Polish gun magazine Broń i Amunicja posted two photos of the elusive AN-94 rifle in use with Russian forces recently. The 5.45mm hyperburst rifles are seen equipped with optics mounted via rails to the Soviet-era dovetail scope mount integral to the receiver of the weapon.


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Broń i Amunicja writes:

Tak po cichutku, bez większego rozgłosu, pojedyncze sztuki 5,45-mm karabinka AN-94 (formalnie przyjętego do uzbrojenia w połowie lat 1990. jako następca AK-74) nadal są używane przez rosyjskie jednostki specjalne. Ciekawostką jest automat Nikonowa zaopatrzony w celownik holograficzny.

[machine translated] So quietly, without much publicity, single pieces 5,45-mm karabinka an-94 (formally adopted for the setting in the mid-1990. As the successor of the AK-74) continue to be used by the Russian special units. There is a slot machine nikonowa stocked holographic scope.

The AN-94 is an extremely complex rifle (and one of the very few small arms designs to incorporate a pulley), but not because its designers made no effort to simplify it. Indeed, many parts in the rifle serve multiple functions, simplifying the mechanism as much as possible, in the old Russian tradition. Hyper-burst is a very radical idea, requiring great ingenuity to execute successfully, and the AN-94 is nothing if not ingenious. Sadly, the payoff seems to be too little to justify the greatly increased expense (the AN-94 cost approximately five times as much as an AK-74), greatly increased complexity, and reduced reliability of hyperburst.


  • Cal.Bar

    Bit on the ugly and ungainly side. Looks more like a prototype than finish product. Why have that off center side mount on it? The West has figured out how to mount pic rails directly on top (and inline) when will the Eastern European countries figure that out?

    • Anonymoose

      All Russian weapons use a siderail optic mount. It’s worked just fine for half a century now, so why change it? It’s also quicker to detach and reattach ahd holds zero better than most NATO-style mounts.

      • JK

        A slot machine nikonowa stocked holographic scope? Sounds like a gamble to me.

      • dshield55

        It seems like the Russian special forces prefer hinged/railed top covers now… but I personally still love and swear by the side mounts. I love just being able to slide a red dot or magnified optic on or off in a quick hurry.

    • Esh325

      They have figured it out. Image from http://i.imgur.com/AdWQ58W.jpg.Image from http://i.ytimg.com/vi/SnC4BuDMBv0/maxresdefault.jpg. The AN94 pretty much stopped development in the 90s hence the reason for no flatop rails

    • Riot

      You mean that universal quick attach/detach mount that they have had since the early fifties?
      It was the west that couldn’t figure out infantry small arms not the east.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Where have you been for the last 50 years? The side mount showed up not long after the AKM was introduced on the AKML.

  • Vitsaus

    They should get some decent field testing in Syria.

  • Lance

    Well though it failed to get infantry issue. It was still adopted by the Spetz naz. And with war in Ukraine and Syria its interesting to see the AK-74 see large scale combat 1st time since Afghan war ended for the Russians in 1989, as well as Chechnya.

    That 5.45mm round sure has good reviews even better than 5.56mm for wound ballistics

    Like ESH 325s updated AK-74 pic nice seeing it solder on for years to com.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    If the Russians are coming, you are welcome to die over here 😛

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Good to know.

      • eriky

        True that, I want to go down in a blaze of glory. Not sweat and heatstroke.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Ugh, the flies! Dying as a frozen popsicle on the side of a mountain with a grin on your face and one or both middle fingers raised is much preferable to bloating up from bacteria till a vulture pops your putrid corpse open and gobbles your eyes out.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Ideally I would die in a yacht explosion.

          • Tassiebush

            I can identify with that but on my budget it’s more likely it’ll be an accidental self immolation from a seagull outboard.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Same here but I can dream.

          • Tassiebush

            Suddenly I have “Dream of outboard immolation” playing in my head to tune of Californication

  • William Johnson

    “hyperfire” sounds like the 2100 rds per minute cyclic rate of the H&K G-11. All 3 rounds exited the barrel before the shooter feels any recoil.

    • May

      Same idea basically, on the AN-94 the entire action reciprocates inside the receiver and a pulley system cycles and fires it a second time before it has completely reciprocated so you’re able to get two rounds out before feeling the kick. The big difference really is that the G11 tried to reinvent the wheel in more ways, using caseless ammo and a rotary action rather than standard 5.45 rounds and a back-forward action.

      Although calling it a “Hyperburst” reminds me of a weapon from MegaMan.

