AK-200 rifle: The 21st Century AK

Vladimir Grodetsky

The next generation AK has finally been given a name: AK-200. Last year I posted photos of the prototype. It featured a 60 round magazine, folding stock, plenty of picatinny rails and a bipod/handguard.

Prototype AK-200

The final model retains the rails and 60 round magazine but now uses what appears to be a folding skeleton-style stock and newly designed birdcage-style flash hider.

AK-200 rifle.

This video briefly shows the rifle …

Prime Minister Putin seemed to like it

On Tuesday, the AK-200’s advanced characteristics were appreciated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who visited the Izmash mechanical plant in the Russian Urals city of Izhevsk, where the legendary Kalashnikovs are currently assembled. Alexander Baditsa, an Izhmash spokesman, explains:

“The AK-200 is designed to contribute to a full-blown modernization of the Russian Armed Forces. Significantly, the new model is based on the AK-74, internationally known for its reliability and ease of use , the AK-200’s sophisticated design is fully in tune with new demands for waging modern warfare. The new Kalashnikov differs in weight and the magazine capacity, citing a 60-cartridge magazine the AK-200 is equipped with. It is safe to assume that the new Kalashnikov‘s characteristics are on a par with those of assault rifles currently used by NATO troops.”

[ Many thanks to Rolf and jdun1911 who sent this in. ]




Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Clodboy

    Found the following info on the 60 round mag on militaryphotos.net:

    “While they were new they worked great. Now there are problems one after another – when the round is moved forward into the chamber – it turns sideways bullet up or down, skewing all the following rounds. The cause has not yet been determined. From the innovations used in the mag I can note the pretty complex feeder which consists of 3 parts. Because of its effective construction it was possible to make a mag with just one spring of a fairly simple shape and moderate strength.”

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?93494-60-Round-5-45x39mm-AK-Magazine

    Of course it’s possible that they worked out the kinks in the meantime.

    Also, is it just me or does the foregrip look pretty massive?

  • viper5552

    hold the phone! did you say 60 round magazine!

  • SpudGun

    Instead of making 60 round mags (which are super cool), why didn’t the designers get rid of that safety selector and put in something more modern?

    Even though they’re touting this as a brand new rifle, I suspect that most of the changes are purely cosmetic – well at least they’re learning a few tricks from the American firearms industry.

  • justin

    “on a par with those of assault rifles currently used by NATO troops.”

    yeah right. The Russians have never addressed the inaccuracy of the AK design. The Assault Rifle comes from the WW2 SMG and Rifles shortcomings ie rapid fire but short range and low accuracy and long range accuracy, hitting power but low rate of fire. Russian AKs are closer to the SMG end with rapid fire but low accuracy with their rear sight placement exaserbating that problem vs Western ARs that are closer to the Rifle end.

    If the Russians wanted to improve the AK design then they need to rework the sights.

  • Clodboy

    “hold the phone! did you say 60 round magazine!”

    Yup. It’s a quad stack, originally planned to be fielded with the AN-94. Considering the inherent reliability issues of such a design, I doubt it will see much use with the new AK either.

  • Pete

    Is that an ACOG on it? Isn’t exporting one of those to Russia a no-no?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Pete, I can’t remember what it is, but its not an ACOG. Exporting to Russia may be legal, I see Russia cops using EOTech sights.

  • KC

    if I remember right, its a quad stacked 60 round mag

  • Erik

    Isn’t that an ACOG mounted on it? Do you think the Ruskies made Trijicon remove the Scripture references too?

  • Tony

    It’s hard to say from the pictures, but seems to me like they still haven’t got the stock angle right. Could be I’m not seeing it right, though.

    And am I the only AK shooter in the world who wants shorter magazines?!? The standard 30 round magazine alone is too bulky and too tall for prone (especially once you start thinking about the targets shooting back at you…) as is. The solution is a smaller magazine that allows one to hit the dirt, not a huge one that makes prone shooting a yoga exercise.

  • JonMac

    I don’t think that’s a birdcage flash-hider. It looks like reflected light along the length of the standard compensator/muzzle-brake.

    More weight onto an already hefty rifle, frankly.

  • John Callahan

    Is that the 60 round mag in the photo? Cuz it looks like a normal 30 rounder to me. Also what caliber is the new gun?

  • Not2late

    Love at first sight … counting up the rubles it will take to buy and counting down the months, years, ever? it will take to reach the U.S. consumer.

  • Anton

    The Kalashnikov: Pretty much the Porsche 911 of firearms.

  • Lance

    Steve that flash hider is still a standerd AK-74 muzzel breake. I see the major improvements being rails to fit accsories and a 18 inch barrel.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Good point guys. That is a reflection.

  • jaekelopterus

    Nice American scope on that rifle, Ivan!

    Clodboy: I think that the foregrip is so large in order to accomodate a bipod. Are the mounting points for new toys the only substanitive changes made to this thing? Not even a bolt-hold-open on the last shot? Ivan hasn’t even caught up to Saiga after-market gear yet.

  • Bill Lester

    I’d love to know a translation of what MTK was saying to Putin.

  • jim

    “If the Russians wanted to improve the AK design then they need to rework the sights.”

    hence the picatinny rails for optics..

  • jdun1911

    Anton,

    In video games maybe, but in real life it is a “disposable firearms for disposable troops”. Nothing wrong with that tho.

    They need to redesign the AK so it is more ergo friendly.

  • Cobetco

    i really think a 60 round magazine is a bit of a hoax, or at least for that size, i’ve seen the nato 40 rounders and there noticable larger than a 30, so for that to be a 60 they must have consulted with a clown car troop.

  • Mat

    AK rifles are no less acuarate than M4 ,only people that newer shot an AK claim that i happen to own both Saiga m3exp-1(an semi auto AK101) and an HK416 and use both in local competitions and have to say that AK is supprisingly accurate(solid 2 moa rifle very few m16 are any more accurate)using cheap Barnaul or Wolf ammo,the main difference is AK don’t use peep sights ,so for long range its iron sights are not the best but they are much faster to aim and shoot like the sights on handguns,i don’t see any problems with safety or only real problem of the AK was the lack red dot and other sights,altough you can use the original side mount those are heavy and a a bit to high , the use of rails a quite dificult as you have the removable cover( have an ultimak gas tube for that,and on top an Eotech ) so i see on this new version they solved the zero retention by having a hinged cover with added bolt in the back that makes it rigid.

    But we see that russians are making the same mistake the newer guns all seem to have shorter carbine (415mm,16 in instead of520mm 20,5in )barrels so its sort of like in US forces where M4 almost replaced m16 ,but i dont quite see the point especialy as most modern AK’s are now folding stock rifles that are compact enough.

    AK is definetly a classic that only needs minor tuch ups to keep it up to date.With a nice optics ither a red dot or a tacitcal scope AK can shot it out with any assault rifle .

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Mat, you can’t compare highly tuned competition AKs with M16s. Highly tuned AR-15s are easily capable of 0.5 MOA. I am not saying they are bad rifles, but they are not as accurate as AR-15s.

  • Crabula

    I think that correcting everything that people complain about in the AK would be nearly impossible from a design point of view. Most of the fixes to things like the sight radius, ergonomics, lack of bolt hold open, etc. that I have seen appear to come in the form of clunky addons. For example, that rail on the dustcover. I’m sure that it will be an improvement over the standard commie siderail, but the fact is that even with the hinge at the rear sight block, it’s still just an imperfect band-aid. That component of the gun was never designed to handle optics in the first place and when you stop to consider how it integrates into the rest of the design, mounting a scope there still seem like a poor choice. Any similar addition will have to further alter the initial intended function of the gun and will never work as well as a seamless redesign.

    I personally am a pretty big fan of the Kalashnikov even though it does not fit the profile of a modern assult rifle in the same way that others do. I suspect that many of these types of additions will not result in any particular improvement over the weapons system as a whole because many of them go against the basic principles by which the gun was designed.

    If the Russians really want a super sweet, tacticool swissarmyknifegun thingamabobber like everyone else, I think they would almost have to start with a blank piece of paper and build up from there.

    Unfortunately for them, I get the impression that Mr. Kalashnikov is far too proud and stubborn to let anyone fiddle with his design too much.

    By the way, does anyone know how old he is now? I was surprised to see him in the video.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      It is also worth remembering that Russian doctrine is different from American infantry doctrine. They do not necessarily need or want their troops shooting like marksmen, just like the US Army does not like their men shooting rifles on full-auto.

      We are lucky that we never found out which discipline is better! I hope we never will.

  • Nadnerbus

    I’m as fond of the AK action as anyone, but they didn’t even remotely address the basic weaknesses of the design, ones others have already brought up.

    A better, smaller, and more usefully located safety/selector switch, preferably ambidextrous is one of the first things that needs to be changed.

    A rail and rear peep sight need to be situated to the rear where the dust cover is, only in a manor that doesn’t need to be removed or hinged out every time you disassemble the weapon. That has got to affect zero, no matter how tight the tolerances. This is a pretty major fix and I’m not sure how it would be done. The Valmet and Galil already tried to address that, at least with the rear sight.

    The stock doesn’t have adjustable length of pull from what I can see, though I may be wrong. Side folders are nice, but being able to cinch the rifle closely into the crook of your arm and getting a nice tight firing stance is even nicer. There are plenty of after market stocks for regular AKs that do that.

    And again, it’s hard to tell, but unless the forward rail above the gas tube is fixed to the receiver, there is probably going to be play in the zero when it is disassembled for cleaning. A one piece hand gaurd/rail system fixed to the receiver would be ideal, with a reworked gas tube that could be slid in and out and locked down at the gas port instead of the receiver.

    Those are the changes I would start with.

  • Red

    To say one rifle is better is just retarded. Depends on the POU end of arguement. Although I agree with some points made about changing the ergo’s and certain features that are a no brainer (IE what Nadnerbus said)

  • Clodboy

    “If the Russians really want a super sweet, tacticool swissarmyknifegun thingamabobber like everyone else, I think they would almost have to start with a blank piece of paper and build up from there.

    Unfortunately for them, I get the impression that Mr. Kalashnikov is far too proud and stubborn to let anyone fiddle with his design too much.”

    Kalashnikov doesn’t actually own the rights to his design – communism, remember?

    And the Russians did try plenty of ideas to improve on the classic AK design – for example the AEK-97x and the AK-107/108 series which feature a counter-weighted gas system that compensates for muzzle climb. Or the AN-94 with its recoiling barrel assembly. Or the Groza, the subsonic bullpup version.

  • ini

    i think that russian army wont buy ak-200.i think it is just for export.

  • kiev

    “The new Kalashnikov differs in weight…”

    With the addons I would guess it does.

    Does anyone know the empty weight of the rifle? I cannot think how they could reduce weight anymore while still retaining the steel sheet construction.

  • Crabula

    Clodboy,
    I know he doesn’t actually own the rights to the gun. That doesn’t mean that he can’t start bitching when people try to screw too much with his design. Engineers can be finickey people. I know because I work with them. And he’s a national hero, so that helps too.

    And yeah, I forgot about the AEK and the AN-94.

  • http://www.example.com/~me/ me

    Remember the function of the rifleman in modern fire-and-movement infantry tactics.

    The rifle is a secondary weapon, and has been for generations. The infantry company’s real “teeth” are its SAWs and beltfed GPMGs. The riflemen are there to keep the SAW and GPMG teams from being outflanked or overrun, and to assault enemy positions under covering fire from the SAWs and GPMGs. And in the larger sense, the infantry company makes probing attacks to pin the enemy force in place and make it “hold still” while regimental artillery sends them a nice big ToT barrage.

    Sometimes I get the impression that some people assume that infantry combat consists of each side’s riflemen pairing off to fight individual duels. That ain’t how it works.

