More On Kalashnikov Concern’s New MA Compact Assault Rifle and SVK Marksman’s Rifle (and More!), via Modern Firearms

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Kalashnikov Concern’s newest weapon releases have received quite a lot of attention since they were first shown off at the ARMY 2016 military and technology forum in Moscow, and as the conference winds down, I want to take a more thorough pass through four of these new products from the company. Since we published announcements for three of these new weapons, Maxim Popenker, gun expert and TFB contributor, has published more detailed descriptions of the RPK-16, MA, and SVK rifles on his website, Modern Firearms. Let’s take a look at what he has to teach us about these new weapons:

RPK-16 Squad Automatic Rifle

The RPK-16 is being designed as a potential replacement for the RPK-74 squad support weapon, and represents a much more radical departure from previous Soviet and Russian support weapons. Instead of a long, heavy 590mm (23.2″) barrel, the RPK-16 uses a much shorter 370mm (14.6″) barrel, which is changeable – not fixed – with a 500mm (19.7″) unit. This new rifle shaves 0.7 kg (1.5 lbs) off the previous model, and augments the firepower of the rifle squad with not only the same 30 and 45 round stick magazines as the previous 74 series, but a new 96 round drum as well.

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Kalashnikov Concern’s new 30 round windowed magazine on the left, alongside their new drum.

 

Like its cousin the AK-12(400), the RPK-16 sports a folding and collapsing buttstock, as well as integrated top and bottom Picatinny rails for optics, foregrips, and bipods, as well as removable side mounted rail segments.

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RPK-16 on the firing line, with a 96 round drum alongside. Also visible are AK-12(400) rifles and a Viking pistol. Image source: Maxim Popenker, used with permission

 

From the LiveJournal blog Chief Popiaritsya, a shooting video of the RPK-16:

 

MA Compact Assault Rifle

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A radical angle on the KC MA. Image source: Kalashnikov Concern

 

If the RPK-16 and AK-12(400) are modernized orthodoxy, then the MA is one of the forgotten “might-have-beens” of the firearms world revenant. The MA is heavily influenced by a previous weapon of the same name, the Dragunov MA of 1975, which was an ambitious competitor to the now iconic AKS-74U “Krinkov”. This new incarnation of the original MA sports the same Dragunov-style 3-lug bolt, П-shaped low-profile upper receiver, and short-stroke gas operated mechanism as the original, but mates it to a thoroughly modern-looking polymer housing. The original MA’s extensive use of polymer and composite materials was somewhat ambitious for the manufacturing capabilities of the Soviet Union in the late 1970s, but today Kalashnikov Concern is fully embracing the advantages of the design with this new, slick-looking compact assault rifle. The new MA sports a low profile folding and collapsing buttstock, recessed ambidextrous selector levers, side-swappable charging handle, and integrated top and bottom – and removable side mounted – Picatinny-type rails. The MA is come again to take back the compact assault rifle throne from the AKS-74U, and also targets direct action, VIP protection, and close quarters roles with its substantially improved versatility compared to the Krinkov.

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The MA sports substantially improved configurability and modularity versus its predecessor, the AKS-74U.

 

In physical dimensions, folded, the MA is less than 20″ long, and weighs just over 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) unloaded!

 

SVK Designated Marksman’s Rifle

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Image source: u-96.livejournal.com

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In the United States, the Dragunov family of rifles can unfortunately no longer be imported, which makes the SVD – a fairly common sight in other parts of the world – an almost unattainable unicorn and the object of much coveting here in America. As if to rub salt in our wounds (how could they!), Kalashnikov Concern has announced an equally unattainable successor to the venerable SVD, called the SVK. Interestingly, the SVK is reportedly unrelated to a similar-looking development announced earlier this year, called “SK-16”, which has been cancelled. In fact, previously we reported a rifle that now appears to be an early SVK prototype as an earlier model of the SK-16, so similar are the two rifles in appearance!

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At the time I reported this as an SK-16 prototype, but to my eyes now it looks more like an early SVK. Image source: retiv

 

However, there are definite differences between them. The SK-16’s receiver was longer and bulkier than the SVK’s, and looked harder to manufacture. Its handguard showed no obvious operating rod system, and the rifle was reported to be – of all things – a gas trap design! The SVK in contrast is very Dragunov – a three-lug rotating bolt coupled to a short-stroke gas piston, housed in an MA-style “backbone” upper receiver. Two versions – one in 7.62x54mmR, and the other in 7.62x51mm – were shown off, which reportedly have very high parts commonality with one another.

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SVK rifle with iron sights. Image source: Maxim Popenker, used with permission.

 

The SVK to me looks like a very promising design. Although the aluminum receiver prototypes showed off at the forum came with a weight tag of a fairly porky (by modern standards) 4.2 kg (9.3 lbs) unloaded, sources report that polymer receivers for the rifle are in development, which should substantially reduce that figure.

Many of Kalashnikov’s newest products are in a relatively early stage of development, and it should also be remembered that these are internal corporate developments from KC, not government programs as we’d expect from Russian development in the past. Therefore, the future of these new weapons is still uncertain, although Kalashnikov Concern surely has high hopes for each of them.