  • Tassiebush

    If you’d prefer you could come down here and help man one of the old coastal forts around Hobart. They gave us the willies during the Crimean war so we took precautions. I’m sure a cannon firing hot shot and a nordenfeldt gun would still be relevant in a contemporary context.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Yeah but it’s still hot down there.

      • Tassiebush

        Not in Tassie. If you can get past the awful mainland down to Tasmania it’s a quite mild climate. We just had our coldest winter in decades (oddly after one of hottest summers) which included a day with snow to sea level. Ithink you could count days reaching or exceeding 30c on both hands in a year. A lot of the year a wetsuit is necessary to swim. Water is never that warm (unless you just swam where someone else was). You can safely hang game in the shade for days on end for a lot of the year. If someone talks about needing air-conditioning in their home here I’d look at them like they were retarded. It’s bugg3red in my Land cruiser and I miss it more for defogging than anything.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Sounds damn nice.
          I prefer cold ocean swims and cool nights are better for sipping whiskey around the fire. I grew up in the desert of west Texas, blazing hot during the day and cold at night.

          • Tassiebush

            It is pretty nice here. Mid winter the days can be a bit short, sunrise at 7:30am ish and sunset 5:30ish which is a bit depressing but it’s not often hugely cold. We get snow in high areas a few times each year.
            Mid summer you can still be doing stuff outside at 9pm. I reckon the main negative is the ozone hole rather than weather. It opens up over summer and I get burnt in about 10minutes. People from really hot parts of the country like Queensland tell me it’s worse here for sunburn.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Same here I use spf 10000.
            But I’ve managed to avoid radiation poisoning in Central America so I’d probably do ok down there.

          • Tassiebush

            I’d imagine it’s quite intense in the southern end of the USA. To be the starting point of the gulf stream it’d have to be pretty hot.
            I must admit though I often swear when I find out how old North Americans actually are compared to how young they look.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Don’t be fooled, Texas is a brutal wasteland. I just watched a hawk grab a squirrel out of the tree in my front yard and disembowel it in the street. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc034ecc0fc3283c832305ec42a17e87e24da45b3958ce9f1e24cb11bc282154.jpg

          • Tassiebush

            What a novel event!

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Hawks are pretty common but I rarely see one strike. Saw one grab a dove the other day that was munching on a pecan in the driveway https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c8d6ad6ee02d7987b07f58b6cc3d49e1bba47cfbf68cec726ef4b8620136ebe.jpg and all it left was its head.

          • Tassiebush

            I guess it must take a bit of work for a hawk to meet it’s nutritional needs. Having said that when I eventually get to your part of the world it looks like I’ll be able to stretch out my holiday budget saving money on food by stealing squirrels and doves off feeding hawks.

          • Tassiebush

            I used to see a pair of Tasmanian wedgetail eagles taking their catch back to a nest behind a friends place as a kid. One time it was a big snake. At my house I haven’t ever seen a bird of prey feeding but I have seen a white sea eagle just over the back fence one time and a wedgetail another time. They’re impressive birds!

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I’m just a mile or so north of downtown Houston and we have a lot of red tail Hawks and there’s a large bat colony under the bridge nearby so they come out every night. Lots of critters about.
            That’s Texas.
            Here’s a tfb exclusive. My brother shot the 2016 Magpul calendar on a ranch near Dallas and sent me pics from the shoot . https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/40559d3147fd9f9f87c82d4ce1db1f6fe5411518ab57b992849ad0fa27f1d255.jpg

          • Tassiebush

            Some people have awesome jobs!

          • buzzman1

            Finally a comment no one is disagreeing with!

          • Giolli Joker

            I’d be spreading pecans in the weekend…

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Thats pretty dark, dude.
            No need to since theres a huge tree over the drive.

          • Giolli Joker

            Hawks and predatory birds in general are pretty spectacular when they hunt. 😉

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Agreed, we have a lot of them around here.

          • iksnilol

            So Texas is the place if I want to do Fallout cosplay?

          • TheNotoriousIUD


          • Phillip Cooper

            Yes, Charleston SC here– and it is most definitely freaking HOT in the summer.. though it hasn’t been too terrible this year.

          • iksnilol

            I’ve always wanted to go to a desert. Something about the scorching heat appeals to me. I like deserts in general.

            Besides, in Texas I could probably play “Lone Star” on max volume with my windows open without getting any complaints 😛

            If you’re going to Norway I’d recommend packing your scuba suit. So much rain, yet the winter air is dry enough to legit give you problems breathing. I still like the place though. Decent people, money, and the laws aren’t too screwed.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I dated a Norwegian girl in hs whose father, Finn Aagard, was a safari hunter in Kenya until it was outlawed.
            He was a renowned authority on big game hunting and published several books and wrote for American Rifleman.

