Photo essay on Izhevsk

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A prominent Russian blogger has published an extensive photo essay of the stages of production in Izhevsk on her blog. The article gives a full description of the various process’s the AKs go through in their production, but it is all in Russian and Google translating it makes it just barely readable so we’ve brought over some of the more spectacular pictures here. Most of the pictures are very well done.

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One of the factory employees demonstrating the AK12 platform being fired single handed. Notice the Magpul (or copied/closely resembling) stock and EOTech EXPS 3. 

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Scopes! They make scopes! Or at least they exist on the factory floor.

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A drum full of gas tubes. 

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Barrels, tons of barrels waiting for installation.

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One of the coating processes that the factory does. 

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Shooting the AK12 on full auto, notice the different stock from the Magpul theme design. 

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More than just AKs….

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A roughly finished Saiga, ready for some outside work. 

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Various parts in their premature stages of manufacture. 

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This one seems to have the scope mount installed. 

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I’m curious as to how previous generations of AK factory equipment are in comparison to this modern day equipment.

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Easy does it on the SVD, probably a Russian Army contract. 

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And the Bizon lives on!

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The stock on this AK Century series is of the third different design from the previous two, also that compensator is relatively new. 



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • patrickiv

    That’s casting, not a coating process.

  • Esh325

    The first picture is the Saiga MK-107, not the AK-12. Notice the 6th picture is actually an AK-12 and they’ve made some changes to the rifle. The Front sight post is combined with the gas block. It also appears they changed the handuard rail.

  • bac

    Process’s?

  • Lance

    Like the 9x18mm Bison SMG!!

  • Esh325

    I’m really surprised that the AK-107/AK-108 were never successful with being fielded by militaries.

    • kev

      Me too hopefully the Saiga mk 107 and the new AEK 971 will change that since the Russians seem poised to adopt both it and the AK 12.

      • Max Glazer

        THere are unconfirmed reports that AK-107/108 had exhibited inferior reliability to that of AEK-971.

        • Hmm

          a-ha…
          and outperformed an-94 in the terms of accuracy
          and Rem700 in the terms of longrange hit probability
          buhaha….

          • Max Glazer

            In full-auto it did beat AN-94 thanks to having lower recoil by virtue of balancing out the colt-carrier group impact at fully-back and fully-forward. At single fire they were same. The only thing AN had over AEK-971 was the hyper-burst.

            Rem-700? Russia has SV98 for that. And SVL. And ORSIS T-5000.

  • Sam Schifo

    That “Bizon” in the second to last picture is actually a PP-19-01 Vityaz.

    • Adam aka eddie d.

      I’m not the author, but I do think the sentence was a metaphor.
      The Vityaz is very similar to the helical magazine fed Bizon,
      in some way the simplified descendant of it.
      The gun is actually a Saiga 9 I believe, not a Vityaz – note the top rail, which the military/agency contract Vityaz doesn’t have. (At least to my knowledge.)

      • Sergei Borodin

        PP-19-01 mod. 20 aka “Vityaz-SN” has factory rails on top of AK-105 base construction.

        • Adam aka eddie d.

          Thanks for the info Sergei!

  • Hudson

    “Various parts in their premature stages of manufacture. ” looks like wax masters for lost wax casting (the coating picture).

    The picture with the flames looks like casting furnaces.

  • kev

    The first is the saiga mk 107 then a sbr variant of the AK 12 that’s not a bizon but a vityaz smg and the final photo is of a modernization kit for existing ak74ms that was demonstrated at the recent victory parade in Moscow.

  • Adam

    looks like everything is investment cast there now…

  • Hmm

    Who was commenting the pics for the english version of the photo tour?
    Feel ashamed =|

  • Jose

    I went to the original source of the story; and I saw everything. I can only say this: “Welcome to Paradise!” Kalashnikov paradise, that is! Thousands of AK and Saiga rifles and shotguns; Dragunovs/Tigr rifles; parts in construction; and some photos of construction and renewal of the building inside, the old machinery being replaced, or supplemented with new machinery, to increase production output. Seems that these people are not wasting time in improving its operations. It’s a shame that, right now, there’s no Saiga-107 rifles to be imported to the States . If imported in its sporterized version, it should be interesting to see it converted to its current military version.

    Let’s see if the guys of Kalashnikov USA can try to make one (if they can get their hands on one or two of those guns, by any means necessary.).

  • iksnilol

    Why wouldn’t he be male? I mean, Ilya is a male name.