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

    The new polymer chassis screams “Galil”, to me. Something about the receiver being enclosed like that reminds me of the similar housing used on whichever line of AK-family rifles had the integral trigger guard and polymer cover on the receiver. I like it!

    Best of all, it looks like there’s the faint glimmer of hope as far as getting Kalashnikov Concern items imported to the USA, Canada, and perhaps even elsewhere.

    So… about that 5.45x39mm drum… NAME A PRICE. I need that in my life and I dearly hope at least a few examples make it stateside.

    • Patriot Gunner

      Faint glimmer of hope that they will be imported to the US? Having you been living under a rock? Uh, Obama kinda put the kibosh on that a while ago. Keep in mind that the MA and SVK are “functional” prototypes. It could be years before the Russians themselves get a production ready variant let alone the idea of exporting to other countries.

      • James Young

        Yeah, what’s the point of making us want these if we can’t buy them for years (or never)??

        • Tritro29

          It’s Putin’s meddling with US politics. Notice how all the cool stuff comes in election years. AK-12/RPK-16 Cunning plan from the man to overthrow the decadent American oligarchy (hurr hurr), one mystical rifle at the time.

          • Gary Kirk

            No need to meddle with U.S.politics.. They’re already screwed..

          • Tritro29

            Actually they’re starting to look like ours 30 years ago…old sick people not willing to kick the bucket…

      • PK

        Sure. Don’t import the receivers, import (most of) the parts, make the rest in Florida.

        As for the status as prototypes, a man can dream. If that 96rd drum enters full production/use, I want an example.

        • Patriot Gunner

          I guess you have been living under a rock. The executive order ban was on all things Kalashnikov Concern. And even if what you said is true, the Russians would never sell just bits and pieces of their guns. They never have, they never will. Plus could you imagine the monstrosity that Century Arms would make if they could get their grubby little hands on pieces of this rifle?

          • ostiariusalpha

            Why would iksni be concerned about the US import bans?

          • Patriot Gunner

            I never said he would be. If you actually took the 25 seconds to read my comment before commenting yourself you would have noticed that I was referencing specifically the US market.

          • Isn’t “bits and pieces” how Saigas were imported for 922(r) reasons before the executive fiat ban?

          • Patriot Gunner

            No, they were sporter models that were imported then you had a competent gunsmith reconstruct part of the rifles to allow for a traditional pistol grip. I think you were referring to demiled parts kits and those were from former combloc states. 90% of those demiled surplus kits have dried up and the ones for sale now are too expensive. Now you can always purchase one if you enjoy building an AK, but you can get a good quality AK cheaper than building it yourself.

          • Troy Savage

            Most of the AK parts kits came from countries other than Russia. The previous Ukrainian president was liquidating huge surpluses of soviet weapons and ammo. Likewise poland was selling off coombloc stuff. Ukrainian surplus ammo accounted for 80% of the stuff we were getting up till 2014. That’s why there is no surplus 54r floating around now.

        • iksnilol

          I am just uncomfortable with why is it exactly 96 rounds in it? I mean, if I had one I’d probably download to 95 or 90.

          • 96 rounds offers 32 3-round bursts 😉

      • Don Ward

        I guess it’s good there is an election in November then.

        • Patriot Gunner

          Even if Trump wins, which I personally think he will, I don’t think those executive orders are ever going to be reversed. I honestly know we (Americans) can design something better than this MA system. The only problem is when it comes out it will be immediately compared with every low budget AR on the market and loud cries of “what can this thing do that my $600 AR cant?!?!”

          • tts

            Any new gun that makes extensive use of plastics (remember, its supposed to be cheap to use plastics) like these new AK’s while offering little or no advantages over current weapons and costing significantly more is going to get rightly shunned by buyers.

            If manufacturers expect people to pay a whole lot more for a new gun design than that gun should be a whole lot better than existing cheaper designs. Nothing else makes any sense from either a rational or a business standpoint since the market at large is clearly highly price sensitive.

            People don’t have much disposable income and haven’t for a very long time now what with most living paycheck to paycheck being old news for years. Proper product pricing is just another part of any other business and taking into account the market’s ability to pay is a requirement to stay in business.

            Personally I think most of the major gun manufacturers have been overpricing much of their somewhat better than bottom barrel stuff for quite a while now. Some of the smaller companies too. Like Wilson that wanted $2K for a pistol caliber blowback action AR15-ish weapon.

          • Tritro29

            This is a halo gun, the 70’s rifle was already in PVC/Bakelite when no one did that. (Well ok Korobov and some Austrian folks), if this rifle is ever going to make the market, i bet it will be offered with a lower in Aluminium as the real important parts are in steel and will remain in steel because that’s what made the design interesting.

            This rifle is just there as to save Kalashnikov’s ass since they failed to offer a more reliable variant of the old operating system while improving the accuracy and fit and finish within the “we’re broke” mentality of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Same ministry buys Iveco LMV’s at an excruciating price since 2011.

            This rifle is a military item, therefore all this talk about trickling it down to the US civ. market is non-sense.

          • tts

            Not disagreeing with you that these particular AK’s might never sell in the US or even much in Russia due to various legal/economic reasons but I was more trying to address the last sentence in Patriot Gunner’s post.

