The long running battle between Eastern and Western worlds on the capabilities of the AK-47 and M-16, had a final chapter written in the debate on December 21, 2013, the date of inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov’s death. In memory, the January, 2014 SHOT Show in Las, Vegas paid tribute to this legend by having a memory book signed by all willing attendees to send to the Kalashnikov family.
As I reflected on his death and the great debate, while walking the “miles” that make up SHOT, I realized there is one area where Eugene Stoner’s —16 could be objectively said to be far better in the present sense: its endless configuration of accessories, upgrades, and furniture. And as always, SHOT is where the newest, latest, and greatest for the M-16 (select fire) and AR-15 (semi-automatic) are found.
One of the major players in uppers in the United States is none other than my buddy Tony Aleo of Tony’s Custom Uppers of Delta, Ohio. Need a heavy barrel, milled and fluted, Tony is the guy who can do it. Some of you may remember my blog from the tour of his factory a few months ago. Tony must have kept his new 2014 SHOT Show goodies a secret.
When I went to Tony’s booth at SHOT, I found a new “twist,” a fluted heavy barrel with, well, a twist.
That and a new carbon fiber rail system. The carbon fiber is strong and light, giving the citizen, police officer, or military person break from weight, and perhaps the ability to carry another few life-saving rounds. Ultimately, if you need it for an AR upper, Tony has it. I can hardly wait until next year to see what he comes up with for 2015 SHOT.
RIP Mikhail Kalashnikov.