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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  • Joseph

    At first I had doubts about it but it seems they’ll have a good idea stream going. I look forward to what more comes of it.

  • DW

    lol they still call them SMGs

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

      To be fair, its probably a college intern copy-and-pasting the original Russian transcript into Google Translate and then fixing up the grammer ;)

      • Ben

        I have a feeling it’s a translation error, the Vz58 is still referred to as a submachinegun.

    • bone

      The assault rifle was always called “avtomat” in the Russian/soviet forces. The AK took the place of the PPsH in the squad and it was largely used the same way.
      I grew up in Romania and did the military service there. We called the AK “pistol-machinegun” (pistol mitraliera). in the squad, The PSL and RPK were called “rifles” or rifle derivates. The PSL would translate something like semiautomatic rifle with a scope and the RPK was called “pusca-mitraliera” wich directly translates to “rifle-machinegun”. :)
      The guys carrying the ak were called “pistolari” (guys carrying pistols) not “puscasi” (guys carrying rifles). :)

      Anyway, the AK-12 is way too late to the game and too heavy for what it is.

      • Esh325

        You might say that, but your own country is making a rifle very similar to the AK-12.

      • bone

        I know about the “new” rifle they made at Cugir. It’s a 4kg heavy AK, with a hinged top cover, a short rail, Ambi selector and the charging handle moved forward, in the gas tube area.
        Here are a few links with some pictures of the prototype:
        http://www.resboiu.ro/tag/arma-de-asalt-cugir-poze/
        http://www.resboiu.ro/2012/05/17/bsda-2012-episodul-4-detalii-cu-noua-pusca-de-asalt-romaneasca/
        http://www.resboiu.ro/2012/05/17/bsda-2012-episodul-2-noua-durda-automata/

        What’s pi$$ing me off about it, is that they didn’t even bother to move the rear sight to the rear end of the rail. They went trough the pain of making the top cover hinged and extend it all the way to the gas tube, but they slapped the rear sight right back in the same place.
        I’m not surprised tho. The guys that ran the state owned factory were not promoted from the people in the factory, that knew the trade, but brought in by the political party that had the power in the area.

        Romania is not technically “my country” anymore. I live in Canada for 15 years and I love it here. :)

      • Esh325

        It’s still just a prototype. Would be an easy fix. I’d like to buy one if they ever show up in the US.

    • Lance

      While Romania has the factory to experiment with a 5.56mm AK which most 5.56mm version are not know for as high reliability as its 5.45 version. Given the fact they are in debt and are desperately finding a alternative to the ancient MiG-21s in they have and T-55s for tanks guns on the on the very low priority on there modernization and be years before they reach a need for any new AK when the AK-74/86 they have has great troop approval ratings in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      • Lance

        And and at Bone bless our friends in Romania they are proven allies in combat.

      • Esh325

        To my knowledge, it’s only commercial versions of 5.56×45 AK’s that may have reliability problems. The military versions are fine.

  • Jeff

    at 0:57, is it just me or did they splice in a shot of an AK-1xx?

    • higgs

      There was an AK107

    • SpeSt

      look 14 sec on this video, this is AK 107
      They trick us once again.

  • Gidge

    All well and good… Except that Izhmash is currently bankrupt.

    Meanwhile IWI has sold the new Galil ACE family to most of South America. They also stole Izhmash’s deal with Azerbaijan right out from under them. Anyone looking for an AK style rifle that’s proven, reliable, modular, low recoil(for an AK) and has rails everywhere would have to ask themselves serious questions to go past the Galil ACE family for the unproven AK12.

    It’s a moot point because by 2013 there may not be any potential clients left for Izhmash. These new features they’re adding are five to ten years too late, the rest of the world has moved on

    • noob

      yeah. this is more like a look at what could have been

    • Esh325

      Izmash isn’t bankrupt anymore. Read their Russian website.

      • Gidge

        They’re still operating under administration with government funds but they are very much bankrupt.

        They’re also in trouble for for a number of old rifles going missing that were due to be destroyed

    • Esh325

      Unless they are lying or my translation is off, according to the website.

      ” On the way to this date the plant has passed the difficult process of financial recovery and restructuring, and, despite all the difficulties, the holiday has already met the joint, stable and strong company.”

  • higgs

    I see russia has finally reverse engineered a chris costa. Though their model is a bit bulkier.

    • Esh325

      People were putting rails on the AK before Chris Costa was.

      • Chase

        Higgs wasn’t talking about the AK.

  • JerryB8

    At the end of the day. Izhmash is not going any where they simply lost a huge contract. That would be like General Motors going away for the Russians. I think the moral of the story, under Putin we are going to end up engaged with someone armed with this weapon. And At this point with this new release if the Russians do field this weapon in a 30 caliber, which is direction Europe countries seem to be heading. To be blunt our forces will be out gunned unless the Army adopts the h&K417 or the AR in 6.8SPC Chamber 2. the latter being my preference as it is an awesome round. Don’t get me wrong the US will Stomp them but isn’t it time to move away from a round the US Game commission feels is inhuman to hunt with?

    • higgs

      5.56 has been killin bad guys for 50+ years. How is russia making a weapon for export in a round that is older going to aaffect the status quo? A 7.62 out of a ancient AKM is no different than outa this.

      • Esh325

        According to the Russians, this rifle is claimed to be more accurate and much more controllable than previous Kalashnikov rifles, so this rifle would be much more effective than an old AKM. The 7.62×39 is not an outdated round. The Russians still use the 7.62×39 for their police teams and SF.

    • higgs

      And what european countries aree heading to .30(I assume you mean .308) whhen many countries are deviloping 5.56mm rifles (including ex warsaw countries IE poland, czech republic, croatiam) I assume you confusse DMR roles with mass issue.

      • Noir

        higgs: Since when was Croatia (Yugoslavia) in Warpact? Others are developing 5,56 rifle for the same reason they used 7,62×39 before – politics.

    • Dan

      You do realize small arms are not even remotely strategically important? I am tired of people acting like wars are decided by the firearms carried by the infantry.

      • higgs

        Noir- I realized my mistake as soon as i submitted it, Croatia, formerly part of Yugoslavia, was communist, but not a member of the Warsaw Pact. My bad.

      • Jim

        “small arms are not even remotely strategically important”
        as proven by the Japanese in WWII

      • Esh325

        This may be true, but to the individual soldier it matters.

      • W

        they are strategically important, as they are the equipment used by the individual soldier. In 4th generation warfare, rifles are even more important than they were before.

      • Avery

        Truth. I recall something out of Marine manual that the primary infantry weapon killers are squad support weapons, i.e. machineguns and the grenade launchers. Even if every Marine is a rifleman, the rifle is just used to persuade the enemy into the kill zone for those weapons.

    • W

      the gap between the 5.56 and 7.62 has been effectively bridged, thanks to the introduction of the Mk 262 Mod 1 and 0, Mk 318, and M855A1 cartridges. The 6.8 has its own issues, namely comparatively shorter barrel life.

