The Latest AK-Alfa Prototype Is Here – The Future of Israel’s Kalashnikov?

Image source: Konstantin Lazarev, used with permission

Image source: Konstantin Lazarev, used with permission

When the AK-Alfa rifle was announced at Kalashnikov USA’s booth at the 2016 SHOT Show early in the year, it created an enormous buzz. The rifle’s Kalashnikov heritage, sleek looks, and surprise appearance in association with Kalashnikov’s star-cross’d former US importer led to a firestorm of views and comments on our article.

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I feel like maybe just a few of you care about this rifle.

 

The rifles that were being shown off at the SHOT Show, however, were in an early stage of development, sporting 3D printed rapid prototyped receivers. After “going dark” for the better part of the year, the AK-Alfa is back in the spotlight, with a series of photos released by Russian photographer Konstantin Lazarev of the latest prototypes, which feature fully injection-molded receivers. More on the AK-Alfa later, on to the photos:

All images courtesy of Konstantin Lazarev

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You can see the rest of the photos over at Konstantin’s Facebook page.

The AK-Alfa in the photos sports a Hartman MH1 red dot, and the Command Arms & Accessories pattern of polymer magazine that was being shown off with the gun at SHOT. The rifle uses a modular handguard that is compatible with additional rail segments, and which can apparently be swapped for a KeyMod version. The upper receiver is aluminum with a full-length rail, while the lower is polymer and houses the stock mount, magazine well, and Israeli-style ambidextrous selector switch. XM8-like ambidextrous magazine release paddles and a left-side charging handle (which looks to me like it might be swappable with the removal of the shell deflector) round out the package. Though the gun is very modern-looking, it still obviously incorporates many unchanged or little-changed Kalashnikov elements: Visible are a very Kalashnikov-looking bolt carrier, 90-degree gas block, and piston guide.

The AK-Alfa has been developed by Israeli firm Command Arms & Accessories (the sister company to Hartman), which makes it a direct competitor to IWI’s own modernized AK, the Galil ACE.



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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  • Wolfgar

    Looks interesting. Looking forward to more information and reviews, thank’s for the heads up

  • Ed

    Ditch the Y comp muzzle break!!!

    • Max Glazer

      “Brake”

      😉

  • Christopher Wallace

    that looks pretty slick

  • xebat

    I would love to see a torture test and a range test on this gun vs the AK-12.

    • Gus Butts

      AK-400?

    • M

      Which AK-12, the rifle has been revised a lot and the latest iteration has been completely overhauled

    • micmac80

      As far as info is correct guns will utilise Russian AK parts so besides plastic chassis i expect the gun to be as reliable as classic AKs

    • All the Raindrops

      any actual military prototype coming from izhmash et al is going to be in a whole different league than this commercial prototype rifle.

  • USMC03Vet

    Kind of worried about a polymer lower, but others have done it well so it’s not that worrisome. I love the look of this rifle. I hope it measures up in performance. I need more AK in my life and this looks like a hot mess that needs to be abused with some hot steel case.

  • mig1nc

    Very interesting. I wonder why they left the gas block exposed instead of extending the handguard further? Is it because of cooling concerns?

  • Frank Grimes

    Kosher Tapco?

  • Sasquatch

    Looks so sexy. No give to local 47-74 for testing.

  • Marc

    A SCAR, AK and a Beretta ARX had a three-some.

    • Mrninjatoes

      The MASADA got tapped in somewhere during the melee.

    • Hermann Göring

      There’s nothing (((they))) won’t copy or steal

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I wish the rail was a little longer but I like the the AR15 style safety. It’d be nice the have the extra length for an IR laser and light.

  • It shows out of stock because there are none for sale. This is a frequent move by retailers.

    • hghgf

      They didn’t have that many last time I checked. But creative arms might have sold the design too

  • LazyReader

    No position gas regulator?

    • Max Glazer

      What for?

  • Kivaari

    Not the same. Look closer.

