The Deadly History of the Iconic AK-47
It's a gun so simple children could use it ... and they do
During World War II, the Soviet Union went looking for alternatives to the Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle, first developed for the Imperial Russian Army in 1891.
A young soldier named Mikhail Kalashnikov had some ideas and a talent for design. He was taken from the front lines and given the chance to develop a rifle that would become the weapon of choice for militaries and insurgents alike — the Avtomat Kalashnikova, first introduced in 1947 and which most people know as the AK-47.
There have been many AK-47 variants produced both by Russia and other nations around the world. As many as 100 million of the world’s guns trace their origins to Kalashnikov’s original. How many lives they’ve taken is unknown.
But the story of the AK is a fascinating one, and it’s the subject of this week’s War College.