Mikhail Kalashnikov, AK-47 Inventor, Dies at 94

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor who created the AK-47 assault rifle, has died.

He was 94. Russian state TV on Monday said that he died, according to the BBC.

“Today news sad news has arrived that Mikhail Kalashnikov has died after a lengthy illness,”  Udmurtia administration Viktor Chulkov said in a statement obtained by RT. Kalashnikov was getting treatment for a heart condition at a plant where the rifles were being produced, RT said. He had been there since November.

He is most famous for designing the AK-47, AK-74, and the AKM assault rifles. The AK-47 is said to be responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths per year.

The AK-47–one of the most famous rifles in the world–is also one of the most popular. More than 100 million of the assault rifles were manufactured in 2009. The weapon was invented in 1947.

“I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists,” he said years ago. “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work – for example a lawnmower.”

According to a Washington Post opinion article in 2006, “The AK-47 has become the world’s most prolific and effective combat weapon, a device so cheap and simple that it can be bought in many countries for less than the cost of a live chicken. Depicted on the flag and currency of several countries, waved by guerrillas and rebels everywhere, the AK is responsible for about a quarter-million deaths every year.”

“It is the firearm of choice for at least 50 legitimate standing armies and countless fighting forces from Africa and the Middle East to Central America and Los Angeles. It has become a cultural icon, its signature form — that banana-shaped magazine — defining in our consciousness the contours of a deadly weapon.”

Category: US US News

  • AskandTell

    I appreciate Kalashnikov’s words and his sorrow in seeing how his invention was responsible for a quarter-million deaths each year.

    ”I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work – for example a lawnmower.”

    • rg9rts

      His invention provided many jobs in the backyard arms production in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, ……..It is a cottage industry where the weapons are made by hand to his specifications. There are no big factories just a number of skilled artisans.

  • rg9rts

    The man who changed the world and shamed american technology. RIP Mike

  • VietVet67

    Every time I see an AK-47, I shudder at the number of deaths this weapon caused in Vietnam. And yes, it had a distinctive sound when fired.

  • Veronica James

    Too bad he didn’t die before he invented the effen thing.

    • joe

      Typical liberal scum.

      • Veronica James

        Thank you, conservative scum.

        • joe

          You’re welcome. LOL Anytime I get to piss off a liberal is a good day for me. I live for that. I deeply revel in your hatred and other liberals as well. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Now after 3 combat tours in the US Army in the infantry and 7 and a half years I figured it’s time for me to get out and return to the civilian world and start fighting the godless, morally depraved, lazy doesn’t want to work parasitic, liberal scum on every front and make their lives miserable any chance I get anywhere I can like they do to us. Good luck, see you around. It’s going to be a long cultural war.

          • Veronica James

            I suggest you get mental help, as you seriously need it. First, you did not piss me off. I don’t even know you, so how could you? Actually, I always find it amusing when a stranger with no face goes off on someone online. There’s a screw loose when that happens. And to say it makes your day??? Get a life, for god’s sake. Second, I’m a business owner, so how I am lazy and parasitic? Third, why do you think all liberals are the same? You have a closed (and severely damaged) mind to lump people with similar-but-not-the-same views into one group that you despise. I think you’re amusing, but even more, I feel sorry for you. You give ALL (notice how I lumped you all together?) servicemen a bad name.

          • joe

            Well miss Veronica I survived 3 combat tours for a total of 37 months time in combat in the most unforgiving terrain as a heavy machine gunner with a good number of confirmed kills and over 139 firefights, 59 mortar attacks, etc to my name (yes I kept count of all battle statistics just for my personal amusement) by the way I brought back all the soldiers that I was in charge of in one piece alive; soooo my mind seems to be functioning just fine as many others aren’t here and I am and in one piece. And ok you’re right you aren’t parasitic since you are a business owner; that I take back. As for Mikhail Kalashnikov he was a war hero, a patriot who cared about his nation. A meaning of which likes of you most likely will never know. It’s not his fault that the politicians gave his weapon to the insurgents. He created it to help protect his motherland. But of course most liberals tend to shy away from personal responsibilities and blame inanimate objects for someones stupidity and bad actions. And then make feel good laws that no one is going to abide by anyway instead solving the real issues. That’s why conservatives and liberals will never get along. And why do you feel sorry for me. Out of patriotism I put my life on the line for this nation multiple times I’ve proven myself, have you.