  • Me

    Honestly, IIRC one of the original Ak prototypes went for this split receiver type setup. With the requirement that the Soviets had originally, the setup that was originally there for the AK-47 was functional, Once you want to legthen the sight radius and/or go appeture sight it gets a little more difficult, going full length rail, this is the only robust solution.

    • All the Raindrops

      except the distance between sights is going to be shorter than a regular AK, and less accurate because the sight will be attached to plastic, not a barrel.

  • Pete Sheppard

    A left-side photo would be nice. 😉

  • Texas-Roll-Over

    Its actually just a stamped AK receiver, dropped into a plastic housing. The rifle does not function any differently than a normal AK.

    • All the Raindrops

      a traditional ak is superior in just about every way, from a real-world use perspective

      • Max Glazer

        Finally someone that talks sense. You are entirely correct. Standard AK was developed by a war veteran for war and real world use, including use as a step to boost buddies over obstacles, get run over by cars and trucks, survive falls from 1.5-1.8 meters onto concrete, being frozen to -58F, survive contamination with ultra-fine silicon dust, water, and continue function. All the pretty rails, sights and other add-ons can be done easily by anyone that bothers to actually look things up and get it right.

        • jcitizen

          Yup, and the M16/M4 family can do it too, and still shoot MOA groups. I once saw an M16 ran over by a 2 1/2 ton truck, and a full water trailer 8000 lbs, and still pass inspection by MATES.

          • Max Glazer

            A military-issue one or a civilian one? Only asking because aluminium casting isn’t very strong normally

          • jcitizen

            US issue – I was the armorer for that unit. The M16 was built with the then latest aircraft aluminum forged metal, the same kind that holds big jets together, so it is one tough reliever there. Ironically the M60 lmg of that day was easily damaged.

          • Max Glazer

            Would be one of the later ones then.

            Funnily enough, from what I was able to gather, M-60 was based off German FG-42 WW2 rifle.

          • jcitizen

            It had to have been one of the spindliest lmgs in history – you could ruin one stepping on it climbing out of a defensive position. (M60) From what I’ve seen of the FG-42 it was one tough weapon – the MG42 is definitely better also, as the stamped receiver is very tough. The MG3 is basically the same thing. I never had a problem with them coming out of alignment because of minor accidents.

  • Hermann Göring

    Nothing but the best for shooting rock-throwing Palestinian kids. Jizzrael gets the US to do any serious fighting for them anyway.

  • Tom

    “The AK-Alfa has been developed by Israeli firm Command Arms & Accessories (the sister company to Hartman), which makes it a direct competitor to IWI’s own modernized AK, the Galil ACE.”

    See diversity does not have to be PC bullshit.

  • Rob

    It could be the best thing since sliced bread, but I have to hold judgment until (if ever) I get my hands on one. By looks alone, it does nothing for me, in fact it looks like a Hollywood movie prop, that would be made fun of…at least to me.

  • Quest

    Wow the sight-line-to-bore height is HILARIOUS…..

  • Quest

    *Edit: HILARIOUS sight-line-to-bore height. And the charging handle slot…. sand, dirt and mud will jam this Rifle WAY to quick and easy. And dual slits…? even far more easy to jam. …It looks nine but is just crap.

    • All the Raindrops

      yes

  • All the Raindrops

    these are all just silly commercial/export guns. it’s not “israel’s new ak,” an israeli and american company got together and made some ak’s of unknown quality and put a clamshell around them.

  • Jones2112

    This doesn’t look that much different than the Creative Arms RAK rifle…

  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    @hgh Those two rifles look as about as similar as a Tibetian Mastiff and a Yorkie.

  • mazkact

    Why do all the new “sexy” rifles/carbines have pencil barrels ? Give me some barrel thickness even at the cost of a little weight.

  • The Brigadier

    The third yacht in the marina.

  • The Brigadier

    Does this rifle have the same annoying trigger slap as all the AKs do?

  • twr

    Kalashnikov USA Is RWC which is crap. Sorry, there’s no getting around it. Buy a VEPR or wait for the slr’s to come back.