The name of Kalashnikov’s greatest invention stands for Automat Kalashnikova 1947, the year it was first produced.
In 1949, the Kaláshnikov AK-47 became the assault rifle of the Soviet Army. Later adopted by other nations in the Warsaw Pact, the weapon quickly spread around the world, becoming a symbol of revolution in such far-flung lands as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Colombia and Mozambique, on whose flag it figures prominently.
Why was the Kaláshnikov AK-47 such a revolutionary rifle?
The Kaláshnikov AK-47 is relatively inexpensive to produce, short and light to carry, and easy to use, with little recoil. It also boasts legendary reliability under harsh conditions ranging from waterlogged jungles to Middle Eastern sandstorms, in both extreme cold and heat.
The Kaláshnikov AK-47 also requires relatively little maintenance. This stems from its large gas piston and wide clearances between moving parts, which help to prevent it from jamming.
Specifications for Kaláshnikov AK-47
|AK with fixed stock||AK with folding stock|
|Overall length, mm||870||870 (645 with stock folded)|
|Barrel length, mm||415||415|
|Weight with empty magazine, kg||4,3||4,3|
|Magazine capacity||30 rounds|
|Rate of fire||600 rounds/minute|