Influential Battle Rifles of the Modern Era
Throughout the modern era of conflict two infantry rifles have set the standard for all others, the M-16 and the AK-47. No other infantry rifle has shaped history more in the past sixty years than these two. They have encountered one another countless times since they first clashed in Vietnam, and critics have compared the two ever since. The AK-47 is an air cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, rotating bolt, assault rifle. It was designed by a Russian engineer named Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947. It was accepted a few years later by the Soviet Union as a replacement for the SKS Carbine. It fires a 7.62x39 cartridge (Collecting). The projectile is larger and is known to have a heavier impact than the one used by the M-16 but is also known to be a bit less accurate. The use of the larger round means that the AK is able penetrate small cover, such as wood or drywall, better than the smaller round used by the M-16. The maximum effective range for the AK-47 is around 300 yards. The AK is a very cheaply produced rifle, requiring simple tooling to manufacture and maintain. Furthermore, the rifle requires very little training for the user, while also being extraordinarily reliable. Very few, if any, firearms are able to operate effectively under the poor conditions that the AK can withstand. These characteristics are why the AK-47 is the choice of many forces around the world. In fact, the AK-47 was so influential in the leaders of Mozambique gaining power that it is on their flag. The M-16 is an air cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, and rotating bolt assault rifle as well. It was designed by Eugene Stoner who worked for ArmaLite in the 1960’s. It fires the 5.56mm x 45 NATO round, which is a round based on the .223 Remington. This round is smaller than the 7.62 fired from the AK but travels at a much higher velocity and is known to have greater accuracy. Also, the center of gravity of the...
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