Table of contents:
- The birth of a legend
- Winning the competition and launching serial production
- Our days
- Interesting facts about AK
It is probably difficult to find a person who has never heard of the famous AK-47 and the legendary Soviet small arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov. Created more than 70 years ago, the assault rifle is still considered one of the best and is in service in 50 countries around the world. However, things could have turned out differently.
How weapons were invented and what tasks the Kalashnikov assault rifle performs today - read the article.
The birth of a legend
During the Second World War, the latest weapons were used, including small arms for intermediate cartridges.
In 1943, when the Soviet Union acquired captured German Mkb.42 and American carbines, the development of domestic assault rifles began. The designers were tasked with creating a weapon that can shoot smaller caliber cartridges than the German counterpart.
The first sample of the AC-44 was presented by the designer Alexei Sudaev. And in 1945, the development machines of Fedor Tokarev, Vasily Degtyarev and Sergey Korovin came out for testing. In the same year, the self-loading carbine of the young gunsmith designer Mikhail Kalashnikov saw the light of day, which could compete with the self-loading carbine of Sergei Simonov.
The government was in no hurry to launch the production of new weapons, and in 1946 it was decided to hold a competition for machine guns. Kalashnikov also participated and presented an improved version of the carbine - AK-46. However, not a single weapon passed the competition. Mikhail Timofeevich, together with other gunsmiths, got another chance on trials in 1947.
Winning the competition and launching serial production
As a sergeant, the designer knew firsthand that ordinary soldiers do not graduate from military academies. That is why Kalashnikov wanted to make a simple and reliable machine gun that will not fail in difficult times. Mikhail Timofeevich returned to Kovrov and at plant No. 2, together with the gunsmith Alexander Zaitsev, created a new version of the AK, which underwent major changes in appearance and mechanism.
In 1948, they passed the final tests. AK-47 was recognized as the most reliable machine gun, although it did not have the required parameters. However, this did not prevent the weapon from becoming the best, and at the Izhevsk plant No. 524 they decided to release an experimental batch of new machine guns. So Mikhail Timofeevich went to Izhevsk, where he took up the production of weapons.
The plan for the production of 1,500 units of machines was fulfilled within the specified time frame. "Kalash" successfully passed the tests and in 1949 they armed the Soviet army. Then the weapon was officially named AK and AKS (with a folding stock). As Mikhail Timofeevich said, "the soldier made a weapon for the soldier."
Throughout the history of its existence, the machine has undergone numerous modifications and improvements, but at each stage it retained its leading position in quality. After the AK-47, the AK-74 appeared, designed for Soviet low-impulse cartridges.
In 1979, a compact machine gun AKSU was created, which was popular during the Afghan war. After the collapse of the USSR, the "hundredth" series of machines appeared, which were not sold out by foreign customers. Of the latest developments - "two hundredth" "Kalash" and machine guns, adapted for NATO caliber cartridges.
Interesting facts about AK
1. The Kalashnikov assault rifle remains the most common weapon in the world. AK even entered the Guinness Book of Records, as it accounts for 20% of the produced firearms in all countries combined. During the existence of the AK, more than 70 million units have been produced. On average, there is 1 AK for 60 adults.
2. "Kalash" are especially popular in black markets.For example, in India one machine can cost about $ 3, 8 thousand, and in Afghanistan - from $ 10 thousand. For comparison: in the United States, a weapon costs 70-350 hundred, and in countries that have established clandestine production, the price of an AK is no more expensive than an ordinary chicken.
3. The Soviet machine gun adorns the symbols of some foreign countries. For example, the Cook Islands coin, the coats of arms of African Zimbabwe, East Timor and Mozambique. In Algeria and Egypt there are monuments commemorating weapons. And in Iraq, even a mosque with minarets was built, reminiscent of AK-47 shops. Afghans affectionately call the weapon "Kalakhan", which translates as "friend", and Africans call their sons the name Kalash.
Until 2012, Mikhail Kalashnikov was engaged in the development of assault rifles and was awarded many state and foreign awards. Due to health problems, the gunsmith designer had to leave his job. For a whole year he was treated and underwent surgery, but there was no improvement.
In 2013, at the age of 95, Mikhail Timofeevich died in Izhevsk. The legendary designer has always noted that he invented the AK not for murder, but for protection. The fault of politicians is that they cannot come to an agreement and use automatic weapons for harm, not good.
But the story of the famous AK does not end there. The gunsmiths are sure that the potential of the Kalashnikov assault rifle has not yet been exhausted, because it was not for nothing that the French edition of Liberation put the AK in first place in the list of significant inventions of the 20th century. Now the development and testing of new series, which show high efficiency in any conditions, continues.