Following the war, both sides took a good look at small arms effectiveness, and specifically what the Germans came up with. The two big standout weapons the Germans made were the FG-42 and the MP-44. The US looked at the two and thought the FG-42 was awesome, and the MP-44 was a bad idea. The Russians had it figured out by 1943 and were already working on their answer to the MP-44. The Russians really got it all right where small arms are concerned, and it has taken DECADES for the west to figure it all out. The Russians had an assault rifle by 1947. We got one in 1965, but we didn’t make it as short and handy as the AK until 1995 The Russians realized the importance of a designated marksman in every unit. I’m not sure we’re quite there yet, but we kinda figured out they were right around 2002. So why did the Russians “get it” and we didn’t? I think it comes down to how their generals assessed weapon effectiveness in WW2. The Russians assessment was that the individual rifleman needs access to full auto fire; frequently. The US assessment was that full auto is only truly effective from squad auto’s or machine guns. And that’s where the US got it wrong…We really thought the machine gun was the queen of the infantry battlefield (and it kinda is often times), and that the infantry provides more precise fire, or should be moving. For logistical reasons the 7.62 NATO was chosen not because it was the best rifle cartridge. But because it met the minimum performance requirements of a GPMG…and was acceptable in an infantry rifle. Therefore the US was smarter than the Russians because they came up with a single cartridge that can do the job of GPMG and infantry rifle. Logistics simplified! That’s great, until guys with M14’s meet up with enemies carrying AK’s (or any other assault rifle). What they quickly learn is…we’re out-gunned! It was a painful lesson.