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The AK is perhaps the most widespread firearm in the world.

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Carried by American enemies and allies alike sinceit is the standard infantry weapon for countries. There are an estimated million AKs of a number of variations round the world. It's a popular weapon among firearms enthusiasts, professional soldiers and terrorists alike. In the United States, it has a reputation as the "bad guy" weapon, given its history and usage among so many former enemies.

Its Russian name is Avtomat Kalashnikova -- also known simply as the Kalashnikov. It was named for its inventor, Senior Sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov. According to legend, he admired the weapons made by the Nazis. After five years of engineering, the former agricultural engineer made his famous weapon.

It was based on a number of other designs floating around at the time, mostly Germany's Sturmgewehr Called StG for short, the Sturmgewehr was the first real mid-range infantry rifle. It didn't shoot a heavy round but could still lay down heavy fire. The AK was designed to do the same. But the true brilliance of Kalashnikov's invention was in its simplicity. It was designed for all-around ease of use: easy to repair, easy to unjam if it ever doeseasy to maintain.

If a round is chambered in an AK, chances are good that weapon is going to fire. His creation was so simple and dependable that the Soviet Union began exporting the weapon en masse.

The country made so much money from exporting the weapon that Kalashnikov received special treatment in the USSR and later Russia for the rest of his life. The legality of the AK depends on what country you're reading this in. AK model weapons are also dirt cheap in many places around the world -- but the further away you are from the production centers, the more expensive it can be.

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The price of an AK family firearm in Africa is an exception to that general rule. It's usually much cheaper in many African countries because the demand is so high that markets are usually flooded.

Learn about the infamous AK or the Russian built assault rifle and its origins as a military weapon in this episode of "Bullet Points: AK As for American wannabe AK owners, it also depends on what state you live in. In general, however, a true AK has a fully automatic setting, which is illegal in the United States. Models with semi-automatic settings are available and legal in the U. Manufacturers cannot make or import fully automatic weapons for the civilian market.

Any automatic weapon fully registered before Maywith the passage of the Firearm Owners Protection Act, can be purchased or sold.

20 AK-47 Variants You Want to Own

This means there is a market of an estimatedlegal automatic weapons in the United States. The AK is the deadliest weapon ever built, on the whole. Its kill count even tops nuclear weapons in sheer numbers. But the first AKs were very heavy and weren't really built for aiming.

Kalashnikov wanted to develop a compact weapon that still delivered firepower within meters that could bring a blaze of bullets with ammunition light enough that soldiers could carry a lot of it. A real Kalashnikov is surprisingly difficult to fire for a standard infantry weapon, but it was still very easily produced and easily used. Everyone will still refer to it as an AK or simply "AK" -- because it sounds cool. The weapon uses a 7. They shatter bones, tear through organs and liquefy other materials as the round tumbles through the body -- often in ways that cannot be repaired.

When the M16 rifle was first introduced in the Vietnam War, it had a number of issues.AKs are one of the most famous assault-style weapons out there — they are also one of the most vastly misunderstood. If you are looking for an AK today, you are going to find hundreds of different styles and hundreds of different opinions on what is best.

We might as well start out with the best. The Arsenal is one of the best AKs available on the market right now, in terms of quality and price.

You can get ahold of this rifle in two different types. The standard is a This one is easier to get, because it comes exactly as it was manufactured.

The other option is a shortened It comes with a shorter handguard and a shorter gas tube, and you can also shorten the barrel — but bear in mind, shortening the barrel of a rifle requires a pretty significant legal process. The forend, pistol grip and stock of the Arsenal SLR are all made out of polymer instead of the traditional wood production, which makes the whole gun lighter and easier to handle.

The barrel is chrome-lined, and the stock folds up so that you can easily transport it or store it when you are not using it. This is a stamped receiver rifle, so you can expect a slightly shorter lifespan than that of a milled receiver — but remember that shorter is a relative term.

You are still going to get up torounds worth of use out of this gun comfortably. The modern SLR is improved from past models. It has accurate rear-sights that adjust to up to meters, and a smooth two-stage trigger system for improved accuracy.

The trigger is also equipped with an anti-slap mechanism. The downsides: this rifle is not optics-ready as is. It can be converted with a few slight changes swap out the polymer handle for one with handrails to make it optics-ready, but it will require a little work on your part.

It also does not come with a muzzle device. All things considered, this is truly one of the best AKs out there. It is sturdy, reliable, accurate and well worth the price. Sticking to tradition, the stock and frontend are made out of wood.

The pistol grip is polymer, so you get a little weight reduction without losing that classic look of the wood. There are some recent improvements to this gun, that make it a little easier to handle than past generations. For one, the sights are improved, adjusting up to meters. There is also a safety selector and bolt hold open notch that makes bolt lockback a little easier, a t-shaped magazine release so you can reload faster.

