AK-12 to be adopted in 2014

The Russian government will adopt the 5.45mm and 7.62mm (not sure if that is 7.62x51mm, 7.62x54mm or 7.62x39mm) version of the Kalashnikov AK-12 rifle. Google translate says

Kalashnikovs new generation of caliber 5.45 and 7.62 millimeters, as well as a long list of other small arms goes to supply the Russian army in 2014, said the deputy chairman of the Military Industrial Commission (MIC) of the Government of the Russian Federation Oleg Bochkarev.
“Beginning in 2014, the army will new assault rifles, pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles. Will and AK-12 – two models of machine in the caliber of 5.45 and 7.62, so the abbreviation Kalashnikov continues,” – he said on the radio station “Echo of Moscow” .
According to the deputy chairman of the military-industrial complex, “the Degtyarev Plant” (Carpets, Vladimir region) are also prepared for the Russian military, “the two major items 5.45 and 7.62.” “It’s two caliber, who for decades have proven their right to exist, and we believe that there is no need to invent new calibers, this is all from the evil one” – added Bochkarev.
He recalled that in Russia for nearly 10 years, the program is being implemented recycling of obsolete weapons and military equipment. “Today, the accumulated holdings including holding back new orders, because the new technique should be somewhere to come, it must be placed somewhere,” – said the deputy head of the military-industrial complex.

Seeing is believing. The Russian military has done all they can to avoid having to adopt a new rifle. They make the US Army, who have been battling congress to avoid having to adopt a new carbine, look like amateurs at this particular political game. The Russian military have been using the AK-74 since 1974, the AK-74SU since 1979 and the AK-74M since 1991.





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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  • John Daniels

    I thought the Russian military already had warehouses filled to the ceiling with AK-74s that they didn’t know what to do with?

    • Rich Guy

      They do. A lot of them are NIB too. The AK74, heading to a third world country near you, now at rock bottom prices!

      • Lance

        No no one outside of Russia and the CIS and Eastern Europe uses 5.45mm weapons.

        • BillC

          The Taliban and AQ do, but not I the numbers they want. We were getting reports years ago that Taliban leaders were having wet dreams about how bad they wanted more funding so they could replace the 47 with the 74. They were convinced they could destroy us in gun fights if they had the poison bullet.

      • Robert Thorne

        cross your fingers to the US as saiga sporters

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Or over to us at same.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      That is why Generals don’t want to adopt the AK-12.

      • LCON

        Well it seems to be happening. My bet is we will see it go as far as the VDV but I doubt the regular conscripts. I figure that AK12 would be given only to troops getting the full Ratnik gear set up. And given the Russian financial situation that would likely stop with the VDV. Classic AK74 will still be around and the vintage AKM will remain the principal weapon of revolutionary’s and terrorist long after you and I have passed on to the firing range in the sky. Way I figure it when humans colonies on mars decided to tell them earth boys to eat red dust it will be AK in there space suited hands.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Says a great deal for the AK’s longevity and durability, doesn’t it? 🙂

  • Doom

    how do they make us look like amateurs? the US has been using the stoner system since the 60’s, the only thing that has changed is the barrel and gas system length. caliber is the same, bolt is the same, selector is the same, etc. at least the USSR/ Russia transitioned calibers

    • jpcmt

      Also, the Stoner platform has evolved into an absolutely beautiful looking rifle while this hideous POS is the devolution of the fairly handsome AK74. It’s a friggen frankestein pukefest. Say it with me, the AR15 is Fffffaaaaaabulous!

      • Doom

        the M series is nothing special to look at either, Ill take the looks of an AK over an M16 / M4 any day, ill take the functionality as well.

        • Joshua

          Functionality huh? What exactly is your experience with the M4? Mine has been with both the M4A1 and M4CQBR, I generally ran mine suppressed(more often than not). I can count on 2 hands the number of stoppages I have had, and everyone came from either my magazine or ammo.

