Russia’s New Tokar-2 KORD-5.45 Dual-Feed SAW

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As part of the recent Russian re-armament program including the T-14 Armata man battle tank, the T-50 air superiority fighter, and the AK-12 and A545 rifles, the Federation has initiated a program for a new 5.45mm caliber squad support weapon, called “Tokar-2”. The weapon being developed uses a combined belt and magazine feed system, similar to the system utilized by the Belgian-American M249 5.56mm automatic rifle.

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A drawing of the prototype Tokar-2 squad automatic weapon. Image source: vpk.name

The requirements for the new rifle are interesting, including compatibility with as-yet experimental 60 round magazines (no mention, oddly, of the supposedly second-generation 50 round magazines). Thanks to TFB fiend Retiv, we have a translation of the requirements, available in Russian here and here:

2.3 Name of product: 5.45 mm handheld assault machinegun with a combined feed “KORD-5.45”, abbreviated – “Kord-5.45” MG.
2.4 Index – PR-5.45.

3.1 Composition of the machine gun
3.1.1 The barrels:
a) long;
B) short.

3.1.2 Receiver.
3.1.3 The bolt frame.
3.1.4 The spring.
3.1.5 The stock, telescopic, folding.
3.1.6 folding bipod, telescopic, removable.
3.1.7 Tactical grip and carrying handle.
3.1.8 The cover of the receiver.
3.1.9. Receiver
3.1.10 Receiver cover.
3.1.11 Flash hider
3.2.12 Supressor
3.1.13 60 round magazines, 6 per each MG
3.1.14 Belt for MG, 14 parts with 50 pieces each [50 bullets]
3.1.15 Cartridge box with a capacity of 100/250 rounds (two boxes of each kind).
3.1.16 Carrying strap small arms type 6SH5.
3.1.17 sleeve for firing blank.
3.1.18 Tool kit, accessories and spare parts (spare parts box).
3.1.19 Bags for magazines with a “Malle” mounting system – 3 pcs. 2 mag. (60 rounds) each.
3.1.20 Bags for cartridge boxe (100/250 round), 2 pcs. on the gun.
3.1.21 Case for carrying a machine gun.
3.1.22 The transport containers.

3.14.1 On machine gun should be provided connecting position (“Picatinny rail”) over the entire length of the receiver.
3.14.2 Installation of optical sight (such as sight “Narodovolets”) with mounting places for night (thermal) vision on connecting places on p.3.14.1 should not affect the convenience of the service dealing with a machine gun.
3.14.3 On the machine gun should be provided connecting space (bracket type “Picatinny”) in the forearm area.
3.14.3 Machine gun must have a folding stock, adjustable in length and height adjustable support under the cheek.
3.14.4 Machine gun must have a mechanical sight for firing at ranges of 100 to 800 m in increments of installation of the sight of 100 m.
3.14.5 Magazine location – lower part of the gun, ± 15 ° from the vertical.
3.14.6 The design of machine gun ammunition feed system shall be able to accept both belts and magazines (“combined feed”): use the AK-74 and RPK-74 machine gun magazines and belts.
3.14.7 60 rounds magazines should be able to be use in the AK-74 and RPK-74.
3.14.8 The machine gun has to have an ambidextrous safety.

While the Americans seem to be leaning towards magazine-fed support weapons with the Marine Corps’ M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, and the US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Rifle proposal, the Russians are exploring the dual magazine- and belt-fed automatic rifle concept fielded by the Americans and other nations in the West starting in the 1980s.

Like the Americans, however, the Russians are interested in a support weapon that is optics and suppressor ready, and which is compatible with the full range of modern accessories. The option for both long and short barrels, too, reflects a close attention to Western developments.

Thanks to Retiv for the tip!



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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  • PK

    Fingers crossed for any quantity of links (fixed belts?) being available to collectors at some point in time. Belted 5.45x39mm ammunition is a unicorn in my cartridge collection! I hope the end product is adopted and becomes common, if only to get links/belts in circulation.

  • 68Whiskey

    The SAW magazine feed has never worked right from what I’ve seen.

    • Avery

      And it’s omitted from the Special Purpose Weapon and Mk 46 Mod 0 versions.