    It is, actually, rather difficult for me to say objectively that there is much room for improvement left. The AKM and AK74 do what an infantry rifle needs to do, pretty well. If you have one of those rare, rare natural riflemen who shoots well enough that the AK handicaps him, make him a SAW gunner or a sniper instead. Such men are so rare that you’ll never have enough of them to fill all the sniper or GPMG gunner slots on the TO&E anyway.

    If the Russians are interested in real, significant improvements to their small arms, the only place I see where they’d be justified in spending a lot of time or effort would be replacing the RPK in the SAW role. The RPK has always been handicapped by its dependence on magazine feed and lack of a quick change barrel system. I should think it would not be that complex to cobble a quick change barrel system onto the old belt-fed Degtyarev RPD and make it in 5.45mm instead of 7.62×39. But even this would be a debatable use of resources; the RPK is not a bad design, exactly, just not quite optimum for the purpose.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Mat,

    The last time I checked, the standard AK47/AKM and AK74 have always had “carbine-length” barrels.

  • prodromos

    Modernized to western standards AK …………..hmmmmm
    Wait a minute . It allready exists and it is called the ROBARM XCR .

    On the other hand , i agree with <> .
    What he says , applys to the 8/10 of infantry units (with the other 2/10 being “special” units). Than again………… what country , what kind of war , what kind of warzone-es etc .

  • William C.

    So is this intended to be Russia’s definite new assault rifle? Does it have some sort of recoil system similar to that of the AN-94 or AK-107 which see limited use with Russia’s elite troops?

    I can’t imagine that quad stack magazine will become standard. Perhaps it works great new, but what about after a few weeks of field operations in the dirt and mud?

    If the Russian’s can upgrade to a new rifle, the US Army really should rather than continue to wait for the “next great thing” for another decade. How long have we been waiting for caseless ammo now? Will we be using M16s and M4s until we get gauss rifles and railguns?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      William, no, it is a new product. The factory is state owned but that does not mean they will adopt the rifle.

  • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    Steve,

    I have been to the BC Rubin Optomechanical Plant at Lytkarino in Russia and they do manufacture some very high grade scopes and optics. Hardly any of their high end products are exported though they are familiar to western defense experts. The Soviets (and later the Russian Federation political heads) were always suspicious of even their own allies and never really gave them their most cutting-edge products. They do export lenses which are used by some premium scope manufacturers in the West – look for scopes manufacturers who talk about using “East European” lenses and you can bet that these are either from Lytkarino in Russia, or Bzo in Belarus. Here, I would include virtually every major manufacturer of night vision equipment outside Germany – they just won’t admit it, and they use “East Europe” on their brochures because it may not look politically very correct for them to admit the source of their lenses.

    Incidentally, my family used to be importers of lenses from across the former East Bloc into India – Metro Optical Company (now Meopta), Carl Zeiss of Jena, a Polish plant that later was acquired by Sovirel of France (which in turn became Corning France after Corning acquired them) and more shipped rough blanks and flint buttons to my family’s former business in India.

    Coming to the new Kalashnikov, where does this new rifle leave the AN 91 Abakan? Is it stillborn? Or, will it be used alongside this new rifle in the future?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Mehul, thats interesting, thanks for the info.

      I would be surprised if anyone adopted the AN 94. Russia seems to be in no hurry to deploy it en masse.

  • Woody

    Mehul, you are absolutely correct about Russian (true) optics. They are splendid quality, though obtaining them in the US is insurmountably difficult. Russia makes a lot of well-made, military products, though there is the problem of obtaining them in the US.

    I am not surprised that a AK is being made to incorporate the NATO-rail (the standardized name from Picatanny or Weaver), considering that has now become the most practical and common mount system for optics in the world.

    I favor AK rifles, though I do not know what happened (or what will happen) to the AN94. I would certainly love to get my hands on a AK107, though i cannot even think of anywhere to touch once except for Shotshow.

  • Curt

    For those interested in Russian optics, try http://www.rugifts.com.

    Steve, in reguards to Mat’s comments, I have shot several M-16’s and the accuracy, in my opinion, is rather poor compared to a “highly tuned AR-15″. Mat also compared the AK to the M4, which I am also very familiar with. Without upgraded optics, I personally have never seen an M4 shoot a 0.5 MOA. Now if we want to compare full size (20″ barrel) AR-15’s, then let’s take a look at Norinco’s NHM 91, and the Yugo M72 RPK. Both of which I own. With good optics, I can obtain 0.5 MOA. Right alongside the “highly tuned” AR’s.

    Compare the carbine size (16″ barrel), I have had the opportunity to shoot IO’s AK47-C, which is surprisingly accurate. As for an updated AK, IO’s STG 2000-C is worth a look.

    As far as stock sights, yes, unless you have a longer barrel which increases the sight radius, a bone stock AK is not going to produce 0.5 MOA. Guns & Ammo’s Complete Book Of The AK-47 ran an article by James Tarr. Mr. Tarr referenced a rear sight for the AK known as a Tech-Sight. I will not go into details, but it is worth a look. Check them out at http://www.tech-sights.com/ak.htm.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Curt, thanks for the info and link. Have you purchased from them or know somebody who has? There is some really cheap 1gen night vision gear. Almost cheap enough just to buy to experiment with.

  • JoeB

    In all fairness, you cant really bash on the AK sights too much. I mean yeah, the AR sights are much more accurate but try using them at night, or at close quarters. The more accurate the ironsight means a smaller peep hole, which means you cant see jack squat at night. So yeah, the sights themselfs arnt accurate, but they do have their perks over the AR, just like the AR has perks over the AK

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      JoeB, sure, I have tried at night without moon/starlight or artificial light and its near damn impossible. Have not tied with AK sights but it cant be that much easier! Iron sights really are not designed for the night (nor are scopes for that matter).

      You really need a light!

      • http://blogoftheirish.blogspot.com Mike

        You really need Tritium.

  • Curt

    Correction on Russian optics – correct website is:

    http://www.rugift.com

    If you add the “s”, you go to a site that sells hats. My bad. Got a little ahead of myself typeing. I do that evey now and then.

  • Curt

    Steve,

    No I have not purchased from them as of yet, but I plan to A.S.A.P. I used to own a Zenit E camera that I see they have as well. I agree that their 1st Gen night vision gear is cheap. Has anyone out there tried any of the optics from rugift.com?

  • JustPassingBy

    Someone wanted to know what does Kalashnikov say to Putin, so it is – “I see samples of my weapons, pick them and i see that weapon stamps are foreign, sometimes Chinese, sometimes Bulgarian, sometimes Hungarian. This is offensive.”

  • Kieran

    This thread is quite possibly the most mature AK vs AR discussion i have seen on the internet.

    I believe the AN94 and AK107/108 are only in use by elite units and it will probably stay that way with their internal design far too complex for the bulk of Russian infantry. When you go to fire a burst with the AN94 it fires the first two rounds at a speed of around 1800rpm then drops back to around 600rpm to give stable automatic fire. I have no idea how its internal mechanisms work but it must be reasonably complex to do that. Supposedly a trained marksman with the weapon can place 2 rounds on the exact spot with the two round burst. The AN94 is probably the closest thing the russians have made to a western style assault rifle.

    Considering that the russian rifleman is trained to engage his enemy by firing full auto with an AK74 (A weapon designed exclusively to shoot as stable as possible on full auto) then the AK200 becomes the logical progression. Sixty rounds, rail mounted optics and still as simple and reliable as ever the perfect weapon for the russian conscript.

    You imagine a squad of Russian paratroopers with these. 6 soldiers with AK200s laying down a storm of fire, 2 with RPKs and 2 more with dragunovs picking off anyone silly enough to lift their heads and it all starts to make sesnse.

    Did it say anywhere the barrel length of the weapon being held in the first pick it looks a bit longer than an AK74

  • Curt

    Kieran,

    I agree that it would have to be very complex to fire off two rounds at 1800 rpm then drop back to 600 rpm. I am not an expert on Russian psychology, nor do I have any idea of the average Russian soldier’s intelligence level, but I also agree that the internals would be far more complex than the average Russian soldier could work out.

    As far as the barrel length question, it appears to me to be standard length. Remember that on the AK 74, that massive flash suppressor makes it look extremly long. I jumped over to another blog and the first pic they have looks like a 21″ barrel, but that is just the angle of the gun in the photo. Could be mistaken. Hard as hell to find accurate info on internet about the AK 200.

  • Iskander

    Ok, for those of you who are wondering about 60 round magazine.
    Everything is made for a reason.
    Previous militiry companis conducted by Federal Forces showed the following trend: very often 30 round magazine was not enough. Time taken to change magazine is valuble. So many soldiers would take 2 magazines and tie them together with an insulation tape: one magazine would be upside down. This enable very quick and efficient reloading.
    So… basically recent warfare showed two things: 60 rounds better then 30, and soldiers are very well able to cary that extra weight. Proven and tested in battle.
    Now, really would appreciate, if someone has more info. Please share :)
    For those of you who call all Russians “Ivan” , etc.
    Please remember, that by doing so, you are only showing the low level of you very own IQ. Even though Ivan is a fairly common name used in Russia, its NOT a Russian name. Its not even a Slavic name. This name came from Jewish culture. (Just like Evan came to the west, Ivan came to the east).
    And please, remember, that those who design weapons, usually have enough knowledge and experience.
    Thanks to authors for posting valuable info. Peace to all

  • Patrick

    For a little more info on a quad-stack magazine, check out this article (this blog) on MagPul’s patent application for the same: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/06/08/magpuls-quad-stack-magazine/

    Patent application is inline with the article. Obviously not the same as the AK200 mag, but good technical info that probably overlaps. For MagPul’s sake, I hope not too much (invalid patent in that case).

  • Curt

    Iskander,

    Let me be the first to apologise for the “Ivan” comment made by jaekelopterus. I agree that it does not show a very high level of intelligence or I should say gives the wrong impression. I do not think that was meant as an insult. I think that it is a term likened to many cultures refering to Americans as “Joe” or “John Wayne” or “Cowboys”

    Now as for as “And please, remember, that those who design weapons, usually have enough knowledge and experience.” We never said that Russians are intellectually impaired. But from my own personal experience, the AVERAGE soldiers in any military of any given country are not engineers and upon opening a firearm generally do not mess with the trigger group of their firearms. I have seen all too often springs and pins go flying and if they are found, the AVERAGE soldier cannot figure out how it goes back together. Now, that is not to say that there are NO soldiers who can reassemble the parts. I admit that even with a recorded IQ of 168 and a strong natural inclination towards mechanical engineering, I sometimes have difficulties putting springs and pins back where they belong if I did not see where they came from. The only thing we said here, is that the complexity of the ability to change cyclic rates is a little more than the AVERAGE soldier to figure out without proper training.

    No offenses intended.

  • So?
  • Curt

    So?

    What you are saying then is we should now call anyone named “Ivan” – “John”? What Iskander was getting at, I think, is that we should not use any one name for an entire culture. Remember what happens if you say the “N” word. It can be veiwed as offensive and in this day in age, people are offended way too easy. I may not be one hundred percent P.C. (okay, I am not even 50 percent P.C.) I do my best to present myself as at least semi civil. At least in public and here on these sites.

  • 230therapy

    If you cannot figure out how to run an AK-47/AK-74…that’s why they have many designs available. I suggest you try the FAL and the M1A :)

    I find the AK to be very ergonomic for left handed shooters. I can keep my support thumb on the safety and run the bolt with my support hand. I just mount an Aimpoint Micro optic on an Ultimak rail and the sight “issues” go away.

    If it can do 4″ groups at 100, 12″ at 200 yards and 18″ at 300 yards…good enough. A hit is good for me and bad for him.

    If I want a precision shot, I’ll use a different rifle…most likely a bolt action rifle with expensive optics. For intermediate ranges, I’ll use a semi-automatic rifle with an ACOG or other lower power scope.