          There are no issues with the M4A1 and it is incredibly reliable as long as you use some lubricant on its carrier rails(something oddly most seem to still not understand).

          The AK-12 is nothing special, its basically just a more ergonomic AK with a slightly weaker bolt and tighter tolerences, which oddly enough makes it less reliable than both the AK-74 and AK-47.

          This was probably done to save Izmash who was actually about to go under and this was their final hope to stay in business.

          • Doom

            didnt say the M4 wasnt reliable, it is just >less reliable< than a not beat to hell AK, the AK is less susceptible to mag problems and doesn't get as dirty on the bolt like a DI gun does. I just prefer the AK. I do like AR's and will buy one eventually, but my arsenal is good for now.

          • Esh325

            How do you know it’s less reliable than the AK when it hasn’t even been adopted yet or fully tested? It is more than just an ergonomic AK.

          • Joshua

            Have you gottent to compare the parts from this rifle to the 74? I have and they are practically identical.

            I also know the ak-12 had significant issues during testing, which I am sure have been fixed. Part of what gave the 74 its reliability was its loose tolerences, in this they made the tolerences tighter which did affect its reliability as they found in testing. Now I am sure at this point it has been fixed.

          • Esh325

            They aren’t identical, and just because they aren’t identical doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t as reliable. Izmash does claim the the AK-12 is just as reliable as the AK-47, but that can’t be verified until it’s fully tested and has seen combat. Now I don’t think it’s that far fetched that they could make a rifle as reliable as the AK and have increased accuracy on fully automatic and semi auto mode. Materials and Engineering has advanced since the late 1940’s. Actually, it’s a good thing they admitted there were significant issues during testing. The US didn’t admit there were significant issues with the M16 until people started to die because of it.

          • Joshua

            Your knowledge on the M16 i lacking.

            During testing the M16 did not have issues. It also did not have issues with the ARVN and SEALs who were te first to carry the rifle.

            The Army screwed the soldiers on the M16 adoption by foregowing chrome lined chambers an bores, they did not issue cleaning kits an told soldiers it did not need to be cleaned, they also fed it ammo that pushed the cyclic rate into the 1100s.

            None o that was the weapons fault, there was numerous court hearings on this.

            So since you act like you know so much, do tell me where the differences lay with the AK-12 when the main parts are practically identical?

            Ps my phone hates this site…

          • Esh325

            It had issues in other tests though that the army was fully aware of. My knowledge isn’t lacking, look it up and you’ll see I’m right. You can sugar coat it all you want but directly related to the rifle or not there were indeed issues, this is indisputable and the army was aware of such issues. According to the designer of the AK-12, the bolt and bolt carrier group are more balanced to reduce disruptive vibrations that negatively impact accuracy. So I would assume the operating would have to be different to accomplish that.

      • Vhyrus

        The way you just said ‘fabulous’ somewhat confirms my, ahem… suspicions… of AR lovers.

        • jpcmt

          lol, that was my intention as I’m an AK fan. I used the recent panic to offload my over-priced ARs. January was a good month for me.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Sorry, jpcmt — I hadn’t initially realized in your previous comment that you were being facetious! 🙂

      • Esh325

        I don’t think looks are the best way to judge a combat rifle.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Counterpoint:

      Mosin -> AK (1891 – 2013)

      122 years they have used only two wepaon systems.

      • Doom

        Mosin>PPSH/SVT>SKS>AK47>AKM>AK74>AK74M>AK12 😀

        • Steve (TFB Editor)

          haha, nice try 😉 You can’t separate all the AK rifles without separating all the M16 versions. I can’t even remember all the different Colt carbines in use between the vietnam war and the M4 Carbine.

          Springfield Model 1892-99
          M1895 Lee Navy (not widly used)
          M1903 Springfield
          M1916 Mosin-Nagant (not widely used)
          M1917 Enfield
          M1 Garand
          M14
          M16
          M4 carbine (yea, I am sneaking in a M16 variant, but I am ignoring the M1 Carbine).