      Like the Armata, this sounds like the Russians playing catch up and not realizing that we’ve moved past some of those concepts incorporated in the initial version for a reason. That said, I’m interested in the Tokar and want to see more of it.

      • Tritro29

        Oh really Armata is playing catch up with what exactly; TTB? Also google PU21/71, basically this has been done before in the Soviet Union. Why are people retrying this now? I have no freaking idea.

      • Cuvie

        It actually works pretty well in the Negev

    • M

      IIRC the cyclic rate was faster than the magazine spring could feed it. I’m sure the Ruskies are already mindful of that.

  • mechamaster

    At a glance, it’s look like Ultimax MG and Negev got a child in Russia.

    • randomswede

      If those are the “genes” and the child is sent through the “Russian school of small arms” I’ll take two please.

      • 624A24

        Personal experience with Ultimax was that it was undergassed and somewhat unreliable. Wouldn’t take 2 until they proved it absolutely worked.

        • SP mclaughlin

          Some SFOD-D operators were spotted with the U100 Mark 5 fighting Daesh recently.

          • 624A24

            Woah, that’s surprising. They probably love its absurd lack of recoil. Don’t Mark 5 come with an adjustable stock? That’s the old one right there.
            Anyway, that’s finally a minor export success for Singapore’s small arms industry. Wouldn’t be surprised if they paid extra attention to the export guns though.
            My experience was with Mark 2 and 3, whose “optimal gas settings” work for a few mags and then begin jamming. Found that stock overly long with body armor too.

          • cmp

            That photo is from about a decade ago. Still Iraq and still (mostly likely) SFOD-D but probably 2006ish

          • SP mclaughlin

            shit man, did they even have AN/PEQ 15’s back then?

          • cmp

            Yep, PEQ-15s started popping up in late 2005. Other markers of the era are the ‘gangster grip’ (chopped A2 grip mated with a scope ring and surefire 6P), MICH 2002 with ANVIS mount, old-gen ESS turbofan goggles, and the smoke green Paraclete vest.

        • randomswede

          Not many weapons have come out with those kinds of problems from the “Russian school of small arms”.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Why require a suppressor on a saw? I get requiring it being able to accept one, but would it really be necessary for all types of combat? It seems like the minute you need to use a belt fed weapon, all expectation of secrecy is lost.

    • TechnoTriticale

      Perhaps to enhance fire team communications, particularly if you can’t afford batteries for their high NRR headsets.

      Meanwhile, I’m impressed by the mechanical drafting table. Very retro.

      • randomswede

        The cheap shot here would be to suggest Russia is too poor or backwards to have cad computers.
        However I Adrian Newey who designs the Red Bull Formula 1 cars has an office full of drafting tables, he’s also working on an Aston Martin roadcar.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if sometime in the next 10 years a digital version is introduced as an “innovation” despite simply replacing paper with digital pixies.

    • Tritro29

      As Max P. said it this is under MVD (Interior Ministry) funding. Thus is a rather “Special Purpose” weapon.

    • randomswede

      There are other benefits to a silencer than sound moderation and in a military weapon weight (+balance) and heat management are the big negatives followed by cost depending on who the end user is.

      When ambushing an enemy the extra seconds needed to locate you, just to figure out what side of the rock to use for cover, could be well worth it.

    • Dave

      Having used a can on a Maximi in the field for several months I can’t begin to tell you how much of an advantage it gives you, the further the distance, the exponentially harder it is for the target to accurately determine where the fire is coming from, past 300m you can’t determine direction as your ears will be lying to you. They are invaluable in modern unconventional warfare.

    • CommonSense23

      Suppressors on belt fed are awesome. Firing while standing is greatly enhanced. Better communications for everyone. Reduces the shooters singature, especially at night. More than makes up for its weight.

    • iksnilol

      Machinegun fires many bullets.

      Many bullets = much flash

      Suppressor hides flash.

    • BattleshipGrey

      Thanks for all the replies. I’ve shot MGs before but I’ve never used a suppressor on anything yet. I certainly hadn’t thought about the enhancement of communications.

    • Eric L.

      For IFF. If you’re in a night-fight, and you know all your guys have cans, any muzzle-flash you see is a bad guy. Put lead there.