          • tts

            Come to think of it though there was at least 1 gun that precedes those nifty bakelite 70’s AK’s and made extensive use of plastics AND actually sold in large numbers: the Remington Nylon 66.

            It was only a .22lr gun but it did use plastics (well actually nylon-zytel 101) for the stock, receiver, and forearm as one bonded piece (molded as 2 halves) as was originally sold starting in the late 1950’s. I’ve never used one but they supposedly shoot very well in cold climates (no lube needed) and are very reliable. Pain in the butt to clean the innards though from what I’ve been told.

            It sold for $49.95 in the late 1950’s which would be about $400 in 2016 dollars. So not a super cheap gun at the time but far from expensive.

          • Tritro29

            Small history refresher.

            The Nylon 66 came 10 years after the crazy Austrians started to deal with plastic on guns. Also Korobov’s lunacy starts in 1953 after his TKB 454 is definitely rejected (similar parts of the TKB 454 will be found on the…FAMAS), he doesn’t know what he can do or not with Bakelite until the late 50 (first fully functional TKB’s are presented in 1962), but he tries to get away from wood. Comrade German is probably the biggest loser of the Kalashnikov fame craziness.

            Also the Nylon 66 had only non critical components in nylon. Handguard, stock. The Dragunov MA has it’s lower receiver in Bakelite.

          • tts

            Are you talking about experimental stuff? I don’t know much of anything about Korobov. Googling away it seems he did lots of interesting stuff for the Russians that they just didn’t adopt for one reason or another. The TKB 454 pics I can find show it to have a metal receiver, plastic forearm and plastic stock so it doesn’t seem to be a apples to apples comparison to bring it up.

            There was experimental stuff with plastics from all sorts of people going back to the late 40’s as far as I can tell.

            In terms of actual guns you could buy the Nylon 66 does appear to be the 1st plastic gun around. And the reciever on the Nylon 66 is indeed plastic. The metal sheet steel is just a cover for mostly cosmetic purposes and keep all the parts in, it doesn’t support the action, though I believe you can put a scope on it.

            Its not just the forearm and stock at all. I’d post disassembly links but I don’t want the post to end up in moderation. They’re not hard to google though.

          • Tritro29

            I stand corrected there’s a whole Nylon frame around the bolt of the gun. Although It is a stretch to call it a receiver, that’s excatly what it is, but i concede the use of Nylon was greater in extent than a simple “stock”.

            But in at least one video I’ve seen a scope mounted on the metal cover.

          • tts

            Yeah its a strange gun, especially when you consider the time period when it sold first, that doesn’t sound like it could work at all and you hear almost nothing about now though there seemed to be a brief resurgence in mention of it a few years back that has all died down.

            Remington sold around 1 million of them in the US and you can find them used for $150-400. I guess they stopped making them in the early 90’s. Too bad they never scaled the design up to 9mm or at least .380acp. Would’ve been a pretty slick pistol caliber carbine for cheap I think.

          • Jake

            My grandfather left behind a Seneca green Nylon 66. (pic related) After it failed to fire a couple times out at the range, I decided to take it home and clean it. I was amazed at the amount of gunk in that little rifle. I’m almost positive I was the first person to clean that rifle in at least 20 years, and it had the bejeezus shot out of it for as long as I could remember.

            After a field strip and thorough cleaning, it’s functioned flawlessly ever since, even in the cold Michigan winter. I love that rifle, it’s extremely accurate and reliable, and very easy to carry around.

          • Tritro29

            If you would design something better than this, it wouldn’t have failed commercially multiple times (that AR-18 was designed with the same idea) and it has bankrupt almost all companies that tried to build on it since it was available.

            This isn’t a peepee contest about a “better” designed gun. We have spoken about this in previous threads. It’s economy and critical mass. If it was about that, the Soviet Union has (as the US probably) a gazillion of models that were godly, but no one wanted to bet a kopeck or cent on when they were presented).

          • Amplified Heat

            That, or there were no kopecks available. “Who would have thought that the fatal flaw in Communism, is that there’s no money in it”

          • Tritro29

            No kopecks to build a cheaper rifle than the VSS? No kopecks in 1975, basically the pinacle of the Soviet system? Are we even trying now? The system behind the Tishina 30mm grenade launcher for AKS74U had the same price than the whole MA receiver. Nope what really was an issue is that the Bakelite didn’t convince any one. Magazines on bakelite, sure. Receiver? No. Plus what is this rifle that does have more parts, and what about in the field, when it will be banged every time strelok Durakov will see fit?

            But sure Americans know better.

          • Tritro29

            Still doesn’t explain why the same kind of principle made by superior West failed on every attempt.

      • Seamus Bradley

        Last I checked, KC has a factory here is CONUS, why not produce it here and experiment with a limited production run.

        • Tritro29

          Kalashnikov has no factory they tried hard to set up an assembly chain in Florida then somewhere in the illinois. But they do not have production facilities. What they can do is get kits and parts from Israel…

        • Scott P

          RWC LLC, the last importer of Saigas, trademarked the name in the U.S. They have nothing to do with Kalashnikov Concern. They could only get away with this because of the ban. All these bans do is block good products and allow domestic shysters to take advantage of the ignorant with piss-poor products.

