More On The Definitive Arms/Atlantic AKX-9

2015-04-14 04_18_04-Definitive Arms AKX-9 - YouTube

Last week the AK Operators Union released a teaser video on the new Atlantic Firearms/Definitive Arms AKX-9 9mm blowback-operated rifle. Soon after we ran an article on it, two more videos went up; a new AKOU video and a MAC review, both embedded below:

While I don’t see the practical utility of pistol caliber carbines versus their rifle-caliber counterparts, I do find them to be very fun shooters. I am pleased to see that Definitive Arms and Atlantic Firearms have made sound decisions on what models to offer to the public, including the standard buttstocks, sight mount, Colt magazine, and muzzle device allowing easy SBR conversions.

The AKX-9 comes in four variants, all of which are already listed on Atlantic Firearms website, though only the pistol is listed as “in stock”. Prices range between $1,499 for the AKX-9P pistol to $1,779 for the AKX-9S triangular folding stock variant.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • BearSlayer338

    Pretty cool but when does a .45 acp or 10mm version come out?

  • Riot

    I really don’t see the point of a blowback in a kalash patterned receiver.

    • sam

      yeah, really. If the msrp is somewhat to be believed it’s expensive for blowback also.

    • Clodboy

      Apparently the Russians do though, seeing as how the PP19-01 “Vityaz”, chambered in 9x19mm, seems to be pretty popular with Russia’s OMON units (granted, the Russians use +P+ ammo with specialized armour-piercing bullets)

      • Giolli Joker

        That gives them short range piercing ability comparable to that of a standard rifle round with much quicker energy loss over longer ranges.
        A tactical use in urban environment makes sense.
        And the civilian version is Saiga-9… that without the ban would already be in the US at a cheaper price tag, giving no hopes to Atlantic.

      • Anon. E Maus

        I bet a 9mm +P+ AP round is really mean out of the Vityaz barrel, and especially in salvos. That’s how you make a better PDW.

        Shame that this AKX-9 is so expensive though, because I -really- like it.

  • TITAN308

    They want to command the same price tag of a SIG MPX? Marketing fail.

    • BattleshipGrey

      Yup, they totally blew it on the price. Like Ryan mentioned, the EVO (a brand new design) costs half the amount of this new PCC AK.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        Agreed that its not a compelling value.

        I would want them to just rip off the saiga 9mm and use glock 33 rd mags and call it a day.

        • Nicks87

          That’s what I was hoping for but this thing is a joke.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      pricing is not marketing. Marketing is telling you why its better than x, what it does etc.

      • Giolli Joker

        Price is actually part of what marketers define the 4 P’s of the Marketing Mix.
        Therefore, technically, pricing is marketing.

    • clickboom

      Well to be fair, you’d be an even bigger tool dropping that coin on a sig.

  • Ryan

    This gun makes no sense. You could buy a CZ Scorpion EVO S1 and a Beretta CX4 Storm(or a JR Carbine) for that kind of money. Why use an AK platform if you’re just going to drop a blowback action into it? Unnecessarily heavy and bulky. Pistol caliber carbines are a debatable enough proposition in a world of cheap rifle carbines without being priced more than some battle rifles.

    • DIR911911 .

      that’s pretty much what I was thinking , and that extra weight and bulk doesn’t seem to hold down the recoil.

      • maodeedee

        What recoil? More recoil than my 13 ounce no safety M&P S&W Shield ?

        • Kivaari

          The Colt has surprising recoil. It is “just different” than the 5.56mm rifles. How it is different I simply can’t describe it. Shoot one and you’ll be surprised that such a heavy weapon using such a small cartridge can give that much recoil. It must be the straight blow back, s the MP5 didn’t move as much. I figured it was the bolt weight.

    • Some just like AKs, as you’ll see tomorrow. 😉

      • Kivaari

        It would be nice to see them do it in a down scaled version like the Russians have done. With a higher level of workmanship than the 3rd world knock offs.
        When given a chance to bring out a new weapon, they should consider improvements in controls. Get rid of the safety lever like the AKM and at least add a selector like the Galil. I like AKs, having had around 25 variants. But seriously most are were not made with quality in mind. We now have some nice ones from Arsenal and even Century Arms has improved.

