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Thanks for the link!
 

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Very sad.
 

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While your points are well taken. It must be remembered it's their traditions that are being observed.
 

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It's not unusual for military honor guards or parade units to use older service rifles VS current issue weapons. We see it in our own military, when Garand's came out drill units use Springfield's for years, same with Garand's when the M14 was issued and even to day M14's over AR's. Lots of reasons for it, many times they are modified so live ammo cannot be used in them (why do that to a new issue weapon) many times it is simply due to drill and parade routines are made for specific weapons and work best with them and they do not wish to retrain everybody or re-write things and break tradition.

I do agree however that it would have been a travesty if the 21 gun salute would have been given with anything other then a AK47.
 

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They never gave Garand that kind of send off.
 

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It's not unusual for military honor guards or parade units to use older service rifles VS current issue weapons. We see it in our own military, when Garand's came out drill units use Springfield's for years, same with Garand's when the M14 was issued and even to day M14's over AR's. Lots of reasons for it, many times they are modified so live ammo cannot be used in them (why do that to a new issue weapon) many times it is simply due to drill and parade routines are made for specific weapons and work best with them and they do not wish to retrain everybody or re-write things and break tradition.

I do agree however that it would have been a travesty if the 21 gun salute would have been given with anything other then a AK47.
Understand, I did serve on an Honor Guard during my enlisted days; but considering who is being honored here and his main contribution to the Motherland, I still think it would have been more appropriate to arm them with AKs instead of SKS rifles. For one, there is no need to demill them (ours were all functional); the only reason that is usually done is for drill team rifles or honor guards involving minors. Secondly, there is no major difference in the functioning of a AK versus an SKS; plus everyone in the Russian military knows how to use a Kalashnikov.

At most, the only reason I can see is the short time between when Mikhail died and his funeral; but even then that's really no excuse. Given the vast arsenal in Russia, it should have been no problem assembling a couple of hundred (or even thousand) pristine AKs for the event.
 

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If you look up past state funerals and ceremonies in Russia, the honor guards always have SKSs. It's what they are accustomed to using and I presume it's a lot easier to perform the manual of arms movements without a long 30 round mag sticking out.

Looks like they did an excellent job honoring the man. Putin might be a villain, but he's got a lot of class for being there. I think the T2 salute is an especially nice touch. Those AKs look new.
 
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