Happy Birthday, AK-47

SDC11354On this day in 1947 the Автомат Калашникова, better known as the AK-47 7.62 x 39 mm select-fire assault rifle, went into production for the first time. Some argue it is the most reliable and durable military firearm ever made.

For better or for worse, the AK-47 changed the nature of warfare forever. C.J. Chivers in his magisterial work The Gun explains why.