  • Frank

    Straight Magazine = Epic Fail
    Some designers simply have no style – no style at all. The AK is iconic because it is a bad ass gun AND it looks bad ass – Just like the Saiga 9 pictured below. I mean, seriously, who puts a straight mag on a an AK?

    • Giolli Joker

      What I can notice is that the Saiga-9 has a receiver designed to handle the shorter cartridge, possibly lighter because of lower pressures involved, while the Atlantic is clearly a modified full size receiver.
      The version of the Saiga you posted is actually pretty sexy.

      • Steve Truffer

        Look a bit closer. The receiver is nearly standard There is a plastic adapter mounted in the mag latch rivet and forward mag lug. This brings the magazine to the barrel, and puts the new mag latch where you normally see a rib in a steel mag. The forward wing of the dust cover covers where the bolt would traditionally lock, thus blending the traditional look with blowback nuances.
        May have to grab a takeoff vityaz/saiga well to see if it can be easily replicated. shame about the price though.

        • Giolli Joker

          Yep, it could actually be as you say, same receiver and a properly crafted dust cover and rear sight block. Overall probably few ounces lighter and way better looking.

        • Kivaari

          Few gun makers will use a good grade of plastic. If it were made correctly, it wouldn’t need a filler block. If it needs one, use metal, not Zimax, zinc AKA: pot metal. Scale it like HK did on the M91/93/94.

          • Steve Truffer

            I haven’t had any issue with slavic plastics. What do you mean, made correctly? It uses existing machinery and retains the manual of arms of the most common platform over there. Why, if it’s just there to retrofit an existing receiver (Russia moved from the 4.5mm design to 5.5 in the 90’s), to a shorter cartridge, and there are zero complaints from users as to its duability, should they switch to the costlier and heavier metal? No one said anything about pot metal or zamak. Again, why spend 10-100’s of thousands on new tooling, eat up expensive floorspace, all for a single line of products selling for ~9000RU ($260 pre-crash)?

          • Kivaari

            Regarding plastics. I have been round a long time and I have witnessed many attempts to use plastic as filler blocks on rifles. Most of the attempts failed. That being said was using materials 25 years back. I have nothing to gripe about with plastics as used in Glocks, HKs and Rugers. I understand using existing machines and fixtures. It is a double edged sword. Adapting existing actions to under sized cartridges gives a monetary saving to the maker. OK, but it also delivers a product that appeals to fewer customers. I wont buy another pistol caliber carbine, unless it is in a proportionally sized action. I like such small rifles. The only full sized pistol carbine I owned was a Colt 9mm. That particular gun was a disaster from, a reliability and accuracy level. Colt failed to remedy the problems. Colt’s customer service has consistently been poor. Even when calling them for agency issues, they simply did not care once the product was sold.
            Floor space and production time are critical if you make small quantities, and these will not be high production machines as the market is not that large. That is why using existing gear makes sense If they only sell a few thousand per year then it wont be profitable. That leads to putting out a product that simply wont have a big crowd waiting to get them. At least I wont buy one.
            I liked the later production Ruger Police Carbine. Ruger missed a chance to get a larger market by using existing Ruger magazines and existing scope mounts. With nearly no agencies buying Ruger pistols for issue, and being unable to mount M1913 optics they cut their own market standing. I suspect, hd Ruger made them for Glock magazines and with M1913 optics compatible receivers, they would still be on the market. I would buy another one. The PC9/40 with a better rear sight, using Glock, Sig, Ruger SR-series magazines have appeal. Colts AR 9mm, like others has less appeal. The one newer scaled down AR 9s not using filler blocks pinned in place have more appeal.
            If the market was there we’d see them. We will see few of these.

          • Steve Truffer

            We aren’t going to see any unless the import ban is lifted. Looking at the design of the vityaz, it appears to reuse AKs & -u recievers, which used a 4.5mm stock design. Such rifles have been phased out in favor of the stronger & (in my opinion at least) more space efficient 5.5mm design. With half the work already done, and urban cops not wanting a full rifle, replacing the front & remarking it for 9×19 used up old stocks & filled a niche.
            Civilian demand apparently became great enough for them to decide to commercially continue the concept as the saiga-9.