    • Also, even a suppressor not designed to be super quiet is generally quiet enough to conceal *where* the MG is, even with supersonic ammo (in fact, with supersonic ammo, incoming fire from a suppressed weapon actually “lies” to you about its origin, as you hear the reflections of the sonic booms off obstacles, and think *those* are the muzzle blasts. Makes it sound like there is a gun behind *every* tree the bullet passes close by, but *not* one where the shooter actually is.

      Considering that picking out the MG position so you can suppress it is so standard, hiding his position, even if you can’t hide the fact he’s shooting , is a game changer.

  • Well there is something you have not seen in an engineering office in a long time in the USA, a drafting machine. I think the last one i remember seeing was around 1997 in our engineering office and it had not been used in years before that. The picture quality is not good enough to tell if they are manually drafting the print on the board.

    • randomswede

      My assumption would be that it’s a digital print mostly there to make a better picture. But I’m sure there are some old school designers/engineers who are so proficient with drafting tables that teaching them CAD is a waste of time and money.
      Simply have an “intern” digitice the work they do “overnight” and then simply print clean versions to keep working on.
      I’ve been in the “intern” position at a company moving to AutoCAD (this was a while ago) copying paper to bytes and there were some gentlemen around that you just knew where never going to be computer proficient.

      • micmac80

        Indeed my gun-co designer drafts everything on paper and we only than start work in CAD ,some people are way faster with pen and paper than with computers.

        • MPWS

          This is not possible; 3d CAD design-drafting is always faster. On top of it has automatic ability to update print. Simply, no comparison. I have worked all those ways thru – manual, 2d AutoCAD, Pro-E and SW. The last one is the best.

          I just love that BS that every “good design” must be made on napkin – what a crack!

          The guy in picture was probably doing it manually; picture is obviously dated.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, I am faster iwth a ruler and a pen than 3d programs.

            So what I like to do is draw my idea on paper, then make it again in a 3d program.

          • MPWS

            Give it time Suchumski and you will be surprised how good you’ll be at it. Our imagination is not by lines but by shapes in space. Lines are poor replacement; think about it.
            I was first reluctant to start with 2d AutoCAD but soon discovered I was able to do tasks in x-y plane (such as tangency points) without calculation and even integrate areas under curves (thru geometrical representation). 3d just enhances this capability in magnitude. Btw, what you need to do is to learn how to use sketcher without necessarily creating solid model. Save it as a sketch and when it works for you, turn it into solid object by extruding it.
            Good luck!

          • MPWS

            And one more thing – flow analysis be it fluids or gases. Or stress and deflection; heat transfer as well. There are no limits to solid modeling. And this all is generates by your grey mass!

          • randomswede

            You must have missed “some people” from micmac80’s post, sometimes it’s not “the right tool for the job” but “the right tool for the artisan”.
            That said I can generally get much more work and thinking done in 3D then I can on paper, but I always keep a nice pad handy just in case it feels like drawing will help me solve a problem or just to do some quick math. I’m also sure I could do math faster in MathCAD or Mathematica if I spent the time needed to learn them.

        • Paul Joly

          Because they’re incredibly slow. AutoCAD is also a waste of time for dynamic systems. With 3D modelling software come calculation software that really are force multipliers. I simply can’t design what I design without them.

  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    Ruskies always second best.

    • Martin frank

      Second best in what? That’s such a western propaganda fueled view that it’s hilarious you think that. Also, who put satellites, and people in space first? Who had laser guided bombs first? And whos ship does AMERICA use everytime its wants to go to and fro the ISS? America only exceeds russia in number of aircraft carriers and expensiveness of our less reliable, maintenance intensive aircraft. You think an abrams is better than a t-14? You think an apache is better than a mi-28? They are equal in every sense of the word. Russia is second to no one militarily. We are on equal footing in almost every aspect.

      • 40mmCattleDog

        Let me guess your from Russia.

        • Martin frank

          Of course not im just not gonna lie to myself and dispel facts to make myself feel better about our military. Russia is not better than us, and we are not better than them. We may have different strentghs in aspects but underestimating your enemy especially for some false sense of nationistic pride is just a dangerous thing to do.

