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AK-47 Review

Across the world today, one can hardly view images of modern day oppression, fanatical groups or cold war era history without seeing some form or another of the venerable AK-47 machine gun and/or assault rifle. Aside from a very brief history of the rifle, this is a modern day usage of an AK-47 review.

ak47 pictures 300x199 AK 47 Review The original rifle was designed and prototyped by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1946 and finally accepted into wide military use by the Soviet Union in 1949 as their official combat rifle. From there, the simple design and easy to construct nature of the firearm promoted its spread to third-world countries and “loosely organized” groups whom were subject to rebellious tendencies like Nicaragua, the middle east, the Viet Cong and other underdeveloped Asian forces.

Today, aside from its more radical applications across the world, the firearm has taken on new life in the hands of shooters and collectors from both the originally produced rifles to the more modern interpretations of the platform, which many manufacturers are slowly adopting to more American standards of reliability and shooting.

The rifle is a select-fire (switchable from fully automatic to semi-automatic), gas-operated system, shooting a 7.62x39mm round (a scaled down .30 caliber round). In its original form and current production it is made from simple parts mostly stamped out of press machines. Newer versions, especially those now produced in the United States are more machined fitted (and heavier) to meet more western standards in firearms (most created in semi-automatic fire).

I have had the odd pleasure to shoot both original design and more modern design AK-47 firearms, both using the standard cartridges it was intended for. The original design, with its cheap, stamped parts shoots like a truck driving through a bombing range. It bounces, hiccups, and shakes all over the place with every shot fired—but, every shot fires. The simple notched sights might as well not even be included on the rifle for all the good that they do, and it is very clear why using the firearm in full-auto mode is pretty much the only way to hit a target. In other words, while it does shoot pretty reliably, accuracy was obviously not a big concern when the Soviets adopted this rifle.ak 47 review 300x188 AK 47 Review

The more modern versions of the AK-47 are a completely different story. It is impressive what modern CNC machining and computer assisted design can help a manufacturer create off of an old design. Simple refinements to the sighting design, more reliable materials and with the only negative being an increased weight factor, the new AK-47’s rolling off production lines are beautiful tack-drivers that can compare with any modern AR-15 design for a place in the “modern sporting rifle” category. Some are created to accurately represent and be true to the original design and others more accommodating to modern accessories like the addition of rail mounts for lights, lasers, optics, etc…

Whether you are looking to explore the shooting of either classic, cold-war era firearms that have carried into the 21st century or the modern interpretation of these rifles, the AK-47 platform is at the very least an interesting shooter and at most standing shoulder to shoulder with their modern cousins. Either way, they are definitely worth the time in putting some rounds downrange.

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