Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS)

How many things can you spot that are different from a pre-AKM Kalash? (Photo: Kalashnikov Concern)

How many things can you spot that is different from a pre-AKM Kalash? (Photo: Kalashnikov Concern)

Built in 1948 before full-scale mass production of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s famous rifle took off, the early prototype has a number of differences from later Soviet-made guns.

In the collection of the Russian state-run Kalashnikov Concern, the well-used vintage AK is one of a short run of 1,500 rifles made during the time of the Berlin Airlift. Using a stamped rather than milled receiver, the select-fire underfolder used a different trigger, has a hollow cylindrical charging handle and a short muzzle break. Kalashnikov says the latter feature was soon discarded as production moved forward due to high sound pressure.

Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 2 Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 3 Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 4 Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 5

Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 6 Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 7 Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 8 Kalashnikov shows off early AK-47 prototype with unique features (PHOTOS) 9

In all, the early prototype looks rather more like the modernized AKM (Avtomat Kalashnikov Modernizirovanniy) which was adopted in 1959, than the milled-receiver AK-47 which was produced for more than a decade. Maybe they should have just listened to Mikhail in the first place.