      The M855 shot out of a 14.5″ M4 barrel has given the 5.56 round a bad reputation, despite it being well known and documented that the older M193 and M855 out of a 20″ barrel is a effective man stopper. A open tip match cartridge is even more effective, even with a shorter barrel.

    • John Doe

      What matters more than the rifle the soldier carries is the missiles you have in the bunkers, subs and planes. Plus, the 5.56 works fine. It still kills.

    • GarryB

      The AK-12 is supposed to come in two models, with the lighter model in Assault Rifle calibres including the 6.5mm Grendal so I would assume a 6.8mm model would not be out of the question.
      The heavier model is described as coming in 7.62 x 51mm calibre, and another secret calibre they wont reveal. The fact that they don’t mention a 7.62 x 54mm calibre model is interesting… perhaps the Pecheneg is the last 7.62 x 54mm calibre weapon they put into service?
      Are they going to adopt 7.62mm NATO, or have they done further work on their 6 x 49mm round that was supposed to replace the old round?

      BTW worrying that the US might face better equipped enemies in the future is hardly a reason to be worried about the AK-12.

      Perhaps thinking a lot harder about why you are actually invading all these small third world countries and what you really want to achieve might be of benefit to the US soldiers that have to do the actual fighting and dying.

      You can probably tell me how many US servicemen died in Iraq, but can you tell me even a ball park figure for the Iraqis that died?

      Don’t care about the Iraqis?

      So why did all those American soldiers have to die bringing them democracy if you don’t care about them?

      Note these are rhetorical questions…

  • http://zbranekvalitne.cz/ Czechnology

    But that is really just for historic reasons, it’s part of it’s original name (Sa(mopal) vz. 58).

  • taran

    What do people think of the muzzle break, is it worth having one on a standard rifle given the extra noise and muzzle blast?

  • Lex

    Is that narrator the same guy who tells you to watch the fasten seatbelt sign?

  • Lance

    I noticed a standard AK-74M buttstock was added which is very nice. Overall I doubt this will replace the AK-74M as standard infantry issue rifle. BUT for SpetZ Naz and FSB special units this would be awesome weapon and may replace the failed AN-94 for most Special units in Russia.

    Overall wish they make there AK-12 muzzle break fit on regular AKs be a mighty help for auto fire.

    • Esh325

      From what I read from a translation, The Russian Defense Ministry said the only improvement they wanted on the AK-74M is just a picatinny rail. So you’re right that the AK-12 probably won’t see general service. It sounds like a great rifle, but the benefits don’t outweigh the cost.

    • bone

      I think the Ak74 is one of the most controlable assault rifle in full auto. From this video looks like the AK12 is a bit more jumpy, or am i wrong?

  • Lemming

    I don’t get all the people agreeing that the AK-12 is too heavy for what it is. According to the information we’ve been given it weighs 3.3 kilograms empty, while the AK-74M is 3.4 kilograms empty. That’s actually an improvement, while at the same time vastly increasing the ergonomics of the rifle, as well as modularity and it’s ability to be controlled under automatic fire. All this while still being the simple and reliable weapon that I’ve come to love. Honestly, what’s to hate?

    • Esh325

      Yes, the AK-12 doesn’t weigh much more than most modern assault rifles. The SCAR-L standard weighs 3.29 kg just to compare.

      • GarryB

        AFAIK the extra weight over the previous models stems largely from the 60 round magazine. If you tape two 30 round loaded mags to an AK-74M then both weapons weigh the same… except the guy with two 30 round mags has to stop half way through to rotate the mags to shoot the last 30 rounds.

  • GarryB

    Does anyone have any evidence that the AK-12 is significantly more expensive than a standard AK-74M?

    Putin has pretty much demanded goals of new weapons in the military, with 70% by 2020.

    Suggests to me that introducing a new rifle might be a good idea.

    On the face of it they have made a lot of small changes, but I rather doubt the cost of the weapon has increased by a significant amount… they didn’t even bother adding a balance recoil mechanism, which they have already revealed in the AK-107/108 weapons so it is not as if they couldn’t do it or couldn’t make it.

    This seems to me to be an AK with all the minor issues dealt with, why wouldn’t they adopt it?

    They are spending money on a new super soldier kit, to which they have shown both AK-107 and AN-94 weapons with at expos, why not make it a standard issue weapon.

    From what I have read the VDV are adopting the ADS, and I would assume the Naval Infantry will do the same… the question as to whether they will adopt it as a specialist weapon or a standard weapon remains, but I remember when the AK-74 was first revealed and all the western experts described it as a specialist weapon for special forces only… till it was clear it was widely deployed and was going to be the new standard rifle of the Russian Armed forces.

    India seems to want a modular multi calibre weapon that can be swapped to different calibre options, so I suspect they might adapt the design further before they have the final definitive weapon.

    I personally think eventually (obviously after testing) the Russian military will stop purchases of AK-100 series weapons and adopt AK-12s… even if the AK-12 is more expensive the ability to buy an AK-12 with different barrel lengths including SMG, Carbine, Rifle, and LMG it means an AK-12 with the four different barrel lengths can replace the AKS-74U, AK-105, AK-74M, and RPK-74, with a more accurate and easy to use base weapon.

    Needless to say they are looking at new pistols to replace the Makarov, so they are clearly interested in replacing everything… pistols are token military weapons at best.

    • Lance

      They wont switch the Russian Military said they will NOT BUY any new infantry weapons for nearly 5 years and showed little interest in the AK-107, AN-94 and AK-12. The AN-94 was too expensive and complex to be adopted by Russian infantry. Only SpetZ Naz used them.

      The AK-74M is a fine weapon, and rails can be added w/o other major changes to the weapon. Overall the AK-12 is for export and for SpetZ Naz units who need specialized weapon for specific weapons.

      • GarryB

        They have a commitment that comes from the very top to replace their Soviet equipment.

        The AK-12 is not some radical new design with pullies and wire cables and a moving barrel that recoils like an artillery piece like the AN-94.

        This is a standard AK with certain components lightened and modified to reduce recoil and have better ergonomics and the ability to attach equipment to it easily.

        There have been dozens of Russian weapons over the years that use balanced recoil mechanisms to improve hit probability, the AN-94 was adopted purely on improved hit probability because firing two rounds that will impact within 50-60mm of the other on a target increases lethality (with two hits) or hit probability (if the first round misses the second is close enough that it might hit). Cost of manufacture and ease of use were ignored, just like when the AK-74 was selected to replace the AK accuracy and hit probability were ignored… the AK-74 was cheaper and easier to make so it won.

        The question now is what are the new criteria… the An-94 is too complex and expensive for standard service, and Izhmash are clearly hedging their bets because as we saw in the video above they were testing AK-12s but also AK-107s, so they have the simpler AK improvement in the AK-12 and the more expensive and complicated AK-107 with its balanced recoil mechanism… they could as easily have based the AK-12 on the AK-107 design if they wanted to, but they were clearly going for cheaper and simpler while also going for easy to use and easy to add to with a new focus on accuracy with improved rifling.

