Kalashnikov AK-12 Unveiled

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Izhmash has officially unveiled the first working prototype of the AK-12 Assault Rifle. According to Max Popenker there will be two models, a Light model (5.45x39mm, 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm) that accepts all magazines that work with existing AK rifles, as well as a new 60 round quad stack magazine, and a Heavy (7.62x51mm) model that will use a new magazine.

The rifle’s major new features are …

  • Ambidextrous forward charging handle.
  • Smaller ejection port.
  • New safety switch.
  • New fire control switch with three modes of fire (single shot, 3 round burst and full auto).
  • New hinged top cover. The cover is a lot more rigid that the previous AK rifles.
  • Quad picatinny rails.
  • Folding and length adjustable stock.
  • Ergonomic pistol grip (with a decent radius between trigger guard and grip).
  • New muzzle brake that attaches to standard NATO 22mm threading.
  • Improved barrel rifling.

Whilst it is not pretty, in fact it is downright ugly, it possess all the features of the latest western assault rifles.

[ Many thanks to Russian Surt & Max Popenker for providing information. ]




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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  • FourString

    Full length sight radius, very nice. So when are they coming over here?

  • Nathaniel

    Well, you can tell Kalashnikov’s not at the helm anymore, though I’m sure that hasn’t been the case in years.

  • charles222

    Can’t really tell if the safety is less garbage than it currently is. Nice-looking rifle otherwise.

    On ugly AKs-I always felt the 74 was the nicest-looking with it’s composite magazine and muzzle brake.

    • jdun1911

      From the pictures it looks like an improvement from the current safety switch. Anything is better than the current version IMO. They still need to improve on the mag release and allow bolt to open when empty.

      • Rade

        Actually the mag release was improved, if you take a better look you’ll notice that there is a mag release button just above the old latch release which can be operated by the index finger same way as the mag release on the m16.

        As for the bolt hold open probably the easiest way to do it would be to make something similar to the Zastava M64 bho, because that would require minimal modification to the mags and receiver.

  • Shichiro

    Now THAT is my kind of AK!!!

  • Brandon

    I don’t think it’s ugly, I kind of like it. Looks like they finally gave up on the crappy AK safety bar.
    Too bad we have so many restrictive laws when it comes to importing. That thing could keep Izhmash in business if they could do commercial sales in the US.
    Any word on the weight?

    • Nadnerbus

      They could always open a plant over here, FN/Sig style. Or import sporterized versions and have them converted to 922 compliance in the states.

      I actually like the thinking behind this. A better rear peep sight is about my only major nitpick. Or maybe a milled receiver version. If they are going to bring the AK into the modern age, might as well use higher quality machining too.

      • JMD

        If a civilian-legal version ever comes to the American market, they may change the rear sight to the peep variety that I’m sure they realize Americans prefer. If they don’t, it’ll be a matter of a few weeks before an aftermarket upgrade part becomes available. Yay, Capitalism!

      • Nater

        A machined steel receiver would probably be too heavy. If they’re going to use more modern manufacturing techniques, then forged aluminum would probably be the best way to go.

        It would make the rifle more expensive, but it’s the best choice. Lighter than steel, more heat resistant than polymer.

  • Dmitry

    It still looks like a prototype – too many sharp edges.

  • mtptwo

    Reminds me of the shape of the VZ58. Not bad.

  • jdun1911

    It’s a good start. I would like to see if the cover itself is really rock solid.

    • JMD

      If it is, that’ll solve many of the AK system’s accuracy issues just by making it easier to aim well. IMO, this is a much-needed upgrade that they should’ve done forty+ years ago.

      • Jay

        What i don’t l.ike is that they still used the same crappy rear sight.

      • Nater

        The AK’s accuracy issue has to do with a lot more than it’s terrible sights. The shear violence of it’s cycling induces a lot of harmonics into the barrel. Just watch an AK fire on high speed camera, that barrel is all over the place before the round has even cleared the muzzle.

        That said, it’s accurate enough for it’s original intent. Which is to say, accurate enough for Warsaw Pact human wave attacks that engage defensive positions from 200m or less.

  • HammyHamster

    Does this rifle have the “balanced” operating system that the Ak 107/108 series has?

    • http://world.guns.ru Max Popenker

      No, it has standard system, although it is claimed to work a tad more smoothly than a typical AK action

  • Nater

    Color me unimpressed. With the exception of the safety, it looks like your average Tapco covered AK. Although the idea of a 7.62x51mm AK is pretty cool, assuming they have 20-round magazines for it.

