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The original Autovmat Kalishikov 1947, developed by General Mikail Kalishnikov was a wooden stock, select fire, air-cooled, magazine fed shoulder fired weapon. He had designed a few weapons while recuperating in the hospital after being wounded as a Tank Sergeant during WWII. The original Soviet Army 1947 issue model was given to and or copied by every Communist/Socialist country during the '50's. There are over 70 million copies since then. They were essentially military issue until 1974 until the debut of the AK 74 was spotted by the CIA in a May Day Parade.

There are some variations in the copied units but the original will have;

- wooden furniture/stock, pistol grip, upper handguards.

- 7.62 mm x 39 mm cartridge usage.

- uses a 30 round, ribbed metal magazine.

- slanted muzzle break with reverse threading (to control muzzle climb in auto fire) the first models did not have a muzzle break but quickly adopted one.

- the US first encountered the AK47 in the Korean War in limited numbers.

- three position select fire switch, safe, semi and auto

- ribbed receiver cover, most copies will be smooth.

- hole in stock which contains a small encapsulated cleaning kit.

- "U" shaped front sight guard, unlike "O" Chicom (Type 56) copies.

- "V" notch rear sights with spring adjusted sight elevation to @ 300 yards

- Some variations will include markings from the Izmash Arsenal in Tula, Russia on the receiver or the stock.

- Most weapons scrounged in Iraq from the Iraqi Army and Al Queda were AK47's and copies from Egypt (Maadi).

AK-74 differences as a whole;

- same weapon but uses a 5.45mm X 39 mm cartridge (to induce tumbling)

- extended muzzle brake

- plastics are incorporated in it's design primarily in the pistol grip and magazine.

- many to most weapons found in Afghanistan were 74's due to the Russian Occupation during the 80's and usage by the Majauhadeen Forces then whom are today's modern Taliban.

In '94, the Analtov 94 was introduced into Russian Federal Service and it is the first reciprocating barrel recoil weapon issued to general infantry forces. Other than the Browning M2 .50 caliber, which is not man-portable.

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