The AK family of automatic rifles was developed in the Soviet Union post WWII. Originally designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the AK family is officially known in Russia as “Avtomat Kalashnikova” or “Kalashnikov’s Automatic Gun”. The Kalashnikov family remains one of the most popular automatic rifles in the modern era with over 100 million built.
The AK-47 is the original firearm of the AK family with the number 47 referring to the year it was finished. It is gas-operated and uses the 7.62x39mm cartridge. It became widely popular because of its dependability under harsh conditions and low production costs, remaining popular today after almost 70 years.