A sign of a truly great design is that it outlasts its inventor. As great as the Ford Model T was, it’s life was but a few years. Even the VW Beetle, perhaps one of the longest running ageless designs saw its day.
But the AK-47 is still being manufactured and used today after nearly 6 decades. Also realize that the AK-47 is a “Generation 2” assault rifle. Meaning it followed shortly after the very first German models.
(This is akin to being a Motorola MicroTAC 9800X in the cell phone world.)
In 2009, Kalashnikov told CNN that two main qualities described the AK-47: simplicity and reliability.