Sales of the Russian manufacturer’s civilian lineup are so brisk that the Kalashnikov Group is increasing its work force by 30 percent this year to meet the demand.
In 2016, the company had 5,500 employees and interest in its firearms had increased to the point the company opened a shop last year in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport. Functioning firearms aren’t sold there, but a number of replica firearms based on the company’s functioning models can be purchased.
“Following the growth of production volume, which was driven by the rise in the number of export orders, it was decided to increase the number of the group’s employees,” Kalashnikov Chief Executive Alexey Krivoruchko said in a press release last week.
Although the company remains proud of its AK variants, its products have changed dramatically. One look at its modular VSV-338 Sniper Rifle—unveiled in September—is explanation enough.
Import sanctions imposed by the United States over the Ukraine crisis mean none of the Russian-made products are coming to US shores. There was no indication in the press release as to the destination of most of the firearms. Kalashnikov USA is, however, manufacturing select models in America that can be purchased through local FFLs.