    The AK is fine for what it is and its intended role.

    ***

    I won’t use a quad stack magazine on my guns until they’re thoroughly debugged by someone else.

    I don’t tend to adopt early versions of guns. Ruger’s “recent” problems with several new guns (including the SR9) come to mind. Guns like the AK-200, the FN SCAR and the ACR are all neat…but they’ll have bugs.

  • Curt

    230therapy

    Nobody said that we cannot figure out how to operate an AK47 or AK74. Nobody said we cannot figure out how to use the AN94. What we have been saying is that the AN94’s ability to change cyclic rates from 1800 to 600 RPM, the fire control group is a little complex for the AVERAGE soldier without training to tear apart and reassemble properly. Hell, even my seven year old daughter and five year old son can operate these weapons. They can both field strip them as well. But I wouldn’t expect them to rip apart the fire control groups of either gun and put it back together.

    As far as the 60 round mag is concerned, I’d stick with thirty rounders and be content. Even though I own two 90 rounders, there is nothing wrong with them. Other than they are a bit bulky in my opinion. Now, if one REALLY thinks that they need a 60 round mag rather than two 30’s, then my opinion of the situation would be thus – practice speed mag swaps more and worry less about 0.5 MOA. Check out some of the speed loads on youtube.

    Granted I have not shot an AK200, yet, I am sure it should work fine with standard mags, unless the fine folks at Izzy plan to make the 60 rounder propietary, in which you cannot use any other mag, then I’ll stick with Ol’ Reliable. And I concied that I have not had the pleasure of shooting the FNH SCAR 16S or the ACR, they should operate fine as well. Afterall, they are piston driven.

    I do agree with the grouping statement. If one needs to be able to put 5 or more rounds into the same hole and their opponent keeps coming, I think they have bigger problems.

  • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    Woody,

    I think it is a pity that even the high grade Russian sporting arms are not sold in the USA for legal reasons going back to the Cold War years. While companies like RAAC Firearms in Indiana import and sell budget firearms, the high end KBP sporting rifles and shotguns do not come here at all. I understand that they are now being offered in Germany and Austria and possibly some other countries in Europe. I have seen and handled some very nice Russian shotguns with hinged front triggers and gold plated innards in Russia – those guns could hold their own with any fine gun available in the West. The fact that some fine custom gunmakers like Christian Ducros in France use Russian locks to build their shotguns on, suggests that the quality is known to people who have shot some of these guns and examined them personally.

    I am an optimist, though, and hope that these will be available in the USA soon, as will fine US guns in Russia. These days, Joseph Hambrusch have a showroom in Moscow and I have heard that Holland and Holland plan to open one there as well. Considering that some of the finest bolt action sporting rifles on earth are made n the USA, it would be nice if some American guns sold in Russia too. Yes, not strictly military / tactical stuff, but if this begins to work, it could open doors to vastly more business between the two countries and provide US consumers – I am one as a proud American citizen myself – some more choice in the future.

  • meh

    You’d expect they’d at least use a balanced gas system(like the AEK-971 or AK-107) instead of just adding rails and saying “hay gaise totally new rifle hurr”

    Wait a little for LSAT to complete, steal its CT ammo. Since CT ammo has kinda the same general shape as a pistol round, and from what I’ve heard the Spectre M4’s quadstack wasn’t too shabby(FWIW, it never was used in anger).

  • jon

    i want to know if this new AK is as reliable as the others. one of the main advantages the AK has had over the years is its ablitly not ot jam. ive seen videos and tried some myself of taking AKs and rolling them through mud, dirt, etc.. and watching them still empty a magazine. and for people arguiing which is better american M14 or M16 or ARs or watever. they are made for different cultures. in russia when the AK was created they really didnt care about casulities, look how many russians died in WW2 any later conflicts. they would just throw troops at the enemy til they were crushed. in those stand points you dont need to train soilders and thats why the AK is perfect. it requires practical no training to use. theres no addons to play with just pull back the bolt and let it rip. the why it it so often used by terrorist groups. their cheap, they dont break down, and their easy to use. you can give a 20 8 year olds AKs and you have you a platoon. the M16 requires training. you have to learn to aim, how to use the addons, etc… they also jam easier so you have to learn to take it apart and clean it. american troop tactics are to try to keep the body count to a minimum becuase unlike some nations we do not have a super large population like russia, china, or india. that is why american soilders are taught to aim whereas for country using the AK they just taught to point and shoot then run like hell.

  • Tony

    Ah, the amazing AK – a rifle you don’t even need to aim.

    Come on guys, you if anyone ought to know that Hollyweird movies aren’t an accurate portrayal of reality.

  • Curt

    Jon,

    Your thoughts on Russian officers just sending troops en mass to overwhelm the enemy, and they did not care about casualties, is only partly accurate. That was during the early days of WWII. Later, the Russians relied heavily upon snipers. Any firearm, even the venerated AR/M 16 can be passed out in the thousands, and with absolute basic instructions can be used, even by a bunch of 8 year olds. Check into modern Russian and former Warsaw Pact countries’ training. And you will find many are very stringent in their training. One major thing that I learned in the military is that it does not really matter that your firearm is capable for sub-moa, just hit your target. Usually it will require one to two men to pull a wounded man off the battle field than if you just kill him. At that rate, you effectively reduce the enemy’s manpower. As for your comment “they just taught to point and shoot then run like hell”, I know several former Russian soldiers who would take offense to that statement.

    I totally agree with Tony, “Hollyweird movies aren’t an accurate portrayal of reality.” Jon, do yourself a favor and learn about other cultures before you make comments that make you sound intellectually impaired. Actually, let me rephrase that, everyone needs to learn about other cultures before they think that they are experts. That is since everyone wants the world to become one big happy, warm fuzz ball.

  • GarryB

    Amusing.
    It seems the only way to improve the worlds best assault rifle is to make it more like the M16.
    Might come as a shock but a AK iron sight is just fine… a little harder to learn because you are lining your eye, the rear sight and the front sight up together and then placing the sharp clear in focus front sight on a fuzzy target rather than looking through a hole and putting a front sight on a target, but I am sure if you measure the distance between the shooters eye and the front Iron sight the sight base is longer than the distance between the iron sights on an M4, or for that matter the iron sight version of the SA80, which is supposed to be quite accurate too.
    The barrel length can get shorter because the Soviet round does not rely on fragmentation for effect and will tumble at any impact speed and make a nasty wound at any range.
    The adoption of picatinny rails improves compatibility for the user of the gun, and for Russian accessory makers it means they can make toys for the Russian and western markets without worrying about compatibility or adapters etc.
    Looking at the picture I would say that the gas system has been extended so this rifle probably has a balanced recoil system as fitted to the AK-107/-108, and the muzzle brake should keep recoil to very low levels especially in full auto.
    If the iron sights annoy you then fit optical sights, it makes more sense than trying to retrain the entire Russian army to use peep sights, which are not used on any other Russian small arm except the Kedr with the stock extended and the An-94 to my knowledge.
    The An-94 is a nice weapon but complicated and not cheap to make.
    A very specialist weapon.
    It is funny that everyone is quibbling over 2MOA or 0.5MOA when most grunts in most armies get the ammo made by the lowest bidder and in combat hit more by accident than by design.
    When shooting at a moving target 400m that is camouflaged and also possibly shooting back then there is going to be a little dispersion of shots anyway… that is a good thing sometimes.
    If you are shooting for the head with a 0.5MOA rifle and you got the range wrong by 200m because you think the target is 600m away and it is actually 400m away I am sure you will be impressed by the accuracy of your rifle as the bullet sails a 20 cms above the targets head.
    With a less accurate rifle you would have aimed for the centre of mass and at least got a hit.

  • Curt

    GarryB,

    I agree with your statements. In combat, you really do not have a whole lot of time to aim for sub-moa shots. During basic training for our military, we were taught to aim for center mass. A kill is a kill, but a sucking chest wound is better. As I have said before, it takes one to two men to pull a wounded man off a battlefield rather than leaving a dead body that you can come back for.

    The AK in any configuration does just what it was intended to do, go bang when you pull the trigger and put a chunk of metal into a target to wound, maim, kill. And it does it very well.

    If anyone wants an AK type firearm that is closer to the AR, look to the newer IO Inc. STG2000-C. Now fully USA made with a new match-grade barrel that delivers the accuracy in-line to a comparable AR. Improved sights. Better ergonomics. And at Royal Tiger Imports, LTD, the price of $439.95, you’d be hard pressed to find better at a comparable price. Check them out at http://www.royaltigerimports.com.

    One more thing for everyone to think about, many AR manufacturers are now producing piston driven AR rifles. Must be something to the AK after all.

  • GarryB

    Curt,
    I agree that wounding is militarily more efficient and indeed ideologically more civilized in the sense that you are removing a direct threat without having to kill someone… a bit like a fighter pilot shooting down planes but not shooting up ejecting pilots…, but be careful who you mention it to.

    Mention shooting to wound to a guy in the field and they will reject the idea out of hand. They don’t want wounded enemy, because a dedicated wounded enemy can still kill them. They want a dead enemy because that keeps him and his mates alive and that is all they care about when the lead starts flying.

    There is a lot of talk about new assault rifle ammo being designed to injure rather than kill, but really the focus has actually been on making lighter ammo that was more controllable in full auto yet lethal at battle ranges.
    Most of the time a figure is arrived at for energy of the bullet at a specific distance that is considered enough to be lethal, so say x thousand foot pounds of energy at 300m will meet the requirements so you need a bullet weight of x and a velocity at 300m of y which equals a 5.56mm round with an x grain bullet and a z load of powder.
    Bullet form will need to be x coefficient to retain the correct energy to 300m and it pretty much designs itself. Problem is when you start adding variables like body armour or no body armour because the requirements of penetration and fragmentation conflict.
    Another problem is when people start confusing an assault rifle with a sniper rifle.
    Grunts simply don’t get the level of training, nor do they get the optics, the special ammo, nor are they put in a situation where long shots are reasonable and nor should they… that is not their job.

  • Curt

    GarryB,

    Amen, brother.

    I agree that grunts should not be put in situations where long range accurate shots are required, but unfortunatly, as is happening in Afghanistan outside of the cities, our troops are requesting the return of the M14. Thus the introduction of the Socom M14. And again, our troops, on average, do not have the training to use them. Accuratly that is.

    I have a Red/Green dot sight on my M4, and I gotta tell you, if I had to rely on that weapon in a SHTF situation, I am gonna throw that sight in the trash. You just cannot find your targets fast enough with it. I’ll change my tactics to point shooting which is something many people cannot seem to wrap the heads around. I’ll admit, I am not the best or the most accurate, but I can find and hit my targets faster than with optics. Then again, point shooting is not meant for tack driving. It is for hitting your target.

    Sorry if I have any typos, it is late and I have an early day.

  • GarryB

    This of course raises the question of designated marksmen.
    In a Soviet platoon there is one soldier at least with an SVD.
    It is not a perfect sniper weapon in the western sense because in the western sense a sniper kills at ranges well outside normal small arms range at 800+ m while the SVD is most used out to 600m with 800m shots fairly rare to unlikely.
    When fighting in a flat open environment where long shots are likely, or in the mountains where long range shots could be taken the Soviets tended to adapt their equipment to suit.
    More SVDs were issued, and bases were equipped with weapons that had more reach like recoilless rifles and ZU-23 23mm anti aircraft guns and also 30mm grenade launchers.
    Of course they were fighting an enemy that was being supplied by a superpower so they were restricted in their use of air power after Stinger arrived and started to use artillery more than the current forces do.

