AK-47 Creator Mikhail Kalashnikov Has Died

AK-47 Creator Mikhail Kalashnikov Has Died

The creator of the AK-47,  Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died at age 94. He passed away on Dec. 23 in a Russian hospital. 

Mikhail Kalashnikov resided in the city of Izhevsk, which was the capital of the Russian republic of Udmurtia. A spokesperson for the President of Udmurtia revealed the death to the public but declined to release any cause of death. Kalashnikov had been reported to have been hospitalized for the past few weeks with a number of unnamed health problems.

Even though he had received very little technical training, Kalashnikov went to the top ranks of the Soviet weapons industry and began travelling all over the world. This included going to the United States. He was seen as the face for the firearms of Russia. Even though he had been drafted into the Red Army, he used the knowledge he already had with tools to gain a transfer with an armored unit which would later be equipped with a new T-34 tank. He began to invent all kinds of different weapon devices.

Jim Supica, who is the administrator of the National Firearms Museum in America, stated that Mr. Kalashnikov was a giant in the creation firearms design. His genius was found in making a military rifle that was inexpensive to manufacture, but also reliable and rugged.

Kalashnikov led the team that designed and produced the AK-47. In fact the name AK-47 even stands for “automatic by Kalashnikov, model of 1947.” It was declared as the official assault rifle for the newly renamed Soviet Army. The firearm was put into service 24 months later and then was delivered to the Soviet Union’s supporters and trades, along with the other countries that Moscow was attempting to sway throughout the Cold War and even after.

This particular firearm was first placed in action against East Berlin in 1953 and then it fought in the Hungarian Revolution that happened during 1956. Egyptian soldiers used it in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Troops fighting on either side of the Iran-Iraq war carried the weapon. Osama bin Laden was holding an updated version in one of his enrolling videos.

From the days of the AK-47’s earliest creation, it has always been considered a superior firearm due to its reliability and simplicity. A single fighter can hold the completely automatic armament of a machine gun. It only contains eight moving parts, can be torn apart and also reassembled in less than 35 seconds. It will also fire when it is extremely unclean.

During the Vietnam War, the AK-47 was used by the Viet Cong rebels and, sometimes the U.S. forces. If Marines were able to find them, they would toss away the standard M-16s they had been issued and grab AK-47s they found from fallen North Vietnamese soldiers since the AK-47 was much more trustworthy.

There is no way to be able to count just how many AK-47’s exist but it is believed there are over 100 million of the firearm if renovations and spinoffs are included in the count all around the world. At least 1 million are created each year to add to the amount.

The AK-47 and every fully automatic weapon is illegal for most civilians in the United States. It is a firearm that is made for use in the military.  A real AK-47 is able to be turned from automatic to single-shot by only flipping one lever. The assault rifles that are up for sale in the U.S. are only semi-automatic. They have just one shot per each pull on the trigger.

The AK-47 has been shown in so many movies, and music videos, it would be impossible to name. Quite a few video games have them as well, such as “Grand Theft Auto.”

During the 60th anniversary celebration of the rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov gave praise to the team that helped him make the AK-47. He stated that he was not by himself when he made it. The firearm came about because of over thousands of strong men working together at different factories.

Nevertheless, it is his name that AK-47 wears. Because of that, he was often asked how he felt about all the suffering and damage his weapons had brought to the world. He always answered the same by stating that he was able to sleep soundly. He said he produced a firearm in order to defend his motherland. It was not his fault that the AK-47 was sometimes used where it should not have been. He laid that blame on the head of politicians.

Regardless of whose fault it was, the creator of the AK-47, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died at age 94.

By Kimberly Ruble

CBS News
Bloomberg News
The Washington Post

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