Bofors Ak 5C assault rifle

I spotted these photos of Swedish recruits undergoing basic training with their Bofors Ak 5C assault rifles.

The AK5C is the modernized version of the original AK5, a derivative of the FNC carbine. It became the standard Swedish service weapon a few years ago.

The improvements over the original AK5 include the addition of a quad rail, a picatinny rail, red dot sight (Aimpoint, I think), foregrip, improved adjustable butt stock and transparent waffle magazines. It is a nice looking rifle.

[Hat Tip: Leaper @]

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.


  • Matt

    Big trigger guards, because if you’re firing it in Sweden, you probably have gloves on…

  • charles222

    I always liked the Finnish tradition of placating the Russians by naming their service rifles “AK”. The weapon before this one-a FAL derivative?-was the AK4. Neither of these weapons have the slightest bit of commonality with anything that’s actually an AK, though.

    Also-wasn’t the FNC a flop when first introduced? I seem to remember that.

  • charles222

    Whoooops. Not Finnish. Swedish. My bad. :p

  • SL

    Yeah the sights are made by Aimpoint. They’re called Aimpoint CS and were exclusively made for the Swedish Armed Forces although I have seen some of them for sale to regular folks in the US. 4 MOA dot (I would have preferred a 2 MOA. Testfired a Norwegian 416 with a 2 MOA Aimpoint which was great) and integral battery. Good sight but quite heavy and so is the rest of the rifle. A loaded AK5C weighs around 11 pounds. This is obviously too much. On the upside the rifle is very reliable and has been speced to achieve a 2000 MRBS which is the same number as the SCAR.
    On the AK5C they also put back the bolt catch which was dropped due to costs when the original AK5 was introduced in the 80ies. Btw the VFG is a BattleGrip made by TangoDown. Overall I like the rifle but I wouldn’t mind putting it on a diet. If you have some other questions about it feel free to ask.

    Matt: Gloves indeed but it’s not always cold 🙂 Right now we have a a nice warm spring with temps round 68 Fahrenheit.

  • Hi Guys, is this rifle an evolution of the Bofors licence for the FN FNC?

    The reciver and enlarged trigger do seem to have a familiar FNC look about them.

  • Colin

    Are they still using SUSAT’s on the DMR-type version (-B ?), would imagine that needs updating too…

  • Davidshky

    Charles, the AK stand for Automat Karbin wich can be translated to automatic carbine and is in line with the swedish militarys way of naming things.

    • adsfasdfasdfasdf


  • SL

    charles222: The AK in Swedish terminology has nothing to do with the Russians. In this context AK means “automatkarbin” = automatic carbine which is the swedish word for assaultrifle. The AK5 and it’s variants have quite a lot in common with the russian AK though since the FN FNC was heavily influenced by the Kalashnikov operating mechanism as you can see in this picture

    The previous AK4 was not a FAL deriative but a licensed build of the HK G3.

    Milgeek: That’s correct!

    Colin: The SUSAT equipped AK5B has been phased out. It was never popular with anyone in the armed forces due to problems with the sights loosing their zero EASILY. There were plans for a new DMR version called the AK5E but it was dropped since the 5,56 was not thought to have enough energy to be used in a DMR role for 400 – 800 meters. Aimpoints 3x magnifier is currently issued to swedish troops in Afghanistan to “sort of” fill that gap. The army is currently conducting trials for a new DMR (7,62 NATO) and a new sniper rifle (.338 Lapua)

  • Nooky


    I imagine they aren’t available for civilian, are they ?

    Accustomed to Sig 550 I wouldn’t mind the weight 🙂

  • SL


    There are actually a few privately owned AK5 around in the country but I think the licenses for those were issued a long time ago and have probably been revoked by now. Nowadays I would say it’s impossible.

    I have some relatives in Switzerland and I remember the SG 550 being quite heavy.

  • Lew

    Another improvement is the new vortex flashhider and a bayonet lug (something that was omitted on the AK5A). Stangely enough the army has yet to field a functioning bayonet (so far only a chromed and dull ceremonial bayonet has been bought) so it’s mainly used for ceremonial duties…

  • charles222

    Thanks for the clarification on the naming conventions.

    As for 11.5 pounds-that’s not too much if the weapon is well-balanced; my M1 weighs in that general neighborhood and I can carry that thing all day without feeling fatigued by it. Heavier weapon weight also means sturdier parts, which means less potential for parts breaking.

  • j

    they look like stromtroopers!

  • Lance

    Looks like a FNC with M-4 like furniture on it more and more other are adapting to M-4ish weapons.

    I find it funny how people spit at M-4s BUT they have weapons who take off from one.

  • Michael Pham

    Indeed. That right hand charging handle the soldier in the last photo seems to be racking would appear to be a sign of that Kalashnikov influence.

  • subase

    They have a great picture of it in wikipedia.

    And the Swedish probably do spit on the M4 with their AK5’s but they need rails for optics, addons and such.

  • Mill

    I find it interesting that they’re in training but they’re all gripping it by the magazine well. I thought holding rifles by the magazine was one of those things you’re “not supposed to do” but many professionals do anyway. I guess the Swedes have taken a different attitude to that first part!