          The Russians are still using the 7.62×54mmR from 1891. If that is not impressive resolve I don’t know what is!

          • Doom

            AH but the M series weren’t that different while the changes to the AK were pretty large in that they completely changed how the rifle was made (milled v.s. stamped) while the AR has always had the same aluminum receiver (it may have slightly changed shape but was pretty much the same, just slightly different milling) the M14 is just a modernized box fed garand and the M1 carbine would be combined with the Garand like how I combined the PPSH and SVT

            the x54r is a great cartridge, don’t fix it if it isn’t broken. that and they probably have nine hundred trillion rounds of it laying around.

          • milo

            the x54 is a great cartridge but i’ve heard that some of the marksmen platforms that use it in that particular caliber have some issues regarding extraction. i believe the one i heard of would be the sv 98.

          • dp

            They have in existence, but not fielded yet, an universal 6 mm shot. This was intended for rifles and light machine guns prior to 5.45 shot. Apparently with advent of 5.45 x 39 is was not deemed necessary. The latter is indeed very successful cartridge and they intend to keep it.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            That would probably be a function more of the platform’s design details than the cartridge itself. The 7.62mm x 54R cartridge has long, and repeatedly, been proven in a wide variety of weapons under the worst possible battlefield conditions to be a very efficient, reliable and powerful round.

            To put things in perspective, if one were to look into the history of any service cartridge, one will nearly always find one or more types of weapon that have had problems with said cartridge, and in virtually every case, the basic issue lies with the design of the weapon.

          • milo

            that is true, and most of the problems with the gen 2 SV-98 has been removed, in fact if my Russian is not that off the 7.62x54r model in the more accurized gen 2 line has around .75 MOA dropping down to close to .5 MOA when high quality ammunition is used.

          • Ann

            But weren’t the Kalashnikovs originally designed to be built by stamping? Rather I do believe that milling the receivers was a mater of necessity as the machinery available at the time was not capable of preforming to the necessary tolerances.

          • Doom

            the were originally stamped but very few were made and were never really fielded, thats what I was going off of was being a main gun, or at least having many examples made of that gun.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Good point. However, the return to milled receivers was only a temporary stop-gap expedient. Once the bugs had been ironed out of the existing metal stamping technology, nearly all military-grade AK’s were made with stamped receivers. The sheer durability and quality of these stampings is borne out by the well-known and enviable reliability record of the AK.

          • dp

            Where is your .30 cal Johnson’s rifle? Without that you would not have M16. It is known that Mel Johnson (a lawyer by profession) mentored Armalite’s crew.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            We need to remember, though, that the 7.62mm x 54R cartridge is still one of the very best 7.62mm military rounds by today’s standards, regardless of its vintage. There is no reason to change over to a new-generation cartridge if the older one still does the job so well.

        • PPS series are subguns so they don’t count. Kalashikov platform is not the same as the Siminov platform and the Siminov platform was null and void the moment it hit production and was obsolete in 2 years so, can we even really count it? SVT was a sniper rifle, not a battle rifle so like the PPS, doesn’t really count. Overall you have one major progression…..Mosin-Nagant platform -> Kalashnikov platform across 122 years and BOTH are still in active service in militaries around the world. The US has far more than that and they are not derivations of eachother.

          • Anonymoose

            The AK is not derived from the SKS at all, just like the SVD is not derived from the AK. Also, the M1 Carbine is not related to the M1 Garand at all!

          • Waffleking

            The Simonov carbine was in production from 1949 to 1956 and stayed on in rear guard units up into the 1980’s. Sure the SKS-45 was pretty much a tiny PTRS-41 and was an interim product until the AK-47 entered full production but it still saw frontline service into the late 1950’s and was in rear guard and reserve use until the late 1980’s.
            The SVT series was adopted as a main service rifle in 1938, it was intended to fully replace the M91/30 in a few years but the German invasion in 1941 saw the M91/30 reenter service due to the pressing need for an easily constructed simple rifle. SVT’s weren’t even known to excel as sniper rifles, they suffered from variable accuracy and by 1942 the receiver notches for optics were deleted on the design. The Mosin Nagant hung around for a long time but even as early as 1914 people were trying to develop new and improved versions or straight up replacements.

