Ten things you should know about Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man credited as being the inventor of the world’s most famous assault rifle, has died at the age of 94. Here are 10 facts about the inventor and his invention:

1. An image of the Kalashnikov appears on Mozambique’s national flag as a symbol of the country's struggle for independence from Portugal, its former colonial master.

2. In some African countries the name “Kalash”, short for Kalashnikov, is a common boy's name.

3. The AK-47 has only eight moving parts, can be broken down and reassembled in 30 seconds and will work in conditions that would render many other small arms inoperable.

4. In his youth, Mikhail Kalashnikov dreamed of becoming a poet and wrote poetry his entire life. "There are many bad poets out there without me," he said 2009. "I went along a different path."

5. While he was always proud of his invention, he once said he wished he had invented something that farmers could use, such as a lawnmower.

6. While he never made any money directly out of his invention, in his later life Kalashnikov franchised his name to makers of vodka, umbrellas and pocket knives.

7. Kalashnikovs are often handed out as part of the traditional compensation process in Yemen. Earlier this month, 101 AK-47s were given out to relatives of those killed in a US drone strike on a wedding convoy.

8. In 2004, Playboy magazine placed the AK-47 fourth on its list of Fifty Products that Changed the World. It was ranked less important than the Apple Mac desktop computer, the Pill, and the Sony Betamax video machine, and more influential than breast implants, crack cocaine and the Big Mac.

9. Rapper Lil Wayne has a hit with his song AK-47, and Tupac Shakur had one of the guns tattooed on his stomach.  A popular song in Sudan ran: “Can’t get no cash? / You’re trash without a Kalash”.

10. Estimates put production of the AK-47 and its derivatives at 70 to 100 million.

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