to borrow Cherndog’s favored phase.(…)”
      Keep calm. AK and its derivatives were so popular than this topic might result in few-volume encyclopedia. Even limiting to more precise topic, say Kalashnikov: cultural impact could also result in not-thin book. After all AK is probably single one modern fire-arm which is part of current country flag (Mozambique).

      • I do keep calm; we have cold snap going on right now, so nothing else is left. But you know that in Russia too, right?

        Actually, there may be never stop to learning about AK design. Take for example a feature which prevents untimely bolt rotation. All AR18 type rifles have it (in form of bolt pin guide channel); AK does not, although, it has it in different form. AK had been wrongly relegated to Stg44 follower for long. Yes, it is brilliant design and it serves to both good and bad guys equally well.

        And now, lets talk something else… 🙂

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