The AK-47 or Avtomat Kalashnikov is a selective fire, gas operated 7.62mm assault rifle developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the 1940s. Six decades later, the AK-47 and its variants and derivatives remain in service throughout the world. It has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with regular armed forces as well as irregular, revolutionary and terrorist organizations worldwide.
The designation AK-47 stands for Автомат Калашникова 47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova 47) - Kalashnikov automatic rifle, model of 1947.
Design work on the AK began in 1944. In 1946 a version of the rifle, the AK-46, was presented for official military trials, and a year later the fixed stock version was introduced into service with select units of the Red Army. The AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1949. An early development of the design was the AKS-47 (S—Skladnoy or "folding"), which differed in being equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock.
The AK-47 was one of the first true assault rifles and, due to its durability, low production cost and ease of use, the weapon and its numerous variants remain the most widely used assault rifles in the world — so much so that more AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined. It was also used by the majority of the member states of the former Warsaw Pact. The AK-47 was also used as a basis for the development of many other types of individual and crew-served firearms.
PLACE OF ORIGIN
4.3 kg (9.5 lb) with empty magazine
870 mm (34.3 in) fixed wooden stock 875 mm (34.4 in) folding stock extended 645 mm (25.4 in) stock folded
415 mm (16.3 in)
Gas-operated, rotating bolt
RATE OF FIRE
715 m/s (2,346 ft/s)
100–800m sight adjustments
30-round detachable box magazine, also compatible with 40-round box or 75-round drum magazines from the RPK
Adjustable iron sights, 378 mm (14.9 in) sight radius