Little Known Facts about AK-47

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Of all the modern firearms in use since the World War II, AK-47 has been the most widely used and also the most well-known, even outside the premises of military knowledge. It is perhaps the most widely known assault rifle amongst all sorts of military, Para-military and even civilian men. This particular rifle was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union and was first introduced into the Soviet Army in 1948. Since then, it has become the standard assault rifle of the army and has remained so over the course of 6 decades. During this time almost 50 different versions of the rifle has been introduced and successfully utilized. The AK-47 has been used all over the globe by forces of different nations as well as paramilitary, police and insurgent forces. Over 30 different countries, apart from Russia, have manufactured this assault rifle and its various versions under different nomenclatures.

Although it is well known among civilian populations and in fact one of the most quickly identified firearms, there are facts about the AK-47 that most are oblivious of. Some of these facts are as follows:

The official nomenclature of AK-47 is Avtomat Kalashnikova, named after its creator. Amongst the ordinary ranks of the Soviet army, it was known simply as Kalashnikov.

The original version of the AK-47 belonged only to the second generation of assault rifles, and it was preceded only by the German StG 44.

AK-47 remains one of the most durable assault rifles in the history of firearms. It also had a very low cost of production. This is why it has enjoyed wide popularity with armies all over the globe. It is used by over 106 countries which include Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

The rifle has actually made it to the Guinness Book of World Records with over 100 million pieces in use all over the globe.

Statisticians claim that AK-47 is the weapon used to kill more than a quarter of a million people every year. This is more than the combined number of casualties caused by artillery fires, air strikes and rocket attacks.

During the 1970s, the official assault rifle for the US army was the M16 which the soldiers gave up in favour of AK-47s they salvaged from the Soviet soldiers because it was lighter and also more accurate. As a testament to the wide usage of the rifle, the US marines carry AK-47 ammunition with them although it is not the standard weapon.

The AK-47 is actually represented in the national flag of Mozambique! It is also used in the flag of Hezbollah, a Lebanese organization.

A French newspaper called Liberation, has proclaimed the AK-47 to be the most important scientific innovation the 20th century! This is remarkable because the nuclear bomb was also a contender for the title!

The assault rifle is also the most commonly smuggled firearm across the globe.

Both Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorist organizations use AK-47 as their standard firearm.

These are only a few of the interesting facts about AK-47 that many of us never knew. In fact, a museum in Udmurt Republic has been dedicated to this firearm.

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