          Every ban allowed them to exist. The GCA of ’68 allowed George Jennings and the Ring of Fire to put out substandard, cheap pistols worse than the imports. Bush’s 89 AWB and 922r edicts allowed Tapco, Century, I.O., and other shysters to put out crappy products because they no longer have any competition that would have put them out of business.

  • Giolli Joker

    Uhm, IDEX 2017 will be interesting…

  • iksnilol

    That MA. I need it in 7.62×39 and in OD green.

    • PK

      Might as well just get a set. 5.45x39mm in tan and green, 5.56x45mm in tan and green, and 7.62x39mm in tan and green.

      Ooh, and one of each in black. And one of each with wood furniture and exposed metal.

      And maybe some spares.

      • iksnilol

        I presume you might have a better tire budget than I do as well?

        • PK

          Tires? Who can afford a car? I choose firearms.

          • iksnilol

            I just assumed your budget was decent due to y’know, wanting a set of one gun.

          • oldman

            Since When has a hobby had anything to do with being rational? LOL

          • PK

            “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
            Or what’s a heaven for?”

          • iksnilol

            To annoy and torture the mortal with false promises of how good things can but never will be?

            At least that’s what I think when I look at sports cars… I just discovered a Lan Evo close by. Seen it a couple of times. Every time I see it, it’s like looking at a long lost love that you’ll never feel the warm embrace of.

    • SerArthurDayne

      Testify, my brother, testify!

    • Giolli Joker

      I’d even take it HK pink*, I don’t care about the colour.

      *Hello Kitty

      • Hello Kitto Pink looks baller as heck with dark park or black nitride finishes.

        • FarmerB

          I have HK pink rail covers on my HK MR762

    • Amplified Heat

      I’d want it in something other than whatever cheap rattlecan primer was used on the new AK up top, that was practically worn away already.

      • iksnilol

        It doesn’t look worn as much as it looks dirty. Look at the brown spots, they’re where your hands usually go.

        • Amplified Heat

          A cheap, soft, porous paint will tend to absorb coloration like that, which makes me further think it’s a cheap matte spray paint, as opposed to a proper epoxy or enamel.

  • 22winmag

    Junk! Now show me the good stuff!

    • Minuteman

      Care to elaborate on that statement? Because Kalashnikov Concern is far from a junk brand.

      • Blue Centurion

        Ok…same junk just overpriced. Like I said days ago…”Welcome to the 21st Century”.

        • Minuteman

          I’m not an AK guy but I do respect the AK platform and wouldn’t exactly classify Kalashnikov Concern, Vepr and Saiga rifles and so forth as “junk”. The same goes for DDI or any other quality AK builder. You should give credit where it’s due.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    This is what you get when they dramatically reduce vodka-rations at the weapon factories in Russia.

    Good looking, functional guns.

    • forrest1985

      I love Russian weaponary but these look like the plastic love child of an ACR and AK! That said the RPK & new AK12 do fit your “Good looking, functional guns” mantra imo.

      • Patriot Gunner

        And just like the ACR the Russians are promising quick change barrels in 7.62×39. Nah, I’m just kidding.

      • Isaac O. Lees

        Yeah, well I’ve got some bad news for you Elmer. Polymer and modularity is the wave of the future. Only reason they turned it down on the standard models is because the Russian government is so piss poor they had to steal money from the Olympics Commission.

        • forrest1985

          No issue with polymer, in fact the opposite. All i said that they look like plastic (observation) love child of the ACR & AK. I get that they are prototypes but they look like those two-tone airsoft guns we have in Europe

        • Sgt. Stedenko

          You mean the Russian government that has a debt to GDP ration of 18%, unlike Uncle Scam and his 108% ratio?
          Keep printing Janet. The sheeple dont have a clue that inflation is a hidden tax.

  • forrest1985

    I liked the old AK12 but admit the newer rifle seems a better option. That RPK does look awesome although so far all i have seen is that short barreled model. Is there any pics of the longer barrel variant? Personally the SVK/MA look like childs toys, even in 7.62×39 i’d have to pass on that MA unfortunately.

  • Minuteman

    Great, now lift those pathetic sanctions already.

    • Don Ward

      Get out and vote in November. And you know for who.

      • Amplified Heat

        Because Trump’s all about free trade, amiright? I’ll be elated if he even learns of the barrel ban, let alone lifts it.

        • Don Ward

          Trump has indicated that he would repeal all of Obama’s executive orders. The ban on imported Russian goods is one of them. Now obviously this could change but I kind of doubt the other choice for President would be too anxious to do the same.

          • Amplified Heat

            Barrel ban is Bush II, Bush I and Clinton I have far worse orders on the books than the current piker. My point is Trump likely doesn’t know this (few do), is merely paying lip service (all do), and at best won’t try to harm us for four years (though he likely will do so anyway, much like Bush II). Doesn’t really matter who is elected prez, frankly, the difference between them shrinks, and away from our interests each cycle, this is the narrowest yet by a fair margin. If I’ve learned anything, it is that prez is the LAST office to pin your hopes on for opposing gun control; it is no accident every one since at least JFK has been demonstrably antigun (and JFKs death was a huge blow against us, anyway)

          • Don Ward

            We’ll see. But it is readily apparent which of the two choices available that gun owners should place their mark beside.

