by Ekanto Ghosh
10:00pm, 4th July, 2016
On the eve of American Independence Day, we thought we’d bring you something special. AK 47 might be the most famous gun. Everybody knows it by its name. But only few know about its history. Here, we bring you some 10 interesting facts about this historic gun!
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“AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova and 47 stands for the year 1947, the year the rifle was introduced.”
Image source : nyt.com
The original design for the AK-47 was not patented.
“At that time, patenting inventions wasn’t an issue in our country (Soviet Union, now Russia) . We worked for socialist society, for the good of the people, which I never regret”. – Lt. Gen. Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of AK 47
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The Soviet Union paid little attention to copyright laws. Arms production licenses were easily handed out to its allies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The Cold War-era production licenses have long-since expired, but production has continued. Polish company Bumark and the Bulgarian company Arsenal lead in producing counterfeits.
Image source : wikimedia.org
About 50 years later in 1997, the Izhmash factory in the Ural Mountains city of Izhevsk, which makes Kalashnikovs, secured a state patent for the weapon.
In 2013, Izhmash and Izhevsk Mechanical Plant were merged and formally renamed Kalashnikov Concern.
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“Improved versions of the AK 47 are AKM, AK 74, AK 101, AK 103.”
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Carbine versions are AK 102, AK 104 and AK 105. They all have similar design but differ in the caliber of the bullet fired and corresponding magazine type.
Image source : rt.com
Only 10-12% of the Kalashnikov rifles sold globally every year are from Russia, with the rest are unlicensed copies.
Image source : rostec.ru
Only one fully legitimate license holder to manufacture Kalashnikovs outside Russia is in Venezuela. The state owned Venezuelan company, CAVIM is to manufacture AK 103.
Image source: timeslive.co.za
A Kalashnikov rifle features on the flag of Mozambique as a symbol of independence gained from the Portuguese.
Image source: tumblr.com
Ending on a peaceful note. AK 47s were converted into guitars by Cesar Lopez, a musician of Colombia. They are called Escopetarra. Lopez became a ‘Non Violence Messenger’ of the United Nations and an ‘Emissary of Consciousness’ for Amnesty International.
AK 47 has a very intriguing history for a gun, don’t you think?
Next Up: India & the Kalashnikov
Disclaimer: Information & images are sourced from the internet.
Feature Image source : newslinq.com