Mikhail Kalashnikov, credited with creating the AK-47, is dead at 94

Famous Siberian-born gun designer Mikhail Kalashnikov has died.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose work as a weapons designer for the Soviet Union is immortalized in the name of the world’s most popular firearm, has died at the age of 94.

The AK-47 — “Avtomat Kalashnikov” and the year it went into production — is favored by guerrillas, terrorists and the soldiers of many armies. An estimated 100 million guns are spread worldwide. The AK-47 has been used to kill more people than any other firearm in the world.

Kalashnikov died Monday in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he lived, said Viktor Chulkov, a spokesman for the Ural republic’s president.

The mythology surrounding Kalashnikov’s creation of the AK-47 is likely as much propaganda as fact, but he nonetheless created the most often copied firearm in world history, and his signature weapon helped shape the world we live in.