    • Nadnerbus

      The forward charging handle, redesigned safety/selector, receiver length rail with rear sight moved back to an improved, hinged dust cover are all pretty major improvements that address a lot of complaints to the basic design. Maybe some of this can be done aftermarket, but having it come in a modern format straight from the factory counts IMO.

      And no I wasn’t a downvoter =) Must be lots of Russians on the board.

    • Nater

      Oh, the AK fanboys are a vitriolic bunch. They’re also generally wrong. It’s taken the Izhmash the better part of a decade to develop a SIG 550 (I know it uses an the AK operating system, as did the FNC). Again, color me unimpressed.

      I never really considered to the right side charging handle to be that terrible of a impediment. The safety/selector was always the issue, which they’ve fixed. The sight radius on the AK was bad, and this is better, but if they’re still using pistol sights on a rifle then I don’t think they got the message.

    • W

      I don’t believe that the new sight radius is that big of deal, considering optical sights are more common in military applications than ever in history.

  • W

    very impressive. I remember saying the next evolution of AK should have “westernized” ambi features. I am delighted that this outstanding system has taken a evolutionary step.

  • Michael

    Silly Russians. They still don’t understand the concept of height over bore in relation to optics mounts. Looks like another 60 years of AK chin welds.

    • JMD

      The new stock design is in line with the bore, with no drop. The sight height looks fine to me.

      • Gareth

        he’s talking about height over bore, not whether the stock is in line with bore.the latter is a recoil management issue and the former is a cheek wield issue and imo a genuine one for some.
        the bolts in AKs are to tall compared to ARs. and on AK the stock is on the lower receiver unlike other piston rifles with big bolt carriers where the stock is tall and almost in line with the top rail. for me the cheek wield is always less ideal on an AK and it won’t change much even the stock is level and in line with the bore. you basically can’t mount an Eotech on it. but for shorter optics it should be better.

  • Komrad

    It is ugly, but the picture isn’t the most flattering (too much glare). The rails and other improvements should make the AK a viable modern rifle again. If it is fairly easy to switch between 5.56 and 7.62, it may even have a chance at the new Indian trials.

  • http://gdziewojsko.wordpress.com Pawel K. Malicki

    So it disassembles more or less the same way as any AK? How the top cover keeps zero? The irons and optics are mounted on it!

    • Paul

      Valmet & Galil have been doing that for years, you just need a more solid top cover, hinge & lock.

  • lex

    they’re using NATO muzzle breaks?

    • Partizan1942

      dude, these muzzle breaks are standard and have been since they have inrtoduced the ak 74 in 1974. that is 38 years ago now…wake up dude…

  • SpudGun

    Weirdly, even though this new rifle has the features that most people have been asking for, it kind of detracts from the idiosyncratic charm and iconic look of the traditional AK.

    The more rigid top cover is a welcome addition though, I’ve never liked the flimsy feeling of the removable top cover and having a decent sight radius is a real winner.

    And like charles222, I’m hoping the safety / selector is a solid and reliable part. I’ve seen some home made versions and they don’t instill confidence, normally flicking back on when firing.

  • C J

    It looks like military versions of the Saigas they’ve been selling here. They just went to Carolina Shooting Supply, and bought the add on parts that Americans have been putting on for years. I’ve had a 308 AK for a couple of years now. Longer sight radius is a long overdue addition.

    • Mike

      The AK sight radius is 15″, maybe a little more. So is the sight radius on an M4. They’re within a quarter inch of each other.

      Radius wasn’t the problem with the AK’s sights. The rear sight was. “I have an idea, let’s put pistol sights on a rifle!” No. The “peep” sight on the AR is one of the biggest reasons it’s more accurate.

      • JMD

        Yep. The most accurate rifle in the world, when equipped with a poor sighting system, becomes only as accurate as that poor sighting system.

        Most good AKs can shoot around 2.5 MOA, and by FINALLY moving the rear sight to the correct end of the receiver, that accuracy can become a practical reality.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

        I agree. Arrggghh, why not just add a peep sight and instantly the conscripts will be shooting with better accuracy.

      • noob

        maybe with all that rail they want to put on a forward mounted red-dot as standard and use the crappy tangent sights as a BUIS of last resort.

