AK-47 assault rifle

AK-47 Assault Rifle

AK-47 Assault Rifle by Kalashnikov

AK-47 Assault Rifle

The AK-47 can be semi-automatic and automatic gas operated assault rifle. It was developed in Russia, formally the U.S.S.R. by Mikhail Kalashnikov. In Russia, it’s official name in military terms is Avtomat Kalashnikova (Russian: Автомат Калашникова). The following page contains information concerning one of the most renowned assault rifles created and used by personnel across the world for decades. The project details the AK-47 design history, parts, accessories, magazine and ammo. Whilst commenting on its durability, reliability, its operation cycle and its dismantling procedure.

AK-47 Design History

The AK-47 design history started as the Germans had designed and manufactured the StG44 assault rifle. The German research showed that most fire fights took place within 300 metres, as the power and range of other weaponry was excessive for small arm fire fights, armies had the need for a rifle with submachine gun abilities, like for example large capacity cartridge, and selective firing. Although the StG44 (Sturmgewehr 44) was not the first assault rifle to have these features. The Italian Cei-Rigotti and Russian Fedorov Avtomat where the predecessors.

Mikhail Kalashnikov

The idea for the AK-47 came about when Mikhail Kalashnikov was in hospital after having been injured during the Battle of Bryansk, through the day there were many conversations from other injured soldier that there was not a rifle that could match that of the Germans StG44. After many design changes, he entered his designed in to a competition that was look for a new weapons system that could house the 7.62x41mm cartridge by Elisarov and Semin 1943. One particular requirement in the competition was the firearms usage in muddy, wet, and frozen weather conditions.

He won the competition due to the AK-47 ability to fire even after being dragged through mud, dipped in water, and covered in ice and snow. There has been much circumstantial evidence that the AK-47 Assault Rifle was base round the German produced StG44 but Mikhail Kalashnikov strong denies this.

The AK-47 had the hybrid reputation of other rifles due to the its double locking lugs and the unlocking runway raceway which is from the M1 Gargand/M1 Carbine, if had the trigger design of the Remington Model 8 Rifle, the gas and system lay out of the StG44. The AK-47 is the fusion of all three of the above models.

Bulgarian AK-47 Design

AK-47 Parts and Accessories

The AK-47 rifle parts and accessories are wide ranging to alter the overall performance of the rifle. The AK-47 parts and accessories range from scopes to bayonets.

The link above directs you to the major accessories and parts for the rifle.

Rifle Features

The AK-47 assault rifle was used in most eastern countries during the cold war era. The A stands for (Avtomat) and the K stands for (Kalashnikova). The first ever AK-47 came about in 1947, produced by a Soviet manufacturer called Izhevsk Mechanical Works, designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. Unlike other popular assault rifles of World War II, The Ak-47 had a selectors switch (single fire or full automatic), moderate power, compact; its range is comparative to other rifles.

AK-47 Rifle Magazine

The AK-47 magazine size is 30 rounds and fires standard 7.62x39mm rounds, the muzzle velocity is around 720MPS (metres per second) that's around 2,329 ft/s (foot per second). Maximum effective range of the AK-47 Rifle is about 400 meters. There are 40 round AK magazines available for the AK-47 such as the 40 round AKM Magazine (see further down for image).

Chinese AK47 Rifle Design

AK-47 Ammo

The main calibre ammo for the AK-47 was the 7.62x39 round, the 7.62x39 round was used by the Soviets up till 1970s and is still used today, there are a few variants of the soviet AK-47 round, The Steel Case version is one of many along side the standard round, they look the same but they are just different colours.

There is an AP variant AK-47 round called 5.56 x 45 mm M995 AP which is a high end armour piercing round, not to sure who has manufactured these type of ammo rounds, these were invented in 1992 and are still in use to day.

The AK-47 has 21 different ammo round variants, from manufactures such as:


Who's current AK-47 ammo round is being massively used in the IRAQ war which has made this type of ammunition hard to come by for non-military personal. They also manufacture a 7.62 x 51mm Steel Case variant.

Sellier & Bellot:

Produced the 7.62x39 Soft Tip variant in 1942, it's a cheaper AK round but compared to the others much weaker.


The Raufus cartridge is a multi purpose ammo round, its a .50 BMG round which has Armour Piercing Explosive Incendiary projectile. Very safe to handle as to mix the round you need it to have great impact. These AK-47 versions are not as used as other AK rounds. The 7.62x39 Raufus rounds origins start in Norway.


