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Throwback Thursday: Chinese Type 56 Rifle

Are you old enough to remember the Cold War? Not only did this era mark the epic struggle between democracy and communism, it was also a time when colonial powers worldwide receded. You probably recognize one of the most iconic and well-known firearms of the 20th Century, the AK-47. Invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the full name of the gun is actually "Avtomat Kalashnikova," and the 47 designates the year of its production. What you may not know is that many of the firearms of this design that you may have seen in news footage or in movies were actually manufactured in China, not Russia, and it's more properly called the Chinese Type 56. In this video, American Rifleman editor in chief Mark Keefe, writer Martin K.A. Morgan and NRA National Firearms Museum's Phil Schreier walk you through the fascinating history of this rifle.

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