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Term: AK-47

AK-47 (Wikipedia)

The AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova (Russian: Автомат Калашникова, lit. 'Kalashnikov's automatic [rifle]'; also known as the Kalashnikov or just AK), is a gas-operated assault rifle that is chambered for the 7.62×39mm cartridge. Developed in the Soviet Union by Russian small-arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, it is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov (or "AK") family of rifles. After more than seven decades since its creation, the AK-47 model and its variants remain one of the most popular and widely used firearms in the world.

AK-47
AK-47 type II noBG.png
AK-47 Type 2A
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1949–1974 (Soviet Union)
1949–present (other countries)
Used bySee Users
WarsSee Conflicts
Production history
DesignerMikhail Kalashnikov
Designed1946–1948
ManufacturerKalashnikov Concern and various others including Norinco
Produced1948–present
No. built≈ 75 million AK-47s, 100 million Kalashnikov-family weapons.
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications (AK-47 with Type 3 receiver)
MassWithout magazine:
3.47 kg (7.7 lb)
Magazine, empty:
0.43 kg (0.95 lb) (early issue)
0.33 kg (0.73 lb) (steel)
0.25 kg (0.55 lb) (plastic)
0.17 kg (0.37 lb) (light alloy)
LengthFixed wooden stock:
880 mm (35 in)
875 mm (34.4 in) folding stock extended
645 mm (25.4 in) stock folded
Barrel lengthOverall length:
415 mm (16.3 in)
Rifled bore length:
369 mm (14.5 in)

Cartridge7.62×39mm
ActionGas-operated, closed rotating bolt
Rate of fireCyclic rate of fire:
600 rds/min
Combat rate of fire:
Semi-auto 40 rds/min
Bursts 100 rds/min
Muzzle velocity715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)
Effective firing range350 m (380 yd)
Feed system20-round, 30-round detachable box magazine
There are also 40-round, 75-round drum magazines available
Sights100–800 m adjustable iron sights
Sight radius:
378 mm (14.9 in)

The number "47" refers to the year the rifle was finished. Design work on the AK-47 began in 1945. It was presented for official military trials in 1947, and, in 1948, the fixed-stock version was introduced into active service for selected units of the Soviet Army. In early 1949, the AK was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact.

The model and its variants owe their global popularity to their reliability under harsh conditions, low production cost (compared to contemporary 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 throughout the world. As of 2004, "of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide, approximately 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AK-47s". The model is the basis for the development of many other types of individual, crew-served and specialised firearms.

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