          • Kivaari

            I am not familiar with your references to 4.5mm and 5.5 mm stock design. The things that stood ut to me on AKs is the use of 1mm thick sheet metal for the receivers. Then the Yugos used either 1.5 or 2mm thick material. The Yugos also had the RPK trunion for lock up. The Original Mitchell Arms imports were very nicely made. They were heavy and the stocks had the “NATO-length” that was too long for me. In the old days I supplied Mitchell with the AK-SKS sight adjustment tools. I “invented it” and now Tapco makes a knock off and “Red Star” copied it, even stealing the graphics showing how much movement one got with each turn. I had an Egyptian AKM, very faithful reproduction of the Soviet weapon, and I just couldn’t move the sight. I took it to friends machine shop and said we need to make a tool like this. He did and we sold a bunch of them. Then the other makers jumped in and grabbed the market. TAPCO had been buying them from my builder.

          • Steve Truffer

            4.5mm vs 5.5mm is an easy way to differentiate between early and newer “generations” of Russian sidefolding stock designs. Original AKs74 rifles used a stock with a 4.5mm hinge pin. Russian synthetic sidefolding stocks have recievers cut at a slightly different angle, and some parts of the locking mechanism were refined in terms of geometry and strength. The end result is a stronger lockup in both folded and open positions, and the button to unlock it is easier to use.
            Bulgarian (Arsenal firearms) sidefolders all use the 4.5mm design.

          • Kivaari

            Thanks. I’ve only looked at the Arsenal AKs. Nice work. I went back to ARs getting rid of all the other styles. Now that more upscale AKs with upgraded scope rails are around, I may buy another. It is hard to justify them when stacked up against newer AR-type rifles.

    • … So you can use existing colt 9mm mags.

      • Frank

        Yeeeah…if colt 9mm mags in an AK gets you wet, God bless ya.

        I just think good style has a place in firearms design and ultimately yields better sales. Kind of how everyone knows Browning and Kalashnikov, but nobody knows who invented the Hi-Point.

        MP5 mags would have been a much better choice in my opinion. Balances style and domestic magazine availability.

      • Yohei556

        still who has those? ….Actually i have plenty of those and still dont want an AK colt/glawk mag carbine. I want an AK style mag release just like the Vityaz.

        • Everyone. They are the most common 9mm mag for ARs. Also dimensionally identical to Uzi mags: Just slot your $5 surplus uzi clipazine and it will work in your 9mm AR.
          I would rather have cheap, plentiful mags than expensive unicorn mags.

          • Yohei556

            The local gun shop is charging $65 for colt stamped 9mm mags. That aint cheap either.

    • echelon

      Yeah that Saiga 9 is dead sexy. But because our .gov is full of tyrants who like to control people from the cradle to the grave and our nation is full of people who agree and vote for them they’ve made it so that we have to settle for retrofitted designs like the Atlantic frankengun with the unnatural long barrel and full size receiver.

      • tts

        Guns not politics please.

        Also less hyperbole too while you’re at it.

        • echelon

          I apologize if I have in some way offended you by my comment. I mean no disrespect. I, among others, find it almost entirely impossible to separate guns from politics precisely because the .gov has decided to make them a political topic. So while I admire TFB’s aim to keep it “strictly guns” even they would have to admit that they often post articles that are at the very least tangentially political in nature.

          If TFB wants to restrict my freedom of speech in these forums then they are free to do so as it is a privately owned website. I will not, however, refrain from politely pointing out the gratuitous instances where .gov intrusion restrains us from enjoying and exercising our freedom and right to bear arms to the fullest extent because of any form of political correctness. My conscience compels me to cry out.

          As far as hyperbole goes…what I wrote ain’t that! 🙂 If you believe that my statement was hyperbolic then I’m afraid to say this forum is not the appropriate place for you to begin your education of the facts.

          • tts

            Your conscience will survive posting about that stuff on other sites, which is trivial to do, and most if not all have heard it all before in one form or another before.

            People come here to get away from that stuff and ogle and post about the cool guns or denigrate the silly mall ninja stuff. That is why this site is awesome.

            I’m not a mod so do whatever……but if you want to have a good or enjoyable conversation with people you gotta adapt to the site.