      • Musashi prodigy

        Negative. If you stick a 4x optic on an AK, it won’t increase it’s accuracy. The AKs poor accuracy, is attributed to it’s design. The AK get’s patterns at 100 yards, which is quite pathetic. While the AR is the most accurate rifle ever fielded by the United States (even more accurate than a Springfield 03, which gets like 4 inch groups at 100). Every successor to the AK, was designed to be more accurate and ergonomic, and less durable. Like the Type 81, Galil, VZ.58, Valmet. All superior rifles in more ways than one. For an AK to be anywhere near as accurate as a modern firearm, you have to put a good barrel in, better parts, and just better QC. Which makes an that AK a thousand dollar AK. Which is ridiculous, it’s like trying to make an axe a spear

      • Nater

        The AR is the most accurate rifle the US has ever fielded? Maybe it’s the most accurate service rifle the US has ever fielded, but there are plenty of M24s and M40s out there that would put it to shame.

        How many AKs have you shot? Probably one, I’d guess a remanufactured one of poor quality. The AK is a lot more accurate than people give it credit for. Given the doctrine of the Warsaw Pact, it’s more than accurate enough for what it was intended for.

        With an AK, a good shooter can, with some effort, hit man-sized targets out to 800m or likely even further. It really depends on the environment, a sandy environment is really going to aid your ability to walk fire onto a target.

        Is the AK as accurate as the AR? Of course not. Is it an inaccurate weapon? No. Finally, the price of a quality AK in this country has more to do with the ridiculous 1989 semi-auto import ban than it does with the rifle itself. I’m sure Izhevsk Mechanical Works could built mil-spec, semi-auto AKs and sell them cheap in the US if not for that law. As it is, Arsenal Inc. has to rebuild the things once they get here, that adds a lot of cost to the bottom line.

  • Ben

    I don’t like how it looks. The original AK had a beautiful symmetry. This thing looks too “blocky”.

    • JMD

      Fortunately, the appearance doesn’t hinder functionality, which is the only thing that really matters.

    • mosinman

      since when was the Ak beautiful? lol but yes the only thing that matters is if your rifle can hit what your aiming at and it goes bang when the trigger is pulled

  • charles222

    …This is completely off-topic, but I don’t suppose there’s a good non-fiction or fiction book about the Red Army’s time in Afghanistan from the Russian POV?

    • Ryan
      • charles222

        Thanks, everyone who replied.

    • W

      There’s “Bear went over the mountain” by lester grau.

      • mosinman

        lol i like that title

    • jdun1911

      There is the 9th company.

      Russian elite Airborn unit that fought in Afghanistan. 39 Russian Airborn vs 200-250 Mujahideen rebels or Pakistani commandos. Two Russians and well over 100 Mujahideen rebels or Pakistani commandos died in the fighting. Great leadership and great support that kept those Russian Airborn troops alive and fighting.

      The movie that base on the event dishonor their bravery. It’s basically a liberal trash film. However if you want to see it, it is on Netflix online.

      http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/9th_Company/70140536?trkid=2361637

      • 276 pedersen

        I don’t know what would make the movie “liberal”… it’s not that terrible, not that great either

      • jdun1911

        Here the fact about the real life version and the movie. The real life version is that only 2 Russian died in the fighting. All of them doing their parts even gravely wounded. That’s bravery.

        The movie made these Russians look like cowards and whiners. Their countryman abandon them in the fight. Every Russian dies except the main character. It made the enemy fearless. Pure liberal bullshit.

      • W

        i wouldn’t place the blame on “liberal bullshit”. I am not the only slightly left leaning centrist that loves firearms, admires military technology, and believes in the concept of “peace through superior firepower”.

        It is a movie, it was meant for entertainment value. I believe that they should have depicted the events more realistically, though it was more entertaining for the targeted audience.

        There is no doubt that Afghanistan was Russia’s Vietnam (though from another perspective I don’t believe that comparison is fair due to the fact that the US suffered significantly higher casualties than the Soviets). Based off of research, Soviet Afghan War veterans suffered similar sentiment like US troops did when they came home from Vietnam.

      • jdun1911

        The film is 100% pure liberal bullshit and you can quote me on it all day long.

        9th company is base on the event of 345th Soviet paratroopers in Afghanistan. Read up on the firefight via google search. Than go watch 9th Company.

        IIRC at the end of the firefight there was not a signal soldier that was not wounded. The two dead Russians Airborn was awarded the highest honor in the Soviet Union. The rest of the troops was awarded with heroism ribbons and medals.

      • FourString

        You don’t have to be conservative to enjoy a firearm. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that no one’s politics can be accurately described with the labels “conservative” or “liberal”. It should be an obsolete term, because it never tells any person’s story well.

      • W

        seriously, end the anti-liberal sentiment. It is a tired and old soapbox to stand on. I don’t need a google search because i have a large collection of books, particularly on guerrilla warfare and the Soviet-Afghan War.

