[SHOT 2016] Kalashnikov USA’s New AK-Alfa Rifle

In a show that so far seems short on major announcements, Kalashnikov USA, the orphaned official importer of Kalashnikov Concern products to the USA, announced a brand new rifle design, based on the AK, but featuring radically updated external aesthetics and ergonomics. I was only able to drive by the booth and quickly snap a few photos – I will certainly stop by again and see what else I can learn – but some information has been released by TFB’s own Richard Johnson, writing on his website Guns Holsters And Gear, and through a video released by Kalashnikov USA:

The gun’s features include:

  • An adjustable cheek rest
  • An adjustable buttstock
  • Modular, swappable buttpads
  • Modular pistol grip contour
  • Sealed, waterproof battery compartment in the grip
  • Ambidextrous magazine release
  • Ambidextrous, AR-15-style 90-degree throw safety
  • Left/right swappable charging handle
  • Interchangeable charging handle profiles
  • Forearm with removable Picatinny rail sections


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The rifle is named “AK-Alfa”, after the famous Russian special forces team. It comes chambered in 7.62×39, takes AK magazines, and will come in 16.338″ (415mm) and 12.362″ (314mm) barreled versions. None of the prototypes shown at the show (all of which obviously relied on rapid prototyped components) evidently featured KeyMod holes in the handguards, but that feature is shown on one of the rifles in Richard’s article.

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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Anonymoose

    I NEED IT.

    • Anomanom


    • ozzallos .

      I’m fine with this. ALL OF THIS.

  • AD

    Looks nice. Reminds me of the guns from Haze, for some reason.

    • Anon

      Why would you ever want to remember Haze?

    • USMC03Vet

      Looks like something right out of Crysis.

      • Sianmink

        Honestly… It’s not that far off.

        • Ryan

          I see more ACR in the Crysis 2 Grendel.

          • SP mclaughlin

            Or the Magpul Massoud concept, and it’s successor that I can’t think of.

        • LCON

          Suddenly that AK15 photoshop comes back to haunt us.

  • Kristoff


  • OCD_Weaponry

    I really like how this rifle looks the AK has definitely come a long way in the ergonomics department for sure.

  • Bob

    The didn’t attempt to make this aesthetically pleasing. Looks like someone threw an ak in a plastic mold and puked on it.

    • TDog

      Yeah, but it’s an awesome puke! 😀

    • John

      At least it’s fresh puke!

  • iksnilol

    Sci-Fi AK?

    How do you clean it? Seems like it is kinda monolithic with that rail and all.

    • jrt 82

      Looks like it breaks open like a AR. you can see on pin in front of the magwell and another in the grey band directly behind the charging handle cutout slot.

      I’m guessing that the mag rocks in like normal, but the animation shows the mag drop straight down. I’ll guess that its just the animation.

      • LCON

        looks like the upper is a single piece with the lower serving as a second with the handguard and stock as modules. Guessing the guts are classic AK.

    • LCON

      “How do you clean it?”
      IZ AK, You Wish to Klean Komrad? Sound like Kapitalizum to me…

      • iksnilol

        Тыпинг лике тхат макес ыоу сеем реаллы ступид, “цомраде”.

        • LCON

          That was my intention. 😛

        • To Whom It May Concern


        • Evan

          Й is the equivalent of Y….

          • iksnilol

            Not quite.

            Й is either a “short i” or “jot” or a J, all depending on which language you go with.

          • Evan

            Exactly. J in most languages correlates to English Y. English J doesn’t exist in Russian, the closest approximation would be Дж.

          • iksnilol

            Well… English Y is retarded… Like a good deal of the English language.

            The weird thing (“fun fact”) about Ы is that it can’t be in the beginning of a word, except foreign words. So my use of it is correct there.

          • Evan

            I would’ve used Й, but then again, when spelling out English words in Cyrillic, there really is no “correct” way. Although another thing I just noticed is that you spelled “comrade” with a ц. Ц is pronounced as “ts”, similar to a German Z. The sound at the beginning of comrade would be К.

          • iksnilol

            I know, I just translated it straight with a program (really don’t want to switch keyboards).

            I would argue though that the ts sound isn’t really similar to the German Z. The Z is kinda like a bee buzzing, while the C (Ц) sound is more sharp. Kinda hard to describe with words.

          • Evan

            Well, my German is far from perfect, and my Russian is essentially limited to a wide array of profanity. I more or less taught myself how to read Cyrillic in the cause of enhancing my Russian profanity skills. My comparison of ц to German Z came from a friend who speaks both languages fluently (ethnic German who grew up in the USSR), when helping me learn to read Cyrillic.

          • iksnilol

            I will agree, the Z sound and C sound are both very sharp in the Slavic languages (and German). So I can see the comparison.