  • jdun1911

    The AK5 is a Kalashnikov variant.

  • Rohan

    @ Lance
    When is a the addition of a quad rail, a picatinny rail, red dot sight (Aimpoint, I think), foregrip, improved adjustable butt stock and transparent waffle magazines, uniquely m-4ish? Aren’t these features originally SOCOM add ons?

    Note it looks like an adjustable FOLDING stock. G3 had sliding stock before XM-177 was born.

    The two worst parts of a M16, direct gas and the magazine aren’t used.

  • G


    “There are actually a few privately owned AK5 around in the country but I think the licenses for those were issued a long time ago and have probably been revoked by now. Nowadays I would say it’s impossible.”

    It is not impossible to get a firearms licence for a military style semiautomatic rifle in Sweden. You just have to be a member of a shooting club that uses that kind of weapon for competitions. However it can be hard to find one of those clubs because they usually don’t advertise that sort of activity to the public (because they don’t want attract the wrong sort of people). With the approval of IPSC Rifle by Rikspolisstyrelsen (The board of the national police), it is also a type of weapon that is increasing in popularity. So I seriously doubt that firearms licenses for semiautomatic AK5’s have been revoked en masse.

  • charles222

    No, the rail system (top rail, anyway; the quads came later) was the reason the M-4 was type-codified at all, along with the new contour for the barrel. 14.5-inch barreled ARs with the same pattern of collapsing stock had been around since the Vietnam era, but the new barrel and rail system are what made the M4 distinct from the XM177E2 and CAR-15.

  • charles222

    Also-there is nothing inherently wrong with using a magazine as a grip or even as a monopod, although it’s actually less inherently stable than a vertical grip mounted fully forward or the Magpul AFG/old grip angle on MP5 forestocks.

  • jdun1911

    FNC are base of Kalashnikov.

  • SL

    We usually teach Magazinewell grip to those who for some reason (short arms, lacking armstrength) can’t grip the rifle further out.

    I’m very well aware of that. I’m a IPSC competitor myself and am currently applying for a license for a AR15. But I didn’t mean som semi-variant of the AK5/FNC. I’m talking about fully automatic rifles AK5 and AK4. There were/are special shooting clubs, that had the blessing of the armed forces, (they were called automatvapenskytteklubb) that allowed it’s members to get a license for a fully automatic AK4/AK5. With the budget cuts in swedish military I think that these clubs disappeared and therefore the licenses were revoked.

  • Axel


    They don’t have to have been revoked to be impossible to get. I think they main problem for a Swede who wants to get an AK5 is that there aren’t that many out there and those that are probably aren’t semi-automatic only which kind of hinders licensing.

  • Lance


    the M-4 is far more accurate and than a FNC and dosnt have athe dumb reprocateing charging handle which is proven bothersom by troops who shoot it.

    Ohh yeah SOCOM did all the improvements with Colt when they adopted the M-4 in 1997.

  • Swedish nerd

    @ subase

    The Swedish armed forces have a number of units known as Utländska Vapensatsen “the foreign weapons kit” purchased in 1986.

    Which is a box containing 5 Colt or FN M16a2 rifles , 5 Izhevesk AKM rifles and accessories.
    The kit is used to help soldiers get some hands on experience with the weapons that they are most lightly to encounter in a combat zone. The complaints with the M16 is that it fouls quickly, it’s to sensitive, it’s flimsy and the lack of full auto. They like that it’s about as accurate as the AK5 when they get used to it, that it’s light and the last shot hold-open.

    The complaints with the AKM is that it’s not very accurate.
    They like the ruggedness, simplicity, and that you can go form safe to semi auto just by jamming the selector all the way down, as well as the more powerful ammunition.

  • Lew

    It has a long-stroke piston, much like the Kalashnikov, but I would hold it to be a different rifle. For one thing the dust cover isn’t a stand-alone part and thus the sight radius is a bit longer than 6 inches. It’s very much inspired by a Kalashnikov action but using the unique Swedish concept “lagom” (which means “adequate”, “good enough” and “right” all at once) they’ve made a compromise between ruggedness and accuracy. The price paid is weight but I carried that sucker (the A-model) for my basic duty and didn’t complain. It’s a handy little piece of kit (and much more ergonomic than the G3 [AK4] I now carry in the guard).

    And you can get a license for full-auto as simple as it is for semi-auto over here. Sub-machine gunning is still a competetive sport and it wasn’t that long ago sub-gun practitioners could buy their weapons straight from the crown. The problem is the small amount of AK5s around.

  • Rohan

    In 1994 the United States officially announced that the M-4 Carbine Series would replace the venerable M-3 Grease Gun in use, as well as selected M9 semiautomatic pistols, and selected M-16A2 rifles. It was long codified BEFORE rails. ie 1998 M4 SOPMOD

    The program to improve the M4 Carbine began in 1995 at USASOC and is a joint-service effort. Cost for fielding the M4 accessory kits to date is $25 million and includes accessories for 8,000 weapons. Despite the improvements, there is more to be done. “This is an ongoing process,” Smith said. “In October we’re going to get a group of operators together from throughout the command, mostly Rangers and Special Forces soldiers … and find out if there’s anything better out there and what we can do to improve the weapon. When it comes time to start replacing these weapons, in about the year 2001 or 2002, we’ll try to do even better.

