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AK-47

1940s assault rifle of Soviet origin
This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy, and it makes a very distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it. ~ Tom Highway

The AK-47 (also known as the Kalashnikov, AK, or in Russian slang, Kalash) is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov.

QuotesEdit

Historical Quotes and AnalysisEdit

 
If I were to take an American soldier out today, I could get him to field strip, clean, and take care of an AK in about four hours. The M16? I'm gonna have to take a week. It's that simple. ~ William Atwater
  • If I were to take an American soldier out today, I could get him to field strip, clean, and take care of an AK in about four hours. The M16? I'm gonna have to take a week. It's that simple.
 
That weapon is going to keep you alive. ~ William Atwater
  • That weapon is going to keep you alive.
    • Dr. William Atwater, weapons historian, in his appearance in the Top Ten series presentation on combat rifles by the Military Channel.[specific citation needed]
 
Is there a design this good that doesn't kill people? ~ Good Magazine
  • Is there a design this good that doesn't kill people?
  • Kalashnikov had already distinguished himself by inventing a device that counted the shells a tank had fired and now, as he recuperated from his wounds, he set about designing something that could rival the Germans' MP44. A hand-held sub-machinegun. Something that came to be known as the AK47. It wasn't actually read, as the name implies, until 1947, two years after Hitler's penis had been buried under the Kremlin, but that didn't stop it becoming by far and away the most successful gun in the whole of military history. No patent was ever taken out, which meant anyone with a foundry could set up shop and make one too. And they did. AKs were produced all around the world in such vast numbers that so far 70 million have been sold. And that in turn means that one person in 90 across the whole planet has got one. And as a result of that, it is said that the AK47 has killed more people than the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Think of any conflict since 1947 and it's a fairly safe bet that at least one of the sides has been using AK47s. The warlords in Mogadishu, the Vietcong in Vietnam, the Republican Guard in Iraq. This half-timbered gun has been a 50-year thorn in Uncle Sam's side.
    • Jeremy Clarkson, I Know You Got Soul: Machines With That Certain Something (2004), p. 115
  • Interestingly, however, it doesn't actually do anything especially interesting. You get a 30-round magazine that fires normal 7.62mmn ammunition at a rate of 600 bullets per minute. That gives you enough ammo for a three-second burst, which is about average. And there's nothing unusual about its range either. Reckon on 1,100 yards or so. In fact it even has a few design defects, like it weighs nearly 10 lbs. That doesn't sound like much but you trying carrying it around all day, in a jungle. Then there are the sights, which are too far forward on the barrel. But worse is the safety switch. To get it from 'safe' to 'single shot' you have to go through the 'fully automatic' setting. And as you move it, it gives away its Russian origins, and your position, by going 'clack.' So there you are, trying to ease off the safety for a nice, clean shot. But as you do so the target hears the mechanism and fires. You then fire back only to find you're in fully automatic mode and that you've missed. So why then, if it's heavy, flawed and nothing special, has it been such a hit? Well, the simple answer is its simplicity. In a competition to find the least-complicated machine ever made, it would tie in first place with the mousetrap.
    • Jeremy Clarkson, I Know You Got Soul: Machines With That Certain Something (2004), p. 118
  • Once, while I was working in Switzerland, a Hell's Angel offered me a brand-new AK47, still in its greaseproof wrapping paper, for £300. He would have even thrown in a thousand rounds of ammunition for good measure. 'Here,' he said, 'try it out.' And so I did, firing at a railway sleeper maybe 60 years away at the bottom of a quarry. The effect was astonishing. The bullets smashed the sleeper into two pieces that ended up ten feet from one another. So much, I remember thinking, for those Hollywood heroes who say 'ow' when they're hit.
    • Jeremy Clarkson, I Know You Got Soul: Machines With That Certain Something (2004), p. 119
  • The AK is different. There are children in the world today named Kalash, in its honour. You will find images of it in national emblems. And closer to home, the only private number plate I've ever even half considered buying is 'AK47'. I think it would give my Volvo a bit more cred. So what's the deal then? Why does the AK rise above all the heat and pieces? Why has it got soul when, undoubtedly, the others do not? Well, it was born amid unimaginable strife and suffering so it has genuine working-class, hard-man origins. And unlike Cilla Black, who bangs on about her harsh Scouser upbringing from the luxury of her Thames-side mansion, the AK has never sold out. You never find an AK in the pampered hands of an American solider, boasting about how it was brought up in a cave in Saigon. It was born to help the underdog and that's what it's been doing, non-stop for nigh on 60 years.
    • Jeremy Clarkson, I Know You Got Soul: Machines With That Certain Something (2004), p. 122
