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AK 47 vs. INSAS — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 21, 2024
The AK 47 is a Soviet-era automatic rifle known for its durability and widespread use. INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) is an Indian assault rifle designed for modern warfare with advanced features.
AK 47 vs. INSAS — What's the Difference?

Difference Between AK 47 and INSAS


Key Differences

The AK 47, developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov, is renowned for its simplicity and reliability under harsh conditions. INSAS, developed by India's Armament Research and Development Establishment, is designed to meet the specific needs of the Indian Armed Forces, incorporating modern technology and versatility.
AK 47 uses 7.62×39mm cartridges and is known for its high-impact rounds. INSAS is chambered to fire 5.56×45mm NATO cartridges, which are lighter and allow soldiers to carry more ammunition.
The AK 47's design focuses on easy operation, with fewer parts and robust construction, making it easy to maintain. INSAS incorporates more modern features like a gas-operated system and a selector switch for different firing modes.
The AK 47 has been widely used in various conflicts around the world, gaining a reputation for being virtually indestructible. INSAS, primarily used by Indian security forces, is designed to be more adaptable to modern combat scenarios, with features like a grenade launcher attachment.
The AK 47 remains iconic for its historical significance and widespread use. INSAS represents India's efforts to modernize its infantry weaponry, focusing on adaptability and compatibility with international standards.

Comparison Chart


Soviet Union


5.56×45mm NATO

Design Focus

Simplicity, durability
Modern technology, versatility


Widespread globally in various conflicts
Primarily used by Indian Armed Forces

Special Features

Robust construction, easy maintenance
Gas-operated, different firing modes, grenade launcher attachment

Compare with Definitions

AK 47

A durable and reliable automatic rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov.
The AK 47 is known for its use in numerous military conflicts.


Includes features like a gas-operated system and firing mode selector.
The INSAS rifle's selective firing mode was useful in different combat scenarios.

AK 47

Renowned for operating effectively under harsh conditions.
The AK 47 functioned reliably in the desert environment.


An Indian-developed assault rifle with modern combat features.
The INSAS rifle is a standard issue for the Indian Army.

AK 47

Simple construction, making it easy to use and maintain.
The soldier appreciated the AK 47's ease of maintenance in the field.


Chambered for 5.56×45mm NATO cartridges, emphasizing ammunition capacity.
Soldiers could carry more rounds with the INSAS rifle due to its lighter ammunition.

AK 47

Iconic for its historical significance in global warfare.
The AK 47 has become a symbol in many revolutionary movements.


Designed for adaptability with attachments like grenade launchers.
The grenade launcher attachment on the INSAS increased its versatility on the battlefield.

AK 47

Uses 7.62×39mm cartridges, suitable for high-impact combat.
The AK 47's powerful rounds were effective in close combat.


Represents India's advancement in infantry weaponry technology.
The development of the INSAS marked a significant step in modernizing India's military arsenal.

Common Curiosities

Who invented the AK 47?

The AK 47 was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union.

What is the full form of INSAS?

INSAS stands for Indian Small Arms System.

What is the effective range of INSAS?

The effective range of INSAS is approximately 400 meters.

What makes the AK 47 easy to maintain?

Its simple design and fewer moving parts make it easy to maintain.

How heavy is the AK 47?

The AK 47 weighs around 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) unloaded.

What are the main differences between AK 47 and INSAS?

The main differences are in origin, cartridge type, design focus, and specialized features.

Is the AK 47 still in use today?

Yes, the AK 47 is still widely used in various parts of the world.

Why is the AK 47 so popular?

Its popularity is due to its durability, reliability, and ease of use.

What conflicts has the AK 47 been used in?

The AK 47 has been used in numerous conflicts since its introduction, including the Vietnam War and the Afghan War.

Is the AK 47 considered accurate?

The AK 47 is accurate enough for its intended combat role, though it's not as precise as some modern rifles.

Has INSAS been exported to other countries?

INSAS has seen limited export outside of India.

Can INSAS use NATO ammunition?

Yes, INSAS is designed to use 5.56×45mm NATO cartridges.

Does INSAS have a burst fire mode?

Yes, INSAS has a selective fire mode, including a burst fire option.

Is the recoil of INSAS manageable for soldiers?

Yes, the recoil of INSAS is generally considered manageable, especially with the lighter 5.56×45mm NATO cartridges.

Are there different variants of INSAS?

Yes, there are several variants of INSAS, including a light machine gun and a carbine version.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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