13 November 1947

The Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles.

The AK-47, which stands for “Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947,” is a selective-fire, gas-operated assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It was officially adopted by the Soviet Union in 1949 and has since become one of the most widely used and recognizable firearms in the world.

Design and Development:
Mikhail Kalashnikov designed the AK-47 in the late 1940s, and it was introduced into Soviet military service in 1949.
The rifle was designed to be reliable, easy to manufacture, and effective in a variety of combat conditions.
It has a distinctive curved magazine and is chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge.

Operating Mechanism:
The AK-47 operates on a gas piston system with a rotating bolt. Gas from the fired cartridge is redirected through a gas tube to operate the action.
This design contributes to the rifle’s reliability in adverse conditions, such as mud, sand, and water.

The AK-47 is known for its simple and rugged construction. It is often praised for its durability and ability to function in harsh environments.
The rifle’s components are often machined or stamped, making it relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

The original AK-47 fires the 7.62x39mm cartridge, which is an intermediate cartridge. It strikes a balance between the power of full-sized rifle cartridges and the lower recoil of pistol cartridges.

The AK-47 is capable of automatic or semi-automatic fire, depending on the model. Some versions also have a three-round burst mode.
The ability to fire in fully automatic mode has contributed to the rifle’s reputation for firepower.

Global Impact:
The AK-47 and its variants have been widely used by military forces, paramilitary groups, and insurgencies around the world.
It has become a symbol of revolutionary movements and is often associated with guerrilla warfare.

Numerous variants and derivatives of the AK-47 exist, produced by various countries and manufacturers. These include the AKM, AK-74, and others.

While praised for its reliability, the AK-47 is often criticized for its comparatively lower accuracy, especially in long-range engagements.