  • Then you have Che Guevara, possibly the coolest man ever to have walked the planet. Yes, his real name was Earnest, but he managed to make James Dean and Steve McQueen look like a couple of nancy boys. I loathed the man's politics but I loved the T-shirt. Even his beard worked because you knew it wasn't grown for any of the usual reasons- vanity, laziness or insecurity. It was grown because he lived in a wood and there was no water with which to shave. There are people today who spend a fortune trying to look good, but he managed to look better using only a beret and a boiler suit. I bet he had a lot of sex. I bet he also had an AK-47.
    • Jeremy Clarkson, I Know You Got Soul: Machines With That Certain Something (2004), p. 122
  • Design is rarely art because design, when all is said and done, exists purely to make money. And yet the AK was never designed to do that. In fact Mikhail Kalashnikov lives today on nothing more than a Soviet Army pension. And that's why his most famous creation can be called an art form. And that's what gives it soul.
    • Jeremy Clarkson, I Know You Got Soul: Machines With That Certain Something (2004), p. 122
  • If I were to go to a planet, an unknown planet, and I was allowed to take one firearm, it would be an AK-47. When Western civilization melts down, I want an AK-47.
    • Richard Venola, editor of Combat Arms, in his appearance in the Top Ten series presentation on combat rifles by the Military Channel.[specific citation needed]
  • What can you do to an AK-47 to make it stop firing? Not a whole lot! Maybe drive over it with a tank.
    • Richard Venola, in his appearance in the Top Ten series presentation on combat rifles by the Military Channel.[specific citation needed]
  • And so Americans have grown up seeing the AK-47 as the bad guy's gun. People don't like the looks of the AK. It's an ugly gun. You can't picture John Wayne carrying an AK-47. Would he carry one? Probably. He was a practical man.
    • Richard Venola, in his appearance in the Top Ten series presentation on combat rifles by the Military Channel.[specific citation needed]
  • The AK-47 went head-to-head with the M-16, and emerged on the winning side.
    • Narration in the Top Ten Rifles presentation by the Military Channel (renamed American Heroes Channel in 2014), part of their Top Ten series which began in 2005. The narrator was referring to the AK-47s service on the North Vietnamese side of the Vietnam War.
  • I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen to own guns for sporting, hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon.
  • Regardless of its users' skills, the AK is renowned for its reliability and ruggedness. This is due to the fact that its tolerances are loose but its components are designed to function effectively when integrated. Every part was designed to last and to be "soldier-proof." The Russians consider its service life to be at least 25 years. An AK can be buried in mud, dragged through sand, and frozen solid yet will still load and fire. There are reports of rusted AKs being dug up in Vietnam after being buried with dead NVA for months and then fired without cleaning. One can literally drive tent stakes with the butt without damaging the weapon. Most magazines, regardless of the material they are made from, are robust enough to withstand rough handling. During the Vietnam War the author's Cambodian company discovered a Chinese-made Type 56 in the jungle covered with inches of matted leaves. It was completely rusted, except for the chrome-plated bore and chamber, and the wood furniture was in the first stages of rotting. After returning to the camp a round was found in the chamber, with eight in the magazine, which was rusted in place. It was removed after working in solvent. The weapon was still set on semi-automatic and the selector lever was rusted in place, but again was freed with a little solvent. After ejecting the loaded round, inspecting the bore, and chambering another round from the magazine, the weapon fired without any further cleaning. It had lain in the jungle exposed to the weather for a year, possibly much longer. The author does not think an M16 would have been operational after suffering the same extreme conditions.
    • Gordon L. Rottman, The AK-47: Kalashnikov-series assault rifles (2011), p. 59
  • The Trace: Does it matter what kind of gun a victim is shot with?
    David H. Newman: It matters a great deal. If it’s a small caliber gun, the wounds are visibly smaller. If it’s a shotgun wound, it’s more visually striking. I’ve seen children who have been shot with a shotgun. I remember this one boy, I think he was eight, he and a friend were playing with a shotgun, and his friend shot him in the face. When he came in, he was still very much alive, but he was in terrible pain and didn’t really have any facial features.
    But the worst is a wound from an AR-15 or AK-47 — high-muzzle velocity weapons, which impart a tremendous amount of kinetic energy into the body. Those are much more destructive. You’re looking at a wound that, externally, is two, three, four times bigger than any handgun wound.
    And that is reflective of the damage that happens on the inside. When a bullet from a high-muzzle velocity weapon hits the intestines, it’s like an explosion, whereas a low-muzzle velocity can be very similar to a knife going through the intestines; there’s bleeding, but it doesn’t destroy the whole area. A high-muzzle bullet, however, destroys whole areas of body. With a bone that’s been shot with a standard-issue caliber handgun, you’ll see a break, a hole in the bone, and maybe some displacement. But a high-muzzle weapon shatters that bone into hundreds of microscopic pieces, in a way that cannot be repaired. You need to essentially clean out the bone that has been struck and remove it from the body; it’s now a worthless tissue. You can’t believe that a bullet could do this amount of damage.

