Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Ak-47 And The Man Behind It

I said I would talk about real guns and I am! Everybody knows about the AK-47, but not much about its technical information or the man behind it. I'll start off talking about the man; Mikhail Kalashnikov (born November 10, 1919). Kalashnikov should be a familiar name, because the AK-47 is sometimes referred to it as that. Anyways, Kalashnikov was born to a poor peasant family in a small village located in Altai Krai, a part of Russia. He was an engineer for a train depot for awhile, and that is where he picked up his knowledge of mechanics. After being drafted and serving in the Red Army for three years, he was sent home because he was badly wounded. As he recovered in the hospital, he started working on gun designs, and after he healed he went to work for a Russian Institute. There, he designed many innovations for tanks, and his accomplishments earned him a promotion and more resources. He made use of those resources to design his most famous creation, the “Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947″ (English translation). Two years later, the weapon was already implemented into the Red Army.

Kalashnikov didn't stop with the AK-47; he became General Designer of small arms for the Soviet Army, and developed several other machine guns, which were used but never became as famous as the AK-47. Despite his success, he has lived in the same place since 1949, and has pursued other interests. For example, he has his own brand of vodka, which is sold worldwide.

What Kalashnikov is somewhat upset about is the widespread use of his weapon by terrorists. Because of their durability yet high power, they are terrorists' weapon of choice, and have been used to kill hundreds of innocent people. However, he does not regret making the weapon, as he feels that the positive effects it has had outweigh the negative. Ironically, he has become deaf from firing the AK-47 so many times, and even more ironic, he does not get any money from the huge sales of the weapon. Kalashnikov survives on the money he made years ago and a small state pension paid to him periodically.

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