        I really wish people would stop with the political stance holier-than-thou attitude. I understand that a significant population of the firearms community is conservative, though immature behavior like this alienates potential allies and potential new gun enthusiasts standing on a different political spectrum.

      • 276pedersen

        You completely misinterpreted the movie. The movie shows the transformation of raw recruits into toughened fighters mowing down human waves of mujahadin. They are fighting for their country and more importantly their brothers in arms. It is all about Russian Nationalism and pride in their armed forces. It was not made in America and has nothing to do with American politics.

        If the movie was about Russian troops building a tolerance museum or something you might have a point, but I don’t think most people’s idea of “liberal BS” is going cyclic with a PKM.

        Firearms not Politics anyway :-p

    • Komrad

      There was a series that was run quite recently in the monthly full color edition Shotgun News. It was written by and from the point of view of a former Spetsnaz operator/soldier/whatever. It would cover a specific segment of their weaponry each time (heavy weapons, explosives, etc), give some pretty good info about them, and it would include some relevant stories from the author.

      I found it to be quite fascinating and informative. You might be able to find it online or get back editions. Not exactly a book, but still very interesting.

    • John Conquest

      I don’t know of any books. Doubtlessly, there are ones, but I’m an American in America and I only have basic knowledge of the Russian language. There is a fantastic film about Afghanistan called “Афганский излом” (Afganskij Izlom — English: Afghan Breakdown). Acccording to veterans, it is the most realistic and accurate protrayal of the war in film. And it’s a damn good film, too!

  • http://www.twobirdsflyingpub.wordpress.com Sal

    Do you know if the barrel is still pressed and pinned at the trunnion?

  • Mike

    Curved butt plate… I hate curved butt plates. Put a flat one on there!

    • Other Steve

      Quick question…. Is your shoulder flat or curved?

      • Mike

        Do I use my shoulder every time I shoot? Or am I putting it on my pectoral to help me control recoil?

      • John Doe

        But it’s automatic! The butt plate is actually designed to conform to the human hip!

        /sarcasm

  • Reverend Clint

    looks a bit like sig

  • jdun1911

    The Sig is a Kalashnikov variant.

    • Reverend Clint

      uh yeah no shit…

    • Raygun

      The SG550-based rifles are also worlds ahead of this thing in every way that matters. This is an AK with a bunch of rails on it. WOW. If I worked for Izhevsk, I’d be out looking for a job right now.

      Are there any firms in Russia actually contributing positively to modern small arms design as far as rifles are concerned? Or do we really have to wait for ol’ Mickey to kick off before that starts happening?

  • Alex-mac

    India get’s an AK that can be converted to fire 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm, but now they want a bullpup instead that does that too.

  • Vhyrus

    Wake me when Century starts importing them.

  • JMD

    Measurements I’ve done from the first picture on this page, based on the dimensions of a standard AK-74 magazine, indicate that the sight height over bore axis is approximately two inches, and the sight height over the cheek riser on the stock is approximately 1.5 inches. Those are almost exactly the same measurements for those dimensions on an AR-15 or M-16.

  • Ray

    I think it sort of looks like a Galil with rails. Looks like the need to fix and unanswered question with an unwanted piece of kit has infected the Russian military too.

    • JMD

      Bringing the ergonomics and accessory modularity of that design into the current century was not unwanted, I’m quite sure.

      • Polo

        Well you see the Galil’s roots are in the AK-47, so that explains alot I guess.

  • Rob

    not much for me to say
    if you’ll forgive the memes
    me gusta
    do want

    • mosinman

      Y U NO want An94? lol

  • http://world.guns.ru Max Popenker

    Steve, it is NOT “final production model” but rather A FISRT WORKING PROTOTYPE
    It is still very far from being “final”, from what I know.

    • Okto

      It’s at least the third prototype of the “next gen” AK we’ve seen. They’ve had a while to get it right.

    • http://www.kalasnyikov.hu Zoltan Szoeroes

      Dear Max,

      CDo you have any pictures from the OTHER side of the weapon? It would be very interesting! :-)
      By the way, it is not sure clear for me, where could I pull it up, and how could I take it to pieces. :-)

      • http://world.guns.ru Max Popenker

        unfortunately, no left side photos were published yet
        as for disassembly, there is a lever on the right side, above and behind the safety.
        Push this lever to unlock top cover, then raise cover up and forward. After that, you can pull out return spring, and then bolt group.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Thanks Max, I updated it.

  • Okto

    So, basically Ижмаш have made an ugly AR that you don’t have to clean all the time. Meh.

