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Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Creator of AK-47, Dies at 94

December 24, 2013 | By

The original AK-47 design was short lived however its updated variants are still being liked and adopted across the world by both militants and military.

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Creator of AK-47

Photo Courtesy: The New York Times

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man behind the invention of assault rifle AK-47, died at the age of 94. Born on 10 November 1919 in Kurya, Altai Krai, Russian SFSR; he was always fascinated by all kinds of machinery while having an interest in poetry at the same time.

An aspiring poet with six books to his credit, his destiny took him into weapon designing career where he designed about 150 models of small weapons including AK-47, AKM, AK-74 / AKS-74U / AK-74M / AKS-74, AK-101 / AK-102, AK-103 / AK-104, RPK / RPK-74 among others.

Mikhail’s prowess in designing rifles contributed to his rise to fame. As The New York Times quotes, “His role in the rifle’s creation, and the attention showered on him by the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, carried him from conscription in the Red Army to senior positions in the Soviet arms-manufacturing bureaucracy and ultimately to six terms on the Supreme Soviet, the Soviet Union’s legislative body.”

Out of a number of small weapons he designed, AK-47 is the most celebrated and popular across the world. The simple design, compact size, ease of operation and inexpensive manufacturing of this assault rifle made it a weapon of agents of terrorism, child-soldiering and crime.

The original AK-47 design was short lived. However, its updated variants are still being liked and adopted across the world by both militants and military.

Though Mikhail never regretted creating AK-47 which later became the object of terror, he at times expressed his grief over the use of the weapon.

He had once said, “I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists … I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawn mower.”

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