Manufactured a AK-47 norinco steel core ammo round, which was made in 1992, this type of ammo when in heavy use can leave a black sooty residue, which could make it corrosive, however most AK bores are chrome plated so they should not suffer from this problem.

Kinematics Research:

This AK round can easily be recognised due to its green tip.


Manufactured four different type of AK-47 ammo rounds, first is the 7.62 x 51 mm Tracer which is still in use to day, was invented around 1950, the second is the NATO round, the only real noticeable difference to this round from the TRACER is the non yellow tip. The third and forth are .308 Cartridge case cut or manufactured to fit the AK-47.

ArmaLite Contacted Remington:

ArmaLite wanted a longer body case and shorter neck, which they contracted to Remington due to their reputation of ammunition manufacturing. It was given the name .222 Remington special for a short period of time, due to the ArmaLite AR-15 becoming US military adopted, as the m16; the .222 Remington ammunition was standardised 5.56 x 45 mm rounds from then on. The commercial sporting cartridge came about around 1964.

AKM and Saiga AK47 Magazines

Rifle Durability and Reliability

The AK-47 Rifle durability and reliability has a worldwide reputation, this weapon can be dragged through mud and sand and with no problems of firing, it can be dipped in water and then fired with no inkling of jamming. It is the most widely used weapon to date, with over 100 million in service. Over the years there has been different AK types the current one that is used a lot by Russia is the AK-74 all with the same durability and reliability as well.

The AK-47 is easy to clean and maintain, as well as simple to use and inexpensive to produce. This legendary weapon has huge amounts of ruggedness and reliability, this stems from the large gas piston, and the generous clearance of the moving parts, along with the specialised cartridge case design, this is where the reliability comes in as it can now endure excess amounts of debris and contamination.

Due to the large amount of reliability and durability, it has cost the AK-47 its accuracy, due to the looser tolerances, which don't allow the precision and consistency of other firearms. The rear iron sight as with most weapons can be adjusted, and measured in hundreds of meters. As with the rear sight, the front sight is adjustable in the field elevation.

Prior to being issued for use, all AK-47 are adjusted for wind age by the armoury. When the battle setting has been adjusted it will place the round, from where the point of aim is to a few centimetres above or below. This close target setting is known as the "Point-blank Range".

The Ak46, which was the AK-47 prototype, this had a fire selector and safety, which was separate. The later design had these combined. On the AK-47 the selectors switch would act as a dust cover giving it even more reliability. Carrying an AK-47 thought rouge terrain has been made a lot easier, due to the operator having to make safe the weapon and not having to flip another latch for protecting the operating mechanics.

As with most of modern firearms, the AK-47 parts such as the gas piston, bore and chamber and gas cylinder, are chromium-plated which dramatically increases part life helping to prevent corrosion and ware.

AK-47 Operation Cycle

The firing of the AK-47 is pretty simple, its just a matter of taking it of safety, loading the magazine, selecting the firing mode switch, lower position is semi-automatic which when the trigger is depressed only 1 bullet will be fired from the magazine to fire another shot the operator has to push the trigger again.

Moving the fire selecting switch into the middle position with allow full automatic mode, which allows when the trigger is help down bullets will be fired till either the magazine is empty or the trigger has stopped having pressure applied to it. Pulling back the charging handle then aim and fire that's how simple it is.

Dismantling Procedure

As with all hand held weaponry no matter how durable and reliable they may be, all weapons should be cleaned to stop any problems arising during a fire-fight. To begin dismantling the AK-47 first thing you will need to do is hold down the magazine catch to allow removal of the magazine, then pulling the charging handle to the rear thus allowing the inspection of the chamber to make sure the AK-47 is not loaded. This has to be done as many people forget that there maybe in the chamber and if they accidently pull the trigger the results could be fatal.

Once the AK-47 has been made safe, at the rear of the AK-47 there is a receiver like cover that needs to be pressed forward, and simultaneously lifting the rear and then pulling away, then by pushing the spring assembly forward which it can be lifted from its raceway, this will move it out the bolt carrier and to the rear.

For the removal of the bolt it need to be pushed to the rear and then rotated so the camming lug clears the raceway, and once pulled forward it will be free. When cleaning the barrel, bolt face and gas piston, take extra care and oil them lightly and then reassemble.

Wolf and Sellier & Bellot Ammo for the Ak47

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