The AK47 has the established and well-deserved reputation as perhaps the most reliable battle rifle ever manufactured and produced. There are currently over 30 million of the AK-47 assault rifles in service throughout the world, making it by far the most widely distributed battle rifle. The AK-47 was originally designed by Russian soldier and inventor Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov, who was born in 1919. The number of various Kalashnikov clones, models and copies is voluminous. No matter what type of variations there are on the basic models, the firearm's unique function remains the same to this day.