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The Assault Rifle is a small arms weapon used by the Korean People's Army, People's Liberation Army of China, Venezuelan Army and other factions in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction and Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.

Mercenaries: Playground of DestructionEdit

In Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, the Assault Rifle is the primary firearm used by Chinese and North Korean soldiers, being the standard infantry rifle of both nations, in addition to its occasional use by members of the Russian Mafia. It is the most common weapon encountered throughout the game. The Assault Rifle is a 58-year-old design by 2005, and shows its age in comparison to more precision-based and modern weapons, falling short of other weapons in the game in terms of accuracy, rate-of-fire, and ammunition capacity.

Despite this, it is a solid weapon in any combat situation; ammunition is never far away, and it makes up for unremarkable accuracy with its solid firepower. The Executive Operations Reference Desk file on this weapon describes the Assault Rifle as: "Good stopping power, moderate accuracy, very loud." The real-life AK-47 is a famously noisy weapon, owing to its powerful 7.62x39mm cartridge, and use of an Assault Rifle will easily alert enemies to the player's presence.

Assault Rifle - Mercenaries 1

Mercenaries 1 Assault Rifle

The Assault Rifle is the ideal weapon for players who prefer to engage their enemies from medium to short range, as the weapon itself is somewhat inaccurate over long distances. The most can be gotten out of its accuracy at range while on the move by firing in short bursts, as its full automatic fire is meant for and only effective at short range. The real-life AK-47 is designed with emphasis on the "assault" part of the term assault rifle, so engaging enemies at medium to short range is what the real and in-game Assault Rifle are meant for. Crouching lowers the Assault Rifle's rate of fire, but increases its accuracy; players looking to push the limits on the Assault Rifle's effective range will be well advised to fire the weapon while crouching.

The Assault Rifle can be found in the Chinese and North Korean Supply Drops, correctly named in the description as the Type 56 and Type 58 respectively. Though nearly all of the Assault Rifles in the game will be of either Chinese or North Korean manufacture, there is no appearance difference and the Type 56 and Type 58 both appear in the game as the same weapon. The higher rate of fire of the Type 56, for instance (650 rounds per minute versus the usual 600) doesn't appear in-game if one gets the Chinese Supply Drop containing a Type 56, nor does a captured or NK Supply Drop-bought Type 58 have the longer-than-average barrel featured on North Korea's Kalashnikov rifle.

Mercenaries 2: World in FlamesEdit

Chris-AK-103

Mercenaries 2 AK-103 model

In Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, the Assault Rifle is the standard-issue weapon of the VZ and PLAV but is also less commonly used by the Pirates. In this game, the AK-47 may have been replaced with the Type 56 or the AKM, nevertheless, still an AK-47 type rifle. The Assault Rifle is also later seen as an AK-103 in the hands VZA soldiers. The only differences between them are that the AK-103 has a slightly longer barrel, is also black/grey and can store less reserve mags. Since the AK-103 and AKM have the same name, it means that they are interchangeable ammo wise.

After Solano's takeover, the Venezuelan Army fully converts to using AK-103, a modernized version of the AK rifle family, which is mostly colored black. The AK-103 may have slightly higher accuracy but it also has fewer magazines than the AK-47 (the exact amount varies depending on the character).

The Assault Rifle is the second or third most powerful automatic weapon (1st most powerful automatic weapon is the PDW and the SMG has slightly more power), the Assault Rifle can kill a VZ regular in four shots to the body but it has poor accuracy. The Assault Rifle is best used at close range and will miss very often at medium ranges. It will be slightly more accurate when the player is aiming down the sights, not moving and shooting in bursts. 

The AK-47 variant can be obtained in the VZA and PLAV supply drops. Most PLAV soldiers, all pre-takeover regular VZ troops and some Pirates are armed with the AK-47 variant of the Assault Rifle. The AK-103 variant is extremely common after Solano's takeover and during the first half of the game that it is almost impossible to run out of Assault Rifle ammunition (unless the player is deliberately trying to do so).

The Assault Rifle cannot be considered a poor weapon, but its potential for high damage is fairly limited due to the lack of accuracy and slower fire rate. After the Allies and China invade, more advanced weapons will be commonly available for the player to use against the increasing number of infantry with higher health.