      • Not at all. Tasmania has an incredible climate.
        Only place other than Texas I would live.

  • Esh325

    Honestly I always thought the AN94s were were pretty much shelved in the Russian military, but I guess the second picture proves it does see some limited use.

  • USMC03Vet

    This a joke?

    UTG side mount and stretch armstrong chin wield to use optic……

    • Bal256

      I think I read somewhere that a chin-weld is an American concept, and not a big thing in Russia and other places.

  • dshield55

    I wonder if the Russians got the memo that their EoTechs don’t work in freezing temps.

    • JK

      Niet! Optic is fine! Just needs more Vodka.

      • CZFan

        spasiba tovarich, I was about to say the same thing

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      Do Aimpoints? That’s a serious question, I don’t know a lot about electronic optics.

      • iksnilol

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Aimpoints are bulletproof. Like, the only reason we don’t coat tanks in Aimpoints is because it is more expensive than the high tech armor on them.

  • mechamaster

    What Russian need to improve the AN94 ergonomics is the improved adjustable buttstock.
    The original look outdated to support higher optic mount and obstructed the fire control when folded.

  • fasteddiez

    If you had been in the 2nd Marines (not I) you would oft have traveled to Norway, during winter natch. I hope you would had enjoyed, the cold, the altitude, snowshoes…….I am not trying to be snarky.

    • Phil Hsueh

      I did it once, one of my last ATs was to go to Operation Battle Griffin and I had a great time and the weather, except for our first and last days in the field, wasn’t too bad. The funny thing about it is that our normal AT every is to go to CAX in the Stumps, so instead of going to the desert that year I got to play in the snow.

  • nadnerbus

    Things are way more amicable between Russia and the US even now than they were during the coldest parts of the Cold War. Putin is more concerned with grabbing territory and expanding Russian influence and power in his backyard than he is in a global power struggle.

    If a bigger nutjob were to follow him somewhere down the line, the dynamic might change. But for now, he’s just sees a power vacuum and is taking advantage of it.

    • TheNotoriousIUD
      • nadnerbus

        I hadn’t, but I am aware of Russia’s renewed bomber flights, cold war style.

        I still think it is just saber rattling, more for domestic consumption in Russia than anything else right now. Pushing just to see how far he can push.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          That may be true but if a nervous tail gunner on a Russian bomber shoots down an American interceptor and his wingman shoots down the bomber things could get bad real fast.

          • iksnilol

            As long as we avoid a Dr. Strangelove scenario we should be good.

      • Manny Fal

        U.S has got another war to lose goddammit! *spits on floor* and no damn hippie ruskies are gonna prevent that from happening! Goddammit! *spits on floor*

  • Uniform223

  • Jas

    Translated with help of my wife:

    “Quietly, without much publicity, a few 5,45mm carbines model AN-94 (officially entered into the armament in the mid nineties as successor to the AK-74) are still being used by Russian special forces. Interestingly the Nikonov automatic is fitted with a holographic sight.”

    The Russian army has always had a habit of hanging on to everything that could be considered a weapon. There are still quite large stocks of WW II T34 tanks and rumor has it that there is still a large number of Smith and Wesson revolvers in .44 Russian lying around somewhere from czarist times.
    Looks like these Nikonovs have suffered the same fate. A few units have a few lying around and on a “bring your family day” they will come out. They are, however, not in general use. Basically the design was Brilliant but a failure.

    About ten of these guns turned up a few years ago in Germany. Deactivated……

    • CZFan

      You mentioned the Russians hang on to everything, in that respect they are smart, Unlike the US military that has a habit of dumping wartime equipment in the sea like thousands of Sherman tanks and other armor, Helicopters after Vietnam (although they were south Vietnameese owned, and they needed deck space for evac) and tons of ammunition and rifles because its “cheaper” completely write off equipment than transport it home, pure laziness, I dont see how destroying functional equipment is better than the “cost” to ship it back, for pure salvage a M4 Sherman has to be worth the cost of transport, the Russians keep their gear, the T34 may be outdated by todays standards but if they run they can still be used a few t34’s could easily turn the tide in smaller conflicts, even though RPG’s and other anti tank explosives can take them out easily, the same can be said for BMP’s and T72’s.

      Its better to hold onto a million mosins than to toss them out, its better to have a thousand t34’s that can be salvaged for metal than to sink them especially when you have storage infrastructure already made.