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned the obviously terrible ergonomics of the fire selector. That lever does not move the way a human thumb does. Thumbs move in an arc in the forward-facing quadrant relative to muzzle, not upward-facing.
    Also, the safety bar, while tactically unsound for taking the weapon off safe within earshot of a Tango (which is tactically unsound in the first place, so invalid complaint), is brilliant because it’s not only impossible to fire the weapon, it’s also impossible to chamber a round. Not to mention it keeps crud out of the action.

    Rails good. Adjustable stock good. Grip no longer made from a broomhandle good. Ambi fire selector/charging handle good. Multi calibers good.

    Using tangent sights after WWI, bad. Changing the operating system of a fifty-year old design that still never breaks and resists harsh weather better than anything besides a bolt gun, bad.

  • Liv

    >ion fact it is downright ugly
    >ion fact

  • Spiros-Hellas

    its’ a rifle;it doesn’t have to be pretty,it has to be accurate,reliable and functional -sports illustrated cover girls HAVE to be pretty : ) .If this new design retains the traditional AK reliability and manages to eliminate the majority of the drawbacks that the old design had,then it’s an excellent firearm.However,there are millions of brand new AK-74s stored in Russian arsenals,IMHO AK-12 will be issued to specialist and interior ministry troops-just like AN-94,AS Val-, the average Russian soldier would keep his old trusty AK for decades to come…

  • http://seriousgunblog.com SGB

    I like it. There are a few things I’d like to see changed but I can say that about every firearm I’ve ever looked at, shot or carried. I could live with this one.

  • Mikey

    Russian firearms are junk.

    • mosinman

      im not a big fan of russian weapons (except for mosins, and sks) most of them are ugly, but they deff arnt junk

    • Bandito762

      I am curious what you think of the M249 and the M1 Garand

    • Komrad

      Worst. Comment. Ever!
      /Comic Book Guy

    • Jake the Rake

      “Anything that is complex is not useful and anything that is useful is simple. This has been my whole life’s motto.”
      Looking at other modern combat systems I would say that the AK is one of the best developed weapons systems ever. Its cheap, it is simple, and has many variants that are similar to the AK platform and operate similar. This allows for fast and effective equipping of the AK models to Russian troops. Especially with them having an army of 20,000,000+ Enlisted. It was the golden answer to Russia’s call. Point being, you’re an idiot.

  • Dan-0

    Remember, form follows function, a concept the Russians (perhaps unwittingly) have historically prevailed in.

    The AK-12 does look like fun, and the enhanced ergos would be intertersting to try. I think they should’ve kept the 47 moniker, i.e. AK-47A1 mk2 mod 0 ad nauseum.

    • Tushan

      except we use AK-74 since 1974.

  • ragnarok220

    The Russians should study FNC and SIG first.

  • somebody

    All they need to add is the balanced recoil system from the ak 107 or the aek 971.

  • Kenny Blankenship

    Heh… Я♥Ижевск watermark on the first photo.

  • Ethan Dublin

    It’s like the Dublin AK Systems RCS.

  • Caseless

    The Russian government didn’t have money to order the AN-94 back in the 90s. Are they really going to order this new AK-12 when their warehouses are still choke full of AKMs?
    AK-12 would be just another export model attempt to boost Izhmash’s declining AK sales.

  • Redjeepgirl

    I’ll take two. Especially one in 7.62x51mm..

  • S O

    “Ergonomic pistol grip (with a decent radius between trigger guard and grip).”

    What does this mean? It certainly doesn’t look like a trigger guard meant for maximum suitability for thick winter gloves (Valmet is the most extreme company in this regard, and I figure the Russians shouldn’t forget this winter combat requirement either).

    • GarryB

      I always thought the SA80 looked cool, but the early models were unreliable, so I really don’t allow cosmetic things like looks blur my view of new weapons now.

      This prototype seems to combine all the best features of the AK, which had a range of different solutions combined together to make a new design in the first place, and also fix most of the obvious problems.

      If they have managed to retain the AKs good reliability then I think they have done an excellent job without making any radical changes that would effect production rate, cost, training time for soldiers, and of course without adding too many new things that could fail and therefore make the weapon less reliable.

      Balanced recoil would have been a nice addition, but would be more useful in 7.62 x 39mm and the heavier rifle models in 308 NATO.

      I presume there is a 7.62 x 54mm version… but if their isn’t there was mention before of another top secret calibre… perhaps they now have the money to introduce the 6 x 49mm round they developed to replace the 7.62 x 54mm round and the heavy AK-12 rifle will be in 7.62 x 51mm and 6 x 49mm Russian?