            Me? I speak German (though not fluently) and Bosnian (which uses both alphabets).

            At least you’re honest regarding profanity. That is what people usually learn first in new languages.

          • Evan

            I know some Serbo-Croatian (all profane), and the C in the one word I know that has one (kurac) is pronounced exactly like Ц. I imagine Bosnian is very similar to Serbo-Croatian. However, my two Serbian friends have names that end in C, and it’s pronounced in both cases as an English Ch or Russian Ч.

          • iksnilol

            That is how you’re supposed to pronounce C in most Slavic languages. 🙂

            Those friends of yours, are you sure their name ends in a C and not a Ć? Do they have their original passports/IDs or did they get new ones in the US? If so that’d explain why the wrong letter is there. Hard to write those letters on an “Western” keyboard.

    • USMC03Vet

      Throw it in a mud puddle. You know, like how you clean any other AK.

      • iksnilol

        Then my hands get dirty when I pick it up. I hate that sticky icky feeling.

  • StefaniaBelmondo

    I wonder how easily it comes apart compared to a traditional AK.

  • Nate H

    Yuck, whoever thought the AK needed a SCAR stock should be taken to a gulag and subjected to forced labor until they lose weight and fingers so they can’t design any more garbage like this. Ew.

  • LazyReader

    It’s cool, but it seems it only ejects right side…not good for lefties

    • Evan

      If you’re a lefty who has had a problem with the ejection pattern of an AK, you’re doing it wrong.

  • NoNamesOnTheNet

    Oh, I’ll definitely take one…

  • A Fascist Corgi

    My body is ready.

  • Devil_Doc

    So, one of the only problems with the original ak design was the huge opening in the receiver that allowed gunk in unless the safety was in the on position, right? This redesign not only doesn’t fix that problem, it adds another opening on the other side of the receiver. I’d love to hear the logic behind that.

    • USMC03Vet

      You’ll probably be fine unless you bring in wheel barrels full of mud to put on it at the range.

    • John

      See, the latest mud test freaked people out when really your chances of literally packing thick, sticky, gritty mud into your action and trigger group are basically 0. It was an extreme test that doesn’t really reflect what would happen to an AK if it were dropped in some mud and recovered. They BURIED it intentionally for it to fail.

      • The words “finding the failure point” ring a bell, John?

  • John

    Looks like bulky garbage. Just give me a quality built AKM and be done with it.

    • All the Raindrops


  • kregano

    Not a bad update to the AK, but man, that style of stock only looks good when it’s not extended.

    • jackalo626

      Needs no update. This shouldn’t have ak anywhere near the name.

    • avconsumer2

      Well, considering the “ambidextrous” charging handle appears to get blocked when the stock is folded on this particular model, doubtful it sees production. (previous commenter pointed this out)

  • Twilight sparkle

    I would call this an ak 12 killer… but since it’s behind glass it’s probably far from a working prototype and I don’t really see Kalashnikov USA ever really trying to complete this design.

    • Tritro29

      So a legacy AK-system dressed up in CAA parts, probably is deemed the killer of a military system of AK-origin which is undergoing Russian State military trials. Sounds pretty much apples and hotdogs.

      • Twilight sparkle

        For the purpose of the us market it would be, we could get this rifle but were never going to have access to an Ak 12.

        There’s a few things I like better, like the monolithic rail and the throw on the safety is more like an ar.

        As long as the mag release is one piece instead of being a caa part bolted to it than I’m cool with how it looks.

        • Tritro29

          Why wouldn’t the AK12 come to the US? If the sanctions are lifted and as I see how CK marketed the US with the Larry Vickers shows, I’d say that the AK12 is definitely going to “rogue” at some point. For all practical purposes, buying this or the ACE range from IWI (in 7.62) is going to be largely similar.

  • Sianmink

    That’s downright attractive. Like an AK and a SCAR had an inexplicably beautiful babby.

  • Lemme guess? It weights just as much as a milled receiver AK? Its probably just a stamped AK in a polymer enclosure.

  • LazyReader

    Shut up and take my money

  • carlos

    They should call it the mAKsada.

    • Core

      Masada.. Looks allot like ACR. Pretty sweet features, if it’s reasonbly priced.

  • Squirreltakular

    Interesting. Not sure if I’d like this or the M+M M10X better. Well, neither are in 5.45, so I think I’ll keep waiting around for an AK-12 copy.

    • wysoft

      I like the M10x a lot better. Very clean design on that rifle, looks almost like a more AK-ish SIG 55x.

      This thing looks like it’s probably a standard stamped AKM receiver with a shell on it, and no details on who the receiver manufacturer is.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Nyet, rifle is f… oh dat’s sexy though.

  • Kyle

    Well this is bloody awesome. This fixes pretty much all of the complaints I have about AKs. I WANT IT!

