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5 Things You Didn’t Know about AK-47

ak-47Guns have always been a fascinating topic in America. From who’s using them to what model, make and brand they are, guns have become a staple in our modern society. Now, whether that’s a sad or thrilling fact, we’ve decided to let our readers in on some interesting facts about one of America’s most loved (and hated) assault rifles: the AK-47.

With a new book on the market entitled AK-47: The Story of the People’s Gun, Michael Hodges is an expert on this particular weapon, and we got Hodges to let us in on a few little-known facts about the AK-47 while researching his work.

1- The inventor of the AK-47 did not profit from the gun

Although by some estimates there are 100 million AK-47-style assault rifles in circulation around the world, the gun’s inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, did not become rich (unlike Eugene Stoner, the inventor of the American M16 assault rifle, who died a wealthy man). Communist states had no patents, and until its collapse in 1991, Kalashnikov was simply an employee of the Soviet Union. “I invented a weapon to save the motherland, to save the state from fascism,” he said. “My career has been dedicated to my country.”

Despite that country awarding him the Hero of Socialist Labor medal and many other accolades, this particular Socialist hero, who just happened to change the world, started life as an enemy of the Soviet Union. Kalashnikov narrowly escaped being shot by Stalin’s special police after his family was denounced as Kulaks in 1932, and exiled to Siberia. Kalashnikov escaped again when a Panzer shell blew him from his tank in 1941, as the Soviets fought desperately to halt the Nazi advance on Moscow.

2- The AK-47 is the perfect weapon for children

The AK-47 can be stripped in under a minute and cleaned quickly in almost any climatic condition. Even if it isn’t cleaned, an AK-47 is still more likely to fire than any of its rivals given similar treatment on the battlefield. With only eight moving parts the AK-47 is cheap to manufacture and easy to use — so easy in fact that children can be taught how to properly handle this weapon in a single hour. Sudanese child soldier Emmanuel Jal picked up his first AK-47 when he was 9 years old. A fully loaded AK-47 weighs four kilograms: “I don’t know how I lifted the AK when I was tired. It was so heavy,” he remembers. “We only had a few AKs but we weren’t scared, it was like a game with toy guns. When the fighting starts you can put the gun down and run away, or pull the trigger. Once you’ve done that you are hooked; it makes you think that no one can touch you. Once you’ve fired an AK-47 you become brave.”

3- America may have given bin Laden his first AK-47

Since 1998, Osama bin Laden has regularly included an AK-47 in the propaganda videos he releases after terrorist outrages. Consequently, the gun has come to represent the global jihad, and AK-47 is an integral part of the regime at fundamentalist camps, as far apart as the English home counties and the jungles of the Philippines.

These groups and their adherents are dedicated to the destruction of Israel and America — yet it is highly likely that it was Israel and America that inadvertently put an AK-47 into bin Laden’s hands. When the Israel Defense Forces invaded Lebanon in 1982 to “crush” the Palestinian Liberation Organization they captured thousands of AK-47s.These guns found their way, via the CIA and the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency, to the Mujahadeen resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It is probable that amongst them would have been the AK-47 that equips bin Laden.

4- The AK-47 is the U.S. army’s most resilient enemy

U.S. forces first came into large-scale contact with the AK-47 during the Vietnam War. Their own M16s malfunctioned in the heat and damp of the jungle, but the Chinese-supplied AK-47s used by the communists continued to fire. Consequently, thousands of GIs picked up AK-47s from fallen Viet Cong guerrillas. This led Americans to open fire on their own side because they presumed the distinctive pop-pop-pop sound of an AK-47 revealed an enemy position. So many GIs threw away their guns in favor of AK-47s that a House of Representatives hearing in 1971 discovered that the U.S. Army attempted to stop the media reporting the phenomenon. Today, nearly 40 years later, in the sand and heat of Iraq, American soldiers are once again giving up their own U.S.-manufactured weapons in favor of the AK-47.

