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Transcending both eras and ideological divides, the esteemed creator of the Avtomat Kalashnikova (or “AK” as most of us know it) passed away recently at the age of 94.

Mikhail Kalashnikov will forever be revered and respected as the creator of the classic Soviet 7.62x39mm weapon system, one that is present in one form or another in practically every corner of the world. In fact, in an ironic twist of fate, the AK and its variants have also become incredibly popular here on the shores of the United States in the post-Cold War era.

And, it is easy to see why the AK is so popular. Simple, rugged, reliable and affordable, the weapon combines the best of all worlds. From its long-stroke piston system that shrugs off dirt, fouling and debris, to its extremely simple operation—one that indicates recognition of the fact that the most effective weapon is the one you can employ instinctively and instantly—the AK can justifiably be described as a paradigm-shifting design.

Through its many evolutions and iterations—including the AKM, as well as the AK-74 and the most modern variants of today—Kalashnikov’s enduring design ensures that his legacy will soldier on well past his death and continue on into the foreseeable future. He will be missed.

For a look at some of the best Kalashnikov-inspired weapons around, visit Top AK-47 & Soviet Weapons | AK 47 Reviews.

For more on the AK and its variants, check out AK-47 & Soviet Weapons.

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