      Note the 6 x 49mm round didn’t fail, there was just no money to put it into production. Now there is money and there is still a need to replace the old rimmed round.

      It would be interesting for their new sniper teams if they did adopt the new round as the sniper might be carrying a SV-338 long range sniper rifle and his spotter might have a heavy AK-12 with a long barrel in 6 x 49mm.

      That would be cool.

      • Alex-mac

        Balanced recoil would have been great, especially since it has a 3 round burst. The main reason they didn’t include it was cost and perhaps also design, this is a multi calibre design already.

        Don’t confuse Russian military need for low cost small arms and the utility of balanced recoil.

        The Russians could have at least made it a different color. Black is outdated now. Hopefully this is just a prototype.

  • Sashok

    Check out a higher resolution picture from the izhmash website itself:

    http://www.izhmash.ru/pix/news/AK-12.jpg

    Details (in Russian) are at
    http://www.izhmash.ru/rus/news/250112_2.shtml

    • Avery

      The folding, adjustable stock looks very inspired by the iterations of the Bren S805.

      The forward-mounted, ambidextrous charging handle should increase the AK’s already-legendary reliability.

      I do think that the selector switch needs to be extended lower to ease with safety and mode changes. Also, I think the mounting point on the gas exchange is not that great of a mounting position. It would be better to extend the handguard, as well as extending the lateral rails (which are pretty short), while leaving a cut out for the gas bleed holes on the gas tube. Or drop the front sight and mount it on the gas exchange either as iron sights or flip-up BUIS.

  • Russki

    Still same AK with the same internal parts. All those mods on the budget already been done in US by changing butt stock and adding grips with rails. Ergonomics need to be changed. The gun need to be more compact, they need to invest into supplying their guns with standard optics like the ones on HK G36 or SA80. No wonder defense department stopped purchasing new AK’s from Izshmash. I am not sure this “modified” gun with be in any interest from the Russian defense ministry.

    • Esh325

      They did change the ergonomics. Did you not read the article or look at the pictures? A compact version of the rifle is being planned.

    • Nater

      I think that integrated optics would be a mistake. The G36 optic system is absolutely terrible and the British have gone with Trijicon ACOGs and Elcan SpecterDRs for their SA80s. Steyr has also done away with the integral 1.5x optic on the AUG. It’s much better to supply rail space and no optic than some optic that may no suit the end user.

      • Russki

        I was following this story in the Russian media and here’s the results: Russian defence ministry is NOT interested in buying this weapon, it’s got the same internal parts as AK 74’s they got surplus of 17 million with only 1 million army forces. This gun will be offered to the foreign sales.
        I watch lot of russian forces using AK’s and non of them got optics exept of SVD or Vintorez. They simply can’t afford mounting optics on every weapon. Izshmash factory is a bancrupt, they designed thei AK-12 hoping for new sales but the factory still filed for bancruptcy. Russian defense department wants a completely new rifle, not modified AK-74. Sorry guys, but it’s real life.

      • Russki

        Here’s a good story that you guys might like. One guy decided to purchase 90 empty AK wooden crates from Izhmash for his stove in siberia. After he opened crates inside he found 70+ AK’s with magazines and spare parts. He called authorities and investigation was launched. Few people lost their jobs over it! That’s what i call a nice present )))

      • Russki

        Here’s tot he issue about optics for a new AK. Trijicon is supplying US military with ACOG. US defense department is paying for it. In Russia case no optics being purchased at all, so rails are basically useless. Russian soldiers can’t afford buying their own optics. So if Izhmash installed standard optics like on G-36 (even if they’re piece of crap) it would be better than no optics at all. I am expressing my views form the point of view of a russian soldier.

  • mosinman

    this is great and all that the russians have brough thier weapon systm into the 21st century, but what about the millions of ak-74s that they have stocked up in storage?

    • Kalashnikov Addict

      To solve the problem that Russki brought up, they may sell most of those AK-74’s they have to the highest bidders, kind of like what they did when they stopped being the Soviet Union, cuz they were flat-out poor.

  • PLUS

    Earlier articles in here noted the AK-12 might use a new caliber exclude 5.45, 5.56 and7.62×39(may 6.5)
    Is that project were cancelled? Or They haven’t unveil it?

    • GarryB

      I have been thinking about that too.

      Don’t you think it is strange they bothered to make a large calibre version of this weapon (the heavy AK-12) and it is only in 7.62 x 51mm NATO calibre?

