Thanks to the ForgottenWeapons web site we have that comparison being made between the AK-47 and the German World War Two [WW2] StG-44 assault rifles.
It needs to be fully understood that Kalashnikov did not merely COPY the design for the AK from the German earlier StG-44 assault rifle.
Avtomat Kalashnikov. AK.
"AK and StG – Kissing Cousins"
"When people see the AK-47 and the StG-44 side by side an know nothing about their internal mechanisms, the nearly universal assumption is that one is a copy of the other. The overall layout of the two rifles is strikingly similar, and one would reasonably make the assumption that Kalashnikov got his hands on a captured StG and simply rebuilt it in 7.62×39. This is, of course, not true."
AK the top image, StG-44 below. That AK not merely a simple copy of the StG!
The two assault rifles however sharing important features that DOES distinguish them as "assault rifles" as that term ordinarily, commonly, and generally understood.
Features to include:
* Pistol grip stock.
* High capacity magazine.
* Selective fire [semi-auto or automatic].
* A big bore but sub-caliber cartridge.
That round more correctly referred to as an "intermediate". A round as used having about half the power and energy between that as fired from either a pistol and a hi-power military rifle. INTERMEDIATE!
That M1 Garand of WW2 fame or even the M14 rifle not qualifying as "assault rifles" again as that term understood by the experts.
Perhaps that sub-caliber round [7.62 mm X 39] that most significant development. A round with less effective range, smaller in size but lethal nonetheless. Ranges at the maximum for firefights between infantrymen on the battlefields around 200 meters. Firing a round having an effective range beyond 200 meters not so desirable. Long range and carefully aimed shots by an individual rifleman an exception on the modern battlefield.
Here yet more examples of the German diaspora in the aftermath of WW2. German weapons designers continuing their work for various parties willing and able to avail themselves of superior expertise.
"at least four important small arms designers were brought into Russia after the war to work . . . These four men were Schmeisser (primary designer of the MP-28 and StG-44), Horn (working on a simplified assault rifle at the end of the war), Barnitzke (designer at Gustloff, responsible for the VG1-5), and one of Barnitzke’s assistants"
Doing what they do best!