    Regarding the original topic I find it amusing that some call the new AK-200 a “modified AK-74″ and definitely not a 21st C weapon.
    If you look at the Heckler-Koch HK M27 IAR being developed for the US Marines it is just an M16 with an adjustable buttstock and a rail system across the entire top of the rifle and the bottom of the front stock and the sides of the front stock with an M16 muzzle break. The rear and front iron sights are simply rail mounted iron sights.
    First look at the fuzzy picture of the AK-200 seems to suggest it is exactly the same thing with a standard metal triangular buttstock that folds, with a rail system along the entire top and the bottom of the front stock and sides of the front stock with an AK-74 muzzle break.
    In fact the gas system on the AK-200 seems to be extended and might include the balanced recoil system of the AK-107/-108 rifle, which means the actual rifle underneath the rail system has actually been changed and improved unlike the state of the art US Marines new HK rifle of the 21st C.

  • Michael N

    I think they should at least extend the magazine well to make mag insertion easier! Especially since their planning to fit a bulkier and heavier 60 round mag!

  • GarryB

    Easier for who?
    For people used to using M16 magazines?
    This is a rifle for the Russian Armed forces, I really don’t think making it easier to use for people who normally use different rifles is a consideration.
    BTW my FN FAL has a very similar magazine insertion method, you put the front portion into the front of the mag well and rock it back till it clicks.
    If that is too hard for you then you need to practise more often.

    AFAIK the new mag is a quad stack but it still uses a two position feed like the original mags. It shouldn’t be an issue as there is simply more to hold during insertion. The real problem magazines I have found are the short 5-7 round sporterised mags because there is simply nothing to hold on to as you place the front in and rock back.

  • Curt

    Hey All,

    Decided to take some time off to get some much needed shooting in. Such fun!! No longer suffering from ‘Recoil Withdrawls’.

    Took a guy out with my M4 and SKS. We put about a thousand rounds through both. Had 5 jams and 3 Fail to Fires with the M4. Zero jams, Zero Fail to Fires with the SKS. She functioned flawless. Digested anything I fed her. Everyone around were amazed that the spent brass flew such distance. Oh, had put on Fiberforce ‘Dragunov’ style stock. Cheek rest does not allow good sight alignment. Still was able to hit 1 liter pop bottles at 100 yards with ease. Will get scope for her soon. But everyone that shot her, fell in love. Before all was said and done, two M4’s, a Remington .270, Beretta 9mm, and cheapy .380 were set aside as everyone wanted to shoot the SKS.

    I know, I know, an SKS has little to do with the AK200. So? We had a blast. Just thought I’d share.

  • 1jilu

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOW
    it looks like a ak74
    LOLOLOL

  • Hitler

    I’d be scared of trigger happy russians…

    Oh well… with that 60 rnd clip… you’ll see some logistics issues.

  • Curt

    Hitler,

    “Trigger happy Russians”??????????
    I am still amused that it is now August 2010 and people are still so set in their stereotypes.
    You want to talk about “Trigger Happy”? Fine. Give your average American an AR-15 with a 100 round Beta Mag, and see “trigger happy”.
    Being a Heinz 57 myself; part Russian, German, Scott, Irish, French, Brit, Swede and more that I cannot remember – I kinda take offense at people always insulting one group of people or another. This is 2010 people – GROW UP.

    One more thing Hitler, it is a 60 round MAGAZINE not a CLIP, there is a difference. Do yourself a favor, LEARN before you speak.

    To everyone else – my apologies.

  • GarryB

    A 60 round clip means they will carry 3 mags into combat instead of 6.
    It will have no effect on logistics, it just means they will change mags half as often and it will take twice as long to fill the mags.
    It will also mean if they have a quad stack mag for the RPK with 90 rounds instead of the original 45 that their squad automatic weapon will be better suited to its role because 90 rounds is a lot of suppressive fire before a mag change.
    The fact that most soldiers are trained to fire in bursts anyway means the average unit firepower is already rather high so the need for a SAW is reduced… its extra barrel length makes it more efficent for longer range engagement of targets.
    They benefit from the fact that their ammo is designed to tumble on impact at any speed so it has none of the barrel length limits and effective range limits based on bullet velocity the 5.56mm round has.
    I have noticed also that although the 5.56mm round has a higher muzzle velocity in the standard rifles that looking at the AK-100 series with two barrel lengths in both calibres that as the barrels get longer the 5.45mm round actually catches up in muzzle velocity and in the RPK models in 5.45mm and 5.56mm the 5.45mm actually has a higher muzzle velocity than the 5.56mm. ie in the AK-74M with a 415mm barrel the muzzle velocity is 900m/s while the AK-101 in 5.56mm calibre with the same length barrel has a mv of 910m/s. The RPK-74 in 5.45mm has a mv of 960m/s and the RPK in 5.56mm calibre has a mv of 948m/s.
    This tells me the 5.45mm round suits longer barrels.

  • GarryB

    Very well said Curt.
    Unfortunately the west is a victim of its own propaganda when it comes to the Soviet Union and Russia.
    WWII is portrayed now like the Eastern front was an open book in the west when in actual fact very little information was actually released and in the immediate post war period very little was actually known in the west.
    Most of what we knew came from our new friends the West Germans.
    Imagine if Russian opinions of the US efforts in Vietnam were based on books and articles written by the Viet Cong?
    The standard myth in the west is that the Soviets used their huge number advantage and defeated the Germans with frontal assaults of men where every second man had ammo and the other man had a rifle… and of course winter also won for the Soviets because cold weather only kills and effects Germans apparently.
    The reality is in the middle… there was a lot of bad skill at the start and enormous numbers of men and material was captured by the Germans, though you do have to allow for the fact that the Germans had already used these tactics to defeat all of what is now NATO except for the US and Canada. (The British expeditionary force was defeated along with the rest of western and eastern Europe so the UK doesn’t escape by calling Dunkirk a victory).
    There occasionally was a shortage of firearms, but sending forces into combat without proper equipment was WWI for the Russians, not WWII.
    I have read of one occasion where a unit was rushed across the Volga into Stalingrad in such a hurry that one man in ten didn’t have a rifle, but when they got to the other bank there were stacks of weapons, Soviet and German… the shortage there wasn’t weapons but ammo and food and men. BTW Stalingrad wasn’t a battle, it was a trap. The Germans were allowed to progress gradually into the city while forces were prepared to encircle and defeat them.
    The Winter effected all equally, it was German arrogance and poor equipment choices that led to their problems, but plenty of Soviets died from the conditions too.
    The last little chapter was the wests disdain at the actions of the Soviets in Germany and in other eastern countries they occupied too… this is a laugh. A relatively rich country like German enters the Soviet Union for the purpose of taking land and exterminating the population except for those that will work the land for the German landowners and then expects restraint from those very same subhumans?
    The Soviets never claimed to be a super race or gods chosen people.
    When Soviet soldiers started entering Europe and found that even in farms the area where cows are milked there is asphalt surfaces, when most of the Soviet soldiers live in houses with dirt floors it is hard to tell them to restrain their actions when the Germans came to take from them the little they had.

  • neblogenso

    Russians made some nice weapon.
    Since its not finally made, so none of knows what it really can.
    Its looks like tunned ak with AN-94 features. it has durability and simplicity of good old ak and some exiting features of AN-94. It is said, that well trained soldier, equiped with AN-94 could hit a target with burst in a one hole at 100 m. distance. With that accuracy fatal hit chance is greatly increased, as well as armor penetrating.
    It must be an easy maintainable and reliable weapon, as well as deadly. Although 60 bullet magazine weith a lot. So aiming while standing must be a bit difficult, at least for a simple man. I also doubt that this will come anytime soon.
    War equipment should be ready for everything. Cheap, realable and effective – that, I think, is the Russian moto. And this more than ordinary piece. Kalashnikov really made a weapon of a century.

    Long live to Kalashnikov,
    Arvis

  • neblogenso

    I forgot to mention. The barrel can be change from 5.45×39mm to 7.62×39mm in the field.

  • GarryB

    I don’t think Nikonov would be happy about Kalashnikov taking his design ideas for a new rifle design.
    The AN-94 has a radically different design with a moving barrel and a wire and pulley system inside to allow the weapon to fire and reload as the barrel recoils backwards.
    Sounds complicated to me and despite the common myth that it is to penetrate body armour by achieving multiple hits in the same place one after the other to penetrate body armour it is not.
    The purpose was to increase the chance of hitting a small moving target.
    The intent is to get a single shot on the point of aim and for a quick second shot to land randomly within a few centimetres of the first shot to increase the chance of a hit. If both rounds hit the target you also greatly increase lethality. Even at 10m range the two bullets wont go through the same hole because that doesn’t improve hit probability. If the first round misses then the second one will miss too if they both hit the same place. Regarding lethality putting two bullets in the same hole is a waste of the second bullet.
    Two seperate bullet wounds are much more effective at rendering a target ineffective by faster bleeding.
    This new upgrade for the AK probably adds the balanced recoil systems from the AK-107 and AK-108 to make bursts much more controlable. Add to that the effective AK-74 muzzle brake and the ability to add grips it should be much easier to put lots of rounds on target.
    Note along the top of the rifle there is a fold down front iron sight.
    Based on that I would assume there is an optional rear iron sight that will probably be a peep sight.
    I would expect they will adopt a simple low power small scope as standard for the new weapon and iron sights will only be for emergencies.
    A neat idea would be to have an open rear sight mounted on the top of the small scope that could be moved forward when using the iron sight as an open sight. Open sights are better for close range, and while peep sights are better for longer range telescopic sights are better for longer range, so open sights for short range (where scopes can be a problem) and a scope for longer range engagements where open sights become harder to use. As a rule of thumb up to 75m use Iron sights and 75m+ use the scope.
    With all those picatinny rails Russian troops can now pick up any western tacticrap and fit it to their weapons if they want, and now western troops will be able to do the same as new Russian equipment will likely be made to fit.
    I notice the standard bayonet lug is still fitted to the new weapon below the barrel. I would think it would be better to put that on the side so the bayonet can remain fitted while an underbarrel grenade launcher is used.

  • GarryB

    I would add that when it came time to replace the AKM the competition involved a lot of balanced recoil rifles and as the types were whittled down it finally came down to one balanced recoil rifle and the Kalashnikovs entry which was an AKM with some minor internal changes and a new muzzle brake.
    The result was the balanced recoil rifle was more accurate and offered the most combat effective replacement for the AKM but the AK-74 was chosen because it was simpler and cheaper and existing production facilities could make it and the troops were already familiar with the design.
    These days the complicated and expensive AN-94 probably wont see more than elite specialist usage because it is so complicated.
    A balanced recoil AK-74 with rails all over it is probably as good as they are going to get, or need. Simple, low cost, accurate, reliable, and all those rails allow lots of stuff to be added and removed easily.
    The only real competition would be the ADS which with its bullpup configuration and ability to fire special ammo underwater, with forward case ejection allowing left or right handed use without adjustment is the only real competition.
    It is likely to be adopted by the Naval infantry and the VDV to replace the AK-74M and APS. Whether they want to adopt it completely for all their forces or not is another question.

  • Curt

    GarryB,

    Been trying to say the same about putting 2 or more rounds into the same hole for some time. If you have to worry about putting sixty rounds into 1 man in a spred of less than 1/2 inch, you have bigger issues to worry about. The 3 round burst on our own M16 is even a waste. If you must, drop to a 2 round burst.

    No matter what rifle or carbine you use, practice hitting your target and swapping out mags faster. Remember the sniper motto: “One Shot – One Kill” If you have sixty rounds, you should be able to take out 60 men.