    • jackalo626

      Complaint about an ak? We could never be friends lol.

  • Cian Smith

    Looks like magpuls stock….

  • Leigh Rich

    Bet it is well over $700 like an AK…oh boy..new mags too!!

    • DB

      Ya know its gonna be more than an Arsenal, which is a lot more than $700.00….BUT I STILL NEED ONE TOO!!

  • JP Merlano

    Where is it made ? 100% American ? If so, pass. Only exception , American receiver and the rest from Russian AK kits.. Where’s the gist of the story ?

  • Zugunder

    How much you have to pay for all this curvy junk?

  • Mark Morrison


    • Lt_Scrounge

      My thoughts were SIGN ME UP. I just have to get another job and find out what that thing is going to cost.

  • maodeedee

    I like the looks of the original AK better. I like guns that look like guns. This thing looks like a toy.

  • RICH

    CHA-CHING ! ! ! $$$$

  • Treyh007

    Badass, looks like they paid attention to the lil things on this rifle! Looking forward in seeing reviews. What’s MSRP?

  • Kivaari

    Wow! A great looking rifle having the features AKs haven’t had. Now that could get a foothold. The AKs biggest faults were sights, selector and trigger.

    • nadnerbus

      Looks well thought out to me. The only possible negative that jumped out at me was a lack of dust cover over the ejection port and the left side charging handle slot.

      Like a commenter above, I’m curious how it takes down. Almost looks like an upper and lower, AR style. If so, and the top rail is permanently affixed, that would make it a great optics platform.

      • Max Glazer

        On the later models with side rail there isn’t really a problem to mount an optic. A low-profile adaptors are dime a dozen and don’t lose zero if removed. Or get an optic from Russia or Belorus that doesn’t need an adaptor. Plenty of options. There is no need to have a dust-cover mounted rail.

  • Mmmtacos

    I feel like the fictional futuristic firearms of videogames and movies that are derivative of actual platforms are starting to come to life. Especially here.

  • 1911a145acp

    Oh lookie Honey! It’s the new Kalashnikov ARX-100 SCARinski!

  • dat bee tru

    that would look nice with my tactical yoga pants

  • John Pate

    Why doesn’t it have a 90 degree gas block?

    • Max Glazer

      45-degree ones looks better 😉

    • JoelM

      Too warm.

  • plingr2

    In 0:36, how can you charge rifle with folding stock? If the charging handle is reciprocating, then it will broke stock.

  • JoelM

    It’s not an AK. It looks more like something Beretta designed… with an AK barrel poking out the front.

  • freethinker

    that is one sweet gun. I love the ambi charging handle option.

  • ChrisPoole

    No front sight to lengthen the sight radius.
    That’s sad…..

    • Lt_Scrounge

      It’s a 7.62 x 39 round. Long range accuracy isn’t necessary. If you feel you need more accuracy than this sight radius provides, use a scope.

  • Zamalama Zeebezaba

    Hopefully it doesn’t have a rotating lugged jam-o-matic bolt like an AR15

    • Lt_Scrounge

      It’s not the rotating lugged bolt that’s the problem on the AR, it’s all of the carbon that gets dumped into the upper receiver from the direct impingement operating system. AK bolts rotate, they just don’t have hot gases full of carbon blown back into the receiver to gum up the works. I spent too many hours inspecting rifles that had carbon built up in them to believe that the direct impingement system is as reliable under heavy firing as a gas piston one.

      • Zamalama Zeebezaba

        In my experience in the sand, the rotating bolt with lugs IS THE problem- a little sand in there and the bolt doesn’t seat, rounds don’t chamber. POS design. AK bolts do not have lugs that rotate, check again.

        • Lt_Scrounge

          They have TWO lugs that rotate. They also happen to be designed to clean debris like sand out of the area. The problem with the AR rotating lugs is that there is nowhere for any type of debris to go. AKs have two locking lugs with big gaps between them that allow them to push any debris out of the way as they close.

  • Alexandru Ianu

    That is actually well thought out AND it looks good – I’m surprised given that it’s an RWC (KUSA) and CAA project.

    Now if it only had a polymer snap-on cover for the left channel if you put the handle on the right.

    • Lt_Scrounge

      There is a simple enough solution to that issue if you really believe it to be a problem. It’s in everyone’s tool box and is available in a variety of colors (I have tan, olive green, white, red, black and yellow in my collection) including woodland camo. It’s called duct tape.

  • Lance Revell

    I like it! And I am a dedicated “Steel&Wood” old-fart gun guy.

  • RickOAA .

    Looks like a SCAR shat on an AK.


    I like the high cheek well, should make for more accurate long range shots.

  • RickOAA .

    Kind of want. Will surely be seen in Sci Fi movies.