Meet The Man Who Inventes AK-47 And What 47 Stands For - Islanders Magazine


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Tuesday 23 January 2024

Meet The Man Who Inventes AK-47 And What 47 Stands For

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man who invented AK-47

By Jayne Aarom

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the founder of the AK-47, was a Russian weapons designer born in 1919 in the village of Kurya, Altai Krai, in the Russian Empire. Kalashnikov’s parents were peasants, and he grew up in a rural environment. He was drafted into the Red Army during World War II, where he was injured in battle and spent several months in a hospital. It was during this time that Kalashnikov began to develop his interest in designing firearms.

After the war, Kalashnikov worked as a chief designer at the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant, where he designed the AK-47. The AK-47, also known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947, is a selective-fire, gas-operated assault rifle that was first produced in the Soviet Union. It became one of the most widely used firearms in the world, with an estimated 100 million AK-47s in circulation.

The number “47” in AK-47 stands for the year it was first produced, 1947. The rifle was designed to be simple, reliable, and easy to produce, with an emphasis on durability and low maintenance. It was also designed to be effective in a variety of environments, from dense urban areas to open terrain.

Despite its popularity, the AK-47 has been criticized for its use in conflicts around the world. Its widespread availability has made it a weapon of choice for insurgent groups, terrorists, and criminals. However, Mikhail Kalashnikov maintained throughout his life that he designed the AK-47 for defensive purposes, not for aggression.

In addition to the AK-47, Kalashnikov designed several other firearms, including the AK-74, the RPK machine gun, and the PK machine gun. He received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the field of weapons design, including the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the Order of Lenin, and the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.

Mikhail Kalashnikov died on December 23, 2013, at the age of 94. He was buried in the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery in Moscow. Despite the controversy surrounding the AK-47 and its use in conflicts, Mikhail Kalashnikov’s legacy as a weapons designer is significant, and his contributions to the field of firearms continue to have an impact today.

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