      • 624A24

        Well… America put the first men on the moon, if ya talking about space.
        Probably fired more laser-guided munitions than most of us.
        Their aircraft carriers spur envy from the Chinese, even while they develope missiles that supposedly make carriers obsolete.
        Designed, produced and used the first stealth combat aircraft. PAK-FA whaaat? Still in development? Decades late and still not up to date!
        Other US airframes remain in use with updates across the world today. They are still the premier choice for nations that have the cash to burn. The USAF is still the force of choice to learn air combat.
        What do you know about the T-14? All the Russian-weaboo speculation? The last time Russians sent their premier tanks (T-80) into combat they blew up and became a textbook of how tankers DO NOT fight urban battles, how NOT to store your ammo around the crew, and how light infantry can hope to beat armor close-up. What we saw at the parades tell us the T-14 is late to the game – it’s a run-of-the-mill modern MBT. What we know is the Abrams is probably the most armored MBT around. Highly combat-proven protection package. Hardly anyone puts that much armor on the turret sides as the Abrams. Proven mobility, proven firepower. You are late to the game.
        Apache has seen combat experience and, like most combat-proven US equipment, has well-evolved combat doctrine.

        And I’m not even an American.

        • Martin frank

          Your vaunted abrams uses british armor and a german gun, its as about as american as a chevy produced in mexico with chinese parts, (i should know i work for chevy) and arguably the best armored tank in the world is the british one that we stole the armor from, and hands down the best tank on the planet is the israeli merkava. Also the mi-28 is battle tested and the apache is a weapon designed for a war that will never happen. There is no comparison between an mi-28 and an apache. We have nothing that compares to the su-27 as well. Th su-30 mk2 repeatedly beats the f15 in mock dogfights. Not sayin russia is better at all, im saying niether is better, the playing field is dead even.

          • 624A24

            “Your vaunted…” “stole the armor” woah calm those emotions, I was matching your first comment.
            I don’t think of the Abrams as the best. But it wasn’t the Germans or Brits who designed the tank this way. If the origin of the components of a tank (or anything at all) determines its inherent goodness (as you seem to imply), then just about everyone is guilty too.
            If the Apache is designed for a war that will never happen, the same can be said for the Havoc.
            The Su-27 and F-15 had different design concepts and goals, with the Flanker originally designed to beat the F-15, while upgrades to the F-15 focussed on BVR and air-ground missions. The F-15 is a great export success.
            The playing field isn’t even. It never was even. It’s always a race to top each other.
            If you wanted to call the playing field even, your original comment’s 3rd, 4th and 5th sentences were insincere. Your 6th prove you otherwise.
            If I were you, I would drop the pretense of neutrality, and say that Russian SAM systems are advanced.

          • Tritro29

            You keep shitfting the goal posts…The Abrams is a German design, rearranged to accommodate an US powerpack and solve the Ammo rack issue from front hull to right hull. There are also a lot of subsystems that were licensed, US produced, but the tanks are exactly the same as far as their philosophy goes. Super-heavies with emphasis on frontal arc. If we would have found it interesting to have Super-heavies there’s no problem we would have built 50+ton tanks. Now onto the T10/F15 deal. It’s ironical that you think the SU 27 was designed to beat the F15 when you know a little history. While the F15 was envisionned to become an AS fighter, the Initial Su 27 was envisioned to become a real multirole fighter. However it was impossible for technical reasons that the T10 would be an all in fighter. So instead we came up with a little brother to complement the T10. And the little brother is probably the closest thing to the F15 design seen in the USSR. That’s the MiG 29. The T10 is a monstrosity of a plane. It was designed with 70’s/80’s Era BVR in mind and enough VR capability to give a run for the money to everyone. The F15 export success? To whom? People who wouldn’t by Russian ANYWAY?

            The SU 27 is also a success on its own right down to being flattered by a Chinese copy…

            Years of continuous combat experience don’t usually put forth objects but actually their use. The most interesting example would be the MRAP syndrome. Everyone wants them now and the US put them at very good use.