        15 years ago they chose the AN-94 and it is still not widely adopted, because it was found to be complex and expensive and not very soldier proof. In 5 years time when they are about to start looking for weapons to introduce into service the AK-12 will likely be a mature system with all the bugs worked out through experience in use with special forces, and export contracts perhaps to India of a modular multi calibre model.

        For general issue the modular versions might not be so desirable, but a new heavy model using 6 x 49mm calibre ammo or its replacement might be a useful replacement for the SVD, or as a team protection weapon for the spotter in a sniper team.

        Izhmash have already gone down the path of upgraded AK-100s with pic rails, and also balanced recoil rifles with rails (AK-200), but it is clear that the AK-12 is better than those weapons in many ways.

        The military are not even testing the weapon till 2013 and a multi barrel multi calibre model might not even be ready for testing for another 2-3 years either, but I think unless something revolutionary is developed the next Russian standard rifle is most likely to be AK-12 based.

        Listen to the guys in the video above… when specialist shooting teams like a standard rifle this much you can assume it must be pretty good… how many shooting teams use unmodified standard army weapons?

      • Lance

        The AK-74M was not a Svoiet rifle it was adopted the same year the USSR collasped. Overall the AK-74M is improved and will feature railes I doubt trhe 74M will be replaced by the AK-12 anytime soon.

        Most of the Putin orders to replace Soviet weapons comes for the Air Force and Navy to replace older planes and Ships worn out by age. Su-27 and Su-24 and older Typhoon SSBNs.

      • W

        Garry, well said. the truth is that nobody knows if the AK12 will be more expensive or not. It certainly doesn’t introduce radical new design features like the AN94 and is pretty conventional with westernized features. I like the approach they made: instead of introducing a further complicated design, they sought to improve the tried and true long stroke action. That is admirable in my opinion.

  • Vitor

    What I want to know is, what has the AK-12 improved over other AKs? How is the action? Long, short stroke?

    • Gidge

      They’re ready to tell you that it’s so much better but they’re remarkably vague on how and why.

    • W

      The AK12 supposedly features its rails, telescopic buttstock, rear sight mounted at the back, thumb ambidextrous safety selector, new muzzle brake, ambidextrous charging handle, and “improved rifling” (the website, translated from Russian, vaguely mentions this without any more information). Any more information than what was posted on this blog is pretty sparse.

  • Vhyrus

    That’s a submachine gun? Does the narrator work for the ATF or something?

    • Avery

      The Russians have a tendency to call assault rifles “submachine guns”. They rarely make a distinction between pistol-caliber automatic weapons and rifle-caliber automatic weapons.

  • http://026480.livejournal.com David

    Here is some new photo of AK-12 from Forum «Engineering Technologies 2012» http://twower.livejournal.com/826443.html http://026480.livejournal.com/27064.html

  • GarryB

    The AK-74M is an AK-74 with synthetic furniture made on more modern tooling to improve quality.

    The only practical difference is that the AK-74M is fitted with a side rail mount for a scope and its side folding stock is solid and has a cutout on the left side for the rail mount.

    BTW the Su-27 still forms a large portion of operational aircraft in the Russian AF, as does the Su-24 even though they are both being supplimented and eventually replaced in the future by the Su-35/PAK FA and Su-34 respectively. The Typhoon class was a very small class of 6 boats… the new Borei class SSBNs are actually replacing the Delta III and Delta IV class vessels which formed the real backbone of the SSBN fleet.

    The AK-12 has not been tested by the Russian military yet and I think we have not seen the final in service model yet anyway because as I mentioned before a multi calibre system offering differing barrel lengths and calibres will likely be the final form, though a simpler model for military forces that don’t require multi calibre weapons could be on the cards as well so it is probably too soon to say, but currently the only competition is the ADS bullpup… which is also a good weapon.

    The AK-12 solves a range of perceived problems over the standard AK-74, the primary problems can be listed as short iron sight base (ie the iron sights are too close together), it uses open iron sights, it is too hard to fit more than one optical sight at one time because of the rail mount, the stock folds but is not adjustable for length for when you are wearing heavy body armour or a light T shirt. The stock is also angled down slightly so under recoil the rifle tends to rise more than it would with a straight stock. There is no bolt hold open device, the pistol grip is not particularly comfortable, the safety/fire selector is out of reach of right handed shooters, and the design means the receiver has a slit for the cocking handle that allows entry of dirt and sand into the mechanism, the cocking handle is also difficult to reach for right handed users. There is no rail attachment points near the front of the rifle for forward pistol grips or lights or laser target designators.
    Another problem is that 30 rounds is nice but 60 rounds is better so soldiers in combat are taping two 30 round mags together to make reloads faster.
    The fundamental problem however is that the AK gets its reliability from the weight ratio between the bolt and the bolt carrier, which means the very heavy bolt carrier and piston have a lot of energy to force the bolt out of battery, so it will cycle even in frost or mud and most other shooting conditions. The problem is that that big heavy mass slapping around during shooting effects accuracy. Of course it only effects accuracy on full auto so one might ask if you want accuracy why are you firing on full auto… The balanced recoil designs tried to counter this problem by keeping the mass but balancing it so it was still reliable but upset the rifle much less during firing. Such balanced mechanisms have failed to impress so far as they are more complex and expensive to make and maintain.

    With the AK-12 design the iron sight base is extended to nearly the full length of the rifle, and uses a peep sight that is so popular in the west. The top of the rifle is all picatinny rail so you can add half a dozen scopes there if you want. The new stock is length adjustable so for different sized people you can get a comfortable hold, but when you want to make the weapon more compact… like if you are getting into an APC or helo you can fold the stock and make the weapon much shorter. There is a bolt hold open mechanism and the pistol grip has been reformed to be more comfortable. The fire selector and safety catch have been moved to a position above the pistol grip and duplicated on both sides and can be set to safe, single shot, three round burst, and full auto fire with the flick of the thumb from either side of the weapon. The cocking handle has been moved to the piston rod and can be set up to operate on either side of the weapon so it can be on the right or left hand side to suit the operator. The reciever has been made much stronger with a latch holding it shut and it is now strong and rigid enough to mount scopes on. The front side and lower stocks have pic rails for the easy mounting of lights and grips and bipods etc etc, but standard underbarrel grenade launchers and bayonets can still be fitted. The rifling has been improved to increase accuracy and a new slim muzzle brake has been designed to allow NATO standard 22mm rifle grenades to be fired directly from the muzzle of the weapon without modification. With a standard AK there is a normal load of 10 magazines for the average soldier with 8 x 30 round mags in the chest pouches and one in their rifle and probably another taped to it… making 10 mags for 300 rounds “ready to use”. The problem is that after every 30 shots you need to stop firing flip the mag and then cock the weapon and continue firing… in other words a stoppage. 10 mags means 9 stoppages to reload. With 60 round mags you are still carrying the same amount of ready to use ammo… four mags in chest pouches and one on the rifle but you only have four stoppages due to empty mag instead of nine for every 300 rounds you put down range. One mag with 60 rounds will actually be lighter than two mags with 30 rounds that needs to be swapped out half way through to use the second lot of 30 rounds.