Real lifeEdit

The Assault Rifle is the AK-47 - the world's most popular assault rifle with close to 100 million units produced. The full name is "Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947"; Avtomat- a Russian word meaning "automatic rifle", Kalashnikova- Kalashnikov, the name of its designer- and 1947 being the year the design was adopted by the Soviet Union. The German-made STG-44 (Sturmgewehr, "Storm Rifle" or "Assault Rifle" 1944), the world's first assault rifle, saw use on the Eastern Front in World War II, and its revolutionary design- a new cartridge, 7.92x33mm Kurz, and the combination of the automatic fire of a submachine gun with the range and firepower of a rifle- made a deep impression on the Soviets. Mikhail Kalashnikov, then serving in the armored branch of the Red Army, began to work on a design for an automatic rifle while World War II was still going on.

After the war, his efforts became part of a greater project by the Soviets to design a new standard rifle for the USSR's armed forces. The long range of a bolt-action rifle was not needed by the standard infantryman, and the low ammunition capacity and slow rate of fire of such weapons was rapidly becoming a liability. In addition, the standard Soviet rifles of the past were not designed for the poor-quality gunpowder that Soviet forces often had to make do with during the brutal, hard fighting the Soviets faced in World War II. The average Soviet soldier was a conscript, with little or no formal education. Thus, the new weapon had to have have a larger, removable magazine, full automatic fire based around the new 7.62x39mm cartridge, be extremely reliable and able to tolerate even the worst-quality gunpowder, and be easy to clean and operate. Mikhail Kalashnikov revised his design a number of times before it was adopted, but one by one his competitors dropped out until Kalashnikov and his automatic rifle remained.

The AK-47 is world-famous for being reliable, powerful, easy to clean and operate, and cheap to manufacture. It owes much of this reputation to the most-produced version of the Kalashnikov design, the AKM, a revised and improved variant. Designed in the 1950's and beginning production in '59, the AKM featured numerous improvements (such as the reliability issue of the barrel being addressed and being more fit for factory production) and has been produced in even larger numbers (+10 million in the USSR and +90 million foreign variants). The majority of 1947-pattern Kalashnikov rifles in the world today are in fact AKMs, and not actual AK-47s.

Mikhail Kalashnikov improved and revised his rifle again in the 1970s, and the Soviet Union adopted the AK-74 midway through the decade in 1974. The new rifle had a longer barrel and better accuracy, and steadily replaced the AK-47/AKM in Soviet and some Soviet-allied armed forces. The end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 caused a drastic reduction in the funding available to the Russian military, however, meaning that the AK-74, despite being the standard Russian infantry rifle into the 21st century, has never been as widely-produced or as popular worldwide as the AK-47. The AK-74 utilizes a very similar design, retaining many design characteristics and near-identical 30-round "banana" magazines, but utilizes a shorter round, using the 5.45x39mm bullet instead of 7.62x39mm. The lighter weight of the 5.45 round allows for a soldier to carry a greater number of rounds, but reduces the AK-74's firepower in comparison to the AK-47.

The AK-103 takes the AK-74M design and fires it into the 21st Century. The AK-103 is made with developments from the famous AKM series and the AK-74. Intended as an export model (the real-life mainstay weapon of the Venezuelan Army), the AK-103 is made using high-tech composite materials that lighten the weapon, but also maintain durability. It also comes equipped with a barrel compensator, much like the AK-74, that improves the accuracy of the weapon. The AK-103 is part of the greater AK-100 series (consisting of AK-101, 102, 103, 104, and 105), and shows a return of interest in the older, more powerful bullet of the AK-47; the AK-103 utilizes 7.62x39mm instead of the 5.45x39mm round of the AK-74.

As of 2004, of the estimated 500 million firearms in worldwide circulation, approximately 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family of rifles- consisting of a wide range of assault rifles, light machine guns, compact rifles, and carbines. Of that 100 million, approximately 75% are AK-47s. The Kalashnikov series of rifles, and within that, the AK-47, is the most popular weapons system ever produced; of the 196 nations on Earth in 2016, 106 have their military and/or police and special forces equipped with Kalashnikovs.

See alsoEdit

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