      Perhaps the secret calibre they are talked before about is the other heavy rifle calibre… 6 x 49m or whatever they might have replaced that new cartridge that was developed to replace the 7.62 x 54mm round.

      It would make an ideal designated marksman rifle to replace the SVD in platoons, and could be used in sniper teams as a spotter weapon with the sniper carrying something like an SV-338 or something in 12.7 x 108mm calibre.

      It would also explain why there is no 7.62 x 54mm version even mentioned.

      The SVD and the Bren gun manage to be reliable capable box fed weapons using rimmed cartridges from the 19th century so I don’t see any good reason why a new AK could not be chambered for that round… like the civilian Tigr and many other rifles based on the AK action.

  • Charles222

    FWIW, pistol-type sights actually kind of make sense to me as a BUIS. Most firefights happen within 100m, and there it’s speed that wins, not necessarily tiny-hole accuracy; pistol sights are much quicker than peeps. Plus this rifle is obviously set up with optics in mind.

  • Kieran

    Russian doctrine is still to engage with full auto, If your firing on automatic do you think the pistol type sights would be more effective than peep sights?

    Iv always wanted to fire the 5.45 version looks like it has no kick at all.

    • lt.malashenko

      Russian doctrine is never to engage in fully automatic fire. Russian doctrine is to exercise control. the fire selector of AK-47 and 74 is designed so that if a trooper panics and switches lever down it is in semi automatic the user has to consciously move selector to automatic. ak-107 and an-94 both are automatically burst fire and have to be switched

  • Ryan

    anyone know what the barrel change system is like?

    Is it faster than a G36 to change the barrel? (For me, about 40 seconds without any tools)

  • Partizan1942

    I like it.

    To me one of the most important novelties is the new 4 stack box magazine that can hold 60 rounds and is not longer than the old ones were. Somehow no one talks about these although they came out with this gun and are a significant improvement in terms of firepower and suppressing capability.

    I think the decision to put more space between the front and the rear sights is also good.

    I myself am a big fan of the easy to adjust AN-94 rear sights but the pistol sights are just fine as well. (Please do not start whining about them. The gun is not made for big bellied rednecks who go out to shoot at raccoons from their armchairs in their back yards after having some beers. The gun is made for soldiers. Soldiers can be properly trained to use these sights and hit their target just fine.)

    It’s a good thing that the gun has a lot of picatinny rails for sights and grips and such things. This gun though like all guns has to be functional on its own without any of these accessories. I mean who would want to get stuck with a gun like a Sig 516 that only has rails and no iron sights. What is your red dot or acog gets damaged because you are being shot at and as you dive for cover you hit the sight? How do you return fire? So yes you do need good, properly zeroed sights that are simple to use, and reliable.

    I do not know if anyone has any info on this but to me the material or texture (or whatever you call this) of barrel of the gun looks like it has better quality I remember reading somewhere that they are in fact improved. It is hard to tell from pictures but it would be interesting to hear if anyone has more on this. Certainly if it is true and the accuracy is better than it is something we can be glad about.

    The only thing that I am missing from this gun is the counterbalance system of the AK-107/108. I know I am not the only one. I read several of you guys think the same. A big-big improvement though is the fact that the gun can fire 3 round bursts. Controlled burst firing is surely more accurate than spraying even with a counterbalanced AK and at the same time it helps you keep fire superiority. Plus with the new mags you can pull the trigger 20 times in 3 round bursts before you have to change mags… Big-big advantage.

    Even with these features the gun is not bulkier bigger or heavier (~3.3kg – empty) than the AK-74 in the same 5.45mm caliber. I think that is a great improvement.

    To be honest I do not know if I like the new pistol grip. I would have to hold it in my hand. It looks though like it gives one a better grab at the gun.

    What else is new? Oh have you seen the new mag release button? Finally an AK that you can reload without having to reach for the empty mag, pull it out, drop it and then reach for the new full mag and put it in. Just push the button and reach for the new mag.

    I read all the comments above and a lot of you asked about the receiver and if it is zero for the sight and how the gun can be taken apart. I found one picture where several things are visible: http://www.qianyan001.com/junshi/20120509/1336524961_76470200_3.html
    If you look at the picture you can see that the back part of the receiver cover is not completely taken off the gun. It can be flipped up so that the rear sight would be more stabilized when put back together. In addition to that you can see that two other lugs hold the back part of the receiver in place. So it is fixed in 3 places and it leans on the symmetrical sides of the bottom part of the gun. To me it looks like it is a pretty solid placement for the sight.

