The AK-47 rifle was invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1946 when the weapon was presented to the Soviet Union's military for testing. The reason behind this invention was the fact that the German machine guns during World War II caused a lot of damage and were highly portable and durable. This led the Soviet Union to develop their own version of the weapon. By 1949, the Soviet military commenced widespread use and manufacture of the AK-47, arming many of their satellite countries with the weapon in bulk. The inventor himself claimed that the AK-47 took the best parts of both the American M1 rifle and the German StG44 machine gun while utilizing the damaging automatic firing capacity.
Production Of The AK-47 Rifle
Since the production of the AK-47 commenced in the 1940s, over 100 million have been made. This makes up approximately one-fifth of the entire world's small arms and shows how the weapon has spread throughout 70 years of existence.
The Design Of The AK-47 Rifle
The rifle itself is distinctive in look, specifically the curved, metallic magazine which usually holds 30 rounds of ammunition. There are also 40 and 75 round magazines with the same style, as well as a 100 round drum magazine. The weapon can fire up to 100 rounds per minute.
Users Of The AK-47 Rifle
The users of this weapon in military capacity today include Afghanistan, Belarus, Egypt, Hungary, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, and South Africa to name only a few. The weapon is also used for non-military means, such as terrorism as well as being used in drug and weapons trafficking operations. This is due to the sheer number in existence and the means of tracking every single one are not available at this point in time. This weapon also features prominently on the flag of Mozambique.
The AK-47 Rifle And Modern Warfare
The AK-47 has had, and is still having, a drastic effect upon modern warfare, specifically urban warfare. This weapon places a lot of firepower within one individual's hands and can fire effectively up to 1140 feet. Many insurgent groups have used the weapon due to its durability in any conditions. Major insurgencies that involved the AK-47 include the Hungarian Revolution (1956), the Turkish and Kurdish conflict (ongoing), Somalian Civil War, as well as the ongoing civil conflicts within Iraq and Syria. Official wars that the weapon have been used in include the Iran-Iraq War, the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, the Vietnam War, and the Yom Kippur War, this list includes many others across the globe.
The Deadly Impact Of The AK-47
The AK-47 is the most popular and damaging weapon in human history. An official body-count of people killed by the AK-47 is almost impossible to determine due to the number in use, as well as the number of illegal and cloned models found in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In pro-Communist third world states, the weapon has become a symbol of revolution, inherent in the ability of anyone being able to use it. In Western nations, the weapon is often feared or seen as a symbol of terrorism or Communism. Today in Izhevsk, Russia, there is a museum dedicated to the inventor of the AK-47 and it is visited by approximately 10,000 people per month.