Behaviour & construction
The AK-47 Kalashnikov’s main selling points are its simplicity and its ability to take a beating. The gun was designed to be reliable, easy to use and easy to repair. The ruggedness of the rifle makes it the perfect gun for dirty and sandy conditions. Its simple firing mechanism means that the gun fails very rarely. The service life of Kalashnikov can be from 20 to 40 years, depending on conditions of use.
Built around a 7.62-mm round with a muzzle velocity of some 700 metres per second, it had a cyclic firing rate of 600 rounds per minute and was capable of both semiautomatic and automatic fire. A long curved box magazine held 30 rounds, and a separate gas-return tube above the barrel held a piston that was forced back upon firing to activate the mechanisms that ejected the spent cartridge and cocked the hammer for the next round.
Fields of use
This rifle is relatively cheap and easy to manufacture and maintain, contributing to its popularity with partisan forces as well as national armies in Africa and Asia. Over the last seven decades, the AK47 Kalashnikov has become the iconic rifle of choice for everyone from the Soviet military to terrorists to drug lords.
It has been reckoned that around 100 million AK’s have been produced till present — half of them outside Russia, and many of those under no license or under expired Soviet-era license.
The Soviet government wasn’t exactly generous with its royalty payment on his rifles. Mikhail Kalashnikov has confirmed that he never made a cent in royalties off of his gun design. The government simply took his plans and mass-produced the rifle. Kalashnikov supposedly lives off of his modest government pension. He has borrowed his name to a few other products, for example to Kalashnikov Vodka, launched in 2004. Kalashnikov is, as he sayis, very proud of having designed a workhorse rifle that served the Russian military for so long. But he is very unhappy about the role the gun has in terrorist culture, as he created it only to defend the borders of his motherland. He realizes that it is not his fault that his AK-47 ended up in the wrong hands
Included in 9 packages
|Cartridge||7.62 × 39 mm|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Weight||3.5 kg (8.15 lb)|
|Length||88 cm (35 in)|
|Muzzle velocity||715 m/s (2.350 ft/s)|
|Firing range||350 m (1.150 ft)|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Manufacturer||Kalashnikov Concern (and others)|
|Number built||Over 100 million|