Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Policy & Issues

Goodbye Mikhail Kalashnikov, thank you for the AK

See also

As many of you have probably heard by now, Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 rifle has died at age 94. Whether you liked the man and his invention or not, it is undeniable that he has had a profound impact on world history in the second half of the 20th century and beyond. His ubiquitous rifle is well known around the world, and has been involved in every major or minor conflict for the past 60+ years.

More Photos

Although he would deny it, Kalashnikov’s AK-47 rifle was loosely based on the German Stg-44, which was considered the world’s first true automatic assault rifle. It is chambered in the 7.62 caliber, can have select-fire capability and uses a gas-operated piston to cycle the bolt and action. Numerous updates and variants were made for the AK over the years, and they were mass-produced in Soviet Russia, as well as a number of other eastern European Soviet bloc states, communist Asian countries and various countries around the globe. The AK is well known for its ruggedness and reliability, which more than make up for what it may lack in accuracy. They are simple to operate and easy to maintain, even by unskilled users, and are fairly cheap compared to other “assault rifles”. It is estimated that there are at least 100 million AK-47 type rifles around the world today.

The AK-47 is both loved and hated around the world, but there is no doubt that it is respected, especially by those who have faced it in combat. Most Western nations tend to dislike the AK, associating it with the old Cold War Soviet enemies, rebels, insurgents, terrorist groups, criminals and drug cartels. However, eastern European countries, most of Asia and Africa, as well as South and Central America, view the AK as a tool of liberation, used by revolutionaries and freedom fighters. The AK is even emblazoned on the national flag of Mozambique, can be found on the flag of Hezbollah, as well as the coat of arms of several other countries.

Before his death, Mikhail Kalashnikov was at work on the AK-12, a new and modernized version of his classic design. Those of us that admire the AK-47 hope that his work will be carried on and stay true to the original.

If you liked this article, please let me know by commenting or sharing. Check out some of my other articles in the suggested links. You can click the subscribe button to receive an email alert whenever new articles are published. I can also be found on Facebook and Thank you for reading.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!