Stoner, Eugene M. and Kalashnikov, Mikhail T.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
600 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2520
14 videotapes (Reference copies).
Edward Ezell, National Museum of American History, conducted videotaped interviews of Eugene M. Stoner of the United States and Mikhail T. Kalashnikov of the Soviet Union, two of the world's most successful small arms designers. They discussed their careers since World War II and how they worked within their respective military-political systems. Collection Division 1 (Sessions 1-6), recorded in Port Clinton, Ohio, contains an interview with Eugene M. Stoner. Topics include the design evolution of the M16 automatic rifle; his approach to weapons design; his relationship with the American military bureaucracy and other designers; and the development of various forms of ordnance and ammunition produced by his company, ARES Incorporated. Extensive visual documentation includes weapons discussed and the factory where some of them are manufactured. Collection Division 2 (Sessions 7-11), recorded in the Soviet Union, contains an interview with Mikhail T. Kalashnikov. Topics include the design evolution of the AK47 automatic rifle, philosophic and technological trends toward simplicity and interchangeable parts, the RPK74 and PKM machine guns, and the collective nature of weapons development in the Soviet Union. There is extensive visual documentation of the weapons discussed. Collection Division 3 (Session 12), recorded in western Virginia, features the first meeting between the two inventors. Stoner and Kalashnikov compare the design of the AK47 with that of the AR15, the prototype and commercial model of the M16. There is extensive visual documentation of both weapons.