Afghanistan and the AK-47
Story and photogtaphy by Stephen J. Thorne
With more than 75 million estimated to be in circulation, the Avtomat Kalashnikova, or AK-47 (for the year Mikhail Kalashnikov completed his work), is the most popular and most copied weapon in the world. Light, simple, reliable and stable, the AK-47 has for decades been the weapon of choice among revolutionaries, insurgents, terrorists and resistance fighters in virtually every corner of the globe. Easy to maintain and easy to use, it is ideal for child soldiers and marginally trained fighters, though its accuracy leaves something to be desired. In Afghanistan, the AK-47 is ubiquitous, and every one has a story. And while journalists don’t carry weapons, they have stories too. Here are mine.