          • John Yossarian

            We might pressure the NRA to pressure Trump to repeal all President’s executive orders related to firearms restrictions. Sure – It’s not repealing the NFA or the GCA, but it is actually doable.

  • Sid Collins

    Hey, Russia…. have you secretly been envious all this time?

    Seriously, we have been having the which is better… an AK or AR for 50 flipping years. The only ace that Russia kept up its sleeve was that the AK was so low maintenance and simple to operate that any untrained conscript could use it. Now, look at these rifles. Modular. Easily accepts modern accessories. Hmmm.

    • Grump

      Well, seeing as the AK has served opposite of no less than 3 U.S. infantry rifles, including one that needed decades’ worth of fixes and enhancements before it finally became widely respected and emulated, I’d say they’re entitled to a fresh design.

      • Sid

        But the notion that untrained conscripts is going out the window. That was always the homebase of AK adherents.

        • Tritro29

          What? Untrained conscripts? Because in America when your volunteers when they take their first zero cut, they’re battle hardened veterans?

          • Sid Collins

            The reason for the design of the AK was that the rifle could be given away to untrained soldiers. Third world battles are rarely fought by trained soldiers. Or so the thinking was back then. Now, these versions of AKs will have to be evaluated as modern battle rifles.

          • Tritro29

            How does that even work out? The three initial users of the AK platform had al 24 month long concription (USSR, Finland, China), which is almost the short term enlistment time for most NATO forces TODAY (on par with the shortest Contract on French Armed Forces, the formerly short term Volunteer in Belgian Defence force, almost the same of the Land Component for the Royal Dutch Armed forces. etc).

            The Cold War pushed out so many radical designs, so many resources and raised the cost so much, that you CAN’T possibly be serious about the AK simplicity being aimed at “illiterate” peasants and third world countries. Third World that would only a become reality while the damn thing was already at it’s second modification (Bandung Conference).

            The AK-design was equipped with a side rail for night operations as early as 1954. This lead to the AK(47)N/AKMN.

            The reason for the simplicity of the AK was a basic military virtue.
            Cost. Cost. Cost. How can you bring down the price of the individual rifle while maintaining the efficiency threshold of its paradigm. This is exactly why the US is NOT ditching the M16/M4. Also it’s funny that you say that the AK was for Third world countries, while we issued cleaning kits for it. Some other country didn’t for its space gun.

            These versions are just souped up variants of things that were done 20/40 years ago. There’s not much “battle rifle” rifle evaluation for most of these as the related systems are all well tested. Dragunov architecture is tractor tough and the whole polymer craze can be brushed aside for either classic stampings or aluminium frames.

            Sometimes I ask myself, why do people with zero context feel obliged to give me a headache on stuff they think they know?

          • Sid Collins

            I believe you and I should disengage. This is a gun blog forum and I was simply expressing my opinion based on service since 1986.

  • Jim N Jenna SK

    IMPORT! IMPORT! IMPORT!

  • KestrelBike

    His ear-pro does a fine job of keeping his hat on.

    • Bill

      Protecting it, too.

      If I forget to put my ears on it usually doesn’t take more than 3 – 5 rounds to figure out to fix it.

  • YZAS

    I’ll take one of each. Where’s the pre-order form? 😉 🙂

  • roguetechie

    I feel the need for the MA in my life. But I want a 16.25 inch barrel version.

    That RPK, words cannot describe my want and need for this.

  • Amplified Heat

    Good to know the Russians are still ~15-20 years behind the West 🙂

    • iksnilol

      By reintroducing a rifle they made in the 70’s?

      • Amplified Heat

        Good point, though our AR180 clones aren’t much better in that regard

    • Sgt. Stedenko

      Are they making handguns in Smyrna that the slides accidentally fall off?

  • /k/ommando

    Yawn. More AKs coated in plastic and rails rather than actual innovation.

  • toms

    The problem with weapons development in Russia is that they have way too many ak74’s sitting in storage and a somewhat limited market to offset costs. They literally have enough new 74’s, dragunovs, rpks, and pkm’s to supply their needs for 20 years or more. They are too practical to scrap those guns and start fielding large quantities of new rifles. The SF and others may get some new toys but the 74 will serve for decades more.

    • Patriot Gunner

      Yeah I think you are correct. I’ve heard estimates of 17 million surplus weapons consisting of small arms. I don’t know how many exactly are Ak74’s but it would be pretty easy to think that they have enough for at least the foreseeable future. Compound that with the fact that Izhmash is cranking out new ones by the tens of thousands per year and it seems like quite an uphill battle for any new design to gain traction. It would probably take them decades just to sell the surplus stuff without crashing the market.

      • toms

        The Ukraine by itself has something like 6 million ak74s in storage and they were only 20% of the soviet union. The upside is most of the ammo and guns are essentially free.

    • n0truscotsman

      I think thats why the AK12, in 400 format, is probably the better option than the different AK12. To them, they could retrofit and modernize tens of thousands of rifles easily without having to buy completely new weapons.

