Retiv sends us this follow up image of an AN-94 mockup/demilled gun in 7.62×39, at an expo. He writes:

Mr. Nathaniel, here is additional photo for you from Russian forum where i got first photo of that thing. Did they just attach 7.62×39 mag to it? It does look like 7.62×39 mag. Picture shows just mock-ups of guns, as i understand. ММГ markings are for mock ups, which are made as non-functioning real weapon, or made straight from real gun after some modifications to make it incapable to fire even after some work put into it.


Retiv sent us another photo of the elusive 7.62×39 AN-94 in the hands of a Russian special forces soldier earlier this week.


  • Anonymoose

    Before anyone says anything about 7.62×39’s recoil being too much for the AN-94, you have to remember that the second shot of the 2-round burst leaves the barrel before you receive any felt recoil from the first shot..

  • Anonymoose

    Also, what’s up with the PPSh? Are they bring it back? 😀
    Which reminds me, I have a friend who collects Class 3s and he’s been looking for a transferable PPSh for years without luck.

    • Chelovek RuBear

      They sell it internally in Russia, both in 7.62×25 and 9×19 (more popular).

      • iksnilol

        Uh, any links to Russian online gun stores? Would be interesting to see the selection over there. I know that SKS and SVT rifles are still manufactured and can be bought new (unless the Canadians are lying to me).

    • Esh325

      I believe there was some company that made a semi auto PPSH in 9mm and 7.625mm for civilian use.

    • Chelovek RuBear

      Check out Only The Best Firearms in Florida, I know they have a transferrable PPSh a few months ago – I actually held it when making a video there.

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    The mag appears to have been shaved at the top to fit the 94, just as I suspect the one in the other image has. In all likelihood, there is no 7.62×39 AN-94.

    • Hi Jonathan,

      What makes you think that, especially about the other image? I would buy that this is simply a 5.45 dummy with modifications to make it appear to be a 7.62×39 weapon, but the contextcof the other photo makes it unlikely to be true there.

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        It’s not that there can’t be (though the characteristics of the round make it a pointless exercise with respect to ‘hyperburst’). It’s that there’s no evidence (aside from that other photo) that there are. We have one photo from an unidentified source and context that *appears* to show a Nikonov, which *appears* to be fitted with a 7.62 mag. That’s it. Not enough to say that an AN actually chambered in 7.62×39 actually exists, as intriguing as the photo is.

        • Is there some reason the photos aren’t at least tentative evidence that 7.62×39 AN-94s exist?

          I asked Max, BTW. Waiting for his reply.

          • Giolli Joker

            Good. I’m waiting as well. 🙂

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            I didn’t say that they weren’t. I said that there’s no evidence aside from that other photo, and that the two photos aren’t enough to say that 7.62 ANs exist. For the very simple reason that someone could have simply bodged a mag into a 5.45mm gun.

            As I said in my other reply, KC have denied having produced the variant in question.

  • Lance

    Must have been a post Army rejection weapon the only AN-94s that the Russian looked at for themselves where 5.45mm ANs.

    • [citation needed]

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        Citation needed for the actual claim that the gun even exists! Two photos, one terrible, for which the Occam’s Razor explanation is simply a different calibre magazine jammed into a 5.45mm weapon, aren’t evidence that 7.62×39 ANs were ever made.

        • Hi Jonathan,

          I’m not clear on why you think an alternate chambering is so unlikely. I agree that more digging is called for, though, yes.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            Again, it’s the burden of proof thing. Although the Russians have continued to use 7.62×39 weapons, so far as anyone knows, their design efforts for ‘green army’ small arms have been in the 5.45mm direction since the dawn of the ’70s. The 7.62 AK-100s were designed and marketed for export, despite limited use by Russian troops. The Nikonov’s whole ethos was the SALVO-style hyperburst concept, which 7.62×39 is ill-suited for and would require at least some tinkering.

            I did come across one other reference to a 7.62 AN however – in a ‘period’ Russian media report on Youtube re the AN-94 where the ticker across the bottom of the screen states that it will be in both calibres. Still far from conclusive.

          • I think I understand where you’re coming from, Jonathan. I think, though, that such a conversion, or even new production, would be a fairly trivial undertaking in the big scheme of things, and all it would take would be one unit requesting such a variant be produced.