The trigger is improved too, for smoother shooting and increased accuracy.Photo: Department of Defense. By lateSgt. Gas operated with a short-stroke piston and a rotating bolt, the initial models of the AK used a simple stamped receiver.

These guns, known today as Type 1 variants, were soon replaced with a model that used a milled steel receiver in lateknown logically enough as the Type 2. Then came the extensively machined Type 3 third generation in Soon, the know-how to produce the simple but effective Kalash pattern guns was exported to other like-minded countries in the Communist world view.

Production soon also spread to Bulgaria, Egypt, Romania and elsewhere. This latter variant was the gold standard when it came to Kalashnikovs until the 5. In all, an estimated million or more AK series guns were made across the world and in a dizzying array of variants. While the Soviets took extreme measures to keep their new toy under wraps from prying eyes on the other side of the Iron Curtain even though it was shown off in Soviet cinemaword nonetheless filtered out.

Bythe CIA had grainy photos of folding-stocked AKs seen in Poland and, according to the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, they received a captured Tula-made dated AK from Aberdeen Proving Ground the same year and in a folding stock model, which they still described as a submachine gun. As the U. Photo: Marine Corps History Division. When stacked up against the M14, the AK was only nominally lighter but a man armed with it could carry more ammo.

Compared to an Marmed Soldier or Marine with rounds of ammunition, a VC or NVA foot soldier with the same amount of ammo would save more than three pounds. The M16 would later reverse this equation. Bythe U. Soon, the AK had become so common worldwide that U. Photo: National Archives. This case of bring backs includes a Yugo-made milled M70 with a rifle grenade mounted as well as a stamped Romanian pm.

Meanwhile, except for a handful of vets bring backs from Indochina, the first Kalashnikovs to hit the U. Valmet continued to ship increasingly better designed M70 and M80 series guns to America in multiple calibers until they were barred from import in By the Reagan administration, the land of apple pie and Rambo franchise movies Apocalypse Now had used Type 56s obtained in the Philippines in had whet an appetite for a lot of AKs.

Zastava has been exporting versions of their M70 line to the U. When the door slammed shut on imports of rifles from China inthe end of the Cold War opened the former Warsaw Pact countries to U.

Between and the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimated that some 4. With Americans increasingly turning to AKs, companies such as Century Arms and Palmetto State Armory began increasingly to shift from making Kalash from imported European parts kits with enough parts to be legal to rolling their own all-U. This came as Kalashnikov Concern set up shop in Florida and began to make their own U.

Today, with events like the annual Red Oktober Kalashnikov Championship and Kalash Bash becoming increasingly more common and well-attended, it is not hard to see that the world of American AKs and the people that love them is growing. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR perform when put to the test?

Read on to find out. The Sig Sauer P was the first. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P? Let's find out. The Marlin Dark in.It is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov rifle or "AK" family. Design work on the AK began in Inthe AK was presented for official military trials, and inthe fixed-stock version was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army.

An early development of the design was the AKS S— Skladnoy or "folding"which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In earlythe AK was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces [9] and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact. Even after seven decades, the model and its variants remain the most popular and widely used rifles in the world because of its reliability under harsh conditions, low production costs compared to contemporary Western weapons, availability in virtually every geographic region, and ease of use.

The AK has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with armed forces as well as irregular forces and insurgencies worldwide, and was the basis for developing many other types of individual, crew-served and specialised firearms. As of [update]"Of the estimated million firearms worldwide, approximately million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AKs".

The Soviets soon developed the 7. In the s, the Soviets introduced the RPK light machine gun, an AK type weapon with a stronger receiver, a longer heavy barrel, and a bipod, that would eventually replace the RPD light machine gun. Mikhail Kalashnikov began his career as a weapon designer inwhile recuperating from a shoulder wound which he received during the Battle of Bryansk.

I was a soldier, and I created a machine gun for a soldier. It was called an Avtomat Kalashnikova, the automatic weapon of Kalashnikov—AK—and it carried the year of its first manufacture, The AK is best described as a hybrid of previous rifle technology innovations. Kalashnikov himself observed: "A lot of Russian 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. Kalashnikov started work on a submachine gun design in [24] and with a light machine gun in It was suggested to him that this new weapon might well lead to greater things, and he undertook work on the new rifle.

Ina new design competition was initiated to develop a new rifle. It was gas-operated rifle with a short-stroke gas piston above the barrel, a breech-block mechanism similar to his carbine, and a curved round magazine. These prototypes also known as the AK had a rotary bolt, a two-part receiver with separate trigger unit housing, dual controls separate safety and fire selector switches and a non-reciprocating charging handle located on the left side of the weapon.I have an AK 47 but my shooting skill is not good.

Do you have any idea to help me to be successful in my next hunting game? I have got this question recently when the hunting season is coming. I thought that there would be many people having the same problem. In fact, whether you use your rifle in military or hunting application, it's best to combine with the best scope for AK So, how to find out the best scope? Read my post and I will let you know. Remember to read until the end, I also recommend the best options based on my experiences.

