By Michael Haskew During the Vietnam War, two of the most famous firearms of modern times emerged as icons of the latter half of the turbulent 20th century. The Soviet-made AK-47 and the American M16 were both developments that followed the deployment of the world’s first true assault rifle, the Sturmgewehr 44, by the German Army during World War II. There were obvious advantages to the rifle that could be fired in automatic or semi-automatic mode without requiring the soldier to operate a bolt, and the clash between the Ak-17 vs the M16 characterized modern combat with the Vietnam War serving as a proving ground.  The father of the AK-47 rifle was Soviet arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, and it is believed that since the rifle entered production in 1949 over 75 million examples of the original or its improved variants have been manufactured, more than any other firearm in history. The AK-47 has developed a reputation for simplicity and rugged reliability. It has also become a common weapon in the Third World and a symbol of the revolutionary, the insurgent, and the terrorist. While the AK-47 was shipped to Vietnam in great numbers to equip the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong insurgency, it also armed the Soviet Red Army and its Cold War allies of the Warsaw Pact. The AK-47 Rifle The AK-47 rifle is a 7.62mm gas operated rotating bolt selective fire assault rifle. It is capable of a cyclical rate of fire up to 600 rounds per minute and is usually fed by detacha


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