5- The AK-47 is the weapon of choice for U.S. mass murderers

On January 17, 1989, Patrick Purdey walked into the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California, armed with a Chinese-manufactured AK-47. It was fitted with a barrel magazine holding 75 rounds — both of which he bought legally over a gun-shop counter. When he walked out again five children were dead and 29 were injured. In December 1997, Arturo Reyes Torres entered his former place of work, the Caltrans Maintenance Yard, with an AK-47, killed four and wounded two. There are many more examples of AK-47 murders in the U.S. The online Urban Dictionary defines “Columbine” like so: “The constant bullying of the preppies and jocks has caused him to pick up his AK-47 and go Columbine on everyone.”

Ironically, the Columbine killers did not use AK-47s, but it doesn’t matter; in America gun crime is now perceived as AK crime.

rifle-ing through history

From the killing grounds of Sadr City to the murderous barrios of Bogotá, from the battlefields of Somalia to the ghettos of the United States, the AK-47 dominates the world. Invented by a Russian tank commander at the end of World War II, by rights it should be in the dustbin of history. However, such was the genius of his design that 60 years later — for millions of unfortunate people around the world, and scores of countries wracked by conflict — Mikhail Kalashnikov’s iconic assault rifle is both the present and, tragically, the future.

To learn even more about the AK-47, check out Michael Hodges’ book, AK-47: The Story of the People’s Gun.

SOURCE

Comments

29 Responses to “5 Things You Didn’t Know about AK-47”
  1. jacob says:

    Did you know, if the AK-47 hadn’t been created people would no longer been killing each other?
    Did you know a gun has never been used for a positive purpose in all of history?
    Did you know that guns are the only reason we don’t have world peace?
    Did you know that guns, and not social inequality, poverty, abuse, and tyranny, are the cause of violence?

    If it wasn’t for guns the world would be perfect. It’s not like someone could just knife you to death or anything.

  2. Tom says:

    Wow, want to erroneously imply cause and effect some more?

    Perfect weapon for children? I think the point trying to be made is the simplicity of the weapon, not the not-so-subtle implication that the existence of the AK leads to child soldiers.

    The Bin Laden “fact” is completely unneeded. The same point could more accurately be made that many guns in the middle east were funded by the US, WITHOUT implying that we created the monster that is Bin Laden.

    Again with the school shootings, cause and effect are incorrectly assigned. Just because the AK was the means to the killers’ ends does not make it the cause.

    Horrible journalism.

  3. Ricky says:

    Ak-47 is an amazing gun but also a huge threat, its ease of use is great but makes it easy for people to cause hell

  4. Csaba Csernatoni says:

    The above shows how even the best things will be used for bad purposes by some… sometimes even “authorities” and “governments”.

  5. Paul says:

    @Tom, are you implying that we did not create the monster that is Bin Laden? If you are, I suggest you read some history books and stop watching fox news. We created him, because back in the 80’s we funded him as a Muj commander and then left him to rot when the Russians pulled out, and so the hatred started…

  6. Setepano Mossman says:

    It’s a great weapon, the vietnam era M-16 was lighter and more importantly the ammo was 1/2 the weight, I fixed My XM16E1 and carried 400 rds. It never killed without My help

  7. George says:

    Guns were used by your ancestors to hunt food. If they didnt eat you wouldnt be here today. Do you think it is a positive thing that you are alive?

  8. Mike says:

    you know i find myself more on the liberal side but people who actually believe that guns are evil and cause all the problems in the world are misinformed or just ignorant.

  9. annoying girl. says:

    this chick wont leave me alone. give her a call. 214 478 0826. names megan.

  10. Josh says:

    This is nothing more than sensationalizing hyperbole. The reason child soldiers are issued AKs is because they are simply the only small arms widely available in the countries that still use children as soldiers. The AK is no more easy to use than any other rifle. The fact is you can train any one to use almost any firearm in like 20 minutes. Training some one to effectively fight with one how ever is a different story.