  • GarryB

    I just remember a failed concept gun from the late 1970s when laser dot sights were brand new… they had a .22lr calibre weapon that was basically a sub machinegun with a laser pointer on it (though it was the size of a small shoe box) and the idea was that while one .22lr round will not penetrate body armour if you keep “drilling” rounds eventually you will penetrate. Of course the whole idea was rubbish… try that on an M1 Abrams tank and see how far you get.
    Very simply the first rounds didn’t penetrate and the subsequent rounds hit the mushed up first rounds and were even less likely to penetrate. The impact from a .22 round on their body armour only alerted the target to the fact that they were being shot at.
    Another problem was that even with no recoil even at as close as 10 feet the rounds actually weren’t hitting at exactly the same spot anyway.
    All they learned was that when you point a gun with a laser pointer on it at someone and they know what that means (ie that it is sighted to the flight path of the bullet so that is where it will hit) they tend to give up rather than be shot. All the rest was rubbish.

    Regarding the one shot one kill, that is all right for a sniper or a hunter who takes great care with each shot, but when the target is firing back and you and your mates you can’t take that much time and sometimes some of your shots are to get the other guy to stop firing at you so the guys you are covering can move.

    A 60 round mag means more of the ammo weight you are carrying at the time will be on the gun, which might improve recoil characteristics along with the muzzle brake and recoil balance system and indeed the front pistol grip, but all it really means is you reduce your firing stoppage time by half. A mag capacity is a built in firing stoppage that every rifle has so by halving it you increase the fire power of those using it.

    There are lots of photos of Soviet soldiers during WWII with PPSh-41 SMGs with 71 round drum magazines. In actual fact especially later in the war the 35 round box mag was more popular because it was more reliable and much lighter, and much quieter. Soldiers tended to carry one drum (that was expensive to make and awkward to carry in numbers) and then carry the rest of their ammo in 35 round stick magazines.
    The users of the AK-200 are not limited to the 60 round mag, they can still use existing 30 round and 45 round mags (the latter are RPK-74 mags) if they want to… in fact I doubt they will get much choice what they are issued with, but they can trade or “lose” the stuff they don’t want.

  • GarryB

    I should add that the 3 round burst on the M16 is instead of full auto. It is not meant for shooting at targets 200m away, it is supposed to be used when a normal assault rifle is used in full auto like house clearing or fighting in built up areas where the targets are much closer.
    Of course the great big long barrel makes that awkward, and the shorter barrel of the M4 is a bit of a limiter when you leave that close in environment.

    Personally I think the best solution for the 5.56mm is a bullpup design with a long barrel but shorter overall length.

    For the 5.45mm it is not an issue because it tumbles on impact no matter what speed it hits so it can be fired as effectively from any barrel length.

  • Ivan Konev

    What do you think about the Israeli IWI ACE:
    ACE 21 5.56mm,ACE 31 7.62mm?

    http://www.israel-weapon.com/

  • Georgy Zhukov

    What do you think of Galil Ace?In principle the Galil is copy of AK-47 with barrel of caliber of 5.56mm and 7.62mm.The Galil Ace is new version of the Galil.

    http://www.israel-weapon.com/

  • Curt

    Ivan and Georgy,

    I personally always loved the Galil. It is a fantastic weapon. I have one of the Galil style Golani’s. Even though it does not have the chrome lined barrel, I find it accurate enough for my liking.

    I do remember David Fortier wrote on the micro-Galil and was impressed. In all honesty, until you guys posted, I had never heard of the Ace. I watched the videos, and they look like good weapons. Until I have the opportunity to fire one, I cannot give an honest opinon.

  • GarryB

    The ACE looks like someone wants an M16 that is as reliable as an AK but is otherwise an M4.
    Considering the barrel length I would anticipate lethality issues because of the round used, but at least it should be reliable.

  • Joe

    60 round mag to a gun legendary for reliability. I think the AK-200 will become the gun that the AK-47 was for it’s time, but there are two issues that annoy me. The feed system usually screws up firing after the 15th or 16th round that is fired, and then one must stop to realign. I really do not think that it is a magazine issue, like the original M-16 had with the box magazines. Second, I do not care what anyone says, the AK series will NEVER beat the M4 in terms of accuracy unless the sight system is totally changed are totally changed. Very simple changes to make, in my opinion.

  • GarryB

    The peep iron sight setup used widely in western rifles is OK for long range targets, but you have poor peripheral vision which could get you killed in shorter range engagements.
    Personally I like the AK iron sights… for longer range accuracy there is the obvious solution of a scope.
    BTW people who claim an M4 is more accurate than an AK almost never specify which AK they are talking about.
    I rather think they also mean a privately owned and tweaked M4 rather than a standard issue rattler.

    Regarding the reliability of the mag… they still have lots of 30 round mags, so if the 60 round mag jams they can drop it and load a 30 round mag if that is a problem.

    They are currently testing a new rifle called the ADS which is a bullpup rifle based on the A-91A rifle in 5.45mm calibre that has a tube that blows ejected shell cases forward so no need for left and right hand versions. It also has a small switch that allows it to be fired underwater with special new ammunition. The new ammo is externally the same as standard 5.45mm ammo and uses the same mags, but the projectile is much heavier and is the entire internal length of the case, designed to be efficient underwater.
    I would guess this AK-200 probably also can fire this ammo, though whether it has a switch to alter the gas system for shooting underwater I don’t know.

  • Curt

    Yo GarryB,

    Long time. How’s things?

    I agree that almost noone that says an AK is never as accurate as an M4 or other AR, specify which AK. As I have mentioned before, my NHM-91 and M72 RPK both are as accurate as any off the shelf AR. Open sights. Add a quality scope, maybe even as good as those privately owned and tweeked M4’s.

    Practice people! Practice. Practice hitting your target. Practice speed swaps of mags.

    I had heard of those rounds you mentioned back in the eighties, but I thought they never got far. Cool if they actually work.

  • neblogenso

    Hi,

    I have heard that Ak’s which are made from hight quality materials are quite accurate. Internally Finnish Valmet Rk. 62 is allmost a copy of ak 47, but have th accuracy of less than 1 MOA.

    Regards,
    A.V.

  • GarryB

    Hi Curt, I am well. :)

    I also agree that practise practise practise is a better solution.

    The people here suggesting changing to western style iron sights forget this is a Russian service rifle… after training how many million soldiers to use one iron sight why bother trying to change now?

    The new design with picatinny rails makes mounting red dot sights as easy as mounting iron sights so why waste time putting out western style iron sights when a red dot reflex sight could be made for very little outlay in Russia and offer superior performance over any iron sight.

    BTW The rounds I mentioned are brand new and didn’t exist in the 1980s.

    I think you are confusing the great big long knitting needle like rounds fired by the SPP-1M underwater pistol and the APS underwater assault rifle. The problem with those rounds is that they were not effective above water beyond about 30m, so the diver had to carry two rifles, an APS for underwater and an AK-74 for above water. The solution is the ADS which uses a new much shorter type of underwater ammo that looks from the outside like a standard 5.45mm round but the round extends right to the back of the cartridge case to make it effective underwater (though not so good above the water surface in air, where you would change mags and use standard 5.45mm ammo.)

    This is info about the ADS
    http://world.guns.ru/assault/as100-e.htm

    This is the page for the APS
    http://world.guns.ru/assault/as69-e.htm

    And this is for the rifle that came between the two above that was designed to use the long ammo for the APS and standard ammo called the ASM-DT
    http://world.guns.ru/assault/as95-e.htm

    @neblogenso
    The current production Russian AKs are much more accurate than the older models. The older models were not needed to be accurate as long range targets were supposed to be dealt with via the long range weapons in the unit like the RPK, the SVD, and of course the PKM.
    The soldiers were trained to fire in bursts rather than single shot so accuracy wasn’t very important.
    Now they have different training.

    Improvements in ammo would also help, in the mid 1990s Peter K Kolikas (Spelling) the weapons expert for Soldier of Fortune magazine tested an AK from the AK-100 series in 5.56mm ammo calibre and he stated it was as accurate as any service M16 he had ever used.

    …of course I rather doubt the target really cares about 1 MOA or 2 MOA because targets within effective range will likely be killed and those outside it will likely not.

  • Gamestalker

    Unless we are talking about a relevant purpose for tighter MOAs, it is more than difficult to criticize the accuracy of an AK. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a combat weapon that is a seriously reliable one. Even the best of other combat rifles will not function reliably when not maintained, ie; cleaned, oiled, or dropped in the mud and sand. But the good old AK will usually function without fail under most any circumstances, due to its simplistic yet genius design that allows for lots of free space tolerance between the FEW moving parts.

  • Slavidov

    Having used an AK in Afghanistan in 1980, I personally can agree with the reliability of the weapon. Fill it with water, sand, mud, etc, it will still function very well. The quality of the sights are debateable, but the AK was never made as a sharpshooting weapon.

  • hutch1200

    Saw this site posted @ Ace of Spades HQ. I like this gun. After watching this video all I can say is I’m glad I took 4 years of Russian and speak it fluently. As I like to tell my Ukranian friends…”Pierogi Vodka Kielbasa Gulag Trabant Gasprom”. (A little comedy humor, as we say in Scranton)
    Nice site!

  • Max

    The testing for AK reliability involves sprinkle chamber, dust/sand chamber, high-temperature chamber and very low temperature chamber. All combat grade weapons from IzhMash are guaranteed to operate in all climates with temperature ranges between -50 to +50 degrees Celsius.

    When original weapon for Soviet Armed Forces was being made, the AK was the least accurate of the lot but also the most reliable. However the requirement was: Mass-production suitable, simple, reliable. Soviet leadership decided back then that rather then have an accurate weapon that jams a lot, they’d rather have a weapon that is reliable and that accuracy can be sorted out later. Many seem to compare the M-16 to the original AK-47. Its a very incorrect comparison since the designs are more then a decade apart and to different requirements. The more fair comparison is that of M-16 to AK-74: low-impulse rounds employed for both rifles.

    Regarding accuracy – If you need to use your assault rifle for marksman-like shooting then something is wrong. With F-88 Steyr the individual fire is accurate to 300 metres and section fire is accurate to 400+ metres with single shots but thats considering the optical sight thats mounted on every F-88 Steyr. The emergency iron battle sights are actually worse then that of AK since they are moulded into the optical sights tube and are not adjustable where AK can be adjusted for wide range of distances.

    There are AK-74s that are selected from factory or directly in the army base to become sniper assault rifles. They are the most accurate AK-74s from the base. They are equipped with PSO-1 optical sight and are used with different ammunition.

    There is a website

    world.guns.ru

    Its dual-language with Russian and English versions. Have a read and see many firearms that you might not be familiar with. Especially not-so-famous Russian items.

  • GarryB

    Very good post Max, to which I would add that an accurate rifle is not enough, you also need consistent ammo produced to fine tolerances and proper training. For much of the cold war the Conscripts in the Soviet Union were trained to fire in controlled bursts rather than firing single shot, and the ammo was designed accordingly.
    US experience in Vietnam also showed that when given the option most conscripts will fire in bursts in combat, because unlike computer games often enemy fire isn’t shown on some magical heads up display as red for damage showing you where the incoming fire is coming from and a lot of fire is to suppress enemy fire so you are firing in a direction rather than at a specific target.
    I remember a US program to make an M16 upper in 5.45mm calibre for sniper suppression because the longer bullets were aerodynamically superior to the short stubby 5.56mm bullets and retained velocity better. Because of the bullet construction they also maintained their lethal tumble on impact effect no matter what velocity they hit the target at which meant they weren’t super lethal like a fragmenting 5.56mm round at close range but they were superior to .22lr unlike the 5.56mm at long range.
    Obviously they retained the problems other small high velocity bullets have like they are deflected easily and don’t always penetrate cover well to hit targets but that requires bullet weight so it is a compromise.

  • Greg Schmitz

    The new generation AK is actually the Robinson Arms XCR (and you can get it in 7.62×39), not a warmed over AK.

