Home > Firearms > AK-47

AK-47

Assault rifle

AK-47

The AK-47 is one of the best examples of a basic individual infantry weapon

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 4.3 kg
Length 870 mm
Barrel length 415 mm
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s
Muzzle energy ~ 2 000 Joules
Cyclic rate of fire 660 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 800 m
Range of effective fire 300 - 400 m

 

   The AK-47 assault rifle was designed in 1946 by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It was basically a reverse-engineered version of the German StG.44 assault rifle but with a number of modifications. In 1949 it was adopted Soviet Army. This design was so successful, that shortly it displaced every other firearm in the Soviet Army, except pistols, machine guns and sniper rifles. Newer version of this weapon is still a standard-issue rifle with the Russian military.

   Currently this assault rifle and its newer versions are used by more than one hundred countries. It is estimated that over 90 millions of AK rifles were produced during the last 60 years. It was license produced in a number of countries around the world.  It is one of the best examples of a basic individual infantry weapon. Derivatives of the AK-47 are still manufactured in a number of countries. Its extremely successful design became a base for a number of copies and clones. It was also used as a platform for numerous civilian rifles and shotguns.

   The AK-47 is a legendary weapon, known for its unsurpassed reliability, ruggedness, simplicity of operation and maintenance. This weapon do not jams or misfires in worst conditions possible. Also it has reliable extraction even with dirty chamber and cases. This weapon can be field stripped in one minute without using any tools. Its design simplicity made it suitable for mass production. Unfortunately the AK-47 has a poor ergonomics and is badly balanced. It is worth mentioning that this weapon has inferior accuracy to most Western assault or automatic rifles.

   Design of the AK-47 was based on the German StG.44 assault rifle. It was also influenced by American M1 Garand rifle. It is a gas operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for the Soviet 7.62x39 mm intermediate cartridge.

   The combined safety and fire selector switch locks the bolt group and the trigger in the "safe" position. It also serves as a dust cover. The middle position is for automatic fire and the bottom position is for single shots.

   The AK-47 was produced with a wooden or folding metal stock (AKS-47). This folding-stock version was adopted by the Soviet airborne troops. Both weapons have similar design, except the buttstock.

   A standard magazine holds 30 rounds. It is worth mentioning that the AK-47 is compatible with 40 rounds box magazine or 75 rounds drum magazine. Both of these magazines are from RPK light machine gun.

   This assault rifle has a sighting range settings from 100 to 800 meters. However it is way too optimistic, since the effective range of fire is limited to 300 - 400 meters.

   A bayonet can be attached.

   After its introduction this assault rifle was constantly improved. The main reason was that the original version with a stamped receiver was a failure in mass production. It took 10 years to develop and perfect a sheet metal fabrication for this weapon. Improved and late production AK-47 rifles have some minor differences.

   Direct copies of this weapon are Bulgarian AK-47, Chinese Type 56, East German MPiK, Hungarian AK-47, North Korean Type 58, Polish AK and Yugoslavian M64.

   In the mid 1950s Soviet Army issued new requirement for a lighter and more accurate assault rifle. These requirements were also complemented by a squad automatic weapon. Kalashnikov submitted his new version of the AK-47 with some improvements, including a stamped receiver. The new weapon was lighter and more accurate. Eventually this improved assault rifle was adopted to service in 1959 as the AKM along with the RPK light machine gun.

AK-47

Expand image

AK-47

Expand image

AK-47

Expand image

AK-47

Expand image

Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Home  Home     Aircraft     Helicopters     Tanks     Armored Vehicles     Artillery     Trucks     Engineering Vehicles     Missiles     Naval Forces     Firearms     |     Contact Us
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ARG 2006 - 2016
www.Military-Today.com AK-47