AK-47: A History and use in Modern Times

The AK-47, the rifle you see used in every 80’s action movie and the stereotypical weapon used by Russians in movies alongside a bottle of Smirnoff. Despite being so popular in movies and T.V. shows, not many people know of the history of the weapon, or the mechanics of it, so today, I’m going to give you a little history lesson on the Kalashnikov Rifle, AKA: The AK-47.  Also if you are looking to have some fun there is a CYMA AK47 airsoft rifle version available.  It is just one of many airsoft guns for sale.   

Let’s start with the history. It was conceived by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1941. He had received a shoulder wound during the Battle of Bryansk. Kalashnikov himself stated:

“I was in the hospital, and a soldier in the bed beside me asked: ‘Why do our soldiers have only one rifle for two or three of our men, when the Germans have automatics?’ So I designed one. I was a soldier, and I created a machine gun for a soldier. It was called an Avtomat Kalashnikova, the automatic weapon of Kalashnikov—AK—and it carried the year of its first manufacture, 1947.”

The first variant of the AK-47 was first designed in July 1943 and was based off of an early version of the German Sturmgewehr. It was presented before the Ministry of Armaments of the USSR.  They were impressed with the weapon and immediately set upon developing an intermediate caliber fully automatic rifle for themselves. This was an effort to replace the already common PPSh-41 submachine gun and the bolt action Mosin-Nagant, which were already in mass use by The Red Army. The rifles was used widely during the Soviet campaign, or as the Russians called it, The Great Patriotic War during World War 2. The Soviets quickly developed the 7.62x39mm M43 Cartridge. The SKS Carbine and the RPD Light Machine Gun.  This increase in production was in part caused by tensions with the United States and the subsequent Cold War that followed.

Almost immediately after it was adopted by the Soviet Government, soldiers praised the weapon as a reliable, rugged, and simple to operate weapon.  It was also very amenable to mass production. It had a cyclic firing rate of 600 rounds per minute and was capable of Automatic and Semi-Automatic fire. Shortly after World War II, the Soviets developed the AK-47 rifle, which would quickly replace the SKS in service in the The Red Army. Introduced in 1959, the AKM is a lighter stamped steel version and the most common type of the AK-47. This is the one that is most commonly known around the world. In the 1960s, the Soviets introduced the RPK Light Machine Gun, an AK type weapon with a stronger receiver, a longer, heavier barrel, and a bi-pod. This version would eventually replace the RPD light machine gun.

In 1974, the Soviets began replacing their AK-47 and AKM rifles with a newer design. Despite the AK-47 giving soldiers an advantage on the battlefield, the AK-47 and the AKM were considered by the Soviet Government to have problems with accuracy, mainly because of recoil forces generated by the powerful 7.62mm round and the blowback that was generated by the weapons’ internal mechanics. This affected the accuracy of some troops, making performance with the AK 47 gradually worse. After the 1970s, research continued into possible successors to the AK-47/74 series, most of them involving some methods of reducing the effects of recoil and blowback. One candidate, the AN-94, allowed two rounds to be fired in rapid succession before recoil forces were generated. Other candidates, the AK-107 and AEK-971, introduced mechanical parts whose movements balanced those of the blowback-generating mechanisms. None of these weapons were accepted for standard issue to the Russian army, however. In 2018 the Russian military began introducing a pair of new rifles from the AK family: the AK-12 and the AK-15. These would eventually replace the AK-74M. The AK-12 retained the 5.45-mm calibre that had been introduced with the AK-74, but the AK-15 reverted to the Soviet-era 7.62-mm round. Both weapons featured a modernized chassis that allowed for the mounting of scopes, forward grips, and other tactical accessories.

Kalashnikov assault rifles remain the basic shoulder weapons of many armies, such as the North Koreans and the Chinese. Countries or movements that once had political and/or military ties to the Soviet Union have long favoured the weapon. For example, the Viet Cong, Cuba, Chile, Saddam Husseins Iraq, etc.  The symbolic value of the AK-47 to such movements is demonstrated by its presence on the flags and coats of arms of numerous countries. For example, an AK-47 appears on the Flag of Mozambique, and it appears on the coat of arms of Zimbabwe, and East Timor.  It has been estimated that some 100 million AK-47s and AKMs have been produced—almost half of them are made outside of Russia and/or the former USSR. Many of those rifles are still used under expired Soviet licenses or used with no license at all. A full range of weapons that can trace their design history back to the AK-47 are produced by the Izhmash armaments company in Izhevsk, Russia.

it is very difficult to acquire a weapons license and have the ability to own a weapon for Canadians, the closest we can get to firing an AK-47 is through the Airsoft Community, where people can shoot Airsoft guns with no real consequences. Places like Forest City Surplus in London, Ontario are one of those places that offer those types of experiences. And yes, they carry those Airsoft Ak-47s. Alongside the Colt 1911, you can have a sidearm and a rifle to use in your Airsoft matches. If you somehow do get the proper licensing, registration, case, holster, etc to gain the ability to purchase a real AK-47, then yes, you can acquire one and pretend to be the 80’s movie star you’ve always wanted to be.


– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47

– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Kalashnikov

– https://allthatsinteresting.com/mikhail-kalashnikov

– https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/birth-of-the-sturmgewehr-44.html

– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Armaments_(Soviet_Union)

– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosin%E2%80%93Nagant

– https://theculturetrip.com/topics/black-lives-matter/

– https://guns.fandom.com/wiki/SKS#References

– https://firearmcentral.fandom.com/wiki/RPD

– https://www.britannica.com/topic/Red-Army

– http://roe.ru/eng/catalog/land-forces/strelkovoe-oruzhie/machine-guns/rpk-203/

– http://armamentresearch.com/russian-an-94-self-loading-rifle/

– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-107

– https://modernfirearms.net/en/assault-rifles/russia-assault-rifles/aek-971-eng/

– http://roe.ru/eng/catalog/land-forces/strelkovoe-oruzhie/assault-rifles-/AK-12/

– http://www.military-today.com/firearms/ak_15.htm

– https://www.army-technology.com/projects/ak-74m-assault-rifle-russian-army-military/

– http://www.mozambique.co.za/About_Mozambique-travel/mozambique-flag.html

– https://rostec.ru/en/news/1450/

– https://www.tactical-life.com/firearms/viet-cong-weaponry-14-vietnam-war/

– https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/north-koreas-army-made-ak-47-steroids-meet-type-88-rifle-70796#:~:text=of%20assault%20rifles.-,The%20North%20Korean%20People’s%20Army%20Type%2088%20rifle%20is%20similar,as%20conventional%2030%2Dround%20magazines.&text=The%20AK%2D47%20itself%20became,became%20the%20Type%2068%20rifle.

– https://www.skillsetmag.com/2019/09/02/chinese-ak-variants/

– https://www.mic.com/articles/77515/10-photos-that-show-how-the-ak-47-has-become-a-global-political-symbol

– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Zimbabwe

– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_East_Timor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *