Impressed by the StG 44 assault rifle used by German forces during WWII and other prime designs of that time, a Soviet firearm designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov, decided to make a rifle that would combine their best features.
When the USSR entered the war in 1941, Soviet soldiers took a severe hit by the superior power of German weaponry. One soldier who survived the enemy gunfire complained to Kalashnikov about the deficiency of comparable arms. It was the day when Kalashnikov started cherishing the idea of creating his own design.
After a couple of years of engineering submachine guns and carbines, he switched to rifles. In 1947 he presented the AK-47 (AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova and means Kalashnikov’s automatic rifle), which won the government competition and was adopted as a Soviet Army standard-issue rifle two years later.
Since the introduction of the AK-47 rifle, it has spread over numerous countries across all continents. So, what made AKs so successful?
The main reason why the AK-47 became such a valuable addition to the world of rifles is its caliber. The firearm is chambered for the 7.62×39mm cartridge, which, compared to the standard chambering of the M14, the 7.62×51mm NATO, is shorter and lighter. Though reduced dimensions mean less power and distance, the Soviet 7.62 was ideal for close-quarters applications and urban warfare and allowed soldiers to take more rounds to the battle. The intermediate cartridge also allowed rifles to be lighter and less recoiling.
Other benefits of the AK-47 include ease of use, durability, and reliability. The design allows it to be easily disassembled in a matter of seconds. Due to loose tolerances between moving parts, the rifle operates pretty fine even when it gets dirty or wet. Also, the AK-47 is a long-stroke piston-driven system, implying that the gas from a fired round is directed to the piston and not directly to the bolt carrier as in AR-15 rifles, which means fewer jams.
AKs for Sale
Gritr Sports carries lots of variations of this beautiful rifle made by industry-leading brands, such as Kalashnikov USA, Century Arms, Arsenal, and others. You’ll find traditional designs in wood and metal, tactical AKs with parts made of reinforced polymer, 9mm AK, 5.56 AK, and so on.