AK-47: criteria of good design?
Read in Good
"The problem is that “good design” didn’t look much beyond the object itself. An AK-47 rifle, for example, makes use of sound and appropriate materials and it demonstrates other criteria of good design, such as solid workmanship, efficiency, and suitability of purpose—the gun was designed so that nothing, from sand to ice, could get in and prevent it from firing. Plus, its robust and “honest” appearance is pleasing. For many, the AK-47 is a classic in the annals of good design (it also happens to be most popular firearm in the world). But the question then is: good for what and for whom?"
People who wants more details can also read the Wikipedia entry about the comparison between the AK-47 and the M16:
"The M16 and the AK-47 design, capabilities, and role on the battlefield were reflections of the different experience and doctrine of the United States and the Soviet Union. (...) The AK-47 was the result of Soviet combat experience during. Studies of battlefield reports showed most combat occurred within 300 meters, and the winner was usually the side with the most firepower. (...) The M16, on the other hand, was influenced by the U.S. Army's preference for an accurate semi-automatic weapon. Although the U.S. Army’s studies into World War II combat accounts came up with very similar results to that of the Soviets', the Army maintained its traditional views and preferred highly accurate weapons."
Why do I blog this? interesting issues regarding controversial objects and the role of "theory"/doctrine in designing an object. It makes me think that machine guns from the french army have "ultima ratio" carved on them (which means "last resort").