    “So in 1988 engineers at Colt began working on a new carbine which they felt would be a viable alternative to previous designs. The M-4 was to take advantage of the lessons learned from previous attempts, for one the weapons foregrip was engineered with a double heat shield”.

    “One problem with the earlier designs which Colt improved up was using a slightly longer 14.50 inch barrel, the result of this was to give the weapon more range and also to allow it to use the M-203 grenade launcher”.

  • Rijoenpial


    you know that the FNC is an AR-18 derivative, right? You know, the M4 being gas impingement, the FNC being gas piston?

    I have to say that it always baffles me the weight controversies… The Brazilian use the FAL, 80 countries used it and never complained!

    War is not child’s play… And AK weighs its value…

    Guns have increasingly being ridiculed, with lightweight calibers such as the 5.56 which has pathetic stopping power, and now polymer all around…

    The FNC is a great gun that arrived late to the battle… The Gun is handles well, has an awesome rate of fire…and as the Swedish show, very customisable, adaptable and ‘modernisable’…


  • Rijoenpial

    PS – Boy, I would love to see an all white ceracoated AK5C in that snowy environment!

    Black and green are too visible for that setting!


  • Rijoenpial

    ADDENDA: Sorry, did make a boo-boo: the FNC mechanicals resemble indeed more of an AK than an Ar-18… I was thrown off by the rotary bolt and the very close resemblance to Stoner’s AR-18 in terms of outer-shell design…

    Sorry, guys…! It’s 5 a.m. here… My brain is way past it’s bed time! LOL

    Have a great day!


  • SL


    We usually camoflage them with white tape during wintertime.

    @Swedish Nerd

    The negative thoughts a lot of people had about the M16A2 from Utländska vapensatsen, I think came down to that those weapons were quite worn out. Noone really took good care of them. They have been replaced in the last year by C7 from Colt Canada which are very nice to shoot and don’t show the same flimsiness that the old rifles did.

  • Lance

    Yes Rujoenpal but the FNC like this Swedish verion has to be completly over ahlled to be modular. It was 1997 when the M-4 and even later the M-16A2 which turned into the A4 with rails and accessories. BUT rails have been on M-16s commerical modles since 1991.

    I think the Brizilan approch is much better to use the successfuul FAL design rather than bother with the FNC the FAL has alot better ergonomics and accuracy than the FNC.

  • snmp

    @Swedish nerd

    The AKM worn out is not very accurate but if you take an AK74M or AK103 in 7.62M43 (Venezuela) or AK101 in .223 you could be surprise for 16″ barel rifle

  • Rohan

    Hey Lance,

    Rails are there to add stuff ON the weapon.

    The AUG was truly modular from the beginning, ie 1977, years before it was trendy. Can the SCAR, M16, M4 change barrels without tools in seconds? Can you drop in a different trigger group? Can you change caliber (5.56, 6.5G, 6.8SPC) in seconds by dropping in another bolt and barrel. XM-8 is the closest to being a true modular weapon.

    Both of these are composite, European and therefore trash according to Lance.

    Modular is not just changing a fore-guard or adding a rail.

  • Lance

    AHH except the Augs barrel change which in those days only changed the lentghs and ond they where only 5.56mm so not too much of a modular system back then. But hey it showed new ways in barrel changes in the feild.

  • Stefan

    About the weight.

    Most of us swedish blokes are large and strong. I’ve never heard anyone complain about the weight of their rifle.

    Seriously though. When the AK5A (first version) was to be modernised one of the criterias was to make i lighter. How did that pan out? Ahh yes the AK5C actully weighs 0,5kg (about 1 pound) more than the AK5A it replaced.

    The key is balance. The AK5C is a very well balanced gun so the weight is not an issue.

    + In my experience, when things start going south it’s nice to have something sturdy and reliable to hold on to.

    Other than that. I can see that some swedish brothers and colleagues have answered all the other questions.

    As for the AK5C in winter-camo. I’ve never seen it apart from just white tape. I think I might have some pictures that I took in Afghanistan of the AK5C painted in desert-camo.

  • Stefan

    Ohh one thing. From what I understand, the AK5 is to be replaced by an as of yet undetermined weapon that will become the AK6.

    That PSG90 was to be replaced was news to me. I am however very excited about the prospect of a new sniper-rifle. Perhaps then I will give up this foolishness of having a civil career and join up the army again 😀

  • Rohan

    Hey Lance,

    More modular than you think, open (from aug-HB) and closed bolt trigger group, semi or selective, 1 in 7″ or 1 in 12″ barrel, fixed sight or sight rail, 9 x 19mm or 5.56mm, etc, in seconds form the beginning.

    6.8SPC and 6.5 G didn’t until later.

    Do that now with many current weapons and you need an armourer.

  • Lance

    You can Rhan make them modular now but in the 1980s they really wernt