          • ThatGuy

            Brian you are wrong in so many ways that I almost don’t even wanna correct you.
            1.Why does the PPS/PPSH not count? Towards the end of WW2 the PPSH-41 had become widely distributed to the troops and a symbol of propaganda for the Red Army. Just because it’s classified as a sub-machine gun means it doesn’t count?
            2. SVT-40 was meant to be the next main rifle for the Red Army, but unfortunately many different problems arouse in the field which eventually led it to be scraped.
            3. Since when was relying on technology from 122 years ago a good thing?
            4. Do you even know how many different calibers USSR/Russia invented?
            5. Also why can’t Russia decided whether to stick with 7.62×39 or 5.45×39. Having two different calibers for the same gun just seems like a logistics problem waiting to happen.

          • Doom

            so much of that is wrong that it is painful, just read ThatGuy’s reply and lurk moar. also if the PPSH doesnt count than neither does the M1 carbine…

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            SVT-40 was Russia’s attempt at doing M-1 and like the m-1 as well as the Mosin Nagant. it had a Designated marksman variant the SVD was the sniper 😛

    • YankeeZulu

      Actually we’re fielding a few variants in other calibers right now. I’ll take an AR over an AK operationally any day… and I own examples of each.

      • Doom

        fielding a very small number in other calibers. Thats the great thing about being an american (for now at least) we can choose what we like and are comfortable with. hell, who knows, maybe if I got more time behind an AR I would like it more (doubt it though, I love mah SGL 21)

    • Greg

      The M16 works orders of magnitude better, has kept pace and evolved to match modern tactics. This is them keeping up, or trying to, with us.

      • Doom

        I really dont think they are “trying to keep up with us” it just that equipment has advanced to a point where it is not too expensive to equip the average soldier with in Russia so they added rails for things to hang off of as well as getting better ergo’s with the stock, remember, they climbed out of the communist collapse less than 25 years ago and dont have an economy anywhere near as large as ours that could support an enormous military industrial complex like ours.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Really? You might want to do your research more carefully into what both Eugene Stoner and James Sullivan have grudgingly but openly admitted in recent years about their brainchild ( military-spec M16 and M4 variations included ) versus the Kalashnikov.

        • Joshua

          Sullivan is an idiot who has said more moronic things than our current president. I would not list him a s a source evidence of superiority of the AK.

          I have had the pleasure of meeting Stoner and he has vastly stood. By his operating system, though he always felt the 7.62 is what it ahould have stayed as.

          My time with a M4A1 has shown it to be just as reliable as the AK, this is in places like Iraq/Afghanistan where I ran my rifle suppressed the entire time, never once did i have a stoppage that was weapon related.

          My only issues were the aluminum GI mags, which I fixed with Lancer’s and the occasional ammo issue.

          The M4A1 is every bit as reliable as the AK in real world use, and thats what matters.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            I’m glad that the M4 has worked so well for you in combat, and that you have had such good results. especially since your life obviously depended on it. However, James Sullivan is hardly an idiot by any stretch of the imagination. And since this discussion covers many different users under many different circumstances — wartime battlefield experiences included — it is equally obvious those experiences will vary, allowing for a multitude of other factors. What matters in the end is what works best for the individual, in your case the M4, for others the AK-47 or AK-74.

            One thing hasn’t changed much, though — and you are absolutely correct in pointing out the issues with the aluminum G.I.-issue magazines. They’ve literally had decades to rectify this problem, but little appears to have been done. Did you have problems with bent feed lips and sticking followers like I did?