    And finally they have changed the weight ratio of the components in the weapon so that the parts slapping back and forth are not so heavy and effect the balance of the weapon less. The three round burst would also help. The video above has the standard AK-74M angled stock, but with the new straight stock muzzle climb should be less and it should be easier to get a comfortable hold on the weapon. (I am quite big and find the standard AK stock to be a little short.)

  • GarryB

    After a Russian official claimed that Russia would no longer buy AKs because they had something like 11 million in stocks Serdyakov said:

    “On the AK-74, Serdyukov claims they aren’t rejecting it, but they have depots overflowing with 17 million automatic rifles. He says they’ll be used or modernized, some will be sold, and others transferred to other power ministries.”

    In other words if they freeze purchases for the next few years unless some new super weapon suddenly pops into existence it is likely that they will test the AK-12 next year… make a few requests for changes, and then introduce it into service.

    I find it interesting that they have not mentioned a 7.62 x 54mm calibre version of the heavy AK-12 to go along with the 7.62 x 51mm model… I rather suspect they are working hard on a new round to replace the 7.62 x 54mm cartridge in Russian service. The VDV are adopting Steyr bolt action sniper rifles and it is believed they will be in 7.62 x 51mm calibre… I rather suspect a purchase of 7.62 x 51mm AK-12s for the spotters would be useful until the new replacement calibre round is ready to replace both weapons. If they develop the concept of modularity they could keep the 7.62 x 51mm calibre kits for “special operations” in NATO countries for the heavy AK-12s. I suspect India would be interested in 7.62 x 51mm AK-12s too.

  • Corvinus

    I guess I’ll just quote my post from some other military forum:

    “I really doubt that this rifle will make it to the Russian Army. The MOD officials have already stated that they won’t buy it for following reasons:

    1.) It’s just the same old AK with some tuning. Almost everyone else in the world is going for a short-stroke piston, while IZHMASH stuck with a long-stroke. Almost all of AK-12 features can be achieved with a standard AK-74, except for few things like thumb-operated safety switch.

    2.) They have millions of AK-74 in stocks for years to come.

    3.) IZMASH is in the state of bankruptcy, being reorganized under direct government control. They just can’t buy it, it against the law.

    4.) And finally, there is a R&D for a new rifle (actually, not just rifles, but firearms in general, grenade launchers, and so on) which was started in 2010 and planning to end in 2014. This rifle does not live up to requirements of the said R&D.

    The MVD (an interior ministry) shoved some interest in it, but somehow I doubt that the police will buy this rifle in large numbers.”

    Speaking of point 4, here is the link (in Russian) to the article:

    http://lenta.ru/articles/2012/01/26/ak12/

    with the following quote from the Deputy Secretary of Defense A. P. Sukhorukov:

    “In 2010 we have given our requirements for the small arms to the manufacturers, from pistols to grenade launchers – handheld, mounted and so on. Currently we have two R&Ds for the grenade launchers and one for the small arms, which should end in 2014. So far none of these has been presented for the state tests.”

    That’s all, sorry for my English.

    • GarryB

      First of all I should say this is just my opinion but to take your points one at a time:

      There was nothing wrong with the “old” AK, it just had a few minor issues that the military pointed out and I have mentioned in another post here… they are all addressed in the AK-12 and it is pretty clear the AK-12 is an attempt to solve the existing problems without being too radical and expensive and too much different from the original. In other words retain the reliability and simplicity of the original with a few changes to make it easier to use and more accurate.

      Short stroke pistons are not new… the Dragunov used it in the early 1960s.

      The idea of the AK-12 is to fix all the simple fixable problems with out the expense of a completely new rifle.

      Yes, they do have millions of AKs in stock, but then they also had 20,000 tanks in storage… don’t think they are all modern AK-74s… the vast majority are probably AKMs and worn out early model AK-74s.

      Also keep in mind when they talk about Kalashnikovs in storage that will likely include Kalashnikov machineguns like RPKs and PKMs as well.

      They have enough T-72s for years to come yet they are still spending money on Armata.

      IZHMASH was being mismanaged and if you read the information on their site the problems have been solved and they are already back in profit and have new tooling which they are actually using now because they have taken the time to learn how to use it. New weapons from Izhmash will be to a much higher standard in future, which is saying something because the AK-100s were much better quality weapons than previous rifles.

      The plans were generally to go forward with two main focuses, the first and quickest and cheapest was to upgrade existing equipment as far as it can go with the elimination of as many problems as possible, and the second focus was from scratch brand new stuff that is a new generation.

      Examples of this is the Su-35 and PAK FA, Tu-160M, Tu-95MSM, Tu-22M3M and the PAK DA, and in armour the T-90AM and Armata.

      I agree the military can be fickle and after bitching about how the T-90A is just a warmed over T-34 leading to the T-90AM upgrade which pretty much deals with all the issues they complained about they have decided that it is too expensive and that they will instead upgrade the T-72s!!!

      Yes… ridiculous. You can’t demand quality in small numbers and expect it to be cheap.

      Izhmash have clearly learned that lesson and seem to have the AK-12 as the conservative low cost upgrade aimed at accuracy, while I suspect the AK-107 will be more expensive to make if the focus is on hit probability.

      The point is that Izhmash have designed a weapon to suit shooters, that should keep the accountants happy too.

      But back to the tank comparison the Armata is going to be expensive because the entire brigade is going to consist of tank like vehicles, which means heavy brigades are going to come into service fairly slowly because all the vehicles in the brigade are going to have MBT level protection and mobility.

      I rather suspect that by the time they get around to buying Armata (2016 or so) the cost of the T-90AM will not be so high and they will produce both vehicles where the T-90AM is the numbers tank that replaces the T-72 upgraded vehicles and T-80 and older T-90 tanks that are currently in service. By 2030 they will have all the heavy armour as Armata, but there are a lot of tanks to make and as I said Armata wont be cheap.

      The paramilitary forces will likely benefit from the Russian Army changing to new weapons so the special forces of the MVD and FSB and the military will likely get AK-12s… and probably fancy multi calibre AK-12s at that. As long as it is not too expensive I don’t see why they couldn’t buy a million or two AK-12s. Pretty sure there are a few countries right now that would buy old stock AKs at a bargain price… I’ll take a dozen… :)

      They want brand new small arms to be designed from scratch, but there is no guarantee the new designs will actually be any better than the standard AK-74. The US has been testing all sorts of weapons to replace the M16 and it seems they have not been able to come up with anything that is sufficiently better to warrant the extra cost of new production.

      The point is that the AK-12 can be made on existing tooling and as such will likely be much cheaper than anything new they might come up with.

      (BTW I suspect the Balkan 40mm grenade launcher is one of the new grenade launchers, plus with some photos of the ASh-12 there have been triple barrel under barrel grenade launchers shown that are interesting too.)

      BTW2
      Your English is very good, I would not have realised it was a second language if you had not mentioned it.

      @w
      I think they have taken a list of perceived problems and applied them without reducing the features that made the weapon good.