    While you cannot argue with effective and improvements, time has moved on, massive improvmetns have been made.

    Unless you are illiterate type, there are major egeonoic deficiencies in the old AK.

    Those have been corrected in the XCR, basicly bringing all the good parts of the AK (massive bolt and full stroke gas piston) and then putting it into a package that has huge improvements in the halding and use, as well as full length rail sytem and rail on the other 3 sides of the forearm, as well as adjustable gas settings.

    Yes I have an AK, and no its not a go to gun, its extremely interesting and a backup, but the XCR is the one that runs intuitively the way a gun should. Better than any gun out there, no compromises, and a terrific trigger.

  • GarryB

    Hahahahaha… you really have a good sense of humour Greg.

    Berating an AK you clearly know little about because it is just another AK and then praising the virtues of this XCR which is clearly just another warmed over Stoner.

    The new AK is not for the western public it is for the Russian military and commonality and consistency with existing weapons types is actually a virtue for this weapon… saves all that expensive retraining and retooling of the factories that make it.

    I am pretty sure you have not been given the honour of beta testing this new Russian rifle so it is clear you are comparing an old AK to your new plastic toy.

    The real funny thing is that this brand new state of the art rifle doesn’t actually seem to add anything new in fact it just looks like the rifle shown at the gun show to be the new AK… similar folding stock, same picatinny rail system, inferior calibre, inferior M16 type cheap mags, in fact the main difference is that the new AK seems to have a balanced recoil mechanism so it should be much more comfortable to fire in both single shots and burst fire.

  • ivan

    What an amaizing piece of military hardware, if i where the prime minister of Russia then id put it in mass production

  • TONY

    It’s hard to say from the pictures, but seems to me like they still haven’t got the stock angle right. Could be I’m not seeing it right, though.

    And am I the only AK shooter in the world who wants shorter magazines?!? The standard 30 round magazine alone is too bulky and too tall for prone (especially once you start thinking about the targets shooting back at you…) as is. The solution is a smaller magazine that allows one to hit the dirt, not a huge one that makes prone shooting a yoga exercise.

    I agree Tony as is also my name, you make sense them long clips probaly do make it hard prone shooting

    • DaveK

      I agree. After the initial fun factor of burning up the range with 30 round magazines wanes, I generally prefer the 10 round magazine. Which reminds me, I need to find more of them.

  • GarryB

    Since the AKM the stock angle has been straight and in line with the barrel, I don’t think they would change that now.

    Regarding magazine size it is rather less of an issue for a Russian soldier. Lying down in the open is rather too exposed on a real battlefield, you minimise the target area for the enemy but you also become fairly immobile too. It makes rather more sense to either find cover or make your own by digging in (which is why they are still issued with spades).
    Finding cover and shooting round it make rather more sense because you are protected and retain mobility.

    Needless to say when the first M16 came out its standard mag was a 20 round mag and yet these days they don’t seem very common. There were a few 20 round AK mags made for AKS-74U rifles with a suppresser fitted and subsonic ammo loaded and a suppressed 30mm underbarrel grenade launcher fitted but they are fairly rare. They were generally loaded with subsonic ammo with the operator carrying the supersonic high velocity ammo in 30 round mags.

    Another factor is that this rifle will likely be used with scopes fitted with fibre optic cables that can be fired around corners or over cover without the user looking directly down the sights so in a prone position a soldier could sweep the rifle in front of them with his face down in the dirt so mag length will not be important.

  • mdar

    WHY USE NATO ROUNDS ITS GONNA RUIN THE AK HISTORY!!!!

  • GarryB

    NATO calibre AKs are for export only. It gives the customer more choice.

    The different calibres can be identified by the curve of the magazine due to the shape of the round. 7.62 x 39mm rounds are wide at their base and get narrower along the case which is why they wouldn’t stack properly in a straight mag. The 5.45mm is less tapered so needs less of a curve while 5.56mm NATO has almost parallel sides so their mags have the least curve.

    BTW 7.62mm NATO has straight sides so rifles like the FN FAL have straight mags.

    You can see in the pictures above that there is a definite curve of the mag which means it is not 5.56mm NATO. It is not as curved as 7.62 x 39mm so it clearly must be 5.45mm.

  • Nester

    God bless you Mikhail for giving us another great rifle…

  • TNT

    one thing we need to remember is the selector was designed there for a reason, we americans are used to thumb safety/selectors, russians are not, they prefer the selector on the right side so that it takes a deliberate action to push the safety to fire and an even more deliberate action to put the selector to full auto, they didnt want a soldier feeling the heat of combat for the first time to drop it to full and waste an entire magazine before they realized it
    that having been said its really interesting to look at the differences in plilosophy between us and russia, we have a faster moving, smaller caliber round in a gun designed to hit people at 300 yd ranges, they have a larger slow hard hitting round in a gun designed for the close combat the soviets experienced in ww2, in the 74 they downsized the round which is the single move that truly rocketed the m16 ahead of the ak
    personally i would rather have a hard hitting gun that will fire no matter what and cycle everytime even caked in mud than a 0.5moa gun that lacks the stopping power of an ak and is prone to jamming if not kept spotless
    so what do i have, i have a ruger sr556 with an 6.8 upper for it, piston driven, uber reliable, hard hitting and accurate

  • GarryB

    Actually the first Russian assault rifle, the Federov Avtomat, was a small calibre weapon using a 6.5 x50.5mm Japanese round.

    Much of the Soviet work on lighter rounds just before WWII centred on small calibre rounds but it was considered easier just to keep the .311 calibre so the M1943 was created.

    Personally I think the 5.56 is a bad round and the trend in ammo for it seems to be moving from light very fast projectiles to heavier slower ones seems to confirm it was not a great idea.

    Very small high velocity projectiles are amazingly effective on soft skinned small animals but you certainly wouldn’t use it on Deer.

    The virtues of the 5.56mm which make it desirable is that it is a flat shooting round so errors in range estimation will not result in a miss, and the light projectile leads to light recoil which makes it easier to fire.

    The problem is the tiny round is only effective if it tumbles or fragments and to fragment it needs to be traveling at a high velocity.

    The 5.45mm round has a very similar velocity to the 5.56 but has a projectile design to ensure that it tumbles on impact at any velocity, so it has the advantages of flat shooting and good lethality at any range… but the light fast projectile is easily deflected by even twigs and leaves let alone any serious cover.

    Personally I prefer the 7.62 x 39mm rounds as they will penetrate to a target more reliably, but like anything else there are pros and cons and you have to make a choice in the end.

    Another advantage of the 7.62 x 39mm is that if you load it with 193 grain bullets and fit a suppressor to the weapon you have a very quiet weapon… not really practical with smaller calibre weapons unless you don’t mind .22lr performance or a very loud crack every time you fire.

    Most complaints regarding accuracy are because the ammo was machine gun standard bullet hose ammo. The 6mm PPC bench rest calibre is based on the 7.62 x 39mm so it certainly has the potential for accuracy.

    Very simply a battle sight setting of 300m where any target closer than 300m will be hit because at no point in the trajectory out to 300m does the bullet rise above the target so a centre chest aim point might hit the target in the head at 80m but at no distance will the bullet go over their heads… which means aim for the chest and at any range between 0 and about 400m you will get a hit. Further than 400m aim for the head and you should get a body hit out to about 600m.

    Most of the time it isn’t an issue because the target is closer than that.

    With the smaller calibres it is just as simple, the only problem is that the 5.56mm has an effect like a .22lr at more than 400m anyway.

    • JAMES

      Dear GarryB, I read one of your blogs, and in one of them you make the erronous claim that the 6 mm PPC round is based on the Soviet 7.62 mm X 39mm round. I think that if you would do your research you will find that the 6 mm PPC cartridge is actually based on the .220 Russian, and not the 7.62mm X 39mm round.

      • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

        To be fair, while the 6mm PPC is derived from the .220 Russian case, the .220 Russian was derived from the 7.62x39mm case. The .220 Russian was known in the West due to its use in the Running Deer match in international shooting competitions.

  • B.P. Dumas

    that barrel lenght is pretty tricky, the original vietnam issue M16 shorties,
    the XM177e1 with a 10″ barrel and the XM177e2 with a 11.5″ barrel
    featured a very long flash hider giving the impression of it having a longer
    barrel but it was there in reality to hide the extreme muzzle flash.
    the ak74 style flash hider design is at least 1.5 to 2 inches long itself,
    which when added to a 16.5″ barrel is more like 18.5″ effectiverly.

    The ak200 is simply a update of the ak100 series with alot of the
    evolutionary features which the russians copied from the US aftermarket
    producers . Other countries updated 5.56mm AK like the Polish M96 and the Yugosav M21 also have these updates.
    The newest AK which really interests me is the 9×39 AK9, now I’d like to see more detailed information on that one.
    I’m sure the AK9 was first to receive alot of the updates.
    The hinged action cover is not a new AK innovation, the 5.45mm AKSU
    featured a hinged action cover .

  • GarryB

    Short barrel guns need substantial muzzle flash hiders, in fact the muzzle attachment on the AKS-74U is more of a recoil booster to increase the gas pressure in the gas tube to ensure proper functioning with a short tube, it also acts as a flash suppressor. Anyone who has fired an AKS-74U without the muzzle attachment will notice it is less reliable and looks like a flame thrower.

    Barrel length is crucial to the 5.56mm for bullet performance on target (ie fragmentation), for the 5.45mm it is not very important at all in terms of terminal effects, though accuracy is found to be impaired in barrels as short as the AKS-74U so the 100 series has a longer barrel carbine.

    The only feature adapted from US weapons is the Picatinny rails as far as I can see, and the economics of that decision are clear… it means any Russian soldier can use any toy bought in Russia or elsewhere to fit to his rifle. It also means that Russian makers can now sell to AR nuts as well as AK nuts… greatly increased the market.

    If it has a new balanced recoil system it will be a level above all the new generation ARs covered in rails.

    The AK9 is simply an attempt by Kalashnikov to make a rifle in the AS and VSS and SR-3 and 9A-91 range as competition for these rifles.

    I believe the latest model SR-3 has a 30 round mag so that will likely be a common improvement amongst these rifles too.

  • Duh

    the next generation AK-47 was already produced..

    it was called the AK-74.

  • Adam

    While I wouldnt worry too much about accuracy (most combat contcat occur under 300 metres) I am still not convinced the 5.45mm round is that wonderful for very cold climate and lacks penetration when the victim is wearing heavy cold weather clothing. It is for this reason teh Finish Army still uses the 7.62x39mm round in their Sako Assualt rifle

  • GarryB

    In cold climates light small calibre ammunition can be ineffective, though I would think that 5.45mm armour piercing ammo should penetrate most clothing types.
    I have read stories from Soviet tank crews that when they first got their lend lease Sherman tanks that the tanks were fully equipped and had 45 calibre sub machine guns in them. It is reported that they found the 45 calibre lacked penetration… being a large slow round it often had trouble penetrating heavy clothing.
    Kinda surprised me but I guess it makes sense that a heavy large calibre slow projectile would not be ideal for penetration, though the 7.62 x 25mm calibre pistols and SMGs probably had plenty of penetration at the expense of less knock down power against a target.
    Still the Russians have plenty of AKMs they could draw from stores if they needed to go back to 7.62 x 39mm calibre for an arctic fight.
    I have read that in forest or jungle conditions that the smallest leaf or twig will deflect high velocity small calibre rounds like 5.56 and 5.45 and that in such conditions a heavier 7.62mm round performs much better.

  • http://none Volodymyr

    To make a nice gun they have to look at the Barret Rec7 design and the AK-101 design and merge them together so that the gun will be highly customizable, rugged, and much more accurate.

  • Adam

    Thanks, you raise some interesting issues there regarding the Eastern block 7.62 round. However giving it some thought, I’d be just as miffed if I were hit with a 5.54 as if I were hit by a 7.62 !

