The Avtomat Kalashnikova rifle of 1947, better known as the “AK-47”, is perhaps the most easily recognizable weapon in the history of firearms. The infamy of the AK-47 is due to several factors; it is the most extensively produced firearm of all time, it is the platform from which many other successful weapon patterns have been based, and its ever-growing association with both military and radical groups world-wide.
This legendary rifle was invented during the mid-1940s by Mikhail Kalashnikov, a then Russian tank-mechanic. The design of the AK-47 is a hybrid of successful rifle technologies that were modified and improved for use in the Russian military. The AK-47 is a prime example of soundly fusing together modern, superior mechanisms with previously identified solutions for common problems. Over time, the rifle has come to be known for its powerful round (7.62×39 mm), its simplicity of operation/maintenance, and unsurpassed reliability even in the most adverse conditions. These characteristics, as well as a considerable amount of accessories, greatly attributes to the vast amount of AK-47s deployed by both the “good-guys” and “bad-guys”.
While it is still being produced in various countries (in a stunning amount of variations), it is estimated that the total number of AK-47s ever produced is well over 90 million units.
Initial date of manufacture:
1947 to present