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    Kalashnikov assault rifle

    Oldie but Goodie: Little Things That Keep AK-47 on Top of the World

    © Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov
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    Durability, low production cost, availability and ease of use are the features, which assured the Kalashnikov AK-47’s global success. The legendary assault rifle has made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the most widely spread weapon in the world, with 100 million Kalashnikov rifles currently in use.

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    Just like any other cult weapon the “Kalash” has been the subject of numerous aftermarket improvements presented below.

    Ergonomic Grip Designs

    The finger grooves with interchangeable inserts fit any hand. More so, the grip at the front of the weapon ensures excellent balance and makes the weapon easier to handle.

    Slide handle

    The factory installed bolt support is thin and smooth. To prevent unwanted slips aftermarket designers have come up with a hefty barrel-like cylinder with notches.

    Controller

    The standard-issue controller/safety catch assembly could be handled with both hands. An upgraded version features an additional “spur” enabling the shooter to  unlock the safety catch and change rates of fire with one hand.

    Butt Stock

    AKs typically come with either a traditional fixed stock in wood or polymer, or the various folding stocks that make the gun compact to carry. An optional telescopic butt makes it possible to adjust the weapon to its owner’s anatomical characteristics.

    A cheek rest provides additional comfort and ensures better aiming.

    Muzzle adaptors

    There are several types of muzzle adaptors. Muzzle recoil compensators help keep the weapon steady during firing. Some feature rugged tips effective during hand-to-hand combat. And there are also flash suppressors and silencers which make the shooter less visible to the enemy and keep  noise down.

    Picatinny rail

    A bracket that provides a standard mounting platform consisting of rails with multiple transverse slots and designed to mount heavy sights of various kinds.

    A great variety of accessories and attachments are now available and the rails are no longer confined to the rear upper surface, but are either fitted to or machine milled into the upper, side and lower surfaces of all types of firearms.

    Sights

    The AK-47 uses a notched rear tangent iron sight calibrated in 100 m  increments from 100 to 800 m. The front sight's post is adjustable for elevation.

    Some AK-type rifles have a front sight with a flip-up luminous dot that is calibrated at 50 m, for improved night fighting. Modern laser sights are also available to ensure more accurate target acquisition and fire.

    Related:

    'Anyone With AK-47' Can Overmatch US Soldier in Fire Fight
    Kalashnikov Approves New Production Location for American-Made AK-47
    Tags:
    Guinness world record, iconic weapon, aftermarket improvements, AK-47, Kalashnikov Concern, Russia
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