The AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947) is a gas-operated assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, and produced by Russian manufacturer Izhevsk Mechanical Works and used in the Soviet Union and many other Eastern bloc nations during the Cold War. It was adopted and standardized in 1947. Compared with the auto-loading rifles used in World War II, the AK-47 was generally more compact, with a shorter range, a smaller 7.62 × 39 mm cartridge, and was capable of selective fire. It was one of the first true assault rifles and remains the most widely used and known. The AK-47 and its numerous variants and descendants have been produced in greater numbers than any other assault rifle and are in production to this day.

AK-47 in The Gladiator[]

In the late 21st century, the police of San Marino carried modified, updated versions of the AK-47. The fierce appearance of these firearms offset the comical appearance of their gaudy uniforms.[1]

AK-47 in The Guns of the South[]

Time-traveling men calling themselves America Will Break supplied Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Joseph Johnston's Army of Tennessee with large numbers of AK-47s. The rifles allowed the South to overcome the North's superior human and industrial resources and take Washington City, ensuring a Confederate victory in the Second American Revolution. The Union Army, wielding the suddenly outdated muzzle-loader Springfield Model 1861, was completely routed in all fronts of the 1864 campaign, and suffered catastrophic losses before President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly recognized the Confederacy's independence and ended the Second American Revolution. Against the United States Navy, the Confederacy was less successful; the AK-47 could do little against warships. But with the Union cause torn asunder on land, the U.S. Navy's successes against the Confederacy abruptly ceased to matter.

General Lee was suspicious of AWB from the beginning. He wrote Colonel Josiah Gorgas, head of the Richmond arsenal, asking him to investigate the possibility of manufacturing AK-47s. He also wrote Colonel George W. Rains, head of the gunpowder mill in Augusta, Georgia, requesting him to analyze the cartridges used by the AK-47.

Numerous mysteries arose as Gorgas studied the AK-47; the rifle came from nowhere, with no predecessors at all - in contrast to the long line of less efficient predecessors that the Union-made Springfield rifle was known to have. The superb metalworking and craftsmanship of the rifle was also a mystery; Gorgas remarked that the Rivington men must have forgotten most anything that a 1860s gunsmith knew. Gorgas and others studying several AK-47s determined that lettering on them indicated them to come from several non-existent countries: the People's Republic of China, Yugoslavia, and the SSSR.

In the spring of 1865, Lee met with Rains in Georgia. Although Rains managed to determine that two major components of the smokeless powder were nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin, he had been unable to duplicate the mix. However, his subordinate Captain Robert Finney, superintendent of the Augusta arsenal, had managed to refill spent cartridges with black powder and lead bullets. These worked satisfactorily with supplied AK-47s but with much fouling of the barrels and inner workings.

In June 1866, Lee met with Gorgas in Richmond who presented Lee with two Confederate-made AK-47s. These were hand made rather than mass-produced but worked about as well as Rivington-supplied guns. The iron sights fitted to the weapons were simpler, and they were designed to operate with the less advanced Confederate black powder cartridges. Colonel Gorgas stated that he hoped to commence mass-production of these weapons within the next year.

In 1867, the recently-defeated United States reverse-engineered the AK-47 for mass-production. They used them in a subsequent war with Britain and the invasion of the Canadas. The British Army, still relying on a muzzle-loading weapon as their standard-issue infantry rifle, was routed and all of the Canadas were lost to the United States. Just as had been the case in the Second American Revolution, however, the superior naval power of one side became painfully known to the other, as the Royal Navy bombarded the East Coast cities of the U.S. and attacked San Francisco. This brought ruin to the United States merchant fleet on the high seas and a tight blockade of U.S. ports.

AK-47 in The Hot War[]

The Soviet government issued AK-47s to its soldiers just prior to the outbreak of World War III. The Soviet soldiers, particularly those who were veterans, were impressed with the fire power found in the AK-47.[2] Their enemies had nothing to compare for the first part of the war.[3]

By mid-1951, the AK-47 was in short supply as the Soviet war machine ground up more men.[4] However, in the last months of the war, production became more consistent.[5]

AK-47 in Joe Steele[]

Sgt. Mike Sullivan found that the North Japanese had a nasty new toy from their Soviet masters, a new type rifle called the AK-47 which they began using during the Japanese War. It fired bullets like a submachine gun but was accurate out to a quarter mile, combining the best qualities of a grease gun and a Garand.[6]

AK-47 in Supervolcano[]

Several years after the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted, Captain Colin Ferguson and Sgt. Gabriel Sanchez responded to an armed robbery at a check-cashing place in San Atanasio. Given the regrettable lack of gasoline, the two took bicycles to the crime scene. They were surprised to see the clerk outside of his fortified booth but Farid Hariri explained the thief carried an AK-47. The bulletproof glass was designed to handle pistol rounds but he didn't trust it for military rifle bullets.[7]

Ferguson got a description and the fact that the thief fled on foot which might a break. It turned out to be case since they received a radio call that a citizen had flagged down a passing bike patrol officer to report him. Ferguson and Sanchez set off to the nearby address and found the officer who pointed out the house the suspect had entered and that another officer was at the back ensuring he wouldn't escape that way. She also reported that while she didn't know if there was anyone else in the house, there had not been any screaming or gunshots.[8]

Ferguson walked over to the house and stood behind an abandoned automobile across the street. He called for the suspect to surrender but the suspect refused telling the police to clear out or he would shoot. A moment later, he did with the shots coming so fast that for a moment Ferguson wondered if the suspect had the rifle on auto-fire. Ferguson and the other officers began returning fire with their pistols which sounded quieter and with about the same rate of fire as the single assault rifle. Suddenly, Ferguson felt as though someone had hit his shoulder with a Louisville Slugger. He had been shot and shortly blacked out.[9]

Ferguson was taken to San Atanasio Memorial where he underwent emergency surgery. He would survive but the doctors feared he would loose some function in his left arm.[10] He regained some function through physiotherapy but not enough to return to duty as a police officer. While Ferguson had enough years of service to retire, it still griped him that he was forced to rather than because he wanted to.[11]

The suspect did not surrender and did not survive the shootout.[12]

See also[]

Novgorodian Rifle, an apparent analog of the AK-47 in "Occupation Duty".


  1. The Gladiator, pg. 216, HC.
  2. Bombs Away, pg. 147, ebook.
  3. Ibid., pg. 289.
  4. Fallout, loc. 638, ebook.
  5. Armistice, see, e.g., pgs. 7-8, 113.
  6. Joe Steele, pg. 361, HC.
  7. Things Fall Apart, pgs. 303-304, HC.
  8. Ibid, pgs. 305-306.
  9. Ibid, pgs. 307-308.
  10. Ibid, pgs. 309-310.
  11. Ibid, pgs. 371-374.
  12. Ibid, pg. 309.