  11. Russ says:

    “These guns found their way, via the CIA and the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency, to the Mujahadeen resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.”
    Do all you yanks think this bit is ok or are you scared s**tless to say anything.
    Get a grip it is not guns or people or profit that keeps us at war constantly it is political grandstanding and power hungry political powers overshadowed by a complete disregard for moral issues.
    They don’t care who gets hurt just who gets the glory and power.FTW

  12. Sathan says:

    Kalashnikov made a fine weapon; always loved this gun. An assault rifle that you dont need to treat like an expensive camera ftw!

  13. Skenry says:

    Hitler used cyanide gas to kill millions of people yet it is still used in everyday households to kill nasty bugs and rodents. The point I am trying to get across is everything can be used in a negative manner, guns included. It is childish and rather annoying every time someone tries to denounce firearms. If the Chinese never invented gunpowder there would have been crossbows. If only crossbows weren’t invented there would have been knives. Behind all this is a man and his mind. A man’s greatest weapon is his mind. Don’t be so quick to judge the tools he uses.

  14. Reason says:

    Wow Jacob, wonderful logic! To say that guns are the cause of violence is highly erroneous.. If it wasn’t guns, it’d be arrows, if it wasn’t arrows, it’d be stones.. What did we do before guns? Yes, War. We have also found that other species than human do partake in planned war. So to say that guns are the cause of all evil is just ignorant. Your Idea of “Utopia” is also an impossible one just based on human nature.

    The AK-47 is one of those guns that we wish we had, but we don’t use solely because it is identified so closely with our enemies. It uses higher caliber round then our assault rifles (more stopping power, which is favorable) and is much more reliable. The other reason we can’t really use it is because the AK-47 has such a peculiar sound that when in a fire fight, it would cause confusion in identifying the enemy from friendly.

    Anyways I think this was not a bad article, I always enjoy trivial information. I think the reason everyone else opposes it so much is because their personal opposition to firearms, and believe that they have evolved. It only proves in showing their immaturity.

  15. Michael says:

    “If it wasn’t for guns the world would be perfect. It’s not like someone could just knife you to death or anything.”

    um… There was a time when there were no guns, and guess what we did. We used big swords instead. Wars existed before guns, murders existed before guns. The fact is violence is human nature. You’re naive to think that without guns, there would not be violence.

  16. common sense says:

    you know your an idiot..right. if you took all the guns of the earth people would still kill each other you fucking moron.. remember guns weren’t around in the 1300’s people still killed each other.. so think before you type or talk and remember to think your a fucking dumbass should you really sound worst.. YOU GODDAMN DEMOCRAT

  17. jacob is a moron says:

    jacob says
    “Did you know, if the AK-47 hadn’t been created people would no longer been
    killing each other?

    Did you know a gun has never been used for a positive purpose in all of history?

    Did you know that guns are the only reason we don’t have world peace?

    Did you know that guns, and not social inequality, poverty, abuse, and tyranny, are the cause of violence?

    If it wasn’t for guns the world would be perfect. It’s not like someone could just knife you to death or anything.”

    jacob is a moron says
    Did you know that in America the 9mm handgun is the most used gun with gang members, which is used in murder.

    Did you know that Cops, Federal Agents, The Military and other forces use guns to save lives.

    Did you know that swords, knifes, axes, bow and arrows was used in times of war when their was no peace in medieval times.

    Did you know that social inequality, poverty, abuse, and tyranny, are the cause of violence, gangs, and stupid people like jacob.

    Did you know that small daggers called kunai was used by ninja’s as a multi-purpose tool and weapon to knife someone to death.

    Did you know that morons like jacob will be the downfall of humanity because that jacob and others like him obviously do not remember anything about history.

    History lesson for the jacobs of the world.

    weapons history.
    *rocks and sticks
    *sharpened rocks and sticks
    *small daggers, swords, bow and arrows
    *catapults and the like
    *small explovies
    *large explosives and single round guns
    *basic fireworks that lead to small gunpowder missles
    *semi-automatic weapons
    *full-automatic weapons, tanks, planes, helicopters, subs, warships
    *computer guided missles
    *Future weapons?????

