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Kalashnikov's AK-47
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The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62x39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova. It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or, in Russian slang, Kalash.

Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year of World War II (1945). After the war in 1946, the AK-46 was presented for official military trials. In 1947 the fixed-stock version was introduced into service with select units of the Soviet Army. An early development of the design was the AKS-47 (SSkladnoy or "folding"), which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In 1949, the AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact.

The original AK-47 was one of the first true assault rifles. Even after six decades the model and its variants remain the most widely used and popular assault rifles in the world because of its durability, low production cost, and ease of use. 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 AK-47 was the basis for developing many other types of individual and crew-served firearms. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined.

Firing the 7.62x39mm cartridge, the AK-47 produces significant wounding effects when the projectile tumbles and fragments in tissue; but it produces relatively minor wounds when the projectile exits the body before beginning to yaw.

During World War II, the Germans first pioneered the assault rifle concept, based upon research that showed that most firefights happen at close range, within approximately 300meters. The power and range of contemporary rifle cartridges was excessive for most small arms firefights. As a result, armies sought a cartridge and rifle combining submachine gun features (large-capacity magazine, selective-fire) with an intermediate-power cartridge effective to 300meters. To reduce manufacturing costs, the 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge case was shortened, the result of which was the lighter 7.92x33mm Kurz.

The resultant rifle was the Sturmgewehr 44 (StG44). An earlier firearm, the Italian Cei-Rigotti combined similar features but suffered poor reliability and ejection mechanism, as well as inferior magazine capacity. Towards the end of the war, the Germans fielded the StG44 against the Soviets; the experience deeply influenced Soviet military doctrine in the post-war years.

Mikhail Kalashnikov began his career as a weapon designer while in a hospital after he was shot in the shoulder during the Battle of Bryansk. After tinkering with a sub-machine gun design, he entered a competition for a new weapon that would chamber the 7.62x41mm cartridge developed by Elisarov and Semin in 1943 (the 7.62x41mm cartridge predated the current 7.62x39mm M1943). A particular requirement of the competition was the reliability of the firearm in the muddy, wet, and frozen conditions of the Soviet front line. Kalashnikov designed a carbine, strongly influenced by the American M1 Garand, that lost out to the Simonov design that later became the SKS semi-automatic carbine. At the same time, the Soviet Army was interested in developing a true assault rifle employing a shortened M1943 round. The first such weapon was presented by Sudayev in 1944, but trials found it to be too heavy. A new design competition was held two years later where Kalashnikov and his design team submitted an entry. It was a gas-operated rifle which had a breech-block mechanism similar to his 1944 carbine, and a curved 30-round magazine.

Kalashnikov's rifles (codenamed AK-1 and 2) proved to be reliable and the weapon was accepted to second round of competition along with designs by A.A Demetev and F. Bulkin. In late 1946, as the rifles were being tested, one of Kalashnikov's assistants, Aleksandr Zaytsev, suggested a major redesign of AK-1, particularly to improve reliability. At first, Kalashnikov was reluctant, given that their rifle had already fared better than its competitors. Eventually, however, Zaytsev managed to persuade Kalashnikov. The new rifle was produced for a second round of firing tests and field trials. There, Kalashnikov assault rifle model 1947 proved to be simple and reliable under a wide range of conditions with convenient handling characteristics. In 1949 it was therefore adopted by the Soviet Army as '7.62mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK)'.[12]

The AK-47 is best described as a hybrid of previous rifle technology innovations: the trigger, double locking lugs and unlocking raceway of the M1 Garand/M1 carbine, the safety mechanism of the John Browning designed Remington Model 8 rifle,and the gas system and layout of the Sturmgewehr 44. Kalashnikov's team had access to all of these weapons and had no need to "reinvent the wheel",though he denied that his design was based on the German Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle. Kalashnikov himself observed: "A lot of [Soviet Army soldiers] ask me how one can become a constructor, and how new weaponry is designed. These are very difficult questions. Each designer seems to have his own paths, his own successes and failures. But one thing is clear: before attempting to create something new, it is vital to have a good appreciation of everything that already exists in this field. I myself have had many experiences confirming this to be so."

