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Changing More Than Your View On The AK47
Ways The AK-47 Changed Modern Warfare
Designed and produced by a Russian engineer back in 1947; the compact automatic rifle did not look like any other regular gun. This is because all its elements were basic, easy to use, and it lacked the elegance of ordinary rifle. Moreover, its barrel was so short, which made it impossible to reach the range of standard guns.
AK-47 and its predecessors are regarded as real killing machines, representative examples of past weaponry and a pop-culture icon weapon. On the other hand, AK-47 is believed to be the most destructive piece of technology. Its purposes have gone beyond centralizing states. It can empower small groups or even a person with power that only used to belong to the military or large organizations.
The truth is that this weapon may not be the most precise or powerful tool today; but it compensates these limitations with its fantastic reliability, cost, ease of use and readily available spare parts and ammunition. These benefits have made it easy for untrained, illiterate and weak persons to own an entirely easy and functional weapon. In a nutshell, almost everyone back then could afford an AK-47 gun for personal use.
The increase of AK-47 has been aided by government-led efforts and manufacturing impulses. Back in the 1950s, the Russian government shared this weapon with like-minded governments and even gave vassal states a way to manufacture them. By 1960s, a majority of countries had factories set-up and already producing AK-47s. These guns were stored and distributed in large numbers, no matter people’s preferences.
Because of inflated supply combines with corruption and inadequate security; it has made it possible for anyone fighting to buy this weapon; no matter the cause they are fighting for. Furthermore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact caused an even higher supply for this weapons on the market. In the long run, it enabled almost everyone to buy AK-47s.
For all these reasons, it made the AK-47 the ideal choice for many revolutions that occurred in the past 50 years. It is ironic that these weapons sole-purpose was to reinforce states and not fight against them. The design speaks clearly of its intentions. When the Soviet Union saw the most commonly used gun by Nazi Forces and what it can do, the launched a contest aimed at weaponry design. Competing teams were all able to see each other’s job and designed from the beginning of the competition.
This gave way for every team to borrow specific designs or features from each other and those that were already available. The idea gun that won was a combination of different ideas and elements from different teams. Well, the resulting rifle may have been a good one, but does not mean its origin story is great. Then the Soviet-created a story that claimed senior sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov created the AK; whose inspiration to design this gun came to him after being injured in war while fighting the Nazi forces.
In the long run, Kalashnikov and his creative team were officially credited with this success. While in fact, this weapon was a government-funded machine production desire, to aid them to fight against Nazi forces.
The gun’s earlier version came with a receiver. In other words, it had a receiver. It was the central part of the weapon, and it did not include the barrel. The receiver was built from solid steel, which was shaped by skilled workers. However, after ten years of testing and improving, the Soviet Union removed the receiver and it machine worthy.
Well, the moment the receiver was removed, the AK-47 became cheaper and much lighter. By the end of the 1950s, all first generation AK-47 was replaced by the newer version AKM, which became the most popular version that time.
The Gas System
The feature that makes AK-47 reliable are the combination of returning spring, piston, port, and cylinder. All this contributes to the incredibly quick release which creates more energy than needed to fire the bullet. Part of the power is captured by the gas system, which is used to eject used cartridges for new reload. The gun also has big and heavy elements that can plow through the mud.
This reliability was obtained by compromising the weapon’s accuracy. Nevertheless, the gun designers ignored the western preference of accuracy. But they had a gun that functioned in almost any situation.
The Front Sight Post
Another element that gave AK-47 its distinctive shape is the elevated sight post, which helped users see over the gas tube. This was a feature that was also available on the AS-44 and other Soviet Union gun models.
The M1943 Cartridge
Back in 1943, the Soviet Union got hold of an odd looking cartridge from the Nazi soldiers, while fighting on the Germany’s Eastern Front. This cartridge was somewhere in between a pistol ammo and traditional rifle. The round appeared to suit all types of combat, despite the lack of power for long-range shooting.
It did not produce a lot of heat or recoil like soviet’s traditional cartridges. The cartridge design meant that it could be used to build lighter, easy to handle and cheaper guns. The designed Soviet version of the round was named M1943, and it was built around this assault rifle.
The fact is that the magazine is perhaps the most eye-catching and essential element that give Kalashnikov’s guns its iconic shape. There were also other weapons that used curved magazines, but the AK was among the leading armaments that gained popularity very quickly. In the long-run, the shape ended up being associated with AK-47.
The magazine featured a reinforced metal lip, which not only prevents injury but also prevents the gun from jamming. This is quite the opposite of the magazines used in the America’s M-4 and M-16.
The Selector Switch And Dust Cover
This is a fundamental and yet practical feature that allows shooters to switch between semiautomatic, automatic and safe. The gun also has a dirt or dust cover that prevents unwanted materials from entering the chamber. Even though Kalashnikov was proud of this feature, many people hated it. Even though the switch was disliked, it is worth mentioning, and it is not original either. This is because it has been used on Remington’s Model 8 a few years back. However, today these features are more appreciated by many people. This is mainly because it keeps them safe when walking or doing other things. The safe mode is only deactivated when the gun is to be used.