Correcting Gun Myths w/ Bloke on the Range: StGs, Carbines, and M16s

#1: The AK is copied from the Sturmgewehr

#2: Mattel made M16s

#3: Chinese jackets in Korea stopped .30 Carbine rounds

0:00 Introduction and discussion on the Lynx Brutality match in Slovenia
0:28 Debunking and comparison of firearm myths: AK vs Sturmgewehr
3:11 The history and development of AK with the French and German influence
5:23 Detailed analysis of the AK receiver and its construction
6:59 Debunking the myth: Mattel M16 and a comparison with M14
10:19 Debunking the myth: M1 carbine’s stopping power and a comparison with 45 ACP
13:20 In-depth discussion on shooting under stress and misconceptions about M1 Carbine
14:38 Energy, power and popularity of M1 Carbine on the battlefield
16:10 Introduction to Bloke on the Range channel and wrap up


  1. Correcting myths and spreading others. “Literal N@zis” couldn’t be trusted to work on a “top secret” rifle, so they were stashed in lower-risk projects like jet fighters and the space program LOL

  2. sorry, your arguments about the stg/ak just dont hold water. and im pretty sure ian you have a video were you found documents stating the russians did infact get one and cheapened it out.

  3. 1. AK;
    According to The AK47 Story by Edward C. Ezell, the “Automat” project began around 1937. Originally, it was focused on carbine-type arms built around the 7.62 x 25mm pistol round.

    At the same time, due to the then-existing secret tech exchange with Germany, the Russian army acquired data on a couple of experimental “intermediate” rounds being developed in Germany. One became the 7.9 x 33mm Kurz cartridge used in the Haenel MKb42/MP43/StG44 series.

    The other was a 7.9 x 38.5mm round developed by the Polte firm in Magdeburg. It started out as a 7 x 38mm sporting round for small-to-medium game like musk deer. It had greater velocity than the 7.9 x 33, due to greater powder capacity.

    The Wehrmacht opted for the 7.9 x 33mm because it was basically just a “short-cased” 7.9 x 57mm with no major changes in case contour, etc., and so could be manufactured on their existing machinery. The 7.9 x 38.5mm would have required major retooling to produce.

    The Russians didn’t care since they were starting from scratch anyway. Plus the case contours looked a lot like those of the 7.62 x 54Rmm Mosin Nagant M1891 they were already using.

    Mikhail Kalashnikov’s first effort was a carbine in 7.62 x 25mm. Then in late 1942 he and the other designers were handed examples of a new rifle-type cartridge and told to design their prototypes around it.

    In Kalashnikov’s case, the AK design was largely complete by mid-1943. And yes, the bolt system was mostly copied from the Garand M1. The receiver and safety/selector design were basically taken from the Remington Model 8/81, designed by John Moses Browning.

    The AK and the 7.62 x 39mm M1943 cartridge were parallel developments to the German Maschinenkarabiner/Sturmgewehr series, not copies of same.

    BTW, regarding StG “quality control”, British intel reports stated that late-production ones had receiver stampings of such low-quality steel that if you leaned one against a tree or etc. and it fell over, the receiver would bend or even fracture. I wouldn’t recommend trying to fire one.

    PS- The FAL bolt locking system, designed mostly by Dieudonne Saive, was largely an adaptation of that of the Browning Automatic Rifle, designed by guess who?

    2. “Mattel M16”;

    Mattel manufactured the “M16 Marauder” from 1967 to 1971, when they essentially stopped making “war toys”. Marx also made one, that frankly looked more like “the real thing” than the Mattel did;

    I still have fond memories of mine, a Christmas present when I was 11.

    The “M16” the Duke breaks against a tree in The Green Berets was a Mattel; the large round “speaker” on the side of the magazine makes that obvious. Plus, he would have had to swing a real one against that tree three or four times to knock the stock, buffer, and etc. off it, which wouldn’t have made a good “scene”.

    NB; One good whack like that would break the stock off one of the Duke’s cherished Winchester lever-actions.

    3. M1 Carbine “stopping power”;

    Compared to a .30-06 (7.62 x 63mm), the .30 USC (7.62 x 33mm) looks puny. Compared to the 9 x 19mm, 7.62 x 25mm, and .45 ACP rounds used in submachine guns, it has about twice the muzzle energy of any of the others. They gain more velocity in a 20 to 35cm SMG barrel vs a 10-12 cm pistol barrel, so their energy is around 600j/450 FPE vs 475j/350FPE from the shorter barrels. They still are not up to the 1200j/900FPE of the .30 USC.