There were many difficulties during the initial phase of production. The first production models had stamped sheet metal receivers. Difficulties were encountered in welding the guide and ejector rails, causing high rejection rates. Instead of halting production, a heavy machined receiver was substituted for the sheet metal receiver. This was a more costly process, but the use of machined receivers accelerated production as tooling and labor for the earlier Mosin-Nagant rifle's machined receiver were easily adapted. Partly because of these problems, the Soviets were not able to distribute large nu

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Date: Apr 15, 2011
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its my favorite rifle :)

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Date: Apr 15, 2011
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The prototype AK-46

ak46_1.jpg



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scorpio213 wrote:

The resultant rifle was the Sturmgewehr 44 (StG44). An earlier firearm, the Italian Cei-Rigotti combined similar features but suffered poor reliability and ejection mechanism, as well as inferior magazine capacity. Towards the end of the war, the Germans fielded the StG44 against the Soviets; the experience deeply influenced Soviet military doctrine in the post-war years.


http://www.gun-blog.com/2009/03/did-kalasnikov-copy-ak-from-german-stg.html



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Experimental AK-47, first model from 1947.



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Date: Apr 16, 2011
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I love the AK series. Put them through hell and they keep on working. They have great accuracy, the only problem is recoil.

The AK-47 has become so iconic with it's widespread use it is concidered a symbol of power and strength.



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Long live the AK series. biggrin



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Gunship wrote:

I love the AK series. Put them through hell and they keep on working. They have great accuracy, the only problem is recoil.

The AK-47 has become so iconic with it's widespread use it is concidered a symbol of power and strength.


I agree, and it is used by many different countries, imported or licence-built.



















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Air_Gopher wrote:
Gunship wrote:

I love the AK series. Put them through hell and they keep on working. They have great accuracy, the only problem is recoil.

The AK-47 has become so iconic with it's widespread use it is concidered a symbol of power and strength.


I agree, and it is used by many different countries, imported or licence-built.


 

Or just plain copied...



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Date: Apr 16, 2011
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Some special forces use modernised AKs with suppressors and grenade launchers.



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You can't silence an AK.



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Alan Dallas


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Gunship wrote:

You can't silence an AK.


 

Yes actually.



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_EarthAlien_ wrote:

Some special forces use modernised AKs with suppressors and grenade launchers.


 

How can you fit a grenade launcher on the AK-47? It doesn't have the handguard design for it. They did experiment with some kind of underbarrel anti-recoil piston that looked like a grenade launcher, could you be thinking of that?



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Flying Nerd wrote:
_EarthAlien_ wrote:

Some special forces use modernised AKs with suppressors and grenade launchers.


How can you fit a grenade launcher on the AK-47? It doesn't have the handguard design for it. They did experiment with some kind of underbarrel anti-recoil piston that looked like a grenade launcher, could you be thinking of that?


 

AKM with GP-25 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher.



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Date: Apr 16, 2011
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And no, they never experimented with such a thing. The weapon needs the recoil to chamber a new round when it fires, otherwise suppressing it would make it jam or just not function.



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Date: Apr 17, 2011
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ooh, have any of you seen hurt locker, the british use specialy modified AK-47's with custom hand grips with a rail system aswell as a british designed and made silencer modification for special operations, and also a rail system behind the rear sight to attach scopes



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Date: Apr 17, 2011
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scorpio213 wrote:

ooh, have any of you seen hurt locker, the british use specialy modified AK-47's with custom hand grips with a rail system aswell as a british designed and made silencer modification for special operations, and also a rail system behind the rear sight to attach scopes


 

We use L85A1s.



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Date: Apr 17, 2011
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yes, i know the brits use L85's but some british anti-terrosist teams use modified AK-47's because of the availability of ammo in Afghanistan and Iraq



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Date: Sep 23, 2011
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Gunship wrote:

The AK-47 has become so iconic with it's widespread use it is concidered a symbol of power and strength.


 I see it as a symbol of terrorism. ashamed



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Date: Sep 25, 2011
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that means you are calling every one which uses the AK as terrorists

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