The AK-47 is a selective fire, gas operated 7.62 x 39mm assault rifle first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov.
Work began on the design for the AK-47 in 1945. The fixed stock version was introduced into service with the Soviet Army in 1948. From 1949 it was officially adopted and used by the majority of Warsaw Pack state forces.
Sixty years later it remains the most popular and widely used assault rifle in the world. This is due to the low production costs and sustained reliability under the harshest of conditions. It has been manufactured in many countries and is seen in service with armed forces, as well as irregular non-governmental forces, worldwide. More AKs have been produced than all other assault rifles combined.