    The carbine reaches out farther, hits harder, is more accurate, and weighs less than just about any SMG you can name. The nearest thing to it is the old Dominican Cristobal Model 30, which was basically a Hungarian Danuvia Model 43m SMG designed by Pal Kiraly’- chambered for .30 USC.

    Having used quite a few of them “professionally”, I have to say that in a real IA, give me an M1 or M2 carbine over just about any SMG. There’s a reason it was one of the favorite “police rifles” in the U.S. and elsewhere from the 1950s until the “H&K fad” of the 1980s.

    When cooler heads prevailed in the 1990s (after the results from 9mm 147-grain subsonic Failures To Stop came in), most departments went to 5.56 x 45mm AR-15s, which is what they probably should have been using to begin with.

    clear ether


    • “(…)Mikhail Kalashnikov’s first effort was a carbine in 7.62 x 25mm.(…)”
      Not true. First fire-arm design was sub-machine gun, it is often described as Kalashnikov’s sub-machine gun of 1942 to make it distinct from later design of 1947.

      “(…)Garand M1(…)”
      It might be argued that AK is indirect descendant of M1 rifle, via Kalashnikov-Petroff carbine, see video

      “(…)selector design were basically taken from the Remington Model 8(…)”
      Thing which should be kept in mind when discussing development of Soviet automatons in 1940s, is that all designers were allowed to borrow solutions, as they find fit.
      AK does contain solutions from numerous prior existing design, beyond said earlier:
      – spring placement is like in Bulkin Automaton (AB-46)
      – trigger-hammer mechanism is akin to Holek self-loading rifle (ZH-29)
      – bolt arranged in order to minimize friction area during movement is similar to Sudayev Automaton (AS-44)

    • “(…)British intel reports(…)”
      Soviet testers compared MKb 42(H) against M1 carbine
      The precision of the MKb 42(H) at ranges of 100, 300, and 500 meters is 1.5 times worse than that of the American M1 carbine.

      In automatic fire, the precision of the MKb 42 (H) is unsatisfactory (a burst doesn’t fall inside a 1.5 x 1.5 meter target at 100 meters).

      The reliability of the automatic mechanism has not been determined.

      The design of the sample is complex, but the widespread use of stamped parts deserves attention.

      • Makes sense. I mean, there is a reason why the Germans chose to turn the chosen mkb 42(h) into a closed bolt. And voila, mp 43 it is. The first batches of mp 43’s even used remaining mkb 42(h) barrels. On the other hand, comparing a m1 carbine in semi with a lower powered cartridge to the mkb in full auto isn’t really a fair chance anyways right. But hey, life isn’t fair.

    • “(…)7.62 x 25mm(…)”
      According to Альбом конструкций патронов стрелкового оружия 7,62 x 25 mm cartridge with API bullet (i.e. developed for sub-machine guns) has bullet mass 4,25…5,16 g and velocity at 10 meters from PPD 535…565 m/s. Assuming mean values of 4,705 g and 550 m/s, gives energy equal 711.

    • “(…)reason it was one of the favorite “police rifles” in the U.S.(…)from(…)1950s (…)”
      Was not U.S.Army selling them for low prices following supposed failure of M1 Carbine during Korean War?

      • The Army wasn’t selling them. That was the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and they were doing it to get rid of surplus weapons, make a little money back for the Treasury, and the fact that the M1 Carbines were surplus had little to do with the “failure” in Korea. Most of that was entirely apocryphal, anyway; I don’t really recall ever hearing much about it until the late 1980s, when a bunch of people started publishing all these retrospective books about the M1 Carbine. I think at least some of the BS surrounding the issue is on a par with the “M1 ping”, in that it existed mostly in the minds of the gunzine writers rather than anyone who was there.

