An AK-47 is among the world’s most well known guns, and there are few people on the planet who do not know recognize an AK-47, whether from television/movies or due to personal experience. Although it is very widely known, it is very difficult to own one of these assault rifles legally. That is primarily due to its destructive capacity, both to the public and to law enforcement individuals. It is noteworthy that more AKs are produced (now and historically) than any other assault rifle (and all others combined do not total this number).
Known in Russia as the Avtomat Kalishnikova (or Kalashnikov), it is also frequently referred to as an AK or Kalash. Since its design and functionality were rooted in simplicity, it grew in popularity rapidly, and the combination of cheap construction price and reliability only increased its potential for greatness. However, it is not the sharpest shot on the range, just considered “good enough” by many gun experts and professional gunsmiths.
Parts, Blueprints, and Plans for the AK-47
Like most other guns in the United States and around the world, parts, blueprints, and plans for the AK-47 are readily available on the Internet and in many gun stores. Some provide more than others, depending on the source, and cost greatly depends on whether the buyer is local or need to ship the product. The average cost of buying or building an AK-47 is between $350-500, but it can be much more with add-ons and accessories to suit the gunsmith in question. Shipping can be prohibitive in some areas to say the least, and of course, the purchaser takes a risk if he/she is not supposed to be purchasing these parts for some reason. For instance:
- · Illegal aliens/immigrants and others who are not naturalized U.S. citizens
- · Convicted felons or others lawfully prohibited from owning a firearm
Keep in mind that some parts can be modified for different weapons, such as U.S.-made versions versus Russian-made versions. They are the same basic gun type in essence, but various parts can be swapped and modified to suit different people’s tastes. This mostly consists of receiver parts, but also affects add-ons and accessory options as well. One note on many major gun parts websites is that the trigger groups often do not include the spring in U.S. kits, so it will need to be purchased separately.
Calibers and Bullet Specs for AK-47 Guns
Ammo for the AK-47 is stored in a 30-round magazine body mounted to the gun, close enough so that it is still practical and functional. The body is either plastic or metal, and can be imported or made in the United States. Since most of them are generally the same, just purchase those legal in the area of operation and focus more on design. A mag body is one of the parts on the 922(r) Compliant U.S. parts count list.
Also available for ammunition supply is a modified 40-round box and an alternate 75-round drum that can mount to the AK-47. Other drum mags hold 10, 100, and 20 rounds, depending on the type of gun and where the ammo is purchased. As an accessory, most AK-47s can be adapted to hold a grenade launcher for additional firepower, which fires a powerful fragmentation grenade at the target.
Noteworthy AK-47 Variants
Different variants of the AK-47 have different capabilities, functionalities, and specifications, depending on the model and its source of origin. Many of the earliest models are close to becoming extinct, but they usually featured accessories such as a night scope rail, stamped sheet metal receivers, downward-folding metal stocks, and milled receivers. The more modern variants are simpler, lighter versions that offer many of the same accessories in addition to many others. They include:
- AKN (AKSN)
- RPK (hand-held)
- AKS-74U (compact carbine)
- AK-74M/AK-101/AK-103 (modernized)
- Saiga-12 (12-gauge shotgun)
- OTs-14 Groza (bullpup assault rifle)
Legal Information Related to AK-47 Ownership in the U.S.
An AK-47 in its original form is not legal in the United States, and in order for it to be acceptable for registration in this country, it must be converted from a fully automatic weapon to a semi-automatic one. The difference between the two lies in the number of bullets fired with one pull of the trigger, and the more bullets fired with each pull the less licensable the weapon becomes. A semi-automatic weapon fires only one bullet with each trigger pull, making it legal to own if the gun owner has the right to own the weapon. In order for the gun to be considred legal, it must have parts labeled “U.S. Compliant.”
Unless the weapon was imported prior to 1986, when it became illegal to own a fully automatic weapon, it is illegal. However, a few available guns were imported before that time, although they are outrageous in cost and very difficult to locate. Today, those that are fully automatic can only be manufactured on behalf of and/or sold to military and law enforcement personnel and individuals according to the experts.