The AK-47, or AK as it is officially known (Russian: Автомат Калашникова, translit. Avtomat Kalashnikova, lit. 'Kalashnikov's Automatic Rifle'), also known as the Kalashnikov, is a selective-fire (semi-automatic and fully automatic), gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov rifle (or "AK") family.
Design work on the AK-47 began in 1945. In 1946, the AK-47 was presented for official military trials, and in 1948, the fixed-stock version was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army. An early development of the design was the AKS (S—Skladnoy or "folding"), which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In early 1949, the AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact.
Even after almost seven decades, the model and its variants remain the most popular and widely used assault rifles in the world because of their substantial reliability under harsh conditions, low production costs compared to contemporary Western weapons, availability in virtually every geographic region and ease of use. The AK-47 has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with armed forces as well as irregular forces and insurgencies worldwide, and was the basis for developing many other types of individual, crew-served and specialised firearms. As of 2004, "Of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide, approximately 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AK-47s"....LESS
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities in Mexico have arrested the final of seven defendants accused in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed a bungled federal gun operation, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
CAIRO (AP) — A gunman opened fire outside a Saudi royal palace on Saturday, killing two members of the Saudi Royal Guard, an official Saudi news agency reported. The Saudi Press Agency quoted the security spokesman for the Interior Ministry as saying that the attacker exited a vehicle and opened fire on the western gate of Al-Salam Palace in Jiddah early Saturday morning, killing two Guard members and wounding three others. The gunman was shot dead on the spot, according to the SPA report.
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military says a soldier has opened fire at other servicemen during drills, shooting three of them dead and wounding two others. The Defense Ministry said Friday that the shooting happened during nighttime practice shooting at a firing range in the far-eastern Amur region. It said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies the soldier fired his Kalashnikov rifle at other soldiers waiting to have target practice, and then fled.