      We also have to keep in mind that the AK-12 is not IZHMASHs only baby,,, they are also developing the AK-107 with rear mounted iron sights and rails, and of course Nikonov will be working on his AN-94 to improve it and KPB will have an improved version of their ADS, and of course AEK will likely be working on something too.

      Personally I think an AK-12 would be an export success as a civilian sporting weapon, the fact that they have clearly taken it to special forces and shooting teams and redesigned the weapon based on their advice suggests to me that this is the sort of weapon most serious shooters will be wanting and as long as it is not significantly more expensive than the AK-74M then I think it would make sense to adopt it.

      The T-90AM was not adopted immediately because it was twice the price of a standard T-90A and probably 5-6 times more expensive than a T-72 upgrade. The T-90AM looks like a very good tank, but it wont be better than 5-6 upgraded T-72s, and there is no point spending all your money now on a Playstation 1 that is tweeked to play some Playstation 2 games when Playstation 3 comes out in 2015 or so.

      • Corvinus

        “the AK-12 is an attempt to solve the existing problems without being too radical and expensive and too much different from the original”

        In the eyes of the MoD it’s one of the problems; AK-12 is just a slightly improved version of AK-74 instead of something completely new with drastically improved performance.

        “Short stroke pistons are not new”

        Of course, but the Degtyarev plant not so long ago (in 2010) have patented the short-stroke piston system:

        http://mpopenker.livejournal.com/1455482.html

        “don’t think they are all modern AK-74s… the vast majority are probably AKMs and worn out early model AK-74s. Also keep in mind when they talk about Kalashnikovs in storage that will likely include Kalashnikov machineguns like RPKs and PKMs as well.”

        Nope, Sukhorukov said about 17 millions of AK-74 exactly.

        Speaking of tank comparison, I think it can serve as a clearest example of MoD and the General Staff approach to modernizing Russian army:

        We have thousands of T-72, hundreds of T-90 and a new family of heavy vehicles in development, which is projected to greatly outperform both T-72 and T-90. Now, the manufacturer develops an upgraded version of T-90 – T-90AM on its own initiative. It’s a good tank overall, but it’s still just a modernized T-90, which in turn is modernized T-72. Why we should spend our funds on replacing thousands of T-72 with thousands of T-90AM, when we will get a new vehicle with absolutely different design just in two or three years? It’s much more logical from an economical and logistical point of view to upgrade existing fleet of T-72 to T-90A level (note, not to T-90AM level – it’ll be too costly), while we waiting for “Armata”, and when it will be rolled out, we, using savings, will begin to replace thousands of T-72 with thousands of Armatas.

        Same with assault rifles; we have millions of AK-74, an upgraded version of it – AK-12 and a classified project in development. I’d rather wait for release of the said project, before thinking of replacing AK-74 with AK-12 (which is still in the prototype phase). If this mysterious rifle (I should digress here – the type of mechanism of this rifle is currently unknown, most likely it’ll be either short-stroke piston (at least I hope for it) or a counter-balance system akin to AK-107/AEK-971 – I saw a list of requirements for a new rifle from 2009, IIRC – it was basically AEK-971 but with all ergonomical features of AK-12. May be it’s this new rifle, may be not.) will not live up to the expectations, then yes, it’ll be time to seriously consider AK-12 for adoption as a standard service rifle, as in 2014 IZHMASH economical condition should be improved, as well as quality of their products thanks to new machinery. Quality of ammo should increase too, as government have started to build few new ammo and gun-powder plants, but IZHMASH have nothing to do with it, so I just being off-topic.

      • Lance

        While the AK-74 is here to stay the T-90 production has been stopped the Russian government has opened a new competition for a new tank to replace all Soviet tanks and T-90s which a multipurpose tank like the Israeli Merkava dose.

      • GarryB

        But the MOD tasked the Russian MIC to “fix all the problems” for now, and work on generationally new stuff for the future too.

        For tanks it didn’t really work well mainly because of the cost… a 4 million dollars per improved T-90 it really wasn’t going to be a stopgap system it would have reduced the amount of money available when the real new replacement system was ready.
        With Assault Rifles we are probably talking about $500 to make each so to make enough for all the special forces units in Russia… say 100,000 rifles is going to cost less than the tanks for one heavy tank brigade.

        The question becomes how different are the prices between a modified AK-100 mark 2 with rails but still with all the old problems like awkward controls and a heavy bolt carrier slapping back and forth upsetting aim and balance, and an AK-12.
        Personally I don’t think the difference will even be significant so as long as it completes its tests it should be the rifle they buy till the newer fully modular weapons are ready.

        This should be a cheap stopgap that offers as much improvement without a radical redesign of weapon or ammo.

        [quote]Nope, Sukhorukov said about 17 millions of AK-74 exactly.[/quote]

        Well if that is true then doesn’t that suggest that such rifles are cheap? If they could buy 17 million rifles during the last few decades when there was no money for anything then buying the 2-3 million AK-12s they would need to equip all front line military men and women would be trivial and they could keep a quarter of those AK-74s for a zombie apocalypse.

        They had 20,000 tanks in storage too, and they are reducing numbers down to about 8,000 or so to save money… I rather suspect they would save more money if they weren’t storing AK-74s as well.

        Why should the Army spend money on upgraded T-72s and T-90AMs when they have Armatas on the way?

        Because there is only UVZ in Russia now and UVZ makes your tanks for you. If you save money by not buying any tanks for the next 5 years then UVZ suffers… and the Russian Army suffers. The goals of the first period of the Russian military revival (can’t really call it anything else but it is not a sinister thing in my opinion) were to improve communications and command and control. The most important part of the T-72 upgrade is not the nice french designed Russian made thermal night vision equipment, it is the new datalink communications system and battle management system that is fitted for the first time in a Russian tank. Instead of an order being passed verbally from Moscow to troop level taking 1-2 days, it becomes seconds with a proper net centric battle management infrastructure. The old tanks are not part of that infrastructure yet. Anyone who is involved with computers knows that computer that is not part of the network is not very useful. That printer that is connected directly to that computer is equally isolated and less useful than if it were part of the network.
        If the Russian Army wants to get with the 21st C then it needs upgraded tanks and when it rejected the T-90A it gave lots and lots of reasons. UVZ looked at those reasons and made changes, and the T-90AM is their solution to the problems posed by the Army. The Army is now left with the response that they can’t afford the solution right now and will wait for the Armata. The problem I see is that Armata wont be cheap either and to equip an entire brigade with tank based vehicles will make it slow if they only make Armatas. If on the other hand they use existing T-72s and new T-90AM vehicles they will be able to make a few heavy tank brigades on the cheap for areas where Armata is not needed right away.

        By rejecting the T-90AM and going for the upgraded T-72 they are saying to UVZ to not bother with the high tech highly capable stuff they are developing… the Army just wants the cheap stuff… All the high tech expensive stuff they are developing for the Armata (Which actually looks like it will be like a 5th gen fighter with sensor fusion to increase situational awareness) wont be tested in service till the Armata gets into service.

