Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the Automatic Kalashnikov-47 assault rifle (aka the AK-47 --“47” being 1947, the year in which this World War Two veteran launched his creation), is upset that his gun has been pirated by Bulgarian, Chinese and Polish copycats.
“They just use the brand, the fame. It’s not fair,” said Kalashnikov in today’s Globe and Mail.
The Globe also quoted Virden, Manitoba gun dealer John Hipwell, who said the AK-47, known to be less accurate than other machine guns, “was designed to be used by people with minimum training.”
The article goes on to say that the gun was never patented, which is not surprising given the former Soviet Union’s indisposition towards intellectual property.
At present “there are 70 million AK-47 type guns in circulation around the world," the Globe added, making it the most popular gun on the planet. "[I]n some countries the weapon can be bought for as little as $50.”