          • echelon

            I’ve been posting here for quite some time. A few people have started some mild flame wars but nothing too serious. I don’t go for that so I don’t tend to escalate situations. I also find that many people agree with me, either by their comments or the number of upvotes I get. I’ll those people speak for themselves…I don’t post what I do for shock factor or to illicit a certain response.

            If my conscience can survive not posting here then I would also say yours can survive ignoring my posts. 😉 I read all sorts of comments every day…some I agree with some I don’t. Some I choose to comment back on and start a convo, some I don’t. Same goes for the articles…

            I could go on about the sad point of ogling and talking about firearms that basically nobody can purchase either because of import restriction, sanction, silly NFA, GCA, etc law or whatever, but then I guess I’d be “breaking the rules” again so I’ll refrain.

          • Zebra Dun

            I’ve slipped and done the same your forgiven.

          • echelon

            I’m not slipping, so you might not want to be so quick to forgive me?

            My stance is that TFB can say “no politics” all they want but when it comes to the subject of guns it’s pretty much impossible.

            I also don’t understand the point of looking at/talking about guns that most American serfs and peasants can never own due to political fiat!

            It’s silly to celebrate the fact that suppressor ownership is “through the roof” even though everyone had to be fleeced by the .gov to get and get put in a database somewhere. Nobody wants to stop and think about the fact that some future administration can come in and pretty much by dictate make everyone with a can a felon overnight!

            Everybody wants to make fun of the Sig Brace phenomenon but nobody wants to discuss the utter ridiculousness of the definition of “short barreled rifle” or “short barreled shotgun” and actually do anything to repeal the NFA.

            People who own a bump fire stock are derided as the lowest scum of the gun culture but everyone wants to own a real machine gun. But rather than talk about and push to eliminate the GCA, we just sit around drooling over “weapons of war” that only our noble soldiers should be able to wield along with the bodyguards of our elite rulers.

            I guess I’d rather discuss the impact of these things on the hobby we enjoy and the rights we supposedly love and cherish rather than sit in a circle jerk talking about how cool it would be to be able to own and shoot an M240…if I’m the only one guilty here, including TFB’s own writers from time to time, then go ahead and cast the first stone.

            And if you’ve still forgiven me even after all that…then thank you, I appreciate it! 🙂

          • Zebra Dun

            Yup, still forgiven Buddy.

          • Zebra Dun

            I do enjoy the break from politics which is in everything from our bedrooms to our bathroom.

          • Zebra Dun

            There is no difference in guns and politics, the reason here is to curtail the bullshit spouted by political oriented agenda driven people and the talk drifts fast away from guns and into political bullshit.
            It detracts from the pure discussion of firearms.

          • echelon

            My view is I can’t have a “pure” discussion of firearms because my overlords have said that I’m not allowed to own most…and since I didn’t sign up to become a piece of government property and fight proxy wars I didn’t get a chance to shoot all of the “elite only” stuff so I guess my discussion input in “pure” terms would be, like most of the rest of the American serfs, mostly moot.

    • BearSlayer338

      The AK is iconic for its simplicity and reliability not because it is badass.

      • Frank

        Haha, actually, we agree completely! I just happen to think simplicity and reliability are why it is bad ass…among other positive aspects of the design.

      • Kivaari

        Form and function please the eye.

    • Kivaari

      The Uzi mags work fine.

    • Yohei556

      That is exactly what i want.

    • Kivaari

      That illustrated weapon makes sense. Now if we could get rid of the stupid NFA barrel length BS, I’d buy one. BUT, when will the AK builders come up with a good aperture sight. Sights have been the worst feature of AKs, IMI and Valmet excluded.
      The Finns and Israelis built the best AKs.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Lol, full carbine sized receiver. They are only about 10 years too late with this.

  • Cal S.

    Let’s see: Full weight of an AK, price of a really, really good AR, bad ergonomics of an AK, etc.

    Yeah, I’m gonna say that this is just a nope all around. If you really wanted a 7-8lb 9mm carbine, why not just get an AR in 9mm? You could get out the door for ~$800-$900 if you built it yourself. Plus having a rail ready to go instead of having to shell out another $150 on good mounting options. Otherwise, go with a Kel Tec Sub-2000 that is half the weight.