          • Joshua

            Yep, our mags were crap. I purchased with my own funds Lancers to get me a reliable magazine and never had an issue with those.

            As for Sullivan, hes not an idiot in the fact that the man was a great engineer. He is an idiot when it comes to military doctrine and what does and does not work.

            I have seen him make some of the dumbest claims in my life.

            He has said that we should be using his Beta-C mags because reloading is just one big stoppage.

            He said that soldiers do not aim and instead fire full auto from the hip into the assault, which is where the term assault rifle comes from.

            He has said the AK-47 out hits the M16 2 to 1 on automatic.

            He has also said that to this day we have not made one single improvement to the M16/M4……

            So yes he was a great engineer, but when it comes to how a weapon performs I prefer my experiences and those of my friends over Sullivans strange bizarro world.

    • Navy Nuke

      They are converting to NATO bullet sizes.

  • dfitch81

    “…this is all from the evil one…” Awesome. Gotta love Google translate…

    • noob

      Voldemort drives innovation?

  • Lance

    I doubt this is really true remember Russia adopted the AN-94 with much hype and fanfare but dumped it in favor of more AK-74Ms. I Also saw the Yarigan pistol adopted yet most Russian units never used them over older Makarovs. So I think this might be more hype than fact. Overall this is another AK anyway like the AR evolved over the years so does the AK which is a way older design than the AR is.

    • milo

      they never dumped it, its just in use more with certain units in the VDV and spetsnaz. kinda like how the SCAR is in use with certain units.

  • dfitch81

    “…this is all from the evil one…” Awesome! Gotta love Google translate…

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      haha yea. Any Russian speakers want to tell us what it actually says?

      • Snusmumr

        He said “ot lukavogo”. “Lukavyi” (the deceiving one, the lying one) is an euphemism for the Satan. Russian version of Matthew 5:37 “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (or from evil)” ends with “ot lukavogo”, for example. Today this euphemism does not necessarily have a religious connotation, but is used rather as a figure of speech for something wrong or unnecessary.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Thanks, Snusmumr — plugging this translation back into the text makes the latter much more sensible.

    • Yep I’m afraid one of these days Google Translate is going to have me talking bad things about someone’s mother!

  • Lance

    Ohh thats 7.62×39 Steve there is no 7.62 NATO or 54R AK version made.

    • Duff

      Russian VEPR….. that use x54r !!!

      • Bubba

        The are VEPRs chambered for .308win and .30-06 too.

        But they are based on RPK receivers.
        They aren’t the same guns as the AK12, even though it’s proof that the basic AK system can handle long rimless cartridges.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Either way, as long as the mechanical aspects of the gun are up to the task, the chambering for a variety of additional cartridges can usually be realized quite successfully to suit markets such as ours here in the United States. I doubt if too many of us would have serious objections to that.

    • milo

      they announced plans to make the rifle in 7.62 NATO and 54r along with 39. so we dont quite know but logically 7.62×39 sounds the most likely.

      • LCON

        Think of it like this Ak12L will take the intermediate to smg rounds Ak12H will be scailed to 7.62nato,7.62×54 12 gauge and all points in between. And yes the did say there is a Saiga 12 AK12 in the pipe line.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Except perhaps for the export market, such as the U.S., where this has already happened with assorted Saiga and VEPR variants.

  • Nicholas Mew

    The Army is still going to use the wonderful AK-47M, but the Special Forces are going to begin to possibly use it.

  • Ian Carlin

    They’ve been upgrading the AK for all these years and still haven’t figured out that humans don’t have 2 right hands to chock and shoot

    • lolinski

      Why is keeping your dominant hand on the grip that important? I mean bolt action rifles have the bolt handle on the right side and no one complains?

