From the BBC:

The inventor of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died aged 94, Russian officials say.

The automatic rifle he designed became one of the world’s most familiar and widely used weapons.

Its comparative simplicity made it cheap to manufacture, as well as reliable and easy to maintain.

Although honoured by the state, Kalashnikov made little money from his gun. He once said he would have been better off designing a lawn mower.

More from his obituary:

It was employed by the armies of dozens of countries, and incorporated in several national flags.

But the AK47 also became a symbol of revolution around the world. It saw action on battlefields as diverse as Angola, Vietnam, Algeria and Afghanistan.

It was also heavily utilised by Palestinian groups and famously appeared in the hands of Osama bin Laden.

It’s comparative simplicity made it cheap to manufacture as well as reliable and easy to maintain in the field. It became the most widely used assault rifle in the world.

In the later years of his life, he was not enthusiastic about civilians owning an AK-47 because of criminal misuse. Regardless, his signature firearm is part of history. Rest in peace.