Choosing a proper Rifle Scope for an AK is not an easy task. It is based on many considerations including your personal preference and a technical understanding of how they work on the field. Reading this part is really important because a very small difference in specification or quality can lead to a big difference in the outcome.

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You can look for some rifle scopes covered with a rubber armor because of its stronger durability. People don't use an AK for shooting at a long distance so big objective lenses are a challenge.

Kalashnikov 101: The History of the AK-47

According to feedback, most users of AK 47s don't shoot over yards so adding a heavy scope on your rifle just makes it harder to use, and bulky. My advice is to pick up a slim and trim model as long as you can adjust it easily. It is enough for you to win on an opening day of deer season. It's fine if you purchase cheap ammo or semi-automatic tactical rifle. However, spending your money on a scope makes a nicer rifle. Generally, the AK 47 rifles are designed for close and middle range with an iron sight.

Thus, it's not realistic to add a rifle optic. The type of rail and the placement depends on the type of optics and sights which you tend to mount on the AK It is based on your personal preference but you can refer to my suggestions below.The 7.

Shortly after World War II, the AK was designed, later becoming the world's most widespread military-pattern rifle. The cartridge remained the Soviet standard until the s. It was largely replaced in Soviet service by the 5. In the 21st century the 7. The Soviet planners also decided at this meeting that their new cartridge be used in a whole range of infantry weapons, including a semi-automatic carbine, a selective fire rifle, and a light machine gun.

Elizarov collaborated closely with some leading weapons designers, including FedorovTokarevSimonovand Shpagin. About cartridge designs were considered theoretically, before narrowing the selection down to 8 models that were physically constructed and tested.

A first variant of the new cartridge was officially adopted for service after completing range trials in December ; it was given the GRAU index N The bullet it contained was This bullet has a somewhat stubbier appearance than later 7. After some further refinements, a pilot production series of this cartridge began in March After more detailed testing results became available, starting in the cartridge was tweaked by The Ulyanovsk Machine Building Plant in order to improve its accuracy and penetration.

Initially, the boat tail had been omitted because the Soviet designers had assumed incorrectly that it would only make a difference at long ranges, when the bullet became subsonic, and the accuracy of the intermediate cartridge at these ranges was considered inconsequential. However, further testing showed that the boat tail improved accuracy even at shorter ranges, where the bullet was still supersonic. In order to maintain the overall mass of the bullet, after adding the boat tail, the ogival head section of the bullet was lengthened as well, making the bullet more streamlined overall.

The maximum radius was now attained at some In order to preserve the total length of the cartridge, the case sleeve was shortened to Additionally, the new bullet had a core made of lead wrapped in low-carbon steel. The use of low-carbon mild steel was guided mostly by the desire to reuse some industrial equipment that was manufacturing the 7.The Kalashnikov AK and its variants are the most widely used military rifles in the world.

It has been put into service by more than 45 countries and seen action in every major military conflict since its creation in the late s. While the overall design hasn't changed significantly, many countries added their own unique tweaks to better fit their needs.

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In this article we will look at some of the most popular variants of the AK and some of the lesser-known models as well. This guide can be used for identifying some of the less common models from around the world.

Chambered in 7. It is fitted with a hammer-forged, chrome-lined, This particular rifle was built using parts Israel captured from the Palestinian Liberation Organization during the Lebanon conflict of the s. It has a stamped-steel receiver, laminated-wood stock set, beavertail fore-end, synthetic pistol grip and slant-cut compensator, and it is pictured with a Polish bayonet and oil bottle.

It is pictured here with a Polish bayonet. Polish Tantal WZ88 Chambered in 5.

The 5 Best AK-47s in 2020

It also has a unique selector switch on the left side of the receiver inlay and folding stock for added mobility. It is fitted with night sights and a distinctive muzzlebrake with a grenade-launcher attachment.

It also has Bakelite handguards and a side-folding metal stock that collapses to the right of the receiver. Romanian PM md. It is almost identical to the Russian AKM but has a chromium-plated bolt, chamber and piston. Also, it is fitted with an AKstyle barrel nut and a wooden pistol grip. They were equipped with semiauto-only PM md. This is the most popular version of the Romanian rifles, as more than 20, have been imported to the U.

It is chambered in 7. The stock collapses to the right side of the receiver. An AKtype muzzlebrake is fitted to reduce felt recoil. Yugoslavian M92 Chambered in 7. Built on a stamped-steel receiver, it has a two-position rear sight inlay mounted to the topcover, an underfolding stock and an expansion-chamber muzzle device. Yugoslavian MB1 Chambered in 7. Built on a heavier, 1. It can accept a thread-on grenade launcher inlay.

It is shown with an M52P3 anti-personnel land mine and some practice grenades.