90 Miles From Tyranny : Important Guns in History #8 & #9

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Important Guns in History #8 & #9

Uzi, 1948

Major Uziel Gal developed his new 9-mm submachine-gun for the Israeli Army by incorporating a telescoping bolt that wraps around the breech end of the barrel. This reduces the overall length of the weapon. Combined with an extending stock, this breakthrough makes for a compact, lightweight weapon, and the Uzi proved popular from the outset. Vehicle crews adopted it in place of the handgun; Special Forces adopted it because they needed something light and handy in confined spaces. More than 10 million have been made, including a micro-Uzi version the size of a large handgun.

AK-47, 1949

When Mikhail Kalashnikov set out to design an assault rifle for the Soviet Red Army in the 1940s, he knew it had to be simple, cheap, and reliable, with accuracy taking second place to firepower. His design, the 7.62-mm AK-47, is arguably the most effective and popular weapon in history, with over 75 million made. Large clearances between moving parts make the AK-47 easy to manufacture and resistant to fouling by mud, sand, or dirt. This ruggedness, and the ease of maintenance and training, has made it the favored weapon of guerrillas, freedom fighters, and terrorists the world over.


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