Just read the article about Mikhail Kalashnikov passing away at age 94.
He never patened the design and never made the millions that other gun designers have. He did it for his country. He was an interesting man, I have read several of his books
He couldn't patent it, even had the USSR recognized patents. He was a federal worker who designed it on company time. He did get promoted to general officer rank, and so got a pension. The AK-47 is not especially accurate, and it is heavy compared to western 5.56 rifles, but it is idiot proof and cheap. I have handled one, but never got to fire it.
I saw it demonstrated in the summer of 1969, as a college boy at OCS summer camp. It is hard to hold on target at full auto as compared to the early M16s that the US was using at the time, but it never jammed. The AK could be rubbed into the dirt and still fire. The M16 was a far better rifle, but only if given excellent care, and lubrication with LSA, a special lubricant. Get it muddy, and it wasn't even a good club. At OCS, our training rifle was the M14, a gun that used the same round as the AK47.
post edited by tmiles - 2013/12/24 16:21:36