Matt Rittman, a 3D motion designer from Waukee, Iowa, has recently published a beautiful 3D animation demonstrating how the mechanism of a typical AK rifle works. Animations of the AK mechanism has been around for a while. Nevertheless, this one is rather well executed. Without further ado, let’s watch the video.
This animation also gives a good visual reference to show a small design feature of the AK rifle that is often misunderstood. It seems that the only purpose of the bolt carrier tail extension is to start the cocking of the hammer, however, this extension is also an out-of-battery safety. If the action is not locked and the hammer accidentally falls, it won’t be able to reach the firing pin and will hit the bolt carrier tail. Even it the hammer manages to push the bolt carrier forward and retain enough energy to hit the firing pin, it will still be safe discharge because the action will be already locked.
Those of you who are interesting in the technical aspects of the animation, here is how Matt describes it:
A 3D animation created in Cinema 4D and After Effects showing how an AK-47 rifle works. Corona renderer was used in order to create realistic materials and reflections.
If we get too picky, we can find some imperfections and mistakes both in the description and animation. For example, the firing pin obviously doesn’t puncture the primer, which Matt acknowledges though in the description of the video. Calling the primer a “bullet primer” sounds quite odd. Also, you have probably noticed the absence of riflings etc. Nevertheless, I think this is a great animation allowing to better understand the mechanism of operation of AK-style rifles.