      • Robert Thorne

        I always think that, it looks awkward as fuck cocking with the left hand on a rifle like an AK, Its doable though. I guess its just AR users trying to adapt, then again I cock my AR with my right hand as well…

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          In most military battle or assault rifle applications where the cocking handle is on the right side, the intent is for the soldier to keep the weapon fully supported and pointed steadily in the direction of the target with the left hand while the right ( or trigger ) hand is free to cock the weapon. In that way, there is minimum disruption and deviation, and the range of movement ( which affects reaction time ) between the cocking handle location and returning the right hand immediately to the pistol grip and trigger is kept as short as possible. You are NOT supposed to be holding on to the pistol grip with your right hand ( assuming that you are right-handed ) while trying to cock the gun at the same time, The prevalent idea that keeping your right hand on the grip to reduce reaction time on the trigger is in actual practice a fallacy as it is more than countered by the physical constraints that impose two problems :

          1. Added physical strain trying to hold the weapon up and steady at a point where the forward weight bias is exerting a leverage effect on your wrist
          2. Having to reach around with your left hand in an awkward position to reach the cocking handle.

          And, in case anyone is wondering, right-handed AR users are better off doing the same thing as described above, in spite of the centrally-located cocking handle. Trying to keep the right hand on an AR’s pistol grip and cocking with the left hand will typically result in an awkward and inefficient stance that includes interference with your nose and chin ( if in the prone firing position ), or interference with other areas of the anatomy. The same goes for left-handed AR users, except that the hand positions are reversed.

  • RogerCapiche

    Are there any pictures of the 7.62×51 and/or 7.62x54R versions?

  • YankeeZulu

    I wonder if they’ve improved on that pain-in-the-ass zeroing system. Would also be nice if these new AKs were monolithic.

  • Guy with a lot of guns

    It might help in getting your message across if you tried to resemble some semblance of Engrish grammar.

    • YankeeZulu

      You could actually be a normal person if you weren’t such a pompous ass.

      • Gunluvr

        Which battalion were you with? I was with 1st between 86 and 90.

    • Where are all these english teachers coming from:-)

    • The first post you make is about grammar:-)

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      It is a machine translated article.

  • dp

    When they talk “7.62” it means M43, existing AK47 round. Nothing like the AK12 would be able, in same envelope, handle myosin’s shot. Look at ‘next best’ this being SVD.
    Why they bring this into production in spite of questionable technical advancement? My take is to keep industry on its feet; nothing else.

    • Anonymoose

      They have a lengthened version to handle 7.62x51mm NATO, and I wouldn’t put it past them to start producing their own military rifles in our 7.62 caliber, since OMON seems to really like it.

      • dp

        I would not discount that possibility. Still, it does not make lots of sense though for average assault rifle of today; both 5.45 and M43 are pretty good shots. Use it for DMR, maybe. But it will add easily 2 pounds.

        • Anonymoose

          That would still be lighter than the SVD. :3

  • Sergo Varga

    “the Degtyarev Plant” (Carpets, Vladimir region)

    The city is called the Kovrov and not Carpets!!!!!

  • Nishi Drew

    The Ak-100 series were coming along just fine, love the look of the short ones too, and now this… what now appears to be something designed as the “future AK” for a video game, or a crazy mock up in a sci-fi drama

  • idahoguy101

    Stoner versus Kalishnikov. The two rifles were designed for different nations. It’s less an issue of which is “best” as opposed to which is better suited to who it is issued to.

  • mechamaster

    As long it’s more comfortable, user friendly, and reliable firearm for the user, it’s good !

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    It’s AKS-74U rather than AK-74SU.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    I’m glad that the M4 has worked so well for you in combat, and that you have had such good results, especially since your life obviously depended on it. However, James Sullivan is hardly an idiot by any stretch of the imagination. And since this discussion covers many different users under many different circumstances, wartime battlefield experiences included, it is equally obvious that those experiences will vary, allowing for a multitude of other factors. What matters in the end is what worked best for the individual — in your case, the M4, in other cases, the AK-47 or AK-74.

  • Paul Margettas

    If it works, why change it. Though I see some great improvements on the AK12.