            We know that 7.62×39 has seen use with special units, and that some even have a preference for the cartridge. Max has previously confirmed that with me, and in fact he reported that 7.62×39 is being used much like the .300 Blackout, where users switch from subsonic to supersonic ammunition. Granted, the AN-94 isn’t the best platform for that sort of work, but if a unit had already become invested in the caliber and wanted AN-94s, it is not unreasonable to think they might have gotten them.

  • Esh325

    It’s interesting that the Russians never stopped developing 7.62×39 rifles for their military even with the 5.45×39 around. You can see quite a few pictures of police and SF there carrying AKM’s,AK-103’s, and AK-104’s.

    • toms

      In some units you might not see any 5.45’s at all but will see x39, 9×39, and 54r sometimes even .308 and 5.56 thrown in for good measure. Many still prefer close range power.

      • Esh325

        I’m not aware the Russians carry 5.56x45s and .308’s into combat, but I could be wrong.

        • Anonymoose

          Same. I’ve seen them with posing with bring-back M4s from the war in Georgia though.

        • toms

          I’ve seen more than a few photos of 416’s and MR variants in use as DMR rifles in various hotspots. I have also seen claims by some high profile gun industry folks (LAV) that he has seen them employ various M4 clones as well. They get to use whatever they want in many units.

    • Manny Fal

      7.62×39 among the super elite is well known to have both superior stopping power and greater penetration of barriers, it is the ideal round for urban terrain. The 5.45×39 and 5.56 round are mainly just significantly lighter and longer effective range, they were chosen due to the quantity of bullets required to get one kill. But for Delta/SAS operators or upper spetsnaz, the 7.62×39 is the best choice.

      • Esh325 If we look at gelatin tests, it would appear that the 5.45×39 is more lethal than the M43 7.62×39 and nearly as lethal as the newer M67 7,62×39. Gel tests may not be the end all be all though. And SF might use expanding ammo. Delta and SAS don’t use the 7.62×39 that often I believe. They probably turn to .308.

        • Manny Fal

          7.62×39 doesn’t need gelatin tests, it’s stopping power has been well proven in the field.

          But your right about the .308 especially with the more accurate lighter battle/dmr rifles like the FN SCAR and HK417. But I’d posit if they had to go into a battlezone without support, they would go 7.62×39.

          • Paladin

            “The field” is rather notorious for failing to provide accurate, detailed, and reliable data about the performance of a specific cartridge. For example, you might hear an account of an enemy being hit multiple times without stopping, when in actuality the shooters simply missed and, under stress, didn’t realize it.

        • iksnilol

          Pretty much everyone uses M67 or something similar to it. I don’t see much M43 nowadays, mainly Chinese ammo.

      • n0truscotsman

        Its the types of ammunition available, not the caliber itself.

        In Russia, the only “improvements” to 5.45 available are newer increments with increased armor penetration, not increased expansion (unlike the US counterpart, which offers a mind blowing difference in 5.56 ammunition types).

        If Russia was like the Us, and had a commercial market where 5.45 was sold and improved upon in the civilian sector, you can bet that caliber would be better evolved than it currently is with a wider variety of loadings available.

    • iksnilol

      Not really surprising. 7.62×39 is better for urban warfare. Many police departments still use it (+ the surplus of rifles and ammo in that caliber means it will never go away). So not really surprising. Most things requiring a rifle can be solved with a short barreled AK in 7.62×39, IMO.

      I remember seeing some double barreled AK with a short 12.7 (or was it 9.3mm?) barrel next to the regular 5.45 barrel. IIRC it was made to improve barrier penetration.

  • Giolli Joker

    Why should it be chambered in 7.62×39? That to me seems the magazine that I’ve always seen on the AN-94, including the live fire video of LVA.

    • SP mclaughlin

      If you mean Larry Vickers, the rifle he shot clearly fed from the straighter 5.45mm magazine.

      • Giolli Joker

        Ok, I thought we were focusing again on the external texture of the magazine, that I find a laughable point.
        Anyway, I can personally confirm that Kalashnikov Concern as a few mock-up AN-94 that they still show during international exhibitions.
        Somebody might have played with magazines.
        Mr Popenker has nothing on his website about a 7.62 AN-94, therefore I tend to believe that we’re just seeing what we want to see.

        • Giolli, the AN-94 in the last article had a ridged AK-103 magazine. This one is using a different pattern of 7.62×39 polymer magazine.

          • Giolli Joker

            How do we know that Russians never manufactured ridged 5.45 magazine for the AN-94?
            Or that they experimented with different shapes of the magazine to improve feeding on such a peculiar weapon?
            Isn’t it easier to assume a different magazine texture/shape than different guts of the gun?
            So far I haven’t seen any evidence that we’re talking about 7.62×39 AN-94, maybe there are clues, but I think we’re jumping to conclusions a bit too quickly.

