The "Abtomat Kalashnikov model 1947" or AK-47 is a gun designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, widely used by the USSR armed forces through much of the 1970s and 1980s. It is classified as an assault rifle, a mid-caliber rifle that, like a main battle rifle, can be fired semi-automaticly, or in short fully-automatic bursts, but that is smaller and shorter-ranged.
The AK47 was cheap, light to carry, and easy to clean and repair in the field. It was mostly reliable but the ejector pin sometimes broke.
New designs replaced the AK-47 during the 1980s.
It was favoured by Eastern powers probably because of its ease of use, robustness, and simplicity of manufacture. Copies were made by many factories in other countries including China and Poland, where they are still in production today.
The standard AK-47 fires a 7.62 mm round with a muzzle velocity of 700 m/s. Rate of fire is between 90 and 400 rounds per minute; the design peak of 600 rounds per minute cannot really be achieved (why not? heat? recoil?).
Extensively modified and improved upon since its first design. There are even versions (AK-101 and AK-102) that take standard NATO rounds.
- AKS-74 5.45 mm folding stock
- AK-74M 5.45 mm modernised (for motorised infantry)
- AK-101 5.56 mm round (NATO round)
- AK-102 short stock 101
- AK-103 7.62 mm round
- AK-104 short stock 103
- AK-105 5.45 mm round (short stock)
Many foreign variants and foreign produced models exist.