    • Kivaari

      Has anyone seen a Kel-Tec M2000 that worked? I didn’t even try one out as the cheap sights were an instant indicator they were toys.

      • Cal S.

        Interesting. Do you feel the same about the IWI Tavor because of its poor factory sights?

        I was simply pointing out that a full-sized rifle that fires a pistol cartridge literally has all of the disadvantages of the platform (weight, length, and lack of portability) and neutralizes any of the benefits of a rifle (range & hitting power). To me, this is the definition of a ‘toy’: “Hey guys, check it out, I got a weapon that’s the weight and size of an AK, but shoots a cartridge with just under 1/6 of the ballistic effectiveness of the real thing! Isn’t it great?”

        I mean, why not just go for the lighter (and cheaper) alternative?

  • JP

    I can live with the colt mags but Big fail on the price point. Especially when you have something like the CZ Scorpian EVO available for under $800. Another good idea priced to fail.

  • Bal256

    The price is understandable considering this is essentially a custom-made gun if you compare it to some of the high-end AKs like Krebs and such. And the price is even comparable to MP5 clones. If I had to guess, they start out with $1000 AK, change put in $300 worth of custom parts, and then the extra $200-300 for labor/profit. If they were able to set this up to be mass-produced then you would see a more “accessible” price. I highly doubt the pistol caliber carbine market is big enough to justify investing into all that machinery, though.

  • J.T.

    That huge gap above the barrel looks really stupid. I like AKs but i just don’t see how this is going to be competitive at that price. This doesn’t seem to be much more than a half-assed attempt to cash in on the 9mm carbine craze.

  • Lance

    Want a Semi-Auto Bison more than this!

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      I want a tame bison to ride.

  • Vitsaus

    … so lets see… its blowback… does not use the AK operating mechanism, takes Colt mags, and brings to the table all the weak aftermarket support of the AK platform all the baggage of the AK platform. What is the advantage of this over an MP5 clone, or Colt 9mm AR, especially given the price point?

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      none

  • Southpaw89

    Not bad, but I’ll take my M1-9 over this, more my style.

  • ozzallos .

    So, the weight of an AK, the ergos of an AK, the cheap ammunition of the AK… Just not in the potent caliber of an AK. I’m completely missing something here. I’m sure it’s fun to shoot, but anywhere north of $500 is asking a bit too much here.

  • Zebra Dun

    Yup a fun gun and one that would find a niche in a home defense situation in a crowded neighborhood.
    Are there .30 carbine, .45 acp, .380 and .50 calibers waiting?

  • maodeedee

    I’d rather have a Mechtech upper with the collapsable stock on a glock 17 or 19 and be able to use 33 round mags that are 100 percent reliable. And so far my 50 round Korean drum mag that I use in my Glock 19 has never malfunctioned either.
    But I probably wouldn’t be converting that gun to a carbine because a glock 20 in 10mm would make even a better pistol caliber carbine with the Mechtech upper. the Buffalo bore 230 grain load in 10mm does 1200 fps out of my five inch barrel and should do about 1650-1700 out of the 16 inch carbine barrel.
    But as far as a 9mm carbine I like the Citadel copy of an M1 carbine that sells for about $400

    • Wyatt90

      Completely agree with all of the above. My thoughts exactly

  • Tothe

    That’s a LOT of money for a 9mm carbine.

  • Kivaari

    These guns are three times the price they should be. Pistol caliber carbines are fun, and can be a serious weapon when in a properly scaled weapon. A SBR based on an Uzi or HK94 is understandable. Having a 9mm-40-45 on a full-sized rifle receiver AR or AK makes no sense. When they sell for $1500 made to AKM quality levels (not IMI or Valmet quality) I have to ask, why?

  • Wyatt90

    LOL @ $1700

    • Kivaari

      I hear that whenever that is mentioned in front of Gaston, he rolls his eyes and says NO! Too bad. That would be one carbine that should have a safety.

  • Orion

    The fellow shooting completes his string of firing and then looks at the ejection port. Tell me why. Safety?

  • Yohei556

    NO! I WANT CURVED MAGS AND AN AK RELEASE! LOL

  • Anon. E Maus

    I quite like this carbine, but it’s WAAAY too expensive for the kind of weapon it is.