        If the carbine showed “failures to stop” in Korea, it was probably about like the M4 in Somalia, where the majority of “failure to stop” was rather more likely to be “failure to hit”. Especially at close ranges…

  4. Archival records clearly document that “Sturmgewehr” troop trials on the Eastern Front did start about April 1943. And it is also documented that most of the weapons were of the older, firing from the open bolt design (MKb 42).
    As soon as you use an item in front line units, the enemy will get hold of specimens. If I remember correctly, several guns and prisoners of war fell into Soviet hands during early 1943 in the Cholm area. Doubtless there were also other occasions.
    The Soviets knew the German design (including ammunition) in detail.
    They came to different conclusions, as is shown by the parallel adoption of the SKS and the AK in the immediate postwar infantry squad.

    Regarding the use of German scientists, we know reports from the “rocket” group (Helmut Gröttrup etc.) as well as Hugo Schmeisser himself. The Soviets used both to learn what their solutions of given problems were. But these German specialists never had any connection with actual current developments in the Soviet Union. Even so, they were kept in the Soviet Union longer for a “cool down” period, before alowing them to return to Germany. It is totally true that German specialists never had anything to with AK development (or ballistic missiles beyond an extended A4).

    • “(…)As soon as you use an item in front line units, the enemy will get hold of specimens.(…)”
      It must be no later than 16 April 1943 as this is date on Soviet document
      describing this weapon, observe that it was known as MK belash 42 (H) to Soviet soldiers at that time.

      “(…)Cholm area(…)”
      Note to People’s Commissar of Defense does not state where, beyond implying it was done by forces of the Kalinin, and then Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts.

    • Somewhere in Afghanistan is an AK that had the sheet steel wrapped around the front trunnion much like the StG44 series had. Whether or not that thing was a genuine prototype/early production model or a Khyber Pass copy ginned up by some imaginative Pakistani weapons maker, I have zero idea. I’ve seen pictures of it, though, and I think there might be something to it. Maybe…

      On the other hand, I don’t know why we keep arguing this point: Kalashnikov did what he did, and the resulting weapon is what it is. There’s little to no question that the AK has very little contiguity with the StG44 series, aside from the purely conceptual.

      About the only place I think we might have room for “German involvement” lies in the realm of production engineering. If you had most of the brain trust from the Gustloffswerke at your beck and call, what would you do with them? Why not pick their brains for stamped sheet steel production design pro tips, given that that was their area of expertise?

      As well, given that the initial stamped version of the AK was a failure…? Who’s to say that there wasn’t some German involvement and some German advice that shouldn’t have been taken, with regards to that initial stamped receiver design?

      The reality of it all is lost to the mists of time and Soviet paranoia. Whether or not we ever find out? Kinda beside the point; it’s a question for Trivial Pursuit games, more than anything else.

  5. According to German sources, the tilting bolt of StG44 was copied from the Czechoslovak light machine guns like ZB26. I see no connection to Browning, because the M1918 locking mechanism (on which also the FN MAG is based) unlocks in a quite different way.

    • I was referring to the FAL, which had no connection to the ZB26 that I’m aware of.

      Try reading what people actually post rather than what you’d like them to say so you can “refute” it.

      clear ether


      • In the M1918 the lock and the bolt, which are permanently connected by a pin, resulting in a toggle. Also, per FM 23-15 there is an additional bolt lock pin involved, creating another toggle.
        None of these toggles are present in the FN SAIVE rifle or the FN FAL. I stay with my view that locking/unlocking action in the M1918 is achieved in a very different way from FN SAIVE, FN FAL, ZB 26 or StG 44, which use control surfaces.

  6. The longer submachine gun barrel made the .45 slug a flatter shooting bullet. Having shot both Thompsons, M-3s and tons of MP-5s, at normal urban area ranges, I did not see the rainbow effect of the .45.

    • Problem with .45 Auto in sub-machine gun is mass of cartridge. You might bring more 9×19 Parabellum or 7,62×25 pattern 1930 cartridges for same weight limit. From Soviet assessment of Thompson sub-machine gun
      The 11.43 mm caliber is also high, which limits the amount of ammunition that can be carried (an 11.43 mm round is almost twice as heavy as a domestic submachinegun round).

    • As a short, fat, straightwall pistol cartridge .45ACP burns powder very efficiently in a pistol barrel – which is another way of saying it gains very little from a longer one. With standard ball, the velocity gain from 5″ to 10″ is roughly equivalent to the gain from 3″ to 4″, and there is no real gain between 10″ and 16″

  7. Thank you very much for your kind words! I’m glad you found the block helpful.If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. With respect and gratitude, thank you.

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