Sunday, December 26, 2010
How AK-47 Guns Work - Kalashnikov Weaponry Timeline - Popular Mechanics: "At the dawn of the Cold War, former Soviet soldier Mikhail Kalashnikov, 26, led a team in the design of a lightweight assault rifle, the Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947. Now, 65 years later, some 100 million AK-47s have been produced—10 times the number of U.S. Army M16s. The original weighed roughly 10 pounds and married the best features of a submachine gun and a long-range rifle. 'The AK-47 is often said to be poorly made, but many of its features were well-matched to the conditions of war,' says C.J. Chivers, The New York Times war correspondent and author of The Gun, a history of the AK-47. The rifle is effective, if unoriginal. 'Think Mr. Potato Head. This gun is a bunch of pre-existing systems combined into a new whole,' he says. A revised AK-47, the AKM, entered production in 1959; the most prevalent AK, its knockoffs are manufactured all over the world (the gun below has Chinese origins). Chivers gives a guided tour."