It seems that the original AK-47 platform is the gift that keeps on giving. No other firearm has been produced in such numbers or in as many countries as the AK, thanks in large part to the gun’s basic design, simple construction, ease of use, durability, reliability and a Soviet hostility to intellectual property rights.
We like to think of the AR platform, America’s longest serving military rifle, as long lived, but the AK has been standard issue almost 15 years longer and is still just as much in service and being produced today, both for military and law enforcement service worldwide. Thanks to IO Inc., also known as Inter Ordnance, American shooters can now have an American-made variant of this famed rifle, the Sporter.
This semi-automatic, long-stroke piston-operated rifle is chambered in the traditional 7.62x39mm cartridge, and the construction and design is based directly from Polish AKM blueprints. The original AK-47 design called for a stamped steel receiver, where a flat piece of metal is stamped, cut, folded and welded to manufacture the receiver. The advantages to a stamped receiver include cheaper, easier, and faster manufacturing. Due to issues encountered during the initial tooling, the Russians decided to substitute the stamped design with a milled receiver made from one solid piece of metal. This was more time consuming and increased production costs as well as overall weight. When production on the stamped-receiver AKs was perfected, those were renamed AKM (Modernized).