Kalashnikov Rebrands Itself: “Weapons of Peace”

“Kalashnikov, Russia’s legendary firearms producer, has revamped its corporate image, unveiling a new ‘CK’ red-and-black logo – not to be confused with Calvin Klein – a new slogan, three streamlined weapons brands and its own survival gear,” rt.com reports. It’s good to know that Russian oligarchs are just as susceptible to branding B.S. as Cerberus’ fat cats (e.g., Remington’s 1816 lifestyle brand). Privyet? All branding starts with the product. Build a better AK and then worry about marketing. Ready for the new slogan? In English, it’s . . .

“Protecting Peace.” How great is that? Wait! Don’t answer! Because that’s the official English language version. In Russian, the new CK  [Kalashnikov Concern] slogan means “Weapons of Peace” or “Weapons of the World.” Which is even better IMHO.

Kalashnikov revamped the three brands of firearms it produces for military, civilian and sports weapons. The most famous military brand remains eponymous to the producer, but gets a new logo as well. Now Kalashnikov rifles sold to armies and police will be marked with a K, containing the distinctive image of a curved Kalashnikov rifle magazine.

(courtesy rt.com)

“Kalashnikov is a legendary weapon known throughout the world,” said Tina Kandelaki, the TV presenter who heads the PR firm that developed Kalashnikov’s new brand. “For our country Kalashnikov is one of the national symbols. That’s why we worked on rebranding the company with pride and realization of the responsibility we took upon us.”

The concern wants to use its new brand to expand its presence on both domestic and international markets through better product recognition. In addition to firearms, it plans to sell Kalashnikov-branded survival gear, including hunting knives and outfits.

Sharp-eyed readers will know that Kalashnikov already sells knives. Well, Boker sells/sold Kalashnikov knives. But not a whole bunch, I imagine. Which was just as well; the tighter a brand’s focus, the stronger it is. No matter what Tina’s PR firm wants Kalashnikov to be, the brand stands for cheap, rugged rifles. Baikal = no frills hunting rifles. Izhmash = mag-fed shotguns. Not outfits of any kind, sort or description.

The cost of the rebranding was paid by Kalashnikov’s private shareholders, who own a 49 percent stake in the company. A controlling stake belongs to the Russian government through Rostec, a technology giant created to protect and nurture high-tech industries in the country.

“A brand is a considerable asset for any leading company, although we have a long way to go to Apple’s $100 billion brand,” Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov told RIA Novosti. “I hope Kalashnikov will become as recognized and valuable.”

That depends on whether or not they build better guns. With the Russian government in the driver’s seat, I reckon they won’t. [h/t D]


  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Won’t make a lick of difference if they can’t get around the trade sanctions.

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      Be positive! Look at what happened with all those Chinese AK’s!

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        *looks around*
        (hey! what chinese aks?)

      2. avatar Scrubula says:

        It’s just a ‘temporary’ ban! You don’t support [terrorists] [rogue government] [etc.], do you?

        I imagine that’s what they said when Norinco was banned…

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      Unless they form a dummy company in Lichtenstein, to legally act as the distributor, and build a factory in Bulgaria to do “final assembly”.

      1. avatar DJ says:


  2. avatar DrVino says:

    Are the General’s offspring going to get a royalty?

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Given that grandpa Mike was an unabashed communist who believed that his invention belonged to the people of Russia… I think not.

  3. avatar pwrserge says:

    I don’t really understand why people think that Russian AKs are “bad” rifles. Modern AKs are a match for any other production firearm on the market, and just like with AR platforms, there exists a huge secondary market of parts and accessories that let you build an AK that can run with the latest HK wunderwaffen.

    In fact, look at the AKs used by Russian special forces. Those things have all the tacticool bells and whistles that the HSLD crowd could ever want.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      But neither is as cool as a modern vz. 58.
      <Ducks for cover.>

      1. avatar Gene says:

        Those Czechs make fine rifles.

      2. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        I updated my VZ clone a bit an it is an awesome rifle! I of course own multiple AKs. Some people have weird hang ups on AKs. Especially the lack of accuracy silliness. Put a red dot on an AK and it overcomes one of the problems with the crappier sights. I score decently in local shooting matches with an AK and I would do better if I was more skilled.

