Avtomat Kalashnikova (originally published on CandG site 6/25/2011)

(This is not an AK-47 pictured above, but it may be an AK-74 or something like that)

One of the bigger challenges for this book has been gun research.  I did a lot of it.  Including going shooting for the first time in my life.  When trying to decide which guns my characters would carry I had to consider which guns would not only suit their purposes but also how likely they would still be around in the future, which ones are the sturdiest and can take rough treatment?  Which ones are the easiest to press your own bullets for.  How hard is it going to be to find replacement parts.  I agonized over which assault rifle Cricket would carry and ended up choosing the M16.  I was very happy with this choice until my 10 year old son told me it was an inferior rifle in every way to the AK-47.  He offered up lots of reasons.  I decided to think about changing Cricket’s gun to an AK-47 when I got to the chapter where she cleans it in the 3rd draft.

So today I got through chapter 7 and talked to the kid about this again.  Then I looked it up and discovered that everything he said is true and I’m left wondering how the hell I could have ever chosen and M16 over and AK-47.  They are apparently sturdy, reliable, cheap to make, have standard bullets (unlike the proprietary bullets used in the M16-that fact alone makes it ineligible for use in the book) and are one of the most popular assault rifles in the world.


Avtomat Kalashnikova

That’s the loveliest name for a gun ever.  Makes me want to learn to speak Russian.  I’ve always wanted to.  Russians are sexier than the French.

The things writing this novel have taught me are startling.

This Russian guy who calls himself a “professional Russian” is a madman with weapons.  His videos are actually pretty funny and if you’re interested in guns, you have to watch these videos:

FPSRussia’s Channel

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