          • That seems like reaching to me, since the magazines on both exactly match existing 7.62×39 mags.

            Rechambering one or making one in an alternate chambering wouldn’t be very hard, well not any harder than making a 5.45 on3, anyway.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            You need to be asking Max Popenker or better yet Kalashnikov Concern themselves about these so-called 7.62×39 AN-94s.

          • I will ask Max. I don’t have a hotline for Kalashnikov, unfortunately.

          • I could have sworn that Max has mentioned its existence. Some Russian military veterans simply don’t trust the 5.45x39mm.

          • iksnilol

            Some people are old fashioned, even young people. I still stick to M67 7.62×39.

            In other words, can’t blame them.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            I’ve emailed Max and not yet had a reply (but see my reply to Nathaniel above). However, it’s not on his site and whether or not Russians trust 5.45 is irrelevant to whether or not this particular purported variant exists.

            It seems likely that an experimental example or two might have been produced, but actual production? According to Kalashnikov themselves, no.

          • Jonathan,

            I would not expect actual production of any specialized variant of AN-94. According to Max, they were five times the price of an AK-74, so I doubt very many of any variant were made.

            I don’t really think there’s anything special about a 7.62×39 that makes it particularly unlikely to exist, however. You would need a different barrel, magazine well, bolt face, and possibly a different lifter. It’s definitely not unreasonable to suggest that small numbers could have been produced for one reason or another.

            Given that we have pictures that appear to show them, it seems likely.

  • Green Hell

    Okay, now serious question. If someone brings one of those ММГ guns in the U.S., such as this one, and gives it to a good gunsmith with the right tools and skills, would it be possible to recreate the missing/disabled parts and reverse-engineer it into a working weapon? I think a lot of American shooters other than Vickers would love to try out the innovative stuff like AN-94, AEK-971 or Vintorez/Val. Those ММГ cost around 1000$ by current exchange rate and must be perfectly legal to ship as toys.

    • From what I understand, it could be anything from a deac to a hollow plastic shell.

      I don’t think the ATF would be very comfortable with any sort of AN-94 deac except a torch-cut one.

      • iksnilol

        You could get a deactivated one from the UK. Though I doubt they cut the receiver (which needs to be cut to be deactivated in the eyes of US law). You could always have somebody cut up the receiver in Europe (carefully measuring it beforehand, of course). Then ship the parts to the US and making a new receiver.

      • guest

        ММГ stands for макет массо-габаритный, which roughly means size-weight clone, they are “made” out of the real guns by the factories that produce them(never heard of one made otherwise), and usually cost more than the real guns. They butcher them up pretty good there, ATF even might get jealous of how good…

    • M

      Deactivated by European standards is not deactivated by ATF standards. In other words, it’s still considered a firearm by the US

  • It’s not that I don’t trust you, Jonathan, it’s that I’ve got two pictures staring me in the face, and only fourth-hand info saying they can’t be what they appear to be.

    It’s not like we’re talking about a totally new type of weapon. For all I know, these rifles could have been converted from 5.45×39. That is conceivable.

    • Jonathan Ferguson

      Experimental builds or conversions are one thing, and might explain what we’re seeing in the first photo. I assume we can agree that a gun built as an MMG (I.e. never actually a firearm) is highly unlikely to actually have a 5.45mm chamber. Total red herring in my view.

      The first photo; as I say, intriguing. But we don’t know its significance, and in light of KC denying that 7.62 guns were ever made, we should reserve judgement on what it actually is.

      You guys seemed to be taking these photos as evidence of production guns. If I’m putting words in your mouth, apologies.

      • I don’t know if it’s production or not, though we have some evidence that they were at least thinking about it (that news article you referenced, for a start).

        • Jonathan Ferguson

          For a start – and a finish. That’s all there is that I know of (and we only have that because I went looking for it). Would you trust a western media report about an upcoming rifle? We literally have this one photo – which I freely admit is a complete mystery. It’s definitely an AN94, and definitely a 7.62 mag; I’ve recreated the photo angle with a real AN-94 and every mag I can think of and only a 30rd 7.62×39 mag matches the image.

          The MMG photo is a red herring; anyone can shave a polymer 7.62 mag to fit that magwell. As indeed could the Russian army to pose the other photo (but why would they?).