    So explain to us jacob again how the world would be perfect if there was no guns. You must be living in a fantasy world where there is always rainbows and everyone holds hands while they sing show tunes. Wake up to reality you dimwit.

  18. Cpl Ski [USMC] says:

    The AK-47 is the perfect weapon for children, my ass. Obviously whoever wrote this article has never fired one before. My uncle let me fire his when I was 9 years old, and I nearly dropped the thing. Not only that, but I surely couldn’t rack it back by myself (not with one hand, anyway).

    As an OIF veteran, I will also say that I have NEVER heard of anyone dumping their TA weapon for an AK-47. That would be very serious offense. Sure, the AK is much better in a CQB environment, but our real enemy out there are IEDs, so it doesn’t really matter who has the better weapon, we always win the firefights because our training is superior.

    Also, Urban Dictionary is an well established bastion of journalistic integrity and veracity. Quoting them gives your article a considerably more official and sober tone.

    On a more serious note, I’m sure you were just high and wrote this article as a joke.

  19. radek says:

    “Did you know, if the AK-47 hadn’t been created people would no longer been killing each other?
    Did you know a gun has never been used for a positive purpose in all of history?
    Did you know that guns are the only reason we don’t have world peace?
    Did you know that guns, and not social inequality, poverty, abuse, and tyranny, are the cause of violence?”

    BS
    If there wouldnt be AK, there would be another cheap rifle.
    No positive thing? What about hunting? Sport shooting, defending own country, and fun of course.
    Violence? I have rifles, guns, and I am not violent at all. Guns dont make violence – people does.

  20. Gazle says:

    To be honest, I think you just wanted an excuse to rail on guns and the ak. All of this is either irrelevant (bin laden), well known (everybody uses it), or common sense (of course kalashnikov didnt profit, it was the soviet union).

  21. John says:

    Wow. I’m suprised. It wasn’t that good a post, but Jacob really effectively trolled you guys.

    Its true that there was no murder before guns, though. History shows us this. The world was idyllic and peaceful before King George III invented them and used them to terrorize the world.

  22. Gazle says:

    I think you just wanted an excuse to rail on guns and the AK. All of this is either irrelevant (bin laden), well known (that its the most common gun in the world), or common sense (of course kalashnikov didn’t profit, it was the soviet union).

  23. Cpl Ski [USMC] says:

    @anyone who says that jacob is dumb: you are making us all look bad. Jacob’s post is very overtly sarcastic. I agree with you, but you are all very dense for not seeing through his VERY transparent mockery.

  24. i 2nd that Jacob is a moron says:

    That’s so ignorant its amazing. Thank you Jacob Is A Moron for pointing out to Jacob that medieval times and etc. were just as horrific as modern combat.

    Vikings? Spartans? Samari? …guns?

  25. Tomasco says:

    Jeezus Krist people, stop dissing Jacob! Read his last sentence: “If it wasn’t for guns the world would be perfect. It’s not like someone could just knife you to death or anything.” That is called SARCASM you idiots!

  26. Tom says:

    Holy crap people, I’m pretty sure Jacob was using SATIRE.

    @Paul – Wow, the Fox News comment was a low blow. But really, I understand that we were the source of a lot of the assets that terrorists hold. My point was not that we’re innocent, merely that Bin Laden would be a fanatic murderer WITHOUT our assistance. Granted, not to the same scale, but who he is isn’t defined by who gave him what.

  27. raymond says:

    can i order a kilo of sweet potato?

  28. Lover of Freedom says:

    The title did catch my interest, and it was a pretty interesting read, then I had the misfortune of reading the incoherant blather of jacob. jacob, you are a moron! I already knew that liberalism was a disease, but you and your mindless, idiotic and totally false statements shoots you clear up to the stratosphere of stupidity.

  29. me says:

    there are bombs in the other hands 😛

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