The Odd Couple: Kalashnikov And Stoner
By G&A Staff
Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the AK47, and Eugene Stoner, designer of the AR-15, first met at Washington Dulles airport on May 15, 1990. Kalashnikov came to the United States by invitation from the Smithsonian Institution, which was administered by Edward “Ed” Ezell, author and former curator for the National Firearms Collection at the National Museum of American History. Ezell had gathered oral histories from both Kalashnikov and Stoner independently, which included a visit to Russia in July 1989.
The first interviews with both Kalashnikov and Stoner took place in Star Tannery, Virginia, May 15 through May 20, 1990. The meeting was visually and textually documented for Smithsonian archives. Kalashnikov and Stoner were juxtaposed as they greeted one another, though they had come to know each other through mutual study. Although like-minded in their education, history of overcoming adversity against government opposition, and passion for small arms simplicity and interchangeability, the two men were opposites. Despite the fact that Stoner was rarely caught on camera smiling, this photograph captured the moment the two first held the other’s rifle in each other’s presence in Quantico, Virginia.
A similar moment was captured again in 1996, the year before Stoner’s death. Until then, Kalashnikov continued to …Read the Rest
Source:: Guns and Ammo