      Sure you would have to pay someone to maintain something like a tank but if you have a crapton of soldiers getting paid to sit around and train, you could easily rotate companies of soldiers to maintain the equipment on a year round basis.

      Imagine if the Russians had sent in thousands of t34’s into Chechnya or Afghanistan, sure they are not as good as modern kit, but a bunch of light tanks can do some serious damage, just like the US strategy for Shermans in WW2, a bunch of fast light tanks can overwhelm and destroy a 80 ton monstrosity of a Panzer.

      Getting to the AN-94, It is a great design with the “hyperburst” and the high frequency muzzle brake that converts some of the blast to a higher than human hearing frequency. I think the main reasons the AN94 didnt get adopted in larger numbers was a combination of institutional inertia, by way of a refusal to train soldiers on a new system. And the questionable reliability due to the fact that the accelerated feeding process on the 2rd burst can lead to a very serious double feed malfunction that is 50 times more difficult to clear than a standard AK, and without the “hyperburst” the AN94 is really no better than the Standard AK. Its overly complicated, its expensive to produce, even though its much more accurate and easier to control than the AK, the benefits do not offset the extra cost for most basic “grunt” units.

      So its only seen limited service in more specialized units.

      Similar to the HK416 in the US army, Special forces need the water friendly HK piston system, but to the average grunt, its no better than the standard M16/m4 that is properly maintained.

      • Manny Fal

        If they don’t dump the equipment, how are they gonna ask the government for more money to buy stuff and enrich their industry pals? In contrast the Russians keep everything, just in case they need to steal it and sell it off in the future. ie fall of soviet russia.

      • iksnilol

        I agree with you, though I do see how it is cheaper to destroy stuff than to maintain it.

        Here in Norway Nammo just destroyed surplus 7.62×51 NATO instead of selling it. They quite literally made a bit too much ammo and instead of making a buck of it, they just destroyed it.

      • buzzman1

        The Soviets never dumped old equipment for a couple of reasons. 1, older conscripts that would be recalled in time of national conflict would fall in on equipment they were familiar with and be used as canon fodder and 2. the russian constitution forbids the closer of the WW2 era munitions factories so they are still producing old ammunition.

        • Huh

          “WW2 era munitions factories”
          While I was in Lapua factory, manager told me, that Lapua making approximately 5 000 000 rounds a year.
          WW2 era munition factories you’ ve mentioned, easily making 2 000 000 rounds every 24 hours.
          Literally shipping freighters full of ammo to the US. Yes it’s dirty and corrosive, but it’s cheap and fun to shoot.

          • buzzman1

            I’ve been reading that the stuff coming out of te factories has been vastly improved over the last 10 years and isnt o bad now.. 7.62×39 isnt a bad round, it was just being shot from a poorly made rifle. People, even military in the US, don’t realize how weapons and ammo are the result of combat doctrine. Thats not true in the US anymore, however.

    • Scott P

      I think they hang on to old weapons because of how traumatized they were in both World Wars where they were under-prepared whereas you had soldiers at the front with no guns or ammo at all. It is better to have an obsolete weapon/ammo than none at all.

    • buzzman1

      If you could get old news footage of the Georgian war for independence you would see the Georgians fighting the Russians with T-34s.

  • Realist

    What’s ”hyperburst”? Isn’t that a standard feature on the Phase-plamsa rifle in 40w range?

    • Out of the Blue

      It’s a “double tap” function where the gun loads and fires a second round before the bolt group hits the back of the receiver, meaning the shot fires before the recoil affects the shooter. It’s supposed to put two bullets to the same point of impact. That’s why there’s a pulley in the gun, to make it actually workable.

  • NDS

    G36 called, they want their height over bore back.

  • Guido FL

    The optic is so high, WTF ?

  • MANG

    @Nathaniel_F, killing it with this + the 7.62x41mm carbine article, great content.

  • Tassiebush

    Nah I meant the model having a clothing optional job in such hot weather 😉

  • Ching Willy Hung

    With all the ITAR export restrictions, I don’t see the Russian having any problem getting EOTech Sight or Magpul stuff. On a lot of pictures I saw from Ukraine or Russian’s FSB or GRU, they all sporting ITAR restricted Items some have ACOGs too.

  • Huh

    I hope not=)
    Trouble is… seems everybody wants some kind of large scale conflict to begin… like ultimate medicine for all kind of economic problems

  • Tzefa

    But the picture is a screenshot from a promotion video of Kyrgyzstan special forces