Film and Television QuotesEdit

 
AK-47, the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room; accept no substitutes. ~ Samuel L. Jackson
  • This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy, and it makes a very distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it.
  • AK-47, the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively, got to kill every motherfucker in the room; accept no substitutes.
 
It's the world's most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood, it doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It will shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy even a child can use it, and they do. ~ Yuri Orlov
  • Of all the weapons in the vast Soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947, more commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It's the world's most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood, it doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It will shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy even a child could use it, and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.
  • You get rich by giving the poorest people on the planet the means to continue killing each other. Do you know why I do what I do? I mean, there are more prestigous assignments. Keeping track of nuclear arsenals. You'd think that more critical to world security. But, it's not. No. Nine out of ten war victims today are killed with assault rifles and small arms. Like yours. Those nuclear missiles, they sit in their silos. Your AK-47, that is the real weapon of mass destruction.
  • Corporal, stow this next to my seat. Better be prepared, never know when you might need an AK.
    • Captain Dave "Captain America" McGraw, Generation Kill (2008), Episode 2: The Cradle of Civilization

Song LyricsEdit

 
Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.
I got to say it was a good day. ~ O'Shea Jackson
  • I've seen gangsters get religious when they start bleeding. Saying "Lord, Jesus help me" 'cause their ass leaking.
    When that window rolls down and that A.K. comes out?
    You can squeeze your little handgun until you run out.
    And you can run for your back-up, but them machine gun shells gon' tear your back up.
  • Oh, you've got a gun? So you want to pop that? AK-47. Now nigga, stop that.
  • AK-47 is the tool. Don't make me act the motherfucking fool.
    • Ice Cube, "Straight Outta Compton", from the eponymous album (1988).
  • Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp
    And it read, "Ice Cube's a pimp" (yeah)
    Drunk as hell but no throwin up
    Half way home and my pager still blowin up
    Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.
    I got to say it was a good day
    • Ice Cube, "It Was a Good Day", from his third studio album, The Predator (1992).

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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