The Weird + Wonderful Firearms of Ukraine: Bullpups, Anti-Tank Rifles, More Bullpups & AR-15s

The Hopak rifle is a modification of the AK-47 rifle

The Hopak rifle is a modification of the AK-47 rifle

The editor says: This article was contributed by our friend Vitaly who runs Rem870.com, a blog and forum dedicated to the Remington 870. 

The war in Eastern Ukraine has brought international attention to the Ukrainian firearms/defense market and local industry. Companies from  Guns & Safety exhibition was attended by many companies from around the world. Most of the exhibitors were focused on getting Army contracts involving armored vehicles, armor, clothing, and various other components and equipment, but there were also many small are exhibitors.

Most of the companies, such as Barrett, Glock, Steyr, Bushmaster, Colt and DPMS, are well known around the world and you can see them almost on any gun exhibition, but there were also local companies exhibiting interesting guns that were developed and manufactured in Ukraine: some of them looked interesting but some of them looking like a waste of our military’s budget.

Let’s start with the firearm I wasn’t able to understand. The Hopak rifle, pictured at the to of this article, is a modification of the AK-47 rifle. It has a long integrated silencer to make shots as quiet as possible. It looks very similar to the VSS Vintorez. The caliber is 7.62x39mm and its gas block was removed to accommodate the silencer and so the rifle is manually operated! The Hopak rifle is difficult to understand especially with optics installed. It is advertised as a new compact sniper rifle but it’s just a manually operated AKM with a silencer. Oh wait, it has a special feature… you can use a blank round adapter to fire a hook for climbing!

sgm_rifle

The next rifle is the SGM 12.7. This is a sniper rifle with a 12.7x108mm caliber, which is a Soviet .50 BMG caliber. It is advertised with an effective range of 1.5 km. It can penetrate armor up to 12 mm thick. The rifle is manually operated. Many parts are made of wood, so it looks very outdated. The muzzle brake is advertised to effectively reduce recoil. They say the shooter is going to feel 5 times less recoil which is a pretty unbelievable claim. The first SGM rifles are now being tested by the Ukrainian army. There are no results of the tests as of yet.

hado_127_rifle

Hado, another Ukrainian company presented their own 12.7x108mm caliber rifle. It is manually loaded but the ejection of a spent shell is inertia operated. There is not much information about it because it is very new and was just released.

The only problem with all Ukrainian 12.7x108mm sniper rifles is that sniper loads for such rifles are not available. Russian rifles, like the KSVK 12.7, for example, utilize specially developed rounds. Ukrainians use Soviet rounds from machine guns, but machine gun rounds are not accurate because they are developed for absolutely different applications.

The National Guard of Ukraine already adopted a Barret M82 rifle which was a much better decision than re-inventing the wheel.

A Bullpup SVD is another prototype that was presented at this exhibition.

bullpup_svd

It is shorter and compact but there is no information about tests or military use of this rifle. The concept looks interesting but it is pretty much useless. It is a solution looking for a problem. Also, that angled grip looks very unusual for a rifle. And don’t even try to shoot it from the left shoulder!  🙂

Another rifle which was advertised can destroy a Russian Armata tank’s optical devices. This rifle is called the Stiletto.

stiletto_rifle

The caliber is 300 WSM. It is manually operated and has a suppressor. The manufacturer displayed armor which was pierced with specially developed rounds from the rifle. Armor piercing rounds are advertised to penetrate the front armor of BMP armored vehicles at a distance of up to 700 meters. Bullets are patented and consist of several parts. The company says that their bullets are now being tested by major manufacturers of ammunition. We’ll see if they will be able to sign contracts with some big players in future.

There was a very interesting company which manufactures carbon and plastic furniture for AK-47, AR-15, SKS and other firearms.

Lightweight carbon handguards for AR-15:

ar15_hadguards

They are designed mostly for competitive shooters which need slick design and don’t add many accessories. Handguards are sturdy and extremely light.

Prototypes of AK-47 stocks from the same company:

ak_stock

Accessories for SKS and Bullpup kit for AK-47:

sks_bullpup_ak

I think the world needs to stop making more bullpups. There are so many of them and they keep making them by trying to bullpup every possible gun!

Interesting plastic and carbon handguards for the AK-47:

handguards_ak47

It is extended to make possible modern grips and also has integrated Picatinny rails to accommodate red dots and vertical grips.

Here is an interesting compact grenade launcher from the Fort Company:

fort_grenade_launcher

There are lots of muzzle brakes, silencers and flash hiders from the Strela Company. They manufacture products for AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. A lot of military and special forces units in Ukraine use their accessories. The most popular and well known among soldiers’ products is the AK-47 flash hider. Soldiers use it so they can be less visible during night fights. I’ve seen a video where soldiers tested flash hiders using night vision and you can see a bright flash with regular muzzle brakes but flash hiders make shots almost invisible.

muzzle_brakes_silencers_strela

One of the companies in Ukraine that manufacture AR-15 rifles is Zbroyar. They make several models in different calibers. Zombies are popular there too, so the most popular Zbroyar’s rifle is the Zombie Hunter 🙂 This is not their only model and they often make shows for the Ukrainian Army while trying to replace the AK, but without any luck. Some Special Forces units test AR-15s but they still use good old fashioned AKs.

zbroyar_ar15

War in the east of Ukraine stimulates the development and purchasing of new firearms. Some of the new developments look interesting but some look like an attempt to try and get easy money from the military.

I hope this post was interesting for you. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments section.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • 11b

    Some of these guns look like Red Jacket’s wet dream.