      • Tritro29

        The rifles would be frankensteins. A sturdier dust cover on a 30 year old receiver could pose a problem down the road. Plus some other modifications would be necessary (retaining lever on the dust cover would need a fixing point on the receiver etc). At this point newer rifles would make more sense.

    • jono102

      That why it looks to me like all this development isn’t really targeting the rank and file market of the Russian military. The AK12 got paired right down till it became an upgraded AK74 because it seems that’s all what the Russian military wanted. (or wanted to pay for)
      These newer developments seemed to be aimed more at the niche markets within Russia and the export market.

      • Tritro29

        I think to the contrary that this is looking at the rank and file, but in steps. The bare minimum of and active force has to be re-equipped, notably because the capabilities are there to make sure the Russian (and related) soldier is properly equipped to face what ever threat. NPZ produces new optics with high quality glass and a third of the price you’d pay for an ITAR item from the US or similarly restricted item from Sweden or Germany. More modules are being produced to replicate the capabilities of their NATO counterparts. So yeah, it is about the whole army, it’s just done the Russian way.

        • iksnilol

          Too bad Russian optics are restricted.

          • Tritro29

            Wolf Sells the PSU 1/4 that the Russian armed forces are testing. Only it’s a over three times the price it sells to the Russian Armed forces.

          • iksnilol

            Is it available in Europe tho?

          • Tritro29

            Why wouldn’t it be available? There are no sanctions on NPZ as far as i know. You can always check with your local dealer. In the US Atlantic still imports them.

          • iksnilol

            None of my dealers have it, that’s why.

            I should check in Germany.

          • toms

            It ain’t that great of an optic and costs a lot for what you get. I’d save my beans and get an elcan or better yet the new leupold prism sight.

          • iksnilol

            Yeaah… Nah, I prefer better glass and internal adjustment for about half the money.

          • toms

            The wolf scope costs 1500 dollars. It does not have better glass than the Elcan. The glass is not bad but its not Elcan clarity.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, I’ve never heard anything about Canadian glass. So I’ll doubt it until I see it.

            Also, I can more easily get the Wolf down to 1k than I can get the Elcan down to 1.5k. Lastly, what about the external adjustment? That seems like an awfully awkward system to me.

          • toms

            The elcan is a really robust sight, the adjustment isn’t a problem. In fact the Russian’s essentially ordered the elcan for a while then copied it. The glass in elcan sights is made in europe (germany or austria) I think. Its premium stuff. The price may be a significant factor but here in old usa I can find lightly used elcan 1/4’s for 1500 or so. The leupold DEVO is pretty cool when you pair it with a red dot. Its actually faster once you learn how to use it. The Russian optic I looked through had that yellow tinge to the glass.

          • Tritro29

            NPZ copied the Specter DR? Are you for real? Do you know how both system work and why the Elcan is so expensive? Also the “yellow” (amber actually) light filter is made to allow for better sun protection. I can tell you haven’t used the sight…So Ukrotroll or simply troll?

            Elcan’s crystal is made by Schott A.G. and previously from St Gobain for the M79 sights. The NPZ optics are also using Schott glass. It’s the same crystal. The main difference in size and price is the classing focal system that NPZ chose vs. convoluted System Raytheon adopted for the Specter DR.

          • Tritro29

            It’s not Elcan quality? HAhahahahahahahah. The technical specs of both crystals are equal to the nanometre. The shipping price for the US is from 1300 (Kalinka last year) to 1450 (Atlantic Firearms). You can acquire it for about 80 thousand Roubles (roughly 1.1 thousand USD) if you buy it from NPZ directly but you need to be in Russia or Europe.

          • Tritro29

            All reviews, ALL of them do not find a fault on the `psu other than it is on the heavy side.

          • iksnilol

            Cause my dealers in Norway are crappy? I oughta check in Germany but I don’t know anybody there.

            I doubt there’s sanctions on it, but I sorta don’t think that Russia is a fan of its miltiary optics being in western hands and whatnot

          • Tritro29

            The NPZ has been for sale since 2013. It was dressed up for the Shot Sow in 2014 and voilà you have brand new Wolf optic. Check with your dealers or try Kalinka, they should ship.

        • jono102

          Yes its a given that new rifles will need to be adopted to keep current. Realistically will the “Steps” happen anytime soon at the regular Army level, given the size of Russian military and the stocks of AK74’s it still holds?
          The optics are a given as they can be used with current platforms and carry over to future platforms.

          • Tritro29

            That is true, but at some point you need to get off the past. This doesn’t mean the rifles will be discarded. Don’t forget at this point allowing soldiers to slap what ever rail they find compatible to use with their guns (we’re talking 74M) is going to be a logistical nightmare. Soldier Gavrilov slaps a cheap chinese rail. Then comes Doglopov with a Midwest, then the rifle is equipped with a Klassika from Zenitco…It just isn’t viable to leave the rifles to personal pref.

            The rifles allow for a bare minimum if you maintain the universal mount. And personally I found nothing wrong with that. But obviously the brass does.