          • Veronica James

            I feel sorry for you because all your tours of duty seem to have embittered you against Americans, in general. You might think I’m a die-hard liberal, and I probably am on most things. That said, just because the boneheads in Washington make stupid laws, it doesn’t mean we support them in the name of liberalism. Washington doesn’t care one iota about you or me. They care about themselves and how much money they can make. They aren’t there to serve the people; they’re only there to serve themselves. It’s all a greedy power trip, IMHO. I just ask that you not mistake all liberals as being like Washington. They aren’t. I don’t believe all conservatives are like George Bush, (thank god). I commend you for putting your life on the line numerous times. But it seems you’ve turned against a full 50% of the people you were fighting for. I want to believe this just isn’t true.

          • joe

            You’re right I did come back very enraged and dissapointed. As for Washington that’s the thing that the liberal leaning individuals put them in power in hopes getting free handouts. You’re right none of them care about the average citizens. Both parties should be voted out office. But you do have to admit that under the conservative leadership as flawed as it was as an example the legislation like the obamacare would never pass. By the way it passed without a single republican vote. And this legislation is extremely wasteful and is hurting everyone to include small businesses. I’m sure you know of the pain that it has caused to millions already and millions more to come. And there has been more assaults on civil liberties during this administration than any other in history. That’s why I’m getting out as I realized that the government doesn’t appreciate our sacrifices and takes more and more out of the veterans pockets every year. So they can go and fight their own wars, as I’m leaving to go work where I can make some real money and have more free time. And no I’m not grouping all liberals as Washington, but I’m upset, because half the people (your half that you describe) that I fought for to secure their liberties and rights put those in power that are destroying them for all of us and they were supposed to help preserve the union and it’s constitution. You the liberals put them in power and conservatives aren’t perfect I give you that, but the current state of affairs here in the US is beyond enraging and is attributed largely not completely, but largely to the democrat controlled administration. See we conservatives aren’t difficult. We just want to be able to keep our hard earned money, our liberties, our guns, have secured borders and have a fair justice system that holds each individual accountable for their own actions to the fullest extent. That’s all we want. That’s it, not much to ask, and most of us (at least those that I know) are ready to fight and die for our liberties, our guns and our beliefs and, if that’s what it takes one day on this soil, so be it. By the way I didn’t agree with a lot of things that Bush did, but he did take care of the military and the average soldier had infinitely more morale under him. As a sergeant it’s evident to me that the shift in motivation was extreme when the current president took power. We knew what was coming, but no one wanted to listen. Yes everyone is allowed to vote for whom they choose, but they have no right to destroy the republic it’s not theirs to destroy, they didn’t fight for it. During my 7 plus years in the infantry (and I have no reason to lie to you) honest truth I have never met a liberal thinker or a democrat voter in any batallion or brigade at either at the lowest ranking private level or a high ranking commander level. NOT ONE miss Veronica, NOT A SINGLE ONE. In fact I met only 10 liberal democrats all together in my entire career across all military occupational specialties. So I didn’t turn against Americans I turned against those who forgot for what this country is suppose to stand for. LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. That’s why my ultimate dream would be that liberals would live in their states and conservatives in theirs. Then everyone could have the government that they want and we could still function as a nation. I’m surely conservatives would cheerfully move. I know I would.
            But I’m afraid that one day the tensions will boil over and the restoration of this republic will have to be done in blood. Unfortunately that’s where we are headed, if things keep going the way they are. BTW thanks for appreciating my service. My hat’s off to you for that.

          • Veronica James

            I have to ask, do you seriously believe Bush took care of the military when he was the one to get us into a war on false pretense? There were no weapons of mass destruction. He sent all you guys to fight for nothing. IMHO, that was the ultimate injustice, especially toward our military. All three of my brothers were in service; one in the Navy; one in the Army, and one was in Pararescue in the AF. I don’t understand how in your 7 years of service, you could possibly know the political leanings of everyone you came into contact with. Maybe some Democrats were too afraid to say which party they belonged to or supported. Just a thought. We could get into a whole discussion about how studies show there are more college-educated Dems than there are college-educated Reps, but I don’t want to go there. What I’d like is for you to understand that even we die-hard liberals basically want the same things you want. Everyone wants a fair justice system, etc. It’s just not reasonable to lump all liberals into one group. We’re all different. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much alike we really are. I refuse to believe you wouldn’t like me in person, even knowing I’m a Dem. :-) It doesn’t define me by a long shot.