    • Beju

      NEVA BEEN DONE BEFO

    • William Nelson

      Hahaha!

      Torn between the tactilol Mosin or spacegun bullpup AK 5th picture from bottom. Seen those bad boys on Armslist more than once.

    • noob

      dat waffle mag

    • John Wisch

      They look like little girl realitives ?
      What ???

  • Issac Staroselsky

    Ukrainian arm design, is dream of mental patients.

    • May

      When you’re fighting a war of independence against Russia, you can’t afford concerns beyond ”can it kill?”

      • Tritro29

        Because these weapons are about killing russians? Like Carbon fibre handguards, SKS and Mosin Chassis and many other things. Fact is that Ukraine has companies that build good weapons within reasonable prices, this is just guys out of the asylum being allowed to show their retardation.

      • Issac Staroselsky

        Independence war?Was it ever declared?I was in Ukraine /Lviv,after conflict with separatist strarted,didn’t stop any Russian citizen from visiting enemy country.

      • to make a true war agains Russia you need stuff a notch or two above the rifle (any rifle), i.e. proper Air Force, Air Defense etc.
        What they have is, in fact, a civil war

        • Issac Staroselsky

          Thank you Max.

        • noob

          I don’t want to know what that looks like, because the notch above that is the nuclear triad. And as a private civilian I cannot legally own a weapon in the nuclear triad, so no point dwelling on it.

        • Dmytro Kopylov

          I’m really like Russian thinking style – such a nice mix of Kafkaesque craziness and Orwellian levels of lie

          • Foma Klimov

            As opposed to the pendokakol way of thinking, which is nice mix of salo, ignorance and inadequacy, soaked in heavy desperation and seared in misdirected hate. Mmm…

        • Hokum

          Civil war, sure… Just as civil as you (Russia) had back in those days in Chechnya. Oh wait…

          • well, sort of. Like when Ukraine sent its nationalists to fight alongside Checehn separatists and to kill Russians; except that Donetsk and Lugansk separatists do not blow up appartment buildings in Kiev, do not hijack schools full of children and do not conduct national cleansing and slave trade.

      • RocketScientist

        “It will keell”

        -Doug Marcaida

  • PK

    I remain unconvinced the Fort grenade launcher is anything but a B&T GL06 with an AR stock.

    • Tritro29

      Fort has patent for several B&T weapons, like the APR sniper rifle and GL06. Don’t worry your intuition is fine.

      • PK

        Oh, that makes much more sense! Thanks for the clarification.

  • Tritro29

    Also just for the sake of it, MG34/42/3 handgrip and selector fitter to the bullpup SVD. I did Nazi that one coming. Ukraine in the Brain.

  • The Stiletto rifle is actually an antique Mosin (!) action rebarreled for .300WSM
    the 12.7mm SGM-12.7 bullpup looks like a shameless copy of the Russian ASVK

    • CraxyD

      Is it just me or does that rifle sound WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too good to be true?

      • Ryfyle

        They have Mosins out there that do .500 S&W. All it needs is some polish.

        • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

          Seriously?! They do?! WHERE?!

          • Ryfyle

            I remeber seeing it on youtube. Sure it was a custom job, but as it turns out the Mosin got’s a decent action when you smooth it out.

          • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

            This pleases me.

          • Wow!

            Mosins have always been favored by the Germans over their bolt action rifles. A lot of WW2 images show the long serving veterans with Mosins. The problem is that while the Mosin was superior to the Kar, the russians didn’t have the training or resources to maintain them which is why mosins in surplus are shittier than Kar surplus. Ever try out a new production mosin from Russia… so smooth, so silky, you can’t believe it isn’t butter!

          • I’ve heard of the hype train, but this must be the epitome. The mosin hype maglev train?

    • Іван Боднарюк

      I’ve heard rumours, SGM-12.7 isn’t a copy, but an original ASVK, captured after ambush.

  • SP mclaughlin

    That bullpup SVD looks like it has an STG44 or MG42 pistol grip/trigger assembly.

    • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

      …Oh my God. It does.

  • Critter

    So….Ukrainian mall ninjas….

    • Gary Kirk

      Ninjas of mall..

    • Ryfyle

      Thought those were called STALKER’s

  • Billy Jack

    How come they don’t export ak’s to the US? We’re besties now right? Someone around here would buy that carbon fiber trash too.

    • iksnilol

      Carbon fiber and trash in the same sentence?

      I disagree, comrade.

      • Billy Jack

        Super fast lightweight trash?

  • iksnilol

    I want that bullpup Dragunov, that grip looks very like the grip of an FG-42.

    Seriously, the thing looks like a space gun !

  • Edeco

    The Bullpup SVD and SKS replacement stock are classy looking.

  • Kevin Gibson

    Any chance they could make up some SVD’s and export them to the US? And perhaps the AK-107, and the VSS, and the…

    • This has been the dream for years. The truth is the SVD is not a hyper accurate gun. It’s an old reliable semi auto. When the people do get a high quality TIGR, etc. They tend to be disapointed that an $800 AR10 type can outshoot it handily. The economics of developing one for export then getting it past 922r and then selling it to a rapidly disapointed US market fall quickly. People don’t want to buy a real SVD, they want to buy the myth of the magical Russian SVD. Any time they get an SVD and it performs like an SVD, it won’t count because it won’t be a “real Soviet SVD”. If you make one in Ukraine and it shot 1.5 MOA, it would do better than most of them do, and the people who want an SVD would still say, “nah I want the real russian thing.” This is why you won’t be able to buy one.

  • Ryfyle

    That have some real fancy Mosins.