  • GarryB

    I think part of the problem is that most people see hollywoods portrayal of firearms and forget that there is more to bullets than there seems.
    Small light fast bullets have flat trajectories so it makes it easier to get a hit.
    Slower heavier bullets have steeper trajectories and make range estimation more important to getting bullets on target.
    I have spoken with a person who claimed the 7.62 x 39mm round was inaccurate because its bullet drop between 400m and 500m is 49 inches.
    The 7.62 x 51mm rounds bullet drop at 1,000m is about 32 feet yet it is considered accurate to that range.
    The crucial thing is that you know the limitations and features of your bullet… a 49 inch bullet drop can be compensated for and you can still hit your targets as long as you know the range.
    Very simply it is about shot placement most of the time… a 23mm cannon shell could completely sever your finger tip but not kill you while a .22lr round through the eyeball and into your brain is guaranteed lethal.
    The 5.45mm tends to take a random path through flesh and tumbles on impact which maximises wounding potential no matter what range the hit is achieved or the length of barrel of the weapon it came from. The 5.56mm is more effective as long as it fragments, and less effective if it doesn’t and at ranges in afghanistan it tends to be used outside its fragmentation range more often than not.
    The Russians currently have the advantage of having several calibres in service including 5.45 x 39mm a flat shooting high velocity round that is easy to use (low recoil) and accurate, while at the same time they have 9 x 39mm rounds that are fired from suppressed weapons (VSS and AS) and also 7.62 x 39mm weapons still in service in some places that offer a heavier bullet let likely to be deflected and able to penetrate significant objects and still kill targets on the other side.

  • GarryB

    I read a lot about the M4 being more accurate than AKs.

    Volodymyr… can you tell me how accurate is this AK-101 you talk about.

    You clearly believe it is significantly less accurate than this REC7 rifle.

    How many thousands of rounds have you put through each weapon?

    When I talk to people who say the M4 or the M16 is more accurate than AKs it always turns out they are talking about modified M4s and modified M16s used for target shooting, and their comparisons are often 7.62 x 39mm calibre AKs and often cheap Chinese knock offs at that like the Type 56S.

    The firearm specialist for Soldier of Fortune magazine did a test of the 5.56mm calibre AK-101 in the mid 1990s and he said it was every bit as accurate as any AR he had ever fired. He was using Belgian ammo in both weapons.

    I think that shows clearly that any claim the “loose tollerances in the design that make the AK more reliable also make it less accurate” is BS.

    The Soviets had access to the captured hundreds of thousands of M16s in Vietnam and could easily have copied them if they were worth copying.

    As shown by the REC 7 it seems to me that it is more a case of the AR being improved by getting a piston based mechanism than the AK being improved by making it more like an AR.

    Accuracy on the AK is improved by improving ammo quality… and that has already happened… the problem is that most “experts haven’t noticed yet.

  • patsfanczar

    In the same way Magpul said the only real way to fix an AR is to unscrew the front sight and design a whole new gun around it, the only way to really improve on the AK is to take the basic bolt design and create a whole new gun around that. AKs and ARs are both good, but they weren’t designed with all these improvements in mind, and “updating” only destroys it

  • Adam

    You raise a good point patsfanczar and migual. The bolt design has been tried and tested, see teh galil, R5, Sako 95 for example. However i was in Cuba on vacation last year and i got talking to a group of Cuban soldiers who could speak english. Being an ex solider myself and my new found friends having some active service experience, i questioned them about improvements to the AK design. An old sergeant said something very relevant, that “any improvements would only be as the soldier with the human eyeball as issued”.
    I suppose there reaches a point when design technology outstripes the ability of the human body to utilise it.

    • JoeMuggle

      Says more about the Cuban people, and their lack of intelligence more than anything else. These guys think that an AK-47 in 7.62x39mm is as good as it gets. What the hell would these Cubans know about different weaponry available in the rest of the world? Its not like they live in a country known for freedom of information or anything. Cubans know very little of the outside world. I wouldnt ask a North korean what he thought was the best brand of sports car.

  • GarryB

    This is supposed to be an update, an improvement of a few things on the AK-74M.
    It is not supposed to be a completely different brand new rifle like the ADS that is being tested to replace the AK-74M and the APS underwater rifle with a single bullpup design that can fire as accurately above water as the AK-74M and is as effective as the APS below water.

    They have the choice of spending a huge amount on a totally new rifle competitions to find something that is significantly better than the AK, or to spend a little money now on a quick upgrade that will improve performance but not be too expensive and in 10 years time look at something more exotic like caseless ammo or even liquid propellent to get that step up in performance.

  • wakawakapacman

    all of you who keep complaining about AK sights, why don’t you just get an Israeli galil-type of rifle. it’s practically an AK with peeps and better ergos, but then again, they replaced the galil for the targa =)

  • Eric

    I dont really see any differences other than the 60 round magazine and some cosmetic changes to the stock and such. Why change something that always works! Lets start shipping some of those mags and stocks over to the US so that when the ‘hunting’ rifles come out, we can have our ak200’s.

  • GarryB

    Ignore the top photo, the AK-200 prototype is the second photo and what you can’t really see in that photo is the entire top of the rifle has rails as have the sides and bottom of the front stock area also have rails which means accessories can be fitted all over the weapon… which I guess is an improvement.
    If it becomes a standard rifle then that means that any western rifle with rails should be able to now use new Russian made sights and gadgets without adapters which is also an improvement.
    The main change I suspect is the balanced recoil system has probably been finally introduced to make recoil much lower and full auto fire far more controllable.
    A balanced recoil mechanism adds complexity and cost, but as the AK-107 and AK-108 are offered with balanced recoil mechanisms then they clearly can mass produce the system.
    The main difference between the AK-107 and this rifle seems to be the rail mounts and of course the fact that the iron sights will be mounted in conjunction with the rail so they are fold down units that allow optics to be fitted over them.
    Without a balanced recoil mechanism there is really no reason for them to take so long accepting it into service.

  • Dman

    Heu, you guys should look at the j-tac 47 recoil compensator for the ak and tell me if it is real, idk if it is, and it would be nice to know.

  • GarryB

    I didn’t realise that AKs had so much recoil as to warrant a special compensator to help control them.
    The AKM or the AK-74 muzzle attachments are fine and authentic, but I find the best compensator is a suppressor… eliminates flash and noise and recoil.

  • Dom

    Hi there,

    Are there any news in regards to the AK 200 development?

    Rgds

    Dom

  • http://ccwbystate.com Matt D.

    Ah. The AK has come far since the days of 007 Goldeneye, that’s for sure.

  • GarryB

    Funny… Goldeneye was the first movie I can remember that had a big enough budget that allowed the armourer to buy proper AK-74 replicas instead of cheap AKM knockoffs you usually see Russian and Soviet forces issued with in movies and computer games.

    The AKS-74U was clearly a favourite of the Bond character… the way he used it you would think he was testing the 60 round mag…

    I guess the best way to work out when it will be issued will be to look at Russian optics makers for new products compatible with Picatinny rails.

  • Mark

    @Iskander

    Don’t get your panties in a bunch. Everyone calls us “Yanks” and fat even though we aren’t all from the Northeast or descendants of the original English settlers(which is what the word means) and there are other countries ahem…UK that have higher obesity rates per capita.

    We aren’t running down the Russians and most of us here spend more money than we should on your guns etc…

  • Kert

    i
    think
    that
    the
    ak-103
    is
    better

  • Low Chop

    Is it chambered in the 9X39 new soviet round?

  • http://Tillnowihavenotofficialwebsite Mr. Goran Sablic

    Dears sirs!

    I believe that new Russian automatic rifle Kalaschnikov 200 will be top product im military -police fields of bussines.

    With regards,

    Goran Sablic

  • Buzz

    No one will probably ever read this but guys I dont know where you got your info at but most of you are wrong on a variety of points. One of the biggest is why accuracy of the 7.62×39 is so bad. Its not because of it being a machine gun bullet but is more of a result of mosy AK weapons barrels are made with what we in the west would consider inferior steel and then not chromed so they wear out extremly fast as in as little as 200 rounds. Next balllisticly its the same as a 30-30 round.

    Next the AK was built sloppy and the selector switch goes from safe to Auto to single shot in that order for a reason which is related to soviet combat doctrine. Niether the weapon or the ammo had to be particularly accurate when it was meant to hose down and area at close range. Also different manufacturers have widely differing quality standards.

    The AK-109 improved the max effective range from about 300 meters to 500 meters.

  • GarryB

    Well Buzz, first of all the accuracy of the 7.62 x 39mm round has very little to do with the topic of this thread… the standard service calibre of the Russian military is and has been for the last 25 years the 5.45 x 39mm round.

    Second talking about accurate rounds is BS. Rounds are not accurate or inaccurate. They are both.

    On a 2,000m range there is no accurate 5.56mm round.

    Thirdly, because there is no such thing as accurate or inaccurate what you actually want is consistent.

    I have a cheap Chinese AKM knockoff and a 303 bolt action Lee Enfield rifle.

    The barrel of the AKM is clean and shiny and the barrel of the Lee Enfield is dark and heavily corroded. The Lee Enfield is a lot older than the AKM, but the AKM is in better condition because of the Chrome lining in the barrel.

    I took both out the other day and the first three shots for the Lee Enfield, the first hit slightly to the left of the bullseye and scored a ten. The second hit low and scored a one and the third missed the paper completely. The first three shots for the AKM clustered low and to the right and scored a 2 a 2 and a 1.

    The scores of 11 vs 5 mean the Lee Enfield was more accurate, while the AKM was clearly more consistent because it actually grouped.

    I would never take the Lee Enfield hunting with me, and actually the difference is not great in ballistic terms… both fire .311 calibre bullets, while the Lee Enfield fires 150 grain bullets at about 748m/s, the AKM fires 122 grain bullets at 735m/s… I very much doubt the target will know the difference.

    The Russians have been making their weapon barrels chromed to reduce maintainence requirements, not so they can use cheaper steel in the barrels. Chrome is actually much harder than steel which is why it offers a better protective lining, so it would actually make a lot of sense to use chrome and cheaper steel, but they don’t. They do same money on their ammo, they use mild steel shell casings instead of the brass used in western ammo, and that would be a problem if they reloaded their ammo but no military does so it doesn’t matter.

    The 30-30 round has been a very successful round in the US but its performance is retarded by the fact that most who use the 30-30 round tend to use tube magazines which means they also have to use round nosed projectiles which greatly reduces their performance at any but very short ranges. No point in blowing a round out a muzzle at supersonic speed with a round nose because you need a pointed nose to go supersonic and stay supersonic for any period of time.

    Ahhh, the old claim that is it built to loose tollerances and that is why it is so reliable. Swiss watches are reliable… are they “sloppy”?
    Anyone who has held an AK knows it is not sloppy unless it is very old or damaged.
    The selector goes from safe to auto to single shot because of the way it works. Take one apart and have a look. In the top position the trigger is blocked. Drop it down one position and the piece that blocked the trigger moves and only blocks the auxiliary sear, which is the hook that holds the hammer back after the first shot is fired. By holding it back it stops it from working so when the auxiliary sear is not stopping the hammer after the first shot you get full auto fire. If you lower the selector one more stop then the blocking bar clears the trigger and auxiliary sear completely and nothing is blocked so the auxiliary sear stops the hammer after the first shot and you have single shot.
    Makes sense too… if you are in such a hurry to shoot that you only have time to move the selector one click then you probably need full auto fire.

    Also Russian troops are trained to fire in bursts more often than western forces.

    I disagree about lack of accuracy requirements. Within the 200m range they intended to use them they were accurate enough. There are plenty of documented cases of western special forces who use AKs on operations because resupply of ammo is easier, and the noise of the weapon doesn’t make them stand out. The Israelis liked AKMs particularly because they were lighter than Galils… do you think they would use them if they were inaccurate?