  4. avatar ropingdown says:

    Enjoyed the video, though the narrator was speaking a bit fast. What fun to see a Russian company looking to an iconic U.S. brand as exemplar (Apple) as it hopes for a successful future. The new (and I’ll believe it when I see it) legal carry law is a step towards building a stronger domestic gun market, not to mention a reserve police force on the cheap.

    To be somebody in Moscow today you need to wear an Orthodox cross, play tennis (if badly and indoors), own a few guns or have bodyguards, and above all, have money or a credible prospect of making (or taking) some. The sanctions? They’ll force Russia to adapt more quickly to the globally capitalizing/monetizing world, if indeed necessity is the mother (not ‘mothers’) of invention.

    I have no reason to think the Kalashnikov Group will produce worse firearms (or fashions) than the Freedom Group. Time will tell.

    1. avatar John M. says:

      Hey, c’mon, Kalashnikovs might be a little rough around the edges, but they go “bang” every time you pull the trigger. And not otherwise.

      1. avatar Fabian B. says:

        Ironic for a gun that literally goes “click” when it’s out of rounds.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          The latest generation of AK prototypes have last round hold open functionality. Although the “click” is just a difference in the manual of arms. The AK was deliberately designed to simply that manual as much as possible.

        2. avatar Sixpack70 says:

          Or you can just run Yugo mags or put the BHO followers into other mags and it solves the “click problem”.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        Here’s a long ago story from The ‘Nam. After an evening of mildly consciousness-altering substances, a recently returned friend related a few experiences from his time at war. “The VC were OK fighters but usually wouldn’t stand and fight. The NVA were something else again. Go up against an NVA company and you were going to fight all day, all night, and all the next day. Their AK’s “never jammed” and “shot real hard”. That’s all the AK branding I need.

  5. avatar Model66 says:

    I know there’s that whole gun-penis-compensation joke…….but their new symbol DOES force you to see it as a K with a boner. Just sayin.

  6. avatar Roy says:

    I’d grin if I read “Kalashnikov, USA opens a plant in (city), (state)!” as a headline article on this website at some point… because yay more guns made in America.

    1. avatar cknarf says:

      I can only dream.

    2. avatar Rick says:

      Alabama! Yo the big green is already hear!

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    If you want peace prepare for war. THAT’S a slogan. Sorry I don’t think Russia is going to behave. Look for the world to get a helluva’ lot worse…especially if oil freefalls.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      With the spot price on oil tanking, look for Putin to do ‘something’…

  8. avatar Defens says:

    In Russia, gun brands you!
    “Peace through Superior Firepower”

  9. avatar Jeff says:

    Someone should tell K group that the AKM at 3:19 is an “unlicensed copy” Romanian WASR.

    Also I spotted what appears to be a 4-piece flash hider with 14x1LH threads. WANT.

  10. avatar jwm says:

    Some years back Baikels were to be found. Even Remington was importing a line of single shots from them. I wanted one of those over/under .22/.410 combo guns. About the time i made up my mind to buy one, the supply dried up and except for ads on a canadian gun site I haven’t seen any since.

  11. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    slogan means “Weapons of Peace” Colt may want to look into this as it seems it is infringing on the “Peacemaker” moniker.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Then they’ll switch to the “World Weapon” translation. “Mir” can mean either world or peace. “Miri Mir” is how Russians say “Peace on Earth.”

  12. avatar JT says:

    It’s funny to see all the American stuff in what is basically a propaganda video promoting the company. As someone else pointed out, the WASR in there was pretty funny too.

  13. avatar Scott P says:

    The Kalashnikov Group makes way better firearms than anything Freedom Group puts out and the best part is KG builds guns that work out of the box with durable components that you could take to war with tomorrow. They especially build better AK’s than any domestic cheap builder like Century and especially I.O. Inc. which is by far the worst builder of AK’s on the planet. The guys in the Pakistani gun markets make better guns than they do and Freedom Group as well.

    But back on topic. As long as the sactions are in place even shell companies can’t be set up to get them here because it specifically states that KG can get zero money from these endeavors unless they are gracious enough to donate equipment and technical know-how totally divesting themselves from the project which I doubt they would do.

    I was really looking forward to the MK-107 but looks like it will never happen.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      You might be surprised – if you’re familiar with how Russian companies have got around import BS laws in the past, KG AKs could just end up being “Made in Belarus”

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