    • Igniz

      That’s right. I bet if That… If you will … redesigned ak 12 will be purchased Izma..I mean Kalashnikov koncern will take unused ak74 (in wood) from shelfs and rebuild them with new parts.
      Dew to fact that there are realy tons of unused rifles it make sense.
      The funniest thing is that ive seen that kind a rifles. Still in oil and wood is screaming with cherry red color.

  • Squirreltakular

    Two of each, please.

  • Uniform223

    Can some one please elaborate on the gas-trap design?

    • I can’t. Outside of KC, I don’t know that anyone is very familiar with the design.

      • Tritro29

        What if I told you that they tried a complex sleeve but it was going nowhere fast. And I think I happen to know where exactly that one might come from. A machine gun.

  • ozzallos .

    Say what you want about Trump, but the chances of lifting that inane import ban are significantly higher with him than, say, Hillary. And by that I mean I mean from the next number up from infinitesimally zero to an actual whole number.

    • Warren Ellis

      Why? Trump was a lifelong Democrat until 1987 and he flirted back with it between 2001 & 2009. You seriously think he’d want peasants like us to own guns?

      He’s no better than Hilary or Obama.

      • ozzallos .

        By ‘briefly flirting’, you must mean publishing a book saying “Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed…”
        Or maybe you mean flirting, as in building half his campaign around the around gun rights. By the way, have you seen his list of supreme court nominees? His vice president?
        I’m fine with the fact that you’re not entirely certain over him, but to say he’s the same as Hillary when it comes to gun rights is willfully packing your head in the sand.

        • Warren Ellis

          Didn’t know that about him. At least he seems to support gun rights so he’s better than Hillary in that sense then. Consider ky objection withdrawn then.

  • USMC03Vet

    So want. Never even gonna see! 😂

  • Ben Pottinger

    I wonder if anyone will import those magazines?! I could certainly use a few of those for the 5.45×39 I would be forced to purchase because I now owned some magazines for it (see how that works?)

    • Scott P

      No

      They are from Kalashnikov Concern thus banned at least in the U.S.

  • Veteran Gunsmith at large

    These “new” weapons look like rip-offs if western firearms that have been on the arms market for a few years now. Typical Soviet copy artists at work here. The MA rifle looks exactly like that plastic SOCOM thing that has been in magazines here in the US for a couple of years. Nothing new or original about it, it is for all intents and purposes a Russian caliber cartridge conversion of the real original design. The “new” sniper rifle is like any other chassis gun, insert action of your choosing. I have even seen one in the magazines that is in .338 Lapua. The Russians are simply counterfeiting western small arms to replace that aging AK series of weapons.

    At least they know a good thing when they see it and will adopt it by making meaningless changes to the already successful mechanism. Every bit of Russian technology seems to be developed in this manner. They find something that works outside, and if successful enough, they coopt the original by adding something or modifying it cosmetically and they call it their original design. It’s like having a conversation about Shakespeare with Pavel Checkov, “You should hear Shakespeare in the original Russian…”.

    • Veteran Gunsmith at large

      I misspoke, I meant to say the MA looks like the FN SCAR, still another plastic combat rifle, and still a design with some time in the field already. Not an original design by any means. Convert an FN SCAR to 5.45×39, or 7.62×39 and you have the MA.

      • iksnilol

        I can safely assume you have literally never seen the insides of both a SCAR and a MA, whether in real life or photographs.

      • Tritro29

        I think i need a rope, pencil and paper and probably one of those St Pete’s lamp posts…

      • roguetechie

        Calling these a copy of the scar is an insult to perfectly good rifles….

        These ones!

        If I want a rifle made out of the finest extruded aluminum and gutter flashing, I’ll take my happy ass to home depot with a shiny new C note and buy what I need to build one. I certainly won’t call up FN herstal and pay $2600.

        Seriously…

        A copy? Yeah Russians are so devious they time traveled to the early 70’s so they could get their model out there first!

        BTW you seem to be the only gunsmith I’ve ever heard of who could misidentify so many platforms and be so nonspecific about the ones you don’t totally flub that your comment comes off as.

        Stupid Russians they make gun shaped guns!! All they know how to do is copy our gun shaped guns!

        Your first name wouldn’t happen to be Bubba would it? There’s a world famous American gunsmith named Bubba I hear mentioned in print and internet articles, is that you Bubba?

        I hear you carry only the finest in faux Nazi roll mark kits, and that you may be releasing your magnum opus on the thousand and one uses of JB Weld for professional gunsmithing results at home.

        Please tell us more about your extensive experience and professional knowledge Bubba…

        No really, we’re listening.

    • “That plastic SOCOM thing”

      Oh yeah, we got ourselves a real subject matter expert right here…

    • iksnilol

      this is… this is like if Lance evolved.

      I am scared.

  • Tritro29

    Go back to the post you made about the SK-16, read it again. Remember what I told you.
    I hope Evgueni feels vindicated in heaven.

    • Seriously, you’re going to tell me to read my own article again? What the heck, man?

      • Tritro29

        Nope man. I was telling you that you pointed out that Dragunov must feel vindicated in paradise. Maybe I expressed myself wrongly.

        • No worries, I was being a little oversensitive.

          • Tritro29

            I send you a mail. I’ll stick with 60 line answers. Less ambiguity that way.