        Regarding rifles the difference is in cost, it is far cheaper to equip all the Russian special forces with new small arms than to equip the Army with new tanks. Special forces already use weapons that are not general issue like the SR-2, SR-3, and of course the 9A-91 et al.

        Whether the Army buys AK-12s or not I think the special forces and paramilitary forces have much bigger budgets for such purchases and will buy them.

        About the new weapons in development I have read that they use a new cycling paradigm that is not gas or blowback operated. With all their talk about hypersonic bombers perhaps they are looking at EM rifles… :)

        They developed a new more powerful propellent for the underwater ammo for the ADS because the cartridge case is the same size as the 5.45 x 39mm round yet the projectile for the underwater round is the full length of the case and it has a sabot around it too, which leaves much less room for powder. The use of this new powder could further increase muzzle velocities while at the same time allowing increased bullet weights to improve performance at extended ranges.

        @Lance
        Actually they have already said they wont buy any more AK-74s because they already have plenty of them. They have said they will buy AK-100 series rifles for now (which includes the AK-74M as the rifle barrel length 5.45mm calibre weapon in the AK-100 series… the AK-105 is the other 5.45mm calibre weapon in the AK-100 series), but when the AK-12 is available… if it isn’t significantly more expensive (and I don’t see why it should be)…. it might become the rifle they want.
        The Armata is a family of vehicles, just like the Kurganets-25 is a family of vehicles as is the Boomerang-25 and Boomerang-10.
        There will be tank vehicles based on all four vehicle families that will share electronics suites though the lightest vehicle might not have a 125mm gun.
        (Note the Armata is tank sized and tank weight and with tank mobility and protection, the Kurganets-25 is a 25 ton class tracked vehicle family that will have above BMP level protection and mobility and firepower, the Boomerang-25 is a 25 ton class wheeled vehicle family that will have significantly better protection and firepower than a BTR, while the Boomerang-10 will have BTR level mobility, slightly better armour and firepower.

        A heavy brigade will consist of all Armata vehicles… tanks, artillery (tube and rocket), IFV, command vehicles, recon vehicles, air defence vehicles etc etc… so a front engined Armata will be used for a heavy IFV, a rear engined Armata will be the MBT of the brigade etc etc. All vehicles will have tank level protection and mobility with the appropriate electronics and sensors and weapons for their role.

        There will be motor rifle and tank brigades in heavy, medium, and light. Each brigade will have one vehicle family type so there will be wheeled and tracked medium brigades too.

        So it wont be like the Merkava exactly.

        Note the new Coalition SPA will be based on the Armata too, though to reduce the size of the turret it will likely have a single barrel rather than the twin barrel on the prototype.

      • Lance
      • W

        i read the article about the armata. fascinating read that they would try and adopt a common platform for multiple roles; it simplifies logistics, eases integration of communications/protection systems, and sounds like it offers superior protection. Interesting how this vehicle system is being developed with the US pursuing the ground combat vehicle system as well.

  • Esh325

    Just a question, how do you guys think the BHO will work on the AK-12?

    • GarryB

      I would assume the bolt hold open (BHO) device would be automatic with the new magazines and is probably the push through toggle switch just above the mag release lever. There is a large button in front of the dimple on the receiver above the magazine well with a corresponding small “button” on the other side, which suggests to me that it can only be operated from one side but I could be wrong… and I suspect it is the manual bolt release.

      Having it only on one side is not that bad as with most such release buttons/switches you can just pull back on the cocking handle to release the bolt too if you wanted so it just gives you another option, and considering there is no point in pressing the mag release till you have put in a new mag so your hand will be near the mag well anyway it is probably the more convenient place to put it… if in fact that is even what it is.

      I have a manual bolt hold open device on my SLR but I don’t actually use it much.

      • Lance

        Your assuming too much GarryB. Most AK variants dont have a bolt hold open option I doubt the AK-12 will.

      • GarryB

        There was a paper line drawing released by Izhmash with text in Russian that clearly states there is a bolt hold open facility.

        There was an eastern european AK knockoff that could use special 30 round mags that also had a BHO device but only with the special mags. When using standard AK mags you had to engage the BHO manually like you do with the SLR.

      • Peter BE

        Thats the Yugo M70 series AK GarryB. The follower traps the bolt when the mag is empty. When you remove the mag, the bolt slams shut so you have to operate the bolt after you insert a fresh mag.

      • Esh325

        What I’m thinking is they have modified magazines like Yugo ones, and the user presses the bolt stop when the last round is fired to keep BHO then releases the bolt by pressing the bolt stop.

  • GarryB

    Sorry, My computer is having problems with this page so I will reply here rather than to individual posts… I know it makes it messy but after a few replies the text gets too small for me to read properly anyway… :(

    Regarding the Armata @W the Russians have split the problems into 4 different vehicles, so they aren’t trying to have one vehicle do everything.
    Actually there are just three vehicle families… Armata, Kurganets, and Boomerang, but Armata is the tank weight tracked vehicle in the heavy brigades, Kurganets is a 25 ton tracked vehicle for tracked medium brigades, and Boomerang is a 25 ton wheeled and a shortened 10 ton wheeled vehicle for the medium wheeled and light wheeled brigades. There are two models of Armata, one with the engine in the front with a rear ramp door for an IFV model, and one with a rear mounted engine compartment. The Armata has an externally mounted main gun with an unmanned turret and likely a 30mm calibre remote weapon station so the concept of BMPT is no longer needed. All three crew are in the front hull under the heaviest armour and the turret is unmanned and contains the ammo below the turret ring with the engine at the rear.

    You can describe the Armata as the tank and the Kurganets as the BMP and the Boomerang as the BTR in the 25 ton model and the BRDM in the 10 ton model but that is wrong. First of all all the vehicles in a heavy brigade will be Armatas, so a heavy brigade is an armata brigade and there will be one engine type and spares and support equipment needed only for the Armata vehicle. The air defence vehicles will likely be Pantsir-S1 on an Armata chassis plus a TOR on an Armata chassis with the crew in the hull using unmanned turrets. The command vehicle will be Armata based. The artillery vehicle will be the Coalition turret on the Armata chassis. All the vehicles in the heavy brigade will have tank level mobility and tank level protection. There will be tank and motor rifle heavy brigades, the difference will be the same as now, a tank brigade will have 3 regiments of tanks and 1 of IFVs based on the Armata and the motor rifle heavy brigade will have 3 regiments of IFVs and 1 regiment of tanks all based on the Armata. The medium brigades will be the same, but there will be wheeled medium brigades and tracked medium brigades. Where the roads are good you use the wheeled vehicles (which at 25 tons will have better armour than current BMPs). When there are no roads or the roads are rubbish then you use the tracked medium brigades.
    For light brigades they use the shortened lightened version of the Boomerang-10 which will be 10 ton class 4 and 6 wheeled vehicles.

    They are developing electronic suites for the vehicles, so the tank in a heavy brigade will be based on the Armata chassis, a tank in a medium brigade might be based on the Kurganets-25 or the Boomerang-25, while the light brigade will have a 10 ton Boomerang-10. The electronics and systems will be standardised whereever possible so the sensors and electronics for the light vehicles will be the same as for the heavy vehicles. They will likely all start with 125mm guns. IFVs might get new 45 or 57mm main guns.

