The AKM (Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy, literally "Kalashnikov modernized automatic rifle") is a Russian-made assault rifle chambered for the 7.62×39mm M43 cartridge. As its name implies, it is an updated version of the immensely successful AK-47 assault rifle.
Compared to the AK-47, the AKM features numerous improvements mainly aimed at simplifying and speeding up mass production. Most notably, the AK-47's milled receiver was replaced with a stamped metal alternative that was far quicker and cheaper to manufacture.
Taking its multiple variants into account, more AK-47s have been produced than all other assault rifles combined. The AKM is the most widespread of these variants, and as such is the most successful infantry weapon in history. Famous for its cheap production costs, simplicity and near-indestructible reliability under even the harshest of conditions, the AKM is employed by countless military forces and unofficial groups all over the world. Despite being replaced in Soviet front-line military service by the AK-74 in the late 1970s, the AKM is still in use with Russian reserve units today, and remains a mainstay of many African, Middle Eastern and Asian military forces.