Mikhail Kalashnikov, Pioneer of AK-47 Dies at 94


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Russian gun designer Mikhail Kalashnikov died on Monday 23 at the age of 94. He was well known for his creation of the AK-47, which became one of the most abundant machine guns that has ever been used in combat and war; especially in World War II.

The AK-47 (AK being an acronym for “Kalashnikov’s machine gun” and 47 the year it was introduced to the gun market) is what the late designer said to be simple but yet reliable and effective.

According to CNN “Kalashnikov designed his first machine gun in 1942 after suffering injuries as a tank commander for the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II, but it wasn't until 1947 -- after years of tweaks -- that the AK-47 was introduced for Soviet military service.”

During the 1950s, the AK-47 was used prominently as the standard firearm in the Soviet Union, but newer models ceased production in the 1960s.

Kalashnikov also was the unofficial arms ambassador of the Russian state and “used public appearances to try to cast the AK-47’s checkered legacy in a positive way and to complain that knockoffs were being manufactured illegally by former Soviet allies and cutting into Russian sales.”

Originally, Kalashnikov created the weapon to be used in the protection of his homeland and not for thugs or terrorists.

“This is a weapon of defense,” he said. “It is not a weapon for offense.”

However, when asked how he felt about his invention being the culprit of so much bloodshed, he wasn’t too move by the though. (image)

"I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence,'' he told The Associated Press in 2007.

Kalashnikov died Monday in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he resided.

His health conditions that lead to his passing is unknown.


Image via Youtube, Euronews