            However the same M-ATV’s don’t seem to keep up in Yemen, the M1114/1151 seem to be death traps in Iraq. The SuperCobra a very good combat helicopter, a beast in US marines hands, gets shot by a 30 year old Soviet system in Turkey? And It’s not even the first time. Even the M1A2 in Yemen got destroyed by something we literally don’t make anymore since the late 80’s.

            The playing field is even when items are considered. It’s your “operators” that will make the difference. The logistical support they will have, the reserves they will have, the know-how that will back them and a million other things that have to do with leadership and vision than with the few more mm’s the side turret of and Abrams has over a T90A. But feel free to chew on that ‘Merica **** yeah gum’. And hope it’s not a condom.

          • 624A24

            Clearly you are emotionally invested in this discussion. Resorting to personal insults don’t prove your argument, which conveniently ignore points pertinent to so much of what you stated. Nationalistic pride indeed.
            It’s snowing salt on your side, and I’m not gonna turn it into a saltstorm by answering you point by point.

          • Tritro29

            I’m not as much “personally” invested as I am bothered by the same ignorant platitudes I keep hearing about Russia and the Soviet Union. Usually Americans come in two flavours when Russia is regarded. Either extremely well lectured and intelligent about the difficult realities we have faced and are facing, either spouting non-sense like you just did. Unfortunately the second kind is by far more numerous than the first.

            In not a single post regarding you have I regarded the Soviet weaponry as superior to the US. The fact you are trying to slap me with a glove, is testament to your general lack on information on these matters. Otherwise you wouldn’t have fired a “warning shot’ but gone through with the “retort’.

          • 624A24

            Salt and selective intepretation as usual.
            At no time have I made unqualified statements that any single weapon/system/object is better simply because it is so. There’s track record, doctrinal evolution, product support, sales, inter-product functioning/networking, the competition etc to consider. Your assumption that I’m some Americanophile is laughter-inducing. I don’t care for the Yanks.
            As regards your last paragraph, I suggest reading my original post again. Perhaps reading with context, and without personal prejudice, would serve you better.

          • Oh really? Please tell the good folks of Watervliet, NY, that they are actually just importers of German 120mm tubes.

            Yes, the M256 is based on the Rheinmetall 120mm… But it’s also just a tube (it’s not even rifled). Are you saying the Germans have such incredible engineering capabilities that they can make… TUBES!?

            Ditto “British Armor” – So because British research into NERA was incorporated into the Abrams’ armor package and suddenly it’s MADE IN BRITAIN? Gimme a break!

            Best tank on the planet is the Merkava? Says who? The IDF?

            “We have nothing that compares to the SU-27”

            I guess I’ll be using this for the second time today:

            https://mustbethistalltoride.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/tommy-lee-jones-face.jpg

          • Martin frank

            I said german gun and british armor, i never said where either were manufactured, and then You chime in with “oh yeah it is a german gun and british armor but its made here you fool :insert meme: but if you actually read the comment on this page which i cant believe you are actually affiliated with, i made no claims about where any of it was “manufactured”. I work with an ex-abrams driver and he told me, german gun, british armor, merkava is the best. That’s who told me, not like i need to explain myself to you. I cant believe you are actually affiliated with this page the way you reactionairly attack its users.

          • Well, whatever you meant, here’s what you actually said:

            “Your vaunted abrams uses british armor and a german gun, its as about as american as a chevy produced in mexico with chinese parts,”

            Doesn’t that sound like you were saying the Abrams’ gun and armor aren’t made in the USA?

            As for the guy you know who was an Abrams driver saying the Merkava is the best tank, how did he know? How does someone who’s job is driving one kind of tank know which tank in all the world and in all aspects is the best?

        • Tritro29

          Nope that’s for sure, you’re special.

      • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

        I was joking for 1, being as the US didn’t even desighn the SAW. But being in my early 30s and having been around both AK’s and AR’s my whole life, also tokarevs, and Sks’s and fired the gamut of various manufacturers from Madis to polytec’s. I personally find Russian patterened weaponry to be inferior, maybe heavier hitting, but one actually has to hit their target for that to matter. Just a personal preference. So I stick to my Russia always second best. Aren’t they still driving around the never changing Lada?

