The first Kalashnikov assault rifle fell into the hands of American intelligence only in the 1950s. For a long time, foreign experts saw the latest Soviet weapons only in propaganda films and photographs. Barely holding the new machine gun in their hands, the overseas specialists were very upset. There was only one reason for the bad mood, but it was extremely significant.
On October 23, 1956, an anti-communist uprising began in Hungary, which lasted until November 11 of the same year. This topic is very complex, full of dark spots and pitfalls. And most importantly, clashes between insurgents and Soviet troops since the Cold War have been actively used in anti-communist propaganda. However, there is no need to talk about an uprising today. It is only important that, in a predictable way, bloodshed in all this action was not done: the rebels died, civilians died, law enforcement officers and the Hungarian military died, local officials and party leaders died, and the Soviet military who arrived later died.
It is easy to guess that during the uprising in Budapest, both Soviet and American intelligence were actively working. After all, the Cold War was in full swing. And then one of the days in November, American intelligence officers were able to capture and deliver to the US Embassy in the capital of Hungary the latest example of Soviet weapons - a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Foreign intelligence officers removed him from the body of a Soviet paratrooper who was killed by the rebels near the very embassy. In the next few days, the AK was delivered from Hungary to the United States, where they immediately began to study it in a predictable way.
Before the Hungarian uprising, Americans saw new Soviet machine guns only in photographs and in the Soviet comedy Maxim Perepelitsa. The first tests of the latest weapons confirmed the fears of American military specialists: the USSR was the first since the Second World War and after Germany to create a full-fledged machine gun - an assault rifle, a weapon of a new type and generation. Most of all the Americans were "upset" by the density of fire that the Kalashnikov assault rifle was supposed to create.
Experts have calculated that at a distance of 300 meters, an infantry squad armed with an AK would create a virtually insurmountable wall of fire. In the United States, at that time, the M2 automatic carbine was mainly used, which was created during the Second World War as a response to the German StG-44. At the same time, the AK was superior to the M2 in all respects, in particular, the latter could create a wall of fire only at a distance of 180-200 meters. All this forced the American command to speed up the development of its own assault rifle with an intermediate cartridge.
Continuing the topic, read about why Kalashnikov considered the transition from 7.62 to 5.45 by a big mistake.