The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record

    New Search

AK-47 Automatic Rifle
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

AK-47 Automatic Rifle

Catalog #: 74476M    Accession #: 292533
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


North China Industries (Manufacturer)

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 10.5" H x 34.25" W x 3" D

Physical Description

Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifle, marked with “66” in a triangle.

General History

The AK-47 was designed by Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov. Kalashnikov was drafted into the Soviet army in 1938; while serving as a tank driver-mechanic, he became very interested in the operation of firearms. After being seriously wounded in 1941, he was given six months of leave, and spent that time designing a submachine gun with his machinist friend Zhenya Kravchenko. In 1946 Kalashnikov sent the Main Artillery Commission in Moscow his drawings for a new gas operated rifle based on the M43 cartridge . The committee gave him the go ahead to create a prototype. From 1946-1948 work progressed on the Kalashnikov rifle. In 1949 one of Kalashnikov's rifles, the Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947, was accepted by the Soviet Army and quickly dubbed the AK-47.


Country: China
War: Vietnam conflict
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits