The AK 47 is a Russian automatic rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm M3 cartridge. Based on the German StG 44, it was designed in 1947 by Mikhail Kalashnikov, entering service with the Red Army in 1949. It was used by the Viet Cong guerrilla and the Northvietnamese Army in the Vietnam War. Since its intruduction, it became the standard infantry weapon of leftist guerrilla armies and terrorists groups during and after the Cold War as all communist and most Arab countries were equipped with the AK 47. It is the counterpart of the FN FAL, known as the “right arm of the free world”. It also saw combat action in the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1979), the 1991 Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2003), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). Presently, it is being used by the Taliban and the Afghan police in the war in Afghanistan. Being associated with terrorism and tyrannic regimes world wide, it is the bad guy’s standard weapon.
The AK 47 uses a gas-operated reloading system, with rotating bolt. Its bolt carrier handle and the ejection port are located on the right side of rifle. It is made of stamped steel, with butstock and barrel cover made of wood. This rifle, that originated in the former Soviet Union, has a reputaion for reliablility of its moving parts as it can go through dusty, sandy, and mudy environments and still be able to function properly. However, it is not as accurate as the FN FAL and does not have the stopping power of the Belgium assault rifle, which uses 7.62x51mm ammunition. Its effective range is not that long either. In 1974, the Soviet government began production of the AK-74, which is chambered for the 5.45x39mm cartridge.
Type: assault rifle
Barrel length: 41.5 cm
Weight: 3.47 kg
Muzzel velocity: 715 m/s
Effective range: 300 m
Feed system: 30-round box magazine