Thursday, January 09, 2014

RIP Mikhail

"MIKHAIL KALASHNIKOV died on December 23rd, aged 94. But his 66-year-old invention, the Avtomat Kalashnikova, has plenty more shots left to fire. Developed in 1947 and first used by Soviet forces in 1949, the AK-47 assault rifle and its many derivatives are now used by the armed forces of more than 80 countries, and by freelancers in many more. No-one knows quite how many are in circulation: 100m is a reasonable guess. As a proportion of all the guns in the world—another number no-one can be quite sure about—Kalashnikovs probably make up more than one in ten of all firearms. Why does an ageing Soviet invention still dominate modern warfare?" [courtesy The Economist]

For an answer, go here. There's no doubt that it's the nastiest killer weapon since David slew Goliath, and not so different in that it is so basic that it can be, and is, used by children in African troublespots.

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