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Fun and Interesting Facts about the AK-47

Fun & Interesting Facts about the AK-47


Interesting Facts and Tidbits about the Kalashnikov AK-47


1.   Incorrect Naming 

The term AK-47 is the incorrect nomenclature.  It is actually called the "AK" for Avtomat Kalashnikov (Automatic Kalashnikov) or simply "Kalashnikov" named after its designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.  The number "47" refers to the year the original design was introduced, but was never part of the actual designations.  The "AK" designation refers to the original Type 1 (original stamped receiver), Type 2 (original milled receiver), and Type 3 (milled receiver) designs.  All others to follow are simply called AKM, for AK Modernized.


2.   Production

30 countries were officially licensed to produce variants of the AK pattern of rifles. That is just the licensed countries.  As you can imagine, there are many more that produce them without proper licensing.  #khyberpass

Khyber Pass AK Manufacture


3.   Availability

It is estimated that there are over 100 million AK's in the world.  That equates to approximately 1 AK for every 70 people on Earth.  By comparison to its counterpart, the M-16 family of rifles, which is estimated at about 11 million.   


4.   Prices

AK prices are vastly different around the world, ranging from as low as $10 to $5000 (and over $10k for full auto in the US market).  The global average is $100-$300. 


5.   Types & Variants

There are over 200 types and variants of rifles in the AK family.


6.   Service

The AK has been in the service of the standing armies of over 106 recognized nations as well as numerous international piracy groups, insurgents, warlords, drug operations, and terrorist groups around the world.  

Kim Jong Un AK


7.   Wars & Conflicts

Variants of the AK family have seen use in some capacity in nearly every war or conflict since 1950.

Vietnam AK47


8.   Casualties

An estimated 250,000 people are claimed annually by the AK making it the deadliest weapon ever produced by long margins including nuclear weapons.  As bad is that sounds however, and in the spirit of dropping interesting facts, that is 50,000 fatalities a year less than what obesity kills just in the United States.  



9.   Flags 

The AK is an important symbol to many and has had massive influence around the world so much so that the national flag of Mozambique as well as Hezbollah both bear its depiction.  

Flag of Mozambique

(Flag of Mozambique)

Flag of Hezbollah

(Flag of Hezbollah)


10.   Coat of Arms

The AK is also depicted on the National Coat of Arms of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso Coat Of Arms AK47

(Coat of Arms of Burkina Faso)


11.   Bride Price

The tradition of exchanging gifts for a hand in marriage is still common in several parts of the world namely the Middle East and Africa. The offerings are often paid in money and other valuables such as livestock, tools, bicycles, and yes, you guessed it, an occasional AK!  The Kalashnikov may not always be the lead off item of course, but it certainly ads to its iconic story.  I mean, what other rifle platform is being occasionally traded for a spouse?

Bride Price AK47


12.   Monuments

The AK has left its mark on Egypt and North Korea as well, so much so that they constructed a monument in Ismailia Egypt in its honor.  The giant tribute depicts the barrel end of the AK standing erect out of the ground with bayonet affixed.  The concrete monument which stands on the South side of the city along the West bank of the Suez Canal was a gift from North Korea to commemorate the casualties of the Battle of Ismailia for which they were allied against the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in the later stages of the Yom Kippur War.

AK47 Monument Ismailia Egypt


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