We side-track to a Dragunov, the so-called “sniper rifle” of the Com Bloc, but as we look at several variants of the gun we learn that it’s a five-minute rifle, meaning it shoots a 5-inch group at 100 yards.
“Once again, you see the difference in Soviet military doctrine. We think of snipers as precision shooters taking head shots on a specific target. The Russians simply want to put a bullet into a body. They don’t care what happens after that,” Matt says.
We move to the RPD, a light machine gun firing the 7.62x39 mm cartridge of the AK-47. It too uses non-disintegrating links, and is an open-bolt, air-cooled full-automatic-only machine gun. The bolt works with a Degtyarev locking system of two “ears” that pop out as the bolt closes and engage recesses in the receiver. It’s the same system as that massive brute, the Dushka.
We look at examples of the Skorpion, a .32 ACP machine pistol that Babb sniffs at. “Machine pistols are something that don’t have a lot of use. You pull it out, spray bullets and run away. Machine pistols have very little tactical relevance,” he says.
We gather around an AGS 17 automatic grenade launcher that hurls 30 mm grenades at a relatively sedate pace of 450 rounds per minute. “This is not a cheap date. This thing is heavy,” he says of the tripod-mounted monstrosity, adding with a grin, “I wish we had more time to discuss it instead of … Russian through it!”