  • Amplified Heat

    Judging by that cheek rest, the paint is not stubble-proof

  • Amplified Heat

    So I guess Picatinny has finally conquered the Earth. Or are the Russians/Chicoms using a similar-but-different standard like they so often do?

  • Max Popenker

    An important note
    I’m NOT a “spokesman for Kalashnikov concern” and my publications anywhere outside of official Kalasnikov concern internet media are my own words, not endorsed nor supported by Kalashnikov concern

    Anything I publish on my website, my FB page, my LJ blog or anywhere else outside of Kalashnikov official FB and VK groups are my own opinions, and absolutely NOT The official Kalashnikov concern statements.
    I base my opinions on official press releases, catalogues and other publically available info, as well as on my observations, and those are MY PERSONAL opinions and observations, and nothing else

  • Seamus Bradley

    I say KC should have a limited production run of all three here in their US factory. I will by pass the import laws and allow for some cash flow to fund this program. It sure would break through the “AR Fatigue”.

    • Scott P

      It won’t happen because “Kalashnikov USA” has nothing to do with the real company. RWC LLC is a bunch of shysters who copyrighted the name after the ban to sell their “products”, none have even entered the market yet 2 years after the ban went into effect by the way, to the ignorant masses.

      The only Russian system that has any potential for profit in the U.S. is the AK design and even then we struggle just to make a barely functional AKM.

      I do agree with you on the “AR Fatigue” though.

  • mechamaster

    Found the SVK fieldstip model in Russian-language website.

    • Tritro29

      That’s the old MG81-look alike gas trap attempted model that never went beyond prototype. But everything else is indeed almost the same. You can see the Dragunov shortened bolt carrier and “three lug” bolt. You can also see the position of the charging handle.

      • mechamaster

        Wow, thanks for the information ! It’s very interesting really !

  • Tritro29

    MA looks like any other “modular” rifle out there, because that’s what it is…an attempt to have an export product that will offset the possible shafting from Ratnik. Although I’m sure no rifle from the two competing will be winning the initial army contract.

  • insertjjs

    I just realized where I know that color of tan from. It is the same shade of tan as the tan plastic army men I played with as a kid.

    We’ll now we know it is military grade since it comes in army man tan.

  • Tritro29

    How is the damn Ar18 worse than the Ar-15 while it is currently the most praised system. Scar, G36, Tar 21, ACR, MSBS, F2000. All these are Ar 18 heirs. Capitalism, hard to grasp? Yeah tell me why China is raping you? The fact is that the US fire arm market has grown extremly conservative and the only way to win shares is cheap exotica or cheap AR-15. Anything else is questioned vis à vis the AR 15, mainly because of it’s critical mass. Nothing else.

    • Scott P

      100% agree except the AR-18 gas system is sound which is what most of those other systems use just the original rifle the gas system was in was atrocious.

      The only reason AR’s are cheap is because it is a legacy system that has been around for 50 years with hundreds of companies building them. If the AR came out today it would be going for $2000 like the other new ones that come one the market.

      But hey if Hillary wins the election those “cheap” AR’s will be going for as much as the new imported exotics so then there won’t be much of a difference anymore.

  • Put a 16″ barrel on the MA and it would sell very well here. Especially as it’s still 7.62×39.

  • iksnilol

    I was thinking of a Subaru Impreza, a 90’s model so that I can properly run in the 90’s (hurr durr, reference something).

    Because I could realistically afford it.

    But at the end of the day, with how twisted and curvy the Norwegian roads are, I have little trouble with a 1.4 l 75 hp Skoda. It’s lightweight so it handles well. Though you gotta keep the revs high to not mess up your acceleration.

    Wish it had a stronger gin though. Next car will probably be a BMW of some kind. If I can find one that hasn’t been f***ed over by wannabe racers. I don’t even need much horsepower, 115 horses or so is enough for me to be honest. I’m good at maintaining speed and mileage+insurance is more important for me than 300+ hp and that super “cool” turbo (I am not a fan of turbos to be honest).

  • Phil Hsueh

    I really like the look of the SVK, sadly, between CA’s stupid laws and the import ban means that I’ll probably never be able to get my hands on one, at least not a real one. Between those two things the closest that I’ll likely be able to get to an SVK is an airsoft replica.

  • Veteran Gunsmith at large

    The MA is an FN SCAR in a commie caliber, and I will wager not as well crafted. Notice they are finally conceding that .338 Lapua is a superior sniper caliber, which is why the new sniper weapon isn’t in 7.62x54R – they’ve gotten 100 plus years out of that round, but they are finding out the western armaments industry makes more advanced and better manufactured weaponry. They used to be so proud of taking a 5 pound block of steel and hogging it out to make an AK lower, when in reality it was a very wasteful way to manufacture a rifle action. Much of the old Soviet arms industry worked that way. Finally those outdated methods and wasting of materials got the better of them, part of the reason for the collapse of the Soviet state was they could not keep pouring money into industry that was so backward that only a totaliarian state could support it, and in the 1980’s even the USSR had to admit defeat.

    Then, just when you thought they were going to join the rest of the modern world, Along comes Putin, and well, the rest is history.