"This paper introduces the first effort to quantitatively document the small arms market by collating field reports and journalist accounts to produce a cross-country time-series price index of Kalashnikov assault rifles. A model of the small arms market is developed and empirically estimated to identify the key determinants of assault rifle prices. Variables which proxy the effective height of trade barriers for illicit trade are consistently significant in determining weapon price variation. When controlling for other factors, the collapse of the Soviet Union does not have as large an impact on weapon prices as is generally believed"
"Weaponomics: The Global Market for Assault Rifles"
University of Oxford April 1, 2007
"More people are killed per year on average as a result of wars fueled by small arms and light weapons (including the AK-47)than were killed in the nuclear blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone, it is estimated that more than a million people have died in that country’s recent civil war, fought primarily with small arms. The inability of governments to take seriously the damage caused by small arms and light weapons is a failure of major proportions."
by William Hartung and Rachel Stohl
As you can read the inscription in Arabic on the rifle - “Gift to Mr. President Saddam Hussein, President of the Republic of Iraq”.Saddam Hussein’s Golden AK-47
"Of the 500 million firearms found in the world today, an estimated 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are the famed AK-47 (the "47" refers to the year in which the rifle was designed for the Soviet army).
"Killicoat also looks at the price of an AK-47 in 208 countries between 1990 and 2005. He finds that, although the average global price of an AK-47 has risen from $448 in 1990 to $534 in 2005, in African countries purchasing an AK-47 is on average $200 cheaper than anywhere else in the world. Here's why:
[T]his staggering Africa-discount is predominantly driven by porous borders. Since borders are more porous than elsewhere, the trade in assault rifles across the African continent approaches a deregulated market in which prices converge and there are only negligible trade barriers that arms supply must overcome to meet demand. At any one time, only a few African countries have very high demand for weapons due to conflict. This demand profile across the continent changes over time as localized tensions rise and recede. Porous borders enable the entire supply of weapons on the African continent to meet whichever country currently has high weapons demand.
"In fact, the weapons are so ubiquitous in Africa that "Kalash," an abbreviation of Kalashnikov, has become a popular boy's name in some countries."
"Looking for a deal on AK-47s? Go to Africa"