Challenging times for public security

The proliferation of the Kalashnikov assault rifle was not just one of the side effects of the Cold War. If it really was, then this diffusion process would have stopped after this epoch. Did this happen? No, on the contrary during the post Cold War period there are more and more reasons to believe the weapon's popularity keeps on growing. This eliminates the idea that the AK would have been distributed exclusively for the Russian interests during the Cold War. The AK remains a weapon of first choice for many reasons and not only because of its performance but. The circulation of the AK is a process that should be a core issue for strategic defense analysts because every day the chances on a-symmetric conflicts seem to be more and more realistic. One of the main reasons this proliferation process did not stop is that an important number of countries are now responsible for producing AK based weapons. Even stronger the number of countries producing the weapon is still growing among which countries that don't pay license fees to Russia. The Cold War heavily promoted the numbers made of the weapon but nowadays not only old stocks are being traded and offered for sale large numbers of current AK production do go around the world for multiple reasons.

The market characteristics did change since a growing number of countries felt challenged to start up their own production facilities possibly to be sure that if weapon boycotts are drawn up they are self sufficient. Besides these self sufficiency ambitions these countries also become potential exporters of the Kalashnikov assault rifles even to these regions where other countries do not want to deal with. In that respect another aspect of the Kalashnikov assault rifle evolution must be remembered and that is that the more expensive third AK47 production model was succeeded by the much cheaper AKM assault rifle. The AKM was much easier to manufacture and for that reason more countries are now producing the weapon. When the AKM was designed during the late 1950s the inherent metallurgy techniques were modern and modern machines in respect to that time period were necessary to fabricate an AKM. But as time moves on and production and metallurgy techniques progressed and techniques of fifty years ago are nowadays much easier to replicate and the machines necessary are easier to obtain. So in short where the basic design principles of the AKM are still modern the production techniques to fabricate one are relatively speaking more and more accessible. It may sound like an unrealistic scenario but even hobby metal workers are sooner or later be able to build their own complete AK as long as production techniques are progressing. To a certain extent this is what already happens in the United States since parts kits are used to build one however it must be stressed this all happens in a full legal context. The 'ease' with which an AK can be made can be seen in Pakistan. The country is well known for its local gun makers and their copycat production capabilities.