    I very much agree that different makers produce different products especially because very few of the makers made licenced products, they just made copies to their own standards… some of which were not very good.

    Regarding the AK-109 how can it have an effective range of 500m if the 7.62 x 39mm round is inaccurate?

    AKMs have a battle iron sight setting of 300m. The reason for this is that if you aim in the centre of a standing mans chest at a target anywhere from 0 to 400m with that point of aim you will hit them.
    Zeroed to 300m that means the bullets trajectory is lofted up into the air so that after it has travelled 300m it has gone up and then fallen back down to the line of sight. What makes 300m so special is that for a normal standing man the distance from the centre of the chest to a centre of head shot is the height of the trajectory of the round so with a target starting from the muzzle a target will get hit in the centre of the chest at 100m they will get hit in the lower throat area, at 150m will be a brain shot, and and at 200m it will hit them in the upper chest throat area and at 300m it will hit them at the point of aim in the centre chest. A target at 400m will be gut shot.

    The point is that as long as you keep aiming for centre of the chest you will hit the target.

    In real combat enemy don’t stand out in the open wearing bright clothing standing perfectly still.

    Aiming for bullseyes is fun, but not really realistic for real combat against moving targets that are ducking from cover to cover in clothing that disrupts their outline.

    I would bet good money that in real combat most soldiers set their sights to a battle setting and simply aim off in different conditions… ie for further away targets you aim a little high, because there is not likely to be a huge amount of time to set the sights and take the shot.

    If that is true the sub MOA rifles stop being sub MOA rifles when you don’t know the range to the target and don’t have time to adjust the sights to the correct range anyway.

  • KAZH

    does it come in bullpup???? then it´ll be the rifle of gods.

  • GarryB

    @ Low Chop
    AFAIK the 9 x 39mm round is a specialist round for custom weapons like the AS and VSS that are used by recon units and have built in suppressors.
    I have seen claims that the weight of the projectile and accuracy of the weapons make them effective to 400m, but being a subsonic round they will lack in lethality and power compared to supersonic rounds like the 7.62 x 39mm. The 9 x 39mm is an attempt to make a subsonic weapon as powerful as possible without going to larger calibres like 12.7mm.
    Their might be a 9 x 39mm version of the AK-200 to replace the AS and VSS, but the standard version will be 5.45 x 39mm.

    @Kazh
    I would think they will keep it conventional with a folding stock.
    There is the Groza in 9 x 39mm calibre with a 40mm grenade launcher which could perhaps replace the AS and VSS, and the ADS which is a fascinating bullpup rifle being tested by the Russian Naval Infantry forces.
    The ADS can use special ammo to fire underwater and it can also use standard 5.45 x 39mm ammo and has a built in 40mm grenade launcher.
    It has the same cartridge case forward ejection system as the A-91M so it can be fired left or right handed without needing any adjustment.
    With a 60 round mag it would be an awesome weapon.

    more info here: http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/ads-dvuhsredny-e.html

  • Petar Vitanovich

    I love how people who have no idea about firearms love to talk shit about the AK platform. They spend there time talking about accuracy, the safety lever, sights, all that b.s. The problem is, all those things are not problems at all. With the standard sights and good ammo(NOT WOLF) and with any descent AK(NOT ROMANIAN WASR-10, as most people have in America) you can hit rounds at 1000yds. And as someone was saying it is based on a SMG, that is totally false. Even as an AK lover, I can admit it is based off the Stg.44 of WW2, a rifle designed to be something of the best of both worlds, of an SMG and standard semi-auto rifles of the time, which is known today as an assault rifle. And as for how the AK is used in battle, it would be more single, or two shot bursts, but people’s mindset is that you just roughly aim, and unload mags with it, which is once again false. Not to mention it’s rounds velocity, coupled with accurate semi-auto shots, is one of the best combo’s in any modern rifle(with 7.62×39), or the extremely low recoil, accurate, and devastating 5.45×39. Now the comparison with NATO rifles, the fact is every country in the world has been trying to copy the AK without any success outside of using the actually gun. Here in the US they are even going as far as implementing the short stroke piston system in AR style rifles, when they could more easily have just adopted the AK. If you look at the HK416, it is exactly what im talking about. Or you can even talk about the Sig Saur 552, which is even more of an exact copy of an AK internally, just packaged in a more NATO friendly shell. Those are the facts right there. It’s not the AK who is lagging behind, it’s all the other guns. Look at the HK G3 style guns, who still use delayed blowback!!! You wanna talk about ancient? There it is, but defiantly not an AK. And as for all the bells and whistles people always ride the AK about, is just ridiculous, who really needs to take a 7 pound M4 and turn it into a 11 pound gun with lasers, and flash lights, and scopes, when EVERYBODY praises the AR iron sights. See that is the difference between the AK and AR, one you need to pack more gear than Rambo to feel safe, and the other, all you need is your AK.

  • GarryB

    I would suggest you track down an STG-44 and take it to bits before you spout stuff like the AK is a copy of it.
    Not that there would be any problem if it was a copy, but as you suggest people who don’t know much about firearms look at an STG-44 and an AK and they see a relatively compact weapon with similar features, but when you examine it properly you will see the similarities are cosmetic while the differences are fundmental.

    Both have curved magazines… but magazine shape is determined by bullet design… look at a 7.62 x 39mm AK mag and a 5.56mm AK mag to see that the former needs the curve because the bullets dont stack vertically because they are narrower at the primer end than at the bullet end. The 5.56 on the other hand has almost parallel case sides and uses a nearly straight magazine.
    The front Iron sights are similar but then when you put the gas system above the barrel you need something to raise the front sight to line with the rear sight.

    When you take both rifles to pieces you find the FN FAL has more in common with the STG44 than the AK does as the latter uses a rotary bolt system which the STG44 does not.

    The Germans copied the Tokarev gas system for one of their rifles and no doubt used the mechanism from other Soviet weapons too.

    The first select fire weapon to use an intermediate cartridge with a large capacity curved magazine and a front pistol grip for control was the Federov Avtomat of 1916. Every weapon we would call an assault rifle in the west that has been produced in Russia has been named after that weapon… Avtomat.
    It doesn’t just mean automatic.
    It was the name of a weapon and is used to describe a weapon of that type just like Lux and Hoover are used to describe vacuum cleaners today (from the brand names electrolux and hoover).
    The AS, AK, AKM, AK-74, A-91, ADS, all use Avtomats name.

    An American said it best… if you were going to an alien planet and could only pack one weapon… it would be an AK.

    The AK isn’t perfect and some things could be improved, but keep in mind this is a soldiers tool, not an American enthusiasts toy.
    Changing the iron sights will require a complete change in training for instance.
    Introducing a balanced recoil mechanism will make burst fire much more effective.
    See how that works?
    Not “lets make it so left handed people can use it with either hand”.
    The configuration actually suits us left handed people already, making it ambidextrous is a waste of money and time… except if it was a sporting weapon… which it isn’t.

  • GarryB

    Correction the 7.62 x 39mm ammo is narrower at the bullet end than at the primer end hense the curve on the AK magazines in 7.62 x 39mm.

    They wouldn’t stack properly in a straight mag.

  • Matthew

    60. ROUND. MAGAZINE.

  • Max

    All you guys bagging the ergonomics of AK – You need to learn how to use the thing properly. IO found it very comfortable. Also the lack of hold-open catch – who cares? Every time there is jam you check the chamber anyway. With Steyr I used its standard procedure. The safety selector is nice to hit in a hurry. Loved using it. As a leftie the ergonimics of M-16 are NOT for me at all.

    • Jim Habash

      Max,

      Him, I’m a lefty can you make any reccomendations to me for semi auto rifles in the .22 or 9MM or any range for that matter. I would appreciate your insight.

      btw.. If you need lefty guitar info…I’m the man for that! lol

  • Vladimir

    what the third gun from the left?

  • GarryB

    @Vladimir
    If you mean the top photo, the rifle in the guys hands is an AK-74M with scope, bipod and 60 round magazine, the weapon next to him on the table is the AK-9 which is the 9 x 39mm competition for the AS suppressed assault rifle, then it is the PP-19-01 Vityaz with two mags clipped together, a scope and a front pistol grip, and from what I can see of the last weapon on the table it appears to be a Saiga shotgun based on the diameter and length of the barrel I would guess it was a 12 gauge.

  • Edgar

    HAHA Petar you are so right…. I wish more people knew this stuff so they see that the HK416 isnt really a new thing, they copied and modified a concept that was tought of back in the day, by Mr. Kalashnikov

  • Ricky Jones

    That’s incredible, I never really liked the kalashnikovs but I honestly have to admit that the ak-200 is something I want to buy in the future. Who wouldn’t want a 60 round magazine and the durability of an AK. My only problem is that I’m more of a marksman type so I don’t know how the accuracy is.

  • http://Taurus45ACP.com Darth AkSarBen

    The safety selector is 2 fold. Besides being off safe when it is down, like my Saiga carbines were, when it is in “safe” position, it effectively covers up that huge gap in the dust cover-receiver and prevents sticks, stone and dirt from finding it’s way in there during running and jumping behind cover.

    I still like my home built AR-15 in 6.8 X 43 also known as the 6.8 SPC II chambererd rifle, Special Purpose Cartridge, and boy does it deliver!

  • GarryB

    If you go to this site:

    http://smallarmsillustrated.tripod.com/Index.htm

    in particular this page:

    http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/bukihon/Page1-2/SAI-67-002.jpg

    and this page:

    http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/bukihon/Page1-2/SAI-67-046.jpg

    You will see a few things.

    First that the AK-200 is based on a balanced recoil mechanism and that it is a completely different rifle to the AK-12.

    Personally I think the AK-12 is rather better than the AK-200 despite the fact that the AK-200 has a balanced recoil mechanism.

    The AK-12 in 6.5mm Grendal and 7.62 x 51mm would be the ideal guns for Eastern European countries to combine western calibres with Eastern performance.

    Personally I would take the AK-12 in 5.45mm calibre as the ammo is a lot cheaper here than 5.56mm and it has no lethality issues beyond 300m like the 5.56mm does.

    The AK-12 has lots of visible advantages over the AK-200, including adjustible for length and cheek height of the folding stock, longer sight base for the iron sights, selector in easy to reach position with single shot, three round burst and full auto options as well as safe, the safe option does not prevent the cocking handle from cycling rounds out of the chamber, there is a button behind the magazine for a bolt hold open feature, 60 round mags, rails on top and sides and under the front stock for attaching stuff easily, Lugs for underbarrel grenade launcher still present so you can use existing grenade launchers, and of course improved rifling to improve accuracy and to top it off the muzzle device is 22mm in diameter so it is compatible with NATO rifle grenades.

    I doubt either weapon will enter standard service as there is a new from scratch family design they are working on, but the Russian special forces will love the AK-12 and in terms of civilian sales and export sales I think it might do rather well too.

  • GarryB

    Forgot to mention the cocking handle can be changed over so the user can decide to have it on the left side or the right side too.

    Being left handed I think the AKs controls are already fine and if it is ok to insist left handed people must shoot right handed then it should also be ok to say right handed people should shoot the AK left handed and there is no need to introduce a new rifle with ambidextrous controls…

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    In “21st Century Russian Assault” this Rifle was started in May 2010 when it was first revealed by the Russian media and maned as the AK-200, finally from further details about the AK-200 being designated as the “AK-12, Apart from those internal modifications and a new, updated magazine, the AK-12 comes with Picatinny rails as standards.

    • GarryB

      The AK-200 and AK12 are two different rifles.

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    I am for sure going to buy me one of these :) Be nice to add to my collectiion.

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