    One more thing is visible on the same picture. If you look at it, it is clear that the handle with which you pull back the bolt is not an integral part of the bolt like on previous AKs. This means that you can put it on the left side of the gun with one move when you assemble the gun. This means that the gun is 100% ambidextrous and it also means that a right handed person no longer has to chose between letting go of the gun with his right hand (not being able to hold his hand on the trigger) or having to reach around the gun with his left to pull back the bolt and get the first round in the gun from the new magazine. He can simply hold the pistol grip of the gun with his right hand change the mag with his left and pull back the bolt with his left while constantly being able to hold the end of the barrel of the gun to face towards the enemy.

    By the way here is a video of the gun I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqpVNLZA0W8
    Take a look how long it takes to fix the GP-30 grenade launcher on the barrel.

    There could be a problem with the receiver form the point of view of the Russian Army because they have used the so called “dove tail” mount on the previous AK and SVD rifles for all the scopes. These are no longer compatible (at least not according to my knowledge) with the AK-12 simply because the new receiver has no dovetail mount on it, only the picatinny rails. So with the new gun, the army would have to purchase new scopes as well even though the old ones were just fine.

    All in all I find that the gun is a good concept and it amalgamates the best characteristics of the old AKs with the answers to some of the new challenges on the battlefields of the 21st century.

    What do you guys think?

    • srs

      actually if you want to quickly reload your ak take your new mag and swipe it across the bottom of the trigger guard into the magrelease and bam drops the mag then reload and to charge the weapon reach under the rifle with your left hand and charge it without removing your hand from the trigger

    • rihiimaki222

      I like the surefire 90 rd mag better.

  • Sc@r

    Beauty of a rifle, really looks like a mean dose of death! This is made primarily for the Spetsnaz, with their custom preferences and requirements, that differ from the massed regular army units (Remember, the Pecheneg was made for them first, so was the AN-94). Thus, I do not believe that regular units will get this thing, at least not soon afterwards, and will instead get the AK-107/108, or AEK-971 series… I have seen somewhere that some newer Kobra an PK-AS red dots are made with Picatinny rails so they could still be attached to this rifle.

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  • Kalashnikov Addict

    Okay, cool, I already was addicted. But it isn’t ugly! 12’s beautiful, just respect this beautiful gun for what it is- a work of art! A deadly work, but art, nonetheless.

  • anan

    im an indian living in usa; in my point of view new ak 12 combat rifle vastly an awsome disigne , makes lightining among all it apprecient who sitting in their top of toes , as well as we known it famous glorius history , reliablity & durablity that makes this rifle more daring even opposite soldiers , with this new modification the rifle goes itself next generation features and polyvalent uses in all critical condition and bad wheather situation . those modification make it handlling and maintaining with it ‘s accessories so easly , with diffrent varient calibres and diffrent length of barrels, ak 12 would be entered in service by end of 2012 or 2013 , before that russian weaponary engineering technicians must concern this rifle to maintaining much easyly, as it ‘s accessories features with new picanity rail ,they can also introduce an easely removable gun barrels from the chamber with diffrent calibre with diffrent length. that feature only missing in this awsome next generation AUTOMATE KLASNIKOV , hope you russian engineers would be solved this problem also soon

  • anan

    i’m an indian living in usa; as my point of view,,, the new ak 12 combat rifle vastly an amazing disigne , makes lightining it self among all it apprecient who sitting in their top of toes , as well as we known it famous glorius history , reliablity & durablity that makes this rifle more daring even opposite soldiers , with this new modification the rifle goes itself next generation features and polyvalent uses in all critical condition and bad wheather situation . those modification make it handlling and maintaining with it ‘s accessories so easly , with diffrent varient calibres and diffrent length of barrels, ak 12 would be entered in service by end of 2012 or 2013 , before that russian weaponary engineering technicians must concern this rifle to maintaining much easyly, as it ‘s accessories features with new picanity rail ,they can also introduce an easely removable screwing threads gun barrels to replace another one into the chamber with diffrent calibre with diffrent length.same as an universal gas piston for all type of ak 12 with suitable calibre bolt for suitable calibre riound , thease features only missing in this awsome next generation AUTOMATE KLASNIKOV , hope you russian engineers would be solved this problem also soon.

    • http://www.poconoshooting.com Pocono Shooting Range

      How about a last round open bolt catch?

      My only problem with AK’s is that you don’t know when you are empty until you pull the trigger and there is no bang.

  • http://www.poconoshooting.com Pocono Shooting Range

    Does the bolt stay open when the last round is fired? That would be a useful feature.

  • Ak 12

    I need the model of this gun.