According to Paul Barrett in his recent book "Glock", Mr Glock was not as much a hands on designer as a daring entrepreneur who hired the right people to materialize his ideas. Many innovations are done by the outsiders who are not weighed down by the knowledge of limitations.
Kalashnikov was a different animal. He was very much hands on. He in fact submitted his first "improvement" even before WW2, and was talent spotted by General Zhukov himself (the future captor of Berlin) He was self educated and probably natural at what he did, not unlike JMB himself who designed in his head rather then at the drawing board. Kalashnikov was officially selected and approved, and to this day it is hard to identify his genuine work under the barnacles of Soviet propaganda.
Louis Schmeisser was interned in East Germany, then taken to Russia. He was eventually allowed to return to West Germany. He never uttered a word about what he had done for the AK project. Chances are, he was told not to talk by the KGB, and most likely signed off as a condition of his release. Kalashnikov has not been helpful either. All he ever said was that Schmeisser "participated".
Back to OP, how do they do it? I wish I knew. I wish I could explain how Bernstein or Duke Ellington wrote music. Those are people with extraordinary abilities that most of us don't possess.
Last edited by Mercator; 10-29-2013 at 05:07 AM.