POTD: The AN-94, In Use Today

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

Polish gun magazine Broń i Amunicja posted two photos of the elusive AN-94 rifle in use with Russian forces recently. The 5.45mm hyperburst rifles are seen equipped with optics mounted via rails to the Soviet-era dovetail scope mount integral to the receiver of the weapon.

Broń i Amunicja writes:

Tak po cichutku, bez większego rozgłosu, pojedyncze sztuki 5,45-mm karabinka AN-94 (formalnie przyjętego do uzbrojenia w połowie lat 1990. jako następca AK-74) nadal są używane przez rosyjskie jednostki specjalne. Ciekawostką jest automat Nikonowa zaopatrzony w celownik holograficzny.

[machine translated] So quietly, without much publicity, single pieces 5,45-mm karabinka an-94 (formally adopted for the setting in the mid-1990. As the successor of the AK-74) continue to be used by the Russian special units. There is a slot machine nikonowa stocked holographic scope.

The AN-94 is an extremely complex rifle (and one of the very few small arms designs to incorporate a pulley), but not because its designers made no effort to simplify it. Indeed, many parts in the rifle serve multiple functions, simplifying the mechanism as much as possible, in the old Russian tradition. Hyper-burst is a very radical idea, requiring great ingenuity to execute successfully, and the AN-94 is nothing if not ingenious. Sadly, the payoff seems to be too little to justify the greatly increased expense (the AN-94 cost approximately five times as much as an AK-74), greatly increased complexity, and reduced reliability of hyperburst.

Nathaniel F
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. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.

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  • Ching Willy Hung Ching Willy Hung on Oct 12, 2015

    With all the ITAR export restrictions, I don't see the Russian having any problem getting EOTech Sight or Magpul stuff. On a lot of pictures I saw from Ukraine or Russian's FSB or GRU, they all sporting ITAR restricted Items some have ACOGs too.

  • Tzefa Tzefa on Nov 01, 2015

    But the picture is a screenshot from a promotion video of Kyrgyzstan special forces