A clip-fed, gas-operated assault rifle of Soviet design having a caliber of 7.62 millimeters and used throughout the world by armed forces and paramilitary organizations.[Russian A(vtomat) K(alashnikova), automatic gun of Kalashnikov, after Viktor TimofeevichKalashnikov (born 1919), Soviet arms engineer.]
* * *▪ Soviet firearmalso called Kalashnikov Model1947, Soviet assault rifle, one of the most widely used shoulder weapons in the world. The initials AK represent Avtomat Kalashnikov, Russian for “automatic Kalashnikov,” for its designer, Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (b. 1919). It has both semiautomatic and automatic capabilities and fires intermediate-power 7.62-millimetre ammunition.The AK-47 is a short and well-designed gun. It has a separate gas return tube above the barrel, a long box magazine that holds 30 rounds, and a cyclic firing rate of 600 rounds per minute. It is manufactured in several countries in two basic designs. One has a wooden stock, the other a folding metal stock. In the 1980s the AK-47 was replaced by the AKM, a modernized version with better sights but the same basic operation. The AK-47 and its AKM version, however, remained the basic shoulder weapons for virtually all communist armies, as well as for many guerrilla and nationalist movements throughout the world. It was produced in the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, China, East Germany, Hungary, North Korea, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
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