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AK-47

Assault rifle

AK-47

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



Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 4.3 kg
Length 870 mm
Length (with folded stock) -
Barrel length 415 mm
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 660 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 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. In 1949 it was accepted to service with the 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.

   Currently this assault rifle is used by hundreds of 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. The AK-47 and its derivatives are still manufactured in a number of countries. It is also used as a platform for numerous civilian rifles and shotguns. Its design became a base for a number of copies and clones.

   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 influenced by the German Stg.44 assault rifle and American M1 Garand rifle. It is a gas operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for the Soviet 7.62 x 39 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 version was adopted for 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 it's introduction this assault rifle was constantly improved. Improved and late production rifles have some minor differences.

   Direct copies of this weapon are Bulgarian AK-47, Chinese Type 56, East German KPiK, Hungarian AK-47, North Korean Type 58, Polish AK and Yugoslavian M-64.

   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 minor improvements. Eventually this improved rifle was adopted to service in 1959 as the AKM along with the RPK light machine gun.

 
AK-47

AK-47

AK-47

AK-47

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