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

    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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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