The ""Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947 g."" or AK-47 is a gun designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and produced by LZh, widely used by the USSR armed forces from the 1950s through the 1980s. It is classified as an assault rifle, a mid-caliber rifle (7.62 mm, which is approximately equal to .30 caliber) that can be fired semi-automatically, or in fully-automatic bursts. It is intentionally smaller and shorter-ranged than WWII battle rifles.
The AK47 was cheap, light to carry, and easy to clean and repair in the field. It was mostly reliable but the ejector pin sometimes broke. Derivative designs replaced the AK-47 during the 1980s.
It was favoured by non-Western powers because of its ease of use, robustness, and simplicity of manufacture. Copies were made by many factories in other countries including Israel, Finland, Hungary, China and Poland, where they remain in production today.
AK47 and AKM have been extensively modified and improved upon since their first designs. Standard Kalashnikovs include:
General Characteristics, AK-47 Rifle