No one knows forcertain how many Kalashnikovs exist, but one point is beyond dispute: They arethe most abundant firearms on earth. Since the Red Army accepted the AK-47prototype, licensed variants of that design have been made in at least 19countries, including Poland, Cuba, North Korea, East Germany, Bulgaria, Egypt,China, Russia, Romania, and Iraq. Knockoff versions, or weapons incorporatingmain elements of the Kalashnikov operating systems, were developed in Finland,South Africa, Israel, and Sweden. A single comparison provides a sense of thescope of the Kalashnikov's spread. The second most abundant rifle on earth isthe American M16; roughly 8 or 10 million have been made. Serious estimates putthe number of Kalashnikovs and its derivatives as high as 100 million.