    The result is that they are going to change from the standard practise of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and go for light, medium wheeled, medium tracked, and heavy tracked tanks, and also light, medium wheeled, medium tracked, and heavy tracked IFVs, etc etc.

    There is little chance that they will be able to fit Coalition onto the 25 ton or 10 ton vehicles, so the 25 ton vehicles might use a lightened 152mm gun, while the ten ton vehicle might use a 120mm gun/mortar or something.

    …sorry for off topic.

    @Esh325 regarding the bolt hold open device, I rather suspect that to be much use that it would need to be automatic in operation, so if I was designing it I would make the button above the mag release lever toggle the BHO on or off (note it would only go on with the proper specific mag fitted), so that on the last shot the mechanism is held back so the mag can be dumped and replaced. The button above the front of the mag would be the ideal place for a mechanism release button as that is where you hand would be after rocking the mag into place. It wouldn’t need to be ambidextrous because if you used your left hand to insert the mag with the mag release button on the right you can operate it with your index finger, and if you use your right hand (for whatever reason) you can operate the same button with your thumb. Having the large button on one side and the bottom of the tube from the button on the other side just makes it easier to find the button without looking… ie find the other end of the button with your index finger and you should immediately be able to locate the button on the other side with your thumb to push it.

    This is all just my opinion of course.

    • Lance

      Sorry to say Garry but your Armata is really called the T-99 project and is to be a muti-mission tank/APC/Scout.

      As for the AK-12 yes I see Spetz naz troops having them. But I disagree regular infantry will have any. There too many spar AK-74Ms and there upgraded them at the same time.

      • GarryB

        It is called T-99 like the T-95 was called the T-95, but the T-95 never entered service and it doesn’t make sense to call one Armata vehicle the T-99 and the IFV Armata vehicle BMP-4 etc etc.

        The AK-12 will likely be used by special forces, particularly if India demands a multi calibre AK-12 with different length barrel options and calibre kits to change calibre as that would be idea for the average Spetsnaz soldier… they just need one rifle with different barrel lengths for different parts of a mission. Rifle barrel for outside and SMG barrel for inside.

        The thing is that a simpler cheaper standard model of fixed calibre will likely be cheaper than the new next generation weapons they are working on… especially if the new weapons require new ammo.

        I think the special forces will likely adopt them as soon as they pass the tests because they can afford new guns and need the best available.

        I think some standard units might get some of these weapons too, and when the generationally new weapons are past testing then the special forces will get those as well with some standard units perhaps getting the stocks of AK-12s from the special forces.

        It all depends on time scales IMHO… if the new generation stuff is quite expensive it might just be a special forces weapon like the AN-94 and even then not very widely deployed. The AK-12 on the other hand is easy to use and comfortable to use and improves accuracy and performance without a significant increase in cost so I rather expect they will stop buying AK-100 series weapons and start buying AK-12s from about 2015-2016 onwards… just my opinion of course.

        BTW why do you say Spetz naz?

        The Cyrillic is спецназ, which if you have your webpage encoded for unicode should appear as a C then what looks like a soccer goal post shape then an e and then what looks like a capital U with a tail and then an H and then an a and finally what looks like the number 3.
        The C is pronounced like an S, the soccer goal post is a P, the e sounds like an e… the Ha3 bit at the end is pronounced “naz”… the bit you are mistranslating is the U with a tail, the English translation is Ts.

      • Lance

        I agree with you on some areas SF use of AK-12 and Russian interest in a new Tank the T-99. As well as Russian interest in MiG-35 SU-35 and other projects.

        I dont see the same AK-12 as a Russian infantry weapon since they are fixed on 74Ms and since they are upgrading them with rails for certain units I dont see a need to get ride of them now.

    • W

      fascinating…utterly fascinating. I cant wait until more information regarding those systems.

  • GarryB

    @ W
    Thanks :)
    There are two very long threads discussing the AK-12 and Armata/T-90AM on a website I frequent namely http://www.russiadefence.net/ which you might find interesting. We don’t have anyone on the inside, but there are lots of fans of Russian stuff who read fairly widely on the subject so we get a range of info to base our guesses on… :)

    @ Lance
    Actually you raise an important point with the Mig-35… I like it a lot, but it seems the Russians are not so excited about it and Sukhoi wields a lot of power so although I think they should make 96 or so Mig-35s to relieve production pressure on Sukhoi who will be making PAK FAs and Su-35s, it is all together possible they might decide to drop the Mig-35, which also means dropping the contractors… the companies that make the engines, the companies that make the radar and DAS and other sophisticated components. In terms of EO systems and radar I think the Mig-35 was actually superior to the Su-35, as the Mig will have full AESA and 360 degree IRST for air and ground targets.
    The main problem is that the Mig-29 and Su-27 were too close in size and performance… if the Mig-29 was a single engined aircraft that was cheaper to operate it would have been much more successful and useful now IMHO.
    The point I am trying to make is that when I like something I get very positive and optimistic about its future, which can be very unrealistic.

    We agree the AK-12 has a potential future with special forces.

    The Russians have already said they will no longer buy T-72s or BMP-3s or T-90As or AK-74s. Generally that has been taken to mean they will still buy upgraded T-72s if they need them and BMP-3Ms till the new vehicle families are ready, and with T-90AMs in 5 years time they might find they cost 3 million each to make, with Armata tanks costing 8 million then they might start production of both till the Armata becomes more affordable… especially if India make a large order for T-90SM tanks which will reduce their cost to make. With the AK-74s it has been taken to mean they wont buy old unupgraded weapons. Izhmash seems to be working on at least three weapons… the AK-200 which is a largely AK-74M rifle with rails and an M4 looking buttstock but few other real changes. The AK-107 with the rear iron sight moved to the rear of the receiver but with a balanced recoil mechanism and probably the most complex of the three weapons on offer and also therefore the more expensive option, and finally the AK-12 with more changes than the AK-200 to make it ambidextrous and user friendly but nothing really radical or new… just a good combination.

    It all depends on the new generation weapons they are also developing…
    There is a chance they will be significantly more expensive, or require new ammo which would be incredibly expensive.

    It is very likely the company that produces them will need to be retooled to make them.

    The point is that this new generation weapon has to be x level better or more effective than the existing alternative, otherwise it simply isn’t worth the cost. Look at the G11, it was a mature and capable weapon but its ammo was brand new non NATO standard and the cost of changing to that weapon was too much for a Germany trying to rebuild East Germany after the cold war. In other words the weapon was a new generation and was better than the G3 rifle it was supposed to replace but in the end it turned out cheaper to go for 5.56mm off the shelf and already in production… lower cost and less risk.

    This new Russian weapon might need special ammo or modified standard ammo, which might mean initially they might make it part of their super soldier program for special forces, with perhaps the AK-12 as the standard issue weapon.

