The AK-47, to most people, is the ultimate survival weapon, it functions well at close range and medium range, takes an incredible amount of wear and tear, requires very little maintenance, and is simple to operate. The ammunition for the AK-47 (7.62×39) is also among one of the cheapest rounds available for assault rifles.
The AK-47 (The Automatic Kalashnikov Rifle, 1947 model) was officially accepted as the standard issue rifle for all Soviet troops in 1949. As one of the first assault rifles in production, the AK-47 enjoyed tremendous success and was adopted by almost all Warsaw Pact countries. The Ak-47’s low cost of production, durability, high rate of fire, and ease of use make it the most commonly used weapon in the world. Popular with both regular armies and guerilla forces for its legendary reliability and low maintenance, the AK even graces the flag of Mozambique, a country “liberated” by AK armed guerillas.
The 7.62×39 round fired by the AK-47 is a good compromise between size and stopping power. At short and medium distances it will punch through almost anything: car doors, walls, trees, etc. Although not as compact as some modern military rounds, the 7.62×39 is small and light enough to allow for loadouts of hundreds of rounds without a significant weight penalty.
From a survival standpoint having an AK-47 is a safe bet. If you’re on the move for long periods of time without the ability to break down and clean your weapon, that’s OK the AK-47 can handle the abuse. If you’re carrying a ration worth of ammunition on your person you’ll also benefit from the slightly smaller rounds used in the AK-47, and have an advantage in movement and reserved energy than if you were carrying a ration of larger rounds. The weapon is also extremely durable and can withstand dirt, moisture, and residue better than other weapons.
The AK-47 also allows for cheap customizations and additions. For example, adding a UTG 5th Gen Quick Detachable Double Rail AK Side Mount, will cost you around 30$, whereas adding it for an AR-15 or FN-FAL can cost upwards of 80$ or 90$.
The AK-47 is ranked as the #1 combat rifle by the Discovery Channel, see: