The AK-47 (Kalashnikov's assault rifle, model of the year 1947, in English Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947) is an assault rifle operated by gas that was frequently used by numerous Eastern bloc nations during and throughout the Cold War.
Standardized and adopted in 1947, the AK-47 was originally produced by Russian manufacturer Izhevsk Mechanical Works and designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. Improving upon the auto-loading rifles frequently used in World War II (the StG-44 aside), the dominant AK-47 was generally more compact, with a smaller 7.62x 39 mm cartridge, a shorter range, and was capable of selective fire. The AK-47 remains one of the most widely used and known assault rifles and is frequently credited as one of the first true assault rifles. More AK-47 assault rifles have been manufactured and produced than any other assault rifle. Production of the AK-47 assault rifle continues to this day.