    There is a precedent with the AN-94 passing all tests and winning its competition but its complexity and cost meant it was only used by soldiers with specialist training and even then it wasn’t widely deployed.

    It did what it said on the box, but for most missions I suspect the standard AK-74M did the job too, or other more exotic weapons.

    • lt.malashenko

      greetings, i would contact you on your website however i do not know how to do so, i myself am not a field tester of the ak-12 however i do utilize a 107, according to others the rumor around is that they will make several different models including one based off of the 107 and one utilizing the 6.5×38 mm round. as for the 107 many of those are heavily modified to include rail mounts.

      • GarryB

        The link in the post above will take you to the website, from there it is just a case of signing up as a member, reading the rules and posting. :)

        I assume that you have fired and are familiar with the AK-74, can you tell us the differences between the AK-74 and Ak-107 in terms of accuracy in single and auto fire, and also in terms of taking the two rifles apart and putting them back together.

        Specifically, how much of an improvement is there in single shot and full auto?
        Also is stripping and cleaning as easy and straight forward with the 107 as it is with the 74, or are there lots of small parts that can be lost, or are noisy?

        In terms of accuracy in free hand firing (ie not rested against the ground or sitting or lying down with the weapon supported), is the performance improvement worth the added cost and complication.

        As far as I can tell the AK-200 had a balanced recoil mechanism, but the AK12 does not in its current form.

        Obviously however if they can base the AK12 on the AK-74M then they could as easily base it on the AK-107.

        I have read an article that suggests the AK12 has a modified bolt carrier and recoil design that reduces recoil impact and makes it comparable to the AK-107 without the need for a balanced recoil mechanism which makes the rifle easier to shoot but without the cost and complication of a balanced recoil mechanism.

    • lt.malashenko

      hello i have seen your website and i will say it is impressive what research has been done as a hobby, when i have more time i shall occasionally answer questions on it.

      i am lt.feodor malashenko, i have served in the federal security service for the past 15 years, i have taken part in the counter terrorist operation in Chechnya and completed my CSN operative training in 2002. my training consisted of using many domestic and foreign made weapons along with other combat techniques.

      the accuracy of the 107 in comparison to the 74M:
      the ak-74M firing in semiauto utilizing the 7N24 cartridge can have a minute of arc of 2.5-3 in the hands of a good shooter
      the ak-107 firing in semiauto utilizing the same cartridge can have a minute of arc of 1.1-1.7

      in semiautomatic there is almost no recoil, in the three round burst there is little recoil near the equivalent of one ak-74m round, one can fire 8-10 round automatic bursts with moderate recoil.

      in freehand firing it is generally not wanted to go beyond 5 round automatic bursts due to conservation of ammo and that the muzzle will ride, muzzle ride is much more consistent and controllable in comparison with the ak-74M. also the fire selector automatically sets the rifle in the 3 round burst configuration every time the trigger is released, essentially forcing the shooter to eventually use control

      in maintenance and field stripping it is easy to take apart and clean however it is much more time to put back together due to the need to ensure proper alignment of a critical part that ensures the pistons are synchronized. the need of cleaning is about 30% more often than the 74M however malfunctions only really happen if little care is given to the synchronization sprocket.

      differences over the ak-74m include a faster firing rate of 850 rounds per minute compared to the 650 rounds, the balanced recoil system, it is .5kg heavier, the fire selector and safety lever is slightly less audible along with a 4 stage selector, and the rear sight is now on the receiver plate. the receiver plate is removed using a latch now.

      ergonomics are generally the same. in terms of ergonomics i prefer the stock and fire selector of the AEK-971s along with the iron sights of it in the instances when i have used it.
      in general it is i believe slightly superior in recoil elimination to the AEK, and is more reliable than that of the an-94.

      i do not know as much as i should about the AK-200 or ak-12 but i will ask others who do and see if i can answer you on your website. :-)

      • GarryB

        Thank you for your reply.

        Research can go in any direction and to be of any use it needs a bit of reality to keep it grounded.

        Speculation and guess work can only go so far, so input from someone like yourself with first hand knowledge makes all the difference, so this and any further comments are greatly appreciated.

        I find it particularly interesting that you think the AK-107 is better in terms of recoil to the AEK rifles. Of course it is often forgotten in the west that there is real development and competition in Russian and Soviet military circles who think what enters service was all there was.

        We can see today that just the AK-200, AK-107, and AK12 represent three different development paths from one company and you can be sure that for the lucrative role of being the standard Russian small arm for the start of the 21st C there will be many other weapons put forward.

        From what I have read the VDV and the Russian Naval Infantry were looking to introduce the ADS, though it is not clear if that is a full scale introduction as a standard assault rifle, or as a specialist weapon.

        Of course with all this analysis it has to be kept in mind that the best weapon does not always win.

        Balanced recoil weapons have been submitted several times, but have lost out on complexity, and mass production problems.

        The AK-107 sounds like a very good rifle, ideally what I would love to see is two weapons for the Russian military… an AK12 as a standard issue rifle, and an AK-107 based AK13 that has a removable barrel, and the balanced recoil mechanism. The AK13 would ideally have a range of barrel lengths for SMG, carbine, rifle, and LMG/designated marksman length barrels that equate to AKS-74U, AK-105, AK-74M, RPK-74 length barrels to replace these specific weapons. A larger model in 7.62 x 51mm and perhaps a new 6 x 49mm type calibre to replace the 7.62 x 54mm, perhaps using a plastic case or no case at all to reduce weight. The larger model AK12/13 in 6 x 49mm could replace the SVD.
        The AK13 could be for special forces where the option to change barrel length or even calibre would justify the extra price. Even on a mission you could take a long barrel for extended range shooting and a short barrel for use inside buildings.

        They are likely going to develop a multi calibre model for the Indian Army requirement, so also going for different barrel length options makes sense as well, though for the Russian market I think the simpler and cheaper AK12 would be ideal for standard troops, and a more expensive modular multi calibre AK13 with balanced recoil and the training to use it effectively makes the most sense.

        A modular multi calibre system in semi auto only would likely sell well on the civilian market. I am sure a rifle that can be had in a range of calibres would be very popular. It would cost more than other rifles but with the extra calibre kits it could work out cheaper than the several rifles it could replace. Perhaps just two barrel lengths for the civilian rifle model and of course no need for balanced recoil mechanism there.

        Thanks again for the reply… look forward to chatting . :)

  • Fluffy

    So THAT’S what the AK-12 looks like…. I thought it’d look like this:
    http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110903132524/metro2033/images/4/4e/AK-2012_scope_silencer.png

    (Yes, I am joking.)

    • Masoo2

      Huehueh innametro

  • dubbs

    Wow! Even a russian said that the previous aks were inaccurate and would string rounds! Funny they are going forward in weapons designs,lightet more accurate short stroke lpistons, while we are going backward( less accuracy, heavier, long rl stroke piston designs!)

    I have a milled norinco mak 90, a lighter reconfigured saiga iz 132 and I love both, but I just can’t say they top my Colt LE 6920 ever cause they don’t. Izmash knows this too and post Soviet union, they are making more western influenced weapons….