The Kalashnikov AK-47 and its variants are the most widely used military rifles in the world. It has been put into service by more than 45 countries and seen action in every major military conflict since its creation in the late 1940s. While the overall design hasn’t changed significantly, many countries added their own unique tweaks to better fit their needs. In this article we will look at some of the most popular variants of the AK-47 and some of the lesser-known models as well. This guide can be used for identifying some of the less common models from around the world. We know you’d love to own the 20 AK-47 variants pictured here, but they’re owned by Kalashnikov Collectors Association member Stuart McDaniel.
- A semiauto version of the milled-receiver 7.62x39mm Type 56, it is the closest copy of the Russian AK-47 Type 3 that China ever made. Type 56 production was set up by the Soviets, who supplied machinery and technical assistance.