12 facts about the AK 47 Kalashnikov

12 facts about the AK 47 Kalashnikov

12 facts about the legendary AK 47 Kalashnikov assault rifle that you didn’t know for sure.

This machine is known and respected all over the world. Read about the interesting facts of the Kalashnikov assault rifle. Its creator, Mikhail Kalashnikov, was born on November 10, 1919 in the village of Kurya (Russia, USSR) in a large peasant family. Mikhail Kalashnikov died on December 23 at the 95th year of life after a long serious illness.

Mikhail Kalashnikov began the Second World War (1941-1945)  in August 1941 as a tank commander. In October 1941, he was seriously wounded in the battles near Bryansk. While being on six months’ leave for health reasons, Senior Sergeant Kalashnikov developed his first model of a submachine gun. In 6 years, he will create the most legendary machine gun – AK 47.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the AK 47 assault rifle

Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the AK 47 assault rifle

The creator of the legendary small arms, Mikhail Kalashnikov, by no means became a rich man due to his invention. The thing is that the rights to manufacture the machine have never belonged to him. For his invention, he received many state awards, including the “Hero of Socialist Labor” and “Hero of the Russian Federation”, and in 1945 he received the Stalin Prize, the size of which was 150 thousand rubles, which was a huge amount of money at that time. However, he met his old age rather modestly and did not leave any large inheritance to his children. By the way, the creator of the American M-16 rifle, Eugene Stoner, received $ 1 from each rifle produced, thanks to which he became a multimillionaire by old age.

Facts about the Kalashnikov assault rifle

Vietnam war

Everyone knows that the Kalashnikov assault rifle is the most reliable assault rifle in the world and can work in any conditions. During the Vietnam War, due to the very hot and humid climate, American M-16 submachine guns very often broke down and failed, so American soldiers had to use captured Soviet small arms AK-47, which they took from the killed Vietnamese. Ammunition was also in abundance, so it turns out that during the war in Vietnam, the Kalashnikov assault rifle fought on both sides.

Vietnamese soldier with AK 47 assault rifle

Vietnamese soldier with AK 47 assault rifle

Moreover, an American soldier could confuse his opponents by using their own weapons against them, especially in the middle of the night. The AK had a distinctive firing sound and its tracer bullets glowed green rather than red – the standard color in western armies.

The American military scoured Vietnamese villages in search of guerrillas and their supplies, so they did not lack Soviet weapons and ammunition. The commandos and regular units also confiscated contraband all the time – from food supplies to heavy weapons. The captured AK and their 7.62mm cartridges were sent to the troops.

American soldier with an Ak 47 assault rifle in Vietnam

American soldier with an Ak 47 assault rifle in Vietnam


  • The Kalashnikov assault rifle is not very expensive due to its simplicity in production. In some countries, it costs less than chicken.

Countries producing AK 47

Russia is far from being the only country that produces the Kalashnikov assault rifle. Countries such as India, China, Israel, Nigeria and many other also have a license for its production. Also in the world there are a large number of illegal clandestine factories where they make very low-quality and cheap fakes of these small arms.

A copy of the AK 47 made in artisanal conditions

A copy of the AK 47 made in artisanal conditions. Photo by Jon Wayne Taylor

10$ for a Kalashnikov assault rifle

The price of the AK 47 Kalashnikov assault rifle varies greatly around the world. It depends on the region and the manufacturer. The cheapest copies can be found in Afghanistan. There, a Kalashnikov assault rifle costs only $ 10. This is due to the fact that when the Soviet army left Afghanistan, a huge number of original Soviet machine guns fell into the hands of the Afghans. And, for example, in the USA the price of a new original Kalashnikov assault rifle averages $ 400.

Afghan soldier with AK 47 assault rifle

Afghan soldier with AK 47 assault rifle


  • The Kalashnikov assault rifle is the most popular gun in computer games.

The Kalashnikov assault rifle as a symbol of African countries

The Kalashnikov assault rifle is so popular in Africa that it is even depicted on the emblems of some countries. It is currently featured on the coat of arms of Zimbabwe, on the flag of Mozambique and on the coat of arms of the small Asian state of East Timor. By the way, in Africa, parents often give their children the name Kalash, in honor of the machine gun, and every year there are more and more small Kalashes in Africa.

Coat of arms of Mozambique - Zimbabwe - Burkina Faso - East Timor

Coat of arms of Mozambique – Zimbabwe – Burkina Faso – East Timor

AK-47, having become a symbol of uprising and revolutionary struggle, can now be safely considered an independent cultural phenomenon.


  • At the Russian Izh-Mash plant, these small arms go through the strictest quality control. From each lot, one copy is always randomly selected, which must pass severe tests. It is exposed to extremely high and extremely low temperatures, submerged under water, dumped in the sand and dropped from a height. And if, after all this, small arms continue to work as before, then the product is considered to be of high quality and is released on the market.
  • There are a huge number of different modifications of the Kalashnikov assault rifle. It comes with different grips, different sights, different barrel lengths, grenade launchers and so on.

The deadliest weapon AK 47

It is believed that more people were killed with the Kalashnikov assault rifle than as a result of missile strikes, aerial bombardments and artillery fire combined. At least 250,000 people die from bullets fired from these small arms every year. During his lifetime, Mikhail Kalashnikov was accused of the fact that his invention is terrible, and it brings many deaths. Mikhail Kalashnikov himself always said that he sleeps absolutely peacefully at night, because he created his machine gun to defend the Motherland.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the AK 47 assault rifle

Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the AK 47 assault rifle

Saddam Hussein’s Golden Kalashnikov 

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had a redesigned gilded AK-47. It was first shown to the UK for experts at the opening of an arms exhibition. The Royal Arsenal in Leeds displays several hundred weapons captured by the British army around the world over the past 100 years.

And the golden Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle literally stands out with its special brilliance. It is the gun which belonged to the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was famous for his love of weapons.

The dictator had several such “Kalashnikovs” – they were awarded to the closest associates for special merits.

Gold AK 47 from the collection of Saddam Hussein

Gold AK 47 from the collection of Saddam Hussein

Gold AK 47 from the collection of Saddam Hussein

Gold AK 47 from the collection of Saddam Hussein


  • Many video messages of “terrorist number one” Osama bin Laden are made against “the backdrop” of AK-47s.
  • For the 60th anniversary of the arms, in New Zealand were minted coins with an AK-47 engraving in denominations of two New Zealand dollars.

Be that as it may, both critics and fans of Kalashnikov agree on one thing: his invention changed the history of mankind. According to the Small Arms Survey, the international research organization, the Kalashnikov cult has become a common term describing the weaponry traditions of many countries of the Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.

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