  • Kyle

    Yeah, they should skip the dual feed idea. A big chunk of the malfunctions SAWs seem to have are always due to the gun dropping links or brass into the magazine well. Their is a reason after using it for years we are finally abandoning the concept.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Has dual magazine been done before outside of the MP-40-II?

    • Several times. Generally deemed excessively bulky and complicated once in use.

      Like most “cool ideas” in gun design. 😉

  • Ed

    They may have a design but there’s no idecation that there looking to adopt it or replace RPK series of weapons with it. Most official sources said regular Russian infantry is fine with its current weapons.

  • dave

    I know exactly where the ruskies got this from: Saw the new captain america movie. Saw the saw with that surefire casket magazine. Saw how cool it looked stalking around with said magazine. Said “we need magazine saw.”
    mystery solved

    • Twilight sparkle

      You mean like this?

    • Evan

      The M249 doesn’t work very well with magazines.

  • Darren Hruska

    This isn’t quite a new concept coming from Russia, but new guns are always cool.

  • Timothy G. Yan

    More info on the Kord-5.45 here:

    http://www.alloutdoorstech.com/news/danrit/russias-new-saw-kord-5-45/

    The Russian had a working prototype design since the 1970s.

  • Eric L.

    I think what everyone has missed so far is that this may, in fact, finally result in a 5.45 AK mag that holds more that 40 or 45 rounds. If you look at the specs, it calls for a 60 round magazines. Gave me a half-chub.

  • Evan

    Handheld assault machinegun? Who knew Bloomberg designed guns in Russia.

  • Riot

    I wonder if the ak74 magazine will make this design easier to work since there is no magwell.

  • LCON

    Sounds like the Russians have finally realized what limitations the RPK 47 has for the role and that Although the lightened PKP is impressive they need something a little more ground mobile. The IL-2 shown in the images attached are a good point of reference I think for a new system It was able to run on a magazine but also ate belts and weight about 12 pounds which is a lot easier on the gunner then the 17 pound “Light” Machine gun of the M249.

    On the As side I noted the Slide for the US Army’s Next generation Squad Automatic rifle. the Pictogram looks more like a cut down Barrett M107 update with a suppressor and scope than a LMG or IAR. I mean it’s just a placeholder for now and will likely be changed as the program matures reading over it’s demands It could be feeding back to the 6.5mm CTSAS or just mean that they will start looking around for a lighter newer LMG, like production of the KAC Stoner LMG A1 or a Ultramax update spun off the offerings from the USMC’s IAR

  • Max Popenker

    One important point, guys

    The Tokar R&D program was (and still is) sponsored by MVD (Internal affairs Ministry) rather than MoD / Army.
    So, in reality, its a CQB weapon for use in high intensity counter-terror ops in urban settings, where 7.62x54R GPMGs can be to powerful in terms of dangerous range (across the streets) and over-penetration of walls
    The SOBR / OMON units need a volume-fire suppression weapon superior to RPK-74, with less danger to civilians around than PKP or PKM

    the Army, on the other hand, seems to be content with 7.62mm PKP Petcheneg and gradually getting it down to platoon and even squad levels, while also working on updated 7.62x54R Petcheneg-2 lightweight / assault GPMG

  • The Abrams stores it’s ammo in a sealed compartment at the rear of the turret. If it should detonate two panels on top of the turret blow out and vent the explosive force upwards and away from the crew.

    • Tritro29

      8/10 rounds are stored behind the TC seat…they’re called semi-ready rounds.

  • LazyReader

    Put it under scrutiny, the Fierearmblog is only stating what the Russians are dishing out. Totaliatarian countries (which Russian still is basically) are infamous for hiding truth. They’ve been working on the AEK-971 since the 70’s and so far it’s found only a few in the hands of soldiers. Still that 5.45 round is boss and we need something like it.

  • Just in case: “Tokar” means “lathe operator”. Is all. At best a subtle nod to Mr. Tokarev. It’s pronounced ” TO-kar’ ” (with the non-rhotic but soft “r” like a Khaleesi would use).

  • Hell, I think the Russian patent on their implementation of quad stack mags goes back to (and has been in the West almost from inception) at least the 1990s.

    And it’s not like the Russians were the first – quad stack mags (while very uncommon) have been around for *decades*.